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How did competencies come to dominate talent management in little more than three decades?

OLDaily - 19 Marzo, 2015 - 06:13

Sarah Beckett, HRSG, Mar 19, 2015

This is a short post that unintentionally illustrates the dangers inherent in a competency-based approach. As an example it says that while a conventional job description might say "A client focused employee will pay attention to clients’ needs and ensure those needs are met," the competency-based description will offer a list of "concrete examples' rather than such a vague description, such as "Clearly show clients that their perspectives are valued" or "Enhance client service delivery systems and processes." From my perspective, the competency-based description has simply exchanged one vague statement for three new vague statements. How do you show clients their perspectives are valued? What do they mean by 'enhance'?

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Categorías: General

Twitter puts trillions of tweets up for sale to data miners

OLDaily - 19 Marzo, 2015 - 06:13

Juliette Garside, The Guardian, Mar 19, 2015

Just in case you weren't clear that Twitter has the right to sell your tweets, this post makes it clear that Twitter is selling your tweets to advertisers. How creepy can it get? "As you board the aircraft, the cabin crew address you by name and congratulate you on the arrival of a bouncing baby boy. On your seat, you find a gift-wrapped blue rattle with a note from the airline." Because, you know, you tweeted about the newborn you've been caring for.

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Categorías: General

The difference between social learning and social collaboration

OLDaily - 19 Marzo, 2015 - 06:13

Jane Hart, Learning in the Social Workplace, Mar 19, 2015

"Social learning," writes Jane Hart, "is too often deemed to be achieved primarily through an organised educational or training experience that involves people brought together explicitly to learn from one another." This presumes that learning objectives and the rest have been defined in advance. But "most social learning takes place well outside of formal learning interventions and in the workplace, in particular." Hence the need for a term, she argues, where the result may be learning, but where the instent is not definitively to create a learning experience. I wouldn't so easily give up the term "learning" to the formalists; "education" may require defined outcomes, but learning is a thing people do whether or not outcomes have been defined in advance. Still, I like her diagram.

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Categorías: General

Back To The Future: Looking at LMS forecasts from 2011 – 2014

e-Literate - 19 Marzo, 2015 - 01:11

By Phil HillMore Posts (297)

At today’s Learning Analytics and Knowledge 2015 conference (#LAK15), Charles Severance (aka Dr. Chuck) gave the morning keynote organized around the theme of going back in time to see what people (myself and Richard Katz primarily) were forecasting for education. By looking at the reality of 2015, we can see which forecasts were on track and which were not. I like this concept, as it is useful to go back and see what we got right and wrong, so this post is meant to provide some additional context particularly for LMS market. Chuck’s keynote also gives cover for doing so without seeming too self-absorbed.

But enough about me. What do you think about me?

I use the term forecast since I tend to describe patterns and trends and then try to describe the implications. This is different than the Katz video which aimed to make specific predictions as a thought-provoking device.


I introduced the LMS squid diagram in 2008 as a tool to help people see the LMS market holistically rather than focusing on detailed features. Too much of campus evaluations then (and even now) missed the big picture that there were only a handful of vendors and some significant market dynamics at play.

A 2009 presentation, by the way, was the basis for Michael and me connecting for the first time. Bromance.


In early 2011 I wrote a post on Visigoths at the LMS Gates, noting:

I am less inclined to rely on straight-line projections of market data to look ahead, and am more inclined to think the market changes we are seeing are driven by outside forces with potentially nonlinear effects. Rome may have been weakened from within, but when real change happened, the Visigoths made it happen. [snip]

Today, there is a flood of new money into the educational technology market. In addition to the potential acquisition of Blackboard, Instructure just raised $8M in venture funding and vying for the role of Alaric in their marketing position, Pearson has been heavily investing in Learning Studio (eCollege for you old-timers), and Moodlerooms raised $7+M in venture funding. Publishing companies, ERP vendors, private equity, venture funding – these are major disruptive forces. And there is still significant moves being made by technology companies such as Google.

In August I started blogging at e-Literate with this post on Emerging Trends in LMS / Ed Tech Market. The trends I described (summary here, see post for full description):

From my viewpoint in 2011, the market has essentially moved beyond Blackboard as the dominant player driving most of the market dynamics.

  • The market is more competitive, with more options, than it has been for years.
  • Related to the above, there is a trend towards software as a service (SaaS) models for new LMS solutions.
  • Also related to the above, the market is demanding and getting real Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 advances in LMS user interfaces and functionality. We are starting to see some real improvements in usability in the LMS market.
  • The lines are blurring between content delivery systems (e.g. Cengage MindTap, Pearson MyLabs, etc) and LMS.
  • Along those same lines, it is also interesting in what is not being seen as a strategic blurring of lines – between LMS and student information systems.
  • Analytics and data reporting are not just aspirational goals for LMS deployments, but real requirements driven by real deadlines.

Looking back at the 2011 posts, I would note the following:

  • I think all of the basic trends have proven to be accurate, although I over-stated the analytics importance of “real requirements driven by real deadlines”. Analytics are important and some schools have real requirements, but for most schools analytics is not far beyond “aspirational goals”.
  • Chuck over-interpreted the “it’s all about MyLabs”. The real point is the blurring of lines between previously distinct categories of delivery platforms and digital content. I would argue that the courseware movement as well as most CBE platforms shows this impact in 2015. MyLabs was just an example in the graphic.
  • My main message about outside forces was that the internal players (Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Moodle, etc) were not going to be the source of change, rather “new competitors and new dynamics” would force change. Through the graphic, I over-emphasized the ERP and big tech players (Oracle, Google, Pearson & eCollege, etc) while I under-emphasized Instructure, which has proven to be the biggest source of change (although driven by VC funding).
  • I still like the Rome / Visigoths / Alaric metaphor.

In early 2012 I had a post Farewell to the Enterprise LMS, Greetings to the Learning Platform that formed the basis of the forecasts Chuck commented on in the LAK15 keynote.

In my opinion, when we look back on market changes, 2011 will stand out as the year when the LMS market passed the point of no return and changed forever. What we are now seeing are some real signs of what the future market will look like, and the actual definition of the market is changing. We are going from an enterprise LMS market to a learning platform market.

In a second post I defined the characteristics of a Learning Platform (or what I meant by the term):

  1. Learning Platforms are next-generation technology compared to legacy LMS solutions arising in the late 1990’s / early 2000’s. While many features are shared between legacy LMS and learning platforms, the core designs are not constrained by the course-centric, walled-garden approach pioneered by earlier generations.
  2. Learning Platforms tend to be SaaS (software as a service) offerings, based in a public or private cloud on multi-tenant designs. Rather than being viewed as an enterprise application to be set up as a customized instance for each institution, there is a shared platform that supports multiple customers, leveraging a shared technology stack, database, and application web services.
  3. Learning Platforms are intended to support and interoperate with multiple learning and social applications, and not just as extensions to the enterprise system, but as a core design consideration.
  4. Learning Platforms are designed around the learner, giving a sense of identify that is maintained throughout the learning lifecycle. Learners are not just pre-defined roles with access levels within each course, but central actors in the system design.
  5. Learning Platforms therefore are social in nature, supporting connections between learners and customization of content based on learner needs.
  6. Learning Platforms include built-in analytics based on the amalgamation of learner data across courses, across institutions, and even beyond institutions.
  7. Learning Platforms allow for the discovery of instructional content, user-generated content, and of other learners.

Going back to the Farewell post, the forecast was:

Another trend that is becoming apparent is that many of the new offerings are not attempting to fully replace the legacy LMS, at least all at once. Rather than competing with all of the possible features that are typical in enterprise LMS solutions, the new platforms appear to target specific institutional problems and offer only the features needed. Perhaps inspired by Apple’s success in offering elegant solutions at the expense of offering all the features, or perhaps inspired by Clayton Christensen’s disruptive innovation model, the new learning platform providers are perfectly willing to say ‘no – we just don’t offer this feature or that feature’.

Looking back at the 2012 posts, I would note the following:

  • I still see the move from enterprise LMS to learning platform, but it is happening slower than I might have thought and more unevenly. The attributes of SaaS and fewer features has happened (witness Canvas in particular), and the interoperability capabilities are occurring (with special thanks to Chuck and his work with IMS developing LTI). However, the adoption and true usage of multiple learning and social applications connected through the platform is quite slow.
  • The attributes of learner-centric design built-in analytics can be seen in many of the CBE platforms, but not really in the general LMS market itself.
2013 / 2014

In 2013 and 2014 I updated the LMS squid graphic.


  • Chuck was right to point out the revision that I no longer included the outside forces of ERP & big tech. The key point of 2011 forecasts was outside forces making changes, but by 2013 it was clear that ERP & big tech were not part of this change.
  • There is also a big addition of homegrown solutions, or alternative learning platforms that is worth noting. The entrance of so new CBE platforms designed from the ground up for a specific purposes is an example of this trend.
Overall Notes

Thanks to Chuck, this has been informative (to me, at least) to go back and review forecasts and see what I got right and what I got wrong. Chuck’s general point on my forecasts seem to be that I am over-emphasizing the emergence of learning platforms at least as a distinct category from enterprise LMS, and that we’re still seeing LMS market although with changed internals (fewer features, more interoperability). I don’t disagree with this point (if I am summarizing accurately). However, if you read the actual forecasts above, I don’t think Chuck and I are too far apart. I may be more optimistic than he is and need to clarify my terminology somewhat, but we’re in the same ball park.

Now let’s turn the tables. My main critique with Dr. Chuck’s keynote is that he just didn’t commit on the song. We know he is willing to boldly sing, after all (skip ahead to 1:29).

Click here to view the embedded video.

Update: Clarified language on LTI spec

The post Back To The Future: Looking at LMS forecasts from 2011 – 2014 appeared first on e-Literate.

In a world of hackers….editing of my book is interrupted

Tony Bates - 18 Marzo, 2015 - 20:58

I’m struggling to complete the final edit on my online open textbook, Teaching in a Digital Age. All chapters are completed in first draft, but I am trying to shorten the book from its current 460 pages, by condensing a few chapters.

In the middle of the editing, however, I’ve been having technical problems logging into the admin area of the book’s web site due to a massive hacking attack on the site. This has not affected the public site, but it means I have only intermittent access to the admin site.

You may notice then over the next few days some odd discrepancies in the public site. For instance, there is no Chapter 3 at the moment as it’s being edited down and incorporated into Chapter 2. The numbering of the chapters and sections will be out of synch. But I can’t get into the site at the moment to make the necessary changes.

I hope to have this all sorted out by the weekend, and in any case 90% of the book is available in its final form, but in the meantime, I apologise and hope you will understand if some bits of the book look a little odd.

Cybrary Launches Online Platform for IT Education

Campus Technology - 18 Marzo, 2015 - 18:50
Cybrary has launched an online platform designed to help higher ed and K-12 teachers plan manage and monitor IT and cybersecurity curricula.

Solving the Nation’s Teacher Shortage

OLDaily - 18 Marzo, 2015 - 18:11

Mallory Dwinal, Christensen Institute, Mar 18, 2015

This white paper has two separate and very distinct parts. In the first part it analyzes the causes of teacher shortages, noting that women are migrating to higher-paying professions outside teaching, that technology in other traditionally women's sectors such as nursing and accounting, and that women staying in the profession prefer not to relocate. These could all be addressed simply by paying teachers more money, which would both retain staff and convince districts of the need to increase teacher productivity through technology. The second part is more convincing, pointing to the utility of online learning in addressing teacher shortages. This is an argument that has been made with respect to other skilled professions. The report states, "in the same way that online learning unbundles the education experience to make it more flexible for students, it also unbundles the teacher labor market to make it more flexible for teachers and districts." But remember that with higher skills there is still an expectation that higher pay would follow. 24 page PDF.

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Categorías: General

Udacity's Nanodegrees Get Accredible-d

OLDaily - 18 Marzo, 2015 - 18:11

Unattributed, EdSurge, Mar 18, 2015

This coverage from  EdSurge is interesting: "Accredible, an Imagine K12 graduate that aims to offer trustworthy credentials for online learning providers and students, has nabbed one of its biggest partners yet: Udacity. Under the agreement, Udacity will leverage Accredible's API to let students enrolled in its Nanodegree programs to build professional profiles to show off projects, coursework and other achievements with potential employers. (Here's a profile example.) More details from Accredible and TechCrunch." Watch for Accredible to be purchased post-haste by an LMS company.

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Categorías: General

Privacy Pitfalls as Education Apps Spread Haphazardly

OLDaily - 18 Marzo, 2015 - 18:11

Natasha Singer, New York Times, Mar 18, 2015

“ A teacher can sign up for anything, without the knowledge of anyone else in the district,” said Steve Young, the chief technology officer of the Judson Independent School District (in the U.S. 'independent' is a synonym for 'private'). This article has it a bit backward. It blames teachers (and to a lesser degree students) for "signing up for anything" with the result that students' privacy isn't always resepected. So, implicitly, the recommendation is to regulate what teachers can access. It sounds like a content publisher's dream, and they have the usual voices supporting it. "The Federal Trade Commission recommends that schools not delegate that decision to individual teachers. 'Companies are soliciting teachers to breach the obligations of schools,' said Joel R. Reidenberg, a professor at Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan." But wouldn't a better approach be to restrict what companies can do with people's information? After all, even if you regulate the teachers, you've still left students (and everyone else) vulnerable evenings and weekends.

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Categorías: General

UNESCO's Open Access (OA) Curriculum is now online

OLDaily - 18 Marzo, 2015 - 18:11

Sanjaya Mishra, UNESCO, Mar 18, 2015

As the headline says, UNESCO has released its new open access curriculum. Here it is:

Curriculum for Library Schools

Curriculum for Researchers

Each of these is a substantial document in its own right, consisting of several units worth of information and examples. Below is one of the many resources available:

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Categorías: General

LinkedIn Intros One-Click Program for Adding Degree Credentials to User Profiles

Campus Technology - 18 Marzo, 2015 - 17:45
With a newly expanded "Add to Profile" program from LinkedIn, colleges and universities can invite their graduates to display their degrees and certificates on their LinkedIn profiles by clicking a single link.

Building University-Wide IT Accessibility

Campus Technology - 18 Marzo, 2015 - 16:00
While many higher ed institutions focus mostly on Web accessibility or rely on a disability resources center to serve students in need, Temple University has ramped up its accessibility efforts across the board. Here's how.

U West Florida Uses BYOD Content-Sharing System for Collaborative Problem Solving

Campus Technology - 18 Marzo, 2015 - 15:30
The Innovation Institute at the University of West Florida is using a digital collaboration system that lets people share content on a single screen from their own laptops, tablets and smartphones, so they can more easily discuss ideas and solve problems together.

Risk-Taking Leads to Learning for Teens Going Online

Campus Technology - 18 Marzo, 2015 - 12:05
When you discover that a teen in your life has posted something astonishingly inappropriate online and you find yourself asking, "What was he/she thinking?" you wouldn't be alone. But there's also little you can do to stop the practice. According to research at Pennsylvania State University, it's just the way teenagers approach their online activities.

Penn State Researcher Developing Educational Tools To Help Fight Digital Piracy

Campus Technology - 18 Marzo, 2015 - 12:00
Vishal Monga, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Penn State University, is working on a method of analyzing images, audio files, videos and documents to prevent piracy, and he plans to develop a video game to help his students test piracy methods in an effort to combat the illegal online activity.