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Innovation in Australia

Posted Friday, 9 September 2011, 09:45

I thought Gilly Salmon's claim that "there is little innovation in Australia" was in poor taste and I did approach her about it afterwards. In terms of learning technology (and after all, isn't that what we are supposed to be focusing on?) Australia is very well respected in the field of instructional design and has been for a very long time (names like John Hedberg, Ron Oliver, Catherine McLoughlin, Joe Lucas and many more....). You don't need to go there to find that out, you just need to read the literature. In fact, I think an apology is due, and I'm surprised not to see any discussion posts or tweets about it.

Jill, innovation means to renew or change. Has the work you mention done this?

I'm not saying I agree with the comment - I know very little about edtech in Australia - but if this work was completed a while ago, then Gilly's comment might be a true reflection of the level of innovation in Australia at this current time.


Friday, 9 September 2011, 13:28

Thanks for your comment, Marty. The thing is, in the presentation, 'innovation' was not directed to any particular field of endeavour, and no evidence was produced for any claims made, except a brief mention of OECD ratings (no evidence shown of those either....)

Monday, 12 September 2011, 09:10

Hi Jill and Marty
Thanks for raising the issue about innovation in Australia.
First, I did say that the talk was light and in response to my impressions over my first 8 months, and not to be taken as a full scale study- so I’m happy to be corrected and keen to have further discussions. I am aware and have to been involved in exposing the wide range of achievements – including at the Futures Institutes’ Learning Futures Festival in April, which was a great opportunity for many Australian colleagues to further raise the profile of their innovative achievements on the global stage.

Second, there is at the end of the slides a list of references that I did consult. I see innovation as much wider than learning technology alone, and if I didn’t say so I should have done, and in an invited lecture I think there’s a fair bit of freedom in that.

Similarly my experience has been about organisational innovation with technology as one of the drivers.
On the whole what I said (and certainly what I meant) was that the challenges of innovation in HE are remarkably similar in both countries – particularly the scaling up of innovation and change from projects to mainstreaming and normalising. Australia has some additional challenges and advantages- not the least distance – and including (impression) a remarkable approach to tackling disruption, which I hope to understand more and tap into.

Monday, 12 September 2011, 13:32

Dear Gilly
Many thanks for taking the time to post your considered reply, which has cleared the air for me... I know that several of the Australian attendees have made contact with you in the interestests of further collaboration, so that's great.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011, 11:26