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I thought this was an interesting idea, so though the story is a few days old I thought it worth a mention. The idea of the pop-up - as in pop-up restaurant and pop-up store - is that it is occasion-specific and temporary. It's a bit like those calendar shops that, um, pop up ever fall in the mall. "Pop-ups allow students to dip into rigorous introductions that may be outside their disciplines. And pop-ups aren’ t limited to social sciences -- Bennington professors also have taught courses about measles and gravitational waves, for instance." When we need a bunch of well-informed people to talk about a given event, pop-up courses are just the ticket.[Link] [Comment]
You'd think that with this result we could just shelve the stories about MOOCs for a decade. But what are the odds of that happening? "The lessons learned are still coming," says Joel Hartman, an administrator at the University of Central Florida and president of the Sloan Consortium, an organization that promotes effective online learning. "I don't think you are going to be seeing a very broad impact on what is learned from MOOCs for at least a decade."[Link] [Comment]
Dean Shareski highlights five Canadian bloggers that may be new to you (quoted and paraphrased):
I've added these to my reader so you don't have to read them. But you should.[Link] [Comment]
Many people are linking the failure of education with the rise of the post-fact reality. They're also blaming social media, and especially Facebook. Clearly there are educational implications. " Jamie Bartlett and Carl Miller of the think tank Demos wrote a report 5 years ago that highlighted a need to teach young people critical thinking and scepticsm online to ‘ allow them to better identify outright lies, scams, hoaxes, selective half-truths, and mistakes.’ " But let's not blame the less-educated. The most educated people in society have made this the environment we're living in.[Link] [Comment]
The Forms and Functions of Teaching and Learning Innovations on Blackboard: Substantial or Superficial?
So here's a challenge: "In view of the institution’ s objective of developing a context-driven, transformative, and innovative teaching and learning practices involving the integration of technology, the study sought to classify and evaluate the form and function of teaching and learning innovations on Blackboard." Blackboard may claim to support these things but my first thought has to be something like "no way". But intuition needs to be supported by fact. The study's conclusions? "Blackboard innovations tended to be more superficial at the levels of substitution and augmentation." This isn't all the fault of the software, however. "The findings suggest convenience, management, and efficiency as the drivers of lecturers’ motivations to use Blackboard."[Link] [Comment]
Investigating the Key Attributes to Enhance Students’ Learning Experience in 21st Century Class Environment
I'll skip past the details of the survey of 300 Malaysian students (at least they're not from a small midwestern university) and get to the factors identified by the authors (all quoted, but paraphrased):
This all feels a bit made-up, honestly, because these attributes and factors read more like platitudes than real findings. You can read the web version (in Flash - ugh) here.[Link] [Comment]
If you're wondering whatever happened to Wikia, wonder no more - it was renamed Fandom and has taken on a much more entertainment related theme. This I guess is where the money is. But now and then the site remembers its roots, as with this article on how staff use the wiki to collaborate. "Wikis are based around collaboration— we've talked about that before, and it's ingrained into the site's DNA," writes Ted Gill. "That started with Wikipedia, and it evolved into the many thousands of Fandom wikis we have today. That's how we were able to grow into the largest entertainment fan site in the world." So there you have it.[Link] [Comment]
This article describes some projects that support the new local digital technologies curriculum in New Zealand. The program depends on community involvement and "to boost our students’ skills and confidence to identify local and global problems and opportunities, and design and develop digital solutions in response." As is always the case with projects like this, each of them has a local champion (or two) driving them forward. We don't say enough about them (probably because there are some in most every community) but most of the work in ed tech would be impossible without them.[Link] [Comment]
We don't see stories like this enough in the news. What's important here is not technology, content, or test scores, but the deliberate modeling of values educators would like to see carried on. You have to live what you teach. "Just as the poutu needs to be fixed and stable to hold up the fale, so the values of alofa (love and commitment), tautua (service and responsibility) and fa’ aaloalo (respect) remain constant."[Link] [Comment]
A step forward for open peer review. "Nature Communications announced that around 60% of its authors in 2016 had agreed to have their reviews published, and that it would therefore continue to offer scientists the option — although would not make it mandatory." As well, a European Commission survey found "more than half of its 3,062 respondents thought that open peer review should become routine." There are arguments in favour, but not everyone agrees with the idea, of course. Stephen Heard writes that in private reviews, "I can write colloquially. I can be candid about other papers the author might be citing, or not citing."[Link] [Comment]
Good article on a topic we don't discuss a lot. The idea of a learning audit is to determine the current state of affairs of learning in a company or institution, such as McDonalds (the case used in this article). There's no secret to conducting a learning audit, but there are choices to make - for example, whether to conduct it internally or hire an outside consultant. You look at people's attitudes ("What are people thinking? Are they thinking that the training’ s accessible? That it’ s easy to find? Do they like the content? Are they using the content?") an you look at the job profiles. And you have to assess the learning itself. "You forget to do things like encouraging learners to reflect, to think about how it’ s relevant, to give them decision-making practice, to give them repetitions in learning.”[Link] [Comment]
Perhaps we're looking at the idea of computers replacing teachers in the wrong light, says Dan Butin. "Much of my job is repetitive," he writes. "I’ ve used the same readings, the same examples, the same jokes, for years in my introductory class. Maybe, just maybe, it might not be so bad to be replaced by a computer." How is this OK? "I want to be anything but typical. I want to (and do) engage my students through in-class and out-of-class experiential activities, role plays and simulations, service-learning projects, mentorship opportunities and shadow-a-teacher experiences."[Link] [Comment]
When Avatar came out the 3D effect was pretty incredible. Now the same 3D effect in movies is ordinary, and you need to have some special reason (ie: CGI effects) to use it. I think things like the hololens are similar. Nurse interactions with patients, or archaeologists interacting with artifacts might qualify. Maybe even visualizations of mathematical formulae. But the normal classroom experience will not benefit from the 3D treatment. Via Inside Higher Ed, where Joshua Kim warns that the product Pearson is touting is more like augmented reality than virtual reality.[Link] [Comment]
Scroll down past the full-page advertisement, skim though the 'ten things' and linger on the image before you get to the meat of the article. "Design thinking prepares students for a creative life — whether that is in business, in the social or civic spaces, in the arts, or in engineering. But it does this by allowing them create things that matter to them right now. It’ s not some far off 'grown up' thing." I agree. Via George Couros.[Link] [Comment]
This is a MOOC created out of the presentations and discussions I and a dozen or so colleagues had at a colloquium on the Isle of Capri at the invitation of the University of Naples Federico II. The enrollment page is here. Only the first week is available so far, featuring short intro videos from each of us, but the next few weeks will feature the longer presentations from us all.[Link] [Comment]
This is an overview of how Moodle will approach learning analytics under the leadership of Elizabeth Dalton. "Dalton believed the offerings of analytics spoke too much corporate and too little actual intervention. It surprised her when the community seemed to forget or overlook that 'learning analytics are about learning'. It is understandable that marketing materials and approaches are made in the context of a business case, especially for learning organizations focusing on the enterprise. But she fears the 'metaphor is going too far'." The article isn't very informative, but you'll want to follow the Moodle Analytics series, the link to the video (a great talk from Dalton) as well as the reference to Schiro's curriculum theory.[Link] [Comment]
There are numerous behavioural change models, but John Mayne expresses surprise that they are not used more in educational literature. This is likely because behaviourist accounts have largely been replaced with the sort of cognitive modeling processes described in constructivism. In any case, Mayne here (12 page PDF) works with the Michie, Stralen and West (2011) COM-B model: "behaviour (B) occurs as the result of interaction between three necessary conditions, capabilities (C), opportunities (O) and motivation (M)." I wouldn't adopt this approach, but it's important to note because management programs tend to favour behaviour-based Theory of Change (ToC) models, and this is what projects (like Silicon Valley's) without a lot of educational background tend to produce.[Link] [Comment]
Could we be about to see technological innovations in email? According to this article, email vendors are beginning to awaken to the possibility. "The email industry itself is in a state of reinvention," writes Jason Rodriguez. "The web is leaking into the inbox." We're looking at responsive layouts, animation and interactivity, semantic elements, and tooling and frameworks. Significantly, Microsoft (which has never supported HTML email properly) is taking more of an interest.[Link] [Comment]
David Wiley comments on the role of commercial actors in the open space in light of yesterday’ s revelation that Microsoft has joined the Linux Foundation. He writes, "The open source software side of the open house has absolutely no issue with commercial entities using or contributing to open source software." That's not exactly true, but the dissenting voices have long since been drowned out. Anyhow, it's not the same in the content world, but the fear of educators, he writes, is unjustified. "There’ s no excuse for judging an organization based on whether it was incorporated as a for-profit or non-profit entity." Maybe, but that's not how commercial use is defined. It's when you slap a pricetag on a learning resource and prevent them from accessing it otherwise that people begin to question the practice. And remember, in most countries, education, unlike software development, is a public good. Which is why we resist the commercialization of learning resources.[Link] [Comment]
As reported by the W3C: "A couple weeks ago the W3C Web Platform Working Group published HTML 5.1 as a Standard. It was merely days after the second anniversary of the advent of the 5th major version of the core language of the World Wide Web (you may read the press release we put out when HTML 5 became a W3C recommendation)." Best line of the day is from Ben Werdmuller: "According to software precedent, the next version should be HTML 7."[Link] [Comment]
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