agregador de noticias

CU Boulder Adopts Open Access

Campus Technology - 19 Mayo, 2015 - 00:22
The University of Colorado Boulder has gone public with its recent adoption of an open access policy.

Education in the Digital Era Open Webinar II: “EU MOOCs: A challenge for Europe a benefit for all”

Open Education Europa RSS - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 23:44
Area of interest:  Schools Higher Education Training & Work Learning & Society Summary: 

The Education in the Digital Era team (part of the Open Education Europa portal team) is organising the #EdDigEra webinar II entitled "EU MOOCs: A challenge for Europe, a benefit for all".

 

Education in the Digital Era Open Webinar II: “EU MOOCs: A challenge for Europe a benefit for all”

Open Education Europa RSS - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 23:44
Area of interest:  Schools Higher Education Training & Work Learning & Society Summary: 

The Education in the Digital Era team (part of the Open Education Europa portal team) is organising the #EdDigEra webinar II entitled "EU MOOCs: A challenge for Europe, a benefit for all".

 

MIT Student App Helps Long-Term Care Residents Communicate

Campus Technology - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 21:10
A small team of MIT students has worked with people at a nearby assistive living facility to create an iPad app that allows the residents to communicate their needs and emergencies with the nursing staff.

What Are Games and Simulations Good For?

Hack Education - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 20:35

This article first appeared on Educating Modern Learners in February 2015

The interest roused by historical simulation games is readily explained,"" writes Jeremiah McCall in a 2012 article in The History Teacher. "These games offer immersive, interactive, multimedia representations of the past that are radically different from other forms of media. They engage players through multiple modes of communication: visual, textual, aural, and tactile. Through these modes of communication, compelling problems are presented that invite the player to engage and make world-changing decisions. Given these features, it is not surprising that a growing number of educators want to use such games in the teaching and study of history."

But simulations and games are not without controversy or criticism.

The historical simulation games created by Mission US are not new; the first one was released in 2010, and they've been reviewed favorably by both the gaming and education press. But over the weekend, the second game in the series, Flight to Freedom, caught the attention of educator (and EML contributor) Rafranz Davis when it was promoted by Common Sense Media's Graphite site as a good piece of technology to "celebrate black history month and beyond." Davis objected to the game - the content, the storyline, and the gamification of history.

Flight to Freedom is a simulation of slavery: "It's 1848. You are Lucy King, a 14-year-old slave in Kentucky. Will you find a path to freedom?"

The game opens with the protagonist, Lucy, waking up in the slave quarters of the King plantation. She overhears her mother helping Henry, a fellow slave who has been beaten. Lucy’s mother says that Henry will need comfrey root and requests Lucy bring some from down by the creek. On the way to the creek, the plantation’s overseer assigns Lucy a handful of tasks.

Throughout the game, the player is presented with choices of how to have Lucy respond: to comply fully, to rebel a little bit, or to outright resist. The player earns badges for these choices, and they shape the direction that Lucy's story will take.

Davis argues that by framing Lucy's experiences as a series of individual choices, rather than framing it as an institution of violence and exploitation, this history of slavery offers a "too easy fix." "Why put children through 'decision making' as a slave?" Davis asks. "Why would any person think that slave simulation is a necessary component of curriculum?"

Davis's reaction stands in vivid contrast to one game reviewer who said "I was struck by how effectively the game placed me in the shoes of an American slave." Can a simulation, particularly one designed for middle school students, really do that? What other consequences might a simulation have?

In 1995, parents of an African-American student sued his school district over a similar game called Freedom!, in which players had to escape slavery. The game was humiliating, they argued. Prior to the lawsuit, the game had already been pulled from shelves by its publisher.

The use of simulations - "real" not "virtual" ones - in the history classroom is often quite controversial. Designed to give students a deeper understanding by role-playing and acting out certain scenarios, these activities can be highly fraught, particularly when they relate to racial or ethnic identity. Indeed, while these simulations might be presented as episodes from the past, that past is never severed from the present. Oppression isn't something that just happened "back then," and students experience these simulations very differently based on their own backgrounds. Simulations can be incredibly traumatic.

Too often, simulations seem to be designed with an "identity-less" student in mind (that is, a white student), and they are not always carefully or thoughtfully facilitated.

When it comes to computer-based simulations, this design is a reflection, in part, of what Davis has identified in her new book, The Missing Voices in Ed-Tech. Because of the lack of diversity in education technology, it too often ends up failing to meet the needs of students of color, students of poverty, immigrant students, girls, and so on.

This is a particularly important issue to address, in ed-tech broadly but in the development of education games and simulations specifically. Who is the imagined player?

Can games and simulations be designed to be thought-provoking and persuasive? Certainly. Can games and simulations be designed to be intellectually challenging? Of course. Can computers enable the creation of simulations that are more vivid and interactive than simply role-playing in the classroom? Sure. Do computer games and simulations have biases and flaws that students should be encouraged to identify and discuss? Definitely. They are simulations, after all, and like any secondary source, they should be interrogated as such. They are interpretations of history, further constrained by the engineering of game-play.

But if educators have become more cautious about having students act out historical simulations, particularly those involving slavery, is turning to a computer-based simulation really an improvement? Are educators ready and willing to address biases (hidden and overt) and power dynamics in games and other technologies?

Ricoh Debuts 7 New Projectors for Small Spaces

Campus Technology - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 19:48
Ricoh’s new series of projection systems will be introduced during the InfoComm 2015 trade show.

EdX, Arizona State U Add Online Proctoring Service for Global Freshman Academy

Campus Technology - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 19:23
EdX has tapped a private partner to provide remote proctoring services for its Global Freshman Academy.

Por qué los colegios jesuitas suscitan más atención

Cuaderno de campo - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 19:20
    El pasado 7 de marzo publiqué aquí una entrada sobre la innovación educativa lanzada en varios colegios de jesuitas de Cataluña, la Nueva Etapa Intermedia en que rompen la vieja estructura de etapas y horarios, grupos y aulas, disciplinas y libros de texto. Desde entonces, por un lado, me han llegado multitud de mensajes de diverso tipo al respecto, incluido uno que se repite en diversas formas para decir que tales innovaciones tienen poco de nuevo, ya se han llevado a cabo en numerosos centros públicos y, sin embargo, no han recibido la atención que ahora se da a la iniciativa de los Jesuitas; por otro, he tenido la ocasión de visitar uno de sus centros en Barcelona, donde estuve toda una mañana hablando con los promotores de la experiencia, pude observarla más de cerca y tuve también la oportunidad de intercambiar impresiones con alumnos y profesores.
    Puedo comprender cierto fastidio en docentes que han llevado a cabo o conocen innovaciones parecidas y, en lugar de verlas convertidas de la noche a la mañana en un foco de atención profesional, mediático y social, las han visto ignoradas, ninguneadas o incluso perseguidas; a esto se añade la incomodidad de que la iniciativa celebrada venga de una escuela privada, en vez de pública, y confesional, en vez de laica. La vida es dura, ciertamente, pocas cosas son simplemente blancas o negras y, a veces, las buenas ideas surgen donde menos se espera (es decir, donde menos lo esperaba uno). Pero hay que dar al César lo que es del César y a Dios lo que es de Dios, y nadie debería tener problema ninguno ni encontrar incongruencia alguna en saludar la innovación de los colegios jesuitas de Cataluña aunque prefiera y defienda una escuela laica.
    Lo cierto es que Jesuites Educació no pretende haber inventado nada. Saben bien que casi todo está inventado y asumen que los cambios que ellos han introducido, al menos considerados uno a uno, ya habían sido propuestos por otros o experimentados antes y ahora. Creo también que ellos mismos están asombrados e incluso un punto alarmados por la atención recibida, que sobrepasa las fronteras geográficas e ideológicas y es tal que les está forzando a limitar encuentros y visitas, a pesar de una clara satisfacción y una buena disposición a franquear sus puertas.
    Pero hay elementos que hacen de esta experiencia singular algo especial y explican la atención recibida ahora y la que recibirá en el futuro. En primer lugar, como ya expliqué en el post anterior, Hay que quitarse el sombrero..., tiene una especial significación histórica porque ellos marcaron el comienzo de la institución escolar (tal como la conocemos) y podrían estar marcando ahora su fin (tal como la conocemos), aunque cabría decir que en el inicio fueron una importante causa y ahora serían más bien un importante síntoma.
    Cualquiera que termine siendo el valor intrínseco de la experiencia hay otro elemento que le da también una significación especial. Los jesuitas no pueden ser identificados con un MRP, ni con los evangelizadores de las TIC, ni con el profesorado declaradamente progresista, ni con quienes coquetean con la desescolarización... Que sean precisamente ellos quienes dan la vuelta, hasta cierto punto, a la estructura escolar elimina de entrada o, al menos, deja perplejos a sectores que, si la iniciativa hubiera tenido esa visibilidad y ese alcance en la escuela pública, habrían saltado a la yugular de sus autores. Estos dos elementos explican ya de por sí parte de la atención recibida de un espectro muy variado de analistas y medios de comunicación.
    A esto se unen dos aspectos intrínsecos que le dan también un alcance espectacular. Primero, el aspecto visual de las experiencia, particularmente atractivo para y a través de los medios gráficos y audiovisuales: variados colores pastel, grandes espacios multifunción, escasas paredes y de cristal, gradas y sofás, alumnos y profesores moviéndose... Segundo, la multidimensionalidad de la iniciativa, que pretende romper a la vez las actuales estructuras espacial (aulas abiertas), temporal (adiós a las unidades horarias), disciplinar (a las asignaturas), comunicacional (a los libro de texto), docimológica (a los exámenes), profesional (equipos docentes compartiendo in situ)...
    Pero esta vez quiero centrarme en importantes aspectos que separan, y para bien, esta experiencia de numerosas otras de la escuela pública.
    En primer lugar, su dimensión. Arranca en tres centros para la Nueva Etapa Intermedia (y cuatro para la infantil, MOPI), y seguramente se extenderá a otros centros de la orden. Algunos, al menos, son además centros de cuatro líneas, doble que las dos típicas en los centros públicos de primaria. Por lo tanto tiene asegurada una entidad que difícilmente alcanzan las experiencias en la pública.
    En segundo lugar, su foco en los dos últimos años de primaria y los dos primeros de secundaria (los que ahora llaman la NEI). Uno de los aspectos más incomprensiblemente ignorados de la ordenación educativa en España es el corte que supone, para dos tercios del alumnado (el de la pública), el paso de primaria a secundaria. La investigación sobre el fracaso escolar indica, sin embargo, que este se precipita en el tránsito a la ESO, aunque sin duda tiene sus raíces en déficits y problemas acumulados pero no reconocidos ni atendidos en la primaria. Pero los colegios privados son completos y los Jesuitas aciertan, creo, al centrarse conjuntamente en esos años.
    En tercer lugar, su previsible continuidad. Basada en en gran parte en los dos factores que mencionaré a continuación, podemos estar seguros, en todo caso, de que la experiencia no se verá súbitamente interrumpida por el traslado de algún profesor o el relevo de un equipo directivo, como a menudo sucede, por desgracia, en la escuela pública.
    En cuarto lugar, tener detrás el apoyo de direcciones de centro fuertes, implicadas en la iniciativa y apoyadas, a su vez, por el aparato de la Fundación Jesuïtes Educació. Muchas innovaciones en la escuela pública se pierden, resultan enormemente costosas en esfuerzo o simplemente no llegan a iniciarse porque los docentes no tienen el apoyo de sus directores o de sus compañeros, o porque los centros no tienen el apoyo de la administración. Es difícil, duro y arriesgado innovar en solitario.
    Pero lo contrario también pasa, no nos engañemos. En quinto lugar, los profesores de un centro privado no pueden desentenderse fácilmente del proyecto de centro. Es verdad que ha habido un largo proceso preparatorio y que la participación es, al menos de momento, voluntaria, pero no lo es menos que en un colegio de los jesuitas parecen impensables actitudes que, en los centros públicos, son el pan de cada día, en particular el enroque de algunos docentes en hacer o no hacer lo que se les antoje en nombre de la libertad de cátedra y ante la impotencia de los demás.
    En sexto lugar, los jesuitas cuentan también con cierta ventaja en su relación con la comunidad escolar. Ser lo que son y haber sido elegidos por ello por las familias crea ya una relación de confianza y un sentimiento de unidad de propósito. La Fundación ha tenido mucho cuidado de explicar y dar oportunidades de expresarse a los padres, pero sin duda le ha resultado más fácil que lo que habría sido en una escuela pública, tanto por la receptividad de los padres como por la disposición de los profesores.
    Por eso, aunque resulte comprensible cierta sana envidia desde la innovación en la enseñanza pública, no lo es tanto la cerrazón a la hora de entender por qué ciertas iniciativas no prosperan como deberían en ella. El post Los jesuitas, su educación y sus admiradores es un ejemplo de cómo errar el tiro por verlo todo con la lente del funcionariado feliz consigo mismo y enfadado con la sociedad. La iniciativa de los jesuitas, sí, mostraría que son muy listos, pero resultaría más bien un peligro, al ser una buena técnica (de la pedagogía progresista) dirigida a un mal fin (educar a las elites); la atención que le dan sus admiradores, además, sería un clavo más en la idealización de la enseñanza privada y la voladura de la pública. Como todas las medias verdades, estas afirmaciones son en parte ciertas y en parte falsas, pero la cuestión es que las organizaciones y los portavoces, autoproclamados o aceptados, del profesorado de la enseñanza pública (el mencionado post es de La educación que nos une) harían bien abrir los ojos también ante los obstáculos a la innovación, la mejora y la calidad que vienen de lo que muchos de ellos consideran conquistas justas e irrenunciables: la condición funcionarial, la débil selección de los docentes, la impotencia de las direcciones, la falta de controles e incentivos en el trabajo, la opacidad de centros y aulas, la vaciedad de tantos proyectos de centro, la movilidad geográfica siguiendo el escalafón, la presión por reducir calendario y horario laboral o presencial al lectivo, la impunidad e inmunidad del profesor, etc.
Categorías: General

Liberal Arts Edition releases for 2.6.11, 2.7.8 and 2.8.6

Moodle News - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 16:30
  The Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project has released it’s latest Liberal Arts Edition for Moodle 2.6.11, 2.7.8 and 2.8.6. No new features were launched with these updated versions...

Does technology destroy jobs

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 16:19

The argument over whether technology creates or destroys jobs has been going on for as long as I can remember.

Only yesterday John Naughton, in an article entitled “We are ignoring the new machine age at our peril“, worried about the impact of self driving cars and other technology on the future of employment. Naughton argued that there are “radical discontinuities that nobody could have anticipated”, driven by “combinatorial” effects of different technology trends coming together. These, he siad, include: “the near-infinite computing power provided by Moore’s law; precise digital mapping; GPS; developments in laser and infrared sensor technology; and machine-learning algorithms plus the availability of massive data-sets on which to train them.”

He warned the outcome could be “that vast swaths of human activity – and employment – which were hitherto regarded as beyond the reach of “intelligent” machines may now be susceptible to automation.” he went on to quote a studyby  Dr Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne, two researchers at the Martin School in Oxford,T heir report, The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?,  estimates the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, based on US government classifications of those occupations.  About 47% of total US employment, they conclude, is at risk from technologies now operational in laboratories and in the field.

However a study entitled ‘Are ICT Displacing Workers? Evidence from Seven European Countries‘ by Smaranda Pantea, Federico Biagi and Anna Sabadash from the Institute of Prospective Technologies in Seville comes up with a different answer. Looking at micro data ins even European countries for companies in the manufacturing, ICT producing and service sector the study found “a non-significant relationship between employment growth and ICT intensity among ICT-using firms.: The authors say: “Since our estimates mainly capture the “substitution” effects of ICT on employment (i.e. those due to ICT substituting for some type of labour and to ICT increasing productivity and hence reducing demand for inputs, for constant values of output), our results indicate that these effects are statistically insignificant.”

Of course this study and the American study are not directly comparable. They looked at different things and used different methodologies. One conclusion might be that whilst technology is not being directly substituted for overall employment, it is changing the nature of jobs available. Some labour market studies (for instance based on the US O*Net surveys) have suggested that what is happening is a bifurcation of labour, with an increasing number of high qualified jobs and of low skilled (and consequently low paid) service sector jobs. And of course another impact may be on the ;content’ and different skills required in different jobs. For instance our work in the construction industry through the Learning layers project suggests increasing adoption of technology is leading to the need for new (and higher) skills levels within what was traditionally seen as a lower skills sector. This has considerable implications for vocational education and training. ather than training for presents skills demands VET systems need to be looking at future skills. And by providing those future orein3eteds kills this could provide a workforce and society with the abilities and motivation to shape our use of technology in society, rather than as John Naughton fears that “we’re bound to lose this race against the machine” and in the course “enrich the corporations that own it.”

Acer Debuts Short-Throw Projector with Sound Powerful Enough for an Auditorium

Campus Technology - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 14:30
The new Acer S385WHne professional series projector boasts short-throw technology and 20W integrated audio — enough sound for an auditorium-sized room.

File Trash plugin for Moodle helps you cleanup unused and orphaned files

Moodle News - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 14:19
Moodle’s file directory took a new approach with the release of Moodle 2.0, no longer did each course has a specific and identifiable folder in which files were uploaded into (Legacy Files) now...

Juglarex, innovación educativa a través del Atlántico

JuglarEx es un proyecto llevado a cabo por alumnos del Colegio Santa Teresa de Cabeza del Buey a lo largo del curso 2013/14, dirigidos por sus profesores Mª Antonia Guerra y Miguel Angel Escudero.  JuglarEx ilustra el desarrollo de la actividad de los alumnos que componen la cooperativa escolar Handmade Soap.

Estos alumnos realizaron una videoconferencia el día 23 de Abril con motivo del día del libro a las 14:00 de España (7:00 de Quito) y presentaron su proyecto a compañeros ecuatorianos de la Unidad Educativa Mushuc Pakari (Ubicada en la ciudad de Quito).  

El proyecto JuglarEx en estos momentos se embarca en una nueva aventura iberoamericana, estableciendo lazos con escolares de la República Dominicana para desarrollar un proyecto ambicioso e innovador, de manera conjunta. La OEI será quien supervise el desarrollo del nuevo proyecto conjunto con la República Dominicana.

"Si enseñamos a los alumnos de hoy como enseñábamos ayer, les estamos privando del mañana." (John Dewey)

Instructional Design Basics for Online Learning

Educación flexible y abierta - 18 Mayo, 2015 - 09:26

Instructional Design & Online Learning | Full Tilt Ahead

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

Excellence is not the only point of education

OLDaily - 17 Mayo, 2015 - 23:17
Display


Sam Carr, The Conversation, May 17, 2015

Doug Belshaw points toward this item from The Conversation in his weekly newsletter. The argument is that we should not allow business words, like 'excellence', to seep into education. "David Cameron has reminded us once again that our children and young people should aspire towards excellence.... This sort of discourse simply reinforces what we’ ve known for some time: corporate mentality has hijacked education." I agree that we shouldn't adopt the language of business and commerce , that we should encourage children to be 'little entrepreneurs', but honestly, it's better than the military metaphors that have permeated the language of education up to this point. I would also observe that the language of 'excellence' has been a part of the language of education for decades, for generations. But the point about the metaphors is a good one. When I was a child we were encouraged to see ourselves in the shoes of scientists and explorers. These were our heroes. They still should be, in my view.

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Categorías: General

Ed-Tech and the Californian Ideology

Hack Education - 17 Mayo, 2015 - 20:35

When I spoke at Davidson College earlier this month, several of the questions from the audience involved my framing of a “Silicon Valley narrative” involving education, technology, and innovation. They said that this narrative was unfamiliar to them – that the arguments that they heard, particularly from colleagues, about education, technology, and innovation were quite different. That is, education technology is supportive, not exploitative. Education technology opens, not forecloses, opportunities. Education technology is driven by a rethinking of teaching and learning, not expanding markets. Education technology meets individual and institutional and community goals.

I pointed to the discussions of education technology in the press – The New York Times op-eds, for example, that prompted the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors to fire president Teresa Sullivan for not moving to MOOCs fast enough, or the repeated proclamations that Sal Khan and the instructional videos at Khan Academy are “the messiah of math,” poised to save students and boost test scores.

“Education is broken,” and technology will fix it. It’s an old and tired refrain, but it’s a refrain nonetheless, repeated over and over. It’s a core theme I point to in the “Silicon Valley narrative.”

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But the phrase “Silicon Valley narrative” – one that, I confess, I use a lot in my work – does have some flaws.

After all, the powerful forces at play in education technology don’t simply emanate from Silicon Valley, which sticklers about geography will readily point out only includes one part of the San Francisco Bay area. Silicon Valley’s locus (historically at least) is San Jose, not San Francisco, where many startups are located today. “Silicon Valley” is not an adequate term to describe where Bay Area tech companies or their investors reside. And the phrase surely obscures the international scope of the operations of the technology industry – tax havens in Ireland, manufacturing in China, and so on.

I think “narrative” is probably inadequate too. Yes, I’m particularly interested in the stories we tell about technology – its past, present, and future. I am interested in the ways in which our discursive practices shape the way we move through the world – what we build, what we buy.

The better term here is “ideology.”

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To better analyze and assess both technology and education technology requires our understanding of these as ideological, argues Neil Selwyn – “‘a site of social struggle’ through which hegemonic positions are developed, legitimated, reproduced and challenged.” In Distrusting Educational Technology, Selwyn identifies three contemporary ideologies that are intertwined with technology (many of which my shorthand “Silicon Valley narrative” are meant to reference): libertarianism, neoliberalism, and “the ideology of the ‘new economy.’” He writes,

Most people, it would seem, are happy to assume that educational technologies are ‘neutral’ tools that are essentially free from values and intent (or, at most, shaped by generally optimistic understandings and meanings associated with educational change and improvement). In this sense, it is difficult at first glance to see educational technology as entwined with any aspect of the dominant ideologies just described. Yet, as was noted earlier, one of the core characteristics of hegemony is the ability of dominant ideologies to permeate commonsensical understandings and meaning. Following this logic, then, the fact that educational technology appears to be driven by a set of values focused on the improvement of education does not preclude it also serving to support and legitimate wider dominant ideological interests. Indeed, if we take time to unpack the general orthodoxy of educational technology as a ‘positive’ attempt to improve education, then a variety of different social groups and with different interests, values and agendas are apparent. …While concerned ostensibly with changing specific aspects of education, all of these different interests could be said to also endorse (or at least provide little opposition to) notions of libertarianism, neo-liberalism and new forms of capitalism. Thus educational technologies can still be said to be ‘ideologically freighted’, although this may not always be a primary intention of those involved in promoting their use.

We tend not to see education technology as ideological. (No doubt, we largely fail to scrutinize the ideology of education as well.) We do not recognize the ways in which education technology can, as Selwyn notes, “accommodate all these agendas (from the countercultural to the commercial) with little sense of incompatibility or conflict.” How does a push for “self-directed learning” feed a libertarian anti-institutionalism? How does the mantra “everyone needs to learn to code” serve the interests of global capitalism? How much of the “Maker Movement” is venture-backed consumerism? What does it say that this profitable version of "making" dovetails so neatly with some visions of progressive education?

We don’t ask; we don’t answer. We shrug and assent that education technology is necessary; progress demands it.

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As much as the phrase “Silicon Valley narrative” doesn’t work for reasons of geographic specificity – I’m going to stop using it, I promise – I still find the phrase “Californian ideology” quite compelling. Or to be more precise – and that’s the point, right? – I find the arguments of Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron in their 1995 essay “The Californian Ideology” to be remarkably prescient:

At the end of the twentieth century, the long predicted convergence of the media, computing and telecommunications into hypermedia is finally happening. Once again, capitalism’s relentless drive to diversify and intensify the creative powers of human labour is on the verge of qualitatively transforming the way in which we work, play and live together. By integrating different technologies around common protocols, something is being created which is more than the sum of its parts. When the ability to produce and receive unlimited amounts of information in any form is combined with the reach of the global telephone networks, existing forms of work and leisure can be fundamentally transformed. New industries will be born and current stock market favourites will swept away. At such moments of profound social change, anyone who can offer a simple explanation of what is happening will be listened to with great interest. At this crucial juncture, a loose alliance of writers, hackers, capitalists and artists from the West Coast of the USA have succeeded in defining a heterogeneous orthodoxy for the coming information age: the Californian Ideology.


This new faith has emerged from a bizarre fusion of the cultural bohemianism of San Francisco with the hi-tech industries of Silicon Valley. Promoted in magazines, books, TV programmes, websites, newsgroups and Net conferences, the Californian Ideology promiscuously combines the free-wheeling spirit of the hippies and the entrepreneurial zeal of the yuppies. This amalgamation of opposites has been achieved through a profound faith in the emancipatory potential of the new information technologies. In the digital utopia, everybody will be both hip and rich. Not surprisingly, this optimistic vision of the future has been enthusiastically embraced by computer nerds, slacker students, innovative capitalists, social activists, trendy academics, futurist bureaucrats and opportunistic politicians across the USA. As usual, Europeans have not been slow in copying the latest fad from America. While a recent EU Commission report recommends following the Californian free market model for building the information superhighway, cutting-edge artists and academics eagerly imitate the post human philosophers of the West Coast’s Extropian cult. With no obvious rivals, the triumph of the Californian Ideology appears to be complete.


The widespread appeal of these West Coast ideologues isn’t simply the result of their infectious optimism. Above all, they are passionate advocates of what appears to be an impeccably libertarian form of politics – they want information technologies to be used to create a new ‘Jeffersonian democracy’ where all individuals will be able to express themselves freely within cyberspace. However, by championing this seemingly admirable ideal, these techno-boosters are at the same time reproducing some of the most atavistic features of American society, especially those derived from the bitter legacy of slavery. Their utopian vision of California depends upon a wilful blindness towards the other – much less positive – features of life on the West Coast: racism, poverty and environmental degradation. Ironically, in the not too distant past, the intellectuals and artists of the Bay Area were passionately concerned about these issues.

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There are many elements of that phrase “California ideology” that I find quite compelling. California is the promised land, the end-of-the-road of the US’s westward expansion, the fulfillment of Manifest Destiny, colonization upon colonization, the gold rush, the construction of an invented palm-tree paradise. California includes geographically – ideologically – both Hollywood and Silicon Valley. California is media plus technology, both of which readily export their products (and narratives and ideologies) globally. California built an amazing public higher education system; Governor Reagan, fearing radicalism and intellectualism, began the move to dismantle it. California is always already the future; California rejects and rewrites the past.

California also produces two-thirds of this country’s produce, of course. Over a third of the nation’s farmworkers work in California; 95% of them were born outside the US.

The California ideology ignores race and labor and the water supply; it is sustained by air and fantasy. It is built - historically as today - upon white supremacy and imperialism. But we’re so wrapped up in the marketing, we don’t stop to ask more questions about the source.

How much of education technology reinforces and reinscribes the dominant forces of production and power? Under what circumstances, swayed by which stories, do we not even notice?

De la información al conocimiento... pero en serio

Cuaderno de campo - 17 Mayo, 2015 - 19:58
Con este título publico en el nº 5 (2ª época) de Participación Educativa, la revista que edita el Consejo Escolar del Estado, dedicado al tema "Conocimiento, políticas y prácticas educativas", un artículo sobre usos, abusos y malos usos de la información y la investigación en el mundo educativo. Comprende una reflexión general sobre información y conocimiento en este ámbito y una recensión (ese era el propósito original) de dos revisiones muy distintas sobre la mejora y la innovación: la monumental y muy poco conocida de John Hattie y la tan publicitada como raramente leída de Includ-Ed.



De la información al conocimiento... pero en serio
La avalancha de información sobre la educación llegada de la mano de las evaluaciones internacionales, los datos masivos y la investigación académica y profesional, sumada al ingente acervo de conocimiento tácito propio de la profesión docente, sitúa al educador ante el imperativo práctico de separar el grano de la paja y al investigador ante el imperativo moral de presentar sus resultados en su justo valor. Este trabajo  examina el panorama de la sobrecarga informativa para luego centrarse en dos intentos de síntesis de los resultados internacionales de la investigación científica, Visible Learning y Actuaciones de éxito en las escuelas europleas, cuyo contraste revela la tensión en última instancia entre ciencia e ideología.
Palabras clave: mejora de la educación, innovación educativa, buenas prácticas, investigación educativa,  aprendizaje visible, Hattie, Includ-ed, políticas basadas en evidencia

From information to knowledge... but seriously
The information flood on education coming from international assessments, big data and academic and professional research, now coupled with the enormous legacy of tacit knowledge characteristic of the teaching profession, is placing educators before the practical imperative to separate the wheat from the chaff and academics before the moral imperative to assign research findings their right value. This paper first offers an overview or informational overload and then concentrates in two aatempts to synthetize international research findings, Visible Learning and Actuaciones de éxito en las escuelas europeas, whose contrast reveals the ultimate tension between science and ideology.
Keywords: educational improvement, educational innovation, good practice, educational research, visible learning,  Hattie, Includ-Ed, evidence-based policy
Categorías: General

The coming hundred years, in one hundred words

OLDaily - 17 Mayo, 2015 - 11:17


Kevin Kelly, The Technium, May 17, 2015

Kevin Kelly invited his friends to contribute a 100-word prediction of the world in a hundred years. It's always interesting to think about how I would respond. But first, Kelly: "The most recurring hope/expectation is of a new energy source... Second is the deepening merger of the digital and physical into a holistic internet of everything. The third most common vision is the rise of artificial intelligence and artificially intelligent robots, who transform our economy into one of plenitude and creative work/play. A minor fourth thread is the spread of education in new modes, with universal reach around the globe, and lifelong." And now, here's mine:

We used to think of wood as warm, once, but now we associate the warm glow of glass, ceramics and stone with our home and hearth; they change colour when we touch them, radiate light and warmth, connect us to the world around us (or to our memories, whichever we prefer). Our would of work centres around applying value to decisions; we communicate with our machines and with each other through a mé lange of art and artistry - we live as ethical beings in worlds of fantasy and imagination, each of us the heroes of our own story, and our machines interpret these lives and make the decisions that foster our best selves, provide for our material well-being, and see us as a species grow from seedlings struggling for existence to flowers illuminating the heavens.   

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Categorías: General

Need-to-Know-News: What Will Next Generation Learning Environments Look Like? Two Reports Share Different Views & MOOC sans Lecture Videos

online learning insights - 16 Mayo, 2015 - 18:21
This ‘Need-to-Know’ blog post series features noteworthy stories that speak of need-to-know developments within higher education and K-12 that have the potential to influence, challenge and/or transform traditional education as we know it. 1) EDUCAUSE releases paper “Next Generation Digital … Continue reading →

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