In this talk I examine the transition from the idea of the massive open online course - MOOC - to the idea of the personal learning environment. In the process of this discussion I question what it is to become 'one' - whether it be one course graduate, one citizen of the community, or one educated person. I argue that (say) 'being a doctor' isn't about having remembered the right content, not about having done the right things, not even about having the right feelings, nor about having the right mental representations - being one is about growing and developing a certain way.
INTED 2014, Valencia (Keynote) March 10, 2014 [Comment]
Like everyone else, I suppose, I have to deal with attempts to intimidate and bully that come my way through social media (you can probably see my frustration with these unprovoked attacks show through at times). "The available information so far indicates roughly one in five undergraduate students has been cyberbullied, mostly through Facebook, text messages and email, Cassidy said." I imagine the actual numbers are higher. And while I applaud efforts to stem it, I think that it's a wider cultural issue that we have to consider. People act this way because they believe it's socially acceptable (and even socially encouraged) to act this way. In-your-face abrasiveness is felt to be a virtue, not a socially-harmful vice.
OLPC news plays the eulogy. "The XO-1 laptop is history. Sadly, so is Sugar. Once the flagship of OLPC's creativity in redrawing the human-computer interaction, few are coding for it and new XO variants are mostly Android/Gnome+Fedora dual boots. Finally, OLPC Boston is completely gone. No staff, no consultants, not even a physical office. Nicholas Negroponte long ago moved onto the global literacy X-Prize project." Not a noble end. Still - would we have had the tablet revolution without OLPC? Maybe - but not for a long time, probably. So it worked out well in the end.
This is a national learning object repository for schools in Greece, subject of another presentation at INTED 2014 in Valencia. It includes interactive text books, a national digital repository infrastructure, and a digital education platform.
Presentation at INTED 2014 today. "If we want a powerful innovative culture in schools which is self-sustaining we have to empower system-aware practitioners, working ever more closely with the service users, to create it. And to avoid simply creating interesting but isolated experiments, we have to design in collaborative ways of learning and enquiry between professionals – a “ pull” rather than “ push” approach." See also this presentation from 2012.
Fropm a presentation at INTED 2014 today in Valencia - "It is a web-based learning resource modelled on a real UK high street community provided for academic staff and students or others to use. It aims to meet the needs of a range of subject areas in Business Education by simulating the complexities of modern organisations within local communities with many interdependent and inter-related functions and processes." The city is composed of OERs, and the information supports various student activities. You can find quite a few more of these resourcess just by searching for 'Wincton City' on Google - for example, this fiuctional Wincton Gazette.
The funny thing about this article is that the author does not seem to know just how much of the average love life has moved online, from dating and flirting, getting to know each other, and even day-to-day conversation. Yes, there is the in-person aspect, without which love just wouldn't be the same. But the difference between love in person and education in person is this: we would feel funny paying highly specialized individuals $150K a year to satisfy aspects of our live life. It feels funny, in this respect, to read a line like this: "Teaching and learning involves human beings, interaction, opinions, facial expressions, emotion, and yes even a touch of the hand or a warm, sweaty handshake." And that's where Sky Gilbert misses the point of online learning, done properly. It takes all the bits of an education that be put online, and puts them there, and then leaves us with the tools and the means of providing the interaction and back-and-forth discourse we need for ourselves. Just like love.
Poor bandwidth means a leaan newsletter, but here's a book on MOOCs that you migth want to read. (I'm in Valencia where I gave a talk today.) "Unlike accounts in the mainstream media and educational press, Invasion of the MOOCs is not written from the perspective of removed administrators, would-be education entrepreneurs/venture capitalists, or political pundits. Rather, this collection of essays comes from faculty who developed and taught MOOCs in 2012 and 2013, students who participated in those MOOCs, and academics and observers who have first hand experience with MOOCs and higher education."
Alastair Creelman sat down for an in-depth video interview with the #EDEN14 Conference keynote speaker to discuss open learning, employability and the question of how do universities build curricula that make use of the best technology to support personalised pathways leading students towards employment.
EDEN Members are invited to vote on NAP Steering Committee 2014
The Network of Academics and Professionals (NAP), is co-ordinated by a Steering Committee, elected by a ballot of its members. EDEN Members are invited to vote on the new Committee's members. The nominees are (in alphabetical order):
The two day Jisc Digital Festival exploring the latest policies, issues and technologies at the heart of the further education (FE), higher education (HE) and research sectors begins on Tuesday 11 March at the ICC in Birmingham, with its pioneering programme of content streamed live to online delegates from 9:40.
Sessions cover topics such as preparing new generations for the digital future over the next 20 years, aligning IT and university strategy, the student experience, big data, organisational change and mobile technology.
Keynote Dr Diana Oblinger, chief executive officer of EDUCAUSE, commented:
“I’m looking forward to attending and speaking at the Digital Festival. As well as sharing insight, I hope to come away from the Digital Festival with tangible and innovative ideas on how we can collectively advance the use of information technology in higher education.”
Day two keynote, Sugata Mitra, commented:
“It is refreshing to see Jisc hosting a conference like this. Ours is a time when we need to factor in the internet into every aspect of education. It is time for teachers and lecturers to be ready for change.”
“Following a two year break from our annual conference, the Jisc Digital Festival offers a programme that encompasses the achievement and innovation that is enhancing education and opening the door to exciting new possibilities in teaching and learning. The headline speakers embody the purpose of this festival, which is all about sharing cutting edge ideas and best practice.
I am confident that visitors to the event, both onsite and online, will come away with useful advice they can implement in their institutions.”
Jisc champions the use of digital technologies in the FE, HE, research and skills sectors to position the UK as the centre of digitally advanced education and research. The Digital Festival, which replaces Jisc’s annual conference, will offer the sector an opportunity to share ideas of best practice and learn and discuss innovative ways to harness digital technology.
To follow the live streamed coverage of the festival, visit the Jisc website.
The Jisc Digital Festival, which will be held in the ICC in Birmingham on the 11-12 March 2014, will bring you its highlights, showcasing innovations in higher education (HE), further education (FE) and skills, as well as exploring the future of digital technology from the comfort of your office, home, or on the move.
Online participants will be able to follow the event online thanks to Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite software which will stream the keynote speakers and expert presentations from the festival’s ‘Hangout’ area. There is no need for registration, simply visit the live coverage page on the Jisc website to join in on the day.
As well as the livestreamed video, there will also be a social media team live-tweeting all keynotes, workshops and expert speakers as well as highlights from the Technology Garden and images from around the site.
For the keynote speakers, follow the @JiscLive Twitter account and for expert speakers, workshops and the Technology Garden check the programme to find out which member of the team to follow. Follow the @Jisc Twitter account for updates on activity from around the site.
Robert Haymon-Collins, Jisc’s executive director customer experience and one of the event’s online hosts said:
“Whilst there’s no replacement for attending an event in person, our livestreaming highlights, combined with delegate and speaker interviews, provide a great opportunity to take part in the Jisc Digital Festival.
Being able to deliver the event through multiple online channels means that as many people as possible have the chance to discover the latest innovations in digital technologies for education and research.”
If you are tweeting, blogging or sharing photos, videos or other materials related to this event, please use the event hashtag #digifest14.
Students offered £5k grants for innovative ideas to improve education, research and student life.
Registration opens today for this year’s Summer of Student Innovation, offering digitally savvy further and higher education (FE and HE) students the chance to create technology solutions that could change the education landscape forever.
The Summer of Student Innovation is a Jisc co-design programme with RLUK; RUGIT; SCONUL; UCISA and ALT. Successful entrants will receive a £5,000 grant from Jisc to develop their ideas further, with the aim of improving students’ creative design, research, entrepreneurial and project management skills.
The successful entrants will be announced in July and given opportunities to join networking workshops with fellow students and experts to further their ideas. Volunteer education organisations will trial the technology developed and those products that are successful will be provided to other interested parties through sustainable routes.
Sharing why RUGIT designed to be a co-design partner in the Summer of Student Innovation, John Shemilt, director of IT at Imperial College London commented:
“It may sound like an obvious answer, but those most likely to know what students want are students themselves. Giving our bright generation of young people full credit for their ideas and an ongoing role in their development will improve student satisfaction and engagement and potentially uncover the entrepreneurs of the future.”
To enter, students must submit a two to five minute video pitch on the Jisc Elevator website alongside a short summary and a 300-500 word description which includes details on the benefits of their idea and its impact on research and education. To be considered for funding, entrants must hit a target of 500 votes before 30 May 2014. Voting is open to everyone but votes must come from 15 different FE and HE institutions.
The winners’ ideas will be showcased later this year to FE and HE IT directors, learning technologists, librarians and commercial companies, offering them the chance to learn more about the benefits of these newly-developed technologies.
“Technological developments should not only come from academics, college and university managers and organisations operating in the education sector but from the ground up, enabling an internal and needs-led perspective. After the success of last year’s Summer of Student Innovation, we’re sure this year will be even bigger and better.
We look forward to receiving more creative ideas in different areas to support young people in improving the way they and their classmates interact with technology in their education.”
The deadline to apply for the Jisc Summer of Student Innovation is 30 May 2014.
Jisc will be showcasing a number of exciting and futuristic projects at its inaugural Digital Festival. The purpose-built Technology Garden will display the latest innovations in education and research through a series of live demonstration and talks.
The Jisc Digital Festival is a two day event that will take place at the ICC Birmingham from 11-12 March 2014, designed to celebrate the best in digital technologies and explore the future trends that will impact education and research.
In the Technology Garden, visitors will experience a variety of presentations including a 3D printing and scanning demonstration from The British Geological Survey (BGS) of the world’s first 3D virtual fossil collection. The GB3D Type Fossils Online project, funded by Jisc, has developed a single database of macrofossil species and subspecies specimens found in the UK. This includes links to photographs and laser scans to produce a selection of 3D digital models. The collection aims to provide an incredible insight into the history of life on Earth, providing a record of the evolution of creatures, how continents were once connected, and how environments across the globe have transformed.
Visitors will also have the chance to view the specialist collection of Digitised Diseases, a web-searchable 3D record of chronic diseases that affect the skeleton, using archaeological and historical exemplars from world-renowned collections housed in the Biological Anthropology Research Centre, at the University of Bradford and the Museum of London Archaeology and Royal College of Surgeons of England. These digitised records combined with current clinical knowledge will make it easier to view, manipulate and safeguard these valuable type-specimens, as well as develop a more detailed understanding of the progression of diseases.
Working closely with the academic community to foster innovation, Microsoft Research will also be in the Technology Garden demonstrating their Kinect sign-language translator which enables communication between signer and non-signer, as well as translation between different sign languages. Visitors will also have the chance to hear about the team’s Windows Azure for Research programme which is helping researchers discover how cloud computing can expand their work in environmental science, humanities, research data management and infrastructure.
Also on show in the Technology Garden will be the SCARLET project, an initiative which enhances the experience of studying first-hand medieval manuscripts, landmark editions and modern literary archives using augmented reality, ‘surrounding’ the pages with digitised content; images, texts, online learning resources and related information. Matt Ramirez, technical lead on The SCARLET project will be delivering an interactive presentation on this.
With demand for open data growing, delegates visiting the Technology Garden will also have the chance to listen to a presentation from Chris Gutteridge, linked open data architect at the University of Southampton and creator of Data.ac.uk. He will speak about how the higher education community can best use the wealth of data it has access to.
In addition, visitors will be able to learn more about BatMobile, an ambitious new project which identifies bats from their ultrasonic calls using a smartphone and an external microphone. Using the GPS signal from a smartphone, the information gathered will provide researchers with accurate information about species distributions which can be used to support national research programmes and inform conservation policy.
Rather appropriately, the Technology Garden will also showcase Leaf Watch, a citizen science app which enables the public to help academics at the universities of Bristol and Hull to identify the UK horse chestnut trees damaged by a species of moth.
Commenting on the current lineup of projects, presentations and demonstrations in the Technology Garden, Rachel Bruce, director of technology innovation at Jisc said:
“The Jisc Digital Festival marks an exciting return for us to the conference circuit, promoting the best of what the UK has to offer in digital innovation. The Technology Garden gives attendees a chance to see first-hand the great work being done across the sector in using technology to enhance learning, teaching and research as well as technology innovations of the future.”
The four speakers, who have gained huge accolades in their respected fields, are Sugata Mitra, TED winner and pioneer behind the Hole in the Wall project; Diana Oblinger, the CEO of non-profit organisation, EDUCAUSE; Paul Curran, vice-chancellor of City University London and former NASA researcher; and, completing the lineup, Ray Hammond, a futurologist who wrote The Modern Frankenstein (1986), the world’s first book to predict the importance of genetic engineering.
The speakers will be addressing delegates, including key decision-makers within universities and colleges. Their keynote talks will be focused on a diversity of topics designed to provoke discussion around the role of digital technology in education institutions, and how it can improve student experience.
Speaker Diana Oblinger, CEO of EDUCAUSE said:
“I’m looking forward to attending and speaking at the Digital Festival in March. My talk will involve a landscape exploration; looking at some of the exciting things happening in higher education and some of the key developments which will serve as a game-changer to the sector.
While higher education is not a homogenous community, we do share many similar issues and ideals. In the US we have some research programmes that we feel could benefit from the input of our colleagues in the UK and elsewhere. As well as sharing my insight, I hope to come away from the Digital Festival with tangible and innovative ideas on how we can collectively advance the use of information technology in higher education.”
“Following a two year break from our annual conference, the Jisc Digital Festival represents a fresh new event for the sector. We have worked hard on developing a programme that encompasses the achievement and innovation that is enhancing education and opening the door to exciting new possibilities in teaching and learning.
The headline speakers embody the purpose of this festival, which is all about sharing cutting-edge ideas and best practice. I am confident that visitors to the event will come away with useful advice they can implement in their institutions.”
Key programme highlights include demos and surgeries, practical hands-on workshops and a ‘Technology Garden’ featuring the latest innovations for education and research including 3D printing and augmented reality. The Digital Festival will also include a ‘startup’ zone with some of the UK’s leading technology talent.
Jisc was established to support education institutions in effectively adopting digital technologies and to help position the UK at the centre of digitally advanced education and research. The Jisc Digital Festival is aimed at HE and FE senior managers, library professionals, teachers, policy makers, IT experts, academics and learning technologists.
Earlybird registration discount available until 14 February 2014.
In the recent article “Simulating Learning Networks in a Higher Education Blogosphere – At Scale“, Fridolin Wild and Steinn Sigurdarson introduce into a simulation model built from the iCamp trial data and educational model assumption: they wanted to see what would happen, if trials are scaled up an order of magnitude. The simulation results are [...]
One year after we succesfully went through iCamp project’s last official review, we are wirting down a new post for wellcoming a new version of our Handbook. This is the time for its Spanish version, issued by Win-Win Consultores, with the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Turism under its “avanza2” [...]
The iCamp partner AGH – the University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland, has published recently a Polish version of the iCamp handbook on how to use social software in education. Please click here to get the electronic version.
Since the iCamp experience was very successful in making use of new media for cross-cultural collaboration iCamp competes for the MEDEA Awards, respecively in the European Collaboration Award.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
We now received the final review report where our external reviewers commend us on our excellent work and our valuable contribution to European research in Technology Enhanced Learning.
Here are some quotes from the report, which can also be downloaded:
… In the opinion of the reviewers the products and outcomes of the project are of considerable [...]