This link will take you to an archival website made by Ultralab, I think a collaboration between Richard Millwood and Tom Smith. Unfortunately, the comments don’t work anymore but it makes for an interesting and amusing read about how a group of educationalists thought technology dominated education would look like by 2015â€¦
Oh, and if it was Tom (web guru extraordinaire) who built the website then why is the text “Click here to enter the website” not a link in itself, it is the button below “Education 2015” that needs clicking on:^)
Are archives like this important? Are there any examples of older archived websites around?
Education 2015 was a conference held in 1994 at Bangor University, Wales to discuss what learning in the future might look like? With a group of teacher education friends, we met to discuss scenarios and create digital video sound-bites, so that the debates may reach a wider audience than those who attended the conference.
This was the story…
All over the world, people connected to the Internet started receiving un-identified information. Fragments of information that seemed to be from the future…
We invented characters that responded to the fragments and I turned all of this into a piece of software…
Hi Stephen, the thing you refer to was the outcome of an ITTE conference in 1994 – not a lab event. There had been an earlier one in 1989 looking at Education 2010. Also organised by ITTE, it resulted in a book. this is now available online at http://schome.open.ac.uk/wikiworks/index.php/ITTE_and_visions
I was intrigued enough to check out your link to Education 2015. As one of the original ‘talking heads’ at Bangor in ’94, I was disappointed (but not surprised) to find that apart from the front page of Ultralab, it all seems to have disappeared. Considering the changes in the last dozen years from the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies to the end of free Higher Education, it would have been interesting to see how much we predicted correctly. Hardly in the league of the Beeb wiping videotapes from the past so they could re-use them, but annoying all the same. How can we learn from our mistakes if we can no longer access them? At least the book is still at SCHOME.
To answer your question, then yes, archives are important. Old technologies allowed researchers to hunt (albeit laboriously) through ancient tomes kept in libraries. Digital storage is wonderful for complex searches and sppeedy access but can disappear with one keystroke. This shouldn’t depend on the whim of whoever runs IT Services – universities need a policy of archiving everything, even if it’s only available under the Freedom of Information Act.
I speak as someone who used to work at a university where during one summer vacation, my department was ‘restructured’. Vast amounts of development work disappeared when IT Services were told to remove the website – PVC’s comment: ‘Why would they need the website? There’s a new one where they now work!’