Again, distribution springs to mind here. Distributed simulations for practitioner-based disciplines; distributed collegiality and mobile fieldwork; the emergence of a rigorous and innovative synchronous distribution to complement the considerable work done in the asynchronous.

Recently I gave a short presentation at the University of Edinburgh for a very select audience (it was internal) but I realised that some of it actually begins to encapsulate where I feel digital education is headed in the coming decade(s), assuming increasing government and private surveillance hasn’t eroded trust in it, or that governments haven’t banned it outright. That might sound like a bit of an exaggeration, but really not so much. Assuming it is still in place, this internet, then I suspect some of these predictions might hold true as they are general enough to escape being compartmentalized. They might not mean all that much on their own, but I  expand on the salient points a bit in the captions. I inserted the slides below (left to right) as well as the comments I had for each. Many of the stock images were taken from Unsplash and the icons embedded in them were taken from the Noun Project, both resources I use often.

So basically all of these are responses to the following: in ten years’ time, digital education at the University of Edinburgh will be…




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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