Whose Sandpit and Whose Toys?

We're all set for the Plymouth e-Learning Conference tomorrow at the University of Plymouth. The weather here in Plymouth is glorious today with clear blue skies and a very comfortable temperature of 16 degrees. Mark Stiles will be presenting his keynote tomorrow, so for those who can't make it to the event, here's an extract:

Whose sandpit? Whose toys?

The need to repurpose education in the face of a changing world offers those working with technologies to support and enhance learning a range of opportunities hitherto unknown. The range of technologies is bewildering with social and mobile technologies, personal web-based tools and corporate systems all having things to offer. However who chooses the systems in any given context is also changing fast, with agendas like life-long learning and work-based learning introducing ever more stakeholders into the learning experience, and individuals being increasingly able to "opt-out" of using institutional systems.

How will institutions cope with this "new world" where not everything is under the control of the institution and increasingly both staff and students can "do their own thing"? A conflict of control between the individual and the corporate is growing, and the danger of innovation being stifled by the drive for "corporate regulation" is very real. The answer will be found in policies - but what policies are needed and who will frame them?

No doubt several people will blog about the event, and I may even Twitter some of my own comments during the day, if I can find space to draw breath....


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