eLearning Papers has just announced a call for papers for its next issue, which will be dedicated to the theme Design for Learning Spaces and Innovative Classrooms. The deadline for submissions is 28 July, 2013.
Issue number 34 of eLearning Papers will explore practices and experiences in designing learning spaces specifically for innovative and creative classrooms. The editorial board encourages authors to submit contributions addressing one or several of the following topics of interest:
- Experiences about the design and implementation of innovative learning spaces
- Creative learning spaces to inspire teachers and students
- Learning spaces for different purposes to motivate different types of learning
- Designing flexible learning spaces to accommodate innovative pedagogies
- Design and teamwork in developing the e-mature school environment
- Designing and refurbishing schools and classrooms for 21st century learning
- Redefining physical space and time (ubiquitous learning)
- Innovative experiences with learning spaces
The tentative publication date is around the end of August 2013. For further information and to submit your article you may visit this page or contact Laia Canals, current chief editor, at editorialteam[at]elearningeuropa.info
The European Award for Best Content for Kids highlights existing quality content for 4-12 year-old children and encourages the production of new content that will offer young people online opportunities to learn, play, discover and invent. The competition, organised by the Insafe network within the framework of the European Commission's Safer Internet Programme, was launched on 9 May and will run in most EU member states and also in Iceland, Norway and Russia during 2013.
Any form of online content may be submitted to the Best Content for Kids competition - from websites, blogs and videos to apps and games – but it must be designed for use by children or young people. Children can enter as individuals or in groups (i.e. school classes or youth groups). Adult submissions can come from online professionals and non-professionals alike.
National and European winners will be awarded in four different categories:
- Adult professionals
- Adult non-professionals
- Individual young people (up to 3 youngsters)
- School classes/groups of young people (at least 4 youngsters)
The national first prize winner in each category will go on to compete at the European level. The top-three European resources in each of the four categories will be recognised at an awards ceremony in Brussels on Safer Internet Day in February 2014.
The closing dates of the competition depend on each country. For further information about how to take part in the European Award for Best Content for Kids, visit www.bestcontentaward.eu
Working Together is a kit with a range of games and activities to help parents/ carers engage with children’s learning in the early school years.
Working Together is part of a strategy of the British government’s Department for Education to increase parental engagement in their child’s learning and development. The kit includes:
- A children’s folded-paper ‘chatterbox’ game to make - designed to prompt questions and activities with the child
- A card game with questions to ask the child about school and what they are learning
- A bookmark to colour in and keep
- A handy wall chart and stickers to help parents record and reward the child's learning progress, month by month
- Top tips for parents
Agrega2 is an OER platform developed by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, the Autonomous Communities and Red.es.
The Agrega2 platform aggregates the pre-college educational digital repositories of all the Ministries of Education of the Spanish Autonomous Communities. The contents are organised according to the curriculum and are ready to be downloaded and used by teachers and students.
The platform has access nodes in all the Ministries of Education of the Autonomous Communities (CCAA) and the Institute of Educational Technology (ITE) and Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MECD).
LoCloud explores the potential of cloud computing technologies for Europeana, with a focus on small and medium sized institutions.
On 19-20 March, at the National Archives of Norway in Oslo, the LoCloud Best Practice Network project was officially launched. The meeting gathered 32 partners from 28 different countries to present, plan and discuss the activities of the project over the next three years.
Content from small and medium local institutions such as museums, archives and libraries is still underrepresented in the digital European arena. Cloud-based technology could offer an affordable and user-friendly solution for making their content available on-line.
LoCloud aims to develop cloud-based technology and services to help small and medium local institutions to aggregate their digital resources and make them accessible on-line, via Europeana.eu, the European Library, Museum and Archive.
The project will explore the potential of a cloud-based technology infrastructure for aggregating local content. It will also develop a number of micro-services offering geo-location and metadata enrichment, multilingual vocabularies for local history and archaeology, a historical place name gazetteer and a Wikimedia application to handling relevant ‘crowd-sourced’ content.
As a result of the LoCloud’s activities, access to over 4 million items of digital content will be made available through Europeana.
LoCloud relies on a large group of technical partners, content providers, aggregating services and partners with specific expertise which make together a very strong consortium. Gunnar Urtegaard, from National Archives of Norway, project coordinator, underlined during the meetings close: "If we can keep it simple for content providers, keep simple for users and remove all the complexity in-between, then this project has the potential to be a great success."
National Archive Norway/Riksarkivet
Box 4013 Ullevål stadion
Europeana.eu provides access to the digitized content of Europe's galleries, libraries, museums, archives and audiovisual collections. It currently includes over 26 million books, photographs, paintings, films, sound recordings and archival resources from more than 2,200 institutions in every European member state.
More information can be found at http://www.europeana.eu/portal/.
LoCloud is one of a suite of projects, funded by the European Commission, to develop Europeana and enhance its contents. It will explore the potential of cloud computing technologies for Europeana, with a focus on small and medium sized institutions. It aims to support them in making their content and metadata available to Europeana.eu. To this purpose a set of services and tools will be developed to help to reduce technical, semantic and skills barriers and to enhance Europeana.
LoCloud aims to build on the achievements of two earlier Best Practice Network projects: CARARE, in establishing a repository-based aggregator for Archaeological and Architectural heritage; and Europeana Local, in its work with local institutions and their regional and national aggregators, which has resulted in the contribution to date of well over 5 million items to Europeana.
The LoCloud web site will go live at the end of April at: www.locloud.eu.
LoCloud is co-funded by the European Commission's ICT Policy Support Programme.
MDX (Learning Materials Online) is a cooperative repository offering open education resources produced by several universities from Catalonia and the Valencian Community (Spain).
The purpose of MDX is to make the participant institutions’ teaching production more visible and widespread, thus contributing to educational innovation, on the one hand, and free access to knowledge on the other.
The aims of MDX are:
- To facilitate the management of teaching materials and objects produced by the universities by arranging them and integrating them within a common server.
- To offer the academic staff of the participating universities a resource server that allows the materials produced to be filed and subsequently retrieved.
- To provide users with permanent, simple and fast access to the teaching production of member organisations.
- To add value to the materials collected through elements such as the permanent address, standardised citations or consultation data.
- To establish and apply preservation mechanisms in order to ensure the durability of the materials.
- To encourage the publishing and editing of teaching materials in electronic formats.
The EFQUEL Innovation Forum is the leading conference for practitioners in international quality and innovation in e-learning, training and development. The 8th EIF will take place at the Open University Catalunya in Barcelona on 26-27 September 2013.
This year’s EFQUEL conference will focus explicitly on quality issues, taking stock of where e-learning stands now, how the quality scene has evolved and what the future perspectives are and could be.
During the opening keynote session of EIF 2013 Sir John Daniel (Commonwealth of Learning) and Stamenka Uvalić-Trumbić (UNESCO) will give a joint presentation on the theme “Refocusing Quality in eLearning”. They will be surveying the online learning scene as it now is and situating the challenges of quality in eLearning in the context of quality in higher education. This presentation draws on the “A Guide to Quality in Online Learning”, published by Academic Partnerships.
Other keynote speeches will be delivered by Guy Haugh, a renowned consultant in change/modernisation in higher education and research, who will address the challenges of QA for the future, with the new wave of e-learning emerging through new and fascinating developments like OER, MOOCs and social media.
Josep Grifoll, from AQU, the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency, will talk about the need of an effective and efficient external Quality Assurance scheme for e-learning and a clear definition of what e-learning is, as a process and as a product. An observation of the current European scenario shows an enormous diversity in the position and purpose of e-learning provision. This is probably one of the current obstacles for a higher development of an external quality assurance system in the sector.
Jon File, from CHEPS (University of Twente, the Netherlands), will present U-Multirank, a new multidimensional, user-driven approach to international ranking of higher education institutions. The dimensions it includes are teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement. Based on empirical data U-Multirank will compare institutions with similar institutional profiles and allow users to develop personalised rankings by selecting indicators in terms of their own preferences.
More than 18 million students, staff and researchers at institutions across the UK could start to benefit from a faster and more secure connection when using their institution’s cloud-based IT services, thanks to a new peering arrangement signed on 21 May 2013 between Microsoft and Janet, the UK’s research and education network..
Connecting the networks privately eliminates the need to traverse data over the public internet. This enables a high bandwidth connection for students and staff to use Windows Azure. Bandwidth is managed, ensuring high-speed delivery with no delay or latency.
The move to peer the Microsoft Windows Azure data centre to the Janet network comes as part of a new strategic alliance between the two organisations.
“Cloud computing has the potential to revolutionise research by offering vast compute resources on-demand. At Newcastle University, we already have over £20M of research projects that are supported by the cloud. However, one of the major barriers holding back further cloud adoption is the time it takes to transfer large datasets from the lab to the cloud for analysis. This new link between Janet and the Azure Cloud removes this barrier, and will allow a far greater range of research projects to fully exploit the benefits of cloud computing,” said Paul Watson, Professor of Computing Science at Newcastle University.
The alliance agreement also means any UK education institution can benefit from standard terms and conditions on Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity software suite Office 365, negotiated by Janet.
Fred Mulder talks to us about OpenupEd, the first Pan-European multilingual MOOC initiative, "We started OpenupEd to offer a good alternative to US-based MOOCs by putting the learner rather than the teacher at the centre and by delivering quality learning materials in a wide variety of languages".
Dr. Fred Mulder, UNESCO Chair holder in Open Educational Resources (OER) at the Open Universiteit in the Netherlands and former Rector of OUNL, is leading the recently launched OpenupEd, the first Pan-European multilingual MOOC initiative.
We started OpenupEd to offer a good alternative to US-based MOOCs by putting the learner rather than the teacher at the centre and by delivering quality learning materials in a wide variety of languages. We have included many European countries and also some countries outside Europe, such as Russia, Turkey, Israel and we are open to universities in other countries to join, for which we have received quite some interest already. This initiative is not revenue driven but rooted in the public domain. Moreover, it is deliberately decentralized towards institutions, and has a European flavour building on values like equity, quality, and diversity.
Does OpenupEd provide a platform to run different MOOCs? How many courses are already available?
We don’t have a central platform, the courses run on the institutions platforms that are already in place. We do have a central portal, however, which provides information about the current 61 MOOCs, the common features that hold for those courses, the institutions that provide them, the languages they are in, as well as links to the platforms where the MOOCs are running.
Does OpenupEd provide any guidelines as how MOOCs should be structured?
The MOOCs have to satisfy eight common features, the most prominent being ‘openness to learners’ and ‘digital openness’, which in its combination is both attractive and distinctive. After the launch of the portal, we received an email from some master students at a prestigious university in Portugal who wanted to explore the possibility of having MOOCs from their university under the OpenupEd initiative. It is interesting seeing students becoming an active stakeholder in favour of MOOCs.
How do you choose the universities?
We started as an initiative from the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities which, among other members, includes all the open universities in Europe. If you are a full member of EADTU you can join without any further quality check. If you are not a full member, we have to make sure that you adopt the above-mentioned eight common features, that you are a recognized institution in your national higher education system, and that the quality of the MOOCs is ensured, as well as that the MOOCs operation will be evaluated and monitored. I would, by the way, certainly encourage other European consortia to get on the move with MOOCs, thereby offering an interesting alternative to participation in edX or Coursera.
The theme of “Dynamic knowledge increase in changing times” of our past year's Corporate Universities & Ac@demies Summit in Paris attracted the forward-looking top-level enthusiasts from 28 countries. They managed to recontextualize the significance of integrating corporate learning needs in high-education and business practice.
“The conference was great, with different insights and various backgrounds – academics, people from the business, consortia..., we all could share our own experience, so it was very rich. I think this was the first time we covered only the topic of corporate universities,” revealed the Chairman of the Main Summit Day 1, Steve Fiehl, Chief Innovation Officer and Co-founder of CrossKnowledge, France.
The bar had been raised pretty high and our 2nd Annual Corporate Universities and Ac@demies Summit managed to exceed these expectations! This year we will be coming together for the 3rd edition of an even more insightful Corporate Universities and Ac@demies Summit, scheduled for 2-3-4 July 2013.
Why to start looking forward to it?
In 2013, 3 days of the 3rd Summit will divide sessions into streamed blocks and peer-2-peer learning sessions while putting the focus on 3 main topic areas.
As the corner stone for further knowledge, creative designs & development of corporate universities, including various learning cultures around the globe will be presented on the first day, followed by management and leadership skills for a successful mature CU on the second day. On the last day of the event, participants will have the unique chance to enjoy a one-of-a-kind digital learning, learning technology and corporate education exhibition.
The attendance is expected to reach 100+ senior-level participants and registrations had not been closed yet, there are still highly beneficial opportunities to join us!
25+ expert speakers and panelists and 70+ delegates from both private and public sectors are already committed to spend 3 days with us in Brussels and contribute with their knowledge, practical insights and innovative ideas!
Hope to see you there!
About Fleming Europe
Established in Slovakia, Fleming Europe represents a Pan-European B2B networking channel for specialists to collect & share knowledge. Since 2004, the company has been encouraging decision makers to share their experiences through market leading conferences, trainings and webinars. The annual audience of 10,000 Banking, Defense, Energy, Oil & Gas, Pharma, Telco and Transport peers benefit from insights on industry trends when applying them to their own business practices.
For more information visit www.flemingeurope.com