................................Really what it says in the heading. I will play with this from time to time. A mixture of education and domestic ...............................observations.
Friday, November 19, 2010
New and Emerging Learning Technologies
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Maths and more Game Apps on iStore
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
Save on Travel Desk Top Webconference
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
The Best of EdTech Web 2010 #ediff
as we know it.. thought this was a great set of new tools..
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Useful Perhaps Observation from Across the Water #ediff
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
Scottish Government Technologies for Learning Strategy #ediff
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
Open Education #ediff
Viral Education 2.0
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
AXA brings print ads to life
Just think what this technology could bring to interactive learning
and what a great way to sell and Apple Ap
Friday, October 01, 2010
Oldie but goodie - reminds me a bit of digital natives discussion.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
European Association Of Test Publishers Conference
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
Scottish Learning Festival
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..
- David Cameron's ( @realdcameron on Twitter) perceptive sessions on what Curriculum for Excellence is really all about
- 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
Scottish Training Federation Awards
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Potentially useful links to Bologna process and E-Certification E-pass work.
Donald Clark Plan B at ALTC2010
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
Assessment Futures , New Ventures and ALT-C
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
N'IMPORTE COMMENT - THE TOXIC AVENGER FEAT ORELSAN - "OFFICIAL VIDEO"
Facebook Boogie from France - fantasist view of virtual worlds but interesting for all references made to social networking
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
21st Century Education in New Brunswick, Canada
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Race to Infinity
Race to Infinity
Originally uploaded by The iconoclastic yet iconic ionic icon
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.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Open Educational Resources
Friday, August 06, 2010
Shh ! Blog Posting
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
Lest we forget the barriers to skills development in the Workplace
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
Social Media Revolution 2 (Refresh)
I'm not sure how many times we need to say this before folks get the message
Fat Boy Slim helps make the point
Saturday, May 01, 2010
OECD Report On Technology in Our Classrooms
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 finally moved
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
This blog has moved
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds or you may click here.
For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to
Saturday, February 13, 2010
TeachMeet Second Life 2010
Great Idea / experiment would be good if folk dropped in from FE and other sectors too
Thursday, February 11, 2010
A Brief History of Pretty Much Everything
This might be just about last post to this blog til I find a new way to host and post. In the meantime here is a wonderful bit of creativity from a school pupil Jamie Bell.
Thanks to Jane Hart for link
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Happy New Year
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.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Treat Your Self
Also arriving on my radar some excellent presentations from Google Conference Breakthrough Learning in the Digital Age from October 09 now on YouTube. ( thanks Helen Barrett for this )
Day 1: Opening Panel: Recapturing Our Innovation Edge: America’s Urgent Education Challenge - Linda Darling-Hammond, Joel I. Klein, Mitchell Kapor, Jonathan F. Miller, Kavitark Shriram
Day 1: Dinner keynote: Geoff Canada
Day 2: Session I. The Next Revolution in Learning: How Digital Culture is Shaping Where and How Children Learn - Gary E. Knell, Mizuko Ito, James Steyer, Reed Hastings
Day 2: Session II. Literacy 2.0: Creative Strategies to Prepare 21st Century Learners - Nichole Pinkard, Benjamin Bederson, Allison Druin, Karen Cator, Marissa Mayer, Daniel Russell
Day 2: Session III. New Learning Designs: Scaling Innovation to Reverse the Dropout Crisis - Jason Levy, Larry Rosenstock, Katie Salen, Rey Ramsey
Day 2: Session IV: Teachers for a Digital Age: New Strategies to Transform Practice - Anthony S. Bryk, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Marshall (Mike) S. Smith, Ellen Moir, Esther Wojcicki
Day 2: Closing Panel: Breakthrough Ideas to Drive Student Success: Action Steps for the Nation - Blair Levin, Jim Shelton, Barbara Chow, Susan Gendron, Elliot Schrage, Kathy Hurley
Tonight I missed Edtech Roundup Teachmeet On-line Conference - again you can catch the proceedings here.
Hope you are noticing too - these are not sterile academic presentations - they are about the future and using the technology of the future.
Nice way to end the year - looking into the future. I'd recommend stopping wrapping your presents to sample some of these proceedings.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Ch..Ch..Ch. . Changes
- Schools - dealing with Curriculum for Excellence, New Inspection Framework and roll out of GLOW
- Colleges - new Inspection Framework, national certificate developments, impact of recession and Curriculum for Excellence, emergence of Scotland's Colleges as a support agency.
- Workplace - UK Vocational Reform Programme and impact on Scotland, impact of recession, emergence of Skills Development Scotland as policy and support agency.
- Community Based - struggling with funding cutbacks at all levels and looking for new models of support
- University - perhaps not enough change but deep anxieties around funding.
Some of these challenges are not new - but there are increasingly useful internal and external developments that can drive change.
Monday, November 16, 2009
E- Assessment in Practice
MCQ ( multiple choice questions) Mainly in corporate space but now reaching down to most levels of employee, organisations around the world use on-line MCQ tests as a means of hiring, firing and auditing staff understanding of procedures ( compliance). Success at interview could be based on your personality profile and in some tightly regulated environments redundancy looms for those who cannot pass six monthly tests around procedures and product knowledge. For all the science and ingenuity that these systems have - I have seen this coming for a wee while, I am uncomfortable with the methodology and practices used here ( for instance American Real Estate Agents are traditionally tightly assessed in this way , go figure ! ) - but teachers and learners do need to know these are the standard employer practices that lie ahead.
Advances in on-line test generation and feedback systems for Maths , Physics and Engineering . Two or three systems were presented that allow both the automatic creation of mathematical problems and the automation of feedback to learners. These systems are really clever and feedback from learners does seem positive. These systems do seem very soulless but then I suppose this may be in keeping with the cold rationale of Science. They are designed to give learners almost limitless practice with computer generated feedback in areas like differentiation, algebra and calculus where undergraduates struggle. My question in this perhaps unfairly would be around the quality of the teaching input. Some of these systems look like closed loops that allow researchers to get on with research while undergraduates communicate with computers - but this may be unjustified cynicism.
Finally a few things sit better with my universe. Sarah De Freitas did an excellent presentation in developments in Serious Gaming worth looking out for Nano-mission, Flood Sim and the mind control offered by NeuroSky . The QCA presented some good guidance on on-line assessment available from the efutures website and the Open University showcased amazing work around language teaching and assessment http://www.webcef.org/.
And as final footnote of the innovative offerings present from BTL , Tag Learning , OpenSim and others perhaps with exception of NeuroSky we are working out on the frontiers with them.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Virtual World of War Poets 1914-1918
A timely resource with Rememberance Sunday approaching but one that should also make us pause and think about our teaching pratice and how they are going to change - when learners can immerse themselves in world's like this or better still build resources like this ..
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Really so folks can quickly hook up with other Scottish Educational Twitterers quickly and efficiently. I have been using Twibes for about a year with some other UK based projects and finally on Friday , as I was asked again who to follow in Scottish Education, I thought I might as well start the ball rolling.
So if you are reading this work in Scottish Education or have an interest in Scottish Education - schools , colleges, Further Education , work-based or other why not join our twibe.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Somethings are just too clever to explain
Here is nice explanation of an e-portfoilo and how Google could be the answer
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Did You Know 4.0
Useful wee resource for talking to paper-age- people
Michael Wesch - quote from proceedings of ALT-C 2009
"It took tens of thousands of years for writing to emerge after humans spoke their first words. It took thousands more before the printing press and a few hundred again before the telegraph.Today a new medium of communication emerges every time somebody creates a new web application. A Flickr here, a Twitter there, and a new way of relating to others emerges. New types of conversation, argumentation, and collaboration are realized. Using examples from
anthropological fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, YouTube, classrooms, and “the future,” this presentation will demonstrate the profound yet often unnoticed ways in which media “mediate” our conversations, classrooms, and institutions. We will then apply these insights to an exploration of the implications for how we may need to rethink how we teach, what we teach, and who we think we are teaching. "
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
The VLE is Dead
How many of you would go to your Virtual Learning Environment to learn anything ?For this audience a VLE is barren closed sterile environment suitable for learners but not a place where they would go to learn.
Have a listen - excellent speakers and the discussion is really broader than a discussion about the technology it is really a discussion about the organisation of learning within an institutional framework.
This is another excellent session from ALTC2009 . As you might expect I think they are setting the benchmark for using technology to share sessions at the conference.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Transformational Educational Development and made in Scotland
You can't fly through the virtual world depicted in this presentation but pupils and teachers in Scotland will be doing just that soon.
What is important about this isn't just the technological platform (but that will be engaging enough for many) it is the opportunities for learning and the potential for new kinds of collaboration and assessment that platforms like this offer. Well done Derek Robertson and Learning and Teaching Scotland. This is most exciting development I have seen in last couple of years and it is truly transformational.
The system won't change the skills needed to be a great artist - but in terms of providing a great platform for exemplification and sharing - this is it.
Have a look and be gobsmacked - looking forward to seeing the real thing.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Universal healthcare is terrorist recruitment tool
I thought this was a spoof - but it is not . I have heard and dismissed criticism of American news coverage before - but this is unbelievable. Should be compulsory viewing for politics and modern studies students - how media is manipulated.
Q Is this credible and valid criticism of NHS in UK
Thanks @bengoldacre and @cdmilligan
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Found at http://www.changethethought.com/evolution-gif/
Now did this come before of after the Guinness Advert ?
and I do know it is not the reflection of the real evolutionary cycle - in the real one they get a pint of Guinness in the end .. thanks for emails
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
And The Rest ,,,
Some basic productivity tools that we now use across the organisation are Meet-O-Matic a huge time saver for admin staff trying to pin down teachers for meeting availability and Survey Monkey
You can also find me using Ning, Wikispaces, PBWorks when required and probably lots more I haven't remembered. Finally I use lastfm, Blipfm and Spotify to zone out.
Harvesting, Synthesising,Sorting and Sharing
wheat is ready to harvest... "Photo: Bernat Casero"
Originally uploaded by Bern@t
I stay on top of RSS feeds from a very wide range of sources with Bloglines I still haven't crossed over to Google Reader but I think this has huge potential. I review feeds from this for 20 minutes each day.
I use Flickr mostly for personal stuff and the occasional conference shot when I get the urge but I am more likely to be talking to folk than skipping around with a camera . I use Youtube on this basis too but in the main I crowdsource materials through these mediums Increasingly I use Slideshare and Scribd as sources for bits of information to start me thinking - I'll follow up with links to some good presentations from Slideshare.
In last year I have also been using Friendfeed to follow folk around me in Scottish Education. I have been impressed by @mikecoulter and colleagues in Learning and Teaching Scotland who are making really great progress in moving into this new learning and development space. They are mostly to be found in my Bloglines Roll at the side of this posting.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Web,Blogging and Twitter
I have posted before about my use of blogger and twitter and I think my usage pattern remains pretty much the same -I am doing less blogging and I am more likely to share a snippet on twitter.
From each of these platforms - the website, the blog and from Twitter I continue to make valuable professional contacts.
Digital Identity and Personal Learning Networks
The greek mask
Originally uploaded by giopuo
Please note this reflects what I do in my own comfort zone in balancing work, productivity and social space. It may not be the right recipe for you or for the organisation you work for.
If you work in most industries you will now have some digital presence either created by you, a friend who tags photographs of you at the office Christmas party, by a journalist or a commentator or simply from the footprints of attendances at conferences participated in. Ideally this is not in a news piece that combines all of the above which could be career stopping or stalling.
Whether you like it or not you will have a digital identity of some kind and this series offers some pointers on how you might manage this.
You should have an Online Profile that is maintained by you. You can choose how much or how little you share. I use Plaxo, Linkedin and Facebook.
Plaxo has improved functionality recently but I regard it as a legacy tool - I did use it to synchronise personal and work contacts when I was on the move - before my organisation gave me the facility to access my address book on the move.I am still hanging in there to see if it gets better.
Linkedin - I now use for professional workbased contacts and network building. It presents my professional face. I take my job seriously but not myself reflecting current trends I use a digitally enhanced image of myself as a Simpsons character. I use this as a link back to anything that requires a professional profile. Linkedin has been a useful tool for cementing relationships across the diverse sectors I operate in.
Facebook - I try to restrict to people I know well, close friends and family. The challenge here is that here are increasingly interesting groups on Facebook reflecting my professional interests. I also subject all my facebook friends to my twitter stream - which I am sure they will eventually complain about.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Destination ImagiNation - Leapfrog Institutes Collaboration
Monday, June 22, 2009
CCEM Last Post
With noble exceptions of -
CCEM Kuala Lumpur Opening Ceremony
Home and reflecting on all the debate last week both the formal and the invaluable networking that happens at events of this kind. Some of the questions circulating at the conference we in Scotland have found our own answers too.
Most of the discussion was progressive and out on the frontiers of learning that in the main the Scottish education system operates in.
- most developed systems doing some re-evaluation of school curriculum
- have moved to QA inspection system based on self evaluation with external audit
- ICT and on-line learning challenge same in most systems – few have been as bold as GLOW
- Most countries developing qualification frameworks that embrace academic and vocational pathways for learners.
- some see education as way to import and export talent and as critical for democratization , civil society, empowering individuals and as a wealth generator
- transition challenges between primary and secondary and secondary and tertiary in most systems
- debate on importance of 2-6 year old developmental period - some countries doing more systematic training of nursery teachers and putting curriculum frameworks in place.
Some of the questions suggested a legacy we may have left behind
I was asked if we still have an 11+ exam and without it what do our secondary schools use for selection .Another delegate described why learners sometimes need beaten and was surprised to know that corporal punishment was now banned even in Scottish private schools.
Others were the kind we still get on the home front about why we need National Qualifications – Bologna Process, European Qualifications Framework and Global Standards - is the short hand answer – but it is clear we have way to promote understanding when civil servants don’t understand systems.
Biggest challenge to my thinking is how far the private sector operates in developing countries in running education systems and how much private companies are penetrating even the English system. They offer everything from inspection services to the building and running of schools for governments and local authorities. I think we only have operations like this in the special school sector in Scotland but I am sure they will be looking to sell on services wherever they can. Staffed mainly by ex public sector folk – owned by and profit driven for public or private shareholders and in some cases former educational publishers – will be interesting to see how this manifests itself in our system.
Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia have transformed in 30 years and flying back through Dubai, a city that in 25 years has erupted in a desert – it is nice to know that both places have a thirst and affinity for UK awards. Malaysia wants to be an education hub for all of its neighbours by 2017 and I hope we can do a lot to help them meet their target. I met a lot of customers interested in offering Scottish Vocational Qualifications and lots of customers interested in learning more about the Scottish Education system.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The 17th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers
On one level there is something strange about the diverse group of countries that form the Commonwealth and at least for me a bit uncomfortable when you think of the imperial past.
The Commonwealth is a family of 53 different countries among them 12 on the UN list of least developed countries in the world.
Yet when you meet the learners, teachers, university vice chancellors, Ministers and agencies from all of these countries you can see at once what we have in common and while we all start in different places the aims and ambitions of the Commonwealth for learners you can see at once how our simple common bond can help us work together.
The agenda is a simple yet complex one.
The millennium goals
· Advocating for 2015 to be the year that children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.
· Affirming the importance of eliminating gender disparities in education by 2015
· Utilising the technology, facilities and efficiencies afforded by open and distance learning to overcome barriers and combating the digital divide in education.
· Improving quality in education through signalling the importance of the role played by teachers, addressing their status, retention and mobility whilst at the same time advancing the importance of the management, training and development of this critical resource in education.
· Supporting the assurance of education in difficult circumstances through addressing the challenges of education delivery during situations of crisis, conflict, post-conflict and natural disasters and providing guidelines to improve preparedness for emergencies.
· Mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS on education systems by way of establishing the role and importance of education as a “social vaccine” against HIV/AIDS through professorial chairs for research and advocacy and dissemination of good practices in countries which address head-long the challenge of the pandemic in their populations
Some of the stories from conference are truly humbling –
Village Children in Bangladesh organizing locally to persuade a landowner to give them land to build a school and then selling their blood to a private hospital to raise the funds to build the school – so for first time the villagers have access to a primary school.
Growing evidence from countries stricken by famine that learners arriving in primary school have already been damaged developmentally through malnutrition.
Made me reflect on newspaper headline as I left that 1 in 9 learners in Glasgow come from family with addiction issues.
While we worry about changes in our own internal systems - we need to be aware of the challenges that educators face around the world. How can we leverage curriculum investment in Scotland to support the rest of the world ?
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Sports 4 Life Moves Onwards and Upwards
It was great fun pulling it together - a big thanks to all the teachers who helped in the pilot, including the intrepid bunch we sent to NZ, the football clubs who finally gave us their logos and the team at the Small Business Company in Christchurch New Zealand who were prepared to blaze a trail with a National Awarding Body on the other side of the world. Thanks too to Microsoft who gave us some funds to push the envelope a bit through Partners in Learning. Bob McGonigle in Scotland and Kirsten Weartherby at headquarters then - and now at Reading.
Over the last three years we have developed, supported and successfully piloted access to http://www.sport4life.biz/ the on-line business game for schools. The launch and pilot has been supported through funding from Microsoft Partners in Learning. This letter is to inform you that from August 2009 the Game will move to a subscription model to ensure its long term sustainability and ongoing development.
Earlier this week a communication went out to all SQA Co-ordinators and Heads of Centre, I had hoped to find a national sponsor for the game but in the current financial climate this proved too challenging.
The pilot has been an outstanding success. In the last year 380 Scottish secondary schools had registered for the Game, 639 teachers were using it with their classes and 35,000 students played 135,000 Games and gratifyingly the game has been picked up and adapted for use around the world.
In other parts of the UK schools already pay to use the Small Business Game (Sport4Life) £400+VAT per school for an annual licence. However, recognising that Scottish schools have taken part in the successful pilot at no charge, the Game will continue to be part-subsidised by The Small Business Company for the 12 month period commencing 1 September 2009. The cost for your school to use the Game is now at the discounted price of £200 + VAT for the year commencing September 2009.
Access will allow you to offer the Game and all its benefits to up to 1,000 students and teachers in your school, and the school will still be able to participate in the competitions that will run within the Game through the year.
To ensure your school continues to get full use of the Small Business Game beyond August 2009 please email Andy Coughlin ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) requesting a licence for the Game.
Monday, June 08, 2009
How Twitter will Change the way we live
Evan Williams and Biz Stone of Twitter
I have always been a sucker for new ways of communicating - but I do think there is something in this - It was great to attend an e-learning alliance conference today showing lots of ways that web2 social software is being used in College and University Classrooms - great to be able to tweet about it and great too that Theo Kuechel was able to confirm before I got back to the office that Voice Thread was worth another look
Practice is changing ..and it is wonderful to see - a great article on Twitter from Time Magazine
and a great antidote to today's awful election results.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009
Now if we could only get our stakeholders to cope with this - we could develop new curriculum in quick time and collaborate with educationalists and learners as we do it ..mmm
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Picked up this neat JISC video from Joan Walker in the latest Scottish JISC Regional Support Centre News Letter. There is a lot school sector could pick up from this monthly publication and from great work that JISC do all across UK. A lot of concerns around copyright and IPR have been addressed in FE and HE sectors.
Need to persuade them to add feed to Scotedublogs
It was great news that GLOW picked up an award and it is good to see too that Scotland won another prize at the IMS Global Learning Consortium for AccessApps and in addition that JISC UK Scooped a number of awards at the ceremony.
It easy to forget how much Scotland and the UK are pushing frontiers in on-line learning.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Glasgow & About
Glasgow & About (32)
Originally uploaded by alasdairmarsden
Don't think real life features in media enough
Friday, May 15, 2009
Silver Surfers Day
Watch Silver Surfers’ TV to find out, and see what Angela Rippon and Joan Bakewell have to say about the digital revolution in this video supported by Ofcom's work to promote media literacy.
Today is Silver Surfers’ Day, a day when older people across the UK are encouraged to try out computers and learn about life online.
Organised by Digital Unite, there are over 750 events across the UK aimed at helping thousands of older people get online and discover how computers can change their lives. Go to the Digital Unite website to find out about events near you.
There’s also a new initiative called Schools for Silver Surfers, which plans to link the UK's vast school network with older people not yet online. The project aims to help older people learn about new media and younger people learn about local history.
The Digital Unite website has something for everyone – including a co-operative Flickr album and a ‘Tell us a Joke’ blog.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Making the Case for Social Networks in Organizational Settings
The University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Blogging and Web2
- 1. From 2011 public fund will contract in real terms. We probably needed a 10% reduction in public sector before now economic squeeze will enforce this.
- 2.Everyone needs to be clear about value every pound spent in public sector brings and be prepared for even greater scrutiny
- 3. There is scope for much more service and data sharing at all levels of government and society and this should drive improved services and cost cutting across public sector.
- 4.Devolution is likely to grow regardless of government in Scotland or UK and will not lead invetiably to independence but will lead to greater local accountability.
- 5.Colleges will need to look outside of Scotland for funding and customers - the world market, UK and England all offer opportunities.
The Scottish Parliament Debating Chamber
Originally uploaded by StartAgain
I don't view blogging in this way - but for the cautious here is a quick guide.I would like to see many more folk in public sector blogging.
1. Make it clear that this is an unofficial blog it does not reflect the views of your employer - say as much in header or footer.
2. I am posting this on a Sunday morning - postings are usually made out with working hours
3.It is a reflection of my working day but also life in general. But it can never be warts and all - It is not an on-line diary. If Samuel Pepys had blogged he'd have been divorced and beheaded. This on only the domestic front.
4.I do have an internal SQA and external audience for the blog and I have found it a useful way to move learning agenda on. You do need to be tactful and sensible about how you get your message across.
5.The Blog has been an excellent touch down point for my existing business contacts and for expanding this network. Among highlights this year have been an invitation to SQA to participate in a global education conference in Singapore.
6. Take full responsibility for any typos - spelling - grammatical errors - in other walks of life we have editors - blogging is untidier and all the better for that.
Finally note I have been blogging in one way or another since 2000 and before that had a number of public facing websites when I worked in the College sector from the early 1990s. In all of this time no-one has attempted to silence me and I can't think of a better way to share and work with rest of world. Globally Learners, Teachers, Public Servants and Politicians are all wrestling with same challenges in education - it is great to share solutions.
Blogging and Thoughts
1. My new job involves New Ventures which means exploring new and unchartered waters. Most of the meetings I have are exploratory and sometimes sensitive for both my internal and external audiences. I still share what I can.
2. My activities are reflected in the short-hand of my twitter stream @joecar and I am getting more feedback from a wider network this way.
I'm going to post a follow up on work with web 2.0
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
New Ventures Team
New Ventures Team
Originally uploaded by joecar80
Head of New Ventures is in some ways a big change from from my previous role at SQA. But it builds on earlier work and the remit offers huge potential.
- To develop new partnerships with publishers, broadcasters, industry and providers of learning materials.
- To develop new partnerships with other organisations and awarding bodies that benefit the learners of Scotland
- To explore new ways of working in Scotland and Internationally that add value to our portfolio of services.
We hope to link engaging learning content to new dynamic ways of assessment and quality assurance and makes this I think one of the more exciting jobs in Scottish Education.
We already have a number of projects with a range of partners underway - but we are happy to explore opportunities for partnership in Scotland, UK or Overseas.
I am lucky to too have experienced support in Liam and Joan we are going to have a lot of fun as we take SQA into new places and Scottish education to new heights.
I am hoping we can contribute and make use of the growing Open Educational Resource movement and drive developments that benefit Scottish Learners and the global learning community.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Stop Motion with Wolf and Pig.
Have a few things to Blog about but coudn't resist. Expect to see advert made like this in next six months
Friday, April 03, 2009
It is a super example of the way that learning and teaching will never be the same and how the world of work should be changing too