Next Generation Learning

From 14:20 today I’ll be liveblogging the Next Generation Learning session from the Learning and Technology World Forum. You can keep refreshing this page to see updates of the session.

We’re starting with a session from CISCO before getting on to the afternoon session. Richard Halkett outlines the continuing development of what CISCO calls Learning 3.0 and The Learning Society. The recommendations of the recent report include providing a new coalition between educators and technology providers, a mixture of providers including people not traditionally in the education sector, and access to shared learning infrastructuire. It also involves investment of time and money in learning and new funding models to invest in learning. Legitimate, and standardisation of credentialing systems is required, as it a standard framework for assessing the impact of innovations in learning, whilst global assessment regimes need to be reformed. There needs to be new ways of managing lifelong support relationships with the learner. Halkett notes that technology needs in the workplace have driven people back to education but also has increased the technology gap between haves and have-nots.  Halkett concludes that incremental change is impossible.  He notes that learning achievement is far more important than years in education.  Action plan has been generated from the CISCO report.  All details will be available at  (Some details also at

And now we’re on to the Becta Innovation Exchange session on Lessons from Digital Industries for Next Generation Learning.  Speakers are Katz Kiely (bTWEEN), John Newbigin (Becta and private consultant), Anra Kennedy (Culture24), Ian Livingstone, OBE (Eidos), Jocelyn Stevenson (TT Animation), Nicole Yershon (Ogilvy UK) and Paul Bennun (Somethin’ Else).

14:30 Okay we’re getting started.  Katz is introducing the session and setting out what bTWEEN does.  The sessions this afternoon are 6 x 6 minute sessions, so I’ll be madly tweeting and blogging simultaneously.

14:36 John Newbigin is representing Becta board, talking about the role of Becta and the thinking about technology in learning.  Becta has had to transform itself from being a supply driven organisation to a demand driven organisation, thinking about how tech can improve education. Secondary kids like doing things together, in games and from each other, as well as with technology.  But computers and ICT is embedded in group work and games anyway.  Integration of play with learning is essential. Non-school learning, in cultural spaces and in games and social media shouldn’t be considered as separate from formal education but a two-way process.

14:42 Anra Kennedy notes that Culture24 is recording the events and the non-school spaces in museums and galleries online.  She notes that collections are increasingly available for free online and these provide a useful additional resource for learners and educators.  She uses the example of the Birmingham Art Gallery’s site, delivering high quality commentary and expetise online.  She also describes the project which enabled users to tag and describe images themselves rather than delivering commentary.  More content also available on  Worth a look for enrichment in teaching and learning.

14:50 Ian Livingstone up now talking about games as a learning tool.  Problem with perception about games is that it is assumed that games are not productive or appropriate exercise.  But games are about problem solving and sharing ideas.  Games have grown from tiny industry to biggest media industry over past 20 years.  Young and old alike are now playing games, eith 2/3 households playing games.  Growing discobnnect between education and today’s access to technology.  No reason why learning can’t be fun.  Children need to be able to learn how to programme their computers and create their own games.  By using devices such as brain training and fun games, maths age of students have been increased by 1.5 years.  Livingstone concludes that games are good for you socially, culturally and economically for the UK.

14:56 Jocelyn Stevenson now up talking about her children’s tv programme of Roving Correspond-Ants.  Her programming is focused on the things that happened to young children and each episode allows children to share what they consider news.  The idea is to teach children to move from the me-world to the we-world.  Relevant, meaningful and engaging content is crucial for assessing the content for episodes.  Children associated with programming decisions.  Stevenson says that the dream is to connect the world of children’s news to exhibit the sharing experiences of children.

15:02 Nicole Yershen now up talking about the role of Ogilvy in broadcasting digital assets.  She presents the Fanta Stealth case study, with kids using mobile phones to communicate with each other using the Mosquito sound that adults ‘can’t hear’.  She then looks at the Dove Evolution inner beauty case study to illustrate the role of the meme in generating community participation. Yershen says Ogilvy working with a number of organisations to generate new digital assets.

15:09 Paul Bennan talking about the range of creative products that Somethin Else is working – generally associated with the nexus between broadcasting and digital content.  Bennun notes that young people aren’t watching television as closely anymore, or at least are multitaksing.  Thus need to move into the game space in order to engage young people. C4 realise this and their games and online content is focused on interactivity and user-centred design.  Somethin Else tend to consider video and games as being integrated with social media (Facebook in particular).

15:17 Panellists are now taking their seats for question time.

Q1. Would full access to internet in schools improve children’s digital literacy?

A1. (Bennun) Yes. Need to consider safety but benefits outweigh problems. (Kennedy) So much positive content that safety isn’t as big a problem as is often considered.

Q2. How do we enhance international cooperation between students?

A2. (Stevenson) Broadcasters don’t want their content seen over international boundaries.  So hard to do international exchange.

Q3. Does digitisation improve access to collections or do we develop digital silos for collections?

A3. (Kennedy) One of the joys of social tagging is that you can discover content to minutest interests.  It opens up access.  Searches that drive users to discover content is issue and subject based.

Q4. Games not had good press.  How does the games industry and educationalists communicate more effectively?

A4. (Livingstone) The most compelling thing about games is interactivity.

Q5.  What tech is needed for future of ed?

A5. (Yershen) mobile is essential, and trying to ban mobile is insane.  More likely that children who are not yet connected to computers in homes will have smart phones and be able to use these to communicate.

Q6. Heard a lot about technology, not a lot about learning.  One of the things that’s missing is about pedagogy. Getting children to reflect on narrative choices is useful in English language learning.

A6. (Livingstone) Need to get more maths in context in education. (Yershen) There’s not been the opportunity to get to the heart of pedagogy often in digital asset creation industry.  Need to get more involved in pedagogy itself.

The panellists are now going to different corners of the room and participants are allowed to ask questions directly.  We’ll reconvene in 20 minutes.

15:50 Yershen highlights a book on Learning in 21st century from Asia.  Stevenson notes that there’s a question about long-form reading and writing, and what can be done to protect reading and writing skills.  Bennun says games and education are not incompatible.  Kennedy says that empowering teachers with technology mediated resources means there’s an opportunity to influence curriculum reform.  Livingstone says that games could be played in prisons as a form of rehabilitation.  But we’re producing less graduates in maths, creative arts and design industries than ever before, so need to invest in these learning programmes to encourage output.

Newbigin notes that Becta really looking hard at improving communication between games designers and teachers.  Looked at OLPC and seen that cheap access to technology doesn’t result in exploitation so need to get the tech out to engage all tech have-nots.

And we’re filing out now.  Great session – great to be involved.  Thanks Katz!

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