Activities that were completed:· Establishing baseline data · Data on BME (employability) mentoring scheme (· The University adopted a high-level performance indicator on BME attainment as part of its Academic Strategy in December 2009, following suggestions made by the project team to Prof. Peter Bush, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic)· Funding to support the formation of “Padare” group and mentoring scheme for BME students on social work course
In recent years, Open Educational Resources (OER) have been widely promoted as a way of ensuring universal access to education, supporting social and economic development and intercultural dialogue. The 2012 Paris OER Declaration recommended that states foster awareness and use of OER and countries such as the Netherlands, US, and Brazil are developing national OER strategies and policies. However, uptake of OER has been slower than hoped; to realise their oft-articulated benefits requires a much better understanding than we have at present of the factors that influence the OER lifecycle.
Clay Shirky observed at the Awl last week that he and I disagree over whether the trend toward MOOCs in higher education is reversible—he says no, and he says that I say yes—and I suppose he’s right, so far as that goes. But I don’t think that goes very far.There were a few cheap shots about “teamsters in tweed” that were worth noting. A lazy trope that depends on the belief that unions are essentially illegitimate, selfish, and retrograde, it’s a sly dig that lets him insinuate without directly asserting that anti-MOOC academics are self-interested and conservative luddites, that we are somehow positioning our own self-interest in opposition to the deep public spirit of Silicon Valley. It also passes along the insinuation that academics are powerfully unionized, which is far from the truth; as Jonathan Rees points out, would that we were more like teamsters.
But I’d just like to note the cheapness of that critique before moving on: as if self-interest is some unique academic perversion, as if Shirky himself lacks bread and a knowledge of which side it is buttered on, and—most importantly—as if the drive to make money off of students isn’t the only reason Silicon Valley is getting on the MOOC bandwagon. Because, of course, this was my original critique of Shirky’s language of “we educators”: he rhetorically inhabits that position in order to pooh-pooh its legitimacy as an opinion. He signs up for team education in order to run up the white flag on our behalf. Thanks, but, please, no thanks.
"A lot of talk, press, and focus in this era of learning is on common core standards and 21st century skills and literacies. What is often neglected is the importance of building social emotional skills within the classroom."