Tuesday, April 14, 2020

#OER20 Still reverberating around kitchens and home offices around the world.

The  #OER20 conference was an interesting experience . It was brilliantly switched from face to face to becoming a wholly on-line conference in a matter of weeks and it proved to be a great experience on many levels. What a great achievement by ALT team who have even shared the methodology they employed to run the online conference.

The #OER conference always has great speakers and explores a broad range of open educational practice from around the globe. In some ways with us all sitting isolating in different parts of the world and beaming into home offices , kitchens in my case ,  it seemed to emphasise the global nature of open educational thinking and practices.

I'm guessing we were all balancing our institutional commitments. I've reflected these in some earlier posts and workload and on-line meetings did get in the way of some of the sessions I would have liked to tune in to.

The on-line conference grew from it's usual physical size of around 400 delegates to 1300 delegates , the social hangouts and back channels allowed some of the networking and chatting that is a critical component of the learning that comes from a conferences, though I have to say I missed the mingling and meeting old friends and new.

It was topical and on the ball and even managed to have its own Blackboard Collaborate Bombing - it's not just Zoom, it  can happen on any platform folks.


I've embedded the conference playlist here ..




You can sneak a peak and many of the attendees who completed a splot and played social bingo.
As Lorna Campbell succinctly highlights

Please note, the OER20 conference wasn’t just free as in speech, it was also free as in beer, so if you participated in the event, either listening in to the presentations, or even just following the hashtag online, please consider making a donation to the conference fund. Every little helps to support ALT and cover the cost.

Our own session went well ... without rehearsal we summed up what we have achieved through a collaborative partnership around a shared G-Suite for Education - and the travails of getting staff to work in the open. You can find a recording of session and be your own judge.  The site is in transition to NMIS and Strathclyde University and is currently not sitting on it's usual domain - the resources are open and reflects well on what was a real team effort and a development that I think breaks the mould in Scottish education at least.

And finally delighted to be chairing next year's conference along with Lou Mycroft and Louise Drumm . Wherever the conference physically happens and I am hoping we can bring it to Glasgow ,  I know it will be very different.

I look forward to shaping it with the ALT team and my co-chairs.

In meantime I have three days off - I mooted this with rest of family,  I am going on a camping trip into my suburban back garden.  Initially, they thought I had finally cracked , but I think they maybe joining me. Now is the time to think differently folks.







Thursday, April 02, 2020

A week in learning technology #Clickview #OER20


So update we ran 10 webinars last week and over 250 staff tuned in .Between the learning tech and library team we dealt with over 1000 inquires through help desks and social media.  We now have around 700 staff across teaching and support with an active zoom account and we look good to go. 

In between the full on workload I managed to support a Clickview Online Conference presenting to some 418 colleagues across UK. It is worth checking out video, not for my input , but for the excellent overview of ClickViewYou will find out in session how we are using ClickView - many of our own staff have not yet embedded this in their teaching.  That's the next target - we have just started rolling out Click-view Training . I am publishing this a bit prematurely simply to show a workshop how to embed publicly available click-view content . 


In this current week ..

We’ve worked out that the wider community need some Zoom training so we are opening that up - offering free seats to the public - to make sure staff in front line services are confident Zoom users. We will open up our subsequent offers too.

I wonder what other colleges and universities could open up for to colleagues across public sector - we are now living in a remote working, on-line world.

Our own programme is expanding, having covered key communication channels, we are adding ClickView Training and for some Microsoft Teams training and we’ve added an online booking system - to make sign up easier.
And we are planning on building around a community of practice https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/teach-online while promoting the bridge initiative from CDN and jisc . Tomorrow we are creating a What's On Page to capture more of the on-line events and training that are available to the College staff across the UK and beyond.


And I delivered a paper on how we harnessed google sites to deliver a national programme at #oer20 on Wednesday - Blackboard Collaborate this time globally 1200 delegates making this biggest #OER conference yet . Special thanks to my co-presenter Dr Lewis Ross and in the background Dr Julian Hopkins , John Casey and colleagues who supported delivery of this project including Jim Hannigan at SDS . They included a nice platform for delegates to introduce themselves https://oer20.socialbingo.oerconf.org/participants/joe-wilson
I borrowed the meme from Clint Lalonde .

I'll post later on fabulous online #oer20 experience and some exciting news.
In meantime this is what's making us laugh this week.




Monday, March 23, 2020

Remote Working Across Large Scottish College

Sunday on a remote beach near Glasgow - self isolating 

At City of Glasgow College, this is what we’ve been busy doing.

Last week, as the College closed to face to face teaching, we jumped from developing more blended approaches to full on , online learning.

Our priority has been working on improving communication between lecturers and their students. It has been a real team effort from shaping the offer to communicating across the College. 

  • We’ve prepared and published guides for teaching staff , support staff and students around all the systems we have in place for remote learning.
  • We’ve changed the way we can be contacted and how we deliver our support services for those who run into technical challenges or simply need some online support.

We’ve always had a rich set of training and support resources around blended learning. To this point they have mainly been used by those who wanted to pioneer new approaches to learning and teaching. Behind the scenes we are refreshing parts of this but mainly we are just reminding folk what is there already.

This week we are rolling out a webinar programme. Two sessions a day, 10-11am and 2-3pm. A cycle of :

  • Reminding staff by running webinars on how to use enquirer, our MIS system, to send emails and sms messages to class groups and individual students.
  • Showing staff who haven’t been using forums inside their Moodle courses. How to set one up and how to make use of it to engage with learners.
  • All sessions delivered by Zoom with additional training for staff on how to use Zoom with their students. We anticipate Zoom is our new face to face.
We can deliver most digital skills remotely. But the digital divide is wide , staff and students don’t all have reliable internet connections or devices capable of coping with webinars. We have some staff who are really just learning what our systems can do for the first time.

Some of this links back into our Moodle and is unavailable to those outwith College but I hope process and some of guides are helpful to others.

Remote learning guides:

Support staff :: Lecturing staff :: Students :: Staff Help guides and videos

Learning Technologies Help

I think this will be similar pattern to most further and higher education institutions. When this process is finished I don't think we will be going back to the bad old world.  

If I had one wish it would be that SQA applied some of the same rules they have just applied to end the School session . Universities seem in main to have found ways to wind down for the year , schools have effectively ended - we need a tidy national way to close off the end of year for students in Colleges across Scotland. 

As an end piece here is a good commentary on what happens when on-line learning goes wrong.  We need to keep expectations realistic . 



Friday, March 06, 2020

Blended Learning Consortium in Scotland / save the date @FeBlc

Next Thursday in part due to the collapse of FlyBe we have switched the national Scottish gathering of the Blended Learning Consortium to an online gathering by Webinar - from 10-12 noon on Thursday 12th of March.

https://ca.bbcollab.com/guest/04f58e6003e945f58448288573a27210

Why not pop in to hear latest from what is the largest vocational learning content sharing collaborative across the UK.

Over the next few months many more of us will be polishing up our webinar skills. Here is a guide we are using across this large College, aimed at teaching staff.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

#Bett20 , #Bett2020 , #Bettshow2020 Welcome to the roaring twenties !



Here we go again .

I am heading down to #BETT20 early on the Wednesday morning for some pre-meetings and then the usual busy schedule in and around the conference.

I'm expecting to catch up with Google , Microsoft , Fujitsu , Click-View among many others. 
I'll be around until Friday afternoon.

I can't claim to have been every #BETT but I've attended since last century  Reflections over last few years here and some guides for #BETT newbies. 

My diary is pretty full, but  if  you have something unique and engaging aimed at any part of the assessment , e-portfolio space, digital skills for vocational teaching staff landscape  or you have some genuinely open learning or you are looking for meaningful partnerships with a school , college or vocational learning space either in Scotland or internationally,  then I would be interested in talking to you. 

The College I am working in currently offers a great space to launch new ideas and systems in to the Scottish vocational sector and has a strong international reach. 

I am easy to get hold of - just tweet something to @joecar and I'll respond. You can find out about me and my institution  here or get me through the new BETT app  , it has improved over the years. 

I am looking forward to meeting friends old and new and, above all,  being inspired. 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

#UFITrust Showcase Event London 21/11/2019

Image

It does not seem that long ago that I met with Donald Clark , Bob Harrison and assorted others in a meeting room borrowed from City and Guilds in London to offer some advice on what kinds of activity and what models should be adopted around distributing the funds from the UFI Trust.

It is great that it has gone from strength to strength - and very timely - in England the monies arrived just as public funding dried up for innovation in educational technology and the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group started looking around for models and partners to deliver more blended learning and assessment in vocational learning. To some extent the UFI Trust monies have filled a gap that might otherwise have come from BECTA , Jisc or other agencies that had funding pots to encourage innovative practice.  There is now a strong and growing legacy.

In Scotland while there has been no such drivers in the vocational space, we have been able to adopt some of the out puts from the UFI Trust and a number of Colleges have benefited from funding for a range of projects. But a good model for both current #digitalambition work in Scotland and broader UK #CollegeFutures work to take a careful note of.

It was great to see projects past and present on display and meet some old friends and colleagues.  It is good to see those who innovate in education being constantly resilient and inventive  - and great too to meet new people and projects trying to shake things up.  This is a list of all this years crop of projects .

Note these are mixture of private and public organisations - this is seed funding for sustainable projects so different from some of the more speculative experimental projects that may have been funded in past with EU Monies. The projects are funded here on their basis to be revenue generating and self sustaining when UFI funding ends.

City of Glasgow College have a number of projects funded with #UFITrust funds past, live and in development with a range of commercial partners.

Here are my own take a ways - some from wandering around the stands and some from networking at event. 

1. The great work done by Open University with Cisco - is open and available to any College . I am going to bring them up and see how we can get these materials used more widely. These are free.

2. STEM resources - I've come across Learning Science  and these materials before and I made some high level sector introductions . I don't think things moved on from there - so will bring them up for a conversation - their simulated lab materials are used widely in the HE Sector. They now have a special offer for maths and engineering.  Interested in price point.


3. Aftab and ADA Bolton College's digital assistant - just goes from strength to strengh - I'll shine a light on this again - I think model is great. The struggle in institutions is that this is so new and cuts across lots of silos - challenge is not technology but culture and ownership of data - that is the barrier to getting more projects like this moving.  ( we have some interesting conversations happening with Google and Amazon services in background)



4. I like the 'engineering apprentices mate' materials  nice simple training materials . I'll take these links back to relevant College team.  Looking for website that takes me straight to the materials.

5. If you are a college teaching dental nurses , dental receptionists then CHOMP looks great and from a very passionate team - turning learning into gaming.

I had some great chats around the room and would be great to get a similar showcase event in Scotland -waving too at Vikki and https://set.et-foundation.co.uk/etf/ who are doing great job with focus on digital learning skills for College lecturers in England.

Always happy to make introductions to those in Scottish sector who are willing and able pick up opportunities.

All the projects are worth a look , I've just sampled the ones that caught my eye.

And I've a few other leads to follow up.