Friday, 8 January 2010

#lff10 : Phil Candy: concentrating on organizational or institutional educational futures

Today I was following the presentation and live discussion on the topic of institutional educational futures by Phil Candy, taken place during the Learning Future Festival 2010, an online conference organized by the University of Leicester. Notes taken during the presentation and the following discussion:

It is vital for educational institutions to be aware of the direction education is taken and to prepare graduates for the future. So educational institutions must invest in teaching materials and resources (question here: what about ethical issues, what about human resources that might need to be retrained to become in sync with contemporary or future learning facilitators? I posted this question at the designated discussion forum, I will add the reply as soon as Phil or someone else has the time to reply) and – a very important one I think – universities have a duty to society to be engaged with discourses about the future (I also think universities must give a moral, critical, ethical framework for the graduates to take along in there future lives, see a post on critical pedagogy by Paulo Freire which is in the pipeline, I will link to it as soon as I post it (next week) ).

3 strategies for future university:

  • Ensuring a future perspective
  • Raising the level of staff awareness
  • Challenging the vision of the university’s digital future, this last one is the focus of the rest of the presentation, based on a four part model which is interconnected.

Australian digital futures institute (will be launched formally in the next few months, but has been existing for 2 years):

  • building bridges between teaching and research.
  • Push the boundaries in the use of technologies in higher education.
  • Create opportunities for collaboration
  • Attract investment and funded research and development
  • Share knowledge, skills and resources

  • Virtual incubator and business development hub
  • Establish a commercial business incubator with and for local businesses and the chamber of commerce
  • Provide an opportunity for graduates to create micro-businesses.
  • Leverage the existence of corporate club, either as mentors, as supporters, or as users of the services provided.

Next generation learning initiative

  • Network of teaching and immersive learning hubs based at usq and in communities, schools, tafe institutes, workplaces.
  • Application developed for education infrastructure fund for support.
  • Useful for research collaboration and community outreach
  • Supplements individual or lone learners.

(question: how do you guarantee quality in the hub? What will be your edge over other universities hubs considering strong content can be built by any strong network? Answer of the hub question by Phil (paraphrasing): depending on what happens inside the hub. It could be that a distributed network of academics might be possible, but it needs to be looked at. Matter of high-end technology learners and how they will evolve.

In the event if one of these hubs is based in a hospital, reasonable to expect that the tutorials will be more on the job. If it is an unattended facility in a school after hours, or library, it will be the learners using the content and the material.

Ubiquitous learning possible by using different connections and overall accessibility over a wide range of devices.

Challenges of higher education:

  • Ensure the next generation of leaders have an integrated, cross-disciplinary understanding, by building a futures perspective into their core work.
  • Embrace the use of technologies to solve enduring pedagogical problems and create links to the graduates futures
  • Stimulated and galvanize public debate about preferable futures by challenging current thinking

To build on the past, add value in the present and create sustainable, desirable and equitable futures.

Question posed during the live discussion: how can learners get accreditation on the open material that is learned by the learner, yet the learner cannot get accreditation for these materials. Answer of phil candy: there are a lot of discussion. E.g. MIT has reduced the open course material because of the cost and lack of income. It needs to be reviewed. Phil Candy will send some links to some of these discussions.