Adelaide pioneers historic Internet event

Friday, 27 May 2005

The University of Adelaide will pioneer a historic live and interactive online learning event from 10am TODAY (Friday, May 27) featuring more than 300 participants from 14 universities and four countries.

Produced by the University of Adelaide's Centre for Learning and Professional Development (CLPD), the seminar - or, as it is known colloquially, a "webinar" - is believed to be the biggest of its kind ever held in the Southern Hemisphere. Participants will collaborate in real-time across the Internet to discuss the future education of the so-called "Net Generation": the upcoming generation of students who have grown up with information technology.

Webinar convenor Mr Allan Carrington says today's event is the first in a series of three exploring how universities worldwide need to adapt to the way today's IT-savvy students learn.

"It is a very exciting and historic occasion," Mr Carrington says. "It's the first time, that we know of, that an event on this scale has been done in the Southern Hemisphere using low-cost technology and involving so many people.

"We will have representatives from universities in all of Australia's states and territories, as well as universities in New Zealand and Singapore.

"The presenter at this first webinar is Dr Diana Oblinger, who will be taking part from the US. She is the Vice-President of the major US-based education group Educause and is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker in the field of technology and education.

"What will happen is that Dr Oblinger will firstly make a presentation, and then the individual universities will discuss her presentation at a local level, before they all rejoin the webinar and share their discussions."

CLPD Director Associate Professor Geoff Crisp says the three webinars are the initial step in a long-term international collaborative process of improving education for the Net Generation.

"These webinars can be described as big in many senses of the word: they are big because of the sheer number of people involved and the logistics of bringing them all together online, but they are just as big for how they will impact our thinking on how best to cater for these students in the future," Associate Professor Crisp says.

"Because of the way they have grown up surrounded by IT, the Net Generation have different attitudes, expectations and learning styles compared to most of the University administrators and staff delivering their education.

"These webinars are the first step in an ongoing process of bringing hundreds of educators worldwide together to develop initiatives which will help universities meet the demands that will be placed on them."

The second webinar will be held on July 8 and will feature an international panel of students giving their perspective of learning as part of the Net Generation; the third will be held on Friday, August 19 and will consider how universities can meet the challenges the Net Generation will bring.

All three webinars are hosted and supported by, a global online community of more than 8000 educators.


Contact Details

Mr Allan Carrington
Instructional Design Officer
Centre for Learning and Professional Development
Business: +61 8 8313 8085
Mobile: 0402 468 777

Associate Professor Geoff Crisp
Centre for Learning and Professional Development
Business: +61 8 8313 3769
Mobile: 0407 186 569

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762