Most people don't really like change and secretly hope that any new challenges will simply go away and we can all get back to normal again. This is certainly true with educational technology and every time some study indicates that technology has not made the impact many had hoped for there is a great cry of "what did I tell you" from the tech skeptics, often lead by the popular media. In the past couple of weeks we've seen a new wave of this after a new OECD/PISA report, Students, Computers and Learning, indicated that pupils' test results in reading and maths had not risen despite considerable investment in technology (laptops and tablets for all). The findings showed that pupils who spent most time on the net often had poorer test scores and this was taken as "evidence" that technology was not helping education.
Technologies only become truly integrated into society when they move from requiring forethought to becoming an afterthought. It's the progression of all innovations and it’s now happening to how we experience of the internet.
What was once a deep system to search has slowly evolved into a system that pulls personalized, ambient information to a single layer we skim.
Delft University of Technology Vice-President Anka Mulder
Universities need to be bold, engage in global collaboration and develop solid structures to ensure open and online learning can reach the next level. This is a message from Delft University of TechnologyVice-President Anka Mulder, who is encouraging institutions to “do it for themselves” and take the necessary next steps to maximise the reach of education.
Data and research on education including skills, literacy, research, elementary schools, childhood learning, vocational training and PISA, PIACC and TALIS surveys., Are there computers in the classroom? Does it matter? Students, Computers and Learning: Making the Connection examines how students’ access to and use of information and communication technology (ICT) devices has evolved in recent years, and explores how education systems and schools are integrating ICT into students’ learning experiences. Based on results from PISA 2012, the report discusses differences in access to and use of ICT – what are collectively known as the “digital divide” – that are related to students’ socio-economic status, gender, geographic location, and the school a child attends. The report highlights the importance of bolstering students’ ability to navigate through digital texts. It also examines the relationship among computer access in schools, computer use in classrooms, and performance in the PISA assessment. As the report makes clear, all students first need to be equipped with basic literacy and numeracy skills so that they can participate fully in the hyper-connected, digitised societies of the 21st century.
When students enroll in MOOCs, they almost always watch a series of video lectures. But just watching videos — without also engaging interactively — is an ineffective way to learn, according to a study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.
MOOCs that rely primarily on people watching lectures may be missing an opportunity to help their students learn even more by adding interactive activities. Recent research into massive open online courses suggests that students do six times better in the course by "extra doing." On top of that, they're more likely to persist in the course.
Having cut my teeth in video production using presenters, shooting lots of talking heads and generally learning how best to use video in learning, I’m not for throwing the this baby out with the bathwater. The talking head is a well-used and respected form of communication. In learning it can be used to enhance online learning, if used with care, even innovatively.
Evaluating Online Teaching is not so much a how-to guide as it as a roadmap, guiding the reader through the complexities of creating or overhauling a faculty evaluation process. The book places heavy emphasis on contextual factors and is filled with real-world examples. Evaluating Online Teaching is a must-read for distance learning administrators tasked with faculty evaluations.
The cMOOC, is based on connection rather than content, looks more like an online community than a course, and doesn’t have a defined curriculum or formal assignments. What makes a person able to function in such an environment? What constitutes the literacy that is missing in such a case? What type of learning design or learning technology is best suited to support learning in a free-form community-based environment? These are the questions intended to be addressed in this paper. It describes the basis for a personal learning architecture and outlines the elements of the ‘learning and Performance Support System’ project being developed to implement this architecture.
Can closed or restricted learning environments actually complement and enhance open learning? I've been thinking about this for a while and see a clear connection. I believe firmly in openness in education but there are problems with everything being wide open. In an open course, especially a massive one, there is a lot of noise (comments and discussions everywhere and hard to find any structure) and many learners who are unused to online learning simply give up in the face of the overwhelming volume. In all this noise what on earth can I contribute?
Last month my colleagues and I completed a pilot of what well may be the most interesting project of my life. It was the pilot of a new type of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that pushes the MOOC design envelope by blending a globally transformative platform with an eco-system of deep personal, locally grounded learning communities. Below is the story and some key insights from this experiment that prototypes the 21st century university by putting the learner into the driver's seat of profound social change.
Blogging on a regular basis has helped me understand what I do as a teacher. It has expanded my understanding of learning, forced me to read more widely about education as I search for ideas that may evolve into posts and added a new dimension to my reflective practice. Regular writing with an audience in mind has provided insight to the process of writing that I have shared with my students and the blog has become a resource I call upon when sharing ideas and planning with colleagues.
The United States Department of Education has hired its first "open education" advisor.
The United States Department of Education has hired its first "open education" advisor. Andrew Marcinek's new job in the Office of Education Technology (OET) is to help K-12 and colleges and universities learn about open educational resources (OER), free digital teaching, learning and research resources available in the public domain.
Social media should enable greater communication and discussion and the opportunity to interact with people we would seldom if ever be able to meet in person. In many respects these aims have been met but I get the feeling that the communication aspect is stagnating and that instead of real discussion we are retreating into cosy echo-chambers or simply exchanging pleasantries, selfies, cats and endless quotations. We naturally surround ourselves with friends who have very similar views as ourselves and so any discussions that do occur tend to be mostly mutual confirmation of shared values. In more public communities most people prefer to play safe and stick to non-controversial issues often in fear of provoking responses from net trolls.
Social media is not living up to its promise of being an online outlet for discussion that mirrors our communications and conversations that take place in the offline world. In fact, people are less willing to discuss important issues on social media, than they are in real life, a new report from Pew Research Center has found.
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