Open data or openwashing? – Audrey Watters
Open data is undoubtedly a hot topic, raising issues that go beyond just technology and stretch to education, privacy, human rights, transparency and many other topics. Our event with Marieke Guy today (livestream available; see also our Q&A on open data) will be touching upon some of the relevant issues when discussing open data in education.
In a timely intervention, Audrey Watters criticises the ambiguity attached to the word “open” and highlights the frequent abuse of this ambiguity for business purposes (“openwashing”):
We use “open” as though it is free of ideology, ignoring how much “openness,” particularly as it’s used by technologists, is closely intertwined with “meritocracy” — this notion, a false one, that “open” wipes away inequalities, institutions, biases, history, that “open” “levels the playing field.”
If we believe in equality, if we believe in participatory democracy and participatory culture, if we believe in people and progressive social change, if we believe in sustainability in all its environmental and economic and psychological manifestations, then we need to do better than slap that adjective “open” onto our projects and act as though that’s sufficient or — and this is hard, I know — even sound.
Is it time to start the debate about what we mean by “open” with the larger picture in mind?
This report (the full version of which is available here) presents case studies of institutional approaches towards technology enhanced learning across the United Kingdom. One of the themes emerging is the increasing importance of assessment with technology; an area that we will be covering in more detail on this blog in the weeks to come. Rather than just streamlining procedures and reducing administrative efforts, technology can support new pedagogic approaches and assist in improving the quality of assessment significantly. For a first glimpse into the efforts undertaken by LSE in this field have a look at our summary on LTI’s latest Show&Tell on assessment with technology.
Innovating Pedagogy 2014 – Open University
This year’s report by the Open University highlights ten trends in education for many of which technology is either an integral aspect or can enhance the learning experience. Whether learning through storytelling, massive open social learning (post the MOOC-hype), flipped classroom or any of the other trends address, the report makes for interesting reading and offers plenty of topics for further discussion and analysis.
Information and digital literacy: It’s not all about technology – CILIP Information Literacy Group
Responding to the interim report on “Digital Skills for Tomorrow’s World” by the UK Digital Skills Taskforce, LTI’s Jane Secker and Stephane Goldstein from InformAll pose a perhaps somewhat unexpected criticism. While generally praising the report and its intention, they criticise it for focusing too heavily on technological skills:
We feel that this suggests too narrow an approach to the relationship that individuals, in a knowledge-based society and economy, need to develop with information.
Instead, they argue for a broader definition of digital and information literacies, which encompasses the skills needed to survive in the digital world:
Equipping people with the knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence that they need to search for, discover, access, retrieve, sift, interpret, analyse, manage, create, communicate and preserve ever-increasing volumes of information, whether digital, printed or oral
Few of us would think of action video games as improving our learning. Perhaps even too few of us? This recent study suggests a link between action games and the development of learning capabilities. It will be interesting to observe when (and if) education seizes the potential offered by games for both learning and learning capabilities on a larger scale.
* 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!