Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Future

If you had of asked me 2 years ago whether I'd be capable of looking into the future, I would of laughed at you. Only now through this subject have I become capable of critically looking at what is in front of me and the impact that technology in particular has on society and myself as an individual.

I believe I am now capable of looking outside the square, and I'm excited about what is out there. This subject has brought me back to my original career in IT and in particular e-learning, I'm seriously contemplating enrolling in Masters of Education specialising in ICT and I am extremely keen on making a positive impact through the idea of lifelong learning on the digital natives of the world!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Snack Learning for Professionals

Business school in all A380 classes - Fran Foo | September 16, 2008

I certainly do not hope that "Snack learning" becomes the new buzz word floating around, it sounds as though academic articles are going to be written on the back of Mars bars wrappers...

In what is an extension of what will soon be a common theme - e-learning/m-learning through technologies, Qantas have developed a system that will be integrated with the new fleet of A380s' in-flight entertainment platform.

Obviously there are some people out there - professionals who travel regularly would be interested in learning on the go. However i'd be interested to see how successful this program really is.

Bite sized e-learning is certainly something I'm interested in with the ever increasing use of blackberries/laptops and iphones - but I can't really see this taking off on an aeroplane. I would think that most people would be content with watching the latest movie, tv show, playing handheld games or sleeping when on a flight!

Not to mention the other issues of the employees not being able to switch off when travelling to other locations for work.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Phone a friend — welcome to the new face of exams

Phone a friend — welcome to the new face of exams

by Margaret Cook and Anna Patty

It's safe to say i'm fascinated by what impact technology is going to have on education, in particular it's use on young adults.

I firmly agree with Cook and Patty's view that the internet has expanded our resources and shifted power away from teachers, and some find this threatening. I for one am always interested in ways that educators are looking outside the square to conduct assessments.

They highlight that the nature of the world today is that people want information quickly, however they are quick to point out that the credibility of the information should be questioned and cited appropriately!

"What they will need to do is access information from all their sources quickly and they will need to check the reliability of their information."

Could this assessment be transferred into a work / TAFE environment where business information would often be on hand with a colleague or on the company intranet?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Digital futures report: the internet in Australia

Digital futures report: the internet in Australia

Julian Thomas, Scott Ewing, Julianne Schiessl

This report presents findings from the first survey undertaken by the Australian component of the World Internet Project. This survey is a major piece of research undertaken by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Innovation at Swinburne University’s Institute for Social Research.

This report provides an overview of our work, presenting results for each of the questions asked. We will also be publishing work that examines relationships between our key variables exploring, for example, differences between users with broadband access at home and those on dial-up connections and the differences that age, gender and education levels make to people’s use and experience of the internet.

Analysis we have already conducted shows that broadband does make a substantial difference to peoples’ use of the internet. The internet is more highly valued by those with broadband connections and they use the internet for longer and for a greater variety of purposes. Younger people have been quick to integrate the internet into their lives, they use the internet more and particularly for entertainment.

I have to say, I'm really not surprised by this article at all... it's common knowledge that Australian broadband due to the geographical make up the country is well behind the rest of the first class nations.

It therefore comes as no surprise that people who actually have access to a decent internet connection value the internet higher than those who don't. With Telstra very much the monopoly when it comes to the phone lines used for ADSL either through their private ownership of the bulk of the lines required for high speed broadband.

I therefore have to agree that broadband does make a substantial difference to peoples’ use of the internet for more people to be able to integrate the internet into their daily lives the government is going to need to come in and take a stand in Australia. Or those in the City and large regional areas will continue to enjoy the luxury, while those already struggling to stay in touch in remote communities will be stuck on dial-up and other slow connections.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Google enrolled for schools email deal

I found the article above particularly interesting when it comes to formal educational institutions, my girlfriends university recently were swapped over to Windows Live email. With it comes the obvious repercussions, that although some students may be obvlious to, she was quick to point out that she now has to deal with advertising and the other unwanted invasions that comes with having a "free" account.

"If the vendors can get students to sign up for email accounts, the hope is they will then use those accounts for life," Mr Cain said. "Students, alumni, staff and faculty all represent a highly desirable demographic that advertisers will pay top dollar to reach."

Students previously had 35 megabytes of memory on their account previously, they now have six gigabytes.... but at what price?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Keyboard kids losing art of handwriting

Keyboard kids losing art of handwriting - by Gerard Noonan Social Issues Editor

I found this article particularly relevant moving forward, as a younger person who is no longer required to produce large amounts of writing by hand for work or for uni, I feel its particularly important that Educational Insititutions look for alternatives when it comes to exams.

Turning off Spelling, Grammar options as well as access to the internet shouldn't be something that is too hard to do for exams. Most schools have PCs and it makes sense that their should be restrictions on these PCs.

For exams that involve Essay writing or Multiple Choice PC's should become an option for those who prefer not to handwrite!

You would think having to mark thousands of exam papers would be easier if it was done electronically!

I'm not of the belief that writing is linked to thought for all people, personally I believe I have longer to think when typing than handwriting as it does not take me as long to put "pen to paper" so to speak, and thus it allows my output to match my thoughts!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

E-portfolios signal new digital dawn for universities,25197,24061467-12332,00.html Andrew Trounson | July 23, 2008

Following on from my previous post comes a report from Andrew Trounson, highlighting the need for a greater focus towards e-portfolios.

E-portfolios, which combine narrative digital and multimedia work with a student's wider experiences, are so far being used in a patchwork way across the sector, as a way to bring a greater focus on individual learning in an age of mass education. They are seen as a way of feeding off the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook.

Education management services provider Blackboard has produced an e-portfolio product specifically to link with the Facebook site.

Although this article is specifically targeted towards university education, I'm interested in how this could possibly be used in a corporate environment, the option to store previous work experience and reflective journals relating to projects and tasks would certainly make for a fascinating more accurate Resume than your standard 3-4 page hard copy CV!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cut and paste 'not plagiarism',25197,24025610-12332,00.html by Andrew Trounson

I have to say that I found this article absolutely fascinating, the most interesting being the quote below.

"I don't really care if there are bits and pieces in their initial information that is downloaded from different points. What I care about is: do they understand it and did they use that information to come up with a solution to solve a problem?" she said.

Certainly the nature of computing, in particular the internet means that information is more accessible and that research has become a matter of copy and pasting information for assessment tasks. I agree with Dale Spender that perhaps there does need to be a review of citation requirements and assessments. As suggested, students do have a responsibility to ensure that work from others is recognized in their own, but at the same time by copying and pasting information into their own work, students are still required to filter what information fits in order to complete the assessment tasks.

I have to agree as a future adult educator, that

"We still have this responsibility to maintain integrity, we still have a responsibility to ensure that our students are actually learning something, but in the process perhaps we do need to rethink our assessment practices. I don't think citation practices are going to go out the window."

Could the future of academic writing include a new citation technique or recognition system that allows for the mish mash of different bits of unrecognised literature? Or will academic writing continue to be heavily focused on peer reviewed literature and existing citation techniques?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Interesting interview with Steve Wozniak co-founder of Apple Computer

Interesting interview with Steve Wozniak co-founder of Apple Computer.
July 14, 2008
By Susan Kuchinskas"

If you have a committee designing something, that's where it breaks down. Then, putting it out there will get the excellence. You have to give users the respect of listening to what they have to say. Maybe what you've done isn't the best way. You have to have openness and clear your mind out.

You might have someone who builds a chair in a different way, but you need to come up with overriding principles. What's a good chair concept? That can be hard to spot. Steve Jobs is very good at looking at specific things and putting a category around them.

Interesting that he notes that maths is only taught because we can teach it, however its hard to beleive that a former computer engineer would think this as maths is the base of many programming languages!

Who would of thought the Scots would be ahead of the times?

The force is with Scotland's schools intranet, says George Lucas by Melanie Reid

This is an absolutely fascinating article, about director George Lucas and a modest Scots initiative to improve e-communication within schools.

What Glow brings to Scottish education are collaborative social tools which people in education are unwilling to use because of the dangers. By putting it in the closed and safe environment of Glow, where the teacher monitors it, you can use them with confidence. It means you can bring in things you would have never dared to before - discussion, chats, web conferencing, input from outside.

Similar to the idea of texting/emailing the Teachers prior to class, this article shows just how beneficial online environments can be for enhancing discussion.

Educators and government officials from China to Singapore to Australia have been visiting LTS to see how Glow is going to be used to enhance learning and teaching in Scotland.

Let's hope that other big name movie directors and stars can assist with the quest towards “edutopia”!

YouTube research shows picture is changing rapidly

I found this article interesting, even with its heavy positive bias towards YouTube. It's interesting to note how many "How-To" videos that users are posting on YouTube, could this possibly have an effect on formal short courses at TAFE/ACE Providers or will it always be used for Comedic and Entertainment purposes?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mobile web reaches critical mass

Following on from my previous posts, m&e (mobile and online or electronic) learning is something that I have an interest in.

The following article on the BBC website explores recent research data that shows that browsing via mobiles is increasing, particularly in the US. Could Universities and other adult learning educational institutions swing towards mobile phone based discussion forums/information pages?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Possible Ideas for Presentation

After Damon's class where he had organised for a previous B&ALD student (John) to deliver his futures presentation, I left class driving down the monash with thousands of ideas going through my head of where I might take this project.

As my areas of interest stem towards, sport and technology - I'd like to research how these two could possibly impact on adult learning (in particular informal learning) in the future.

As Damon has suggested, I am intending to keep a wide lense - however, I believe I will focus my research initially on

- Mobile learning /(m-learning) and e-learning in particular how it can be used in regards to call centres and other casual office workers
- pod and can this assist with athlete/career education
- Sporting clubs, what is the future of player education - specifically tactical/social education that stems from young adults at sporting clubs?
- Social networks (facebook, myspace, etc?), what is the future? Can social education/awareness programs replace the advertising that is saturated on these websites?

When I eventually decide on my topic, I intend to reflect on my comments throughout the semester - imagination and foreward thinking isn't one of my stronger personality traits, however I hope I can improve this throughout this subject!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mobile and PDA Learning

Technology in particular the use of the internet, pdas and mobile (cell) phones is an area that I have a particular interest in.

Providing PDA's to student in low socio-economic areas, may indeed assist students with seeking jobs and allowing teachers to undertake regular contact with the students. I found the below article particularly interesting and I look forward to reading further developments in this area.

'The PDA has helped me apply for more jobs' - Ellie Levenson and Kate Hilpern

Mobile phones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and other technology are often a pain in the neck for teachers in the classroom, whose lessons are disturbed by a seemingly never-ending series of rings and bleeps. But for Pembrokeshire College in rural Wales (pictured above), they are proving an excellent tool for motivating and supporting disengaged young adults who are not in education, employment or training, enabling tutors and students to stay in touch through text, voicemail, e-mail and the internet.

"The PDA that the college has provided me with has allowed me to phone a lot more employers than I could have afforded on my own budget. I have also had unlimited access to helpful internet sites like driving theory practice questions, job search sites, and many more that have helped me in my career choice," says one student. "With help from my tutor I have gained the confidence and many skills to contact employers and go to interviews. I have had lots of help updating my CV and writing cover letters which have helped me apply for better jobs."

The "mlearning" project (m stands for mobile), which supplies a PDA as well as a bluetooth keyboard to everyone who becomes an mlearner, states its aim as giving young people the opportunities to break through their barriers to learning and fulfil their potential through a flexible, innovative and high quality learning programme.

"The mlearning project has been a real positive hook for our young people," says Sue Edwards of the Over 15s Service. "They want to engage with the learning because the offer of a loan of a PDA is a real incentive. It motivates them to learning through a new medium. They are keen to use the technology and find it empowering to be responsible for expensive kit."


Monday, July 7, 2008


This blog has been created to assist me with my 3rd Year - B&ALD research task for EDF3806 - Future Directions in Adult Learning and Development.

I am required to compile a Futures in AL&D Database and reflective journal that will assist me with my assessment task.

The blog will allow me to collate information about trends and developments (social, economic, technological, political, cultural, educational) that may shape the future directions of AL&D,

This information will come in the form of

  • newspapers, magazines, websites etc.
  • thought-provoking images (eg. cartoons, pictures)
  • peer reviewed literature
  • professional literature
  • my own individual observations
I invite anyone visiting this page (in particular my fellow classmates) to leave comments on my posts to assist me with my research task.