Archive for the ‘participation’ Category

Kurs “Web 2.0 i spoleczenstwo”

October 27th, 2010 by Ilona Buchem

W tym semestrze prowadze na Universytecie Beuth, na którym pracuję, zajęcia z zakresu “socjologii techniki” (prosze bardzo o pomoc w tłumaczeniu – po niemiecku dziedzina ta nazywa się Techniksoziologie – po polsku?). Kurs, który prowadzę nosi tytuł “Web 2.0 i społeczeństwo” i ma za cel wprowadzienie w świat Web 2.0 oraz uświadomienie zakres wpływu technologii sieci socjalnych na różne obszary życia społecznego, dotyczących m.in. form pracy, nauki, komunikacji medialnej i organizacyjnej, zarzadzania organizacjami, wiedzą i projektami, procesów politycznych oraz aspektów prawnych związanych z używaniem narzędzi sieci społecznej. Kurs oparty jest na zasadzie wirtualnych wykładów gościnnych, które są nagrywane i udostępniane studentom i wszytkim innym zainteresowanym. Raz w tygodniu pojawia się wpis na blogu kursu z krótkim streszczeniem oraz linkiem do nagrań wykładów gościnnych (Seminar-Blog). Oprócz publicznego bloga stworzyłam w ramach tego kursu przestrzeń do pracy dostępną tylko dla studentów biorących udział w kursie. Jest ona zbudowana na bazie wiki i umożliwia wspólną pracę w grupach oraz dokładną dokumentację przebiegu kursu (Seminar-Wiki). Głównym wewnętrznym kanałem komunikacyjnym jest mikroblog (Edmodo), w którym zapowiadam wykłady gościnne, przeprowadzam krótkie ankiety dotyczące oceny zajęć oraz dowiaduję się od studentów o ich aktualnej aktywności w ramach kursu (Seminar-Microblog). Wymiana ciekawych linków dotyczących tematów poruszanych w ramach zajęć odbywa się w otwartej grupie do zarządzania zakładkami internetowymi założonej w serwisie Diigo (Seminar-Bookmarks).

Kurs podzielony jest na dwa etapy. Pierwszy etap (04.10.10 – 01.12.10) poświęcony jest teoretycznemu i praktycznemu poznaniu sieci społecznej, tzn. iej zasad funkcjonowania, narzędzi i procesów, oraz zmian jakie oberwujemy w społeczeństwie. Drugi etap (01.12.10 – 14.02.10) obejmuje pracę w grupach mającą na celu opracowanie konceptu na rozwiązanie wybranego konkretnego przypadku (case study). Praca w grupach będzie obejmować wymianę ze studentami z Monachium we wspólnej społeczności internetowej (Seminar-Community).

Aktualne informacje dotyczące kursu można znaleść również na Twitter pod hasłem #aw448

Jakie są Państwa doświadczenia związane z wpowadzaniem sieci społecznych w ramach wykładów uniwersyteckich?

Revisiting Kostelec 4: The way(s) forward from the “Crossing boundaries …” conference

October 24th, 2010 by Pekka Kamarainen

With my recent blog postings (Revisiting Kostelec 1-3 ) I have given an account on the recent international conference with the theme “Crossing Boundaries: The multiple roles of trainers and teachers in vocational education and training”. With this posting it is time to shift the emphasis from the memories and to consider the way(s) forward.

In this context it is essential to note that the organiser of the conference – the network “Trainers in Europe” – is coming to the end of its EU-funded working period. As things stand now, it is apparent that the follow-up phase will be characterised by distributed successor activities (for which the platform can serve as a home base).

For the further discussion on the frollow-up activities I have made the following observations on parallel working agendas that were present in the conference and merit to be considered:

1. The professionalisation of trainers (and parity of esteem between trainers and teachers in VET)

This agenda is stimulated by debates on academic drift and on vocational progression routes. It is overshadowed by the Bologna process and the degree structures. Yet, it can also bring into discussion the value of work-related learning opportunities. In the conference this agenda was represented by the presentation of Alrun Schleiff and Simone Wanken on ‘learning tandems’ and ‘cross-mentoring’. In the preparation phase some other proposals were adressing this context.  After the conference it is worthwhile to explore, what is happening with such initiatives at the national and European level.

2. Trans-national mobility (and comparability of qualifications) of trainers across EU

This agenda is stimulated by policies to promote mobility of trainers (in a similar way as mobility of teachers) across Europe. However, the hitherto perceived diversity of training contexts and professional profiles has made it difficult to promote such initiatives effectively and to get the target groups inspired. Yet, in the light of internationalisation of production and services this is a real challenge. In the conference this agenda was represented by the presentation of Sandie Gay on skills verification and identification of common core areas.

3. Promotion of specific (pedagogic, ICT-related and sectoral) competences of trainers

This agenda covers a wide range of initiatives that are linked to specific aspects of trainers’ competences (pedagogic, multimedial, sectoral) and are looking for ways to address these aspects in a European context. As a contrast to the above mentioned ones, these initiatives do not necessarily raise questions on teh formal qualification frameworks or on recognition issues as their starting points.  In the conference this agenda was represented by the presenations on the development/utilisation of e-learning and of self-assessment approaches.

4. Promotion of process innovations in training contexts and rethinking the role of training functions

This agenda focuses on the limits of hitherto developed models for in-company training or training in external centres. The main thrust of the agenda is to link the efforts of different parties (workplace trainers/mentors, internal experts, external service providers, intermediate agencies) to real-time innovation agendas and to working with cutting-edge knowledge. In this context the focal point is not in achieving certain formal standards (or using specific know-how) but in bringing different elements into an ongoing innovation process. In the conference this perspective was addressed most explicitly by the presentation of Johannes Koch.

The above presented list of parallel working agendas is probably not exhaustive and there are several overlaps of interest and approaches. However, in my view these agendas can be seen as mutually complementing developments that (at least currentlky) have their own dynamics.

In my view this observation stregthens the final proposal of Europe-wide consultation process on a new type of Innovation Forum that puts the interests of trainers into the centre (instead of highlighting national or European policy frameworks). To me, the conference at Kostelec refreshed the menories of the best consultation seminars and their dialogue-oriented spirit. I think that it is good to build on this heritage.

Looking forward to further discussion!

Pekka

Revisiting Kostelec 3: The working climate in the “Crossing boundaries …” conference

October 24th, 2010 by Pekka Kamarainen

In my two previous blog postings – Revisiting Kostelec 1 and 2 – I have presented my general impression of the conference and then an overview of the thematic sessions that I attended. However, this alone is not enough to give an idea, what made the conference such a positive experience – what brought into being the spirit of Kostelec. Here, I try to give some additional aspects that come up when I refresh my memories.

1) Working and learning together

Already from the first paper sessions I noticed that this conference has the spirit of working and learning together. Surely, the tandem presentation on ‘learning tandems’ was a good start. However, the further sessions continued with the same pattern. Instead of having had a succession of rushed monologues, we had a possibility to go into discussions and to build bridges between the current presentation and the previous ones.

2) Creative interactive spaces

Instead of filling the programme with paper sessions and symposia, the organisers had encouraged the presenters to use more interactive sessions (e.g. speed learning cafe or interactive workshop). These were not perceived as marginal ‘entertainment’ but as valuable sessions and the participants made good use of these.

3) Smart use of poster session

The organisers had encouraged participants to prepare posters. However, on the spot some creativity was needed to organise a well-functioning poster session. The solution was that posters were lying on tables and the presenters were sitting behind the table. The audience had the opportunity to sit down and have a talk over the poster that was on the table. This proved to be a good solution. (It provided also the possibility to reschedule on paper presentation that had to be cancelled because the presenters had been directed to a wrong Kostelec.)

4) The online radio show

Pontydysgu had made preparations for an online radio show live from Kostelec.  Also this event was run in a smart and participative way. When the conference had already reached the halfway stage, the participants were ready to reflect on the event and what they had gained so far. Several ideas were also raised for further discussion.

5) The online exhibition

During the preparation the organisers had welcomed contributions to the online exhibition. Before the conference most of the posters had already been made available via this facility. Also, some videos had been made to be presented in this area. During the conference this work was continued and the participants were encoraged to submit more content to the exhibition area.

6) The concluding debate

The wrap-up session of the conference was not organised as a series of speeches that look back at the sessions. Instead, the participants were invited into a debate. The participants had to submit motions (critical statements) to be debated. By means of lottery, some participants were picked as promoters (and secondants) and others as opponents (and secondants. After each mini-debate the participants were asked to formulate their own statements and then the debate was concluded by a vote. This all added up to the picture of a genuine learning event.

I guess this is enough for this posting. In my next blog I will leave the Kostelec experience and discuss the way forward.

Watch this space!

Pekka

Openess and Research

September 22nd, 2010 by Graham Attwell

I attended the Elluminate session at #PLENK2010 this evening with a presentation by Martin Weller speaking about Research, Technology and Networks. It was heartening to see almost 100 participants log and participate in a very lively text discussion, even if fewer were willing to use the audio.
I think Martin is overly pessimistic about how social networking and social software is being used in research. Of course there are still barriers to be overcome, particularly the insistence by many institutions on traditional forms of scholarship and research as the basis for future career progression and for funding. And in a comment related to the Open University’s Social Learn, a project he previously led, he showed how business goals can impact against openness in research processes and innovation in products.
However, I am seeing a marked move twoards openess, collaboration and sharing in a number of the projects and networks in which I participate. Access to video conferences has facilitated more collaborative approaches to project reviews and to managing research tasks. Twitter, blogs and other social network applications have allowed us to share work in progress outside immediate project partnerships. And once more, social networks are allowing us to discover new colleagues and friends, outside our narrower institutional or project communities.
I am also convinced that the use of Cloud applications is going to have a major impact on the way we work. In Pontydysgu we have moved to Google Docs in the last month. And without consciously thinking about it, we are able to work together on research documents and even better to comment on each others work and ideas as a work in progress. This would never have happened through emailing drafts between colleagues.
Jen Hughes is working on ideas around Evaluation 2.0. This is also based on the idea of openness and the involvement of wider communities in evaluation processes. We hope to open out an evaluation in progress to all of you int he next week or so see what happens!

How we share our ideas #PLE_BCN

July 4th, 2010 by Graham Attwell

Share photos on twitter with Twitpicjust created my personal #ple_bcn badge. cool idea to let you... on TwitpicMy badge for the PLE Conference, Barcelona, July 2010 on Twitpic

Participants at the PLe2010 conference have been invited to make their own conference badges. These have been shared on TwitPic

When we launched the PLe2010 conference way back last September we were determined it would not be just another conference. Twenty minute paper presentations, endless slides with bullet points, limited discussion. Yes, we wanted people to have a good time in the evenings but how could we move those evening knowledge sharing sessions inside the conference.

Unconferencing formats such as BarCamps or TeachMeets have generated much enthusiasm and creativity. But for researchers, especially young or emergent researchers, to secure funding for attending international conferences and events, many institutions demand the presentation of an academic paper.

So, we tried to get the best of both worlds. We appointed an academic board and all papers were subjected to a two person blind review process. We then grouped the various contributions by theme and language and went on to appoint chairs for each session. We wrote to each chair asking them to contact the presenters in their session and to agree a format for the session. We left the final format to the chair and presenters but indicated we wished for the sessions to involve all participants in as far as was possible. And we got some great proposals. Here is a selection of some of the formats which have been proposed for the different sessions at PLE20010.

Speed Learning Cafe (Jane Challinor)

  1. Chair starts with brief introduction to the process and asks audience to divide into three groups /tables
  2. There is then a 10 minute presentation  by each of three presenters (Chair keeps time with stopwatch throughout!!)
  3. Each presenter then goes to sit with a group at one of the three tables, which are  covered in blank paper & supplied with marker pens
  4. The presenters begin a conversation with their table using a single SPECIFIC – but not CLOSEDquestion relating to their specific research/interest. The aim is to gather some additional thoughts/learning or questions from the group on the theme of the workshop.
  5. Audience and presenters write notes on the table based on the conversation in the form of further questions/ thoughts
  6. Groups change to second table/ presenter after 5 minutes. Repeat steps 5 & 6
  7. Groups change to third table/ presenter after 5 minutes. Repeat steps 5 & 6
  8. Each presenter in turn summarises the conversations (3 – 5 key learning points from the session)
  9. Thank you & goodbye!! – Chair

Poster Session (Graham Attwell)

We will provide participants 10 minutes to look at the posters

Each of you will be invited to introduce your poster for 5 minutes

There will be space for participants to ask questions..

Participants will be invited to write down issues arising from your posters on a sticky note.

We will then group the issues and depending on the number of groups rate the importance.

We will then form groups for discussing those issues and hold a brief plenary at the end

Speed / learning café (Cristina Costa)

What does that mean?

It means that you will have 7 minutes to present your paper, focusing on the main key points (only 1 slide is allowed!… that is if you are using slides at all. You can use whatever you want!) It may sound a bit mad, but the fact is that short presentations are more focused and therefore more appealing to the listener.

The presentations will be followed by rotating groups discussions, as delegates will take turns participating in the discussions started by your presentations (hence the importance of making your presentation thought provoking).

Each discussion will last for 10 minutes. Every 10 minutes delegates will move to the next table. In each table there will be a laptop (please bring one along if you have one!) so that participants can annotate their discussions in a wiki page.

The session will end with a short presentation (3 minutes) by each group about the conclusions they have reached.

Paper Session (Maria Perifanou)

Time available for the session: 75min

Introduction of the presenters: 2min

Presentation of the findings of your research: 15min

Conclusion of the presentation with some questions for the audience asking for their feedback ( possible problems that you have faced during your research, future research questions….): 10min

Questions from the audience: 10min

Time for work for the participants: 20 min. The participants will be divided in groups. Each group will have to do a quick reasearch regarding the integration of technology in the education (and in everyday life) in their countries with a focus on the PLE concept. Are students on the way for the development of their PLEs or is it something that looks like a “dream” for the future
based on the findings of their research?

Presentation of the groups work findings – comparison of them with the findings of your research: 15min

End of the session: Conclusions 3min

Paper Session (Isamel Pena Lopez)

I see the common denominator of the session is _support_ in the sense of “let’s tell our ‘supportees’ what does work so they can put it into practice”. Which means:

1.- there are some problems in my learning process that need being addressed

2.- solutions to fix these problems that do not work

3.- solutions that do

4.- (and likely) an assessment on how these solutions that work were

4a.—— put into practice

4b.—— their performance evaluated

My proposal.

GOAL: Instead of everyone telling their story, let’s try to end up with a shared one.
GOAL: let’s have it written so people can take it away with them

15:45 I would begin with an über-short presentation of everyone of you. That is not more than 6 minutes (2 per presenting group). And a presentation of how we will proceed. Total, 10′. I sit up with a blank powerpoint.

15:55 Each group has 3′ to explain what problems (point 1 aforementioned) they are addressing. I put them on the powerpoint without attribution, so I can merge them, rephrase them, avoid repetitions, etc.

16:04 Same with point 2.

16:13 Same with point 3.

16:22 Same with point 4a.

16:31 Same with point 4b.

16:40 We review the (now) shared presentation, let everyone in the room speak out their thoughts, add things, delete others, etc.

17:00 End of session.

Paper Session (Maria Perifanou)

4 presentations,  8min each (32min total) + 3 min (12min total) for the conclusion of each presentation with a presenter’s question to the audience for feedback  (maybe a research question for the future, something that troubles him/her in his research).

Participants write sticky notes at the same time -5min participants to add sticky notes (also
presenters can add issues for their feedback) -3min for 4 groups division  (12min in total)
-15min groups work -4min each group to report back (16min in total) -2min for presenters’ feedback to the 4 groups:  (8min in total)

Not going to uni?

April 13th, 2010 by Graham Attwell

It is not often that I quote the Strathclyde Telegraph. But Jo has pointed out to me this interesting article about how young people in the Uk are pressurised into going to univeristy when it may not be the bext option for them.

The article quotes research conducted by Notgoingtouni.co.uk which “has found that nearly 40% of school leavers feel pressured into attending university by teachers, and 28% said that their parents expected them to take the academic route while a further 20% felt that university was the only career option being made available to them.”

It goes on to cite the Edge foundation who report “1 in 4 students are dropping out of university, with bad advice from careers services being held as one of the reasons: “It is clear that many people are not being advised on the best option for them and their future”.

A Yougov poll has also found that 65% of teachers feel that there is no clear progression for vocational qualifications, unlike the 85% who feel that there is such development for academic ones.

Sarah Clover, of Notgoingtouni.co.uk commented on the findings:

“Despite the name we are in no way against university but sadly experience has shown that many careers advisors are ill equipped to provide guidance on vocational opportunities, leaving young people feeling that university is the only option available to them… careers advisors must be made to learn about the options outside of the traditional university route.”

This research shows the need for both an improvement in careers advice in the UK to include options other than univeristy but also the necessity to raise the prestige of apprenticeships. Ironically labour market data suggests that apprentices find it far easier to find employment than graduates. However the long term pay prospects for graduates remains better than that of apprentices. More flexible work based learning provision could allow progression routes from apprenticeship to higher qualifications. Alternatively, an extension of apprenticeship for graduates could both allow the development of work based skills and knowledge and develop more parity between the different routes.

Designing our learning spaces

April 12th, 2010 by Graham Attwell

Over the next three months I will be blogging about our experiences in organising the PLE2010 conference.

First the background. Last September during a pleasant conference stay in Crete a group of us decided, somewhat audaciously, to organise a conference on Personal Learning Environments, PLE2010. We duly formed a small organising committee, of which I am a member, and invited leading researchers and practitioners to join an academic committee.

We spent a long time designing a detailed call for contributions, aided by the template for guidelines for authors from AltC which they had helpfully licensed under Creative Commons.

Whilst we wished to encourage academic contributions in the form of ‘proceedings papers’ and ‘short papers’ we wished to develop the conference as a community learning space and to facilitate communication and exchange of ideas. This, we felt, could be through encouraging more innovative forms of contributions to the conference through for instance the use of unconferencing spaces, Bring Your Own Laptop sessions, posters, Pecha Kucha, debates and so on.

The original deadline for contributions was March 24, which we later extended to April 7th. We ended up with 82 submission – far is excess of what we had expected. However, despite us stressing our willingness for innovative formats, 41 of these are for proceedings paper and 19 for short papers. We were happy that we had 8 submissions for workshops, although with only 2 submissions, the response to the call for papers was disappointing.

Wht to make of this? I do not think it is because researchers in the PLE community are wedded to traditional conference formats, but more likely because they are expected to deliver an academic paper in order to get funding from their institution or project to attcnd the conference.

We discussed these issues at a meeting of the project organising committee today. Clearly, we have to wait for the result of the reviewing process before we will know how many papers are finally accepted. But it is likely that if we schedule all the proceedings papers in the normal way – with 20 minutes for a presentation and 8 minutes for discussion – we will have to run a large number of parallel sessions, thus resulting potentially in a small audience for many presentations. A useful proposal today is that we write to those authors whose proposals are successful, offering them a variety of potential presentation formats (including a traditional paper session). That then leaves us a challenge – which I am passing on to blog readers. What kind of formats could be best to develop discussion round papers produced for a conference. can we think of more innovative approaches than the traditional 20 minute slide and tell session? How can we use technology before the conference to encourage an exchange around ideas? Please add nay ideas you had in the comments below.

I will keep you posted on what is decided.

We were delig

Don’t blame the technology!

March 29th, 2010 by Cristina Costa
Sometimes I wonder why people want to use technology in their practice. Is it because it’s a recognised trend in their professional sphere/discipline? Is it because others are doing it? Is it because it makes them look cool and modern? …maybe it is a bit of all…? And in a way they are all plausible answers. [...]
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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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