Spoken Like a True Non-Academic


Licensed Creative Commons by Eric "Claptøn" Nelsøn

I had an interesting experience last month, I was asked to participate in focus groups to help a university IT services department develop its IT strategy for the next 5 years. The brief was to help generate ideas for what might be required to inform a five year strategy but we were also asked to think about what university IT services might be like in ten years time. I think about four or five focus groups were facilitated by an external consultant. They covered all aspects of IT in the university from teaching and learning to administration. As I am notionally responsible for the technical ownership of enterprise wide teaching and learning systems and research systems at my university I was invited to the focus group on teaching and learning and the focus group on research. Read more

A Draft Educational Technology Landscape Map

Educational Technology Landscape Map

I’ve been working on educational technology strategy and implementation for what feels like as long as I can remember but one thing I have always intended to do was to develop a visualisation of educational technologies in the form of a ‘map’. There are a number of such maps around already. Some of these are very good but they were never quite what I wanted. Specifically they focussed on the product rather than the tool or technology. So you would get a map that nearly always showed the LMS/VLE product at the centre with an eportfolio, some streaming media and some other technologies around the edge. I wanted something that showed the tools but also showed where they fitted in the landscape. Whether they were learning tools or management tools and whether the tools were focussed on the student or the staff member etc. I also wanted to get away from the LMS being at the centre of the tool map becuase the LMS is basically a collection of tools in one product that combine some management and some educational functionality. This isn’t because I am against the LMS as a concept but because I wanted to show that there are alternatives and that not everything needs to fit within an LMS. Read more

A Brief Review of the VDIT (e)learning Environments Forum


Licensed Creative Commons by -sel

Last Friday (25th June, 2010) I attended the Victorian Directors of Information Technology (VDIT) (e)Learning Environments Forum which turned out to be a bit like a curate’s egg, good in places.

Before I talk about the day, just a bit of background. VDIT is the representative group for the Directors of Information Technology of the universities that operate in the state of Victoria. Earlier this year at one of their meetings it was observed that many of them were simultaneously reviewing their e-learning environments and they suggested that a forum be arranged at which the universities could discuss the issues and share some insights about the changes that were and are happening. The intention was to make this a day for both those involved in IT and those involved in teaching and learning to come together to discuss the current issues facing universities. Read more

The Size of Universities in Australia and the UK

For a long time I have been interested in organisational innovation. At the the moment that is focussed on the way that higher education and universities specifically can adopt and mainstream innovations in eductaional technicology and changing pedgagogy related to the adoption of new technologies. One barrier to innovation adoption may be related to the size of an organisation. I thought I would start by looking at the size of universities. The data for student enrolment at Australian universities are readily available in spreadsheet format. Being a visual thinker I like to put these into charts. This post doesn’t draw any conclusions it is simply designed as a starting point for a discussion with myself and anyone else who is interested in some the issues that affect innovation and mainstreaming of educational technologies. I’m also making these charts available for anyone that wants them. All of the data is in the public domain and links to them are included. Read more