GoogleTranslate Service

Back from Berlin

December 7th, 2010 by Graham Attwell

I am just about recovering from an interesting but hectic five days in Berlin last week.

On Monday and Tuesday we had a meeting of the European funded G8WAY project. Just to recap for new readers this project is looking at the issues involved in educational transitions, particularly between school and university and university and work, and is seeking to develop social software to support such transitions.

Much of the first year of the project has been taken up in researching the issues. Particularly interesting is the stories of young people which have been collected by the partners and posted on the web site. From these stories we have refined down three key persona and in parallel have been looking at the potential for interventions. This in itself raises a series of ethical issues. Do young people want us to intervene? (teacher leave the kids alone!). How much can the ‘collective’ project team claim expertise to intervene? And if we are merely raising opportunities for story telling and peer support is that an intervention?

And of course last week came the hard part. Just what can we expect to achieve in a small funded two year project. How from all the ideas we have do we take this decision? These issues not withstanding, the meeting made progress and I will report further on our next years plan of work in the near future.

On Wednesday, we held an On-line Educa Berlin pre-conference workshop on ‘Careers 2.0 – Supporting educational transitions with Web 2.0 and social software.’ (I have a horrible feeling I wrote the title. I promise I will stop putting 2.0 after everything now – I know it is an annoying habit).

The workshop was a lot of fun, because of the lengthy and detailed planning that had gone into it, the enthusiasm of our guest speakers and the participation of the audience. I am not sure if we videoed it but I thought that Tabea, Magda and myself ‘acting’ or role playing young people telling their transition stories was one hundred times more effective than if we had done the usual powerpoint presentation of our findings. Participants also gave us much useful feedback for the project which once more I will publish here as soon as it is written up.

And then on to Online Educa itself. It was a somewhat hectic three days for me. Besides the pre-conference workshop, we presented two on line radio shows in our Sounds of the Bazaar series, I presented a paper on Vygotsky and Personal Learning Environments, I chaired a session on Open Education Resources and took part in a debate – Is the LMS dead?

This pretty much took up all of my time so my impressions of the conference may be a bit limited. Online Educa is a great social occasion and it was brilliant to catch up with so many friends from many different countries. But to me at least the conference felt a little flat – it was hard to detect any discernible buzz. If there was a meme it was that the future is mobile but that is hardly new! The debate on the Is the LMS Dead? was a little strange. there were four of us in the debate – Larry Johnson, from The New Media Consortium, USA, Roger Larsen, formerly from Fronter and now taken over by Pearson Platforms, Norway, Richard Horton, from Blackboard International, UK and myself.

I was ready for a good bad tempered debate with lots of sneaky point scoring (especially after having consorted with the enemy from Blackboard over a bottle of wine the previous evening). But they never offered any real defence. Roger basically said we need an LMS as an extra layer of software – to enable single sign on and that sort of thing to provide easy access to social software. Indeed he opened up by saying he agreed the LMS was dead! And all Richard could say to defend Blackboard was that institutions needed applications for management and administration. But neither pretended any learning value for their respective platforms – indeed neither really seemed to want to talk about learning. So maybe the LMS is dead – they are simply giving up. And maybe the real debate is not with fronter or Blackboard but with Moodle.

Anyway a big shoutout to everyone I met last week. And many thanks to our ;crew for all their hard work – to Eileen, Judith, Klaus, Dirk and Jen.

Please follow and like us:

Comments are closed.

  • Search

    Social Media

    News Bites

    Cyborg patented?

    Forbes reports that Microsoft has obtained a patent for a “conversational chatbot of a specific person” created from images, recordings, participation in social networks, emails, letters, etc., coupled with the possible generation of a 2D or 3D model of the person.

    Please follow and like us:

    Racial bias in algorithms

    From the UK Open Data Institute’s Week in Data newsletter

    This week, Twitter apologised for racial bias within its image-cropping algorithm. The feature is designed to automatically crop images to highlight focal points – including faces. But, Twitter users discovered that, in practice, white faces were focused on, and black faces were cropped out. And, Twitter isn’t the only platform struggling with its algorithm – YouTube has also announced plans to bring back higher levels of human moderation for removing content, after its AI-centred approach resulted in over-censorship, with videos being removed at far higher rates than with human moderators.

    Please follow and like us:

    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

    Via The Canary.

    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.

    Please follow and like us:

    Quality Training

    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.

    Please follow and like us:

    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

      Please follow and like us:
  • Twitter

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Categories