Wednesday, October 03, 2012

#Pedagoo #TMSLF12 #slfFringe New Ventures

I am really lucky as working in new ventures means looking at and sometimes doing  new things,  that  challenge the organisation and my colleagues, in a good way .

Like lots of organisations we spend quite a lot of time looking at future trends . A couple of months  ago I pulled this together from a range of sources to move on  our own organisational debate abou the changes that are happening in global education.

We are always looking for better and more effective ways to support learner journeys.

I used bits of this in my sessions at  #tmslf12  and #slfringe  . The predictions here are sourced mainly from work being done in HE sector Horizons Report  , but also from work by  OU , BBC , LearnDirect in UK and Ofcom.

In one session I was asked why blogging and wikis were not included in current year's trends .
Blogging has been about now for more than  ten years and editable webpages for a similar period.

We need to think about how we make the most of what is in front of us as well as what we have already.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

#GCSE and General Standards Debate

I doubt the GCSE debate will end well for anyone. But in amongst all the debate around the dumbing down of assessments or in some accounts of  the amazing performances by teachers contributing to raised grades and finally the acknowledgement that years of market driven offerings may have contributed to inflationary conditions.We are forgetting about those who do the graft and need the grades to progress into further education or employment.

 In all of this it is too easy to lose sight of the learner and the learning that is taking place and we are doing learners a dis-service in not recognising that more effort goes into studying for formal qualification now than probably at any other time.ever across the UK.

Learning has already changed for learners . No not in the classroom where most useful things are  blocked but in informal learning.

There is now enormously rich  learning content if you know where to find it. I think young people are now more motivated than ever to learn . I'll not provide links as  , as motivated learners you will quickly find these learning resources. . But if you wanted help and lots of practice with any of the following you would get it quickly on the web - you could enrol on a free course or join an informal peer support network too

Teaching an American novel
Solving quadratic equations
Studying chemical reaction
Learning a language

The posh kid may once have had access to a tutor or " Coles " notes or some other additional support ,  now those with access to the Internet can get almost infinite information on most topics.. But not just information they can get tailored learning support , practice and feedback.

This  must this be impacting on grades. . If you want to learn how to do something or get access to documentary evidence better than your modern studies or history class offer,  then YouTube is a great place to start..

What we should be thinking about is how we harness these resources and how we close any digital divide.
We should be thinking too,  as we are in Scotland, of  how to combine the best bits of flexible internal continuous assessment with appropriate amounts of external assessment.

We should be looking beyond the exam hall at what comes next to support individual learner journeys.

#EATP European Association of Test Providers Conference September 2012

Once a year the commercial testing industry gathers in Europe.

If there was an underlying theme of the conference it was one of challenging and changing market conditions for the big global test providers. The market is still dominated by Pearson Vue and Prometric.  In Europe in the domain of national standards testing CITO powers many of the OECD initiatives.

The market for on-line testing is still growing exponentially, but is becoming more sophisticated, moving from traditional multiple choice items delivered in on-line in proctored environments towards more agile and mobile forms of assessment.  The market leaders are being challenged by new technologies and by new entrants who can now quickly build the same global reach..

A quote from one of of the speakers I think highlights dilemma

“ Test publishers are struggling to find and maintain investment in new ways of testing. The old regulatory model used to be “shut up, sit down and take the test” . The new models mean that learners and employers are looking for more just in time testing  and knowledge building approaches that include more authentic forms of assessment and more sophisticated assessments"

It was good to see under the bonnet of a few testing systems and good too to hear about developments across Europe and this year there was some good input from Australia .

Some of the underlying themes have not changed since last time I spoke at this conference.

Great to see Gavin Cooney and Learnosity winning business down under..