There is a suggestion that rolling out a 1:1 iPad project will be a great equalizer in the classroom. Indeed many criticisms of BYOD revolve around the problem of inequality – some students will have a better device than others and then there are those that don’t have any technology at all.
If educational technology and 1:1 education are going to thrive, school leaders must be focused on constantly employing the best practices and tools in relation to the most pressing needs of their students. Managing and sustaining these programs means that the big choices don’t stop after a platform has been selected.
Has there ever been a more exciting time to be a teacher? There is certainly more choice and opportunity, with access to tools that were merely an idea a decade ago. Global interconnectivity through technology has transformed the world of work. Offices are paperless; conferences are virtual and information is shared instantly. This is the real world; the future for our students. So how do we make the link?
Probably there is no other topic in education which generates so much discussion and controversy as ‘quality’. Many books have been written on the topic, but I will cut to the chase and give my definition of quality up-front.
Unfortunately, my guess is that the answer to this question is a sound “NO”. Despite continuous claims of a revolution in classroom teaching strategies, the advent of massive on-line open courses, and the huge expansion in the use of technological devices (cell phone, computers, tablets, etc), in most higher education institutions (HEIs) around the world traditional lecturing endures. It will probably continue this way for many years to come, because to do otherwise requires a change of paradigm for hundreds of thousands of instructors, HEIs tradition and culture, and every aspect of institutional operation (research grants, hiring and promotion processes, etc).
This paper explores the experiences of two doctoral students who embraced Web 2.0 tools in their digital scholarship practices. The paper gives an insider perspective of the challenges and potential of working with online tools, such as blogs, and participating in online communities, such as Twitter’s #phdchat. We explore by drawing on our personal experiences as to how this participation was affected by our hybridised identity as both members of staff at a UK university and as PhD students. We argue that social media tools provide access to a community of doctoral students and knowledgeable others that reduce isolation and provide challenge and support along the challenging journey of undertaking a doctoral study. Whilst the tools involved exposure and risk in relation to managing our hybridised identities, our experience of their use was one we would recommend to others.
Google’s vice-president Vint Cerf has warned that all digitally stored information could be wiped out by tech upgrades, putting the sum total of human knowledge under threat. An author and scientist explains why today’s systems are so vulnerable – and how pioneers are preparing for the worst
After attending a FutureLearn partners webinar about designing online courses, the age-old issue of encouraging and engaging learners in online communication came up. It made me reflect on my past posts about online learning, specifically this one: MOOCs – 9 points on what I like, and what I don’t. If you want to go and read it before carrying on, be my guest.
It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future, as the great baseball player and coach Yogi Berra is reputed to have said. However every year at the start of February New Media Consortium unveil the influential NMC Horizon Reporton technology trends influencing higher education. Each year the eagerly awaited report features six trends, technologies and challenges and divides them according to an estimated time to implementation.
In May 2014, former HarvardX research fellow Sergiy Nesterko created an interactive map that showed learner registrants hailing from 195 countries---and, yet, the majority of them came from English-speaking ones. The same pattern, no doubt, exists for other open online courses.
Nesterko remarked: “we can further adapt HarvardX educational content to different cultures, languages, and student learning goals.” To expand the impact of MOOCs and improve the completion rate of courses, however, it is important to understand how the design of MOOCs and the platforms that deliver MOOCs can influence English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) learners.
Regardless of whether you think every infant needs an iPad, I think we can all agree that technology has changed education for the better. Today’s learners now enjoy easier, more efficient access to information; opportunities for extended and mobile learning; the ability to give and receive immediate feedback; and greater motivation to learn and engage.
You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Similarly we can offer MOOC students discussion forums but we can't make them discuss. The topic of learner engagement in online courses (not just MOOCs) has been a recurring theme over the last twenty years and it's clear that meaningful discussions don't just happen, they need to be nurtured and managed. Simply providing a space to comment leads to either complete silence or streams of unconnected random comments ranging from supportive to abusive and distasteful.
This MOOCs Report has been designed as a point of reference for future MOOC developments, allowing you to gain some insight into the process, resource and timing involved in producing a MOOC. It highlights quantitative data about the enrolled participants on both MOOCs (Right Vs Might in International Relations & The Genomic Revolution) as well as the the pedagogical approach taken in the design and delivery. It also explains the tools and technologies that were deployed and key content sources which where used to make both MOOCs a successful learning experience.
In this paper we present a case study of a self-paced university course that was originally designed to support independent, self-paced study at distance. We developed a social media intervention, in design-based research terms, that allows these independent students to contribute archived content to enhance the course, to engage in discussions with other students and to share as little or as much personal information with each other as they wished. We describe the learning design for the intervention and present survey data of student and tutor perception of value and content analysis of the archived contributions. The results indicate that the intervention was positively received by tutors and by the majority (but not all) students and that the archive created by the students’ contributions was adding value to the course. We conclude that the intervention was a modest, yet manageable example of a learning enhancement to a traditional cognitive-behavioral, course that has positive impact and potential with little negative impact on workload.
MOOCs attract large numbers of learners from all over the world and the vast majority of them are in English to cater for that global audience. However many participants are far from fluent in English and many others are unused to studying online. Clearly a major factor for not completing a MOOC is not having the language or study skills to keep up. Many of courses are challenging enough for native speakers so for non-native speakers to have a chance of keeping up with the pace there is a need for some language support. If we want to improve MOOC completion rates we need to provide scaffolding for these learners.
In a New York Times op-ed a couple weeks ago, Susan Pinker, the author of The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter, showcased the evidence that too much technology can be a bad thing, particularly for the most vulnerable students in our society. She made some important points in the piece. But even as she acknowledged toward the end that technology has a role to play, she missed spotlighting how technology can help us redesign schools to allow students to achieve what appears most important in her mind: the chance for students to have far more meaningful face-to-face interactions with teachers and peers—a counterintuitive yet important part of blended learning’s promise for many students.
So much of what I do these days, and what I produce, is digital. Tweets, status updates, audio & video files, documents, reports, etc. Less than 1% gets to where it needs to get to in any other way than by electronic transfer – money to friends (bank transfer), documents to colleagues (emails, networks, Dropbox), sharing (tweets, blog posts, status updates, etc.). Hell, even a message home to say I’ll be late will be a Facebook message instead of a phone call! - See more at: http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/elearning/maybe-digital-isnt-all-its-cracked-up-to-be/#sthash.DBFDArha.WwfUDnc0.dpuf
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