Martin Weller, Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University (UK), explores how new technologies are affecting the scholarly practice.
While industries such as music, newspapers, film and publishing have seen radical changes in their business models and practices as a direct result of new technologies, higher education has so far resisted the wholesale changes seen elsewhere. However, a gradual and fundamental shift in the practice of academics is taking place.
Every aspect of scholarly practice is seeing changes effected by the adoption and possibilities of new technologies. “The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice” explores these changes, their implications for higher education, the possibilities for new forms of scholarly practice and what lessons can be drawn from other sectors.
The paper “If we open it will they come? Towards a new OER Logic Model” presents the result of a multilingual empirical survey on the ‘micro level factors’ of using, creating sharing and reusing open educational resources (OER).
Authored by Dr Ulf-Daniel Ehler, Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning at Baden-Wurttemberg Cooperative State University, the paper emerges from the assumption that current models of OER integration are often lacking factors to support the creation of a sustainable open educational practice culture in organisations.
Micro level factors for integration of OER into teaching and learning on basis of the results of an empirical survey are presented and interpreted. They are used to enhance the OER logic model(s) into an “enhanced OER logic model” which, in addition to create equalized access, is capable of creating a culture of open educational practices as well.
The project Ed2.0Work (European network for the integration of Web2.0 in education and work) is inviting stakeholders to join its recently created Special Interest Groups (SIGs).
Stakeholders include education administrators, teachers and university staff. From the world of work, the project welcomes the participation of companies, chambers of commerce, trainers, associations and government staff.
Three SIGs have already been opened, in order to encourage debate around:
- Web2.0 and Internet resources – how do we evaluate these tools and their uses
- Learning and training pedagogies – how do we teach and train using Web2.0
- Curriculum including criteria for excellence and quality – how do we build curricula for Web2.0 or integrate Web2.0 into existing ones
The Ed2.0Work project SIGs are open communities and are free to use. Click here to register and indicate your area or areas of interest.
Ed2.0Work is a transnational EU-funded project involving partners from the UK, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey. For more information you may visit this website.
The European Network of Education Councils (EUNEC) has issued a statement as a reaction to the European Commission’s recent Communication “Rethinking education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes.”
On 20 November 2012 the European Commission published a set of policy recommendations to reinforce the cooperation between EU Member States and give a new impetus to education policy. The most important part of the proposal is the Communication “Rethinking education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes”, where the EC takes the opportunity to gather all aspects of European Education and Training policy in an encompassing framework and to give some new impetus.
As a first reaction to this Communication, EUNEC issued on April 2013 a document with comments and recommendations regarding the EC’s text, stressing the need for a broad approach of education and training policy.
“Sustainability, social cohesion, equal opportunities and a development oriented approach are as important as the labour market orientation. EUNEC cannot support an approach to Education and Training that is exclusively labour market oriented”, says the statement.
The lack of attention to the role of school communities and school groups in the Communication and the lack of transparency of the decisions are also issues of concern for EUNEC.
QuadBlogging is a free online collaborative teaching tool created by British Primary School educator David Mitchell. The idea connects students with readers around the world, bringing together classes with blogs into a “quad” over four week cycles. Since its launch in September 2011, more than 100,000 pupils have been involved in QuadBlogging from 3,000 classes in 40 countries.
The idea developed by David Mitchell, who teaches at Haworth Primary School, in Bolton, is based on the fact that a blog needs an audience to keep learners engaged. Too often blogs wither away leaving the learners frustrated and bored. Quadblogging gives students’ blogs a truly authentic and global audience.
The system is quite simple: teachers sign up online, and shortly after their class will be allocated a quad with other four schools/classes. Students will then start commenting on each other's blogs in an organised fashion.
Each week one blog is the focus blog, with the other three classes visiting and commenting during that week. Over the course of a month, every blog gets read and commented. Along the way, students learn about respectful online communication. The four week cycle is then repeated. However, this time, pupils know what is coming and they will work harder to have interesting content in their blog.
QuadBlogging has been mentioned very highly in recent OfSTED Reports in the UK and praised for offering opportunities for “profound impact in developing pupils’ team working, communication and problem-solving skills.”
Essen, April 2013 - To discuss this matter, the University of Duisburg-Essen invites educators and researchers to a European conference on May 16 and 17, 2013. Some main points of dialogue will include defining quality in learning and innovations in learning resources.
Recently Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have shaken up the blogosphere and media reports on higher education. These courses make use of open digital resources for learning and have attracted hundreds of thousands of online learners at no cost. A digital resource for learning can be a written text, pictures, slides, videos, a 3-D simulation or a website combining all of them into ready-made curricula including tools for (self-)assessment for educators or learners. More and more digital resources with open licenses facilitate educators and learners in editing, improving, and adapting to different learning situations inside or outside of the classroom and in turn share their own work with the online community. These open digital resources provide the foundation for a borderless exchange of teaching and learning methods in many different fields. But a potential conflict exists between open learning resources and the quality of those resources. Restrictions on the certification of the creators of such content or the access to learning materials through paywalls have to some degree defended the quality of those resources in the past. How can creators ensure that their digital resources meet an appropriate level of quality and how can users be certain that said resources are worth their time?
The LINQ conference will bring together current initiatives from all areas of education - schooling, adult learning, informal and on-the-job learning - to demonstrate their online resources and methods of quality development and thereby address this potential conflict. An example of such an initiative is VOA3R (Virtual Open Access Agriculture and Aquaculture Repository), a European research project consortium of a variety universities and research centres. This group is building a hub for resources in agriculture and aqua-science through a social network in which researchers can share, comment and rate content. Through the VOA3R platform advances are being made in the sharing, reciprocal reviewing, and rating of learning innovations in the aforementioned fields, thereby addressing the important aspect of learning quality which should accompany learning development. These advances have proven of great interest to the Global Headquarter of United Nations' organization Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) - LINQ conference host and supporter of the VOA3R project.
In Rome, discussions will deal with the following questions:
· How can the quality of resources be improved and what does “quality” actually mean for teachers, learners and institutions?
· Are teachers and educational institutions ready to make use of the wealth of resources and how do they find the “right” thing?
· Will the future of digital resources be determined by metadata, i.e. the data about data, feeding databases and search engines?
· What must be done to ensure that we can still access valuable resources in 15 years from now (think about your files from 1998)?
· Do more easy-to-find resources lead to better learning?
Especially but not exclusively for those who do not plan to travel to Rome in May, the University of Duisburg-Essen is inviting interested parties to exchange views on the future of digital resources on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LINQConference. Two conference fee waivers will be given away to Facebook-Followers.
In this new edition of Open Thoughts, international personalities from academia, business or cultural world answer the question Ready for a SMARTer world?. Through this blog, explore how technological advances and engineering new knowledge can help us to build new societies, new enterprises, new horizons — SMARTer ones.
How can technology address the challenges of today's world? Can we handle the large amount of data that surrounds us? Can ICT and Internet help us be more sustainable and more competitive? This blog, created by the Open University of Catalunya (UOC), launches a debate on whether we are prepared to make smarter use of technology.
Open Thoughts is an annual initiative of the Research and Transfer Support Office is to (OSRT) of the UOC and it had its first experience in 2012 with a blog about gender and ICT. Last year, twenty international personalities answered the question What if Steve Jobs had been a woman? OSRT hopes that this new blog will garner the same success as last year's edition.
Open Thoughts Smarter blog: http://openthoughtsmarter.blogs.uoc.edu/
ICSO-HAROSA research group: http://dpcs.uoc.edu/joomla/
Internet Interdisciplinary Institut:
Research and Transfer Support Office: http://www.uoc.edu/portal/en/recerca-innovacio/activitat-rdi/index.html
Open Thoughts Gender & ICT blog: http://openthoughts.blogs.uoc.edu/
How can educators incorporate augmented reality into education? What projects are currently being employed? Come to Aumenta.me 2013, on 20 April 2013 in Valencia, Spain, to learn more!
Aumenta.me comes back for its second edition with a conference will feature the educators, researchers, materials designers and companies who use augmented reality in everyday education. The event, sponsored by the non-profit Asociación Espiral, Educación y Tecnología and the public Institute for Human Centered Technologies Lab Human, will take place in Valencia, Spain.
The Ireland International Conference on Education (IICE) is biannual conference that takes place in April and October. 2013's edition will kick off in Dublin, from 15-17 April.
The so-called 'knowledge triangle' is key to Europen innovation policy and the focus of the Ireland International Conference on Education: a collaborative relationship between the fields of education, research, and innovation.
The ultimate aim is to connect research and practice, bridge the knowledge gap, promote research esteem and the evolution of pedagogy. Participants are invited to present papers that encompass conceptual analysis, design implementation and performance evaluation are welcome.