Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Thinking about the Experimentality event, I will start with the Dark Side of Mode II Knowledge. This is where many people are at and by clarifying this it could be possible to move on to whether quality ideas can help with anything at all, like dissemination. A collection of papers in book form could be one product. From IPEX I am aware that short run books are possible. The binding kit is under rapid development. Not sure where it is in production, but this could be a case study. Social media etc also relevant. The official blog has some links but more could be happening.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Thinking about the Experimentality conference and what to put in my paper, I think I will go back to issues around e-learning, quality and learning organisations. I got a bit lost here around the time of the emphasis on leadership and/or critique. not sure about this but it may be possible now to get closer to something I can understand.

There is video from the recent Networked Learning conference that covers the opening session. After a couple of views it is getting easier to follow. However I am still confused about the manifesto, or the reasons to drop the manifesto, or what is proposed otherwise. There is a summary page with links to four papers and an intro but I am still working through this. I think the idea of a manifesto has been dropped. Possibly the relation to technology has been dropped. Criteria for network learning do not depend on a digital context. But I am not sure what the policy suggestion is or how it is to be disseminated.

(Not too far off topic for the Experimentality event. If there is a "Lancaster Declaration" from social activists
then there are questions about how easy it will be to understand and how widely it will be published)

I am starting with "Learning, Teaching and Assessment in Networked Learning" by Vivien Hodgson and Michael Reynolds. It starts off as if there is a connection with quality that I could follow-
Educational values which contribute to quality in learning and teaching environments are those that seek to encourage dialogue, exchange of ideas, intrinsic approaches to study and engagement. It is this that we need to support through networked e-learning.
So quality is in there somehow, but it is unclear to me what form of practice would meet the aims
In summary then we are suggesting that networked learning can be seen to be aspiring to provide a space and a place for dialogue and interaction that not only supports the co-construction of knowledge, identity and learning but also where this co-construction is exposed to critical analysis and reflection.
There is reference to previous publications

Ferreday, D., Hodgson, V.E. and Jones, C. (2006), Dialogue, language and identity: critical issues for networked management learning, Studies in Continuing Education Vol. 28 (3) 223 – 239.
Ferreday, D., Hodgson V. and Jones, C. (2006b ) Developing the Theory and Practice of Networked Management Learning, CEL working paper.

The Centre for Excellence in Leadership is now merged into the Learning and Skills Improvement Service but there are some publications still online. This may link but I cannot find ones on e-learning. There was a conference on Re-Thinking Leadership that again I found quite hard to follow. With BECTA closing it is not obvious where the energy will be for technology innovation in education. Any clues on which set of initials might do what would be welcome.

Previously some ideas about Learning Organisations were presented in ways that managers could understand. It would be interesting to revisit this and network learning. Technology and social practice make possible forms of activity that were not available ten years ago. I would like to look at the Experimentality website as an example. Links to other sites could improve the blog. So far there is not much conversation around it.

Meanwhile, it is possible there will be more about the Manifesto on the Networked Learning website. I would welcome some intro in a few thousand words.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Experimentality project now have a poster (warning large PDF file) for the conference with an edited text that gives an idea of what the project is about.

The idea of experimentation was always at the heart of modernity’s promise of human freedom and self-determination. But, after the experience of the twentieth century, is the experiment now too complicit with power to act as a carrier of hope? Or can its progressive potential be restored through an inquiry into the different forms that it takes in science, technology, the arts and wider culture? To close the year-long Experimentality programme, participants at this international conference will debate different visions of an experimental society in which the emancipatory potential of the experiment could be renewed.
So my paper on Plan-Do-Check / Study - Act is still more or less on topic but there is not much in this text about business and organisation, There is another text with sort of tags -

science / politics / economy / publics / religion / music / art
education / design / media / advertising / technology
laboratory / simulating / making / performing / testing / trial
democracy / reflexivity / creativity / event / revolution

So economy is in there, and also education.

What I found previously is that quality is not  often considered along with learning. Perhaps quality assurance is part of modernity and education values something medieval. Not sure if that is the right word, but there must be something before modernity that was better. I will look at e-learning for examples of where quality ideas could be relevant and useful. From Cloudworks I have followed the recent Networked Learning Conference. There will be more online about the Networked Learning Manifesto. This may not be a manifesto in a future manifestation but it will outline concerns about how technology relates to education. Another Cloud links to a Review of Open Educational Practices (OPAL Project deliverable D3.1 ) which covers both strategy and quality assurance. I think the link could be stronger between the two. So far my impression is that quality assurance is seen as a control, with limited input into system review or policy.

But there may be other views at the conference.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Networked Learning Conference seems to have worked out really well. I have followed it mostly through Cloudworks and Twitter (#nlc2010). A lot of content shows up on Slideshare so I have an idea of what is going on. The actual papers will turn up as PDF later. I got the impression that there is a lot of involvement in actual projects. Over the last ten years or so there have been some doubts about where the technology was taking education. There is still a critique but the technology is being used. There was mention of social media but the term "Networked Learning" continues. This may not be about technology though. More on this later. So far I have not found much for the session on a possible Manifesto update. This was launched as part of the e-quality project so may have had a link to quality. I never understood what this was though.

Previously I saw an Adobe Connect webinar about Social Inclusion, Web2 and Language Teaching. Also links through Cloudworks.  This was definitely about social media. By the way, so far I have not come across "Technology Enhanced Learning" at either event. Maybe a mention but not as a constant or description of what the event is about. There is a lot of buzz about social media and I take these two events to show that there is now an academic frame of reference.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Draft paper for Experimentality conference takes social media as an example of applied quality theory. Could be a loop. Continues online till July. Then could be an actual walk but more likely slides.

Plan, Do, Check _ Study, Act
I am thinking about the Experimentality conference and my paper on PDSA. It is turning more into social media / journalism. Links to bits and pieces. Not sure that is a bad thing. there could be a paper version later. The conference is not till July. Meanwhile the next month is around IPEX. I am going to concentrate on this as I think the print industry is changing quite rapidly as part of communication. It has to relate to social media.

The "Tales of Things" site is still a puzzle. Not quite sure what to do with it. I have found a Banksy example, a barcode on a Camden wall that links to Youtube of how it was before Camden Council removed it. So these "things" can be from previously. they just have to have a tale linked in and a photo to base it on. I will try to formulate a better guide to how sites could link together as a script. It turns out the agenda is crowded already so a walk may need to be just a guide, not expected in real time.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I am not sure I am using Tales of Things as intended. Certainly I got it wrong the first time when I got confused about a RFID number. I now realise this is optional, the unique ID turns up later as a 2D barcode. My friend Gary sent me a PDf of his fridge lighting so then i realised it was possible and persevered. Also one of the first things loaded was BBC Broadcasting House. Or really that is to say a photograph of Broadcasting House taken some time ago, as is the case with all still photographs. So I loaded several photos of places in Lancaster following a trip there a couple of weeks ago.

I had intended to set up some meetings based on Gowalla, a location site for social media. In Exeter the tweets from the City Centre Manager since #likeminds have alerted me to how Gowalla could work even though my phone is too out of date to register geo positioning. On the Lancaster campus I found three Gowalla locations, MJR Web in the Info21 building, the Management School and Pizzetta Republic. The sort of script I have in mind for a workshop starts with some technology vision, considers critique from academics, and connects with a wider public space. So these three sites could work as a set. However as it turned out MJR Web were busy though there could be a meeting through email another time. And one of the meetings happened in the middle of Lancaster the city.

So what I have done is to add photos of locations on campus and in the city. Search on "Lancaster". Not much there as on April 25th so mine can be found.

So the set of photos make up a sort of map or could be arranged as such. There is some confusion as a university campus is no longer close to the city. Art galleries can take on the role of critique. Associated views include a reluctance to accept mass production. The website prints an A4 sheet with a 2D barcode for each object, in this case a photo of a place.

I will be interested in how this might work. I am thinking about other localities such as Earl's Court. The London Book Fair filled the whole ground floor except the part of EC2 where Total Print Expo happened a couple of years ago. I speculate about Total Print alongside the Book Fair, near the Digital zone with the sony Reader etc. The idea of places as remembered barcodes helps to mix up times. One realirty is that the 2009 Total Print Expo was cancelled and that IPEX is not till May. However, the ePUB, XML, cloud publishing etc. from the Digital Zone represents a challenge the print industry could respond to. Imagining a Total Print in April 2010 has some sort of point. Also if it happened as part of the Book Fair there would be access to the Cromwell Room. The worst thing about the London College of Communication Futures Conference was walking round to the front of the Earls Court 1 just to get a lift and then walk most of the way back again.

Next week there is Internet World and also InfoSecurity. I wonder if it will be possible to move between them? Earls Court is such a confusing place that a set of barcodes to shuffle may be easier to handle. Two interesting ones will be the stand for Brand Republic and the keynote the Keynote Theatre where Meg Pickard will explain how the Guardian is making media social. through Printweek I usually get the view that Haymarket still has a focus on hard copy. The print journalists in the Guardian sometimes raise issues about bloggers. But Earls Court seems to be a place to assess the timescale if anything changes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tales of Things is a new site that links online with the real world. So far it seems that a photo and a place are much the same. They offer a 2D barcode for any site or object, then link in stories as other media.

so i have started with a few places in Lancaster - both campus and city centre. The "Star of CCTV" badge is an extra.

will789gb (1)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thinking about #likeminds in Exeter. The circus has left town. Not sure where it is. Easter in Lancaster so I plan to stay for a while and check out the campus. I have looked at location services and cannot make much sense of them. It could work better if each location had some significance. Previously i thought about a walk towards the Learning Zone but so far on Gowalla I can only find a web company in the InfoLab, the Management School and Pizza Republic. These are each at one end so could do as a start. Assume MJR Web is more or less the cafe. Broadly positive about social media with some sort of quality idea as well. Moving to the Management School cafe for critique. Ending up in Pizza Republic for reflection and connection with civic society. (This may get more complicated by the time of the Experimentality conference with more locations)

I will bring a video camera but batteries are always low so mains electricity is a factor. Chat show mode assumed for the moment.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Still thinking about the Experimentality paper about Check / Study. I would like to concentrate on why both words are used and what they mean in Japan and USA. But I am not sure about the context. So far there is not much around management turning up on the Experimentality stream. Also my blog / citizen journalism / web video approach is going in another direction to the structured paper. So I think I will go more into blog mode and come back to a paper nearer the time.

There are three groups of words, three sections, each could have a #tag. #dsm2 for dark side of mode 2. In other words why don't academics have much concern for quality theory? Clearly this is a generalisation. Cloudworks from the OU has quality in the scope and is engaged in practice. But my guess at the moment is that this is rare in the UK.

#checkstudy could work PDCA or PDSA. Try it anyway. My claim is to be mostly on topic. There is something about experimentality at the core of ISO management standards.

Social media or social communication are still on track to remain topical through 2010. Various # apply. Online Information Looking at relation to quality theory offers some interesting case studies. Document control?

Which bit to start with for a paper depends on the rest of the conference but meanwhile online, any connections can be explored.

Over the next few months I intend to do several stories about print around IPEX and the London Book Fair. I need to speculate about Online Information in December to make sense of this. So a similar approach to Experimentality could take in other events that have not yet happened. Then revise it during the rest of the year. There is a new network called Stringbag that appears to continue research on learning organisations. I got lost on how this discussion related to network learning. It seemed to be a bit disjointed from practice. So the Network Learning conference will be interesting and more will emerge from Stringbag over time. It starts in April with a real space conference for subscribers, the freebie online version follows later.

Web Science may be a new subject but not well known yet. I think it includes emerging properties or unintended consequences. So although the web seems to be doing ok anyway, further study may result in better understanding. There is a conference in April but I will probably better understand the version at Olympia in December. Maybe David Weinberger again as a speaker would clarify the science.

Usually I find that Online Information clashed with the Deming SIG of theCQI. Maybe this year it won't matter. Perhaps the e-book and social media will have moved up the agenda to Tuesday or Wednesday. Or there could be a half day meeting followed by a 9 or 10 bus.

Trying out new Amazon widget

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Guardian has a comment from Joe Moran that seems to me to express what a lot of academics think about quality. The linking words are "excellence" and "transparency". There is almost nothing here about how any sort of quality theory might be useful for a university. (Or a PDF file for that matter)

He has got a point obviously. But how to get past this for some sort of conversation?

Still trying to understand the dark side of mode two and other complex issues. But this comment is maybe clearer.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Not sure how to change the scale so have done a screen grab for Phoroshop

Click to view it a bit bigger.

You have to go to Cohere - for more detail.
Trying out code from Cohere

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Checking Steve Wheeler blog again, found this in response to another comment
I make a subtle distinction between anywhere and anyplace, Jose. My take on this is that anywhere litterally means any geographical location, whereas anyplace means any situated presence. One is measured in miles or kilometres, the other in psychological space - the learning space or coceptual (thinking) space one finds oneself in. Probably deeply philosophical, but it shows me that anywhere is not necessarily always the best time to learn. One must also find the best 'place' - the most opportune and comfortable situation within which to learn.

This sounds fair enough. So maybe we need A4 learning. I think a choice of devices is important. The styles of writing and presentation can be assumed as part of this.
A3 learning could be an academic aspect to work with around social media. I still think something is missing from the #likeminds approach. Through Twitter I found the Steve Wheeler blog again a couple of days ago. Probably through cloudworks at some point but i can no longer find the tweet. Steve writes about a "moving experience", remembered as if a Martini slogan -'anytime, anyplace, anywhere, there's a wonderful world you can share'. Thing is that anywhere and any place are more or less the same. To arrive at A3 we may need "any device" ( part of a sometime Adobe slogan I think )but the idea may be much the same.

The trouble is that time and space shift quite rapidly once the web is engaged. It is not just a resource arriving into your current situation. Steve links his own previous paper on a "martini model" from a decade previously in Berlin and a story about Dan Caldeway in a PDF. This is a journal extract but confesses to be partly fiction.

"Any device" could mean in any style or length. A tweet or a paper, video clip perhaps or reconstruction. The availability of learning resources is an aspect of social communication. More links will turn up to established sources.

I try to find the core process or script in a situation. The rest of it can vary and it is easy to get lost. On Facebook for example people in Exeter have to accept that we live in Plymouth.

Friday, March 05, 2010

test of video

not the best production values, but part of a test phase in expanding Deming ideas online

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I think I will contribute something to the Experimentality conference about the Plan-Do-Study/Check- Act loop. There is some interest but it could be in a session with other speakers. My suggestion is to link to views on the "dark side" of Mode Two knowledge and also look at elearning as an example of how quality ideas are applied. I would hope to argue that there is a bright side to Mode Two and that quality is worth a look anyway. However there are some claims around social media at the moment that seem a bit vague and overextended. Also the advertising industry is deeply involved. There is a case for forms of critique as part of the mix.

Here in Exeter last week we had a visit from #likeminds. Still trying to work out how Exeter continues as normal life.

Meanwhile on Twitter today I found a link through Timbuckteeth for a quick guide to social learning in organisations. Four minutes on YouTube. Not sure if this counts as an academic reference. The #likeminds event was not connected to Exeter University as far as I could tell. Perhaps "informal learning" could be a linking topic.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Workshops from Online Information continue themes around social networks. This confirms my impression that exhibitions continue round the year. they are now blended with online and spinoffs.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

eLearning Maturity Emerges From Middle Management
Adobe Relaunches Acrobat as Stealth Flash

This is a draft story for OhmyNews. Same text in both the learn9 and IPEX2002 blogs. May need to split later. When the editors add "in a related story" to one of the paragraphs you know you may have to start again.

Towards Maturity presented new research last month at Learning Technologies which showed that a surprising proportion of people working on training and development are unaware of how much senior management realise the benefits of introducing e-learning. The model on offer is to demonstrate value rather than complete a project that management understands and supports. One explanation for this could be that the technology introduced is changing faster than is generally known. Adobe concentrated on Flash and video with much less time for corporate documents such as flat PDF files.

The recent survey shows that e-learning results in 11% cost saving, 28% time saving and that the volume of use has gone up by 48%. In the area of business agility, 82% believed they could deliver learning interventions faster and 59% reported improvements in ability to implement changes in products and procedures. However the survey also showed that 38% do not know if line managers agree productivity has increased (36% are unsure) and 28% don't know if new solutions are now focused on business performance (33% are unsure). This is a perception from people working on e-learning and not a direct form of research on management. There is still the implication that about a quarter of line mamgers both know that e-learning has contributed to productivity and communicate this to the people involved. Similarly it appears that about 40% of line managers communicate about business objectives.

However this survey raises questions about models of business where there is supposed to be feedback to policy making or clarity of vision from leadership. Towards Maturity offer a model that starts with learner and work context and defining a need, then moves towards a demonstration of value. This could be a loop that gradually maintains a flow of resources for the projects. But it is not similar to assumptions about management systems in ISO standards where a policy statement has been agreed as strategy. As e-learning contibutes to the capability for changes in products and procedures there is a clear overlap with quality functions.

Perhaps the clarity of feedback has been overestimated in much of the business theory. Areas such as training and quality are assumed to contribute to existing operations but rarely contribute to changes in policy. The recent acceptance of e-learning may have happened through a gradual process that has avoided opposition rather than gaining much support.

Adobe presented mostly about Flash and online conferencing. They appear to have moved away from Postscript related products such as books or paper. Many senior managers would have found the selection of media surprising. PDF files started to be accepted because the design followed the look of a printed page. At Information Technologies there was emphasis on the feature that Connect can be launched from the Acrobat menu. Connect is entirely in Flash. It is rare to see a PDF file even if transformed into Flash paper. There is no way to save the comments or other content as PDF. The feature most promoted was that PDF can now contain Flash for video or sound. So Flash is a native format within PDF. It was mentioned that this could be a way to distribute Flash content even if the Flash player is not allowed within some organisations. The implication is that Flash design is sometimes reaching corporate desktops indirectly, not as the result of any plan.

Edvantage showed a PDF book with video, created in CourseBuilder for a schools in Sweden and Norway. This is still quite rare even though Adobe have promoted the option for a while. The link to schools confirmed my view that a show about adult learning should be held at the same time as BETT, a technology show for schools. They are both in January and BETT now reaches part of Olympia 2. There are different organisers at the moment.

Printweek recently reported that Adobe has closed the Print Service Provider partner programme in the UK due to declining membership. John Cunningham from Adobe UK said "Maybe it looks like Adobe isn't interested in the traditional print side anymore - of course we are, it's still a huge part of our business." However there is no sign yet of an Adobe stand on the floorplan for IPEX, a print show in Birmingham this May. My guess is that the Flash presence at Learning Technologies is a reasonable guide to Adobe marketing energy.

This year there was also a show for Learning and Skills on the floor below. It was not very clear what the difference was. Some stands such as the Virtual College apparently booked too late for the upper floor. Media Training were part of the Technology show last year but they offer day courses so fitted better with Skills. The skills include XML and Flex though they still offer courses on Quark and InDesign. Print design and publishing are still an interest. It struck me that had a sudden flow of mud arrived at Olympia, a future archaeologist might have assumed that there were two levels of mud for different time zones of technology. Media Training represent a balance of media as currently supported ; Adobe on the next level may be seen as normal some time in the future. Enough fiction, I wonder if that will get past the fact checkers.

The Learning and Skills floor also included some training companies that had nothing to do with technology but offered personal development for managers and support for policy development. There was no obvious presence from business schools or universities except for conference facilities. The University for Industry had a large stand as LearnDirect, the trading name they are allowed to use. The word "university" is strongly protected in the UK. From some Twitter remarks I gather there were several people from the Open University at the conference but there was no stand at the show.

The guide to Learning Technologies had an introduction from Lord Puttnam that made a strong case for e-learning and was a solid launch for the event. However there was one theme that I would like to question. He claimed that while educational organisations have a concern to sustain the "moral" position of learning within society, there are also the commercial ambitions of the Murdochs, the Microsofts or the Googles. As Chancellor of the Open University he has a proper concern with this but I think things could be more complicated. Commercial organisations make different claims for their knowledge offers. James Murdoch somehow connects media for democracy and a free market. Google claims a role in organisaing information and scanning content for public benefit. Both claims are contested but there is some sort of moral position.

Also there could be a downside for educational organisations to behave as if morality always demands a distance from commerce. I am interested in "mode two" knowledge, combining academic disciplines in practical situations. Most e-learning research could be seen as like this. I have heard tell of views on the "dark side" of mode two though I cannot find any detail or references.

Two events are coming up that may shed some light on this.

A Higher Education Leadership Summit will have a technology showcase during lunch. Not the scale of Learning Technologies but the issues may be similar. If universities have a different moral basis to most organisations, how will this show up in the conclusions? In Lancaster there will be a workshop on innovation as part of a conversation about experimentality. The description of a future conference includes the claim that the idea of the experiment has helped to "shape the contemporary world of evidence-based policy, clinical trials and audits".
Driven by pervasive informationalisation, we can observe a number of interlinked trends, including: the acceleration and proliferation of feedback loops between action and reaction; the displacement of fixed structures by networks and dissipative structures; the abandonment of fixed goals for continuous repositioning; and the carrying out of knowledge-work in the context of application.

My concern is that the moral case for universities may be seen as depending on distance from application. There are claims for the value of funding for research. In the case of e-learning contributions come from various sources.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The guide to Learning Technologies had an introduction from Lord Puttnam that made a strong case for e-learning and was a solid launch for the event. However there was one theme that I would like to question. He claimed that while educational organisations have a concern to sustain the "moral" position of learning within society, there are also the commercial ambitions of the Murdochs, the Microsofts or the googles. As Chancellor of the Open University he has a proper concern with this but I think things could be more complicated. Commercial organisations make different claims for their knowledge offers. James Murdoch somehow connects media for democracy and a free market. Google claims a role in organisaing information and scanning content for public benefit. Both claims are contested but there is some sort of moral position.

Also there could be a downside for educational organisations to behave as if morality always demands a distance from commerce. I am interested in "mode two" knowledge, combining academic disciplines in practical situations. Most e-learning research could be seen as like this. I have heard tell of views on the "dark side" of mode two though I cannot find any detail or references. It might just mean that there are journal articles with critique of something like e-learning. This could count as "research2 even though there was little engagement or output that could relate to practice. Not sure about this but i would welcome some clues. It seemed to me that there were a variety of contributions to the Learning Technologies event and as it happens I was surprised how limited was the contribution from universities.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Playlist on YouTube for BETT 2010 now includes my own videos plus

Studywiz from Australian TV. They did not have a stand as it turned out. Maybe they have moved online? Also Ubuntu for Netbooks was not shown at the Open Software Village when i visited because of a password issue. But Youtube can usually find something suitable from another place and time.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Video from BETT

more later

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Went to BETT yesterday. Some photos on Flickr , video edit tomorrow, then a story for OhmyNews.

Some questions before writing for OhmyNews

Studywiz not on stand as advertised. But there were a lot of posters. What is going on. Very interesting topic of relating to parents through mobile devices, not just the iPhone. That is my guess but not sure.

Microsoft have dropped Grava for Semblio as a way to combine resources, Works ok and will relate to Silverlight at some future point. Cambridge University Press showed a project using it that will launch later this year. But it seems to me that this is all a bit late given the interest in Grava a couple of years ago and it seems further from Silverlight than it was. So Adobe are still ok with Flash. The BBC not at BETT but the iPlayer is well known.

Ubuntu for netbooks could not be shown at the open source stand when I visited because of a password issue but apparently it works well. Anyone visiting please take photos.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I had been thinking about e-learning research ahead of BETT but today the Guardian has got me with a page one splash from "research" universities. They want to keep their funding and relate this to the knowledge economy. Starting though at the back of the education section with a story based on an interview with Chris Higgins of Durham University arguing that "research" universities should get most of the money. Towards the end there is a brief quote from Pam Tatlow of the Million+ group, mentioning a "sheep and goats mentality" and claiming that

British higher education has moved beyond the world of clubs and has a strong egalitarian tradition. There are good economic and social reasons for this.

Some of these reasons include the "Creative Economy" and a report from Million+ . They are looking at large numbers of people. Some form of knowledge is created through experience on a scale.

BETT relates to this. Not sure what age group limits it but I think the technology relates to other forms of education. More on this later in the week.

In their Guardian article, Michael Arthur and Wendy Piatt write-

Students leave university equipped with skills that are an essential part of a successful knowledge economy.

We live in a world where ideas, innovation and entrepreneurialism are key to prosperity and wellbeing.

However there is a paragraph in the Education section from an interview with from Chris Higgins of Durham

What Higgins has in mind is a small cohort of globally renowned, research-led universities with graduate schools and the authority to award PhDs. Then there might be a bigger group of universities that focus on what he calls their "economic and social environments", and where the teaching "is informed more by scholarship than research, and is perhaps more focused on vocational and professional HE".

So what sort of involvement would the "research" universities have in vocational stuff like IT and quality assurance? I am getting a bit rude but I find journals such as Management Learning very hard to understand and I am not sure they are intended for managers.

Anyway back to a couple of links found yesterday. I have been following Cloudworks on Twitter and linked to a site for e4innovation from GrĂ¡inne Conole. This looks interesting and could relate to any organisation. I have not yet read it in detail but notice there is reference to dialogue and a study of EU rhetoric by Vivien Hodgson. My worry is that "research" could be mostly critique with relevance no longer a concern. Looking for the dark side seems to be normal.

However the Cloudworks and Networked Learning Conference websites both have a take on Web2 design so things can only get better. By the way, I think the design of the Critical Management site is just awful.

Last year at BETT there was a stand for LSIS but I cannot find them on the BETT website. They combine ideas about leadership and quality. Not sure how this works but maybe other stands at BETT will have some clues.

Main theme of BETT seems to be playfulness, with Google guesting in a zone hosted by Stephen Heppell from the jolly old University of Bournemouth.