Tagged as a report “exploring new forms of teaching, learning and assessment, to guide educators and policy makers” the Innovating Pedagogy 2013 from the Open University is intended for teachers, policy makers, academics and anyone interested in how education may change over the next ten years.
The 2013 report highlights, for the coming 10 years according to timescale and impact:
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 →
If you have been thinking about how to use images and Pinterest in your classroom in an engaging and innovative way, and wondered about how ‘pinned’ images, videos, etc. can be used to group, collaborate, and crowdsource resources, then this infographic has some useful tips and links for you (click to view the full version):
In light of last week’s FOTE12 event in London, I found this excellent video from Prof Stephen Heppell, talking about the education system in Australia (and a dire warning to the English education system at the same time):
“Schools are these extraordinary intellectual powerhouses that are at the heart of our future – connecting them up is essential if we’re going to bring the collective ingenuity of those minds together. But it’s that ability to crowdsource so many smart people, so many keen children, so many extraordinary communities and families, so many professional teachers. I’m in awe of where this all going to go in the next decade.”
“This isn’t about how much money you’ve got. This isn’t about what your parents do. This is about have you got the ingenuity, have you got the horse power between your ears, to really make a difference with this? And I’ll tell you what, we’re going to need every single kid on the planet, every single kid, to be part of this. What we can prototype with the NBN (National Broadband Network) is what ubiquitous learning looks like, what we can prototype is what learning looks like when everybody has access.“
[emphasis above is mine].
I’m sure we’re all aware of what resources can do for learning, where everyone has the access and ability to learn from what’s available, but it’s also about how these resources are introduced, managed, implemented, and ‘taught’ that makes them work for everyone (MOOC anyone?). From the above video and from a little reading I’ve done around the NBN and Stephen’s work in Australia it really does sound like they’re trying hard to, and already achieving, good results from this initiative.
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.
This week I am attending the ‘Designs on eLearning: Crowd and Cloud‘ conference hosted by the University of Arts, London. With presentation on a mixture of eLearning techniques based around the inclusion on cloud technologies, the delegates can listen to experienced innovators to gain knowledge of (good) practice and experience from those utilising different aspects of technology in their teaching and learning.
Whilst obviously aimed towards those who are involved in teaching the arts or design in some shape or other, there is a whole host of experience and knowledge that everyone can take away with them if (like me) they’re not from this type of background.
I am not going to cover each and ever session I attend, the list and this post will be too long. This is the first in a series of posts that highlight what I liked and what struck a chord with me. Please feel free to leave a comment if anything here interests you or, if you attended the conference, to add to the report if I missed anything?
Keynote: Steve Molyneux (@ProfSMolyneux): “The printer, the ‘book’, and the cloud.”
Points that Steve makes includes:
Mobile learning – mLearning – began with invention of the printing press and the first textbook. Books are mobile, personal, have granular content, structured (chapters), meta-tagged data (index, footnotes, glossary, etc), and collaborative (margin notes). New tech (e.g. tablets) add the following to this list: connected, adaptive, communicative, location aware, touch sensitive. What Steve didn’t say here is that new technology like tablets are also (currently) more desirable?
New tech is out of date within hours of its release as the companies involved continue to out-do themselves and each other. It’s not only the hardware that’s out of date so quickly, it’s the content, information, and approach we have to this information, and how we produce it, changes just as quickly.
Students have more power in their own devices that we can provide them with in the computer labs. Question: why provide these costly labs instead of providing a sturdy and secure infrastructure to support their own equipment? Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) works?
Best video to showcase what’s wrong with classrooms and learning is still this clip from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (amazing that some in the audience hadn’t seen it before – the clip not the film):
Neo-Millennials: creating and mixing existing content and ideas … when and where they want!
Ages of education… Control of education is no longer in the hands of the state, the teacher, or the institution. The power of education is now in the hands of the learner, in a 24/7 connected way that we have never seen before and still don’t fully understand the implications (discuss?).
Knowledge is power
iTunesU – a lengthy video clip but a good one to demonstrate the latest (2012) ‘iTunesU App Demo‘
Remove the projector to truly make the learning spaces mobile by using NearPod – lecture without a ‘front’. Steve showcased the following video demonstrating NearPod:
To close the keynote Steve explained that without a concerted and considered approach (my words) to implementation of this technology and these devices (see the above video, even using NearPod the students are still sat in rows and single seats! They should be able to move and group themselves, to aid collaboration and engagement), and the advantages that this new tech offers, we still suffer from “all the gear, no idea” mentality!