Friday, June 15, 2007

Eden again

Plenary Session 2 - Innovation as Compass to the New Digital Territories
The general theme here was how policy can, could? should? steer development and vice-versa.
1) Maruja Gutierrez-Diaz discussed how important education is to the Lisbon Declaration and to the 7th Framwork Programme for Research. She mentioned that a favourable government policy towards the use of IT and innovative methods in education was vital IF these were to be part of a successful educational system. Very relevant for our organisation at the moment!
2) Claudio Dondi - a very reasoned speaker who spoke about why change is slower within institutions than it is among members of the institutions and why that can be a good thing. There is more inertia in an institute than in a new web-community but is this a bad thing? Is change more successful if it is top-down or bottom-up? When is a trend a trend and when does a trend become the norm? In contrast with previous conferences Cladio felt that both practioners and policymakers were now more positive to e-learning.
He also stressed the importance of non-formal learning, the human touch, the role of the teacher/facilitators, and education's place as a shaper of the future, even suggesting a new word - Learnovation!
3) Eric Bruillard spoke on the meeting between schools and technology and how/if/when institutes will accept/be transformed by the new technology.
4) Grainne Conole spoke about students today but for us there was little new in what she said. Some students are very hi-tech, very connected, very web 2.0, while others are less so. We need to cater for a wide range of competencies and doing so can be problematic.

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