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Ciència ciutadana a les escoles

Educació Demà - 12 Noviembre, 2015 - 09:56
Pilots especialment dissenyats per introduir la Ciència Ciutadana a les escoles adaptant-se a l’ordenació curricular vigent. Els professors i alumnes participants formaran part d’un projecte de recerca científica real, estaran directament en contacte amb els investigadors implicats durant tot el pilot i participaran activament en la investigació científica. Els resultats i conclusions científiques es podran materialitzar com a propostes argumentades per la millora de la qualitat de vida. Localització Espanya 41° 22' 44.7168" N, 2° 7' 40.224" E See map: Google Maps

Blackboard Flexes Its Moodle With Industry Awards

Moodle News - 12 Noviembre, 2015 - 07:15
The Campus Technology Readers Choice Awards recently named Blackboard’s “Learn” platform #1 in Learning Management and eLearning for 2015. Moodle came in second place and Canvas (by...

Evaluación y contenidos educativos innovadores

"A sport journalist" es el segundo REA del proyecto "English in my daily life" que ofrece contenidos completos para Inglés en primero de ESO basados en metodología ABP.

Este recurso educativo conecta con el modelo de creación y aplicación en el aula de recursos educativos que docentes y alumnos pueden adaptar a su contexto de aula, puesto en marcha con el REA "My town".

El proyecto "English in my daily life" del #proyectoEDIA se compone de un total de 10 secuencias didácticas ABP con las que los alumnos irán adquiriendo las competencias y habilidades de la materia teniendo como centros de interés realidades cercanas (promocionar su ciudad, los deportes, el periodismo...).

Making Campuses Safer With Smartphones

Campus Technology - 11 Noviembre, 2015 - 23:33
A new generation of mobile apps is enhancing public safety at colleges and universities across the country.

Iowa State U Wins National Cyber Analyst Challenge

Campus Technology - 11 Noviembre, 2015 - 21:23
The Iowa State University team of cyber detectives won $25,000 for demonstrating the best strategic skills involving threat identification.

Eastern Michigan U Hosts Stem Conference for Middle School Girls

Campus Technology - 11 Noviembre, 2015 - 19:37
Eastern Michigan University recently brought girls from local middle schools to campus in an effort to inspire interest in academic and professional careers in technology as part of its "Digital Divas" program.

The Practical Cost of Textbooks

iterating toward openness - 11 Noviembre, 2015 - 19:34

There’s a great conversation – a debate, almost – occurring right now about two indisputable facts:

  1. The College Board recommends that students budget around $1200 per year for textbooks and supplies.
  2. Surveys of students indicate that they spend around $600 per year on textbooks.

How can there be a debate about facts which no one disputes? The debate is around which fact is appropriate to cite under which circumstances. See excellent contributions to the discussion by Phil Hill, Mike Caulfield, Bracken Mosbacker, Phil Hill (again), and Mike Caulfield (again).

When someone cites the College Board number, they often (but not always) do so in the process of trying to lead their listener to the conclusion that textbooks are too expensive. Not just really expensive. Too expensive. In the textbook context, too expensive means “so expensive as to be harmful to students.” The College Board number typically surfaces in an argument that runs along the lines of – textbooks are too expensive, thus harming students, and for the sake of students we should do something about the cost of textbooks.

When someone cites the student survey number, they often (but not always) do it in the process of reacting to the College Board number, as if to say “See? Textbooks aren’t nearly as expensive as some would lead you to believe. The situation isn’t that bad.” And, by implication, students are doing ok.

My question is this: if the issue we want to discuss is the impact of textbook costs on students, why don’t we just go straight to the data that deal directly with the impact of textbook costs on students? When we dip our toe in the $1200/$600 debate we’re likely to raise questions among listeners that will only distract them from the issue we’re actually trying to discuss.

Rather than using cost data as a proxy for impact on students, let’s talk about what the data say the actual impact of textbook costs is on students.

One of the best sources of data available on this subject are the Florida Virtual Campus surveys. The most recent, including over 18,000 students, asks students directly about the impact of textbook costs on their academic career:

What impact does the cost of textbooks have on students? Textbook costs cause students to occasionally or frequently take fewer courses (35% of students), to drop or withdraw from courses (24%), and to earn either poor or failing grades (26%). Regardless of whether you have historically preferred the College Board number or the student survey number, a third fact that is beyond dispute is that surveys of students indicate that the cost of textbooks negatively impacts their learning (grades) and negatively impacts their time to graduation (drops, withdraws, and credits).

And yes, we need to do something about it.

Thankfully, faculty are already well aware of the problem. According to a recent Inside Higher Ed / Gallup poll, more than 9 in 10 faculty agree that textbooks and other commercial course materials are too expensive:

According to the poll, faculty also overwhelmingly agree that OER are a viable solution to the problem of textbook costs: more than 9 in 10 faculty believe that they should be assigning more OER. Now we just need to help and support them as they make that change.

(Another very real impact of textbook costs on students is their contribution to student loan debt. That’s an important conversation, but one that I’ll save for later.)

Western Kentucky U Launches Competency-Based Advanced Manufacturing Degree

Campus Technology - 11 Noviembre, 2015 - 18:33
In an effort to provide more flexible degree options for adult learners, Western Kentucky University is launching AMS On Demand, a competency-based bachelor of science degree program in advanced manufacturing.

What Schoology’s Venture Funding Means for the LMS Market

e-Literate - 11 Noviembre, 2015 - 18:05

By Michael FeldsteinMore Posts (1052)

LMS vendor Schoology just raised $32 million in Series D venture capital funding, bringing the total that they’ve raised to just over $57 million. If you’ve never heard of them, that’s because they have mostly been focused on K12, where they are doing very well. But they have turned their attention to US higher ed recently. They had a surprisingly big presence at EDUCAUSE, where CEO Jeremy Friedman told me that they are prepared to make an aggressive push. Their ability to get major funding was probably helped by Instructure going to market, and possibly by the leak that Blackboard is putting itself on the block as well. I don’t generally take money guys too seriously in their ability to predict ed tech, but they may be lucky on this one. I think there may be an opening the US higher ed LMS market for a new entrant.

LMS selection for schools often works a little like the selection process that high school students typically go through when picking a college. Students looking at colleges usually have a favorite going in. Maybe their friends are going there. Or their big brother or sister. Or maybe they just heard that it’s cool. But they don’t apply to just one college, in case it doesn’t work out for one reason or another. So they have a second tier of schools that might be OK too. Generally, they don’t know much about your favorite school going in and they know even less about the “might be OK” schools. Depending on how cautious they are, they might throw in one or two “safety” schools that they really don’t want to go to but that they feel (or their parents feel) should be included for the sake of completeness.

Likewise, colleges and universities frequently go into an LMS evaluation process with a favorite. Because the selection is generally done by a committee of stakeholders rather than just one person, there might be conflicting opinions on what the favorite is. But more often than not, there is a nascent majority or a consensus opinion about the likely winner, at least among the core selection committee. Back in the early to mid-aughts, the default favorite was usually Blackboard because it was considered to be the safe alternative that everybody was using. When Blackboard faltered, the favorite began to split between D2L and Moodle—and occasionally Sakai, particularly for larger public universities—with type of school and geography having a big influence on which one was likely to be the frontrunner. These days, the schools that Phil and I talk to report Instructure as the starting frontrunner at least four times out of five, across school types or geographies.

But LMS selection processes still need their “might be OK” candidates. For one thing, most of them are mandated by policy or by law to do a real multi-vendor evaluation. And most evaluation committees genuinely do want to look at alternatives. Just because they have a sense going in of which alternative is most likely to be the best doesn’t mean that they are closed-minded. The trouble is that there aren’t many alternatives that selection committees feel hopeful about these days. Increasingly, Sakai and Moodle aren’t even making it to the serious evaluation stage in US higher ed evaluations; and even when they do, they are often treated like safety schools. Blackboard never fully recovered from reputational damage done under Michael Chasen and their failure to deliver on Ultra this year was a huge setback. At the moment, they are being treated like a safety school as often as not. If Ultra slips further—and maybe even if it doesn’t—they could start losing significant numbers of customers again. And we haven’t run into many schools that are particularly excited about D2L either. Probably the best I can say for them is that they are the least likely of the LMS companies that are not Instructure to be dismissed out-of-hand.

I think there’s an opportunity for a new entrant to get a fair hearing from selection committees that want a real horse race but aren’t excited about any of the incumbents. Ironically, the rise and success of Instructure has probably reduced risk aversion among schools to go with a scrappy start-up. I don’t know if Schoology is going to be the one that gets a foothold in the market because of this opening, but their timing is definitely good.

The post What Schoology’s Venture Funding Means for the LMS Market appeared first on e-Literate.

Kramer Intros VIA Campus Wireless Presentation Tool

Campus Technology - 11 Noviembre, 2015 - 18:03
Kramer today introduced VIA Campus, a wireless presentation and collaboration product designed for education and training environments.

Kurt Vonnegut’s lost lecture

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 11 Noviembre, 2015 - 16:58

Courtesy of the brainpickings web site: “On November 8, 1970 — three days before his forty-eight birthday and shortly after his play Happy Birthday, Wanda June opened in New York — Vonnegut showed up at an NYU classroom as a guest lecturer with a handful of handwritten talking points. In the fifty meandering minutes that followed, the beloved author opened up about his life and his writing with unparalleled candor, discussing his mother’s mental illness, being raised by his African American nanny Ida, what it takes to be a writer, and the ultimate task of the artist.

The talk was recorded and broadcast on New York’s WBAI public radio station, and has been preserved by the Pacifica Radio Archives. Forty-five years later, the wonderful folks of Blank on Blank have brought an excerpt of it to life in one of their signature animations — please enjoy.”

A video tutorial: Getting started with the LMI for All API

Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning - 11 Noviembre, 2015 - 16:39

Regular readers will know that together with Philipp Rustemeier, I have been working on  the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ LMI for All project. Through the project we are developing a database providing access to open data around the Labour `market. This includes data about occupations, pay, present and projected employment, qualifications and much more. So far, UKCES has focused on the use of the data for careers guidance but I suspect it may have far wider potential uses, including for education and local government planning. When mashed with other data I see LMI for All as pointing to the future is of open data as part of smart cities or rather as providing data about cities for smart citizens.

The LMI for All project does not itself produce applications.Instead we provide access to a open APi, which developers can query to build their own desktop or mobile apps.

One thing we are working on is providing more help for developers wanting to use the API. As part of that we are developing a series of ‘how to’ videos, the first of which is featured above.The video was originally recorded in real time using Google Hangouts and  YouTube.  The 31 minute original was cut to about 15 minutes and a new introduction added.

Any advice about how to make this sort of video will be gratefully received. And the code which Philip developed live in the video can be accessed on GitHub

Inspire to learn

Learning with 'e's - 11 Noviembre, 2015 - 14:55
On 3-4 December I'll be in Manchester to present a keynote speech at the Inspire Conference, sponsored by the Higher Education Academy. The conference is themed around excellence in teaching of the social sciences, which reflects my own professional and academic background. During my undergraduate degree I specialised in psychology, but also studied a number of other social sciences, including politics, economics, sociology and human geography. I'm quite at home in this area of academia, and my thinking is shaped and informed by these disciplines, so I was delighted to be invited to speak. As a prelude to the event, the organisers have asked me to write a short blog post which takes the form of my responses to four questions:

Q1. What will you be speaking about at the Inspire conference in December? The title of my keynote is 'Learning in the Digital Age: Theoretical Perspectives.' My key premise is that learning technology is just about everywhere in education. Universities are replete with lecture capture tools, interactive media, web based content and personal response technologies; students arrive equipped with social media and mobile devices; technology supported distance education has been long established; universities are experimenting with flipped classrooms, gaming and MOOCs. I plan to discuss our possible responses to this. What should we make it all, and do we consider these new trends threats or opportunities? How might we harness the powerful potential of these tools and technologies to engage students more, and enhance learning in higher education? What theories could be used to explain these phenomena, and how can social/psychological models better our understanding of how people learn when their communication, relationships and learning are mediated through technology? I plan to explore several of the older social science theories, and  compare and contrast these with some of the newer, emerging theories to determine what they offer. Can the established theories still offer useful explanations of new practices and experiences, or can we gain some illumination for a better understanding of learning in the digital age from the newer theories?

Q2. What issues in HE teaching and learning are you passionate about? My passion is learning - in all its possible forms. In fact, as a lecturer working in higher education, I consider myself to be a professional learner. I have gone on record as saying that although I don't need to work any more, I continue to work at Plymouth University, mainly because it is a great place to learn and to continue developing my research interests around digital pedagogy. I will hopefully continue to work in higher education for as long as I'm interested. I will quit when I get bored, which at the moment isn't that likely.

I'm passionate about sharing knowledge. My maxim is: 'Knowledge is like love. You can give it away as much as you like, because you still get to keep it.' And it's true - knowledge is not finite like money or resources. It's limitless and should be available to anyone and everyone who needs it, and given away for free. Yes, education costs money. But ignorance is even more costly. It is the responsibility of governments to provide free education to its citizens. We enter a moral quagmire if we expect students to pay expensive tuition fees that will keep them in debt for most of their professional lives, and exclude many others who can't afford the debt.

Another equally disturbing issue for many scholars is the immoral and unethical  business of academic publishing. The big four publishers - Elsevier, Wiley, Taylor and Francis and Springer - are making huge profits worldwide from the goodwill of academics. They publish publicly funded research which has been freely written, reviewed and edited by academics, and make huge profits from it. This doesn't make sense. My belief is that if the content has been freely offered, and already funded by tax payers, it should be offered freely, or at the very least, at an affordable level to the academic community. The big four show no signs of relenting in their profiteering, so several years ago I took a very public decision to resign as editor of a major academic journal. I subsequently pledged that I would never again write, review or edit for a closed academic journal.  I'm not the only one. This is a growing trend as was evidenced recently when the entire editorial team on one of Elsevier's academic journal Lingua resigned over high price and lack of open access.

The big four maintain a strangle-hold over universities, perpetuated by exercises such as the Research Excellence Framework review. And yet, the trust placed in high impact journals may turn out to be unfounded, especially when all the metrics are taken into consideration. How many people read an article in a closed journal? No-one knows for certain, but we know for sure how many access an article from an online journal. Many other academics are taking decisions similar to mine and turning their backs of closed academic publishing. This damning expose originally published in the Huffington Post reveals why the days of the academic publisher may be numbered.

I still disseminate my own research widely, but now I do so through social media, blogs and open access journals. We have the technology. All of my content is licensed under Creative Commons, so that others who wish to, can freely use it, repurpose it, and redistribute it without cost. All they need to remember is to attribute my ideas to me, under the same CC licence. If all academics shared their research this way, knowledge would indeed be free, and everyone would benefit.

Q3. As a lecturer how important do you think it is to look at teaching and learning issues through a disciplinary lens? I'm completely biased of course, but I believe that psychology is the perfect lens through which to understand and evaluate teaching and learning. Psychology is the science of human behaviour, and is the perfect discipline to apply as a foundation for all forms and levels of pedagogy. Psychology provides numerous theories to explain memory, perception, learning, social interaction, motivation - in fact just about any aspect of education. I firmly believe that without an understanding of psychology, teaching is diminished. How can we possibly hope to offer good pedagogy, and create inspirational learning environments if we don't fully appreciate how the human mind works? We have a long was to go however, with many areas - undiscovered countries - such as how certain areas of the human brain function, why some students succeed while others fail, and so on, but we are getting there. The psychology of learning is a very exciting area of academic study. That's why I'm a student of psychology. For me, it's the best possible discipline to apply to my practice as I strive to become a better teacher and a more effective learner.

Q4. What advice would you give to early career academics who want to develop their teaching and learning careers? Strive to be extraordinary and never give in. Be an inspiration to your students by showing a real passion and enthusiasm for your subject. Students won't care how much you know or how many letters you have behind your name, but they will be impressed if you show a keen interest in their work and their progress. Go the extra mile. Seize every opportunity that presents itself. Be prepared to take risks. Connect and spend time with people who are innovative,and associate with those who are doing things differently, or in ways that surprise you. Learn from them as you develop your own professional identity. And remember - doctors save lives, but teachers make lives.

Photo by Alan Chia on Wikimedia Commons

Inspire to learn by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

Pedagogy, Technology, and the Example of Open Educational Resources

Educación flexible y abierta - 11 Noviembre, 2015 - 10:20

When no meaningful relationship exists between an educational technology and pedagogy, the tool itself loses value. Open educational resources provide a relevant example of how pedagogy can point toward a richer way to integrate technology into our courses and our teaching philosophies.

See it on, via Educación flexible y abierta

Formigues Cooperatives

Educació Demà - 10 Noviembre, 2015 - 21:08
Projecte telemàtic cooperatiu des de l'ed. física, per compartir reptes físics cooperatius. On els alumnes inventen reptes, els pengen al web, proven reptes de les altres escoles i finalment els valoren. L'objectiu principal es fomentar la relació entre mestres d'escoles properes, d'aquesta manera es poden engrescar a provar altres projectes conjuntament. Localització Espanya 41° 47' 50.55" N, 2° 13' 20.0172" E See map: Google Maps