Friday, 2 December 2016

Limitless learning plenary #OEB16 on owning learning

A great set of speakers, all talking on the subject of owning learning (some limitless)

Alec Couros
Promise of open and connected learning is the subject. Promise of personalised learning is one of the elements that have changed in the last few years. The ownership.
Help with bowdril youtube is example of the strength of weak ties. Everyone has access to networks today. The longtail of learning helps to connect with people for niche learning.
Post napster idea of MIT giving 2002 all their materials away via the internet. Youtube is the ultimate MOOC as so many people have learned their own passion.
Audrey Clemens is another kid that he learned and shared through the web.
#learningproject (part for students): how can we learn from the web, and document the learning through web options. (eg Bob Ross tutorials to learn painting).
So if we can google it, why teach it. This is a bit of techno utopianism that we need to be critical off. Tech utopia , Langdon Winner on mythinformation. (from searching for the limits book).
Neil Postman on 5 things we need to know about technological change. It is not an attitude, but a ecological…
Emerging challenges for open learning:
information literacies; filter bubbles and fake news (Eli Pariser, youtube beware of filter bubbles).
Blue feed,, Red feed: looking at the tail of two different tail news. Very good article.
Most students don’t know when news is fake (wallstreet journal).
Trevelyan (1942) what is worth reading and easy prey to sensations.
Attention literacy: Mcluhan, heavy media multitaskers impacting learning and attention.
Problems of identity: resume is replaced by online portfolio (eg). One option is universities providing you with your own domain name for you to fill with relevant information.
We live in a world where one single tweet can change our lives for bad or for good.
Cybercrime: romance scams: fake network accounts (catfishing) to get money.
Greater societal problems: when we ask students to come to the web, this is not a perfect world and it is getting more hostile. Geography of hate website.
We need to really think about what we teach students on getting online tools.


Diana Laurillard
Who owns the responsibility of for learning. (using the conversational framework, see picture)
The outline of her argument is: what it means by learning, and what it takes to teach in the digital world, who owns the responsibility fr learning, how to plan the shift to effective blended learning, the education context for teachers and leaders. So her point is more formal, where alex couros’s focus was more on the informal, passionate learning.
What does it take us to learn formally? The point of the conversational framework was to distill the learning and put it into a fairly simple framework.
(see picture), and the idea should be to widen the learning conversations to embed all of these types of learning and interactions.
Question: teaching presence ? when a teacher is taken out of the framework. This is where education comes in, as it can cater specific learning that would take you much more time to get there. So the teacher provides something that you cannot reach quickly yourself.
The teaching workload is increased in terms of … (see picture).

Using learning technologies is our best bet to be able to do this. So, to Diana these are exciting times to be in education.
Challenges: MOOCs are free education for highly educated professionals most of the time. So we need to use the technology to scaffold/cascade those who do need education and cut off.
One option is to use MOOCs for teachers, as they are following MOOCs anyway, but aiming the course at training teachers for their profession.
Who owns the responsibility of learning? The new digital demands we make on teacher time will effect the time and tasks they need to do.
Learners were collaborating, working online in both class and at home, online.
Balance of responsibility looking at teacher and learners? With technology we can enhance the advocacy of both. Teachers should be able to think through how they can support learners with tech for independent learning.
Shift planning towards blended learning.  Modelling learning benefits versus teaching costs: see
The drivers are strong but not aligned with digital. And we invest in the enablers, which are weak if you do not have the drivers for innovation. Unlock the power of the teachers to support more blended learning, more personalised learning. Teaching is a design science, lets trust the teachers to do this.



Martin Eyjolfsson
He wondered about why Icelandians seem to be more creative? Because Icelandians are happy… but why?
Only a few of us young people know what they want to do later on in life… this calls for creative solutions to bring passion to their life. A massive participation from an early age into society. So becoming a jack of many trades from an early age onward to feel society, to keep an open mind and be a free spirit. Bjork has a project biophilia (http://biophiliaeducational.org/ ), which learns kids about creativity.   

Mark Surman from Mozilla
Web literacy empowers people and keeps the internet healthy. The stakes are getting higher on what internet means for education and for humanity.
What does it mean to have a healthy internet? Mozilla has a motto: guard the open nature of the internet. And this was said when it was launched in 2003 but it still rings true.
The internet is made by multiple people and in a way by us all. The internet is an ecosystem built by us, but we need to keep it healthy. But many things have happened.
The internet of things is increasingly becoming  reality. Every aspect of us will become connected. This also means it becomes an increased risk, as AI is embedded in these systems and filtering bubbles as well. Some of the risks of this ecosystem is IoT botnets are growing and they are up for hire. Where devices are much less secured. We have an increasing cybersecurity risk that risks of taking whole companies down. The stakes are very high.
What is the social structure as we live in an increasingly connected society? There is a digital divide (eg demographic digital divide is real and pervasive). The digital power and opportunities influence divides. Those divides are global.
Structures of economy are part of the healthy internet, eg major app producers are in the North, where growing smartphone use in South, so new/old colonial.
(look up latest worldbank report as it was actually critical and of interest).
Imperial ambitions from US and China corporations using the internet. Mozilla makes products with values and ethics embedded in them, but increasingly Mozilla found that the need to be part of a larger trend to keep internet health. We as Mozilla are choosing to become more political.
Teaching this to help people realize what the digital world is, is one of the best activist actions to take and be part of. This is an important activist role.
Are we teaching the right things? Web literacy is an important citizen skill, yet we do not take it seriously enough in schools. This is reading and writing and participating in the digital world. Critical reading skills as well as participation skills, and creativity is critical as a skill. We need to be successful to be a productive force.
www.theglassroomnyc.org as a way to interactively make people more web literate.
Why Europe’s new copyright proposals are bad news for the internet (see fortune article), the outcome of this debate will have a massive effect on citizenship in Europe. It might be giving an free road to censor personal internet content on a massive scale. It will have an effect on free digital speech.
Look at www.changecopyright.org which is just getting going, and Mozilla wants teachers and young people to be involved in.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

#OEB16 opening plenary live blogpost on owning learning

Owning learning: A great session with a range of experts on the topic of current learning problems… and possible solutions. This is a live blogpost.

Tricia Wang (designing for perspectives: the secret for learners to thrive in the 21st Century)
The individuals are getting too much of the blame. We need to design for perspectives, (@triciawang ).
Sally Ride was the first female astronaut. Once she stopped flying she developed earthKAM, which enables teachers to use the camera on the space station. The students can select the coordinates, and it gives the students a hands-on space experience.
The power of using tech and learning, at best the students really feel science. It introduces a new perspective for students. Video and photography provides participatory options for learning. Technology has seen so many innovations now applied to learning, it is mindblowing. Machine learning is a fancy term to describe what we do with computers, where computers get actions from humans.
Machine learning is a 3;7 billion industry, but what are its limitations? Machine learning still requires human designers and quality data. If the humans overseeing the training are not aware of their own biases, these biases result in the output.
Technology has not increased our understanding of the world. Example: the white interpretation of google photo’s. It is a result of failing to see outside of our perspective.
These technology mishaps happen a lot. Machine biases, Propublica 23 May 2016. (the high risk offender example).
Machines are directing our learning, as such biases in these machines might result in more biases in learning. No one wants these biases to be embedded in machine learning. But the outcomes reveal the limited perspectives of their creators. And this happens easily, perspective collisions happen.
Representing heterogeneity is a difficult challenge. We are still not truly globally connected. The social part is something all of us have a hard time with. Getting a multiplicity perspective is the challenge. There s a lot of confusion, as everyone gets to speak, this means all of that ends up into the social texture of life. So we need to teach people to navigate their own lives through this new social, machine lead system. Perspective shifting, a new form of media literacy, taking into account people that are not like you. This will be one of the most critical skills, but humans need to be trained for this. It is a learning behaviour, so qualitatively learning these skills is possible and should be a priority to enable a global world with true equality.
Relying only on quantitative data, it risks us to be blind by the known. This is why we need people that can actually address these multiple perspectives. To get outside the binary: replace the binary divide with the connected network, to ask different questions (computers replace humans), but why do we not ask what humans can do to work with computers to reduce biases. Always integrate both quantitative AND qualitative data to eliminate the risk of bias. In a pluralistic society, we need this approach.
Look up caroline synders or sinnders… for work with machine learning and ethonographers.

Andreas Schleiger (supporting learners globally to own learning)
The last couple of years we all got experienced at coping with economic crisis. If you look at who found solutions, skills seem to be the key driver to battle inequality or crisis. People at the high end of the skill spectrum see themselves as actors, while the low end sees themselves as objects.
Even today, corporates tell us there are no skilled workers, yet more people are looking for jobs.
So it is about skills and using them, learning them.
How to be ready for social problems, like jobs that will be erased. It is not about robots, just about automation. But augmented reality can bring the real world into any location. Google knows everything, and there is a huge challenge that is coming our way. There is no longer a digital economy. The economy is a digital economy.
People work harder now, then ever before, but the declining levels of productivity is affecting work. There is a growing divide that people with the right skills have less opportunities, thus those without skills have even less options.
The race between technology and skills.
Digital problem solving skills: finding solutions for every day problems. Only 1 in 5 people above 50 years can do this. Even if we look at people 16 – 24 suffer, as only one in two young people can solve every day challenges.
Lots of people are being left outside. The only area where employment grows is the high skills jobs. This is where the economy is quite stable (admittedly, the pay is decreasing for these jobs).
What skills are important: knowledge, integration of different fields of knowledge (think like historian, philosopher, technology… all at the same time will increase your skills and stability). And then looking at details to solve problems via different viewpoints.  
The world rewards for the opposite, for thinking about systems, not the details.
Digital literacy, global literacy… those different perspectives become the challenge.
Skills that matter today is critical thinking, creative thinking. Solving complex problems, social skills, communication…
But something controversial as skills is: resilience, figuring out problems when you cannot see the solutions, curiosity, mindfulness, ethics, courage, leadership, inclusion, empathy. Making judgments becomes more important, that is complex. Self-awareness.
Everything we do reinforces what we did when we were young. If we think of the science changes… it is amazing, we have developed 3D printing, iphones, google maps… you no longer need to teach people something, but skills.
Fundamental success in life: numerical skills (eg data), there is a direct relationship between low skills and declining jobs.
You no longer need to accumulate degrees, but contemporary skills mentioned above.

Literacy skills, learning to learn, cross-sectional skills. We need to teach people these skills to enable them to be able to find the right jobs. 

Roger Schank (who owns learning, not you, maybe AI can help).
This is a person you just need to talk to. The talk will be hilariously invigorating. 
Who owns learning is my question. Everyone but yourself. As the system tells you what to learn, with similar requirements, interpretations of what is best. 
Eliminate testing. The politicians support the testing industry. And forcing testing, forces what teachers need to teach.
Let’s built online learning that does not suck and really teaches us a lot of useful skills. 
Artificial Intelligence: at a certain moment it was put in the freezer due to over-expectation at some point. But now it is again a big business.
At present models human intelligence, but it is not. Schank mentions AI mentor (look up). 

#OEB16 the exhibition ideas and a great peer reviewing tool

What do you look for, when you are wandering through multiple online learning stands at a conference? I start out looking around just out of curiosity, but as soon as I get a few stalls further… I get ideas. Positive and negative one’s.

Let me start with a really nice surprise. The Peergrade was the best surprise (for me). David Kofoed Wind (from Denmark) built this during his PhD years. It is a truly practical, amazingly efficient and directly applicable peer reviewing software. And, any teacher can use it for free. The software is written in python, with some java scripting… and it looks magnificent.
You can use the software to let students or learning peers of any kind to review the work of others. The software offers:
·        A really easy to use option for setting up a comprehensive rubric (yes/no questions, commenting feedback, scaling options)
·        A nice interface to use these rubrics for evaluation, and nice additions for grading these learner reviews
·        Dashboard visuals that let you see disparities at a glance. Useful meta visuals to see where a potential discussion happens (good from teacher perspective)
So, as a teacher, you can see in just a couple of glances which projects or documents are creating skewed reviews/discussions, where you might need to add your own feedback to clear the air of a discussion, you can also immediately see how good the reviewing process is of each learner, you can even discuss meta reviewing data… I was truly impressed by the scale of the options and the practical use of the program. So have a look if you are searching for a peer review option with multiple uses. The dashboards are really worthwhile to have a look at, such meta-learning visualisation options… Really, great. Especially, as learners will get more feedback on their work and get a deeper understanding of what the actual process from different angles.

Another option which triggered an idea, was provided by LinkLearning. The development of this self-contained software is still in progress, but it made me think. The software enables courses to be built in the cloud, but the learner can use the courses both online and offline (nice and necessary contemporary element for every type of LMS). They also use a very visual layer for courses, which helps to stay on top of content. But what got me excited was the fact that you could build your own course, and than integrate it in any type of LMS (if I understood correctly). This means you could let students/learners build a course or part of a curriculum, by using (creative commons based) course content from the web, not only curating content, but constructing it into an actual course, while letting you keep that course set-up as you move to other platforms. So, I thought that would be something nice, being able to build your own curriculum. This would be useful for training teachers ... I think I might go for something like that in a future class. A long project, asking students/learners to build me part of a curriculum that would be useful for them later on as well, so closely related to a niche topic of their choice, that they could simply use (either immediately, offering them authentic teaching credentials, or later, saving lesson prep time).

On another note, most of the stalls at exhibition events look magnificent, they are made out of big colourful cardboard … just to make an impression. And most of those stall carry big hype-driven words: personalised learning (which is interpreted on many occasion as: it is available on any mobile, truly funny), or take control of your own learning (which is mostly not what I would consider it to be actual curating your own content for learning, but rather meaning: we provide you the content, and you plan when to learn it). This year I also started looking at stalls that I simply do not get.

Companies (more then one!) that offer assessment ID security… Why?! For if we need such software’s, than it is clear to me that education is not at all as disrupted as some say it is. Software that will keep an assessment taker from using any type of solution that might help her/him in solving problems at hand in a test is more an expression of bad assessment tests. First of all, a test of any kind should be so well conceived, that a) you would never be able to solve it without already existing deep knowledge, even if you had 3 hours of any type of internet access and b) that those type of assessments should only make up a fraction of any complete curriculum testing. Why would assessment without access to any type of help be considered as the ultimate testing option ?! It is completely non-social, and thus non-human – thank you Aristotle.  


Thursday, 17 November 2016

Free mobile learning papers from mLearn2016 conference in Sydney #mLearning #mobile

This is a great set of mobile learning papers (proceedings available here) written for the 15th mLearn conference that was organised in Sydney, Australia on 24-26 October 2016. The theme chosen for the conference was Mobile Learning Futures – Sustaining Quality Research and Practice in Mobile Learning.
Sustainability and quality are the keys to mobile learning. Future mobile learning research needs to look beyond technological intervention per se. Instead, it must consider a more ecological approach, in which the conditions under which mobile technology contributes to learning are closely examined. The preconditions for sustainability in mobile learning may be broadly categorized as:
  • Economic (financial considerations)
  • Political (leadership, equity and policy)
  • Social (community engagement)
  • Technical (infrastructure, security, devices, applications) and
  • Pedagogical (teaching and learning).
This sustainable and broadly societal focus, provides mLearning proceedings that cover a wide variety of impactful mLeanring insights. Issues to consider include teachers‘ technological and pedagogic expertise when evaluating the effects of mobile technology on learning and the achievement of the goals of instruction. The subject matter is an important factor, as are also students‘ attributes, background and age, and their mobile digital literacy. Authentic assessments that provide evidence of learning are needed. Other factors include institutional and expert leadership, the physical environment, resources, professional development, collegiality, and a commitment to mobile learning implementation and policy.

The papers range from the indigenous use of mobile learning, wearable technologies, eyetracking for gaming, teaching digital citizenship, simulation games, augmented realities, micro-credentials and mobile assisted language learning.

Table of Contents
Section I: PAPERS
Faculty Attitudes towards the Use of Mobile Devices in EFL Teaching in a Saudi Arabian Setting
Radhi Alshammari, Vicente Chua Reyes Jr and Mitchell Parkes

The Use of Wearable Technologies in Australian Universities: Examples from Environmental Science, Cognitive and Brain Sciences and Teacher Training
Victor Alvarez, Matt Bower, Sara de Freitas, Sue Gregory and Bianca de Wit

Ariane: A Web-Based and Mobile Tool to Guide the Design of Augmented Reality Learning Activities
Victor Alvarez, Juan Ramón Pérez-Pérez, MPuerto Paule and Sara de Freitas

Survive with the VUVU on the Vaal: Eyetracking Findings of a User Interface Evaluation of a Mobile Serious Game for Statistics Education
A. Seugnet Blignaut, Gordon Matthew and Lizanne Fitchat

Perceived Utility and Feasibility of Wearable Technologies in Higher Education
Matt Bower, Daniel Sturman, Victor Alvarez

Nurturing Collaborative Networks of Practice
Thomas Cochrane and Vickel Narayan

Location-Based Mobile Learning Games: Motivation for and Engagement with the Learning Process
Roger Edmonds and Simon Smith

Investigating Children‘s E-Reading Behaviour and Engagement using iPads in First and Second Grade
Seyedeh Ghazal Ghalebandi and Noorhidawati Abdullah

Negotiating Cultural Spaces in an International Mobile and Blended Learning Project
Charlotte N. Gunawardena, Agnieszka Palalas, Nicole Berezin, Caitlin Legere, Gretchen Kramer and Godwin Amo-Kwao

Landscape and Literacy on Aboriginal Country
Olivia Guntarik and Aramiha Harwood

Using Web 2.0 Tools to Support Student Writing
Susan Gwee and Shalini Damodaran

Teaching Digital Citizenship in Higher Education
Boris Handal, Sandra Lynch, Kevin Watson, Marguerite Maher and Grace Hellyer

Flipped Learning Approach for a University EFL Course: Utilizing an Online Communication System
Yasushige Ishikawa, Yasushi Tsubota, Craig Smith, Masayuki Murakami, Mutsumi Kondo, Ayako Suto, Koichi Nishiyama, and Motoki Tsuda

A Mobile Learning Framework for Developing Educational Games and Its Pilot Study for Secondary Mathematics Education
Yanguo Jing and Alastair Craig

Designing an Engaging Healthcare Simulation Game
Tuulikki Keskitalo and Hanna Vuojärvi

A Mobile Reader for Language Learners
Jemma König, Ian Witten and Shaoqun Wu

Mobile Learning as a Tool for Indigenous Language Revitalization and Sustainability in Canada: Who Will the Pipe Holders Be?
Marguerite Koole and Kevin wâsakâyâsiw Lewis

Mobile Learning in Practical-based Subjects: A Developing Country Perspective
Suzaan Le Roux

Learning beyond Classroom Walls: A Case Study on Engaging Learners with Mobile Devices in Dance and Drama
Zihao Li

Reboot Your Course – From Beta to Better
Zoe Lynch and Michael Sankey

A Theory-ology of Mobile Learning: Operationalizing Learning Theories with Mobile Activities
Kathryn MacCallum and David Parsons

Responsive Web Design: Experience at the National Distance University of Costa Rica
Seidy Maroto-Alfaro and Yeudrin Durán-Gutiérrez

Analysing Student-Generated Digital Explanations
Wendy Nielsen, Helen Georgiou, Annette Turney and Pauline Jones

Changing Use of Social Media Tools by Preservice Primary Teachers to Learn Science
Wendy Nielsen, Amir Rezaaee and Rachel Moll

Encouraging Faculty Development through Micro-Credentialing
Lisa O‘Neill

A Mobile Sensor Activity for Ad-Hoc Groups
David Parsons, Herbert Thomas, Milla Inkila

Conserv-AR: A Virtual and Augmented Reality Mobile Game to Enhance Students‘ Awareness of Wildlife Conservation in Western Australia
Luke Phipps, Victor Alvarez, Sara de Freitas, Kevin Wong, Michael Baker and Justin Pettit

Bring-Your-Own-Device or Prescribed Mobile Technology? Investigating Student Device Preferences for Mobile Learning
David Reid and Ekaterina Pechenkina

How a Blended, M-Learning Approach to Student Evaluations Increases Participation Rates
Chris Tisdell and Alex Usachev

Using Cloud Drive for Collaborative Learning in Adult Training
Hwee Leng Toh-Heng

A Theory of Enhancement of Professional Learning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Pre-service Teachers in Very Remote Communities through Mobile Learning
Philip Townsend

Enhancing Workplace Learning through Mobile Technology: Barriers and Opportunities to the Use of Mobile Devices on Placement in the Healthcare and Education Fields
Franziska Trede, Peter Goodyear, Susie Macfarlane, Lina Markauskaite, Celina McEwen and Freny Tayebjee

Does the Mobility of Mobile Learners across Locations Affect Memory?
Chrysanthi Tseloudi and Inmaculada Arnedillo-Sánchez

Let‘s Learn Business Japanese with Learning Log System and E-book
Noriko Uosaki, Mahiro Kiyota, Kousuke Mouri, Hiroaki Ogata and Chengjiu Yin

Introducing Mobile Videos for Academic Support
Mari van Wyk and Linda van Ryneveld

Learning Official Crisis Communication through Decentralized Simulations enabled by Mobile ICTs
Hanna Vuojärvi and Tuulikki Keskitalo

Location-Based Vocabulary Learning App
Shaoqun Wu, Karun Pammi and Alex Yu

Learning Collocations with FLAX Apps
Alex Yu, Shaoqun Wu, Ian Witten and Jemma König

Factors in Designing an Augmented Reality M-Learning Trail with Place-based Pedagogy in Residential Education
Kevin K. Yue, Lisa Y. Law, Hiu Ling Chan, Jade B. Chan, Elaine Y. Wong, Theresa F. Kwong and Eva Y. Wong
Section II: PRACTITIONERS‟ PRESENTATIONS

Designing Physics Courses to Increase Student Engagement for Online and Mobile Environments
Elizabeth Angstmann, John Reddin and Matthew Burley

Building a Campus-Wide Mobile Platform that Focuses on Enhancing Student Effectiveness and Learning
Matthew Burley, Alexander Roche and John Reddin

Designing for Mobile Learning
Lucila Carvalho and Pippa Yeoman

Lighting a FUSE Program for Student Engagement and Differentiated Learning with Mobile Technologies
Scott Diamond and Andrew Brown

Pedagogy GO: Enhancing Educational Experiences with Location-Based Mobile Learning Games
Roger Edmonds and Simon Smith

Mobile Learning: An Innovative Approach that Puts the Control of the Internet of Things into the Hands of Primary School Students
Deborah Evans and Alix Spillane

Teaching Arabic Alphabet using EBook Widgets
Hany Fazza

Integrating iPads into Science Teaching and Learning
Heidi Hammond and Linda Clutterbuck

Google Classroom in My Classroom
Nicole Holgersson

Sustaining Mobile Learning Pedagogies with High Possibility Classrooms: A Vision for Teacher Education in Australian Universities
Jane Hunter and Ariane Skapetis

Why Gamified Learning and Using Games to Teach are not the Same Thing
Michael Kasumovic

Using Mobile Serious Games Technology to Enhance Student Engagement and Learning in a Postgraduate Ethics Classroom: A Case Study
Gillian McGregor and Emma Bartle Our ‗Have a go, Share and eValuate‘

iPad Learning Journey: From Implementation to Acceptance
Damien McGuire

Mobile Phone Potential in Secondary School Classrooms
Gus McLean

A Global Classroom: The ACO Music & Art Program
Vicki Norton and Zoe Arthur

Accepting the Challenge of Adapting Traditional Faculty Development to Online and Mobile Environments
Lisa O‘Neill

How Does a Mobile App Incorporate Facebook-Style Social Connectivity within a Learning Platform?
Alexander Roche, Josephine Chan, Anthony Chung and Matthew Burley

How Does a Mobile Platform Address TEQSA and Other Regulatory Compliance for Online Courses?
Alexander Roche, Josephine Chan, Anthony Chung and Matthew Burley

Online Tutorials and GeoGebra as Mobile Learning Tools
Norman J. Wildberger and Joshua Capel

Saturday, 29 October 2016

42 or why one college does not wipe out previous options #education

When the BBC reported on the French/US college named '42', which is build around the idea of peer learning, without the interference of teachers. This new educational initiative (and yes, I do choose 'educational' to be in the description) was once again propagated as a unique solution to education.

Although I am not a product of traditional formal education, and I do acknowledge gaps in the formal education system, I also think there is no single educational or learning solution. This fits in with the idea that I do not think Human is the single species on earth, nor that Earth would be the single, life creating planet. Evolution is seldom based on single solutions, it is the complex and ever changing dynamic of different elements. MOOCs and 42 are not the solution for education, just as humans are not the solution for peace (clearly). It is a positive, engaging combination of elements that makes things happen, one where ethical considerations are discussed and used as guidelines for next steps, or - in case of nature's evolution - options are tested out in a natural equation that is aimed at keeping a balance, a mutual beneficial equilibrium. So at best, each element is a timely part of the overall equilibrium to move us forward, or simply to keep us moving.

Admittedly this no-teacher solution does have benefits, as peers learn from each other, which increases problem based solutions, collaborative efforts... etcetera. Yes, this works for those reasons. But do have some side remarks: coding lends itself to peer-to-peer learning as it is already set up as Lego building blocks in many cases (not all, I admit). This means that although no teachers are present at that moment in time, others (which could be seen as teachers as they choose content, made combination of coding combinations) did provide the basic foundation. Having said this, this approach also risks of duplicating what exists (true, could also happen in traditional schools, but that is why philosophy is in many cases part of any curriculum to have the hope of critical field thinking triggered). Coding does not start from scratch, just like language... but critical thinking does review language (gender capital embedded in words, sayings that divide society...) and this should happen for the coding language as well, while it is coded. This enriching historical context is something that is not something you learn early on in life (exceptions noted). Which is why it is a real positive addition to any type of learning.

The 42 college seems to work and I am honestly glad that it does. All initiatives resulting on getting more people educated get my vote. But I do hope there is room for a critical thinking influx that will enable critical thought. In the article Dan Butin already points out the benefits of having professors/teachers present to provide thought frameworks. But critical thought is necessary in all tech-oriented subjects, just like it is necessary in less-tech fields. Creating code, possibly adding algorithms, inside of Northern context made technologies to promote this coding... it risks to flatten diversity, which in the long-term slows down evolution. Or at least that what I think, but I admit I am trying to figure out how much diversity is good, and if there is such a thing as too much diversity. But still... any education and learning should at least try to be critical in order to at least ponder on possible effects of any chosen process.

For those who wonder about the name of the college '42', it is a reference to forty two as being the answer to life, the universe and everything (according to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy written by Douglas Adams).

Friday, 21 October 2016

#ic_moveme Challenges and opportunities of MOOCs in Iran by Shahrzad Ardavani

Education is an economic, political and social development and this idea and the problems this results in is tackled by research from Shahrzad Ardavani. 25% university students leave Iran: lack of jobs, superior research options, avoiding military service, candidates for suitable jobs in governments have to meet many non-professional related factors.

But what is a MOOC and hat does it stand for? Can digital learning of MOOC be applied to Iran and other developing countries. What are the pedagogical problems? MOOCs might not be as efficient for students in developing countries, they cannot feel the benefit of MOOCs due to a number of issues. Both infrastructure , language, educational policy makers concerned with international influence of MOOCs on the national educational system, some websites are restricted (culture and politics). Independent thinking is not encouraged. Coursera has attracted volunteers to translate MOOCs.
There are also problems from developing countries: ethos and pedagogic principles of MOOCs are aligned with the characteristics of educational terminology of their individual nation. The place where artefacts are being produced for FutureLearn overlooks barriers for global learners. The method of learning is different depending on the region, which is not always reflected in MOOCs.
A western tool carries western assumptions, eg. The users are not always familiar with self-directed learning. Therefor it is difficult to translate the MOOC platform to developing countries, in order to address these issues.

Symbiotic relationship: pedagogy of MOOCs looking at teaching approaches, disciplinary norms, the way learners interact within the course, participants learning culture. To investigate this, Engestrom’s activity theory (third generation) is being used, as it looks at the full system. It also allows a look at strength and weaknesses in a system. The project looks at FutureLearn, than compares native English students and Iranian students. To look at the differences between all elements.

(Inge sent link on activity theory from Grainne you saw passing on FB). 

#ic_moveme Janesh Sanzgiri on Critical reflections on MOOCs in India @janeshsanzgiri

Fabulous critical talk on MOOCs by Janesh Sanzgiri. In 2013 MOOCs were suggested as the silicon valley salvation of education, including the developing world. But the reality is that most MOOC participants are not the  underprivileged class, not really open anymore (movement to pay for assessment and so on). More importantly the current research is heavily skewed to Northern regions. The voice of the global south is being missed in research. 

In India MOOCs are used by 15% of Indian learners, MOOCs provided by North.

NPTEL (http://nptel.ac.in/ )was first an OER platform. In India the most privileged universities put their content online in 2006, mostly stem and technology courses. Another Indian platform is SWAYAM (https://swayam.gov.in/Home ) a government initiative to support the remote universities with MOOCs for credit. In india lack of infrastructure, lack of university systems to cope with the demand for educators. Looking at MOOCs is a way to look at high quality formal education beyond the high brow universities, who do not have access to many high quality professors and institutes. Challenges for accreditation, up to 20% of all the credits can be done via SWAYAM. The western elite institutions create content for the global south. But the fact that many countries are providing MOOCs to create solutions within their country and educational challenges.

Digital literacies and skills are needed for lower economic learners of these countries. Despite the increase of MOOCs, the South will work out solutions with supply and demand of MOOCs. MOOCs are not solving the poor and down trotted, therefor there is still the lowest layer of socio-economic society that is not reached, although more people are reached. 

Question why a lack of voices from the South? Answer: combination of issues, academic system in India is different, and journal issues (many Indian journals, but not always meeting the mark), global cohort is difficult to make transparent in terms of data, Indian MOOCs do not have access to the costly learning analytic options the North has. 

#ic_moveme Agnes Kukulska-Hulme mobile learning applications for newcomers in a city @agneskh

Agnes Kukulska-Hulme shared thoughts about informal mobile learning in cities, embedding her talk in the contemporary fabric of society with all it’s changes. A really refreshing talk with lots of knowledge and useful tech aspects.

We live in an increasingly mobile workld. The experience of traveling or moving between cities is increasingly common. Some people do this by choice, others are displaced by circumstances, but all need to find their feet. It is a newcomer is a universal experience: new job, new region, new social group… we all have these experienes to draw on when we meet a newcomer.

Agnes herself is moving to another town, to a new region, which makes this also a personal experience. What does it mean to be a newcomer: obtaining information, finding places and people, learning abut a place and its  people, learning how to be, feeling welcome, socialising, belonging, being understood, how to behave, discovering… feelings  about what it is like to be a newcomer. A lot of aspects come into play, depending on your personality some of these aspects are more important than others. Increasingly a newcomer can become a contributor. So at the end you can welcome others as well in this process.

Sociological, economical, literary, psychological perspectives enter the equation. We move from this broad perspective to the more narrow options of technology. Mobile phones are mostly personal tools. But you also look up similar groups, so it is in some respect also a social experience.
Resources: traditional media and social networks, internet media and onine social networks. Relevance of smartphones apps: easily available, easy to find, inexpensive or free, targeted to specific requirements and places, tailorable to individuals, integral to ‘smart cities’ and Internet of Things.
For newcomers there is a challenge to find the right app for your own needs.

Sensors and apps for languages in smart areas. Salsa app use beacons positioned in locations anround the Milton Keynes to trigger language lessons on the phone. Used by English language learners form the adult continuing education centre. This app takes us to a future where learning is taking place outside of conventional classrooms, but in the world. The idea is that you might be hanging around at the council office of MK or something similar, and you can optimise this time to learn.

Maseltov project http://www.maseltov.eu/
The project consortium designed, developed and evaluated a complex suite of tools and services accessible from a single context-aware mobile app. The Maseltov project was a combination of useful services: finding volunteers nearby, social forum, information resources, translation of signes, cultural game, navigation guides, language lessons… the services were developed in participation with migrants. A lot of thought went into the dynamics between these services, and underpinning that was a contextaware element in the app that will use context at contextual triggers. Elements of context can than be used the design of the app and its resources. The app also uses the personal profile of the user, and had options to opt out of specific tracking that could be used or changed by the user. 

Mobile pedagogy for English language learning
This project was aimed at teachers. How they can use mobile apps, selecting and mobile activity design to be used for learning beyond the classroom. The whole design of the mobile activity =
Mobile pedagogy for English language teaching a guide for teachers. Online free manual. https://englishagenda.britishcouncil.org/research-publications/research-papers/mobile-pedagogy-english-language-teaching-guide-teachers

State of the art:types of apps for newcomers
Tailored apps for new arrivals: targeted information eg. FAQs, rights, citizenship tests, language learning, translation for specific situations.
Smart city apps: making use of big data, Internet of Things.
Apps for civic engagement: transforming local citizenship, particularly for immigrants, improving access to local services, better understanding the needs of the populations they serve.


Challenges apps: quality, availability, the effectiveness is not always clear, but changes are happening to let citizens be aware of the availbable resources and how to use these resources efficiently. 

Publication of interest: Smart inclusive cities meghan Benton migration policy institute (2014). 

What is missing: 
  • information about diverse comunities and languages spoken in the town/city
  • Audio content and hearing different accents and announcements
  • How newcomers can be a help or a resource for others
  • preparation for emergencies and unusual occurrences
  • Support for passing through a place on the way to another country
  • personal choice of content and interaction. 
  • psychological and emotional support for newcomers
Great book for researchers: Traxler and Kukulska-Hulme, Routledge, 2016
For decision makers on personalisation: kukulska-hulme, cambridge university press, 2016


Thursday, 20 October 2016

#edTech Education one on one by Mike Sharples

Mike Sharples gives a follow-up talk on educational technology, now with a strong focus on contemporary options. The previous talk covered EdTech from 1950-2010 and this talk looks at contemporary technology and pedagogy related to edTech. A link to the full slide deck can be found at the end of this blogpost. 

Looking at technology.
We are ready for implementations to augment our learning: iphone headphones, translation through earplugs… the augmented human is becoming a reality.
Smart earpiece to get information
Now AR/VR exhibition: transparent screens to look into a building, or any other landscape. Within a year this will happen.
New tech can augment learning, but what are the educational possibilities and dangers of that.
For instance: a company is selling monorean: to cheat on tests, wireless communication to cheat during exams. This mean it might disrupt education.
1963: a smart earpiece of a child with an earpiece going to Antarctica (extract of short stury by Brian Aldiss ‘the thing under the glacier). Already a neural controlled earpiece accessing the internet.
Early signals: explore educational benefits and discuss risks and disruptions. Sharples (2002)
Future Technology workshops: fun way to explore possibilities. A structured group method to systematically envirion and explore future technologies and activities. Vavoula & Sharples (2007). Exploreing what is happening at the moment, think about how these existing techs can be enhanced, then explore future options by thinking differently about them, finally looking at interactions with these future techs.
Challenge: identify techs that might enhance and disrupt education in 2020.

Now looking at pedagogy:
Pedagogy theory and practice of teaching, learning and assessment (built upon the NMR horizon reports, but looking further than only the technology). So same approach but focusing on pedagogy.
Some pedagogies covered: rhizomatic learning, personal inquiry, flipped classroom, crossover learning, learning to learn, geo-learning, learning by storytelling, threshold concepts, bricolage.
Crossover learning: how do you connect learning in the classroom with learning in a non-formal setting. First thing is to think about what is happening. How do the learning activities of informal and classroom learning differ in: initiation, support, goals, activities, outcomes? What are the benefits of connecting formal and informal learning? How can educational technologies support this pedagogy?

Learner initiated
Teacher initiated
Learner managed
Informal learning (eg. Internet browsing)
Self-managed learning (eg homework)
Teacher managed
Non-formal learning (evening classes, MOOCs)
Formal learning (schools)

Thinking about learning outside the classroom, reflective learning inside the classroom.
Crossover learning example: MyArtSpace: explore, collect andshare. Learning between classroom, museum and home. Using mobile devices to collect evidence of what they were learning. Need: to make school museum visits more effective. Aim: connect learning in museums and classrooms. Change from worksheet exercises to inquiry led learning: giving a question to start from and ask the students to provide proof for answering the question. This involved editing the objects that the students brought back as well. This approach increased the student engagement with the museum (from 20 min to 90 min), and great engagement (website set up, collaborating). One challenge was for the museum staff, as their workload increased dramatically. So there is always the interaction between all parts of the system that needs to be taken into account.
Having a new look at the groundbreaking paper of Meltzoff,Kuhl, Movellan, and Sejnowski (2009). Learning is supported by braincircuits that connect various thinking parts. Neural learning, computational learning, social learning, developmental learning, contextual and temporal learning.  The brain can adjust at any given age, they have plasticity. Through engaging in the world we learn for future engagement.
Insights from neuroscience:
Timing
Spacing between stimuli for long term memory
Spaced learning
Neural plasticity

Environment enrichment, critical periods, resilience, learning to respond positively to environmental change
stress



Spaced learning: what can we learn from neurology to look at optimal design for learning. DNA synthesis in the synapses of the brain. Three short learning episodes spaced by 10 minutes of physical activity (eg clay modelling). A Studies are now being repeated in 15 schools. Kelley, whatson (2013) making long-term memories in minutes in human neuroscience.
Insights in behavioral sciences (example: Gloyo, a game to learn children how to wash their hands effectively to decrease risk of disease):
positive reinforcement
positive behaviour that is rewarded tends to be repeated
behaviour modification




Insights from cognitive sciences
Feedback
Giving immediate feedback is successful for easy learning tasks.
Assessment for learning, mastery learning
Constructivist learning
Students who actively explore a topic, then receive instruction perform better than students who are instructed first, then explore
Productive failure, learning by constructing
Context and learning
We understand new topics in the context of what we already know.
Case-based learning, learning from examples
language
Language enables cognition
Learning multiple languages, meta-language and metcognition

Example: productive failure: learning by exploring complex problems. Lectures before learning sets limiting boundaries, while exploration opens learning. Explore first, than be instructed.
Insights from social sciences
Cooperative learning
People learn best when they learn toghether. For groups to work: shared goals, each person knows how and when to contribute, everyone makes an appropriate contribution, share rewards in a fair way, opportunity to reflect on progress and to discuss contributions
Cooperative learning, jigsaw learning, team-based learning
Zone of proximal development
Learners should work in a zone where they can be helped: between what they can already do anuaided, and what is far too difficult
Scaffolding, peer learning
Learing organisations
Organisations are learning systems
Double loop organisational learning: setting up objectives and strategies for institutional change, with improved educational practices and feedback for agile development based on learning analytics.



Example FutureLearn: social learning at massive scale, so  looking at pedagogies that actually get better when learned by scale. Learning through conversation (productive conversations). The more peole who exchange ideas and perspectives, the better the effective learning happens.

Designing learning with technology: look at Design-based research: in essence a series of design experiments, Whang, Hannafin (2008).
Evaluating educational technology innovations: a serious investigation means multiple studies and multiple methodological approaches. Using an outcome measure that has nothing to do with the intervention under study can easily mask gaps or inconsistencies.

What next?
Scalable and sustainable learning systemes beyond MOOCs, intelligent tutoring systems (a tutor for every learner), personalised and social learning at massive scale (how to combine dthe learning benefits of social and personal learning), orchestration outside the classroom (facilitating informal learning), liflong professional development (connecting learning in workplaces and classrooms), distributed accreditation (blockchain tech for education), formative analytics.
Which future? The best way to predict the future is to invent it (Alan Kay).

The overall take out is that a mix of approaches will give strong results.  




#ic_moveme Jeremy Knox on new MOOC paradigms beyond MOOCs

Jeremy Knox gave a philosophically interesting talk about the effects of MOOCs on education. For a in-depth information, have a look at his recently published wonderful book. What follows are liveblogging notes. 

How has the movement of cMOOC/xMOOCs impacted informal learning. This talk is on the emergence of MOOCs and their dominant forms, as well as suggest some new paradigms for MOOC learning (not new theories, but important movements and things that are happening and influence how we understand learning in the MOOC domain).

Looking back to the 2012 and 2013 where the media got interested in the rise of the MOOC. Promising a revolution of education, the future of Higher Education, which were provocative and aimed at bringing moocs into the main stream. One of the premises was “the online revolution, learning without limits” a quote from Daphne Koller at Stanford. Many advantages came from raising digital education into the mainstream of education. But at the same time the rise of the MOOC is a fact, MOOCs are here to stay.

In the eLearning and digital cultures MOOC came up with embedding resources that were open and public. That evoked the idea of hybridMOOC (Bonnie Stewart). cMOOCs focused more on open and public web, self-directed study, process oriented. While xMOOC were more open in terms of free enrolment, free lectures, content oriented. The quality of the openness we saw in cMOOCs was about practicing learning and teaching in the open public realm. While xMOOC are open in terms of ‘free’ not really open in the open education idea.

The Open Educational Resources movement comes from several regional initiatives, and influences the cMOOCs.   
The very idea of connectivism was on the idea of a network. A special visualisation of a cMOOC points to the learning that happens in a cMOOC, distributed knowledge and content. When looking at the different xMOOCs, we see for profit, to non-profit. This means that these MOOCs have a profit idea behind them as well. In contrast to the network model of connectivist MOOCs.  
The xMOOCs have lots of fantastic moocs, but the reinstate the lecture. And the global North dominates the content and production, which is a different interpretation of what is open education. Martin Weller conveys the idea well in his The battle for open: how openness won and why it does not feel like a victory (Weller, 2014). Bonnie Stewart compared xMOOC to a trojan horse for open education.

But there is more than the battle for open, that is a move from massive to spocs, specialisation (spocs) and learning analytics. There is a huge number of learners enrolled in MOOCs, so that is a good thing, learning is happening and it is more than we got in traditional education. The argument is that after the initial emergence of MOOCs, there was a move against the massive, and more towards community open online courses, so moving away of the massive. Harvard sees an interest in spocs, business idea. But this means that moocs return to the classic online or elearning courses. Coursera moves towards team moocs, or auto-cohorts: a new coursera does a kind of bus, once it is full of people it starts. So two options of managing class sizes. This means it goes back to what was.
Specialisations of MOOCs: group mooc courses together, this sequencing enables certification. This specialisation initiative focuses on disciplines, this has an effect on humanities course, declining rapidly from 20% to 10% shifting distribution of these courses. Specialisations seem to focus on stem, business, data science and computer science. This means that the focus is shifting with specialisation. Similar to the turn that Udacity took to predominantly focus on these types of courses, not the humanities or other less tech-oriented courses. The need to profit will change the priorities and resources they put into moocs.

MOOCs are also shaped by data or learning analytics. Content, interaction & communication, assessment… but what about the actual learning.  And the quantifying participant behaviours, into categorise students into groups that are not necessary meaningful for learning. Data colonialism emerges, that what we are seeing with MOOCs is not a traditional colonialism, it is a drive to capture more data to make more judgements, new sensibilities are needed to make learning analytics less colonial.

Question: what is the chance that we can reverse this new colonialist drive now using learning analytics to roll out this new type of education? Jeremy stays optimistic on the opportunities we can create, but this means we need to look at algorithms supporting learning analytics, look at the categories that are used and the effect it has. (inge remark: can we and do we equip global tech with the algorithms that can in fact try and reach education for all and equality for all? Even if we use the technologies as used in cmoocs e.g. twitter, FB… which are also part of the technological symbolic capital from the Northern regions). Jeremy mentions how the data analytics from global MOOC’rs were used to improve for on location students within Harvard and Stanford, so what is the actual benefit for a global group of learners? MOOCs are used as motivational device to attract on location students, preserve the authenticity of the institutes that provide MOOCs, which does not belittle the work teachers do or the work that learners do, but does speak against the global educational benefit that MOOCs said to achieve.