Monday, October 17, 2005

Vice-president of education at Sun Microsystems

I wonder what positions will appear at Sun in the next 5 years! After chief open source officier there could be head of imagination department and chief old businesses destroyer...

Coming back to the education theme: the head article of FT's special report: "Online Education" (they see the second wave of e-learning) says:

In an article in THE Journal, a magazine that covers the application of technology in education,
Kim Jones, vice-president of education at Sun Microsystems, suggests that the "digital campus" is
now truly on its way. "Thanks to some innovative technology trends, the educational landscape is
transforming," she explains. The key is not so much the technologies themselves, as the way in
which they are being drawn together into a unified network, thus creating "a seamless, secure,
collaborative environment for learning, achievement and administration that is available to
Not everyone is convinced, however. In an article in the Electronic Journal of E-Learning from late
2004, a team led by Djamshid Tavangarian and Markus Leypold of the University of Rostock in Germany
reported on a survey of online learning programmes at various levels, and were strongly critical of
what they found. "Current e-learning systems on the market are limited to technical gadgets and
organisational aspects of teaching," they commented. "As a result, the learner has become
de-individualised and demoted to a non-critical homogeneous user." They criticised online learning
programmes for being insufficiently flexible, particularly when it comes to allowing users to
configure the programmes and add their own content, and berated designers for being too wrapped up
in technology and failing to provide adequate support for learners. "Our demand to designers of
e-learning systems can only be to drop their preoccupation with technical gimmicks and instead try
to achieve a true understanding of the learning process," they concluded.

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