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Badges are quietly becoming mainstream. As this article notes, a number of universities are now offering them "as a form of micro-credential or 'subdegree' to students who pass individual courses or certifications, and want to show potential employers what they’ ve learned." The badges can be posted to LinkedIn or to e-portfolios and offer details about the course or sub-program completed.[Link] [Comment]
Description of a mobile application supporting MOOCs. (19 page PDF) As the abstract states, "MyLearningMentor (MLM) is a mobile application that addresses the lack of support and personalized advice for learners in MOOCs. This paper presents the architecture of MLM and practical examples of use." Of most interest to me is the context-aware recommender system. "MLM goes beyond current research on MOOCs by considering the affordances of mobile and context-aware technologies to provide a more adaptive environment to improve learners’ learning experience. "[Link] [Comment]
I still get sceptical looks when I talk about using social media and network connections to evaluate a student (instead of the usual tests and assignments). My reasoning is that we can use the willingness of other people in the field to engage with a person (say) to evaluate his or her academic credibility. OK, it may be out there - but the same sort of idea has occurred to other people, including the people proposing to use social media to replace credit checks. "Facebook recently secured a patent for a technology which, among other things, could help determine your credit-worthiness based on the friends you keep on the social network."[Link] [Comment]
The cMOOC, is based on connection rather than content, looks more like an online community than a course, and doesn’ t have a defined curriculum or formal assignments. What makes a person able to function in such an environment? What constitutes the literacy that is missing in such a case? What type of learning design or learning technology is best suited to support learning in a free-form community-based environment? These are the questions intended to be addressed in this paper. It describes the basis for a personal learning architecture and outlines the elements of the ‘ learning and Performance Support System’ project being developed to implement this architecture., , Oct 05, 2015
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This paper examines the use of MOOCs in a classroom setting (a phenomenon called 'wrapped MOOCs', though I haven't heard the expression used recently). "Students in blended MOOCs in traditional classrooms performed almost equal or slightly better than students in only face-to-face class environment, no significant evidence of negative effects for any subgroups in the hybrid model, lower levels of student satisfaction, and limited participation in discussion forums provided by MOOCs." Which seems to be a bit of a wash. But then again, the primary use of the MOOC is not deployment in a traditional classroom setting.[Link] [Comment]
Doug Belshaw shared this item this week (in his newly and inappropriately named 'Thought Shrapnel' newsletter). It's a paean from the Guardian to a school that has banned all screens and electronics at home and in the classroom. The parents are concerned about the impact of technology; I would be far more concerned about the lack of it. But don't take my word for it. Belshaw also recommends "this eviscerating takedown by Laura Hilliger." She writes, "Teaching kids how to think about technology and be digital citizens is not going to become outdated. There are literacies to be explored, we have to teach people how to live and participate with new technologies. In 50 years the only thing that’ s going to be outdated is the idea that you can get by in this world without some basic understandings about tech, networks, human communications."[Link] [Comment]
I think this assertion is correct: "a chief aim of higher education should be to cultivate higher degrees of personal agency within students. As a result, the demands placed on higher education institutions have become much more complex." The reasons for this are myriad, but stem essentially from the fact that it is not possible to identify a single set of competencies (beyond the very basics) that will ensure successful lives for graduates. The environment just changes too often and too quickly. And I agree with this: "access to and participation in meaningful lifelong educational opportunities is one of the chief human rights issues of our generation."[Link] [Comment]
I've used this service before and will probably use it again. In a nutshell, it enables you to create a place where people can send files to our cloud storage accounts (like, say, Dropbox) without having to give out credentials to your cloud storage account. They simply send to DropItToMe and this service sends it to your cloud storage.[Link] [Comment]
This makes me happy: "The most significant breakthrough is anywhere-anytime learning, which automatically eliminates the space and time barriers that traditional classrooms represent. Completely online courses already do this, but MOOCs are rattling the concrete and steel infrastructure that has defined course development in higher ed for the last century.... MOOCs are a liberating force, adding options to their palette that they couldn’ t imagine just a few years ago." It comes in the context of an interview with FutureLearn CEO Jonathan Moules.[Link] [Comment]
This is less a report and more a list of activities and resources available to teachers in Europe to foster innovation in their classrooms. The document lists a number of online courses, webinars, and teacher communities such as Scientix - "that supports the exchanges of ideas, practices and experiences essential for the teaching of STEM to be fresh, relevant and engaging."[Link] [Comment]
This is an excellent article in its own right, but additionally offers an interesting glimpse into the formation and recovery of memories. What I found most interesting was that memories can be formed without their being perceived (of course, it takes a misbehaving tumour to make this happen), and additionally, that when the memories are finally rediscovered, they're "a type of freak-show journey through a wasteland of aberrant experience over which I had no control" where one memory follows another over and over until the associative trail is exhausted. I think remembering and experiencing are two sides of the same phenomenon, and this account reinforces that belief.[Link] [Comment]
Jane Hart routinely surveys educational technologists to find their favoured toolss. This is the list for 2015 (or, at least, this version of the list for 2015). "For the 7th year running Twitter is the No 1 tool on the list, although this year it is very closely followed by YouTube, and once again, the list is dominated by free online tools and services. I can also see some interesting new trends in the tools that are being used for both personal learning and for creating learning content and experiences for others."[Link] [Comment]
According to the study summarized here (but paywalled, so we can't evaluate it for ourselves), the major variable determining whether computer science teachers use a new pedagogical too is "whether students liked it." As one teacher comments (language warning) "You can do something that you think, ‘ Wow! If the learning experience was way better this term, the experiment really worked.’ And then you read your teaching reviews, and it’ s like the students are pissed off because you did not do what they expected."[Link] [Comment]
If performance reviews and grading by the curve are becoming a thing of the past at the auto plant, can they last long in schools and colleges? "'Command and control is what Jack was famous for. Now it’ s about connection and inspiration,' Krishnamoorthy recently told a group of HR executives at a conference. ... There’ s an emphasis on coaching throughout, and the tone is unrelentingly positive. The app forces users to categorize feedback in one of two forms: To continue doing something, or to consider changing something." See also: the myth of the bell curve.[Link] [Comment]
I haven't written about school internet filters for a long time. They've become generally background, standard, and annoying. But of course they have been quietly shaping students' internet experience for more than a decade now. And what is that experience like? One of the first things to be silenced is the student voice, according to this article, with social network services like Facebook and Twitter hidden behind the barrier. And arguably, "prohibiting students from accessing the tools to create digital stories, share and access other people’ s ideas on current events, and watch video lessons restricts their intellectual rights."[Link] [Comment]
Another good reason why you should not subcontract hyour education system to a commercial publisher: "From 2017, education firm Pearson is planning to scrap A and A-S levels in Japanese." They say it's due to the need to redevelop the exam, but one wonders why then they would be in discussions to "save" the qualification (hint: they want more money). "A total of 13 lesser-taught language A-levels — including Polish, Turkish and Arabic — are being ditched, leaving only six: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Russian."[Link] [Comment]
This has nothing to do with ed tech, but EMMA's Ruth Kerr led me to the secret underground church and ossuary here in Naples filled with skulls and bones that had been fostered by a dozen or so rich noblemen in the 16th century and 'adopted' by people hoping to earn favour by helping them through purgatory. It struck me that this is an early form of socialism. I'm not sure it would fall under Chris Hedges definition of what it means to be a socialist, but I think we have to allow for variations in the format based on local conditions. In my book helping poor dead people counts.Link] [Comment]
I can't even print the title of this item without a language warning, so skip past this one if you dislike obscenity (I'll never understand why a certain type of writer thinks it's ok to offend a large segment of the world's readership). That said, I do recommend the article for its content. The argument is essentially that the myth of the instant-fame startup (aka 'unicorn') is harming real development in the tech industry and beyond. "And of course it’ s not just our industry – it’ s pervasive in society, this short-cut mentality." It's also pervasive in educational technology. Real growth and progress takes time and effort. We've been subject to this unicorn mythology, expected to revolutionize industry before the product has even been built. Give it time. Progress is coming. But it takes effort.[Link] [Comment]
Rob Abel writes, by email: "If (you are) interested in LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) support there are two public lists that are keep up to date daily. One is the “ catalog” of LTI platforms and apps/tools. The left most column shows the learning platforms that are certified to run LTI (“ so-called “ LTI consumers” ): imscatalog.org .... An alpha product by product listing (showing product version and which version of LTI they are certified to) is shown here: imscert.org"
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