P.G. Sorenson Disinguished Graduate Lecture

From Chris Brooks:
Every year the department of computer science holds the P.G. Sorenson
Disinguished Graduate Lecture, where a previous graduate student
who has excelled in the field to come back and give a presentation. This
year we are featuring Dr. Barbara Wasson, an ARIES researcher who has
continued on in e-learning and made some great contributions to the field.
I thought you might be interested in this lecture – it’s an open lecture,
feel free to pass the notice on to anyone you think might be interested.

Speaker: Dr. Barbara Wasson
Date: Thursday, October 19th, 2006
Time: 8:00 pm
Room: Arts 133

Abstract: The rapid advancement and pervasiveness of ICT is radically
changing the possibilities for lifetime learning. Technological
advancements, a perspective on knowledge as a cultural artifact, and our
understanding of teaching and learning have caused many changes in learning
environments during the past four decades. This has created new conditions
that are challenging our basic assumptions about the nature of learning,
teaching and educational activities in modern knowledge societies. For
example, as technology becomes more pervasive in all aspects of life, with
increasing and varied content, it becomes an integrated part of informal
learning (e.g., through electronic games, visits to museums, on-line
interest communities). We need to understand what consequences this has for
formal learning settings, and the ways in which different groups of users
interact with and through ICT. iTELL is proposed as a world-class centre in
the area of technology enhanced lifetime learning to provide a sustained
multidisciplinary research effort that looks at the whole of technology
enhanced lifetime learning – meaning a diversity of learners in a variety of
informal and formal settings, accessing diverse media and content.

The road from the ARIES lab at the University of Saskatchewan to the iTELL
Centre of Excellence has been an exciting one. In this talk I will show how
my Scandinavian experience has influenced my perspectives on ICT and on
learning, and has shaped my understanding of Technology Enhanced Learning. I
will use examples from some of the milestone projects in which I have been
involved, including my Ph.D work at ARIES, to highlight the road to iTELL.

About the speaker: Barbara Wasson (Ph.D, University of Saskatchewan 1990) is
Professor of Pedagogical Information Science at the Department of
Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, Norway, a
Senior Researcher at InterMedia, and a founding partner of eNOVATE AS. She
is one of the founders of Kaleidoscope, a European Network of Excellence on
Technology Enhanced Learning, and has been leader of its CSCL SIG with over
400 members. Barbara is an associate editor of the new International Journal
of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, and she is on the board of the
ICT Programme VERDIKT at the Norwegian Research Council. In 2003 she
obtained the contract for InterMedia to develop the ICT-based National test
in English for the Norwegian Ministry of Education. In December 2004 she
attended, by invitation only, a research summit to launch the international
research initiative on Youth, Technology and Learning at the UN Headquarters
in New York. Barbara´s research interests include computer support for
collaborative learning, socio-cultural theories of learning, design-based
research, methodologies for studying virtual environments, and pedagogical
agents. Her speciality is the design and evaluation of collaborative
learning in distributed settings.

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