Tuesday 11 March
Since joining EDUCAUSE, Oblinger has become known for innovative product and services growth as well as international outreach. She created the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), known for its leadership in teaching, learning, and technology innovation and also initiated EDUCAUSE’s first fully online events and its e-book series. She led the creation of the Next Generation Learning Challenges, a $30M program sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that focuses on improving college readiness and completion through information technologies.
Oblinger has served on a variety of boards, including the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee on Cyberinfrastructure, the board of directors of ACT, the editorial board of Open Learning, the American Council on Education (ACE) board and the Washington Higher Education Secretariat. She is a frequent keynote speaker and author or editor of numerous books and articles on higher education and technology. She has received outstanding teaching and research awards, was named Young Alumnus of the Year by Iowa State University, and holds three honorary degrees. She is a graduate of Iowa State University (Bachelors, Masters, and PhD).
Talk topic: Designed digital
Digital surrogates of analog resources, born-digital resources, and digitisation itself have allowed education and research to develop new tools, delivery mechanisms, and intellectual strategies. “Digital” allows one to do different things—and do things differently—such as to personalise, visualise, and extend the mind.
“Digital” changes our experiences and expectations. “Digital” changes the nature of work—and of our society. Demographic change drives new consumption patterns. All of these change what we need from education—and how it is delivered. This session explores what education might be like if we used the best technology has to offer. It also postulates that might mean for IT units.
He received a BSc from the University of Sheffield in 1976, an MBA from the University of Southampton in 1998 and PhD and DSc from the University of Bristol in 1979 and 1991 respectively.
Appointed to the chair in physical geography at the University of Swansea in 1990 Paul had previously held a research post with the NASA Ames Research Center in California and academic posts at the universities of Sheffield and Reading. At the University of Southampton, from 1993, he held the chair in physical geography, was head of geography, dean of science and head of Winchester School of Art before being appointed deputy vice-chancellor.
Paul is a member of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and its remuneration committee and chair of its audit and risk assurance committee; chair of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) board; chair of the National Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB); chair of trustees for The Conversation UK and president of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society.
Talk topic: Aligning IT and university strategy
City University London has the ambition to be a leading global university and is investing heavily in academic staff, IT and its estate. This presentation will start with a discussion of some of the major sector trends in IT supply and demand with a focus on education.
The IT service at City in 2010/11 and today will be described, along with discussion of the journey and some of the challenges faced. Particular attention will be paid to a move from a devolved 'cottage industry' approach to a more centralised and commoditised but flexible approach to IT service; changing student expectations and aligning with the University’s Strategic Plan.
The presentation will conclude with some observations on this transition for both academic staff and IT professional staff.
Wednesday 12 March
Sugata Mitra is professor of educational technology at Newcastle University and previously a visiting professor at MIT in the US.
He was recently described by The Times as a "global education superstar". In 2013 Sugata won TED Global and received US$1million towards his wish to build a school in the cloud
In 1999, Sugata dug a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in Delhi, installed an internet-connected PC, and left it there. A hidden camera saw the children from the slum playing with and learning how to use the computer, then teaching each other. The project demonstrates that, even in the absence of any direct input from a teacher, an environment that stimulates curiosity can cause learning through self-instruction and peer-shared knowledge.
Sugata's current research is leading towards an alternative primary education using self organised learning, mediation and assessment environments.
His work inspired the book Slumdog Millionaire that went on to become the Oscar winning film of 2009. The global consequences of Sugata's discovery for closing the digital educational divide have resulted in him receiving many international awards.
Follow Sugata Mitra on twitter @sugatam
Ray Hammond is Europe's most experienced, most successful and most widely published futurologist. For over 30 years he has researched, written, spoken and broadcast about how major trends will affect society and business in the future.
His interest in the role of digital technology in education began in 1982 when he wrote Computers and Your Child, a book which became an international bestseller. He followed that up with three more books on the role of computers in education and 13 other books on the wider future impact of technology on business and society.
He has maintained a close interest in the application of digital technology in secondary and tertiary education and today he is an adviser to two hi-tech accelerators and one venture capital fund which invests in hi-tech start-ups.
Follow Ray Hammond on twitter @hammondfuturist
Talk topic: Preparing new generations for the digital future - how the world (and business) will change over the next 20 years
It is sometimes said that young people have more to teach older generations about the digital future than the other way round. This is true only in the most superficial sense. The young may know more about the intricacies of the latest app, game or mobile device, than their elders but they don’t usually have the perspective to see how new technologies may disrupt existing business models, how they may facilitate new ways of doing business and how the world may be altered by technology.
In a survey of the six major trends that will shape society and business life over the next two decades Ray Hammond will identify the key skills that young people require to survive and thrive in an exponentially-changing social and business landscape.