Peter C. Mantell
Learning affords us to figure out what works all by ourselves.
Gamification is changing the market of education. Offers a potential strategy for improving engagement. Gamification is about:
- Freedom to fail.
- Rapid feedback.
- Story telling.
m-Learning, or mobile learning provides more immediacy than regular e-learning, it provides an open gate to real time.
Smartly is an m-learning, gamification-inspired, learning service that provides educational video, with bite-sized chunks to be consumed on the go. Short lessons that take 5-10 minutes to complete, low bandwidth to consume, hand-crafted for mobile consumption.
We need a way to test the students without them noticing that they are being tested, with constant interactions with the content, with continuous feedback.
Unfolding educational institutions. Strategies and tools for networked learning
Higher Education, Virtual Education, Open Education
Martin Trow (Reflections on the transition fro elite to mass to universal access: forms and phases of higher education in modern societies since WWII, 2007) reflects on how attitudes before access and functions of higher education have changed as we move from bringing higher education to an elite (0-15% of the population), to the masses (15-50%) to providing it universally (>50%).
- Attitudes before access move from being a privilege, to a right to some qualified ones to an obligation.
- Functions of higher education move from being a preparation for the roles of the elites, to the transmission of skills and a preparation for some technical and economic functions, to adapting the whole population to a quick social and technological change.
Though, some problems arise: the university system cannot accommodate everyone aiming at accessing higher education. What the university can offer — content, experience, certification — usually comes with a trade-off with quality. And, thus, quality has decreased in the higher education system. More people gets in the system, the level of education remains stable (or decreases) and less (in relative terms) people graduates. There is a new iron triangle: access, cost and success.
But now we have the Internet. Now what? What should be done in higher education, given those problems and the fact that we now have the Internet?
A first answer was open courseware: digitize all the existing “knowledge” and make it available for free.
Now, MOOCs have brought yet another debate on the table, again related to access. But access to what? Is there an instructional path? Does even having an instructional path equal learning? Four aspects for the debate about MOOCs:
- Do they scale?
- How do we manage the huge amount of data that they generate?
- Do they represent a different pedagogic approach?
- Where are the learning outcomes?
Weaknesses of the MOOC model:
- Traditional/handmade model of instructional design. Why are we still working individually in teaching and instructional design? MOOCs reproduce the lecture hall and reproduces it online: videos, quizzes… they are not much different — from a pedagogic point of view — from the traditional way. Not that it is wrong, but can we go a step further? For instance, we know that active learning is much better for the building of new knowledge.
- Inability to produce relevant research. For instance, we do know that socialization plays an important role in learning, but most MOOCs do not take that into account. Many of them ignore the possibilities of study groups.
- P2P virtual environments are based on social networks. Peers help each other to learn how to learn. How are MOOCs approaching this fact?
What about scale? Communities of experts, co-creation models, are very much related with communities of learning. Thus, learning environments should not be intimate.
About research, one has to begin to put the right questions, and then gather data to try to answer them. Like what is the best predictor of academic performance in the last year of undergrad education. Is it family income? Social class? How well they did in their admission test? Other factors?
In the future, one would like to see communities of experts that make up the curricula and then inform communities of learners. A community of learners should be supported at any time by a community of experts that can, in an informal environment, help them through their learning process: peer-based learning environments. We need open information, we need problems that need being solved in groups. There are digital platforms — or mixes of digital tools — that come very handy to create these P2P learning environments.
Combine technology, virtuality and openness, to be used by individuals, by classrooms, by institutions or by groups of peers. This is what is being done at UCI OpenChem.
Q: what elements should MOOCs have to (a) guarantee learning and to (b) reduce drop out rates? Cooperman: there has to be interaction among the peers. The key of learning is about facilitating communities of learning, P2P learning environments.
Open education: what is it, why is it, for whom is it and how to begin
Activity: What is the topic more difficult to understand for my students at the introductory level of my teaching? Look for a resource that can help them understand the topic in an easy way and with no additional cost. Answers:
- [my answer] In e-Government, ironically it is difficult to define the context and all the different approaches to the topic. So I invite them to follow some given hashtags (one of them the one belonging to the subject I am teaching) so that they get on with the community of practice that works in this field.
- A video about the physics of power by Foucault.
- Use of mindmapping tools to create conceptual networks.
- See films and then comment them on a hangout.
- Grammar assignments for free available on a website.
Most of the materials that we find online are copyrighted and cannot actually be used for education. The idea behind open education is to eliminate the frictions between copyright holders and users of educational materials. How to use materials without permission? With a license.
But open content is only a small fraction of what constitutes open education. Open education is about resources, tools and practices within a participatory open framework to improve access to education. Without sharing there is no education.
Why should open content be free (as in free beer)? Is it enough for open content to be free?
- Free, but quality content.
- Context matters.
- Knowledge is a social construction, comes from dialogue, thus cannot be captured or enclosed.
- It’s not about being free, but accessible. Again, social context matters: content is neither teaching nor learning.
- Comprehensiveness or completion: content has to be enough to achieve a certain learning goal, not require extensions, enhancements or upgrades.
Whom is open education for?
- For everyone.
- As a support for any kind of learning.
- [my own answer] For the educators, to enable communities of practice by sharing open education resources and practices.
- To enable communities of learning, besides (or complementing) what happens in the educational system.
How do we proceed? Step 1, the simplest one, is to tell the world what anyone can do with your stuff: choose a license.
- OER: 0, BY, BY-SA, BY-NC, BY-NC-SA.
- Not OER: BY-ND, BY-NC-ND.
The 5Rs of Openness, by David Wiley:
- Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content.
- Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video).
- Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language).
- Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
- Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)
In an open education project, we should think about who benefits the project. Especificaly:
- The students.
- The community.
- The society at large.
- The promoting institution.
Strategies for open education:
- Institutional change.
- Help people access formal education.
Emilio Alvarado Badillo
Education of the future: Projections into the future
Since 1975 information is growing at an exponential rate. Should education adapt to this increase in available information? Will there be a role for traditional institutions? How will learning be assessed?
There will be a change in what we learn and in the ways we do it.
Corporate universities will seriously compete with traditional educational centres, as will other informal learning environments — including autonomous learning, and social learning.
Envangelizing technology for learning. Hackidemia
HacKIDemia designs hands-on workshops and projects for maker education and DIY learning. Our mission is to empower children to become makers of technology, art and science. So far, over 400 workshops, throughout 15 countries, 25 cities and 8,000 kids participating. Workshops are carried on anywhere, not only at schools, because learning happens everywhere.
Hacking, as learning, is not about how to use a given technology, but how to design it. With educators, it is about the same: it is not about training them to use a given technology in their classrooms, but how to design leaning experiences with that given technology.
A lot of hacking is closely related to playing, to games, to having fun. The desire to play is a powerful motivator.
A key to success in hacking for education projects is peer-to-peer collaboration, that the student can shift roles and become an educator, to help their peers at a given time.
Kids are more engaged if they are involved in their community, if they can solve real problems, rather than learning by learning, or trivial approximations to real problems.
Q: how do you plan a workshop? Druga: our approach is to have a “library of workshops”, with different goals, designs, tools used, etc. and then present them to the community (usually the parents) and see what are the needs of that given community, what do they already know, etc. Then comes a training of the local mentors — workshops are usually conducted by locals &mdash and then comes the actual implementation of the workshop.
Q: do we need to be kids to learn again? Druga: a dire truth of kids is that they do not care about certification or careers. And this is crucial to be able to correctly set your learning goals, not to kill your motivation, etc.
Q: how can we transpose these workshops in 100% virtual learning environments? Druga: social media is sort of doing this, enabling sharing activities and projects and interests, making easier for people to collaborate and participate in others’ projects, etc.
Hacking for education is about breaking complex things into simpler things, and then putting them together again.