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Student voices unheard?

Learning with 'e's - 26 Abril, 2016 - 12:51
In yesterday's post I mentioned the Youth Media Team who featured at the ICT in Education Conference in Ireland. I also stressed how important it is to give students a voice in their own education. Students should be at the centre of the learning process - where else could they legitimately be? However, if they don't have a voice in their own learning, they are peripheral to the process, and education fails them. How do we give students a voice? In UK higher education, the National Student Survey and other similar large scale attempts to gather data about student views is useful in offering a snapshot of what learners think about the provision of education. But it doesn't represent all of the students, because quite a few don't participate, and it fails to indicate all of the issues and challenges students face. PISA is similar in its scope in indicating excellence in education provision but is only repeated every 3 years, focuses solely on 15 year olds and again, there are many countries who do not participate.  All of these grand schemes for gathering big data are aimed at essentially one outcome - generating statistics to create league tables. The result is that universities, and ultimately countries, strive to meet the criteria of these surveys, and ignore the issues that are not covered by the surveys.

So much for league tables - but what about our university students? Do their voices go largely unheard? At an individual level, students can approach their tutors, programme leaders and mentors to discuss the issues that concern them. But how often are these encounters unrecorded, or problems not addressed? How many students leave higher education prematurely or are marginalised and disaffected because their voices are unheard or ignored? In many instances I have listened to student complaints, and have heartily agreed that their issues need to be addressed, but have been in no position to do anything about it, because university regulations prohibit any intervention or change to be made.

If we ignore student voices, we will miss some valuable insights into the way they learn. Learning is changing (not on a biological or fundamental level but rather in the manner that learning can now be achieved), and there are more ways to gain access to knowledge than there have ever been. Students bring their personal devices into formal learning spaces, but institutional infrastructure sometimes fails to support the use these new technologies. How many lecture halls have adequate wifi connectivity, or charging stations/power sockets near to seating areas?

Student voices, if heard and acted upon, could transform the learning spaces we use in formal education. What kind of assessment feedback is the most effective for students? What methods of learning do they prefer? Are these supported? How much of their work is achieved outside of the formal learning space, and what should we provide to support extra-mural learning? Many of these questions are glossed over, or are not sufficiently addressed in higher education. If we fail to listen to student voices we are teaching blind.

Photo courtesy of JISC


Student voices unheard? 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

Interested In Presenting At #iMoot16 In May?

Moodle News - 26 Abril, 2016 - 10:14
The call for presentations is now open for the 2016 iMoot, which will be held from 5am on the 26th of May 2016 to 5am on the 29th May 2016 AWST (UTC+8). Click here if you are interested in submitting...

Investigating IPEDS Distance Education Data Reporting: Progress Has Been Made

Educación flexible y abierta - 26 Abril, 2016 - 09:12

WCET conducted analysis on the Department of Education’s IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) data since the initial release of distance education data for the Fall, 2012. Most recently, we produced a comprehensive report, WCET Distance Education Enrollment Report 2016, that analyzes trends in the distance education data reported between 2012 and 2014. In the…

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

A Moment of Clarity on the Role of Technology in Teaching

e-Literate - 26 Abril, 2016 - 05:26

By Phil HillMore Posts (399)

This following excerpt is based on a post first published at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

With all of the discussion around the role of online education for traditional colleges and universities, over the past month we have seen reminders that key concerns are about people and pedagogy, not technology. And we can thank two elite universities that don’t have large online populations — MIT and George Washington University — for this clarity.

On April 1, the MIT Online Education Policy Initiative released its report,“Online Education: A Catalyst for Higher Education Reforms.” The Carnegie Corporation-funded group was created in mid-2014, immediately after an earlier initiative looked at the future of online education at MIT. The group’s charter emphasized a broader policy perspective, however, exploring “teaching pedagogy and efficacy, institutional business models, and global educational engagement strategies.”

While it would be easy to lament that this report comes from a university with few online students and yet dives into how online learning fits in higher education, it would be a mistake to dismiss the report itself. This lack of “in the trenches” experience with for-credit online education helps explain the report’s overemphasis on MOOCs and its underemphasis on access and nontraditional learner support. Still, the MIT group did an excellent job of getting to some critical questions that higher-education institutions need to address. Chief among them is the opportunity to use online tools and approaches to instrument and enable enhanced teaching approaches that aren’t usually possible in traditional classrooms.

The core of the report, in fact, is based on the premise that online education and online tools can enable advances in effective pedagogical approaches, including constructivism, active learning, flipped classrooms, problem-based learning, and student-centered education. It argues that the right way to use technology is to help professors teach more effectively:

“Technology can support teachers in the application of the relevant principles across a group of students with high variability. In fact, technology can help tailor lessons to the situation in extremely powerful ways.

The instrumentation of the online learning environment to sense the student experience and the ability to customize content on a student-by-student basis may be the key to enabling teachers to provide differentiated instruction, informed by a solid foundation in cognitive science. Modern online courses and delivery platforms already implement some of these concepts, and provide a framework for others.”

But there is value in seeing what happens when that advice is ignored. And that’s where an incident at George Washington University comes in. If technology is just thrown at the problem with no consideration of helping educators to adopt sound pedagogical design, then we can see disasters.

On April 7, four students who took an online program for a master’s degree in security and safety leadership from George Washington’s College of Professional Studies filed a class-action lawsuit against the university for negligence and misleading claims. As reported byThe GW Hatchet, a student newspaper:

For a non-paywall version of the full article, good through 4/26, follow this link.

The post A Moment of Clarity on the Role of Technology in Teaching appeared first on e-Literate.

Udacity Connect Offers Face-to-Face Sessions

Campus Technology - 26 Abril, 2016 - 01:30
Nanodegree students can now visit physical learning centers for in-person instruction.

Strategies for Personal Learning

OLDaily - 26 Abril, 2016 - 00:34
[Slides][Audio]

In this presentation I draw the distinction between personal and personalized learning and the outline the major strategies supporting personal learning: sharing, contributing and co-creation.

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What next? How the news media can respond to losing

OLDaily - 26 Abril, 2016 - 00:34


Paul Bradshaw, Online Journalism Blog, Apr 25, 2016

It is again worth noting that what happens in news and media usually happens in education a few years later. Both have had their online platform moment, their Napster moment, their open content moment and their syndication moment.  Traditional news media are now entering what might be the end-game. "From 2016, publishers will increasingly need to  justify  why they need a website at all  (and not just code it for Google AMP). To do that, they will need to move beyond content and towards products and services, just as they already do when considering an app, an email newsletter or, now, a  bot." This has  always been the play. And it has always been resisted by the 'content' industries.

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All Rights Reserved

OLDaily - 26 Abril, 2016 - 00:34


Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, Apr 25, 2016

Aaron Swartz was one of the most visible proponents of open access. Always putspoken and always an activist, he tried in 2011 to use an MIT account to download the JSTOR archive. After being "indicted on felony fraud charges carrying a prison sentence of up to 35 years, Swartz hanged himself." His writings were prolific and influential, so they would obviously be available as open access content, right? They were certainly posted under an open license. But on his death, publishers enter the picture, and there's nothing free than a publisher won't corrupt. Critics have protested, saying "say it is “ in horribly bad taste” that Verso Books and the New Press, two other publishers, are making it difficult to download and share a curated collection of Swartz’ s writings."

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Why Hiring for Cultural Fit Can Thwart Your Diversity Efforts

OLDaily - 26 Abril, 2016 - 00:34


Celia de Anca, Harvard Business Review, Apr 25, 2016

Diversity, as I have observed frequently in these pages, is one of the four elements of the 'semantic condition', which are the criteria for successful networks. For a lot of people 'diversity' means language and heritage. But it's a lot more than that, as this post demonstrates. Consider:  “ In the company we are all are from a certain prototype: super kind, generous, enthusiastic, extroverted, and proactive. The company uses the services of a big data company to help find the right people from all over the world.” The result, though, is "creating a situation in which companies will be very diverse in appearance, but intrinsically homogenous... Thus the company will  appear  diverse — but we know that appearances can be deceiving." The idea of diversity is based on people having  different perspectives. Creating a 'cultural fit' works against that.

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UN to urge media to take more 'constructive' approach to news

OLDaily - 26 Abril, 2016 - 00:34


Jasper Jackson, The Guardian, Apr 25, 2016

According to this article, "the  United Nations  is to call for the world’ s media to take a more 'constructive' and 'solutions-focused' approach to news to combat 'apathy and indifference'." I can't see that happening in the news media. But surely this is the role of education, isn't it? "We need responsible media that educate, engage and empower people and serve as a counterpoint to power. We need them to offer constructive alternatives in the current stream of news and we need to see solutions that inspire us to action."

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Des Moiones U To Cut Costs With Lighting Upgrades

Campus Technology - 26 Abril, 2016 - 00:02
Des Moines University will replace the lighting in campus buildings with LED lights in an effort to improve efficiency, reduce maintenance costs and improve light quality.

Syracuse Taps Private Partner for Blended Juris Doctor Degree

Campus Technology - 25 Abril, 2016 - 22:50
Syracuse University's College of Law has teamed with a private partner to develop a hybrid juris doctor degree program.

Pearson and Mathspace Partner To Improve Mathematical Reasoning Skills

Campus Technology - 25 Abril, 2016 - 18:00
Pearson’s partnership brings a new feature to MyMathLab and MyStatLab that offers students feedback and support while solving math problems.

"Mi video currículo". Inglés, ABP y autonomía personal

"Your first CV" es un contenido para Inglés en el que los estudiantes tienen como proyecto final diseñar un "vídeo-currículo" personal. En este producto tendrán que presentar sus cualidades, intereses y definir sus expectativas para la vida adulta.

El enfoque didáctico de este recurso educativo abierto fomenta que los alumnos aprendan inglés de manera colaborativa, con las misiones que realizarán en equipos de aprendizaje. Al mismo tiempo facilita el desarrollo de su autonomía personal en el proceso de aprendizaje y el uso de la TICs con actividades auto-evaluables.

"Your First CV" es el tercer recurso educativo abierto de la serie denominada What a digital World! cuyo hilo conductor son las nuevas tecnologías y los medios audiovisuales. Toda la serie de recursos presenta contenidos lingüísticos y prácticas para desarrollar las destrezas comunicativas que se recogen en el currículo de 2º ESO.

Portland State U, Lincoln High Partner on CyberPatriot Summer Camp

Campus Technology - 25 Abril, 2016 - 13:01
Educators and students from Portland State University Department of Computer Science and the Lincoln High School Coding Club in Portland, OR have teamed up with industry professionals to organize the Portland CyberPatriot Camp, which will take place at Lincoln High from July 18 to 22.

Cornell Holds Digital Humanities Camp

Campus Technology - 25 Abril, 2016 - 13:00
Cornell University hosted a collaborative, informal "unconference" on the digital humanities — the use of technology in humanities teaching and research — at the university's Olin Library on April 9-10.

Who's driving?

Learning with 'e's - 25 Abril, 2016 - 11:24
One of the most impressive features of the ICT in Education conference at Limerick Institute of Technology was the high profile involvement of school children. Ireland's Youth Media Team were in great evidence throughout the day, resplendent in their bright red t-shirts, busy documenting the proceedings using a variety of media and technologies. They blogged about everything that happened. They captured images and wrote narratives around them. They video recorded throughout the day. They interviewed delegates and speakers. They even presented their own student led workshops during the conference.

I talk a lot about the emerging theory of paragogy and how it can be applied. Well, here it was, exemplified by students from schools showing teachers how to use technology for digital story telling. The teachers were learning from the students, and will use their learning in future professional practice. I plan to elaborate on this in a future blog post.

Paragogy in action - students teaching teachersI was interviewed by two of YMT's young digital journalists Amy and Anna, who quizzed me on my views about using technology in schools. Their questions were astute, touching on subjects such as the issues and challenges social media brings to conservative environments such as schools. The result was available instantly, published with no editing via Audioboom for the world to hear. They have no fear about making these artifacts public. They simply want to get their messages out there for others to see.

The students invited me outside onto the lawn during a break in proceedings, to show me how to play the game of hurling. This is a very Gaelic activity, and the hurling stick looks like a brutal object that could do a great deal more damage than a hockey stick. I wouldn't want to play it for real, but learning the technique and playing some hits was fun. I discovered there are quite a few transferable skills from other games that require hand-eye co-ordination and quick movement. My efforts with the hurling stick were also captured on video and tweeted out for everyone to see. I hope I didn't look too much of a fool!

Students should be more involved in our education events. When I ran the Pelecon event at Plymouth University, we had a special feature - several sessions were always devoted to the student voice. Students from primary and secondary schools came to the event to showcase their learning, and some came in via video link. They never failed to impress. We all learnt a lot from them. Teachers have to ask the question - who is driving learning? My view is that teachers and students can drive learning together. We can all learn a lot from each other. Thanks to the Youth Media Team for showing us some of the ways we might achieve that.

Photos by Steve Wheeler


Who's driving? by Steve Wheeler was written in Thurles, Ireland and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

Moodlepreneur Monday: Create Your Business Model In 30 Minutes

Moodle News - 25 Abril, 2016 - 10:21
There is a lot to be said for proper business planning. It remains, in my mind, still one of the most under appreciated and understood aspects of starting a business venture, especially for those of...

Personalize Learning: Personalized Learning under ESSA? Here’s one idea.

Educación flexible y abierta - 25 Abril, 2016 - 08:37

Guest post from Lillian Pace of KnowledgeWorks shared recommendations for advancing Personalized Learning under ESSA.

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

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