Talking tombstones in 2020

A friend of mine used to walk on the Greek islands. Cemeteries there have many photos on the tombstones of the dear departed. He decided he would like to have a tape-recording instead on his, but so far as I know he has never made up his mind about what he would say.*

During a 1995 Computer-Assisted Learning conference after-dinner speech, in New College Cambridge, I pointed to the portraits round the dining hall. In future, I suggested, these would be holograms of distinguished professors, and from beyond the grave they would answer your questions (using artificial intelligence of course). Among the diners, I picked out Tim O’Shea, now Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh University, as likely to become worthy of a hologram – and a seat in the House of Lords. He liked that idea.

Cast your mind forward to 2020. Among e-learning researchers of the early 21st century, a few may deserve hologram recognition. In the Fourth Dimension Virtual Hall of Fame you will find those who contributed to theory and practice in our field. Here are three questions I would like to ask them:

1.     Which outstanding pieces of research do you recall and who were they by?

2.     What were the major barriers to adoption of e-learning?

3.     Did you make any major mistakes and what did you learn from them?

Perhaps you already have an inkling of the answers. If so, why not publish them in this blog?



*Gumpert, Gary (1987) Talking Tombstones and Other Tales of the Media Age. New York: Oxford University Press.

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