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Building a Blockchain

OLDaily - 12 Marzo, 2018 - 19:41

Stephen Downes, Half an Hour, Mar 15, 2018

We've all heard about blockchains, but what are they? It can be a complicated concept. The best way to learn, of course, is to roll up your sleeves and build a blockchain engine. That's what I did. (See also: Enterprise blockchain projects on GitHub).

Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Southern Oregon And Calvin College Switch LMS… To Moodle!

Moodle News - 12 Marzo, 2018 - 19:07
As a result of their own internal quality reviews, which they deem ‘extensive,’ Southern Oregon University and Calvin College recently chose to switch to Moodle as their Learning...

New Digital Textbook Company Includes Audiobook Versions

Campus Technology - 12 Marzo, 2018 - 19:01
The digital textbook market has a new entrant. Lead Winds has launched two digital textbooks on an online platform with chapter-by-chapter access to the written textbook, an audiobook version, videos that teach the chapters, slideshows and extra videos of students and instructors sharing study notes and tips for each chapter. The cost: $35 per student.

Toward a Sustainable OER Ecosystem: The Case for OER Stewardship

OLDaily - 12 Marzo, 2018 - 18:59

Lisa Petrides, Douglas Levin, C. Edward Watson, The CARE Framework, Mar 15, 2018

"The scarcity of affordable, high-quality resources in specific subjects and for select populations has too often been presented as a fait accompli," write the authors. "Yet, this is a future that OER stewards reject." They recommend a four-stage 'CARE' framework promoting the idea of OER stewardship (quoted):

  1. Contribute: OER stewards actively contribute to efforts, whether financially or via in-kind contributions, to advance the awareness, improvement, and distribution of OER;
  2. Attribute: OER stewards practice conspicuous attribution, ensuring that all who create or remix OER are properly and clearly credited for their contributions;
  3. Release: OER stewards ensure OER can be released and used beyond the course and platform in which it was created or delivered; and
  4. Empower: OER stewards are inclusive and strive to meet the diverse needs of all learners, including by supporting the participation of new and non-traditional voices in OER creation and adoption.

There's more context in this IHE article.


Web: [Direct Link] [This Post]

Informatics for All. The strategy

Faraón Llorens - 12 Marzo, 2018 - 18:35
Informatics for All. The strategy ACM Europe & Informatics Europe February 2018 Informatics for All is an initiative devised jointly by ACM Europe and Informatics Europe. Its purpose is to give due recognition to Informatics as an essential foundational discipline for education in the twenty-first century. Informatics is the science underpinning the development of the […]

On Change and Relevance for Higher Education

Campus Technology - 12 Marzo, 2018 - 18:11
Phil Long, a veteran strategist in technology and learning, comments on some of the most asked-about challenges for higher education institutions today.

The slow cancellation of the future

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 12 Marzo, 2018 - 16:07

Writing in the Guardian, Becky Gardiner, a senior lecturer at Goldsmiths University in London, explains why she is on strike. Although the strike in the UK universities is now into its fourth week and is ostensibly abut cuts to pensions it raises wider issues’

‭Becky says:

My favourite banner on the picket line reads “Against the slow cancellation of the future”, a phrase popularised by the late cultural theorist, Mark Fisher. In the grip of neoliberalism, we begin to believe that there is no alternative, Fisher told us.

In universities, this slow draining of hope began with the introduction of tuition fees in 1998, and gathered pace when they were tripled in 2010. Successive governments, enthusiastically aided by overpaid senior management drawn from outside the university sector, have turned higher education into a utilitarian and consumer-driven activity that students buy in exchange for skills for the job market.

The latest idea coming from the UK Department for Education (DfE) is to introduce a ratings system would which would allow students to make “consumer-style comparisons of degree courses.” Subjects will be given a gold, silver or bronze award, and details will be made available about post-degree employment prospects, potential earnings and dropout rates, according to the DfE.

The problem for DfE is that for all their efforts educations is not a consumer good. And statistics suggest that the best indicator of potential earnings comes not from which university or indeed which subject is studies but is dependent on the social class that the student comes from. So those courses with more upper class students will have the best post employment prospects, presumably attracting more upper class students and reinforcing their positioning in the consumer style ratings. The slow cancellation of the future seems to be speeding up.

Moodle Cualitativo, Parte III: Investigación de Mercado Ágil

Moodle News - 12 Marzo, 2018 - 16:00
Available in English. En esta serie de tres entregas, esperamos traer a luz algunas de las ventajas de los métodos de investigación cualitativa en la educación, mediante casos de estudio que ilustren...

Moodle Mobile & Desktop Heat Up With Release 3.4.1, Ahead Of Revolutionary 3.5 Launch

Moodle News - 12 Marzo, 2018 - 13:06
A minor or “second point” release of the Moodle Mobile and Moodle Desktop apps has been announced by Moodle HQ’s Juan Leyva on the Moodle Forum. This is a scheduled release whose...

It's a complicated business....

Steve Wheeler - 12 Marzo, 2018 - 12:00
Image from PexelsTwo recent articles have prompted a flurry of commentary on social media around the quality of learning in higher education.

The first, from the Times Higher Education Supplement was entitled 'Academics fail to change teaching due to fear of looking stupid'. A year long study found that younger academics held on to strong ideas about what they considered to be 'good pedagogy', often because they had inherited these ideas from their own professors while studying at university. Generally, this was the traditional didactic method of standing up and delivering content. Other methods, including interactive, collaborative and student centred approaches to teaching were shunned, because to adopt them would expose the younger academics to potential ridicule or loss of face. It takes a strong and courageous academic to swim against the tide in many academic communities (see positive deviants).

The second article from the BBC, suggests that the UK government is about to implement plans to grade all university courses into three categories - Gold, Silver and Bronze. The implications of this are that universities will need to work that much harder to market their programmes to future students. Does this mean that teaching standards will need to improve? Does it mean that new approaches to teaching will need to be adopted by academics to attract a savvy generation of new undergraduates to their courses? If it does, this should be a welcome move. However, if the decision means that lecturers are put under even greater pressure than they are currently under, then we should expect an even greater exodus of good staff from universities than we are currently witnessing.

It's a complicated business, higher education....

It's a complicated business.... 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

Upcoming Events, Webinars & Calls for Papers (Week of March 12, 2018)

Campus Technology - 12 Marzo, 2018 - 11:00
Upcoming events include the Innovations Conference, Digital Signage Expo 2018, University Innovation Alliance National Summit, SANS 2018, O.L.C. Innovate and the A.A.C.C. 98th Annual Convention.

Courseware Without A Silver Bullet: Focusing on faculty enablement

e-Literate - 11 Marzo, 2018 - 18:11

In a 2016 post on "Personalized Learning vs. Adaptive Learning", Michael contrasted the former as a set of technology-enabled teaching practices with the latter as a project label [emphasis added].

On the other hand, adaptive learning is a label that applies to products. Further, adaptive learning products can support all of the practice areas of personalized learning. They enable teachers to move content broadcast outside of class time, they make homework time into contact time through analytics, and they provide some tutoring function. "Adaptive" tends to provoke a lot of discussion around the latter of the three practice areas. See the piece I wrote for the American Federation of Teachers if you want a primer on the strengths and limitations of adaptive learning products as tutors. But as often as not the first two capabilities, neither of which is dependent on adaptive algorithms, are the ones that enable the biggest gains in personalized learning teaching practices. "Courseware" is a set of products that, when designed well and used properly, can enable faculty to move content broadcast out of the classroom and make homework time content time. Adaptive courseware adds the tutoring element while also, if done well, increasing the value of that homework contact time by providing better feedback through more targeted analytics.

One problem, of course, is that many advocates end up presenting adaptive learning as a silver bullet, focusing on supposed magical tutoring capabilities and ignoring the messy but valuable work of enabling faculty to improve their own courses. As we will see, it is not a safe assumption that all vendors like this label or set of assumptions.

In the first episode of this series we explored the challenge of going beyond pilots and deploying systems at scale. In the second episode we explored the importance of increased visibility as an important benefit of course redesign. In this episode we explore the challenge of silver bullets - what happens when a company has no intention of being labeled as "adaptive learning" but has been described that way? Realizeit is not the only company dealing with this same issue, and it is important for educators to understand how a company defines itself and the problems their products are designed to solve.1


This post is part of our e-Literate TV series, which is funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The findings and conclusions (or views) contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  1. This post is not meant to endorse Realizeit's platform over other companies' platforms. We are focusing on institutional perspectives and lessons to be learned. Realizeit is one of our sponsors of the Empirical Educator Project.

The post Courseware Without A Silver Bullet: Focusing on faculty enablement appeared first on e-Literate.

The future as we know it....

Steve Wheeler - 11 Marzo, 2018 - 13:19
Image from PixabayIn February I spoke at Learning Technologies in London. It's an annual two day event for learning and development professionals where we meet to discuss and debate issues around new technology, innovation in the workplace and corporate learning. Many of the sessions are standard - a speaker at the front talks about a specialised issues and there is time at the end (usually) for some discussion and questions.

This year, we wanted to break the format a little, so David Kelly and I, with the expert chairing and refereeing skills of Andrew Jacobs, put together a debate on future technologies in work based learning. During the discussion, we touched on legal, moral and ethical issues of technology and human interfaces, virtual vs augmented reality, the advantages and disadvantages of search engines, artificial intelligence, change and disruption (where I elaborate on my new inertia and disruption model) and organisational context and culture.

As you will probably ascertain by watching the video, we are role playing here and there, adopting stances that we don't necessarily agree with, simply to promote some disagreement. The audience rose to the challenge and joined in with some great questions, both in the room and via the social media backchannels. I hope you enjoy watching the discussion, and gain some insight into what we think the future might hold for learning and development.


The future as we know it.... 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

Videos from three ‘inspiring’ online leaders

Tony Bates - 10 Marzo, 2018 - 01:02

Drexel University Online as part of its excellent Virtually Inspired blog has posted three videos of  ‘thought leaders’ in online learning. You can find them here. Each video is less than 10 minutes in length

The three are:

If you are really into masochism, you might want to compare these with a video of ‘three founding fathers’ of  distance education:

  • Michael G. Moore
  • Sir John Daniel and
  • myself.

As a counterpoint it would be nice to see some videos from women, people of colour or younger instructors discussing their experience of online learning. Any suggestions of where to look? As a starter I suggest Audrey Watters talking about ‘Is education broken?’

The CARE Framework

David Wiley - 9 Marzo, 2018 - 22:16

NOTE: I began this post with the intention of writing about the framework. Some of it has managed to be, in fact, focused on the framework. However, it also includes several other thoughts that were prompted by my study of the framework, but that aren’t direct responses to the framework per se. Apologies in advance for a post that meanders even more than usual.

The CARE Framework was released earlier this week by Lisa Petrides, Doug Levin, and Eddie Watson. It’s an important contribution to important conversations and is worth taking time to read carefully and respond to thoughtfully. As I hope will become evident as you scroll down, I’ve spent a lot of time reading and responding because I think the framework has a lot of potential. We all owe Lisa, Doug, and Eddie for a great piece of work.

I will state right up front that it is entirely possible that in my reading of the framework I have misinterpreted the authors’ intentions or meanings. If I have done so, I apologize in advance and sincerely hope they will correct me.

As the title of the document makes explicit, the framework aims to contribute to the conversation about the sustainability of OER: “Toward a Sustainable OER Ecosystem: The Case for OER Stewardship”. It’s a valuable contribution to that conversation. Issues of sustainability are absolutely critical to the future of OER and education more broadly, and we spend far too little time talking about them.

If you’re new to the conversation on OER sustainability, I would recommend reading Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources by Stephen Downes and then my On the Sustainability of Open Educational Resource Initiatives in Higher Education, both of which were written for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). They provide an introduction to a wide range of potential sustainability models for OER and some accompanying discussion.

The framework advocates for a specific model of OER sustainability, one in which “individuals working across institutions and organizations all around the world” take on the role of “OER stewards.” I wholeheartedly agree that our work in OER will not be sustainable over the long-term unless people and organizations step forward and take on the hard, frequently painful, and seldom recognized work associated with stewardship. But I also recognize that not everyone has the luxury – the privilege – of the extra time and resources necessary to do that. I’m not sure that the document recognizes this. It states that the framework is “meant to be applied by all individuals, organizations, and institutions who share a stake in the field’s long-term success and sustainability”. (Again, I hope the authors will correct me if I am interpreting this incorrectly.)

I struggle to see how this will be possible. Does the average faculty member at a state university or community college have the time and energy to worry about “the health and well-being of the broader OER movement?” Does the average K-12 teacher? If the thousands of faculty and teachers I’ve met over the last 20 years of doing this work are representative of the broader population, the answer is no for the overwhelming majority of them. Only a small minority of faculty and teachers are fortunate enough to have the kind of discretionary time and energy envisioned in the framework’s vision of stewardship.

If I’m reading the document correctly, and the specific sustainability model it proposes really is premised on “all individuals, organizations, and institutions who share a stake in the field’s long-term success and sustainability” actively engaging in OER stewardship, it may not be a viable model for long-term sustainability of the OER movement. We know that in parallel contexts, like open source software or Wikipedia, long-term sustainability can be possible with only a tiny fraction of all the beneficiaries of the open work contributing directly. So while I agree with the framework’s focus on stewardship, I would disagree with the the notion that everyone needs to participate fully in the process of stewardship. This conversation – what percentage of those with a stake in the OER movement need to be “good OER stewards” before the movement will be sustainable – will be a fun one to have over milkshakes at a conference, and I hope to get the chance to have that conversation with the authors soon.

The framework does more than propose a specific model for the long-term sustainability of the OER movement. We read near the beginning and again toward the end of the document:

The purpose of the CARE Framework is to articulate a set of shared values…. In advancing this framework, our goal is be [sic] explicit about the values that we think are core to the OER movement.

In other words, in addition to contributing to the (somewhat dormant) conversation about the long-term sustainability of OER, the document also contributes to the (much more active) conversation about who deserves to be allowed to participate in the OER movement.

There seems to be a desire by some to enclose the OER movement (though I want to be clear I am not attributing this motivation to the authors of the framework). I believe this impulse is well-intentioned. After all, Nobel Prize-winning scholar of the commons Elinor Ostrom‘s first principle of managing a commons can be summarized as “define clear group boundaries.” One very reasonable way of defining boundaries is to identify a set of core values (this conversation has been happening on OER listservs for several months now). Then anyone who shares those values belongs in the community. Anyone who does not share those values does not.

But OER are critically different from the commons Ostrom studied in her Nobel Prize-winning work. Those commons, like commons of land, timber, and water, are comprised of rivalrous resources. OER, on the other hand, are non-rivalrous resources. It is impossible to overstate how significant this difference is. It literally reverses the most fundamental assumption upon which commons research has traditionally been based.

The tragedy of the commons, to which Ostrom’s work (including the admonition to define clear group boundaries) offers such a powerful response, doesn’t make sense in non-rivalrous contexts. The problem whereby “individual users acting independently according to their own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting or spoiling [the commons] through their collective action” doesn’t apply in the context of OER. While people grazing too many cattle on common land will eventually render the land unusable by everyone, there is no sense in which too many people making copies of an OpenStax pdf can somehow render the original copy unreadable by everyone.

In the context of rivalrous resources, we must circle the wagons to protect the commons from destruction through over use. It makes sense to define clear group boundaries – to determine who is allowed to access and benefit from resources and who is not – in order to prevent this outcome. But in the context of OER, our dearest desire is for as many people as possible to use the resources. The protect-by-excluding model doesn’t make sense here because the problem that exclusion is supposed to solve doesn’t exist. You can’t spoil or deplete OER through over use. On the contrary, most people and organizations who create OER drive themselves crazy trying to get more people to use their resources.

If there is a use problem with OER, it is always under-use; never over-use. And exclusion only serves to further drive under-use.

The 5R permissions that characterize OER create opportunities for everyone to benefit from OER. But there are those in the community who don’t want those benefits to extend to everyone. They believe there are those who should not be allowed to benefit from OER – namely, companies. In it’s most extreme version, those who hold this belief don’t feel that companies should be allowed to benefit from OER under any circumstances (and they tend to find it exceedingly frustrating that authors of OER use licenses without the NC condition). In a more nuanced version, they don’t believe companies should be able to benefit from OER without giving something back.

This way of thinking has always seemed prejudiced to me. The open source software community doesn’t discriminate against companies in this way, and I believe it is significantly stronger, more diverse, and more vibrant than the OER community because it does not.

The framework actually does away with this historical prejudice, but not in the manner you might suppose. By declaring that it is “meant to be applied by all individuals, organizations, and institutions who share a stake in the field’s long-term success and sustainability,” the framework avoids this prejudice against companies by extending its concern with free-riders (those who benefit without contributing) to everyone.

The framework provides an objective set of guidelines people and organizations, including companies, can follow in order to be judged “good” OER stewards. Except that it doesn’t. And this is through no fault of the document or its authors.

If tomorrow Pearson were to launch an OER website containing 100 textbooks from their catalog, all CC BY licensed, all available for download in multiple formats, all of which meet your favorite set of accessibility standards, would you consider Pearson a good OER steward? Probably not.

The truth is that no matter how they change their behavior, no matter how closely they follow this or any other framework – no matter what they do – some in our community will never find it acceptable for the big textbook publishers (or any other company) to participate in – let alone benefit from – the OER movement. They will certainly never recognize them as a good steward of OER. Inasmuch as this is true, the framework isn’t really helpful for companies who want to participate in and benefit from the OER movement. The prejudice against companies – sometimes as a result of their own past bad behavior, sometimes as a thoughtless stereotype based solely on tax status that ignores actual behavior – is sometimes stronger than any positive behavior could ever overcome. That’s a depressing statement.

Note, again, that this isn’t a failing of the framework as much as it is a failing of the OER community. In most communities of practice there’s a notion of legitimate peripheral participation. Not so in the OER community; at least, it doesn’t feel like companies are granted this option. Their wobbly, toddler-like first steps into the community are generally not seen as monumental efforts to be celebrated, rather they’re frequently demeaned as insufficient and deserving of public scorn. Unfortunately, the strange dynamics of our community make it more likely that the framework will be used to publicly shame companies rather than be used as an onramp and set of guide rails to help move them from legitimate peripheral participation into full membership in the community.

The two main problems we associate with free-riding are over-use and under-production, but as I argued above the problem with OER is not over-use but under-use. So we find ourselves with an insufficient amount of OER (OER are being under-produced) and with insufficient adoption of OER (OER are being under-used). It doesn’t make sense to believe that excluding willing participants – those who would both use and produce OER – will help solve the problems of under-use and under-production. On the contrary, rather than working to exclude we should enlist as many people as possible in this effort.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a conversation about common values. But I believe it does mean that we should do everything within our power to make our work on common values welcoming and inviting, rather than allowing it to be weaponized. The CARE Framework could be a powerful tool for bringing a greater diversity of organizations – including companies – into the OER community. There are some things the framework authors could do that might make this more likely, but how individuals choose to use the framework will ultimately be up to those individuals.

Our community can be pretty hard on its own members (I know I’m not the only one who has felt this), let alone would-be new members.

In its effort to be evenhanded and apply the logic of free-riding to everyone without prejudice, I fear the framework may backfire with faculty. Speaking as someone who has been engaged in OER advocacy with faculty and providing direct support for OER adoption to faculty for many years – as several of you have – it’s difficult enough to help faculty find the time and energy necessary to simply adopt OER. Do we want to suggest that if they were good OER stewards faculty and teachers would spend more time worrying about “the health and well-being of the broader OER movement itself”? While this would likely be a very productive conversation with people who already self-identify as OER champions, I fear its effects on “normal faculty”.

Imagine that you’re a community college faculty member. You teach 5 courses per semester and pour your heart and soul into helping your students succeed in your classes – even giving out your cell phone number and asking students to call you on weekends if they need help. (I’ve met many of these incredible people over the years.)

You’ve heard about OER and how it can save your students money, so you arrange for colleagues to cover your classes one Friday so you can attend a regional OER conference. During a presentation on OER, you learn that adopting OER in place of your commercial textbook will be a little harder than you hoped, but not as hard as you feared it might be. That’s a relief. You know you don’t have the time to adopt OER, but because you care about your students’ success so deeply you decide you’ll find the (unpaid) time nights and weekends to get it done.

But later in the presentation you learn that it’s not ok to just be a taker – you need to give back in meaningful ways if you want to be a good member of the OER community. Giving back can include things like creating and sharing new OER, improving existing OER, making OER available for download in convenient formats for students (what’s a format??), and some other things involving accessibility and “non-traditional voices” that you honestly don’t follow fully.

On the drive home you ask yourself – what about this stewardship thing? You can’t contribute anything right now. Can you use OER knowing that you’re mooching off the work of others and failing to contribute? Do you need that kind of guilt in your life? Maybe the guilt is worth it if OER will help your students. Or maybe you’re just not cut out for this OER thing after all. You didn’t really have time for it anyway.

I’m going to make a few explicit guesses about the authors’ intentions now. Again, I hope they will correct me if I’m reading them wrong.

Though they say explicitly that framework’s target audience is all education stakeholders, including “individuals who create or adapt OER for their own teaching and learning purposes; nonprofit OER publishers and libraries; commercial OER publishers; as well as educational technology vendors looking to incorporate OER into their products or services”, I don’t believe the authors of the framework want us to use it to label people or organizations as good or bad actors based on the degree to which we perceive them to be successfully fulfilling their OER stewardships. I certainly don’t believe they mean for it to become a source of guilt for teachers and faculty who are already incredibly overstretched.

A critically important issue which goes unaddressed in the framework is – who should be applying it to whom? Is the framework meant to be a tool for self-evaluation and critical reflection? Is it to be a tool for judging others? Both?

I expect the framework will do far more to advance the OER movement if it is explicitly positioned as a tool for self-evaluation and improvement than it will as a framework people and organizations can use to justify labeling other people or organizations as “bad actors” in order to try to exclude them from the community. Again, I know the authors of the framework can’t really prevent others from engaging in this kind of behavior. What can they do?

Here are some changes the authors might consider making in the next version of the framework.

  • The document feels to me like it is much more about norms and values than it is sustainability. Maybe change the title? I think a conversation about whether or not these are indeed our core shared values would be more immediately valuable that a conversation about the viability of the framework as a model for the long-term sustainability of the movement. If our community doesn’t align around some core set of values, fairly soon there may be no one left to sustain anything.
  • Be clear that no one person or organization has the time or resources to engage in the dozens of kinds of activities described within the framework. There are thousands of ways, large and small, that people and organizations might contribute, release, and empower. Each of these is valuable. Be clear that any efforts to enact the values expressed in the framework aren’t just acceptable – they’re wonderful.
  • In the attribution section of the framework, explicitly mention the community norms and values that are already documented in Creative Commons’ Best Practices for Attribution. Be clear that attributions should always contain a Title, an Author, a link back to the original Source, and the License under which the original work was released. If the authors have some reason to disagree with the community’s existing best practices for attribution, say so plainly.
  • Be explicit about whether the framework is meant for self-evaluation and critical reflection, or if it is designed to be a tool for judging others’ behavior, or both.
  • If the framework is intended to be used as a rubric by which to judge other people and organizations, encourage readers to identify and celebrate fledgling efforts to act according to the values it expresses. Use those celebrations as opportunities to invite people and organizations do enact more of those values, as their time and resources allow, inviting them further into the core of the community.
  • If the framework is intended to be used as a rubric by which to judge other people and organizations, discourage using the framework as a justification for labeling and shaming people or organizations. That’s not how we bring more people and organizations into the community, it’s how we drive them away. If I see a person or an organization that I think has the motivation and resources to do “better”, what should I do? Provide some concrete suggestions.
  • If the framework is intended for self-reflection, it should prepare readers for the fact that no matter how much they do or how hard they try, some people in the community will be vocally critical of the fact that they didn’t do more. Consider apologizing in advance on behalf of the broader community.

I’m grateful to Lisa, Doug, and Eddie for their great work here. I think they have absolutely succeeded in creating a document that will provoke “a more nuanced and meaningful discussion about the individual and organizational practice of OER and openness in education and for learning.” I hope others will also take the time to engage it thoughtfully. I’m looking forward to more good things to come here.

How Moodle Can Avoid The Fate And Failures Of Wikispaces

Moodle News - 9 Marzo, 2018 - 19:58
Last week, Wikispaces announced its decision to shut down, along with its “Wikispaces Classroom” and “Free Wikis” tiers. According to the the announcement, these components...

The anomie in our midst

Steve Wheeler - 9 Marzo, 2018 - 15:08
Photo from MaxpixelThe French sociologist Emile Durkheim's study of suicide led to a theory that instability resulting in a breakdown of standards or social conventions can lead to alienation. He called it 'anomie' and described it as a condition in which we discover that all of the social values and connections we considered important, are suddenly no longer there, and we become detached, lost, void of our sense of community and identity.

There is plenty of instability today, and although most of it tends not to lead to tragic acts such as suicide, it can lead to feelings of loneliness, helplessness or alienation within society.

Instability today comes in many forms, but derives (according to Durkheim in his day), from either the division of labour (the way work is organised) or from rapid social change. By division of labour, he means that the regimes of work we find ourselves in can erode our sense of personal identity. Today, rapid social change has become a dominant aspect of society, but there are many other disruptive forces acting upon our world. These include the constant threat from terrorism, the fear of nuclear conflict, various forms of discrimination and the effects of austerity and economic turbulence, as well as global factors such as climate change, natural disasters, the refugee crisis, and political uncertainty.

Anyone watching TV news today is likely to be bombarded with images of suffering and devastation ('viewers may find some of these scenes disturbing'), the aftermath of criminal activities, civil unrest, and the inevitable political rhetoric. After all, bad news sells newspapers and TV subscriptions. We may be asked to look away of we don't want to know the scores, but we continue to look on, with horrified fascination. This clearly has an impact on each of us.

But what do our children make of it all?

Clearly, school is a place, possibly the place, where they can begin to make sense of it. In all probability, when there is a major disaster, or a global incident that is covered extensively by news channels, teachers can take the opportunity to discuss these with their students, and turn them into teachable moments.

But what is the long term effect on children? Social change leads to ruptures in the fabric of our lives, disrupting what we depend upon, whether it is a motorway closure that leads to motorists being stranded for hours, because there is a suspicious package on the hard shoulder that must be investigated; to widespread instability caused by political decisions that go wrong; to massive loss of life because of escalating conflict.

For children, social change may be as simple as having to move from one school (where all their friends are) to another school, and feeling like an outsider. Imagine how refugees fleeing from the only home they ever knew might feel, especially if they are school age children. If they have also lost their parents, it is even more traumatic.

How do teachers handle a situation where refugee children arrive in their classrooms unable to speak the language, the trauma of what they have witnessed fresh in their minds, suddenly immersed in an alien culture? Teachers have their work cut out to cope with such situations alongside all of the existing duties they must attend to. Theories such as Durkheim's anomie may be useful in shaping our understanding of how people feel alienated in society, whether they are refugees or natives to the country they live within. Particularly, teachers need to be aware of the psychological impact such exposure may have on children, and many will need additional training to be able to manage it effectively.

There will always be change, and we will constantly be required to battle against threats to our society, but it is how we rise to meet these challenges that will define who we are as a people.  

The anomie in our midst 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

Open Leadership

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 9 Marzo, 2018 - 13:18

I like the open leadership map white paper released by the Mozilla Foundation. Mozilla say:

Open Leadership is the “how” of our work. It’s how we accomplish our work in communities, organizations, and projects. open leadership encompases the processes and resources we use to support Internet health for everyone’s benefit.

Open leaders “work open.” They work collaboratively, sharing the ownership of ideas, resources, and outcomes with contributors, while building powerful, diverse communities to support and direct projects and organizations. They also set the conditions for others to do the same, ensuring accountability, equity, and transparency in a project and its community.

Unlike the now familiar competency frameworks Mozilla poses their map as a process, based on design, build and empowerment.

This Open Leadership Map suggests areas of focus you can concentrate on during your open leadership journey to achieve these goals. To use the map, consider your objective(s) and look at the principles, actions, and embedded skills that might best help you reach your goals.

Mozilla is presently is asking for peoples’ opinions and ideas about the map.

National Academies Reports Examine U.S. Data Science Education

Campus Technology - 9 Marzo, 2018 - 12:00
Two new reports from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine tackle data science for educators. One report summarizes the findings of a workshop on training students to "extract value from big data." The other is intended to help institutions envision data science from an undergraduate perspective. Both reports are available on the National Academies Press website.

Se consolida una sesión formativa a funcionarios docentes en prácticas de Ceuta para conocer el Marco Común de la Competencia Digital Docente

INTEF - 9 Marzo, 2018 - 09:48

Un año más, la Unidad de Programas Educativos (UPE) en coordinación con el Servicio de Inspección Educativa han organizado actividades de formación para los funcionarios en prácticas.

Se trata de un curso presencial de 20 horas en el que se imparten diversas ponencias con objeto de mejorar la formación inicial de los nuevos funcionarios: ordenamiento jurídico, normativa aplicable, protección de datos, programas interinstitucionales, atención a la diversidad y, desde el año pasado, una sesión dedicada a la Competencia Digital Docente (CDD), como se recogió en el artículo Funcionarios en prácticas en Ceuta conocen el Marco Común de la Competencia Digital Docente.

En esta ocasión, se ha mantenido la estructura de la charla que tan buena acogida tuvo en 2017: introducción general, marco de la CDD y portfolio de la CDD, en el que se ha podido profundizar por estar ya en funcionamiento.

La ponencia estuvo a cargo de tres personas: Sergio González, asesor técnico docente de Tecnologías Educativas, que hizo una introducción general de la CDD, y los docentes Ana Rodríguez Guerrero, del CEIP Ciudad de Ceuta, y Juan García Clavijo, del IES Almina, que están formándose en el tema y compartieron su aprendizaje con los asistentes.

Como destacó Juan García Clavijo en su presentación del Marco Común de la CDD,son muchos los menores que utilizan las TIC, cada vez más jóvenes y sin distinción entre sexos, estas tecnologías avanzan más rápidas que sus propias vidas y se han convertido en algo cotidiano. Este hecho no puede pasar desapercibido para nadie, y menos para los docentes que pretenden enseñarles o ser su ideario personal; debemos estar preparados y actualizados… Para ello la UE y el Ministerio de Educación han propuesto unas líneas de actuación, un marco común, un plan de evaluación y acreditación de lo que sabemos y utilizamos en nuestras aulas, así como de la formación en competencia digital’.

Ana Rodríguez Guerrero dio a conocer los diferentes niveles que se han fijado para adquirir la competencia digital docente y presentó el portfolio, ‘la herramienta para el desarrollo, adquisición y reconocimiento de la competencia digital docente a través de la autoevaluación y del registro de formación que se vaya realizando, lo que le permite a cualquier docente conocer su nivel, poder mejorarlo a través de formación recomendada y pedirle al INTEF el reconocimiento anual de su competencia digital.’

Como comentó a los nuevos funcionarios docentes, ‘el uso y el fomento de las TIC en las aulas es un hecho que requiere de un profesorado especializado en esta competencia. Ya desde la ley orgánica de calidad educativa se contempla que las TIC es una herramienta clave en la formación de profesorado para que se produzca el cambio metodológico que se está demandando ya que el aprendizaje personalizado es el gran reto de la transformación educativa que estamos viviendo, lo que nos lleva a un acercamiento a estas nuevas generaciones digitales’

Para dinamizar la sesión y afianzar las líneas de la CDD, se repartieron entre los asistentes distribuidos en grupos, folios con cada una de las 21 competencias. Debían utilizar el pensamiento visual (Visual Thinking) para realizar un dibujo que la representara y clasificarla correctamente en su Área correspondiente. Todo quedó expuesto en las paredes para su corrección. Fueron más de 20 minutos bastante entretenidos que permitieron la participación de todos superándose el 80% de aciertos.

Para finalizar, se comentaron algunos recursos del INTEF (cursos tutorizados, MOOCS, NOOCs, EduPills, etc.) y europeos (eTwinning, Scientix,…) que pueden servir para desarrollar nuestra competencia digital docente.