On day 2, Prof. Wim van Petegem (KU Leuven) who is the Chair of the Coimbra Group (of which NUI Galway is a member) Learning Technology Taskforce spoke about his own internal institutional structures, and very briefly highlighted the underlying educational philosophy of Leuven which is based on 'Guided Independent Learning.' His talk complemented that of Kieran Loftus, the Director of Computer Services, who introduced and chaired the session and allowed some focus on matters of operational service provision.
In the afternoon, following a delayed flight and a nail-biting wait for a taxi, we were entertained, stimulated and enlightened by Prof. Stephen Heppell (in the photo, doing what he loves best - sailing!) and his random walk through magnificent examples of technological innovation in education, with children designing their own schools, producing their own 'TV' stations and challenging preconceived notions of success and achievement. An excellent way to round off the event, even if we did all leave realising that the university 'as is' is potentially finished if it obsesses with the "1970s industrial production model"! Stephen's contention that the last 50 years of academia have been an aberration and we need to get back to engagement, creativity, transformation and, above all, the 'community of scholars,' rather than mass programmes of bureaucratic accreditation, was thought provoking. Discuss......(not via a 1500 word essay, of course)