Sunday, June 24, 2018

Intcas Useful system disruption.

Eighteen months  ago,  I spotted Intcas and saw an organisation becoming a  disruptor in a sector that has for too long relied on very long paper trails. 

It is worth having a root around their homepages to see seamless compliance in action. 

International study is a maze of uncertainty for both the international student and very often just as complex for the receiving institution. 

A signatory to the Groningen Declaration  I've been following Intcas's development closely as they expanded their global footprint

Intcas brings artificial intelligence into international student recruitment,  this offers huge benefits for centres and for learners .  Already affiliated to 500 global banks and connected to students and institutions  across the world .The platform allows learners to explore, design and build their careers using a single system.

As an international recruitment officer, imagine a guaranteed pipeline of learners with authenticated entry qualifications, verified visa entry requirements and with the pre-verification that learner has the funding in place to meet their financial commitments . This including access to  learners supported by national and other scholarship funds.

For the learner and their parents guarantees around the robustness of the degree on offer,  and that an appropriate accommodation and support network is in place - including in some subject areas a clear pipeline to employment .

In the UK domestic market too a glimpse of a system that  with a bit of thought could do much to re-invigorate  a more unified approach to matching employers , awarding bodies and apprenticeships and refreshingly an organisation that is thinking about the expanding global market for both higher and further education. 

Intcas will appeal to learners and their parents and schools , colleges and universities recruiting in the international market place around the world .  It will be of direct interest to agencies and government departments and to global awarding organisations looking for a partner with the systems in place to with the systems in place to support their accredited institutions and learners

https://www.groningendeclaration.org/intcas/

https://thepienews.com/news/intcas-wins-funding-for-ai-platform/

https://bdaily.co.uk/articles/2018/03/19/edtech-company-intcas-secures-2m-series-a-funding

https://www.buila.ac.uk/news/2018/intcas-raises-4-1m-funding-for-ai-platform

Thursday, June 14, 2018

#Citylearning4.0 and #OneCity





Next week, we are doing the all staff development thing - and have a really packed programme.
In among some real gems are some sessions that I think the broader Scottish education community should be tuning into .

Grainne Hamilton is running a session around - Cities of Learning, this is a new place-based approach to enhancing lifelong learning through digitally connecting individuals to learning, employment and civic opportunities across a city. This session will introduce the approach and enable participants to define what a Glasgow City of Learning could look like. Grainne is a star in the vocational sphere across the UK . Grainne's session is on Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 10:00 to 11:30

While Dr Doug Belshaw's track record around educational innovation is amazing - and he continues to amaze - his employers include Mozilla and he is currently a consultant  for Moodle.Net . His session is all around working in the open - The Theory and Practice (mainly practice) of Working Openly on Friday June 22nd 10.00 - 11.30 am

You will also get opportunity to see around the splendid surroundings of City of Glasgow College.

I hope some of the educational innovators from across Glasgow and beyond can join us





Monday, May 21, 2018

Digital Literacy heading to become new Core Skill in Scotland


I had to ask special permission to do this .  The SQA have been busy and have produced some excellent digital literacy standards to replace the current core skill of IT.

This is in line with what is happening across the rest of the UK  and in rest of the world . It has taken our system a bit longer than other parts of UK and rest of the world to get this moving.  But good news that work is now on  the move - I've been dripping in global , EU and UK models for some years now and I think  the fresh approach really aligns well with changes around the world and will empower learners.

I'm particularly pleased as we have squeezed in relevant references to understanding open licensing as part of the core standard.

It is a big change from the current framework https://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/ICTCoreSkillsFrameworkV1.pdf 

I'm sharing frameworks here and inviting you to comment on them.
The links below take you straight to a document you can comment on.

Providing/Creating Information



Accessing Information 




I'm also trying to show SQA that this a more effective way to gather feedback that the more traditional model of emailing the usual suspects and asking for feedback .

If you are a College or a school who has been sent the documents and the invitation to feedback - this model can will help you too . Why not simply add your comments to these google.docs

The formal invitation to comment from SQA team is below .  There is a tight timeline on getting feedback in. In any event I hope you find the new standards of value and this approach useful .



Dear Colleague,

Most of you will be aware that the Research, Policy, Standards and Statistics team has been undertaking a Thematic Review of Core and other essential generic skills. This approach uses research and evidence to inform and support qualifications’ design, assessment and quality assurance. The findings from our recent national survey and from the more detailed focus groups suggest that substantial change in the Core Skill: ICT to include more of a ‘digital literacy’ approach would be welcomed by all sectors.

Working together with representatives from across Scotland’s education community, we have been updating Core Skills Framework standards to make them more relevant for today’s and tomorrow’s digital world.

Please find attached the proposed draft standards for the two components of Accessing Information and Providing/Creating Information. Also, we have provided a link below to the current Core Skills Framework: Information and Communication Technology standards in order that you can compare those current and with the proposed/updated ones.

We wanted to share them with you today, in case of any RED FLAGS! That would tell us there is something specific in the proposed standards that you just cannot live/work with. We recognise that there may be instances where some staff development and exemplar materials might be needed. Following approval of the updated Framework, new Core Skill units for this area are planned, along with associated support.
We do plan to caveat everything with “to be formally agreed/approved”; however it would be good to get your GREEN FLAG to include these as standards in the proposed, updated Core Skills Framework, if possible.

Please can you let us know by 25 May whether this is a green flag or, if there are any specific red ones, please let us know your reasoning. A nil response will count as acceptance of the proposed draft standards.

If you have any questions regarding this final request for feedback, please get in touch with me (andrew.kerr@sqa.org.uk) or Margaret (margaret.tierney@sqa.org.uk).
Thanks again for all your continued support.

Kind regards
Andrew Kerr

Thursday, May 03, 2018

UNESCO is drafting an Open Educational Resources #OER Recommendation. Work from Ljubljana #openscot #Unesco




UNESCO is drafting an Open Educational Resources (OER) Recommendation.

When I have a moment with my #openscot hat on I'm taking this back around the Scottish agencies who still don't get open education .
I hope we get some more engagement in this - for sake of learners and Scottish Education we need a proper cross sectoral policy position on this . Good to see ALT pulling together a UK Response  This is a useful vehicle for folks who want to make an individual or an institutional response.

This is an official UNESCO instrument that will both advise national governments on how to support open education in their countries and report on those efforts.

The draft Recommendation text has been prepared by a group of open education experts from UNESCO, researchers and practitioners from all world regions. The OER Recommendation builds on the Ljubljana OER Action Plan, a product of the 2nd World OER Congress.

The online consultation process is now open. This is an invitation to contribute to the draft. In addition to providing your own comments, please share this opportunity through your networks.

The text is available in English and French:

https://www.oercongress.org/unesco-oer-recommendation

https://www.oercongress.org/fr/recommandation-sur-les-rel


The deadline for submission of contributions is: 1 June, 2018.
You can comment directly here 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

#OER18: Open to All - some quick reflections


Some musings with some hacking of Storify to pull this together - I think that is in the tradition of #OER Conferences - and it will probably be my final 'storify' as another useful tool disappears from the free web. ( I've jumped ship and moved all posts across to Wakelet )

Yes, not hacked very well , I'll tidy up later ;-)




It is always a pleasure to get involved in the organisation and running of an #OER series conference . The open education community across the UK and internationally, may come at Open Education from lots of different perspectives but the shared interest in opening up learning in an inclusive way binds us all together and means too that everyone is open to sharing - The Watershed in Bristol was a great venue . Thanks to ALT and our conference chairs David Kernohan and Viv Rolfe for leading an excellent conference.

Here are some edited highlights with some links at the end This is not a shout out to all the great key notes, chairs and presenters and all the great folks that gather for these conferences you all know who you are - you all make this gathering great !

If you don't know about this gathering have a poke around #oer18 hashtag on twitter or have a dig around this year's programme

Graphics and key messages were just right !







@MarenDeepwell kicks off #oer18 #oerconf and reminds us about #iwill campaign @A_L_T have been really active in leading the battle for open pic.twitter.com/kLFfvlt4bp





@LornaMCambell set conference theme superbly and some great questions from floor

@OERConf #oer18 good question from @pbacsich institutions are good at business cases but less good at framing initiatives that are for the civic good . I’d challenge College Boards and University Courts on this - Still think driver needs to come from Govt policy though #openscot

I must have a root around UCL publications and see what fits with further education . Potentially some useful home grown open publications.




John Casey City of Glasgow College - led great session and looking forward to rolling out handbook across College and beyond.





From many sessions I picked up some great models of open practice in action and I am going to point my own team back to explore some of these

In no particular order I was impressed by work with web.hypothes.is/

How the University of British Columbia uses an institutional wiki wiki.ubc.ca/

The self hosted Splots from Reclaim Hosting http://cogdogblog.com/2017/09/instant-splot/ and some more information on this approach at institutional leve

I've blogged about Reclaim Hosting before - but tool to clone wordpress blog template - is really useful and or will be when more centres realise what a great way blogging is to empower learners https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/ns-cloner-site-copier/

This is a great institutional project to get learners to reflect on their digital identities - and their digital profiles around the metaphor of their digital tattoo digitaltattoo.ubc.ca/

If you want to reflect on what being an open practitioner is and a lot more a good place to start is having a look at Dr Catherine Cronin's presentation https://www.slideshare.net/cicronin/continually-becoming-open-learners-and-open-educators

I flagged up some innovations to my former employers as I watched themes that have been covered in internal papers for years as I watched an open system for standards and outcomes design being presented and a great example of Wales using Wikipedia in formal assessments in the school sector ( waving to SQA higher education board member who thought Wikipedia was an aberration , it was a long time ago ) I can't do them justice here but I chaired an excellent series of lightening talks - hope the images are just enough to get you to go and find out more







I did it again and will probably forget my user name and password - but I have another Reclaim Hosting Wordpress Blog . I really must do something with it . I've stuck by Blogger since 2001,  Gosh if I switched I could have quickly moved this across from Storify ! The clever folk at Reclaim hosting built a system that moves Storify Stories across to a Reclaim hosting Wordpress Blog with the click of a button.

It was great to see the GCU copyright resources released into the wild https://edshare.gcu.ac.uk/2706/ And being given many timely reminders #OpenEducation needs driven by government policies #openScot





Thanks to our splendid hosts and I look forward to following many of you on twitter over the year ahead








And looking forward to next year already !





and now here is Storify to Wakelet version




Thursday, March 08, 2018

Appearing on Radar - Some blockchain Strangelove around Qualifications and Certification



Follow these links and and you will quickly see what they have in common .

https://gradba.se/en/
https://appii.io/
http://www.learningmachine.com

Digital certification , credentialing call them what you will - as blockchain technology matures it is becoming easier to create verifiable certificates to authenticate learning.

Add this backend to an #openbadge and things will really shift
You could have really tiny bits of learning authenticated in ways that the current system has always really struggled to certificate.

But for the mainstream, no more costly replacement paper certificates to take to interview .

If your university , college or awarding body uses one of these systems , then in a few clicks , they will be able to check your qualifications .

Good to see innovation arriving in this space.







Tuesday, March 06, 2018

#digifest alternative - Scottish Stakeholders Event Stirling





Well done Jisc for putting on a mini-event in Stirling,  as an alternative to the longer trip to Birmingham for Scottish Universities and Colleges.  Though it was another scary snowbound driving day - a final highland fling from the Beast from the East ( a wintry front hitting the UK currently) and that probably impacted the number of Universities and Colleges in attendance.

The proceedings included a number of the keynotes streamed live and an opportunity to ask some questions to Paul Feldman Jisc CEO on stage in Birmingham. 

The local agenda was a useful update on Jisc services and some brain storming around what services Universities and Colleges in Scotland will need in the future.

If you hunt down the #digifest jisc youtube channel you will find the rest of the sessions and the streaming sessions due tomorrow.  All the presentations are available here https://www.jisc.ac.uk/events/digifest-06-mar-2018/programme

Here are my notes / probably shaped by my own selective attention.

1. There is a new free to FE service being launched from Jisc procured through  Airbus Geospatial,  as a service  The new collection gives better and deeper access to mapping tools in the FE collection . The new collection includes as standard access to nautical maps. Can see some staff development needs emerging around new service. There is so much scope to bring maps with layers of other services into so many more areas of the curriculum. I can't find authoritative link for this.

2. Jisc is about to roll out a new set of learning and teaching resources aimed at supporting Health and Social Care courses in FE  across the UK . Fifty centres are already piloting the content and it is getting very positive feedback . This is Jisc's first foray into paid for content and service charges will be announced shortly . I am hoping we can get a preview of the materials soon.

3. Jisc is expanding the bibliographic knowledge base ( NBK) in expectation that every HE library will eventually be a member . ( begs question what about HE in FE ? )

4. Gratifying to spot in one of the beamed in sessions that Jisc is adopting and supporting the further roll out of Citizen Maths well done Jisc !

5. In Scotland - the Scottish Government has agreed that all relevant buildings should now be broadcasting wifi access to both Eduroam and Govroam - this is good news , I can't find an authoritative source for this - but it makes great sense. Providing seamless access for those in education and or working for Scottish government as we move between public buildings.  I'll ask if this has been implemented at City of Glasgow College.

6. Jisc has greatly expanded its network security training portfolio for Universities and Colleges. New services are available through the Cyber-security Portal   including a DDOS mitigation service . A new X-Ray network security service in about to arrive along with CISO Services (chief information security officer)  , an intrusion detection service and a cyber threat intelligence feed.

7. Jisc is now offering more services around cloud migration strategies for centres that are ready for this . Services are via Express Route , Amazon direct connect and a range of other services. It is simply more cost effective than having local server racks and rooms.

We discussed a range of other services , live projects and support from Jisc


Jisc Financial X-Ray for analysing a centres IT spend
Learning Analytics -  still on-boarding centres
Student Digital Experience Tracker  -  a useful tool for supporting learners
Staff Digital Capability Toolkit  - being piloted with one hundred centres across the UK currently
Kit Catalogue - a means of sharing real and virtual kit across institutions
Safe Share -   for managing the secure sharing of sensitive research data sets


Other useful shares from the day - 

In England, FE Colleges are to start paying an annual subscription charge on a  banded basis for Jisc services . SFC in agreement with Colleges Scotland are continuing to pay a national fee for Jisc services in Scotland.  But might be shape of things to come .

Some chat about sharing best practice around systems and support , in Scotland we have lots of agencies and gang huts but perhaps not enough cross sectoral work - one for HEIDS UCISA etc
Have to confess UCISA fees are more reasonable than I thought they once were.

Colleges and Universities in Scotland would like more access to the resources of The National Cybersecurity Centre   , specifically the webcheck, mailcheck and DNS checking tools.

Advantages and challenges around changing market for plagiarism software.
Some chat among College folk of benefits of staying of leaving the Copy Right Licencing Agency agreements currently in place.

And we duly gave Jisc lots of ideas for new services and projects

And home in time for parents evening.