I have been to two very different, and interesting, conferences over the last two weeks. The first was in Plymouth, a general elearning conference covering schools, FE and HE (http://www2.plymouth.ac.uk/e-learning/). This was a packed two day event and it was difficult to see everything, however those sessions I attended were very good. The keynote speech by Josie Fraser discussed the web and privacy, the one by Dave White discussed how do we support what learners need and balance that against what they want, and has some interesting blogs on the subject (http://tallblog.conted.ox.ac.uk/index.php/author/whited/).
I also did a presentation at the conference to a slightly smaller audience around supporting innovative curriculum in a traditional HE environment. This was a trail for Florida in June and was very successful, the discussions lasting 30mins after the presentation. There is a clearly recognised need by institutions to take a step back and look at what they are doing and why, without the caveat “we’ve always done it this way”. It was also acknowledged that some of the big barriers to institutional change that takes time and effort is engaging support from senior management, and getting them to understand that often quick wins are quick draws reinforcing the quid pro quo. The leaflet that went with my presentation is available from the project website (http://www.projects.staffs.ac.uk/enable/p3m3.html) although the slides are also available on the same page, my talk was slightly different to the one recorded. It is a shame I forgot to record the new presentation as some interesting points were raised.
The second conference was the JISC annual conference in London (http://www.jisc.ac.uk/events/2010/04/jisc10.aspx). This one day event was also jam packed with good information. Martin Bean (VC Open University) did a great keynote to open the conference and I attended two useful sessions that support the work of Enable, including presenting our poster to the community.