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Desire2Wha?

OLDaily - 22 Julio, 2014 - 17:34


Michael Feldstein, e-Literate, Jul 22, 2014

This will be (I hope) the last of the posts on D2L's name change. This post from Michael Feldstein essentially expresses incredulity at the verbiage and scepticism about the business plan (to the point of questioning one of D2L's recent acquisitions). It also includes two substantial references: to THE Journal for summarizing the announcements and D’ Arcy Norman’ s post "for an on-the-ground account of the conference and broader observations about shifts in the company’ s culture."

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Categorías: General

Rethinking the nature of inequality and labor: An essay review of Affective Equality

OLDaily - 22 Julio, 2014 - 17:34


Eleni Schirmer, Michael W. Apple, education review, Jul 22, 2014

Good review of the book Affective Equality posing the central question, "Have the implemented educational reform policies mis-appraised the requirements of equality itself?" There are multiple "social systems that structure both equality and inequality: economic, political, cultural, and, affective." And example of this (not mentioned in the review) are parental expectations of their children. But this can't be addressed simply by hiring more staff; "it is a dangerous category error to try to squeeze all such labor into the domain of the economic market." You can't simply compensate 'care work' more generously; at the same time, for example, by offloading hands-on care-type work such as tutoring to low-paid instructors, academia overly rewards higher-paid non-care work such as administration and research. Care, according to the authors, must be recognized as a public good.

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Categorías: General

Kindle Unlimited

OLDaily - 22 Julio, 2014 - 17:34
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Maria Bustillos, The Awl, Jul 22, 2014

Normally I use the article title for my own titles, but in this case I've edited it due to the language. So consider this a language warning. That said, I agree with the tome of the article, which asserts in summary that Kindle will now be charging $10 per month for access to six hundred thousand books in its library. As the author responds as a counterpoint, "it is possible to read six million e-texts at the Open Library, right now." And "But it shouldn't cost a thing to borrow a book, Amazon, you foul, horrible, profiteering enemies of civilization." That is, after all, the basis on which the public library was founded (as in, say, New Brunswick). But the publishers and vendors are pushing back against ruling like the recent HathiTrust case, which reasserted the rights of libraries to digitize and lend books from their collections.

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Categorías: General

Unbundling Versus Designing Faculty Roles

OLDaily - 22 Julio, 2014 - 17:34


Adrianna Kezar, Sean Gehrke, Daniel Maxey, American Council on Education, Jul 22, 2014

Those who follow OLDaily will recall that I've written before on what may be called the 'unbundling' of faculty roles (article, presentation). In my presentations I offer some 27 roles that could be mixed and matched in different configurations. This paper focuses mostly on the distinction between the roles of tutor, presenter and mentor. It's one of those papers that appears to be discussing change, but which I think is fundamentally conservative in its outlook. This becomes most apparent near the end as the author executes a"a pivot in terminology" and begins talking about 'redesigning', rather than unbundling, faculty roles. Via Inside Higher Ed, which points to a related paper on  reimagining business models in higher education.

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Categorías: General

Video: Advanced Moodle Gradebook Features by @lancasterbible

Moodle News - 22 Julio, 2014 - 17:00
The video below is about a 75 minute demonstration of advanced grading features as you would see them on a Moodle 2.6 site. The video trainer, Eric Brandt, highlights rubrics, checklists, and other...

Moodle HQ is Hiring: Marketing and Outreach Officer & Level 1 Developer

Moodle News - 22 Julio, 2014 - 15:30
Moodle HQ is hiring in Perth. Currently they are looking for a Level 1 Developer (entry level PHP with knowledge of XHTML, CSS, JavaScript and Ajax) and a Marketing and Outreach Officer to help...

General Developer’s Meeting Starts at 9am EST Today

Moodle News - 22 Julio, 2014 - 14:28
Don’t forget that the General Developer Meeting starts at 9am this morning (July 22nd, 2014). This meeting will feature updates from Moodle HQ on enhancements like the gradebook in addition to...

Experiencias y tendencias en affordances de campus virtuales universitarios. Presentación

RED. Revista de Educación a Distancia. - 22 Julio, 2014 - 11:43




Seguimos adelantando algunas primicias del número 42 de RED cuya estamos preparando. La fecha oficial de publicación es el 15 de Septiembre de 2014. Por tanto las versiones definitivas de los artículos estarán disponibles en esa fecha. Las que hay ahora son pruebas. No obstante la URL es la definitiva para citas y referencias.
Se trata de un número monográfico con el mismo título que esta entrada y que el artículo de presentación, cuyo resumen es:

Comúnmente se acepta que, con una ligera variación, los entornos de gestión del aprendizaje nacieron en 1995 y se generalizaron en 2011. Sin embargo, como hemos visto en distintas ocasiones su tratamiento teórico y funcional raras veces se ha producido desde un punto de vista exclusivamente instruccional o interdisciplinar. Frecuentemente el eje del análisis se ha basado en aspectos exclusivamente tecnológicos. Pero incluso en estos casos no se abordan las affordances tecnológicas desde un enfoque educativo. Así no se tratan en general cuestiones de metodología docente, aprendizajes o evaluación, ni con relación a otras variables del diseño educativo, como condicionantes con propiedad del diseño tecnológico. No es frecuente encontrar en revistas de computación referencias que vayan más allá de cuestiones genéricas. Tampoco abordan la aparición de entornos de web social ni su integración. Hay pues una cuestión de importancia clave en esos momentos: la innovación metodológica que llevan asociados los campus virtuales y que no siempre se ha producido. Coincide esto con la ausencia de toda referencia a la web social, lo cual es lógico por la novedad y las reservas con que se acepta, y con el hecho de que los LMS se han transformado de forma generalizada en entornos de gestión de la actividad convencional que se realiza alrededor de la educación más que de propia educación.Es el momento pues de realizar una revisión metodológica y aceptar el hecho de que los entornos virtuales de aprendizaje, merced a las potencialidades pedagógicas que encierra la web social, se están constituyendo en unos nuevos entornos de aprendizaje en la Educación Superior (ES): En los entornos sociales de gestión del aprendizaje.En este número monográfico ofrecemos pues la posibilidad de considerar y analizar dos elementos, entre otros, en lo que pueden ser los nuevos entornos en los que produzca el aprendizaje y la enseñanza en la Educación Superior: La integración de la web social y el análisis de las nuevas affordances educativas.
Y se concluye con referencias a la dimensión social de los nuevos entornos de gestión del aprendizaje y el carácter educativo de sus affordances:
La infraestructura técnica está disponible para que los estudiantes y los profesores puedan acceder a las funciones de web social. Tiene sentido pues recoger, en relación a la ES de nuestras sociedades, los requisitos y rasgos que ha de tener la innovación que supone la integración instruccional de la web social para que ésta se haga de la forma más eficiente. Se trata también de cuestiones de calidad.Hasta la fecha el uso de la web social ha sido impulsado principalmente por los intereses particulares de los miembros individuales, en lugar de ser impulsado por las políticas institucionales. Los profesores están utilizando la Web 2.0 para mejorar su enseñanza a causa de las posibilidades que detectan que ofrece, o porque los estudiantes están utilizando ya las tecnologías, con el compromiso que representa, o porque son tecnologías que los estudiantes van a utilizar después de la graduación en la vida profesional. Por último, hay razones de calidad en el aprendizaje, con nuevas formas de trabajar y de comunicarse, en las que la web social favorece la colaboración y la interacción reflexiva y autónoma de los estudiantes, la participación y la evaluación de su trabajo por el profesor en el mismo proceso y momento de la elaboración o derealización de la tarea.... Según Gibson una affordance es "una posibilidad de acción disponible en el entorno de una persona, independientemente de la capacidad del individuo para percibir esta posibilidad" (Gibson en McGrenere y Ho, 2000). Este constructo, la affordance, es muy versátil en educación y en tecnología educativa. Incorpora un campo distinto entre el uso de la tecnología, pensando en su destino al ser creada, y el uso subordinado a la teoría educativa.

Campus virtuales: una perspectiva evolutiva y tendencias

RED. Revista de Educación a Distancia. - 22 Julio, 2014 - 10:57
Estamos preparando la edición del número 42 de RED que en esta ocasión está dedicado a "Experiencias y tendencias en affordances de campus virtuales universitarios". La fecha oficial de publicación es el 15 de Septiembre de 2014. Por tanto las versiones definitivas de los artículos estarán disponibles en esa fecha. No obstante podemos adelantar algunas primicias.Por ejemplo el señero trabajo de Salinas y Urbina "Campus virtuales: una perspectiva evolutiva y tendencias", sobre cómo están evolucionando los campus virtuales y las tendencias que se perciben. Lo hacen tras una reflexión en profundidad.
El resumen es
El presente artículo revisa diferentes tipologías de campus virtuales formuladas a lo largo de los últimos años e intenta trazar, a partir de diferentes informes, su evolución en las universidades españolas. Por otra parte, considerando los elementos constitutivos de un campus virtual, se ofrece una propuesta de modelo desde una perspectiva evolutiva. Finalmente, se analizan diferentes informes acerca de las tendencias en el uso educativo de las TIC que incidirían directamente en la docencia virtual.
Concluyendo que 
se puede observar una tendencia sostenida hacia lo abierto y flexible, tanto en lo que se refiere al acceso con experiencias como la implantación de MOOC, como a la creación de cursos y materiales abiertos o a los procesos de generación e intercambio de conocimientos (aprendizaje social, desarrollo profesional continuo, etc.).
Hemos podido ver cómo los modelos de campus virtuales han ido avanzando progresivamente para facilitar el tipo de evolución descrito que, entre otras cosas, supone un importante impacto en los aspectos institucionales. 

Webinar: Building a Research Agenda using Design-Based Research (DBR) | George Veletsianos

Educación flexible y abierta - 22 Julio, 2014 - 08:30

We (the AECT Research & Theory Division) are hosting another Professional Development Webinar, organized by Enilda Romero-Hall and Min Kyu Kim! Date/Time:     July 24 at 12:00 pm (EST) Topic:              Building a Research Agenda using Design-Based Research (DBR) Paneli...

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Beyond institutions: Stephen Downes at NetworkEDGE

OLDaily - 22 Julio, 2014 - 05:33
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Sonja Grussendorf, CLT @ LSE, Jul 21, 2014

This is a response to my talk at the London School of Economics. "Here’ s a dedicated anti-establishment guy, who despairs at the capitalist ideology at the core of education; who dislikes that learning is now an industry... of course Downes is no Nietzsche, but there is a certain Nietzschean sentiment in his ideas." Yes there is - what Nietzsche and I share is the Taoist idea that many of the structures and principles we think of as eternal and unchanging are in fact human creations and can be transcended and/or replaced. Of course, I'm no Lao Tzu either. :)

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Categorías: General

Stephen Downes on the Personal Learning Environment at the LSE

OLDaily - 22 Julio, 2014 - 05:33


Mark Johnson, Improvisation Blog, Jul 21, 2014

There's enough in this post to catch my eye for its different perspective (and yes, a perspective I don't agree with):

  • first, the proposition that it is "ironic" that I would speak at the London School of Economics about shifting the locus of control from institutions "at one of the great institutions of the social sciences (from whom control might be wrested)," to which I respond in a comment
  • the suggestion that PLEs failed because PLEX failed, even though ti was similar to things like the app stores
  • paper framing the questions he would ask me about the personal learning environment, since he and I are both still working on it
  • the "technological reifications" of "idealised learning" are becoming "quite common, and becoming increasingly common in education: we should be worried about this"
  • the assertion that "Downes is stuck because he's obsessed with learning. Yet, all around him he's confronted by evidence that his learning theories cannot be right (MOOCs)."

All good stuff. Well worth reading.

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Categorías: General

Responses to Personalization and Monopolies

iterating toward openness - 22 Julio, 2014 - 00:29

There are several things I’ve read / heard recently that have provoked a response in me but I’ve been negligent in responding publicly. Dumping some of those thoughts out here.

Personalization

Audrey Watters provides the best summary of a recent conversation on personalization in education. A lot of the conversation is around what personalization means and, given any specific definition, should we even be attempting to personalize learning. Obviously, the answer to the latter question depends on how you address the former.

For me, personalization comes down to being interesting. You have successfully personalized learning when a learner finds it genuinely interesting. Providing me with an adaptive, customized pathway through educational materials that bore me out of my mind is not personalized learning. It may be better than forcing me through the same pathway that everyone else takes, but I wouldn’t call it personalized.

In my imagination I have this notion of “Netflix Hell” related to personalized learning (did I hear this example from someone else?). Imagine if your only option for watching movies was to login to Netflix and watch the movies it recommended to you, in the order it recommend them. Who wants that? Who would pay for that? This is essentially where the current “vision” of personalization is taking us. But that vision aims too low – we need to help students find their learning interesting. If making learning interesting is what we mean by personalizing learning, we should absolutely be doing that.

Monopolies

On a different note, Fred Wilson wrote a great post recently about Platform Monopolies that does a terrific job of making an argument for OER. You should read the whole post, but this quote summarizes it nicely:

So, as an investor, when you see a dominant market power emerge, you should start asking yourself “what will undo that market power?” And you should start investing in that.

If higher education textbook publishers have not emerged as a dominant market power, I don’t know who has. And of course I think OER are what will undo that market power. As high quality OER continue to expand into additional subject matter areas, and as efficacy research continues to show that learners using OER learn just as much or more than students using publisher materials, this will likely mean trouble for publishers. Very quickly, what today are their competitive advantages – their huge authoring, publishing, and sales machineries – will transform into gigantic liabilities.

University of California’s $220 million payroll project reboot

e-Literate - 22 Julio, 2014 - 00:11

Chris Newfield has an excellent post at Remaking the University about the University of California’s budget situation and how it relates to the recent Moody’s negative outlook on higher education finances. The whole article is worth reading, but one section jumped off the page for me [emphasis added].

The sadder example of ongoing debt is the request for “external financing for the UCPath project.” UC Path was UCOP’s flagship solution to UC inefficiencies that were allegedly wasting taxpayers’ money–in other words, new enterprise software for the systemwide consolidation of payroll and human resources functions. This is boring, important back office stuff, hardly good material for a political campaign to show the state “UC means business,” but that’s what it became. Rather than funding each campus’s decades-old effort to upgrade its systems on its own, UCOP sought centralization, which predictably introduced new levels of cost, complexity, and inefficiency, since centralization is often not actually efficient.

I had heard nothing good about UC Path from people trying to implement it on campuses, and have tried to ignore it, but this week it has resurfaced as a problem at the Regental level. The project timeline has grown from 48 to 72 months, and its costs are said to be $220 million (it had spent $131 million by May 2014) . Worse, the repayment schedule has mushroomed from seven to twenty years. Annual payments are to be something like $25 million. Campuses are to be taxed to pay for 2015-era systems until 2035, which is like taking out a twenty year mortgage to pay for your refrigerator, except that your fridge will be working better in 2035 than next year’s PeopleSoft product. Since the concurrent budget document notes efficiency savings of $30 million per year (top of page 4), UCOP may be spending $220 million to save a net $5 million per year over a couple of decades–and going into debt to do it. In the end, an efficiency measure has turned into a literal liability.

What the hell – a $220 million project to save money? How did this project get in this much trouble?

The UCPath project concept originated in 2009 with the project announcement coming in late 2011. The goal is to replace the Payroll Personnel System (PPS) that runs separately for each of the 11 UC locations with Oracle’s PeopleSoft payroll and HR systems. PPS is over 30 years old, and there are major risk issues with such an old system as well as a host of inefficient processes. The original project plans were based on a $170 million budget1 with the first wave of go-live for the Office of the President and 3 campuses scheduled for early 2013. All campuses would be live on the new system by late 2014.2

In a presentation to the Board of Regents in January 2012:

Over the same period, cost reductions are expected to be approximately $750 million from technology efficiency gains, process standardization and consolidation of transactional activities into a UC-wide shared services center. Overall, the project has a net present value of approximately $230 million (at a nine percent discount rate) with breakeven in year 5.

Subsequent promises were made in March of 2012:

We think this project is likely to pay for itself within five years, and UC could be accruing over $100 million in annual savings by the eighth year,” said Peter Taylor, UC’s chief financial officer. “We also expect to deliver HR and payroll services with increased efficiency, accuracy and quality.”

At the Board of Regents’ meeting last week, the project team gave the first update to the regents since January 2012 (itself a troubling sign). See this Sharestream video from 2:56:10 – 3:22:40.

By Fall 2013 the project was in trouble, and UC leadership brought in new leadership for the project: Mark Cianca as Deputy CIO and Sabu Varghese as Program Director. Their first act was to do a health check on the project, and the results were not pretty (as described in last week’s Board of Regents’ meeting).

  • The project team and implementation partner (Oracle) had treated the project as a software replacement rather than a fundamental business transformation initiative.
  • The individual campuses had not been consulted on changes in business processes, and in fact they had not even been asked to sign off on future state business processes that each campus would have to run to stay in operation.
  • The new project team had to go through more than 100 future state processes with campuses and get agreement on how to proceed.

The result, as described by UC President Janet Napolitano at last week’s meeting, was the team having to “reboot the entire project”.

Based on the reboot, the current plan is $220 million with first wave complete by February 2016 and all campuses live by mid 2017. That’s $50 million over budget and 24 months over schedule.

But the planning is not complete. They are working up their “final” replan of budget and timeline, which they will present in January 2015.

How solid is the current estimate? The implementation schedule is listed as the highest risk, even with the delays.

The project financing has changed so much that UC is now facing the need to use external financing over a much longer term, as described in the material for last week’s board meeting.

Therefore, this item seeks approval to refinance the UCPath loan out of CapEquip and into external financing to achieve the financing customization required. As indicated above, the original repayment plan based on the $220.5 million budget was expected to have been repaid with annual debt service of $25 million. This would have resulted in a 12-year loan term once principal was to be repaid. In January 2015, UCPath project leadership plans to present a revised project timeline, a revised project budget and a revised estimated loan repayment schedule. Project leadership will work with the campus budget officers (and campus budget department staff) to develop: (1) an appropriate campus cost allocation strategy; (2) an estimated repayment schedule that will reflect commencement of principal repayments in conjunction with the final campus deployment (estimated to be early 2017); and (3) an estimated 15-20 year loan repayment period.

Notes
  • The new project team seems quite credible, and for the most part they addressed the right points during the briefing. Kudos to UC for making this change in leadership.
  • This is a major project turnaround (or reboot, in Napolitano’s words), but I’m not sure that UC had communicated the significance of the project changes to system campuses (and certainly not to the media).
  • I would view the current plan of $220 million and Q1 2017 full deployment as best case situation – the team told the regents that they were going to update the plan, and ERP project almost never come in earlier than planned.
  • The actual amount is much higher than $220 based on this footnote: “The $10 million in tenant improvements approved for the UCPath Center Riverside site as well as the $17.4 million purchase of the facility (UCPath is currently projected to use no more than 50 percent of the building) are not included in the figures above.”
  • How do you go 2.5 years between updates from what is now a quarter billion dollar project?
  • What about the current estimate of benefits – is it $30 million per year as Chris described or closer to $100 million per year? One big concern I have is that the information on project benefits was not updated, presented to the regents, or asked by the regents. While I question the $25 million financing and $30 million benefits numbers, I think Chris got it exactly right by noting how UC administration is failing to ask hard questions:

Moving forward, I’m afraid that officials are going to have to get much better at admitting mistakes like UCPath, and then actually undoing them. I couldn’t listen to the recording of the UCPath conversation, but Cloudminder made it sound like a lot of restrained finger-pointing with no solution in sight. Did anyone say, “well, this seemed like a good idea at the time, but it’s not. Let’s just cancel it, figure out where we went wrong, and come up with something better”?

It is possible that continuing with the rebooted project is the right answer, but UC is not even asking the question. Failing to ask whether 15-20 year financing of a new ERP makes sense seems like a major oversight. Won’t this lock UC into an Oracle system that is already antiquated for another two decades or more? It seems stunning to me that UC is planning to commit to $220 million of external financing without asking some basic questions.

  1. one regent last week stated the original request was actually $156 million.
  2. All public projects should fear the Wayback Machine for checking old web pages.

The post University of California’s $220 million payroll project reboot appeared first on e-Literate.

Utah State Develops Open Source Syllabus

Campus Technology - 21 Julio, 2014 - 23:14
Colleges and faculty seeking a streamlined way to develop higher education syllabi may want to become test pilots in an open source project under development at Utah State University's Center for Innovative Design & Instruction.

Sérendipité, la veille des grandes découvertes

Educación flexible y abierta - 21 Julio, 2014 - 20:07

La sérendipité veut qu’à chaque instant, nous soyons capables de rencontrer l’inattendu qui changera notre vie. Les idées jaillissent souvent sans qu’on ne les ait véritablement cherchées ; c’est une simple question perdue dans un coin de notre tête qui revient alors, appelée par une expérience nouvelle…

La sérendipité est donc cette forme de veille que vous n’avez jamais eu le courage de commencer ou que vous aviez arrêtée après avoir si longtemps cherché, et qui après vous être résigné, la veille est restée dans un coin de votre esprit en tâche secondaire, prenant une toute petite place dans votre tête. Un espace suffisamment petit pour qu’on en arrive à l’oublier jusqu’à ce qu’elle jaillisse rappelée par une expérience ou un événement qui fera le grand déclic et peut-être une belle trouvaille !

 

 



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La información y el conocimiento en la era digital

Educación flexible y abierta - 21 Julio, 2014 - 20:05

Conferencia impartida por Manuel Area en el Seminario del grupo de investigación POSASU (Poder, Saber y Subjetividad) de la Universidad de La Laguna (Tenerife)…

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BenQ Unveils 2 New Ultra-Short Throw Projectors

Campus Technology - 21 Julio, 2014 - 19:53
Two new projectors from BenQ offer throw ratios of 0.35 and 0.43, brightness of 3,000 to 3,2000 lumens, and are designed for classroom use.

Online University Debuts Mobile App Created by In-House IT Dept.

Campus Technology - 21 Julio, 2014 - 19:00
Trident University International has just released a news- and events-focused mobile app for students, created by its in-house IT department.

Moribund Academic Research Investment Could Have an 'Incalculable Long-Term Consequence' for the United States

Campus Technology - 21 Julio, 2014 - 18:51
A continued reduction in federal research dollars will have an impact on the country, but those who lead research programs at major universities don't agree on what that impact will be.

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