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Will Virtual Reality Solve Your Real-world Problem?

OLDaily - 22 Agosto, 2016 - 17:47


Lisa Minogue-White, Learning Solutions Magazine, Aug 22, 2016

The answer to this question is still mostly "no' but this business-focused article looks at some training scenarios - for example, a virtual “ hackathon” space using Microsoft's “ holoportation” technology. The article outlines a framework for evaluating the potential use of virtual reality (VR), "a model for analyzing dimensions of the learning need and how appropriate VR would be as a solution," with three dimensions: risk, sensory, and practice. "Seeing the world through another’ s eyes can be a deeply powerful emotional experience; and because the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic stimuli of a VR environment are so immersive, VR gets you very close indeed to truly seeing through someone else’ s eyes." See also  this report about VR experiments at Stanford.

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A Complete Tutorial to work on Big Data with Amazon Web Services (AWS)

OLDaily - 22 Agosto, 2016 - 17:47


Aarshay Jain, Analytics Vidhya, Aug 22, 2016

This is a detailed tutorial describing how to set up your Amazon web services (AWS) account to do some big data analysis. What's more, it provides a glimpse into the world of cloud services. if you don't think computing has completely changed from the days when we launched websites with Apache and a CGI script, think again.

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Jobs of the Future

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 22 Agosto, 2016 - 10:20

There is a lot of speculation at the moment as to the jobs of the future. On the one hand, it is said that we are educating young people for jobs which do not yet exist; on the other hand there are dire predictions that up to of existing 55 per cent of jobs may disappear to automation in the next five years.

If it is hard as a researcher who works with labour market data to make sense of all this, imagine what it is like for young people trying to plan a career (and if doing a degree in the UK, running up major debt).

However, there is beginning to appear some more nuanced research on the future of jobs. Michael Chui, James Manyika, and Mehdi Miremadi have just published the initial report on a research project looking at how automation will affect future employment. The report, entitled ‘Where machines could replace humans—and where they can’t (yet)’, is based on detailed analysis of 2,000-plus work activities for more than 800 occupations. Using data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net, they have quantified both the amount of time spent on these activities across the economy of the United States and the technical feasibility of automating each of them.

Their overall finding is that while automation will eliminate very few occupations entirely in the next decade, it will affect portions of almost all jobs to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the type of work they entail.

Each whole occupation is made up of multiple types of activities, each with varying degrees of technical feasibility. In practice, they explain, automation will depend on more than just technical feasibility. Five factors are involved: technical feasibility, costs to automate, the relative scarcity, skills and costs of workers who might otherwise do the activity, benefits (e.g. superior performance) of automation beyond labour costs substitution and regulatory and social acceptance considerations.
The likelihood and ease of automation depends on the types of activities organised on a continuum of less susceptible to automation to more susceptible to automation: managing others, applying expertise,  stakeholder interactions, unpredictable physical work, data collection, processing data, predictable physical work. Thus occupations like accommodation, food service and manufacturing which include a large amount of predictable physical work are likely to be automated, similarly work in finance and insurance which involves much processing of data. On the other hand jobs in construction and in agriculture which comprise predominantly unpredictable physical work are unlikely to be automated, at least at present. And there is good news for teachers: “the importance of human interaction is evident in two sectors that, so far, have a relatively low technical potential for automation: healthcare and education.”

Using Video To Boost Marketing And Sales Of Your Moodle Courses

Moodle News - 22 Agosto, 2016 - 08:47
Some are a little frightened by the idea of making marketing videos. They imagine boom mikes, makeup and production teams running around with clipboards. Rest assured this is only fear caused by the...

Online learning for beginners: 10. Ready to go

Tony Bates - 22 Agosto, 2016 - 01:44

Essential reading for online instructors

This is the last in a series of ten blog posts aimed at those faculty and instructors in higher education new to online teaching or thinking of possibly doing it. The previous nine are:

What you’ve learned

If you have read all previous nine posts in this series, you should now be aware of the following:

  1. Online learning can be done well, or it can be done badly.
  2. Online learning is a professional activity, with evidence-based best practices. You need to be aware of these best practices if you want to succeed in your online teaching.
  3. There are certain conditions where online learning is likely to work, and others where it will be difficult to succeed.
  4. You need then to choose the appropriate mix of online and face-to-face learning, dependent on the context in which you are working.
  5. There are many different approaches and technologies that can be used in online learning. The best choices will depend on your specific learning context but you need to be aware of the choices.
  6. It is important to work with professional instructional designers and media producers if you want a high quality online course or program.
  7. The technology, and to a lesser extent, the pedagogy of online learning continues to evolve.
  8. Thus although, at least in the beginning, it is important to follow best past practices, you also need to be aware of new developments and the potential for innovation in your online teaching.
  9. Really, in the future, online learning will not be considered different or separate from ‘teaching’. It will be an integrated, normal component of all teaching.
  10. So you might as well get to learn to use it well as soon as possible. Start now!
Additional resources

Although I hope these posts have helped you decide to teach online, there is always more to learn. Therefore the following additional resources can contribute to your development as an online instructor.

  1. Read Teaching in a Digital Age. This free, online textbook is designed to help you develop the knowledge and skills your students will need in a digital age. It could be read from cover to cover, but it’s more likely to be useful as a resource to be dipped into as and when needed. The book covers:
    • the types of knowledge and the skills students need in a digital age,
    • how online learning can help develop these skills,
    • different approaches to teaching online,
    • how to decide on the right mix of online and face-to-face teaching,
    • how to find and use open educational resources,
    • how to choose between different media,
    • nine steps to quality online learning,
    • organizational requirements for effective online learning,
    • how to creative an effective online learning environment.
  2. Take an online course on how to teach online. This will not only provide you with the knowledge and techniques you will need, but will also give you the experience of what it feels like to study online. Look for programs that allow you to take (and pay) for one course at a time, such as UBC’s Master in Educational Technology. For a list of online programs that will provide you with a good foundation for teaching online, see: Recommended graduate programs in e-learning.
  3. Follow regular online publications written in non-technical language aimed at those teaching online, such as:
  4. For a list of the main journals on research and development in online teaching, see: E-learning journals, and/or the American Association of Computers in Education’s LearnTechLib. I recommend particularly:
  5. At the risk of repeating myself, work with your local Centre for Teaching and Learning, or Centre for Learning Technologies, or Centre for Distance Education, and attend any faculty development workshops on online learning. There is more to learn all the time.
The end

So good luck with your new adventure in teaching at least partly online.

If you have found this series useful, please pass it on to colleagues who you think may also benefit from it.

I’d also be interested in hearing from you of your experiences as newcomers to online teaching.

The Malaysian Ministry of Education announced that it will enable students to bring handphones to schools under strict guidelines
Image: © NewStraightsTimes, 2015

Aprenents de Miquel Àngel o la gamificació del Renaixement a 3rESO

Educació Demà - 21 Agosto, 2016 - 19:06
Projecte de gamificació per a les Ciències Socials a 3rESO sobre el Renaixement. La proposta didàctica consisteix en transformar l'aula en el taller de Miquel Àngel durant la decoració de la Capella Sixtina, per encàrrec del Papa Juli II. L'alumnat són els aprenents del gran mestre, però un dia, aquest desapareix i només les cartes enviades per diferents personatges del Renaixement els podran guiar per a trobar el mestre. Tot això mentre aconsegueixen acabar la Capella Sixtina (veure vídeo) Localització Espanya 41° 26' 36.8916" N, 2° 13' 29.6292" E See map: Google Maps

How to Turn Around a Failing School

OLDaily - 21 Agosto, 2016 - 05:33


Alex Hill, Liz Mellon, Jules Goddard, Ben Laker, Harvard Business Review, Aug 20, 2016

This was an interesting article. Based on research covering changes made by 160 UK academies put into remdiation a number of years ago, it recommends that several changes undertaken, crucially, in the right order offer the best chance of remediating schools. First, create the right environment at the top by improving governance (the article doesn't say how, exactly). Second, focus on student behaviour (the article recommends excluding misbehaving students). Finally, focus on teaching. It suggests more money will have to be spent in the short term to ensure resources are in place, and that schools teach the full age-range from 5 to 18. What is done with the administrators, teachers and students who don't make the grade is left as an exercise for the reader.

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Your smartphone knows if you're a good driver

OLDaily - 20 Agosto, 2016 - 05:28


Matt McFarland, CNN, Aug 19, 2016

I've predicted on numerous occasions that data from our everyday life will be used to assess performance, instead of tests or assignments. It's a simple example here but illustrative: by using data from your smartphone programs can determine whether you're a good driver. For example, "access to whether or not you regularly slam the brakes is something that can help predict how safe a driver you are. Drivers who regularly brake hard are likely struggling to anticipate what lies ahead, making them more at risk for a mishap." The flip side here is that insurance companies are now requesting this data in order to determine how much to charge you. Should we be required to hand over this data?

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3 things to get right when designing CBE programs

OLDaily - 20 Agosto, 2016 - 05:28


Karen Yoshino, Blackboard Blog, Aug 19, 2016

One of the issues I have with competencies is that too often they are just a rewrapping of content knowledge in new terminology. Take this Blackboard post for example. The author begins reasonably: a competency requires "a clear understanding of (a) a summary of what the competency is about, (b) a specific definition of the competency, and (c) the associated topics that will help assess the competency." But then we get an example of a competency definition: "Describes, classifies and critiques the origins, actions and consequences of American civil rights," and as a subcompetency: "Political shift of south" and various others. This isn't a competency in any real sense. It's just some content the student is expected to know about. And we have no sense whatsoever about why students are expected to know this content, what would count as evidence they've achieved it, nor what they're supposed to do with the knowledge.

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Females’ Enrollment and Completion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Massive Open Online Courses

OLDaily - 20 Agosto, 2016 - 05:28


Suhang Jiang, Katerina Schenke, Jacquelynne Sue Eccles, Di Xu, Mark Warschauer, arXiv.org, Aug 19, 2016

According to this study, "globally MOOCs have the potential to provide learning opportunities for females in less developed countries. Findings from this study support the hypothesis that greater gender segregation may exist in more economically developed countries." Even so, only about 24% of enrollees in STEM MOOCs were women, suggesting a need to explore ways to make them more gender-inclusive. Data for the study were from the public MOOC dataset provided by HarvardX - MITx.

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Carnegie Mellon-Led Project Promotes Data and Technology Fluency

Campus Technology - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 22:00
CMU researchers are working with local teachers to implement a pilot program that encourages students to use data, multimedia and technology to express ideas.

Social Media App Uses Augmented Reality to Connect College Students

Campus Technology - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 20:00
The TeePeedU app uses AR technology to help students build real life connections across their campus.

Distant and discontent: the downsides of digital learning

Educación flexible y abierta - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 19:21

Despite many advances, online programmes suffer from technical faults and a dispiriting lack of interaction, as two scholars found

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

New App Enables Mobile Enrollment at the Technical College System of Georgia

Campus Technology - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 18:41
Students at the 22 colleges across the Technical College System of Georgia can now register for their courses via smartphone.

U of Wyoming Runs STEM Program for K–12 Teachers

Campus Technology - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 18:00
The university worked with a Wyoming school district to launch the federally funded professional development program, which trained K–12 teachers on project-based STEM learning.

How To Use The Moodle Mobile App For Education In The Classroom

Moodle News - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 15:56
To be a good teacher takes a restless adaptation of your teaching approach. The practice of knowledge transfer is for you to master, to benefit your students. This takes a special importance in those...

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 12:01
Education Politics

One of the big stories this week: the US Department of Education’s announcement about which “non-traditional providers” (MOOCs, coding bootcamps) will be eligible for financial aid as part of its EQUIP experiment. More details in the for-profit higher ed section below.

Via ProPublica: “New Jersey lawmakers have announced a series of measures addressing student debt issues this week, including one bill aimed at reforming the state’s controversial student loan program.” Currently, the state’s loan program does not offer any reprieve for borrowers who are unemployed or face financial struggles.

From the press release: “U.S. Department of Education Awards $300,000 to Wounded Knee District School on Pine Ridge Reservation Following Multiple Student Suicides.”

Presidential Campaign Politics

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Former President Bill Clinton received $1.1 million in payments from the for-profit college operator Laureate Education in 2015, according to tax returns released by the Hillary Clinton campaign Friday.”

Via the AP: “No evidence Trump provided child care services for employees.”

Education in the Courts

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Oklahoma Wesleyan University is joining a former University of Virginia student’s lawsuit challenging the Title IX guidance of the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, according to court documents filed Monday.”

More on a court case filed by former student athletes against the NCAA and UNC in the sports section below.

Testing, Testing…

Via Politico: “The Army wants you… to use its test prep program. That's right, the Army has a standardized test preparation program that includes seven free ACT and SAT practice exams. It's rolling out a social media push today using the hashtag #DontSettle4Cs to promote the program, called March2Success. It includes self-paced tutoring focused heavily on English and math that can be monitored by a teacher or parent, and has been used by 1.7 million people since 2003.”

Online Education (The Once and Future “MOOC”)

Coursera’s Daphne Koller announced in a blog post that she’s leaving the MOOC company she co-founded to work at a Alphabet (a.k.a. Google) biotech company, Calico. (Coursera’s other founder, Andrew Ng, left the startup several years ago to join the Chinese search engine Baidu. And Sebastian Thrun, who founded the rival Udacity, has left his startup and is rumored to be back in the self-driving car business.) Viva la MOOC revolution, I guess, which Koller credits herself and these others for starting out of the AI lab in Stanford. See also: “MOOCs and the Mythological Promise” by Rolin Moe.

Teach for America joins edX.

Coding Bootcamps (The Once and Future “For-Profit Higher Ed”)

The US Department of Education has selected eight higher ed institutions and eight “non-traditional providers” that will work as partners to pilot the DoE’s new EQUIP experiment, meaning that students will be able to receive federal financial aid for coding bootcamps, MOOCs, and the like. Each partner has a “quality assurance entity” (one of which is Entangled Solutions, a venture fund run by Paul Freedman, who was investigated by the Justice Department regarding a partnership between his for-profit company and a university. Seems like solid oversight!) More on the news via the usual suspects: The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and Edsurge. Good thing there haven’t been any problems with for-profit higher ed and exploitation of financial aid, otherwise this would all seem like a terrible idea.

Coding Boot Camps Attract Tech Companies,” says The Wall Street Journal in a story that contains this gem:

Google, which has hired workers from Flatiron and other academies, recently studied the efficacy of coding camps. The company found that while the camps have shown promise, most of their graduates weren’t prepared for software engineering without additional training or prior experience, Maggie Johnson, Google’s director of education and university relations, said in an email.

“Can You Buy a New Job?” asks Bloomberg, with an interview with General Assembly’s Jake Schwartz.

OK, it’s not a coding bootcamp. (OR IS IT!?) But via The LA Times: “In Santa Monica, parents are paying $1,000 for a boot camp to get their kids ready for kindergarten.”

Brooks Institute, once owned by Career Education Corporation, will close this fall.

For more on accreditation and for-profits, see the accreditation section below. For more research on for-profits, see the research section below. For more on venture capital investments in for-profits, see the funding section below.

Meanwhile on Campus

How often are students tasered at school? We don’t know. From the Huffington Post, a look at school police taser policies/practices and their effects on students: “Set to Stun.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “In 2005, a court barred Vanderbilt from removing ‘Confederate’ from the facade of a building, citing the terms of a gift. The university is returning the gift at today’s value – and will now remove the word.”

“Despite the lack of a formal announcement, Columbia’s Center for Innovation and Teaching Excellence was closed and many of its programs discontinued this summer,” the Columbia Chronicle reports.

University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart is asking for an independent investigation into allegations of misuse of public funds by the university’s health-sciences leadership,” according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Accreditation and Certification

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools this week said it will decide whether or not to sanction ITT Technical Institutes after a hearing scheduled for December, according to a federal filing from ITT.”

Go, School Sports Team!

Via the AP: “A federal judge has granted the NCAA’s motion to dismiss the governing body from a lawsuit filed by two former North Carolina athletes seeking to hold it at least partly responsible for the school’s long-running academic fraud scandal.”

Clemson’s Football Team Is Getting a Nap Room and a Lot of Other Stuff,” says The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“In a risky and expensive endeavor, colleges are spending more and more money on athletics in hopes of earning a spot among the Power Five conferences,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

Via Pacific Standard: “Here’s More Evidence That Not All College Sports Are Created Equal.”

From the HR Department

Via the Washington Post: “In Utah, schools can now hire teachers with no training whatsoever.”

UC Berkeley chancellor Nicholas Dirks will resign. Meanwhile: “As UC Berkeley prepared to eliminate hundreds of jobs and take millions of dollars in loans to help balance its flagging budget, the campus also paid more than $200,000 to ‘improve the chancellor’s strategic profile nationally and internationally,’” writes The San Francisco Chronicle.

After laying off 1000 employees last week, the Chicago Public Schools is now looking to hire – you guessed it – 1000 teachers.

How 37 States Are Handling Teacher Shortages” by Dan Meyer.

Upgrades and Downgrades

Gawker.com will end its operations next week. Just goes to show what an angry billionaire libertarian can do to destroy a free press. (Enjoy your Thiel Fellowship, fellows.)

Via the Stanford Social Innovation Review: “Unintended Consequences.” The story of how Inigral (later Uversity) was “steered into trouble” by taking strategic investment from the Gates Foundation. (It also received funding from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. Edsurge reposted the article, but didn’t add a disclosure about its own financial relationship to the Gates Foundation or that it was co-founded by a VP of Inigral.)

Prison ed tech takes off,” Cisco says with a dollar-signs-in-eyeballs sort of excitement.

Various updates from Google: The company is “killing Google Hangouts on Air,” says The Verge. Via Edsurge: “Google Offers Free Cloud Access to Colleges, Plays Catch Up to Amazon, Microsoft.” And via the Google blog, news of more features added to the company’s pseudo-LMS. (Rafranz Davis has a good blog post on the uncritical reception of ed-tech brands and why some of these new features involve “errors in innovation.” Highlights of her post include a white guy from Google calling her out on Twitter for speaking her mind. Nice job there, Googler.)

Something something flipped classroom something something. Innovation!

Personalized CliffNotes” pretty much sums up the state of ed-tech in 2016.

Via Techcrunch: “Spotify launches a new Kids category with a focus on learning activities, language development.”

Social-emotional learning and VR. Because Stanford. (And because Edsurge.)

The latest on the LMS market – this one on D2Lfrom Mindwire Consulting’s Phil Hill.

Via Slate: “Forgiving All Student Loan Debt Would Be an Awful, Regressive Idea.”

Amazon is opening a new pickup location at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Via Technode: “This Startup Is Using WeChat Chatbots To Scale English Learning.” (“This startup” is Rikai Labs.)

Via Education Week: “Brain Imaging Eyed as Path to Better Education Software.”

Funding and Acquisitions (The Business of Ed-Tech)

Coding bootcamp Galvanize has raised $45 million in Series B funding from ABS Capital Partners, Colorado Impact Fund, Haystack Partners, Greg Maffei, Aspen Grove Capital, and University Ventures. It’s raised $63 million total.

Degreed has raised $3.5 million in Series B funding from GSV Accelerator, Jump Capital, Rethink Education, and Signal Peak Ventures. This brings to $33.3 million total raised by the startup.

Coding bootcamp Byte Academy has raised $2.67 million in funding from Tri5 Ventures.

Cialfo has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Govin Capital and Koh Boon Hwee. The college admissions app has previously raised $800,000.

Testing startup Gradopedia has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from an undisclosed list of investors.

Publisher John Wiley & Sons will acquire Atypon, a publishing software company, for $120 million.

Certica Solutions has acquired Educuity.

Guardian Capital Partners has acquired Carson-Dellosa Publishing LLC from Birch Hill Equity Partners.

Data and “Research”

Via Babson College: “95 Percent of Entrepreneurs Worldwide Finance Their Own Startups. Only 0.16 percent of U.S. small businesses received venture capital in 2015.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Study Finds More Faculty Diversity at Public Institutions Than at Private Ones.”

“‘Clickbait’-esque titles work for academic papers too,” says Boing Boing.

Via The New York Times: “Last year’s law school graduates landed fewer jobs in private practice than any class in the last two decades, according to the National Association for Law Placement, which tracks developments in the legal profession.”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “U.K. report on for-profit colleges in six countries finds few benefits of sector and calls for tighter regulation, while acknowledging lack of data makes it hard to set rules.” From the report, “relative to the public sector, the quality of provision, especially in the for-profits, is often found wanting, while tuition fees are usually higher.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

French Friday : la reprise … (Back to work…)

Moodle News - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 06:08
Le French Friday est enfin de retour après quelques jours de congé. Pour reprendre en douceur j’ai eu envie de partager la très belle vidéo de @Nicolas Martignoni qui représente...

Teaching With Moodle MOOC Week 2 And We Are Still Waiting For You

Moodle News - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 05:44
By the end of the week we’ll be halfway through the official Moodle HQ “Teaching With Moodle” MOOC. But there is no rush. You haven’t missed any deadlines! Contents will...

New Models of Open and Distance Learning

OLDaily - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 05:25

The combination of customization and personalization provide some, but not all, of the objectives set by new pedagogies. Students are limited by the capacity of the LMS. Community-formation is limited to the students enrolled in the course. Students can participate and interact, but their creativity is limited by the LMS environment, and they lose access to their work at the end of the semester.

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