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As a developing teacher, there are lots of courses you can do and resources that you can access to aid your development, but when you become a teacher of teachers, this often isn't the case. Feedback especially, is an area in which the door is often literally and metaphorically closed and you get little feedback yourself on this area of practice.
See it on Scoop.it, via Educación flexible y abierta
Marc My Words: From Content Creation to Content Curation: The Importance of Curation by Marc Rosenberg : Learning Solutions Magazine
Knowledge doubles every year, and the shelf life of that knowledge gets smaller all the time. The amount of “stuff” on the Internet is overwhelming, and we could wear ourselves out trying to keep up with the new, refresh ourselves on the old, and keep track of what’s no longer valuable. A good content-curation strategy is your best hope, and here is a checklist to help you develop one.
See it on Scoop.it, via Educación flexible y abierta
With Microsoft entering social in a big way, it's worth taking another look at IBM's play in the space, a play backed by years of development, in-house testing, and some judicious acquisitions. Where IBM stands out, I think, is with the analytics services to add into the mix (what they call 'cognitive collaboration'). "People want a team-oriented collaborative approach, they also want help with their knowledge. We want to bring our intelligent bots and their cognitive approach," says IBM VP Ed Brill. For example, "The doctor and patient can then have a real-time meeting even though they're actually distributed, with IBM Watson listening to the conversation in the background, providing an intelligent platform that looks at the context of what's being discussed." I'd love to be working with technology like this to develop open and personal learning.[Link] [Comment]
RefMe, Jun 15, 2016
Do as I did and go directly to the RefMe site. It's a lovely little application that helps you manage references. It has the obligatory Chrome extension. It imports (only 100, though) and exports (in various formats) references. For a (reasonable) price, there's an Word plug-in. And you can use your mobile camera, scan book/journal barcodes, and even turn printed text into digital text with your smartphone camera. There's also an API to encourage interoperability. And a suite of services for institutions. I like this a lot. A lot, I say.[Link] [Comment]
Ejemplos de materiales, recursos y productos generados por los alumnos y alumnas del CEIP San José durante este curso aprendiendo Inglés con metodología #ABP y #Flippedclassroom y con la base de los contenidos educativos del proyecto EDIA para Inglés en Secundaria.
Alumnos y alumnas con el soporte de los recuros educativos abiertos han investigado, reflexionado y cooperado para generar proyectos, enfrentarse a retos y crear sus materiales de estudio.
Estas producciones de los estudiantes son el mejor resumen de un curso escolar es poder mostrar y compartir todo lo que los alumnos han vivido, aprendido y sentido durante nueve meses.
After the LMS outage that started May 20th – covered here, here, and here at e-Literate – UC Davis has finished its spring academic term as of June 9th using two partial systems, one for faculty and one for students and neither of which is fully functional. In other words, UC Davis never fully recovered its LMS (Sakai system branded as SmartSite) functionality from the outage. UC Davis staff have indicated they will provide more information to us by interviews and public records, but they have not said when they will be ready to talk. Scriba (the Sakai commercial affiliate and hosting provider that caused the outage) has not replied to requests for an interview or statement. When and if these occur, I’ll post updates.
For a short timeline:
- May 19th: Scriba notifies UC Davis of an emergency maintenance planned for May 20 – 23 as they changed data centers. Regarding the data center move, CEO Michael Sanders stated “The failures are as of a result of a third party and are outside of our control.” (irony alert inserted here)
- May 20th: The outage begins on Friday evening with plans to have system available Monday morning. This outage affected all Scriba customers, also including UC Santa Cruz, Limerick University, and Providence College. UC Davis backed up course data locally before the outage began.
- May 23rd: Monday morning rolls around with no recovery of UC Davis system.
- May 24th: With no information from Scriba on when and if they can recover SmartSite, UC Davis begins plans to build its own locally-hosted instance of SmartSite using the May 20th data backup. Note that Sakai is open source and that UC Davis has full access to their own source code.
- May 27th: UC Davis gets close to re-building SmartSite but notes that full functionality would not be ready before the end of the term on June 10th. In particular, the campus-hosted system would not be able to support student access, presumably due to the scale of 30,000 students. After our first post on the outage Friday morning, a source from Scriba notifies me by email Friday afternoon that they have their system recovered.
- May 28th: UC Davis proceeds with faculty-only testing of the campus-hosted system but also notifies students that the Scriba-hosted system is also available. The campus-hosted system becomes the “system of record” and will be used to send grades to the student record system. There is no integration between the campus-hosted system that faculty and TAs can use and the Scriba-hosted system that students can use. Faculty are instructed on how to export grades from one system and manually upload into the other system. This is how UC Davis finishes its term – with two partial systems.
- June 6th: UC Davis notifies faculty that the campus-hosted system will be a “a fully-functional system available to both faculty and students in time for Summer Session 1, which begins on June 20”. UC Davis had decided earlier this year to move to Canvas as its LMS, and Canvas is also available for Summer classes.
- June 9th: Spring term ends.
In addition to the confusion of having two partial systems, both SmartSite instances continue to have availability problems. Based on the UC Davis notification system (and again I would like to commend UC Davis staff for such timely and descriptive information throughout this crisis):
- June 7th: Campus-hosted SmartSite has degraded service from 8am – 2pm.
- June 9th – 10th: Scriba-hosted SmartSite has several outages and degraded service periods.
- June 14th (today): Campus-hosted SmartSite has degraded service starting at Noon.
The Scriba-hosted system has a reported uptime of approximately 72% during the past month.
I plan to add some more analysis to this whole episode, including commentary on the open source angle, but I am giving one more try this week to get UC Davis staff and Scriba management time to give their insights first.
The post Update on UC Davis LMS Fiasco: Finishing the term with two partial systems appeared first on e-Literate.
In case you didn’t see it elsewhere, I’m republishing the press release from Achieving the Dream about the incredibly exciting OER Degrees work that launched today. It’s really happening!Achieving the Dream Launches Major National Initiative to Help 38 Community Colleges in 13 States Develop New Degree Programs Using Open Educational Resources
OER Degree Initiative will accelerate use of openly licensed learning materials in higher education and cut costs to students while improving degree and certificate completion
SAN FRANCISCO—June 14, 2016—The national community college reform network Achieving the Dream (ATD) today announced the largest initiative of its kind to develop degree programs using high quality open educational resources (OER). The initiative—which involves 38 community colleges in 13 states (see attached list of participating colleges)—is designed to help remove financial roadblocks that can derail students’ progress and to spur other changes in teaching and learning and course design that will increase the likelihood of degree and certificate completion.
The annual costs of textbooks are about $1,300 per year for a full-time community college student and amount to about a third of the cost of an Associate’s degree. This cost, research shows, is a significant barrier to college completion. Students who don’t complete college are over 50 percent more likely than those who graduated to cite textbook costs as a major financial barrier, according to a study by the research firm Public Agenda.
Equally important, using digital and interactive open educational resources such as open courseware will encourage faculty to teach students in more engaging and dynamic ways and invite students to become more actively involved in their own learning. The initiative’s requirement to create entire degree programs using OER also will trigger a careful re-examination of course content and sequencing to build up-to-date, cohesive degree programs. These degrees will be available to a minimum of 76,000 students over a three-year period.
The effort is intended to spark more rapid adoption of OER within higher education, beginning with community colleges. Today, there are enough open educational materials to replace textbooks in required courses in four two-year programs: business administration, general education, natural or general science, and social science. But only a few colleges are using those resources. There is also a significant body of OER in computer science.
The OER Degree Initiative will create a library of high-quality, digital, open courses available to other institutions and the public at large. Making resources easily available to all is expected to encourage OER adoption even at non-participating institutions.
A Culture Change
“This initiative will help further transform teaching and learning in the nation’s community colleges,” said Dr. Karen A. Stout, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “ Extensive use of OER will enable students to have access to more dynamic learning tools and a richer academic experience at a cost that will help more students complete their studies.”
Achieving the Dream recently unveiled a new approach to improving student success and completion that helps colleges develop institutional capacities essential to implementing sweeping initiatives like OER degrees. Leading the OER Degree initiative will allow ATD and the participating colleges to expand their understanding of impactful teaching and learning across entire degree programs.
“Through the OER Degree Initiative, these community colleges are simultaneously addressing two important challenges faced by educators and students: Not only will they provide their faculty the flexibility and academic freedom to align their open educational resources to curriculum objectives, but also, by lowering textbook costs, they will make it far more likely that their students will achieve the goal of attaining a degree,” said Barbara Chow, education program director at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
“Colleges involved in the effort will need to integrate OER into their course redesign processes and update professional development to prepare instructors to use open, digital content most effectively,” said David Wiley, an international expert on OER and Chief Academic Officer of Lumen Learning, a key partner in the initiative. “Over the next three years, colleges will create systems and structures that better connect curriculum and pedagogy to what students need to learn to be successful in academic disciplines and the workplace.”
The $9.8 million in funding for the initiative comes from a consortium of investors that includes the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, the Shelter Hill Foundation, and the Speedwell Foundation.
Results of Previous Efforts
Colleges and states that have introduced OER initiatives have already seen significant results.
“Some of Virginia’s community colleges have led the way in using OER content exclusively,” says Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s community college system. “Studies of our institutions have shown that OER reduces costs and contributes to better grades, higher course completion rates, and faster degree completion.”
Tidewater Community college, for example, was the first community college to adopt an open educational resources degree which enables students to complete a two-year degree in business administration with no textbook costs. Tidewater’s “Z-Degree” program has experienced high student satisfaction levels, improved student retention, and an estimated 25 percent reduction in college costs for students (tuition and books).
Northern Virginia Community College’s pilot OER courses have increased pass rates by nine percent compared to non-OER courses.
A recent multi-school study found that students using OER took an average fall semester credit load of 13.3, compared to 11.1 credits for students using traditional books. If this holds, students using OER would complete their degrees a full year earlier for a 60 credit-hour degree.
How the Initiative Will Work
ATD will help colleges make OER degrees critical elements of their student success efforts. Lumen Learning will provide technical assistance; SRI International will evaluate the initiative and conduct research on how OER degrees impact student success and the institutions providing them; and the Community College Consortium of Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) will facilitate a community of practice.
At the completion of the Initiative, all approved OER courses will be available through a comprehensive, easily accessible online platform.
Achieving the Dream will serve as initiative intermediary, managing grants to all the institutions, overseeing implementation, and ensuring programmatic fidelity. ATD will monitor college progress, provide guidance on change management and institutional transformation, and assure effective integration of OER Degree partner support and guidance.
Colleges Participating in the OER Degree Initiative
Colleges and systems were selected through a competitive grant process based on their ability and capacity to implement OER degree programs, offer the full complement of degree courses quickly, or quickly scale the number of sections offered.State Institutions AZ (1) Pima Community College CA (2) Santa Ana College
West Hills College Lemoore CT (1) Housatonic Community College FL (2) Broward College
Florida State College at Jacksonville MA (1) Bunker Hill Community College MD (1) Montgomery College Foundation MI (1) Bay College MN (3) Distance Minnesota Consortium (Alexandria Technical and Community College, Northland Community and Technical College, Northwest Tech NY (9) CUNY Consortium (Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College, Hostos Community College)
SUNY Consortium (Clinton Community College, Herkimer Community College, Mohawk Valley Community College, Monroe Community College, Tompkins Cortland Community College NC (1) Forsyth Technical Community College TX (8) Odessa College
Texas Consortium: Alamo Colleges (Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, San Antonio College, St. Philip’s College), Austin Community College, San Jacinto Community College, El Paso Community College VA (6) Virginia Community College Consortium (Central Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, Lord Fairfax Community College, Mountain Empire Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, Tidewater Community College) WA (2) Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree.
I was invited to speak this evening to Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt’s class on current ed-tech issues, #ECI830. As part of the course, students are engaging in a “Great Ed-Tech Debate,” arguing one side or another of a variety of topics: that technology enhances learning, that technology is a force for equity, that social media is ruining childhood, and so on. Tonight’s debate: “Public education has sold its soul to corporate interests in what amounts to a Faustian bargain.” Here are some of the remarks I made to the class about commercialization and education technology.
Ed-tech is big business. I’ll start with some numbers: According to one market analyst firm, the ed-tech market totaled $8.38 billion in the 2012–13 academic year. 2015 was a record year for ed-tech investment, with some $2.98 billion in venture capital going to startups in the industry. Companies and venture capitalists alike see huge opportunities for what they insist will be a growing market: last year, McKinsey called education a $1.5 trillion industry. One firm predicted that the “smart education and learning market” will grow from $105.23 billion in 2015 to $446.85 billion by 2020. Testing and assessment are the largest category of this market. Testing and assessment remain the primary reason why schools buy computers; these are also the primary purposes for which teachers say they use new technologies in their classrooms.
We can’t talk about corporate interests and ed-tech without talking about testing. We can’t talk about corporate interests and ed-tech without talking about politics and policies. Why do we test? Why do we measure? Why has this become big business? Why has this become the cornerstone of education policy?
There’s something about our imagination and our discussion of education technology that, I’d contend, triggers an amnesia of sorts. We forget all history – all history of technology, all history of education. Everything is new. Every problem is new. Every product is new. We’re the first to experience the world this way; we’re the first to try to devise solutions.
So when people say that education technology enables a takeover of public schools by corporate interests, it’s pretty easy to look at history and respond “No. Not true.” Schools have long turned to outside, commercial vendors in order to provide goods and services: pencils, paper, chairs, desks, clocks, bells, chalkboards, milk, crackers, playground equipment, books. But rather than pointing to this and insisting that there’s always been someone selling things to schools and therefore selling to schools is perfectly acceptable, we should look more closely at how the relationship between public schools and vendors has changed over time: what’s being sold, who’s doing the selling, and how all that influences what happens in the classroom and what happens in the stories society tells itself about education. The changes here – to the stories, to the markets – aren’t merely a result of more “ed-tech,” but again, we need to ask if and how and why “ed-tech” might be a symptom of an increasing commercialization of education not just the disease.
Again, when we talk about “ed-tech,” we usually focus on recent technologies. We don’t typically consider the chalkboard, the textbook, the pencil, the window, the photocopier. When we say “ed-tech,” we often mean “computers.” But even then we don’t think of the large mainframe computers and the terminals that students were using in the 1970s, for example. Ed-tech amnesia: we act as though nobody thought about using computers in the classroom until Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, or something. Indeed, a founder of an ed-tech company was recently cited in The New York Times as saying “Education is one of the last industries to be touched by Internet technology,” to which I have to offer an important correction: universities actually helped invent the Internet. (And I want to return to this point in a minute: who do we identify – schools or businesses, the public sector or the private sector – as being the locus of ed-tech “innovation”?)
I am particularly interested in the history of education technologies that emerged before the advent of the personal or mainframe computer, before the Internet, in the early parts of the twentieth century. This is when, for example, we saw the development of educational psychology as a field and in turn the development of educational assessment. This is when the multiple choice test was first developed, as well as the machines that could grade these types of tests. To give you some dates: Frederick Kelly is often credited with the invention of the multiple choice test in 1914; the first US patent for a machine to score this type of test – that is, to detect pencil marks on paper and compare them to an answer key – was filed in 1937. IBM launched a commercial service for a “test scoring machine” that same year.
Speaking of commercial services and commercial interests then, standardized testing was already a big business by the 1920s. Enrollment in public schools was growing rapidly at this time, and these sorts of assessments were seen as more “objective” and more “scientific” than the insights that classrooms teachers – mostly women, of course – could provide. Public schools were viewed as failing – failing to educate, failing to enculturate, failing to produce career and college and military-ready students. (Of course, public schools have always been viewed as failing.) They were deemed grossly inefficient, and politicians and administrators alike insisted that schools needed to be run more like businesses. The theories of scientific management were applied to schools, and “schooling” – the process, the institution – increasingly became viewed as a series of inputs and outputs that could be measured and controlled.
Computers, in many many ways, are simply an extension of this. Learning analytics is often framed as a “hot new trend” in education. But it’s actually quite an old one. Thanks to new technologies, we do have more data now to feed these measurements and assessments.
We also have, thanks to new technologies, a renewed faith in “data” as holding all the answers: the answers to how people learn, the answers to how students succeed, the answers to why students fail, the answers to which teachers improve test scores, the answers to which college majors make the most money, the answers to which TV shows make you smarter or which breakfast cereals makes you dumber, and so on. Again, this obsession with data isn’t new; it’s rooted in part in Taylorism – in a desire for maximized efficiency (which is in turn a desire for maximized cost-savings and maximized profitability).
There’s an inherent conflict, I’d argue, between a culture that demands learning efficiency and a culture that recognizes learning messiness. It’s one of the reasons that schools – public schools – have been viewed as spaces distinct from businesses. Humans are not widgets. The cultivation of a mind cannot be mechanized. It should not be mechanized. Nevertheless, that’s been the impetus – an automation of education – behind much of education technology throughout the twentieth century. The commercialization of education is just one part of this larger ideology.
Alongside the push for more efficiency in education – through technology, through scientific management – has been a call for more competition in education. The Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, for example, called for school vouchers in the 1950s, arguing that families should be able to use public dollars to send their children to any school, public or private – one should be “free to choose,” as he put it – and that choice and competition would necessarily improve education. During the latter half of the twentieth century, this idea of competition and of outsourcing gained political prominence. Some schools started to turn to outside vendors for remedial education – to companies like Sylvan Learning, for example. And some schools started to turn to vendors for instruction in specific content areas, such as foreign languages. By the 1990s, companies like Edison were offering “school management” in its entirety as a for-profit business. These were never able to demonstrate that they were better than traditional public schools; often they were much worse.
But as my short history here should underscore, the privatization of all or part of public schools was already well underway, in no small part because of the power of this dominant narrative: that competition and efficiency was the purview of the private sector and was something that the public sector simply couldn’t get right.
No surprise, I suppose, this is the story you hear a lot from today’s technology and education technology entrepreneurs and investors – many of whom are involved politically and financially in “education reform” efforts. It’s as I cited at the outset: there’s almost complete amnesia about the long history of ed-tech and about the role that schools have played in the development of the tech itself and of associated pedagogical practices. (LOGO came from MIT. The web browser came from the University of Illinois. PLATO came from the University of Illinois. TurnItIn came from Berkeley. WebCT came from UBC. Google’s origins are at Stanford. ) Nevertheless, you’ll hear this: “school is broken” – it’s that old story again and again. Tech companies assure us that they’ll fix it. Fixing schools requires “innovation”; “innovation” requires the private sector. “Innovative schools” are the ones that have most successfully adopted business practices – scientific management – and that have bought the most technology.
To reiterate, the problem isn’t simply that schools are spending billions of taxpayer dollars on technology. That is, the problem is not simply that there are businesses that sell products to schools; businesses have always sold products to schools. The problem is that we don’t really examine the ideologies that accompany these technologies. How, for example, do new technologies coincide with ways in which we increasingly monitor and measure students? How do new technologies introduce and reinforce the values of competition, individualism, and surveillance? How do new technologies change the way in which recognize and even desire certain brands in the classroom? How do new technologies – the insistence that we must buy them, we must use them – help to change the purpose of school away from civic goals and towards those defined by the job market? How do new technologies themselves view students as a commercial product?
When I insist that “there’s a history to ed-tech,” some people hear me say “nothing has changed.” But that’s not my message. Ed-tech in 2016 is different than ed-tech in 1916. I mean, clearly the tech is different. But the political and economic power of tech is different too. Some of the biggest names in education philanthropy are technologists: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg. Former members of the US Department of Education now and in the past work for ed-tech companies or as ed-tech investors. And to close with a number that I opened with: last year, one investment analyst firm calculated that $2.98 billion had been invested in ed-tech startups. The money matters. But I’d contend that the narratives that powerful people tell about education and technology might matter even more.
El año 2016 se presenta con una nueva propuesta de cursos abiertos y masivos del INTEF cuya primera invitación es a participar en “Enseñanza y Evaluación de la Competencia Matemática y la Competencia Clave en Ciencia y Tecnología“, un MOOC en el que se trabajarán las competencias matemática, científica y tecnológica bajo un enfoque holístico, tal y como proponen diversas políticas educativas, incluidas la española, a través de una macro-competencia STEM.
Una vez más Conecta13 participa en la dinamización del curso a través de un auténtico dream team educativo integrado por tres grandes y reconocidos profesionales de la educación, con una amplia experiencia en formación del profesorado, Aníbal de la Torre, Charo Fernández y José Luis Castillo.
En mi caso, además de observar desde la línea cómo juega este dream team he tenido la posibilidad de sumar mi grano de arena en el diseño del curso, colaborando con los auténticos autores del mismo, José Luis Lupiáñez y Javier Carrillo, profesores de los Departamentos de Didáctica de la Matemática y Didáctica de las Ciencias Experimentales, respectivamente, en la Universidad de Granada.
El curso está dirigido a cualquier docente de habla hispana, desde infantil hasta bachillerato, que tenga interés en diseñar, llevar al aula y evaluar actividades de aprendizaje que permitan a su alumnado desarrollar de forma integral las competencias matemática, científica y tecnológica. El plan de actividades está enfocado al aula y el plan de dinamización está diseñado por el equipo liderado por Aníbal para garantizar una experiencia de aprendizaje inolvidable.STEM vía Shutterstock