The Open University, UK has been awarded a contract by the Scientific and Technical Options Assessment Programme of the European Parliament. The OU is required to write a 30-page report by the end of October for Members of the European Parliament covering a number of points, including:
a survey of the state of the art of Information and Communication Technologies in Education and Training, distinguishing between true technical options and myths
selection of key issues
assessment of the expected consequences on society of a number of assumptions (to be defined)
examination of the role of actors and stakeholders
definition of the expected impacts on stakeholders
preparation of an Options Brief (for action by the European Parliament, European Commission and other institutions) to guide the uptake of these technologies in Education and Training, including optimisation of effects and proposals to involved stakeholders.
The Study is being carried out by Dr Robin Mason of the Institute of Educational Technology with the assistance of Dr Paul Bacsich of the Knowledge Media Institute. They wish to receive feedback by the end of September from actors and stakeholders on the following topics:
What are the current education/training uses of new technology in your area? How great an impact is new technology really making in your area? How does this compare with the myths and hype about its impact? Does IT literacy of staff affect the competitiveness of your business? Which particular forms of IT are most important?
Can you identify two key inhibitors to the spread of IT in training? Do you see a way of overcoming these limitations? What is the range of scenarios you see as feasible for enabling the take-up of new technology?
Would evaluation studies identifying the key elements of successful educational uses of IT be the most useful form of dissemination? Do you think that the growth of community networks would be the most helpful form of spreading understanding and acceptance of IT at grass roots levels? Is there sufficient opportunity for trainers to acquire skills in IT? Would more commercially available software benefit your take-up of IT?
Do you perceive a need for a change in the content of training because of the advent of IT? If so, what kind of change? Does IT contribute to a trivialisation of educational content? e.g. making it more fact-oriented and requiring only surface-level learning
Do you see a need for greater collaboration and cross fertilisation between academics and corporations? How should it be fostered?
Who do you see as the main leaders driving the field? Who do you see as the stakeholders? (Those organisations, social groups, institutions affected but not directly involved in producing IT.) What do you see as the social effects of the spread of IT?
Please send your responses to:
Dr Robin Mason, Institute of Educational Technology, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, UK.
Tel: +44 1908 653136
Fax: +44 1908 653744
or FirstClass: Robin Mason