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Report (28 page PDF) addressing open access policies in general and the relation between policies and services. It draws on consultations from five countries and identifies the key services needed to implement open access policies. Open Access polciies will differ in emphasis from place to place, but will share common components requiring support and dissemination services as well as repository services, to assist distribution. Governance and sustainability are key requirements, followed by the creation of an integrated infrastructure and strategic investments.[Link] [Comment]
This is an excellent presentation, the premise of which is irresistible, but the consequences of which draw us all into a difficult discussion. The premise is, essentially, that curriculum is a contested space. "The 'what' of the curriculum is determined by those who lay claim to own the future... and they will protect their claim at any cost." Who, then, are those 'owners'? This discussion, which takes place in a South African context, immediately turns to colonial history and race, but these or similar issues arise in any context, including my own. Can we fix the curricular process? Or is the game rigged and unwinnable?[Link] [Comment]
This is all you need to read from this story: "Backpropagation, a brain-inspired learning algorithm that he co-invented, is taking the world by storm. Rebranded as 'deep learning', it's used by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Baidu for, among other things, understanding images and speech as well as choosing search results and ads to show you." What's interesting is the method dates to the 1980s. See this paper and this chapter for example. This work got me very excited at the time. When I talk of networks of interconnected personal learning environments, this is what I am trying to build, with people. And, btw, the rest of the Wired article can be discarded. There aren't "five major camps" - that's a writer's invention.[Link] [Comment]
I love this. Lorna Campbell writes: “Another gem from The Cost of Freedom project, this time by Richard Goodman (@bulgenen), my partner in crime from the ALTC-2016 social media team. I was chuffed to bits when Rich decided to write something for the project. You can read his poem What is Open? here.
As part of disquiet Junto Project 0202 Text-to-Speech-to-Free Rich’s poem has also been recorded by Michel Banabila who created this amazingly atmospheric remix.”
Its true Twitter can be a distraction. But it is an unparalleled resource for new ideas and learning about things you didn’t know you wanted to learn about. This morning my attention was drawn by a Tweet linking to a interview in Times Higher Education with Todd Rose entitled “taking on the ‘averagarians’.” Todd Rose believes that “more sophisticated examples of “averagarian” fallacies – making decisions about individuals on the basis of what an idealised average person would do – are causing havoc all round.” The article suggests that this applies to higher education giving the example that “Universities assume that an average student should learn a certain amount of information in a certain amount of time. Those who are much quicker than average on 95 per cent of their modules and slower than average on 5 per cent may struggle to get a degree.”
It seems to me that this is one of the problems with Data Analytics. It may or may not matter that an individual is doing better or worse than the average in a class or that they spend more or less time reading or even worse logged on to the campus VLE. Its not that this data isn’t potentially useful but it is what sense to make of it. I’m currently editing a paper for submission to the workshop on Learning Analytics for Workplace and Professional Learning (LA for Work) at Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference (LAK 2016) in April (I will post a copy of the paper here on Sunday). And my colleague Andreas Schmidt has contributed what I think is an important paragraph:
Supporting the learning of individuals with learning analytics is not just as designers of learning solutions how to present dashboards, visualizations and other forms of data representation. The biggest challenge of workplace learning analytics (but also learning analytics in general) is to support learners in making sense of the data analysis:
- What does an indicator or a visualization tell about how to improve learning?
- What are the limitations of such indicators?
- How can we move more towards evidence-based interventions
And this is not just a individual task; it requires collaborative reflection and learning processes. The knowledge of how to use learning analytics results for improving learning also needs to evolve through a knowledge maturing process. This corresponds to Argyris & Schön’s double loop learning. Otherwise, if learning analytics is perceived as a top-down approach pushed towards the learner, it will suffer from the same problems as performance management. These pre-defined indicators (through their selection, computation, and visualization) implement a certain preconception which is not evaluated on a continuous basis by those involved in the process. Misinterpretations and a misled confidence in numbers can disempower learners and lead to an overall rejection of analytics-driven approaches.
All too often projects fail to prove sustainable. Quite simply without external funding the products and practices developed do not survive. But sometimes they take off and resonate in new ways even without a financial stimulus. So it is with RadioActive. RadioActive was a project funded under the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning project to develop the use of internet radio with unemployed people and socially disadvantaged groups. And although the funding finished over a year ago, projects partners in three countries – Germany, Portugal and the Uk are still producing radio programmes.
Today is London’s turn. At 1400 UK time, 1500 CET the Univeristy of East London present a show entitled “DJ showdown: older DJs and today’s crop of Turntablists trade blows.” Is DJing an art form? With digital tech so easily available and virtually unlimited access to MP3s via a laptop, is everyone now a DJ? And if so does that mean older people who learnt their craft through hard graft have wasted their time? Don’t all the years of physically carrying lbs of vinyl to clubs and then actually mixing records live amount to something? We examine what does it mean to be a DJ in 2016 and how it has changed over the last three decades.
We compare the different styles of mixing music ranging from Geoff Humphries who DJ’d in the house music scene of Ibiza, Rhythm Vandals (mostly playing the clubs in Leeds in the 90s) right up to newest wave of teenage Turntablists where Abrakadaniel beat mixes for us. Tracks include the Sex Pistols, Madonna/Abba, the late Lemmy from Motörhead through to Soulwax. What influence have new techniques and digital accuracy that take account of key and time signatures actually had on mixing? We hear the likes of Titancube, RiFF RAFF, Skrillex, Datsik, Brillz & LAXX and more.
You can listen live at http://listenlive.radioactive101.eu/ . And if you can’t tune in live catch up afterwards with the recording of this and other programmes at http://uk2.radioactive101.eu/broadcast/
Image: © Justin Grimes, The Guardian, 2013
Campbell, G. (2016) Networked learning as experiential learning Educause Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, January 11
This is an interesting if somewhat high level discussion by the Vice-Provost for Learning Innovation at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA, of the importance of networked learning as experiential learning:
the experience of building and participating within a digitally mediated network of discovery and collaboration is an increasingly necessary foundation for all other forms of experiential learning in a digital age. Moreover, the experience of building and participating within a digitally mediated network of discovery is itself a form of experiential learning, indeed a kind of metaexperiential learning that vividly and concretely teaches the experience of networks themselves.
This article might be useful for those who feel a need for a pedagogical or philosophical justification for networked learning. However, I have two reservations about Campbell’s argument which are closely related:
- Campbell appears in one part of the article to be arguing students need some kind of academic training to understand the underlying nature of digital networking, but he is not too clear in the article about what that entails or indeed what that underlying nature is, beyond the purely technical;
- second, I struggled to see what the consequences of the argument are for me as a teacher: what should I be doing to ensure that students are using networked learning as experiential learning? Does this happen automatically?
I think Campbell is arguing that instructors should move away from selecting and packaging information for students, and allow them to build knowledge through digital networks both within and outside the academy. I of course agree with this part of the argument, but the hard part is knowing the best ways to do this so that learners achieve the knowledge and skills they will need.
As with all teaching methods, networked learning and/or experiential learning can be done well or badly. I would like to see (a) a more precise description of what networked learning means to Gardner in terms of practice, and (b) some guidelines or principles to support instructors in using networked learning as a form of experiential learning. This needs to go beyond what we know about collaborative learning in online groups, although even the application of what we know about this would be a big step forward for most instructors.
Without a clear analysis of how digital networking results in learning, and how this differs from non-digital networked learning, networked learning runs the risk of being yet another overworked buzzword that really doesn’t help a great deal.
Despite my reservations I encourage you to take a look at this article and see if you can make more sense of it than I have, because I believe that this is a very important development/argument that needs further discussion and critical analysis.
For a more pragmatic take on this topic see:
LaRue, B. and Galindo, S. (2009). ‘Synthesizing Corporate and Higher Education Learning Strategies’. in Rudestam, K. and Schoenholtz-Read, J. (eds.) Handbook of Online Learning: Innovations in Higher Education and Corporate Training Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.