It was fun to attend the ELTONS last week, the first time since I left the British Council last year, free of any sense of responsibility for the event, and with an “outsider” perspective. The awards were started by my former colleague Cherry Gough in 2003, and I have been involved as a judge for several of the intervening years.
Having seen some of the entries already when helping judge last year’s ESU President’s Award, I rather rated Macmillan Global’s chances, but Macmillan, along with the other major UK ELT publishers, came away empty handed. Instead United International College (UIC), a London-based language school won with their entry Communication Station, alongside the BBC, with two web-based learning resources.
After two months of owning an iPad, I finally went to my local newsagent today and cancelled my daily newspaper. I had delayed this partly because I had a subscription arrangement that made it more complicated, and partly for nostalgic reasons, I really enjoy breakfast and my morning paper. But the iPad will do the job just fine, and it is good to reduce our paper consumption. The newsagent seemed uninterested, despite the fact that we must have spent thousands of pounds with him over the 12 years we have lived here, and even the newspaper subscription department did not bother to ask me why I was cancelling the subscription. Are they both resigned to their fate? And what is their fate? The Guardian is developing a digital strategy, but the newsagent may find it harder to find a new niche or business model, as a Tesco Metro has recently opened near him.
This was the sixth e-Learning Symposium organised by LLAS (Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies Centre) based at Southampton University, http://www.llas.ac.uk/events/archive/6196
There were excellent presentations, from the keynote plenary speakers
* Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, The Open University
* Jon Beasley-Murray, University of British Columbia
* Marina Orsini-Jones, Coventry University
The parallel sessions that I attended were also very good, and it was really interesting to see how Higher Education is responding to the opportunities and challenges from social media and mobile learning.
The main source of LLAS funding will end in July, and their team are looking for alternative sources so that they can continue to fund their work, and run future conferences including this one. I really hope they are successful. Paul Sweeney and I presented on our research into language learning mobile Apps, and you can download our presentation Appt for That Soton elearning 2011 The presentations were filmed and I’ll update this post with details of how to find them.
There were two major events in London last week between 9 and 15 January 2011 concerning learning technology: Learning Without Frontiers Festival(LWF) and the enormous BETT Fair at Olympia.
Learning Without Frontiers
This was a successor to the annual Handheld Learning conferences organised by Graham Brown-Martin since 2005 http://www.learningwithoutfrontiers.com/our-past/ , and its title this year was “Disruption, innovation and learning” with a heady mix of impressive speakers, nearly all of them interesting, and some genuinely disruptive thinkers. Graham Brown-Martin started the conference in describing the “King Canute” attitude towards mobile technologies that are still prevalent in education and the need for disruptive thinking.
Disruptive innovation, what impact will handheld learning have on language education and publishing?
Venue: Cass Business School
Address: City University London, 106 Bunhill Row London EC1Y 8TZ
Tuesday 11 January 2011
Time: 6:30PM to 8:00PM followed by drinks and networking
A panel will discuss the impact of digital technologies on the English Language Teaching sector, and its implications for publishing followed by discussion.