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Professor Stephen Heppell: Learning and technology

By: Dr Lynda Kelly, Category: Lifelong Learning, Date: 30 Sep 2010

My quick notes from Stephen’s talk at the Museums Australia 2010 conference

Professor Stephen Heppell: Learning and technology Keynote address at Museums Australia 2010 Conference

  • What we do is more important about the things we use, think about scholarship rather than scholars
  • We curate and annotate
  • People plus technology has ability to break cartels – we have changed the music and publishing industry cartels for example through people taking up online tools (e.g. blogs) in such numbers
  • The ‘museology of ourselves’ is going to be profoundly changed by people in conjunction with technology
  • Need to figure out what don’t we want to lose?
  • What does tomorrow look like?
  • What is the future of our learning spaces? Been building online communities for 15 years so what did we learn? Learning is effective when collegiate, project based, global, 24/7, happens anywhere, is cool
  • Online communities are prototyping what physical learning spaces will be like 15 years later, therefore look at what people are doing online now as this will shape the physical learning spaces of 2025
  • What do these communities look like? They are self supporting, small, community based, ambitious, global, cheap/free – membership valued, neither proprietary nor hardware, specific spectacular diverse, contest tailored
  • We are living with the post Google generation: “email? It’s what your dad does”. The principle search engine of a 14 year old child is YouTube
  • Young people are passionately interested in the technology and using it from a very young age (we found this in our research too)
  • We’re not an information age we’re in a learning age
  • This generation expects to have a voice
  • Student quote: ‘You’re learning from each other, from the internet but mostly from both’
  • Students look at learning as being about “us” not “me”, collaboration is the way they learn (and live) now
  • Every object tells a story (V&A): find ways to ‘release’ stories of our visitors into our collections
  • Annotate, narrate and thread – me, we and see – my stuff, our stuff, everybody’s stuff. Facebook allows us to annotate and share our experiences
  • What’s missing from the internet is time (I didn’t really get this bit?)
  • If museums are to survive they must be part of the rich online tapestry – go to the spaces where our audiences are!
  • Challenge – how is what we do going to get people’s attention? How can we become a lens to magnify and focus audiences and share what they’re doing, it’s not bricks and mortar anymore
  • His final thought: "What might we do to be a little fulcrum to change our broken world?"

Inspiring stuff! There's more on his website.