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More thoughts on Educa on-line

December 5th, 2006 by Graham Attwell

Last Friday I chaired one of the morning plenary sessions at Educa on-line.

the session was on informal learning and was packed out – about 700 ‘participants’. At least informal learning is now being taken seriously – although I have to say this was not perhaps the ideal setting for learning to take place – formal or informal.

there were four speakers. I was a little disappointed with Jay Cross – who – although he said it nicely – seemed to say little or nothing new. I was greatly impressed with Kevin Wheeler from ‘Global Learning Resources’ – in general I am pretty cynical about consultants but Kevin knows what he is talking about, is reflective and challenging.

Then there were presentations form Yael Ravin from IBM and Mike McKeown from Cisco (I have to say this is not my normal setup or company – but I kind of enjoyed a glimpse into the corporate world). Both gave competent presentations, as one would expect. Both showed off what their companies were doing in terms of using ICT to encourage informal learning.

Neither really gave any indication of how successful such activities were (even more useful would have been what is not working and why) – rather they focused on the different platforms they had developed. I am quite sure they had put much time and expertise into developing these platforms but i saw little that could not be hacked together in a day or two using open source and a little ingenuity. perhaps that is just a sign of how fast social software has advanced!

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