projects | random bits | paradise lost

projects in stephen's archive of his ancient digital histories

paper t ape from ancient computer


Lots of web pages. The project started back in October, 1996 with funding from the North Thames Deanery. The project aimed was to create an online community of practice linking together relevant hospitals around the region - in particular their thoracic medicine specialists. Not bad for the year! You might also enjoy the Jollyology work that came of of this project (including some great doctor, doctor jokes...)

learning in the new millennium 1993 - 2000

Absolutely pivotal project that impacted on so much to follow - from the incoming Labour government's ICT policy to our vocabulary in projects like Notschool. Project headed up by Carole Chapman in the lab. This is a link to the original web pages - so not all the links will function as intended.

Online community of mixed age practice, primary - > secondary. Forums, mentoring, blended, stage not age... see this useful video summary of the findings of how good on-line learning could be, from around 20 years ago

I'm very proud to have created and nurtured the project for more than 11 years from 1998 - 2009 (he idea actually dates from 1997) - initially as Project Director and eventually as Chair of Trustees of the Inclusion Trust charity we set up to run it.

Today, after more than a decade I have parted from chairing the Trust - philosophically they headed in a direction I didn't favour, so have stepped down, with some sadness... Maybe this should be here under Paradise Lost too?

But these web pages at narrate the birth of the project and the many unsung heroes who turned it into something with so much potential - there is much still to learn from those pioneering early years, as we do it all over again, but better.

"X" (we called it "times")

At Ultralab we wanted to see if children could be effective co-designers in software designed to teach. We started with the simple but tedious target of learning their times tables. This page tells what happened next...

eVIVA project

eVIVA was an innovative “blue skies” pilot project at Ultralab which used mobile phones, voice recognition technology and the Internet to support formative and summative assessment. The two-year project ran from 2002 to an end in July 2004. Children completed their e-assessment year with a viva on their mobile phones... not bad for 2002!

the Ultraversity project

Brilliant! inclusion, access, minimal tuition fees, collegiality, mutuality - fab! This radical look at the underwas wonderfully reaffirming - a full time dgree where what you did full time was what you studied full time. So many times at conferences and elsewhere folk come up to me having graduated through this channel and thank me (but it was a huge team effort of course, I just thought the thing up and battled it through initial validation). The degree still runs - although not quite in the original form. Here are some of the early pages from the project..

...and a video of two students meeting for the first time at graduation and chatting about their experience of the degree

mobile learning - phones in learning

the very first time we put a (very heavy and large!) "mobile" phone into the hands of school students, they had good ideas as to how we might us them in Learning. The Ultra-Language-Lab was a smart phone and website based learning project way back in the last century.


a robotic toy, designed across three nations with learner voice at the heart of the process. A project with the explicit intention of showing how such toys could engender meta-level relection about learning in 4 to 8 year olds... what's not to like in this! Fab.
Spinalot Ultralab pioneered so much in on-line learning communities - right back to the very early 90s when the browsers were beta and the www was barely born. More to come of this history (i promise) but Spinalot was so remarkable, led by Tom Smith, that it is essential reading if you care about what on-line communities might do
Schools OnLine £1m research UK Department of Trade and Industry project 1995/6 - the first really big dynamic web community of learners - we learned so much from this - unmissable read if you have any interest in learning online
Talking Heads An on-line community for all 21,000 of England's headteachers, from 1999 - also running in Scotalnd and Wales separately. Impressively effective - the link here is to a lot of detail incluing research overviews and the original materials.

projects | random bits | paradise lost

these pages last updated: Saturday, February 14, 2015 8:19 PM