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.