Tuesday, April 01, 2008

This is a blog version of material that may find a version style for a "paper" or at least a workshop or fringe discussion around "sciences of protection".

It may seem way off topic but it eventually clarifies ideas to attempt to present them. The academics in Lancaster deal with different subjects over time but there is some continuity. I may improve my understanding of where they are at as well as of the role of documents in a process.

I still think there is a connection between quality ideas and the work on learning organisations. The "knowledge economy" (KE) was a useful context for this. However, my impression is that it was the rhetoric around the KE that was of interest. Discourse analysis seems to be a theme that continues over different research projects. I have yet to find much about KE from IAS that looks at policy as if a positive contribution was possible. During the conference the after dinner speech was probaly the most effective presentation and the concern for academic freedom resonated with the audience.

Today in the Guardian Education section there is an article by Phil Beadle who claims that computers cannot replace the "professional brilliance" of teachers. My guess is that his take on the KE is shared by many in education.

The further agenda is also economic. If we are working towards a "knowledge economy" in foregrounding ICT use above any other skill, we are promoting an economy in which only one form of knowledge is perceived as viable or useful, and a lesson wasted on a clumsy, two-sentence PowerPoint presentation is of more value than reading a book.

So although I may seem off topic, one aim is to find some way of working with information technology that meets some of the educational objections. "Quality" is one way of describing this. Some of the academic discussion seems not to have got past a set of objections so there is not much contribution to a design stage. Is it surprising that the learning aspect of social networking is best understood by online companies? Another article this week objects to cyberbullying of teachers through student comments on Facebook. My impression is that the Guardian rarely includes a study of how Facebook works or how education could learn from it and similar sites.

To be updated later with some comment on the Networked Learning conference. Will it all be about "the dark side" or will there be anything that could connect with practice?

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