About me

Since the mid-1990s, I have sat on a number of technical and standards committees for learning, education and training, from BESA’s OILS initiative in the mid-1990s, through Becta and DfE working groups, to BSI’s IST/043, and groups at ISO/IEC’s SC36, the IEEE’s LTSC, and the LETSI Foundation.

In 2007, after trying to engage with Becta constructively through these working groups for many years, I made a complaint (to be described in more detail in a separate post) to the European Commission about Becta’s mismanagement of its Learning Services procurement framework. In the same year, I founded SALTIS, which has received the strong support of the industry, and which I have continued to Chair ever since. I also chair BSI’s expert committee for technology in learning, education and training, IST/43, which represents UK stakeholders in ISO/IEC and CEN, the committee for European standardisation. I am exploring new ways of creating the technical interoperability standards that are required to build a competitive and innovative market for education technology.

I believe passionately that education technology has the potential massively to improve the efficiency of our education system—but that this improvement is being held back by misguided, prescriptive bureaucracy. I believe that government needs to support the emergence of an open and innovative market—and that one of the most important things that government can do in this respect is to support the emergence of capable data standards for better interoperability.

In Michael Gove’s call for a debate about education technology, I see a great opportunity to re-think many of the false paradigms which have governed our conception of ICT in education for far too long—and have started this blog as a contribution to that debate.

7 thoughts on “About me

  1. Many thanks Ray – that is very kind. You need to make a documentary about the potential of education technology – and why it hasn’t been realized! I can’t think of a more important and overlooked topic from the point of view of the common benefit of the nation.

    • Yes, just deciding what approach to make such a documentary compelling and engaging for a broad audience who might otherwise overlook “just another TV programme on eduction.” Authoritative contributors would be a good starting point..

      • An interesting, important & difficult challenge! I will be very interested to see how you get on – and very happy to meet & discuss if that might be useful. I have ruled myself out as a mass communicator a long time ago, but it occurs to me that a major problem is that the important things about technology are non-visual. While most of the standard imagery of education is done-to-death and mind-numbingly dull. I think I would start by hiring a good producer of animated diagrams – but I guess that is expensive.

        Incidentally, my next post will consist of reflections on Stephen Hawking. One of the most interesting comments I heard on Today yesterday was that, because communication was so slow for him, he became very good at simplifying the message, largely by abstraction – and this was very helpful from the point of view of the substantive science he was doing, not just as a way of improving his communication of his science.

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