In this online presentation I discuss the evolution of personal learning technology and then itemize in more detail the elements of the NRC Learning and Performance Support Systems program, including the personal learning record, personal cloud, resource repository network, competency detection and recognition, and personal learning assistant.
6th IEEE International Conference on Technology for Education, Amrita University, Kerala, India, online via A-View (Keynote) Dec 20, 2014 [Comment]
So what's the link between Pearson and the PISA assessments? I don't know either, but after reading this odd post I begin to suspect there is one. Why is it odd? Well, first, it conflates the emergence of the World Wide Web with a political campaign, saying (erroneously) that they both "show the power of a shared ambition and a collective approach." The web is exactly the opposite of a "collective" approach; each site is developed independently, the only links between them being, well, links. So why this odd definition of "collective"? Because the author thinks it applies to PISA as well. "Every three years around 70 countries volunteer to take part in PISA, which looks at the skills and knowledge of 15 year olds." Well, yes, but they don't represent any sort of collective effort (otherwise we'd see Americans involved in the testing of Chinese students, and vice versa). And the respective countries don't share common goals. It's unlikely even that they share the definition of "skills and knowledge" imposed on them by PISA (because otherwise national curricula would reflect these same topics, which they do not). Since I presume that the author knows better than to make such facile comparisons, I conclude they are deliberate, which makes me suspect something is up.
Not all 'predictions' articles are actually predictions. Very often they reflect aspirations or intentions. I think this post from the Official Pearson Blog qualifies as one of these. Among the 'predictions':
Continued Focus on Rigorous Learning Goals
Increased Use of Data to Improve Individual Student Outcomes
Emphasis on Ensuring That Students Are Not Just College-Ready, but Career-Ready as Well
These are predictions? Seriously? No, not hardly. They are things the company would like to see emphasized. These, in turn, map back to corporate marketing strategies and product lines. And a big part of that is standardized assessment so the company can make money off adaptive learning products. See here and here.
"For decades," begins this article, "the idea of a language instinct has dominated linguistics. It is simple, powerful and completely wrong." There is no language instinct - yes, we have the capacity to learn a language, but what`s key here is that language is something that is learned, and not the basis for learning. And the arguments against Chomsky`s theory of a universal grammar`should also cause you to doubt theories of learning based on similar ideas (especially, for example, Piaget or Pinker). We learn language the way we learn everything else: by observing examples of language being used, by imitation and practice, and finally, by reflection. And the ability to use language is a type of recognition, no different from recognizing Aunt Lucy, and not some artful manipulation of codes and rules. If this long article doesn't convince you to abandon the innateness-of-language theory, then I don't know what will.
As we get away from classrooms we begin to look at new ways of creating environments for working together. The modern design - offices with desks, tables and chairs - is no real improvement on the classroom. This research project looks at alternatives, designing various shapes based on the different ways we can lean or stand when working with each other. I'm not sure I like it - it probably has the acoustical problems inherent in open-concept workspaces, and there's no place to put down my coffee or to grow a plant. But I like the thinking behind it. More from Wired, Science Alert, Fast Company, etc.
Yes I know, there's a million of these articles out there already. But this is short, clear, and really good. It made me rethink how I wrote my own c.v. (you get to call a resumé a c.v. is you're looking for an academic position). Not that I'm looking for a job (I have really enjoyed the last year at NRC as a program leader) but it makes me rethink how I would organize my accomplishments and those of the people who work with me. As the article says, "'I managed a team of 10' doesn’ t say much. You need to dig a level deeper. Did everyone on your team earn promotions? Did they exceed their targets?"
This article looks at news reports that anthropomorphize elements of scientific reports and, as a consequence, misrepresent their conclusions. In this case, scientists examine how cows use distinctive calls to communicate with offspring. The news media adds a human element to this behaviour by saying these are "names" for the calves. What's happening is that the news media, by describing cows as though they were human, are essentially making stuff up. Geoff Pullman writes, "They actually print what are obviously lies, even when the text of the same article makes it clear that they are lying."
I think the same thing happens in educational writing. If this article, for example, we are told about "the brain’ s danger detector, the amygdala, being down-regulated, trading energy normally spent on vigilance for heightened focus and enhanced recall." But the brain is doing no such thing; that is an interpretation of a set of neural phenomena. Or this: "the human brain locks down episodic memories in the hippocampus." Or this, "the eyes and hands of children save memories for them." Assigning cognitive functions to things that do not have cognitive capacities is pernicious anthropomorphism, and it imposes a theory of self on the evidence that has no basis in reality.
The focus of this #EDENChat will be to examine what we have learned about OER development and implementation, continuing issues, and what are the strategic approaches that universities can employ to embed OER and open content within the culture of the institution. Join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #EDENChat. The facilitator will be Professor Don Olcott, Jr., FRSA.
Join the EDEN Community (video invitation) in the inspiring city of Barcelona to share your research, projects and practice at the 2015 EDEN Annual Conference - #EDEN15. Networking and interactivity, sharing and discussion will be core aspects of the conference experience, focusing on what you can learn from and with your peers.
In collaboration with:
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Magical and innovative - Barcelona, the City of Marvels:
As the holiday season approaches, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. We hope your holiday and New Year is filled with happiness and we look forward to work with you in 2015 and beyond.
Open Discovery Space Summer School, LACE Learn Live events, Results of the POERUP project, Ageing Well: ICT in home care - CARER+ News 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.
Antonio Teixeira, EDEN President invited one of the most influential education bloggers in the world, Steve Wheeler, Chair of EDEN's NAP Steering Committee, to share with us a short reflection on the latest topic of discussion in the #EDENChat initiative. Read the full posts as well as his previous and the former presidents's, Executive Committee members' blog posts at the President's blog.
Publishers John Wiley and Sons, Inc. and Jisc today announce a pilot agreement for articles published on an open access basis.
The agreement follows discussions between Jisc, Wiley and the UK library community, and will enable greater support for universities during the transition to open access.
Running from January 2015 to December 2017, the agreement provides credits for article processing charges (APCs) to universities that license Wiley journal content under the terms of the Jisc journal agreement. This means that universities that pay both subscription charges for publications and fees to make articles open access will receive APC credits based on the total prior year spend.
Customers need to have a Wiley Open Access Account set up to be eligible to receive their APC credits. Wiley Open Access Accounts provide discounts on APCs and the account dashboard reduces the administrative burden on both authors and institutions.
Lorraine Estelle, executive director digital resources at Jisc and divisional CEO Jisc Collections says:
“Jisc Collections is working with all journal publishers of hybrid journals on the total cost of ownership of scholarly communications. We are delighted to have agreed this ground breaking pilot offset scheme. We expect this to moderate costs for UK universities and to help reduce some of the barriers to open access implementation.”
The agreement re-affirms Jisc and Wiley’s commitment to exploring new models of open access alongside our library and research partners.
Jisc is pleased to announce two new representatives on our board of trustees, who will help determine our strategic direction and priorities to reflect the present and future needs of UK education and research.
Professor Martin Hall, chair of Jisc’s board of trustees, says,
“I am delighted to welcome Mark and Ken to the board as both of them have an enormous amount of experience in education and their expertise will be very welcome. New perspectives like theirs help us to ensure that Jisc is guided by the communities we serve and that we consistently deliver against their priorities.”
He held roles within the physics department before being appointed chair of the faculty of science in 2005, pro-vice chancellor for research in 2007, and subsequently deputy vice-chancellor.
In his current role as vice-chancellor of Lancaster University, his responsibilities include chairing the main resourcing committee of the university.
“Jisc plays a very important role in its support of higher and further education providing world class infrastructure and other services. It is also one of the real success stories of a shared service. As Jisc in its new form continues to develop there are many interesting challenges which I hope to contribute to as a board member.”
With 21 years’ experience in the further education sector Dr Ken Thomson took up his role as principal of Forth Valley College in August 2013. He has a degree in zoology from Nottingham University and a PhD in veterinary entomology from Edinburgh University.
As a senior lecturer in life sciences he led a four college consortium in developing a £1.5m technical training project for biotechnology.
He became head of science (2001), then director of learning services (2003) before becoming associate principal (2005) at Forth Valley College and deputy principal from 2007 with strategic responsibility for the college’s future curriculum, school/college partnership, quality assurance and learning innovation.
Ken is a member of the Colleges Scotland Principals Group, a member of the Colleges Scotland Learning, Skills and Quality Committee and is a former board member of Learning & Teaching Scotland. Ken is a fellow of the Institute of Directors.
In November 2014, Forth Valley College were awarded the prestigious Association of Colleges Beacon Award for Innovation in FE as a result of their whole college approach to an exciting vision to ‘Making Learning Work’.
“I am really looking forward to working with the board of Jisc. Jisc has a reputation for innovation, for being at the forefront of learning technologies and I am particularly keen to promote the obvious opportunities and added value for the end users, our teaching staff, students and customers”.
The new trustees take up their roles in December 2014.Read more about the role of the Jisc board.
Tim Kidd, executive director Jisc technologies, said:
“Jisc is very pleased to have worked with Infinity to create the Jisc data centre – the first shared data centre for medical and academic research in the UK. With its very high capacity connectivity to the core of Janet, this datacentre will support academic research and enterprise requirements through a world-class facility.”
The first award, data centre blueprints, celebrates the innovative thinking behind the datacentre: the design, project management and construction. The innovation award rewards the Jisc data centre for showcasing best practice and leadership in the data centre sector.
The judges were highly impressed with the design of the Jisc data centre which incorporates multiple resilience levels and power densities and supports a diversity of applications from enterprise to high performance computing.
Stuart Sutton, CEO at Infinity SDC, said:
“This is an incredibly important achievement for us. The technology used will further the UK’s position as a global leader in academic and medical research and the work we carry out in these sectors can be life changing, and we are proud to be a part of that.”
The Datacentre Dynamics Awards are the leading awards for the data centre industry recognising innovation, leadership and ‘out of the box’ thinking. With 15 established award categories, the awards celebrate data centre projects of all sizes, across all sectors.
Paul Mangles, global awards manager for the Datacentre Dynamics Awards, said:
“Succeeding in this industry is no mean feat and it’s important to recognise the businesses that are tackling the issues brought on by technology’s rapid evolution. These awards are designed to do just that."
Journal publishing models are changing rapidly, especially here in the UK. In this podcast we look at the pressing need for institutions to track the true cost of article processing charges (APCs) so they can manage their transition to open access from a position of authority and monitor their costs effectively. Read the accompanying blog post by Lorraine Estelle.
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 [...]