Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Independence Day – Finland 99 years as an independent state! – Part One: Time before independence

December 6th, 2016 by Pekka Kamarainen

Quite some time I have started all my blogs with reference to the ongoing project. Now that I have said goodbye to the project work (after my contract came to an end) I have felt puzzled – what will I be blogging about after the active engagement in a long-term project. Today I have a clear answer, what to start with – the Finnish Independence Day.

Countries with long history as independent nation states do not necessarily have a concept of ‘independence day’. Their histories are not characterised by being under the rule of a bigger nation. Instead, they have constituted their nation states by processes of unification or dissolution of major empires. But there is no clear point of becoming independent from a ruling power. And the constitution of the nation has been a long process – national language having become written language, ruling language and cultural language. For most countries that is old history.

Therefore, my non-Finnish friends may ask: “What is so great about national independence and of Independence Day?” I will tray to answer it with three blog posts. With the first one I try to sketch the time before independence . With the second one I discuss the emergence of the Finnish nation. With the third one I sketch a picture of 99 years of independence.

The long centuries under Swedish rule

The history of Finland is different from the ones of bigger nations – characterised by long periods under foreign rule. When the Swedish vikings conquered Finland centuries ago, there was no concept of ‘Finland’ (Suomi – as we say it) as a national entity. The name ‘Finland’ comes from Latin and refers to ‘land’s end’ before uninhabited tundra. Then, Finland became the border country between the expansive Swedish kingdom and emerging Russian empire. At a certain point the Swedes promoted Finland into Grand Duchy (one of the Swedish princes being the Duke). But the legislation was that of Sweden and the centre of administration was in Stockholm (and a province governor in Turku on the other side of the Botnic bay).

During those centuries Finland was considered as a periphery, as a border province to be expanded to keep the Russians out. Also, when Sweden was expanding during central European wars, Finland sent soldiers to Swedish armies. Finnish forests provided wood and tar for ship-building. But not much more was thought on the province. The ruling Lutheran church was keeping the ordinary people in discipline with religious teaching and preaching in Finnish. But the language of education and culture was Swedish. And if things would have continued this way, it would have been more likely that the Finnish language would have disappeared rather than emancipated as a national language.

The one century under Russian rule

Things changed due to the bigger picture of European politics. Napoleon Bonaparte had become Emperor of France and was isolating Great Britain with his continental blockade. He had got the Russian czar Alexander I to join the blockade (after a war) and wanted to get Sweden (ally of Great Britain) to join in as well. Therefore, he pushed Russia to start a war against Sweden – and promised Finland to Russia after the war. The war was fought in 1808-1809. Sweden lost, the Swedish king was sent to exile and the new royal house – the Bernadottes – were imported from France. And, indeed, Russia got Finland as its new border province in the north.

The Russian czar was not so greatly interested of the new province – although it was in the immediate vicinity of the Russian capital – St. Petersburg. So, the the representatives of the Finnish upper class saw their opportunity. Already during the war (when major part of the Finnish territory was conquered by Russians) they negotiated a deal with czar that as a reward of their loyalty vis-à-vis the new ruler they could keep the status of Grand Duchy and old Swedish legislation -adjusted to the new circumstances. The czar would be recognised as the Grand Duke of Finland and he would have his General Governor and regional governors in Finland. But mainly the administration would rely on the Finnish senate and civil servants (using Swedish as their ordinary working language but Russian with their new rulers).

This special status of Finland was topped up during the rule of czar Alexander II when Finland got its own currency – the Finnish Mark. For many reasons Finland – in the vicinity of the Russian capital – had become an interesting economic zone with rapid industrialisation and good infrastructure due to good railway connections and many channels that connected inland lakes to routes towards St. Petersburg. So, quite a lot of foreign capital was invested into this special economic zone (before that concept was invented) and foreign industrialists themselves came to start the new industries. Thus, Finland was becoming more and more self-governing and self-reliant – with many export articles traded with its own currency. But – not to forget – this economic growth was not a steady progress to prosperity. Finland still mostly agrarian country in a rough Nordic climate zone and these periods were also characterised by several years of crops lost and people in the countryside suffering of famine. Yet, with the economic development things appeared to be getting better. However, once again the big picture of European politics changed to a new direction.

– – –

I guess this is enough for the starters – the time before independence.Let us add the musical theme of the awakening of the national history with the old instrumental piece with modern interpretation and landscape photos and ‘historical video – The band Piirpauke and the melody ‘Church bells of Konevitsa monastery’ (at lake Ladoga):

In my next post I will discuss the nation-building and issues on Finnish language and culture.

More blogs to come …





Emerging consensus in england around teaching computing in school?

November 4th, 2013 by Graham Attwell

Willard Foxton is an investigative journalist and television producer. According to his profile in the right learning UK Daily Telegraph newspaper “he writes on skulduggery wherever he finds it, especially in the world of technology.”

Two weeks ago Foxton achieved something few online reporters can claim. He received 897 comments on an article entitled “The Government wants to teach all children how to code. Here’s why it’s a stupid idea.” And almost all opposed him!

Foxton wrote:

My Telegraph Blogs colleague Jack Rivlin is looking for a developer, and is frustrated because he can’t find one in Shoreditch. Jack is the perfect poster child for why our kids can’t code – he’s a normal person, rather than an exceptionally dull weirdo, like the bulk of developers.

I’m all for people to learning to code – I wrote a piece arguing we should teach it in prisons earlier this year – but I think we need to be aware of its limitations. Coding is a niche, mechanical skill, a bit like plumbing or car repair.

As a subject, it only appeals to a limited set of people – the aforementioned dull weirdos.

As you can imagine, there were many incensed replies. But what is interesting is that there would now appear to be a consensus, at least from those who read the Daily Telegraph technology pages, that programming is a subject that should be taught in schools. And I doubt that such a consensus existed a few years ago. Of course there remain challenges for the English target of introducing the subject from next year, not least in curriculum development and in professional development and support for teachers. But teaching 5-7 year old kids key ideas like understanding the definition of an algorithm  as well as being able to “create and debug a simple computer program” is no longer seen as the crazed imagination of a weirdo!

Flipping Something out of Nothing

October 25th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education from sam seidel on Vimeo.

I had the pleasure to present alongside Mike Neary and Joss Winn at the Mobility Shifts conference in New York. They are working on the idea of students as producers. This theme is also taken up in this excellent video, which looks at the theme of students as producers within hip hop culture.

Researching education and training: Notes on cultural approaches

April 29th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

I have had several requests for this paper, co-written in 1990 with Jenny Hughes, and realised it was not available on the internet. So I have published it to Scribd.

The paper looks at comparative research in Vocational education and Training and the possible uses of cultural theory as a research methodology. This extract explains some of the thinking behind such an approach.

The focus of much comparative research has been the comparison of different paradigms in VET. Set against a common background of globalisation of the economy, the rise of multi-nationals and shared technologies, these paradigms show a marked convergence across Europe and there is a seductive similarity between, for example, work organisation paradigms, curriculum paradigms and research paradigms. This has increased the tendency to undertake ‘point to point’ comparisons across member states, often based on task or functional analysis. And yet the outcomes of such research, whilst providing descriptive data which empirically reinforces the notion of converging trends is often at odds with what VET researchers ‘know’ to be true and which the general populus assumes as ‘common sense’; that is, that there are major cultural differences leading to apparently inexplicable divergences of practice. The challenge for VET research is to construct more robust tools for analysis which can accommodate and reconcile both the convergences and divergences.

Much of the existing comparative research takes as its starting point a single VET paradigm and deconstructs that paradigm into its elements. Thus, ‘VET’ would be the highest level of a tree diagram and the paradigmatic sets under observation would be branches below it.  These  may be labelled, for example, `employment patterns’,  `new production methods’, `trainer training’, `cultural issues’, `curriculum’ and so on.  The elements or items within the paradigms would form the next level of branching. For example under `new production methods’ there might be elements labelled `Just-in Time’ or `island production’ or `co-makership’.  Under  employment patterns there may be `self employed’, `employed by SME’, `unemployed’ and so on. Each of these elements can also be subdivided into properties or descriptors (which are actually paradigms in themselves).  For example `unemployed’ could be expressed as ‘average length of unemployment’ or `number of unemployed males over 25’ or `average qualification level of unemployed women’ or whatever.   The  number and type of paradigmatic sets are similar across member states as are the items within each paradigm, hence the apparent  convergence. Much quantitative comparative research maps and compares element against like element looking for differences in properties across member states. Occasionally it compares paradigm with paradigm but work at this higher level of aggregation level is more often seen in collaborative research.

What is rarely taken into account is the syntax which exists between the paradigms, a syntax which is determined by the culture which generated it and is as culturally specific as the rules of grammar are language specific. The syntagmatic relationship (or syntagm) which defines the way in which one paradigm articulates with another is, for the most part, ignored but it is here that the divergences across member states are located.

What VET needs is a grammar capable of analysis at a systemic rather than structural level. It needs a grammar robust enough and sufficiently rigorous to challenge and provide a real alternative to both functional and structural analysis but sophisticated enough to examine the cultural realisation and cultural meaning of sectoral and regional differences, national identities, gender, class and language.

Thus the model should not take  `VET’ as a starting point for the tree diagram and then simply disaggregate it – with `the cultural dimension’ being a paradigm or even an element within several paradigms and the assumption that it lends itself to comparison as readily as unemployment figures.  Rather we should put ‘culture’ at the top of the tree diagram with VET being one (disaggregated) manifestation of that culture

Functionalist analyses break down VET into a series of components that, not only .fails to recognise their significance within societies and cultures, but renders comparisons less, rather than more, meaningful.  Stucturalist and post structuralist schools continue to pursue structures of likeness and contrast, differences played against similarities. It follows that if all the factors which determine VET culture are themselves different then the component parts of those features are bound to be different.

Given the role of culture on Vet and of VET itself within its cultural context, then it may be of value to access that corpus of knowledge and theory in the field of cultural studies. The next section of this paper will look at some different ideas drawn from cultural theory and examine their applicability for comparative VET studies.

New Culture Paper

Solidarity with the students

November 13th, 2010 by Jenny Hughes

Graham and I have just got back to Germany after a meeting of the Politics project team in Cardiff. We were following Wednesday’s demonstrations against the proposed hike in university fees live on TV at Cardiff airport – both of us getting very excited and cheering a lot.

The occupation of the Conservative Party headquarters in London was an impressive piece of collective action so to all those involved in the organisation and to all those that turned up on the day, a message of support from Pontydysgu!

However, it did make me wonder how we ever used to do all this without mobile phones, computers or social networking media. Apart from using print media, I seem to remember a lot of organising time spent in public telephone boxes pressing button A and button B. In fact, one of my early ICT competences was learning how to tap the receiver rest up and down to mimic the operation of the dial in order to save the 4d (less than 2p) it cost.

The Culture of our Institutions

October 31st, 2010 by Graham Attwell

Great stuff from Ken Robinson in this RSA Animate production. Central to Ken’s argument is that school is modelled on the basis on Enlightenment thinking and industrial production system organisation. For many this culture is not conducive to learning!

Found via @grahamBM in the latest edition of the Graham Attwell Daily.

Defintion of plagiarism continue to plague academic community

July 2nd, 2010 by Graham Attwell

I have been writing a fairly boring report today, and as a distraction, reading more of my Twitter  messages than usually. And on of them, I cannot remember why, directed me to the Times Higher Education web site. And I noticed an article about plagiarism.

The article is pretty routine. It reports on a study in Sweden which “found that when a problem was identified, academics were reluctant to label it plagiarism, instead choosing words such as “unacceptable”.

“The staff held extremely heterogeneous views about the examples and also had different explanations for those views. No two lecturers gave the same response,” Dr Pecorari said.”

The article goes on to say: “But the different explanations given by participants in the study for finding, or failing to find, plagiarism also exposed a lack of common understanding, she argued.

In a bid to address the problem, academics in the US are attempting to draw up an international definition of plagiarism. Speaking at the conference, Teresa Fishman, director of the International Center for Academic Integrity at Clemson University in South Carolina, set out a model definition.

It rules that plagiarism occurs if an author “uses words, ideas or work products, attributable to an identifiable person or source, without attributing the work to the source from which it was obtained, in a situation in which there was a legitimate expectation of original authorship, in order to obtain benefit, credit or gain.”

Dr Fishman said that plagiarism was not theft, copyright infringement or fraud, and should not be confused with poor citation skills.”

A find this fascinating at a whole series of levels. I have always argued that the meaning of plagiarism is culturally and socially derived and changes over time. And just agreeing a common definition does not overcome the different cultural meanings associated with it. Indeed, in line with Jenny Hughes work on pragmatics and semantics and featured on this blog over the last two weeks, it is not so much the paradigm of plagiarism that we should be looking at to understand its meaning but the syntagmatic relations between say, the idea of  plagiarism, ideas of tecahing and learning and especially concepts of copyright. And this is confirmed as an academic catfight breaks out in the comments.. To give a flavour:

“The position of some “experts” on plagiarism directly contravenes the law, contravenes the accepted university rules and even their own words”

“What makes some “experts” on plagiarism to falsify what the law of plagiarism and the universally accepted rules of academia actually say?”

“surely that shows that views on plagiarism are culturally contingent and academics in one country drawing up an “international definition” is an inherently flawed idea?”

“if your undergraduates are so incapable of ‘original authorship’ that they cannot even summarise others’ work competently without copying it out, you are royally screwed.”

“Dr. Fishman, that plagiarism ITSELF constitutes a fraud, has been explained and confirmed uncountable number of times and included in academic policies. If you are making a point to deny this, you have to have a novel reason for this. May I ask you to say what this reason is?”

And so on. It is all very polite but it is clear that we cannot define plagiarism without understanding the cultural and social background to the idea itself. Lets face it, if plagiarism (and present day copyright laws, had been around in the times of Shakespeare, his plays would never have been performed or published.

Paradigm change needed to enable young people to deal with implications of transformations

January 7th, 2010 by Graham Attwell

In December I wrote about a workshop I had attended at the Alpine-Rendezvous event organised by the European Stellar Network. The workshop: on ‘Technology-enhanced learning in the context of technological, societal and cultural transformation’ was organised by Norbert Pachler, the convenor of the London Mobile Learning Group (LMLG), housed at the Centre for Excellence in Work-based Learning for Educational Professionals at the Institute of Education, London.

The LMLG comprises an international, interdisciplinary group of researchers from the fields of educational, media and cultural studies, social semiotics and educational technology. The aim of the workshop was to augment the work of the LMLG, in particular around its socio-cultural ecology, and to extend the interdisciplinary nature of its work through exposure to perspectives advanced by (TEL) researchers in cognate fields from across Europe and the US, in particular in relation to design-based approaches.

This blog is an edited verion of Norbert’s report on the workshop. The full report will be published as part of proceedings of the workshop will be published as a Special Issue of the International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning in 2010 guest edited by Norbert Pachler.

For me, one of the most interesting points about the recent debate around Open education is the exploration of the links between theory and practice. I have been long frustrated by the paucity of theory in the area of Technology Enhanced Education. and it is apparent that if we are to develop a convincing body of theory which can properly inform and reflect practice, it is necessary to engage in a multi-disciplinary discourse with researchers and practitioners coming from different fields of study and action.

The workshop in Garmisch comprised of an attempt at developing such a discourse and whilst the findings may represent only our early efforts to understand each other, I valued the opportunity to take part in such a discussion.

Norbert says:

“The LMLG sees learning using mobile devices governed by a triangular relationship between socio-cultural structures, cultural practices and the agency of media users / learners, represented in the three domains. The interrelationship of these three components: agency, the user’s capacity to act on the world, cultural practices, the routines users engage in their everyday lives, and the socio-cultural and technological structures that govern their being in the world, we see as an ecology, which in turn manifests itself in the form of an emerging cultural transformation. Another significant trend, which requires pedagogical responses, is the prevalence of what we call ‘user-generated contexts’. We are currently witnessing a significant shift away from traditional forms of mass communication and editorial push towards user-generated content and individualised communication contexts. These structural changes to mass communication also affect the agency of the user and their relationship with traditional and new media. Indeed, the LMLG argues that users are now actively engaged in shaping their own forms of individualised generation of contexts for learning through individualised communication contexts. New relationships between context and production are emerging in that mobile devices not only enable the production of content but also of contexts. They position the user in new relationships with space, i.e. the outer world, and place, i.e. social space. Mobile devices enable and foster the broadening and breaking up of genres. Citizens become content producers who are part of an explosion of activity in the area of user-generated content. What are the implications for education?

The workshop inter alia sought to explore the following questions and issues:

  • Learning as a process of meaning-making for the LMLG occurs through acts of communication, which take place within rapidly changing socio-cultural, mass communication and technological structures. Does the notion of learner-generated cultural resources represent a sustainable paradigm shift for formal education in which learning is viewed in categories of context and not content? What are the issues in terms of ‘text’ production in terms of modes of representation, (re)contextualisation and conceptions of literacy? Who decides/redefines what it means to have coherence in contemporary interaction?
  • What synergies are there between the socio-cultural ecological approach to mobile learning, which the LMLG developed (see Pachler, Bachmair and Cook, 2010), with paradigms put forward by different (TEL) research communities in Europe and beyond?
  • What relationship is there between user-generated content, user-generated contexts and learning? How can educational institutions cope with the more informal communicative approaches to digital interactions that new generations of learners possess?
  • What pedagogical parameters are there in response to the significant transformation of society, culture and education currently taking place alongside technological innovation?

Position papers and questions for discussion were made available in advance of the workshop on Google Groups as well as Cloudworks. During the workshop contributors’ presentations were added and participants in Garmisch and beyond contributed to the discussion on Cloudworks as well as on Twitter.

Key messages from the workshop:

The mixture of theory and practice was felt to have worked well and to have been fruitful particularly in view of a potential chasm developing between the research community and the policy and practitioner communities in the field of mobile learning.

The workshop underlined the importance of definitional clarity around key terminology, particular in the context of interdisciplinary work in an international context.

Mobile learning, the main focus of the workshop, can be seen to deal with complex issues, which benefit from an interdisciplinary approach. Despite interdisciplinarity adding complexity and this complexity needing to be managed sensitively, there exists a need for greater richness in the conceptual foundations of mobile learning; there is arguably a need to challenge the hegemony of education, psychology and computer science as the foundational disciplines of the mobile learning research community.

Some topics, such as sustainability, have proved to be multi-layered and the concurrent discussion of different layers during the workshopprovided fruitful insights into possible different framings of each given topic and issue.

The workshop showed that the key theoretical framework used at the event for illuminating the use of mobile learning – the LMLG’s socio-cultural approach – has provided a useful lens and a shared vocabulary for analysis. At the same time it transpired that, in relation to some topics such as work-based learning, more work is required to align it and its theoretical underpinnings with established discourses in certain areas, such as WBL. Work-based mobile learning has to be embedded in the work-processes and current practices and not be designed as an extra layer. Structure in WBML is not only related to media platforms but also to organisational structures and focusing only on the first issue would be too narrow. Power-relationships are a central construct to be considered in WBML. And, the fact that businesses are orientated towards a productivity paradigm, rather than towards a learning paradigm, poses a particular challenge for WBML. A key question appears to be to what extent practices around mobile devices influence work-life balance.

The discussion around user-generated contexts demonstrated the complexity of the notion of context and how its different understandings are rooted in divers epistemological and ontological traditions.

The discussions around augmented reality brought to the fore a number of issues in particular around retention, perception and coherence as well as filtering and the need for criticality on the part of the user.

With respect to augmented contexts for development, the question arose whether Vygotskyan notions of perception / attention / temporality are a way forward and how these notions link in concrete terms to more academic / traditional views of ‘literacy’. And, what are the implications of for the emerging field of mobile augmented reality? Is it possible to replace the more capable peer in the zone of proximal development?

Synergies with design-based research were generally seen to offer considerable potential for the work of the LMLG and beyond. In particular, there emerged a strong sense of potential around the bringing together of a hermeneutic and critical historical approach to planning and analysis of teaching and learning, i.e. critical didactic, with the experimental, empirical evaluative approach offered by design research.

In terms of sustainability, the workshop concluded that much more still needs to be done in terms of understanding the complexity of the notion of sustainability. The discussion showed that there exists an important, and currently under-explored, ethical context to mobile learning, that is the context in which we connect with learners, composed in part of challenges such as sustainability, scalability (or transferability or replication), equity, inclusion, opportunity, embedding. It relates to a concern for the role of mobile learning for addressing forms of deprivation and disadvantage and informing the relevant policy environment.

Overall it can be noted that the discussions during the two days reiterated the need for a paradigm change in education to enable young people to deal with the implications of ongoing transformations.”


Pachler, N., Bachmair, B. and Cook, J. (2010) Mobile learning: structures, agency, practices. New York: Springer

User-generated content, User-generated contexts and Learning

November 18th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

This is a short video – the first in a new series of Sounds of the Bazaar videos – made as a contribution to a workshop on ‘Technology-enhanced learning in the context of technological, societal and cultural transformation’ being held on November 30 to December 1 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria.

This workshop is organised by Norbert Pachler, the convenor of the London Mobile Learning Group (LMLG) and is being hosted by the EU funded Stellar network. The workshop is looking at the following questions:

  • What relationship is there between user-generated content, user-generated contexts and learning? How can educational institutions cope with the more informal communicative approaches to digital interactions that new generations of learners possess?
  • Learning as a process of meaning-making for us occurs through acts of communication, which take place within rapidly changing socio-cultural, mass communication and technological structures. Does the notion of learner-generated cultural resources represent a sustainable paradigm shift for formal education in which learning is viewed in categories of context and not content? What are the issues in terms of ‘text’ production in terms of modes of representation, (re)contextualisation and conceptions of literacy? Who decides/redefines what it means to have coherence in contemporary interaction?
  • What synergies are there between the socio-cultural ecological approach to mobile learning, which the group has developed through its work to date, with paradigms developed by different TEL communities in Europe?
  • What pedagogical parameters are there in response to the significant transformation of society, culture and education currently taking place alongside technological innovation?

The LMLG sees learning using mobile devices governed by a triangular relationship between socio-cultural structures, cultural practices and the agency of media users / learners, represented in the three domains. The interrelationship of these three components: agency, the user’s capacity to act on the world, cultural practices, the routines users engage in their everyday lives, and the socio-cultural and technological structures that govern their being in the world, we see as an ecology, which in turn manifests itself in the form of an emerging cultural transformation.

I have created a Cloudworks site to support the workshop and you are all invited to participate in the discussions. The site features key questions from a series of background papers, all available on the site and you are invited not only to comment but to add your own links, academic references and additional materials. The discussion is being organised around the following themes:

Look forward to your comments on this site or in the clouds.

Kids don’t trust themselves to have unlimited Facebook access (non Wave version)

November 1st, 2009 by Graham Attwell

Sadly it seems my previous post can only be viewed by those with a Google Wave account. for those who don’t, here is a plain blog copy.

“I am ever more intrigued with the possibilities of Google Wave. If you do not have a wave account , please add comments to this post in the normal way. But if you do have a wave account, you are invited to directly reply and add your ideas within the wave.

Anyway on to the issues.

I have always advocated the use of social software for learning. The ability to develop and exchange ideas within a community seems to me central to how we can both develop our own learning and share that learning to develop and mature knowledge.

And social networking in allowing us to form and develop Personal Learning Networks – peer networks with whom we share learning and ideas.

Thus, I have always opposed attempts by institutions, companies and schools to limit access to social networking sites. Of course, companies are concerned about the amount of time employees spend on such sites – and indeed in surfing the web, watching sport, reading and talking to friends about matters not concerned to work. But, overall, I have tended to argue that the benefits outweigh the risks in allowing employees access. Many companies are wrestling with these issues and trying to come up with fair policies. One manager I talked to earlier this week explained they allow their employees one hour a day in work time to access whatever web sites they wish in work time. There is no blocking software but rather they trust employees not to abuse such access – although web usage is monitored. Indeed, that decision then leads to other policy issues in terms of who should have rights to request access to monitoring data and in what circumstances?

I am also firmly of the belief that the use of social networking software can be beneficial for younger learners and am sceptical about the ‘nanny software or lists of approved and blocked sites that many schools employ.

However, talking to students has caused me to pause and rethink some of these ideas. Almost unanimously, school age students are saying to me that they are feel distracted from their work by social networking software and particularly by Facebook. If they are allowed unfettered access, they say, they do not think they are strong willed enough to work. They support schools blocking access, not because of any safety concerns, but because they are worried they will not work if they can instead ‘play’ on line. They are even concerned that they spend too much time on Facebook at home, especially late at night (interestingly, not one student I have talked too has technically restricted access at home, although many say their parents limit or try to limit their time on Facebook).

What are the answers. I think it is urgent that we consider, not just how to teach children online safety, but how to start them thinking about how they use technology in their lifestyle. And with the widespread access to internet enabled mobile devices, let alone augmented reality, this issue is urgent.

What do you think? Add your comments or participate in this Wave.

  • Search

    News Bites

    Learning about technology

    According to the University Technical Colleges web site, new research released of 11 to 17-year-olds, commissioned by the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, the charity which promotes and supports University Technical Colleges (UTCs), reveals that over a third (36%) have no opportunity to learn about the latest technology in the classroom and over two thirds (67%) admit that they have not had the opportunity even to discuss a new tech or app idea with a teacher.

    When asked about the tech skills they would like to learn the top five were:

    Building apps (45%)
    Creating Games (43%)
    Virtual reality (38%)
    Coding computer languages (34%)
    Artificial intelligence (28%)

    MOOC providers in 2016

    According to Class Central a quarter of the new MOOC users  in 2016 came from regional MOOC providers such as  XuetangX (China) and Miríada X (Latin America).

    They list the top five MOOC providers by registered users:

    1. Coursera – 23 million
    2. edX – 10 million
    3. XuetangX – 6 million
    4. FutureLearn – 5.3 million
    5. Udacity – 4 million

    XuetangX burst onto this list making it the only non-English MOOC platform in top five.

    In 2016, 2,600+ new courses (vs. 1800 last year) were announced, taking the total number of courses to 6,850 from over 700 universities.

    Jobs in cyber security

    In a new fact sheet the Tech Partnership reveals that UK cyber workforce has grown by 160% in the five years to 2016. 58,000 people now work in cyber security, up from 22,000 in 2011, and they command an average salary of over £57,000 a year – 15% higher than tech specialists as a whole, and up 7% on last year. Just under half of the cyber workforce is employed in the digital industries, while banking accounts for one in five, and the public sector for 12%.

    Number students outside EU falls in UK

    Times Higher Education reports the number of first-year students from outside the European Union enrolling at UK universities fell by 1 per cent from 2014-15 to 2015-16, according to data released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

    Data from the past five years show which countries are sending fewer students to study in the UK.

    Despite a large increase in the number of students enrolling from China, a cohort that has grown by 12,500 since 2011-12, enrolments by students from India fell by 13,150 over the same period.

    Other notable changes include an increase in students from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia and a fall in students from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.

    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.

  • Twitter

  • one for #TELStrath Adam Crymble - The History of Learning Digital History, c.1980-2017…

    About 11 hours ago from Cristina Costa's Twitter via TweetDeck

  • Sounds of the Bazaar AudioBoo

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Upcoming Events

      There are no events.
  • Categories