EUNIS 2008
"VISION IT - Visions for use of IT in higher education"
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EUNIS 2008 Podcasts

Podcasts of a selection of EUNIS 2008 keynote and invited speakers.

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The podcasts are listed in the chronological order as they were featuring at the congress.

Tor Nørretranders: Looking back at 2028

Tor NoerretrandersThe organizers of EUNIS 2048 has asked me to look back on those good old days when we humans were still smarter than our creations and the human individual was considered the seat of the mind. But please do remember: 2028 was not at all a year of festivities. It was the time when it suddenly and dramatically dawned on humans what robot scientists had been talking about for three decades: 2028 was to become the last year before that phase transition where the sudden superiority of articifical information processing led to the merging of all individual human minds into one universal mind. The disappearance of the ego was a consequence of the many changes in the organization of human knowledge that happened in the years up to 2028: The merging of all texts into one searchable unit, the linking of all learned and educational institutions into one grand networked lecture bazaar, the appearance of instant translation between disciplines of knowlegde and the acknowlegdement of the complexity of everyday knowledge as compared to the abstract, formal knowledge of the old scientific disciplines. But perhaps most of all the appearance of art as the prime engine of knowledge and the flow of relationships in networks as the prime mover of the mind was the forerunner of that great achievement of 2028 for which we are still thankful: The University of Utopia. And for its wonderfully deep slogan: All humans are students, all students are teachers, no teacher is human anymore.

Tor Nørretranders is a non-fiction writer dealing with many issues of the modern scientitifc and technological culture. He has published 20 books and been translated into 10 languages. His best known books are on consciousness (The User Illusion, 1999) and creativity (The Generous Man, 2005) but he has dealt with many other issues such as network technology, the environment, quantum mechanics, joy and childrens questions about the world. Tor Nørretranders has a M.Sc. in environmental planning from Roskilde University and is honorary professor at Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School. In 2048 he will be 93 and plans to devote his time to kayaking with robots.

Tags: Tor Nørretranders, University of Utopia, 2028, EUNIS

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22-07-2008 (266.6 MB). Duration: 48:02.

Mark Stiles: Sustaining Innovation but Keeping Control?

Mark StilesAlthough the use of technology to support and enhance learning has become a normal part of Higher Education, the majority of this use is focused on “VLEs”. Those working in IS departments have worked hard to link their VLEs up to their corporate systems and help their institution embed technology supported learning into the learning experience. But not only has the use of VLEs become increasingly orthodox, but the supremacy of the VLE is being increasingly challenged by new systems such as ePortfolio systems, portals and learning repositories, and by “user contolled” systems and applications from the world of “Web 2.0″. Is the VLE now a barrier to innovation and, if so, how will institutions cope with this “new world” where not everything is under the control of the institution? The answer, Mark will propose, is in confronting the growing conflict between innovation and corporate control by examining the associated policy issues.

Mark Stiles is Professor of Technology Supported Learning at Staffordshire University where he is Head of Learning Development and Innovation. Mark leads a team which has corporate responsibility for “eLearning” and which, as well as driving and supporting developments at the University, carries out research and development work in the strategy, policy, pedagogic and technical aspects of technology supported learning (TSL). Mark has been working in these areas for many years, and lead the development of one of the first VLEs - COSE. The current main focuses of Mark’s own work are on strategy and policy for TSL and the use of technology to support work-based learning. Mark is Deputy Chair of the UK JISC’s Learning and Teaching Committee, Chair of the JISC-CETIS Board, and represents the JISC and UK HE as a member of the Board of Directors of the IMS Global Consortium.

Tags: Mark Stiles, innovation, e-learning, web 2.0, technology supported learning, EUNIS 2008

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22-07-2008 (166.56 MB). Duration: 32:25.

Richard Barrington: Virtualisation in a Material World - ICT as a key enabler to a low Carbon Economy?

Richard BarringtonICT stands at about 2% of global CO2 emissions, similar to shipping or aviation and as essential to the future of the global economy as either. What opportunities are there for ICT to improve its own environmental credentials while enabling a low carbon future? What is the geo-political imperative and how does the the shift from products to services, or ‘virtualisation in a material world’ impact the users of ICT? What are the significant secondary multiplier benefits of, and what are the social, academic and educational implications of a ‘connected planet’? This presentation will cover 1) Climate Change a symptom of over consumption, 2) The social economic and environmental imperative of tackling climate change, 3) Joining up the dots, the government response Global Regional and Local, 4) Who is the customer, Government, Business or Consumer?, and 5) Green ICT, the business case, the technology challenges, and the process.

Richard Barrington is head of Public Policy for Sun UK and Ireland. He represents Sun on the UK’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change; the DTI’s Information Age Partnership; is a board member of PITCOM, the UK Parliamentary IT Committee and has just been asked to join the UK Government’s ‘Business Task force on Sustainable Consumption and Production’. Richard has also recently accepted a position on the CBI Environmental Affairs Committee and will be active in setting the organisations strategy on environmental and sustainability issues. He is also an active alumni of the Business and the Environment programme and is an independent trustee of eduserv. Prior to joining Sun, Richard spend three years seconded to the Office of the E-Envoy, part of the Cabinet Office, as it’s director for industry. Richard has substantial media experience and has recently provided comment on the UK Government’s budget announcement with regard to sustainable computing. Richard has also spoken recently at the Westminster eForum as well as Sun Microsystems’ Forum for the Future event and SunLIVE 06. Richard’s area of expertise is Sun’s sustainable computing strategy and the political issues surrounding this topic.

Tags: Richard Barrington, Green IT, Green ICT, Climate Change, EUNIS 2008

Download Richard Barrington: Virtualisation in a Material World - ICT as a key enabler to a low Carbon Economy? Download Richard Barrington: Virtualisation in a Material World - ICT as a key enabler to a low Carbon Economy?
22-07-2008 (168.51 MB). Duration: 31:45.

Michael Gardner: Using Project Wonderland to develop and deploy virtual 3-D collaborative environments for teaching and learning

Micahel GardnerThis presentation will describe Project Wonderland - Sun microsystems Virtual Workplace - and how it is being used in a number of R&D initiatives at the University of Essex. This includes the MiRTLE project which has developed a virtual environment for real-time lectures. This is a mixed reality collaborative environment that supports local and remote students in a traditional instructive higher education setting. It aims to augment existing teaching practice with the ability to foster a sense of community amongst remote and co-located students. In addition, the project is experimenting with the use of sensors to be able to provide a means of manifesting the emotional state of the remote students on their respective 3-D avatars. The presentation will overview the development of the MiRTLE platform, and highlight some of the key issues in developing and deploying this environment, and will briefly describe some of the research areas being explored which can make use of this as an educational platform.

Dr Michael Gardner is Director of the Digital Lifestyles centre at the University of Essex. This centre explores future lifestyles based around the technical vision of ambient and pervasive computing. This includes the co-creation, innovation and design of new services based on a Living Laboratory approach, combined with the development of pervasive computing technologies in inhabited and networked environments. The centre brings together the social and technical expertise of a number of research groups at the University, based on a balanced portfolio of research, teaching and commercial activities. He is also Deputy Director of the Institute for Social and Technical Research (ISTR) at the University of Essex. This new institute, which was founded in April 2002, carries out research that combines the social and technological sciences to generate insights into personal and social use of information and communication technologies. In 1987 he joined British Telecom (BT) Research Laboratories at Martlesham Heath and during his 15 year career worked on a range of high- technology projects. This included leading the technical R&D activities on the BT elearning research programme (for 5 years). He has published numerous papers in his field and regularly makes invited presentations within academia and industry. He is also the inventor of a number of technology patents.

Tags: Michael Gardner, Project Wonderland, MiRTLE, 3D, EUNIS 2008

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22-07-2008 (156.41 MB). Duration: 31:48.

Michael Nowlan: Campus Networks – the next ten years

Michael NowlanFor the last two years several members of EUNIS, including Jean-Francois Desnos, Michael Nowlan, Martin Price and Ligia Ribeiro have been working with TERENA and other organisations on the EARNEST Foresight Study into Research and Education Networking in Europe. This important study was funded by the European Union through GÉANT2 to examine likely developments in networking over the next five to ten years. The EUNIS contributors were particularly involved in the Campus Issues sub-study area. In their presentation Michael Nowlan and Martin Price will discuss some of the more important findings and recommendations of the EARNEST project, and attempt to predict how campus networks will develop over the next decade. Indeed, will we still be managing independent campus networks in ten years time?

Michael Nowlan was Director of the Information Systems Services at Trinity College Dublin from 1995 to the end of 2007. Prior to that he headed up the service in the Computer Science Department in TCD. He was a director of the Irish Higher Education and Research Network HEAnet and was involved in the start-up of the first commercial ISP in Ireland. At present he is an independent network and IT consultant specialising in the 3rd level education sector.

Tags: Michael Nowlan, EUNIS 2008, Campus Networks, EARNEST, TERENA

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22-07-2008 (96.23 MB). Duration: 18:41.

Sugata Mitra: Measurement and Error in Educational Research

Sugata MitraKolb’s Learning Styles Inventory is one of the most commonly used instruments to identify a learner’s style. In this talk, the importance of learning styles for increasing the effectiveness of the learning process is discussed. It is pointed out that the use of learning style “aware” teaching-learning material is crucial to the heterogeneous learning profiles of today. The design, construction and validation of an adaptation of Kolb’s original learning styles inventory test is described. The test is computer adapted for automatic use. We then
attempt to find out whether our own perception of our learning style matches other people’s perception of our learning style. The results show consistent differences between our own and others’ perception of our learning styles. These differences are analysed and validated using a placebo method and found to be accurate descriptions of perception. The results suggest that a learning styles inventory test, used in this manner, could be a measure of public and private perceptions of self. How can we use learning styles effectively in the learning process? We discuss a set of experiments in self organised education amongst children in India and the UK. The engineering challenges of computer use in remote and rural areas are discussed. The talk ends with an extrapolation of these results to secondary and post secondary education.

Sugata Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University, UK. Prof. Mitra works in the areas of Cognitive Science, Information Science and Educational Technology. He has been working on these areas as well as on Physics and Energy for more than 30 years. He has keen interest in engineering and software development. His contributions include a number of inventions and first-time applications. Among other applications, he is credited with having started the database publishing industry (particularly the Yellow Page industry) in India and Bangladesh, as well as having implemented the first applications of digital multimedia and Internet based education in India. His experiments (often referred to as “The Hole In The Wall” experiments) with children and the Internet have been reported worldwide since 1999. His current research interests include technologies for remote and rural education, distance education, instructional robotics, self organizing systems, and collaborative systems on the Internet.

Tags: Sugata Mitra, learning styles, educational technology, EUNIS 2008, Kolb’s Learning Styles Inventory, Educational Research

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22-07-2008 (303.47 MB). Duration: 58:45.


EUNIS 2008 is designed by the E-learning Unit, Aarhus University