Saturday, July 01, 2006

eLit 2006 - green hat

At times during eLit 2006 you could have imagined you were at a creative thinking conference. I suppose the theme of digital literacy tends to attract those who are interested in doing innovative things with all the new technologies that are now available, but people were also finding new ways to use old tools and technologies. Presentations included using mind mapping software to convey complex information previously held in inch thick instruction manuals; using blogs and wikis for collaborative work; providing students with furniture on wheels to organise their own learning spaces; using online discussion lists to encourage cross-gender academic debate in remote areas of the Middle East; using web-based survey tools to gather research data, and using a variety of social networking software in all kinds of ways.

At one point a small light bulb lit up for me when a lecturer expressed the hope that librarians would help the academic staff they work with to keep up with the potential uses of all the new developments that are going on, and how they might be relevant for research and for teaching. I think I could be doing a lot more in this area.

Perhaps we could produce a series of podcasts or a wiki covering how various new tools and technologies could contribute to teaching and learning and research? We know that information like this is more useful if it can be provided at the right time, when it's most relevant to people, rather than en-block in a training session. Podcasting or wiki would suit the rapid pace of change and might be a good way to enable people to access what they want, when they want it.

This is all green hat, blue sky type thinking of course, so I don't have to worry about who 'we' might be or any other practicalities at the moment!

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