Here's the original criticism of Teach for Australia, which is similar to the U.S.-based Teach for America program: "“ Programs like Teach for Australia - while five times more expensive than traditional programs - are increasing despite an absence of a reasonable evaluative basis to continue this support." Needless to say, the decision to remove the criticism from the final submission has resulted in much more publicity for the criticism, not to mention undermining the Melbourne University's academic integrity.
If you need a short chapter-length overview of (educational) learning theories, this is the place to look. Tony Bates reviews the major contenders from Behaviourism on down. He takes the perspective that a lot is known about the field: quoting Knapper, "there is an impressive body of evidence on how teaching methods and curriculum design affect deep, autonomous, and reflective learning. Yet most faculty are largely ignorant of this scholarship..." Maybe so, but the underlying question has to be answered: how much of this evidence is actually accurate and useful? My own take is: almost none of it. As time goes by, we get more theories of education, not fewer. That's not how it should work. (One more quibble: Bates says, "Connectivists such as Siemens and Downes tend to be somewhat vague about the role of teachers or instructors." I can't speak for George, but I think my papers and presentations on the topic are pretty precise.)
The argument about whether open access (OA) mandates should express support for article processing fees (APC) has hit Canada, which a policy paper leaning in that direction. Julia Wright responds to the proposal: "if the goal is 'Opening Canadian Research to the World,' are per-article requirements the best route? What if that $4.1-13.9 million were kept in Canada to help our journals convert to or maintain OA with minimal or no APCs? Canadian journals as a group could be truly OA, affordable and high-quality— a haven for researchers dealing with per-article OA requirements on their grants." Agreed. More from Michael Geist. Via Academica.
So this was the big news in the office yesterday. I have nothing to add to the media coverage of the story, except to confirm that we are being told internally basically the same story (less, actually) as is being reported externally: "A 'highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor' recently managed to hack into the computer systems at Canada's National Research Council, according to Canada's chief information officer, Corinne Charette." Note that all my websites (OLDaily, mooc.ca, Half an Hour) are on completely separate systems from the NRC and are not impacted by the current incident. More: Toronto Star, BBC, GovInfoSec, CTV. Related: watch the cyberwars in real time. Warning: addictive.
As a test of Tony Bates's assertion, go to Codeacademy and try it out for an hour, and then come back. OK, back? Now ask yourself, could you even stand having the same content delivered to you by lecture? Keep in mind that you would have to do another hour's worth of work to practice it and actually learn it. And that's why the lecture is dead as a learning device. But, as Bates remarks, "This does not mean that lectures will disappear altogether, but they will be special events, and probably multi-media, synchronously and asynchronously delivered. Special events might include a professor’ s summary of his latest research, the introduction to a course, a point mid-way through a course for taking stock and dealing with common difficulties, or the wrap-up to a course." The point of a lecture isn't to teach. It's to reify, rehearse, assemble and celebrate.
The fade-to-black transition in the slide show was so distracting I couldn't finish (yes, it's that bad). And that's the main problem I can see with Google Classroom - tight integration with Google tools. This is great if you love Google tools, but I find that other companies do user interface better than Google. Also, other companies don't spy on you (as much or as pervasively).
This article dredges up the straw men arguments offered by Paul Kirschner et.al. against self-directed learning: people don't know enough about the subject to make good choices, people choose to learn what they like rather than what they need, and the making of choices interferes with learning. The counter to Kirschner is that some people do learn on their own, but not everyone, posits the author, is an autodidactic; she even suggests that the skill is innate. But is it? Is learning on our own really so difficult? Is it reserved only for certain special people? No, to both questions. The author writes, "the psychology of motivation and interest suggests that self-directed learners are not only born, but can be made." Take a bunch of people who don't care what they're learning, as Kirschner does, and they won't learn unless you pretty much force them to. But when people are pursuing their own interests, they'll find help, they'll try again and again, and they'll figure it out. That's not unusual or innate: that's true of every person.
The flip side of learning management in the corporate world is talent management. These systems are every bit as involved with learning as the systems used in colleges and universities. But they go beyond learning, incorporating things like performance management, succession management, and other business-related functions. The market is very fragmented; while companies like SAP and Oracle play a leading role, they have less than a 25 percent share between them. Companies like Ceridian and SumTotal occupy the second tier. But technology is moving so quickly nobody stays on top for long.
Coming up: "E-skills demand in the workplace" next #EDENChat on 31 July, 20:00 BST (21:00 CET).
Use #EDENChat to join the discussion on Twitter. NAP Steering Committeemember, Antonella Poce facilitates. #EDENChat is an online discussion event on Twitter initiated by the Steering Committee of the EDEN Network of Academics and Professionals (NAP).
The Wellcome Library and Jisc today announce nine partner institutions whose holdings will be digitised and added to the UK Medical Heritage Library, an online resource for the history of medicine and related sciences.
Approximately 15 million pages of printed books and pamphlets from all ten partners will be digitised over a period of two years and will be made freely available to researchers and the public under an open licence. By pooling their collections the partners will create a comprehensive online library. The content will be available on multiple platforms to broaden access, including the Internet Archive, the Wellcome Library and Jisc Historic Books.
The project's focus is on books and pamphlets from the 19th century that are on the subject of medicine or its related disciplines. This will include works relating to the medical sciences, consumer health, sport and fitness, as well as different kinds of medical practice, from phrenology to hydrotherapy.
Works on food and nutrition will also feature: around 1400 cookery books from the University of Leeds are among those lined up for digitisation. They, along with works from the other partner institutions, will be transported to the Wellcome Library in London where a team from the Internet Archive will undertake the digitisation work. The project will build on the success of the US-based Medical Heritage Library consortium, of which the Wellcome Library is a part, which has already digitised over 50 000 books and pamphlets.
Simon Chaplin, Head of the Wellcome Library, said:
"We are pleased that these nine institutions have chosen to add their valuable collections to the Medical Heritage Library. As well as our partners Jisc and Research Libraries UK, we will be working closely with our Academic Advisory Group to produce an online resource that is both a repository for a superb wealth of content and an effective research tool for a broad range of users."
Peter Findlay, digital portfolio manager, Jisc, said:
"We are delighted that the Wellcome Library team has been able to identify such valuable collections, which will be digitised to a high standard, freed from the confines of their original format and made openly available for teaching, learning and research. By working closely with the partner institutions to build the UK Medical Heritage Library, we are converting books into searchable data so that users can explore every aspect of 19th-century medicine and develop new insights into this period of unprecedented medical discovery."
The UK MHL initiative started in 2013 when the Wellcome Library embarked on a project with the Internet Archive to digitise their collection of 19th-century medical books. The project was extended earlier in 2014 with the support of Jisc and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. It was co-designed with Research Libraries UK and is informed by an Academic Advisory Group to ensure that the best collections are included.
For the Wellcome Library this forms part of a larger ambition to digitise and make freely available over 50 million pages of historical medical books, archives, manuscripts and journals by 2020.
AAAS and Jisc are pleased to announce an agreement which will give researchers, teachers and learners free access to over 100 years of peer-reviewed scientific news, commentary and cutting-edge research.
The Science Classic archive will be available to staff and students in UK higher and further education and the research councils.
Founded in the late 19th century on $10,000 of seed money from the American inventor Thomas Edison, Science is now the largest paid circulation peer-reviewed general-science journal. The archive runs from its 1880 foundation until the online version was launched in 1997 and includes historically significant articles on the human genome, breast and colon cancer genes, and the Bose-Einstein condensate in physics.
Lorraine Estelle, executive director digital resources, Jisc and divisional CEO Jisc Collections said:
“With this agreement Jisc is pleased to be able to make more high quality research available free of charge to researchers, teachers and learners in UK universities and colleges. This purchase will save institutions money and increase the ability of institutions to provide their users with the best materials for research, teaching and learning.
It also adds to the significant investment that Jisc has already made in journal archives for UK institutions over the last decade, adding over 160,000 articles to a collection of over 3.75million articles already purchased on behalf of institutions.”
Beth Rosner, the publisher of Science, said:
“We are very pleased to provide researchers in the United Kingdom with access to the Science Classic archive, which delivers peer-reviewed scientific research and commentary from 1880 until 1996. Our partnership with Jisc will help advance the research capabilities at UK institutions of higher and further education by providing full-text access to this prestigious source of research knowledge.”
The Myerscough College board of governors is conferring an honorary college fellowship on Sal Cooke in recognition of her ‘outstanding career in the use of pioneering technology, particularly within the education sector.’
This is the highest honour that the college can bestow and is given to inspirational people from the world of business, sport, entertainment and education.
“This fellowship is very well-deserved and I’m delighted that Sal has been recognised in this way. I have worked closely with her over the years and her commitment and enthusiasm is second to none. Through Sal’s leadership Jisc TechDis has made a remarkable impact on the learning experience of thousands of students and I congratulate her on this achievement.”
Sal has taught in schools, further and higher education. In the early 1980s, she was seconded as the curriculum manager for the Yorkshire and Humber regional centre where she was to introduce technology to the curriculum of further education colleges as technology moved from the BBC computers to the first PCs.
As a result of the success of this project, Sal was seconded to Becta and subsequently other organisations, where she worked with partners such as the BBC, the funding councils and the Learning & Teaching Subject Network (a precursor of the Higher Education Academy). This led to working at the Department of Education and Skills as an adviser where she was integral to the creation of the e-learning strategies in higher and further education.
In 2000 Sal was asked to sit on one of the Jisc committees and took a lead role in the formation of the Jisc Regional Support Centres and was chair of their UK board for the first three years. Sal became the director of Jisc TechDis, the Jisc advisory service that provides advice on technologies for inclusion, when it re-located to the Higher Education Academy office in York ten years ago. Sal continues to bring vision, energy and enthusiasm to the role, working to promote the use of technology for independent learning, working and living, wherever she can. This includes more recently, within the charity sector, as currently she is a serving trustee of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Stephen Rigby, Chairman of Myerscough College Corporation, presented Sal with her fellowship at the Myerscough higher education presentation of awards ceremony which took place on the afternoon of Thursday 10 July 2014. Sal said:
“I was quite overwhelmed and pleasantly shocked when I received the letter from Myerscough. I feel that although this is a tremendous honour, I have to acknowledge that much of what I have achieved is down to the excellent teams and colleagues that I have had the pleasure of working with, throughout my long and varied career."
The 20 winners of this year’s Summer of Student Innovation competition have been announced today.
Winning teams will develop digital technologies to improve every aspect of students’ experience, from work-planning and making sure they eat well to improving exam performance and boosting employability.
The winning students will each receive an award of £5,000 from Jisc to develop their ideas into tools that can be used by fellow students, colleges and universities. They’ll also attend a series of summer schools to help them develop their project management and entrepreneurial skills and give them an opportunity to learn from experts in digital technology.
Dr John Shemilt, director of ICT, Imperial and Summer of Student Innovation steering group member said:
“It is fantastic to see such great ideas put forward this year, building on the success of last year’s competition. It gives a real insight into what the students see as important. I’m looking forward to the autumn showcase event, it will be rewarding to see how these ideas have grown and been developed by the students.”
The competition attracted dozens of entries from further education, undergraduate and postgraduate students and 8,400 votes from 160 institutions as their peers voted on the Jisc Elevator website.
The winning ideas will be developed over the summer and presented to universities and colleges later in the year. This will give the students a chance to pitch their ideas and offer individual universities and colleges an early opportunity to adopt these new technologies.
This is the second time the Summer of Student Innovation competition has been run. A number of the 2013 winners have successfully developed their concepts and have seen them start to take off both in the UK and overseas: several of these have been selected by Jisc to receive further development support. Call for Participants’ Matt Terrell comments:
“We are just adding the finishing touches to the new website being launched late this summer, while fast approaching another milestone - registered users from 200 different institutions. The grant enabled us to speed up our development process, and working with Jisc has provided us with many useful connections.
I am very excited about this year’s competition winners as there are some interesting ideas and innovations, many of which I can see being adopted by students and institution staff as early as next year, if not before.”
The Summer of Student Innovation is managed by Jisc and is a co-design project with Research Libraries UK (RLUK), Russell Universities’ Group of IT Directors (RUGIT), the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) and the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).
The awards, announced by the evening’s host, comedian Rob Brydon, celebrate the extraordinary innovation, teamwork and commercial acumen of UK higher education institutions, from HR to estates and finance to fundraising.
Loughborough University’s winning entry came from their school of aeronautical, automotive, chemical and materials engineering. The team used information and communications technology to transform its student placement process to improve its efficiency and provide a better student experience.
An 18 month project started in 2012 to upgrade the university’s in-house Co-Tutor platform and develop a set of standard digital forms. After a series of consultations with staff and students, a ‘service blueprint’ was developed that outlined how the school would use ICT to improve its placement processes.
Co-Tutor now keeps placement information in an organised central repository, monitors the submission of health and safety forms, makes allocating placement supervisors quick and easy, and ensures that placement information is kept in line with the Data Protection Act. To date, it has facilitated more than 700 industrial placements.
Martyn Harrow, Jisc’s chief executive and a member of the judging panel, said:
“In a strong ﬁeld, Loughborough’s entry stood out as best meeting the brief and demonstrating impressive results.
The judges particularly recognised the imaginative yet highly systematic approach to collaboration between staff, students and developers that drove the success.”
Professor Morag Bell, pro vice-chancellor (teaching) at Loughborough University, said:
“We are delighted that Loughborough has received this prestigious award. It recognises the way in which different parts of the university work in partnership to develop the efficiency of our processes and provide an enhanced service to our students.”
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 [...]