For the first time in, what, four years I am not planning trains to London for the annual Future of Technology in Education Conference. I’ve got to say, it’s quite a wrench to say that as it’s both a good conference and an excellent opportunity to network.
So, why am I not going? Two reasons mainly but ultimately I wanted a year off: it can be quite a trek to get to London which is made even harder when you have to factor about getting across London as well and then, with the conference being on Friday, the journey home with everyone else who’s evacuating the city is always a nightmare.
With only 300 tickets available there are far more people following online, either through Twitter #fote13 hashtag and the personalities and presenters themselves, Facebook and Google+ pages, or the streamed service. So, this year, Continue reading →
With discussions taking place around the College and University about the merits and technicalities of providing students with recorded materials, the timing couldn’t have been better for this workshop.
Hosted by Loughborough University with keynotes and sessions from leading users and supporters of lecture capture technology, the event was a good introduction to what experienced users are doing with he established technology, and how these enhancements are being vowed and used by students.
What do I want to get from today? I’ve used and been a supporter of lecture capture for many years now, and am enthusiastic for its introduction at Leicester. I want to build on my existing knowledge and understanding, how this has changed in the year or so since I moved to Leicester, and how established users of lecture capture technology are taking things forward and developing the techniques and pedagogy surrounding the technology.
We also need to be careful we do not ignore the ‘other’ questions that need asking: it’s not only about the students and pedagogic use of the technology, it’s also about how it’s implemented. We need to be sure to address the resources and resourcing, the implementation, the strategy surrounding its installation and use, the pedagogy, the support, etc. It is not about how we use it, it’s about how well we use it.
It was during FOTE12 that I had the first hint of an idea on how to take conference attendee engagement to the next level.
As the curator for the ULCC YouTube videos from FOTE12, I had hoped to collect a series of video interviews with deleagates and produce a number of videos on the delegate responses to the conference theme and ‘future of technology in education’ issues. It did not pan out as planned on the day, so instead I used the archive of tweets from the conference (thanks to Martin Hawksey), as well as the great photos of the day taken by the ULCC photographer.
Here’s what I thought … take the delegates engagement in the conference activity (weeks and even months before the conference itself), add in a new feature in the Conference App (or associated website), and a little bit of 1980′s TV, and you’ve made a great way for individuals to be involved in the conference.
Day two of the Durham Blackboard started with an extremely useful insight into the roadmap Blackboard is taking with their product(s), as well as Blackboard’s own opinion on the conference theme: “Make Do or Spend?”. However, the Conference’s second keynote is from Jeremy Knox from the University of Edinburgh and was on “MOOC pedagogy: the challenges of developing for Coursera”.
Day two of the Durham Blackboard Users’ Conference started with this extremely useful insight into the roadmap Blackboard is taking with the ‘Learn’ product, as well as Blackboard’s own opinion on the conference theme: “Make Do or Spend?”.
Greg Ritter (@gritter), Director of Product Management with Blackboard Learn, showed Blackboards perspective on ‘the challenges ahead’ and on the conference theme, ‘Make Do or Spend?’. Greg showed us, and discussed:
Blackboard Analytics [product]: extract student data, from both Blackboard and Institution student-records systems, for use in reporting to different stakeholders.
After several years of trying to get the UK Blackboard Users Conference it seems 2013 (and the 13th conference – it’s a teenager!) is my lucky year. The theme for the 13th Annual Durham Blackboard Users’ Conference is ‘Make Do or Spend’ with presentations looking at how colleges and universities are responding to pressure:
Increasing consumerist attitudes amongst students, and
Severe fiscal constraints.
What I hope to get from the 2 day conference, apart from the networking, product/Blackboard development, Bb mobile progress, conference dinner, travel, etc., is insight into how individuals and Institutions are dealing with, and adapting, to the changing conditions within the UK FE/HE market. How are these changes are affecting approaches to learning management systems (Blackboard) and can these changes be sustained or modified if the conditions ‘worsen’? Continue reading →
The Durham University Blackboard Users Conference on January 8/9, 2013 is all about ‘Make do or Spend?‘ next year (spelt ‘sp£nd’ – see what they did there?) with the focus clearly on the VLE (or other technologies) and how well we use it in the face of stiff competition for student numbers in the current economic climate.
Are you thinking ahead to conferences next year, which ones you’ll attend and which ones you’ll submit to? Yeah, me too, which is why this ‘teaser’ video from the Plymouth Enhanced Learning Conference (PELeCON, April 10-12, 2013) couldn’t have come at a better time:
The topic/theme for PELeCON next year is “Digital Learnscapes: Meeting Future Challenges”:
“We live in a period of change and uncertainty. Many are bewildered by these changes and find it difficult to keep up, particularly in the education and training sectors. The ability to anticipate and prepare for change is the mark of innovative educators, as is the skill of harnessing new and emerging tools to promote good learning.
“At Pelecon 13 we want to provide learning professionals with opportunities to explore, discover and discuss new approaches, new technologies and new ideas to enhance, enrich and extend their own professional practice. There will be particular emphasis this year on simulations and games, personal learning tools, new pedagogies and practices, learner and teacher voice, and digital literacies.”
Future of Technology in Education Conference (iPhone/iPad/iPod): If you’re considering attending the Future of Technology in Education FOTE conference this year then you may want to think about downloading the dedicated App for it (also available for Android devices).
“The FOTE12 app offers delegates of the conference all relevant event information in the palm of their hand.”
It has been updated from last year at FOTE11 and doesn’t show you much at the moment, but it’ll come alive on the day with details and information on:
Flick through the days agenda with information and find out more about keynote speakers and their talks
Connect with fellow delegates,
Connect with exhibitors and sponsors during the event,
Visit the FOTE Archive for highlights from past conferences,
Receive alerts and announcements using Push Notifications, and
Receive the latest news about the conference.
You can already look through the recordings of past events and watch them through Archive section, which I guess is where you will also be able to find details and recordings of the FOTE12 event in due course!
Update 28/9: New features have been added since I wrote the app, including delegate list (currently empty), maps and location, details on the #playFOTE12 game (sounds good!), and agenda for the day (inclusing bio and outline of the session).
The final keynote for the Designs on eLearning conference today is from Usman Haque, founder of Pachube (www.cosm.com), a real-time data infrastructure for the Internet of Things. Usman is credited as the creative architect behind initiatives of “responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and dozens of mass-participation initiatives”.
Rounding off the conference themes of connectivity, engagement, and the ‘revolutionary’ shift in the relationship between learning and technology, Usman use real world examples and projects to explain these themes they the way everything is changing.
From architect to information (construct) architect: continual development and small changes in the ‘software space’ changes how inhabitants interact with each other (image above of the pigs shows their sleeping habits based on slight temperastute increase).
Using different techniques for designing spaces Usman showcases the difference ways to approach projects and how individuals approach, interact, and engage with the installation as well as each other, Scent of Spaces is a good example.
SkyEar: a “non-rigid carbon-fibre ‘cloud’, embedded with one thousand glowing helium balloons and several dozen mobile phones. The balloons contain miniature sensor circuits that respond to electromagnetic fields, particularly those of mobile phones.” Each time the phones were called the electromagnetic fields changed, therefore the colours and patterns in the balloons changed. Nice!
Primal Source: each voice from the audience affects the colour display, with each person trying to work out what their voice ‘looks like’
Pachube / Cosm – www.cosm.com: remote monitoring linked to sensors in real-time, building a twitter-like environment for a house, to enable a creation of global repository of sensor actuators(?) for energy environments, objects, devices, etc. Exchanging ideas and data with developers to bring smart(er) products to the world. A social platform that “helps you connect to, and build, the ‘Internet of things’.”
What Usman is showing us here is how people collaborate, how people work together, and how people want to share ideas and data for the good of the project and for the development of their ideas through someone else’s perspective. This is not about owning the idea, for me it’s about seeing where your ideas can go with the ‘community’ involvement. I am, however, struggling to find the eLearning in Usman’s keynote, enjoyable and informative though it is – there’s lots about the “crowd and cloud” in his work, but not explicitly mentioned.
Natural Fuse: “The carbon footprint of the power used to run devices can be offset by the natural carbon-capturing processes that occur as plants absorb carbon dioxide and grow” and the selfless or selfish in sharing carbon-capture plants. Interesting project that shows that you need 6 plants to offset just one low wattage LED bulb, but you build a social relationship with your device and plants that helps to show accountability in actions, as well as connecting these plants to the global network of other users (yes, you can kill someone else’s plants!)
Creation and fostering citizenship by using different terminology, as well as from the project brief, highlights the need for correctly applying and grounding our work in the world we want (students) to work? While we may know this is as an intended outcome (planned or otherwise) do we need to explicitly inform the students of this intention, or let them figure this out for themselves, either during the work or afterwards?
Thank you to all the speakers, from all the sessions, the keynote presenters, and to the team behind the Designs on eLearning Conference. The slides and the recorded keynotes are all going to be available through the Conference website (link above) in the next few weeks.