There are not too many conferences or workshops that are focusing on design and development of tools for teaching and learning. There are even less encounters where the focus is on design of tools for collaborative learning.
It seems to be that in the ecosystem of educational technology the role of teachers, educators, researcher of learning and pupils/student is really considered to be the “stupid customers” and “end-users”: Don’t talk with them – they are strange people and may have some ideas what the tools should provide.
If you take a look of existing educational technology they are not really educational, at all. They are just some technology offered for learning purposes. Technology is hardly ever designed for learning in the first place. Examples:
- Educational Radio and TV
- Educational CD-ROMs
- Office software
- Groupware and extranet solutions that are called “Learning Management Systems” or “Virtual Learning Environments”
- Blogs that are called “Personal Learning Environments” or “ePortfolios”
- Mobile tools for learning
The (evolutionary) design made to the original technology to become “learning technology” has been very modest. Using existing tools is wise, but to move on with the development we need more innovative practice of using the tools in learning. The innovative practices will then slowly shape the tools to the right direction. Involving human and participatory design experts to the process may also speed up the “evolution”.
Well, now back to the topic. There is an interesting workshop – with a long title – coming up:
Check the call for papers, and submit your paper.
The workshops is organized in conjunction with the International Conference on Collaborative Computing IEEE-CreateNet-ICST CollaborateCom 2006. There is one challenge: The conference and the workshop will take place in Jesusland.