Wednesday, February 20, 2013

#OER13 Open Access Explained!

The video below begins to explain open access in academic research but #OER is also about open access to learning and teaching materials.

I have been championing the sharing of learning materials since I came into the teaching profession. Here are some thoughts from a year ago.

I am delighted this year to be on the organising committee of #OER13.

 If you want to find out what you need to do to engage with #OER as an individual , as a teacher , as a learner or as an institution or public body based in UK or internationally then #oer13 is the place to be.

The keynotes are here .
The programme is here

I hope I can tempt more teachers, lecturers and policy makers in Scotland to engage in this global debate.
Look forward to seeing you in Nottingham 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Glen Coe and a Week's Leave

P2130075 by joecar80
P2130075, a photo by joecar80 on Flickr.

Can't really believe all the things we packed in to the February Mid-Term, just as well I am getting back to work tomorrow.

Here is Glen Coe on Wednesday evening just as road was about to close and we snuck through on our way back to Glasgow.

Hard to believe we had just enjoyed three dry and mild days walking on Skye

Monday, February 04, 2013

#Bett13 The Excel London Docklands 2013

A week's worth of meetings crammed into three days in and around BETT13.  I liked the new venue for its space and for all the other presentations that were able to run simultaneously.
 Well done orgnanisers  for building an excellent programme around the exhibition area and reaching out to the right folks to populate the programme. I joined the Education Leaders Strand , The Workbased Learning Strand and the Higher Education Strand for different sessions and managed a couple of keynotes in the main learning arena. In past years I felt  guilty about buying tickets and not being able due to meetings to get to all the sessions I had booked.

The meeting rooms were also really useful I was able to grab a welcome cup of tea and a natter with colleagues from Mirandanet who were running an excellent programme . The British Computer Society and others had also booked some of the meeting rooms which meant we could do business on site. I was able to catch up with Adobe , Microsoft , Google , Oracle and many others and headed north with lots of ideas and business.

The bits I was not sure about were really down to me . I opted to stay over in Greenwich as the hotels were a bit cheaper than those around the Excel. This meant I was constantly worried that I would miss the last light rail train across the Thames. I think next time I will go for something on the north bank. It also took me some time to get my bearings to confidently navigate the light rail. The night of Bett Awards the line I needed was closed and I ended up stomping along under the tracks looking for a taxi.
I missed too my familiar bolt holes around Olympia where I can take folks for meetings without paying conference venue prices for coffee or lunch. I need to improve my east end knowledge.

It was really quite eye opening to spend time in this bit of London. It did really feel like a boom town rather than a city in a country climbing out or the worst recession since the 1930's . There seemed to be new developments going up all over the place. I am sure it will have made a very good impression on all of the international visitors to the event.

I looked really hard but I don't think there was anything startling new at this year's Bett - the event misses the ministerial input that Bett's of old used to have. But I think this is just a reflection of ICT feeling less of a priority for the current Westminster government. It is now about schools and learning institutions negotiating their own way through all of the offerings from the vendors. There were lots of 'new' systems that were really virtual learning environments with some elements of social software added. I think every third stand mentioned the word app somewhere. So not as much on policy or technology front as in previous years.

I think we still have an opportunity to present a much more joined up picture of all the good things that go on in Scottish Education at this event. It would be great if Education Scotland , SQA and Skills Development Scotland looked at having a stand at a future event. There are still too many speeches and sales pitches based on false claims of a UK Education system .. which are really only trying to sell bits of the English system to international customers and often bits that we do much better  in Scotland.


#applesummit London

Apple Education Leaders Summit

Apple Education Leaders Summit

I am really privileged to get to these gatherings . We are all learners in this space and in think the price of a pass is sharing what I learn

  1. iPads are lovely . I have one . Everyone at this event got one when they arrived for the day , loaded too with all kinds of wonderful educational apps.  It is a whole world made by apple from iPhone to iPad and presented by Appletv enabled monitors. 

     If you don't know the ESSA academy story you should have a look out for it , it is an inspirational story of how a school moved to an Internet enabled device for every learner and radically changed their performance and the ethos of the school. But equally you should have a look at the Islay High School story or lots of other places where learners now have access to devices and learning and delivery are changing.

     It was good to see Scotland's mobile pilots and the work of Cedars School featured in presentations. I've seen lots of inspirational things as ever . I'll add a wee list of apps that I have seen in action at the end of this post when I get some more time. The thing that struck me most is still with me at the end of the day 500+ educators were handed an ipad this morning fully internet enabled but there has been really very little collaborative learning or sharing around event . Well done apple for great event . Next time give everyone who attends a challenge or a question and get them all to have made a blog post or some other contribution to learning by the end of the day . Use of these tools has to be active not a passive consuming experience.
  2. Apple Education Leaders Summit London is there a hashtag for this event or is this unstructured learning ?
  3. Apple Leaders Summit ipad study from Hull Uni on Scottish schools ipad pilot gets plug uk/ifl/ipadresearchinschools.aspx
  4. #applesummit Interesting that every session has repeated content ... Apple TV + explain everything + Dropbox + Nearpod + iMovie Hmm.
  5. And to the apps and software used with apple devices - Drop Box to share things in cloud , Nearpod to share things between devices and onto data projector in classroom , Annotate.neu to give capture and record oral feedback on assessments , Explain Everything , Evernote and some other solutions used as eportfolios and more
    Apple launches too new Educational publications platform BBC News - Apple launches e-textbook tools with new iBooks ; showcased new education bookstore books from usual suspects