This morning a colleague brought to my attention the UK report from March of this year on Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World. I really like the name of the committee that was responsible for generating the report (Committee of Inquiry into the Changing Learner Experience), and that the committee included a student.
Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/documents/heweb2.aspx
Higher Education in a Web 2.0 World [PDF]: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/heweb20rptv1.pdf
I am enormously fond of the anonymous quotation, “Anecdotes amuse, data persuades.” I liked that they overtly attempt to address this gap in what we know about using emerging technologies in higher education.
I especially like these snippets early on.
“Traditionally, big changes tend to come in the second wave of the lifecycle of a technology, say 50 to 60 years down the line. On the basis of the experience of the first ten years – huge upsets in the music and media industries – the repercussions ahead are unimaginable”
“The processes of engaging with Web 2.0 technologies develop a skill set that matches both to views on 21st-century learning skills and to those on 21st-century employability skills – communication, collaboration, creativity, leadership and technology proficiency”
“Information literacies, including searching, retrieving, critically evaluating information from a range of appropriate sources and also attributing it – represent a significant and growing deficit area”
“Deployment is in no way systematic and the drive is principally bottom up, coming from the professional interest and enthusiasm of individual members of staff”
I love the way they distill the information into easy to understand and accessible snippets for high level decision makers and immediate action plans. For example, this one graphic alone is worth the time to read the whole report.
Of course there is plenty more where that came from, such as discussions on the ongoing importance of the face-to-face experience in education, the digital divide, information literacies, staff training, and the essential need right now for innovation in education.