Thursday, December 15, 2011

Report: Next Generation Learning - How to Integrate Social Media in Vocational and Adult Training

Report: SVEA Final Conference, Brussels – 23rd of November 2011
 "Next Generation Learning - How to Integrate Social Media in Vocational and Adult Training"

Professor Gráinne Conole
"The second keynote speaker at the SVEA Final Conference was professor Gráinne Conole, professor of Learning Innovation at the University of Leicester (UK). Title of her presentation was “Pandora’s Box – the Implications of New Social and Participatory Media”. Professor Conole highlighted the changing educational context of today:

•    The rapidly changing technological environment
•    The new digital literacy skills needed for learners and
•    The new emerging open practices
•    The new forms of online community and interactivity

Adopting new so-called e-pedagogies in education gives the learner a new experience but also leads to new paradoxes concerning the teachers:
•    New technologies are not extensively used
•    There is a lack of uptake of OER
•    There is little use beyond the early adopted
•    Despite the rhetoric and funding there is little evidence of transformation.

To overcome this paradox professor Conole stressed the importance of implementing open practices in all steps of education, not only for students but also for teachers.
In her concluding remarks she focused on the way to evolve from ‘closed practices’ to ‘open practices’ and the advantages from these open practices:

•    Open, participatory and social media enable new forms of communication and collaboration •    Communities in these spaces are complex and distributed
•    Learners and teachers need to develop new digital literacy skills to harness their potential
•    We need to rethink how we design, support and assess learning
•    Open, participatory and social media can provide mechanisms for us to share and discuss
teaching and research ideas in new ways
•    We are seeing a blurring of boundaries: teachers/learners, teaching/research, real/virtual
spaces, formal/informal modes of communication and publication"


  1. Thanks for the blog post and summary hope you enjoyed the conference!


  2. Your welcome.... great work Grainne, I find it interesting that ..... "Despite the rhetoric and funding there is little evidence of transformation." The advances offer so much potential for education especially distributed learning and teaching, but we still have a long way to go at the coal face.


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