Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-22

  • To err is human: building a safer health system. Free book for download http://tinyurl.com/yzedbwk #
  • RT @amcunningham: A Culture of Fear and Intimidation: Reforming Medical Education http://bit.ly/cngjbU #meded #professionalism #
  • @Czernie Thanks Laura, there’s some good stuff there, will definitely use some of it #
  • @cristinacost responded to your comment and removed 1 of your duplicates 🙂 #
  • @cristinacost I figure that communication is about moving ideas between people, and you did it so well, regardless of typos 🙂 #
  • @cristinacost just reading your comment now, thank you so much for sharing 🙂 #
  • @Czernie Book looks great, saw Martin Oliver present at HESS in 2008, was brilliant. Would love to read anything else you have #
  • @ralphmercer I’m playing around with WordPress MU with the Buddypress plugin. Elgg is also supposed to be quite good. Both are PHP apps #
  • Gardner Writes: Assessment in a web 2.0 environment. Thoughtful post about the deep complexity of designing assessment http://bit.ly/9iqnTU #
  • RT @amcunningham: Post on #Conceptmap with #VUE from @neil_mehta http://bit.ly/9gNSMg #
  • @pgsimoes: “End of publishing as we know it” is interesting. See also “Lost generation” for original idea http://ow.ly/1nxvW #
  • @cristinacost Nice, brings back some good memories 🙂 #
  • @Czernie Thanks for the ppt, it’s great. Are you going to publish? Where did you get your sample ie. what departments? #
  • Collection of PLE diagrams http://ow.ly/1kV6v #
  • Jeff Jarvis’ presentation transcript from TEDxNYED. What’s wrong with education and some insights from media / journalism http://ow.ly/1kUSl #

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HESS conference: a summary of my thoughts

OK, so I’ve been back for a few weeks now and have had a little bit of time to gather my thoughts regarding the HESS conference, and thought I’d make a note of some of the highlights from my limited perspective.  If anyone from the conference feels that I’m way off the mark, feel free to drop me a line.

One of the key themes that emerged was the idea that research should be taken down off of it’s pedestal and integrated into the curriculum as a functional, useful and exciting aspect of teaching and learning.  Dr Angela Brew established this idea in the first keynote of the first day.  That research should not be seen purely as a series of steps to be undertaken in the lofty towers of higher education, but should rather be seen as an integral part of teaching and learning.  The phrases “research-based learning” and “inquiry-based learning” cropped up regularly over the three days.

This idea that research should become part of the curriculum, rather than something tacked on, moved the conversation into another strong theme, that of the “scholarship of teaching and learning”.  In order to teach in your field, it’s no longer enough to merely know your subject.  The move towards evidence-based practice doesn’t only apply to our own niche fields, but should be applied equally strongly in how we approach the way we teach.  The concept of “communities of practice” came through strongly in this realm.

Martin Oliver’s keynote negotiated the fine line between technology in education as an all-powerful saviour, and a potentially misleading mindset that puts the technology, rather than pedagogy, first.  While e-learning was generally lauded as a powerful tool, enthusiasm should be tempered with optimistic caution.  With technology changing so quickly, it seems that a predominant focus on the tools themselves, rather than pedagogy, will be met with failure.

There were a few presentations I attended that urged educators to become more aware of students social lives, which came with evidence of the fact that they are not always as we imagine them to be.  Realising that students often have significant difficulties in almost every aspect of their personal lives can (and should) change how we relate to them.  As educators, we should understand that not only do we bring our own personalities and quirks into the higher education space, but so do our students.

Here are the notes I took while at HESS 2008:

Summary of HESS 2008 (OpenDocument format)
Summary of HESS 2008 (MS Word format)