Welcome to the first edition of
"Futures for Learning". This newsletter aims to point you to some
developments that are leading to emerging and future scenarios for learning.
We are actively involved in such developments through policy studies and
analysis, project management and the publishing of reports and newsletters.
Although technology has an
important role to play in learning innovations, it needs to be used in an
appropriate context. However, innovations also emerge as an outcome of
research that looks at the process of learning and the context in which
people learn in their own environments. Interest is emerging increasingly in
the process of authentic learning and the role of informal and non-formal
approaches to learning, is increasingly being seen as an important way for a
person to start a learning journey.
It is also encouraging to
observe that innovative approaches learning are increasingly being
considered as part of social and economic regeneration in the renewal of
regions and local communities. The role of social housing associations is
also very important in this respect.
It is to this end, that we are
increasingly taking a holistic approach to finding learning solutions but
intertwining technology solutions as and when appropriate.
Perspectives for Learning
The European Union continues to
support research into education and training
in the Sixth EU Framework
Progamme (2003-2006). This is under
Priority 7 -
Citizens and Governance
in the Knowledge Based Society. Previous research has covered
education, inequalities and social
exclusion issues as detailed a recent issue of the newsletter "New
Perspectives for Learning" published by pjb Associates. Earlier editions of the newsletters have
learning research issues, skills,
mobility and education Issues, higher education research and improving
Recently completed European
research includes research on "Engaging
People in Active Citizenship", "Gender
and Qualifications", "The
education of Gypsy children within Europe".
It is interesting to note that
in the United States - Microsoft, Verizon and Cisco
are among 10 corporate partners of the Bring IT Home campaign, led by One
Economy, a non-profit technology group. The initiative encourages broadband
access by adding incentives into the national Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
(LIHTC) programme. (More
details) Tessa Jowell, the UK secretary of state for culture, media and
sport, has announced that a new industry working group has been formed to
produce a report on 'digital inclusion' - covering both digital television
and the Internet. (More
details) The Greater London Authority has produced a report on the
impact on and use of the Internet by socially excluded groups in London. (More
newsclip service aims to
keep up with such developments and we are keen to be more involved with
economic and social regeneration projects that also consider the importance
that learning plays in such developments.
We continue to monitor mobile learning developments and
are beginning to see some interesting trends in how content is delivered to
various mobile devices. The strategy that appears to be emerging is one of a
mixed and multiple delivery. WAP may have nearly died, but methods like
always-on GRPS that is now fairly widespread across Europe appears to be
emerging in combination with "popping in" at Wi-Fi hot spots when they are
available. An up-grade strategy is using 3G or UMTs. This all seems logical
as GPRS offers access speeds of more than twice dial-up access and Wi-Fi and
3G developments certainly at least the equivalent of fast fixed broadband.
Digital broadcasting content to handheld devices via satellite (in South
Korea) and via digital terrestrial (in Europe) are two more emerging
methods. Look at our Latest
for more details of these trends.
The concept of “occasionally
connected computing” was also featured in
issue 3 of the
MOBilearn newsletter. Where as the latest edition of the MOBilearn
newsletter covers the development of the
newsletter is edited by pjb Associates on behalf of the
The project is not only addressing technical issues, but also has a strong
emphasis on pedagogical issues as can be seen from
Issue 2 of the newsletter. The
conference organised jointly by the
projects in July 2004 will cover many of the latest developments. In
addition, there is also an opportunity to take part in
people’s everyday learning activities and experiences.
We are pleased that the
Learning and Skills Development Agency has recently published the study
that we did for them on the potential using interactive TV for learning.
This has resulted in the publication
Interactive TV: A learning platform with potential. Further work in this
area has resulted in a major global study into developments concerning the
potential of using interactive for increasing learning opportunities in the
home. This was funded by the European Commission. The
full final report of this t-learning
study is now available or you can read the
Into 2004 we continue to monitor
developments and highlight some interesting issues in our interactive and
broadband TV newsclip
broadband in the home newsclip service. Developments are still moving
along very slowly, however, we still believe that there is potential for
increasing learning opportunities in the home particularly when it is linked
to social and economic regeneration.
In a UK context it is
interesting to note that the BT Group has recently announced a so-called 2nd
generation broadband strategy that does include video-on-demand. (More
details) Is this the first stage towards personalised TV that could lead
onto personalised learning via TV or a PC? In other parts of Europe
high-speed broadband continues to be rolled out particularly in urban areas.
One such latest development is in
Copenhagen and across other parts of Denmark. (More
developments include the
Akimbo Service to be launched in the United States later this year and
will feature more than 20,000 hours of video-on-demand content not
previously available on TV. Clearly, a big potential for making
available video-based learning content. We have already identified ways that
interactive components can be added to such a service. This is highlighted
in one of our case
studies about US-based
Chaos Media Networks
who are already offering learning-based interactive on-demand content
amongst other types of content.
It was of great interest to
receive to receive in early March this year a white paper on
"Interactive TV and e-learning" by Donald Clark, CEO of the EPIC Group -
a UK market leader in e-learning, blended learning and
knowledge solutions. Frankly, the paper is very disappointing and does not,
in any way, add understanding to the debate around the use of TV for
learning purposes. It makes no reference to either of the detailed studies
that we have done and takes a narrow perspective of developments around
interactive and broadband TV. However, do feel free to
get the report from EPIC and form your own opinion.
We are starting to see signs
that those involved in the video games industry are starting to show an
interest games-based learning. This is very encouraging because until
recently the games industry has tended to consider that any mention of
learning would "pollute" their industry. We continue to monitor such
developments through our
newsclip service and our
resources area. We
are particularly interested to hear from anyone from the games industry or
the learning business who is interested in co-operating in this area.
Contact Peter Bates.
be interested to know about the
The Education Arcade Games in Education
Conference, Los Angeles 9-11 May 2004
This newsletter is published by pjb Associates,
52 St Andrews way, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB6 3DZ,
If you would like to contact us
about any of these topics do email.
subscribe to this
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