This presentation outlines the NRC's Learning and Performance Support Systems program as an instance of a personal learning environment. It situates this program in a context where education depends on the development and refinement of critical literacies, which are in turn fostered by the interactive and communicative capacities of the PLE.
Future of E-Learning Environments, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Keynote) [Sept] 18, 2014 [Comment]
Long-time readers (really long-time readers) will know of my affinity for similarity - it was similarity that led me to connectionism and networks. To me similarity still forms the semantic basis for categorization, causation and other predictive events. So this sort of article, which outlines a proposed similarity measure for clustering web pages, speaks to me. And it's not a long jump from calculating keyword weights to calculating weights of connections between them. More from the most recent IJICT, just out.
I think it's a bit backward, but Tim Klapdor responds to a recent post by arguing that not caring about time is anti-student. "Who’ s time don’ t they care about? The students. They can take as looong as they like, why would they care, it’ s not their time and it’ s not their expense. I think framing competency based education like has an air of contempt for the student and the value of their time." I think his interpretation of the meaning of "don't care about time" is different from the author's original intent.
Your chance to influence global cultural policy. A little, at least. "From now until November 2014, UNESCO is asking for inputs and research around this global questionnaire on Internet-related issues in the four areas of access to information and knowledge, freedom of expression, privacy, and ethical dimensions of the information society."
The opposite of the headline appears to be the main story here - while educational applications capture the attention of those under nine, as they grow older they tend to shift to "more open-play adventure games, casual/social games and puzzle/creative games." Of course there's no reason these can't be educational games in their own right, but they're not overtly educational, and while the author suggests that some titles retain their popularity with the older crowd, it seems to be a losing proposition. Anyhow, there are some good links to popular applications here, as well as a number of top ten lists.
Interesting statement with which I have a lot of affinity. "In the shadow and gloom of today’ s institutional facts, it has become fashionable to mourn the passing of the democratic era. I say that democracy is the best our species has created so far, and woe to us if we abandon it now. The real road to serfdom is to be persuaded that the declarations of democracy we have inherited are no longer relevant to a digital future. These have been inscribed in our souls, and if we leave them behind— we abandon the best part of ourselves. If you doubt me, try living without them, as I have done. That is the real wasteland, and we should fear it."
I am reminded of the Oculus Rift, which sold to Facebook after being supported on Kickstarter, after which the founding community felt betrayed. This is a similar situation. "Once upon a time, members believed they were the sole engine that makes Quirky run. In this new world, they are a resource." Worse, rights they thought they has as contributors have simply disappeared - by circumventing the usual process in designing Aros for GE, they circumvented the right of a member who proposed a similar idea to he heard, or rewarded. This isn't 'real' in any usual sense of the word, except maybe 'real' in the sense that money trumps rights, as (it seems) it always has.
Join EDEN's Eighth Research Workshop (EDENRW8), to be held in Oxford on 27-28 October 2014 ('zero day' 26 October). We are pleased, that the Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Oxford, Councillor Mohammed Abbasi will honour the Welcome Reception with his presence.
In collaboration with:
founding member of EDEN
The theme and scope of EDENRW8 reflects the current challenges facing researchers and the intersection of their work with ‘doing better things’ for key stakeholders.
ODS Webinar, ProM Final Seminar and many more news: read about latest research findings, newsletters and valuable events related to e-learning practices and applied ICT supported learning here. Currently running projects here.
After being DG EAC's Deputy Director-General responsible for EU policies and programmes in the field of education and training for the last three years, he will now also be responsible for EU policies in the field of culture, youth and sports, and for the Creative Europe programme.
Successful proposals will have to demonstrate considerations of metadata, ‘curriculum mapping’ and Creative Commons licences are an integral part of the proposal to ensure the resources are discoverable, relevant and recyclable.
The aim is that these online interactive resources will help to improve access to and exploitation of open educational resources (OERs). The commissioned content will be deposited on the national repository for open educational resources, Jorum and made available for teachers and learners to share and exploit.
Ruth Hansford, manager of the interactive learning resources for skills project at Jisc, says:
“There is a time-honoured teacher tradition of spending evenings creating learning materials, taking them into work and swapping them over the photocopier. But how do teachers in the FE and skills sector locate and exploit suitable learning content in the digital age?
We’re offering the possibility to create varied and high-quality multimedia and interactive content which will be available to all in the sector.”
Hairdressing students and their lecturers will now be able to access Jisc's pioneering Hairdressing Training videos any time, anywhere through their mobile.
From today the award-winning service Hairdressing Training will be available as a mobile app. The app showcases the existing portfolio of hairdressing and barbering training videos developed by Mimas, a part of Jisc.
There are many benefits to mobile learning. Research by the former Learning and Skills Network (LSN)1 has found that the use of mobile technologies in work-based and vocational learning contexts can result in increased:
engagement with the topic
flexibility of learning
learner retention and achievement
personalisation of learning
access to learning resources
To maximise these benefits further the videos included in the app were created by those who teach NVQ/SVQ Levels 1-3 in further education in the UK, ensuring accuracy for learning and teaching.
The app is an easy way to view over 60 educational hairdressing training and barbering video tutorials – all mapped to the NVQ curriculum. Users will be able to save their favourite videos to a playlist and even share them socially. The videos are organised into different categories, making searching simple, and new content will be added when available.
Susanne Boyle, senior manager for learning, teaching and professional skills at Mimas, a part of Jisc, says:
"The Hairdressing Training service is a mature and highly valued service. It is much-loved and well-used and has grown over the years, with training videos amassing 1000s of hits on YouTube. It’s predominantly used by further education teachers and students but also by those who work in salons, both in the UK and abroad.
The launch of the mobile app is another exciting development and offers our users the benefits of flexible access 24/7, supplying quality resources at their fingertips."
Lorraine Estelle, Jisc’s executive director digital resources and divisional CEO of Jisc Collections, said:
“Our vision is to ensure that learners and teachers realise the benefits of mobile technology by delivering content onto any device, at any time and anywhere. This app is an important step in realising this vision and improving the student experience.”
Currently the app has been optimised for use on mobile devices only. A version for iPads and other handheld tablets may be looked at in the future.
The Hairdressing Training app is available to download for iOS devices from the Apple Store and for Android devices from Google Play.
Research in the UK has been given a boost this week as specialist data centre provider, Infinity, has secured a five year framework agreement with Janet, the UK’s national research and education network, provided by Jisc.
The deal sees the creation of a Jisc data centre to support the requirements for academic research and will be the first shared data centre for medical and academic research in the UK. The funding of approximately £900,000 to make the facility happen has been provided by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
At launch, in September 2014, the Jisc data centre will house the IT of a consortium of six of the UK’s most successful scientific and academic organisations.
Tim Marshall, executive director Jisc technologies and CEO Janet said:
“By having the shared data centre users can access off-site data storage and services. This world-leading facility will mean that users can consolidate their sensitive data in one safe environment and increase collaboration, whilst saving money both in terms of their operational costs and by not having to repeatedly procure facilities.
The data centre will be connected to the Janet network core and part of its backbone, therefore facilitating access, reducing costs and meeting the bandwidth requirements of large data sets. As space becomes premium on campus this is a significant step on the journey to the cloud and already indications are that this will be a major breakthrough for the UK education and research community.”
Infinity will operate the data centre at its flagship Slough data centre in the UK. The design combines a traditional three tier datacentre with a flexible range of low to high power rack densities and an aggregated discount pricing structure across all organisations using the service, ensuring that the infrastructure is workload focused and value driven. This is the first large scale example of high performance computer environments being placed in an outsourced co-location facility.
Stuart Sutton, Infinity’s CEO, says:
“Infinity is immensely proud to be selected as the best in class data centre provider for the development of this nationally important facility. The work that the education and research sectors do can be life changing and the technology used will further the UK’s position as a global leader in medical and academic research. We are extremely pleased to be a part of that.
The creation of an unsurpassed community of interest for the education and research sectors here at Infinity Slough is a fantastic opportunity for us and something that we are very excited about. Infinity’s flexible and innovative approach to data centre services was key to securing this deal.
This is a great example of Infinity’s opinion that the outsourced DC market is no longer a place for property transactions – it is a flexible, scalable, partnership that delivers an important component to the overall IT solution. We look forward to working collaboratively with Jisc.”
The new Jisc data centre which will grow to more than 800 racks’ capacity will be a significant enabler in achieving its aims of improving the speed and quality of UK research. This will allow the community to share large swathes of data, helping to push the traditional boundaries of teaching, learning and research methods. For researchers, the high capacity of the Janet network backbone allows the linking of large data storage and high performance computing facilities at national and international levels.
The BBC calls on developers, publishers, digital agencies and startups to help students, teachers and researchers get the most out of online educational resources.
Working with the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC) and Jisc, the BBC is looking to fund the development of software applications which will improve learning and study by facilitating access to a vast range of online resources which have been licensed for educational use.
The funding comes through the BBC Connected Studio team and is the latest stage of the Research and Education Space (RES), a three-year programme of activity which aims to bring together an extensive catalogue of publicly held resources which can be used as the basis for educational software, learning resources, classroom teaching aids and research tools.
Drawing on material from libraries, museums, galleries and broadcasters, RES will provide a platform for developers and publishers to build new products, tools and services with the aim of enhancing education and research. A preview version of the RES open platform, Acropolis, is now available and the RES Connected Studio will bring developers, publishers, digital agencies and startups together to work on ideas and prototypes for RES-based tools, some of which will be funded as pilots and assessed by the BBC.
As RES is a partnership between Jisc, the BUFVC and the BBC, it will cover material relevant to education and research at all levels, from primary schools to post-doctoral research.
Tony Ageh, controller of archive development and digital public space at the BBC, said:
“We’re really excited about what developers might produce when they get access to the RES catalogue, and the Connected Studio has a track record of encouraging innovation around the latest technologies.
We want the best people coming up with the best ideas, so we can really explore the potential of RES in education.”
Ben Showers, Jisc’s head of scholarly and library futures, added:
"This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wants to really make a difference to educators and their students in the UK and beyond.
We know that the most innovative ideas could come from inside or outside our schools and universities, so we welcome applications from all talented individual developers or teams that have experience of creating this kind of content."
The BBC has released a creative brief that gives more detail about the types of proposals it is looking for, and is inviting developers to register for the BBC Connected Studio Briefing, which is taking place at Shoreditch Village Hall at 17:30 on 4 September 2014. This will explain the process in detail and the information from the briefing will be posted online on 5 September 2014.
RES is an open platform that anyone can work with, and the briefing will provide the background information needed to develop applications, but will also be relevant for those who are not part of the Connected Studio process.
Jisc offers over 400 colleges free access to a new collection of curriculum focused e-textbooks through e-books for FE.
E-books for FE will be benefiting UK further education providers by offering access to additional new suite of 162 e-textbooks. These books will supplement over 200 other e-textbooks previously acquired.
The new collection has been chosen using feedback from customers to ensure the new books are of the highest possible value to their users and focus in supporting the curriculum across a variety of subjects.
E-books for FE provides further education colleges in the UK with access to a collection of e-textbooks on a platform that offers functionality suitable for the needs of the community. The new collection will be available to colleges free of charge for another two years from 1 September 2014 until 31 August 2016.
Catherine John, FE licensing manager of Jisc Collections, says:
“We have been working closely with our FE members to ensure that we procure content that is relevant, titles selected are based around curricula, and also the most current editions. The platform offers learners the opportunity to access content at any time and from any location allowing them to carry out their work when it suits them, which is key as part of a modern learning system.
“The previous top title in e-books for FE, BTEC Level 3 National Business Student Book 1, has been accessed in over 165,000 user sessions in a single year demonstrating the value students are gaining from the content.”
E-books for FE does not only save users time and money, but also supports distance learning. Neil Prior, head of e-learning at BCA tells us:
“We find e-textbooks to be a valuable resource that enables us to provide 24/7 access to the awarding bodies learning resources that accompany the qualifications. To do this in the traditional manner would be vastly expensive and difficult to facilitate. The feedback from students and staff is very positive. In fact we are actively increasing our premium e-book provision on the basis that it provided far better value for money.”
For those further education providers who do not currently have access to the content that is freely offered by e-books for FE, please subscribe by placing an order at the Jisc Collections website.
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 [...]