Enjoy this video from Educause. I hope you can see where I am coming from and why I’ve added this video to the #LTHE project as I see the Learning Technologist as an enabler, facilitator, manager, specialist, and even student in these ‘connected age’ Education settings:
“Higher Education is a connected community, and connections can do transformative things. When education is connected it forms a pathway; formal and informal learning are no longer separated. Learners can connect to an ever-widening circle of mentors, peers, experience, knowledge, games, simulations, collaborations tools, and augmented reality can help learners connect the dots in ways never before possible.”
As many of you will have heard, either from the tweets or Blackboard notices, there is building block for Blackboard that allows you to assign and issue badges of achievements to students which they can copy to their Mozilla Back Pack.
I think there still needs to be some proper consideration on what the badge is being issued for: the video below states the badges are issued based on “specific student performance metrics” (don’t get me wrong, I’m in favour of badges and some gamification of learning, but it needs to be an appropriate badge for an appropriate activity) such as:
a section of a course … possibly using the ‘mark as reviewed’ status? This is not meaningful as the students can just mark everything as reviewed and get the badge (I’ve done it before).
complete assignments … why give a badge for this? if they complete the assignment they get a mark and progress to the next module (would a student want to show a badge for a B grade when their friends are showing A’s)?
I would argue that a badge issued to a student who shows a skill learned, not a score or grade given, is more meaningful: e.g. debating skill, team or group management, individual goal attainment, etc. The badges could be carefully aligned to skills and metrics that are as much about the learning and subject as about the professional nature of the course – something the student can use to demonstrate a skill and understanding, something that an employer or interviewer would want to see from an applicant? That would make it more valuable to the student, and increase the importance of the badge.
There are more to badges in learning than just being able to show that the student passed an assignment or activity. What do you think?
“Poor use of technology is a significant waster of time and money in the public sector. UK Higher Education is not exempt from this problem. This course will help those planning and delivering teaching in HE to make the best use of technology in their work and avoid pitfalls and hiccups.”
Starting in April 2013, and running for 10 weeks, the online course will “help those planning and delivering teaching in HE to make the best use of technology in their work and avoid pitfalls and hiccups”.
You can follow the course, and the run up to it, on Twitter with the hashtag #ocTEL and Twitter account @ALTocTEL
The course will cover aspects of (and is not limited to … nor is it finalised yet either):
Induction: how this course works, who can help
Openness and standards
Options for the material, sizing effort, lead times, hardware and software needs, costs
Scary/violent video games … “can be an alternate way to release negative emotion, and help children alleviate their innate desire for risk and adventure.” I’ll sit on the fence on this one: while there may be some positive benefits to these kinds of games I’m not sure if they outweigh the negative?
Science practicals … “isn’t always as effective as it may appear on the surface.” This statement says that science or lab practical work isn’t working – is it the actual time spent in a practical or the actual experiment itself that isn’t working? I enjoyed my science lab work, even more so when it didn’t work, but (and this was more down to the way it was taught and not the subject, I think) I was not given the opportunity to ‘try’ out different things.
Chess … “forces students to slow down, concentrate, use precise thinking, active both inductive and deductive reasoning, as well as recognizing difficult and complex patterns.” Yes, but so do lots of other ‘games’ in different and equally beneficial ways. Let’s not single out a specific game, we should be able to advocate all game-based learning, especially when there is scope for the student to “understand that ‘losing’ the game is as valuable as winning.”
Building blocks … “one of the simplest and longstanding toys, teach geometry, patterns, shapes, colors, and physics” not to mention spatial awareness and dexterity?
Music and movement … help children to “learn to appreciate the pacing of words and how to speak more clearly” through rhyme. “Children who engage in music from a young age have a more finely tuned ability to speak and communicate” therefore are more articulate when it comes to reflection and critical thinking in later life?
Drama and comedy … induce a “vibrancy of emotion that shows a student’s entire mind and feelings are engaged in the activity” and learning, in various ways, is a result from an engaged child – “one who is more likely to absorb information, retain it, and make real-life associations with the knowledge.”
These are just a few of the interesting ‘findings’ on how students learn, so be sure to read the full article on the link above to read more about these and:-
“Children who construct their own video games experience increased cognitive and social growth”
“Engaging children in planning and reflection enhance their predictive and analytic capabilities”
“Children are not blank slates on which adults imprint knowledge”
“Children learn more when they initiate an activity and are actively engaged in it”
“Children behave better when parents are involved in their education at home and at school”
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 report summary has the following key points and recommendations:
Blended-learning environments are the norm; students say that these environments best support how they learn.
Students want to access academic progress information and course material via their mobile devices, and institutions deliver.
Technology training and skill development for students is more important than new, more, or “better” technology.
Students use social networks for interacting with friends more than for academic communication.
Look to emerging or established leaders (other institutions, other countries, other industries) for strategies to deliver instruction and curricular content to tablets and smartphones. Learn from their exemplary strategies for IT support and security with student devices as well as planning, funding, deploying, and managing instructional technologies, services, and support.
Prioritize the development of mobile-friendly resources and activities that students say are important: access to course websites and syllabi, course and learning management systems, and academic progress reports (i.e., grades).
Bridge the gap between the technologies that have seen the greatest growth (e-portfolios, e-books/e-textbooks, and web-based citation/bibliographic tools) and students’ attitudes about their importance. Focus training/skill-building opportunities for students, professional development opportunities for faculty, and support service opportunities on these emerging technologies.
Use e-mail and the course and learning management system for formal communication with students. Experiment with text messaging and instant messaging/online chatting, and don’t focus efforts on using social networks and telephone conversations to interact with students.
(See the 2012 report for a full list key messages, findings, supporting data, and actionable results.)
While it’ll take some time to digest the report and it’s findings/recommendations, they have also produced this wonderful Infographic:
This is the first instance I’ve heard of where a major University (Purdue U) is using Open Badges, and have called the system/process ‘Passport’:
“[Passport] is learning management, mixed with gaming, meets ePortfolio. Students earn badges by completing learning activities presented as a series of challenges. Passport guides students through each task by providing a framework to submit documents, share links, complete quizzes, or gather approvals. Instructors can follow each students’ progress and connect badges with course objectives. As badges are collected, they can be shared online as Mozilla Open Badge or through the mobile portfolio.”
This is what Open Badges can do when implemented across, and through, the whole Institution. They’re going to be far more important and recognised when used for course related activities (simulated business exercise, research, etc) as well as giving the students the ability to showcase their other activities (portfolio, careers, sport, societies, charity, etc?) and when applying for placements and graduate jobs.
Whether employers will embrace badges is another question, but anything that can make it easier for an employer see the best candidate from the noise of the good candidates should be a good thing, yes?
Ever wondered what Learning Without Frontiers (LWF) is about? Wonder no more, and watch this ‘review’:
“Learning Without Frontiers (LWF) is a global platform that facilitates the ongoing dialogue about the future of learning. LWF attracts an engaged and open-minded audience who are forward thinking, curious and receptive to new ideas and perspectives about education, teaching and learning.”
I was lucky enough to be able to go to LWF12 event (read my review here). For 2013 LWF I think I might prefer to make the 2 day Game-Based Learning rather than the 3 day follow-on of the main LWF event, but that’s less about my current role and requirements and more about personal interest in seeing what is happening on the gaming/simulation front.