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A few weeks ago, I posted about our case study on the governance of the Courseware in Context (CWiC) Framework. CWiC is a laudable effort to take the traditional product evaluation matrix and get beyond "magic quadrant-ism" by adding some educational context to the selection process. Which product is "best" depends a lot on your goals, capabilities, and other contextual factors. The CWiC advisory committee members explain how hard it is to integrate these factors into a product evaluation matrix. A lot of the hoped-for value of CWiC is still aspirational. There's nothing wrong with that; it's good to have big goals and to recognize how close to (or far from) achieving them you really are.
Sometimes just seeing your path to achieving those big aspirations is hard in and of itself. As this next case study shows, even if CWiC realizes its potential, it's never going to be the right place to start if your goal is to meaningfully impact student outcomes and close achievement gaps. Our original goal with the National Louis University (NLU) and Acrobatiq interviews was to look at what it takes to implement courseware effectively with a vendor partner once the selection is made. In other words, what happens after you go through the process that the CWiC framework is meant to support. But we got so much more than that because NLU has been incredibly thoughtful about the program and students—the context—that impacts the use and value of the courseware. In other words, they also modeled what universities need to do before they select courseware, from designing a business/sustainability model that enables them to provide appropriate cost of an education to thinking about educational goals to figuring out where courseware does and doesn't fit into that overall model. All of that prework has a profound impact on the working relationship with the vendor partner, the kinds of support identified as necessary to make the courseware work, and the future vision for how to continue to broaden and deepen the impact.
In the end, I think this case study shows both that a tremendous amount of work is needed to integrate courseware if you truly want to drive improvement in student outcomes and that the significant amount of planning and implementation work involved is only a small percentage of the total necessary program planning and work required. NLU has effectively redesigned the entire undergraduate experience. Their partnership with Acrobatiq works in large part because Acrobatiq understands their role in NLU's larger goals, and because NLU maintains their focus on those goals rather than getting caught up in the notion that buying some magic product will solve all their problems.
I'm proud to have this be the final case study in this series of grant-funded stories. It neatly reflects a lot of what we believe about the ways in which universities and vendors need to work together if we want to improve higher education.
The post In “EdTech”, “Ed” comes before “Tech”: A National Louis University/Acrobatiq Case Study appeared first on e-Literate.
Phil Barker argues that we should not be recommending Eric Raymond's work. Raymond authored, if you may recall, the enormously influential The Cathedral and the Bazaar paper recommending distributed open source organization. Barker argues that Raymond is a libertarian, a gun nut, and has regressive views regarding women and gays. " I do not think we should be recommending this person’s work to the OER community," says Barker. Now I personally find Raymond's politics reprehensible (assuming the Wikipedia account is correct). And yes, I'll delete content that's racist or hateful. But if I were to require a purity test for everyone I quoted or recommended, this would be a very short newsletter. I think it's a far more progressive strategy to pay attention to one's own failings and to leave social condemnation to those more qualified to render judgement.Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Apr 21, 2018
According to this website, "A draft UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER) text is currently being prepared. This open invitation is to call for inputs on the above-mentioned draft text." You can read the draft on the website (7 page PDF). Note the 'no cost' in the definition: "Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions."Web: [This Post]
In my previous post I wrote down some memories of the so-called Pontydysgu Studio in Bremen, now that that ‘studio’ has been closed and the Pontydysgu activities are continued mainly in Wales (Pontydysgu Ltd) and in Spain (Pontydysgu SL). With that post I tried to give an overview on the work with multimedia (in general) and as a part of our joint projects. With this post I want to give the floor to key actors of Pontydysgu – Jenny Hughes and Graham Attwell. In the year 2012 I made some video interviews for my project of that time. In the interviews with Jenny and Graham I asked them to tell what they had learned in some of their key projects and how these lessons could be taken further to possible successor projects.Jenny: The continuing learning process through different TACCLE projects
Among the Pontydysgu-led or -supported projects the series of TACCLE projects is a clear success story. It started with the first TACCLE project (Teachers’ Aids on Creating Content for Learning Environments) that prepared an E-learning handbook for teachers classroom teachers. In the Taccle2 project the work was differentiated to address different subject areas and alongside them the primary education teachers. In the Taccle3 the emphasis on teaching programming and coding for school children. And the (so far) newest project Taccle4 focuses on developing materials and media to support continuing professional development of teachers and trainers in different educational sectors. The following two interviews were recorded already in 2012, so the it was not quite clear, in what order the successor projects would come up, but the vision was clear – this work merits to be continued.Graham: Lessons from predecessor projects – conclusions for the Learning Layers project
In the videos above Jenny discussed a clear continuum of projects and a training and learning strategy that was developed further in the successive steps. In this respect the interviews with Graham were somewhat different. Firstly, they covered a longer period and a wider range of projects in which very different experiences could be made. Secondly, in the latter videos they focused on comparing the predecessor projects with the forthcoming Learning Layers project. Therefore, I have selected the two latest videos for this post – the discussion on the immediate predecessor project and the shift of emphasis to the new project. Here it is worthwhile to note what challenges Graham brought into discussion and how he expected us to meet the challenges.
I think this is enough of these highlights. To me, both sets of videos have very timely messages for our current projects. I Jenny’s case we are talking of the Taccle4 project to support continuing professional development of teachers and trainers. In Graham’s case we are talking about the successor activities of the Learning Layers project and its construction pilot – now that we can build upon the Learning Toolbox (LTB) that was developed in the project. Yet, the message – that we have to meet the challenges of the construction sector partners in their complexity – is very valid. And at the same time we have to be able to address these needs by customising the LTB and by complementary measures – training, introduction of additional software solutions and by participative co-design processes. This work is still going on.
More blogs to come …
Nice review of a language learning app providing a needed dose of scepticism. The app is called Knowble and is a browser extension that purports to improve English-language vocabulary. The problem is, it relies on Google Translate, so it often offers incorrect vocabulary advice. Google translates pretty well when the word is found in context, but " Knowble, however, have set their software to ask Google for translations of each word as individual items," which results in inevitable errors. "The claim that Knowble’s ‘learning effect is proven scientifically’ seems to me to be without any foundation," writes Philip Kerr. "If there has been any proper research, it’s not signposted anywhere."Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Pontydysgu headquarters in Pontypridd, Wales and ‘Pontydysgu Studio’ as its filial in Bremen – that is how we have experienced it quite a long time. The name “Pontydysgu Studio” was used by Graham Attwell and Dirk Stieglitz when they worked with projects that had a radio program as its major contribution. Altogether, the years when that ‘studio’ was used, they were to a great extent characterised by multimedia, radio and video productions, e-learning … all this as a support for learning in the context of work. But then came the time for changes. Pontydysgu Ltd will continue as usual, but next to it there is the Valencia-based Pontydysgu SL. And alongside these changes the “Pontydysgu Studio” was closed. This week Graham and several friends have emptied it and closed that chapter of Pontydysgu history. Bye bye Pontydysgu Studio, good luck with Pontydysgu Ltd and Pontydysgu SL! I give the word to Paul McCartney to spell out his greetings:Memories of the “Pontydysgu Studio” and of our joint activities of that era
My earliest memories on working in and with this Pontydysgu Studio go to the years 2004-2005 just before I started working in ITB and the University of Bremen (but had already got the status of Visiting Fellow). Graham had already become a renown blogger with his “Wales-Wide-Web” and he was promoting Open Source software in Education. We remember the pioneering project SIGOSSEE that brought several key actors together. And in the next phase the successor project Bazaar started to look at possibilities to spread out Open Educational Resources by different stalls under the common umbrella of the Bazaar. However, the greatest success story of this project was the radio program “Sounds of the Bazaar” that was continued in several successor projects. And it was then followed by other similar radio initiatives like the conference radio programs for Online Educa Berlin (OEB) or European Conference on Educational Research (ECER). During these years several radio interviews were also made with international guests visiting the Pontydysgu Studio – I still remember the interviews with Ji Li and Tien Je from Beijing, Nikitas from Athens, Lewis and Libby from Melbourne and several others.
But our cooperation was not only about multimedia, there were many research & development projects and initiatives in the field of vocational education and training (VET). Here it is worthwhile to mention that Graham had been recognised as a life-time Visiting Fellow (Gastwissenschaftler) of ITB. So, research in VET had a high priority. However, thanks to Graham and Dirk, the web and multimedia components started to play a greater role in these projects – one after another. And when these components started to become increasingly important, the projects became ‘learning laboratories’ for the research partners as well. Here I try to give a more or less comprehensive overview of projects or initiatives in which we (me and my ITB colleagues) have worked together with Pontydysgu during those years. After the acronym of the project and a nutshell description I have added in brackets the work with multimedia and web resources:
- WLP – Workplace Learning Partnerships (Project website that was enriched with project blog, project wiki and a gallery of video interviews and external video clips);
- TTplus – Framework for training of trainers (Conceptual and field-oriented project, summarised in a project wiki);
- iKoopNet – Initiative for a networked project to introduce e-portfolios and digital tools to vocational learning (was given up because the leading industrial partner was hit severely by the economic crisis);
- “Trainers in Europe” (EuroTrainer 2) – A network activity based on a Europe-wide consortium to promote networking among workplace trainers and trainers of training centres (Creation of a network platform with many communication and sharing functions);
- “Consultation seminars” – Europe-wide series of ‘regional’ consultation seminars (for different stakeholders) to discuss the role of common frameworks for promoting professional development of trainers (Web platform to bring together the results of different regional workshops; enriched with video material from the latest workshops);
- Euronet-PBL – promoting practice-based learning as a work-related learning component in higher education with focus on three domains – engineering, business management, vocational teacher education (Web platform enriched with project blog and a number of video interviews with partners and students);
- Politics – promoting learning about politics by means of storytelling, media commentaries and informal learning (Creation of a single platform with sections using multiple languages and with different kinds of ‘educational resources’, ‘competitions’ and storytelling components);
- Coop-PBL in VET – transnational project for sharing knowledge on problem- and project-based learning in VET with support of specific learning software and ‘virtual community’ section (Pontydysgu was not a partner but supported me in producing a large section of video interviews into the ‘virtual community’);
- Learning Layers – Major European research, technology and development (RTD) project funded from EU FP7 with a several technical, research-oriented and intermediate partners as well as application partners from two pilot sectors (construction and healthcare); the aim was to support learning and knowledge processes in SMEs with the help of widely usable digital tools (that networked web resources and were available as mobile apps). (Pontydsygu was leading the work package in which the digital toolset “Learning Toolbox (LTB” was initiated, developed and piloted in a highly participative and interactive process).
I guess this is enough of the memories and of the project history. A lot of working and learning was involved in those activities that in many respects were linked to this famous “Pontydysgu Studio” (and to its extension, the “Pontydysgu Meeting Room” further down at Horner Strasse). Those were the days, but times – they are a-cha-anging as the old song tells us. So, we say goodbye to the Pontydysgu Studio with good memories in our minds and wish all the best to Pontydysgu Ltd and Pontydysgu SL in the new situation.
More blogs to come …
This is the first reference to Kyrgyzstan in the almost 30,000 posts in OLDaily over the last 20 years, and proof that open education has become a completely worldwide phenomenon. According to the abstract, "Analysis of the results revealed a higher than expected gravitation toward student-centered pedagogy than previously assumed. The study also identified broad use of digital downloads as learning materials, conflation of open educational resources with free online resources." This actually doesn't surprise me, because OERs and student-centered pedagogy go hand-in-hand. The paper discusses 'non-disposable' learning activities such as editing Wikipedia articles, though noting "the practice of using non-disposable assignments for learning is likely still a new idea for most instructors." 19 page PDF. Image: logo from a 2014 UNESCO OER conference in Kyrgyzstan.Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Facebook has spent a lot of time apologizing in recent weeks but it should not be believed. In an appearance before a Parliamentary committee in Canada it would not commit to honouring European GDPR privacy protections. And in an even more telling move, it moved 1.5 billion user accounts out of Europe and into the United States. I think that countries, including Canada, should endorse and ratify GDPR. Because it is obvious that these companies will not police themselves with any sort of restraint.Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
One of the impacts of GDPR is that website terms and conditions will be required to be clearer. But this may just be the beginning of the end for book-length legal agreements. "If a typical user wouldn't understand the documents, the consent that companies rely on for their business activities would be legally invalid." The main beneficiaries here won't be users - who typically ignore the terms - but companies (including schools and colleges) who have to hire layers to parse the terms before using the site in their business.Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
A l'EdCamp Sant Martí volem compartir idees, projectes, coneixements, recursos... sobre programació i robòtica educativa. Ens hi acompanyes i aprenem plegats?
Segueix l'actualitat de l'Edcamp Sant Martí al nostre twitter i no perdis el fil: @edcampsantmarti.
In my email today: "Open Educators Factory is a methodology produced by the Research Institute for Innovation & Technology in Education (UNIR iTED) aiming to allow self-evaluation of professors capacity in the use of open approaches and to recommend tailored actions to increase the open education “fluency" of educators. The platform will be used by Brazil's Open Education Initiative, a major Brazilian project focused on Open Education and teacher professional development, that is being launched with the support of the Brazilian Ministry of Education." Nice.Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
According to Thomas Arnett, "the 'collective action' approach will likely flounder at creating the pipeline of excellent personalized learning teachers that the field needs." This is because "when new innovations are still stretching to meet our expectations, the best strategy for pushing a product’s performance forward is for a single entity to control all the interdependent pieces of the solution." He draws a parallel between the development of teachers and the development of touchscreens. It's hard to imagine a more tone-deaf analogy, save perhaps the reference to training for a particular charter school network in New York City. Teachers are not "a product" and personalization may yet be something that resembles art more than it does manufacturing.Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
Britain's Jisc has launched a new podcast called "What the EdTech?" hosted by Laura Kidd. The first episode features guests "Eric Stoller, education consultant and thought leader, Sarah Knight, head of change - student experience at Jisc, and Kardi Somerfield, senior lecturer in digital marketing and advertising at The University of Northampton."Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]
The argument documented here is familiar, but it's still a point of frustration for researchers working in the humanities and social sciences when they are compared with peers in technology, engineering and mathematics. Simply, the former receive much fewer citations because citations, and papers themselves, play a different role in those disciplines. So it's silly to compare researchers based on citation counts or H-indices. This, for example, is a big difference between me and other researchers in the same building: "Scholars position their approach not through a comprehensive literature review but by way of strategic citations." The 'literature review' approach to science has always seemed odd to me. Don't you actually know the important papers in your field after having worked in it for 15 years? Also, literature reviews actually miss some of the most important work in a field. But - I recognize - it's a perspective thing.Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]