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Bretford Unveils Modular Charge and Sync Carts

Campus Technology - 9 Febrero, 2016 - 00:27
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.

Business And Corporate Moodlers: IOMAD 2.7 Is On The Street

Moodle News - 8 Febrero, 2016 - 09:11
Scottish Moodle Partner E-Learn Design have recently released version 2.7 of IOMAD. IOMAD is a customized re-packaging of Moodle that is specifically designed for corporate or business Moodlers. What...

8 key steps to building a personal learning network inspired by @hrheingold

Educación flexible y abierta - 7 Febrero, 2016 - 19:27

Whilst doing research in preparation for a keynote presentation at the University of Cambridge on the theme of 'making connections' I happened upon a series of tweets from Howard Rheingold. Howard has played a significant part in my digital learning journey. I have had the privilege of taking part in online courses he has facilitated, read his books…

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

LL Consortium meeting in Innsbruck – Part Two: Working forward in the meeting

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 7 Febrero, 2016 - 15:39

Last week our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project had its consortium meeting in Innsbruck.  In the previous post I discussed the ‘warm-up’ event that the hosts organised with representatives of Austrian clusters and networks. In this post I discuss the work in the meeting and the general results. In the final post I will discuss the  results of exploitation sessions (from the perspective of construction pilot).

In a similar way as I did when reporting on the preparation, I will try to capture the main thematic blocks and the essentials of the conversations and conclusions:

1) Overview of the current phase of the project – working perspective: In his opening presentation the scientific coordinator Tobias Ley (TLU) restated the approach to present the results of the final year in one single package – with the emphasis to support the exploitation activities. This approach was reconfirmed by the partners.

2) Further development of the DevOps-Use model: Ralf Klamma (RWTH) presented an updated picture on the DevOps-Use model and how it has been introduced into the LL project. As the newest development he reported on the Community Application Editor (CAE) as a further support for dialogue between users and developers. Here again, the plan to produce a conceptually based overview on design-based research and design patterns in the LL project was restated.

3) Production of ‘training materials’ and dissemination materials: Pablo Franzolini (CIMNE) gave a brief presentation on this topic. He drew attention to the work that had already started with the healthcare pilot and the tools/combinations of tools that are used. Currently, this work has resulted in a relatively wide set of “Frequently Asked Questions” videos with short duration. Whilst this work was appreciated, we concluded that there is a need to coordinate the efforts to produce such materials and more content-related promotion videos. A working group was set up to prepare a proposal for producing “Layers OER” materials (and to address the orientation to OER in the follow-up phase).

4) Documentation of project achievements with “scorecards”: TLU had prepared a short workshop session to test the draft ‘scorecards’ by filling them with exemplary project activities. In the first phase we described the situation before the LL project, the intervention of the LL project and (inasmuch as it was possible) the situation after the intervention. In the second phase we used coloured cards to specify different aspects of the impact. This exercise helped us to get a common understanding on the kinds of activities to be reported and on the kind of impact to be stated. (TLU will follow this up.)

 5) Deployment of LTB and related evaluation measures: In a set of group sessions we had the chance to discuss the technical development of LTB and plan the deployment and evaluation measures.

5a) Technical development of LTB: The developers had presented a working document that highlighted the following points: a) addressing the stacks to groups of users, b) creating a  stack file system (SFS), c) content creation and sharing with the help of SFS, d) enabling bottom-up communication via chat channel. The users reported on improvements that are needed in the navigation and in the instructions. In this conversation we reached an agree of the necessary measures to be taken by the end of February.

5b) Deployment and evaluation measures: Based on these conclusions we could reach agreements on the introduction of LTB for training purposes and on a synchronised start of evaluation measures. We identified primary pilot groups from the trades of carpenters and well-builders and agreed on a timeline for kick-off workshop (with tool introduction and focus group), interim workshop and concluding workshop. We also agreed on the accompanying communication and feedback. (The detailed results were summarised by the powerpoints of the UIBK colleagues).

6) The exploitation measures: During the first afternoon we had a general introduction to the exploitation model (see my earlier blog on the preparation of this meeting). We also got an explanation, what role a jointly prepared and agreed ‘exploitation manifesto’ can play as a working agreement. We also were briefed of the IPR issues to be clarified. With this preparation the partners were invited to present their exploitation plans and/or intentions. During these presentations we were asked to list our wishes to have bilateral talks (persons, topics). On the second day a special time slot was reserved for these talks. (During this session there was a fire alarm and all people were evacuated outside. As we were well prepared, we could continue our bilateral talks there as well.)

I stop my reporting on the meeting here because I (and my colleagues from ITB and Bau-ABC) couldn’t attend on the last day. Thus, I have missed the wrap-up of the exploitation sessions and the discussion on the exploitation manifesto. We will have an opportunity to catch up very soon. Therefore, in the final post of this series I will focus on the exploitation plans/initiatives of the construction sector partners.

More blogs to come …

 

 

 

LL Consortium meeting in Innsbruck – Part One: Event with Austrian clusters

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 7 Febrero, 2016 - 15:25

Last week our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project had its consortium meeting in Innsbruck. Before the project meeting the hosts from UIBK had arranged a special event to present LL tools for guests from Austrian clusters and networks. In this first post I will focus on this ‘warm-up’ event. In the subsequent posts I will discuss the general results of the meeting and the specific results of exploitation sessions (from the perspective of construction pilot).

The event and the setup

As indicated above, the hosts from UIBK had prepared a stakeholder event to present the LL toolsets and services (work in progress). The participants represented a Tyrolean cluster organisation, a nation-wide forum of trainers in vocational education and training (VET) and vocational teacher education programs (at different universities/colleges). The meeting room was arranged as four round tables and the event was organised as a ‘world café’. Thus, after a brief introduction into the LL project the participants got a 10-15 minutes presentation to selected LL tools/toolsets in the respective table. Then the groups switched clockwise and got another presentation. In this way the following tools/toolsets were presented: “Bits and Pieces” (by Sebastian Dennerlein), “Learning Toolbox” (by Gilbert Peffer), “Living Documents” and “AchSo!” (by UIBK colleagues).

The Learning Toolbox table

For me and the colleagues from Bau-ABC (Melanie Campbell and Kerstin Engraf) it was a natural choice to join Gilbert in presenting the Learning Toolbox (LTB). In these presentations we could give an overview of the LTB as a mobile framework and as an integrative toolset. We were happy to present fresh insights into the mobile app, into the tilestore and into the contexts of deployment in Bau-ABC. From the participants we got questions regarding the use of LTB in training and in work processes as well as use of LTB in a personal learning environment.We were happy to discuss the development so far and the potentials that we see in the LTB (but made the point that phase of deployment is yet to come). Our counterparts were happy with this information and expressed their interest to learn more in the coming times.

The event did not last long and the time was effectively used in the groups. Therefore, I only have a vague idea on the discussions in parallel tables. Yet, my impression is that we altogether could give informative and interesting presentations. The participants were clearly interested and congratulated the project for a good event. We could happily recommend the organisers of the next consortium meeting to prepare a similar ‘warm-up’ event as well.

More blogs to come …

AutismFather is creating A Safe Minecraft Community for Children with Autism

OLDaily - 7 Febrero, 2016 - 13:35


Stuart Duncan, Patreon, Feb 07, 2016

This is a fundraising page (where people pledge to contribute monthly, rather than one large donation all at once) for a Minecraft community that has been created for children with autism, Autcraft (Facebook). "He set up a server for kids like his to play Minecraft in a safe space," writes a longtime reader. "The Autcraft server is the only place of its kind in cyberspace -- other Minecraft servers for children with autism have come and gone since his was started in 2013. Autcraft now has over 5000 members -- and no money." Hence the fundraising initiative.

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Categorías: General

College Scorecard: ED quietly adds in 700 missing colleges

e-Literate - 7 Febrero, 2016 - 02:23

By Phil HillMore Posts (384)

It’s worth giving credit where credit is due, and the US Department of Education (ED) has fixed a problem that Russ Poulin and I pointed out where they had previously left ~700 colleges out of the College Scorecard.

When the College Scorecard was announced, Russ noticed a handful of missing schools. When I did the whole data OCD thing, I discovered that more than 700 2-year institutions were missing, including nearly 1-in-4 community colleges. Eventually we published an article in the Washington Post describing this (and other) problems.

The missing community colleges were excluded on purely statistical grounds. If the college granted more certificates (official awards of less than a degree) than degrees in a year, then they were excluded as they were not “primarily degree-granting” institutions. We label this the “Brian Criterion” after the person authoring two discussion board posts that explained this undocumented filter.

This was a statistical decision because it affects graduation rates, but leaves the student wondering why so many colleges cannot be found. Consider Front Range Community College in Colorado with 1,673 associate’s degrees granted in 2012-13. Because they also awarded 1,771 certificates, the Scorecard filters them out from the consumer website.

Largely due to their community-serving mission, community colleges and other two-year institutions were primarily affected. By our calculations, approximately one in three two-year colleges were excluded (more than 700), including approximately one in four community colleges (more than 250).

It is ironic that the most-penalized institutions were community colleges and those innovating with interim certificates and stackable credentials in particular; indeed, the White House has been explicitly promoting both of these groups.

We never heard from the ED officially but had some backchannel communications from others that there were some fixes being considered.

On Wednesday I got a message from the infamous Brian on a Stack Exchange thread letting me know that ED had changed their approach.

The Department recently added institutions to the consumer site such that institutions that predominantly award certificates (PREDDEG=1) are included IF the highest degree is at least an Associate’s (HIGHDEG>=2 ) AND the institution offers an associate’s or bachelor’s degree (CIPxxASSOC>0 OR CIPxxBACHL>0)

In English, this means that the ED took out their artificial criterion and fixed this issue. Colleges that award degrees no longer get excluded because they award even more certificates.

It was a little tricky verifying the fix, as they have also changed how the College Scorecard classifies schools. Previously they let the user filter on associate’s programs, leading to institutions that predominantly award associate’s degrees. Now the scorecard will show you all institutions that award associate’s degrees. So the checksum activity must be done at a higher level. Low and behold, the count of public institutions in the Scorecard approximately matches the count from IPEDS. I also did spot checks on a dozen institutions that had previously been missing, and they are now in the Scorecard.

The other issues in the Washington Post article remain, but this headline problem has been fixed, but very quietly. I cannot find any announcement or release notes from ED, just this one line in their release notes:

Update national statistics to include certificate schools

So consider this blog post as the official ED press release, I guess. Thanks for fixing.

The post College Scorecard: ED quietly adds in 700 missing colleges appeared first on e-Literate.

Report: Make Textbooks Affordable

OLDaily - 7 Febrero, 2016 - 01:30


Ethan Senack, Robert Donoghue, Student PIRGs, Feb 06, 2016

I'll just quote the key findings from this report (24 page PDF) and let them speak for themselves:

  • Almost one-third (30%) of students replied that they had used financial aid to pay for their textbooks.
  • For those that used financial aid, the amount of financial aid dollars they put toward purchasing textbooks was more than $300 on average per semester.
  • Textbook prices disproportionately impact community college students.

None of this is any surprise; what is surprising is that we've just allowed the problem to continue to exist, even in the internet age when free or nearly free content should be almost a given.

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Categorías: General

OpenStax already saved students $39 million this academic year

OLDaily - 7 Febrero, 2016 - 01:30


Press Release, Rice University, Feb 06, 2016

The data is coming in, and it is as expected: open access saves students money. "Free textbooks from Rice University-based publisher OpenStax are now in use at one-in-five degree-granting U.S. colleges and universities and have already saved college students $39 million in the 2015-16 academic year." It's the same  lesson learned from the BC Campus open textbook project, which has  saved more than a million dollars for British Columbia students. The  OpenStax library is the outcome of Rice University's Connexions project.

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Categorías: General

Creating an Infrastructure for Open Access

OLDaily - 7 Febrero, 2016 - 01:30


Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed, Feb 06, 2016

According to Barbara Fister, Rebecca Kennison and Lisa Norberg have come up with a plan "to build a new system for funding humanities and social sciences publishing that would make it open to all while preserving it for the future." The idea is that all academic institutions would contribute to a common fund that would pay for the publications. They point to the benefit of this model to universities by pointing out that "our graduates are currently shut out of the expensive resources that institutions provide to currently enrolled students at great expense. Wouldn't they be happier if that funding meant they had continual access?" It would make me happier. And ultimately institutions would reallocate their acquisition budgets to the support of open publishing, and help secure their position in society by providing for the common good.

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Categorías: General

The OA Interviews: Kamila Markram, CEO and Co-Founder of Frontiers

OLDaily - 7 Febrero, 2016 - 01:30


Richard Poynder, Open, Shut?, Feb 06, 2016

Frontiers began as a "researcher-led initiative envisaged as being 'by scientists, for scientists' the mission of Frontiers was to create a 'community-oriented open access scholarly publisher and social networking platform for researchers.'" After flirting with various business models (even including a business methods patent) it seems to have settled on a sustainable, if sketchy, existence based on publication fees. This article is a fascinating overview, and as a bonus there's a link to a  full interview with Frontiers CEO and co-founder Kamila Markram (pictured) at the end.

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Categorías: General

A friend of a friend

Learning with 'e's - 6 Febrero, 2016 - 12:00
Facebook has recently claimed that it has reduced the degrees of separation between people. This claim is based on its analysis of the personal data it has collated from its 1.6 billion subscribers. If you are a subscriber to Facebook (and there aren't many people around that I know who aren't), then your data is included in this massive calculation exercise.

The original idea of six degrees of separation has been with us for some time but was popularised by the American psychologist Stanley Milgram in the 1960s (remember him also from the electric shock experiments?) through his small world experiment. It was proposed that every person is no more than 6 social connections (or degrees of separation) away from anyone else on the planet. If you choose any random person, the theory goes, then they will be a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend (or perhaps less) with them. Back in 2012, I predicted that the era of social media would reduce that degrees of separation. Earlier, in 2009 I suggested that it might even be reduced to one or two degrees of separation. Now Facebook has demonstrated that amongst its users at least, that statistic has been reduced to an average of around 3.5 - but bear in mind this applies only to its subscribers.

What this means for our society has yet to be revealed and time will tell whether our increased connections to each other will be a benefit or a danger. As Mark Zuckerberg has said 'When people connect, powerful things happen and lives are changed.' That's probably true in many cases, but whether those powerful things that happen change lives for the better or for the worse, depends on with whom you decide to connect.

Photo by Richard Giles on Flickr


A friend of a friend 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

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