Having been made redundant recently I’m perhaps more aware than some about the startling changes taking place in EVERY sector of UK education.
I come from FE which views itself as the whipping boy of education, so I’m quite used to being kicked around and surviving by the ancient art of “gleaning” and “hoarding” against the long cold funding winters.
What’s interesting in a ghoulish sort of way is that the present situation provides a very real test-bed for the principles and policies we have espoused regarding the capability of ILT to improve outcomes… because there won’t be cash for alternatives.
The sad thing is that most of real benefits come when ILT is used to support, and reinforce, rather than replace traditional learning.
The opening salvo at the CETIS conference 2010 gave a fast paced review of the state of the education nation from Anya Kamanetz, (@anya1anya ) author of DIY University Edupunks, Edupreneurs and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education.
Often talks at conference discuss problems but offer no answers, Anya managed to cover so much ground that perhaps a couple of seeds offering alternative solutions were scattered.
P2PU http://p2pu.org/ The Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) is an online community of open study groups for short university-level courses. I signed up as soon as Anya mentioned it, as I felt it bridged the gap between the itunes U MIT courses I’ve been working through, and some of the informal adult learning networks.
I tried to sign up to a course blending philosophy with app design, but was too late for this cycle of sessions. The good news is that unlike the local Adult ed offerings i won’t have to wait till next year to re-apply.
P2PU is built on open educational resources, so I can freely read ahead in preparation for the next round.
If you already have a programme of study, then perhaps you need to use the power of http://openstudy.com/ which promotes itself as “the world’s largest study group”, applying the tenets of social networking to the world of peer supported study.
Finally if you want to look at what the future may offer, as an alternative to £9,000 a year tuition fees http://www.straighterline.com/ are offering enrolment for $99 plus $39 per course. Discount learning opportunities, at your convenience, and they take paypal.