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This is a great list of open source alternatives to common educational software tools. It begind with the usual suspects - Moodle for an LMS, Audacity for audio, Big Blue Button for synchronous conferencing, Kaltura for video streaming. But then it gets into some very niche applications: OpenSankoré for whiteboards, Molly for mobile, Q-Light for theatre and drama. Even if you are familiar with open source alternatievs for education, you might find something new here. Schoolforge has a similar but much briefer list, with some additional tools.[Link] [Comment]
I guess what surprises me most about this study is that they're still using the term 'freshmen' in 2013. What doesn't surprise me is that new college students (sometimes called 'first year students' or, if you must, 'frosh') found that they needed more than 'look it up on Google' as research skill. But it's not because it's so much more deep and complicated reserach than they've seen before. It's not because "they were unprepared to deal with the enormous amount of information they were expected to find and process for college research assignments." It's because so much of it is blocked from the open web, either buried in proprietary archives or - worse - available on paper only.[Link] [Comment]
Creative Commons has released the new versions of their licenses, now available for adoption. They write, "The 4.0 licenses — more than two years in the making — are the most global, legally robust licenses produced by CC to date." When I choose the non-commercial license I have always used, it throws up a big 'This is not a Free Culture License' warning. Which is absurd, because the whole point of using the non-commercial license is to ensure that the work remains free. I don't know why Creative Commons persists in lobbying against its own licenses, but there it is, and nothing I say will change that, I guess.[Link] [Comment]
Paul Keller writes by email: "Today the European Commission has launched a public consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules. It is quite a massive consultation (with 80 questions) touching on a broad number of topics. the deadline for the consultation is 5 february 2014 and it would obviously be good to have as many responses as possible making arguments in favour of substantial reform." I have nowhere near the internet I need here at the Sheraton Arlington hotel to actually read a document online, but ti looks worth following up.[Link] [Comment]
So the latest PISA results are out, and Canada's performance has declined, leading to much wailing and gnashing of teeth. But it's something that could be predicted, especially with funding pressures (and a back to basics movement) on education. 32 page PDF. I would like to point out (once again) that Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau are not countries, and it makes as much sense to include them in the nation rankings as it would to include Ontario. See also, the CMEC report on PISA.[Link] [Comment]
Email from Andreia Inamorato: "I'd like to draw your attention to a research report recently published by the European Commission Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) Overview and Analysis of Practices with Open Educational Resources in Adult Education in Europe The report identifies over 150 OER initiatives and classifies them. It also brings to light some of the tensions that drive the development of open educational practices in adult learning." The recommendations from the report (82 page PDF) are in one sense overly broad, but are also telling: "Recognise that 'learning' takes place everywhere," for example, and "Think of OER more broadly than as content."[Link] [Comment]
Interesting article on the design of a course that has students act as instructors, drawing their presentations from dense and difficult texts, in an environment that is challenging and often results in failure. The course, taught by Concrodia University professor Vivek Venkatesh, "was really about thinking on your feet,” says Tieja Thomas, a PhD candidate who took the course. “ You had to come prepared . . . It really was a deeper form of learning.”[Link] [Comment]
Donald Clark comes out with a good list and overview of MOOC platforms. "We need a pluralistic landscape. The internet may like ‘ ones’ but education likes ‘ many’ . We also have to get away from the hopelessly simplistic xMOOC v cMOOC dualism. The MOOC landscape and taxonomy is way more complicated than this rather historic distinction suggests."[Link] [Comment]
Unfortunately the report by Sam Adkins costs money, but there's still stuff to talk about. "The 2012-2017 Middle East Mobile Learning Market reports that revenues from mobile learning products reached $88.3 million in 2012, and are expected to more than double to $205.4 million by 2017." Says Adkins. "Buyers in Africa are not substituting mobile learning for self-paced e-learning; they are leapfrogging e-learning altogether." I would be more positivee but I've been hearing the 'leapfrogging' argument for years now. I'm still waiting for the investment to be made to bring Africa into full internet connectivity. [Image: Ambient][Link] [Comment]
I have frequently said "the best place to learn forestry is in the forest." Now I guess I'll have to add that the best place to learn farming is in the paddock (for urbanites, a paddock is a small field where horses and other animals are kept, so I guess we're not talking about whest farming here). "The EverTrain website currently offers five accredited and non-accredited courses and was launched by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Future Farm Industries Cooperative Research Centre at the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, Wagga." That would be in Australia. [Image: permaculture eXchange][Link] [Comment]
This is a smart idea - theUniversity of Alberta is hostinbg a 'virtual open house' on December 3 to introduce the campus to international students (I hope they don't forget to include my old haunt, the Power Plant bar - for a while (during my tenure, natch) the best blues bar in the the City of Edmonton). "We hear from many prospective students that they find it a challenge to ‘ picture themselves’ at uAlberta because they have never been to Canada,” says Vice-Provost and AVP International Britta Baron. University of Alberta News Release - Registration Page - Virtual Tour[Link] [Comment]
Good post (en franç ais [translation]) with an even better image (in English) comparing xMOOCs (national orchestra) with cMOOCs (jazz band). The post also contains a link to another article (en franç ais) making the same comparison. "C’ est en assistant à un concert de Jazz ce vendredi que le rapport entre cette structure musicale ou plutô t la mé thode musicale mise en œ uvre et les cMOOC s’ est imposé . Le Jazz repose sur l’ interaction entre les diffé rents musiciens. Ils s’ é coutent et se ré pondent. Il y a aussi une grande part d’ improvisation. C’ est de l’ interaction entre les diffé rents musiciens que l’ œ uvre né à elle mê me."[Link] [Comment]
Good fodder for your corporate e-learning presentation, outlining the size of the market and the costs saved by e-learning. (Yes, I know many people say there are no savings to be had in e-learning, but count me as among those who believes that the cost of learning can ultimately be reduced using e-learning, and reduced a lot. If this makes professors nervous, so be it. Just remember, if your unit sale price drops, then, if you want to maintain employment, sell more units. Or, in English: if professors want to keep their jobs, they should be prepared to find a way to offer learning to everybody, not just a select few. Because if they don't then - as these statistics surely indicate - someone will.)[Link] [Comment]
Here's a video that deserves rather more than the 70 views it has right now: "We're just coming off a summer where it seemed like you couldn't go a week without seeing massive open online courses in the headlines. We've assembled an expert panel to assess the current landscape and talk through all of these moving parts in the world of MOOCs. Panelists include: Kevin Currie, executive director of Northeastern Online, Curtis Bonk, professor of education at Indiana University, Craig Weiss, founder of E-Learning 24/."[Link] [Comment]
Nice interview with Christophe Batier about MOOCs - the first MOOC, our French MOOC coming up in January, my talk in Clair, my first visit to France, and why I only follow one person on Twitter. And where MOOCs will be in five years.
If you are doing a survey on skill needs, and you haven't really done anything like this before, use this guide, It's clear and informative, and I think it covers the ground well, leading the user toward an accurate and appropriate methodology (section 4, which details coverage of sectors and coverage of occupational groups, is evidence for this). "It illustrates an approach tested in 2012 for identifying employer’ s skill needs, in nine Member States. The guide offers recommendations for a survey covering a range of occupations, sample size calculations, maximising response rates, and ensuring the validity of the instrument as well as subsequent inferences."[Link] [Comment]
Normally I wouldn't comment on something like this but I want to draw out the presumption, obviously held by the access-to-information commissioner, that instand messages are like emails or even mini documents. But that's not what they replace. Instant messages are and ought to have the status of replacements for phone calls. And just as I don't think access-to-information laws are intended to require officials to record their phone calls, I don't think they are required to preserve instant messages.[Link] [Comment]
This is the fourth in her year-end series of articles (I'll run a retrospective of all ten later in December) and focuses on MOOCs. As she says, there has barely been a week this year without news stories about MOOCs. And she captures it all through the first 46 or so weeks of 2013 in this article.[Link] [Comment]
These are summary notes from two days of disussions on MOOCs at a conference, part of les Entretiens Jacques Cartier hosted in Lyon, France. Day 1. Day 2. Highlights included talks by John Danial and Tony Bates, thiough for me the content from less well-known people during Day 2 was probably more compelling (nothing against the first two, it's just I had seen similar talks from them before). My notes are point form aummaries of talks given mostly in French (only Tony Bates spoke in English) so they may be misrepresentationsin places of what was actually said.[Link] [Comment]
Amid a dozen of so papers that could have been wrritten in the 1990s is this position paper in the current issue of the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT): "A reflective analysis of the collaborative design process is presented using an adapted, four-fold curriculum design framework (from Hai-Jew (2010)) Course instructors discuss their approaches to backward instructional design and describe the digital tools used to support collaboration." Well, this too could have been written in the 1990s, I guess. Seriously, folks, this is 2013 - we've gone way beyond faculty exchanginbg online learning tips.[Link] [Comment]
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