After such a successful run earlier this year, the team behind BYOD4L (Sue Beckingham, Chrissi Nerantzi, Andrew Middleton, et al) are working their magic again – put the dates in your diary: BYOD4L July 14-18. I have been invited back again this time to work with Sue, Andrew, and Chrissi (and the other team members) and will be engaging course participants online.
Looking back over the work on BYOD4L, my recent changes in circumstances, and my approach to the role I’m in, I was asked to write about something about the challenges of being creative (or not) in a role that doesn’t always require creative working or operation.
Due to the reflective nature of the post, that I am thinking and working towards being a better ‘learning technologist’, this forms the 13th part to my series of ‘what is a Learning Technologist?’
As a Learning Technologist I tend to make or create things. Everyday I write emails, attend meetings, take notes, support staff, advise colleagues, demonstrate systems, deliver workshops, etc. .. and that’s the ‘required’ stuff that an employer would see as my role. Continue reading →
Big Data is the new buzzword. It’s not ‘big’ enough to topple MOOC from the lips of educatros, but it is becoming a topic that is being talked about more and more.
Firstly, what’s the difference between Big Data and Learning Analytics (if there is one)?
Learning Analytics, as defined by the 2013 Horizon Report is “big data applied to education”. There, that helped yes? No?
Then what is Big data? According to Lisa Arthur it is confusing in that it isn’t just one thing or the other, it is “a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis”. Ed Dumbill says that Big Data is “data that exceeds the processing capacity of conventional database systems. The data is too big, moves too fast, or doesn’t fit the strictures of your database architectures. To gain value from this data, you must choose an alternative way to process it.“
What is Kindle Matchbook? Announced by Amazon last year, Matchbook is (from LifeHacker) “that will allow owners of hard copies of books to purchase extremely cheap ebook versions for their Kindle collection.” If you bought a paper copy from Amazon you could be eligible to buy or download an eBook edition.
From the link above (make sure you’re logged into your Amazon account) you can click the ‘Find your Kindle MatchBook titles’ button and the website will look through your purchase history and see if any match. Naturally, none of my purchases do – eligibility in MatchBook is determined by the publisher and whether they include their title in the scheme. There is also discrepancy as to whether this is available in the UK or not yet.
Here’s a short ‘how to’ guide on displaying your Open Badges, or a Mozilla backpack, on your LinkedIn profile.
There’s the simple way, which is not very visual or appealing, which is to edit your profile and use one of the three links available under ‘contact info’, which will display on your public profile like this:
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t really do it for me. You?
This post has been updated to show how to display badges from either a Mozilla backpack or the Cred.ly website.
Whether you use the term digital footprint or digital image social identity or online profile or some variant, there is much discussion on and around how we portray ourselves online, and how those who access that see us.
It is even more important (to me: I have two young boys who will one day want to be active online) to make sure we inform and guide anyone new to this kind of activity and to putting themselves online (not just children or students, but anyone of any age) – what, how, where, why, etc. It is as important to demonstrate how to do it as much as how not to do it, and why we do something and why we don’t.
There are plenty of examples of online behaviour causing a great deal of personal tragedy or loss – I presented about it a few years ago. What I have learned since then is there are so many people doing some great work in this to help people of all ages find their place and voice online, safely. Lisa Nielson posted this week on some great work by the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) who worked with students, parents, and teachers to formulate their guidelines for social media use. Continue reading →
This post is a slight detour from my usual educational technology based around use and uses in higher education, but this video from Charles Jennings of the Internet Time Alliance does have impact and relevance to those of us working and supporting higher education.
In it Charles talks about workplace learning and how much is retained at different times: “any one of us will forget about half of what we’ve been told within an hour of being told it, unless we have the opportunity to put that into practice within that hour.”
So, what do think happens to students who sit through an hour lecture? Charles talks about informal learning and the benefits over a formal structured class (with tests) on workplace learning. If we think about the College or University as the ‘workplace’ then are we fulfilling our obligation to provide adequate learning environments for the students (and their own personal learning styles)? Continue reading →
For those who don’t know it, or want a brief reminder, ResponseWare is the online/mobile version of the TurningPoint in-class ‘clicker’ handsets. Prior to the lecture or class the tutor adds a slide or two to the presentation which will need the students to use the clicker handsets to answer a simple multiple choice, likert scale, or true/false answer. Providing you remember to save the ‘session’ once you’ve finished you can query the results and get reports based on a per question or per respondent. Nice!
ResponseWare is the natural progression for this technology, using the student’s own devices (BYOD) to connect and engage with the topic, concept, or session theme, and also to provide a focus for in-class discussions before and after the polling. Continue reading →
This article by Austin Fitzhenry asks a simple question: “can students teach their lecturers a thing or two?”
Go read the full article on the Times Higher Education website, it is very good, extremely well written, and full of thought provoking comments and observations that need consideration if we are to improve the relationship between ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’.
Below are a few sections that caught my eye for one reason or another:
“The question “Why am I here?” often strikes in the 73rd minute of a droning lecture. Don’t misunderstand – I love lectures. But only if the person delivering it knows how to allow learning. And yes, I do mean “allow”, for academics don’t create learning – only the student can do that. Unfortunately, most if not all lecturers are crippled by misunderstandings about their students and ill-founded assumptions about education itself. If we can filter the mud from the Pierian Spring, then they will have far less frustration in their lives and students will stop wishing that they were somewhere else. So one afternoon, after a particularly frustrating day with my professors, I sat down and wrote my lecture to them. I pray that they are taking notes.” Continue reading →
As basic Internet speeds up, more and more people are incorporating video in their online lives. Whether it’s a family event,m working from home, or taking part in webinars, webcams are being used.
This handy guide will, hopefully, put an end to those dark or overlit videos .. “how to look good on camera”. It covers lighting, positioning, and connection, and could help you appear more professional (and certainly easier to see/hear).