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Nicolet College Adopts Telepresence Tech for Distance Learners

Campus Technology - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 20:02
Wisconsin's Nicolet College has adopted telepresence at three of its campuses in an effort to better support distance learning students.

Tipping Points? Malcolm Gladwell Could Use a Few

OLDaily - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 19:51

@blippoblappo, @crushingbort, Our Bad Media, Dec 15, 2014

It does bother me a bit from time to time to see people like Malcolm Gladwell getting credit for ideas originally created by others. But I shrug, because that's the way the book-publishing racket works (I could name half a dozen pop technology writers who work, and get credit, the same way). Everyone  knows someone else was the source, but easier to give Gladwell credit because everyone has heard of Gladwell.  But this article takes the criticisms a step further and accuses Gladwell of plagiarism, providing a number of examples of unattributed quotes. As one commenter says, "This is a professional setting and these editors are giving the same lame excuses students give. How can we instill a sense of ethics and integrity of the pros are cool with thieving?" This is indeed a more general question. Looking at the ethics expressed by the 'pros' in all disciplines, and the rewards they receive for 'breaking the rules', how can we expect our young to behave any differently?

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Categorías: General

Our journey is at an end...

OLDaily - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 19:51

Various authors, Aviation Industry CBT Committee, Dec 15, 2014

So this marks the end of an era: "Due to declining membership, the AICC membership has decided to dissolve the AICC. We are very proud of the AICC’ s pioneering work in learning technology interoperability specifications. It is quite a legacy that is still strongly influencing how most of us learn online today." In order to understand the role of the AICC, you may want to view my overview of the development of learning technologies. The  CMI-5 specification will be passed to ADL. Here is the  complete archive of AICC documents.

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Categorías: General

UAlberta opens access to published research in Canada

OLDaily - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 19:51

Press Release, University of Alberta, Dec 15, 2014

This, ultimately, is the way to break the journal cartel. The "University of Alberta Libraries has opened its e-journal hosting service to all Canadian scholarly journals to help make academic material more accessible to researchers, students and policy-makers." The University uses software called Open Journal Systems, which was created by the Public Knowledge Project in British Columbia, Canada. "The service offered by the university encourages Canadian scholarly journals to step out from behind paywalls so their material is more widely accessible to researchers, students and others referencing scholarly work."

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Categorías: General

The Open Access Interviews: Dr Indrajit Banerjee, Director of UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division

OLDaily - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 19:51

Richard Poynder, Shut?, Open, Dec 15, 2014

"The extent to which the Knowledge Divide is narrowed, and to which we are able to create societies that are truly Knowledge Societies, will determine the pace of development. OA has the potential to lessen the existing knowledge divide." So says Indrajit Banerjee, Director of UNESCO’ s Knowledge Societies Division, as interviewed by Richard Poynder. "This gap goes beyond the rifts in mere access to ICT," he continues. "It refers to the gaps that exist across all the four building blocks of Knowledge Societies, namely: Knowledge Creation; Knowledge Preservation; Knowledge Dissemination; and Use of Knowledge."

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Categorías: General

An Open Education Reader

iterating toward openness - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 18:37

tl;dr – We’ve published An Open Education Reader, a collection of readings on open education with commentary created by students in my graduate course Introduction to Open Education taught at Brigham Young University, Fall 2014.

= = = = =

Fall 2014 was the fifth time I’ve taught my graduate course Introduction to Open Education. I’ve taught it in many different ways in the past. In 2007 I taught it at USU as an open course with dozens of people from outside the university (and outside the US) reading along and completing assignments in order to earn a course certificate. Later at BYU I taught it as a Massively Multiplayer Online Game complete with character types, skills trees, guilds, quests, and experience points. Each experiment in teaching the course has been an opportunity for me to be more open in my practice and provide students with a different perspective on open education.

This year, I wanted to help those who joined the course develop a deeper appreciation for why open licensing is necessary in the first place. I wanted to build “open education” up from first principles, beginning with questions like “what is intellectual property?”, “should we use the language of ‘property’ to describe it?”, and “why and how should intellectual property be protected?” From this foundation I wanted to build outward with an overview of the history and features of popular open licenses. An appreciation of where IP law comes from, how we got to where we are, and why we’re moving so aggressively in the wrong direction is fundamental to understanding some of the core problems open education is trying to solve. Likewise, a well informed understanding of how we’ve tried to solve these problems to date, through open licensing, is the starting point for future progress.

So this year I combined a traditional “readings course” approach with my ongoing efforts to reject disposable assignments and engage in open pedagogy. I spent a great deal of time selecting the readings that would communicate what I felt was most important for this semester’s students to learn. (Though there would certainly be some overlap, I do not doubt that your preferred list of readings would differ significantly from my own. That’s terrific! I hope you’ll email it to me. I’m already fretting that we weren’t able to cover The Battle for Open this term, for example.) Rather than have students write response essays they would hate writing and immediately throw away after grading, I challenged them to create a textbook that could be used by students in future Introduction to Open Education courses.

As the semester drew to a close, the students worked collaboratively to organize and synthesize all the notes they had taken on each of the readings and our in-class discussions. These combined, synthesized notes became An Open Education Reader. For each reading, we have tried to provide you:

  • a Link to an open access version of the article,
  • a brief Background,
  • a summary of Key Points,
  • Discussion Questions for you to consider as you read the article, and
  • Additional Information that may be of interest.

This is by no means a complete or final version of this book! We’re sharing it now in the spirit of “release early, release often,” trusting that you will join in helping to correct errors and omissions.

We’ve published An Open Education Reader using WordPress plus the open source Pressbooks. Pressbooks is very easy to use and produces great looking HTML, PDF, EPUB, Mobi, WXR, and other formats. (I’m a big fan.) The students and I will be autographing each other’s printed copies of AOER as part of our final exam this week. (We sent the print-ready PDF to our campus print-on-demand service.)

I hope you enjoy the book, and I invite you to contribute additional discussion questions, observations, etc. in the comments on the specific pages in the book. I will be extremely happy to work your contributions into the core text along with an attribution for your efforts. If there are additional readings you think should be included in an introductory reader like this, please leave them in the comments here.

Servers See Mild Growth in Q3

Campus Technology - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 17:38
The number of servers shipped in the third quarter of 2014 grew 1 percent, with North America and Asia/Pacific driving the mild upward swing.

Free Book: How to Use Moodle 2.7 (360+ pages of Moodle)

Moodle News - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 16:00
This digital text created by Jaswinder Singh based on Jason Cole & Helen Foster’s Using Moodle 2nd Edition is available for free to Moodlers who are using 2.7. The text is 350+ pages and...

Developing trust in our work

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 15:06

In the Learning Layers project we are aiming to produce tools to help Small and Medium Enterprises support informal learning. For most of the first two years of the project we have been focused on a co-deign process – working with small groups of users to iteratively develop the tools and applications. Our user groups are, at the moment at least, drawn from the construction sector in north Germany and the health sector in north east England.

In years three and four of the project, we are aiming to roll out these tools to significant numbers of users. In preparing for this we have had discussions with literally hundreds of stakeholders  including managers of SMEs. Three big concerns have emerged. the first is whether our work is sustainable. Many are interested in what we are doing but want to know how as a research project we can guarantee our applications will still be around and supported after the project ends. To deal with this not unreasonable concern we have had to seriously explore business models and are in the process of using the Business Model Canvas approach to identify and develop business models for each of our applications.This is new to me – but I can see the value. I have worked on too many projects where systems and tools are developed and tested with small user groups and then abandoned as project funding ends. Of course such processes are legitimate as a research aim. But all too often promising developments are wasted just because no-one has though out how to make their work sustainable At the end of two, three or four years, researchers and developers move on to the next project – and so it goes on.

Secondly people are concerned that our tools and applications will integrate with systems they already use. they do not want yet another stand alone system – and certainly do not want another log in to circumnavigate. We are implementing Open ID Connect for our own services and this offers the possibility for integration with the LDAP systems more commonly used by companies.

The third big concern is data security and server hosting. Our original idea was to use a cloud system developed by the University of Aachen. however we have encountered a surprising degree of distrust of cloud systems. This is not necessarily based on any particular technical reason. The aftermath of the Snowden affair seems to be that in Germany at least company owners and Systems Administrators want to be able to control their own data. This means they want it inside their systems – and cloud is not trusted. Data being held in the USA is not on. As Ben Werdmuller says:

There are all kinds of reasons why you should care about where your data is stored. If you’re a business or institution, there may be legislative and auditing requirements relating to your servers. Many educational institutions in Europe, for example, can’t store data in the US without jumping through numerous hoops – and requiring service providers to jump through more.

My feeling is that managers in small businesses know they should care and that it is important where their data is held. However they do not have the expertise and time to research legislative and auditing requirements. The answer for them is to hold data on their own servers – preferably where they can touch it. And I suspect this situation is not going to change in the near future. For the Learning layers project, as well as a hosted cloud solution, we are now developing the Layers Box, a box containing the Learning Layers software which can simply be plugged in to existing server systems. We will see if this helps allay people’s fears.

Unigo, Get Schooled Partner of Gamified College Search Platform

Campus Technology - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 14:30
Unigo and Get Schooled have partnered on a gamified platform designed to help students select and prepare for college.

Moodle HQ expands to new Perth location

Moodle News - 15 Diciembre, 2014 - 14:26
With an expanding staff and growth in its sites Moodle HQ in Perth has moved to a new location to accommodate future growth (and give the current team some breathing room). According to the post at...

Artículos interesantes de RED y feliz Navidad

RED. Revista de Educación a Distancia. - 14 Diciembre, 2014 - 20:41

Ahora que se cierra 2014 y que empezamos un nuevo quinquenio hemos pensado en una selección que sin ser exahustiva puede ser significativa de los últimos cinco años 2010-2014. 
Puedes hacer tu propia propuesta en los comentarios
[PDF] Instructional Theory and technology for the new paradigm of educationCM Reigeluth - REDRevista de Educación a distancia, 2012 - um.esAbstract This article describes instructional theory that supports post-industrial education and training systems–ones that are customized and learner-centered, in which student progress is based on learning rather than time. The article describes universal methods of ...Citado por 11 Artículos relacionados Las 4 versiones Citar Guardar Más

[PDF] MOOCs as disruptive technologies: strategies for enhancing the learner experience and quality of MOOCsConole - Revista de Educación a Distancia, 2013 - Número 39 MOOCs as disruptive technologies: strategies for enhancing the learner experience and quality of MOOCs 1 Gráinne Conole University of Leicester
Citado por 33 Artículos relacionados Las 5 versiones Citar Guardar Más

[PDF] Retos y tendencias sobre el futuro de la investigación acerca del aprendizaje con tecnologías digitalesB Gros - REDRevista de Educación a Distancia.(www. um. es/ …, 2012 - um.esResumen El objetivo de este artículo es analizar los retos y tendencias de la investigación
acerca del aprendizaje con tecnologías digitales. En las dos últimas décadas, las
investigaciones sobre el uso de las tecnologías digitales para la formación y el ...Citado por 11 Artículos relacionados Las 4 versiones Citar Guardar Más

[PDF] Prácticas del portafolio electrónico en el ámbito universitario del Estado EspañolT Guasch, L Guàrdia, E Barberà - Revista de Educación a Distancia-RED, 2009 - um.esResumen: El artículo presenta un mapa de las prácticas sobre el portfolio electrónico en el
ámbito universitario español, que han sido recopiladas a través de la Red Nacional de
Portfolio electrónico durante los años 2006-2008. Esta red está formada por 16 equipos ...Citado por 11 Artículos relacionados Las 10 versiones Citar Guardar Más
[PDF] Podcasting:¿ Un nuevo medio para la Educación a Distancia?W Laaser, SL Jaskilioff, L Rodríguez Becker… - … de Educación a Distancia …, 2010 - um.esResumen: En este artículo se abordará el uso del podcast como dispositivo tecnológico mediador de la Web 2.0 en los procesos de enseñanza aprendizaje tanto en la educación semipresencial, presencial ya distancia. Asimismo trataremos otros dispositivos que ...Citado por 9 Artículos relacionados Las 7 versiones Citar Guardar Más
[PDF] Calidad y entornos ubicuos de aprendizajeM Zapata-Ros - REDRevista de Educación Distancia, 2012 - um.esResumen.-La tecnología ubícua permite a los individuos aprender allí donde estén, y contar
para ello con los componentes de su entorno social. Esta es la idea que se mantiene como
tema de fondo en el presente trabajo. El objetivo es abordar la calidad centrada en el ...Citado por 10 Artículos relacionados Las 2 versiones Citar Guardar Más
[PDF] La investigación formativa y la investigación basada en el diseño: Dos perspectivas de alcanceM Zapata - RED-Revista de Educación a Distancia, 2010 - um.esEn el capítulo 6 del segundo volumen de “Diseño de la instrucción. Teorías y modelos”, y
hablando de la educación del carácter, Lickona (1999) sostiene que la filosofía del positivos
lógico de la segunda mitad del siglo XX minó el apoyo a este tipo de educación y por ...Citado por 6 Artículos relacionados Las 3 versiones Citar Guardar Más
[PDF] Desconstruindo a universidade: Modelos universitários emergentes mais abertos, flexíveis e sustentáveis.A Teixeira - REDREVISTA DE EDUCACIÓN A DISTANCIA, 2012 - um.esResumo Neste paper analisam-se as consequências do ponto de vista organizacional da adoção generalizada de práticas educacionais abertas nas instituições de educação superior. Partindo da análise crítica do modelo de Wiley e Hilton, exploram-se as ...Citado por 5 Artículos relacionados Las 3 versiones Citar Guardar Más

[PDF] Un análisis contemporáneo del TwitterB Fainholc - Revista de Educación a Distancia, 2011 - um.esPage 1. _____ RED – Revista de Educación a Distancia. Número 26
26/ Un análisis contemporáneo del Twitter A Contemporary Analysis of Twitter ...Citado por 8 Artículos relacionados Las 3 versiones Citar Guardar Más

[PDF] Cambios en los estilos de aprendizaje inducidos por el uso de la web socialJG Laborda - REDRevista de Educación Distancia, 2010 - um.esResumen La web ha revolucionado el campo de la enseñanza de idiomas en los últimos
años. Este artículo trata de mostrar cómo la web 2.0 o web social más allá de ser una
potente innovación en el campo de la enseñanza, ha provocado unos efectos ...Citado por 9 Artículos relacionados Las 8 versiones Citar Guardar Más

[PDF] Generación de una biblioteca de objetos de aprendizaje (LO) a partir de contenidos preexistentesLI Navarro, MM Duch, DM Martín, PP Peco… - Revista de Eduación a …, 2011 - um.esPage 1. Generación de una biblioteca de objetos de aprendizaje (LO) a partir de contenidos
preexistentes Creation of a learning objects (LO) library from pre existing contents Leonel Iriarte
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y en la metodología colaborativa que está teniendo mucho éxito en las etapas de Infantil,
Primaria y Secundaria. En el presente artículo pretendemos ofrecer una propuesta de ...Citado por 5 Artículos relacionados Las 6 versiones Citar Guardar Más
[PDF] El componente vivencial como factor central en la integración de tecnologías para la enseñanza y la investigaciónM Dorfsman - Revista de Educación a Distancia, 2011 - Página 14 de 16 Dorfsman, M. (2011). El componente vivencial como factor central
en la integración de tecnologías en la enseñanza y en la investigación. REDRevista
de Educación a Distancia. Número 29. 15 de diciembre de 2011. ...Citado por 7 Artículos relacionados Las 3 versiones Citar Guardar Más
[PDF] EvalCOMIX en Moodle: Un medio para favorecer la participación de los estudiantes en la e-EvaluaciónI Sáiz, DC Sánchez, ÁRL Rodríguez, GR Gómez… - … de Educación a Distancia …, 2010 - um.esResumen El nuevo contexto educativo generado con la implantación del Espacio Europeo
de Educación Superior, sugiere nuevas estrategias de evaluación basadas en la
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Dazzling Images of the Brain Created by Neuroscientist-Artist

OLDaily - 14 Diciembre, 2014 - 19:43

Tanya Lewis, LiveScience, Dec 14, 2014

Beautiful images that are not to be missed. "The patterns of branching neurons he saw through the microscope reminded him of the aesthetic principles in Asian art, which he had always admired. Dunn realized that neurons could be painted in the sumi-e (ink wash painting) style, which involves making as few brush strokes as possible to capture the soul of the subject."

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Categorías: General

Lo del teclado sólo es el principio

Cuaderno de campo - 14 Diciembre, 2014 - 18:38
    El anuncio de que las escuelas finlandesas sustituirán el aprendizaje obligado de la caligrafía cursiva por el del uso del teclado qwerty ha provocado un llamativo debate en los medios y en el gremio. Llamativo, digo, antes que interesante, porque más que ir al fondo del asunto revela la superficialidad de algunos tópicos en torno a la escritura.
    Lo primero que llama la atención son los abundantes equívocos y equivocaciones. Algunos han creído entender que Finlandia abandonaba sin más escritura manual, en vez de una forma de caligrafía. No ha faltado quien confunde la escritura cursiva (o enlazada, cualquiera que sea su pendiente) con la itálica (o inclinada hacia delante, sea enlazada o discreta). Casi nadie parece recordar que ya se han abandonado sin pena ni gloria otras formas de escritura. Yo recuerdo todavía un maestro que no permitía el uso de de la pluma estilográfica, o de fuente, sólo la plumilla o plumín, esa que se insertaba en el extremo del portaplumas y se debía cargar con cuidado en el tintero. Antes ya había tenido lugar otra penosa sustitución, la del tintero incrustado en el pupitre, inamovible y dado a salpicar, por el frasco tintero de cristal, portátil y de cierre hermético; después colearía el asunto en la resistencia del tiralíneas (recto o de compás) a dejar paso al rapidógrafo (o su epónimo rotring); y supongo que, en su día, no faltarían defensores de la pluma de ganso frente al mango de madera y el plumín de acero. Cabe recordar también que, antes de la cursiva, ya se dejó de enseñar la escritura gótica. Yo me libré de esta, salvo algún ejercicio anecdótico; en cambio, aprendí con mi madre caligrafía, otra forma de escritura que ha pasado a la historia.
    Resulta penoso oír o leer a tanto experto desgranando lo que se va a perder o a deteriorar con el paso de la cursiva al teclado: el esfuerzo y la complejidad, la capacidad lectora, el pesamiento profundo, la lateralidad, la personalidad, claves sensoriomotoras, la diferenciación de monemas y palabras, la comprensión, la codificación en la memoria, la motricidad fina, la expresión de los sentimientos (véanse algunas perlas: 1, 2, 3, 4..., aunque también ha habido contrapuntos: 1, 2...). La generalidad de las llamadas de alarma entran dentro lo que podríamos llamar la falacia funcionalista, es decir, la idea de que si algo cumple o ha cumplido una función nada puede ni podrá sustituirlo en ella.   La cuestión es otra. La escritura manual no se introdujo en la escuela por ninguno de los loables efectos que ahora se le atribuyen sino, sencillamente, porque el texto se estaba convirtiendo en la interfaz masiva en el nuevo contexto formado por la ciudad, el estado moderno, la ley, la fábrica, la reforma o la imprenta, es decir, en el territorio, la economía, la política y hasta la religión. Pero  el entorno vuelve a cambiar y ahora es digital, lo que implica teclados y pantallas, de momento, y esto es lo que todos deben aprender y lo que la escuela debe enseñar. La escritura manual se mantendrá, pero que lo haga en mayor o menor medida la caligrafía es secundario y dependerá de con qué otros aprendizajes tenga que competir por los recursos escasos. La escasez de tiempo permite anticipar que la escritura manual deberá ceder ante el teclado y la pantalla, como ahora anuncia Finlandia y como venía sucediendo hace tiempo en numerosas escuelas norteamericanas (EEUU no es precisamente un faro en materia escolar, pero sí tecnológica, cultural y económica). La limitada competencia digital de buena parte del profesorado, por el contrario, permite anticipar que habrá una fuerte resistencia, pero esa es otra historia.    Es sólo cuestión de tiempo. Entrará el teclado, como están entrando el ratón y la pantalla táctil, y como lo hará eventualmente cualquier otro interfaz que pueda desarrollarse y cuyo manejo no sea puramente intuitivo. Entrarán los medios audiovisuales, la mezcla (mashup) y la remezcla (remix) desplazando en parte al texto, como ya están entrando los videojuegos el software educativo, desplazando al libro de texto. Quién sabe si la próxima ley no restituirá cono, o sea, el Conocimiento del Medio, pero esta vez natural, social... y digital; o si a las ciencias naturales y sociales se añadirán las computacionales.
Categorías: General

Vendors as Traditional Revolutionaries

e-Literate - 14 Diciembre, 2014 - 16:40

In a post titled “The LMS for Traditional Revolutionaries,” Instructure’s VP of Research and Education for Canvas Jared Stein responded to my LMS rant with some numbers and some thoughts about the role of the vendor in encouraging progressive teaching practices. First, the numbers on the use of open education features in Canvas:

  • 3.8% of courses are “public”; you don’t need a login to see them.
  • 0.6% of courses are Creative Commons-licensed.
  • 4.0% of assignments are URL submissions (suggesting that students are completing their assignments on their blogs or elsewhere on the open web).

On the one hand, as Jared acknowledges, these percentages are very low. On the other hand, as he points out, 4% of assignments is close to 250,000 assignments, which is non-trivial as an absolute number. And all of this raises the question: What is the role of the vendor in promoting progressive educational practices?

Let’s take the best-case scenario. Suppose you’re a good person and a thoughtful educator who happens to work for a vendor at the moment. (For those of you who don’t know him, Jared enjoys just such a reputation, having spent a number of years as an excellent academic ed tech blogger and practitioner before joining Instructure.) What can you do? What is your role? On the one hand, you will get criticized by educators who want more and faster change for being too conventional. I certainly have leveled that sort of criticism at vendors before. And maybe those criticisms will sting particularly hard if you were one of those educators yourself before you joined the company (and maybe still are, in your heart of hearts). On the other hand, you are likely to be criticized as arrogant, high-handed, and unwilling to listen to your customers if you put yourself in the position of lecturing to educators (or, at worst, bullying them) about what you, as a vendor, define as best teaching practices. I certainly have leveled this sort of criticism as well.

So what’s a vendor to do? Jared writes,

These [open education features] are just a few examples of capabilities in Canvas that we believe add flexibility and encourage different approaches to teaching and learning. I recognize that sharing this data is a little risky; some may use it to argue that Canvas shouldn’t worry so much about the small percentage of educators who may take advantage of these fringe capabilities. After all, won’t teachers who are actually invested in open educational practices just eschew the LMS for their own platforms anyway?

Focusing only on “users like us” and ignoring the others may work in the short-term, but for long-term success you have to build bridges, not walls.

To help education improve itself for all teachers and learners we have to try to connect with those teachers who aren’t comfortable with radical shifts in pedagogy or technology. We believe that the best way to encourage positive change in educational practices across the broad landscape of content areas, learning objectives, and teaching philosophies is by providing tools that are easy-to-use, flexible, and comfortable to the majority of teachers and learners. The door to change must be open and the doorkeeper must be deposed.

Some of the ways we do this is by having an open community, engaging with people who disagree with us, and investing in the open platform aspect of Canvas. We need both traditionalists, critical pedagogues, progressive researchers, and open educators to contribute to Canvas.That doesn’t have to be done through pull requests or by building LTI apps or integrations, though that’s a brilliant way to build solutions that are right for your context. But by dialoging what works in teaching and learning and what doesn’t. By debating what technology is best for, and when it leads us away from our shared goals of teaching and learning better in an open and connected world.

Shorter Jared: We put capabilities to support progressive practices in our product in the hopes that our users will discover, adopt, and promote them, but it’s not our place to push our preferred educational practices on our customers.

In many cases—particularly with a platform that serves a large and heterogeneous swath of the campus community—that’s the best attitude you can get from your vendor. That’s the most they can do without rightly pissing off (more) people.

All of which brings me back to a single point: If you want better educational technology, then work to make sure that your colleagues in your campus community are asking for the things that you think would make educational technology better. If 40% rather than 4% of assignments created by your colleagues were on the open web, then learning platforms like LMSs would look and work differently. I guarantee it. Likewise, as long as most educators tend to use the technology to reproduce existing classroom practices, LMSs will look the same. I guarantee that too. And that’s not a vendor thing. That’s a software development thing. Community-developed open source learning platforms generally haven’t broken the mold, and the few that have tend to be the ones that you probably have never heard of because they don’t get adopted. They build what their community members ask for and what they think will attract other community members. So if you want better tech, then the best thing you can do to get it is to create demand for it among your colleagues.

The post Vendors as Traditional Revolutionaries appeared first on e-Literate.

Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2014: The Common Core State Standards

Hack Education - 14 Diciembre, 2014 - 03:07

Part 6 in my Top 10 Trends of 2014 series

Last year, I opened my look at the trend I then called “standards” by looking at the number of edits to the Wikipedia entry for the Common Core State Standards. This is what I wrote:

The “edit history” and “talk” pages of Wikipedia entries can be pretty interesting, particularly when it comes to controversial topics. The entry for the “Common Core State Standards Initiative” is a great example of this. The Common Core isn’t new (the standards were released in 2010); nor is the entry (it was created in 2010 as well). But this year, there’s been a vast uptick in the number of changes to that entry, and discussion about its content and tone. 26 edits in 2010. 65 in 2011. 40 in 2012. 127 up through November of this year.

So far in 2014, there have been 382 edits.

In other words, attention to the Common Core continues to grow, as does the controversy surrounding it. That the Wikipedia “talk” page includes debate about whether or not the Common Core’s symbol is the hammer and sickle gives you some idea of the level of discourse we saw this year on this topic. And that’s not even the best example of how zany things got…

Arizona State Senator Al Melvin on the Common Core: “Some of the reading material is borderline pornographic,” he said during an education committee meeting. Even worse? The math portion substitutes letters for numbers." (Sorta like, um, algebra?)

CCSS in Popular Discourse

As the Common Core State Standards began to be rolled out last year, the process quickly became politicized. This year, the standards were featured not only in ongoing political fights but in pop culture as well.

In April, comedian Louis C.K. took to Twitter to complain about his daughters’ struggles with math homework: “My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core!” He then tweeted a series of photos from their homework asking, “Who is writing these? And why?” (Thankfully I storified these tweets as Louis C.K. has since deleted his Twitter account.) The tweets hit a nerve and were retweeted and favorited tens of thousands of times.

Newsweek’s Alexander Nazaryan was one of many who responded, “Sorry, Louis C.K., But You’re Wrong About Common Core”“: …”What’s dismaying about Louis C.K.’s anti-Common Core rant is that he is neither a shill for the unions nor a far-left conspiracy theorist who thinks that Education Secretary Arne Duncan (and perhaps the president himself!) is in the pocket of Pearson and the Princeton Review. He is, instead, a New York City public school parent who has the ears and eyeballs of millions across the nation, not to mention his 3 million Twitter followers."

Whether you agree with Nazaryan or not that Louis C.K. was “wrong” about the Common Core, he does get at precisely what made this criticism so powerful, I think. Louis C.K.’s comedic persona is that of a “regular guy.” As such, his observations were as a “regular parent” and they resonated with a lot of people. And his comments were, arguably, one of the most damaging blows that the Common Core received this year.

Read the rest of this 3000 word post here. Special thanks to Frank Noschese and Christopher Danielson for help with the math homework. Image credits: Gabriel Molina, Jeff Severt

EDEN 2015 conference, Barcelona

Tony Bates - 14 Diciembre, 2014 - 02:46

Casa Batllo, Barcelona – yes, it’s Gaudi

What: Opening Out the Educational Landscape

This is the European Distance Education and eLearning Network’s annual conference with several themes:

  • expanded learning scenarios
  • opening the classroom to expand education
  • learning analytics from the learning perspective
  • empowering learners
  • expanded learning scenarios from the teacher’s perspective
  • new generation of methodologies

When: 9-12 June, 2015

Where: Catalonia Barcelona Plaza Hotel, Plaza España, Barcelona, Spain

Who: The Open University of Catalonia (UOC) is the host institution in collaboration with the European Distance and E-Learning Network.



Barcelona is my favourite city after Vancouver. UOC is a very interesting institution. EDEN usually runs excellent conferences. What are you waiting for?

Choosing design models for a digital age

Tony Bates - 13 Diciembre, 2014 - 21:15


Oh, dear, it appears that I missed out in posting the conclusion to my Chapter 6, on Models for Designing Teaching and Learning for my book, ‘Teaching in a Digital Age’, so here it is:

Choosing a model

This chapter covers a range of different design models or approaches to teaching. There are many more that could have been included. However, it is clear that there is a choice of possible models, depending on a number of factors, most of which are listed in Chapter 5, Building an Effective Learning Environment.

Your choice of model will then depend very much on the context in which you are teaching. However, I have suggested that a key criterion should be the suitability of the design model for developing the knowledge and skills that learners will need in a digital age. Other critical factors will be the demands of the subject domain, characteristics of the learners you will likely be teaching, the resources available, especially in terms of supporting learners, and probably most important of all, your own views and beliefs about what constitutes ‘good teaching.’

Furthermore, the models by and large are not mutually exclusive. They can probably be mixed and matched to a certain degree, but there are limitations in doing this. Moreover, a consistent approach will be less confusing not only to learners, but also to you as a teacher or instructor.

So: how would you go about choosing an appropriate design model? I set out below in Figure 6.20 one way of doing this. I have chosen five criteria as headings along the top of the table:

  • epistemological basis: in what epistemological view of knowledge is this model based? Does the model suggest a view of knowledge as content that must be learned, does the model suggest a rigid (‘correct’) way of designing learning (objectivist)? Or does the model suggest that learning is a dynamic process and knowledge needs to be discovered and is constantly changing (constructivist)? Does the model suggest that knowledge lies in the connections and interpretations of different nodes or people on networks and that connections matter more in terms of creating and communicating knowledge than the individual nodes or people on the network (connectivist)? Or is the model epistemologically neutral, in that one could use the same model to teach from different epistemological positions?
  • 20th century learning: does this design model lead to the kind of learning that would prepare people for an industrial society, with standardised learning outcomes, will it help identify and select a relatively small elite for higher education or senior positions in society, does it enable learning to be easily organised into similarly performing groups of learners?
  • 21st century learning: does the model encourage the development of the soft skills and the effective management of knowledge needed in a digital world? Does the model enable and support the appropriate educational use of the affordances of new technologies? Does it provide the kind of educational support that learners need to succeed in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world? Does it enable and encourage learners to become global citizens?
  • academic quality: does it lead to deep understanding and transformative learning? Does it enable students to become experts in their chosen subject domain?
  • flexibility: does the model meet the needs of the diversity of learners today? Does it encourage open and flexible access to learning? Does it help teachers and instructors to adapt their teaching to ever changing circumstances?

Now these are my criteria, and you may well want to use different criteria (cost is another important factor), but I have drawn up the table this way because it has helped me consider better where I stand on the different models. Where I think the model is strong on a particular criterion, I have given it three stars, where weak, one star, and n/a for not applicable. Again, you may – no, should – rank the models differently. (See, that’s why I’m a constructivist – if I was an objectivist, I’d tell you what damned criteria to use!)

Figure 6.20 A comparison of different design models

It can be seen that the only model that ranks highly on all three criteria of 21st century learning, academic quality and flexibility is online collaborative learning. Experiential learning and agile design also score highly. Transmissive lectures come out worst. This is a pretty fair reflection of my preferences. However, if you are teaching first year civil engineering to over 500 students, your criteria and rankings will almost certainly be different from mine. So please see Figure 6.20 as a heuristic device and not a general recommendation.

Common design characteristics

It is worth noting that, once again, there is extensive research and experience that point to the key factors to be taken into consideration in the successful implementation of teaching, whichever design model is being used. In essence we are talking about using best practices in the design of teaching. Although different design models have different approaches to teaching, there is a significant number of the core principles in the design of teaching and learning that extend across several of the design models. These can be summarised as follows:

  • know your students: identify the key characteristics of the students you will be or could be teaching, and how that will influence your methods of teaching
  • know what you are trying to achieve: in any particular course or program what are the critical areas of content and the particular skills or learning outcomes that students need to achieve as a result of your teaching? What is the best way to identify and assess these desired outcomes?
  • know how students learn: what drives learning for your students? How do you engage or motivate students?  How can you best support that learning?
  • know how to implement this knowledge: What kind of learning environment do you need to create to support student learning? What design model(s) will work best for you within that environment?
  • know how to use technology to support your teaching: this is really a sub-set of the previous point, and is discussed in much more detail in other chapters
  • know what resources you have, and what can be done within the constraints you have to work with
  • ensure that the assessment of students actually measures the intended learning outcomes – and unintended ones.
Design models and the quality of teaching and learning

Lastly, the review of different models indicate some of the key issues around quality:

  • first, what students learn is more likely to be influenced by choosing an appropriate design model for the context in which you are teaching, than by focusing on a particular technology or delivery method. Technology and delivery method are more about access and flexibility and hence learner characteristics than they are about learning. Learning is affected more by pedagogy and the design of instruction.
  • second, different design models are likely to lead to different kinds of learning outcomes. This is why there is so much emphasis in this book on being clear about what knowledge and skills are needed in a digital age. These are bound to vary somewhat across different subject domains, but only to a limited degree. Understanding of content is always going to be important, but the skills of independent learning, critical thinking, innovation and creativity are even more important. Which design model is most likely to help develop these skills in your students?
  • third, quality depends not only on the choice of an appropriate design model, but also on how that approach to teaching is implemented. Online collaborative learning can be done well, or it can be done badly. The same applies to other design models. Following core design principles is critical for the successful use of any particular design model. Also there is considerable research on what the conditions are for success in using some of the newer models. The findings from such research need to be applied when implementing a particular model.
  • lastly students and teachers get better with practice. If you are moving to a new design model, give yourself (and your students) time to get comfortable with it. It will probably take two or three courses where the new model is applied before you begin to feel comfortable that it is producing the results you were hoping for. However, it is better to make some mistakes along the way than to continue to teach comfortably, but not produce the graduates that are needed in the future.

Even when we have chosen a particular design model or teaching approach, though, it still has to be implemented. The remaining chapters in this book will focus then on implementation.

Feedback, please

1. What other criteria might you have used for deciding on an appropriate model?

2. Is this the best way to make a decision about a particular design approach to teaching? If not, how would you go about it?

3. Any other comments about design models for teaching and learning? Any important ones missed?


Chapter 8, on ‘Understanding Technology in Education.’ (Chapter 7 on MOOCs has already been published.)

This Will Revolutionize Education

OLDaily - 13 Diciembre, 2014 - 19:40

Derek Alexander Muller, YouTube, Dec 13, 2014

According to this video, "what limits learning is what happens inside a student's head... no technology is inherently superior to any other." So, says the video, "the question really is, what experiences promote the kind of thinking that is required for learning?" We've learned some good lessons here and have probably come close to optimizing the presentation of information. So why do we need teachers? Because, argues the video, the purpose of teachers is not to present information, but rather, to guide the process of learning, "to inspire, to excite, to challenge their students." Indeed, "making a learner think seems best achieved inside a social environment." So, let me ask - can we do this without a teacher? Via Ronnie Burt.

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