At the nexus of learning and innovation

CRLI Research Fest closing plenary with Professor Patrick Olivier

Innovation in the Digital Local Learning Ecology with Professor Patrick Olivier

Keynote plenary of the Nov 29th Learning and Innovation Research Fest

Prof Patrick Olivier

This closing plenary for the Learning and Innovation Research Fest will place in New Law Auditorium 101, University of Sydney Camperdown campus, from 2.40-4.00pm on Thursday November 29th 2018. This plenary session will also feature the Fest closing and poster awards, as well as a short presentations by Associate Professor Julia Horne, University Historian.

Innovation in the Digital Local Learning Ecology

Speaker: Professor Patrick Olivier, Open Lab, Newcastle University, UK

Firstly, this is not a technical talk, instead it’s a talk in which I will describe a number of digital learning innovation activities Open Lab has been undertaking with schools and colleges in the North East of England. Underpinning this work is a recognition that the delivery of education services in the UK is local government’s single largest commitment, yet surprisingly their delivery is rarely undertaken in response to local contextual factors, nor seeks to draw upon the resources of the communities in which nurseries, schools and colleges are located. Furthermore, national education policy over the last two decades, in particular in relation to institutional diversity and freedom, markets and competition and the use of narrowly framed performance measures (intended to promote parental choice) often result in schools looking inwardly, rather than to their local communities with whom they are in very real terms interdependent.

Recent thinking in UK policy research has pointed to the potential resilience that can be afforded through closer integration of a broader spectrum of stakeholders in the delivery of education, including local education authority employees and institutions, parents, families, communities, local businesses and the third sector. Hodgson & Spours proposed a model of Local Learning Ecologies (LLE) that both explains and informs interventions related to decisions and actions of young people and those working with them in an educational context. Models such as LLE can both help us understand issues pertaining to resilience of education provision, but also point towards new roles for digital technologies to realise models of community, business and civic institution engagement with school-based education.

In this talk I will outline a number of examples of our work that seek to realise this Digital Local Learning Ecology, and in doing so I hope to not just introduce our innovations but paint a picture of how universities themselves might reconfigure themselves as civic partners.

Patrick Olivier is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the School of Computing, Newcastle University, UK. He founded and leads Open Lab, Newcastle University's centre for cross-disciplinary research in digital technologies. His research interests span interaction design, social computing and ubiquitous computing, particularly in public service and civic application contexts (education, public health and social justice). He is director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics (55 cross-disciplinary PhD students) and the EPSRC Digital Economy Research Centre (a multidisciplinary five-year project involving 25 postdocs). In December 2018 he will take up a professorship in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, Australia.

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This session will be recorded. This event is part of the Learning and Innovation Research Fest on Thursday November 29th 2018, please see the link for more information. Attendance is free but pre-registration is essential before Nov 21.

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