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Instructure Launching Free Learning Object Repository, Canvas Commons

Campus Technology - 25 Septiembre, 2014 - 14:13
Instructure has launched a limited pilot of Canvas Commons, a new learning object repository that integrates with the Canvas learning management system.

Open Education Europa Portal marks one-year anniversary by launching new web features

Open Education Europa RSS - 25 Septiembre, 2014 - 10:43

One year on and still going strong! Today, 25 September 2014, marks the one year anniversary of the Open Education Europa Portal and the Opening up Education Initiative by the European Commission, and to celebrate the occasion we’re unveiling a series of new additions to the portal.

Interest Area:  Schools Higher Education Training & Work Learning & Society

Open Education Europa Portal marks one-year anniversary by launching new web features

Open Education Europa RSS - 25 Septiembre, 2014 - 10:43

One year on and still going strong! Today, 25 September 2014, marks the one year anniversary of the Open Education Europa Portal and the Opening up Education Initiative by the European Commission, and to celebrate the occasion we’re unveiling a series of new additions to the portal.

Interest Area:  Schools Higher Education Training & Work Learning & Society

Learning, making and powerful ideas

Learning with 'e's - 25 Septiembre, 2014 - 10:19
This is number 31 in my series on learning theories. I'm working through the alphabet of psychologists and theorists, providing a brief overview of each theory, and how it can be applied in education.

Previous posts in this series are all linked below. My last post explored Donald Norman's ideas around perception and the design of every day objects. In this post, the work of Seymour Papert will feature, especially his work on learning through making, also known as constructionism.

The Theory

Not to be confused with constructivism, constructionism is a cognitive theory that relates to learning by making things. Based on the work of the computer scientist Seymour Papert, contructionism tries to bridge the gap identified between children's and adults' thinking. With his colleagues, Papert was famous for developing one of the first educational programming languages, known as LOGO. It was used to great effect as early as the 1960s so that children could learn how to programme floor robots known as Turtles. The connection between thinking and doing is exploited, and interacting with one's environment to effect change can have a profound impact on young minds. Papert sees learning by making as a means to 'shift the boundary between concrete and formal operations' (Papert, 1980, p 21). As Papert argued: 'Even the best of educational television is limited to offering quantitative improvements in the kinds of learning that existed without it. By contrast, when a child learns to program, the process of learning is transformed. It becomes more active and self-directed.' (ibid, pp 20-21). If we want children to be more engaged in their learning, we therefore need to make them more active in constructing their learning. Learning to code is more than simply 'making a computer do something'. Algorithms are much more than sets of instructions. They represent the essence of rational thinking, developing cognitive skills that will prepare the child to deal with a multitude of challenges and problems they may encounter later in life.

How it can be applied in education

The theory of contructionism is experiencing something of a revival in recent years with the emergence of maker spaces, robotics, 3D printing and other tools that can promote the making of objects. Furthermore, the new school curriculum in England now includes computer programming and algorithms for primary age children. Many schools such as Plymouth School of the Creative Arts in South West England, and Taupaki School in New Zealand have made learning through making their primary strategy. The connections between thinking and making are important, and curricula based upon this principle draws out creativity and encourages children to experiment, take risks and ask more 'what if'? questions. Talk to head teacher Dave Strudwick at PSCA or principal Stephen Lethbridge at Taupaki and they will tell you the results are astounding, with children in both schools often exceeding expectations for their phases of development.

From the simple playing in sand of reception children, right through to designing robots and helicopters in the final year of primary school, such activities can cover all curriculum subjects, and enliven lessons through problem based and project centred learning. The more children are involved in constructing their own learning through doing and making, the more connected they become with the process of learning. If children blog, or create digital maps of their school, or create imagery and manipulate it in a multitude of ways, they are experiencing their own influence on changing contexts, and can see the implications of their actions. If they are encouraged to discover and explore for themselves, they develop independent skills and learn how to apply these later when they are met with challenges.

Learning through making is a very powerful form of learning, and one of which teachers worldwide should sit up and take notice. The challenge for educators now is - how can we incorporate more learning through making, and less teaching from the front, into our lessons?


Papert, S. (1980) Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas. Brighton: Harvester Press.

Previous posts in this series:

1.  Anderson ACT-R Cognitive Architecture
2.  Argyris Double Loop Learning
3.  Bandura Social Learning Theory
4.  Bruner Scaffolding Theory
5.  Craik and Lockhart Levels of Processing
6.  Csíkszentmihályi Flow Theory
7.  Dewey Experiential Learning
8.  Engeström Activity Theory
9.  Ebbinghaus Learning and Forgetting Curves
10. Festinger Social Comparison Theory
11. Festinger Cognitive Dissonance Theory
12. Gardner Multiple Intelligences Theory
13. Gibson Affordances Theory
14. Gregory Visual Perception Hypothesis
15. Hase and Kenyon Heutagogy
16. Hull Drive Reduction Theory
17. Inhelder and Piaget Formal Operations Stage
18. Jung Archetypes and Synchronicity
19. Jahoda Ideal Mental Health
20. Koffka Gestalt theory
21. Köhler Insight learning
22. Kolb Experiential Learning Cycle
23. Knowles Andragogy
24. Lave Situated Learning
25. Lave and Wenger Communities of Practice
26. Maslow Hierarchy of Human Needs
27. Merizow Transformative Learning
28. Milgram Six Degrees of Separation
29. Milgram Obedience to Authority
30. Norman The design of everyday things

Photo by Steve Wheeler 

Learning, making and powerful ideas by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

The White House Promotes Open Education

iterating toward openness - 25 Septiembre, 2014 - 04:19

Today President Obama announced that, in addition to the commitments already outlined in the US Open Government National Action Plan, the United States will take additional steps to make government more open, transparent, and accessible for all Americans. The announcement included the following commitments:

Promote Open Education to Increase Awareness and Engagement

Open education is the open sharing of digital learning materials, tools, and practices that ensures free access to and legal adoption of learning resources. There is a growing body of evidence that the use of open education resources improves the quality of teaching and learning, including by accelerating student comprehension and by fostering more opportunities for affordable cross-border and cross-cultural educational experiences. The United States is committed to open education and will:

  • Raise open education awareness and identify new partnerships. The U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy will jointly host a workshop on challenges and opportunities in open education internationally with stakeholders from academia, industry, and government. The session will foster collaboration among OGP members and other interested governments and will produce best practices to inform good policies in open education.
  • Pilot new models for using open educational resources to support learning. The State Department will conduct three pilots overseas by December 2015 that use open educational resources to support learning in formal and informal learning contexts. The pilots’ results, including best practices, will be made publicly available for interested educators.
  • Launch an online skills academy. The Department of Labor (DOL), with cooperation from the Department of Education, will award $25 million through competitive grants to launch an online skills academy in 2015 that will offer open online courses of study, using technology to create high-quality, free, or low-cost pathways to degrees, certificates, and other employer-recognized credentials. This academy will help students prepare for in-demand careers. Courses will be free for all to access on an open learning platform, although limited costs may be incurred for students seeking college credit that can be counted toward a degree. Leveraging emerging public and private models, the investments will help students earn credentials online through participating accredited institutions, and expand the open access to curriculum designed to speed the time to credit and completion. The online skills academy will also leverage the burgeoning marketplace of free and open-licensed learning resources, including content developed through DOL’s community college grant program, to ensure that workers can get the education and training they need to advance their careers, particularly in key areas of the economy.

YES! This is a major victory for open education in the US. This win is the result of lots of hard work by many dedicated, talented people. And I’d like to think that our work has contributed to the White House’s recognition that “there is a growing body of evidence improves the quality of teaching and learning.” Feels good. I think we made a difference today.

New steps in the Layers fieldwork – Part 4: Bau-ABC trainers’ work with video material goes ahead

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 25 Septiembre, 2014 - 01:00

In my previous blogs on the fieldwork of the Learning Layers (LL) project I have firstly focused on stakeholder engagement events and then on the blogs of the full-time trainers (Lehrwerkmeister) in Bau-ABC. Now I will shift the emphasis to the wok with video material, again carried out by the colleagues in Bau-ABC. Here, it is worthwhile to notice that the progress of the trainers with blogs (as tools for organising workplace learning projetcs) is a result of the Multimedia Training organised by the LL partners (Pontydysgu and ITB). In a similar way the work with video material has been a major theme in these training workshops. Now the colleagues from Bau-ABC have sent a message via video to the LL project consortium meeting in Tallin (when they themselves have not been able to come to the meeting). Although the video is a lengthy one (31 minutes) and it is mostly in  German language (not accessible to all LL partners), I hope these brief commentaries in English will help us to receive the message as original version with the hear and soul and the sincere commitment of our colleagues in Bau-ABC Rostrup.

So, please have a look at the video message to us even if it (as it stands now) might seem a long message! It is rich with content and there are several messages to convey – as I will describe briefly below. The link is the following:

1. How to use the Learning Toolbox in the training of Bau-ABC

Already during the three first minutes of the video you get insights how the trainers and apprentices of Bau-ABC demonstrate uses of tools like the Learning Toolbox in the training. Mr Schütte, trainer fot the mechanic engineering and machinery shows the multitude of chains for different equipments for the training – each one of them being a unique example for pulling different loads with different maximum weights. They have already been tagged but it would be beneficial for all parties involved if a tool like Learning Toolbox would have all this information stored.

In a similar way Arnold, an apprentice in his second year of apprentice training shows how he can drive the heavy vehicle with the help of the driving instructions that he gets via QR-tags. As we know, one of the key features of the Learning Toolbox is the OQ-reader. And one of the key features in the LL Multimedia Training was to create QR-codes.

2. How to enrich the apprentices’ projects with the help of the Learning Toolbox?

After these starters the video offers us several (lengthy but interesting) examples, how the apprentices work with typical workplce learning projects and how they are instructed.

Martin, apprentice in his second year of trainingfor industrial maintenance work (Industriemechaniker) demonstrates firstly with instruction and planning & evaluation documents what he has to carry out. Then he demonstrates with tools and materials how this works and how he can support this work with smatrphon/tablet PC and with the Learning Toolbox (LTB) how he can carry out his project with access to information resources. Here, the big difference with the LTB is  the fact that the search processes can be repeated. Also, the key advantage is the possibility to access the health and safety requirements while completing such tasks and to get alerted to clothing, procedures and to treatment of materials.

In a similar way the fiull-time trainer (Lehrwerkmeister) of road-builders, Mr Wiedenstried, is demonstrating the process of instructing new apprentices in his trade (road building) into the basics and then he shiws a video on the ‘ticks of the trade’ in getting the plastering of the roads more even when using specific ‘old-fashioned tools’ (Sandhobel). Here we have a clear case for the Learning Toolbox to provide access to such exemplary videos as ‘tricks of the trade’.

In a similar way the full-time trainer (Lehrwerkmeister) of the carpenters, Mr Pape demonstrates the usability of Learning toolbox in gettinf quick instructions for building the scaffolding (Gerüstebau)  and for wearing the right clothing (that complies with the health and safety requirements) when building such scaffolding.

3. Reflections on the LL project, on the Multimedia Training and on the Learning Toolbox

In the third part of the video we see four full-time trainers (Lehrwerkmeister) reflecting on their experiences with the LL project and on their expectations on the LTB. Here, the trainers indicate that when they have revealed some of the featurtes of the emerging Learning Toolbox, the apprentices have been full of enthusiasm and that they themselves have got convinced that the use of smartphones and other mobile devices will be positive already in the near future. (Officially these devices are still banned to avoid distraction.)

When thinking about the multimedia training they have gone through in the context of the LL project, they have a high opinion on it. also, they have got positive feedback from their apprentices on the blogs they have set up and on the way they have supported the projects of apprentices.

Finally, regarding the Learning Toolbox, the trainers are looking forward to have a beta-version of a functioning tool to work with. They – just as their colleagues in other trades – have identified quite a lot of points where they could make use ot it. In a similar way they are confident that the apprentices are capable of addressing how  the tool could be developed further. They are not expecting a product in its final stage but soething that can be used and developed further.

4. PS: What can a trainer’s blog achieve and what messages to the LTB developers?

As the first ‘bonus track’ the video contains an introduction (by Mr Pape) to the carpenters’ blog (Zimmererblog) and to the way in which such a blog can be used to guide the self-organised learning of apprentices at different stages. Also, the reflection session shows how the blog has suddenly become international. So, ther we are – the Layers’ fieldwork agenda is taking off, far quicker than we expected.

As the second ‘bonus track’ Mr Schocka – well known to us as the user stories’ Meister Lothar and as a participant in the Helsinki Design Conference – addresses the general wish of the Bau-ABC colleagues: to get a nice package with the LTB tiles and to find a fully functioning mobile phone with the LTB functionality ready to be tested. The trainers and their apprentices are ready for this step!

I guess I have written enough to convey the message of our Bau-ABC colleagues. The ball is clearly on our side of the (tennis) court. What shall we do next?

More blogs to come …


Houghton College Moving to Solar for More Than Half Its Energy Requirements

Campus Technology - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 21:58
Houghton College, a small, Christian liberal arts college with about 1,000 students, is installing a 2.5 megawatt solar array on its campus in Western New York. The college broke ground on the project Wednesday.

New Scorecard Evaluates Online Programs in 75 Areas

Campus Technology - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 20:09
The Online Learning Consortium, formerly the Sloan Consortium, has introduced a new version of its Quality Scorecard for Online Programs that examines nine broad areas, including institutional, faculty, student and technology support, teaching and learning, course development and structure, social and student engagement and evaluation and assessment.

Researchers: MOOCs as Effective for Learning as Traditional Courses

Campus Technology - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 19:42
Massive open online courses can be as effective to help students learn as face-to-face classes — and the learning outcomes will be equivalent whether or not they're academically prepared for the class or whether they perform well or poorly on a pretest.

Campus Management Incorporates CRM into New Student Information System

Campus Technology - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 18:27
Campus Management has unveiled a new student information system with constituent relationship management baked in.

Innovation: Moving Analytics to Action

Campus Technology - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 17:14
We may think of analytics as a maturing area in higher education, but there's still plenty of room for innovation. The real challenge now is to move analytics to action, says Russ Little, PAR's new Chief Innovation Officer.

7 Lessons from a Systemwide iPad Program

Campus Technology - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 17:00
For the past year, Globe Education Network's private and career colleges, universities and training centers have been integrating iPads into every academic program. Here's what they learned along the way.

Missouri College Overhauls Identity Management System

Campus Technology - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 15:00
Fischer International Identity helped Jefferson College roll out a new identity management system in five weeks.

Boston U NSF Grant Will Turn Boston into Smart City

Campus Technology - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 14:55
Boston University is receiving $800,000 from the National Science Foundation to research, prototype, and evaluate new kinds of "smart city" services for the city of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

10 Universities Take NSF Awards To Tackle Secure Semiconductor Research

Campus Technology - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 14:50
A joint partnership between the National Science Foundation and Semiconductor Research Corp. is funding nine research initiatives at 10 universities to develop new strategies for ensuring the security of semiconductors and other systems.

Cuentas y cuentos: el gasto por alumno

Cuaderno de campo - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 12:51
Reproduzco la entrada publicada el pasado lunes 22 en el Blog del INEEEl coste comparado de un alumno en la enseñanza pública y concertada es un viejo tema en la eterna polémica sobre el sistema dual español. Por un lado –y dejando aparte la escuela privada, en la que el precio es libre y, la gratuidad, un derecho renunciado–, las enseñanzas regladas han de ser gratuitas, pero no lo son tanto. Es de dominio público que en la privada las familias realizan, bajo diversas figuras pagos sustanciosos, aunque resulta difícil determinar si con ello adquieren un plus, del tipo que sea –enseñanzas, servicios...– o simplemente compensan a las empresas por la ajustada dimensión de las subvenciones públicas. Y parece de dominio privado, ya que de ello se habla menos, que en la pública las familias afrontan gastos no desdeñables en bienes y servicios necesarios (libros, comedores...) o derivados de las circunstancias de su escolarización (clases de apoyo...). Por otro, es sabido que el gasto público por alumno es muy superior en la pública que en la privada, lo que unos ven como índice de mayor calidad y otros como indicio de ineficiencia.Un artículo de Jesús Rogero-García y Mario Andrés-Candelas, "Gasto público y de las familias en educación en España: diferencias entre centros públicos y concertados" (REIS147), afina los cálculos: un alumno en la pública le cuesta al Estado (a todo, no sólo al central) 5348€, pero en la concertada 2670 (el 49.9%); la familia, en cambio gasta 472€ si está en la pública y 1222 si en la concertada (el 258%). La diferencia es elevada, dos a uno, pero inferior a la proclamada por la patronal de la concertada (la CECE calculaba el gasto público por alumno en sus centros en un 42% l de los públicos), y ello se debe seguramente a que los autores van más allá del procedimiento habitual e imputan el gasto en becas y ayudas y en actividades extraescolares, generalmente ignorado o imputado al sector público (en cambio, no suman el gasto en administración general, investigación educativa y formación del profesorado, de difícil imputación pero a menudo imputado en bloque a la pública).Una implicación de estos cálculos es que el impulso a los conciertos ahorra dinero público pero aumenta el gasto privado y, como corolario, reduce el trato igualitario al hacerlo depender de los desiguales recursos familiares (las cifras son solo medias, pero la dispersión es mínima en el gasto público y máxima en el gasto privado). Pero otra, claro está, puede ser que, transfiriendo un alumno de la pública a la concertada, el Estado, que inicialmente se ahorraría 2678€, podría transferir a la familia 750 para compensar el previsible aumento de su gasto privado y le sobrarían 1.928 (o transferirle 1222, logrando la gratuidad absoluta, y todavía quedarían 1.456 para aumentar la calidad, para otro tipo de gasto o para reducir el déficit). Por supuesto, este es sólo un cálculo superficial, pues costes y diferencias variarían entre el campo y la ciudad, entre alumnos con y sin NEE, etc. En sentido inverso, también cabría emular la gestión privada para ofrecer los mismos resultados en la pública. Recuérdese que, en general, pública y privada ofrecen, descontada la composición social de su alumnado, resultados equivalentes.Hay otros factores a considerar en la disyuntiva pública-privada, pero los números son crueles. Esto debieron de pensar en el Observatorio por la Educación Pública (OxEP) de Izquierda Unida cuando prepararon el informe "El coste de la plaza escolar en la pública y en la concertada. Desmontando un mito interesado", cuya conclusión es que la diferencia de gasto entre esos puestos es de... ¡¡1€!! Quizá sea lo que cabía esperar de un Observatorio no de, sino por, la Educación Pública, pero, aun así, se trata de uno de los trabajos más surrealistas que le leído. Más que desmontar un mito, se pretende que mitifiquemos un montaje. Lo que hace el OxEP es, primero, dejar de lado los gastos financieros y de inversión por alumno de la escuela pública, con el argumento de que no se computan para los de la privada, ya que los conciertos sólo financian gastos corrientes y de personal. El problema es, primero, que, en todo caso, son gastos que hace el Estado para los alumnos de la pública; segundo, que son los que en la privada sufragan en parte las familias con las cuotas adicionales (así como las enseñanzas no regladas, otras actividades y otras fuentes). Es inconsistente denunciar, por un lado, que las familias gastan por ello más en la concertada e ignorar, por otro, que el Estado gasta por ello más en la pública. O lo uno, o lo otro.La segunda parte del invento consiste en imputar a la concertada los gastos adicionales que tendría sisu número de alumnos por unidad (grupo) descendiera, si su número de profesores por unidad aumentara (incluido que el número de horas lectivas por profesor disminuyera) y si los salarios de los profesores se elevaran... hasta igualar a los de la pública. Es decir, si en vez de ser la concertada fuera la pública. Este tipo de ejercicios inútiles se resumen en un viejo dicho: si mi abuela tuviera dos ruedas, sería una bicicleta.A mí me recuerda más el cierre del diálogo final entre DianeKeaton y Woody Allen en la genial película Misterioso asesinato en Manhattan, una vez resuelto el crimen y reconciliada la pareja:
Carol [Keaton]:          Tú tenías celos de Ted [Alan Alda]Larry [Allen]:             ¿De Ted?Carol [Keaton]:          Sí...Larry [Allen]:              Tienes que estar de broma. Le quitas las... las... las... alzas de los zapatos, el falso bronceado y las fundas dentales... ¿y qué queda?Carol [Keaton]:          Quedas tú.Larry [Allen]:             Es cierto. Eso me gusta.

Pues eso: para quien le guste.
Categorías: General

Nueva sesión i-deo en la EASP con Jordi Adell

e-aprendizaje - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 07:29

El próximo martes 30 de septiembre tendrá lugar en la Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública [Granada] una nueva sesión de i-deo, una iniciativa de un grupo de profesores y técnicos de la EASP que viene ofreciendo desde 2011 un punto de encuentro entre profesionales de la salud y expertos destacados para su actividad innovadora en diversas áreas de conocimiento.

La sesión programada para cerrar el mes de septiembre ofrecerá a partir de las 12 del mediodía un debate con Jordi Adell en el que también participarán Esteban Romero y Sergio Minué, todos ellos sobradamente conocidos por los lectores de esta bitácora.

La asistencia es totalmente gratuita y abierta a cualquier persona interesada en los temas que se tratarán en este encuentro: la educación, los entornos personales de aprendizaje y los cursos masivos.

¡Te esperamos!

[Cómo llegar a la EASP]


The Creepiest New Corner Of Instagram: Role-Playing With Stolen Baby Photos

OLDaily - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 00:25

Blake Miller, Fast Company, [Sept] 23, 2014

I'm, not so sure it's as creepy as Fast Company makes it out to be, because it's really nothing more than fantasy families, but it's noteworthy enough to mention here because of the obvious overlap that is possible with learning and technology. One wonders, for example, whether there are 'fantasy teachers' out there with wholly imaginary classrooms and fictional experiences. Just another day on the internet, I guess.

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General

16 reasons why this research will change how you look at news consumption

OLDaily - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 00:25

Paul Bradshaw, Onloine Journalism Blog, [Sept] 23, 2014

This is not a  listicle (list-based article) even though the headline suggests it is. The '16' in the title refers to 16 different ways of using news media, and the report compares them across different dimensions: engagement, amount remembered, and the like. So we get suggestions like: "Reading is about depth; listening is barely remembered." Which may be true, but I still love the audio podcasts, because it's not about memory (as an aside, I wish someone would one day analyze the relation between content and public service announcements in 1950s  radio dramas in the U.S. and the social revolution that followed; I think there are all sorts of ways to show that the influence of audio is pervasive even if it is not remembered).

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General

Professors on food stamps: The shocking true story of academia in 2014

OLDaily - 24 Septiembre, 2014 - 00:25

Matt Saccaro, Salon, [Sept] 23, 2014

I don't know what's so shocking about this. Adjunct and sessional instructors have been abysmally underpaid since the days in the 1990s when I was caught up in that racket. Maybe the new thing is that they now qualify for food stamps; when I was doing it I simply had to manage with whatever food I could scrounge. I can say this: my experience as a sessional convinced me that a life teaching at a university was not for me. And note well: the only reason the system still exists is because, when it's challenged, professors close ranks and defend it to the end. That's why I do not turn to, or depend on, university professors or the institutions that hire them to achieve genuine educational reform that would open the doors of academia to the people who, ultimately, pay for it.

[Link] [Comment]
Categorías: General