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Interactive App Brings 4th-Century Thinker to Life

Campus Technology - Hace 2 horas 41 mins
At Villanova University, a student-developed app version of Augustine's Confessions brings contemporary vitality and relevance to a classic 4th-century work.

Survey: Even as Online Course Enrollment Rises, Institutional Support Shrinks

Campus Technology - Hace 4 horas 41 mins
Even as online course registrations continue to rise, fewer academic leaders consider online learning critical to their "long-term" strategies or rate the learning outcomes in online education as equal or superior to face-to-face instruction, according to a new report from the Babson Survey Research Group.

When the scaffolding shifts under your feet

OLDaily - Hace 4 horas 56 mins


Giulia Forsythe, G-LOG, Feb 09, 2016

Is this true? Sean Michael Morris writes "Any effort on my part to scaffold (and effort to scaffold learning at all) would be colonial, patriarchal, and disempowering." It's a challenge that flies in the face of the educational enterprise as a whole (and especially the learner-empowering constructivists who employ scaffolding as a proxy for didacticism). Yet at the same time, it feels wrong to say that the act of providing support is inherently disempowering. Clearly there are different versions of what is meant by 'scaffolding':  Giulia Forsythe writes "I thought of the many times I’ ve used scaffolding as a metaphor for good teaching in many of my visual notes. None of the examples in the twitter debate used it the way I’ ve imagined it. There are hanging gallows and references to stages." My rule is this: forget the definitions, and if the people who have the least privilege argue that my support is disempowering, then I listen, but if the people making the case are the most privileged, then I wonder why they want me to cease my support.

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Categorías: General

It’s not Cyberspace anymore

OLDaily - Hace 4 horas 56 mins


Danah Boyd, Points, Feb 09, 2016

Dana boyd has a short but effective 'Fear and Loathing in Davos' moment in this article laamenting the passing of John Perry Barlow's 'A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace' into a regime where "not only was everyone attached to their iPhones and Androids, but companies like Salesforce and Palantir and Facebook took over storefronts." Sure. It was Davos. What did she expect? "We all imagined that the Internet would be the great equalizer," writes boyd, "but it hasn’ t panned out that way. Only days before the Annual Meeting began, news media reported that the World Bank found that the Internet has had a role in rising inequality." Twenty years ago when Perry Barlow wrote his declaration, we didn't trust the traditional media. We still shouldn't. "Digital dividends — growth, jobs and services — have lagged behind,” writes the New York Times. Is that the fault of the internet? Or is it the fault of the club at Davos? But here's the thing: there never was a 'cyberspace' as imagined by John Perry Barlow. I said so at the time. Some of is - a lot of us - understood that to build a better future you have to spend a lifetime building that future, not a weekend waging revolution. And you can't do that at Davos.

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Categorías: General

The Internet is a Global Public Resource

OLDaily - Hace 4 horas 56 mins


Mark Surman, Mozilla Blog, Feb 09, 2016

The Mozilla Foundation's Mark Surman writes a longish post describing access to the internet as a basic right, akin to access to food, water or shelter. On the eve of  India's decision to prevent Facebook from creating its own proprietary version of he internet, his thoughts carry additional weight. "When in comes to the health of the Internet," writes Surman, "it’ s like we’ re back in the 1950s. A number of us have been talking about the Internet’ s fragile state for decades— Mozilla, the EFF, Snowden, Access, the ACLU, and many more. All of us can tell a clear story of why the open Internet matters and what the threats are." It's hard to see the internet as being as important as water. But I'd rank it up there with freedom of the press or freedom of the speech.

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Categorías: General

St. Andrews U To Expand Digitization of Early European Books

Campus Technology - Hace 5 horas 41 mins
An agreement between ProQuest and St. Andrews University aims to expand access to books published before 1650.

What Do Moodle And Lifeguards Have In Common? Check Out This Case Study

Moodle News - Hace 9 horas 26 mins
This post was contributed by Megan Pope. A few days ago, on February 2, Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog did not see his shadow. Per tradition: “There is no shadow to be cast! An early spring is my...

Trends Shaping Education 2016 | OECD READ edition

Educación flexible y abierta - Hace 9 horas 44 mins

Did you ever wonder if education has a role to play in stemming the obesity epidemic sweeping across all OECD countries? Or what the impact of increas

See it on Scoop.it, via Educación flexible y abierta

Making Lab Sections Interactive: More evidence on potential of course redesign

e-Literate - Hace 15 horas 49 mins

By Phil HillMore Posts (385)

Two weeks ago Michael and I posted an third article on EdSurge that described an encouraging course redesign for STEM gateway courses.

In our e-Literate TV series on personalized learning, we heard several first-hand stories about the power of simple and timely feedback. As described in the New York Times, administrators at the University of California, Davis, became interested in redesigning introductory biology and chemistry courses, because most of the 45 percent of students who dropped out of STEM programs did so by the middle of their second year. These students are the ones who typically take large lecture courses.

The team involved in the course-redesign projects wanted students to both receive more individual attention and to take more responsibility for their learning. To accomplish these goals, the team employed personalized learning practices as a way of making room for more active learning in the classroom. Students used software-based homework to experience much of the content that had previously been delivered in lectures. Faculty redesigned their lecture periods to become interactive discussions.

The UC Davis team focused first on redesigning the lab sections to move away from content delivery (TAs lecturing) to interactive sessions where students came to class prepared and then engaged in the material through group discussions (read the full EdSurge article for more context). In the UC Davis case, this interactive approach was based on three feedback loops:

  • Immediate Feedback: The software provides tutoring and “immediate response to whether I push a button” as students work through problems, prior to class.
  • Targeted Lecture and Discussion: The basic analytics showing how students have done on the pre-lab questions allows the TA to target lecture and discussion in a more personal manner—based on what the specific students in that particular section need. “I see the questions that most of my class had a difficulty with, and then I cover that in the next discussion,” Fox says.
  • Guidance: The TA “would go over the answers in discussion.” This occurs both as she leads an interactive discussion with all students in the discussion section and as she provides individual guidance to students who need that help.

The opportunity to make the lab sections truly interactive, and not just one-way content delivery through lectures, is not unique to the UC Davis example. Shortly after publishing the article, I found another course redesign that plays on some of the same themes. This effort at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) was described in the Press-Telegram article:

Sitting near a skeleton in a Cal State Long Beach classroom last week, Professor Kelly Young dissected a course redesign that transformed a class from a notorious stumbling block to a stepping stone toward graduation.

Young has reduced the number of students failing, withdrawing or performing below average in Bio 208: Human Anatomy from 50 percent to fewer than 20 percent in about four years, and poorly performing students have watched their grades climb, with continued improvement on the horizon.

That statistic is worth exploring, especially when considering that 500-600 students take this class each year at CSULB.

Thanks to the CSULB Course Redesign work, this work in Bio 208 has some very useful documentation available on the MERLOT repository. Like the UC Davis team, the CSULB team first redesigned the lab sections, “flipping them” to enable a more personalized approach within the small sections. Unlike UC Davis, CSULB centered the content on videos and podcasts.

While we have been working on refining the lecture over the past several years, the Redesign Project has allowed us to get serious about redesigning the laboratory (the source of low grades for most of the students). During the semester, students learn over 1,500 structures just in the laboratory portion of the course. Despite asking them to look at the material before class, students would routinely come to the laboratory session totally unprepared. Flipping the class was an enticing solution to increase preparedness- and therefore success.

After trial and error over a few years, the team has created a series of “Anatomy on Demand” annotated videos. But as the team pointed out, this is not the actual important factor.

While the videos often get attention in a flipped classroom proposal, the true focus of our project is what we do with the newly-created class time in the laboratory provided by flipping the lectures. The most important aspect of this project is our new interactive laboratory sessions that serve to deepen understanding of the material. The idea is that a student will watch the relevant short videos (usually 5-7 per week) prior to coming to the laboratory, arrive prepared to their laboratory, take a short quiz that is reduced in rigor but assures readiness, and then spend at least two hours in the laboratory exploring the structures in detail at interactive small group stations.

The effect has been that students are moving from receiving introductions to material and now participating in critical thinking in the lab.

This new method allows prepared students to deeply interact with the material, as opposed to merely being introduced to it. In previous years, we hoped to have students leave the laboratory with some rote memorization of the structures complete. In contrast, when students arrive with a basic understanding of the structures, we are able to use laboratory time to ask application and critical thinking questions.

After applying multiple redesign elements and interventions, the CSULB team started seeing impressive results, especially starting in Spring 2014. This is where they are tracking the reduction in percentage of students getting D, F, or Withdraw from almost 50% to approximately 20%.

Both of these course redesigns were led by university faculty and staff and are showing impressive results. Not just in grades but in deeper student learning. Kudos to both the UC Davis team and the CSULB team.

The post Making Lab Sections Interactive: More evidence on potential of course redesign appeared first on e-Literate.

The Green Solution

OLDaily - Hace 16 horas 57 mins

Canada's PostMedia, concerned as always about meeting Canada's climate change targets, has published an article in the Toronto Sun arguing that Trudeau's emissions reduction targets are (and I quote) "impossible". In support of this conclusion the cite "math".

Here's Lorrie Goldstein:

Reducing our emissions by 127 Mt would mean the equivalent of shutting down all of Canada’ s electricity sector (85 Mt) plus half of the building sector (43 Mt), in less than five years.

Achieving the mid-level reduction of a 146 Mt reduction would mean shutting down the equivalent of Canada’ s agriculture sector (75 Mt) and most of our emission-intensive and trade-exposed industries (76 Mt), in less than five years.

  You get the idea.

Of course, with "math" you have to have numbers. Goldstein doesn't tell us where the numbers came from, but they're pretty easy to find. Here they are:

Our total emissions are 716 megatonnes (Mt). And yes, the electricity sector is responsible for 85 Mt, or 12% of Canada's total. And the rest of Goldstein's numbers can be found in the chart as well.
But math? Well, maybe the math of a ten-year old. People who actually do math can read for themselves how these numbers are created. Here's the formula:

Emissions = activity data × emission factor 

So, yes, if you reduce the activity to zero, you reduce the emissions to zero. But who, other than a toddler, would do it that way?



Let's take Canada's electricity sector, for example. We could shut the entire sector down to eliminate 76 Mt in five years. But that would be a ridiculous way to do it.

Let's look at how we generate electricity in Canada:



About a quarter of Canada's energy production requires fossil fuel. The majority is created from hydroelectric and nuclear, with wind accounting for about 4 percent. Why would we shut down all of that just to mitigate the damage caused by fossil fuels? Nobody would do that.

Here's some more math. Fossil fuels produce about 130 megawatts in Canada. The cost of installing wind power is roughly $2 million per megawatt. So for an investment nation-wide of $260 million, we could eliminate fossil fuel from Canada's electricity generation. That's two thirds of Trudeau's target right there!

So we would need 42 Mt savings on 630 Mt of emissions. If we made everything else 10% more efficient, we could exceed that target by a lot. Remember, emissions = activity data × emission factor. Is it reasonable to think that, instead of, say, eliminating the transportation sector, we could make it use 10% fewer fossil fuels?

We could look at buildings (86 Mt) for example.Instead of eliminating the entire sector, as Goldstein would have us do, we could search for a 10 percent reduction in heating costs, perhaps emulating Germany, which despite being one of the cloudiest nations on the planet, still manages to produce a surplus of home-generated solar power.

One of the major carbon-producers in the energy-intensive industries (76 Mt) is concrete production. Even passive techniques as on-demand mixing and concrete recycling could create significant energy savings.

Yes, there is a cost associated with this, and with the other ways to reduce the emissions factor.It costs money to electrify trains, to invest in public transit, and to convert from diesel to LPG or even fuel cells (transportation, 170 Mt). But with selective applications of public money to provide incentives, as well as increasing the cost of dirty technologies, all of this is manageable.

What we don't need are columns like this one published in PostMedia exhibiting what amounts to baby-logic. These are changes we need to make, and having a tantrum won't alter that fact.

Accomplishing our climate change goals will ultimately mean not only saving the planet, it will create more efficient industries. And if we can be among the first to accomplish this, we will be able to export these technologies. It is actually an era of opportunity, not crisis.

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Categorías: General

Education as a Political Institution

OLDaily - Hace 16 horas 57 mins


Bertrand Russell, The Atlantic, Feb 08, 2016

Bertrand Russell: "The prevention of free inquiry is unavoidable so long as the purpose of education is to produce belief rather than thought, to compel the young to hold positive opinions on doubtful matters rather than to let them see the doubtfulness and be encouraged to independence of mind." Via Adam Goldberg. Image: India Times.

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Categorías: General

MUN cancels 1,700 journals, as national association says libraries in 'crisis'

OLDaily - Hace 16 horas 57 mins


Laura Howells, CBC News, Feb 08, 2016

Canada's Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) reports that "Journal publishers increase their price by five to 15 per cent each year." This is "compounded by the fact that MUN pays for 85 per cent of its journals in U.S. dollars." The two factors combined make journal subscriptions prohibitive. According to this report, "The Canadian Association of Research Libraries issued a statement Wednesday calling the situation a 'crisis.'" And yet - there are open access solutions. The mystery is why the universities (and especially their academic staff) will not embrace them. Forget about asking publishers to change, and forget about asking for more money to pay for subscriptions. "These publishers make profit margins of up to 40 per cent, since the authors of articles are not paid and online journals cost virtually nothing to reproduce."

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Categorías: General

Bretford Unveils Modular Charge and Sync Carts

Campus Technology - Hace 18 horas 14 mins
Bretford has debuted a new charging and storage cart, the CoreX, for mobile devices and another line, featuring the new "MiX Module System," for MacBooks and iPads.

Researchers Get Faster Access to Datasets

Campus Technology - 8 Febrero, 2016 - 21:57
Research publisher Elsevier and the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research have teamed up to provide linking between research articles and related datasets.

Pearson Partners with mLevel To Gamify Business Ed

Campus Technology - 8 Febrero, 2016 - 21:01
Pearson has partnered with mLevel , a company that produces interactive, game-based business education experiences designed to increase student engagement, to gamify the former's Introduction to Business course content.

Cornell Research Finds Route to Faster, Better Page Ranking

Campus Technology - 8 Febrero, 2016 - 19:37
A technique developed by Cornell University researchers offers the promise of speeding up search rankings to real-time speeds.

LL Consortium meeting in Innsbruck – Part Three: Presenting exploitation initiatives

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 8 Febrero, 2016 - 19:23

Last week our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project had its consortium meeting in Innsbruck.  In the previous posts I discussed firstly the ‘warm-up’ event with  Austrian clusters/ networks and secondly our project meeting and its general results. In this post I will discuss the results of the exploitation sessions (presentations and bilateral talks).

1. The setup of the exploitation sessions

As I had indicated in the previous post, we had firstly a general introduction to the exploitation model that served as a reference model. We also agreed to work towards a jointly agreed ‘exploitation manifesto’ that helps us to settle the IPR issues. With this preparation the partners were invited to present their exploitation plans and/or intentions. A major part of the session was dedicated to the presentations of partners (or groups of partners), altogether 15. Then, on the next day we had a special session for bilateral or trilateral ‘matchmaking talks’ (on the basis of expressions of interests indicated during the first session).

2. Contributions of the Construction sector partners

2a) The presentation of ITB/Pont (Bremen) & Bau-ABC teams highlighted firstly some key questions for the LL project and then a further challenge for follow-up activities. It also gave an overview on tools and services developed so far. Based on this background the presentation drew then attention to two kinds of emerging R&D projects:

  • The DigiProB project as a spin-off from LL in the context of Continuing Vocational Training (CVT). The technical challenge is to reuse/repurpose an integrative toolset to support Personal Learning Environments of CVT participants. The social challenge is to support individual learners (who are learning alongside work) with the aim to demonstrate with work-related projects that they have acquired higher (managerial) qualifications in construction sector.
  • The “Bauen 4.0″ has been selected as a recognised cluster initiative and is invited to submit specific project proposals. One of the initiatives discussed in the cluster meetings is a project for incorporating know-how on Building Information Modelling (BIM) to the CVT schemes for advanced construction craftsmen in carpentry and woodwork (Holzbau). Here we see a chance to make use of LL tools.

Alongside these examples we presented two cases in which the integrative toolset Learning Toolbox can be brought into collaboration and exchanges with third party software/services (who were affiliated with construction sector stakeholders).

  • Pontydysgu had been contacted by Construction Excellence Wales, Construction Industry Training Board and a consortium of four FE colleges with interests in the Learning Toolbox. In particular there was an interest to link the LTB with the e-learning environment that had been developed by the FE colleges for construction sector apprentices.
  • Bau-ABC had been contacted by a new company that continues the prior work of a company that had been producing handbooks for well-builders. The new company focuses on developing mobile apps and digital contents. This company will launch its products during February 2016 and is already making contacts with key players in domain-specific education and training.

 2b) The presentation of Bau-ABC: The Bau-ABC team had prepared a separate presentation in which they brought forward their interests in further development and promotion of LTB. In this respect the presentation summarised the immediate benefits for individual users (urgencies for developers), the benefits for Bau-ABC as training provider and multiplier and the prospects for cooperation between Bau-ABC and the developers of LTB and related LL tools and services. In this way Bau-ABC outlined the working perspectives with which it positions itself on the “Exploitation map” to be drawn later.

3. The bilateral talks

After the presentation session our requests for bilateral talks with other presenters (with eventual topics to be discussed) were collected. Then a similar ‘world café’ session was organised as in the warm-up event. We had four tables for rotation but this time no fixed ‘table hosts’. Instead, we were rotating with uneven opportunities for the talks. In some sessions we participated as wider groups, in some sessions as individuals. At some point we were interrupted by fire alarm and the whole building was evacuated to an outdoor meeting point. (The fire was put out promptly, the fire brigade just needed to check the situation and that the smoke was properly ventilated. Yet, this all took that much time that we couldn’t properly complete the session.)

At this point it is not necessary to report on all bilateral talks in which I/we were involved. Some of them focused on very specific questions and very particular interests. Some were talks on emerging ideas for future projects that need further conversations. In addition – due to the interruption – we didn’t have a chance for some talks that we had on our list. Therefore, it have prepared a list of topics for further talks to be continued at a later date:

  • ‘Cross-sectoral’ talks on the uses of LTB (and other LL tools) taking into account prior work with nurse education and nurse education networks in Germany and England.
  • ‘Cross-institutional’ talks on the use of LTB and other LL tools/services to support problem-, project- and practice-based learning in vocational education and training (VET) and/or Vocational Higher Education (notably in Germany, Estonia and Austria).
  • ‘Cross-curricular’ talks on the use of LTB and other LL tools in the activities of vocational teacher education/ training the trainers (notably in Germany and in Austria, e.g. the partners of the pre-event).
  • ‘Sustainability’ talks with LTB developers on their new organisational initiative and the role of R&D initiatives.
  • ‘Scalability’ talks on the experience with the ‘Theme Room’ training in Bau-ABC to adapt the approach for multiplier activities. (These talks will be based  on the involvement of the initial contributors and other interested parties).

I think this is enough of these sessions. Due to our tight schedules we couldn’t be present in the final sessions of the meeting. But we are sure that there results will be discussed in several follow-up meetings. Given, that we are entering an intensive period of fieldwork, we need to keep the exploitation issues on our agendas.

More blogs to come …

 

Flexibase Theme Updated For 3.0

Moodle News - 8 Febrero, 2016 - 18:41
Richard Olemann announced in the Moodle.org forums last Friday that the Flexibase theme has been updated for Moodle 3.0. As noted on gitHub, there is no 2.0 version of the theme as they development...

I'm blogging this

Learning with 'e's - 8 Febrero, 2016 - 17:10
As you might expect, I encourage my students to blog regularly to support their learning. I have written extensively on the benefits of academic blogging, but perhaps the two most important positive outcomes are personal reflection and public dialogue. The former is self explanatory, allowing students to crystallise their thinking and articulate themselves in a concrete form. The latter is more complex and less predictable, but essentially enables them - through the sharing of their work on a publicly open platform - to engage with others who are beyond the walls of the classroom.

Publishing a blog is often an invaluable experience for students, because it exposes them to ideas they may previously have left unconsidered, and prompts them to defend their work in public dialogue. It also ensures that they are more circumspect about what they actually publish online. Some of my current group of education students are particularly active in blogging. Some have already seen the opportunity to repurpose posts as parts of their assignments, while others see how they can be used later as revision materials. These are just a few of the many reasons why blogging can be a powerful method of learning.
So I would like to present a selection of my students' recent work below, under the heading of learning theories and pedagogy, with the question 'What is Learning?' Please feel free to comment directly on their blogs if you feel you can encourage them, add anything to their understanding, or challenge them in some way!

Emily Brannigan What is Learning?Jody Day: What is Learning? @DayJody7Frances Dingle: Blackboard to Blog @FrancesDingleChloe Dwelly: @DwellyChloeCharlotte Faber: Educating Charlotte @MissCFaberEdward Larter: ICT for YouGeorgia McEnery: Primarily Georgia @primarilygJessica Rood: Little Miss Blogservation @RoodJessicaClaire Sims: Learning with Miss Sims @Cl4ireSims
Photo by Anna Hirsch on Flickr

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

RIT to Build New Facility for 3D Printing Research

Campus Technology - 8 Febrero, 2016 - 15:00
Rochester Institute of Technology is equipping a new research facility devoted to developing next-generation 3D print materials and applications.

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