Beyond the Campus: Learning Futures Conference at Leicester

The Learning Futures conference at the University of Leicester this year, run by the Beyond Distance Research Alliance (BDRA) had the theme Beyond the Campus. Here are some first thoughts:

Tony Bates emphasised that the most effective model for implementing e-learning in an institution was not a top-down edict (although strong vision, leadership and comitment is vital) nor individual adopters or champions beavering away alone, but a department-based team effort – just as we found in implementing Carpe Diem workshops during the Adelie project.

Phil Candy showed us some great quotes about the Internet, the Web and e-learning including a lovely Buddhist quote (thanks to Lindsay Jordan for the link).

The individual sessions held some gems. I found out all about the Fundacao Bradesco, an educational organisation funded by a bank (more on that later) with some fabulous e-learning going on in deprived areas of Brazil. Also a great project in Leicester’s History Department based on the principles of ARG.

One of my favourite sessions was the drama workshop visioning workshop on Wednesday afternoon, led by Paula Salmon. We discussed and played games around three scenarios, My Very Own University, University of the World and University of Earning and Learning. At the end we split into three groups to create a playlet representing each of the three scenarios, which were videoed. Look out YouTube!

A very frendly conference with lots of food for thought and a great standard of participant. I liked the identity badge lanyards which clicked apart to reveal a flashdrive: a great idea that they had at ALT too (from Wimba, thank you). I just wish my flash drive hadn’t fallen out at some point, one can always do with an extra one…