• What's That Coming Over the Hill? Digital Futures, Emerging Cultures, New Learning

    Steve Wheeler (Plymouth University, UK)
    Session Information
    Institutional Level: 
    Audience Level: 
    Session Type: 
    Keynote Address
    Session Duration: 
    90 Minutes
    Virtual Session

    We are witnessing an exponential rise in the use of social media and mobile technology in education. We have seen widespread use of blogging and social networks, Twitter and social tagging, wikis and collaborative filtering, recommender systems. All of these and more, are impacting upon the world of education, disrupting traditional practices and challenging familiar social and cultural mores. Coupled with the rise in use of mobile phones, handheld computing and the soon to arrive wearable computing and augmented reality tools, are we on the crest of a new wave of learning? New technologies transform the nature of human thought, alter our perspectives and challenge our practices. What new cultures of learning are emerging as a result of the new technologies? How should education respond to new expectations and perceptions? Using examples from recent research this presentation will explore the new ways students are learning, and provide some examples of how education might adapt to these new trends.

    Lead Presenter
    Steve Wheeler

    Steve Wheeler is Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at Plymouth University, in South West England. Originally trained as a psychologist, he has spent his entire career working in media, technology and learning, predominantly in nurse education (NHS 1981-1995) and teacher education and training (1976-1981 and 1995-present). He is now in the Faculty of Health, Education and Society.

    A qualified educator, he teaches on a number of undergraduate and post-graduate teacher education programmes. He specialises in research on e-learning and distance education, with particular emphasis on social media and Web 2.0 tools. He also has research interests in mobile learning and cybercultures. Steve is regularly invited to speak about his work and has given keynotes and invited lectures to audiences in over 20 countries across 5 continents. He is currently involved in several research programmes related to e-learning, social media and handheld technologies.

    Steve is the author of more than 150 scholarly articles, with over 2000 academic citations and is an active and prolific edublogger. His blog Learning with ‘e’s is a regular online commentary on the social and cultural impact of disruptive technologies, and the application of digital media in education and training. It attracts in excess of one million views each year.

    Steve is chair of the Plymouth e-Learning Conference, and between 2008-2011 was also co-editor of the journal Interactive Learning Environments. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of learning technology and education related open access academic journals including Research in Learning Technology (formerly ALT-J), the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning and Digital Culture and Education.

    In 2008 Steve was awarded a Fellowship by the European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN), and in 2011 he was elected to serve as a member of the Steering group of EDEN’s Network of Academics and Professionals (NAP). He is also chair of the influential worldwide research group IFIP Technical Committee Working Group 3.6 (distance education) and is author of several books including The Digital Classroom (Routledge: 2008) and Connected Minds, Emerging Cultures (Information Age: 2009). He lives in Plymouth, in the South West of England, with his wife and three children.

    Steve's full website

    Recommended reading includes references in Steve's blog articles.
    Other recommendations include:

    • Wheeler S (ed; 2009) Connected Minds, Emerging Cultures. Charlotte, NC: Information Age
    • Cognitive Surplus by Clay Shirky
    • and Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins