Archive for the ‘e-portfolios’ Category

Rapid Development for Rapid Turbine

July 25th, 2013 by Graham Attwell

I guess many of you are enjoying your holidays now. Here at Pontydysgu we’re ploughing ahead with our summer project, codenamed Rapid Turbine. Rapid Turbine is a spin out from the Learning layers project design group called Sharing Turbine.

The design idea has followed extensive discussion with Bau ABC, a large training organisation for the building industry in Lower Saxony and Bremen in north Germany. The apprenticeship system in Germany is based on a Dual System, with apprentices learning both within companies and within vocational schools. However in the construction trade there are three venues for learning, the company, the vocational school and the training centres.

Training in the training centre is organised around practical tasks which may take from one to three or four days to complete. The tasks are documented in something called the White Folder which is also used for reporting on work. This has a number fo problems – it takes time to update content and despite the use of colour photocopying has limitations in terms of media. Perhaps the biggest drawback is teh lack of portability, thus limiting the use of learning materials or of apprentices/ past learning in the company or the vocational school.

Thus the idea of Sharing Turbine is to produce a mobile app which can provide interactivity whilst undertaking workplace learning tasks. But the more we have looked at developing such an app – the more daunting it seems. Wireframes and diagrams have multiplied, with multiple use cases and endless meetings.

So Rapid Turbine has been designed as a rapid application project to get something out. And my thinking is until we have produced something, we will not really understand what we are doing. So we have taken just one task – Trench digging and pipe installation- and are trying to produce an app.

So far we have hit two big issues. The first is the pedagogic approach. We want to go further than just producing information on how to do the task – even with nice video. The mobile app should stimulate not just interactivity  but activity in the work process. And of course there are many real life artefacts which are used in that activity.

The second issue is establishing a workflow. Ultimately our aim is that our colleagues from Bau ABC will be able to produce the learning materials themselves. So far our workflow is fourfold. Firstly we are producing wireframes. Although we have used Balsamic in teh past, at the moment our designers, Owen Gray and Martina Luebbing are preferring to work on flipchart paper. then we need to generate the HTML, CSS, Javascrtipt etc. for the app. This we plan to do using Twitter Bootstrap and an html editor. And then we will use the Tribal m-Learning program to produce the App.

So far so good. We are still at the wireframe stage. I will update you on how it all goes.

Reaching out to Developers

May 27th, 2013 by Graham Attwell

One of the things I am working on in the Learning layers project is user engagement.

Learning Layers is based on user centred design model, involving end users and organisations in developing solutions to promote both formal and informal learning using technology in clusters consisting of:

  • Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • Regional Education and research institutions; typically upper secondary level and tertiary level)
  • regional authorities, national and European – policymakers responsible for incentive systems for regional growth and innovation, and for developing policies and initiatives for initial and continuing vocational education and training
  • Investors, banks, investment funds, business angels, public bodies- funding and supporting innovation.

Engaging with users and involving them in design of new solutions is also part of the research strategy. Layers researchers obtain research data from the interaction with users in the design based research model.

I am basing the strategy on a model of open innovation and will publish more about our ideas on this over the next few days. One of the things is to move away from the traditional project approach of dissemination of the end results to potential users and stakeholders to a model based on active participation – and on an architecture of participation. We have produced a table of different stakeholders in the project and are trying to understand from what direction their interest might come, what they want to get out of the project and what active contribution they might make.

Based on this we are putting forward a number of concrete initiatives the project can take over the next three and a half years.

One such idea is Layers PBL, standing for Layers Problem Based Learning, Practice Based Learning or Project Based learning depending in your way of looking at it (I see it as all three). This involves connecting outwards to engage with student groups, who in computing or business ICT are often required to undertake a one semester programme undertaking a real project in conjunction with companies.

We have piloted this approach with a team of students from HsKA, the Technical University of Karlsruhe. They are working on an idea for an app based on talks we had with a doctor at a Layers meeting held in Bradford earlier this year. The idea is that in their limited free time (in the car between appointments and meetings) users can reply to a series of questions on their phone. They can move between questions through a voice command and the app will communicate with a webs interface to produce a transcript of their answers which can then be edited and downloaded. The web interface also allows people to build their own (scaffolded) sequence of questions – which we call a stack – and to share them with other users if they wish. They can also rate different stacks.

So far it is going pretty well. The web interface is pretty much finished and they are now developing the mobile interface. The students are using SCRUM programming with weekly sprints. We usually meet online for about 20 minutes a week for them to present their progress and for us to provide feedback.

Last week I talked with Chris Whitehead who ia programmer with Tribal, another partner in the Layers project. Chris has helped develop m-learning. a content development tool for mobiles. And he suggested that we could link the app being developed by the Karlsruhe students (code named Reflect) to the m-learning application. I talked about this to Andreas Vratny, one of the Karlsruhe lead developers, on Friday. And hey presto, by Sunday we had an API and an OAuth system to allow single log in to the two systems.

The present version of the app is being developed for the Android operating system. We will release it on the Pontydysgu site as soon as it is ready, as well as on the Android store. If it catches on we will try to port it to iOS. And we are thinking about extending our development activities to further universities with a the development of a Layers Design Library to support developers. If anyone is interested please get in touch.

 

Sharing Turbine

April 4th, 2013 by Graham Attwell

Project websites are usually pretty dire. A short piece about the project taken from the project application, a list of partners, news updates of meetings and links to downloadable products.

And that was how we started our website with the Learning Layers project. However, we soon realised that this would not suffice. Our aim is to dramatically scale up the use of technology to support informal learning in Small and Medium Enterprises. To do that we need a forward facing web site -something we can show off to SME managers and be proud of. But that in turn requires content which they will understand and engage with. That is a much trickier part. We need more of a newspaper or journal type website than a traditional project site. This has led to a lot of discussions and we haven’t got all the issues resolved yet. But one thing we have done is moved to an editorial model where instead of having a web site moderator we have an editor. His role is to commission content from the different partners in the project.

And I have been messing around with how to write about project development in a way that it is understandable to those without an advanced knowledge of the technologies, processes and ideas that we are developing.

Here is my first attempt – about one of the design ideas we are pursuing codenamed ‘Sharing Turbine’.

“The Learning Layers project aims to develop a number of new applications to support informal learning in the workplace.  In the first stages of the project we are working with Small and Medium Enterprises in the Construction sector in north Germany and in the healthcare sector in north England.

We are aware that for any applications to gain widespread take up, we have to work closely with managers and workers from the industries. Therefore, we have adopted a user centred design process for iterative development.

What does this mean? We started out with a series of interviews with a wide variety of people from the sector. In construction e gave now made over 50 interviews, looking at work organisation, learning and peoples present use and attitudes towards technology. This was followed up with what we called Application Partner Days in both the UK and Germany, where we visited the workplaces and held a series of workshop activities with different practitioners.

The third stage in the development process was a two-day design workshop held in Helsinki. Building on the ideas from the interviews and visits we started to sketch out a series of design ideas for new mobile applications. The working groups for the four design ideas that emerged at the workshop brought together researchers, developers and industry practitioners.

Since then, the working groups have continued to meet online and are using a wiki to develop the design ideas.

Each of the design ideas has been given a working name. The idea for the Sharing Turbine design idea came from the construction industry but we hope it may also be of use in the health sector.

Apprentices in the construction industry in Germany learn their trade in three different locations: vocational schools, on the job in companies and in a training centre. At the north German training centre – Bau ABC – they undertake a series of practical projects. These last from o0ne to three days and may involve working individually or as a team. They are given project briefing sheets and save the report of their work on paper which is collected in a white ring bound folder. This has a number of practical disadvantages. Obviously paper folders do not last well on a building site. And although they can use photographs in the report on their work, the folders are predominantly text based. The use of multi media could allow much more detailed and rich reporting. It could also allow a richer representation of the different physical objects and tools used in construction. In fact one of the reason that elearning has been slow to take off in the workplace may be just this issue of how to combine learning through digital media with the physical nature of much work activity.

So the first idea behind Sharing turbine is to transform the present folders produced at the training centre into an electronic portfolio. This would also have the advantage of making it much easier to update the task sheets. Trainees could use a variety of different media directly from heir phones including audio, photos and video.

However the idea behind Sharing turbine goes much further. One of the aims of the Learning Layers project is to capture informal learning. Obviously when apprentices are working in their companies much of this informal learning takes place on the building site. And if they were able to use mobile devices and multi-media learning on the site could be linked to the skills and knowledge gained at the training centre. The portfolio could also become a resource both for dealing with practical problems occurring when undergoing training, but also after they have qualified. At the same time they can be linked to personal social networks, both as a means of sharing learning and knowledge, but also as a human resource for getting help and advice.

The German so called Dual System is rightly admired in Europe for providing high quality apprentice training> one of its bedrocks is combining practical training on the job with theory gained from block period in vocational schools. However, in practice it often proves difficult to link the different phases of training. Sharing turbine could be a critical tool in allowing these different phases of training to be brought together.

The use of Learning Analytics, a process of recording and analyzing learning as it happens – could also allow apprentices and trainers to understand what learning has happened and what new learning is needed – and to develop and refine curricula and training and learning opportunities and processes.

At the moment the Sharing Turbine working group is at the phase of developing wireframes. Wireframes are graphic mock ups of applications. They can be developed rapidly and used in design workshops to test and refine ideas, prior to programming prototypes.

In the next month workshops are planned with companies to get feedback from apprentices and skilled workers. These are not confined to project partners. If you are interested in our work and would like to contribute please get in touch.”

Issues in developing and implementing e-Portfolios

February 7th, 2013 by Graham Attwell

Diagramme: @lee74 (some rights reserved) http://www.flickr.com/photos/lee8/7164889790/

One of the issues driving the adoption of technology for learning in organisations – particularly in sectors and occupations such as teaching and the medial sector – is the need to show continuing professional development as a requirement for continuing registration.

Many organisations are looking to some form of e-Portfolio to meet this need. Yet there is a tension between the use of e-portfolios to record and reflect on learning, as a tools for learning itself and as a means to assessment.

A recently published study, (lif)e-Portfolio: a framework for implementation (PDF downlaod) by Lee D Ballantyne, from Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (ESOL) , examines some of these issues.

Ballantyne says:

There has been much recent discussion (e.g. Barrett, 2009; JISC, 2012d) concerning the dichotomy of e-portfolios which have the primary purpose of learning versus those which have the primary purpose of assessment. E-portfolio systems developed specifically for assessment purposes often forgo key elements of the learner-centred e-portfolio: social tools, longevity, and personalisation. By contrast, e- portfolios primarily for learning often lack the award-specific structure and reporting tools required for assessment (see Appendix II). A suitable e-portfolio solution must take into consideration the backwash of assessment and that ―from the students‘ point of view assessment always defines the actual curriculum‖ (Ramsden, 1992, p 187), and when the purpose of an e-portfolio changes from a learning tool to summative assessment it becomes ―something that is done to them rather than something they WANT to maintain as a lifelong learning tool‖ (Barrett, 2004a). There is a clear link between an assessment purpose and lack of engagement (Tosh et al., 2005) and yet CIE and ESOL both have stakeholder groups (teachers and trainee teachers) who straddle both learner (professional development) and candidate (teaching awards). The main challenge is to convey the value of the whole e-portfolio to all stakeholders; to find the right balance between assessment-driven (institution-centric) requirements and learner-driven (user-centric) requirements; and to achieve a level of standardisation yet allow for personalisation and creativity (Barrett, 2009). This unprecedented link between teaching, learning and high stakes assessment is fundamentally disruptive: pedagogically, organisationally and technologically (Baume cited Taylor & Gill, 2006, p 4; Cambridge, 2012; Eynon cited Shada et al., 2011. p 75), and planning for successful implementation is critical (JISC, 2012e; Joyes et al., 2010; Meyer & Latham, 2008; Shada at el., 2011).

Learning Layers: supporting the emergence of innovation clusters

February 4th, 2013 by Graham Attwell

My colleague Pekka from the University of Bremen has posted a series of useful reports on this site about the Application Partner Days, held as part of the Learning Layers project, funded by the European Commission IST programme.

Learning layers is aiming to increase the use of technology for learning in Small and Medium Enterprises in Europe, particularly through the use of mobile devices for informal learning in two ‘industry clusters, in the north German construction industry and in the medical sector in north east England.

Obviously such a project faces a number of challenges, given the slow take up of technology enhanced learning in SMEs. The Application Partner Days are designed to bring developers and researchers together with potential end users in organisations in the two sectors. And prior to the Application partner Days in north Germany, we also spent two days visiting companies and organisations in the sector responsible for education and training and for policy development in this area.

Rather than repeat Pekka’s excellent summary of the proceedings, I will offer a few observations, based on my own attempts to make sense of all we saw and of our discussions.

Firstly there is a perception that there are barriers to introducing technology for learning in small enterprises. But most people we spoke to were overwhelmingly positive about the potential especially of mobile devices. Although it was felt there may be some individual resistance, due to lack of familiarity or fears over privacy, in general it was felt that mobile devices would be easily accepted, especially by younger workers. Indeed, some people we talked to felt that introducing technology could make the construction industry more attractive and help overcome recruitment problems. The big driver for this seems to be the increasing everyday use of internet enabled phones. And  flat rate data contracts mean more workers are prepared to use the ir own device for work purposes.

The issue of sharing between enterprises is more problematic. Some seem willing to share data, others less so. My impression is that this is a new situation where companies are undecided on the implications of sharing. And, of course there are worries over privacy and security, particularly and understandably in the medical sector. Interestingly, I was talking last weekend with someone responsible for the introduction of mobile devices in a major agency in the UK. One of their key requirements is that data is not held in the USA, due to fears over US security policies.

During the different workshop and focus group sessions we held in the Application Partner Days, we sought to gather ideas for applications which could be useful within the SMEs. A number of these =focused on better communication and information flows. The boundary between applications that support learning and those supporting communication and information exchange is becoming blurred. Better information provision can support informal learning but this may not be an automatic process.

Even though the Learning Layers project has relatively generous funding support from the European Commission, there are of course limits to what we can do. Even with the increasing functionality of Software Development Kits and frameworks, development takes time and resources. How do we decide what developments we wish to prioritise. And at the same time there is an avalanche of commercial applications being made available for both Apple and Android operating systems.

One answer may be to develop interlinked physical and on-line ‘Demonstration Centres’ which can bring together both relevant commercial Applications with apps produced through the Layers project.

A second approach may to to focus on boundary points. Obviously the medical and construction sectors both contain workers from different occupations organised through various structures and networks. These I would characterise as Communities of Practice. It is where innovations – both technical and social – occur that innovation occurs and new cluster emerge transcending the boundaries between traditional Communities of Practice and occupations and challenging existing occupational practices. It may be that it is at these points that the need for learning and new forms of collaborative working are at there greatest. Of course much of this learning is informal. And if the boundary points offer opportunities for the emergence of new innovation clusters, they may also serve to frustrate innovation where learning is impeded by existing organisational and occupational practices.

Lets try and provide a couple of examples to make this discussion a little less abstract! In the construction industry we can see a series of emergent innovation networks in the area of green or ecological construction. these involve collaboration by workers from different occupations using new materials, or old materials in new ways and developing new practices. Similarly, the use of Programmable Logic Controllers is crossing boundaries between programming and electrical installation. In the medical industry, we are looking at new practices and forms of organisation for supporting those with diabetes.

If we focus resources on such emergent practices, the result might be both to stimulate economic and social sustainability for small enterprises, to promote sustainable growth and the generation of new employment and at the same time support the development of knowledge maturing and informal learning within and between Communities of Practice.

Lastly but not least. The Learning layers project will run for four years and is keen to involve organisations and researchers interested in our work. You can sign up on the Layers website to become part of a Stakeholder Network, giving enhanced access to the work and to the applications being developed.

 

 

E-Edukacja

November 19th, 2011 by Ilona Buchem

Konferencja „Rozwój e-edukacji w ekonomicznym szkolnictwie wyższym” odbyła się 17.11.2011. na Uniwersytecie Ekonomicznym w Krakowie. Przedstawiono na niej szeroką paletę tematów związanych z e-edukacją, m.in. wybrane przykłady e-learningu w Polsce i innych krajach europejskich i pozaeuropejskich , e-learning z perspektywy globalnego systemu wyższej edukacji czy rozwoju kompetencji kluczowych, interesujące koncepty dydaktyczne dotyczące moderowania kursów społecznościowych, webcastingu akademickiego, wykładów online czy scenariuczy opartych na Project Based Learning, a także ważne aspekty związane z e-edukacją, takie jak aprobata kształcenia na odległość, motywacja nauczycieli akademickich czy psychologiczne uwarunkowania efektywnego korzystania z e-zajęć przez studentów (program konferencji).

Moją prezentację na temat „E-portfolio jako osobiste środowisko uczenia się: przykłady zastosowań w edukacji niemieckiej” udało mi się, mam nadzieję w miarę zrozumiale, przekazać w języku polskim (link do prezi). Muszę przyznać, że było dla mnie wyzwaniem przede wszystkim napisanie mojego piewrszego artykułu naukowego po polsku. Jeszcze raz dzięjuję za opiekę merytoryczno-językową Pani Marii Zając. Chociaż włożyłam w przygotowanie sporo pracy, z perspektywy czasu cieszę się bardzo, że przeszłam ten proces – wspaniale było odświeżyć polski i być w Krakowie. Naprawdę z łezką w oku wsiadałam do pociągu jadącego na lotnisko …

Poza sesją otwierającą konferencję, w pamięci pozostała mi szczególnie sesja moderowana przez dr Marię Zając, podczas której uczestnicy w małych grupach pracowali nad odpowiedziami na takie pytania jak: Czy stosowanie nowoczesnych technologii zmienia  sposób w jaki uczymy się? Podczas tej sesji dowiedziałam się o wielu ciekawych innowacyjnych konceptach, takich jak Gapminder, New Learning Institute, czy Khan Academy.

Podzcas konferencji dowiedziałam się też o inicjatywie Akademii Przyszłości, na którą chciałabym tu zwrócić uwagę czytelników.

Podsumowując: Bardzo miło wspominam konferencję, szczególnie spotkania i ciekwe rozmowy z wieloma nowymi osobami oraz tymi, które do tej pory znanałam tylko wirtualnie. Na przykład: W końcu, po latach stanęłam, realnie, twarzą w twarz, z moją współblogerką (sic!). Miałyśmy czas porozmawiać m.in. na temat naszego blogowania i podjełyśmy tu następującą decyzję – wkrótce, najpóźniej od początku roku 2012, blog „Paradygmat 2.0” wróci do pierwotnej formy z jedną blogerką w mojej osobie. Szkoda, że inne zajęcia i obowiązki Asi nie pozwalają jej czasowo na blogowanie. Mam nadzieję, że uda mi się jeszcze kiedyś namówić Asię na wspólny wpis na bloga ..

ePortfolio jako osobiste środowisko uczenia się

November 5th, 2011 by Ilona Buchem

„Rozwój e-edukacji w ekonomicznym szkolnictwie wyższym” to tytuł konferencji, która odbędzie się 17 listopada 2011 w Uniwersytecie Ekonomicznym w Krakowie 17. Głównym celem tegorocznej konferencji jest dyskusja dotycząca roli e-edukacja w kszałtowaniu współczesnej edukacji, szczególnie w odniesieniu do kształcenia akademickiego w Polsce:

“Konferencja adresowana jest w szczególności do nauczycieli akademickich oraz pracowników szkół wyższych, angażujących się w organizację procesów kształcenia oraz zarządzania uczelnią. Na obrady zapraszamy również przedstawicieli świata biznesu, instytucji pożytku publicznego, studentów oraz wszystkie osoby zainteresowane omawianą problematyką.”

Zakres tematów konferencji obejmuje kilka nurtów dotyczących m.in.:

  • Roli e-edukacji w praktycznej realizacji celów formułowanych w znowelizowanej ustawie Prawo o szkolnictwie wyższym.
  • Przeglądu światowych trendów i przykładów dobrych praktyk
  • Procesów przygotowania do e-edukacji wśród kadry akademickiej i szkolnej (bariery, dobre wzorce, sprawdzone rozwiązania)

Oto link do programu konferencji: http://www.e-edukacja.net/?konferencja=8&page=program

Bardzo cieszę się, że będę mogła uczestniczyć w tej konferncji i zaprezentować przykłady zastosowań ePortfolio jako osobistego środowiska uczenia się w edukacji niemieckiej. Tekst mojego referatu będzie wkrótce dostępny online.

Pedagogic Approaches to using Technology for Learning – Literature Review

May 31st, 2011 by Graham Attwell

The proliferation of new technologies and internet tools is fundamentally changing the way we live and work. The lifelong learning sector is no exception with technology having a major impact on teaching and learning. This in turn is affecting the skills needs of the learning delivery workforce.

Last September, together with Jenny Hughes I undertook a literature review on new pedagogical approaches to the use of technologies for teaching and learning. You can access the full (86 pages) document below.

The research was commissioned by LLUK to feed into the review then being undertaken of teaching qualifications in the Lifelong Learning sector in the UK. The review was designed to ensure the qualifications are up to date and will support the development of the skills needed by the modern teacher, tutor or trainer.

However, we recognised that the gap in technology related skills required by teaching and learning professionals cannot be bridged by qualifications alone or by initial training and a programme of opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD) is also needed to enable people to remain up to date.

The literature review is intended to

  • identify new and emerging pedagogies;
  • determine what constitutes effective use of technology in teaching and learning
  • look at new developments in teacher training qualifications to ensure that they are at the cutting edge of learning theory and classroom practice
  • make suggestions as to how teachers can continually update their skills.

Pedagogical Appraches for Using Technology Literature Review January 11 FINAL 1

Personalised Radio Ciphers: internet-radio and augmented social media for transformational learning of disadvantaged young people

May 11th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

This is proposal submitted by Andrew Ravenscroft, Graham Attwell, David Blagbrough and Dirk Stieglitz for the PLE2011 conference in Southampton has been accepted. We are going to have a lot of fun. And remember you can join us too. Whilst paper submissions are closed you can still submit proposals for posters pecha keucha or the media competition until June 11th.

Introduction: Designing personalized new media spaces to support transformational and emancipatory learning

Relatively recent research into, and definitions of, personalised learning environments (e.g. van Harmelen, 2008) have proposed new technological configurations or learning design patterns. These typically harmonise individual learner agency and initiative with a developing ecology of open web services and tools. This is the PLEs from an ‘alternative learning technology perspective’. Another and complementary way to view personalisation, that has a history beyond relatively recent technological developments, is to view ‘personlisation as practice’. In this sense, personalisation is rooted in the ‘deep’ matching and development of learners interests, experiences and motivations with their chosen informal or formal learning trajectories, that may be realized through personalised technologies. This is a psycho-social approach to personalisaton and learning technology design and use, that conceives of learning as something that grows out from the learner, rather than something that is acquired from some pre-structured, ‘external’ and ‘imposed’ curricula.

This position is particularly important when we are attempting to find technology-enabled ways to engage, retain and support the learning of disadvantaged people who are excluded, or at risk of exclusion, from traditional learning paths and trajectories. Arguably, this problem is most severe in the burgeoning numbers of NEETs (Not in Education Employment and Training) throughout the UK and Europe. Addressing the needs of these growing communities requires new and radical approaches to learning, learning design and technology-enabled practice. One foundation for a radical and technology-enabled pedagogy for disadvantaged groups is the groundbreaking work of Paulo Freire (1970).

Applying Friere to PLE design: Technical reformulation of ciphers

In Paulo Freire’s seminal work “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” (Freire, 1970), he emphasized the importance of critical engagement in and analysis of broader societal ‘cycles’ and their effects. One way to do this is through using lived culture, and praxis (action that is informed by values) as the foundational elements for developing circles that promote transformational learning. These ideas have recently been taken up within the non hierarchical, shared, creative, inclusive, safe and supported spaces called “ciphers” – which have emerged from the urban youth culture particularly around hip hop music (Wiliams, 2009).

We are currently using this cipher concept as a metaphor for designing and developing RadioActive, a hybrid of internet-radio and augmented social media platform to support the transformational learning of disadvantaged young people.

The RadioActive pilot

This presentation will describe the design, piloting and evaluation of RadioActive with NEETs in the London Borough of Hackney. The radio-social media platform is being co-designed with these NEETs and their support actors (such as youth workers and parents) in Hackney (in London). A key aspect is that the ‘going live’ aspect acts as a catalyst for community engagement and cohesion, linked to related social media activity. Put simply, the internet-radio gives a presence, real-time narrative and an energy that drives participation, interaction and content creation.

This is an innovative and participative broadcasting model that combines Open Source or easily affordable technology to create ‘the communities’ radio platform. This deliberately fuses, inspired by Web 2.0 trends, traditional distinctions between broadcaster/program planner and listener/consumer. The holistic design concept is an edutainment platform and hard to reach community combined, via the cipher approach, into a connected ‘live entity’ rather than the community being seen as a separate audience that is broadcast to.

The central idea is that this radio cipher provides the means to initially engage and retain NEETs, who can then be exposed to and participate in informal learning activities that lead to the development of skills and competencies that prepare them for Further Education or work. They develop both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills through RadioActive. The softer ones relate to personal expression, the development of self-confidence and self-esteem, and the development of collaborative working skills. The harder ones involve the development of concrete digital literacy, media production, communication and organizational skills, that can exploited in other education or employment related activities. Similarly, their artefacts and competencies are recorded (e.g. in an eportfolio) or made public (e.g on the web) in ways that can be presented to potential Educators or Employers.

The proposed conference activities

This contribution will follow the collaborative and praxis driven spirit of this project and the PLE conference, through incorporating 2 related activities:
1. A presentation linked to the archive of the pilot radio show;
2. Mashup madness or a community in harmony? Live RadioActive show and DJ set during a social event at the conference, with RadioActive DJ’s mixing a set based on 1 or 2 favorite songs suggested by each delegate.

References

Friere, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Continuum Publishing.

Van Harmelen, H., Design trajectories: four experiments in PLE implementation, Interactive Learning Environments, 1744-5191, Volume 16, Issue 1, 2008, Pages 35 – 46.

Wiliams, D. (2009). The critical cultural cypher: Remaking Paulo Frieire’s cultural circles using Hip Hp culture. International, Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 2, 1, pp 1-29.

More thoughts on e-Portfolios

April 14th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

E-Portfolios just won’t go away. I has an interesting email the other day from a friend in Austria (yes I know it is old fashioned to use email, but I still do sometimes :) ). Graham, she said, I am looking at e-portfolio’s from a techno-sociological view on ICT based innovation. “For me it is still strange, how many initiatives have been out there and why in – especially German-speaking countries – so little uptake is to be seen.

And I agree totally with you that it is more than the software, rather the tension of the educational
system which does not really want an individual development….”

I think the issue of e-portfolios remains interesting, not least in that we have a relatively mature, socio technical development which can provide us some understanding of the issues involved in the use of technology for learning.

Here are a few observations:

  1. Often e-Portfolios have been introduced in situations where they are not really relevant or useful. Especially in north america, they have often been viewed by students as another layer of assessment and not only unnecessary but an aditional burden of externally imposed testing.
  2. Allied to the above e_Portfolio design has too often been obsessed with outcomes and assessment systems, to the extent of ignoring any learning which cannot be accounted for within the formal course struture.
  3. When lined to more radical pedagogical thinking, the use of e-Portfolios has often been constrained by course and accreditation demands and regulation.
  4. Many people are developing e-Portfolios through the use of social software – it is just that they are not using e-portfolio software and don’t call it an e-Portfolio. But they are using technology to record their achievements and reflect on their learning. Just because this might take place on a blog, on Facebook or Twitter, does it mean it is not an e-portfolio.
  5. E-Portfolio’s have considerable potential in the vocational sector, where they can bring together work and classroom based learning and allow an interlinking of theory and practice. Yet this is one area where there has been limited piloting.

Just one final point. In the UK there seems to be a creeping take up of e-Portfoliso in those occuaptions where continuing professional development is mandatory – e.g teching, medical sector. Hoever, to my knowledge, there is no proper evalaution of this development.

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    Sounds of the Bazaar LIVE from the Online EDUCA Berlin 2013

    We will broadcast from Berlin on the 5th and the 6th of December. Both times it will start at 11.00 CET and will go on for about 40 minutes.

    Go here to listen to the radio stream: SoB Online EDUCA 2013 LIVE Radio.

    The podcast of the first show on the 5th is here: SoB Online EDUCA 2013 Podcast 5th Dec.

    Here is the second show as a podcast: SoB Online EDUCA 2013 Podcast 6th Dec.

    News Bites

    Open online STEM conference

    The Global 2013 STEMx Education Conference claims to be the world’s first massively open online conference for educators focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and more. The conference is being held over the course of three days, September 19-21, 2013, and is free to attend!
    STEMxCon is a highly inclusive event designed to engage students and educators around the globe and we encourage primary, secondary, and tertiary (K-16) educators around the world to share and learn about innovative approaches to STEMx learning and teaching.

    To find out about different sessions and to login to events go to http://bit.ly/1enFDFB


    Open Badges

    A new nationwide Open Badges initiative has been launched by DigitalMe in the UK. Badge the UK has been developed to help organisations and businesses recognise young people’s skills and achievements online.

    Supported by the Nominet Trust, the Badge the UK initiative is designed to support young people in successfully making the transition between schools and employment using Mozilla Open Badges as a new way to capture and share skills across the web.

    At the recent launch event at Mozilla’s London HQ Lord Knight emphasised the “disruptive potential” of Open Badges within the current Education system. At a time of record levels of skills shortages and unemployment amongst young people all speakers stressed need for a new way to encourage and recognise learning which lead to further training and ultimately employment opportunities. Badge the UK is designed to help organisations and businesses see the value in using Mozilla Open Badges as a new way to recognise skills and achievement and and connect them to real world training and employment opportunities.

    You can find more information on the DigitalMe web site.


    Twitter feed

    Apologies for the broken Twitter feeds on this page. It seems Twitter have once more changed their APi, breaking our WordPress plug-in. It isn’t the first time and we will have to find another work around. Super tech, Dirk is on the case and we hope normal service will be resumed soon.


    MOOCs and beyond

    A special issue of the online journal eLearning Papers has been released entitled MOOCs and beyond. Editors Yishay Mor and Tapio Koshkinen say the issue brings together in-depth research and examples from the field to generate debate within this emerging research area.

    They continue: “Many of us seem to believe that MOOCs are finally delivering some of the technology-enabled change in education that we have been waiting nearly two decades for.

    This issue aims to shed light on the way MOOCs affect education institutions and learners. Which teaching and learning strategies can be used to improve the MOOC learning experience? How do MOOCs fit into today’s pedagogical landscape; and could they provide a viable model for developing countries?

    We must also look closely at their potential impact on education structures. With the expansion of xMOOC platforms connected to different university networks—like Coursera, Udacity, edX, or the newly launched European Futurelearn—a central question is: what is their role in the education system and especially in higher education?”


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