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This week we had in our program the concluding event of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project – the Final Review. Normally such an event is organised at the premises of the respective Directorate General of the European Commission – in our case the DG Research which is located in Luxembourg. However, after our Year 2 Review Meeting the said building has been demolished and the DG Research has moved to temporary building. Therefore, also the review meetings have bee organised in such a building or elsewhere. This gave us the rise to propose that our final review would be organised at the premises of one of our application partner organisations – to give the Project Officer and the review panel a chance to get a more lively picture of the impact of our work. This proposal was accepted and we had a brief discussion on the remaining options. In general, the construction sector training centre Bau-ABC Rostrup would have liked to host such an event, but it was not possible, because in January their meeting rooms are fully booked for continuing vocational training courses. Therefore, our best option was to organise the event primarily at the Norddeutsches Zentrum für Nachhaltiges Bauen ((NZNB) – North-German Centre for Ecological Construction Work in Verden, near Bremen). Below I try to give a picture of the arrangements and the agenda of Review Meeting and how we made use of the spaces provided by the NZNB to present our work in a more dynamic and dialogue-oriented way.
Making appropriate use of the spaces of the NZNB
We came to the conclusion that we should organise the first day of the review meeting around two ‘exhibition spaces’ that portray our two sectoral pilots. In addition, we would present the work of the host organisation. Therefore, we located our activities into a workshop hall (“Panzerhalle”) and into the meeting rooms above the clay and strawbale construction hall. There we had a large meeting room, part of which we then used for the two exhibition spaces. Having structured the main part of the agenda for these internal exhibitions and supporting presentations, we arranged that during the lunch break the review panel could have a chance to visit briefly the permanent exhibition of NZNB on ecological construction work in their main building. Also, we wanted to give them a brief presentation on the clay and strawbale building techniques and the courses organised in the workshop building.
Presenting our work with visual images, tool demonstrations and coniverations
For the exhibition spaces of the two sectoral pilots we had some common content and then somewhat different settings:
a) As the common content we had a Mini-Poster Wall that presented all the Learning Toolbox (LTB) stacks that had been prepared for piloting or demonstration purposes.
b) For the Healthcare exhibition space we had following contents and activities that were offered for free explorations:
- Posters that had been used at Online Educa Berlin (2015) to present the tools piloted in the Healthcare sector;
- Posters that had been used at AMEE 2015 conference to demonstrate the usability of Learning Toolbox in Healthcare Education and in related conferences;
- Games table to demonstrate further uses of the tools of the Healthcare sector in their original and spin-off contexts.
c) For the Construction exhibition space we had the following contents and spots that were offered as ‘guided tour’:
- Poster wall that portrayed the mutual realations of Learning Layers pilots activities with 9+1 posters (and an additional poster for the spin-off project DigiProB in Continuing Vocational Training.
- Spin-out table to present the (emerging) start-up companies that will take over the responsibility of some LL tools after the funding period (Learning Toolbox, AchSo, ZoP-tool).
- Exploitation table for presenting follow-up projects (including LTB-pilots in Germany, Estonia, Spain, UK).
Giving visibility to our application partners and to the use of LTB
One of our major points was to engage our application partners in the ‘exhibition spaces’ and in the supporting presentation sessions. For this purpose we had made arrangements to Thomas Isselhard from the network for ecological construction worj (Netzwerk Nachhaltiges Bauen) to present his ways for using Learning Toolbox in construction work. Likewise, we had invites two full-time trainers (Lehrwerkmeister) from Bau-ABC to present their initiatives for using LTB and their experiences on using it in apprentice training.
During the two preparatory days we inserted most of the content to the Learning Toolbox to make the two ‘exhibition areas accessible via LTB-stacks.
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I think this is enough of the advance planning and of the preparatory measures that we took during the two preparatory days (Monday and Tuesday) this week. It is worthwhile to note that we had arranged the accommodation of our guests in Bremen (and transports between Verden and Bremen) so that the guests could also explore Bremen in the evenings. On the final day of the event we had relocated the meeting to Bremen to make the travel arrangements easier. So, this was a brief overview on our preparations. In my two next blogs I will give more information on our presentations and on the discussions.
More blogs to come …
En plena època del canvi educatiu, i perque no ens quedem només en la moda de que cal reinventar-ho tot, és moment per documentar-nos sobre publicacions recents que ens permetin donar sentit a la nostra tasca diària a les aules. Hi ha més llibres interessantíssims i aquesta és només una selecció. La meva.
Aquesta és la descripció del document que amb motiu de la meva intervenció a 'Repensem la secundària' d'aquesta tarda, lliuraré en mà als assistents i que acompanya l'entrada a Scribd des d'on us la podeu descarregar. Repensem la secundària és una iniciativa de pares procupats per la qualitat de l'ensenyament, i que apareix a rebuf del debat obert arran de l'aparició d'EscolaNova21. Al marge de polèmiques, apunto que aquesta darrera té més llums que no pas ombres. D'entrada que es parli d'educació sempre és bo. Ara bé, si les escoles realment avançades abans també n'eren igual, les standard ara tampoc són tan carques. Una altra ombra és passar la pràctica totalitat de la pressió als professionals que som a les trinxeres (que millorar també ho hem de fer, és clar). En fi, deixem el debat per a aquesta tarda.
La meva intervenció anirà precedida pels companys del SINS Cardener, de l'institut de Gurb i del Peguera. Grans companys, els que allà hi tinc, que compartim l'ànsia per una educació millor i més ajustada a les noves necessitats no pas des de l'abril passat sinó des de fa uns quants anys més (la Xarxa LaceNet neix el 1997, i força abans ja es bellugava força). I força abans i tot.
A la meva intervenció, a banda de recomanar les lectures esmentades, intentaré posar sobre la taula aspectes sobre els que cal reflexionar i passaré el protagonisme de l'exemplificació del canvi als alumnes de 2n d'ESO de Cal Gravat. Ells explicaran coses que juntament amb els meus companys fem a partir d'eines que també utilitzen, em consta, els insituts dels companys participants.
Tornant a la selecció que presento, és important aprofitar aquest moment en el que s'ha generat el debat per dir fort i clar que avançar no només és treballar per projetes i seure els nens en grups de 4 o 5. Funcionem per modes, i de tots depèn que aquest moviment no sigui efímer perque esdevingui el veritable motor del canvi que l'escola necessita.
Fora bo que comencessim per una profunda reflexió prèvia a qualsevol experimentació temerària: Sé de bona mà que Cardener i Peguera van pel bon camí, també el de Gurb (que vaig trepitjar fa uns quants anys). Serà molt interessant escoltar-los per aprendre d'ells, seguir la seu camí i no equivocar-nos. Aquest canvi cal liderar-lo i edificar-lo serenament, amb una sòlida base teòrica que cal conèixer. Entre altres coses, per exemple, els darrers avenços en neurociència, la teoria de les intel·ligències múltiples de Gardner i molts altres esdevenen imprescindibles. Espero que la meva selecció bibliogràfica contribueixi a avançar un passet més.
A study reports that journals tend to disproportionately select papers by authors from elite institutions. This is not because the papers are better or more informed but because of "a strong bias towards a few elite institutions who exercise outsized influence not only on who gets tenure-track jobs but also in who gets published and where." We see this same bias expressed outside academia, where journalists and media preferentially quote academics from elite media, even to the point of giving them credit for others' discoveries. Publishers, not surprisingly, disagree, arguing the result is either trivial ("Whether the level (of bias), once documented, is sufficient to be a problem that requires a remedy is in the eye of the beholder") or false ("data that I see could be explained by differences in the raw number and quality of submitted manuscripts"). Both objections are addressed and refuted in the article.[Link] [Comment]
Inge de Waard has earned her PhD and by way of celebration she gives us a certifiably useful guide to preparing for your defense (or viva), as it is known in the UK. I found it interesting because it highlights the core interests of the examiners (and by implication, the profession): how do your questions follow from your literature review, what theories guided you, how did you define such-and-such? And some good advice for preparing for a PhD defense.[Link] [Comment]
Jenn Riley, National Information Standards Organization (NISO), Jan 20, 2017
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has published an updated guide on understanding metadata (49 page PDF). It's a guide, so it begins at a pretty basic level. Some useful bits: the typology of metadata (though I think this is missing some important types, such as anotations, ratings, usage, etc); means of representing metadata (relational databased, XML, Linked Data and RDF), controlled vocabularies and content standards. It also summarizes some major metadata initiatives such as schema.org, Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS), Dublin Core, Friend of a Friend (FOAF), ONline Information eXchange (ONIX), EXchangeable Image File Format (Exif), etc. Finally, it addresses the core question of how metadata is generated.[Link] [Comment]
United States Department of Education, Jan 20, 2017
This document might become obsolete very quickly, released as it was just a few days ago. But it's the first major update since 2010 and hence represents a landmark. The complete document (111 page PDF) talks about what people need to learn, teaching with technology, innovation, assessment and accessibility. They recommend the use of technology to support anytime-anywhere-anybody learning, learning resources that embody design principles from learning sciences, alignment of learning resources to intended outcomes and support multiple pathways to expertise. The authors also support things like learning dashboards, embedded assessment environments such as simulations and collaborative systems,[Link] [Comment]
Normally when we think of platforms we think of news or social media, but education too has drifted into the platform model and is influenced by the shifting business models. First, says John Hagel, the platform model will shift to a customer-pay model, since trust is required in order to collect the data to support learning, and unless the customer pays, the loyalties of the platform owner lie elsewhere (with advertisers, say). A flat fee for access is the typical model (think Netflix) but additional schemes may focus on usage time, impact and results, or other metrics. A lot of this is drawn from an earlier article. The business model will also require increasing value to subscribers, for example, the trusted advisor business model. I think the error in this model is in the presumption that customer payments buy loyalty and trust. We pay for our cable and phone service, but nobody thinks providers serve the interests of the consumers. I think we need to look beyond the subscriber model to platform ownership. Only when it's our platform will we trust it. Image, John Hagel on Deloitte in 2015[Link] [Comment]
Post introducing readers to services like SkyFactor and VitalSource (formerly CourseSmart), data-driven learning analytics and retention systems. The point underlined in the article is that such systems represent an almost casual attitude of invasive surveillance on the part of British and American institutions. Instructors have access to a dashboard showing "class attendances, assessment grades, participation in sports practices, and visits to the campus financial aid officer." Such surveillance is not benign, writes the author; it is a source of disruption and stress for students. The justification, though, is the investment students make in education. “ Do you just let them fall through the cracks,” he says, “ or can you embrace technology that might help them deal with the stresses of college and progress?” Via internetactu (en franç ais).[Link] [Comment]
This is a Canadian government initiative, "a digital networking platform called GCcollab.ca, a site it’ s pitching as an easy way for academics and students to connect and collaborate with Canada’ s public service." The open source software referred to in the article is Elgg, which formed the backbone of GCConnex. I am signed up on the site and will be welcoming connections and groups linking the academic sector and learning and development in the Canadian public service.[Link] [Comment]
This is a good non-technology based definition of personalized learning: "it occurs as leaders empower teachers to go beyond the traditional role of a 'content expert' and organically diagnose, analyze, guide, instruct, and coach students." This definition, however, makes personalization very labour-intensive, which it has in fact always been. Thus, writes Grant Rivera, "we need to maximize two finite, critical resources for student success: time and teachers." The rest of the article contains suggestions on how to do this: "break free from the constraints of the traditional school clock" and "gone are the days of a course-pacing guide that locks a team of teachers to a prescribed lesson plan."[Link] [Comment]