Teaching and Learning in a Net-Centric World

23rd ICDE World Congress

I was very pleased to be invited to do a keynote at International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) in Maastricht Holland this month. ICDE  is the largest coordinating and professional development organization for distance education and open learning institutions and communities around the globe. It attracts delegates from the large mega universities as well as a smattering of dual mode colleges and universities. My keynote on Open Educational resources, was OK, except the time was limited to 20 minutes and my iphone count down timer failed to bark at me, so the moderator practically had to get the hook out to get me to finish – quite embarrassing! The slides from my talk are here and the slides from the other speakers on the OER panel Peter Sloep and  Andy Lane are as well.

The keynotes were videotaped and there was a promise of streaming, but I can’t seem to locate the links from the conference web page at www.ou.nl/icde2009. I was especially pleased to have the opportunity to hear the legendary network theorist Manual Castells author of the trilogy “The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture”, 1996-2003, translated in 23 languages. For some reason he did not allow a video recording of his talk.

The congress featured the usual scrumptious buffet of concurrent sessions, most of which I quite enjoyed. The concurrent sessions were organized under the themes of cultural diversity, learning technology, removing institutional constraints, quality assurance, student support and a number of other special sub-themes.  Unlike most DE conferences, presenters were compelled to submit full papers, and most of these have been linked from the listings of the schedule at the web site. Unfortunately, the paper from my own session THE DANCE OF TECHNOLOGY AND PEDAGOGY IN SELF-PACED DISTANCE EDUCATION isn’t linked, so I have posted it here

The conference was also the annual conference of the European Assoc. of Distance Teaching Universities, so there was lots of European representation. As always, I was impressed by the amount of money provided for educational technology related research and development in Europe. I attended a presentation from the e-jump 2.0 group whose 2 year project from the EU Lifelong learning program was “Implementing e-Learning 2.0 in everyday learning processes in higher and vocational education”  A great idea, but some of the problems encountered creating ‘courses’ for teachers on web 2.0 tools (why create courses???), were very predictable. More encouraging was the work of the Re-vica Project which “aims to make an inventory and to carry out a systematic review of cross-institutional Virtual Campus initiatives of the past decade within higher education at European, national and regional levels”.  I would love to undertake a similar rear view look at Canadian initiatives during the past decade, but alas, no EU pot of money to make it happen.

All in all, I was pleased with the ICDE Congress, and glad to see that ICDE (under new management) seems to have recreated itself and back to doing important networking and knowledge development in this sector. Congrats as well to the host Open University of the Netherlands, for a well organized conference

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3 Comments

  1. June 24, 2009    

    Nice paper and presentation. I agree: i.e., new dance – “…opportunities for individuals to find each other, study and work ensemble, support and challenge each other and yet still retain the fundamental freedoms of pacing and start and completion dates.” Someday we’ll hire “learners” rather than instructors or teachers.

  2. June 24, 2009    

    Hi Terry,

    The link to the videos of the keynotes actually came through a tweet, but don’t seem to be on the website. Here is the link that worked for me: http://www.avacast.nl/icde2009/archive.php .

  3. June 28, 2009    

    Thanks, Terry, I particularly appreciated the focus on Reconceptualization and its various categories. We can apply these ideas productively in our OER work in Developmental Math in the California community colleges.

    By the way, I would have summarized the MERLOT model somewhat differently than what you have on slide 21 [from Stephen Downes]. My own take is that MERLOT’s early success was through alignment with Strategic Initiatives for the institutions who supported faculty involvement. I think this is generally true for initiatives to advance teaching and learning: there is not a lot of interest at the political level in the quality of teaching and learning, but we can garner support for OER and parallel advances by linking to strategic priorities which already have significant attention (e.g., access for specific groups, addressing pressing workforce needs, developing key 21st century competencies, etc.). This speaks directly to the Rewards dimension on p. 25. More about this in our article in the Opening Up Education book :).

    I also wondered about the characterization of MIT OCW as Produser/Consumer…I would probably use Colonial as the label…

    Tom

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