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Innovation abounds

November 27th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

I am going to be coming back to the subject of innovation in next few days. I have much to say (well that’s not a change) and think the subject is going to become fairly central to the next wave of development of Technology Enhanced Learning. Anyway, returning to a more colloquial use of the word, here are a couple of innovations from today.

The first is technical. Elluminate has brought out a new edition of their conferencing programme with suppport for up to six simultaneous video streams. And they have done it well. Whilst the default is to coarse grey scales to account for slower computers it can be changed to fine colour as in the pciture above. And you can select which stream you wish to see largest. The refresh rate is pretty high wuit little pixalisation. It certainly adds a new dimension to online meetings. Indded, today we had no problems with the video streaming although as usual the audio provided a few hiccups.

And teh second innovation you ask. Well it is certainly not techncial. Cristina has launched a Facebook group for our LIVE Sounds of the Bazaar broadcasts from Online Educa Berlin next Thursday and Friday. Oh – had I forgotten to tell you? Yes, we will broadcasting live from the conference at 11.00 CET on Thursday and Friday. Please join us face to face at live at the ICWE stand B54 near the front of the Intercontinental hotel. Or if you cannot make it to Berlin then listen in at . You can also join Cristina in the chat room – details soon. And please join the Facebook group.

I will post tomorrow on more of the unconferencing fun we will be getting up to in Berlin.

One Response to “Innovation abounds”

  1. Beth Gallob says:

    Thanks for the mention of our new multipoint video feature. Our customers have responded very favorably. Innovative uses include using it for speech class to mirror the experience of being in front of an audience, monitoring student test takers, and using it with a document camera and microscope. It’s also really great when you are connecting a number of classrooms, especially in multiple countries. The kids love to be able to see eachother.

    – Beth, Elluminate Goddess of Communication

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    Digital Literacy

    A National Survey fin Wales in 2017-18 showed that 15% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Wales do not regularly use the internet. However, this figure is much higher (26%) amongst people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity.

    A new Welsh Government programme has been launched which will work with organisations across Wales, in order to help people increase their confidence using digital technology, with the aim of helping them improve and manage their health and well-being.

    Digital Communities Wales: Digital Confidence, Health and Well-being, follows on from the initial Digital Communities Wales (DCW) programme which enabled 62,500 people to reap the benefits of going online in the last two years.

    See here for more information

    Zero Hours Contracts

    Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

    Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.

    Resistance decreases over time

    Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time

    Postgrad pressure

    Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

    “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

    Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”

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