Thursday, 10 February 2011

Vleva congres: Roger Blamire from European Schoolnet gives his view on eLearning needs

Nice man, with a suite (no tie).

This is a live blogpost, so forgive the possibly quick sentences and crooked words.

European Schoolnet (30 European Ministries and regions), not part of the European commission. So, interested of working with regions, so Welsh, Flanders, Bask, who knows might also include Roma ... people, get in contact with Roger.

He gives an overview of European Schoolnet (e-safety, school networking, interoperability (! like Surfnet I guess but then European!).

eTwinning: 100.000 schools are ready for eTwinning. It is about improving learning by the use of technology.

Lists some of the inhibitors to eLearning
  • disparity in curriculum and various cross-curricular approaches
  • difficulty to assess these skills
  • difficulty to shift culture of teachers , training of teachers (! chance for funding project)
  • lack of new pedagogical models (! chance for funding project)
  • parents expectations - more technology but conservative approach to school organization.

the rise of informal learning as an excellent learning outcome (also gives teachers much more time to focus on the extra's, not the basics). (note: all for that! more learning out of class).

Roger gives two examples on mainstreaming eLearning

iTEC: classroom of the future: it was a scalable, large, mainstreamed practices that worked (1000 classrooms), which helped in getting funding. The program is completely online.

core: scenarios of future classrooms, high reactivity (rapid prototyping, with speeded up feedback loop), it is scalable and the teacher is at the center (teachers own the activities, choose the technologies, a bit like out of a toolbox (!) and social networking).

second example: EUN-Acer netbook project . Looks at one to one computing in a number of countries.
This example was clearly company pushed, but interesting: understand how learners and teachers use netbooks in various educational contexts. An interesting issue here is privacy, what about the learner privacy and ethics... who is in charge of children’s lives if they work at all times on it?
Learning, work, spare time... the boundaries blur.

Games become part of the technology driven schools of the future (paraphrases Obama). The effect of educational games is important and substantial, so it is a trend to follow and research up close. He has 15 recommendations on games for education.

roger (dot) blamire (at) eun (dot) org
or twitter: @rblamire