It’s time to pack your bags as Dublin is ready and eagerly awaiting your arrival. You might need a warm coat as we expect some spine chilling weather this week to conicide with Halloween, the celebration of Samhain and the world famous Bram Stoker Festival. If you’re one of the advance parties arriving in the next few days for the meeting of OERu partners or for one of the other NIDL pre-conference activities then you can expect a week of deadly adventures. It might be a little cooler outside by this time next week based on the long range weather forecast for Dublin but we can still guarantee you a warm Irish welcome and plenty of good Craic. The ICDE World Conferenceoffers an action packed programme over 5-days and the local NIDL team at Dublin City University (DCU) keenly awaits your arrival in the land of saints and scholars.
Over the last week we have been adding the polishing touches to the conference programme, with a team of volunteers from DCU working tirelessly to ensure that everything is ready for your arrival. We are also delighted to report that a great team of DCU Student Ambassadors will be supporting us throughout the conference. Last week the full Conference Book went off to the printer containing the final programme along with lots of useful information to set the stage for an impactful week. Also we released our conference app so that you can start engaging with other participants and some of the tools and resources we have available for you. We strongly encourage participants to download the conference app before you depart for Dublin in order to get ready for the event and to greatly enhance your professional learning and networking experience. To download the app:
Search for ‘The Event App by EventsAir’. Download to your device and enter the event code wcol2019.
Please enter the username and password you set when you registered for the ICDE World Conference. Note that login is case-sensitive so please make sure your device isn’t capitalising the first word. If you have any problems logging in to the app then please contact Celia or Judy from our great team at Happening Conferences and Events.
On other conference news we finalised the allocation of breakout session chairs and we are particularly grateful to the dozens of people who kindly volunteered to contribute to the ICDE World Conference in this important way. Without the volunteers we have drawn on over almost two-years the ICDE World Conference would not be possible. All paper sessions will have a dedicated chair to ensure that everything runs smoothly and presenters keep to time. We also received last week most of the digital poster submissions and successfully uploaded them to the conference app where you can already view and later in the conference vote on them. The scheduled to meet the poster author(s) to discuss their work appears in the conference book.
Preparations for Sunday’s pre-conference event on November 3rd at DCU’s St Patrick’s campus are well in hand where we expect to welcome over 200 delegates to a busy full-day programme. A campus map with further directions to E Block where you will find the Registration Desk will be sent to delegates in the next few days. As your registration pack for the full conference will be available on Sunday morning when you arrive we encourage you to come early as tea and coffee will be available. Towards the end of Sunday’s pre-conference the #Openteach project team will be launching one of their key outputs, “Teaching Online is Different: Critical Perspectives from the Literature”. This report critically analyses the international literature about online teaching and professional development and a printed version of the work will be freely available to delegates attending the pre-conference. It argues that teaching online is different, evidenced by some of the unique roles, competencies and professional development approaches required to equip online educators to teach effectively. The #Openteach project is based in the Open Education Unit in the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at DCU and the report is externally funded by the Irish National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, a valued Bronze sponsor.
Read more about next week’s ICDE World Conference in our final newsletter, including another informative speaker spotlight, an update for presenters and taste of Ireland section, before around 800 delegates from nearly 80 countries converge on Dublin next week.
A feature of the report is the contrast with the recently published Australian and International reports for Higher Education. As the above table shows there are some notable differences between the reports, with under-resourced institutional infrastructure a key finding of the Irish report.
The report also featured in a story by the Irish Times, with particular reference to the need for greater investment in infrastructure, the current inequitable funding model and the need for educators to adopt new pedagogies in order to exploit the affordances of new digital technologies.
The previous Monday the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) hosted a pre-launch event where Dr Larry Johnson, CEO New Media Consortium, shared the main findings and facilitated a brief workshop with an audience of invited guests. He stressed importantly that the Horizon Report does not predict the future and simply offers another ‘futures tool’ for institutional leaders and policy-makers to discuss and plan for their preferred futures. Notably, the Report links to the Roadmap for Enhancement in a Digital World for Irish Higher Education along with recent European reports promoting the current modernisation agenda. It also acknowledges the value of comparing and contrasting the findings with other major publications such as the annual Innovating Pedagogy Report produced by the Educational Technology team at the UK Open University.
The Horizon Report has its critics and the sample selection and methodology for the Irish report was adapted to ensure the greatest possible diversity amongst the expert panel, including a mix of experienced, and new and emerging educators. Approximately 70 Irish educators across every university and institute of technology were invited to participate on the panel and almost 50 people volunteered to contributed to the final report. In the context of Dublin City University (DCU), and the current Incorporation Project, it was noteworthy that the panel included specialist academic and administrative staff from across the University and linked Colleges.
The intention over the next few months is to workshop the findings with institutions wishing to think more deeply about the impact of new technology-enhanced models of teaching and learning on higher education. Accordingly, please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to host a workshop in your own region or institution.
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Horizon Report project since the beginning of the year, especially panel members. The full press release produced by NMC supporting the launch of the Horizon Report appears below.
NMC, NIDL, and ILTA Release the 2015 NMC Technology Outlook for Higher Education in Ireland
Limerick, Ireland (May 28, 2015) — The New Media Consortium (NMC), the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University, and the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) are releasing the 2015 NMC Technology Outlook for Higher Education in Ireland at the 2015 EdTech Conference at the University of Limerick. This inaugural Ireland edition describes findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry.
Ten key trends, ten significant challenges, and twelve important developments in technology are identified across three adoption horizons over the next five years, giving Irish higher education leaders, decision-makers, and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The report helps to provide these leaders with indepth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology for higher education institutions in Ireland.
“Ireland’s role in Europe and in the world as a critical hub for technological development and innovation continues to grow in importance and influence,” says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC. “I think it is an extremely timely moment for a report that looks at the ways Irish universities and institutes of technology are responding in their own uses of technology and where they are heading. The use of digital and hybrid learning designs are increasing across Ireland, and it is clear that Irish institutions are looking forward to a technology-enhanced future that will play out in more effective and engaging learning across the entire country. We believe this new report from the NMC, NIDL, and ILTA will be a significant catalyst for strategic planning and high-level discussions at universities and colleges that will spur even more campus and off-campus innovation in teaching and learning.”
“Our collaboration with the ILTA and NMC is a strong step toward promoting more strategic conversations about future models of teaching and learning in Irish higher education,” said Professor Mark Brown, Director for the NIDL. “Drawn from the collective expertise of leading Irish educators, this report supports work already underway to help universities and institutes of technology throughout the country to develop a more future-focused strategy for higher education in such rapidly changing times.”
“The 2015 NMC Technology Outlook for Higher Education in Ireland could not be timelier in providing a comparative international evidence-base to inform research, policy and practice in the Irish higher education landscape over the medium term,” says Paul Gormley, Director of ILTA. ”This report offers exciting opportunities to identify commonalities and regional differences in higher education across an increasingly global landscape, and contributes a unique Irish perspective to inform the wider NMC Horizon Project. It is significant that the Expert Panel has identified the development of digital literacies to support the changing roles of staff and students in an increasingly digital age. This is a key enabler in maximising the opportunities for creative and innovative learning opportunities in Irish Higher Education.”
Key Trends Accelerating Educational Technology Adoption in Irish Higher Education
These ten trends are identified as very likely to drive technology planning and decision-making over the next five years, and they were ranked in order of importance by the expert panel, with the first trend listed being deemed the most impactful. The key trends are: “Rethinking the Roles of Educators,” “Increasing Use of Hybrid/Blended Learning Designs,” “Rise of Digital Delivery,” “Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators,” “Growing Focus on Measuring Learning,” “Redesigning Learning Spaces,” “Increase in E-Portfolios Created by Learners,” “Proliferation of Open Educational Resources,” “Advancing Cultures of Change and Innovation,” and “Increasing Preference for Personal Technology.”
Significant Challenges Impeding Educational Technology Adoption in Irish Higher Education
A number of challenges are acknowledged as barriers to the mainstream use of technology in Irish higher education. Because not all challenges are of the same scope, the discussions were framed by three categories defined by the nature of the challenge. The expert panel ranked challenges in order of significance, with the first challenge listed being deemed the most prominent. They are: “Underresourced Campus Infrastructure,” “Scaling Teaching Innovations,” “Improving Digital Literacy,” “Engaging with the Ethical, Privacy, and Ideological Aspects of Learning Analytics,” “Integrating Technology in Faculty Education,” “Creating Authentic Learning Opportunities,” “Blending Formal and Informal Learning,” “Competing Models of Education,” “Keeping Formal Education Relevant,” and “Teaching Complex Thinking.”
Important Developments in Educational Technology in Irish Higher Education
Additionally, the report identifies Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), flipped classroom, mobile learning, and online learning as digital strategies and technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the first horizon of one year or less. Badges/microcredit, games and gamification, learning analytics, and open content are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; adaptive learning technologies, collaborative environments, digital identity, and social networks are seen emerging in the third horizon of four to five years.
The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed and conducted by the NMC that engaged an Irish body of experts in higher education, technology, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges. The Irish expert panel was also asked to identify important development in technology that have a strong likelihood of adoption in Irish universities. The 2015 NMC Technology Outlook for Higher Education in Ireland details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.
The 2015 NMC Technology Outlook for Higher Education in Ireland is available online, free of charge, and is released under a Creative Commons license to facilitate its widespread use, easy duplication, and broad distribution.