Fresh from teaching the non-coders at dev8D how to make mash ups, Tony Hirst agreed to be dev8D’s first Five Minute Interviewee.
Who are you?
Tony Hirst, lecturer in ICT at the Open University
What are your areas of interest?
What’s possible on the web. Democratisation of technology. Trouble-making.
What idea are you working on here?
I’ve just come to see what people are doing – I’m here to learn.
What’s the major challenge in education software right now?
Confidence and capabilities of the users and also our expectations of them. Sometimes we are in danger of having too low expectations of our users and at other times we expect too much so there’s also a misalignment of expectations. There is also a huge difference between what is available in learning systems and what’s available on the web. The relationship between users and our systems and the relationship between what they choose to use in their own lives.
What are the most exciting developments in education software?
The opening up of data and increased availability of data. More powerful and easier to use visualisation tools. It’s getting easier to do more.
What have you learnt so far / interesting things have you heard?
I’ve only just got here! But I have already learnt how to do a couple of things, from feedback in my talk, and I’ve possibly got someone to build me a tool that I want.