Below is a response to a thread in the ITTE mail list confirming the closure of Ultralab at Anglia Ruskin University, UK – written by the acting director Richard Millwood.
Personally, I am in the moving on to pastures new camp. The Ultraversity project has been work to do over the past 3-4 years. Although the project ends, it leaves behind the legacy of the very successful Ba. (Hons), Learning, Technology and Research degree in the Faculty of Education.
On 12 Dec 2006, at 19:05, Bradshaw, Pete wrote:
A sad day for learning, technology and research and even sadder for those “down-sized” (ugh!)
On 13 Dec 2006, at 18:42, Millwood, Richard wrote:
It is heartbreaking for many of us of course and a real illustration of the inflexibility of rigid systems to accommodate the bend of innovation.
The e-university wasted multiple millions and many of its senior staff got bonuses. We have been frugal, changed many lives for the better and get downsized!
All this would be very sad if it weren’t for the creativity, commitment and downright dreaming that the Ultralab team practises.
As we speak, some are being creative in setting up new ways to continue to engage in their passions – online community, digital creativity, innovative assessment , inquiry-based learning, inclusion, the design of learning spaces, developing software and, most of all, delight.
Others are committed to seeing through the research and development in our ongoing projects and in the successful online degree developed over the last three years (this to continue to develop in the Anglia Ruskin Faculty of Education, planting a sapling that will grow into a mighty oak).
Yet more are dreaming: about spreading the message globally, about new forms of learning from pre-school to postgraduate, about organising a richer, critical understanding of past successes and failures, about new ways to organise collaborative teams of learners and teachers, about solving substantial economic problems through empowering ‘workers’ who are questioning, adaptable and confident and much more.
The pain of rebirth is both shocking and inspiring, but remember what the Maori say: it is people, it is people, it is people.
We have innovative approaches to team work which transcend geography and time zones. Our close and vibrant community is now shedding its institutional shackles; free to dream, free to include and free to delight in the way we wish. We work on futures informed by the past.
I speak on behalf of all the team when I say: we can’t wait to roll our sleeves up and realise our creativity, commitment and dreams working with all our colleagues in this most fruitful of sectors.
We have solutions, do you have the challenges? We should talk.
Merry Christmas and an invigorating New Year to everyone