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

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

New Models of Open and Distance Learning

OLDaily - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 05:25

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

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Self-Organization and the Semiotics of Evolutionary Systems

OLDaily - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 05:25


Luis M. Rocha, Aug 18, 2016

Today's new work is "eigenbehavior" (soon to be the theme of a special issue of Constructivist Foundations). The concern is derived from  systems theory and based on  Heinz von Foerster's idea of the eigenform. As Kauffman explains, "Heinz performs the magic trick of convincing us that the familiar objects of our existence can be seen to be nothing more than tokens for the behaviors of the organism that apparently create stable forms." To hazard a metaphor, what counts as a 'cow path' isn't the existence of a cow path, but rather the series of behaviours that led to its creation. If we didn't treat a cow path as a path, it wouldn't exist as a path.  Eagle and Pentland propose "a new methodology for identifying the repeating structures underlying behavior" - the eigenbehaviors - and show how knowledge is socially constructured: "groups of friends can have their own collective ‘ behavior space’ which corresponds to the common behaviors of the community."

But eigenbehavior is tied intimately to human existence; we can  see the relation to Varela and autopoiesis. And as a commentator on  this article about self-organization suggests: "The crux of the constructivist position: in the theory of organizationally closed systems, not all possible distinctions in some environment can be 'grasped' by the autonomous system: it can only classify those aspects of its environment/sensory-motor/cognitive interaction which result in the maintenance of some internally stable state or attractor (eigenvalue)." (p.s. lots of interesting stuff in this blog.)

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UConn Establishes $1.5 Million Fund to Help Commercialize New Tech

Campus Technology - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 01:07
The University of Connecticut has created a $1.5 million Innovation Fund to provide university-affiliated businesses with the early-stage financial support they need to stay and grow in the state.

GitHub Education Launches New Online Community

Campus Technology - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 01:01
GitHub, a popular web-based repository of software source code and other computer files, has launched a new community forum for teachers and students who use GitHub in the classroom.

Primavera Wins NCAA Approval

Campus Technology - 19 Agosto, 2016 - 00:55
Primavera Online High School has won retroactive approval from the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), allowing student athletes who have taken Primavera courses to begin establishing eligibility to play college sports.

Microsoft Adds New Features to Office 365 Education

Campus Technology - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 23:59
Microsoft has added a couple of new features to its Office 365 Education portfolio of products for students and teachers.

Cuatro motivos por los que no hay pacto educativo

Cuaderno de campo - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 22:39
Mi tribuna de ayer en El País¿Por qué no hay ya un pacto sustantivo sobre la educación, si todos afirman que es necesario? Por varios motivos, entre los cuales destacaré cuatro. El primero y más aparente es la tremenda ideologización del debate, con discursos a veces guerracivilistas en los que unos parecen creerse en lucha contra el Santo Oficio y otros contra el demonio bolchevique, como han hecho recientemente PP e IU, en los dos extremos del arco parlamentario, desenterrando la guerra escolar. El segundo, en parte consecuencia del primero, es el vaciamiento del lenguaje, que permite blandir a la vez las exigencias más sectarias y la pretensión de que quien hace imposible un acuerdo es siempre el otro; un vaciamiento que alcanza más o menos a lo principal del vocabulario de la política educativa: libertad, equidad, calidad, inclusión, participación... y, por descontado, pacto, como cuando Rajoy, después de dos legislaturas del PP solo contra la LOE y otras dos igual de solo con la LOMCE cree hacer haber hecho algo grande con apenas algún gesto vacío y retórico al respecto dirigido a Ciudadanos, o cuando Garzón se descuelga en periodo electoral con la surrealista y oximorónica propuesta de un pacto por una educación republicana. Un tercer motivo, menos obvio pero más poderoso, es el papel de la escuela en las estrategias sociales de las familias, muy visible en la búsqueda de la mejor educación para los hijos, tanto da que se concrete en la mejor escuela o en el mejor desempeño individual en ella, y que tiene su contraparte en la pretensión no menos estratégica, aunque defensiva, de suprimir todo elemento de diferenciación, sea la elección de centro, el (muy discutible) modelo bilingüe, el uso de recursos digitales, los deberes para casa o cualquier otro. Cuarto, y no menos importante, el infundado paternalismo de la profesión docente, siempre tan inclinada a pensar que sabe mejor que su público lo que le conviene; esto es, a desoír a la sociedad, o a oír solo lo que quiere oír, como cuando funcionarios incondicionales de su fuente de empleo, la enseñanza pública, no quieren ver que un tercio del alumnado lleva medio siglo eligiendo la privada y otro sexto, hasta la mitad, lo haría si pudiera, o cuando los sicofantes de la inmersión lingüística ignoran que más de la mitad de la población con hijos en edad escolar ni la quiere ahí ni la practica en otros ámbitos libres de coerción y de presión; o cuando todos coinciden en que lo primero y principal que necesita la educación es, cómo no… más educadores.
Pero hay otro obstáculo formidable para un pacto: su trivialización. Asoma cuando se formula como el objetivo de ponernos de acuerdo en lo que nos une (ya  se sabe: acabar con el abandono, conjugar equidad y calidad, reconocer y dignificar al profesorado, mejorar los resultados, aumentar los recursos...), o evitar lo que nos separa (los cleavageso fracturas como la religión, la financiación de la escuela privada, las lenguas propias, la evaluación del profesorado, etc.). El problema es que tales acuerdos de mínimos no sirven de mucho, o no sirven de nada. De hecho presentan el riesgo añadido de precipitar, hipostasiar, politizar o adjudicar opciones y políticas que no están adscritas necesariamente a un lado ni a otro de las fracturas habituales, desde el momento mismo en que las colocan en el centro de una negociación entre partidos y grupos de intereses; en todo caso, al dejar fuera lo que realmente ha venido dividiendo a la sociedad, simplemente posponen los problemas por muy poco tiempo, si es que no los enquistan y los agravan. Por eso no me gusta la palabra pacto, que alude por igual a la formalización de un acuerdo preexistente, entre quienes ya coinciden en algo o en todo, y a la confluencia desde el desacuerdo o el conflicto previo de intereses y valores. Es lo segundo lo que la educación española necesita: un acuerdo que cree un escenario comúnmente aceptado desde ambos lados de las viejas fracturas, en el que todos estén razonablemente a gusto aunque ninguno esté enteramente a su gusto, y que traiga consigo una suspensión duradera, que ya sabemos no será definitiva, de las hostilidades. Por eso prefiero hablar de un compromiso: compromiso entre los actores, entre los intereses en conflicto y los valores en disputa, así como entre lo deseado por cada uno y lo aceptable para los demás, lo que implica ceder y conceder.Esta tribuna recoge y resume parte de una entrada anterior en este blog
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Competency STEM Teacher Ed Program Wins State Pre-Approval

Campus Technology - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 22:09
A new initiative to test out competency-based learning for training middle and high school teachers in science and math has shown enough mastery to gain the "informal" approval of the state where it's located.

Key Digital Launches New Technology to Enhance Video Distribution, Digital Signage

Campus Technology - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 20:39
Key Digital, which manufactures technology for HDTV, has introduced three new HDMI switchers that can enhance the use of campus-wide video distribution and digital signage.

Longer Videos Are OK for Millennials

Campus Technology - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 18:59
While shorter is better when it comes to videos for some audiences, the rapidity of Snapchat-like videos (which limits a recording to 10 seconds) apparently begins to wear on viewers as they age.

Martha Burtis and Sean Michael Morris - "Critical Instructional Design"

OLDaily - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 17:24


Hurley Convergence Center, YouTube, Aug 18, 2016

Single Link YouTube (SLYT). This is Martha Burtis from the Digital Knowledge Center at Mary Washington University and Sean Michael Morris from Middlebury College, one after the other. Here's the blurb: "For too long, instructional design has been reduced to page design, alignment of content and assessments with outcomes, and the “ science” of step-A-to-step-B learning. It has lacked imagination, spontaneity, passion, and care. What we propose here is that instructional design and the digital platforms (and spaces) we use for teaching and learning can be more. More critical. More relational. More flexible. More beautiful." Via Jon Jon Kruithof, who writes, "I’ m not fighting for what I believe in enough (by the way, that’ s work on the open web, understanding digital literacies, criticizing educational technology for putting us in boxes we shouldn’ t be in)" but finds in this video a way back from this wilderness. I listened to it this morning.

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Beyond Comments: Finding Better Ways To Connect With You

OLDaily - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 17:24


Scott Montgomery, NPR, Aug 18, 2016

The lede of this stories is NPR's decision to eliminate comments on its stories but the core it its decision to embraace social media to generate discussion. More interesting is this: "in addition to refining our live interaction approaches on Facebook, we'll begin testing a promising new engagement tool that is rooted in public media. Hearken is a digital platform that allows journalists and the audience to partner on the development of story ideas." It's a good idea to involve readers from the beginning; this idea that we present content only when it's finished and polished dates back to the days of publishing on paper. But I think the key to success with commenting (or interaction generally) is this: posting not on someone else's site (which invites spam, abuse and more) but posting on our own site and sharing with our own community.

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The emptiness of branding universities for “success”

OLDaily - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 17:24


Sue Sorensen, University Affairs, Aug 18, 2016

I'm sympathetic with Sue Sorensen's argument that universities ought to be about more than "success' but I wondered why she referred twice to their religious origins. The answer lies in her defense of reading with faith. That's all fine, but while it is true that the Bible states "I am among you as one who serves" it is equally true that the Tao Te Ching  states that "If the sage would guide the people, he must serve with humility" and indeed, "Allah is with those who are of service to others." And it is repeated frequently in business literature that the key to success is to serve; by helping others you return measurable benefit for yourself. Service is even the key to happiness; as Gandhi says, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." So, yes, I agree that universities should focus on service - and also on broader social needs, "commitment, dissent, justice, open inquiry, insight, compassion," a focus on these is not as she says "an act of faith." It is an act of reason and will. That's why service should be core to the university's mission. The weak man serves himself; the wise man serves others. Image: Civil Rights and Labor History.

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The Neuroscience of Learning Design: Britt Andreatta At MoodleMoot US 2016

Moodle News - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 17:12
Britt Andreatta, CLO (L for Learning) of online education company Lynda.com, shared the company’s decades worth of experience around a talk about neuroscience in higher and corporate education....

Bring A New Level Of Grading Standards Into You School With Moodle Coursework

Moodle News - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 09:03
The University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) has gifted the Moodleverse with the Coursework Plugin. It gives extra functionality to the grading of written activities. It also shows one of the...

Measuring Teaching Quality

OLDaily - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 05:21


Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates, Aug 17, 2016

The problem with assessing anything - including (but not limited to) teaching - is that while it's tempting to employ an index of indicators, quality teaching (and anything else) is not reducible to these indicators. Nor, for that matter, is it necessarily any easier to measure each index value than it is the practice in the first place. As a case in point, we have Alex Usher, who recommends that we assess quality teaching in Ontario with reference to Chickering & Gamson’ s classic Seven Principles for Good Practice. Nobody particularly objects to the index (insofar as we are referring to classroom teaching). But quality in teaching is not limited to these seven principles, nor is it explained by these principles. And it's just as hard to measure "develops reciprocity and cooperation among students" as it is to measure "quality teaching". Usher suggests we "ask students about whether they see those practices in the classroom." It's hard to believe this would be a reliable indicator. Image: TES.

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Lesson Plan Tool For Docs

OLDaily - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 05:21


OpenEd, Google Docs, Aug 17, 2016

What's interesting about the Lesson Plan Tool for Docs is that you can access a list of educational resources offered by  OpenEd and import the reference to the resource into your document. In that way it's fairly basic but it offers a glimpse of how external resource libraries can be added to editing tools to help you create better resources. It's tricky to find the tool - it didn't show up in a search for 'Lesson Plan', so you have to scroll through the list of educational add-ons and add it manually (I've circled it in the diagram). After you install the add-on, you have to select it from the Add-Ons drop  down and click 'Start'. This  video from Richard Byrne was quite helpful.

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The Untold Costs of Social Networking

OLDaily - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 05:21


Luis Suarez, E L U S A, Aug 17, 2016

Luis Suarez has never taken his online interaction for granted - for example, he engaged in a multi-year 'no email' project to encourage people to communicate with him more efficiently. Like the rest of us, he saw trhe potential of social networks: "building your online social networks was all about connecting with people who would share similar interests on a particular topic with you, so that people would have an opportunity to collaborate and learn more from one another." But "Little did we know that, fast forward to 2016, all of those networking activities would come with a really high price tag: your own data in unwanted hands." And now social; network sites are "depressing and equally horrifying user experiences with a single goal in mind: to have you glued to their screens constantly scrolling through, mindlessly thinking  ‘ why the heck have I ended over here in the first place?’ " Yeah.

And he writes: "I decided, I guess, to break my own chain initially and start making less use of most of the social tools I still rely on and instead blog more. Regain control of the conversation, on our own turf, i.e.  the Internet blogosphere, remember? ... The choice is ours and ours alone."

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PKP Joins ORCID

OLDaily - 18 Agosto, 2016 - 05:21


Kevin Stranack, Public Knowledge Project, Aug 17, 2016

The Public Knowledge Project (PKP), which creates things like the Open Journal Systems software (OJP), has joined the scientific identity registration system known as ORCID. Yes, even I have an ORCID identification. They write, "So far, all of the OJS integration work has been done using ORCID’ s public APIs.   Through PKP’ s ORCID membership, we will now be able to work with their full range of member APIs and identify options for more extensive interoperability between the two systems." (Interestingly the author of this press release is identified only as 'kevin' on the PKP site - I had to do some looking up to find out who he was.... that happens a lot, and takes a lot of my time).

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