What I’ve heard just this week

Epic recently hosted a debate about eLearning at the Oxford Union. Diana Laurillard was among the speakers for the motion ‘This house believes that the e-learning of today is essential for the important skills of tomorrow’, whilst those against were led by Marc Rosenberg (I’m not sure which one). The motion was defeated on the day by 90:144, but I’m told the debate continues on the Epic site (where the vote is now in favour), via YouTube and on blogs such as those of Clive Shepherd and Stephen Downes. Let me know if you have time to catch up with this one, please.

Some of us saw and heard Martin Bean, the new VC of the Open University, speak at ALT-C. He will be giving a shortened version in Second Life (live, using an avatar) on December 16th at 3:30pm. The session will be chaired by Claudia L’Amoreaux (aka Claudia Linden), Education Programmes Manager for Linden Lab. The inworld audience will be limited to 50, but the session will be recorded and archived online for those unable to attend in person. If you are a confident avatar driver and would like to be in the inworld audience, you can send your name and avatar name to virtualworlds@open.ac.uk, with the subject line VC EVENT. First come, first served. Don’t all rush…

The latest Virtual World Watch report from John Kirriemuir (funded by Eduserv) is now available at http://tinyurl.com/ykscp77 He focuses this time on how institutions are choosing/have chosen their particular environment. Second Life features strongly, but there are references to other worlds and their capabilities and/or limits. I gather that the Open University is analysing in detail what’s needed to support learning and which worlds can best provide for it. This report is one I shall try to read for myself.

David Hawkridge

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