Nov 12 2014

Weekly Roundup in Education Technology: Teaching crowds, learning and sex, and more

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Education technology is rapidly moving, sometimes divisive and always interesting, especially to us working in Higher Education. Every week, we share and comment upon a selection of interesting articles, posts and websites relating to education and technology we stumbled upon during the week. Do comment, recommend and share!

My technological dream of carpe diem - Inside Higher Ed

“What comes across is a sentimentalism of a glorious education past that is on the verge of being corrupted.”

Dan Butin’s strongly-worded response to the survey on faculty attitudes to technology in Higher Education discussed in last week’s round up makes for a recommended read. When comparing whether online learning is “better” than traditional face-to-face instruction, what gold model are we aspiring to? Indeed, much of university teaching suffers from a variety of issues including large class sizes and uninspiring lectures without any elements of interactivity. As Butin rightly notes:

“Such bravado is all nice and good if these faculty are truly inciting roomfuls of earnest youth on a daily basis. But the reality is far different.”

Rather than asking whether technology is able to deliver a better learning experience we should think about how to reform an ailing model and how to learn from the many inspiring examples of great teaching out there. Rather than regarding it as a threat, we should seize the opportunities technology offers us to improve teaching and learning in our universities.

Student views on technology - Educause

We’ve talked about the faculty, what about the learners? This short, but informative image summarises the findings of a study on student views on technology. Two findings are worth highlighting: First, a third of teachers still seek to actively discourage or ban the use of tablets in class, even though all students owning one stated that they use it for their study. Second, If asked, most students would opt for blended learning, rather than mere online or face-to-face delivery, suggesting a demand, rather than just greater openness, for the use of learning technology among students.

Teaching crowds: learning and social media - Athabasca University

“If you’re going to use technology, then you need to think carefully about the consequences — not just for yourself but for your community.”

This new book on crowd (or networked) learning explores the possibilities for collaborative, personalised and self-directed learning. Specifically, the authors address the potential, but also risks, of using social media and web 2.0 technologies to facilitate this kind of learning. A free digital copy of the full book can be downloaded here.

The problem with learning technology - Kirstin Wilcox, University of Illinois

Having received nothing but praise in the comments, this article criticises learning technology for distracting, rather than contributing to, the kind of in-depth discussions and engagement needed in academia. Indeed, the author’s fascinating reflections leaves little doubt that she knows what great teaching looks like. She fails, however, to recognise that most of the problems she outlines (e.g. mass delivery of content, lack of engaging class discussions, etc.) are linked to higher education itself, rather than to learning technology. In the wrong hands, learning technology is indeed unlikely to improve learning – but few if any learning technologists would ever make such an argument.

Women’s walks app - LSE Library

Even if it may be regarded as a shameless self-plug, this mobile learning experience created by the LSE library is worth highlighting: The LSE library in partnership with Arts Council England has created a mobile application to enable users experiencing Women’s history through London’s streets. Women’s Walks combines smartphone technology with the fascinating and diverse archive material from The Women’s Library @ LSE, transforming the collection into an engaging and interactive historical journey.

Learning is like sex - Washington Post

“On the matter of teaching, the only aspect that is truly threatened by technology is bad teaching, particularly lecturing. The institutions that are most threatened by technology are those that rely on large lecture classes and graduate assistants.”

“Consider teaching and learning, for a moment, as analogous to sex. Technology has no doubt added opportunity and diversity to the experience, but it has not rendered the basic transaction obsolete, and it is not about to”

While we are not sure about the analogy, there is to little to add to these quotes.

Posted by: Posted on by Malte Werner Tagged with: , , , , ,

Nov 11 2014

LTI NetworkED Seminar series – Marieke Guy 26/11/14

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Thank you to all of those who attended last night’s event, whether in person or online. A video recording will be available shortly.


LTI NetworkED Seminar series Marieke Guy ‘Open data in education’ Wednesday 26 November 5:00pm – 7pm, NAB2.06.

marieke_guyMarieke Guy (@mariekeguy on Twitter) is a project co-ordinator at Open Knowledge (https://okfn.org), a global not-for-profit organisation that wants to open up knowledge around the world and see it used and useful. She has been working with online information for over 16 years and was previously employed by UKOLN, a centre of expertise in digital information management at the University of Bath.

Her areas of interest include research data management, digital preservation, digital cultural heritage, open technologies and open education – she currently co-ordinates the Open Education Working Group (http://education.okfn.org).

Marieke Guy will be our third speaker for the NetworkED series this academic year, see below for more information on her talk which will take place on Wednesday 26 November at 5pm.

Data is very much the flavour of the month, from discussions around data mining and monetisation of data, to privacy issues and monitoring.

But what exactly is open data and how does it relate to education? What type of data sets are we talking about and how are they being used? How can open data be used to meet educational needs? Is it just about accountability and transparency, or is there more to it? What about learning analytics? What are the implications of tracking our students? Where does the true potential lie? It clear that open education data sets are of interest to a wide variety of people including educators, learners, institutions, government, parents and the wider public. Marieke Guy will give an overview of the situation as it now stands and prompt us to consider what the implications are for those of us working in Education.

The event is free to attend and places can be reserved via the training and development system or (for those without access to the system) by emailing imt.admin@lse.ac.uk.

All our talks are live streamed and recorded for those who can’t make it. For more information, check out our website or have a look at previous talks on our YouTube channel. 

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley

Nov 11 2014

Watch Helen Keegan’s NetworkED seminar online

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A big thanks to all of those that joined us for our NetworkED seminar with Helen Keegan last week, whether in person or online. Helen shared some inspirational stories of her work on empowering learners to take joint ownership of their learning process together with staff. All of those who missed out or would like to revisit some of her points can watch the recording of her talk below. You may also be interested in our short Q&A with Helen Keegan.

LSE_StudentsAsProducers_Helen Keegan 05.11.14 - slides from presentation


LTI NetworkED Seminar series Helen Keegan ‘Interactive & Social Media’

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Helen Keegan (@heloukee on Twitter) is a UK National Teaching Fellow and Senior Lecturer and researcher at the University of Salford, UK. 

Her expertise lies in curriculum innovation through social and participatory media, with a particular focus on creativity and interdisciplinarity.  She is known for her work on digital cultures and identities, social technologies and the interplay between formal and informal learning. As a multi-disciplinary practitioner. Helen works across sciences and media arts, developing partnerships and creative approaches to learning and collaboration.

Alongside presenting and consulting, Helen has published in journals and edited collections including the European Journal of Open and Distance Learning, Selected Papers of Internet Research, and the Handbook of Research on Social Software and Developing Community Ontologies. For more information see www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/profiles/keegan/

Providing insights and examples of projects that engage students as producers, Helen discussed a number of projects that span her practice, especially looking at examples of leading projects that link students across networks, cultures and countries.  This talk is of great relevance to those interested in innovative pedagogies, student led learning and media education in the digital age.

 

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Nov 7 2014

LSE Innovator – Sunil Kumar and Word Processed Exams

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In the first part of LTI’s new “LSE Innovator” series, Dr. Sunil Kumar, Dean of Graduate Studies and Lecturer in the Department of Social Policy at LSE talks about why he piloted word processed exams for Urbanisation and Social Policy in the Global South.

 

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Nov 6 2014

Watch Josie Fraser’s NetworkED seminar online

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A big thanks to all of those that joined us for our NetworkED seminar with Josie Fraser, whether in person or online. For those of you who missed out or would like to revisit some of her points we are happy to provide a recording of her talk below:


LTI NetworkED Seminar Series - Josie Fraser ‘Digital Literacy in Practice: Making Change Happen’

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Josie Fraser spoke about her experiences of working on the Digi Lit project.
As the 10th largest city in the UK, Leicester is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Europe, with huge amounts of children living in relative poverty.  Josie has had to deal with issues of access and what it means to provide education that is available for all and works for everyone in the community.  Set up as a partnership between the council, De Montford University and 23 secondary schools the Digi Lit project is an attempt to work within existing power structures while making sure that learners are not being left out.

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Nov 5 2014

Weekly Roundup in Education Technology: Bullying, Faculty Views on Technology and more

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Education technology is rapidly moving, sometimes divisive and always interesting, especially to us working in Higher Education. Every week, we share and comment upon a selection of interesting articles, posts and websites relating to education and technology we stumbled upon during the week. Do comment, recommend and share!

Faculty remain sceptical of technology(?) - Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed’s report on faculty attitudes towards technology in higher education seems to suggest that staff see little benefits in providing online education. However, it is striking that the demographic of the survey is heavily skewed towards more senior academics. Notably, the sample group included fewer academics under 30 than those below 70! Nevertheless, the reports’ findings definite deserve further study.

Culture of cruelty: Why bullying thrives in Higher Education - The Guardian

In the UK, the overall prevalence of workplace bullying [...] across all working sectors is usually estimated at between 10-20%. However the percentage of people who have experienced bullying within academic settings is higher than the national average [...], ranging between 18% to 42%.

No matter how much we would want it to be, Higher Education is not immune from bullying. Instead, it seems that the problem of bullying is more prevalent in our sector than in others. In light of the #Gamergate problematic discussed on this blog two weeks ago, it becomes even more important for us to address bullying and misogyny as an education technology issue.

The end of the average student - Usable Knowledge, Harvard GSE

Technology can help us to turn “personalised learning” into more than just a buzzword. Instead of building our education systems around the average student (we have yet to meet one), we can tap into resources enabling us to deliver a learning experience tailored towards individual needs.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorrison/2014/10/22/its-time-to-rethink-our-use-of-technology-in-schools/ - Forbes

It is only when we harness technology to the cause of education, rather than the other way around, that we will know if it is worth doing.

How should we react to continuing scepticism towards technology in education? Nick Morrison correctly emphasises that we need to rethink how we teach students and, crucially, to make sure to use technology to enhance education, not vice versa.

What is good teaching? – The Guardian

This Sutton Trust report on different teaching styles may not be remarkable for the Guardian’s misleading twist on it (that “progressive” teaching is inefficient) or for being a literature review that, well, lacks a methodology for a systematic review of literature. Rather, it is striking as it marks an endorsement of mixed ability teaching by a trust that is run by a significant donor to the Conservative Party. Perhaps the ground in education really is shifting?

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Nov 3 2014

Show & Tell on Assessment with Technology

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Thank you to all of those who attended this event. For those of you interested in more information, we will have a dedicated section on assessment on this blog soon. Meanwhile, please feel free to contact us (lti.support@lse.ac.uk) if you have any questions, comments or would simply like to get in touch!


LTI Show & Tell on Assessment with Technology 

Writing an email on an iPad

Are you interested in how you can use technology for…

  • individual, group, peer assessment and/or feedback that had an impact on student learning?
  • innovative student assessment?
  • improving student feedback?

This Show & Tell* will bring together colleagues from across LSE to share experiences and showcase innovative approaches aimed at improving assessment at LSE. This will be an excellent opportunity for collaboration in teaching and assessment and to discuss how technology can be used to improve learning.

Speakers include:

Prof George Gaskell, LSE100 Director Innovating assessment: LSE100 seek alternatives to exams, LSE
Dr Sunil Kumar, Lecturer in Social Policy & Dean of Graduate Studies, LSE Learning pedagogies: opportunities for individual and group feedback , LSE
Dr Irini Papanicolas, Social Policy / LSE Health, LSE Using peer-assessment software to assess group presentations, LSE
Kevin Tang, Sam Green & Stefanie Anyadi, UCL Peer learning and E-assessments: A Case study on PeerWise, UCL
Dr Vassiliki Bouki, Principal Lecturer, University of Westminster Serious Games for Assessment Purposes in Higher Education, University of Westminster

Come and share ideas, ask questions, discuss with fellow teachers and be inspired! Sandwich lunch will be provided. Please click here for more information about each presentation and detailed schedule.

*“Show & Tell” events are an opportunity to see LSE lecturers, administrators and teachers demonstrate how they have used technology effectively to support teaching of their own courses. Presenters from different departments at LSE and other universities will show how they’ve made use of technologies for learning and will explain the educational rationale behind their work.

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Oct 31 2014

Q&A with Helen Keegan

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If you couldn’t make it to Helen Keegan’s NetworkED talk, click here to watch the recording on our YouTube channel.


Q&A with Helen Keegan – Senior Lecturer (Interactive Media and Social Technologies), University of Salford, Manchester.

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Q1.You have been involved in numerous projects which challenge the usual dynamics in teaching and ask students to be producers what has been your personal favourite and what did students produce as a result?

“It’s hard to choose one as they’ve all had their strengths and weaknesses, but I’d probably go with the ‘opera project’ as it was such a challenge and there was a live output as a result of remote collaboration. In this project, we worked with 120 students from the UK, New Zealand, France and Colombia. They formed eight international teams, and each team was responsible for producing the visual backdrop for a specific act in an 8-act opera. The visuals were entirely filmed and edited on mobile devices. Each team was given a one word descriptor for their act, along with the music, which was fairly avant garde so they really needed to demonstrate abstract thought. They collaborated through google hangouts and docs for the planning, so it was quite a challenge for them to negotiate the creative process remotely and across timezones. Complete chaos at times, but worth it to see their visuals become part of the performance at the Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival in 2013.” 

Q2.  Have you experienced any difficulties in getting teachers and students to engage projects which use social media and how did/do you deal with this?

“Yes, there are always difficulties – the main concerns centre on working openly, lack of confidence in using various tools and different platform preferences. Confidence in using tools and working openly tends to build through time, but the platform preference issue is interesting when it comes to international collaborations. We’ve found that students in different countries tend to gravitate towards particular platforms. It’s all very well setting up an international collaboration, but when students in country X insist on using Facebook while students in country Y insist on using Twitter, that’s a problem! We try to be as platform-agnostic as possible, then aggregate content from multiple platforms through a common hashtag. Eventually groups will settle on a common platform for communicating, but at the beginning it can be a challenge to negotiate platform preferences and the resulting power relations.”

Q3. What has been the most exciting/interesting outcome of a project so far?

“This year, we moved from international collaborative projects (like the opera project) to student-led (and initiated) collaborations. 250 students from the same 4 countries started to connect through a common hashtag, and we encouraged them to make one another curious through producing interesting/odd Vine videos and adding them to a collaborative Google map. It was a really neat way to build ambient awareness, and then the students started communicating and collaborating on the production of mobile films – however they didn’t have to do this, so it was great to see how many of them did begin to work together, and the outputs were fantastic! In the past, we’d done a lot of work in terms of organising groups and defining projects, so it was interesting to see the results when we stepped back and let the students self-organise through common interests.” 

Q4.  Do you think these projects change the way that your students view and use social media?

“Absolutely – these kinds of projects introduce students to the collaborative potential of social media. Although they’re all avid social media users (in terms of social networking) they still tend to view collaboration as working in small, local groups. Through working on large-scale international collaborations, they become comfortable with the idea of working across cultures and timezones, and they also benefit from learning from one another’s disciplinary perspectives. They’re much more likely to instigate collaborative projects themselves after taking part in these projects, as they become confident in their ability to work in international teams with people they haven’t met face-to-face.”

Helen will be speaking more about her work at LSE as part of the LTI Networked seminar series on Wednesday 5th November at 5pm.

The event is free to attend and places can be reserved on the staff via the  training and development system  or by emailing imt.admin@lse.ac.uk

All our talks are live streamed and recorded for those who can’t make it.  For more information, check out our website or have a look at previous talks on our YouTube channel .

Posted by: Posted on by Geraldine Foley Tagged with: , , ,

Oct 30 2014

SADL project presents at European conference

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Dubrovnik's famous cave bar

Relaxing on the last night

Last week the work of LTI and the Library’s Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy (SADL) project reached a truly international audience when I presented with Maria Bell  at the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The conference brought together delegates from Europe and beyond (59 countries were represented) to share research and practice in supporting information literacy was attended by teachers, lecturers, librarians and researchers in the field.

Some of you may be more familiar with the term digital literacy but essentially information literacy is helping people find, evaluate, manage and communicate information in all its forms (not just digital) and while technology plays a role in how many of us interact with information, we were urged by one of the conference keynotes, Michael B Eisenberg, not to focus on technology too much as it will change! Information literacy is recognised by UNESCO as being a foundation for lifelong learning and for democracy and they also see it as a human right. We heard about information literacy in the townships of South Africa, its role in health education (where many of us can find something online about their latest ailment!) and in the recent Scottish referendum, where people were swamped with information from both sides of the campaign but perhaps lacked the critical abilities to make sense of it.

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Oct 29 2014

Weekly Roundup in Education Technology: The Rules of Learning Technology, Yik Yak and More

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Education technology is rapidly moving, sometimes divisive and always interesting, especially to us working in Higher Education. Every week, we share and comment upon a selection of interesting articles, posts and websites relating to education and technology we stumbled upon during the week. Do comment, recommend and share!

Teaching lecturers to teach - Graham Gibbs

“Whether lecturers should be required to have formal teacher training has been a subject of much debate in recent years.”

Let’s consider how this reads if we replace the job titles with other professions:

Whether dentists should be required to have formal dental training has been a subject of much debate in recent years.”

To read this sentence in a journal of dentistry would be utterly extraordinary (and worrying for the state of our health care system). Despite all efforts, we still inhabit a strange world of work in Higher Education – a world in which not just learning technology, but learning and teaching in general deserve increased attention.

Can technology make us smarter? – David Robson

Let’s question the claim that technology is making us too lazy to think and learn. Regardless of whether the claim that even average students can reach the top 2% of a class is accurate or not, adapting to different learning styles is likely to have a positive impact on thinking and learning. If technology can help us to do so (whether now or in the future), it might not make us smarter by itself, but it offers possibilities that we should make use of.

The latest trend at US colleges  - Yik Yak

This latest app to spread across US college campuses provides users with a location-based live chat. While the idea of a “hyper-local forum” is certainly innovative, the combination of being anonymous and location-based throws up issues around bullying, trolling and institutional reputation that users, institutions and the provider itself will have to address. Initial proposals have included banning the app in schools, but it would be unfortunate if the only way to manage the service is by shutting it down altogether.

The rules of learning technology - Peter Condon

“Remember that for e-learning technology is the means to the end, not the end in itself. Unless we see technology as a tool, we will not question its effect upon our learning and our learners.”

This blog posts presents us with a good opportunity to revisit our earlier blog post on what learning technologists do (and don’t do). At the same time, it also serves as a reminder to everybody working in education not to lose sight of our most important objective: to improve teaching and learning.

Scarf vets happy - What3Words

We are not aware of LSE turning into a veterinary college, but those are the three words assigned to LSE on What3Words. What3Words divides the earth into 3x3m squares, assigning three random words to each square. The result replaces unmemorable number coordinates with, well, 3 words - maybe a useful tool for those of us teaching and studying geography?

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