The Future of Technology in Education #FOTE11

Key takeaways for me from a great day at Future of Technology in Education (#FOTE11) at the University of London yesterday:

There was angst from the IT department as the ever increasing consumerisation of technology challenges creaking university systems and a too prevalent culture of ‘computer says no’. It is more productive for staff and students to collaborate and operate outside the system using free online tools (Google docs, Dropbox and Skype do the job perfectly well for me).

Vendors who try too hard to plug their stuff to an ed tech audience risk the ire of the backchannel (you know who you are!)

While a sense of place is still important, (we had a great tourist’s guide to Bristol from @nick_skelton ) mobile phones have allowed people to make their meeting plans on the fly (for example, student bars are struggling) and economics keep many students away from campus (eg living with parents). And this is before the increase in fees…

Time and time again we heard examples of poor communication (between university and students, teaching staff and students, IT and staff/students…etc)

We don’t know enough about what students want and how students live – it was agreed we should try *asking them*more often.

The importance of digital literacy – plenty of staff and students just don’t have it. Thankfully, there seemed to be general agreement that the ‘digital native’ is simply a myth. @suebecks gave a great presentation with many fascinating examples of the importance of digital skills to employability.

There was more emphasis on challenges than solutions. How do we take change forward…we have identified the need for it, but how to make change actually happen? Andrew Bollington provided a reality check, suggesting that appreciating and incorporating the contrasting perspectives of finance, strategy and marketing would be a good start.

@andypowe11 provided a great summary of who and what was shared on Twitter – as you can see, quite a lot!

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