After the excitement of the pre-lunch session – details of which I am bound not to disclose – the afternoon sessions focused on (current) Adobe products for the higher ed market. Megan Stewart gave more details of the whole Adobe range – 23 applications – just skimming the surface really with some good case studies and links to the adobe.com higher ed resources. Again most of this was familiar to me but it was good to be updated with the examples of cross-institution implementation of Adobe solutions. Shows the importance of being current and having learning and teaching drive the procurement of software.
Lots to think about on the plane back to Auckland. I need to unpack some thoughts on the ‘last mile’ issue – which sort of resonated with my 3 personal themes for the conference: the McDonaldization of higher ed and how to seriously disrupt it with non-human technologies that enhance human interaction; closely related ongoing tension between the real and the virtual; and the battle between open and closed systems that will shape the future of the internet.
Talking with Ian Gibson and others over dinner last night – Neil Gray quipped that ‘we should do the last mile first!’. Well yes. It’s a major challenge for me in my new role – how to upskill academics and upscale blended learning across the university curriculum – incorporating the design-led approaches that have featured here. I take this away from the 2 days along with the sense that Adobe is still making really amazing applications for the digital world – but perhaps need to be thinking about how to make these more accessible to the average lecturer of student through a ‘low threshold’ approach. Plenty of challenges ahead ….