Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

A blog is just a blog

January 11th, 2016 by Graham Attwell

2016 and it is time to return to the blog after a crazy December of meetings, conferences, travel and exhaustion.

First a quick catch up from Online Educa Berlin. Online Educa is always enjoyable if only because so many friends and colleagues attend it. I am also always interested in the very large exhibition which provides a quick overview of market and to a lesser extent pedagogic trends in technology supported learning. Decembers exhibition was strange, though. Firstly there were no big stands. Go back five or six years and the big stands were from the public organisations supporting the adoption of technology in universities and education in general. The UK Jisc always had a big presence, so too did the Netherlands SURF network. When they dropped away – probably as a result of funding cuts, The Middle East countries took over with colourful booths, even if somewhat lacking in content. And of course there were the VLE suppliers – Blackboard (later to become Pearsons) could always be relied on for a free glass of wine at the end of a busy conference day. At Online Educa 2015 they were all missing. The largest stand was Egypt Arising. However – whether because of their materials not arriving or for some other reason- they has no content and seemingly no representatives on what remained an empty stand. Instead the exhibition was dominated by the cheaper to rent small stands, some from projects but mainly it appeared from start up companies.

It was hard too to discern any particular trends. A few years ago the exhibition was dominated by virtual world type apps. Another year it was all about interactive whiteboards. And the next year it was video apps that were dominating the scene. In 2015 it seemed to be a bit of everything and a bit of nothing.

It left be wondering if the days of educational technology are numbered. Yes we are moving to software as a service and this will impact of education. And of course data (sometimes big data) is making an impact in the form of Learning analytics. Learning management Systems or VLEs stubbornly refuse to go away although all the suppliers seem to stress how their platforms support personal learning pathways. But in truth much of the technology used for learning is little different from the productivity apps and social software being used in everyday business and living. Will 2016 be the year when – depending on how you look at it – educational technology becomes part of the mainstream or the mainstream is just technology used for learning. After all a blog is just a blog.

One hundred blog posts on Learning Layers project published @ Working & Learning

June 13th, 2015 by Pekka Kamarainen

This morning I published a blog post on our preparation for the Tallinn consortium meeting of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project.  As usual, I copied it to the current logbook of my blogs on the LL project. When checking that I had properly updated the logbook, I noticed that the number of blog posts in these logbooks had reached the milestone of one hundred (100).

Talking about blogging, one hundred is not a great number – one thousand could already count as an achievement. Or – thinking of the fact that I have been blogging regularly since November 2012 – the time frame that I have covered is not that much either. Thinking of the champion bloggers that I know – like Graham Attwell (Wales-Wide Web) or Wilfred Rubens (Technology Enhanced Learning) – they have been blogging over ten years. So, that gives us a perspective.

Yet, for the Learning Layers project this number of blog articles written at different phases of the project starts to count as a particular source of information. Indeed – my blogs have given my personal views on what is going on in the project at that  time. And they should be interpreted as such statements of a witness and actor deeply involved in the process (but with the tasks of an accompanying researcher and participative contributor).

As I have mentioned above, I have compiled annual logbooks of my blog posts on the LL projects (the 1st logbook on the years 2012-2013, the 2nd logbook on the year 2014 and the 3rd logbook on the year 2015). These logbooks can be found in the shared Google Drive folder for the Construction sector logbooks In addition to these the folder contains logbooks on our co-design workshops in Bau-ABC and logbooks of our local design meetings in Bremen.

Having said all this I need to remind myself that I have to keep on blogging throughout the project so that these blogs and the logbooks can be used as a proper source. I hope that this points out to be a task worth doing.

More blogs to come …


Back on line

February 23rd, 2015 by Graham Attwell

It is around two months since I last posted on the Wales Wide Web. And in the nine or ten years the blog has been running (on this WordPress site and another earlier, iteration on Plone), that is the longest I have gone without writing a post.

I am not sure why. Certainly there has been a lot of travel, a lot of meetings, some very long reports and I have had a nasty dose of flu. But there is nothing new here, to blame those factors would be merely to make excuses. The nearest I can come to it is writers block – if that really exists? Each day I have said I will start again tomorrow, each day I have found an excuse to put it off for another day. Interestingly there was once a debate over whether so called microblogging applications such as Twitter were killing blogging. For me the two go together. While I have not been writing on the Wales Wide Web, neither have I been using twitter (although I find myself increasingly ambivalent about Twitter anyway).

Any way – whatever the reasons, it is the start of a new week and the Wales Wide Web is back. Watch this slot!

Reviewing the video(s) from Bau-ABC – Part 5: From Multimedia training to multipliers of new skills

September 28th, 2014 by Pekka Kamarainen

With my four previous posts I have worked with a series of blogs that review the video produced by the Bau-ABC team for the recent consortium meeting of the Learning Layers (LL) project. As I have indicated, the video focused on the usability of the emerging Learning Toolbox (LTB) – a framework for accessing web resources and managing web apps – in the construction sector. In the two posts I discussed, how the LTB can be used in the the context of the training activities of the Bau-ABC  and in the companies or construction sites. In the previous post I presented Bau-ABC trainers’ views, how LTB will support learning alongside working. With the final post I will focus on Bau-ABC trainers’ views on the Multimedia training they have gone through and on their achievements with their new skills. Here I share the link to the video:

In several sections the video makes references to the Multimedia training that was organised by the LL project (between 20.45 and 23.25) or to the achievements of the trainers’ in making use of their new skills (between 29.05 and 30.50). Here some insights into these discussions and into the picture that is given.

Trainers’ comments on the Multimedia Training by the LL project

Several trainers had comments on the impact of the Multimedia training. In his general comment Markus Pape pointed to the fact that the training had showed them quite a range of practical possibilities to work with new media. Once they had launched their domain-specific blogs (for the carpenters, bricklayers and roadbuilders) they had also been able to make use of them. All this has been greeted very positively by their apprentices. Kevin Kuck seconded and emphasised that the pioneering work of the carpenters was helpful for the bricklayers and there have been mutual exchanges between the trades, looking at each others’ solutions when making these blogs and using them. And already at the early stage the apprentices have been interested and looking forward to new contents.

In a similar way Lothar Schoka emphasised that also those trainers, who have not had the chance to participate, have been interested and tried to inform themselves of the colleagues’ progress. In this context he had also got some tutoring from the colleagues and made his own web page to upload info sheets. And he also got positive feedback from his apprentices. Thus, they considered that the trainers altogether are getting ready to dedicate some time for using digital media, web tools and mobile technologies to support their training and to enhance the workplace learning of apprentices.

Achievements in putting new skills into practice: the example of “Zimmererblog”

In the final part of the video there is a special section in which Markus demonstrates how he has developed his “Zimmererblog” and what contents there are to be found. We see first the structure – based on projects and project sheets for each year of apprentice training (1-3), the help areas, literature recommendations and the slide shows. Then we see the link to the facebook group of the trade, the designed link to the LTB and the business cards that give the QR codes of the blog and of the facebook group. Then, the video presents the statistics (at that time over 3400 hits from over 20 countries and more detailed accounts on the times and on the target pages). Altogether, we see a pilot site that is emerging into Open Educational Resource with a wider importance.

Concluding remarks

I have been impressed of this video and spent a lot of time listening to it and commenting it. To me it provides evidence that the pilot activities have not only been well received by the colleagues in Bau-ABC but they have in many contexts been integrated into their normal practice. In this respect the colleagues want to make further steps with the Learning Toolbox because it provides a transparent framework for many possibilities. Finally, the achievements with the trainers’ blogs show that the colleagues in Bau-ABC are not only using and co-developing the tools just for their training. They have taken important steps further to promote this know-how wider in the construction sector. I think that this video is a raw diamond that can be worked further to demonstrate this as well. Let us see this happen!

More blogs to come ...


Back to normal business – back to the blog

May 10th, 2014 by Pekka Kamarainen

After the previous posts April turned out to be a rather quiet month on this blog. Partly this was due to the Easter holidays. To a greater extent this was due to all kinds of backstage work in the Learning Layers project and with some spin-off initiatives. Finally, the preparations for a major stakeholder event – the 65th Brunnenbauertage in Bau-ABC Rostrup kept us busy. Now this event is over and it is time to get back to normal business – and to writing on the Learning Layers project on this blog.

More posts to come …

eLearning 2.0 w firmie i masa krytyczna

May 4th, 2010 by Ilona Buchem

Wiecie juz na pewno, ze chcemy na Paradygmacie 2.0 eksperymentowac z roznymi formami blogowania. Nasz pierwszy wpis mial forme rozmowy, dyskusji na temat poczatkow i podstaw PLE. Dzisiaj dla odmiany  wywiad. Czym rozniy sie od rozmowy? Wlasciwie najbardziej tym, ze zadajacy pytania nie duzo o sobie informuje. Kilka dni temu rozmawialam na Skypie z Piotrem Peszko, autorem bloga eLearning 2.0 i moderatorem forum elearningu na, o tym, jak wyglada elearning w firmach, tzn. czy stosuje sie rozwiazania 1.0 czy 2.0, w jaki sposob wprowadza sie siec spoleczna, jakie czynniki wplywaja na to, czy uda sie wprowadzic wiki, blogi, twittera itd itp. … Oto pierwsza czesc zapisu naszej rozmowy.

Ilona: Ok, zacznijmy od ogolow – czym sie zajmujesz?

Piotr: Aktualnie projektuję rozwiązania e-learningowe dla produktu o nazwie GetThere. Właśnie uruchomiłem II edycję projektu dla osób 45 +, w którym jest dużo elearningu, a także zajmuję się wdrożeniem rozwiązania do zarządzania dokumentacją w modelu single-sourcing i połączeniu go z elearningiem.

Ilona: Co to jest single-sourcing model?

Piotr: Model zarządzania treścią  – kontentem w różnej formie – online, offline itd. Jest oparty na xml-u i pozwala na wielokrotne wykorzystywanie treści i jej konfigurowanie.

Ilona: Masz przyklad?

Piotr: Załóżmy, że masz bloga, piszesz różne treści, tagujesz … i nagle chcesz zrobić z niego książkę. Lipa – nie da się szybko i sprawnie. Single sourcing to podejście, które pozwala na edytowanie treści w jednym miejscu i eksportowanie jej do różnych – zdefiniowanych uprzednio formatów, np. elearningu, wiki, html-a, htmla dla urządzeń mobilnych, pdf, doc itd. itp. i wykorzystania tagów oraz tzw. conditionals zależnych od formatu wyjściowego

Ilona: Aha, ciekawe, a masz moze linka do jakiejs aplikacji opartej na tym modelu?

Piotr: Polecam DocBook na początek. To już trzeci taki project. Każdy inny, ale założenia podobne – po co pisać internal/external reference tutorial + online help + elearning, jeśli każdy z nich korzysta z tej samej treści. Trzeba zdefiniować źródło, procesy i ogień – niech się samo robi 🙂

Ilona: Dzieki, to ciekawe. A co Ty robisz na AGH?

Piotr: Na AGH juz nie wiele, ponieważ  od marca pracuję w Sabre Holdings Polska, pożegnałem się  z uczelnią 🙂

Ilona: To ciekawe, a to co firmy robia w Polsce to bardziej elearning 1.0 czy 2.0?

Piotr: Korporacje po prostu przenoszą swoje wypróbowane rozwiązania na nowy grunt. Posiadają LMS-y wielkie bazy szkoleń, dostęp do niemal wszystkich książek online, wiki, sociale itd. E-learning 1.0 istnieje jako pewna warstwa materialów odniesienia, a profile funkcjonują w wewnętrznych systemach społecznościowych. Także elearning 1.0, elearning 2.0 i workplace learning to chleb powszedni.

Ilona: A jak laczycie elearning 1.0 i 2.0? Na przyklad, w jaki sposob wprowadzacie i stosujecie wiki, blogi? Slyszala, ze wie niektorych korporacjach wprowadza sie wiki w taki sposowb, ze kazdy pracownik musi napisac iles tam stron i iles tam stron skomentowac I to wszystko w scisle okreslonym czasie.

Piotr: Hmm… no nie wiem czy przymus to najlepsze rozwiązanie. Wdrażałem kiedyć taki social w korporacji i wymuszanie okazało się fiaskiem, dopiero danie czegoś w zamian, np.  szybki dostęp do informacji poprzez wewnętrzny twitter, okazało się skuteczne. Problem jest taki, że ta firma jest bardzo nie-polska, a bardzo amerykańska, dlatego pewne rozwiązania są i funkcjonują globalnie.

Ilona: Czyli co w tym przypadku wplywa na udane wprowadzanie sieci spolecznych w firmach?

Piotr: Z mojego doświadczenia wynika, że musi zostać przekroczona pewna masa krytyczna, która pozwala społeczności uczącej się funkcjonować. Równiez pewien stopień anonimowości. On jest ważny w socialach. Zawsze są opory przed odsłonięciem swojej niewiedzy. To tak jak z tłumem zadającym pytania, albo dyskutującym. W grupie raźniej, stadne z nas zwierzę i lepiej się czujemy jeśli możemy zadać pytanie albo zasięgnać rady anonimowo nie narażając się na jakieś uwagi, czy docinki. Social network nie wypali w grupie 20 osob, ale np. w polskim klonie twittera – blipie bardzo często pojawiają się pytania kierowane “w eter” z tagiem #drogiblipie.

Ilona: No to opowiedz, jak to bylo z tym twitterem w twojej firmie? Byla masa krytyczna? Odpowiedni stopien anonimowosci? Wszystko poszlo gladko?

Piotr: To było jakieś 2-3 lata temu – facebook raczkował. Pracowników było około 200, twitter był, blip był, ale raczej jako eksperymenty. Okazało się jednak, że za wcześnie…

Ilona: Dlaczego za wczesnie?

Piotr: Bo nikt nie znał tych narzędzi i nie wiedział po co one są, jak z nich korzystać i co to daje. Dopiero jak okazało się, że ktoś to robi i to daje efekty zaczęto się tym interesować. To takie troszkę małpowanie. Z mojej perspektywy to mało one mają wspólnego z uczeniem się, raczej zabawa i zabijanie czasu – pracy 🙂 Tak to niestety wygląda. Społeczności takie jak linkedin czy goldenline to głównie źródło potencjalnych pracowników / zleceniodawców + wymiana informacji ekspertów.

Ilona: Czy w firmach w Polsce mozna ogolnie uzywac twittera? W Niemczech jest coraz wiecej firm, ktore to ograniczaja, wlasnie z tego powodu, ze nie sa uzywane do pracy, tylko do “zabawy”.

Piotr: W wielu firmach nie ma przeszkód. To zależy od modelu pracy, ja na przykład nie wyobrażam sobie pracy bez 1) Google, 2) i kilku innych

Ilona: Czyli nie ma zadnych problemow z eLearningiem 2.0?

Piotr: cóż… z elearningiem 2.0 jest problem, bo nawet “specjaliści” dużo mówią na jego temat, a sami nie sa w stanie stworzyć we własnym miejscu pracy takiego środowiska, które byłoby chociażby namiastką 2.0. Moim zdaniem tez i w w firmach elearning 2.0 potrzebuje pewnej masy krytycznej zapaleńców, wtedy nie ma przeszkód i nie uczenie sie nie zależy od środków miejsca, czasu…

Ilona: A sa jakies dobre przyklady PLE w Polsce?

Piotr: Szczerze powiem, że się nie spotkałem. Może za mało szukam :), albo nic nie wystaje ponad dno.

Ilona: Nawet u Ciebie w firmie ;)?

Piotr: No to co teraz robimy to jest eLearning 2.0. Ja np. zarządzam projektem korzystając z Wiki. Wrzucam tam zasoby, uczestnicy komentują, dokładają swoje. Mam przygotowany szablon projektu, kopiuje go i zaczynamy.

Ilona: Na zasadzie samoorganizacji – kto co da, czy masz jakas strategie zarzadzania?

Piotr: Przewaznie stosuje SCRUM w standardowych, typowych projektach, a na wyższym poziomie sprawdza się PRINCE2. Bardzo dobre w Wiki jest to, że nie ma konieczności przygotowywania raportów, generowania dokumentów itd. Wszystko jest online – transparentne dla wszystkich. Wiadomo co się dzieje, kiedy i jak. No i właśnie tutaj wszyscy się uczą, bo nie ma innego wyjścia. Jesteś w projekcie = działasz na wiki.

Ilona: Ok,a wady?

Piotr: 1. Wypada zrezygnować z załączania plików; 2. Trzeba nauczyć konsekwencji stosowania Wiki; 3. muszą być jasne reguły – kto co może.

Piotr: No i hmmm… trzeba umieć korzystać z wiki. A to czasami największy problem. Chociaż, nie wyobrażam sobie projektu, w którym nie korzysta sie z jakiegoś narzędzia współpracy online.

Ilona: Jakie sa krytyczne punkty korzystania z wiki?

Piotr: Rozmiar projektu, poziom digital literacy, sposób organizacji,  simplicity matters – łatwość obsługi produktu rozwiązującego istniejący problem to najlepiej sprzedawalna rzecz.

Ilona: Czyli jakie uzasadnienie biznesowe ma uzywanie sieci spolecznych w korporacjach?

Piotr: 1. Szybkość komunikacji, 2. Budowanie bazy wiedzy

Piotr: chociaż… najważniejsze moim zdaniem jest umożliwienie przekazania informacji – wiedzy – od super-specjalistów wewnątrz firmy do klientów, lub przynajmniej sprzedawców. Bo sprzedawca jest ze swoją wiedzą nt. produktu bliżej klienta

Ilona: Z tym przekazywaniem wiedzy w korporacjach to tez taki kij co ma dwa konce. jedej strony jest motywacja, zeby pokazac sie jako ekspert. Z drugiej nie moge odkryc wszystkich kart, bo ewentualnie nie bede juz ekspertem.

Piotr: To zależy od struktury organizacji i tego w jaki sposób takie aktywności są wspierane – nie wymuszane. Jesli się jest ekspertem to zawsze jest co pokazywać. Cooper dobrze o tym napisał w “Wariaci rządzą domem wariatów” – polecam,

Ilona: Dzieki. Ale czesto przeciez jest tak, ze ludzie w firmach nie zdradzaja takich informacji, ktore stanowia podsawe ich USP (unique selling proposition).

Piotr: No trochę tak, ale np. jeśli ja projektuje rozwiązania elearningowe to nie mam problemów ze zrobieniem szkolenia na temat wersjonowania i jego znaczenia. Moim zdaniem wiedza eksperta jest tak szeroka, że zawsze jest się czym dzielić

Ilona: I zdradzasz wszystkie twoje sztuczki?

Piotr: Oczywiście, że nie. Ale nie mam oporów ze zdradzaniem szczegółów warsztatu. Np. w tamtym tygodniu prowadziłem warsztaty na temat screencastów i dokładnie mówiłem jak i czym to robię.

Ilona: A gdzie byly te warsztaty? W waszej firmie?

Piotr: Nie na Uniwersytecie Pedagogicznym, dla nauczycieli 🙂

Ilona: Ho ho, i co beda stosowac?

Piotr: No nie wiem, raczej ciężko

Ilona: Dlaczego?

Piotr: Nie ma zapotrzebowania…

Ilona: No co ty?

Piotr: Wiesz to tak jak seks z filozofem: ma czym, ma gdzie, ale po co…

Ilona: (rofl)

No tak, ale to juz inny rozdzial. Druga czesc rozmowy z Piotrem Peszko na tema eLearningu 2.0 w szkolnictwie wyzszym juz w krotce 😉  Ciekawa jestem, czy Wasze doswiadczenia z eLearningiem 2.0 w firmach sa podobe. Czy wszedzie jest problem z brakiem krytycznej masy? Co myslicie na temat anonimowosci w spolecznych sieciach w firmie? Przeciez anonimowosci moze oznaczac tez problemy … Moze ktos z Was ma ochote podzielic sie swoimi doswiadczeniami z perspektywy uzytkownika eLearningu w firmie? To byloby super ciekawe. Czekam na Wasze komentarze!

Message to the readers

January 26th, 2010 by Ilona Buchem

Hello everyone,

My name is Ilona Buchem and I will be writing here on how ICT is changing educational sciences and education research today. I titled this blog “Paradygmat” which is a Polish word for “paradigm”.  With Pontydysgu aiming at enhancing diversity and multilingualism, I will be writing here in Polish, my mother tongue. I hope that those of you, who can’t understand it, will be able to do so with the help of online translation services.

But let’s get back to the term “paradigm”. Based on the philosophy of Thomas Kuhn, “paradigm” refers to a set of practices, such as methods of observation and interpretation, which define a scientific discipline during a particular period of time. When limitations of basic assumptions in a particular field are recognized, a paradigm shift occurs. The existing paradigm is enlarged and frontiers of knowledge are pushed forward. For example, the printing press, Gutenberg’s invention and the making of books changed the culture and affected the scientific revolution. Similarly, information and communication technologies, such as social media or mobile devices, are driving a new paradigm shift today.

So in this blog, I would like to focus on how educational sciences are shifting towards more openness, interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration, discourse beyond traditional boarders, stronger interactions with practice etc. I would like to discuss with you the impact of scientific peer online communities, interdisciplinary research, collaborative scientific writing, new practices and formats of conferences and symposia, to name a few.

I am looking forward to discussing these interesting topics with speakers of Polish and speakers of other languages! Hope we will enjoy it and learn from each other!


Ilona Buchem

Twitter and blogging

October 3rd, 2009 by Graham Attwell

Just a quick comment on the ongoing debate about whether twitter is killing blogging (for an excellent summary of the arguments see the Cloudscape on the subject. The picture above, from the stats plug in from the back end of my blog, shows the referrers to the Pontydysgu site today. Referrers means just that, where they have come from.

In past times the main search engines, Google and Bling, would have been the major entrance point, other than people who move from one page to another within the site, thus showing Pontydysgu as the referrer.

Nowadays twitter increasingly dominates the referrers list (especially given that my Facebook account displays an aggregated twitter feed, as does Netvibes). This suggests a more symbiotic relation between Twitter and blogs, where Twitter is used as a trusted source of literature and reference, rather than just an alternative form of blogging.

Open seminar on Open Content

September 14th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

The debates around the themes I talked about in my report on AltC last week have not gone away with a weekend of fantic blogging and twittering. This week I will try to write a series of posts expanding on the ideas being discussed. But first I have to get some administration done.

So here are just a couple of quick catch up points on some of these memes.

As I said last week, Open Educational Resources are hitting the mainstream, raising issues of institutional approaches and strategies. Should publishing as OER be prescribed for academics? What are the business models for supporting OERs? How can resources be discovered and reused? What is an ‘open scholar;?

Tonight is the first of a new series of Evolve / Educamp open online seminars on open content with presentations by Martin Weller and Martin Lindner.  The seminar takes place on the Elluminate platform – just click this link to access it – at 20.00 Central European Time, 1900 UK time.

Martin Weller will “explore the ways in which the term ‘open’ has changed in usage over the years since the founding of the Open University, and consider what ‘open’ principles such a university would be founded on now. The practice of being an ‘open scholar’, and the benefits and issues involved will be examined.”

Martin Lindner’s contribution is entitled ‘Open Content: Non Learners Anonymous;. His abstract says: “More and more, people get frustrated by training and education that is overly formalized, expensive, stealing too much lifetime or simply not producing usable learning results. On the other hand, the Web is presenting a plethora of free and open content for many subjects and fields. And we have new stunningly powerful tools for collaboration and knowledge that cost nearly nothing. But still people are not able to take full advantage of these possibilities, feeling to be left on their own with the ambitious task of “self-learning”. I would like to share and discuss some thoughts from a working group thinking about how we could set up self-organizing groups, where “Non-learners Anonymous” can use Web 2.0 tools and practices to break with the painful habit of non-learning.”

So how can we help creating self-organizing groups that can systematically take advantage of the “open content” in the web? What templates, tools and what rules should we arrange so that they can easily form, set up their project and their goals and then work collaboratively in a given time frame toward some tangible results.”

And for those of you interested in the “Is Twitter killing Blogging?” debate,  there is an interesting dicussion continuing on the Cloudworks site.

Cloudworks also hosts another page bringing together many of the contributions around “The VLE is Dead” debate.

Back on the Blog – Why?

February 11th, 2009 by Pekka Kamarainen

Here I am again, after a long period of silence. Last spring I posted a series of blog entries.  I tried to analyse the change of the cooperation climate in European educational programmes and the implications for researchers. As we know, research in vocational education and training (or VET reserch)as we call it) has profited of the creative phases of European cooperation in the late 1990s. However in the recent years there has been a loss of interest in European or trans-national cooperation.

I started to look at the big picture with observer’s questions, such as:

“What has happened to the ‘European dimension’?”

“What has happened to interdiscplinarity?”

“What hs happened to European innovations?”

Without noticing it myself I had lifted myself off the ground and put myself into helicopter or space ship. I may still agree with what I wrote on these topics. Yet, I couldn’t continue with the topics I had planned to be the next ones. Why?

The trivial reason is that I was caught by urgencies in my day-to-day work. This happens from time to time.

The socio-cultural reason is that I felt myself caught in a historian’s work that has no relevance for present-date VET research. There was a threat that I would be presenting memories for celebrating the glorious pioneering years. Yet, my intention was to produce memories for the future – for facing the challenge of open futures.

The conceptual/methodological reason is that was trying to produce comprehensive analyses on the’ change of climate’ in VET research (in few blog entries). Then, I was trying to outline alternative approaches or  change gendas. This, however, started to look like wrapping up a big bag in which I myself and my peer communities would have to fit in.

What I have learned during my period of silence is that I have to step down from the helicopter or space ship in which I had positioned myself. I don’t need to give up the intention of working with a big picture (that is needed from time to time). However, I have to nurture my thinking on the developments in European VET reseach with news, reports and impressions from field activities.

Luckily enough I have recently participated in such European projects and reviewing activities that promote a new discussion climate (such as the TTplus project and the consultation workshops on VET teachers and trainers). I am not saying that these would directly open new highways to brave new R&D agendas. Yet, they give anchor points for further consideration. In particular the current European activities on the professonal future of  VET teachers and trainers raise several issues.

Therefore, I am pleased to let my historian’s views on trans-nationality, networking and web-supported knowledge sharing mature for some  time. In the meantime I should try to catch, what is hot and what is moving in the present-date European cooperation.

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    News Bites

    Teenagers online in the USA

    According to Pew Internet 95% of teenagers in the USA now report they have a smartphone or access to one. These mobile connections are in turn fueling more-persistent online activities: 45% of teens now say they are online on a near-constant basis.

    Roughly half (51%) of 13 to 17 year olds say they use Facebook, notably lower than the shares who use YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.

    The survey also finds there is no clear consensus among teens about the effect that social media has on the lives of young people today. Minorities of teens describe that effect as mostly positive (31%) or mostly negative (24%), but the largest share (45%) says that effect has been neither positive nor negative.

    Robots to help learning

    The TES reports on a project that uses robots to help children in hospital take part in lessons and return to school has received funding from the UK Department for Education.

    TES says “The robot-based project will be led by medical AP provider Hospital and Outreach Education, backed by £544,143 of government money.

    Under the scheme, 90 “tele-visual” robots will be placed in schools and AP providers around the country to allow virtual lessons.

    The robot, called AV1, acts as an avatar for children with long-term illnesses so they can take part in class and communicate with friends.

    Controlling the robot remotely via an iPad, the child can see and hear their teacher and classmates, rotating the robot’s head to get a 360-degree view of the class.

    It is hoped the scheme will help children in hospital to feel less isolated and return to school more smoothly.”


    According to developer Gary Pendergast, WordPress 5, Gutenberg, is nearing release.

    Pendergast says: “As the WordPress community, we have an extraordinary opportunity to shape the future of web development. By drawing on the past experiences of WordPress, the boundless variety and creativity found in the WordPress ecosystem, and modern practices that we can adopt from many different places in the wider software world, we can create a future defined by its simplicity, its user friendliness, and its diversity.”

    Adult Education in Wales

    Learning and Work Institute is organising this year’s adult learning conference in partnership with the Adult Learning Partnership Wales. It will take place on Wednesday, 16 May 2018 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

    They say “Changing demographics and a changing economy requires us to re-think our approach to the delivery of learning and skills for adults. What works and what needs to change in terms of policy and practice?

    The conference will seek to debate how can we respond to need, grow participation, improve and measure outcomes for citizens, and revitalise community education.”

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