Archive for the ‘Pontydysgu’ Category

A Dysgu Decade

April 1st, 2019 by Angela Rees
It’s my 10 year workiversary this month. I started out at Pontydusgu in 2009 as a one day per week researcher on a Leonardo project, interviewing and writing training materials for employers on how to make necessary adjustments for staff with disabilities. Today I manage the projects and funding applications for the UK branch of...

A Dysgu Decade

April 1st, 2019 by Angela Rees
It’s my 10 year workiversary this month. I started out at Pontydusgu in 2009 as a one day per week researcher on a Leonardo project, interviewing and writing training materials for employers on how to make necessary adjustments for staff with disabilities. Today I manage the projects and funding applications for the UK branch of...

Visualising jobs

April 26th, 2017 by Graham Attwell

bidigestersAs ever I am doing lots of work on labour market data and education and training. While we know pretty well how to take great slabs of data and turn it into various different charts – some more imaginative than others – this still leaves problems in how to illustrate ideas. data charts can be pretty dull – more than that they rely on the ability of the user to interpret that data – what we call the move from labour market information to labour market intelligence.

biodigester2

I have long been interested in the potential of info graphics in helping develop such intelligence but had yet to see any meaningful examples. Thus, I was very impressed with this graphic about the training and skills needs in the anaerobic digestion industry in the monthly newsletter from Cereq – the French Centre for Research Education, Training and Employment.

The only real problem is that the infographic – like many others is much too long for a small laptop screen (this I have only been able to capture parts of it). But it would be great as a poster.

Proudly Announcing the People’s Educational big Jam Mix

September 7th, 2015 by Graham Attwell

P,O.E.J.A.M is the People’s Open Educational JAM Mix. And its taking place in Portugal, at the TEEM conference in Porto at the final plenary session on Thursday October 8th, 2015.

Graham Attwell from Pontydysgu and Jim Groom from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia are hosting what they call an unkeynote session. Why unkeynote? Because instead of standing up and delivering a lecture to the conference they want to hold a dialogue with participants using slides, pictures, videos, quotations, metaphors or even better animated gifs from the education community. There will be the chance for participants in the conference to contribute on the day. But the JAM is open to everyone.

The theme (as the title suggests) is Open Education. Open Education is big news these days. Its a buzzword being embraced by publishers, universities and even governments, as well as the European Union. MOOC providers have leapt on the meme. But what does it mean? The idea that education should be open to everyone seems fine. But even as they talk of open journals, publishers are charging authors a fee, in the so called gold model of open open journals. And whilst universities and governments talk about open education, austerity is leading to cuts in funding and increasing student fees. However open it may or may not be, in The UK many young people simply cannot afford to go to university.

Its time for the educational community to have their say on what open education means. We hope this event can help build a dialogue around a European vision of Open Education.

We’ve tried to make it easy for you to contribute. Just add your ideas to the form on the front page of the POEJAM website. We promise your contributions will turn up somewhere in the JAM event and afterwards on the internet.

Power in Airports

March 23rd, 2015 by Graham Attwell

Time to get blogging again. And what better way than with a short rant.

In recent years airports have made big strides in providing access to the internet. True some still try and make you pay after your free period has run out. Others collect your email address so they can spam you forever with reduced offers for parking and flights to somewhere you never want to go to. But on the whole, access is improving (and is faster and more reliable than my home connection.

But the majority still try to hide away all electricity plugs. Over the years I have collected in my head a database of where there are power outlets – often in strange parts of the departures terminals. It is not exactly as if the amount of power laptops take is going to make more than a fraction of a different to overall airport electricity bills.

So congratulations then to Munich airport (yes, I am going to say something nice about Bayern!!). They have fitted power sockets into the spaces between seats to make recharging laptops and mobile simple. Other airports please take note.

Radio Days continue

February 23rd, 2015 by Graham Attwell

The European funding for the RadioActive project may have ended but the activity continues. Just to remind you – and according tot he blurb – “RadioActive101 is a highly innovative educational intervention that is being implemented across Europe. It uses primarily internet radio and also social media to promote inclusion, informal learning, employability and active citizenship in an original and exciting way!” RadioActive was financed between 2012 and 2104 by the European Commission through the Lifelong Learning Program  The project is led by the University of East London in the UK, with partners from Wales, Germany, Portugal, Malta and Romania.

RadioActive was awarded in Portugal by FCT, the national funding agency for science, technology and innovation. The prize acknowledges the good results of RadioActive and supports the expansion of the project in Portugal during 2015.  In Portugal, the project is implemented by CIMJ – Research Centre for Media and Journalism. The Portuguese team, coordinated by Maria José Brites, is composed by Sílvio Correia Santos, Ana Jorge, Daniel Catalão, Catarina Navio and António Granado. This award will support the expansion of the project in Portugal in cooperation with the governmental program Escolhas during 2015.

And for International Radio Day on 13 February of this year,  the German RadioActive partner, the University of Koblenz, were interviewed by the local newspaper here in their region called Rheinzeitung. The interview took a closer look on the Radioactive-Project and – thats where, says Andreas Auwaerter “I am proud of the Deichstadtradio RadioMakingPeople. We’ve had an 1.5 hour interview with the vice-editorial leading person. This is IMHPO very long and in deph. What I kept in mind from this interview: “I am a bit of jealous, because you had the chance to dig into your topics without all that all day business”. That’s so seldom that we’ve got that opportunity. Based on that business pressure I can understand her. ”

Not to be left behind, the University of East London broadcast a programme on Mental Health and Young People: Experiences and Perspectives. The show explored what different groups of young people in the UK think about mental health, discussing their experiences and giving their perspectives on perceived differences in help and support for mental health issues at school and college.

You couldn’t make it up!

April 30th, 2013 by Graham Attwell

This post comes up with the category ‘you couldn’t make it up if you try’.

The UK Department of Works and Pensions, responsible for paying unemplyment benefits to those presently without work, have introduced an online psychometric test which some claimants have been told they must take if they wish to claim benefits.

I have always been dubious of psychometric testing but have been sort of convinced they may have some befits in choosing careers. Not this test.

The test called is called My Strengths and has been devised by Downing Street’s behavioural insights or “nudge” unit, According to the Guardian newspaper

Some of the 48 statements on the DWP test include: “I never go out of my way to visit museums,” and: “I have not created anything of beauty in the last year.” People are asked to grade their answers from “very much like me” to “very much unlike me”.

When those being tested complete the official online questionnaire, they are assigned a set of five positive “strengths” including “love of learning” and “curiosity” and “originality”.

However it appears the software behind the tests is nothing other than vapourware. It does not make any difference what answers are given to what positive strength the test returns. The idea, it seems, is that merely filling in the test will ‘nudge’ claimants in a positive direction towards being employed.

The spokesperson for the Department of Works and Pensions said: “it is right that we use every tool we have to help jobseekers who want to work find a job.” Perhaps that might include finding some jobs for them to apply for rather than wasting their time and money playing games devised by overpaid behavioural economists.

 

Pontydysgu.de

June 26th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Pontydysgu is planning to launch a German language web site. A beta version of the site is planned for August with the launch in September. Judith Seipold will be editor of the site. If you are interesting in becoming a guest blogger or contributing in any other way please contact Judith Seipold <pontydysgu [dot] de [at] googlemail [dot] com>.

The value of being an intern

December 5th, 2009 by Jo Turner-Attwell

For me my internship with Pontydysgu has been more than just work experience, it has also been about gaining valuable life experience through learning to communicate in another language and living away from home. And so far my time with Pontydysgu has taught me more than I ever could have imagined, which was partly because I had no idea what to expect as I struggled to fully understand what Pontydysgu do, something that now I understand but struggle to explain because of the wide range of areas Ponydysgu covers. This diversity of the company has worked in my favour as it has allowed me to develop professional interests I didn’t know I had, such as working with Multimedia or social networking in education.

The most important thing I have learnt from my internship is to reflect on the things I learn and do. This isn’t really something I feel I experienced in school, particularly at the higher levels as my aim was to pass my exams and to jump through the necessary hoops to do so. Graham Attwell’s very different ideas on PLEs, social learning and reflective learning have led me in a completely different direction and in the process of learning about these things I feel I have begun to use them without even realising.

Now one of the things discussed in the very official Pontydysgu ‘meetings’ in the local pub was how I would compare my learning in Pontydysgu with the way I learnt in school. After much reflection I think the lack of official assessment contributes a great deal. My motivation to learn has changed. I am not trying to learn the necessary facts and methods to pass a certain exam, I am trying to best use the opportunity I have been given to expand my knowledge and experience. Much of the work I find I do in Pontydysgu is more valuable to me than the company. For example I am encouraged to blog and share my ideas so people can add and contribute to them or even upgrade my video editing competences from iMovie to Final Cut. It certainly improves the quality of my work for Pontydysgu but it has a far deeper value for me as an individual in the longer term.

This in my opinion is what is so essential about internships or the German Praktikum. It teaches you how to cope with that change of motivation from passing single exams to personal development.

My latest task within Pontydysgu was to attend a two day meeting on a current European project, as the other members of Pontydysgu were away doing internet radio at Online Educa Berlin. This project was on the development of toolbox to help with the process of a Praktikum for university students. This inadvertedly made me assess the value of my own internship experience, and the value that it holds for me. I think what makes these practical work experiences so important is that taste of the real world. All the support levels that the universities wanted to provide to make this transition easier showed me that this transition from pure learning to work can be a very big step whatever age the student is and work experience if properly managed can help bridge this gap.

It also provides an opportunity to bridge age gaps. Often students have a fresh perspective, particularly within the area of education. Having student interns work on projects for students seems so logical. They add a new but essential view point to the table for such projects. At the social of this meeting it was said to me how pleasant but unusual it was to have someone of such a young age socialising with the project members as an equal, and that many adults are afraid to take a gamble on young people. However I think internships do have the potential to provide valuable contributions not just for the student but for companies as well, if not just because we are cheap labour.

This expectation of very little from students can also work in our favour. I in particular find that working with under the name ‘intern’ makes my life far easier, because of my lack of experience people provide me more room to make mistakes and if I do or say something intelligent people are always incredibly impressed, when these sorts of comments are expected from full time more experienced employees. I am not trying to claim that this is necessarily a good title to hide behind, but rather it for me has held less pressure and will mean I feel more prepared when entering a full time job after I finish my studies, whatever area this may be in.

Internships can vary a great deal and I feel very lucky that mine has turned out so well and that I am learning so much.

Digital memories

April 1st, 2008 by Graham Attwell

From the Jisc web site: “Oxford University is launching a web site to allow members of the public to submit digital photographs or transcripts of items they personally hold which are related to the First World War. This ‘Great War Archive’ site will run for three months and aims to collect together artefacts, letters, diaries, poems, stories that have been passed down from generation to generation reflecting the true experience of the First World War but which are now in danger of being lost.This resource, which will subsequently be made available free of charge on the web from Armistice Day this year (November 11th), is being collected as part of Oxford University’s First World War Poetry Digital Archive project. The JISC-funded project is based on the 10-year old award winning web site which digitised the poetical manuscripts, letters, and war records of Wilfred Owen.”

Great idea. But even better would be if it was not just memories from the UK but from every country afflicted by that terrible war. I know there are many German readers of this blog. Has anyone any ideas they can contribute?

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    News Bites

    Graduate Jobs

    As reported by WONKHE, a survey of 1,200 final year students conducted by Prospects in the UK found that 29 per cent have lost their jobs, and 26 per cent have lost internships, while 28 per cent have had their graduate job offer deferred or rescinded. 47 per cent of finalists are considering postgraduate study, and 29 per cent are considering making a career change. Not surprisingly, the majority feel negative about their future careers, with 83 per cent reporting a loss of motivation and 82 per cent saying they feel disconnected from employers


    Post-Covid ed-tech strategy

    The UK Ufi VocTech Trust are supporting the Association of Colleges to ensure colleges are supported to collectively overcome challenges to delivering online provision at scale. Over the course of the next few months, AoC will carry out research into colleges’ current capacity to enable high quality distance learning. Findings from the research will be used to create a post-Covid ed-tech strategy for the college sector.

    With colleges closed for most face-to-face delivery and almost 100% of provision now being delivered online, the Ufi says, learners will require online content and services that are sustainable, collective and accessible. To ensure no one is disadvantaged or left behind due to the crisis, this important work will contribute to supporting businesses to transform and upskilling and reskilling those out of work or furloughed.


    Erasmus+

    The European Commission has published an annual report of the Erasmus+ programme in 2018. During that time the programme funded more than 23,500 projects and supported the mobility of over 850,00 students, of which 28,247 were involved in UK higher education projects, though only one third of these were UK students studying abroad while the remainder were EU students studying in the UK. The UK also sent 3,439 HE staff to teach or train abroad and received 4,970 staff from elsewhere in the EU.


    Skills Gaps

    A new report by the Learning and Work Institute for the Local Government Association (LGA) finds that by 2030 there could be a deficit of 2.5 million highly-skilled workers. The report, Local Skills Deficits and Spare Capacity, models potential skills gaps in eight English localities, and forecasts an oversupply of low- and intermediate -skilled workers by 2030. The LGA is calling on the government to devolve the various national skills, retraining and employment schemes to local areas. (via WONKHE)


    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

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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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