SocialLearn – official announcement

In 2009, the SocialLearn was considered to be commercially sensitive, and therefore external presentations and publications were restricted unless confidentiality agreements were in place.

Everyone on the project was pleased, therefore, when the university’s new vice-chancellor, Martin Bean, used his keynote at ALT-C as an opportunity to announce SocialLearn to the world. I wrote this up on the SocialLearn blog, and was also one of those liveblogging his talk on Cloudworks and on my own blog.

Here’s a section of Doug Clow’s liveblog from the Cloudworks site

Many students never known world without web, sms, MP3s, etc. Heavy use, including social networking. Uptake of technology in homes, roughly 70% in 2008, when up by 2m homes in a year.  We need to continue conversation about access, but must get real about their expectations.

What do they want? Values: autonomy, authenticity, connect and share, creativity, constant stimulation. Priorities: friends, fun, music – real-time interaction and self-presentation. Likes: Devices, cool stuff. Hates: Complexity, bad design, costs, things that get in the way of expression. Really the Internet enables what students wanted before, but faster and at bigger scale.

Crisis of relevance in Higher Education. To be more relevant, blend digital lifestyles and digital work styles: don’t unplug them, make best of both. Future jobs will require those skills.  Lifelong learning – we can’t depend on young graduates. Continual development, learning in the workplace needs to be integral. Breaking down barriers between informal and formal learning – HE must remove artificial barriers, so people can knit pathways together to weave in and out of HE as they need. Our systems look like they’re designed to stop this.  That’s not what everyone needs, not what a quality HE experience should be. Must put learner in the middle; HE is about making sure that learner is at the middle, the support revolves around them.

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