I am realizing that one of the difficulties of conferences is that there are at least four presentations going on at any one point that one would like to attend. Then there are whole dry spells where there is nothing going on that is remotely applicable to your interests.

The eLearning Conference in Accra, Ghana has so many presentations of merit that I am having difficulty levelling it to down to one choice per time slot.

In a seemingly bizarre, yet relatively common, convergence of people and purpose, Dr. Hamish Macleod of the University of Edinburgh will be giving a presentation on eLearning at the University of Edinburgh. The bizarre part of this is that I am using this very eLearning platform as I work towards a LL.M at the University of Edinburgh. I am hoping to attend his conference and perhaps even talk with the man afterwards. Edinburgh’s eLearning platform is relatively robust and scores fairly high on my limited metric of usability.

From what I understand, it is also developed in-house, which besides being a fairly impressive commitment of resources is also a virtual vote of no confidence in the commercial alternatives, namely Blackboard. Being the accidental expert on virtual learning environments (this is my second distance program), I give the nod to Edinburgh over Blackboard. I say this as a host of Blackboard litigation swirls above my head like vultures.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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