Digital futures

I'm off to the beautiful city of Barcelona tomorrow afternoon to participate in this year's Open Ed Tech Summit. It's the second in the meet ups, which draw around 40 international open learning and distance education experts from around the world. I documented Open Ed Tech 2008 post-event on this blog (See Muy Caliente). This year's event will be an intensive 48 hours of discussions and social events, all organised by the Open University of Catalonia. If it's anything like last year, we are all in for a stimulating, tiring but extremely enjoyable time together. The brief for Open Ed Tech 2009, written by Larry Johnson of the New Media Consortium is as follows:

The Scenario: Creating the University of the Future

You have been invited to serve on an international panel of experts advising the rector of a new university that will be established in the developing country of Futurolandia. Your invitation issues from the Ministry of Education and indicates that you are part of a handpicked team — a team that is meeting in person today to perform its task.

This university is meant to be the first of its kind, and will be established free from preconceptions or official constraints about how it will operate. Its mandate is to provide an excellent education in an environment of open access, built on four key ideas:

1. Access to high-quality education should be available to all, and open content is a key part of providing such access.

2. Informal learning and mentoring are effective and well-proven approaches to engaging with youth and stimulating critical thought.

3. Personalized learning is critical to student success, but will require learning standards that allow students to continue their learning where ever life takes them.

4. Tools such as digital video, mobile devices, social media, and the global network all have important roles in learning and should be available to all learners.

The rector has been asked to prepare a proposal addressing how the university will achieve this vision, and sees these ideas as core requirements for the institution she wishes to create. As part of the international expert panel, your task is to assist the rector by identifying ways to support each of the four requirements, examining the pros and cons of each proposed strategy, and presenting a summary of your team's recommendations to the rector, point by point.

We will of course publish our results in due course, just as we did for our 2008 Summit: What does it mean to be educated in the 21st Century? (pdf file)


simfin said…
I'd be interested to know where the OU fits in this. My understanding is that it has frequently (always?) been at the forefront of technology/learning since it's early BBC2 resources. I also remember NQT's receiving Apples and internet access so they could share experiences while on TP with fellow students and tutors.
Anonymous said…
So you're going to be asking the question 'What would higher education look like if we invented it today?' Like the Google Wave of universities maybe. That sounds like a fascinating discussion. I'll be particularly interested to find out how assessment fits into this and how you prove the value of degrees from such a university to employers.

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