The ROLE (Responsive Open Learning Environments) project provides technology to support teachers in developing open personal learning environments for their students. It centers on self-regulated learning so as to promote independent learners who can plan their learning process, search for resources, and reflect on their progress.
The ROLE infrastructure, including this Software Development Kit (SDK) enables a learner-centred Personal Learning Environment (PLE) that will empower the user for true lifelong learning across institutional boundaries, integrating learning with other parts of the learner’s social life.
This paper summarizes ATC21S assessments for ICT Literacy, including a description of data (collected in Fall 2011 studies in Australia, Finland, Singapore and the U.S.) and discussion on how assessment outcomes can be reported. ATC21S aims to help educators around the world equip students with 21st century skills to succeed in career and college goals, including problem-solving, digital literacy and working together in learning communities.
The University of Tuscia (UNITUS) based in Viterbo, Italy has just joined the AGRICOM consortium, providing expertise in Italian agriculture and food production, as well as forestry and energy efforts.
The full first version of the AGRICOM Competence Model (ACM) was developed by the end of the first project year and is now undergoing extensive testing in AGRICOM partner countries. Now, the University of Tuscia (UNITUS) will coordinate the Italian portion of pilot-testing phase. Their efforts will complement the on-going pilot-testing in the other countries like Germany, Greece, and the Netherlands. Together, their results will demonstrate a variety of national implementations and applications.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso called on Europe's digital businesses, governments, training and education sectors to join a Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs to address up to 900 000 job vacancies expected to exist in Europe in Information and Communication technologies (ICT) by 2015. Despite the current levels of unemployment, the number of digital jobs is growing by more than 100 000 per year. Yet the number of fresh ICT graduates and skilled ICT workers is not keeping up.
Vice-Presidents Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda) and Antonio Tajani (Industry and Entrepreneurship) and Commission members László Andor (Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) and Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) also attended the launch of the Grand Coalition held today in Brussels, which is part of the Commission's drive to make Europe more competitive.
President Barroso said: "The Grand Coalition we launch today is an essential part of getting Europe's economy back on track and finding jobs for some of Europe's 26 million unemployed. I applaud those companies who have signed up today. If, together, we can turn the tide and fill the growing number of ICT vacancies, we will see a much wider impact across the whole economy. We want to empower Europeans to fill the jobs that will drive the next ICT revolution."
Europe cannot afford to leave employment opportunities like this unexploited. Today's announcement builds on the groundwork laid by Vice President Kroes in collecting initial pledges on new jobs, internships, training places, start-up funding, free online university courses and more from technology companies, governments, educators, social partners, employment service providers and civil society organisations at the World Economic Forum in Davos (see IP/13/52).
Initial commitments from stakeholders have been endorsed with over 15 companies and organisations signing up to the Grand Coalition. Among the first pledges to come to life is a new online learning platform for young people called the Academy Cube and a new training module for energy smart grid installers.
The Commission has sought pledges in the following key areas:
Training and matching for digital jobs – to help ensure the skills people are getting are the skills business needs;
Mobility – helping those with skills get to the place where they're needed, to avoid shortages and surpluses in different towns and cities;
Certification – making it easier to prove to an employer what skills one has, regardless of the country;
Awareness raising – so that people know the digital sector offers rewarding and enjoyable careers to both women and men;
Innovative learning and teaching – so our education and training systems expand and improve to give more people the skills for success.
President Barroso also called on organisations to follow the example of the early pledgers. The Commission has a role to play, but actions like industry-led training, assisting labour mobility, certifying skills, improving school and university curricula, raising awareness, and creating an entrepreneur friendly environment for start-ups need the active engagement of all stakeholders.
The Commission is also launching Startup Europe, a single platform for tools and programmes supporting people wanting to set up and grow web start-ups in Europe.
The 6th «eLearning Baltics 2013 Conference» (eLBa 2013) will be held on the 20th-21st of June in Rostock, Germany. International researchers, practitioners, scientific and business people who all use, produce, investigate in and disseminate eLearning products, services, tools and platforms are invited to attend.
eLBa 2013 will examine the role of digital media in various settings such as classroom, university, workplace, home or mobile environments.
This includes both formal and informal methods, approaches and technology being used in different markets.
eLBa 2013 will run along three different strands:
1. Science Track – international scientific paper presentation,
2. Business Track – business congress and user forum,
3. Exhibition Floor – exhibition of eLearning products and services.
The eLBa 2013 call for papers is now open (http://www.e-learning-baltics.de/601/?L=1). Early Bird registration for the conference will begin on May 12th, 2013.
The seminar ‘Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning’ will take place on the 9th and 10th of April, 2013 in Mechelen, Belgium, and is open to 120 participants.
The event is hosted by the European Commission and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), in association with the Irish Presidency of the European Union.
European countries are increasingly recognising the need to acknowledge the types of learning that take place outside formal training institutions. There are still obstacles, however, to implementing policy objectives and practical solutions for validating the learning that happens in the workplace, at home, or in leisure activities.
This ‘Validation of Non-Formal and Informal Learning’ seminar will convene 120 participants interested in and involved with the challenges and solutions this topic presents.
Registration is currently open. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This Open CourseBook offers an introduction to Fashion Photography. It introduces students to understanding the role of Fashion Photography and aims to give them the knowledge of how Fashion images are created.
Students are invited to analyse the mood, atmosphere and statement fashion images communicate, through evaluation of the image and attitude of the model, the art direction, and the technical execution of the final image through the use of digital photography, editing and cropping images.
This research and analysis will enable and encourage students to organize and produce a Fashion shoot through research, scouting locations, casting models, styling (clothes, hair and make up), demonstrating their understanding of producing an editorial fashion shoot appropriate to the given market.
We recently spoke with Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector Education at Microsoft Corporation, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona 2013. Salcito works with education institutions to embrace technology to optimize learning environments and student achievement.
What challenges does fomenting innovation in schools currently face?
At the moment, youth unemployment in some European Union member states exceeds 50%. The preparation of young people for the labor market has to be improved, especially since companies hire their workforce primarily on the basis of skills. Collaboration, communication, and leadership skills should be at the center of schools’ education.
21st-century learning should be competency based, because becoming prepared for life and work is crucial, more important than content knowledge alone. The problem is that pupils today are awarded grades based on content knowledge. They often progress to the next level despite low grades in certain subject areas, which actually signals a lack of foundational knowledge they’ll need in the future.
Proper assessment should therefore not be bound to specific timing, but to understanding—that’s the true measure of achievement. Furthermore, it should take into account the learning of concepts and overall progress, instead of focusing solely on content results.
The research project Assessment and Teaching of 21st-Century Skills (ATC21S) proposes ways of assessing 21st-century skills and encourages teaching and adopting those skills in the classroom. Ultimately, the best results are achieved when learning is personalized.
What role should teachers play in this transformation?
The role of teachers is essential, but they need training and support in order to move toward increasingly teaching skills and competencies. Teachers should listen more, and provide individual assessment and mentoring to their pupils. To this end, various different resources are available, such as “Education Competencies”, designed to help educators and administrators.
Coming back to the topic of assessment, we are not welcoming educators and curriculum developers to innovate if we do not change the way we assess what learners know and what they are supposed to know. Global assessment models such as PISA should be improved in such a way that they incorporate new trends currently taking place in formal and especially informal learning.
Who would you say are the innovators in the education field?
Innovators in the education field are mainly individuals. Innovative teachers who have created their own educational resources often do not want to share their content; they don’t think about scalability and believe that this content only works for them. It’s crucial to show them how they can be examples for others. Microsoft has therefore created a network of innovative teachers and a network of innovative schools.
I would also like to briefly mention our entrepreneurship program for young people. The Youth Spark Hub is an online space to explore and access all the Microsoft programs and resources to help youth imagine and realize their full potential.
How do we transform innovative teaching with scalability?
I recommend the scalability toolkit developed by Christopher J. Dede, Professor of Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Innovation in education is a global matter, and everything teachers do has a directly global dimension.
eLearning Papers is currently welcoming submissions which address the challenges and future of Massive Open Online Courses, a trend in education that has skyrocketed since 2008. Issue 33, MOOCs and Beyond, seeks to both generate debate, and coalesce a variety of critical perspectives into a fruitful body of research.
Educators today are confronted with several questions regarding MOOCs. These include: What role do they play in the undergraduate degree system? In particular, what threat do they pose to higher education as it currently operates? Also, what does the path towards proper accreditation for these classes look like?
On a broader level, MOOCs offer another site from which to explore the intersection between technology and pedagogy, in the effort to improve our understanding of how to support learning. How do MOOCs differ from face-to-face, or even on-line closed courses? What is particular about the MOOC learning experience, and what does that teach us?
Contributors are invited to present theoretical or empirical research, specifically regarding the following topics:
- Experiences speaking to the design, implementation or assessment of a MOOC.
- The impact of MOOCs within Higher Education.
- Learning analytics and MOOCs.
- Peer-to-peer learning and MOOCs.
- Analyses of the impact and reach of MOOCs – considering course completion, global recognition.
The guest editor for this edition is Yishay Mor.
March 25th, 2013. Extended Deadline: April 8th, 2013.
Click here to read the complete Call for Papers.
For further information and to submit your article, please contact the Laia Canals, the current chief editor, at editorialteam[at]elearningeuropa.info.