WOU co-hosts Global Learn Asia Pacific 2010 Conference

(17-20 May 2010)

Participants attend the official opening of the conference.

Participants attend the official opening of the conference.

Some 500 participants from 48 countries attended the “Global Learn Asia Pacific 2010” conference and workshops held at the Parkroyal Hotel and Holiday Inn Penang.

The four-day event was organised for the first time in Penang by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) to further the advancement and innovation in learning and technology. The Malaysian Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, officially declared open the event.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah delivers his speech.

Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah delivers his speech.

Wawasan Open University (WOU) along with Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Open University Malaysia (OUM) were the joint hosts for the conference which brought together educators, researchers, consultants, policy-makers, entrepreneurs as well as those involved in training and academic resource development to exchange and share information and ideas on learning and technology.

As the information superhighway reaches new heights and breaches boundaries, especially physical distance, there has been a need to involve all resources made available to the educational community by the IT world to further the advancement and innovation in learning and technology. This timely gathering ushered in the beginning of what is hoped to be Asia Pacific's call to answer this need.

International academicians and IT experts presented research findings, ideas and the products used to facilitate learning through technology. The conference covered such topics as Advanced Technologies for Learning and Teaching, Educational Policy, Reform and Innovation, Global Innovative Approaches to Learning and Learning Environments, Open Education, Technologies for Socially Responsive Learning, and Virtual and Distance Education. The technical researchers and educationists were particularly interested in mobile learning, sustainability in education, open educational resources (OERs), cloud computing and blended learning.

Sharing of research findings.

Sharing of research findings.

Among the keynote speakers were Prof James Taylor from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia who spoke on ‘Sustainable Higher Education Learning Futures’; Prof Asha Kanwar of the Commonwealth of Learning, Canada on ‘Towards Sustainable OERs: A Perspective from the Global South’; Prof Cathleen Norris, University of North Texas, and Prof Elliot Soloway, University of Michigan, USA on ‘Educating the Mobile Generation: It is Inevitable that Cellphone Computers will be Used in Education’; and Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Anuwar Ali of OUM on ‘Teaching Learning Framework through the Power of Innovation’.

Invited speakers Prof Paul Kim of Stanford University, USA and Prof Jan Herrington of Murdoch University, Australia shared how mobile technology can be used to facilitate independent learning while Andrew Mitchell, representing Google, introduced the latest cloud computing concepts using Google apps.

SST Dean Prof Tham Choy Yoong flips through the booklet. Beside him is senior lecturer Ishan.

SST Dean Prof Tham Choy Yoong flips through the booklet. Beside him is senior lecturer Ishan.

WOU contributed actively towards the successful organisation of the event. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Wong Tat Meng served in the organising committee, while School of Science and Technology (SST) senior lecturer Ishan Abeywardena and School of Business and Administration (SBA) lecturer Deehbanjli Lakshmayya sat in the secretariat committee. SST dean Prof Tham Choy Yoong established new contacts for future collaboration with the global ODL community, and four ITS staff - Brian Goh, Zamakhshari Gany Abbasgany, Tang Chong Ling and Khor Kok Yeow – provided technical support to the participants.