Saturday, September 17, 2011

PL 53/11: LATINA readings 2011

Filed under: education, LATINA, Palestine — plinius @ 8:45 am

Next week we’ll be teaching in Palestine.

This will be the first step in our new e-learning program, which we call LATINA Fall 2011.  At LATINA we use WordPress as our main publishing tool. On the first day of our courses all students set up their own individual blogs. The instructors also blog on a regular basis. As usual, I will use Plinius as my course blog.

The program continues with four full days of distance education in October  and a six day workshop in Oslo in November.

I have spent the last two days revising and updating the course web site and the training materials I plan to use. We gave our first LATINA course at the Oslo University College Summer School in 2008. That was a three week residential course for a wide mix of international students.

New contexts every time

The training in Gaza and the West Bank  is our seventh course. We have done short courses, down to four days, and long courses – up to one full semester. We always cover general topics in e-learning, adding specific topics  when we address special groups like librarians, journalists and museum pedagogues. Except for one course in Norwegian we teach in English.

Every course represents a new challenge. The basic approach remains the same, but the context changes. The participants differ, the settings differ and the e-learning world is moving ahead at a dizzying pace.

Talking about education

As a teacher, researcher and blogger, I try to keep in touch with the international debate on schooling and higher education. Year by year, discussions are becoming more intense. This is particularly true in the United States. In education, the US is much more diverse than most European countries. The country is de-centralised and market-oriented. The culture is pragmatic and innovative. New ideas, initiatives and issues tend to surface faster in the United States than anywhere else in the world.

This does not mean that the US has the best educational system in the world. The quality of schooling ranges from gruesome to galactic. But the educational debate is very, very lively. And the best schools and universities are very, very good – in many different ways. This is reflected in the readings we have chosen for this year’s course.


We want LATINA participants to understand their present situation as a result of past developments. We therefore include some historical documents:

  • The early vision of the Memex (1945)
  • The deep change wrought by the computer (1982)
  • The powerful predictions made by Negroponte in 1984
  • The origin of the World Wide Web (1990)

as well as a brief introduction to the pioneers by Griffin Scott.


We also want LATINA participants to see the present as a temporary stage. The future will be different in fundamental ways. We therefore include a range of predictions and perspectives

  • The future of the Web, as seen by Tim Berners-Lee (see picture) in 2001 and 2009
  • The change of education 1: from conformity and repetition to innovation and production (Sawyer)
  • The change of education 2: things that may disappear
  • The impact of cloud computing and mobile access in the South (Greengard)
  • … and finally some really radical views on humanity’s future (Gareal)


Unesco has asked the LATINA Lab (Oslo and Akershus University College) to organize an e-learning program for teacher educators in Gaza and on the West Bank.  Three of us will do an intensive four day training from Thursday through Sunday in Ramallah. Two LATINA associates will do a similar course in Gaza the following week.


Assigned readings

  • 1945: Bush, Vannevar: As We May Think. The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945. [SWF:10]
  • 1982: Otto, Friedrich: Machine of the Year: The Computer Moves In. Time Magazine, January 3rd, 1982. [SWF:11]
  • 1984: Negroponte, Nicholas. Nicholas Negroponte, in 1984, makes 5 predictions. TED video lecture. 25 minutes. Published 2008.
  • 1990: Berners-Lee, Tim: World Wide Web: Proposal for a HyperText Project. CERN. 12, Nov. 1990. [SWF:7]
  • 2001: Berners-Lee, Tim; Hendler, James and Ora, Lassila: The Semantic Web. Scientific American, May 17, 2001. [SWF:7]
  • 2001: Scott, Griffin: Internet Pioneers. 2001?  [HTML]
  • 2005: Sawyer, R. Keith: Educating for innovation. 2005 [PDF: 8]
  • 2009: Berners-Lee, Tim.  Tim Berners-Lee on the next Web. TED video lecture. 16 minutes. 2009.
  • 2009: Gareal, Joel: Radical Evolution. Communications of the ACM. Vol 52. No 3 2009.  [SWF:4]
  • 2010: Greengard, Samuell: Cloud Computing and Developing Nations. Communications of the ACM. Vol 53. No 5 2010.  [PDF:3]
  • 2011: Barseghian, Tina.  21 Things That Will Be Obsolete by 2020.  Mind/Shift. How we will learn 02.03.2011.



Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: