Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Tuesday continued

I was lucky to have two one-to-one sessions with Gartner analysts during the afternoon. First was to discuss mobile support - particularly how to support the multitude of devices students have, and how to support staff who have to travel abroad and therefore have relatively special needs. The latter is especially a problem in areas where data coverage isn't good or where our carriers don't have agreements with network providers. Lots of good ideas for a strategy which I hadn't thuought of before. The next was to discuss matters relating to higher education, and we spent a lot of time discussing the future of eLearning systems. This was prompted by the merger of Blackboard and WebCT, and the increasing number of institutions looking at open source eLearning products - especially Moodle.

Final couple of sessions of the day were on Unified Communications - bringing together your voice platform with email, IM, video conferencing etc. Again, a lot of importance being placed on context and intelligent notification systems.

It would be difficult to get away with a whole day without a mention of Digital Natives, and I went to a session on how the current generation of students will affect the workforce and how organisations might need to change. It's a commonly held assumption that this generation understand technology more than us - but they don't, they just use it more. They see technology as just stuff - they happily play with it and don't need to read manuals, and will make it work for them, but they don't know how it works, and can't fix it if it breaks. This session was intended to educate people about the sorts of technology in use - social networking Web2.0 type stuff, but in Universities we're fairly familiar with it, and I didn't particularly learn anything.

1 comment:

pj said...

There's a Blackboard conference on in Manchester at the moment and there's an interesting blog item from it by the OU VLE Programme Director (moodle). Well worth a read at: