Digi Domi

Sharing my passion for technology and learning.

The Education Debates

This morning it was recommended by my manager that I listen to The Education debates on BBC Radio 4. I was very pleased that I did, they were very interesting. Although a lot of the debate focused on Primary and Secondary school education, rather than HE, I felt there was still a lot of relevance to those of us working in HE. first of all because we have the vested interest that all of the students we deal with in HE will have come through a primary and secondary school.  But also because a lot of the debates, particularly in the 2nd episode were about how we should teach, and the roles of both social learning and learning technologies. As a specialist in learning technology I of course have a special passion here, the debate between traditional learning and learning with technology.

Of course my first point would be do we have to choose one or the other? Surely it can often be best to use a blended approach, balancing the benefits of traditional learning with the enhancements that can be offered by the right technology. This is another discussion I will save for another day but identifying the right technology is central. Often tutors will be put off because they will go, well I don’t see how a mobile phone could possibly help in seminar, well perhaps it can’t, but perhaps the electronic voting system could.

Moving back to the debates the first episode reminded me a lot of my time at Southampton Solent University (SSU). The debate between the classical subjects and vocational learning. Being a newer university, one of the former polytechnics, SSU does offer a lot of vocational and classical blended course. I choose to do my undergraduate in journalism at SSU because it had the vocational elements to it. After all, surely if the main purpose of education is to achieve a ‘better job’ than one would without it, vocational training and practical experience are essential. Again the purpose of education, especially HE is something I will save for another post.

If you haven’t yet done so I recommend you listen to the debates which can be found on the BBC iPlayer (links below).

Debate 1 – What should we teach?


Debate 2 – How should we teach?


Debate 3 – Who should teach?

Not yet available, Airs Wednesday 5th September 2012 at 8pm GMT on BBC Radio 4 (FM only)

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I was looking at the technology section of the BBC News site when I saw this story.


Not only was I fascinated because it is about touch screen technology, the 1980s and a museum exhibition, but also because I thought the technology looked familiar.

After watching the video on the page I am fairly sure that the touchscreen they are using is Microsoft Surface technology, using the Samsung SUR40 hardware (a super duper screen made for the project so it is MUCH strong than your home television).

This got me excited, because I think that Microsoft surface is some really clever kit, and it is always great to see it being used in reality.

If you want to find out more about Microsoft Surafce then please look at their website: http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/default.aspx

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