ABSTRACT This chapter introduces a widget-based Personal Learning Environment (PLE) specifically designed for finding and sharing Open Educational Resources (OER) on the web. The aim of this investigation is to raise awareness about the capabilities of widget-based PLEs to researchers, educators and learners that are interested in finding and sharing OER. The content of this chapter has been adapted from a paper submitted by the same authors to the PLE Conference 2012. This chapter can be reused by: Researchers, educators, and learners who want to find and share OER on the web. Researchers who investigate the impact and capabilities of PLEs in informal learning. Content providers who are looking for new ways to expose their OER on the web. KEYWORDS personal learning environment, widget, open educational resource
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.
This document is designed to support the implementation of Sugata Mitra’s Self Organised Learning Environment (SOLE) into multiple school contexts. It contains ‘whole school’ related information for Head Teachers and senior staff in addition to teaching and learning support for teachers and support staff. A kindle version of Sugata Mitra's "Beyond the Hole in the Wall: Discover the Power of Self-Organized Learning" is available here http://goo.gl/iaL4B
Major Differences: Examining Student Engagement by Field of Study
VETERANS IN COLLEGE PERCEIVE LOWER LEVELS OF CAMPUS SUPPORT AND INTERACT LESS WITH FACULTY THAN NONVETERANS, SURVEY FINDS
A national survey released today finds that student veterans attending four-year colleges and universities in the United States generally perceive lower levels of campus support than nonveterans, and they also interact less often with faculty members. These differences were more systematic among seniors than first-year students. Despite spending more time working and caring for dependents, veterans spent as much time studying as their nonveteran peers. Read more »