Demystifying the ‘M’ Words
Second International M-Libraries Conference, Vancouver, 24 June 2009, Demystifying the ‘M’ words, Sir John Daniel, Commonwealth of Learning // UBC is a perfect place to hold a conference if the weather is nice. I still have fond recollections of a conference held on this campus in 1982 for which I was programme chair. That organisation began the conference as the International Council for Correspondence Education and finished it as the International Council for Distance Education. The conference was a turning point for the way in which the international community in the field of distance learning perceived itself. // It was the tipping point when correspondence teaching evolved into multi-media distance learning and large public open universities, rather than the commercial correspondence schools, became the agenda setters. Since then, of course, multi-media distance learning has added an array of new tools: first computer conferencing, then online learning and now the mobile technologies that are your focus at this conference. // Another significant milestone in the development of distance education also occurred in Vancouver in the 1980s. The Commonwealth Heads of Government meet every two years and in 1987 they convened for their 10th Conference here in Vancouver. The role of technology in education was an important item on the agenda. A communications revolution was under way and Heads of Government believed that the media of the day: TV, radio and computing, were far too important to be monopolised by the worlds of entertainment and business.