FE Friends

I travelled up to Darlington yesterday to attend the launch of Peter Shuker’s book which, thanks to Peter’s diary-keeping over a long and full FE career, provided me with some reminders of 1988-2007 period ILT-related events that I’d forgotten about! Peter made a great contribution to the FE sector and I was priveliged to work with him.

Kevin Donovan and I took the train back to York together and had a good chat before going our separate ways. My main contact with Kevin was during the time he did such a good job of energising the QUILT programme which had emerged from the Higginson recommendations, and I remembered the Student Tracking project which must have been one of the early QUILT products.

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Timely Transformation Issue

I’m presently working on a literature review for an MPhil/PhD upgrade. I’d been waiting with keen anticipation for the forthcoming ALT-J Special Issue on The Transformational Impact Of Learning Technology and I noticed today that it’s recently become available online for subscribers.

The special issue contains a number of items well worth close study – including Stephen Marshall’s Change, technology and higher education: are universities capable of organisational change? given that many of the conditions that he profiles in universities are paralleled in English FE colleges as well.

Plenty of reading (and writing) for Christmas! My own OCI, Organisations, Change & Information Systems was a first pass at the literature review I need to produce for the upgrade.

A Typical Day?

Along with millions more I guess, I’ve spent the morning ignoring the snow and ice outside by burrowing around in this huge global internet resource that so many of us now take for granted. Having chosen to take the Higginson Report as the starting point for this iltinfe journey log, today I’ve been looking around for interesting/incomplete/inaccurate bits of the post-Higginson map before setting off.

Discoveries: I was reminded by the early-1996 THES article announcing the Higginson Report’s arrival – Techno jobs fear in FE – how, relatively recently, lots of FE folk actually saw IT as a direct threat. Is that gone now? The Wikipedia entries for Gordon Higginson and for AoC NILTA were both, I believe, a bit misleading and I made some additions. Perhaps (since the FEFC Higginson Report wasn’t even mentioned on his Wikipedia page), even Gordon himself didn’t see our ILT report as very important amongst his many other accomplishments. But it was, for our sector.

And, as often happens, I came across a reference to another possibly valuable resource that I don’t have and can’t find – does anyone have a copy of FEFC’s 1999 “Networking lifelong learning: An ILT development strategy for FE” that I can see a scan of?