Malleable Musings

March 11, 2010

Going Global 4 #gg4 #bcgg4

Filed under: Conferences — Tags: , , — Brendan @ 11:29 pm

I got confirmation that I’ve got a place at Going Global 4 today. It’s billed as the international education conference and will be held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on March 25/26th.

I’ve previously attended Going Global 1 which was held in Edinburgh in 2004 and Going Global 3 which was held at London Excel in 2008.

They usually offer fantastic networking opportunities. However some of the sessions are a bit hit and miss.

This year I’m looking forward to hearing what Martin Bean has to say in what could be an interesting panel discussion on “Opening learning: new ambitions for higher education in a Web 2.0 world“. I’ve never seen him in real-life but I’ve listened online to him speaking several times and have always been impressed. It will also be interesting to see the interplay with the other panellists on this session.

I’m also looking forward to whether there will be any sort of social channel especially for the plenary sessions. I’ve tagged this post #gg4 just in case. (Note later found out that hashtag of #bcgg4 was being used by policyreviewtv.)

However, what I’m really looking forward to is meeting some new people catching up with some old friends from all around the world who I haven’t seen for a while.

The only downside is that I probably can’t make it to a Twestival this time around.


January 10, 2010

Google-opoly at #lff10

Filed under: Conferences — Tags: , , — Brendan @ 11:43 am

I’ve been attending a conference, “Positively Disruptive“, for the past few days. It’s the Beyond Distance Research Alliance online conference and is mainly being run through Eluminate (a platform I really like) and Second Life (a platform I’ve never really understood or got in to).

If you are interested in attending the “Positively Disruptive” conference it’s not too late – as the conference runs until the 14th January 2010.

Quite a bit of the conference content really interests me, however I’ve found it difficult to participate fully because of the family commitments and the day job.

There’s been more than one occasion where I’ve had to come out of the Eluminate session to answer the phone, meet a deadline, get the kids dressed or fed etc.

So tonight (last night) I thought I’d try and participate fully in a session called Google-opoly and I thought I’d make a diary of my experience of this session here as well as in the wiki. N.B. it is a working post and changed quite a bit over the course of Sunday 10th January 2009.  It may still change further!

The session was based around a custom Google Map and a wiki so I had to register my google account in advance.

Then at 6pm I signed in to Eluminate to do the orientation briefing. Unfortunately despite my best intentions, I missed most of this as I was cooking dinner at the time and had two screaming children. However I understood that I’d receive an email and a link to a Google Map and would be able to do the session later that night / the following day.

The email came through at 19:41 on the 9th January.  I had a quick look at the email which told me I was to start in Rio where I would be given a task. However I waited until my wife and kids went to bed and then managed to get a look at the map.

The welcome message said:

Welcome, Traveller…
You are at the threshold of the Mysterious Labyrinth of the 101 Possible Futures for Learning… Many have attempted to steal its secrets and many have failed… They have remained locked up in the endless corridors of the Labyrinth, to serve as an example to those tempted to follow in their footsteps, and their words were put up in the World Wide Web to the amusement of the world:
If your resolve is still undaunted, take the first step into the Labyrinth and try to reach the elusive Future of Learning treasure cove.

At each step in the Labyrinth you will have to make a choice, complete a task or answer a question.

On clicking on the map marker in Rio I was told:

The number of higher education institutions in the world in 2025 is three times the number of higher education institutions in 2010.

1. In your Travelogue on the wiki, list three arguments why you think the number of higher education institutions in the world in 2025 is three times the number of higher education institutions in 2010.
2. Find an image of Rio de Janeiro on the web. Cut and paste an image of yourself (or something representing yourself 😉 onto the image of Rio de Janeiro and save it. Upload it on this website:
Create a caption, using the website, for example: “I wish you were here in Rio de Janeiro in 2025”. Save the resulting image and upload it on your travelogue in the wiki.

In the Eluminate Orientation session we were each asked to pick a statement that we agreed with.   I didn’t see the question properly.  Due to lack of time I think I mis-read the question in the orientation, as I think by 2025 we might be seeing some aggregation rather than fragmentation. However I felt duty bound to come up with some answers that sounded vaguely plausible. These were:

  1. New for-profit private colleges entering the market.
  2. A funding regime that leads to a larger number of smaller specialised more regional undergraduate teaching universities. These are likely to be non-residential and more akin to sixth-form colleges.
  3. Population growth and the need to open new HEI’s to serve demand especially in countries like China, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Indonesia etc.

I then searched the web for a suitable image and a quote “tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matthew 6:34 in case you are wondering). Took a photo of myself using the camera on my netbook and with a bit of cropping in Paint.Net I came up with the image below. I hope some don’t find it blasphemous.

I then hit my first problem. Wetpaint (the wiki we were using – another platform I really don’t like) doesn’t like Chrome and Safari.   It also isn’t that easy to use on a Netbook – and you may as well forget trying to update it from an iPhone.

From Rio I was sent to Valencia where I got the following instructions:

1. Think of three examples where an industry, area of knowledge, or any area of human activity in history or at present has undergone the types of changes that may lead to the increase in the number of higher education institutions in the world. Post your examples in your travelogue.
2. Find an image that you associate with each example and post it on the wiki with a short comment about why you think the image represents your example.
3. When you are done, go to Maui. You are doing great! Who knows, you may be luck enough to get out of the Labyrinth of the Hundred Futures….

I thought that with this question it would have been easy to talk about Moore’s Law and the Digital Revolution, however I think that this has been done to death – my favourite is this take on the Shift Happens video by a US private education group. So instead I decided to focus on two other revolutions and a mania so I came up with the following:

  1. The creation of the steam engine (which was a key driver in the industrial revolution) even helping to create new industries. File:Watt7783.png
  2. The French revolution which was a period of massive social and political upheaval that lead to a radical change in France and Europe.File:H P Perrault Prise de la Bastille (painted 1928).jpg
  3. Manias are financial bubbles – in Holland in the 1630’s the price of a Tulip bulbs including the Viceroy (pictured below) reached crazy levels . Could universities be operating in bubbles likely to draw in private investors – creating HEI’s in a bid to seek an unrealistic and unsustainable return on their investment?
    File:Tulipa Viceroy door Anthony Claesz. rond 1640.jpg

At this stage I’d worked out that the task was going to take a bit more than the hour that had been allocated.  So before going to bed on Saturday the 9th January I skipped ahead a couple of locations hoping and praying that Sandra who set up the Google-opoly task hasn’t made a Labyrinth with moving walls.  I did this as I knew that the following day I wouldn’t have much time and would need to be able to make updates via my iPhone.  On reaching Maui where I was asked the following:

1. Think of 6 factors which may facilitate the increase in the number of institutions in the world. You need at least one example of each of the factors listed below:
A. Social
B. Technological
C. Economic
D. Environmental
E. Political
F. Legal
G. Ethical/cultural
List your examples in your travelogue in the wiki.
When you are done, go to Bad Kissingen.

Having slept on it I came up with the following, at around 10am on Sunday 10th January (but I thought that some of the examples could have been stronger):

A. Social – a perceived need for members of society to up-skill, fuelling demand for higher education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
B. Technological – the improvements in teaching technology allows the ability to teach large numbers of students using a distributed academic staff, lowering the cost of entry for potential new HEIs leading to a proliferation of new providers.
C. Economic – in an effort to reduce costs more students are living at home and so more regional universities need to be built.
D. Environmental – something similar to the economic argument, students and governments looking to reduce their carbon footprint so more local universities are needed.
E. Political – it is realised that higher education is no longer a public right and cannot be subsidised by governments. This leads to increased public / private partnerships and more entrepreneurial private HEIs focused on degree completion.
F. Legal – there’s an opening up across the world of the rules regarding what sort of organisations can award degrees.
G. Ethical/cultural – the war on terror continues apace widening cultural divides, this leads to a growth in small institutions tailored to specific communities.

In Bad Kissingen I was told:

Think of three ways in which each of the groups below will be affected if indeed the number of higher education institutions in the world in 2025. Write down your thoughts in your Travelogue in the wiki:

University administrators
For-profit producers of learning technologies.
Learning technology.

Ah, and send your fellow explorers a postcard from Bad Kissingen. Use the magical powers of the Internet, if you have to (i.e.fake one).
Good work! You are doing too well. If I were you, I’d be careful not to attract the attention of the Labyrinth Trolls with all your shining successes….

Go to Dubai

So again I found an appropriate image and the town coat of arms and a pdf of the back of a postcard and created the image below.

My thoughts on what will affect the groups were:


  1. More choice
  2. A more consumerist attitude
  3. More orientated towards a return on their investment


  1. Possibly further separation of roles, e.g. teaching vs research especially in more teaching only HEI’s
  2. A more corporate employment contract
  3. Maybe the end of academic freedom

University administrators

  1. More demanding and litigious students
  2. A more competitive environment
  3. Greater flexibility in working practice will be demanded

For-profit producers of learning technologies

  1. Concentration on the profitable areas of the curriculum
  2. More institutions looking for ways to differentiate themselves
  3. A need to be learner and meaner that state sponsored providers – does this mean cutting corners

Learning technology

  1. As there become more potential customers learning technology companies begin to make serious money
  2. Will proliferate – numerous HEI’s all running their own individual systems and software
  3. (I realised after the event I hadn’t thought about the open movement both OERs and open source software could become highly important.  OERs could either fragment and increase in number, as seems to be currently happening, or large OERs could be utilised by multiple institutions.)

Despite missing a reason I set off for Dubai where the following happened.

Ahhh, you were warned, you were warned!!! The Labyrinth Trolls are after you! You will need to enlist the help of some of the other adventurers exploring the Labyrinth. Find out who of the other Learning futures Festival 2010 participants is also in the Labyrinth and pair up with them to complete together the following task to save yourselves from the Trolls. Any means of persuading them to collaborate with you are allowed – you need their help!!! Except for threatening to delete their travelogues on the wiki – instant disqualification will follow. When you have paired up with a fellow explorer (communicate using the wiki, Elluminate or email), complete the following tasks:

1. Find out some information about the institution of your Collaborator. List who your collaborator is in your travelogue.
2. In your travelogue, list 5 ways in which their institution can prepare itself for the future you have described so far in your travelogue – the future of sharp increase in the number of institutions. What do they need to do in order to be “successful” in that future? What will happen to them?
Now go to Taj Mahal and hope that the Trolls have lost sight of you…

So I was stuck in Dubai until I found a collaborator.  I left a message on this blog asking if anyone could help and I left a similar message on my wiki page.  At this stage my wiki page contained the contents of the task of Rio and that was all.  I also sent a cry of help in a more targeted way in to the Twitter ether?  Around 3pm Amanda Jones left her comment below.  She’s a Consultant Gynaecologist with an interest in education that has taken her down the route of becoming Foundation Programme Director for a hospital in the Manchester area – she oversees the training of the newly qualified doctors for their 1st 2 years.

(This bit is out of order as I noticed with 1hr 30 to go that I missed something. Damn, just noticed I’ve missed listing 5 ways in which Amanda’s institution can prepare itself for the future I’ve described so far in my travelogue.  N.B. I’m not sure that we’re going to see a major increase in F1/F2 training providers, given that it’s a subsidised area – isn’t it? However I’ll give this a go.

  1. Ensure that they are tightly linked to the Royal Colleges
  2. uncertain
  3. uncertain
  4. uncertain
  5. uncertain

Unfortunately I didn’t have much thinking time at this stage and only got the first thing Amanda’s institution should do.  One of my fellow Google-opoly players, Mick Norman, came up with the following ideas:

Here are my five suggestions to help with the increased number of students in 2025.

  1. As there won’t be enough time or real live patients for trainees to learn from, virtual patients in Second Life and other virtual environments will become essential. Using both live patients and virtual patients before the student numbers increase will help ease the transition for both teaching staff and students.
  2. Using OERs will enable the hospital to maintain a high quality of teaching resources to larger numbers of students.
  3. Distance-based learning means that students can learn from all round the country, but attend physical placements in or near their own homes.
  4. Constant training (as mentioned above in San Francisco) will mean that whilst the hospital will have many more students enrolled, they are not necessarily all training at the same time, meaning that live placements can be optimised.
  5. Improvements in virtual patient technology will mean that the physical placements in hospital that do take place will not need to be as long as they are in 2010. (I think I’m stretching into idealistic here!).

Looking back I’m sure I could have come up with a few more ideas if I’d thought more about this or had a bit more time.)

So with 4 hours to go I moved on to the Taj Mahal and was told:

You will need some more collaboration now. Look again at the travelogue of your collaborator and list in your own travelogue 5 possible future developments which may prevent from happening the future that your collaborator is working on. Write them down in your travelogue.
You are almost done. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel of the Labyrinth. Or wait… Is it the incoming train? You have to move fast! Go to Sozopol.

Looking at Amanda’s possible future, I’ve come up with the following five developments that may conflict – I’m a bit ashamed that most of these are UK-centric and might be a little outlandish – but maybe not:

  1. Businesses saying that they don’t really need graduates – there was a piece in the news this week about SME’s in the UK thinking that A levels were graduate qualifications.
  2. A new form of power source is discovered that is cheap and non-polluting in Fudan University (China) in 2012.  They invest the patent royalties in their university – it grows in size and status, buying out lesser facilities like MIT.  In turn this triggers fewer big name brands in education.
  3. The pressure on universities in some countries to get students through the courses quicker and cheaper causes a international schism.  In particular the new UK two-year degrees are not recognised at all internationally.  The UK’s competitive advantage in the international higher education market is in tatters.
  4. The government decides to introduce a national higher education curriculum and states that to ensure conformity that all undergraduate degrees will assessed and issued by the new University of Great Britain headquartered in Milton Keynes.  Regional universities that are not research centres effectively become little more than schools teaching to a particular syllabus.
  5. The latest 2012 World University Rankings uses measures in which very large universities are advantaged – this leads governments to start merging institutions for reasons of national pride.

Hurrah I could then move on where I find the following:

You are safe. And it is the end of the labyrinth. In order to be allowed to come out, you need to complete one last task:
1. Think of three common practices in learning and teaching in 2010 which may disappear by 2025. List them in your travelogue. Post one image for each potential Dodo.
2. Think of three ways in which you might need to change your work/career to prepare for a future with many more students. List them in your wiki.
3. Select all the text from your travelogue and paste it in the Wordle application here:

When you have created a wordle that you like, press ALT and PrtScrn on your keyboard. Open the Paint programme on your computer and press Alt+V. this will paste your wordle in Paint. Save the image as a jpeg and post it in your Travelogue.

Hurray! You are done!!!! Come to the live conclusion of Google-opoly on Sunday at 6 in the elluminate Room for a discussion of your adventures with the other survivors (if there are any, the Labyrinth is an unforgiving place)….

And my answers were (links go to the images – haven’t had time to insert them yet):

  1. Physical books and libraries.
  2. Paper based forms / documents – application, registration, transcripts
  3. Vivas – to be replaced by other forms of assessment (probably continuous)

How will my work/career need to change in a future with many more students?

Given my role I don’t know if it will change because the university is working with more students.  I need to think about this a bit more.  In a sense, I’m a step removed from students.  I work in international marketing and partner management at the University.  We may end up working with more/different partners who will need greater support from me/the university.  However I think it will be other sorts of changes particularly political and technological that will drive change in my work and career.  I need to remain informed about the possible futures and changes to the regulatory frameworks that affect the environments in which I/the university works.

And here is my wordle (I did this at 7pm whilst waiting for the wrap -up session to complete).

It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I have since updated my wetpaint wiki page.  However given that it is an open wiki that anyone can edit / delete I thought it was important to have the content here as well.

Congratulations to all of my fellow Google-opolers who escaped the labyrinth and well done Sandra for setting up a really interesting exercise.

May 10, 2009

Recapping some live-streaming services

Filed under: Conferences, Conversations, Tools — Brendan @ 8:00 pm

I’ve been running moderatered text based IM chats for the past couple of years to help increase conversion of enquirers to applicants and applicants to registered students.

My reasoning for sticking with text only chats was the number of participants that we have around the world with low bandwidth.  However I think simple text chats are a bit backwards these days and I’ve just agreed to do a couple more next month just before I leave London.  So I spent a bit of time this weekend investigating what else might be possible, particularly looking at things like Skype, ooVoo, uStream,, BlogTV, Mogulus, StickAm and the underlying StreamAPI.  I don’t think I’ve yet found the ideal solution.

Most provide a video feed that I could embed in another page alongside a private moderated chatroom.  However I think the adverts and interfaces leave a lot to be desired.

Mogulus, StreamAPI, and our current chat provider, Parachat, may all have solutions that fit my needs but I need to explore more and figure out what kit/staffing we’ll have on the day and figure out what the cost will be.

What was interesting was going back and looking at the services with a fresh pair of eyes.  Looking at uStream in particular (with it’s chat and twitter integration) reminded me to go back that I need to go back and look at these ideas about sharing conference presentations more widely and efficiently.

April 29, 2009

Galton – The father of crowdsourcing

Filed under: Conferences — Brendan @ 6:16 pm

I was at Internet World this morning. (Q.1 Why does an internet show not have free wifi? I was reliant on an O2 Edge / GPRS connection, which was a shame as I otherwise I probably would have tweeted more things I found useful.  Q.2 Wonder why Internet World considers me a VIP?)

I’m not sure it’s really as valuable a show as I used to find it. Either I’ve got more knowledgable (I wish) or it’s dumbed down, and simply isn’t as leading edge as it once was.

However I ended up in a couple of interesting sessions and learnt a bit. The first session was on UGC, in particular for wiki style sites. What interested me was the analysis that they did on the range of areas that users feel able to comment on and how quickly they were able to switch their focus. They showed one individual who comments a lot making comments every few minutes on a very diverse set of subject areas.

What was also interesting for me about this session was the historical perspective of crowdsourcing, with Galton being credited as being one of the first (see paragraph on being at a livestock fair and using the mean of the crowds guesses at a livestock fair to estimate a bull’s weight).

There were also a couple of good warnings about the madness of crowds – the expert view and tulipmania were good examples.

The buzz monitoring session was interesting and very well chaired. I was very surprised by the number in the room who trust free tools to manage their media monitoring. For some reason I expected more to using professional services (although again this could have been a reflection of who was in the room).

There were a couple of good quotes that stick out for me “Social media is just people talking amplified” and something along the lines of “You can use people or tools/machines. At the moment people are better, but the machines are learning.”

I meant to ask a question about taking culture in to account when responding but as usual I’d forgotten what I wanted to ask when the opportunity arose.

In general I think that the most that the event provided was confirmation that I’ve been pushing things in the right general direction, which while nice, isn’t necessarily worth several hours out of the office.

It was however good to meet a few people and I managed to use a real live QR code (from the back of my VIP badge) on the train home which got me very excited.

April 24, 2009

Twittering in conferences

Filed under: Conferences, Twitter — Tags: , — Brendan @ 7:13 am

On Wednesday I was asked if I could run a presentation for the Centre for Distance Education. That night I couldn’t sleep and instead of counting sheep I thought about conferences and presentations.

Twitter actually provides a useful addition to conferences. I hate the idea of twitter as a backchannel – it’s not a backchannel it’s a public conversation.  Within conferences and presentations it can provide an echo-chamber for the speaker(s) to understand what’s going on and a place to refine thoughts and continue a conversation.

However I wonder if it’s as useful as it should be.  I’ve got a very long unfinished post (private link at the moment) about a conference I was involved in from a couple of months ago.

As I was lying in bed I thought about the major problems.

1.) Integrating the feedback from Twitter in to the main presentation
2.) Using the tweetstream – especially at a later date, I don’t think conferences can rely on, e.g. search for a conference from last year on Twitter then search for it on Google with a modifier.
3.) Attribution of tweets and the unintended changing of meaning of what a speaker actually means

This lead me to two particular thoughts which I noticed as tweets from two people the next morning about tweeting when a keynote speaker and about using the tweetstream.

It also led me to start playing around, with a few things and last night I watched the extremely good .eduguru’s presentation at #hewebcornell which prompted a few further thoughts about how the process could be improved further.

I’ll need to write more sometime.

(P.S. 12.05.09) – Just discovered this great post by James Clay about use of Twitter in conferences and social reporting.

January 28, 2009

Rwanda at the RCS

Filed under: Conferences — Brendan @ 8:40 am

The RCS is an organisation I can only admire.  I’m on their mailing list and they sent me information about this event yesterday.  Shame, I can’t go as I’ll be in Hong Kong.


Paul Kagame has said that Rwanda will cement its ‘bitter divorce’ from France – the country he holds responsible for the 1994 slaughter of up to one million of his people – by joining the Commonwealth.

Rwanda, a former Belgian colony, applied for Commonwealth membership in 2003 and many people anticipate that its application will be approved at the next CHOGM. Yet questions are being asked of Kagame’s motives. His human rights record as leader and Rwanda’s role in the recent eruption of conflict in the DRC add a further dimension to this crucial debate.

This event is the first in our new series of ‘Question Time’ debates. An expert panel will field your toughest questions from the floor. Audience members are invited to send their questions to the Public Affairs team prior to the event ( Please note that, on this occasion, only questions submitted in advance will be accepted from the floor.

To reserve places for this and other RCS events quickly, easily and at any time please book online here:

If you are unable to book online, you may call 020 7766 9202 / 05.

Please feel free to pass on this invitation to friends and colleagues.

Wednesday 11 February, 6.15 pm

The Commonwealth Club, 25 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5AP

‘Spotlight on Rwanda’

Chair:             Peter Kellner

Panel:             Alison des Forges, Senior Adviser to the Africa Division, Human Rights Watch & expert witness to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Joel Kibazo, Africa commentator & former Director of Communications, Commonwealth Secretariat

Andrew Mitchell, MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

Anne Penketh, Diplomatic Editor, The Independent

Vincent Gasara, Journalist & Secretary, Rwandan Community Organisation in the UK

December 5, 2008

Comparing the Car and Education Industries

Filed under: Branding, Conferences — Brendan @ 8:37 am

I was at a session on regional trading blocs in education yesterday.  In terms of content:

  • Alison Doorbar from JWT talked about the research they have done in East Asian student mobility.
  • Frances Kelly (EU office of the Ministry of Education, New Zealand) mainly talkled about Education at a Glance and the three main educational trading blocs
  • Don Olcott (OBHE) talked a bit about the why – pointing out a range of facts on the way – I don’t think I ever realised that by 2015 China will have the largest population of English language speakers.  He also pushed the point that, “there are institutions playing in the international market that have no business being in the market.”
  • Colin Grant (from Surrey) challenged the subtext that there is a market to be carved up and that the characterisations that Education is trade, that Trade blocs exist, that there is Competition over students or that Globalisation is new.

I didn’t think it was the most fantastic of sessions as I don’t think that there was much to be learnt, however there was a question to the panel on whether the Car and Education industries can be compared.

I think maybe that the panel were probably expecting something deeper or more topical.  I certainly was.

Instead it ended up being phrased in terms of, “a Lexus is a better car than a Rolls Royce, but some people still want to buy Rolls Royce…”

It’s still a good question.  After all cars are expensive purchases but essentially all they do is get you from A to B.  OK so some cars may have slightly different features but essentially people will buy based on their emotional connection to the brand.  (Thought to self: What do we do to build this emotional connection?)

However, I was expecting either the question to move on to Fordism or post-Fordism in education (I work in distance education after all) or for it to be about branding (after all a Lexus is just a Toyota and a Rolls is just a BMW – and these Liverpool degrees are really from Laureate). Alternatively I was waiting for some sort of comparision with the parlous state of the big three American car companies!

December 4, 2008


Filed under: Conferences — Brendan @ 7:24 pm

The conferences that I’ve at this week have been held at excel, which is a pretty much in the middle of nowhere (out in East London).  It really doesn’t strike me as the best place to hold an international conference in which we’re trying to give visitors a positive experience of the UK.

It’s such a desolate location (all of the cafes and shops around here seem to close by 5pm) and it takes about an hour to get from here to anywhere in Central London (where all of the social activities for these conferences take place).

However in talking to a few British Council staff I think the general dissatisfaction with the venue has been noted and that we probably won’t be using ExCeL in the future.

Spot me

Filed under: Conferences — Tags: , — Brendan @ 10:25 am

I mentioned in an earlier post the Gong Global conference that I am at today and tomorrow and how I thought the registration system was good.  Well I was amazed at the Spot Me system that they are using.

It’s a little handset (image right) that holds all of the conference information on it.  Agenda, maps, searchable delegate list across all sorts of fields etc.  It allows text messaging with other delgates, has voting options, handshaking abilities (exchange of contact info), person radar (i.e. it will help you find people, tell you who is standing around you) etc. etc.

Wow!  I’m impressed.  I’ve used it already to find someone and have swapped contact details and made notes, and sent messages to, against a couple of contacts already.  It’ll be interesting to see how it works through the conference. (Updated post conference – OK I managed to use it to send a couple of messages and to arrange to meet up with a couple of people, and we used it interactively to vote in a session, however the geo-location wasn’t great – it was OK for being alerted when someone you were looking for was close by but the radar was practically useless. Personally I think it was very useful but I can see that the same functionality and more could have been run from a 3G mobile phone with some specific web interfaces.)

The opening session was interesting.  The main speaker was the David Lammy, who has a highly impressive background (Lammy was the first black UK student to enrol for Harvard Law School – where he made friends with Obama. He was asked questions about the friendship and what Obama might mean for glogal higher ed in any case).

December 3, 2008

What’s going to be normal in the future…

Filed under: Conferences, Millenials — Tags: , — Brendan @ 10:07 am

Tom Savigar's presentationTom Savigar gave the first session that I thought was really good from the EducationUK Partnership Conference although I think the briefing he may have been given might have been a bit off as whilst his presentation was interesting it didn’t really address what the technology changes actually mean for International Education recruitment.

Tom has a really interesting background.  The main theme of the presentation was the suggestion that there is a firm line between under 25’s and over 25’s

He’s currently giving the example of a 5 year old who uses SkyPlus to book Christmas presents (rather than the Argos catalogue) and how when she went to Highbury for an Arsenal game – she asked, “why can’t I pause it”.

The rest of this post will continue as a simple serious of quotes that I take. I may tidy it up later.  There will hopefully be a link to the presention (as yet it hasn’t gone live).

Key quotes so far:

Future’s happened just not very well distributed.

Am interesting explanation of slash / slash kids. Kids that want to do this slash that slash this slash that…

Social networks still the first place for the newest interesting thing.

Moving in to a more female age…. it’s not about making things pink but it is about collaboration.  People who thing that they know more about us than the they know about themselves.  Beginning of womenonomics.

Example of Paul Griffith Babycakes clothing utilisation of MySpace and RSS and other.

Example of the internet taking over as the main media resource.

Role of video games fastest growing sector (bigger than film, books and music). 36,000 batteries for the Nintendo Wii were sold in the UK at Christmas.

Some examples of democratisation of broadcast quality, always on equipment, example of Cybershot camera linkng directly in to Flickr.

3G phones in Africa…..

Facebook profiles being printed as CV’s used as memorial notes at funerals.

Pico projectors – linked to mobile phones

2D barcodes – QR codes / links to RFID tags as well

iSkills (US Eductaional Testing Service)

People are surpassing Moore’s Law.

Haptic technologies.



Developing a brand, network or experience around what they or the friends like.

Role of men diminishing – not taking part in the revolution as much

Recommend reading: David Pink (A whole new mind) – should this be Daniel Pink

Need enabler technologies.

Trend adoption is getting faster.

An I can do attitude – careering between jobs.

People are now self-actualisers (in the 80’s this was not on our radar).

How can we fit in to these relevant spaces.

People are people – they are human beings. They go in to shops and look, and socialise, but they might well buy online.

Multi access points for content (cross platform is key – we have to be seamless)

Assimilation is of surface information.  Not interested in time consuming meditiative media.

Expect our systems, hierarchies and processes to be over-writen.

(Side note: book tokens may not be the best sort of prizes for competitions.)

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