Archive for the ‘OEB2009’ Category

Reflections on ONLINE EDUCA Berlin

December 7th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

For those of you who have not been there, On-line Educa Berlin, which claims to be Europe’s biggest event on Technology Enhanced Learning, is a mix between a party, a meet up, a trade exhibition and oh yes, a conference. this year there were once again over 2000 delegates, which, considering the price of the conference for non presenters is over 800 Euro and the general impact of the recession is impressive. Is e-learning standing up despite financial cutbacks? According to the organisers the largest ‘country group; was the Netherlands, followed by the UK, Finland and Norway – although I don’t know quite what this signifies.

Online-Educa is probably not the place to go for cutting edge research and development. Rather it tends ot rflect what is main-streaming and this make sit all the more interesting. the following is a highly impressionistic account fo this years trends / non trends and general goings-on.

Probably the biggest trend is the movement away from a  focus on VLEs towards looking at the use of social software for learning. And, linked to that, is a growing realisation or concern about the gap between the way (not just) young people are using social software for  communication, leisure, information seeking and learning and the way educational institutions are stumble trying to manage learning through the walled gardens of LMS systems and VLEs. Equally, many speakers pointed out the growing availability of  free resources for informal and self directed learning and the need for institutions to rethink their role and how they facilitate learning. None of this is new. What is new is that the idea has moved from being a fringe or minority viewpoint to at least entering the mainstream educational technology discourse. Indeed, in this respect it is interesting to see the recent Guardian newspaper article by Victor Keegan. Keegan says”

”  … YouTube is developing into a kind of University of the Grassroots. Instead of learning being a top-down process, dictated by institutions and governments, it is evolving into a bottom-up process driven by users.

If you want to learn, say, the Python programming language (often used in mobile phones) then your first move may not be to sign up at a local educational institution but instead to look at one of the YouTube videos and benefit from the reactions of other viewers. Education has been slower than other sectors to respond to the digital revolution but, as elsewhere, the direction is being dictated by users….

It is difficult to predict what effect all this will eventually have on education but it could be profound. It must be questionable whether you need three years to complete a PhD when you have instant access to so many archived books as a result of Google’s book-scanning programme. …But, increasingly, the basic street-wise skills people will need during the digital revolution may more easily, and certainly more quickly, be learned from the People’s University of the Internet than from an academic institution.”

In the sessions I attended, there seemed to be more of a focus on pedagogy or suing technology for tecahing and learning, than using technology as a starting point, as in sessions I attended in recent years. Equally, there was less product placement and less focus on corporate learning than in previous years: whether this is the result of the recession or because of a concious decision by the conference organisers I am not sure.

Last year there was a big buzz around Multi User Virtual environments such as Second Life. The bubble has burst this year: presenters were still enthusiastic about the potential for tecahing and learning but the feeling was that present commercial worlds were just not good enough (in this respect it is interesting that Linden Labs did not even have a stand).

Wandering around the extensive exhibition area there seemed to be little new. One surprising omission was the paucity of attention paid to the potential of mobile devices (apart from Blackboard promoting their mobile platform integration). Despite many of teh delegates sporting their iPhones few seemed to have thought about how they might be used for learning. However, perhaps that just is a reflection of Online-Educa: mobiles have not yet entered the mainstream!

Digital Storyteller

December 3rd, 2009 by Graham Attwell

Some great presentations at Online Educa Berlin. And over the next ten days we will be bringing you some of the slides and videos. This presentation, by Cristina Costa looks at Digital Storytelling.

Sounds of the Bazaar LIVE at the ONLINE EDUCA Berlin 2009

December 3rd, 2009 by Dirk Stieglitz

Just a quick post to be extended later. It is the second day of the ONLINE EDUCA Berlin 2009 and we just finished our todays LIVE Internet Radio programme. And you can listen here to todays show and our yesterday afternoon programme as well. Yesterdays we had little problems with the mixing deck at our stand. Very huge and proper live signal to the speakers but the signal to the streaming software was very low. But anyway enjoy listening to Sounds of the Bazaar.

Find now also our third and last live programme from this year’s ONLINE EDUCA Berlin here as a podcast.

Music Playlist of the show:

    Sounds of the Bazaar – Live from Online Educa Berlin

    November 23rd, 2009 by Graham Attwell

    Its that time of the year again and its the ONLINE EDUCA BERLIN conference on 2-4 December. Over 2000 educational technologists in one conference. Presentations, demonstrations, exhibitions, parties and more. Can’t afford the conference fee? Can’t get away from the classroom? Don’t worry – we will be there to bring you three special live interent radio programmes from Sounds of the Bazaar. We will be doing our very best to bring you the views of leadings peakers, refelctions on the latest trends and of course we will be speaking to particpants.

    The programmes will go out at the following times:

    • Wednesday  2 December 1600 – 1640 Central European time, 1500 – 1540 UK
    • Thursday 3 December 1100 – 11.40 Central European time, 1000 – 1040 UK
    • Friday 4 December 1100 – 11.40 Central European time, 1000 – 1040 UK

    To listen to the programmes go to http://radio.jiscemerge.org.uk:80/Emerge.m3u This will open the LIVE radio stream in your MP3 player of choice. And Cristina Costa will be waiting in our chatroom – address  to be abbounced for your ideas and comments.

    If you do have the good luck to be at Educa Online Berlin, then come and join in. We will be broadcasting from next to the main bar (where else!). And we would like to invite all our friends – new and old – to meet up with us on Wednesday 2nd in the bar of the SORAT Hotel Ambassador Berlin (Bayreuther Straße 42) – just ten minutes from the conference centre – map here.

    Are you interested in the potential of LIVE internet radio? Would you like to find out how we produce the programme? Want to know more about our equipment? Would you like to start your own channel sharing our bandwidth? Or would you be interested in working with us on a project? Then come and join us in the main bar of the Hotel Intercontinental (the conference venue) at 1900 on Thursday 3 December. We’d love to meet you.

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      Zero Hours Contracts

      Figures from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency show that in total almost 11,500 people – both academics and support staff – working in universities on a standard basis were on a zero-hours contract in 2017-18, out of a total staff head count of about 430,000, reports the Times Higher Education.  Zero-hours contract means the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours

      Separate figures that only look at the number of people who are employed on “atypical” academic contracts (such as people working on projects) show that 23 per cent of them, or just over 16,000, had a zero-hours contract.


      Resistance decreases over time

      Interesting research on student centered learning and student buy in, as picked up by an article in Inside Higher Ed. A new study published in PLOS ONE, called “Knowing Is Half the Battle: Assessments of Both Student Perception and Performance Are Necessary to Successfully Evaluate Curricular Transformation finds that student resistance to curriculum innovation decreases over time as it becomes the institutional norm, and that students increasingly link active learning to their learning gains over time


      Postgrad pressure

      Research published this year by Vitae and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) and reported by the Guardian highlights the pressure on post graduate students.

      “They might suffer anxiety about whether they deserve their place at university,” says Sally Wilson, who led IES’s contribution to the research. “Postgraduates can feel as though they are in a vacuum. They don’t know how to structure their time. Many felt they didn’t get support from their supervisor.”

      Taught students tend to fare better than researchers – they enjoy more structure and contact, says Sian Duffin, student support manager at Arden University. But she believes anxiety is on the rise. “The pressure to gain distinction grades is immense,” she says. “Fear of failure can lead to perfectionism, anxiety and depression.”


      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.


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        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.

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