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OLDaily - Hace 1 hora 25 mins

Matthias Melcher, x21s New Blog, Nov 21, 2017

Matthias Melcher diagrams my post on Consciousness and extracts some of the essential elements in an easy-to-follow list of key concepts and ideas. "The greatest takeaway so far," he writes, "was the explanation of the mysterious ‘suddenness’ through recognition, see the last entry of my list."

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Tulane Rolls Out New Closed-Captioning Service

Campus Technology - Hace 1 hora 46 mins
Tulane University is simplifying the process of captioning its video and audio content. The institution worked with video management provider ShareStream to launch a new closed-captioning service that has been integrated into the ShareStream Video Platform.

Avanza Descrestante Entorno Moodle para Educación en Casa y Sin Escuela

Moodle News - Hace 2 horas 58 mins
This story in English. Lewis Carr nos sigue demostrando su trabajo en un sitio Moodle que atienda las necesidades de la primera infancia, en el caso particular de educación en casa o educación sin...

METRICS: a pattern language of scholarship in medical education

OLDaily - Hace 3 horas 42 mins

Rachel Ellaway, David Topps, MedEdPublish, Nov 21, 2017

What is scholarship in colleges and universities? Maybe the best part of this post is the background reading you'll have to do to put it into context. For example, I thoroughly enjoyed Ernest Boyer's long paper (160 page PDF) on Scholarship Reconsidered even though it dates from 1980 describing three major phases of evolution in the U.S. university system (noting, in particular, their original focus on teaching, and the relatively recent focus on research). Boyer's much shorter (12 page PDF) paper of the same name is an outline of the model (discovery, integration, application, teaching). Glassick, Huber and Maeroff's 1997 Scholarship Assessed model (goals, preparation, methods, results, presentation, critique) is also not to be missed (16 page PDF). Felder (2000) offers a nice summary (4 page PDF). The proposal in the METRICS paper is a seven-part model (meta, evaluation, translation, research, innovation, conceptual, synthesis). It seems to me that the elements of service and social change discussed in the longer Boyer paper have all but disappeared from all three accounts (though maybe they're part of translation and innovation). The need for excellence in teaching seems also to be receding as a goal.

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Programación de videojuegos para la diversidad funcional

INTEF - Hace 4 horas 35 mins

Combinar la programación y la robótica con el servicio comunitario para la sensibilización sobre la parálisis cerebral es el objetivo de una experiencia piloto sobre aprendizaje-servicio aplicado al ámbito de la diversidad funcional, que ha sido presentada en el VIII Congreso Nacional y II Internacional de Aprendizaje-Servicio Universitario.

El objetivo fundamental del proyecto, en el que participan Rockbotic, ASPACE (Asociación Sevillana de Parálisis Cerebral) y la Universidad de Sevilla, es que escolares de entre 7 y 12 años adquieran competencias relacionadas con las Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones (programación, robótica, diseño gráfico y desarrollo de videojuegos) mediante el diseño de soluciones de apoyo a personas con diversidad funcional.

La mayoría de las personas con parálisis cerebral requieren soluciones de apoyo accesibles adaptadas a sus capacidades para realizar sus tareas diarias. Estas soluciones deben ser individualizadas o, al menos, personalizables.

En la experiencia se crearon cuatro videojuegos adaptados para Rosana y Enmanuel. Para ello se ha empleado metodología de Diseño Centrado en el Usuario (DCU), implementando un proceso iterativo para el desarrollo de los videojuegos propuestos. DCU permite crear productos implicando a los usuarios en todas las fases del desarrollo asegurando así su completa adaptación y personalización.

Los videojuegos se crearon en Scratch por 400 escolares de educación primaria de 12 centros educativos de Sevilla. Y se realizó un evento de entrega a Rosana y Enmanuel en el que la emoción fue máxima.

Fuente de la imagen: Medialab-Prado


Esta experiencia ha dado pie a la creación de Exponential Solidarity, una entidad sin ánimo de lucro especializada en realizar proyectos en los que se combina la tecnoeducación, la diversidad funcional y la exclusión social; en definitiva, en la mejora social. Exponential Solidarity está realizando actualmente cuatro nuevos proyectos para cuatro personas con parálisis cerebral y daño cerebral adquirido. El objetivo es que este proyecto pueda ser llevado a muchos más centros escolares en España, y que muchas más niñas y niños aprendan tecnología ayudando a personas muy especiales.

Fuente de la imagen destacada: Diario de la comarca de Puertollano

No, you’re not being paranoid. Sites really are watching your every move

OLDaily - Hace 4 horas 57 mins

Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, Nov 21, 2017

Just for the record, my website does not track you when you visit. Even if you sign up for a newsletter, it barely acknowledges that you exist. I like it that way, because there's no data to lose. But my website appears to be the exception. "A new study finds hundreds of sites—including,, and—employ scripts that record visitors' keystrokes, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior in real time, even before the input is submitted or is later deleted." As Steven Englehardt reports in the study, "This data can’t reasonably be expected to be kept anonymous. In fact, some companies allow publishers to explicitly link recordings to a user’s real identity."

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Reinforce Curiosity As A Problem-Solving Strategy With Stash Plugin For Moodle

Moodle News - Hace 6 horas 12 mins
Adrian Grieve has a challenge for you: Gamify a Moodle course using only the standard activities. No plugins. Any ideas how? Perhaps you could add some playfulness to the content or tweak the...

Unizin Updates: A change in direction and a likely change in culture

e-Literate - Hace 6 horas 53 mins

After the resignation of Unizin's CEO (Amin Qazi) and COO (Robin Littleworth) that we reported last week, we can confirm that the key issue was a change in direction for the consortium driven by the board of directors. Our information is based on on-the-record interviews with Qazi and Littleworth and additional interviews with Unizin staff, member institution staff, and outside sources. We believe this change in direction led to the resignations and will likely also lead to a change in emphasis on various Unizin initiatives.

To recap what happened last week and add some details, there were two back-to-back board meetings for Unizin and Kuali held in Austin, TX. These meetings were not emergency meetings and were scheduled a long time ago, based on Unizin's headquarters and Kuali's users conference being held in that city. In an interview and follow-up discussion over the past few days, Amin Qazi described how he had not expected to resign going into the week. But in a meeting last Monday with the executive committee of Unizin, the board described a change in direction that they wanted to make, focusing on investments in initiatives with shorter-term visibility instead of those with a longer-term payoff such as the Open edX and Google partnerships. Qazi said that he was not the right person to lead the company in that direction, and after this meeting he resigned.

I was told that Monday night Rob Lowden, Associate Vice President of Enterprise Systems at Indiana University, was asked to fly down to Austin based on this resignation. At the Tuesday Unizin board meeting, they approved his selection as interim executive director while the board searches for a new CEO. Robin Littleworth described that he was told somewhat conflicting information in his meeting with the board in that there was no change in direction.

Coming out of the the board meeting, there was an all-hands meeting with Unizin staff, and board members told them of the changes. There was a question about rumors that might be acquiring Unizin, and the board members stated that this rumor was not true. Later in the meeting Littleworth gave an impassioned speech that the staff was the company, and that due to the changes and how they were handled the board had seriously harmed the company culture. He then announced his resignation. According to Littleworth, he hopes that his resignation and speech might alert the board that they didn't think the situation all the way through and that they should reconsider how to support the company moving forward. Rob Lowden, for his part, still has his full-time job at Indiana University, but he told staff during this meeting that he would be commuting weekly to Austin for the next several months during the transition.

I suspect that we'll need to analyze the change in direction in more depth as details come out, but I believe that this situation is not based on finances or problems getting member institutions to recommit; rather it is a matter of emphasis on shorter-term versus longer-term initiatives.

All Unizin member institutions that signed on in 2014 have re-signed to new three-year agreements, and according to Unizin Form 990 submissions, the consortium had $2 million in assets as of summer 2016 while running a surplus - meaning that this balance is should be even higher today. Furthermore, Littleworth stated that the Unizin management team was "not given any indication from our Board, let alone anything in writing, that we were at all underperforming or not meeting expectations".

What Qazi and Littleworth were pushing for were initiatives that directly addressed member institution needs even though they may take time to develop. One example is the recently-announced Open edX partnership. In an interview with Thomas Evans at The Ohio State University, he described that school's desire to explore micro-credentials and to figure out how that would fit into an overall OSU strategy. Despite OSU's partnership with Coursera, or actually because of it, the school did not want to figure this out with a platform company that would take a percentage of revenue. The Unizin / Open edX agreement is allowing OSU to pilot programs and figure out a strategy over the next few years.

What we are likely to see with the Unizin change in direction is a stronger emphasis on partnerships and developments focused on near-term positioning of the consortium, include the BNED LoudCloud analytics partnership.

The key intellectual property that Unizin has developed over the past few years is the Unizin Data Platform with its associated Unizin Common Data Model (UCDM). From a post on the UCDM:

The UCDM rules map student, course, instruction, and learning activity information together. They solve the problem of “connecting the dots” between all of the data sources to create a single view of the student in the context of learning. As the data flows in from the SIS, LMS, and learning tools, the rules are applied to each data element, like a puzzle piece, to make sure that it is oriented to contribute to the whole picture.

We at e-Literate have been critical of Unizin over the years for not having a clear value proposition. But from my conversations over the past two years with Unizin member institutions, the biggest value thus far from the consortium was this data platform and the hard work done to turn messy LMS and SIS data into usable formats. We have also heard from two outside sources recently that Unizin has had some real success using Engage to provide Inclusive Access digital content (course content available day one of term through institutional agreements) to several schools. And the OSU description of why they are using Open edX is compelling with its alignment with the stated Unizin mission.

We don't know all the details of the change in direction, but we believe this change is what triggered the management resignations last week. I will be quite interested to see if the changes affect the three initiatives mentioned above and pull the organization backwards in terms of creating value for its member institutions.

Given the change, however, I believe there will also be a corresponding change in company culture that is inevitable at Unizin. Qazi and Littleworth (I have had many more interactions with the former but believe both to have been aligned) had an open, transparent, collegial style. Rather than ever getting defensive from questions we have asked or posts we have written at e-Literate, the two departing Unizin executives went out of their way to listen to criticism, engage us in conversations, and not try and control messaging but favor transparency instead.

Qazi described how he was honored to have had the responsibility to guide Unizin through hard three years of launching the company, and he is proud of the team that Unizin has - they have a great deal of passion and dedication, and they have been asked to solve some very different problems from universities. Littleworth also expressed his primary pride in the Unizin staff and what they are accomplishing.

By way of contrast, we have found the Unizin board to be quite focused on controlling the message. The board specifically asked both Qazi and Littleworth to not talk to me, but given their lack of employment agreements controlling who they talked to, both declined. I have asked to speak to board members for this story over the past few days with no response until they put out a press release today. The press release thanked Qazi for his service in a classy way and briefly noted Lowden's new role while not mentioning Littleworth. But there is no information that I did not already have. After the press release came out I was invited, not by a board member but by a communications specialist, to submit questions for the board to address. I will do so for follow-up analysis.

There is little doubt in my mind that the new Unizin leadership will be much more tightly controlled by the Unizin board, and they will take on much more of the board's characteristics. This will likely lead to a change in company culture.

Where does this leave Unizin? The consortium has money and three-year agreements in place. But there is a lot of work to be done before the consortium can deliver the value justifying $250k - $427k per year membership fees. As Littleworth described, the company is still in its infancy but now is changing direction while missing its critical leadership.

While the following is not based on my interviews, I find the choice of Lowden as interim executive director to be quite interesting and a big part of the reason that I believe the 'change in direction' argument. If the board truly wanted to continue same direction despite Amin's resignation, why not promote Steve Scott (CTO) or Robin Littleworth (COO), at least during transition? Remember that Littleworth did not resign until after Lowden was selected, and there was no discussion with the former COO about what to do next. Bringing in someone from outside so quickly seems to be significant. Furthermore, Lowden has a long history at Indiana University working for Unizin co-founder Brad Wheeler, and he was also involved early on at Sakai and then with the Kuali board - initiatives heavily influenced by Wheeler. Given his full-time job, the choice to use Lowden to replace full-time executive team for the next several months will lead to a challenging situation at a crucial time, to say the least, even though Qazi is staying on board through December to help with the transition. Was this choice partially worked out in advance, or did the board really react to Qazi's resignation and find an interim replacement within 24 hours? What will Lowden be able to accomplish given his logistical challenges (Indianapolis vs. Austin and having multiple jobs). I will attempt to get answers from board on these questions.

What I would watch over the next few months is whether Unizin loses additional staff due to the changes. And I would also watch the direction of the Unizin Data Platform in particular to understand the extent of changes to strategy.

The post Unizin Updates: A change in direction and a likely change in culture appeared first on e-Literate.

Col·legi Badalonès redissenya la reunió de famílies

Educació Demà - Hace 8 horas 38 mins
El Col·legi Badalonès ens fa arribar un article molt interessant sobre com han viscut el procés de redisseny de les reunions de famílies. No us el perdeu!   El repte: Conèixer per reconèixer El lema: Naveguem junts El nom: Navegants  

Escola Bernat Metge redissenya les reunions amb famílies

Educació Demà - Hace 8 horas 57 mins
L'Escola Bernat Metge ens fa arribar un article molt interessant sobre com han viscut el procés de redisseny de les reunions de famílies. No us el perdeu!  

Escola Campderrós repensa la reunió de famílies

Educació Demà - Hace 9 horas 18 mins

L'Escola Campderrós ens fa arribar un article molt interessant sobre com han viscut el procés de redisseny de les reunions de famílies. No us el perdeu!

L’equip de Mestres de l’escola teníem inquietuds en quant el vincle amb les famílies i diferents temes a tractar amb elles. Per nosaltres era essencial establir una comunicació més propera entre familia-escola. Per aquest motiu la direcció de l’escola ens va informar de l’oferta del curs i va ser llavors quan unes mestres ens vam engrescar i vam participar en ell.


Educació Demà - Hace 9 horas 56 mins

Echo360 Announces Universal Capture Software

Campus Technology - 20 Noviembre, 2017 - 22:17
Lecture capture and video platform company Echo360 is introducing new software that allows users to record the screen of their Mac or Windows device as well as capture lectures in the classroom, through the same interface.

Where is Technology Taking the Economy

OLDaily - 20 Noviembre, 2017 - 21:45

Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Nov 21, 2017

Irving Wladawsky-Berger offers projections about the new technological environment. "Machines have started to exhibit associative intelligence," he writes, "Associative intelligence is no longer just housed in the brains of human workers, but emerges from the constant interactions among machines, software and processes." It made me think of e-Trucks interacting with each other to form convoys, for example. Then I began to imagine road construction priorities being automatically determined by automated vehicles reporting bottlenecks and slowdowns. Anyhow, Wladawsky-Berger identifies several key changes in our political economy that result from this trend (quoted):

  • The criteria for assessing policies will change from 'growth' to 'job creation' (or maybe simply access to goods and services)
  • The criteria for measuring the economy will change, as virtual goods "generate unmeasured benefits for the user, cost next to nothing, and are unpriced"
  • Free market economies will be regulated. “In the distributive era free-market efficiency will no longer be justifiable if it creates whole classes of people who lose.”
  • "The next era will not be an economic one, but a political one... until we’ve resolved access we’re in for a lengthy period of experimentation"

I think these changes mught be even more significant than depicted here. If we're looking decades ahead, as Wladawsky-Berger, we may be looking at the replacement of money as a mechanism for exchange, as the assumulation of trillions of unused dollars in secret accounts has undermined its effectiveness for the purpose of regulating commerce.

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Pearson, WTF? Badges, patents, and the world’s ‘least popular’ education company

OLDaily - 20 Noviembre, 2017 - 21:35

Doug Belshaw, Open Educational Thinkering, Nov 21, 2017

Doug Belshaw has two bits of news about Pearson in this article. First, he reports on Pearson's new application to patent digital credentials (you know, like badges). It's only something Belshaw and others have been working on for years now. "he ‘background’ section uses language very similar to the Open Badges for Lifelong Learning working paper published in 2012 by Mozilla."  Additionally, he notes that " they have closed their DRM-Free ebook store, and will now proceed to delete all ebooks from their customers’ accounts." Well, I'm glad I didn't buy any eBooks from Pearson! "Perhaps I should have been more cynical, as they obviously are," writes Belshaw. "I note, for example, that Pearson waited until Mozilla handed over stewardship of Open Badges to IMS Global Learning Consortium (who have said they will not contest the patent) before filing." Will not contest? Seriously, IMS?

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Innovation Culture

OLDaily - 20 Noviembre, 2017 - 20:33

Rideau Hall Foundation, Nov 21, 2017

This website, and the associated project around it, are an outcome of the previous Governor-General of Canada, David Johnston, working with Tom Jenkins (of the Jenkins report on science and technology in Canada). The site says "Innovation is the creative combination of anything that, once done, makes something better." I have mixed views. The Canadian Museum of Science and Technology, now part of co-sponsor Ingenium, was one of my favourite childhood destinations. It just reopened (yay!). I should visit. And you can submit Canadian Innovation Stories (note that the site is slow). But innovation seems to me to be more than just 'combining' things, and more than just 'making something better'. The Governor-General's Innovation Awards, associated with the site, are almost exclusively for medical innovations and/or businesses. There are education resources, including a children's resource, that defines innovation as "creating or improving a thing (product) or action (process) to make a difference (impact)." This seems even narrower to me. It's not all about business. Disclosure: I was peripherally involved with the education resources and my name appears in the acknowledgements.

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All lies and jests...

Steve Wheeler - 20 Noviembre, 2017 - 20:32
Image from PixabayI was intrigued to read a blog post by Tim Holt that was written in response to my own recent post on teachers and technology. In his post, Tim (I will refer to him by his first name throughout to give him the respect he deserves) concludes, rather bleakly that he is 'putting his money on the march of technology', implying that teachers will one day have to make way for artificial intelligence. In order to reach this conclusion, Tim refers to what he perceives are several flaws in my original argument that teachers should not, and cannot be replaced by technology.

Tim, who is a director of instructional technology, makes his argument that all of the roles and attributes of teachers can be replicated by machine intelligence and quotes from Sir Anthony Seldon to support this claim. Yes, Seldon is effusive in his commentary on the future of education, and yes he talks of advances in the use of technology that will create personalised, inspirational environments for learning. If the full text of his interview is read however, Seldon is advising that although computers might be able to 'instilling knowledge into young minds' teachers will still need to be in the classroom, to manage the learning, behaviour and other essential pedagogical aspects without which technology would fail miserably. Seldon is not, as Tim implies, completely positive about artificial intelligence. He concludes that he is 'desperately sad' by the rapid technological developments and their threat to teachers, and says that he is 'alarmed' by artificial intelligence.

It is true that many of the human attributes we take for granted can be recreated within complex algorithms and represented as 'machine learning' or the 'recognition' of facial expressions or vocal tones. And yet, try as they might, no-one, including Tim - has yet been able to refute my claim that the main reason teachers will always be needed is because they have a distinct advantage over computers. Computers always follow the rules. It's the nature of their programming. However, teachers can and do break rules - this often happens when a teacher intuits the need to help a student.

Tim refers to one of my another of my recent blog posts where I present a model of change, and attempts to use this as refutation of my position. He claims that:

"Wheeler even seems to ignore a blog entry he wrote a few days later where he talks about disruptive technologies and even graphs out what happens when new technologies replace old, which would be the example of AI replacing classroom teachers:"

It's a neat trick to try, attempting to turn an opponent's own ideas against him, but the argument is falls over because Tim fails to acknowledge (or notice) the caveat I present on the same page to this model (below). It is simply that when we over-disrupt - for example by attempting to replace human systems with technology, for the sake of technology sake - then we often regress back to square one (i.e. inertia).

Also, how could I ignore my own writing, if I have only just written it? This is a counterintuitive argument to me, but at least it proves that Tim Holt is not a chatbot! Thank you for reading the blog posts Tim. I'm flattered that you are aware of them, but I would be grateful if you could read them in their totality before you attempt to turn my own arguments and ideas against me.

I'm not sure I would like to live in the world Tim Holt describes. In answer to another question he poses about my knowledge: Yes, I am aware of the upcoming AI developments, and although great advances are being made in areas such as machine learning, cognitive computing and even emotional modelling, teaching will remain the preserve of humans. I'm not convinced that something as complex and vital as teaching could ever be hived off to a computer. Imparting of knowledge is one thing. But it is such a small aspect of a teacher's daily work.

Technology is useful for supporting, enhancing and even extending the capabilities of humans. It was not created to replace our minds, creativity and emotional intelligence. I certainly wouldn't wish for my children to exclusively use technology to explore their world. We are highly social, and we all need human interaction. The pseudo-utopian world Tim Holt espouses sounds like an absolute nightmare.

When Arthur C Clarke intoned 'Any teacher who can be replaced by a computer, should be', he was indeed bemoaning bad teachers that delivered instruction. But the implied caveat was that there were also other (good) teachers in the equation - and that these would not need to be replaced by computers.

All lies and jests... by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's