OECD/Canada/Alberta Conference on E-Learning in Post-Secondary Education: Policies, Practices, and Research

Various authors, OECD, Jul 06, 2005
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Presentations are now available online from this recent conference. Some really good stuff here (and some that is disappointing). I wish conferences like this would post audio recordings or transcripts. Some of the presentations I liked include: Candace Thille on cognitively informed web-based instruction (I disagree with the analysis, but not with the intent); Don Tapscott, who in addition to his usual n-gen perspective comes out in favour of open content; John Daniel, who also advocated open content, sort of; and Jeff Zabudsky, who walks a fine line between advocating something useful and taking a traditionalist approach. The rest were, well, disappointing. It's the same old line: let's create a website, let's have a consortium, let's coordinate from the top, let's link our repositories (and what, keep the poor people out?), let's say we're "research-based" (and back it up with surveys of 31 people, half of them managers), let's attend to the 'economics' and the 'business' of learning, let's make Mongolia a "knowledge-based society", let's focus on ROI and the digital dividend, let's educate people on copyright, let's train workers.
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