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Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet

OLDaily - 18 Septiembre, 2016 - 21:06


Bruce Schneier, Lawfare, Sept 18, 2016

We need to be prepared for the day the basic internet infrastructure stops working. Because it will, sooner later - maybe for a minute, maybe for a month. How do we communicate with each other without domain name services? How to we engage in commerce without certification and security? "It feels," says Bruce Schneier, "like a nation's military cybercommand trying to calibrate its weaponry in the case of cyberwar." This has been going on for several months. Via Metafilter. Image: Buyvm.

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Categorías: General

Institutions And Openness

OLDaily - 18 Septiembre, 2016 - 21:06


noreply@blogger.com (Stephen Downes), Half an Hour, Sept 18, 2016

People do not value education not because we have educational institutions. Rather, we have educational institutions because people value education. And educational institutions are only one of many ways people support their own education, because what people value is the education, not the institution. The people inside educational institutions often miss that point. We need policies that support education (or, more broadly construed, knowledge and learning). Because these are the things that are valued. And because people value education (and knowledge and learning), I believe they will value open access - indeed, that they have shown this to be the case - even though educational institutions do not. Institutional change, in this context, is about saving the institution. But if the institutions don't change, culture will find another way. It always has.

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Categorías: General

Learning Knowledge and Skills for Agriculture and Rural Livelihood

OLDaily - 18 Septiembre, 2016 - 21:06


Anna Robinson-Pant, UNESCO, Sept 18, 2016

Food for thought. "Young people arrange their learning, livelihoods and social practices according to their needs, lifestyles, traditions and evolving environments. Future farmers learn from their parents and role models. Even with limited literacy skills, young people find ways to benefit from mobile phones to obtain information that they need. When it comes to knowledge and skills for agriculture and rural livelihoods, for many of these young people, schooling plays a relatively minor role. Rather it is valued as a means to pave the way for employment in the formal sector, and to develop their social status and image." 144 page PDF.

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Categorías: General

7 ideas para un compromiso por la educación. 2. Una laicidad ecuménica

Cuaderno de campo - 18 Septiembre, 2016 - 13:04
Publicado en El Diario de la Educación
Ya sé que, para muchos lectores, la expresión que da título a este texto es, sin más, un oxímoron, una combinación imposible. No es extraño, pues, por un lado, son legión quienes creen que la laicidad tiene que excluir la religión, especialmente aquellos que se proclaman laicistas, mientras que el ecumenismo se identifica hoy con la idea de la restauración de la unidad de los cristianos, al menos entre ellos. Sin embargo, las palabras no son del último que las usa, ni de quien lo hace más alto. El origen de la palabra laicoestá en el griego λαϊκός (laikós), a su vez derivado de la raíz λαός (laós), que designa lo común,  que pertenece al pueblo, a todos, a diferencia de lo que pertenece a cualquier grupo diferenciado dentro del mismo; fue en la Edad Media cuando comenzó a utilizarse en contraposición a clérigo o clerical, para designar lo que no era tal, y sólo en la mucho después pasó a designar una política de más o menos estricta separación, sobre todo en referencia al Estado y a la escuela.A su vez, el adjetivo ecuménico viene marcado por el anhelo de restaurar la unidad entre las hoy separadas confesiones procedentes del tronco común cristiano (católicos, protestantes, anglicanos, ortodoxos y otras menores), sin alcanzar siquiera a las grandes religiones emparentadas como el judaísmo o el islam, por no hablar de otras, pero el sentido original del término también fue más amplio, el vocablo griego οἰκουμένη (oikoumenē), el mundo habitado, que los romanos retomaron para designar la totalidad de sus dominios; por eso la definición que da la RAE es, sencillamente, “universal, que se extiende a todo el orbe”. Si se asume esa ambivalencia, entre lo universal per se y la reunificación del cristianismo, quedan en medio, incluidas por tanto, las otras religiones, abrahámicas o no, y, al mismo título, la no religiosidad, es decir, al ateísmo y el agnosticismo en todas sus formas.Entendida como la afirmación de lo común, la laicidad no necesita excluir ni ignorar las religiones, sino tan solo discurrir en paralelo a ellas, que por obra de la historia no son comunes; no necesita, en particular, combatir la religión ni tratarla como sinónimo de sinrazón; puede ser una laicidad tolerante, abierta, respetuosa e incluso hospitalaria y colaborativa, es decir, ecuménica. La religión, por su parte, tampoco necesita tratar a los otros creyentes ni a los no creyentes como infieles o pecadores; bien al contrario, puede incluirlos en su vocación ecuménica, yendo más allá de las doctrinas diferenciadas a los elementos comunes de la moral; filósofos de origen tan distinto como A. Schaff o J.G. Caffarena confluyeron en la idea de un humanismo ecuménico.En España, por desgracia, está demasiado presente la implicación de la religión y la antirreligión en los conflictos sociales, sobre todo en la pasada guerra civil. Cada parte tiene su propio catálogo de agravios, pero ya va siendo hora de dejar atrás tanto los ataques anarcocomunistas a los templos como la bendición del alzamiento franquista por la jerarquía católica. Ya hemos tenido suficiente de eso como para que, cada vez que se discute sobre laicidad, religión, etc., se rememoren los viejos agravios, pues, como resumió Ruiz de Alarcón, el agravio busca siempre venganza.¿Es posible un compromiso? Me atrevo a decir que lo es, sin ningún género de dudas, y eso es lo que trato de resumir en la fórmula de la laicidad ecuménica. La escuela, no importa su titularidad ni su orientación, es en todo caso una institución que debe, en parte, servir a los intereses generales, sobre todo a la convivencia. No emplearé tiempo en justificar que esto significa laicidad, entendida como un énfasis en lo común. Por lo tanto, las creencias, incluidas las religiones y sus negaciones, deben quedar fuera del núcleo institucional, entendiendo por tal el currículum, la evaluación y el horario correspondiente. De no ser así, cada escuela confesional excluiría de derecho o de hecho a los alumnos de otras confesiones, incurriría cuando menos en un sesgo adoctrinador y no podría ser el microcosmos de la sociedad que, como institución pública, debe ser. En el caso español, esto requiere la revisión del Concordato con la Santa Sede (en cualquier caso, que un currículum nacional se vea determinado por un tratado internacional con un miniestado tan peculiar resulta algo estrafalario). Pero esto no quiere decir que la religión salga fuera de la escuela.El objetivo laicista de separar estrictamente escuela y religión deriva de la identificación de la primera con la enseñanza y de la segunda con el adoctrinamiento; y las dos ecuaciones son verdad, pero sólo parte de la verdad, pues la escuela es más que la enseñanza y el conocimiento de la religión no sirve solo al adoctrinamiento. Al propugnar el sacerdocio universal, la reforma protestante sentó las bases para la privatización de la religión y, a pesar de una primera proliferación de iglesias nacionales, identificadas con las monarquías de turno, para la separación entre la iglesia y el estado. El ideal educativo laicista, identificable con la école unique de la III República francesa, ha sido siempre la estricta evacuación de la religión de las instituciones públicas. Hay y ha habido otras versiones de la laicidad, como la resignada neutralidad norteamericana o el anticlericalismo de los regímenes comunistas, pero el laicismo español bebe sobre todo de la primera fuente (con aromas de la tercera). La idea pudo ser muy razonable en la Francia republicana hostigada por el legitimismo, pero el mundo actual es otro. Cuando escribo esto, Francia vive consternada por los atentados yihadistas de sus propios ciudadanos, mantiene el nivel de alerta máximo e interviene en la guerra contra DAESH en Siria. Se pueden discutir los detalles, pero parece claro que el proyecto de reducir la religión a una actividad privada ha fracasado.En el mundo actual, en el que la religión es el motivo proclamado del principal conflicto internacional, al menos para el bando que tiene la iniciativa, línea de fractura de numerosas contiendas civiles (Yugoslavia, Chechenia, Líbano, Somalia, Sudán, Nigeria…, sin olvidar Irlanda del Norte) y un poderoso elemento de movilización terrorista en Europa, Asia y África, parece difícil de justificar que la escuela se mantenga al margen. La respuesta más elemental es que las grandes religiones, en las dosis y las formas adecuadas, sean objeto de estudio en las aulas. No discutiré aquí cómo, en qué dosis, con qué estatus curricular, a qué edad, etc., básicamente porque queda más allá de mi competencia, pero sí diré que la enseñanza sobre las religiones ha de versar sobre los hechos religiosos, y que al decir tal no me refiero ni a sus blasones (eso queda para sus propias actividades educativas) ni a sus baldones (eso, si es relevante, queda para la historia y las ciencias sociales), sino a lo que ellas mismas dicen de sí y, de acuerdo con ello, hacen: creencias, ritos, tabúes... Esta es la base de la comprensión, la tolerancia y el respeto mutuos, a la vez que probablemente el mejor antídoto contra el adoctrinamiento excluyente.Por otra parte, la escuela es mucho más que la enseñanza. En particular, por más que esta idea pueda desagradar a muchos profesores poco seguros de su función, es la institución encargada parcialmente de la custodia de los menores. Esto hace que, además de la enseñanza propiamente dicha, albergue toda otra serie de actividades que combinan en distintas proporciones las funciones de cuidado y formación, incluidas muchas para las que simplemente aporta un recinto seguro y que son gestionadas por otras instituciones (p.e. municipales), por asociaciones (p.e. ONG), por las familias o por los propios alumnos. Aquí puede encajar perfectamente, en todas las instituciones escolares, la formación confesional: en el recinto escolar, al amparo de la escuela y cercana al horario escolar aunque, como ya he dicho, fuera de este horario, del currículum oficial y de la evaluación, y para los alumnos cuyas familias así lo elijan (o, a partir de cierta edad, si ellos mismos lo hacen). Anticipo decenas de objeciones laicistas y de protestas confesionalistas, pues para los militantes de ambos bandos esto sería rendirse al otro, pero, a reserva de ser afinada, me parece una buena base para un compromiso ampliamente mayoritario.¿Por qué iba una escuela pública-estatal a aceptar la formación religiosa? Primero porque, en las condiciones propuestas, es difícil imaginar qué se gana con no hacerlo, es decir, con forzar a alumnos y familias a obtenerla fuera. Segundo, porque, hablando de menores, albergar la formación religiosa en el mismo recinto escolar es reducir los riesgos, la polución atmosférica y el tiempo de traslado de alumnos y progenitores asociados a no hacerlo. Tercero, porque resulta difícil justificar que los centros puedan albergar cerámica, fútbol, taekwondo, manga o cualquier otra actividad extraescolar pero no la formación religiosa que muchas personas consideran irrenunciable. Cuarto, porque, cuando la religión se ha convertido en combustible para conflictos a menudo violentos y algunas religiones, o algunos de sus seguidores, apuestan por llevarlas a la política, traerlas al espacio escolar es ganar transparencia para todos y apertura para sus pupilos. Quinto, porque eso daría satisfacción suficiente al art. 27.2 de la Constitución Española: "Los poderes públicos garantizan el derecho que asiste a los padres para que sus hijos reciban la formación religiosa y moral que esté de acuerdo con sus propias convicciones".¿Por qué iba la escuela concertada o privada a aceptar separar la formación religiosa de la enseñanza reglada? Si no falta quien vocifera o incluso quien mata por motivos religiosos, no cabe esperar que todo el mundo esté de acuerdo, pero son muchos los centros de origen o de adscripción religiosa que ya respetan las distintas distintas y que apenas dan una formación religiosa de baja intensidad, y no son pocos los que se declaran laicos o aconfesionales. Una fe sincera difícilmente puede conjugarse con la imposición o con la exclusión activa del conocimiento de otras creencias. En todo caso, para las escuelas privadas y concertadas sería una mala estrategia guiarse por las solas opiniones de sus titulares, siendo mucho más prudente atender a las preferencias de su público, que en cada caso está formado por cientos de familias, y estas confluirán siempre más fácilmente en fórmulas que se muestren capaces de integrar distintas sensibilidades.
                                                 
Categorías: General

Thoughts on “Digital divide 4.0” – Part Four: How to bridge the gap between formal and informal learning?

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 18 Septiembre, 2016 - 12:23

With my three latest posts I have presented reflections on “Digital Divide 4.0” (regarding the concept, see the first post). These reflections have been inspired by recent experiences with fieldwork for our ongoing EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project and in particular with its key product the Learning Toolbox (LTB). In my second post I discussed, how this concept reflects the initial difficulties of our project work in the construction sector training centre Bau-ABC.

In this post I shift the emphasis to another part of the German vocational education and training (VET) system – to vocational schools. This is partly triggered by a recent working meeting with a vocational school teacher, who wondered, why their school was not included into our project.  Indeed, for us in ITB and in the training centre Bau-ABC it is a key issue, how to bridge gaps between formal and informal learning when developing workplace-based learning. In my short answer I referred to the funding priorities that emphasised strongly the promotion of informal learning (and SMEs as target groups). In order to understand this it is useful to look back at the development of earlier policies to promote e-Learning or Technology-Enhanced Learning (on the one hand) and initiatives to promote professional development of teachers and trainers in VET (on the other hand). Yet, we need to ask, why the conceptual gap between parallel earlier policies and initiatives has remained. Moreover, we should reflect, how our work in the LL project could help to bridge the gaps.

Background: Earlier e-Learning as ‘alternative’ for institutionalised education and training

Looking back at the educational initiatives in 1980s and 1990s there was a gradual movement in efforts to create new opportunities for open learning. This was reflected in the terminology – ‘remote learning’, ‘distance learning’, ‘open distance learning (ODL)’, ‘blended learning’ – all these referred to different steps and measures to open access to education and learning. Suddenly, at the end of 1990s and at the brink of the ‘New Millennium’ there was a great hype on ‘eLearning‘. In the newer initiatives there was a clear tendency to push the institutionalised education (and the adult education movement) aside. Some protagonists tried to bring forward private providers and new ‘career spaces’ via commercial eLearning programs as the innovation leaders. This was reflected in the separate European funding opportunities for e-Learning of that time. However, concerning the projects on the uses of e-Learning by work organisations, I remember that they concluded that the take on eLearning provisions was low. Instead, wider European surveys – like the the ones of the project “ICT and SMEs” – provided valuable information on the ways that SMEs actually used to support (organisational) learning.

Shift of emphasis: Teachers and trainers in VET as ‘key actors for lifelong learning’

Whilst the above mentioned developments emerged from fringe areas in education and training policies, the next wave – the follow-up of the EU Lisbon Summit 2000 – was part of an overarching development of EU policies. In the field of education and training this took shape firstly in the European Commission strategy document Education and Training 2010 and the aim was to promote a digital learning culture to support global competitiveness of European economy. In the first phase this follow-up was promoted by European working groups and supported by commissioned follow-up studies. In particular the follow-up study for the Maastricht meeting in 2004 drew attention that the engagement of teachers and trainers (notably in vocational education and training (VET) was lagging behind regarding the promotion of digital learning culture.

This gave rise for the European Commission to introduce new initiatives to stimulate trans-national cooperation and European exchanges with different formats: the Eurotrainer surveys, the TTplus framework project, the network ‘Trainers in Europe’, the policy-makers’ Peer Learning seminars and the Europe-wide series of ‘regional’ consultation seminars for different stakeholder groups. Altogether these measures increased the European knowledge basis on VET teacher education and training of trainers across Europe. However, these activities did not provide a basis for common qualification frameworks – instead they recommended the continuation of such participative dialogue forums with emphasis on learning lessons from recent innovations.

Another shift of emphasis: Focus on digital media and mobile technologies to support informal learning

In the meantime the development of web technologies and the spread of mobile devices had given new impulses for technology-enhanced learning. This became manifest in the wider use of online learning platforms, e-portfolios and open educational resources (OER). Now, there was less talk of sidelining the educational establishments but promoting specific initiatives (the networks of open universities) or by joint services (for consortia of member universities). Parallel to this there was a need to explore, how new forms of online learning could be promoted in working life, in particular in such occupations that were characterised by SMEs (and not catered for by university-industry alliances). Partly, the newer policy priorities were looking for genuinely work- and organisation-based modes of (informal) learning, partly for ways to reduce training costs by promoting flexible learning alongside work.

The experience with Learning Layers: The role of trainers and facilitators as change agents

In my two previous posts I have discussed the issue ‘digital divide’ in its current forms (“Digital divide 4.0”) in general and in the light of our fieldwork in the Learning Layers project. Also, I have given insights, how we have made progress with our application partners in the construction sector training centre Bau-ABC and in the network for ecological construction work (NNB). In both cases we have not relied on stand-alone tools or self-learning of practitioners (with the help of online tutorials). With the Learning Toolbox we have managed to develop – in a co-design process with the users – an integrative toolset that meets several basic needs and is easy to expand by the users themselves. Also, we have trained the pioneering users in joint learning sessions to work as peer tutors and mentors in their own communites and networks. However, the wider use has always been dependent on the interest of new users (and anticipation of practical benefits for them). Here, the success factor is to introduce Learning Toolbox as one instrument to promote knowledge sharing, coordination of tasks and real-time communication – and in this way work-related and organisational learning.

Follow-up: What role for teachers and trainers in promoting digital agenda in vocational education?

In the light of the above we (the partners working with the construction pilot of the LL project) have good reasons to consider, what role could teachers in vocational schools play in the follow-up phase. In the German dual system there is a constant challenge to improve cooperation between the fundamental learning venues: enterprise (workplace and the intermediate training centre) and school. In this respect the Learning Toolbox will offer new prospects. Also, the new importance of European mobility schemes (training of apprentices from Spain, Greece etc. in Germany) and the integration schemes for refugees provide new challenges for teachers and trainers in VET. Here, we believe that the introduction of Learning Toolbox could help different parties work together. I will get back to these issues soon.

More blogs to come …

Who are the founding fathers of distance education?

Tony Bates - 18 Septiembre, 2016 - 05:42

Steve Wheeler’s interview: click on the image to see the video

Steve Wheeler interviewed three old guys, Michael Moore, Sir John Daniel and myself, at the EDEN conference in Budapest this summer, and has posted the video under the title of ‘Learn from three founding fathers of distance education‘.

While it’s very gracious of Steve to lump me in with Sir John and Michael, who have certainly been major movers and shakers in distance education, I don’t think any of us would claim to be a founding father. Although we are all very old, distance education existed long before any of us got involved in it.

So let’s play a little game: who do you think are the fathers (or mothers) of distance education?

I’ll start off by supplying my list and I will be asking Sir John and Michael to add theirs.

1. Isaac Pitman

Pitman as a younger man

An authority no less than Wikipedia states:

The first distance education course in the modern sense was provided by Sir Isaac Pitman in the 1840s, who taught a system of shorthand by mailing texts transcribed into shorthand on postcards and receiving transcriptions from his students in return for correction. The element of student feedback was a crucial innovation of Pitman’s system. This scheme was made possible by the introduction of uniform postage rates across England in 1840.

In fact, Wikipedia has a pretty good description of the history of distance education, and my second choice is also highlighted in the same Wikipedia entry.

2. The University of London External Program

I am a proud alumnus of the University of London, having done my doctorate in educational administration at the University of London Institute of Education (recently merged with University College London).

Wikipedia states:

The University of London was the first university to offer distance learning degrees, establishing its External Programme in 1828….the External Programme was chartered by Queen Victoria in 1858, making the University of London the first university to offer distance learning degrees to students……This program is now known as the University of London International Programme and includes Postgraduate, Undergraduate and Diploma degrees created by colleges such as the London School of Economics, Royal Holloway and Goldsmiths.

Unfortunately I have no knowledge of the individuals who originally created the University of London External Programme back in 1828. It’s a worthy research project for anyone interested in the history of distance education.

I was once (mid-1960s) a correspondence tutor for students taking undergraduate psychology courses in the External Programme. In those days, the university would publish a curriculum (a list of topics) and provide a reading list. Students could sit an exam when they felt they were ready. Students paid tutors such as myself to help them with their studies. I would find old exam papers for the course, and set questions for individual students, and they would send me their answers and I would mark them. Many students were in British Commonwealth countries and it could take weeks after students sent in their essays before my feedback eventually got back to them. Not surprisingly, in those days completion rates in the programme were very low.

The programme today is completely different,using a combination of study materials and online learning resources designed to foster active learning. There are even university-approved local tutors in many countries around the world. The program has more than 50,000 students enrolled.

Note though that teaching and examining in the original Extension Programme were disaggregated (those teaching it were different from those examining it), contract tutors separate from the main faculty were used, and students studied individually and took exams when ready. So many of the ‘new’ developments in distance education such as disaggregation, self-directed learning, and many of the elements of competency-based learning are in fact over 150 years old.

3. Chuck Wedemeyer

In the fall of 1969, I joined the first staff of the Open University, working in offices in an old Georgian building in Belgrave Square, central London. I knew nothing about distance education (I was hired as a researcher) and was advised to go to a talk being given by a slight, stooped American. His name was Chuck Wedemeyer and he was the first to develop a modern pedagogy that was unique to distance education. Here’s an extract from the Mildred and Charles A. Wedemeyer Award site. (I had the honour of sharing the award with Michael Moore in 1995.)

Charles Wedemeyer, W.H. Lighty Professor of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is considered a father of modern distance education.

An enthusiastic instructor, in the early 1930’s Wedemeyer used the University of Wisconsin’s radio station to broadcast English lessons and expand access for those otherwise excluded from the education system. As a World War II naval instructor he created effective teaching methods for thousands of sailors deployed around the world.

As Director of the University of Wisconsin’s Correspondence Study Program (1954-1964) Wedemeyer and his graduate students initiated a number of research projects on learning theory and the sociology of independent learners. The work advanced a new discipline in the field of education by integrating adult, distance, open and independent learning with instructional systems design, and applications of instructional technology, organizational development, and evaluation.

In 1965, Wedemeyer predicted today’s e-Learning:

“…the extension student of the future will probably not ‘attend’ classes; rather, the opportunities and processes of learning will come to him. He will learn at home, at the office, on the job, in the factory, store, or salesroom, or on the farm.”

“…the teacher will reach students not only in his own state or region but nationally as well, since the media and methods employed by him in teaching will remove barriers of space and time in learning…”

Charles A. Wedemeyer, 1965/1966,
Brandenburg Memorial Essays

4. Harold Wilson and Jennie Lee

Harold Wilson was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and from 1974 to 1976. Jennie Lee was Minister for the Arts in Wilson’s 1964-1970 Labour government. Between them they were responsible for creating the U.K. Open University.

It may seem odd to credit politicians for the development of distance education, but the Open University was first and foremost a political idea based on opening up higher education to all (it was after all a Socialist government that created it). It was initially hotly opposed by the Conservative Party (one of its senior shadow ministers called it ‘blithering nonsense’), although when Mrs. Thatcher came to power in 1970, she was less hostile and eventually supported it (it fitted nicely with her self-made philosophy – she had taken a University of London External Degree programme).

Harold Wilson had the vision (originally a ‘University of the Air’) and Jennie Lee had the political smarts to drive through all the legislation and planning and ensured that it would be created as a quality university that would strive for the highest standards of teaching and research.

Jennie Lee at the Open University

5. Sir Walter Perry

Left to right: Mary Wilson, Sam Crooks, Walter Perry, Harold Wilson: they are looking at the OU’s course texts

I could have included Sir Walter with Harold Wilson and Jennie Lee, but as the founding Vice-Chancellor of the U.K. Open University Walter Perry more than anyone really created the U.K. Open University as it came to be recognised. He never wavered from the vision, and was adamant about establishing the highest possible academic standards for OU courses and programs, but he was also the ultimate pragmatist, able to get things done and make it work.

He had to negotiate with sometimes hostile governments and uncomprehending civil servants (one top bureaucrat questioned the OU’s first budget, asking where the cost of lecture halls was). Perry also had to establish a practical and mutually beneficial relationship with the BBC, and persuade the traditional universities not only to support the OU but also to collaborate with it (the OU made heavy use of contracted faculty from the regular institutions to create its courses).

He also had to work with an unwieldy Senate that included every faculty member and all the regional staff tutors and counsellors. (A visiting American university President said to him after a particularly frustrating Senate meeting: ‘Walt, you have the perfect university: no students.’ Perry replied: ‘ Aye, and it would be a bloody site better if there were no faculty, either.’)

Perry’s ultimate achievement was to get distance education recognised as a high standard, cost-effective, and academically valid way of teaching and learning.

Over to you

That’s my list. There are many others I could have included from Jesus Christ for his Epistles to the Corinthians to J.C. Stobart, who first introduced educational radio broadcasting (accompanied by broadcast notes published with The Radio Times) at the BBC in 1924, or those who set up the University of South Africa in 1945.

Who would be on your list of founding fathers?

(Remember, the statement used by Steve Wheeler was ‘fathers of distance education’, not online learning. Should those who developed the first online courses and programs be considered separately?)

So please send in your nominations, with your rationale.

Thoughts on “Digital divide 4.0” – Part Three: Discussions on the use of Learning Toolbox at construction sites

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 17 Septiembre, 2016 - 18:11

With my two latest posts I have presented reflections on “Digital Divide 4.0” (regarding the concept, see the first post ). These reflections have been inspired by recent experiences with fieldwork for our ongoing EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project and in particular with its key product the Learning Toolbox (LTB). In my previous post I discussed, how this concept reflects the initial difficulties of our project work in the construction sector training centre Bau-ABC – and how our collaboration helped the trainers to become innovation leaders with LTB. In this post I shift the emphasis to our other application partners – the network for ecological construction work (Netzwerk Nachhaltiges Bauen – NNB) and craft trade companies in building and construction.

Revisiting the Learning Toolbox Workshop with craft trade companies (8.9.2016)

One week ago  ITB organised a workshop on Learning Toolbox in which Thomas Isselhard from NNB presented, how he has started using the Toolbox and representatives of craft trade companies from Bremen region discussed, what benefits the Toolbox could bring to them. In my earlier blog post I have already reported of this event on the basis of my first impressions. Now I have had the chance to revisit this experience when editing the video material from the event. In particular I have been inspired by the way Thomas Isselhard has explained, how he has overcome his own doubts about ‘yet another tool’ and how he has been able to introduce the Toolbox as a joint instrument for coordinating the work and sharing information in real time.

Using the Toolbox to manage a construction site in Verden – challenges and possibilities

Looking again at the video material on Thomas Isselhard’s presentation it strikes me, how many points he makes on the transition phase: “Why should I start using the Toolbox and what could it bring to me/us in charge of construction sites?”. He starts with the simple things to be coordinated with the help of the Toolbox – lists of contractors and partners as well as the distribution of tasks between different parties. He gives insights into difficulties in coping with changing plans and versions of plans in the traditional way – with paper documents and communication via phone calls and e-mails. In this way we get an insight into the advantages of real-time communication, coordinated version management and notification of changes – all enabled via Learning Toolbox. (See below the edited short video on Thomas Isselhard’s presentation – in German but with subtitles in English):

Getting used to working with the Toolbox – starting with simple steps that make sense

In the other video Thomas Isselhard discusses with Werner Müller (ITB) and Gilbert Peffer (CIMNE), how to get other actors interested in using the Toolbox. Thomas emphasised how they started in their own organisation – by simple content tiles and by replicating the standard processes and the filing systems that they were used to (even using the same colours for same contents). In the network for ecological construction work he addressed the young professionals in the partner organisations to get them working as the pioneers for introducing the Toolbox. When starting a cooperation with a contractor on a construction site Thomas links the introduction of the Toolbox to the instruction to the task (uploading with a QR-code) In this context he explains, how the Toolbox can be used to follow the updates of the plans and to give feedback on the progress with the contractor’s work. Whilst the use of Toolbox has been introduced as a service provided by the planners (architects, construction site managers), the real benefit lies in the interactive use of all parties involved. (See below the edited short video on the discussion – in German but with subtitles in English):

Concluding remarks

I guess this is enough of this part of the workshop and on the videos on Thomas’ presentation and the immediate discussion. Whilst the previous post looked at a lengthy co-design, preparation and deployment process (in Bau-ABC), these samples give insights into a quick transition into active use. Also, it is interesting to see, how Thomas is able to demonstrate the smooth entry to using Toolbox and the benefits it can offer in the day-to-day cooperation in construction work. (This was taken up in the further discussion in the workshop but I need to have a fresh look at the video recordings before continuing my reporting on that part.) In the meantime I will discuss the role of vocational school teachers as potential users and promoters of the Learning Toolbox.

More blogs to come … 

 

The Mobile And Social Learning Tools Of Today

Moodle News - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 19:57
In the past few years we have seen a significant increase in the types of training delivery methods available to businesses technology that is emerging and is both social and mobile has transformed...

Chillenium Pits College-Level Game Developers Against One Another

Campus Technology - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 18:00
Students from 12 universities will gather on the Texas A&M University's College Station, TX, campus the weekend of Sept. 23 for the Chillenium, in which teams of college students compete to build the best gaming software.

Loyola University Maryland Wins Grant to Build HPC Cluster for Research

Campus Technology - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 17:55
Loyola University Maryland has been awarded a $280,120 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build its first high-performance computing (HPC) cluster, which will be used for faculty and student research across disciplines.

A Design for Learning

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 17:54

A design for learning? Learning experiences for the post-digital world from Peter Bryant

“We learn through experience; the abstract can only take us so far” says Peter Bryant from London School of Economics in the blog entry accompanying this presentation.  “Whether it is environmental, tactile, mental, affective, emotional or physical, learning experiences are the context in which learning and knowledge come together. Learning experiences are the art and design component of curriculum development.”

Working Places and Learning Spaces (Part 2)

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 17:29

Below is part two of my series on Working Places and Learning Spaces. Meanwhile Angela Rees, Steve Wheeler and Colin Milligan have both produced their own photos and reflections on their learning spaces. Feel free to join in. You can find the original idea for the meme here.

With new technologies, many conversations take place today over the internet. And those technologies help us develop and curate Personal Learning Networks. Yet face to face conversations can be more animated informal and allow wider ranging conversations. It is notable that many people say the best learning at conferences and meetings take place in the coffee breaks and in the evenings.

Sometimes I contact people in advance to meet up for a chat. Other times such meetings happen by chance. Sometimes meetings are with friends I have met and worked with before, sometimes with more distant contacts. And sometimes they are with friends and family.

This picture is of me with Jose Luis Garcia, a professor from the Complutense University of Madrid. I have worked with him on projects in the past, he is my girlfriends father and a good friend. The working space was simply my living room in Valencia. We had dinner together and afterwards were talking. I told him I was interested in learning spaces and explained the background to the Institute of Education’s project which kicked off a wide ranging discussion which went on late into the night. He told me about his interest in the idea of ‘mobilities’ which he saw as similar to spaces.

I wrote a series of notes – on the back of an envelope. Technology often gets in the way of conversations like this –the only problem with hand written notes being my terrible handwriting.

Learning like this happens in informal spaces – bars, restaurants, coffee houses and so on. With one friend and colleague we have on a number of occasions organised walks. We walk and talk – stop at a bar and make notes and then walk and talk again. But more often such conversations are more serendipitous than planned.

The photo is a selfie. There was no-one else present to take the photo and I wanted both of us in that. The photo does not show much of the space we are in – and that is the point –it really does not matter as long as we are have a space in which we are both comfortable.

 

7 ideas para un compromiso por la educación: 1. Institucionalidad concertada

Cuaderno de campo - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 14:48
Publicado en El Diario de la EducaciónLa escolarización es un servicio público. Si dejamos de lado minucias como su imposición (obligatoriedad), la objeción o la escolarización en casa, su carácter de derecho subjetivo irrenunciable y su función de integración social han hecho de la escuela una institución en sentido estricto (el mismo en que lo son un juzgado, un psiquiátrico o una prisión). ¿Quiere eso decir que deba ser de titularidad y gestión públicas? En mi opinión es la opción más deseable, pero no la única posible, ni la única aceptable, ni siempre y en todo caso la mejor. Gas, agua, electricidad, telefonía y transporte de personas son ejemplos de servicios públicos, el acceso a muchos de los cuales consideramos o podríamos o deberíamos considerar un derecho, que lo mismo están en manos públicas o privadas, en este caso en régimen de concesión y con una regulación especial. Es verdad que estos suministros y servicios no atañen a nuestras conciencias, como sí lo hace la educación, pero tampoco es esta la única. La prensa y otros medios de comunicación de masas, esenciales para la libertad y la democracia, son mucho más privados que públicos y, sin negar valor a estos últimos, no creo que nadie añore épocas en que fueron los únicos o los principales. La internet también es abrumadoramente de gestión privada, lo cual –a pesar de las voces apocalípticas de comienzos de los noventa, cuando dejó de ser la exclusiva de ejércitos y universidades y se abrió a las empresas– ha sido, sin duda ninguna, una bendición para todos. Por su lugar histórico en la formación del estado del bienestar y presente en la arena política, y por su relevancia a largo plazo para la vida de las personas, lo más parecido al sistema educativo es el sistema de salud: pues bien, en España del total de ocupados en la enseñanza o la sanidad, trabajan en el sector estatal en sentido estricto (público en el lenguaje de la calle), respectivamente, el 53.5 y el 38.4% (datos de la EPA 2016T2); lógicamente, en el sector estrictamente privado (no concertado) se concentran ofertas para demandas que el público no satisface, como la medicina estética o la enseñanza de idiomas.Con esto no quiero decir, ni de lejos, que deba privatizarse la educación, pero si es usted maniqueo, si no distingue grises entre blanco y negro, y no ha dejado todavía de leer este artículo, hágalo ya. No emplearé otro largo párrafo ahora en criticar la idea de que toda educación deba ser privada, no porque no sea igualmente cuestionable o más sino, sencillamente, porque es marginal y no hace falta. A diferencia de lo que sucede en el sector público, donde abundan sindicatos, plataformas, asociaciones pedagógicas y otras instancias de vocación representativa que defienden la supresión, inmediata o gradual, de la escuela privada o de su financiación pública, en el privado y concertado nadie tiene una pretensión simétrica ni parecida. Hace tiempo, en medio de un debate con algunos fundamentalistas de la educación pública (funcionarios, por supuesto), obtuve de MUFACE una información poco conocida: en el año 2000, 88% de los maestros y 76% de los profesores de secundaria del sector público (estatal) eligieron como proveedores de asistencia sanitaria a las llamadas entidades colaboradoras (la concertada, o privada financiada con fondos públicos, del sector). Quien quiera y sepa, que juzgue con este dato el alcance de algunas defensas de lo público. Pero volvamos a la cuestión.En un mundo perfecto correspondería al Estado, como representante del interés general, ofrecer, a través de la escuela pública, una educación de calidad, en libertad y con equidad. Esa es, al menos, mi idea, pero tiene dos problemas: que el mundo no es perfecto y que hay otras ideas de la perfección. El primer sistema escolar público y universal en Europa fue el prusiano, a mediados del siglo XIX, y su producto más destacado fue un ejército del que todo el continente tendría noticias durante un siglo. El segundo fue el francés, también decimonónico, creado, tras la derrota de 1870, para combatir a ese enemigo exterior y a otros dos interiores: el legitimismo monárquico, en gran medida aliado con la iglesia católica, y la movimiento revolucionario, que prefería autoeducarse. El tercero, ya en pleno siglo XX, fue la common school norteamericana, que Mann plagió de Prusia para asimilar la inmigración y a la que un contexto de fuerte autonomía local impidió ser instrumento del gobierno, pero también empujó un parroquialismo asfixiante y a fuertes desigualdades económicas y étnicas. España plasmó varias veces, desde 1812, la idea sobre el papel, pero siempre sin medios, creando un sistema que combinaría algunas instituciones bien equipadas (los institutos de enseñanzas medias y parte de las escuelas primarias) con otras misérrimas (las escuelas rurales, de barrios de aluvión o de continuación de estudios) o inexistentes. De hecho, la escolarización no llegó a ser realmente universal hasta la década de 1980. Como resultado del desarrollo raquítico de la administración estatal, la desigualdad social y el gran peso de la iglesia católica, para entonces la escuela privada comprendía ya aproximadamente un tercio del alumnado, proporción en la que se ha mantenido hasta hoy con pequeñas oscilaciones. Esto la convierte en uno de los países desarrollados con mayor peso de la enseñanza privada: triple que la media de la OCDE, doble que en países como Dinamarca, Francia, Hungría, Reino Unido o Estados Unidos, aunque menos que Australia, Holanda y Bélgica. La gestión privada de escuelas financiadas con fondos públicos, siempre controvertida, está no obstante al alza en países como Suecia, Estados Unidos, Reino Unido y Nueva Zelanda.Esa relación de uno a dos de la privada o concertada con la pública se mantenido a pesar de que –o precisamente porque­– unos gobiernos han empujado ligeramente en un sentido y otros en otro, tanto a escala nacional como autonómica. Esos ligeros o menos ligeros empujoncitos, no obstante, han provocado siempre airadas respuestas de la otra parte, desde las guerras escolares alentadas por la iglesia (y no solo) contra los gobiernos socialistas hasta las fuertes movilizaciones encabezadas por las organizaciones de intereses de la pública (y no solo) contra las leyes de los gobiernos conservadores (LOCE y LOMCE). Hoy gobierna la derecha y se moviliza el funcionariado con una retórica de izquierda que vuelve a avanzar el objetivo de suprimir los conciertos, pero dudo que quienes lo reclaman comprendan el alcance y la gravedad de lo que reclaman, pues saiendo un tercio del alumnado parece idea poco sensata pretender dar tal vuelco al status quo, menos aún hacerlo con unos poquitos diputados de mayoría absoluta o relativa (sin olvidar el sesgo mayoritario de la representación parlamentaria) y mucho menos hacerlo contra este tercio demográfico que, guste o no, son en general las familias de mayor nivel económico, educativo y participativo.Tal vez un día llegue un consenso ampliamente mayoritario en torno a la idea de que la escuela debe ser gestionada por el Estado, o tal vez lo contrario, pero, mientras tanto, parece más razonable intentar fortalecer un sistema público con los mimbres de que disponemos: público por su institucionalidad, por sus objetivos, por su financiación y por su composición. Los dos primeros elementos ya están dados, aunque sean siempre mejorables; el segundo en gran medida, salvo el sector estrictamente privado; el cuarto no lo está, y va a peor. Al decir públicopor su composición me refiero a que todo centro escolar debe ser un microcosmos de la sociedad, integrando a personas de distinto género, clase social e identidad étnica. Es cierto que no cabe hacer muestrarios de alumnos para satisfacer las proporciones globales en cada centro sin sacrificar otros objetivos (por ejemplo, la proximidad y cualquier grado de elección), pero sí eliminar toda discriminación y exigir un nivel adecuado de diversidad y, sobre todo, de inclusión de alumnado con necesidades especiales. La contrapartida es dotar de los medios necesarios para ello.Queda todavía la escuela propiamente privada. Siempre me ha resultado curioso que la izquierda y las organizaciones corporativas de la enseñanza pública reclamen solo que no vaya un euro del presupuesto público a la privada, no que toda institución escolar sea de titularidad pública, lo que revela que es más una pugna por los recursos que por un modelo de sociedad. Yo creo que, como parte de la institucionalidad educativa, los actuales centros privados también deben asumir, en las enseñanzas regladas, su función social, y esto podría hacerse integrándolos como concertados en las mismas condiciones que el resto, sufragando el acceso de otros alumnos o exigiéndoles asumir por sí mismos el coste de este.Bien podríamos llamar a esto una institucionalidad concertada: la LODE acertó al eliminar la idea de subvención, en la que no hay contrapartidas por parte del subvencionado, y no caer en la de concesión, pues tampoco se trata de admitir la mera explotación de un bien público. El concierto, por el contrario, supone que hay otros actores particulares y sociales que pueden ofrecer el servicio en términos equiparables a los de la administración y que aceptan subordinarse a la política educativa general. Pero no hablo aquí de conciertos singulares sino de concertación en general, con un alcance como el que se dio al término (concertación social) para los acuerdos sobre empleo de los ochenta; es decir, de la incorporación de los actores no estatales a la institucionalidad educativa, como entonces se hizo a la legislación laboral. Y estos actores pueden incluir, en todo caso, fundaciones, cooperativas, sociedades laborales, mutualidades y otras fórmulas de organización sin fines de lucro.
Finalmente, hay otra dimensión necesaria para la concertación. Dos tercios de la escolaridad reglada no universitaria siguen siendo estatales (públicos) y teóricamente están sujetos a un gobierno concertado entre los distintos actores del sistema, a través de los consejos escolares (de centro y territoriales). En la práctica, no obstante, tales consejos se configuraron de tal modo que siempre estuvieron dominados por los docentes, con mayoría numérica y más aún un predominio presupuesto (hoy la ley da mayor peso a la administración, lo que se ha denunciado como un déficit de democracia en los centros, pero lo cierto es que nunca hubo en estos otra democracia real que la del claustro). Esto en una institución que, como apuntamos al principio, no solo representa un derecho sino también una obligación, una imposición y la institucionalización masiva de la población, o sea, el sometimiento de unas personas (alumnos) a otras (educadores). Este carácter obligatorio y potencialmente coercitivo requiere por sí mismo su concertación con las familias que representan a los primeros, es decir, empoderar a estas lo suficiente para que aspectos cruciales de la macro y micropolítica educativa no puedan decidirse sin ellas.
Categorías: General

Thoughts on “Digital divide 4.0” – Part Two: Observations on the uses of Learning Toolbox in Bau-ABC

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 14:18

With my latest post I started a series of reflections on the concept “Digital Divide 4.0” (see my previous post ). These reflections have been inspired by recent experiences with fieldwork for our ongoing EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project and in particular with its key product the Learning Toolbox (LTB).  In particular these thoughts have been triggered by our LTB workshops (covered in my earlier posts) and our working visit to the construction sector training centre Bau-ABC. With this blog I try to give insights into our observations on ‘digital divide 4.0’ in the beginning phase of the LL project and into the role of our project work in overcoming such divides. Here I would like to emphasist the role of participative design processes, capacity-building measures and the user-driven deployment of LTB in the training activities of Bau-ABC.

Findings on the use of digital tools and mobile apps in the early phase of the LL project

In the beginning phase of the LL project the ITB team carried out several interviews among Bau-ABC trainers and representatives of craft trade companies regarding their use of digital tools, web platforms and mobile apps. Likewise, we carried out (in collaboration with Bau-ABC) a user survey among the Bau-ABC apprentices.

Without going into details, both the interviews and the survey gave a picture of a scattered landscape of stand-alone tools, apps and platforms. The trainers and company representatives had looked at different sites but were not convinced of the quality – it was difficult to distinguish, what tools/apps were meant for professional use and what for hobbyists. The apprentices new very few of them and had hardly any experience with them.

In general, this picture corresponds with my characterisation of ‘digital divide 4.0’ (see my previous post). Both our interview partners and the apprentices responding to the survey were users of smartphones, had acquired a considerable web capability and were exploring, how to use the new tools and technologies. Yet, the trainers and company representatives experienced a kind of Tantalos-situation (see my previous post) – having a multitude of possibilities but not getting a hold of them. Likewise, the apprentices were frustrated because web tools, apps and mobile devices played no role in the training.

What was the role of co-design processes and multimedia training?

In the co-design workshops with Bau-ABC trainers we were looking for ways to support their pedagogic approaches (action-oriented learning, self-organised learning) in context-specific training projects. Likewise, in the workshops with apprentices we were looking at characteristic working tasks and specific situations in which digital tools would be useful. This all was fed to the development of the Learning Toolbox.

In the Multimedia Training we (the facilitators from Pontydysgu and ITB) helped the Bau-ABC trainers to find their own approach to using digital tools and web resources – and to editing their own contents. The most important achievements of this phase were the trainers’ own WordPress  blogs with which they have made their training materials publicly available. (See Zimmererblog, Maurerblog, Tiefbaublog, Brunnenbauerblog.)

Interim assessments by Bau-ABC trainers during the project

In between the Bau-ABC trainers have contributed with their interim assessments that have given important impulses for the development of the Learning Toolbox and for reshaping of the multimedia training arrangements:

  • In August/September 2014 the Bau-ABC colleagues couldn’t participate in the LL consortium meeting in Tallin. Instead they prepared a video message that was later on edited into short videos. These outlined different contexts for using the Learning Toolbox in the training of Bau-ABC and in different work situations. In one of the videos four trainers discuss their pedagogic principles (action-oriented learning; self-organised learning) and how they see the possibilities to promote such learning via Learning Toolbox (see below).

  • In May 2015 the Bau-ABC trainers made an interim assessment on the earlier Multimedia training (2013 -2014) and on their internal follow-up (2014 -2015). They came to the conclusion that Bau-ABC needs to organise a training scheme for the whole trainer staff to bring the media competences to a common level and to work out joint approaches for using the respective tools, apps and platforms. This provided the basis for the Theme Room training campaign that was implemented in November 2015 by tutors from Bau-ABC, ITB and Pontydysgu (with on-site support by Jaanika Hirv from TLU). This campaign was a major step forward to prepare the Bau-ABC trainers to take the role of active users of the Learning Toolbox.

Reflections on the deployment of Learning Toolbox and on the feedback from the users

In February and March 2016 we started the active phase of deployment of the Learning Toolbox with some Bau-ABC trainers in their training projects. Already at that stage we could see that the trainers quickly developed their own ways to use stacks, pages and tiles to shape their training projects:

  • In the trade of well-builders (Brunnenbauer) the emphasis was given on a specific project folder that is supported by content tiles (Reference materials) and collection tiles (photos and videos). When the pilot group of well-builder apprentices moved on to training periods in other trades (metalworking, borehole building), the trainers in these trades provided similar project folders.
  • The joint project of carpenters (Zimmerer) and bricklayers (Maurer) was based on a common mother-stack that was linked to daughter stacks that presented the respective subprojects to be carried out during training periods in the respective trades. In addition, the mother stack provided links to other daughter stacks that provided collections of tools and of further learning materials.

When collecting feedback on the use of Learning Tools the LL researchers involved (mainly Markus Manhart from UIBK) could conclude that the trainers were becoming owners of the innovation and that the apprentices had adopted the use of Learning Toolbox as ‘their way’ of managing the projects. In particular the following observations were of interest:

  • From the pedagogic point of view the trainers had set somewhat different accents. Some of them put an emphasis on equipping the apprentices with comprehensive sets of reference materials and challenging them to do selective and searches for their purposes. Here one could use the metaphor of ‘well’ for the stacks as stable learning resources. Other trainers put an emphasis on curiosity- and interest-based learning and with respective opening of new pages or tiles for apprentices. Here one could use the metaphor of ‘watering cans’ for the stacks as learning resources that are adjusted to the learners’ progress. Consequently, their apprentices have developed either explorative or level-by-level progressing learning approaches.
  • From the infrastructural and organisational points of view the trainers concluded that the deployment of Learning Toolbox had been carried out as a limited pilot. Now the time had come ripe to make commitments for the whole organisation (including the infrastructure and the availability of mobile devices for all training areas). The apprentices had experienced difficulties due to limited internet access – both in the training centre and even more when they were on construction sites. Yet, they emphasised the advantages of using Learning Toolbox vis-à-vis the time when they had not had such a toolset. Also, they put a major emphasis in having the necessary tools in an integrated and contextually adjusted set. However, very few had been able to convince their employers or supervisors of the benefits of the Toolbox. Here, it apparent that the company representatives have to find their own ways to use such a toolset and to become aware of the benefits from their perspective.

Concluding remarks

I believe this is enough of our learning journey in the context of the Learning Layers project and with focus on the project activities in the construction sector training centre Bau-ABC. To me this story serves as an example, how participative design process, capacity building and user-driven tool deployment can work well in the long run. As I see it, we started in a situation that could be characterised as ‘digital divide 4.0’ and worked through processes that helped us to overcome such divides (including us as researchers and our counterparts in the training centre). However, the story shows that we need extra efforts to help the construction companies to find their ways forward. I will get back to this in my next blog.

More blogs to come …

GRINTIE-BLE

Educació Demà - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 14:18
GRINTIE-BLE és un subgrup que pertany al Grup de Recerca en Interacció i Influència Educativa (GRINTIE) de la Universitat de Barcelona. Sota la consideració de que en les últimes dècades han canviat tots els paràmetres de l’aprenentatge humà, el grup aposta per una recerca que permeti innovar per aconseguir un model d’educació basat en una educació distribuïda i interconnectada. Localització Espanya 41° 25' 35.1156" N, 2° 8' 24.4104" E See map: Google Maps

Hack Education Weekly News

Hack Education - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 12:01
Education Politics

An incredible piece of reporting by The Guardian on corporate lobbying and influence in Wisconsin politics following Scott Walker’s anti-union efforts in the state.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has reiterated his promise for free community college tuition for eligible high school graduates.

From the press release: “The U.S. Department of Education released the America’s College Promise Playbook, a comprehensive and up-to-date resource guide that provides practitioners with relevant and actionable information about how they can offer more students access to an affordable, high-quality education through which students can go as far as their talents and work ethic can take them.”

Another Department of Education release: an update to the College Scorecard.

Via The Washington Post: “ Obama administration goes ahead with $71 million grant for Ohio’s scandal-ridden charter sector – but calls it ‘high risk’.”

The White House held a Computer Science for All summit this week. Here’s Anil Dash’s take.

California vs. Massachusetts education ballot question politics” by Sherman Dorn.

Presidential Campaign Politics

Trump ‘plans’ to make Peter Thiel a supreme court judge,” says Boing Boing.

Via ProPublica: “Another Unrealistic Trump Policy Proposal: Homeschool Vouchers.”

Libertarian (and longshot) presidential hopeful Gary Johnson says his education policy proposals would involve scrapping the Department of Education.

Via Buzzfeed: “Clinton Touts Plan That Would Make College Free For Most.” (Thanks, Bernie Sanders!)

Education in the Courts

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “A year after filing a lawsuit against UCLA, two graduate students who said a professor sexually assaulted and harassed them will receive a combined $460,000 as part of a settlement agreement, the university said in a statement on Friday.”

Via The Kansas City Star: “A lawyer for the largest teachers union in Kansas told the state Supreme Court on Tuesday that lawmakers’ 2014 decision to get rid of a job protection for tenured K–12 educators was unconstitutional.”

Via Education Week’s Market Brief: “Closely Watched Lawsuit Has Implications for Open Ed. Resources Market.” Great Minds is suing FedEx, contending that FedEx stores are in violation of the Creative Commons non-commercial licensing of its materials when they charge for photocopies of Great Minds’ curriculum.

More on toys as surveillance in the privacy section below.

Testing, Testing…

Via The Washington Post: “School informed parents of low-performing students they could opt out of state tests.” The school in question: Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia.

Via Education Week’s Market Brief: “Test Vendors Weigh In On Future of PARCC.”

More on test scores and ed-tech in the research section below.

Online Education (The Once and Future “MOOC”)

UC Berkeley says it will remove online course content in response to a Department of Justice assertion that the materials violate the ADA as they are not fully accessible to those with disabilities. Remind me: who’s keeping track of the bullshit associated with words like “open online education”?

Udacity has launched a nanodegree program in self-driving car engineering. Edsurge has more details – including this tidbit on Udacity’s money-back guarantee for job placement, something that doesn’t apply to the self-driving car program: “While attractive, Udacity’s promise flirts with flouting rules set by California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, which state that institutions ‘shall not promise or guarantee employment.’” (In related self-driving car regulation news: “Google’s ‘Cozy’ Relationship With Driverless-Car Regulators.” Food for thought about how some folks hope this works in higher ed, no?)

Coding Bootcamps (The Once and Future “For-Profit Higher Ed”)

The fallout from ITT’s closure continues:

“Some community colleges not transferring all ITT Tech credits,” KPCC reports. According to this story, students are opting instead to transfer to another for-profit (DeVry) as some community colleges contend that ITT courses were not rigorous enough to “count” for credit. NPR also explores what former ITT students will do.

Reuters says that ITT plans to file for bankruptcy.

SNHU will take over Daniel Webster College from ITT.

Via The 74: “ITT Tech Isn’t Just a College Scandal. It Also Ran Charter Schools – and Left Teens Scrambling.”

440+ ITT students are now on debt strike.

“More than 20 Senate Democrats have signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education John King asking the Education Department to support former ITT Technical Institute students by discharging their student loans,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

“After ITT’s Demise, More Trouble Is Likely for For-Profit Colleges,” according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Also via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered Bridgepoint Education Inc., owner of the for-profit Ashford University, to forgive all outstanding private student loans and to refund any payments already made on those loans.”

Via PBS Frontline on for-profits: “A Subprime Education.”

Via Education Dive: “The Iron Yard and Code Fellows, have partnered with nonprofit financial literacy organization Operation HOPE to create a $100 million scholarship fund to spur minority and low-income student engagement in tech fields.”

More “research” on for-profits and coding bootcamps in the “research” section below.

Meanwhile on Campus

Via The Houston Chronicle: “Denied: How Texas keeps tens of thousands of children out of special education.”

Roger Ailes’ name will be removed from a WOUB newsroom, Ohio University President Roderick McDavis announced Monday during a Faculty Senate meeting,” the Post Athens reports.

Via Muckrock: “The strangest military gear on campus police’s back to school shopping list.”

Via the CBC: “University of Manitoba students receive ‘extortion’ letters over illegal downloads.”

Via the Odyssey Online: “How The University Of New Hampshire Chose To Waste An Alum’s $4m Gift.” Robert Morin, a librarian at the university, bequeathed his estate to the school. The school spent $1 million of the money on a new scoreboard for its football stadium.

Via The New York Times: “As Amazon Arrives, the Campus Bookstore Is a Books Store No More.”

Inside Higher Ed’s Carl Straumsheim looks at Indiana University’s eText initiative, which he says is “rapidly becoming the go-to way for students there to buy textbooks and other course materials.”

Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University will merge.

Via CNN: “Why ‘tents of love’ are popping up in Chinese colleges.” (It’s not what it sounds like: these are campsites for parents, set up in school gyms.)

Accreditation and Certification

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Quality Matters, which offers quality assurance programs for online courses, is this fall expanding into online teaching certification.”

Go, School Sports Team!

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Citing Civil-Rights Concerns, NCAA Pulls 7 Championship Events Out of North Carolina.”

The Atlantic Coast Conference also announced it would move all of its championship games out of North Carolina, a response to the HB2 “bathroom bill.”

Via Sporting News: “High school football announcer’s answer to Kaepernick-style protesters? Shoot them.” David Brooks also weighs in with advice for youth athletes of color as white male op-ed writers are wont to do.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Head of Clemson football program says some protesting police violence against black people should move to another country, and implies his comments reflect the ideas of Martin Luther King Jr.”

Via Yahoo Sports: “Why Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig is joining the Dakota Pipeline protest.”

“With Wearable Tech Deals, New Player Data Is Up for Grabs,” says The New York Times, in a story that explores a $170 million deal between Nike and the University of Michigan. “A clause in the contract could, in the future, allow Nike to harvest personal data from Michigan athletes through the use of wearable technology like heart-rate monitors, GPS trackers and other devices that log myriad biological activities.”

Via The Daily Beast: “UNC Student Claims Cops ‘Laughed’ at Her Rape by Football Player.” The football player in question has turned himself in to face misdemeanor assault and battery charges.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Charleston Southern University suspended 32 of its football players after they violated National Collegiate Athletic Association rules by spending financial aid intended for textbooks on other items.”

From the HR Department

Carla Hayden is the new Librarian of Congress.

Remind CEO and co-founder Brett Kopf will be replaced by Brian Grey, formerly CEO of the Bleacher Report.

The Long Island University faculty lockout is over. Emily Drabinski writes, “Our collective bargaining agreement is extended until May 31, 2017, and the administration agreed to our condition that we engage a professional mediator to facilitate a fair contract.” More via Inside Higher Ed.

UC San Francisco says it plans to outsource its IT operations to India. But oh yes, kids, “everyone should learn to code” for job security.

Via Education Week: “The International Society for Technology in Education and its CEO, Brian Lewis, have parted ways, the organization announced this week, in an unexpected leadership change at the top of the prominent ed-tech organization.”

Teach for America’s presence in New York City hits 11-year low,” Chalkbeat reports.

Seattle University adjuncts have voted to unionize.

Contests and Awards

Via The New York Times: “$100 Million Awarded in Contest to Rethink U.S. High Schools.” More on the contest, funded by the XQ Institute, which is in turn is funded by Laurene Powell Jobs, via Edsurge.

Upgrades and Downgrades

Glam Media has closed. It’s transferred ownership of Ning – remember Ning? – to the New York-based company Cyndx.

Beacon Reader, a journalism crowdfunding platform, is shutting down.

Via NPR: “Teen Creates App So Bullied Kids Never Have To Eat Alone.”

The Christian Science Monitor has launched a new education editorial section, EqualEd.

Via The New York Times: “Apple Offers Free App to Teach Children Coding (iPads Sold Separately).”

Via NPR: “Texas Textbook Called Out As ‘Racist’ Against Mexican-Americans.”

Via Techcrunch: “CollegeBacker publicly launches its college savings account advisory service.” Robo-advisory, yo.

Funding and Acquisitions (The Business of Ed-Tech)

Open Up Resources has raised $10 million in “foundation funding,” says Edsurge. Founded by former Pearson exec Larry Singer, the company will offer openly licensed resources to schools.

OpenClassrooms has raised $6.74 million in funding from Banque Publique d’Investissements, Citizen Capital, Xavier Niel, and Alven Capital. The startup, which something something MOOC something something, has raised $9.69 million total.

Portfolium raises $6.6 million to get college students into jobs where they’ll kick butt,” says Techcrunch. Investors include SJF Ventures, University Ventures, and USA Funds. The company has raised $7.45 million total.

Fluent City has raised $2.5 million from 1776, Learn Capital, Lerner Investments, and New Ground Ventures. “The New York City-based language company, founded in 2011, offers 10 language classes along with courses in interior design, mixing cocktails and French culture,” says Edsurge. It’s a place to “teach Brooklyn hipsters about French culture,” says Venture Beat.

Everest Education has raised $1 million from unnamed investors for its “personalized learning” platform.

“Engagement” app Check I’m Here has raised $1 million in Series A funding from Jeffrey Vinik, Ronald Schlosser, and 500 Mobile Collective.

John Wiley & Sons has acquired online education marketing firm Ranku. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The National Research Center for College & University Admissions has acquired Eduventures. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Private equity firm Bridge Growth Partners has acquired acquire Finalsite from another equity firm, Spectrum Equity. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Data, Privacy, and Surveillance

Via Inside Higher Ed: “The science press release database EurekAlert went off-line on Wednesday after a hacker gained access to the website and leaked embargoed news out of the University of Sussex and the University of Montreal.”

Via Christian Science Monitor: “The state attorney general [of New York] announced settlements Tuesday with Viacom, Mattel, Hasbro and JumpStart Games to stop them from using or allowing tracking technology on their popular children’s websites.”

More on student athletes’ privacy in the sports section above.

Data and “Research”

Course Report has released its latest report on coding bootcamp graduates. “Coding bootcamp alumni report a 64% increase in salary” reads the subhead. Other details: “The typical attendee is 30 years old, has 6.8 years of work experience, has at least a Bachelor's degree, and has never worked as a programmer.” It would be great if there were independent evaluations of bootcamps, not just this self-reported survey stuff. But rah rah rah!

Via Inside Higher Ed: “A new study co-authored by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the State University of New York at Buffalo finds that the streamlined curriculum at for-profit institutions is the reason many poor students – particularly young African-Americans – drop out.”

The OECD has released its latest “Education at a Glance” report.

Via Campus Technology: “The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.2 percent in 2016 to total $208.6 billion, up from $178 billion in 2015, according to recent reports by tech market research firm Gartner.”

Via Education Week’s Market Brief: “Global K–12 Market for Personal PCs to Contract in 2016, Experts Project.”

“Best Evidence and the What Works Clearinghouseby Jason Stockard.

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center has released the results of a survey of 700 parents whose 4–13-year old children play video games.

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Since the late 1980s, colleges and universities have spent increasingly more per student across nearly every major spending category, according to a new report from a Federal Reserve Bank economist who says his findings indicate broad-based reasons behind rising college costs.”

Via FiveThirtyEight: "Fancy Dorms Aren’t The Main Reason Tuition Is Skyrocketing."

The Pew Research Center has released its latest report on libraries.

Via Education Week: “Does Graduating From a Charter Help or Hinder Future Earnings?”

“When School Feels Like Prison.” The Atlantic’s Melinda D. Anderson writes that “A new study shows that campuses with larger populations of students of color are more likely to use harsh surveillance techniques.”

Also via The Atlantic: “How Marginalized Families Are Pushed Out of PTAs.”

Via Education Week: “The latest attempt by researchers to determine the impact of educational technology investments on student achievement suggests that federal E-rate program subsidies that schools receive are unlikely to improve student test scores.”

“The U.S. is teetering on the edge of a teacher shortage crisis, and if nothing is done to stop it, the country could be grappling with a shortage of more than 100,000 teachers annually by 2025,” according to a report by the Learning Policy Institute.

The latest Horizon Report for K–12 has been released. On the horizon: makerspaces, online learning, robotics, VR, artificial intelligence, and wearables. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that most of those are going to be forever and always “on the horizon.”

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Debate On Distance Education Focuses On Roles Of Federal And State Government And Highlights For-Profit Offerings

Moodle News - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 09:34
Last July, the US Department of Education (DoE) published a regulation proposition for distance education. These rules would further define requirements for degree granting institutions to receive...

French Friday : La page de login / The login page

Moodle News - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 06:18
La semaine dernière je discutais Moodle avec un client qui a son site vitrine fait avec WordPress et qui construit un e-centre de formation à ses méthodes et produits avec Moodle. Je lui disait que...

More webinars on ‘Teaching in a Digital Age’

Tony Bates - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 03:03

Linda Harasim’s pedagogy of group discussion (from Harasim, 2012): a topic for discussion in webinar 1?

Last year I did a series of five webinars on topics from my online, open textbook, ‘Teaching in a Digital Age.’ These proved to be very popular, with up to 200 requests for participation for each webinar. We limited registrants though to a maximum of 60 for each webinar, and there have been more than 20,000 downloads since the first webinars were offered, so I am grateful to Contact North for offering a second round of these webinars.

The topics I will be covering in these webinars, which as well as being live will also be available in recorded form, will be:

  1. Teaching with Technology – How to Use the Best Practice Models and Options (covers chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Teaching in a Digital  Age)
  2. Choosing Media – How They Differ and How to Make the Best Choices for My Teaching (covers chapters 6, 7 and 8 of Teaching in a Digital Age)
  3. Making the Choice – How to Choose between Online, Blended or Campus-Based Delivery for Effective Learning (covers chapters 9 of Teaching in a Digital Age)
  4. Ensuring Quality – How to Design and Deliver Quality Courses in a Supportive Learning Environment (covers chapter 11 and Appendix 1 of Teaching in a Digital Age)
  5. How Open Education will Revolutionize Higher Education: the Impact of Open Research, Open Textbooks, OERs and Open Data on Course Design and Delivery (covers Chapter 10 of Teaching in a Digital Age)

Register today for the first 60-minute webinar on Teaching with Technology – How to Use Best Practice Models and Options on Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. 

Webinar 1: Teaching with Technology – How to Use Best Practice Models and Options

In this webinar, we will discuss:

  • what kind of knowledge or skills students need in a digital age;
  • what kind of learning theories or pedagogy will best suit your subject area or preferred teaching style
  • what teaching approaches are most appropriate for a digital age.

The webinar features a short introduction to the topics, and I will be posing a series of questions for discussion amongst the webinar participants on the topic and an open Q&A. You are advised to read the first five chapters of the book in advance of the webinar, as I will not be able to do justice to each of the topics in a short introduction.

Registration is limited to keep the session interactive so register early to avoid disappointment.

The remaining four webinars will be held in November, December, January and February at the same times. Watch this space for more details nearer the dates.

Worldwide Public Cloud Services to Grow 17 Percent in 2016

Campus Technology - 16 Septiembre, 2016 - 00:36
The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.2 percent in 2016 to total $208.6 billion, up from $178 billion in 2015, according to recent reports by tech market research firm Gartner.

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