The research GRoup of Interaction And e-Learning (GRIAL) is a Recognised Research Group of the University of Salamanca and a Recognised Group of Excellence by the Regional Council of Castille and León. The group is formed by a large number of researchers from different fields of knowledge (see "Miembros del grupo"). Most members have a technical or a pedagogical profile, but there are also members with expertise in e-Learning project management, Humanities, Sciences, etc. The research activity of the group in these last few years has ranged from purely technical and computing projects to the development of pedagogical methodologies and models of reference in the field of online learning which have gained international recognition and awards.
Stefanie Hermann of Reutlingen University has recently completed a master’s thesis on gamification. She explores gamification theory and gains insight on gamification’s ability to be a motivation for action.
To determine how education and training policy can adequately prepare learners for life in the future society, there is a need to envisage what competences will be relevant and how these will be acquired in 2020-2030. The report identifies key factors for change that emerge at the interface of the visions painted by different stakeholder groups and arranges them into a descriptive vision of the future of learning in 2020-2030. In a second step, the report discusses future solutions to pending challenges for European Education and Training systems and outlines policy options
In 2006, the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) conducted its first international survey, researching how other countries were implementing online and blended learning opportunities for their primary and secondary (K-12) students.
As the pace of growth of online and blended learning has grown at an average of over 30% each year for the past 10 years across the United States, there have been several requests to update the research done from An International Perspective of K-12 Online Learning: A Summary of the 2006 NACOL International E-Learning Survey.1 As a result, iNACOL undertook the project to produce a new report on the international state of K-12 online learning with the assistance of several members of the iNACOL Research Committee.
The collection of the content for this report was made possible through the Atlas Economic Research Foundation to replicate and extend the 2006 International Survey conducted by iNACOL. Atlas worked with current education researchers in over 60 countries to answer several questions about the state of online learning policy and practice for primary and secondary (K-12) students in each country. iNACOL received a total of 50 completed surveys.
The surveys included 23 questions that were thematically focused around the following areas:
Government involvement in online learning in areas such as planning, finance, and leadership Numbers of students taking courses online and the geographic areas served Instructor professional development Quality standards for courses and supportive services Challenges for online learning Technology used by students
The UNESCO ICT competency Framework for Teachers aims to help countries develop comprehensive national ICT competency policies and standards as an important component of an overall ICT in education strategy.
The Framework is part of UNESCO’s effort to incorporate technology skills into school curricula, increase the ability of students, citizens, and the workforce to use knowledge to add value to society and the economy, and increase the ability of students, citizens, and the workforce to innovate, produce new knowledge, and benefit from this new knowledge.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, launched the new publication on 31 October at UNESCO Headquarters alongside Sir John Daniel, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning; François Ledoux, Corporate Affairs Manager of Intel Corporation; Paul Heneveld, Director of Microsoft Corporation’s United Nations Programmes; Janis Karklins, UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for Communication and Information; and Qian Tang, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education.
This research briefing has been written by a team led by Prof. Eileen Scanlon (Open University) and Prof. Grainne Conole (Leicester University), as part of the UK's Technology-Enhanced Learning Research Programme (http://www.tel.ac.uk).
"Achieving productive interaction and cohesion between researchers from diverse disciplines is one of TEL’s central challenges and potentially the source of one of its most meaningful contributions to the field. In facilitating the development of a new field of TEL researchers who are fluent in both the pedagogical and technological facets of research, we can maximise the potential for technology to enhance outcomes for learners."
Time and time again, research shows that teacher quality is by far the most important factor in driving up standards in schools. Effective ongoing professional development is key to ensuring that teachers perform to the best of their abilities, keep abreast of new developments, and adapt their practice to take account of these. The UK government, like many others, has taken this message to heart. Underlining its commitment to improving teacher quality in its 2010 white paper, The Importance of Teaching, it has introduced a range of measures in this area, including changes to Initial Teacher Training and the introduction of new Teaching Schools. The government also recognises the importance of encouraging and enabling teachers to learn from each other, stating that ‘we know that teachers learn best from other professionals and that an ‘open classroom’ culture is vital: observing teaching and being observed, having the opportunity to plan, prepare, reflect and teach with other teachers.’ 1 Many teachers and school leaders would applaud this focus, and are already one step ahead. Using emerging technologies and social media tools, teachers are beginning to take control of their own professional development, finding new ways to learn from each other, to reflect on their own practice, and to develop learning and support networks of like-minded professionals all over the world. In the current constrained financial climate where, despite the best intentions, CPD budgets are often the first to be cut, this type of low cost, self-directed teacher development is interesting. Might the spread of such informal, peer-based, online CPD help to support the government’s drive to raise teaching standards, supplementing the larger scale plans at minimal additional cost? This paper explores this question, seeking to understand: • How are teachers and other educators currently using social media to aid their professional development, and what do they and their students gain from it? • What evidence is there for the benefits of peer-to-peer teacher CPD, and for using social media in this way? • What can teaching learn from industry in this respect? Drawing on emerging academic research in this area, and on the experience of trailblazing teachers, it recommends a number of ways in which school leaders and policymakers can exploit the benefits of social media for teacher professional development.