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What might open learning mean in 2013?

January 7th, 2013 by Graham Attwell

A new year and it is time to return to the blog. I have been back in work for a week but bogged down with a project financial report. Anyway happy new year to everybody.

New year is traditionally the time bloggers make their predictions for the year ahead. There doesn’t appear to be anything startling in predictions for educational technology. As Stephen Downes says

I’m always thinking about the future of learning technology, even if I don’t write about it so much these days. This is partially because it has become a bit predictable. Learning will become more open and content cheaper and easier to produce – hence, the move to flips, MOOCs and son-of-flips-and-MOOCs will continue. Computer hardware will continue to outpace need, so we’ll see an increase in cloud and virtualization. Always-connected and mobile will continue to grow and increase capacity with LTE and processing power, so we’ll see always-on learning. And then of course there are the things that have happened in the past, which are the easiest to predict, things like 3D printing, gamification and analytics. All good. These are the easy predictions, and everyone is making them.

He goes on to make an interesting prediction that publishers will regain power from the move to HTML5 which is harder to use than previous mark up technologies. I am not so sure about this – there are a growing number of software development kits which may make HTML5 quite easy to use.

I also think the move towards open learning needs a bit of unpicking. Open could and should go way beyond higher education institutions offering MOOCs – be they of the c or x variant. Way more important for me is the potential for knowledge to be shared openly and to be applied in context. Always-connected and mobile moves learning out of the classroom and into the context in which both knowledge might be acquired practically and at the same time applied. And if learning analytics could be extended beyond its present institutional focus to look at real life learning there is the potential to merge learning and knowledge development as well as formal and informal learning and develop a whole new ecosystem of learning. That is my hope and my prediction for 2013.

One Response to “What might open learning mean in 2013?”

  1. Ray Lewis says:

    Blwyddyn Newydd Dda,
    Happy New Year Graham.

    I was browsing on the WWW ( teaching and learning) on the internet and curiousity got the better of me when I saw Pontydysgu on google. I am very impressed with your site however where have all your long curls gone?

    You may remember me from the days when Dyfed LEA was alive and well about twenty years ago. I now live in Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand.

    As you may recall Dyfed was reorganised in 1996 and I ended up in Pembrokeshire for a year while my little Empire was carved up. I went to Singapore on a two year contract and met some great colleagues. We went to New Zealand in December 1999 on a six month visit and liked the lifestyle and the weather so much that we decided to stay.

    The Minis Try Man is on Youtube not a website. I bought a MacBook back in 2009 when we were last in Wales and I had a go at a competition that HP were running the video was my attempt. Time has moved on and I spend much of my time coaching Cricket and Badminton at Bethlehem College because my son is very good at these sports.

    In 2013 we are visiting the UK around Easter and stopping off at Singapore. I plan to launch my site Badminfun.org (Be Wise Exercise and Socialise) which is going to be the vehicle for promoting my ideas about skill based learning.

    Hope you have a successful 2013 and perhaps we can keep in touch.

    Kiaora

    Ray

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    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.

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    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

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    “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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