Wednesday, November 12, 2014

#FELTAG , #ETAG English FE Going On-line #OER

I was curating some links and advising a colleague this evening on the changing on-line landscape of further education in England tonight .  The ambition providing it is meaningful and rewarding to learners is a noble one - to increase the availability of on-line learning in further education to initially 10% then towards 50% and eventually up to 70% .  If these materials were #OER open educational resources this could benefit all life long learners . 

At moment I am spotting lots of commercial content providers rolling out their stalls .

I do hope it is not simply a cost cutting scheme.

If you want to find out about what is happening in English FE here are some of the key documents and sample  market response.  I am interested in capturing a few more market responses .  Is the content business going into overdrive to supply Colleges with the 10% or are Colleges ready to create their own content ?

Background and ambition


English Government Response
 


Including 10% this year and up to 50% on-line by 2017


Becoming policy here
 




Agency and Market Responses
 
http://www.trainingpressreleases.com/news/learning-light/2014/learning-light-offers-trainers-practical-expertise-in-the-light-of-bis-feltag-response-(1)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#Oepsforum14 #Openscot Reflections




I enjoyed the aspiration of this week's OEPs Forum http://oepscotland.org/tag/online-hub/    there is a lot of Scottish Funding Council money going into this programme and I am sure we will get something built from this that is distinctly Scottish and reaches into the challenges being faced in schools,  colleges , community learning  as well as higher education across Scotland.  The main thing I think we need to focus on is high level policy change - without this institutional blocks will remain the common denominator for those who wish to open up learning resources. 

The project objectives are here http://oepscotland.org/about/project-objectives/ 

Great too that the OU will match funding from SFC with DFID resources to build a new product for international markets - but would have liked some more focus on acting  local as well as thinking global. 

If Open Education is anything it is about life long learning , its about developing open practitioners and it has got to be about ground up practice and top down policy changes. 

I made point to organisers at end - when we were invited to come back and see them again early in the new year - that what we really need ASAP is an on-line community associated with the programme. There is already a lot of grass roots activity going on in Scotland and across the UK . I hope the partners in the OEPS project harness all of this .  Understandably a lot of focus at event seemed to be around what the Open University could do for us - question for long term sustainability should really be around what can we all do to open up learning.  The other question which I thought was rude to ask on day - was where were the other OEPS partners at the event - some thoughts from Glasgow University , Edinburgh University , Strathclyde or UHI in introductory presentations were missing from day - to make the most of this opportunity really requires broad range of stakeholders and thinkers. 

I highlight below some useful workshops being supported by ALT and JORUM really as indication that there is a lot going on in this space. 

The following webinars run and delivered by the Open Education Special Interest Group of ALT may be useful to members of this list. The content is a mix for those who are both new to and familiar with OER. Jorum will be supporting the webinar on Creative Commons in December.

1. How to write an OER workshop (for staff development)

Wednesday 5th November  13.00 - 13.40

This workshop will look at how advocates of  Open Education can use and reuse existing OER materials for training sessions cascading the OE message.

By exploring the huge variety of materials that exist, this webinar will demonstrate how your workshop can represent the OE agenda itself and act as an example of how reusing materials can be an effective and efficient choice when designing and creating learning activities.

Presenters: Alex Fenlon and Ella Mitchell

Link to webinar:

https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=7565&password=M.EB5A1870DD4B812AC04FD7BDAD8E0F


2. Title: Creating and using video resources for language teaching.
(Open Educational Practice)

Tuesday 25 Nov  13.00 - 13.40

The University of Warwick Language Centre and the Centre for Applied Linguistics are partners in an EU project called Video for All. The project’s mission is to support language teachers in all sectors in the exploitation of video for teaching. The Language Centre has been innovating in the use of digital media for some time and is the subject of a Jisc Digital Media case study. Video for All will produce exemplar practices for teachers which are searchable and available as Open Educational Resources. However, challenges are evident. The presenter has recently co-authored a submission to the Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA) for a special issue exploring “Models of Open Education in Higher Education”. This webinar will discuss some of the issues we are dealing with in the hope that the OER sig will be able to contribute to our discussions and offer feedback on our decision making process.

Key words:

Streaming media; creative commons licensing; repositories; repurposing and remixing; copyright.

Teresa MacKinnon
LinkedIn Profile
Principal Teaching Fellow,
School of Languages and Cultures
University of Warwick.

To join go to:
https://ca-sas.bbcollab.com/site/external/jwsdetect/meeting.jnlp?sid=2012058&username=&password=M.7E015779A2D9581AF91B36BB9F5E97

3. Creative Commons - understanding the basics (CC for Dummies)

Thursday December 11th 13.00 - 13.40


Creative Commons (CC) licences are a simple way of retaining copyright whilst allowing others to reuse your work. The range of licences lets you define how others can reuse your material. This session will demonstrate how simple it is to use CC licences and what they mean in practice.

We will also introduce the UK repository JORUM, demonstrating how to apply CC licences to materials as you deposit.

Presentation: Vivien Sieber and Siobhan Burke
Moderator: Alex Fenlon

Webinar link

https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=7565&password=M.4F5E50E2B182B1FEE046461D9A8CA6

TECHNICAL NOTE

Please note that the sessions will take place in Blackboard Collaborate. Even if you are familiar with Blackboard, it is important that in advance you check that your system and connection are capable of handling a session, and that you have the (small) Blackboard Collaborate client successfully installed. Do this from the support page at http://www.elluminate.com/support/

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#EAIE2014 #Articulate Prague

I In Scotland we call the link that allows a college based HNC or HND candidate progression with advanced standing into a university's second or third year 'articulation' . We have articulation agreements in place all around the globe for both Scottish learners and for our many students who complete our programmes around  the world.  Chinese students want the option of 'articulating' into universities around  the world not only UK institutions  

We as the awarding body broker many of these 'articulation' routes you can see some  examples of these here . These allow students to move around tne world and gain entry to the 2nd and 3rd years of specific degree programmes. We do this by negotiating with individual institutions. 

Yet many of our own learners might call these progression routes rather than 'articulation' routes or agreements .

As I visit #EAIE2014 this year and meet many of our existing and potential new articulating centres I hope I can come up with a new word for 'articulation ' that is easily understood by learners and institutions around the world .

I am also here to build more links to European institutions offering undergraduate degrees taught in English . Agreements here will support the mobility of Scottish students into Europe and build bridges that Scottish Colleges and European Institutions can use for shorter Erasmus funded exchanges .



#oer Universities and Open Education in Scotland

Last week I did a short session in a Scottish University with the head of departments around the challenges and the opportunities around open education.

I did not touch much on massive open on-line courses as in many ways for this and other institutions this could be a step too far. I highlighted that they could do much more by simply opening up more of what they do to the communities they touch already and by doing more to harness the staff resource that they have by encouraging much more open practice across the institution .  This could be the precursor to some MOOCs at a later stage but in the short term it would get academics thinking about how they become open practitioners .

I'll stick up my presentation here when I  get back into the office . I borrowed many of my slides from previous presentations on open education. I spoke about past and current developments in Scotland 

The rest of the afternoon comprised of some excellent presentations from the library and learning resource staff. They are actually well on the way to developing open policies that will permit much more open practices . This is probably the right response from institutions who don't have massive marketing budgets to invest in the development and the staffing of massive online courses. It was good to hear that many of the academics already knew and used resources from services like JORUM the challenge is that none of them had ever deposited a learning resource there.

I hope that the new programme from the funding council led by OU Scotland , Edinburgh , Glasgow and University of Highland and Islands will make its focus - not the creation of massive open on-line courses that may prove hard to sustain  but the creation of an open culture that encourages open practices and the sharing on on-line content.



Saturday, September 06, 2014

#altc 2014 University of Warwick



I've supported and/or attended the Association for Learning Technology conference since the last century when folks interested in technology and learning were really on the outer fringes of education or even  mainstream learning - at institutional level just starting to come out of cupboards where the audio-visual technicians lived or like me realising that as electronic typewriters vanished there was more we could do with computers in the classroom.

Without prejudice (I along with   Linda Creanor and Sarah Cornelius  was a conference chair )  I think the conference went really well this year. The venue , accommodation , food , wifi and technology on site all worked well . The keynotes , each in their own way pushed on the boundaries of learning and teaching while highlighting the opportunities and pitfalls that lie ahead. While the other sessions provided great insights into a broad range of current practice , highlighted useful changes in institutional and government policy or simply explored the challenges of big data , learner analytics , open badges and other new forms of delivery in the post MOOC - yet non apocalyptic world of learning.

They are worth tuning in to - I think they set the tone for learning for the next decade . Not the opening bit but skip to Jeff Haywood , Catherine Cronin and Audrey Watters keynotes


The three things that made me think most - beyond the excellent keynotes - were

1. The Big Red Balloon - offer on-line support for school pupils who have been marginalised by bullying and cannot attend mainstream schools .  Made me think about the support that is available for learners in schools in Scotland - it is a great example of how the world of on-line is transforming school education and supporting learners in new ways

2. The FE day focused on FELTAG - ( it could be  some new select perversion - ) but the feltaging debate was to a degree shaped by the non appearance of the new government minister in England . In corners around the conference there was a lot of private and public feltaging going on.

 The previous minister Matthew Hancock had laid out an ambitious vision for 10% of all further education in England being available on-line in the coming year with targets for 70% being available on-line by 2017.  The realities on ground from the sessions I attended are very different . The big institutions are making some headway but are not sharing learning materials . The private creators of content are touting their wares to fill the void and lots of policy,  not least changing regulations forcing folks to focus on more traditional methods of assessment make the ambitions hard  or expensive to achieve . What seemed lost in a lot of this debate was a sense of the learners . Too much discussion,  particularly those  by organisations with a commercial interest in these changes start off with revenue sharing models or cost cutting models or looking at other efficiencies none of which  benefit learners. It would be good to see more use of open educational resources and some sensible open on-line course activity in the English FE Sector . They could learn a lot from their colleagues in Higher Education.

3. I probably covered this in opening - but really just overall sense that in all sessions technology is now at the heart of all things learning related , not an adjunct , not a bolt-on but something that all institutions have strategic plans for and something that learners expect when they decide they wish to engage with learning.

There was a very active twitter stream and it is great to see all the other themes that caught folks attention.

My biggest disappointment was the poor turn out from Scottish FE. I think this is probably just a temporary blip given the scale of restructuring that is just coming to a conclusion in Scotland. I hope by next year and Manchester 2015 the regional colleges will not only have settled down but will already have a range of on-line offerings to offer both their region and beyond. There is a lot of great work happening in Scotland we could have used a few more voices shouting out about it.

If you missed this year's conference you can see the keynotes and much more on the conference website. An an individual or institutional membership of ALT is invaluable in providing an overview of learning technology both across the UK and internationally,  it  gives you a personal learning network who are active in solving practical problems,  pushing at the frontiers of learning , drafting policy at institutional or national level all to make learning better and more accessible to learners.Maren Deepwell  , Martin Hawksey and the ALT backroom team are a pleasure to work with too.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

#Openbadges Simplest Possible Message about Open Badges

I've been working with colleagues to try and refine a very simple message about #Openbadges .

Here is work in progress - it is aimed at a Scottish schools audience but could be used in a range of contexts when introducing the concept of Open Badges - comments welcome !


Digital /Open Badges – What Exactly Are They?

This is a guide prepared for an audience who may never have heard of Digital / Open badges.

Badges are not a new phenomenon in learning.  The Girl Guide and Scout Association and many other organisations have used badges to reward achievement or to recognise skills development for many years. 

To earn a badge the recipient has to meet a certain level of competency or demonstrate a specific attribute.

Digital Badges are really just a simple extension of this philosophy into the digital age.  Digital badges rather than being physical artefacts handed out and  then sewn on to a sleeve are issued digitally and are designed to be displayed on the web.

The advantage that a digital badge has over a cloth badge is that a digital badge can contain a lot of additional information (called meta data).  This additional information might include details of the organisation and individual who awarded the badge, the specific competencies the learner has demonstrated and even contain  links to some of the learners work to illustrate their competence.

So a digital badge becomes an on-line way for a learner to show evidence of their learning.  The badge could be called a data rich digital icon.

The open in the heading comes from the technology that has been used to support the creation of digital badges. The Mozilla foundation has created some open source systems that allow any organisation to build, design and issue an open digital badge. There is now an open community established around the initial products and they are developing the software further. The tools to build open digital badges are freely available to any individual or organisation. There are links to some of these in the reference section at the end of this document.

The illustration below captures the idea of how metadata can be embedded in a digital open badge.


 “Badge Anatomy” by Class Hack. Creative Commons license CC BY-SA


Badges could be suitable for everyone whatever their age or previous accomplishments. Badges can recognise and communicate an individuals ' skills and achievements and display them in online environments – such as social media profiles – in ways that may help with future career and education opportunities.

 Employers, organisations, schools, colleges and universities could gain a richer picture of an individual’s learning by exploring the meta-data behind a badge.

The philosophy of open badges in the recognition of wider achievements could sit well with the principles of the Curriculum for Excellence.

In October 2013 the Scottish Qualifications Authority issued some guidance to colleges, community and work-based learning providers encouraging them to consider the adoption of open badges.  A number of Colleges and work based learning organisations in Scotland are now issuing and using badges and there are a number of case studies now available.

Institutions globally are seeing the potential benefits of issuing badges. These include NASA, the Girl Scouts, New York Education Authority , Khan Academy, Google News, MIT, Harvard, The Open University and City and Guilds
  


Why think about using Badges?


  • To recognise small steps in learning - smaller than SCQF – and/or steps towards a qualification;
  •  To create a culture of learning and achievement and support innovative ways of recognising learning and achievement.
  • To motivate learners to come aboard and take advantage of the opportunities on offer;
  • To build the confidence and self-esteem of current non-participants in learning;
  • To support profiling of learners
  • To motivate staff to develop skills and accumulate learning which will improve practice
  • To be recognised as early adopter of new approaches.

What are the current challenges?


  • To use a digital badge a learner needs to have digital place to put these. Not all learnersespecially in Early Years and Primary sectors  may  have a suitable place to position an open digital  badge.
  •  The technology is new and is still undergoing ongoing development. In some cases it demands a level of technical skills set be available if you are thinking about designing and building badges or creating a badge issuing system. However, there are a number of organisations who can support you through the process.


Find out more

·       JISC Regional Support Centre Scotland co-ordinating Scottish Open Badges Group; http://www.rsc-scotland.org/?page_id=3068
·       The JISC Regional Support Centre have a range of case studies showing open badges in operation http://www.rsc-scotland.org/?page_id=2223
·       Across the UK there is growing interest in badges http://www.jisc.ac.uk/blog/so-what-are-open-badges-28-aug-2013 =
·       The SQA Academy – are building badges linked to General Teaching Council Teacher Standards;
·       A template for thinking about badge design http://www.digitalme.co.uk/badgecanvas/   http://www.digitalme.co.uk/assets/pdf/DigitalMe-Badge-Design-Canvas.pdf A platform for building and awarding badges https://credly.com/
·       The Scottish Qualifications Authority, Scottish Government and Education Scotland taking active interest
·       Universities are  looking at range of models; The Open University in Scotland are currently working in a specific initiative.
·       Lot of interest from Industry who are using badging for their internal CPD
·       Look out for Digital Design days run by a range of agencies  that  help folks figure out how to design, create , issue badges







Thursday, June 05, 2014

ALT Scotland SIG - Open Scotland (AM) #openscot







Amazed at how fast this can now get straight out on to YouTube many thanks to the hard work of https://twitter.com/mhawksey

Thursday, May 22, 2014

#LTaward #ALT ALT Learning Technologist of the Year

I know there are lots of pockets of excellence in ICT all across Scotland in Universities , Colleges , Schools and in Adult and Community Education. 

Here is a chance to give some of these unseen heroes of learning some recognition and this is a chance too to shine a light on great institutional practice.

In a year of hype around massive open on-line courses and apocalyptic predictions around the future of institutional learning as we know it - never has there been a better time to celebrate the folk who simply make the technology work for our learners.

The ALT Learning Technologist of the Year Awards: Entry deadline extended to 30 May 2014 http://goo.gl/KCJfxb

Every year, ALT recognises and rewards those who are making excellent use of learning technology in education.

Past recipients include school teachers, academics, researchers and learning technologists from all sectors of education.

The awards are sponsored by the University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) and supported by Nesta.  More information on how to enter, see http://goo.gl/KCJfxb
#LTaward