They say perfect is the enemy of done, but there may be more value to imperfection in pedagogy than just getting things done. Learning is an imperfect process and the situation is few and far between where we see someone getting it perfect the first time. Many times perfection is a self-defined construct that we ourselves cannot even precisely articulate, though we know it when we reach it. Often, several rounds of mistakes have to happen in private before a polished finished product can be presented to the world.
Like a light switch, people in the media have woken up to the terrible fact that consumers are reading, sharing, and believing information that they get from the Internet that is often factually inaccurate, and sometimes purposely fake.
Fake News isn’t a problem that appeared overnight. But the results of the election have raised the specter that the Democrats brought a knife to a gun fight, trying to combat a Tweeting candidate - with old world television, rope line politics, and a well-financed ground game.
During the past thirty years, globalisation has been a strong and steady megatrend. Most people expect this trend to continue in the coming decades. In fact, globalisation is taken for granted, almost seen as a fact of life. But continued globalisation is not the only possible future scenario. A number of forces are pushing the world towards increased nationalism, protectionism and isolationism. And one of the key aspects of globalisation – the global value chains – could even cease to exist in less than fifteen years due to technological developments. Three scenarios for the future of globalisation are possible, and nations as well as international companies had better prepare for more than one of them.
The pen is indeed mightier than the sword but in today’s media landscape that sword is double-edged serving both good and evil. The proliferation of extremist propaganda and fake news are making me reconsider my views on the social media I work with and have promoted so enthusiastically. The ability to build a global professional network, share ideas and learn from others has transformed my life and I spend a lot of my time helping others to use social media to create new opportunities. The net offers us platforms and tools for collaboration, creation, sharing and learning that were simply not possible 15 years ago. However we have rather naively assumed that these opportunities would be used to spread knowledge, learn from each other, build greater understanding, overcome barriers and foster a new spirit of enlightenment. We assume that human civilization has a positive linear development but right now we seem to have encountered some very worrying turbulence.
Open Badges – An emerging movement to recognise non-formal and informal learning Open Badges are growing rapidly. There are deep the implications of this new technology and movement in policy, employment, informal learning and higher education. The three free sessions of this MOOC will guide you through the different aspects of employment, policy and education.
Despite all the studies and articles about the inefficiency of lecturing we seem to be addicted to the habit. I freely admit that I don't always practice what I preach but the format and location of most conferences make the traditional lecture almost unavoidable. It's rather amusing how many conferences I've attended on subjects like innovative pedagogy or future learning spaces that are based almost exclusively around lectures and the dreaded panel debates. Indeed I've listened to extremely boring lectures about innovative pedagogy.
This week's US presidential election has shaken me to the core. The most powerful man in the world represents the complete opposite of everything I believe in. Living proof that bullying, disrespect, willful ignorance and arrogance get you all the way to the top and to the applause of millions. Many questions are buzzing in my head and no answers. How do we work against bullying in schools when bullying is clearly a winning formula? How will education be affected by world leaders openly showing disdain for scientific research and expert knowledge? Why study hard when a completely inexperienced person can become president? So I started wondering how we got to this stage. Maybe one factor is our love of a good story.
Every time a new educational model is launched or an existing institution builds an innovative new facility we see headlines about whether this is the school/university of the future. This is another aspect of the tiresome either/or rhetoric that surrounds popular discussions of digitalisation; the new model will replace existing models. If we could just replace the definite article with the indefinite article and state simply that this is a school/university of the future the discussion might be more realistic. There is no one model for the future, there will be a wide range of different interpretations from traditional to innovative
Professors usually spend about 3-6 months (sometimes longer) researching and writing a 25-page article to submit an article to an academic journal. And most experience a twinge of excitement when, months later, they open a letter informing them that their article has been accepted for publication, and will therefore be read by…
We learn by enlightened trial and error. In fact failure is essential for learning. We try something, it fails and so we try another strategy and this process is repeated until we feel we have acquired the desired skill. The assistance of someone else who has already mastered that skill can help us but we still need to make our own mistakes.
I am not going to do a review of all the developments in online learning in 2016 (for this, see Audrey Watters’ excellent HackEducation Trends). What I am going to do instead is review what I actually wrote about in 2016 in this blog, indicating what to me was of particular interest in online learning during 2016. I have identified 38 posts I wrote in which I have explored in some detail issues that bubbled up (at least for me) in 2016.
Almost every week I meet colleagues who are skeptical about online education. Online is often considered a poor and limited alternative to the "rich experience" of classroom teaching and many point to lower completion rates, lack of human contact and complicated technology as reasons. The facts, however, point in the opposite direction as an article in Inside Higher Ed discusses, Why Faculty Still Don’t Want to Teach Online. The reluctance to get involved in online education is mostly due to low awareness of the issues involved, lack of practical experience as well as a lack of support and incentives within the institution.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about how we could recycle webinar recordings and use them for other purposes (Recycling webinars). Not long after that post was published I got an e-mail from a colleague at Karolinska Institute, one of Sweden's leading medical universities, with a film they had made to help teachers think about webinar methodology. The film reuses a webinar I had helped to produce as part of their EdX MOOC, Introduction to urology, in the autumn of 2015.
I’ve been working with webinars for several years now and recordings of all of them are out there somewhere. Some of them have been watched by several hundred people whilst others sleep peacefully in digital obscurity. I think almost all webinars are recorded and made available for future reference but I wonder how much they are really used and whether we could do something to make them more useful, especially to those who did not attend the live event.
Yes, by all means, do something about the fake news that is propagating through Facebook and Twitter. But let's not forget that we have been in the post-truth era for some time (indeed, one wonders whether we ever entered the truth era in the first place).
After all, the rise of the post-truth era is made possible by the failures of the education system to prepare people to identify truth for themselves, and the failure of traditional media to present the news in an honest and forthright manner.
I'd been writing a different blog post - in response to Martin Weller's nice rant about the unenlightenment - but before I could finish it, a deeper darkness had descended. Contributions from our community have made chinks of light, such as Martin's 'Acts of Resistance', Digital Pedagogy Lab's call to 'make space for other kinds…
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