Learning and Teaching Matters

Archive for the ‘Building the Infrastructure for Education’ Category

Fiona Harvey attended a lecture by Prof Andy Stanford-Clark, Master Inventor at IBM UK today.  It was an absolutely fascinating talk about pervasive innovation and its uses within IBM’s Smarter Planet agenda.   Andy talked about and showed us how his house has been wired up to detect power and water usage and how he has a variety of security checks so that in essence his house can tell him (via Twitter) if he has locked the front door or not.  Not only can he do this but he has also managed to work with a variety of colleagues from across the University to look at flood warnings – Floodnet and has developed a new messaging protocol (MQTT.org)

Andy provided us with a huge range of examples of how he has been using pervasive technology to save time and money – much more than we could post here – take a look at this from Andy’s web site.

Andy also features as part of this Twitter Power User video from EpicFu.com


Fiona Grindey attended this event last week – all online and very interactive.   The conference was based on two themes – Theme 1 was ‘Finding the Way’ and Theme 2 was  ‘ Meeting the Challenge’.   Each of these themes had a series of resources relating to them.  There are resources relating to the presentations and discussion forums at the event which were either a live presentation using Elluminate or discussion forums, each with a whole set of resources and reading material, which could sometimes included video.

Theme 1 posed questions such as:

  • What are the needs and expectations of learners using technology in their learning? How can we distinguish between the myths and the reality, and respond effectively?
  • Is there a role for social media in supporting, engaging and retaining learners?
  • How can technology enhance the broader canvas of curriculum delivery?
  • What are the benefits and challenges posed by open educational resources?
  • What will educational institutions look like in the future?

The keynote for this theme was from Charles Leadbeater via Elluminate was ‘The role of innovation in education’.  At which there was a lively discussion and a very good attendance.

Theme 2 posed questions such as:

  • How can institutions respond with more agility to the changing needs of the workplace?
  • How can institutions engage employers and professional bodies in curriculum design?
  • Adopt or avoid? Can virtual worlds open up new routes to learning?
  • How can the design of technology-rich physical learning spaces be informed by research?

The keynote for this theme was ‘Becoming an edgeless university’  with Peter Bradwell,  an independent researcher with Demos, who looked at how institutions could explore ways to prepare for the future. Peter’s presentation is based on the 2009 Demos report, The Edgeless University.

All the resources from the event will be availble via the JISC website in January 2010.

There was  recent post about the conference on the JISC e-Learning Programme blog.

If you would like to know more about the conference please let me know.

The E-Learning Implementation Group (Chaired by Rosalynd Jowett) and The E-Learning Strategy Group (Chaired by Hugh Davis) have now merged to form the Technology Enhanced Learning Steering and Implementation Group (TELSIG).  this new group will be able to contribute and respond to the new University strategies for education as they are put in place.  The Group will report via Hugh to the Education Committee and will help to drive forward technology enhanced learning initiatives and innovations at University level.

Professor Hugh Davis although head of ECS Learning Societies Lab is also University Director of Education with a responsibility for E-Learning.

The date of the next meeting will be Thursday January 21st – any items for consideration at the meeting need to be sent to Fiona Grindey by Monday 4th January to allow two weeks notice for the Group.

As you may or may not be aware LATEU have been instrumental in coordinating projects working in Second Life, on the University Island.  They have been running for nearly a year and have proved to be very successful (full evaluations etc will be available in due course).  It seems though, that we now have to think about the future direction for virtual worlds (not just Second Life) as we are all facing reduced funding (or even no funding!)  To that end, I am going to get a steering group together to look at how we move this along.  The initial aim will be to ask the project leaders to be members of the group as they have had first hand experience of using virtual worlds for teaching and research and also to gain input from other interested members of the University community.

I hope that this group will be able to review the experiences of the last year and use this to guide us along.  It does seem reasonable that we should extend the good work that has been created as a result of the efforts over the last year.

As soon as any progress is made here, I will report back to this blog with an update.   Again, if anyone has any questions about this or who would like to be involved please get in touch.

Staff are invited to apply for funding for projects and activities which support the achievements of the University of Southampton Learning and Teaching Enhancement Strategy and the University of Southampton E-Learning Strategy. The scheme is open to all staff involved in teaching, or learning support, and individuals or teams may apply.

There is a common application scheme for the two funds and initial applications require the completion of a one page “Expression of Interest” Form. The deadline for submission of Expression of Interest Application forms is noon on Wednesday 15th October 2008.

The funds can be used for projects of varying scale and nature. Ideally, the intention is to free up staff time for an agreed period so that effort can be focused on developing learning and teaching. Staff may collaborate with colleagues from their School, other Schools or Professional Service.

The criteria that will be used to select projects to be funded are:

  • Alignment with the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Strategy
  • Enhancement of the student Experience
  • Transferability across disciplines
  • Value for money
  • Sustainability of the project
  • Collaboration with other Schools
  • Evaluation of Outcomes & Impact
    – a clear method to evaluate the success, outcomes and impact of the project

See our website for full details of the funds and application procedures

LATEU are involved in the Learning Spaces Strategy Group. This is chaired by Adam Wheeler and has representation from across the University. They meet on a bi-monthly basis to discuss issues that the University faces regarding meeting the needs of students now and for the next generation. The next meeting will take place in March 2008.

Further information this can be found on our website.