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Entrepreneurs don’t have a special gene for risk—they come from families with money

OLDaily - 14 Junio, 2016 - 06:53

Aimee Groth, Quartz, Jun 14, 2016

This is not universally true, of course. Sometimes they have other less legal means. What they don't have is a special 'character' that makes them entrepreneurs (much less better than you or me).  “ Many other researchers have replicated the finding that entrepreneurship is more about cash than dash,” University of Warwick professor Andrew Oswald tells Quartz. “ Genes probably matter, as in most things in life, but not much.”

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Categorías: General

Microsoft to Acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion

OLDaily - 14 Junio, 2016 - 06:53

Jay Greene, Anne Steele, Wall Street Journal, Jun 14, 2016

Last week, I got an email telling me to change my password because the LinkedIn database had been hacked. Today, Microsoft is buying the company. No, I'm not saying the events are linked. It's just surprising that a company with 500K members could leave passwords exposed. Anyhow, I'm now waiting for another email about my LinkedIn account, since apparently now Microsoft will be able to read all my personal data. Remember: in our field, companies buy  customers, not technology.

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Categorías: General

McGraw-Hill Partners with ZogoTech on Student Retention

Campus Technology - 14 Junio, 2016 - 01:01
McGraw-Hill Education has partnered with ZogoTech in an effort to improve student retention in higher education through predictive analytics.

InfoComm 2016 Formally the Largest on Record

Campus Technology - 14 Junio, 2016 - 00:14
A record 1,000 exhibitors, including 211 new exhibitors, occupied the north and central halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center last week for InfoComm 2016. The annual audiovisual trade show and conference took up 527,105 net square feet of exhibition and special events space — also a show record.

Northern Kentucky U Helps SAP Move SIS to Cloud

Campus Technology - 13 Junio, 2016 - 21:41
A Kentucky university will be working with SAP and a solution provider to create a cloud-based version of SAP's student information system.

Cornell and Google Research How to Block Fake Social Engagement

Campus Technology - 13 Junio, 2016 - 19:46
If you've ever watched a crummy video on YouTube with thousands of views and wondered how it generated such positive attention, you may have been the victim of "fake engagement activities."

Adaptive Learning Fails to Make the Grade. Or Does It?!

e-Literate - 13 Junio, 2016 - 19:34

By Michael FeldsteinMore Posts (1071)

My latest Chronicle column is up. It analyzes the results of the SRI Education study of the Gates Foundation adaptive learning grantees, some of which we’ve covered in our e-Literate TV case studies. If you’re looking for evidence that adaptive learning is going to deliver on the promise of a robot tutor in the sky, you won’t find it there. But it’s easy to flatten that result into “adaptive learning doesn’t work.” I don’t believe that the SRI study shows any such thing.

First of all, what is our standard of proof? A good half of my column is devoted to the methodological challenges of doing big meta-studies like this one. It’s really hard to (ethically) control the variables across multiple classrooms well enough to get a clean result. SRI had to throw out most of the data they had for some measures.

But equally importantly, there’s just a lot that meta-studies can’t get at precisely because the goals of each implementation are different. For example, one of the goals for implementing OLI at UC Davis was getting students more prepared to engage in higher-level critical thinking in class discussion. Here are some Davis faculty talking about their course design goals:

I’m not sure how one would empirically measure such a result; nor could I see how to incorporate it into a meta-study that also includes, for example, Essex County College’s developmental math course.

While the Gates Foundation should get credit for bringing in a credible third-party evaluator to review the results of the grants,[1] the design parameters for this particular study do not appear to be as useful as they might have been. That said, the larger point is that it’s really hard to do educational research well. Rather than using these studies as Rorchach tests, we should be taking the time to improve our educational research literacy and better understand what each study can and cannot prove.

  1. Full disclosure: Our company received grant money from the Gates Foundation to cover personalized learning

The post Adaptive Learning Fails to Make the Grade. Or Does It?! appeared first on e-Literate.

The future of Workplace Learning

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 13 Junio, 2016 - 13:02

I very much like this presentation by Jane Hart. I fully concur with the ways she says people are using technology for learning and with her suggestions about how companies should be supporting them. However, my problem is that most organisations are way behind such an agenda and in many cases, citing needs for data protection etc., actively hindering such developments, even when proposed by L&D professionals.

Kensington Intros Security Charging Cabinet

Campus Technology - 13 Junio, 2016 - 13:00
The AC12 Security Charging Cabinet offers capacity and recharging for up to 12 mobile devices, including laptops, tablets and Chromebooks 14 inches and smaller.

Històries de llum

Educació Demà - 13 Junio, 2016 - 11:46
Projecte interdisciplinari de ciència, literatura i divulgació. Consta de dos reptes: elaborar un poema o relat breu sobre la llum o respondre una pregunta sobre la llum amb un vídeo. Amb diverses activitats s'explora el potencial de la literatura i del vídeo per explicar conceptes científics i el de la ciència per oferir estímuls literaris. El projecte és el resultat de la col·laboració de més d'una desena de docents. Localització Espanya 41° 23' 31.0812" N, 2° 10' 32.6208" E See map: Google Maps

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Selling Moodle Courses

Moodle News - 13 Junio, 2016 - 09:24
Trying your hand as a Moodlepreneur can, and should be exciting, rewarding and potentially life changing. However, any experienced Moodlepreneur will tell you for every moment of “high”...

4 Tech Trends Can Help You Design More Effective E-Learning

Educación flexible y abierta - 13 Junio, 2016 - 08:36

Joel Duncan examines four innovative technologies that developers can use to create rich learning experiences and realize significant improvements in productivity.

See it on, via Educación flexible y abierta

Online Learning for HR

Educación flexible y abierta - 13 Junio, 2016 - 08:35

With a wealth of HR and business courses available online, the trick is choosing the right ones.

See it on, via Educación flexible y abierta

3 Elements of Deeper Project-Based Learning

Educación flexible y abierta - 12 Junio, 2016 - 20:24

By Loretta Goodwin - Conversations with those at Arlington Career Center reveal three key factors driving its students' learning success.

See it on, via Educación flexible y abierta

Zimmererblog is going on strong – Learning Layers’ multimedia training bears fruit

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 12 Junio, 2016 - 13:34

In my latest blogs I have given progress reports on the construction pilot of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project, mostly focusing on the integrative toolset Learning Toolbox (LTB). In addition I have provided a review on the progress we have achieved since the project consortium meeting in Tallinn one year ago. In this blog I will have a look at the main results of the earlier Multimedia Training Workshops (that the LL project organised for the full-time trainers (Lehrwerkmeister) of the construction sector training centre Bau-ABC in 2013-2014) – the trainers’ blogs. Here I will firstly focus on the most outstanding example, the Zimmererblog (Carpertenrs’ blog) of Bau-ABC trainer Markus Pape.

Zimmererblog – origins, development and impact

In the first Multimedia Training Workshops of the LL project in the years 2013-2014 the LL partners from Pontydysgu and ITB providedtraining for a group of voluntary Bau-ABC trainers. At that time we started by getting an overview of the general web tools and by making use of them. In this context the participating trainers created their own WordPress blogs. In the course of the training they developed their own pattern of working with blogs. Instead of keeping a diary or writing columns on different topics the trainers have transformed their blogs into their own ‘open educational resources’. In this process the trainer Markus Pape has been the pioneer and his Zimmererblog has become the most comprehensive one.

Looking at the structure – after the startpage – the main areas of the blog are the collections of project descriptions (worksheets) for each year of apprentice training. Then, the blog provides links to literature and other websites as well as an additional area for special techniques. Yet, the special trademark of this blog is that the pictures in the worksheets, in the special area and in the slideshow have been edited to make the site more attractive.

Looking at the impact, it is worthwhile to note that the Zimmererblog has from the very beginning on gained a wide popularity beyond the primary users – trainers and apprentices in Bau-ABC. The statistics reveal that it has been viewed from all over the world – although it is only available in German. Recently it has reached the milestone of 45.000 hits (the exact number being currently 45.103) and the interest is not dropping at all. In this respect the expression ‘open educational resource’ is justified.

Trainers’ blogs in the neighboring trades have also taken their place

Parallel to the Zimmererblog the trainers in some other trades (who had also attended the Multimedia Training Workshops) started to create similar blogs for their trades (or groups of trades). As a result there are three other blogs with similar structure in Bau-ABC:

  • The ‘Maurerblog’ (“Mauerwerksbau im Bau-ABC Rostrup. Backsteine und Mehr”) provides a similar set of learning resources for bricklayer apprentices and additional resources for skilled workers. Currently this site has reached 6.604 hits.
  • The ‘Tiefbaublog’ (“Tiefbau Bau-ABC Rostrup. Mach Dich schlau im Tiefbau”) provides a similar set of resources for three neighbouring trades – road-builders (Strassenbauer), pipeline-builders (Rohrleitungsbauer) and sewage-builders (Kanalbauer). In a similar way it provides additional info sheets and links to external resorces. Currently this site has reached 2.893 hits.
  • The ‘Brunnenbaublog’ (Brunnenbauer und Spezialtiefbauer) provides similar sets of resources for the neighbouring trades of well-builders (Brunnebauer) and for the tunnel-builders (Spezialtiefbauer). In addition, the blog provides further links to progression routes to higher education/qualifications (Duales Studium, Weiterbildung). In addition, the blog provides further sections for special themes, tables and instructions for health and safety. For this site we have not got the current statistics.

Here it is worthwhile to note that these blogs have been developed mainly for internal use in Bau-ABC. From that perspective they have been used rather well although their external impact has remained rather limited compared with the Zimmererblog and its impressive outreach.

– – –

Altogether the trainers’ blogs have already taken their place before the Learning Toolbox has been introduced. Now it is interesting to see, how these tools and instruments can best complement each other. Already in the ‘Theme Room” training workshops the trainers started developing thoughts in this respect. I am looking forward to the next steps.

More blogs to come …


Digital literacies in the age of remix

Learning with 'e's - 12 Junio, 2016 - 12:07
I presented this latest version of my digital literacies model at the 2016 Solstice Conference hosted by Edge Hill University. The slide is from my keynote presentation on digital storytelling. The components in the model are by no means exhaustive - I acknowledge there are many more literacies, some of which are emergent due to new technologies and services. What I have attempted here is to represent what I consider to be the most important, or most regularly observed literacies and try to place them in context. It's also important to note that these do not replace the conventional literacies of reading and writing, speaking and listening, but are supplemental to them.

I have added three dimensions. The social dimension is self explanatory, because the components on the top row are all outward facing. The personal dimension should be equally clear, because the components in this column are focused on personal organisation of space, digital identity and personal branding. The left hand column attends to how knowledge is managed. These components describe how learners organise their content and what they do with it.

I would like to draw your attention to the middle column, which as yet has no categorisation (and this is embryonic, so components may be added, removed, or reorganised in the future). This section seems to rely particularly on creativity and flexibility. My explanation of transliteracy is that it is the ability to be able to present your ideas, connect and manage your presence equally well no matter what tools and technologies you select. If you are transliterate between YouTube and Facebook, you should be able to use both equally well for similar tasks. This aligns neatly to White and Le Cornu's Digital Residents theory.

Perhaps also of some note is the component of reusing, remixing and repurposing. Kevin Kelly recently argued that we are in the age of productive remixing, suggesting that recent innovations are little more than recombinations of earlier media genre and technologies. The same could be argued about knowledge. The synthesis of opposing ideas, coupled with the ability to source knowledge freely leads to an infinite number of new combinations, and growth can become exponential.

As ever, these ideas are open for comment and contructive criticism.

Kelly, K. (2016) Remix, Rewind, Reinvent - Where media is going next. Wired Magazine, July-August, 156-163.
White, D. and Le Cornu, A. (2011) Visitors and Residents - A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16, 19, Available Online (Accessed 14 June 2016).

Graphic by Steve Wheeler

Digital literacies in the age of remix by Steve Wheeler was written in Liberec, Czech Republic and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

Looking back – One year from the Learning Layers meeting in Tallinn

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 12 Junio, 2016 - 11:25

My latest posts on our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project have focused on the recent progress with introducing the integrative toolset Learning Toolbox (LTB) to new users in construction sector. Quite suddenly I happened to look at my blog archives and spotted the entries that I had written one year ago. It struck me that at that time we were just having our LL consortium meeting in Tallinn. It is interesting to look, what kind of issues we were discussing at that time as tasks for the near future. And it is even more interesting to see, what all we have been able to implement in practice. Below I will list some of the main points for the construction pilot of the LL project:

1.  Multimedia Training concept based on “Theme Rooms”

During preparatory meeting of the construction pilot team the Bau-ABC colleagues presented first time the idea of “Theme Rooms” (see my blog of the 25th of June 2015). In their internal discussions the Bau-ABC trainers had proposed a new format for organising Multimedia Training in consecutive workshops (with ‘virtual rooms’ as support areas). We all got enthusiastic about this idea. Yet, it took some time to put it into practice.

However, in November 2015 we ( = Bau-ABC with support from ITB, Pontydysgu and TLU) managed to implement the first cycle of Theme Room workshops. It involved all Bau-ABC training staff (and the training staff of parallel training centre ABZ Mellendorf) during all Friday afternoons of the November month. As we experienced it, the training campaigned provided important support for the piloting with the Learning Toolbox (LTB) and other LL tools.

2. Making use of Learning Toolbox in Bau-ABC trainers’ projects

In the session on construction pilots we (ITB and Bau-ABC) presented firstly examples of Bau-ABC trainers’ projects that could be supported with LTB. Then, the technical developers presented the functions of the LTB to be expected in the forthcoming beta release. At that time these presentations were two different things. Here again, we needed some time to get ourselves worked in and to organise proper instruction for Bau-ABC trainers.

Looking at the current situation, we have noticed that since the preparation of the kick-off event of LTB pilot (preparation in February 2016, the event itself in March 2016) we have noticed rapid progress. The piloting trainers have soon learned their own ways of creating and linking stacks to organise parallel or consecutive learning activities. Furthermore, they have been able pass their know-how to each other and to learn from each others’ products.

3. Spreading Learning Toolbox to other contexts and new users

For the Tallinn meeting we (ITB, Bau-ABC and Agentur) had prepared posters with which we visualised the exploitation landscapes in which we will be working with spin-off projects for which we expected funding decisions in a short while. Now, looking at the present situation we can give the following update:

  • The project DigiProB (digital support for continuing vocational training – construction site managers) has started recently. The stakeholder interviews give points of orientation for introducing LTB and complementary tools in the next phase.
  • The regional implementation of the transnational mobility scheme Mobipro-EU is bringing to Germany the second cohort of apprentices from Spain (to be trained in construction companies during the next 3-3,5 years). Some apprentices of the first cohort have participated in an LTB-workshop and support the shaping of specific stacks to support the new group of apprentices (50 persons arriving in July 2016).
  • The projects NaBus and DieDa (with focus on ecological construction work) have started and are looking forward to introduce LTB in their training programmes (scheduled for Autumn 2016). Here they can use as points of reference the stacks prepared for the ‘Learning exhibition’ in Verden and the prototype stacks for presenting LTB to member companies of the Netzwerk Nachhaltiges Bauen (NNB).
  • The project HAKS (promoting the theme energy-efficiency in vocational education and training) has started and is looking forward to introduce LTB in the next phase of its training activities (also in Autumn 2016).

4. Making use of AchSo and SoAR in the training of Bau-ABC

In Tallinn meeting the team of Aalto University presented two tools. With the video annotation tool AchSo they had already proceeded to field pilots in Finnish construction sector. With the Social Augmented Reality (SoAR) tool they were still in the initial steps. With AchSo they had only provided Android versions and there issues regarding the integration with LTB. Therefore, our impression was that some time will be needed before they can be introduced to the German pilot sites.

Now we have just experienced a three-day event during which the Aalto colleagues have introduced AchSo to two groups of apprentices (and their trainers) and SoAR to the latter group. All events proved to be successful and the apprentices and trainers are looking forward to next steps. For a wider deployment of AchSo the Aalto colleagues are working with the export function of AchSo to be able to use the tool with ordinary videos. (This step is most welcomed by the above mentioned spin-off projects.)

– – –

I think this is enough to show what kind of progress we have made with the LL construction pilot since the Tallinn consortium meeting one year ago. We know that we still have work to do, but can clearly build on our achievements.

More blogs to come …


Getting Learning Toolbox to Action – preparing stacks with and for Spanish apprentices

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 11 Junio, 2016 - 20:52

In my previous blog on our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project I reported on a rapid process of developing stacks in the integrative toolset Learning Toolbox (starting on Wednesday, announced on Friday, to be used on Monday). When writing of this effort of a full-time trainer in the construction sector training centre Bau-ABC, I referred to two parallel processes of preparing stacks – firstly for the theme ‘Health and Safety’ (Arbeitssicherheit und Gesundheitsschutz) and secondly for the transnational mobility scheme Mobipro – EU (and its regional implementation by Bau-ABC). In this blog I will focus on the latter one.

On the transnational mobility scheme Mobipro-EU and how it works

The mobility programme Mobipro-EU is an initiative of the German Ministry of Labour and it is managed by the German Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit). Its aim is to support the mobility of interested young people from other EU Member States to Germany to get apprentice training in the dual system of apprenticeship. The scheme provides support for the applicants firstly  in their home countries (advice, application & selection procedure and three months’ language training). Secondly, it provides a project organisation that takes care of the training arrangements and accommodation. Altogether, the programme provides the necessary support for foreign apprentices to complete the regular German apprentice training. The programme was started in 2013 and Bau-ABC has become a regional coordination centre for apprentice training in construction sector in 2015.

Here,it is worthwhile to note that this programme differs from the EU-funded mobility schemes that cater for shorter placement periods of individual applicants who complete their education/training programs in their own county. The Mobipro EU supports the placement of groups of apprentices who will stay in Germany during the whole duration of their apprentice training. Thus, the challenges for adjusting oneself to the use of foreign language and getting along in the German society (and its culture of work, education and learning) are much more profound than in the EU-funded exchange measures.

Bau-ABC as a regional coordinator of the implementation of Mobipro-EU

Bau-ABC received its first group of Spanish apprentices (initially 15)  in 2015. Some of the apprentices were placed in companies in Bremen and its immediate neighbourhood, others into North-German municipalities near Bau-ABC. In practical terms this meant that the group was divided into two subgroups. The Bremen group had the school part of apprentice training in a vocational school in Bremen, whilst the other group in a vocational school in Rostrup. Bau-ABC provided for both groups the intermediate training (überbteriebliche Ausbildung). Concerning the language learning, the programme envisages that the participants have completed intensive language course and language test (B1) already in their home country. However, upon request of the companies providing the apprenticeships, Bau-ABC has made local arrangements for additional language teaching for both groups, in Bremen and in Rostrup.

Looking back, of the original fifteen ones seven have interrupted their training, whilst the eight are continuing (although two of them are changing from the original occupation to another). Yet, the companies and the Bau-ABC trainers have got a good impression of the motivation and commitment of the remaining apprentices and want to continue the training with larger numbers. Thus, in a short while Bau-ABC and its partner companies are receiving 50 new apprentices from Spain to be trained in construction companies in Bremen and in North-West Germany. Taking into account the progress with Learning Toolbox (LTB) in the intermediate training in Bau-ABC, Melanie Campbell started to develop a stack for the Mobipro-EU scheme to support the training of the present and new Spanish apprentices.

LTB workshop with the Spanish apprentices (10.6.2016)

In the light of the above we seized the opportunity to organise a short LTB-workshop in Bremen on Friday 10th of June. We had originally made the agreement with three apprentices of the Bremen group (Pablo, Sergio and Yadel) but we were happy to get also four others from the regional group (Carlos, Dario, Juan and Joshua). I moderated the workshop together with Melanie.

In the beginning we gave a picture of the Learning Layers (LL)  project and on the role of Learning Toolbox (LTB). Then we got the apprentices registered to LTB and looked at some of the stacks that had been prepared to provide information and materials for trade-specific training in Bau-ABC. Then we looked at the prototype stack for Mobipro-EU prepared by Melanie. The participants were invited to reflect on their experiences and think of blocks of themes and related resources to be covered by collection tiles or navigation tiles of the stack.

We had a very lively discussion and I am not in the position to cover it completely. (Melanie made comprehensive notes on flipchart and tried to outline a structure of tiles to be created.) Here I try to give some impressions of topics that came up and tensions to be considered:

  • Making the move to Germany: The apprentices were pleased with the thick handbook (full of relevant information) provided by the Spanish consulate. Yet, they appreciated the prospect of having a digital version and shorter information sheets that refer to certain contents of the handbook.
  • Making progress with the language skills: The apprentices had completed an intensive course and (most of them) passed the required language test. When coming to Germany they were surprised that their language skills were not always trusted and they were not encouraged to speak German. Also, in their leisure time they had the temptation to seek for Spanish-speaking company. Therefore, they emphasised the need to motivate themselves to to keep speaking German and to try to learn more.
  • Getting used to working for construction companies in Germany: Most of the apprentices had attended some kind of school-based vocational education with eventual workplace placement. Yet, the transition to a German apprentice contract (which is essentially an employment contract) provided a major cultural change. Furthermore, the working conditions at construction sites or in project-based work that requires mobility from one site to another, have been new experiences. From the motivational point it would be helpful to prepare the newcomers with advance information.
  • Peer learning: Many of the problems and challenges encountered by the apprentices are such that no one has prior information – the members of the pioneering group have had to find their own solutions (or ways to cope). In this respect the blog of Carlos has served a more general purpose – as a forum, on which he has discussed questions of others. In this respect the LTB has a chance to provide a “Questions and Answers” section and a forum for new issues. Also, there are needs to develop peer communication between the Spanish apprentices and their German peers – this should also be explored when developing the stack.
  • Recognition of prior learning: One of the shortcomings in the implementation of the Mobipro-EU programme has been the fact that far too little attention has been paid on the recognition of prior competences. Partly this is a matter of insufficient documents or lack of appropriate procedures. Thus, it appears that apprentices may be guided to new occupations (that are alien to them) although they have received a school-based education in another. In some cases it is discovered only in Germany that the apprentices have got vocational education in a (closely) matching occupation and could apply for partial recognition of their prior learning. Here, it is necessary to look at the procedures and to give accurate information on modes of recognition.

– – –

I stop my list here. We discussed these (and other) issues from many perspectives. We came to the conclusion that Learning Toolbox can play a significant role in supporting the newcomer group(s) with their start and with their adjustment to the new circumstances. We were pleased to see that the pioneering apprentices are willing to contribute to the development of LTB stacks and tiles and to share their valuable experiences. I am looking forward to the next steps.

More blogs to come …


Learning, storytelling and technology

Learning with 'e's - 11 Junio, 2016 - 12:56
My keynote presentation at Solstice 2016 (hosted by Edge Hill University, England) featured numerous narrative devices and storytelling tools. In particular, I built upon my recent blog series on narrative pedagogies, including a discussion around the use of literary devices in the classroom.

These included the use of Chekhov's Gun, (which also featured a dangerous illusion at the end of the presentation as a demonstration of the principle), interrupted routine and red herrings.

There were discussions around blogging, animations and social media tools and their use in education. You can see the slides from the presentation here, and you can also download freely via my Slideshare account.

Narrative Pedagogies from Steve Wheeler

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Learning, storytelling and technology by Steve Wheeler was written in Liberec, Czech Republic and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's