Eye on the future

Below is my keynote abstract for the C-SAP Showcase in Birmingham. C-SAP is the Higher Education Academy subject Network for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, and it's in it's eleventh and final year of existence. The event will take place tomorrow at the Burlington Hotel, and will include numerous papers, workshops and poster sessions from delegates.

The future of learning will be...

How much can we shape our own futures? As an academic community, how much can we invest in our present to secure a better future for ourselves and our students? The answer is clear - the more we invest in the present, the more we will reap in the future. But we cannot control everything. There are randomly variable events. George Orwell once said 'He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past'. This is why the media - television, newspapers, radio, internet, gaming - have so much influence over public perceptions. For slightly different reasons it is also why lecturers can wield such power in the classroom. We know what technologies we can use to create excellent learning opportunities for our students. We also know from research what the pitfalls and caveats are. We know for example, that technology used for technology's sake is usually a mistake. We also know that learners engage better when they have tools to use they feel comfortable with and enjoy using. The balance decision is ours to make. What we don't know much about (but can guess) is what technologies are just around the corner, waiting to be harnessed. In this keynote presentation I will explore our learning technology past, attempt a glimpse into our technological future and trace the trends that will lead us into a future that will be open, personal, social and mobile.

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Eye on the future by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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