web2.0 symposium ideas edmedia 2007

June 27, 2007

Getting beyond centralized technologies in higher education

Centralized learning management systems still characterize the predominant institutional approach to computational support for teaching and studying in higher education. This approach contrasts sharply with the growing dissemination of decentralized, loosely coupled, and networked tools and services that provide increasingly powerful means to augment a wide variety of activities and practices outside of institutional boundaries. Recently, notions of personal learning environments (PLEs) have been brought forward and discussed as a viable alternative to the centralized approach to technological support for teaching and studying that most educational institutions employ. This symposium brings together a diverse group of international researchers to explore the current demarcation lines, potentials, limitations, and possible developmental paths of centralized, institutional approaches to technology support for teaching and learning on one side, and of networked, loosely-coupled tools and services and their surrounding practices on the other side.

Edmedia symposium brainstorming


Sebastian Fiedler – Centre for Social Innovation – Zentrum für Soziale Innovation, Austria
Paper: If youth but know, if age but could: the power of timeworn concepts in technological support for teaching and learning

Robert Fitzgerald – Divisions of Communication and Education & Information
University of Canberra, Australia
Paper: Beyond the LMS: What’s the big idea?

Brian Lamb – Office of Learning Technology
The University of British Columbia, Canada
Paper: How will higher education mash it up?

Bryan Alexander – National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education, USA
Paper: VLE and Web 2.0: the era of the Great Divide

Scott Wilson & Johnson, M., Griffiths, D., and Liber, O. – Centre for Educational Technology & Interoperability Standards
The University of Bolton, United Kingdom
Paper: Preparing for disruption: developing institutional capability for decentralized education technologies


Kai Pata & Terje Väljataga – Tallinn University
Paper: Collaborating across national and institutional boundaries in higher education – the decentralized iCamp approach

George Siemens – Learning Technologies Centre University of Manitoba, Canada
Paper: Knowledge Deluge – Sense making and understanding in environments of abundance


The whole event started with short paper-introductions while the participants could write their ideas on the stickers. In the second half brainstorming was quite lively.
Unfortunately Bryan Alexander could not make to Vancouver.

Brian’s comments.



  1. […] Taming the spaces This blog is about virtual and augmented spaces and our attempts of taming them for education « New about niche conceptions Intervention into formal elearning September 9, 2008 Need for intervention has been discussed in one of the Edmedia 2007 symposiums. […]

  2. It’s December 2008, and I see that you have been asking for some time the same questions with which I now dally.
    Do we need to tame the spaces for Higher Ed. students? Can Web 2.0 sit alongside an LMS in a university?
    I am a novice at this. Thank you for your inspiration.

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