Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
We have our first Scottish based apps on the iStore and the first pressYou can jump off to the apps here: http://apps.inquizitor.com/
reviews are universally positive.
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Scotlands Colleges have been using http://www.elluminate.com/ for last two years - though they sometimes also use http://www.netviewer.com/
GLOW ( in the area branded GLOW Meeting ) was using the Marratech System and is now going to make use of Adobe Connect http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.html So most mainstream Scottish Schools will have access to this.
There is also an active community across Education using the hosted Open University Flash Meeting service http://flashmeeting.open.ac.uk/index.html . This is a free service which allows you to set up meetings as well as attend meetings - the Open University offers this service for free to the world wide education community.
It is used to record and broadcast quite a lot of events as well as for hosting meetings.
Finally there is a growth in wholly on-line conferences to get a flavour of these would be well worth signing up for JISC's Innovating e-Learning 2010 Online Conference http://www.jisc.ac.uk/elpconference10
Monday, October 25, 2010
as we know it.. thought this was a great set of new tools..
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Useful graphic from http://www.onlinecollegesanduniversities.net/technology-in-the-classroom/
was taken down last night. The graphic presented the challenges in integrating technology into American Classrooms. Where internet access in schools is much lower than Scotland.
Via: Online Colleges and Universities
Neil Winton , Fearghal Kelly , Andrea Reid and I'm sure more will follow.
The focus was on what schools and learners (think nursery, primary and secondary schools ) should have access to and how a government with limited resources can support the necessary initiatives and investment to support this access.
The best bits.. that there is still broad support for the vision of a Scottish Schools Intranet and the notion that institutions, learners and teachers need to be trusted much more and have greater access to the internet. Expressed as a dimmer switch that could be turned up or down to protect learners as they progress through education. ( this has been aired lots of times and in lots of ways before)
This was a gathering of like minds from the Scottish educational blogosphere. We can like all educators fight over the number of angels that can dance on the end of a pin ..but we didn't have to do too much justification on whether more technology is good for learning and learners.Yes we agree that play is central to learning and that there is a place for games based learning in schools ( and beyond serious games happening more and more in workbased learning)
What we didn't have time to do but I hope will be done was strip the discussion down to the things that need to be in place
- Without reliable broad band access across all schools vision cannot happen. There should be guidelines on what learners should have access to in nursery, primary and secondary across Scotland.
- Without guidelines on "the dimmer switch" most local authorities will opt for the standardised web filtering policies that keep most learners and teachers in the dark
- A minimum national intranet should allow interaction between teachers, learners and relevant agencies at a national level
- It wasn't said in this way but one of my own - If Starbucks can do wifi why can't Scotland's schools - learners should be able to use their own devices to access their school platform.
We didn't touch much on the support available through the internet itself - there are offerings from Microsoft, Intel , Cisco, Oracle, Google and more aimed at building up the digital literacy of teaching staff and learners and we only began to consider the growing open educational resource movement. Nor did we spend much time talking about what assets the learner takes in this domain from primary into secondary or the eportfolio they could usefully take into College or workbased learning.
Most of this audience have at some stage or continue to take a professional risk in blogging , adopting twitter or more modestly asking for some webservice or other to be unblocked. I think the education hackers or edupunks are live and well in Scottish education but need more encouragement. They are still a challengingly small minority of voices - echoing , re-blogging and tweeting each other. There needs to be a cultural shift and more support from the agencies that look after standards of access and the teaching standards in Scotland.
I hope this debate moves on at pace. We are not being ambitious enough for our learners in this space. The savvy ones can already do a lot of their own learning in their own time on their own devices in a place and time that suits them. The debate is not about schools staying technologically relevant it is really about the continiuing relevance of our education system.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Getting to the stage where I find a profound presentation like
this every month or so - chimes well with debate we had in
Scotland yesterday about the future of technology and education.
I'd love to see some more of these presentations coming out
from Scottish institutions - I still get the sense we're being stoic
and canny around the place of technology in learning when
we should be jumping right in.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Halfway through this conference and pleased to hear that we in Scotland are actually doing pretty well in the domain of innovative on-line assessment and in who we have chosen to work with as technical partners. Many of our testing and development partners are here.
I am writing this for those who don't know the commercial side of the computer based assessment industry. This is big multi-national business spanning the organisations that provide pychometric and selection tests to industry , those who provide specialist regulatory tests for different industries ( SQA is included here) to those who work in mainstream education providing the testing systems that support national awarding in the school, college or vocational learning space. ( we feature here too)
It is all here for a price - from the vast aircraft simulation assessments for pilots and ground crew, to the professional tests for global professional associations, to those who offer selection tests for lots of different kinds of employment or for national driving tests and for .. the list goes on...
Tests can be built , beta tested for valididty and realibility and delivered through the medium of the customer's choice to a testing centre for high stakes tests or even out to mobile devices as authentication and on-line proctoring systems develop.
The main changes in the market globally
- Main move is towards more immersive assessments using virtual worlds or augmented reality - but they are very expensive to develop but allows increasingly authentic assessment this stretches out to serious gaming.
- Greater regulation CPD and mandated testing in growing number of occupational areas around world.
- Moves to mobile and Wi-Fi based testing you can now have mobile test centres using i-pads and other devices.
- Video Proctoring - allowing candidates to take assessments where ever they wish to tackle these.
- Costs of hardware going down for equipping test centres from about £6oo to £300.
- Massive opportunities in places like India and China where the delivery device of choice will be mobile phones.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Gathering my thoughts on another successful Scottish Learning Festival. For me the opportunity to network around the event is its main attraction. Here are some of my personal favourite bits from rushing in and out of the conference over the two days.
Still awaiting some really cool SLF t-shirts playing on the Stiff Little Fingers Logo of the 1980's.
- Sugata Mitra - Should challenge everyones thinking catch his keynote on conference website.
- Teachmeet - made 15 minutes of this before I had to scramble off to Scottish Training Federation Awards and Dinner. Check out wiki and flashmeet
- Ollie Bray and Derek Robertson's infectious enthusiasm - catch the dance..
- Finally good to see NQ Games Sessions , Katie Farrell's work on using the new awards , and the SQA Computing team getting around the event and blogging about it
- Ewan McIntosh trying to stay in the debate while flying over to the west coast of America to deliver a keynote
- Stephen Heppell and his friendly supportive ways
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Potentially useful links to Bologna process and E-Certification E-pass work.
Founder of Epic an early on-line educational publisher which he sold on for a modest fortune now has an excellent blog at http://donaldclarkplanb.blogspot.com/ always controversial.
Don’t Lecture Me ! - Why we need to move away from the lecture theatre - a rabble rousing opening address.
I’ve heard some of this many times over the years and have experienced lots of awful teachers, lectures and conference presentations over the years. Donald does an entertaining spin through the challenges of getting individuals and institutions to move away from the lecture theatre. I agree with many of the challenges he identifies – but think we still have to find a way to move pedagogy on – and not least the the pedagogues who like giving lectures when they can .. even in schools. So not an easy challenge.
Hardly anyone who teaches in a University believes in any scientific methodology of teaching and learning or even tries to apply any of it. Collection of anecdotes rather than a data driven empirical approach and if any theories are used then they are half-baked. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs gets a doing it only survives because it is easy to put on a power point. Teachers always focus on what they are going to teach they hardly stop and think about how they are going to teach it.
Great use of teaching clip from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The Crazy English Movement fills stadiums with 25,000 in China
Recommends "The Media Equation " – book http://www.amazon.com/Media-Equation-Television-Information-Publication/dp/1575860538 some good ideas on applying new technologies to learning.
Teachers ask pseudo rhetorical questions and don’t really challenge learners. Lecturing grew from preaching in the middle ages and it has never really moved on. Was associated with reading and then instruction – but still a meaningless monologue.
Isaac Newton – was brilliant but no-one turned up to his lectures as no-one could understand them and his delivery was very poor – he often delivered them to empty rooms . Why put brilliant research scientists who can’t teach in front of undergraduates? Problem is not just people it is about methodology Richard Feynman teaching physics through lectures is almost an impossible task has to be through active learning.
Even the new recordings of lectures in YouTube are mostly rubbish – but it is still better to see a first class lecture on video than a mediocre one in the flesh. Russell Group Universities attendance drops to just around 50% among first years over a year.
Institutions should be looking at learning success rates and looking at how they can use technology to time shift Youtube.edu http://www.youtube.com/edu look at Lewins Lectures http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Lewin_Lectures_on_Physics , i-tunes u , MIT , Open Learn OU Don’t pad out cognitive overload - hardly anyone knows how to use text, images, sound etc in learning - there is lots more we could be doing to improve learning.
The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve – keep coming back to this
Carol Twigg – Pew Research – move to active learning approach and redesign your courses around learning http://www.thencat.org/ actually a lot of potential in this work for curriculum for excellence in schools.
People need to be able to study at a distance in a much more enlightened way and universities need to share resources in much more creative ways – most medical faculties still have art /publications departments drawing and digitizing representations of the human body in a massively inefficient ways. When capital expenditure cuts come at least it will stop lots of monument building that has been going on campuses around the country.– most university buildings run at under 50% capacity which is scandal.
The Open University model is the way ahead.
And now 63 minutes later I've forgotten half of it
Friday, September 03, 2010
So if you are at ALT-C here is flavour of things we are up to and areas of my immediate interest at the conference.
As you would expect from National Awarding and Accreditation Body there is quite a lot of work going on around looking at different models of assessment. By the current nature of our system this is largely work we are doing in Further and Higher Education , Community and Workbased learning spaces - but a quick flavour of some of the themes that are emerging
- Exemplifying models of holistic assessment utilising range of different mediums.
- Exploring use of E-portfolios and their application across institutional boundaries - portfolio moving with learner.
- Describing and exemplifying Assessment strategies beyond the written word video or other evidence capture mechanisms including Virtual Worlds
- Demonstrating use of Wki and Blogs for assessment of collaborative and group work
- Piloting and creating models for test item sharing in (maths , sciences and computing ) how far can we share/ re-use items between institutions /continents/ education systems ?
- Further exploring potential of Games Based Assessment
Always interested in anything out there that can inform our work in these areas - and welcome input from ALT Colleagues and broader blogosphere.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Facebook Boogie from France - fantasist view of virtual worlds but interesting for all references made to social networking
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The media is jumping around on results, curriculum changes, funding challenges, job shortages, institutional restructuring , funding threats and all the topics that have probably been educational media fare for the last two centuries.
We overlook that it is probably the most exciting time to be engaged in learning and education perhaps since the renaissance. We now know how education transforms lives, civil society and boosts individual and national economic capability and we have access to an almost unimaginable set of resources - on-line courses, videos, virtual worlds, games, data visualisations, primary sources, walk through maps of the world , augmented reality , even interactive maps of the universe.
The resources are there to support innovative engaging individualised routes through learning and if you can't figure out how to do this there are global networks of learners and teachers emerging offering peer support. There is not an occupational area that is not being transformed by technology. I was delighted to hear last week of a colleagues daughter moving out in to the economy confidently stating "my blog is my CV "
I predict this year will be a great year for open educational resources and for many more open minds on the changes that are happening across life long learning. It would be great to see more stories on the transformations that are happening in the UK and around the world.
Friday, August 06, 2010
All poor excuses I know. In the past I have tried to make blogging a natural adjunct to life and work - twitter has taken over a bit of this and I've got to say SQA has got a bit better at using blogs and social media too ( but still room for improvement)
Anyway back from holidays and back to some projects that can be shared - expect to hear more from me over the next six months.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Barriers to Skills Development
• Social barriers: learning perceived to go against social, gender, or family norms
• Lack of knowledge of what is available
• Lack of awareness of the benefits of engaging in skills development
• Lack of confidence
• Lack of expectancy that engaging will result in desired outcomes
• Fear of failure due to educational inheritance from previous experiences
• Perception of being too old to learn
• Perception that there is no need for further skill development
• Gaps in basic skills
• Lack of motivation due to personal priorities
• Lack of time
• Cost/lack of financial support
• Lack of provision of appropriate quality, relevance, and content
• Employer unwilling or unable to resources training or time off
• Lack of space or resources for work-related training
• Lack of work culture that encourages skills development
• Lack of job ownership/autonomy to effectively deploy skills
• Lack of formal systems for progression/rewarding skills development
• Inappropriate allocation of skills development opportunities by management
• Lack of support/advocacy from unions, peers, management
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Saturday, May 01, 2010
The other thing to note is as data collection and analysis becomes easier we are going to get lots more studies from OECD and other organisations looking at how education systems and learners are performing around the globe. These are the big things that economists and politicians love.
Global trends are one thing - but folks need to remember that literacy, numeracy and ICT skills are things than can be tackled locally ..worth looking at these and taking some positive action , with your own skills , in your class room/training centre , across your school,college, workplace , in your local authority or within your sphere if influence local , regional , national .
The report has six key policy implications:
- Raise awareness among educators, parents and policy makers of the consequences of increasingly ICT familiarity;
- Identify and foster the development of 21st century skills and competences;
- Address the second digital divide;
- Adopt holistic policy approaches to ICT in education; Adapt school learning environments as computer ratios improve and digital learning resources increase;
- Adapt school learning environments as computer ratios improve and digital learning resources increase;
- Promote greater computer use at school and experimental research on its effects.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I'll keep my old demon.hompages site for nostalgia or in case I need it for a project at some point.
On the move itself, thank goodness I was able to get back to my blogger file on the old site to post a "this blog has moved notice" and I remembered some HTML. I only realised I had not done this after I had moved everything across to the new domain and I could not get back to make this edit through blogger and had to fall back to looking for Blogger index file and editing it.
I wonder how long it will take folks who follow original blog with RSS feed readers to notice I have moved. It will probably take me a wee while too to sort out redirects and with other tools I use.
Monday, April 19, 2010
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Saturday, February 13, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Shared with Flock - The Social Web Browser
I haven't blog posted since early December - but what an amazing time I have had in between.
A holiday of a lifetime with our family in the Philippines -6 islands, an ascent of a live volcano, amazing city life, wonderful beaches to canoe and snorkel off , all the Christmas and New Year Celebrations with a local twist and the food - fantastic everywhere - including a feast at the home of the national celebrity chef Claude Tayag.
We can't thank the Lazatin, Tayag and Fernandez famillies enough for sharing a very unique Philippino experience with us.
Then a return to a snowy cold Glasgow some frantic sledging with friends , two days in office to try and catch up with all that happening in Scotland and then a week in London at the excellent Learning and Technology World Forum and my annual round of meetings at BETT10.
Lots to report and the year has just started.