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Shock of the Old 6 Conference : Shock of the Social

The Shock of the Social

Thursday March 22nd 2007 Said Business School, University of Oxford


[Programme][Venue and Accomodation] [Previous Shock of the Old]

We were pleased to host our sixth annual one-day conference on educational technologies (see previous Shock of the Old conferences).

News 27/03: Post-conference powerpoint presentations and audio recordings added to the conference programme page.. Also try searching for post conference discussion on Google, Delicious and Technorati using the tag Shock2007.

News 16/01: Full Conference Programme now available.

News 19/02: Unfortunately the conference is now full and we are not taking any more bookings. If you would like to be added to the waiting list then please contact

Shock 6 will explore the issues arising from the rise of social networking tools, Web 2.0 software and related collaborative technologies and how best to make use of these innovative tools in teaching, learning and research.

There has been much talk recently, both in the IT world and in the media at large, about the new Web-based social collaboration tools collectively labelled 'Web 2.0'. They include blogs and podcasts as well as wikis, Flickr and social bookmarking. The term 'Web 2.0' was coined in 2004 by the publisher O'Reilly Media and is now widely used to denote this loose amalgamation of emergent tools and technologies.

Web 2.0 technologies are characterised by a dynamic social element, with a focus on collaboration and sharing of material that distinguishes them from the traditional Web technologies that merely transmit information from website to client and vice versa. The discussion of the usefulness of Web 2.0 tools has now moved into the realm of e-learning, with teachers and researchers investigating how informal social technologies can be integrated into formal education, as well as how - or even whether - they might also be applicable to research and administration.

The conference will discuss:

  • The social, cultural and organisational factors that may impact on the implementation and adoption of social collaborative tools in e-learning and/or
  • The effectiveness of the technology itself.

Topics include

The Technologies

  • Capitalising on new channels of communication such as blogs, wikis and collaborative online spaces.
  • Using novel forms of group work, collaborative writing and reflective portfolio work.
  • Empowering students to create their own personalised learning resources, from blogs to online writing.

Embedding the technologies within institutions

  • The levels at which social software might be deployed in educational institutions.
  • Issues arising from adopting informal open technology within a formal learning environment. For example, can tools be provided centrally, or should they be left to the choice of the participants?
  • The role of social software in supporting the reflective and metacognitive dimensions of learning.
  • The role of social software in supporting the tutor.
  • The opportunities afforded by new social tools offer to create new communities of research practice and to foster the sharing of teaching materials.
  • Personal publishing by students. For example what privacy issues may arise if students are introduced to discussion boards, weblogs and personal development planners?


  • Methods to assess the effectiveness of work created in a social online space.
  • Opportunities and challenges in assessing online group work within a formal assessment regime.

Booking Information

News 19/02: Unfortunately the conference is now full and we are not taking any more bookings. If you would like to be added to the waiting list then please contact

Refreshments and lunch are included in the price:90.00 (academic); 200.00 (commercial); 40.00 (members of Oxford University and/or students). There will be a wine reception in the evening at the Said from 5pm to 7pm.

More information will be added to this site as conference details are confirmed. If you have any questions, please contact the coordinator:
Peter Robinson