Monday, April 04, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
As hype continues around Finland's amazing educational achievemennts cynic in me
suspects that we might be about to get 5 years of Finnish system bashing .
In meantime sit back and enjoy the hype.
Friday, February 11, 2011
John Johnstone and Robert Jones have once again been updating the platform that Scotedublogs sits on .They are stars and I was glad that SQA could continue provide some support for this . These guys should get a medal !
News of updated platform here
The SQA make regular use of the RSS Feed on Scotedublogs. It is a fantastic barometer of activity across Scotland – The new Times Ed ;-)
There is still a lot more we could do to promote Scotedublogs as a means to link up bloggers in Schools to those in Further Education and Workbased Learning.
Remember if If you are a Scots Educational blogger you can do your bit to support ScotEduBlogs too:
What is digress.it and why use it? from University of Lincoln on Vimeo.
I was enjoying looking around the excellent http://jiscpress.org/ and wondered
what made it work. Wordpress and Digress.it make for a superb combination.
You can see how this could be future for lots of things .. just think a living national curriculum.
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Open but Tough from Commonwealth of Learning on Vimeo.
Here are some very sage words from Sir John Daniels on open education and on
assessment and certification. Some very good thinking driving the creation of the Commonwealth of
Amused friend's kids have finished with antique toy we passed on when we cleared family home and wonders if I want it back. Not sure there will be much left of it.
It was the toy gun to have in ancient times.I inherited it from my cousin at some point in late 1960's .
Times have changed, now we try and discourage our kids from playing with guns. Wonder what they use to "clear bunkers" these days ?
Monday, February 07, 2011
Here is a great presentation from Andy Black on what is just around the corner for learning. I'm hopeful that Andy gets to keep exploring this territory as he moves from Becta into the corridors of the Westminster Govt. Hoping too in the austere times ahead we find flexible ways to get our learners in to this creative space.
Time will tell but in meantime lots of food for thought for #ediff and other debates.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
To track my own interests across Scottish Education I get a newspaper format report delivered each Monday morning. The report self publishes and provides a really a simple aggregation of what folk in Scottish Education are discussing on twitter. It is very easy to set up once you have identified your sources.
The newspaper is generated through the aggregation of the Scottish Education Twitter Community.
The content is as interesting as the technique for harvesting data - it also highlights the type of discussion that is going on about Scottish Education and helps highlight some of the lead opinion formers. Note those who participate in discussions and move issues on here are not on the whole the usual suspects - education departments of higher education , the national education bodies in a formal capacity , the education trade unions, the education professional bodies, the educational press, rather it is those who choose to use blogs and tweets and work in the Web2.0 space - A criticism would be that these are the views of a technically enabled clique rather than that of grassroots teachers opinion but it presents a no less valid a view on some of the challenges facing education.
Have a look at this weeks issue here -
How To Create Your Own Paper.li
To create a Paper.li newspaper of your own, sign in with your Twitter or Facebook account and click on “Create a Newspaper”. You can create a paper based on:
a Twitter user , a Twitter tag a Twitter list a Facebook search Or a custom Twitter search.
The custom paper allows you to query Twitter with a more complex search term than just a #tag. You can also restrict the Twitter users that can contribute content to the paper by specifying a Twitter list.
Monday, January 17, 2011
- The education service that globally becomes the next facebook will turn up side down education as we know it - this was the underlying thesis.
- Lots of focus on arrival of tablet devices or next generation mobile phones - not much mention of my favourite $100 lap-tops but these are part of solution - one solution a device, built by tech group Raspberry Pi, will provide students with access to a full PC experience. The USB-powered device includes wireless networking, a Linux OS, an ARM processor, an HDMI output. Richard Braben wants to trial the device later in the year radical in that was very low cost.
- Speaker after speaker suggested that games industry and a large education partner may be the place to watch - new consoles and immersive games , growing on-line communities around these and their ever more sophisticated delivery platforms . Stephen Heppell predicts that Education is the next cartell that will be destroyed by people and technology. The argument that the next stage of technological paradigm shifts after hardware, software, databases, search and now social uses, will be learning.
My question would be which cartells move in as we move through period of disruptive changes.
- BBC made announcement that more programming will be available free for education in UK
Thursday, January 13, 2011
- The changing of the guard - new government seems to mean much less top down guidance on ICT in education. This may or may not be a good thing - but quite hard to find folk on policy side who can set out direction of travel in England.
- Last year there were shed loads of functional skills materials - this year hardly in evidence - would be interesting to see figures on how much money has been spent on reforms here.That appear to be continually delayed.
- Whiteboards everywhere as usual but this year turned on their sides to make gigantic tablet PCS
- Seems more crowded with stall holders than ever but footfall seems much lighter
- Useful educational focused side programme and more informal teachmeet type content - always better than advertorial and getting better each year.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I had a productive two days at Learning Without Frontiers and well done Graham and team for organising an event with a difference in a useful calendar slot before the purgatory of BETT. The speakers were awesome , entertaining and informative and looking forward already to watching them be re-streamed and appearing on i-tunes and YouTube soon ( guess announcement will appear here)
I had some prejudices before I came - this was a relatively expensive event - and a free/discounted i-pad was on offer if I signed some dotted line ( I'd love too but as attending is as part of my normal day job I can't pick up technology like this) . While I am slightly covetous I still can't figure out how owning one will help my day job. Did appear to be bigger version of i-phone for too wealthy short sighted guys ( guess they haven't worked out that it can't phone yet) sort of techno porn for geeks.
I did enjoy the best wifi I have had at a conference out with trips to States ..and so did everyone else - there is a fairly impressive twitter stream #lwf11 and was great too to find some friends picking up video feed from conference as it went out live.
So how could it be made better - event needs more back channels - a live twitter stream behind and beside presenters. - needs some more unconference stuff - there were some really great people in audience a few five minute slots from a few of them would have been really good. The event was about disruptive education - still not disruptive enough - one or two presentations were corporate advertorial. Would have been interesting to have some input from open educational resource producers. A hook up somewhere with JISC in UK too would be really constructive - slight danger that it becomes schools silo.
Special tribute to David Muir who managed to do a blog posting on every session he attended.
Sunday, January 09, 2011
- I predict that the massive .. really seismic cuts that are happening in education and the disappearance of some national agencies across UK will drive users to make more inventive use of social software.
- I think now up to ALT , JISC and membership organisations to fill void and see how much change can be driven at grassroots level when there is little money for grand national or regional schemes. Good to see lots of teachmeets happening. Prediction two membership organisations take greater role in driving change.
I didn't get an invitation this year to what was the Learning and Technology World Forum it has been renamed the Education World Forum I am guessing that leaders from around the world will be discussing how to meet their population's educational aspirations with a smaller resource. Shame they dropped the technology bit from the title .. the answer is technology but this still seems too tantalising for policy makers.
- Prediction three more interest in global standards and on Open Educational Resources
Sunday, January 02, 2011
When I returned to blogging in 2006 I thought I'd probably blog about once a week - the reality is that with the arrival of twitter my posting rate is well down on this.
- A summary of Scottish Government Technolgies for Learning Discussion
- An account of Donald Clark's excellent presentation at the ALT-C Conference
- A posting on Open Educational Resources
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
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
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
as we know it.. thought this was a great set of new tools..
Sunday, October 17, 2010
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
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
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
Friday, October 01, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
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
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..
- 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
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Potentially useful links to Bologna process and E-Certification E-pass work.
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
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
Facebook Boogie from France - fantasist view of virtual worlds but interesting for all references made to social networking
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
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
Friday, August 06, 2010
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
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
Saturday, May 01, 2010
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'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
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Saturday, February 13, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
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
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
- 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
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
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.