Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Missing out?

Due to surgery on Monday (bad timing I know!) I have had to miss my favourite event of the year - EDEN. I want to send my best wishes to all those of you who are lucky enough to be at EDEN though - I envy you! I thoroughly enjoyed last year's event in Lisbon, and met so many smart and passionate people, that I am now wishing I was there in Gdansk with you today. EDEN is unique, because it has it all - some great presentations, wonderful surroundings, and excellent people to network and discuss some of the burning professional issues of the day with.

May I start the ball rolling this year with a burning issue...? It is this: Distance education has been with us for so long now, and in its organised form we can trace it back to the days of Sir Isaac Pitman in Victorian England. The correspondence course is still with us, but now we have so much choice to enable us to connect with our students at a distance. My blog post earlier today about Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's decision to ditch traditional methods such as text books in favour of electonic media raises some issues about choice. Should we go the whole hog and get rid of old media, replacing them wholesale for new digital media? Or should we maintain them alongside the new media. Does the correspondence course still have a place in distance education? Would some people miss out if we were to go totally digital?


  1. On a global scale the correspondance courses enable the resource weaker learner groups to get an education. Additionally, although back-ups are promised, the digital erosion is still bigger than text book 'erosion', so in my opinion keeping a diversity of tools for education is the best way to ensure inclusion and longlasting archiving.

  2. I hope you are OK. I really wanted to meet you f2f (actually I did last year after your presentation on Virtual University, Warsaw).
    Greetings from Gdansk.

  3. I agree with you Ignatia - we need to maintain choice for all learning approaches and lifestyles. And Tomek - sorry I wasn't there this year, but I *do* remember you from Warsaw! :-) Have fun both!