Ascilite 09 Day 2

I arrived late by 15 mins for Day 2, but luckily tweeting had already begun. The Premier sponsor: Blackboard were giving their 15 minute presentation(AKA marketing spiel). Blackboard were describing their platform as ‘open’, see for more commentary!

Grainne Conole delivered Tuesdays morning keynote entitled: Pushing the boundaries into the unknown, trajectories of user behaviour in new frontiers.
She spoke about the fragmented nature of knowledge and how technology and the web is enhancing this. We need new metaphors to describe this reality.
The web creates a lack of control and has taken away hierarchies associated with learning. She highlighted the need for lecturers to provide structured pathways and navigation through the abundance of information for learners.

Grainne alluded to the digital literacy skills necessary for our students to develop to engage effectively in the information age. In this context she referred to John Seely Brown’s publications,, so that is future reading for me! Also Jenkins 12 skills for participatory culture.

Cloudworks the object-centred social networking tool from the Open University featured strongly in her presentation.
James Clay says of cloud works: Cloudworks is really starting to grow on me as a collective tool. See

To conclude Grainne listed 5 main challenges in education technology research, among mentioned were: the digital divide, Jenkins 12 digital literacies, rapid evolution of technology, new theoretical insights. Please see

Invited Speaker
Peter Mellow of Auckland University of Technology opened his address titled ‘The Song Remains the Same’ – Led Zeppelin. Peter a former sports science lecturer took an interactive approach and got us to do a bit of exercise first!
Also what strongly came through was how Peter associates ‘play’ with learning and the enjoyment of learning. [I tweeted Peters line: “teaching is not rocket science, it is more complicated” and got several retweets (RTs) and interesting comments back on this!]

He closed with Dewey “If we continue to teach our students today, as we taught them yesterday, we rob them of tomorrow”

Parallel session

Joan Richardson: Designing blended spaces to maximise student learning in work integrated learning programs

By 2010 all programmes at RMIT will have 24 credits of work integrated learning (work based learning) .
They are very focussed on preparing students for the workplace. They recognise the complex communication between students, tutors, lectures, mentors, workplace supervisors.
To support students, they set up a Facebook page. They previously used Pebblepad but this was not a success. Facebook usage with students will be evaluated in the future.

Unfortunately other sessions that I attended on Tuesday were of disappointment. I missed an interesting-looking podcasting session which was rescheduled to a different time. However some interesting tweets were coming from the Second Life session, SLENZ, and I will read this paper for more information.


About Muireann O'Keeffe

I am an educational developer currently working at DCU. I have a passion for researching and evaluating technology that can support and enhance learning. In the past I have taught on Masters programmes (Msc Applied elearning & Postgraduate Diploma in Third level Learning and Teaching) as well as Leadership development programmes.
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