16 June 2008

Approximately 600 delegates will collaborate across three time zones to discuss the role of technology in education during a Blended Learning Conference to be held at The University of Queensland on June 19.

Two hundred participants at UQ’s St Lucia campus will be linked via the web to a conference at Hertforshire University in the UK and an e-learning event at the University of Calgary in Canada.

The conferences will explore how embedding the use of technology alongside traditional teaching methods can enhance the student experience.

UQ event manager Trish Andrews said she and her international counterparts felt blended learning needed to be discussed at a global level.

“We’re really trying to address the range of technology used in blended learning around the world,” Ms Andrews said.

International academics addressing the conference will include Associate Director of Education and Technology for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Phil Long, Dr David Nicol from the Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland and Professor of Education at the University of Sydney, Peter Goodyear.

UQ experts from fields including pharmacy, law, journalism and chemical engineering will offer demonstrations of technological tools such as videoconferencing, virtual reality systems, social networking, e-learning, podcasting and mobile technologies and discuss their potential for improving education.

Dr Helen Farley from the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics and Margaret Stephenson from the School of Law are two such speakers who are currently incorporating modern technology into their areas of expertise.

Ms Stephenson teaches an Indigenous Law course via video-link technology with classes in the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia while Dr Farley is currently involved in a project to create a space in which to teach tertiary- level religious studies in second life.

To find out more about the conference, visit www.tedi.uq.edu.au/blendedlearning/

Media: Brooke Hargraves (s4100883@student.uq.edu.au) or Cameron Pegg at UQ Communications (07 3365 2049, c.pegg@uq.edu.au)