Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Turkish Vocational Qualifications Authority Exchange Ankara

It was an amazing privilege to be invited to make two presentations, chair and  participate in a series of workshops in Ankara following catching up with the Turkish delegation in Scotland some seven months ago.

I was on familiar ground around talking occupational standards, national awarding , accreditation, credit and levelling and quality control at national and centre level, but my talk was about how centres can use technology to support innovative delivery  and personalised assessments which is my current day job, reflecting the work of our team. 

I know we as a centre can support centres and training staff in Turkey to innovate their practice. I hope a partnership can grow around that. 

Interesting opportunities too with a large centre in France for learner and staff exchange and with a centre in Italy keen to figure out portfolios, microcredentials and digital badging with us. I'll take these back to our international team. 

It was great to hear the progress that has been made in Turkey where they have broadly adopted the Scottish Vocational system. Like many other countries. Unit based awards with clear approval criteria for centres and a sensible sampling quality assurance process is a sensible option. Well done SQA who were along to support event and great to catch up with Roderic Gillespie and Donald Paterson two former SQA colleagues supporting the developments in Turkey. Well done too to the SCQF partnership who were truly european trail blazers around setting up a national qualifications framework. 

We visited a really well equipped training centre and sampled their processes. These would be familiar to any training centre or College in Scotland. One thing stood out, when assessing candidates on solar panel installation or working at height on powerlines, all of the practical assessments are videoed as evidence and kept for later sampling. At moment evidence is required to be kept for 100 years. In Scotland we just need to hold evidence for around 12 months, though we do keep records of resulting for 3 - 5 years.

It was good to hear too the progress that has been made in France, Italy and Germany who made presentations on their own systems. 

All have clear employer levies that support employers and trainees. France and Italy have perhaps the most flexible system to support employers and employees upgrade their skills.  Germany is looking to modernise their established system - the delegates knew that many countries look at their system as leading.  It was interesting to hear them describe their own system as like Sputnik - a world first but now in need of upgrading. Their system is creaking a bit in terms of it ability to innovate and on the ground they are having challenges around recruiting and retaining assessors. 

My own reflections - 

  • I think we need clearer line of sight in Scotland between the employer levy and where money is then committed to the vocational system. It is clear that is an essential element of a successful vocational system. 
  • Ankara is a modern metropolis of 6 million people, it's very cold in winter - but with warm friendly people and amazing food. Turkey has a population of 84 million. 
  • I've encountered the massive success of Scottish vocational system all around the world. It is easy to forget for a tiny country, we have always hit well above our weight on educational exporting, developing global thinking not at institutional but at national level, this around our vocational system - not school assessments nor the Scottish University system. I am still concerned this will be seriously disrupted or even lost when reforms come to SQA. 
  • Other countries are making strong progress around digital certification. In Turkey you can request your certificate in any major language. 
  • It was great to meet again colleagues from the European Training Foundation and from GOPA  and great to hear that expat Glaswegians in their ranks  follow my wee brother's Lost Glasgow Facebook and Twitter pages

Here in full flow speaking and chairing and  presentation linked to this blog post.  The work here is a reflection of work across the Learning and Teaching Academy at City of Glasgow College. I'm taking some Turkish delight back to my team


Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Year in Review 2023

A quick year in review - next post will be looking forward.

I managed to fit in a lot of personal and business travel in this year.  Thanks in the main to external organisations who are interested in what we are getting up to at City of Glasgow College. From Cupboard to Keynote - our work around AI has been picked up on a number of fronts. 

That combined with some of my friends' big birthdays and some major sporting events. It's  been quite a year.  Tinged with sadness as I lost one of my big cousins and just before Christmas my 88 year old uncle. 

Had lots' of nice nights out with old pals down the pub , combined with St Mirren and Scotland having great football seasons and caught a number of great gigs including Pulp. 

Venice was great fun for the Carnivali in February, Barcelona was great en famille as was short return to Ile De Re at the start of the summer. 

Our big escape was a tour of France for the Rugby World Cup. Which was just superb - Rheims, Lyons. Bandol , Marseille , Villefranche , Nice and repeat on homeward leg, just great. 

Made even better that our family came out for different legs of the tour and we had a lot of old rugby chums to meet up with along the way. 

That combined with speaking in London (BETT) , Amsterdam (Edutech) , Liverpool (Instructure/Canvas) and Inverness  (#OER23) among other places made for a busy year. 

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Talking about how we use range of Jisc Survey Tools at Jisc Building Digital Capability and Digital Experiences Insights Conference

Great to have an opportunity to share way we use a range of Jisc survey tools to inform our approach to digital learning and bench mark our journey with institutions across the UK 

Great learning too to attend event and hear how other institutions use these tools.

You can get a glimpse here too of what we have learned and the tools we are using with staff and students to digitally transform. 

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Talking about Artificial Intelligence @Edutech23 #Edutech23 Amsterdam

I was very fortunate to be a guest speaker at EduTech23 in Amsterdam earlier this month. Candidly without sponsorship I'd have been unable to attend.  Colleges in Scotland are in a precarious financial position currently and staff from vocational colleges don't normally have funding to engage in forums like this. But it is critical that we have a voice - so special thanks to the organisers. 

Artificial Intelligence is not as big a threat to vocational education as perhaps it is to the school and university system. 

Why ?  because in the main we offer authentic assessments.  Learners have to demonstrate they can do something not simply write an essay about how they might do it. That is not to downplay any ethical or other issues.

I really enjoyed #Edutech23 and my session attracted a standing room only audience and some very positive feedback on the day and online following the conference. Links to the session slides and what we are actually doing at the College are below.  I was suited a booted most of time but kilt and creative commons t-shirt on for day of session. 

I plugged too all the good work that is happening across the sector in Scotland and from UK in the AI space. 

The conference was well organised and well curated with an excellent set of sessions and was at a scale that encouraged attendees , exhibitors and presenters to engage.  I made some really good new contacts and reconnected with some colleagues from other roles I have held.  

I am just about to follow up with the useful contacts I made over the two days on the conference. Having returned to busy day job. 

Just to reiterate and before my new contacts flood my inbox with requests for sales meetings  at the moment I am always open to ideas and partnerships but we don't have resources to buy new services now or into the near future. I lead a resourceful team and there is a lot we can achieve without hard cash. We are well equipped for blended learning. Probably worth resharing how to work with Colleges in Scotland too,

We have suite that we are content with comprising at it's heart the tools listed below. These provide a sound platform for staff and students to enjoy a blended learning experience. 
  • Canvas by Instructure , Canvas Credentials and Canvas Folio
  • Microsoft Teams etc
  • Click-View
  • Panopto
  • Turnitin
  • Blackboard Ally 
  • Padlet 
  • Thinglink 
  • OneFile portfolio for apprenticeships
  1. Most immediately I am interested in any European College interested in working around with  Canvas Commons sharing vocational learning materials. 
  2. Projects around staff and student digital teaching skills and digital literacy.
  3. Policy around open educational resources at College level and the use of Artificial Intelligence in learning, teaching and assessment.
I'll follow up with post on some of the great folks I met and what we will follow up on. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

AI in world of presentations Try out Gamma App


This not my presentation for Edutech 2023 - rather me testing out some of the tools I will include in my session.

If  you haven't discovered https://gamma.app/ you should have a look a serviceable and downloadable presentation in under 5 minutes . Quicker than building a Sandcastle - unless of course you use Bing Image Creator 

Monday, October 02, 2023

Talking about digital learning with QAA Scotland

Here is video and  summary transcript of video I was asked to share with QAA Scotland for recent conference. 

What is your role at City of Glasgow College?

I am head of digital skills - but what it means is that I look after College learning technology and push out models for blended learning. 

Biggest task in the last 2 years has been taking College from self hosted Moodle on to Canvas by Instructure. 

We do everything in the open - so most of this is reflected in learning and teaching academy website - along with staff and student support materials. 

What is some recent work that you have been working on regarding blended?

Simply encouraging staff to use full range of tools available to them appropriately. 

Using Jisc survey feedback from staff and students to shape our offer.

Learners want a more standard blended learning experience. 

Staff want more training and support - and time. We can offer the first two.

How does City of Glasgow College approach blended?

We work from a model based on UCL ABC model at City of Glasgow College we call this Active, Blended and Connected. 

Boring but necessary things like consulting on , creating and promoting a standard Canvas template. Students want basic elements in any online course. 

What course is about , a sensible order of course materials , a introduction to teaching staff and  information on how to contact them.

On course materials been encouraging more use of quizzes and different forms of assessment and more use of pre-recorded video ( short 8 minutes) 

Post pandemic courses are delivered in mixed mode some on site and some online.

We have some rooms set up for hybrid teaching - but most staff simply cannot cope with this - it is very difficult to give face to face and online learners a positive experience synchronously. 

What are you hoping for in the future?

My hopes haven't really changed since late 1990's when as a lecturer all my materials were on the internet and available for all my students and for any colleagues that wanted to augment these or adopt them. I think we still have a long way to go before staff and students are confident open practitioners and collaborators around learning and assessment. 

We can see AI arriving and we have a policy in place - but the next thing is really training AI on our own data sets. 

I can see role too for more intermediate tools like Teachermatic .

VR/AR still had enormous potential but challenge is using these tools in a cost effective and sustainable way - tools like ThingLink will open door here.

The CDN/GTCS digital standard for lecturers will become a great driver in terms of professional review. I don't think staff are really aware that they now have a benchmark to meet. 

We are working to a set of College attributes for all learners - remember core skills and meta skills are a thing in College landscape - these attributes will help us move on digital skills. 

We work within a lifelong learning - national system - Colleges can play their part - it would be good to see more examples of resource sharing both across the College landscape and between University system and College system. Colleges should be doing a lot more for schools too. 

We will do more with Canvas commons, Canvas credentials, Canvas Folio  - Commons to share whole courses with other Colleges and internationally. Credentials to support initially our College attributes and then to offer certification for some open less formal provision - open to all.  Canvas Folio to give learners a folio of their own work to take with them when they leave college. 

I'd still like to see more lecturers and managers across Colleges in Scotland maintain reflective blogs or journals. Social media and networking is driven by activities like this - too much practice is siloed across the school , college and university system. 

Friday, August 18, 2023

#Canvas by #Instructure at City of Glasgow College

Yes, it's a promotional video but it really does capture staff and student engagement in our continued Canvas journey!

It's a great advert for the teams across City of Glasgow College that made it happen, the teachers and our students. 

Testament too to the great support we continue to enjoy from Instructure.  Always happy to talk about our Canvas journey.

City of Glasgow College: Improved reliability and user experience with Canvas | Instructure

Thursday, July 20, 2023

That Digital Presence and Social Media Question

We have become enthralled by the ceaseless hum of our electronic companions, those pocket-sized devices that have ensnared our attention and stolen our souls. We wander through life like sleepwalkers, heads bowed in reverence to the glowing altar of our screens, checking our social media, oblivious to the richness of the world that unfurls before us. 

Our digital avatars proliferate, each one a carefully constructed facade, a desperate attempt to assert our relevance in an increasingly disconnected world, and/or how you manage your digital presence actually matters. 

So, should you use; Twitter, Threads, Mastodon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat , TikTok or Tumblr, or just walk away, or be simply terrified by social media.

And what about good old-fashioned blogging?

I've been using social media since it arrived. In the last century incidentally - though none of the platforms that existed then were actually called social media and they don't exist anymore. (ICQ, MySpace, Vine and many more etc)

I once set out what I use and why and I think given the recent proliferation of platforms perhaps time to do that again. Amusement too by overhearing a teaching colleague on the importance of online networking for learners, but not them ;-) 

Some past observations 

You do need to manage your online presence; it is a good thing to do. You can see 30 years of avatars on some of these sites.
  1. I am old and uncool, I use facebook with friends and family and try to keep it that way. If I don't know you really well, we won't be friends on facebook, sorry and no link with this item.
  2. LinkedIn for professional stuff - no chit chat or jokes - some links that reflect interesting things I am doing professionally, and I link with like-minded professionals. Always useful, I have had some very genuine job opportunities come along through LinkedIn. Be over familiar and or unbusinesslike and you're off my contact list. I only accept contact requests from folks that look relevant. So sorry not looking for a new life partner. Strangely now 6500 followers and over taking ..
  3. Twitter - controversial perhaps - but with #hashtags for topic searching and an established network 4500 followers approx. I post things that matter to me and use it as source of information and for networking. If you want to get the news first twitter is still best. Still a really useful tool. Anyone can follow me on twitter, and I think with one exception, a supporter of Russia's war in Ukraine, I've never blocked anyone. You may have concerns about new platform owner, but system still works well.
  4. Mastodon - I like the idea but seems to be lots of islands and I've had very few meaningful exchanges - has potential but not enough yet to get me to switch off my Twitter account. Usual suspects educational technologists seem to be first of my extended community here. It's too early as some have publicly done to ditch twitter account in favour of Mastodon. Academic posturing? is that a positive or a derogatory term?
  5. Threads even more esoteric. As it brought across everyone that I am linked to on Instagram looks like it may useful and I'm very popular - but the jury's out. No tag searching etc - I am just not sure.
  6. Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and Tumblr - I'm there - dig around and you will find me, but they are just not my thing. They are on my phone as my children wanted a look at these at some point. I can see appeal, but I am not making short video clips etc.
  7. Blogger and Blogging - Yes, I have my own domain and I can run instances of WordPress, but I stick to Blogger, it's simple and I've been posting since almost last century.  If you want to develop an idea and share it publicly, get a blog, would be my advice. You can do things just like this.
If you are a student or a teacher you really should have an awareness of how useful social media is - but it can make you or break you.  

What is your social media strategy ? Only you can figure this out but if done correctly it will help you personally and professionally.

And same sentiments mixed by Chat GPT 

Oh, the tangled web of social media! We've become prisoners of these pocket-sized devices that demand our constant attention, stealing our souls as we bow before their glowing altars. Life's a stroll in Slumberland, with our heads buried in screens, checking social media like clockwork, all while the world around us goes unnoticed.

Our digital avatars are multiplying like rabbits, each one carefully constructed to show off how relevant we are in this disconnected universe. Do we stay in this wild virtual dance, juggling Twitter, Threads, Mastodon, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, TikTok, and Tumblr? Or do we pull the plug and walk away?

Good old blogging! I've been at it since before the dinosaurs roamed the web. Back in the day, we didn't call it social media, and now those platforms are as extinct as the dodo. Time to lay out my online empire.

First up, Facebook – that's where I hang with friends and family, no room for strangers on my digital porch. LinkedIn's my playground for the business world, strictly no chit chat or jokes here. It's all about connections with like-minded professionals, and maybe, just maybe, some job opportunities, if you're lucky. No unprofessional shenanigans allowed, folks!

Twitter, the land of hashtags and 4500 followers. Here, I post what matters to me, find all the juicy info, and hobnob with other birds of a feather. I'm not one to block, but if you're a fan of Russia's Ukrainian war, sorry, but we're not on tweeting terms.

Now, let's talk Mastodon – an intriguing concept, but feels like a bunch of little islands. I've had a few exchanges here, so it hasn't wooed me away from Twitter's snazzy nest just yet.

Threads? Oh, that's an enigma wrapped in a mystery. Since it imported all my Instagram friends, it appears I'm a superstar over there, but I'm not entirely sold on the whole shebang. Jury's still out on this one.

As for Instagram, SnapChat, TikTok, and Tumblr, they're just not my cup of tea. My kids dragged me into these realms, but I'm more of a bystander, not a performer in the short video circus.

Ah, Blogger, my trusty sidekick. It's simple, it's reliable, and I've been rambling on here since the digital dark ages. If you wanna share your thoughts with the world, get a blog – it's just like this ramble you're reading!

For students and teachers, social media can be your best friend or your worst enemy, so plan your strategy wisely. It can catapult you to greatness or crash your dreams like a runaway train. So, what's your social media game plan, folks? It's a wild digital ride out there!

Monday, June 19, 2023

ALT Scottish SIG Agenda and Sign-Up Wed 21st 10am - 2.30pm


Looking forward to seeing some familiar and some new faces from across the sector.

Learning Technology is really under the spotlight. A range of agenda items relevant for Schools, Colleges, University and work-based learning. 

Click here to view the accessible version of this interactive content

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

ELESIG Evaluating Learners Experiences of e-learning Special Interest Group Conference Input

 I was scheduled to deliver a short presentation for ELESIG  but was at short notice invited for a long weekend in Barcelona.  So input was pre-recorded and shared here. 

Slides and recording for ELESIG 

and back-channel Joe Wilson (@joecar) / Twitter


Monday, May 22, 2023

Turkish Delegation

Nice to meet and give Turkish Govt vocational delegation tour of City of Glasgow College and chat about the technologies we use to support learners. Technical chat too about SCQF and Articulation routes and what works and what still does not work in Scotland.

Turkey has just created a national qualifications and credit framework and now trying to get all institutions to implement this. 

Well done SQA for supporting this critical international work. I'm sure rest of programme will go well.

Among other things we visited College TV studio -  no sound ;-) 


Thursday, May 18, 2023

Summary of First Scottish #Canvas #Instructure Users Group. #SCUG

It was great to meet the growing user base of Canvas by Instructure at Stirling University Business Centre.  Fitting too as Stirling was 2nd institutional Canvas user in Scotland. Glasgow School of Art (GSA) being the first. 

There were attendees from both institutions and folks from 

  • Clyde College
  • Borders College 
  • City of Glasgow College 
  • Data Lab (Edinburgh University) 
  • Edinburgh Business School (Edinburgh University)
  • Heriot Watt University 
  • QM University 
The community is growing fast - really as Canvas gives us a robust and user-friendly platform with global reach. Mainly, between excellent sessions, it was an opportunity for the system admins and users to exchange some great tips and experiences of rolling out Canvas or simply running the system.

Some of the themes of day went beyond Canvas.

How for instance do we get staff and users to make the most of Artificial Intelligence that is already present in Word and PowerPoint and a range of tools. How we use AI ethically in assessment and how our assessment processes need to change. We've been thinking about that already at City of Glasgow College.

How Canvas data can potentially help shape learner pathways. The new skill sets needed by teaching staff and learners around AI prompts and lots of new tools that will support learning materials become more accessible from better automatic transcription of video, to automatically creating assessments around all kind of artefacts including video and building and creating learning materials. There was some discussion of tools that prompt you to keep on task if you have ADHD (note to self must find that one) 

Some of the talk much more hard-core Canvas 

  1. How you manage, roll out and maintain a sensible Canvas template or templates. We have one at City of Glasgow College some Universities have undergraduate and postgraduate even faculty templates. Not a path we will go down. You can catch a glimpse here. Canvas allows you to publish open courses and we will be doing more of this.
  2. Everyone is enjoying using the new Canvas Icon Maker (though important for accessibility always include an appropriate ALT tag).
  3. Some institutions like ours have clear update cycles to allow everyone to review content. Some only do this for programmes that are targeted on basis of a range of factors. 
  4.  Generally, learners love the consistency of Canvas and templates. The challenges lie in ensuring there is cross faculty adoption and that staff come to have an understanding of very basic learning design. A course should not simply be a collection of PDF documents or PowerPoints. 
  5. One way to solve some of these issues is to build in content review to a college or University quality process. In colleges that might include sampling the appropriate use of the College template in internal verification processes. 
  6. For all ensuring the accessibility of content is continuing issue. There are lots of great tools in Canvas that support this. Our centre uses Ally to take this further but ultimately staff need to take ownership and publish learning materials in an accessible format. 

We showcased how we are using Canvas Folio and how it can give a learner a portfolio for life and can be built into normal assessment processes. We talked around how we could use Canvas Credentials as open badges/ micro credentials. Canvas have made two great acquisitions in Portfolium and Badgr. 

We highlighted the opportunity that we have as Scottish Canvas users to make more use of Canvas Commons and specifically to work together and share content through a consortium on Canvas Commons. Its available if you look for it under admin consortiums. Called "Scottish Canvas Users Group" We should all be sharing content here and to the wider global community to align to UNESCO principles around Open Educational Resources. We will share our template and some of our Canvas courses here.

Also. covered our approach to ABC learning design and the range of tools our staff have access to, to embed in their Canvas courses.

Some suggestions we will take back. 

  1. Use blueprints very sparingly and only update once or twice a year. 
  2. Look at some additional links that might be useful embedded in template - so always in front of learners - how to install canvas app - where to find Canvas essential course for students. Stirling has this as a Stirling essentials course covering just about everything a learner needs to know. Would be interesting to get student feedback on this. 
  3. Perhaps have link to instructions on accessing the Canvas App on front page of template - but mainly ensure that Canvas home screen/dashboard has key links that students need.
  4. We will have a sharing session with our graphics lecturers and GSA staff. 
  5. We all agreed to sign up for an online community so we can stay in touch more regularly and we will try and have a face to face gathering every six months.



Monday, May 01, 2023

#oer23 #oer2023 #OpenScot Open Scotland Reflections on Pre-Conference Workshop and in Conference Plenary

To mark 10 years of the Open Scotland initiative we held two events as part of the OER23 Conference to bring together members of the education community in Scotland and some of the international delegates to reflect on how the open education landscape in Scotland has evolved over the last decade against the backdrop of global crisis and uncertainty (Campbell and Wilson 2021).

We held a pre-conference workshop and an in-conference plenary.

As ever grateful to ALT and the University of the Highlands and Islands for this opportunity. The OER Conference took place in Scotland for the first time since 2016. A main theme of the conference was.

“Open Education in Scotland #OpenScot – celebrating 10 years of the Scottish Open Education Declaration."

I'm grateful as ever to Lorna M. Campbell my co-founder of Open Scotland and the many supporters we have found across the international and Scottish learning community. It's now been some weeks following the conference allowing me some reflection time (as well as time to do busy and full-on day job) We both juggle workplace commitments while championing open educational practice.

It’s ten years since we set off on what we thought would be a short journey to get Scottish Education to embrace Open Education and open practice. Please dig into the commentary on our slides. It's been more of an uphill journey than we ever anticipated.

It's taken us and the Open Scotland Declaration all around Europe, but it has not had the impact we need in Scottish Education in the round.

Thanks to Jim Groom reclaim hosting for Polaroid.

The workshop and plenary went well but at #OER23 we were talking to the converts. It is really apparent that other countries have embraced the UNESCO declaration and are moving ahead of Scotland at a rate of knots. 

The Scottish system seems - and to use a good Scottish word "thrawn" Everyone we've reached out to sees the Open Scotland Declaration as an achievable aim but equally College Principals, agency policy makers all think that it is someone else's responsibility to drive change across the system. 

Have a look at the output of the workshop and the plenary below. The will is there but the policy leavers and policy makers remain tantalisingly out of reach. 

The padlet is still open but as it has now been shared on the open web input is now subject to approval - but please chip in your ideas. 

The padlet - highlights what might be. The output from the Padlet will become a manifesto for change from #OpenScot.

As a footnote I asked ChaptGPT about Open Scotland. The text it created is below it shows we've been making all the right waves- how else could ChatGPT pick up themes like this. 

But Open Scotland is not yet a Scottish Government initiative - it shows how ChatGPT could create an alternative reality - it created a fantasy. 

We've still to make adoption of UNESCO declaration on Open Education a reality in Scotland.
I hope we don't have to wait another 10 years. 

Once again thanks to the community around the #oer conferences - you give us the strength, love and enthusiasm to keep pushing at the open door.  My last post I hope reflected all the great things happening around the world. 

Made with Padlet

"The Scottish Government has been a strong supporter of Open Education and Open Educational Resources (OER) in Scotland. In 2013, the Scottish Government launched the Open Scotland initiative to raise awareness of the benefits of Open Education and promote the development and use of OER in Scotland.

As part of this initiative, the Scottish Government has provided funding to support the development of OER and the implementation of Open Education practices in Scottish schools, colleges, and universities. For example, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has provided funding to support the creation of OER through its Open Educational Resources Programme, and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has developed a framework for the use of OER in the development of qualifications. Education Scotland and HMIE support a number of Open Education initiatives across the school and College system. 

In addition, the Scottish Government has endorsed the principles of the UNESCO Paris OER Declaration, which calls on governments and institutions around the world to support the development and use of OER. This endorsement demonstrates the Scottish Government's commitment to promoting the use of OER as a means of improving access to education and promoting social inclusion.

Overall, the Scottish Government's support for Open Education and OER has helped to raise awareness of the benefits of open education and has supported the development and implementation of Open Education practices in Scotland."

Would be nice if it was remotely true ... 

Monday, April 03, 2023

History of #OER in Scotland Ushare

ChatGPT-  knows more about U-Share than many Scottish teachers or College lecturers 

Ushare is an online platform provided by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) that allows teachers and lecturers in Scotland to share resources and materials related to teaching and learning. The platform is part of the SQA's wider commitment to promoting and supporting the use of open educational resources (OER) in Scotland's education system.

Through Ushare, teachers and lecturers can upload and share a wide range of resources, including lesson plans, worksheets, presentations, and multimedia materials. The platform also includes a range of tools to help teachers and lecturers find and discover resources that are relevant to their teaching needs, including search functions and browsing by subject or level.

One of the key benefits of Ushare is that it allows teachers and lecturers to access resources created by their colleagues across Scotland, helping to promote collaboration and sharing of good practice. The platform is also designed to be easy to use, with a simple interface and straightforward upload and sharing functions.

Overall, Ushare is an important resource for teachers and lecturers in Scotland, providing a way to access and share a wealth of teaching and learning materials. The platform is free to use and open to all teachers and lecturers working in Scotland's education system.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

#BETT23 , #BETT2023 What I will be up to.

I'll be around for another flying visit to Bett23 - I wonder how much Artificial Intelligence will be on display ? Is that a pun? 

I'll be around Thursday and Friday  

At moment I am visiting and/or meeting and presenting  
  • ThingLink
  • Genially 
  • Intel  ( presentation Thursday lunchtime)
  • Fujitsu
  • Click-View 
  • Microsoft Education 
  • Google Education 
  • Advantis Systems/Class VR
  • Instructure Canvas  
  • ALT Session ( Association of Learning Technology) 
I am looking for innovative partners and potential sponsors for our next year's Learning and Teaching Conference potentially March 2024 . A great way to bring innovative solutions to the Scottish College Sector as well as interesting partners and projects I can bring to a large and ambitious College.

I think I have figured out way to bring AR/VR to the College in a cost effective way but always open to opinions and solutions.

I don't need new MIS, VLE, Assessment , Proctoring or Video capture systems etc 

My diary is almost full - if you want a meeting reach out to me on twitter @joecar

I look forward to meeting friends old and new.

Reflections last few years BETT

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Looking Back and Forwards - It's that time of year again - Part Two

Janus cc Wikipedis
anus Janus image created by AI by Image Creator in Bing
Janus Image Created by AI 

Perhaps I don't need to write articles any more I can just use artificial intelligence https://chat.openai.com/   and I can add my own images created by Bing Image Creator. 

Perhaps, I could just automate whole process. Scarily how the copy for lots of commercial blogs and internet postings are now created. It is what bots are doing in the background automatically producing content for other bots to produce and flood social media channels with including repetition of any errors. 

I asked for current trends in Educational Technology.

"Here are some current trends in educational technology:
  1. The increasing use of online and digital resources in education, including the use of learning management systems, virtual classrooms, and digital textbooks.
  2. The use of adaptive learning technologies, which can personalize the learning experience for each student based on their needs and abilities.
  3. The growing use of educational technology to facilitate collaborative and project-based learning.
  4. The use of virtual and augmented reality in the classroom.
  5. The use of artificial intelligence in education, including the development of personalized learning programs and the use of chatbots and other AI-powered tools to support student learning.
  6. The increasing integration of technology in teacher professional development programs.
  7. The growing use of educational technology to support blended and hybrid learning models, which combine online and in-person learning.
It is worth noting that the use of educational technology can raise important questions and challenges related to issues such as equity, accessibility, and data privacy. These issues are being addressed by educators, policymakers, and researchers in various ways. "

Or Perhaps Chat AI knows more about Open Scotland than many in the Scottish Educational establishment 

"Open Scotland is a group or organization that promotes open education and open educational resources (OER) in Scotland. Open education refers to the practice of making educational resources and materials available online for free, and OER refers to these resources and materials. Open Scotland may work to raise awareness about the benefits of open education and OER, as well as support the development and use of open educational resources in Scotland. "


I've just scratched the surface but echoes some of my commentary from a year or so ago with educational obsession with plagiarism

Some useful links to learn about what AI can and cannot do.
With thanks to @brmorris10 and @JonesLearnUK on twitter.

AI In Learning and Teaching @brmorris10
What is Chat GPI and what do Educators need to know about it @JonesLearnUK

and a link to paper on wider implications. 
Future of AI some Cautionary Notes.

Thoughts - I think campaign to make any learner know about Chat GPI is the responsible path. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

Looking Back and Forwards - It's that time of year again - Part One


AI Generated Janus Image via Bing Image CreatorJanus Image from Wikipedia

It's that time of year again for some quick reflections on 2022 and a look forward to 2023.

On the learning technology front it's been an incredibly busy and rewarding year.
  • The focus has been around delivering a whole College move from a self hosted version of Moodle to Canvas by Instructure.  It was really gratifying to get student feedback from Class reps in November on a complete sea change on learners feedback on our virtual learning environment.  You can get a tiny glimpse in at the first window we opened for learners pre-induction. Prior to procurement we polled and held focus groups around what learners wanted in an ideal learning environment. - Learner feedback is that we have met all of their requirements.
  • Along with Canvas we've enabled Blackboard Ally to support greater accessibility across the platform and later than planned added Panopto to our internal tool set to make it easier for teachers to embed recorded teaching content in their blended learning materials. 
With a big internal focus on the technical roll out and the associated internal communications, I've had less space for outward looking activities and blogging. My quietest year ever. No Awards this year ;-) barring nice Fujitsu Ambassador Award for the College in April.

A big shout out to the learning technology, and IT teams , the faculty canvas champions and all of the staff at City of Glasgow College for overcoming the daunting challenge of moving our materials and refreshing the look and feel of blended learning at City of Glasgow College.  

We are just on first chapter now of what will become a rewarding journey for staff and students. 

Other highlights of year 

  • Attending #BETT22 great to be out and among people and ideas again.
  • On going co-chairing of ALT Special interest group in Scotland and sharing challenges. Here is our "three stars and a wish" summary from December.
  • Chairing 'I Was Gonnae' charity and watching team grow business
  • Chairing Old Hall Scout Group and almost completing the hall refurbishment. 
  • Watching my daughter thrive at first City of Glasgow College and now Dundee Art School and son enjoying his schooling and rugby.  

Lowlights of year 
  • On going uncertainties around national awarding , SQA and Education Scotland - no longer directly in my ambit but so awful to see press and general idiotic feeding frenzy. I hope in the end it's a good news story for Scottish Education - but I still see little sign of progressive thinking and all the signs that the system is seriously destabilised. I think many of my initial concerns are still live and no sign of any progressive solutions
  • I usually just blog about education. I worked internationally for years - I am a great believer in education as a force for good.  Thoroughly sickened by Russian imperial aggression in Ukraine.  I still remember a senior Russian civil servant telling me that there should have been no plebiscite in Scotland, apparently in Russia they would just have sent the tanks in to deal with the separatists. As my jaw dropped a Polish Civil servant quietly explained I had just met the Russian bear.  Peacefully I will do all I can to support Ukraine.  
  • The state of public finances will have a long and sustained impact on education at all levels.  
Next post looking ahead - 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Towards a New Improved Scottish Learning Festival ?

I am a fan of the idea of the Scottish Learning Festival and have chipped in many times over the years on how it might be improved.

I looked at the advice and like me it has aged - but some of the principles are still just as valid and have not really ever been picked up.  I guess just the changing guard in the Education Department and Education Scotland and tight budgets keep it sticking to one formula or another.

If you follow my blog you will know I've been attending since the last century and before  there was SLF,  there were more modest gatherings of Learning Techs at the Scottish Council for Educational Technology. 

I think this years regional and blended approach was a great idea. Will be interested to see if it converted into true national participation. 

  1. To truly be a Scottish Learning Festival it has to include pathways for more than schools. So let's see Colleges , Work based learning providers , Universities , Community and Adult learning in the programme. For our economy to work we need life long learning. 
  2. It has to be accessible to grass roots educators - my original proposals were around having workshops and events on Saturday morning.  BETT does this in London and teachers and pupils ( pupils mainly London based ) travel in for sessions. But now this should include on-line sessions that teachers and learners can engage in all across Scotland - perhaps the new blended sessions achieved this ? 
  3. Support dissenting and grassroots voices - help Teachmeet and teachmeeters - Was there a blended equivalent of teachmeet and if not why not ?
  4. If you are going to use any central venue-  have workshops and use the space around the SEC - 
  5. Unpopular in some quarters but have an exhibition area - either real of virtual.  It is important that there is a platform for Scottish education to talk to those who wish to sell things to education.  Better and easier for all if it's in the one place once a year. I'm not sure that bit was managed correctly this year.  I attended SECC and was embarrassed for the vendors who had supported https://www.scottisheducationexpo.com/  
Main thing that was missing from proceedings - though it may have been there and I missed it. Was an overview of digital learning initiatives across Scotland.  How 1-1 device roll outs are moving and being sustained in these tough economic times and what is on the horizon for learner and teaching staff digital literacy. 

You can access recordings of all of the proceedings. Key sessions to look out for are around  'The National Discussion'  this was launched at this year’s Scottish Learning Festival. The discussion around the future of qualifications and assessment in Scotland. You’ll be able to watch the launch recordings on the SLF online portal if you register at http://SLF2022.com.