agregador de noticias
Llevar la realidad al aula y conectar con lo que los alumnos han visto, leído u oído en verano es una buena manera de iniciar el curso.
Las migraciones por causas económicas y conflictos armados son un tema de enorme, y triste, actualidad que debería estar presente en nuestras aulas a lo largo del próximo curso.
Nos permitirá promover el aprendizaje de diversos contenidos y competencias. Para hacerlo solo tendremos que usar algunos de los siguientes recursos educativos abiertos que aparecen a continuación.
NFER have been commissioned by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) to carry out a small-scale rapid literature review of the value of vocational qualifications offered in the UK by JCQ. The review was carried out February-April 2015 and sought to answer the following questions: (1) How is the value of vocational qualifications defined? (2) What is the reported value of vocational qualifications (e.g. benefits for the individual learner, business, and the economy)? (3) Are there gaps in the research on the value of vocational qualifications, and if so, what further information would be useful to have for policy and practice?
Following a systematic search of databases and websites, the project team scrutinised 73 texts making an independent ‘best evidence’ selection of 16 to be reviewed, based on relevance to the research questions and the quality of the evidence. The reviewed texts focused on young people aged 14-25 and were published in English in the United Kingdom from the year 2009.
The literature review identified benefits for all stakeholders in young people taking vocational qualifications:
- Learners: increased likelihood of being in employment and a significant wage return for all levels and most types of vocational qualifications. Increased access to higher education for the poorest learners.
- Businesses: increased productivity and a more skilled workforce.
- Economy/Exchequer: a positive financial return for most qualifications, with particularly high returns associated with Level 3. A reduction in benefit dependency and increase in income tax.
The full report can be downloaded here.
This is the outline I used for the 'Designing Personal Learning Environments' workshop we held at the University of Guadalajara today. We fit the exercises into a four hour period which made it very fast-paced and intensive. I think it went pretty well. So I have two requests: first, if you have comments or suggestions on how to improve this process, please add them to the document (it's in Google Docs). And second, if you use this model (or something like it) for an activity of your own, please share with me the persona sheets created by participants. If you can (it's not required, but would be nice).[Link] [Comment]
According to the article, "Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) – free, short courses made available to everybody online – were expected to herald the end of higher education as we knew it when they began. But the hype soon died away and critics bemoaned the fact that learners quickly lost enthusiasm and dropped out in large numbers." But with MOOCs receiving so much criticism recently, it is worth pointing to the very substantial ways they have improved education over the last half-dozen years or so (quoted):
- Many institutions, are using MOOCs to develop high quality online learning materials
- learners are using MOOCs to enhance their attractiveness to employers
- in-campus programmes that have a MOOC versions running alongside
- MOOCs are making learning more engaging
- MOOCs are opening up educational access
If someone had said to me that these could be achieved in the six years following CCK08, I would have been enthusiastic and pleased. I still am.
Who is surprised that a free college education would be popular? This article is about the Tennessee Promise program, suddenly flush with students, that is one of the standard-bearers for the new free college program in the U.S. "Tennessee has been hailed for its statewide initiative and is the basis for President Obama's America's College Promise ... Oregon will become the second state to offer a similar statewide program." Free education and affordable health care? Blame Obama.[Link] [Comment]
Contact North, Aug 26, 2015
This post is subtitled "What We Can Learn From The Gűlen Movement" and I confess, I have not heard of the Gűlen Movement before. The Gűlen Movement "is a worldwide civic initiative rooted in the spiritual and humanistic traditions of Islam and inspired by the ideas and activism of Mr. Fethullah Gűlen – named by Time magazine as one of the most influential people in the world in 2013." And it's another one of those movements founded around character: "Education is not just about learning a concept. It’ s about learning values, to be a person… and betterment of the individual toward a positive change in society." Sorry, no. No matter how ideal the values, a movement based in making everybody somehow the same is to me a non-starter. I personally believe in the value of things like social action - but it should be a choice, not a requirement; a mechanism, not an outcome.[Link] [Comment]
Pearson is flush with cash after having sold off the Economist group and Financial Times. In a well-written and informative article Anya Kamanetz suggests that Pearson may be looking to rebuild trust. As Audrey Watters says, it's not exactly a beloved brand. And how to rebuild trust? "What might really improve perceptions of the company and conditions for learners is more good old-fashioned market competition," writes Kamanetz. Maybe. But if Pearson sent a few million of its newly found billions my way I would give them another alternative: neutral broker. Instead of trying to succeed in the marketplace, be the marketplace.[Link] [Comment]
Google for Education, Aug 26, 2015
Google has upgraded its Classroom tool, squeezing LMS vendors just a little bit more. It includes question-driven discussions, reuse of posts, calendar integration, and more. Best of the comments: "Teachers cannot open this site on campus; blogs are blocked by filter." Motivation, maybe, for Google to keep developing its classroom platform.[Link] [Comment]
I met American teacher, artist and edupunk Amy Burvall last year. Our pathways crossed when we were attending different events in London and so we arranged met up for a few drinks. I was already familiar with Amy's work online, especially her excellent series of YouTube videos called History Teachers. If you haven't viewed them yet, you should do so - they are a must watch, even if you are not a teacher of history. Amy has taken popular songs, rewritten the lyrics about specific periods in European history, and has then created new music videos for educational purposes. Particular favourites of mine include the story of Martin Luther (to the tune of the Bangles' Manic Monday - in which she takes on three singing roles), Charlemagne ('Call Me' by Blondie), the classy Elizabeth I ('She's not there' by the Zombies) and the comical animated Henry VIII and his six wives (Money, Money, Money by Abba). The combined viewing figures for this collection of teaching videos is now in the millions. But History Teachers is just one of the many contributions Amy has made to digital learning in the past few years.
What inspires me most about Amy Burvall? She is quirky, unpredictable, creative, mischievous, and she is not afraid to take risks - all characteristics I recognise in myself. She is also a cancer survivor, which in itself should inspire all of us. She is tenacious and has boundless energy, and she never seems to stop. I believe this is because she has a burning desire is to help as many people to learn as she possibly can. She does this through her writing, videos, photography, artwork, live sketching (see Graffikon), keynote speeches and her very popular workshops on creativity, making and learning. Recently we collaborated for the first time on a project that is now known as #blimage which can be read about here (join in - it's fun!). I'm hoping that this is just the start of our collaboration, and that we will continue to bounce ideas off each other for some time to come. Watch this space!
Photo by Jeffrey Teruel
Selfie number 6 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
David Wiley has a really interesting post up about Lumen Learning’s new personalized learning platform. Here’s an excerpt:
A typical high-level approach to personalization might include:
- building up an internal model of what a student knows and can do,
- algorithmically interrogating that model, and
- providing the learner with a unique set of learning experiences based on the system’s analysis of the student model
Our thinking about personalization started here. But as we spoke to faculty and students, and pondered what we heard from them and what we have read in the literature, we began to see several problems with this approach. One in particular stood out:
There is no active role for the learner in this “personalized” experience. These systems reduce all the richness and complexity of deciding what a learner should be doing to – sometimes literally – a “Next” button. As these systems painstakingly work to learn how each student learns, the individual students lose out on the opportunity to learn this for themselves. Continued use of a system like this seems likely to create dependency in learners, as they stop stretching their metacognitive muscles and defer all decisions about what, when, and how long to study to The Machine.
Instructure’s Jared Stein really likes Lumen’s approach, writing,
So much work in predictive analytics and adaptive learning seeks to relieve people from the time-consuming work of individual diagnosis and remediation — that’s a two-edged sword: Using technology to increase efficiency can too easily sacrifice humanness — if you’re not deliberate in the design and usage of the technology. This topic came up quickly amongst the #DigPedNetwork group when Jim Groom and I chatted about closed/open learning environments earlier this month, suggesting that we haven’t fully explored this dilemma as educators or educational technologist.
I would add that I have seen very little evidence that either instructors or students place a high value on the adaptivity of these products. Phil and I have talked to a wide range of folks using these products, both in our work on the e-Literate TV case studies and in our general work as analysts. There is a lot of interest in the kind of meta-cognitive dashboarding that David is describing. There is little interest in, and in some cases active hostility toward, adaptivity. For example, Essex County College is using McGraw Hill’s ALEKS, which has one of the more sophisticated adaptive learning approaches on the market. But when we talked to faculty and staff there, the aspects of the program that they highlighted as most useful were a lot more mundane, e.g.,
It’s important for students to spend the time, right? I mean learning takes time, and it’s hard work. Asking students to keep time diaries is a very difficult ask, but when they’re working in an online platform, the platform keeps track of their time. So, on the first class day of the week, that’s goal-setting day. How many hours are you going to spend working on your math? How many topics are you planning to master? How many classes are you not going to be absent from?
I mean these are pretty simple goals, and then we give them a couple goals that they can just write whatever they feel like. And I’ve had students write, “I want to come to class with more energy,” and other such goals. And then, because we’ve got technology as our content delivery system, at the end of the week I can tell them, in a very efficient fashion that doesn’t take up a lot of my time, “You met your time goal, you met your topic goal,” or, “You approached it,” or, “You didn’t.”
So one of the most valuable functions of this system in this context is to reflect back to the students what they have done in terms that make sense to them and are relevant to the students’ self-selected learning goals. The measures are fairly crude—time on task, number of topics covered, and so on—and there is no adaptivity necessary at all.
But I also think that David’s post hints at some of the complexity of the design challenges with these products.
You can think of the family of personalized learning products as having potentially two components: diagnostic and prescriptive. Everybody who likes personalized learning products in any form like the diagnostic component. The foundational value proposition for personalization, (which should not in any way be confused with “personal”), is having the system provide feedback to students and teachers about what the student does well and where the student is struggling. Furthermore, the perceived value of the product is directly related to the confidence that students and teachers have that the product is rendering an accurate diagnosis. That’s why I think products that provide black box diagnoses are doomed to market failure in the long term. As the market matures, students and teachers are going to want to know not only what the diagnosis is but what the basis of the diagnosis is, so that they can judge for themselves whether they think the machine is correct.
Once the system has diagnosed the student’s knowledge or skill gaps—and it is worth calling out that these many of these personalized learning systems work on a deficit model, where the goal is to get students to fill in gaps—the next step is to prescribe actions that will help students to address those gaps. Here again we get into the issue of transparency. As David points out, some vendors hide the rationale for their prescriptions, even going so far as to remove user choice and just hide the adaptivity behind the “next” button. Note that the problem isn’t so much with providing a prescription as it is with the way in which it is provided. The other end of the spectrum, as David argues, is to make recommendations. The full set of statements from a well behaved personalized learning product to a student or teacher might be something like the following:
- This is where I think you have skill or knowledge gaps.
- This is the evidence and reasoning for my diagnosis.
- This is my suggestion for what you might want to do next.
- This is my reasoning for why I think it might help you.
It sounds verbose, but it can be done in fairly compact ways. Netflix’s “based on your liking Movie X and Movie Y, we think you would give Movie Z 3.5 stars” is one example of a compact explanation that provides at least some of this information. There are lots of ways that a thoughtful user interface designer can think about progressively revealing some of this information and providing “nudges” that encourage students on certain paths while still giving them the knowledge and freedom they need to make choices for themselves. The degree to which the system should be heavy-handed in its prescription probably depends in part on the pedagogical model. I can see something closer to “here, do this next” feeling appropriate in a self-paced CBE course than in a typical instructor-facilitated course. But even there, I think the Lumen folks are 100% right that the first responsibility of the adaptive learning system should be to help the learner understand what the system is suggesting and why so that the learner can gain better meta-cognitive understanding.
None of which is to say that the fancy adaptive learning algorithms themselves are useless. To the contrary. In an ideal world, the system will be looking at a wide range of evidence to provide more sophisticated evidence-based suggestions to the students. But the key word here is “suggestions.” Both because a critical part of any education is teaching students to be more self-aware of their learning processes and because faulty prescriptions in an educational setting can have serious consequences, personalized learning products need to evolve out of the black box phase as quickly as possible.
The post The Fraught Interaction Design of Personalized Learning Products appeared first on e-Literate.
One year ago Blackboard’s strategy for Moodle was floundering. After the 2012 acquisition of Moodlerooms and Netspot, Blackboard had kept its promises of supporting the open source community – and in fact, Blackboard pays much more than 50% of the total revenue going to Moodle HQ – but that does not mean they had a strategy. Key Moodlerooms employees were leaving, and the management was frustrated. Last fall the remaining Moodlerooms management put together an emerging strategy to invest in (through corporate M&A) and grow the Moodle business, mostly outside of the US.
In just the past twelve months, Blackboard has acquired three Moodle-based companies – Remote-Learner UK (Moodle Partner in the UK), X-Ray Analytics (learning analytics for Moodle), and Nivel Siete (Moodle Partner in Colombia). When you add in organic growth to these acquisition, Blackboard has added ~450 new clients using Moodle in this same time period, reaching a current total of ~1400.
This is a change worth exploring. To paraphrase Michael’s statements to me and in his recent BbWorld coverage:
If you want to understand Blackboard and their future, you have to understand what they’re doing internationally. If you want to understand what they’re doing internationally, you have to understand what they’re doing with Moodle.
Based on this perspective, I accepted an invitation from Blackboard to come visit Nivel Siete last week to get a first-hand view of what this acquisition means I also attended the MoodleMoot Colombia #mootco15 conference and talked directly to Moodle customers in Latin America. Let’s first unpack that last phrase.
- Note that due to the nature of this trip, I “talked directly” with Blackboard employees, Nivel Siete employees, Blackboard resellers, and Nivel Siete customers. They did give me free access to talk privately with whoever I wanted to, but treat this post as somewhat of an inside view rather than one that also includes perspectives from competitors.
- “Moodle” is very significant in Latin America. It is the default LMS that dominates learning environments. The competition, or alternative solution, there is Blackboard Learn or . . . another route to get Moodle. In this market D2L and Canvas have virtually no presence – each company has just a couple of clients in Latin America and are not currently a factor in LMS decision-making. Schoology has one very large customer in Uruguay service hundreds of thousands of students. Blackboard Learn serves the top of the market – e.g. the top 10% in terms of revenue of Colombian institutions, where they already serves the majority of that sub-market according to the people I talked to. For the remaining 90%, it is pretty much Moodle, Moodle, alternate applications that are not LMSs, or nothing.
- I chose “customers” instead of “schools” or “institutions” for a reason. What is not understood in much of the education community is that Moodle has a large footprint outside of higher ed and K-12 markets. Approximately 2/3 of Nivel Siete’s clients are in corporate learning, and several others are government. And this situation is quite common for Moodle. In the US, more than 1/3 of Moodlerooms’ and approximately 1/2 of Remote-Learner’s customers are corporate learning. Phill Miller, the VP of International for Moodlerooms, said that for most of the Moodle hosting and service providers he has met, they also are serving corporate clients at similar numbers as education.
- I chose “Latin America” instead of “Colombia” for a reason. While all but ~12 of Nivel Siete’s existing clients are in Colombia, Blackboard bought the company to act as a center of excellence or support service company for most of Latin America – Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and Peru in particular. Cognos Online, their current local reseller for Latin America for core Blackboard products (Learn, Collaborate, etc) will become the reseller also for their Moodle customers. Nivel Siete will support a broader set of clients. In other words, this is not a simple acquisition of customers – it is an expansion of international presence.
And while we’re at it, the conference reception included a great opera mini flash mob (make sure to watch past 0:37):Nivel Siete
Nivel Siete (meaning Level 7, a reference from two of the founders’ college days when a professor talked about need to understand deeper levels of the technology stack than just top-level applications that customers see), is a company of just over 20 employees in Bogota. They have 237+ clients, but that is growing. During the three days while I was there they signed several new contracts. They offer Moodle hosting and service in a cloud environment based on Amazon Web Services (AWS) – not true SaaS, as they allow multiple software versions in production and have not automated all provisioning or upgrade processes. What they primarily offer, according to the founders, is a culture of how to service and support using cloud services and specific marketing and sales techniques.
In Latin America, most customers care more about the local sales and support company than they do about the core software. As one person put it, they believe in skin-to-skin sales, where clients have relationships they trust as long as solutions are provided. Most LMS customers in Latin America do not care as much about the components of that solution as they do about relationships, service, and price. And yet, due to open source software and lightweight infrastructure needs, Moodle is dominant as noted above. The Moodle brand, code base, and code licensing does not matter as much as the Moodle culture and ecosystem. From a commercial standpoint, Nivel Siete’s competitors include a myriad of non Moodle Partner hosting providers – telcos bundling in hosting, mom-and-pop providers, self-hosting – or non-consumption. For a subset of the market, Nivel Siete has competed with Blackboard Learn.
Beyond Cognos Online, Blackboard has another ~9 resellers in Latin America, and Nivel Siete (or whatever they decide to name the new unit) will support all of these resellers. This is actually the biggest motivation other than cash for the company to sell – they were seeking methods to extend their influence, and this opportunity made the most sense.Blackboard Learn and Ultra
What about that Learn sub-market? Most clients and sales people (resellers as well as Blackboard channel manager) are aware of Learn Ultra, but the market seems to understand already that Ultra is not for them . . . yet. They appear to be taking a ‘talk to me when it’s done and done in Spanish’ approach and not basing current decisions on Ultra. In this sense, the timing for Ultra does not matter all that much, as the market is not waiting on it. Once Ultra is ready for Latin America, Blackboard sales (channel manager and resellers) expect the switchover to be quicker than in the US, as LMS major upgrades (involving major UI and UX changes) or adoptions tend to take weeks or months instead of a year or more as we often see in the states. At least in the near term, Learn Ultra is not a big factor in this market.
What Blackboard is best known for in this market is the large SENA contract running on Learn. SENA (National Service for Learning) is a government organization that runs the majority of all vocational colleges – providing certificates and 2-year vocational degrees mostly for lower-income students, a real rising middle class move that is important in developing countries. Blackboard describes SENA as having 6+ million total enrollment, with ~80% in classrooms and ~20% in distance learning.Integration
The challenge Blackboard faces is integrating its Learn and Moodle operations through the same groups – Nivel Siete internal group, Cognos Online and other resellers serving both lines – without muddling the message and go-to-market approach. Currently Learn is marketed and sold through traditional enterprise sales methods – multiple meetings, sales calls, large bids – while Nivel Siete’s offering of Moodle is marketed and sold with more of a subscription-based mentality. As described by ForceManagement:
A customer who has moved to a subscription-based model of consumption has completely different expectations about how companies are going interact with them.
How you market to them, how you sell to them, how you bill them, how you nurture the relationship – it’s all affected by the Subscription Economy. The customer’s idea of value has changed. And, if the customer’s idea of value has changed, your value proposition should be aligned accordingly. [snip]
The subscription-based sales process relies less on the closing of a sale and more on the nurturing of a long-term relationship to create lifetime customer value.
One of Nivel Siete’s most effective techniques is their The e-Learner Magazine that highlights customer telling their own stories and lessons in a quasi-independent fashion. The company has relied on inbound calls and quick signups and service startups. There is quite a different cultural difference between enterprise software and subscription-based approaches. While Blackboard themselves are facing such changes due to Ultra and newly-offered SaaS models, the group in Latin America is facing the challenge of two different cultures served by the same organizations today.
To help address this challenge, Cognos Online is planning to have two separate teams selling / servicing mainline Blackboard products and Moodle products. But even then, CEO Fernery Morales described that their biggest risk is muddling the message and integrating appropriately.Moodle Strategy and Risk
At the same time, this strategy and growth comes at a time where the Moodle community at large appears to be at an inflection point. This inflection point I see comes from a variety of triggers:
- Blackboard acquisitions causing Moodle HQ, other Moodle Partners, and some subset of users’ concerns about commercialization;
- Creation of the Moodle Association as well as Moodle Cloud services as alternate paths to Moodle Partners for revenue and setup; and
- Remote-Learner leaving the Moodle Partner program and planning to join the Moodle Association, with its associated lost revenue and public questioning value.
I don’t have time to fully describe these changes here, but Moodle itself is both an opportunity and a risk mostly based on its own success globally. More of that in a future post.What Does This Mean Beyond Latin America?
It’s too early to fully know, but here are a few notes.
- Despite the positioning in the US media, there is no “international” market. There are multiple local or regional markets outside of the US that have tremendous growth opportunities for US and other companies outside of those immediate markets. Addressing these markets puts a high premium on localization – having feet on the ground for people who know the culture, can be trusted in the region, and including product customizations meant for those markets. Much of the ed tech investment boom is built on expectations of international growth, but how many ed tech companies actually know how to address local or regional non-US markets? This focus on localizing international markets is one of Blackboard’s greatest strengths.
- Based on the above, at least in Latin America Blackboard is building itself up as being the status quo before other learning platforms really get a chance to strategically enter the market. For example, Instructure has clearly not chosen to go after non English-speaking international markets yet, but by the time they do push Canvas into Latin America, and if Blackboard is successful integrating Nivel Siete, for example, it is likely Instructure will face an entrenched competitor and potential clients who by default assume Moodle or Learn as solutions.
- Blackboard as a company has one big growth opportunity right now – the collection of non-US “international” markets that represent just under 1/4 of the company’s revenue. Domestic higher ed is not growing, K-12 is actually decreasing, but international is growing. These growing markets need Moodle and traditional Learn 9.1 much more than Ultra. I suspect that this growing importance is creating more and more tension internal to Blackboard, as the company needs to balance Ultra with traditional Learn and Moodle development.
- While I strongly believe in the mission of US community colleges and low-cost 4-year institutions, in Latin America the importance of education in building up an emerging middle class is much greater than in US. We hear this “importance of education” and “building of middle class” used in generic terms regarding ed tech potential, but seeing this connection more closely by being in country is inspiring. This is a real global need that can and should drive future investment in people and technology to address.
- This information based on tweet last spring showing Moodlerooms + Netspot combined were more than 50% of revenue, and that the next largest Moodle Partner, Remote-Learner, has left the program. Since last year I have confirmed this information through multiple sources.
- Again, much of this information is from people related to Blackboard, but it also matches my investigation of press releases and public statements about specific customers of D2L and Instructure.
The post Inside View Of Blackboard’s Moodle Strategy In Latin America appeared first on e-Literate.