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.

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