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Researchers Receive Grant for Study of Virtual Schools

Campus Technology - 22 Mayo, 2015 - 20:07
Researchers from University of Michigan, Stanford and University of California, Davis have received a $1.6 million grant to conduct a three-year study of virtual schooling.

UBC develops an institutional strategy for learning technologies

Tony Bates - 22 Mayo, 2015 - 16:48

The Amalfi Coast, Italy

Bates, S. et al. (2015) UBC’s Learning Technology Ecosystem: Developing a Shared Vision, Blueprint & Roadmap Vancouver BC: University of British Columbia

I’ve not been posting much recently as I am taking a three week holiday in Europe (the photo is my view as I write this), but this report from the Provost’s Office at UBC is too significant to ignore.

What is it about?

The report basically sets out a vision and a set of strategies for the future development and management of learning technologies at UBC, a large Tier-1 research university in Canada. Although produced by a small Project Committee, it is the outcome of extensive discussions throughout the university and also externally with other institutions with successful learning technology strategies.

What is in the report? 1. Recognition of learning technology as an eco-system

A learning technology ecosystem represents faculty, staff and students interacting with their learning technology environment, composed of tools and services. There are dependencies in this ecosystem; between technologies, between technologies and services but also between users, technologies and services. The ecosystem is self-organizing, dynamic, constantly changing and evolving. Technologies are birthed, and they also are removed as new ones take their place.

2. Assessment of the current state of learning technologies

UBC uses a very interesting way of assessing the current state of learning technology within an institution, using the following conceptual framework:

UBC’s current state assessment process framework

This has enabled the team to identify gaps in services, governance, funding and infrastructure.

Another interesting outcome of this process is that the report estimates that UBC is currently spending almost $10 million annually on supporting its LMS, of which 78% is incurred at a Faculty/academic department level, mainly in technical support for the LMS, the rest centrally, including licensing. Thus one technology tool is costing almost as much as the rest of the LT eco-system.

2. Vision and principles for LTs at UBC

3. Functions and services

Working group members identified functional gaps in the LT ecosystem, along with their relative importance. Similarly, members of the Working Group identified both phase-specific support required during LT life cycles, as well as support services required across the lifecycle. They identified which of the gaps required the most improvement and also prioritized them according to their relative importance.

4. Support models

UBC uses both central and local/departmental support models and because of the size and complexity of the organization, no major changes were suggested for support models (but see Governance below)

5. Governance

The working group found significant shortcomings in the current governance structure for LTs. In particular there was inadequate academic input into priorities for the selection and use of LT tools and services, and the student voice was not heard. The Working Group proposed a stronger governance model as a result.

6. Other issues

The report goes on to cover a number of other issues, such as a roadmap and success metrics and resource issues such as the need for better learning analytics and increased bandwidth.

Why this report?

Good question, Tony, and here I will have to speculate a little, as I no longer work at UBC. UBC has a long history in both distance education and learning technology development. In the early 1990s it received government funding of over $2 million to explore the use of learning technologies, one outcome of which was WebCT, the first learning management system to be widely adopted. Blackboard Inc eventually bought WebCT, and UBC still uses Blackboard Connect as its LMS.

In the early 2000s,  a ‘nascent’ governance structure for learning technologies was suggested, and in recent years governance has focused mainly on the transition from Blackboard Vista to Blackboard Connect. However, over the last couple of years, UBC has also developed a major flexible learning strategy which is now being extensively implemented throughout the university. There has been considerable frustration and dissatisfaction with the implementation of Connect which has been getting in the way of the flexible learning strategy, so I see this report as a way of fixing that disconnect (sorry for the pun.) Or, as the report puts it:

Faculty desire a greater choice of tools, so that the one with the best fit for the pedagogical purpose can be selected….the functional footprint of the LMS is shrinking over time though the footprint of the entire [LT] ecosystem is arguably increasing. We anticipate a shrinking LMS footprint while still envisaging the need for a core within the ecosystem.

Comment

Although specific to UBC, this report will resonate with many other institutions. It should be essential reading for any Provost concerned with moving their institution forward into digital learning, as institutions struggle with legacy technology systems. The report adopts a clear, evidence-based analytical approach to sensitive issues around management, technology choice, and pedagogy, even if occasionally the business-speak language grates a little.

So back to my glass of Prosecco on the sun-drenched terrace.

Call for eLearning Papers #43 on Applied Games and Gamification is out!

Open Education Europa RSS - 22 Mayo, 2015 - 11:16
Summary: 

The online journal eLearning Papers is welcoming submissions for issue 43 on "Applied Games and Gamification – Drivers for Change". Deadline for submissions is 26th of June.

Interest Area:  Schools Higher Education Training & Work Learning & Society

Call for eLearning Papers #43 on Applied Games and Gamification is out!

Open Education Europa RSS - 22 Mayo, 2015 - 11:16
Summary: 

The online journal eLearning Papers is welcoming submissions for issue 43 on "Applied Games and Gamification – Drivers for Change". Deadline for submissions is 26th of June.

Interest Area:  Schools Higher Education Training & Work Learning & Society

Cómo extender el ABP a todo el centro educativo

El IES "Dos mares" de Murcia nos ofrece un modelo para conseguir que todos los alumnos de un centro tengan la posibilidad de trabajar con metodologías innovadoras.

Profesores y alumnos de diferentes materias y cursos trabajan este año en torno al tema de la luz en propuestas de trabajo por proyectos multidisciplinares y que han culminado con la experiencia "Luz y Oscuridad, Semana de Proyectos" .

Este es un paso más en un proceso iniciado en el curso 2013-2014 a través del que la comunidad educativa de este centro ha conseguido que todos los alumnos puedan empezar a trabajar por proyectos. Un ejemplo del siguiente paso en la aplicación del modelo de trabajo por proyectos planteado en artículos como: "ABP: del profesor pionero a los centros innovadores" y "Centros eduativos PBL. Trabajo por proyectos para el siglo XXI".

Games vs Game-based Learning vs Gamification | The Upside Learning Blog

Educación flexible y abierta - 22 Mayo, 2015 - 08:50

Scene: Sales meeting between executives of a leading learning service provider and an organisation planning to outsource its learning content

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

5 core functions of the LMS of the future | eSchool News | eSchool News

Educación flexible y abierta - 22 Mayo, 2015 - 08:46

New EDUCAUSE report explored the gaps between current LMS functionality and what’s needed for the next-gen digital learning environment.

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

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Unveils New Developer Portal

Campus Technology - 22 Mayo, 2015 - 01:28
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has launched the HMH Developer Portal, a new online interface where developers, designers and educators can access the company's newly exposed application programming interfaces (APIs) to create new learning applications and integrate them with HMH applications.

The K12 Education Market

OLDaily - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 23:21
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Rachel Norris, PILOTed, May 21, 2015

Short article making the impoirtant point that the K-12 education market is a complex array of interplaying forces, including several levels of government, corporations, lobbyists, school boards, and finally, teachers and children. If anything, I think the diagram under-represents the complexity of the market. The diagram is focused on the U.S. system but I think that the schooling system in other markets is no less complex. This diagram helps us understand why reform in education is so difficult - it means aligning a wide variety of agencies, many of which are working to serve particular outcomes and interests.

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Categorías: General

Speaking out on Elsevier’s Article “Sharing” Policy

OLDaily - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 23:21


Heather Joseph, SPARC, May 21, 2015

About three weeks ago, Elsevier released  a new policy governing open access publication. The response from the academic community was immediate and unfavourable, including this statement, signed by a couple dozen groups, criticizing the policy. More. SPARC argued that "Despite the claim by Elsevier that the policy advances sharing, it actually does the opposite." The Elsevier policy extends the embargo period to as much as 48 months, and requires that authors apply a "non-commercial and no derivative works" license to self-archived work. Elsevier  responded to the criticism today. Meanwhile Emerald is going after harvesting itself, requiring authors agree that "I/We will not permit others to electronically gather or harvest and save to a separate server my/our Work." The backstory here is that publishers are facing a threat from services like  Academia and ResearchGate, which harvest and store works from wherever they can be found, and compile a list of publications for each author. The aggressively seek to upload versions of the works,  provide access only to versions on their own website, and do not link back to original copies. The perfect walled garden.

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Categorías: General

'Hack or be hacked': Why kids need to know how technology works

OLDaily - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 23:21
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Jesse Hirsh, CBC, May 21, 2015

Whose responsibility is it to prevent hacking and to promote security? I have two stories in my inbox today -  this one and  this one - that suggest it's the user's responsibility. In one, " Jesse Hirsh makes the case for a deeper understanding of technology as a civic duty. He says 'hack or be hacked.' The choice is yours." The rest of the story is an advertisement for Kano, a $150 computer that you build yourself. In the other story, we are told "End users are widely seen as a weak link in the enterprise security chain." The argument is that employees should receive security training. Maybe. But end users are the "weak link" because they're trying to get their job done, whether than means teaching 6-year-olds or writing reports. Network security is often a problem they need to overcome, rather than a shield that protects them. There needs to be some accord here.

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Categorías: General

Americans’ Attitudes About Privacy, Security and Surveillance

OLDaily - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 23:21
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Mary Madden, Lee Rainie, Pew Research Internet Project, May 21, 2015

Privacy is really important to Americans, according to this Pew report based on two new surveys (which study only Americans), but they don't trust either governments or corporations to protect their privacy. "They have a pervasive sense that they are under surveillance when in public and very few feel they have a great deal of control over the data that is collected about them and how it is used."

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Categorías: General

UC Berkeley Develops 'Deep Learning' for Robot

Campus Technology - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 21:39
The same sophisticated approach to pattern matching that Siri and Cortana use to respond to questions more accurately is now helping a robot at the University of California Berkeley learn how to screw caps on bottles and rack up a hanger with an ever-growing repertoire of dexterity.

Trident Case Intros New Charging Carts

Campus Technology - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 20:40
Two new charging carts have been introduced by Trident Case, including one that will charge up to 30 tablets at one time.

Lehigh Mountain Project Models New Higher Ed Vision

Campus Technology - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 19:59
Students in Lehigh University's summer-long research projects are given free license to explore new ideas and complex questions.

Russian Team Wins Battle of the Brains

Campus Technology - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 19:28
Three students from St. Petersburg National Research University of IT, Mechanics and Optics won the International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals.

U South Florida St. Petersburg Launches Solar Battery Research Initiative

Campus Technology - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 18:44
The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has launched a new research initiative aimed at exploring better ways to store energy from the sun.

Kramer Intros Cloud-Based AV Control Via Any Device

Campus Technology - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 17:52
Pro AV vendor Kramer has launched K-Touch 3.0, a cloud-based platform for room control and automation via any Android or iOS device.

Digital Learning Research Network Conference

elearnspace - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 16:37

I’ve been working with several colleagues on arranging the upcoming Digital Learning Research Network (dLRN) conference at Stanford, October 16-17, 2015. The call for papers is now open. We are looking for short abstracts – 250 words – on topics of digital learning. The deadline is May 31. Our interest is to raise the nuance and calibre of the discussion about education in a digital era; one where hype and over-promising the power of technology has replaced structured interrogation of the meaning of changes that we are experiencing. We have a great lineup of speakers confirmed and are expanding the list rapidly. The conference will include social scientists, activists, philosophers, researchers, and rabble rousers. It will be an intentionally eclectic mix of people, institutions, and ideas as we explore the nodes that are weaving the network of education’s future. Representation from the following research organizations has already confirmed from: Stanford, Smithsonian, University of Michigan, University of Edinburgh, Columbia University, CMU, state systems (Georgia, California, Texas, and Arkansas), and SRI.

Join us for what will be a small (max 150 people) and exciting exploration of a) what education is becoming, b) who we (as learners, activists, and academics) are, and c) where these two intersect in forming the type of learning system that will enable us to create the type of society that we want for future generations.

For a more thoughtful analysis of the conference and our call for submissions, see Bonnie Stewart, Kate Bowles, and Kristen Eshleman

From the call:

Learning introduces students to practices of sensemaking, wayfinding, and managing uncertainty. Higher education institutions confront the same experiences as they navigate changing contexts for the delivery of services. Digital technologies and networks have created a new sense of scale and opportunity within global higher education, while fostering new partnerships focused on digital innovation as a source of sustainability in volatile circumstances. At the same time, these opportunities have introduced risks in relation to the ethics of experimentation and exploitation, emphasizing disruption and novelty and failing to recognise universities’ long-standing investment in educational research and development.

@Moodlefairy shares tips on using the updated Lesson in 2.9

Moodle News - 21 Mayo, 2015 - 16:00
Another benefit of the 2.9 release was some refactoring and improvement to the Lesson module. Mary Cooch recently highlighted some of the possible uses of, and improvements to the Moodle Lesson...

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