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Shock of the Old 7 Conference : Web 2.0 and the Connected Future

The Shock of the Social

Thursday April 3rd 2008 Said Business School, University of Oxford


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

The Learning Technologies Group at Oxford University Computing Services is pleased to announce its seventh annual one-day conference on educational technologies. (see previous Shock of the Old conferences).

News 27/3/2007: Final Programme announced, including early bird sessions.

News 20/3/2007: The Shock of the Old Conference is now fully booked

Shock 7 will explore the issues arising from an increasingly connected future. The rise of online content-creation tools, personalised information services and new rivals to institutional learning spaces presents both an opportunity and challenge to educational technologists. How can we make the best use of these exciting new opportunities for teaching, learning and research?
Can we, and should we, integrate Web 2.0 personal technologies used by the socially networked learner?

The connected future has arrived and we are now seeing a rapid expansion of internet use within our personal and social lives, with the increasing ability to pick and choose where we as individuals and educators create our own information environments. Is there now an implicit challenge to institutional services, educators and learning technologists to compete and offer equally compelling learning tools and spaces for our students? Can education keep pace with the fast development of technology in an era of social tools?

if the connected future has arrived, can education keep pace?

Conference themes

Papers will address the following broad areas:

  • Methodologies for the implementation and adoption of personal and collaborative tools in e-learning
  • The implications of such tools for teachers’ pedagogical approach and their relationship to their students.
  • Legal, cultural or organisational factors that may need to be considered in adopting non-institution based services.
  • The effectiveness of the technology itself.

Topics include:

The technologies and their implications for teaching and learning

  • What are the enabling factors in (and, conversely, the barriers to) adopting new content-creation tools and facilities such as blogs, social networking, podcasting and collaborative groups spaces into formal learning?
  • What can existing pedagogical theories and frameworks tell us about the effective deployment of personal and collaborative tools in teaching and learning? Are new theories and frameworks needed?
  • Researching students’ experience of learning in technology rich environments. What are the most effective ways to capture these experiences? How can we help teachers to capitalise on the findings of such research in their practice?
  • What does “personalisation” really mean in terms of the learning experience? Is it technologically feasible? Is it necessarily desirable from a pedagogical perspective?

Embedding the technologies within institutions

  • 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

  • What strategies are proving effective for a) incorporating new services within institutions and b) encouraging teachers to engage with personal and collaborative tools?
  • Do we consider the needs of the student before delivering institutional services? What factors do we need to be aware of when co-opting social software for learning?


  • How can the outcomes of high-profile projects that have transforming learning spaces be put to more general benefit?
  • Are Web 2.0 tools a “here today, gone tomorrow” phenomenon? What will be their lasting legacy to education?

Presentations will be 25 minutes each, plus 10 minutes for discussion.

Booking Information

The conference booking system is now closed.

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 conference 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