Ed-Tech news and issues

The new copyright exceptions – what do they mean for LSE staff and students?

I <3 2 read by Kate Ter Haar

I <3 2 read by Kate Ter Haar

In 2014 there were a series of amendments to the 1988 Copyright Designs and Patents Act in the UK, following The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property. The final wording of the exceptions were subject to wrangling between the bodies representing authors, publishing, music and film industry and those representing libraries, museums and the cultural heritage organisations. However, we finally in June and October saw the amendments passed in parliament. In addition, just a month or so ago the Intellectual Property Office launched a scheme to licence ‘orphan works’ (which are works that where a copyright owner cannot be traced).

My role at LSE is to provide advice and support to staff wishing to use materials online to support their teaching, which often involves discussing issues of copyright. In October I attempted to summarise the main changes to the law on a copyright amendments webpage. However, I appreciate that copyright is not everyone’s favourite topic and sometimes not the easiest law to understand. In this blog post I’ll explore a few of the new exceptions and what they might mean in practice for staff and students at LSE.

December 5th, 2014|copyright, Ed-Tech news and issues, NetworkEDGE|Comments Off on The new copyright exceptions – what do they mean for LSE staff and students?|

Open data & education – hacking the archive

Our NetworkED seminar with Marieke Guy on 26 November was on open data in education. Marieke gave a broad overview of the topic of open data, discussing the different ways that open data is currently being used, who is using it and how it could be used in the future. Marieke gave lots of interesting examples of projects that have used open data and pointed out various open data tools such as Histropedia which allows users to timeline and tag data from Wikipedia or equipment.data which allows HE institutions to sharing educational equipment and facilities.

One of the most interesting aspects of the talk for me was the idea that we should be doing more with open data in the classroom. Marieke advocated using real data sets in teaching and learning as a way to engage students and get them to apply concepts, theories and critical thinking to real world issues and to help them develop their digital literacy skills. This leads in nicely to our upcoming NetworkEDGE seminar with Professor Matthew Connelly which will be on ‘hacking the archive’.

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Professor Connelly will be talking about his course ‘HY447 – Hacking the archive’, which uses big data from various International History databases and teaches students new tools and techniques to explore various the vast array of material available online. Students are encouraged to rethink historical research in the digital age as older primary sources are increasingly becoming available online alongside newly declassified information and ‘born digital’ electronic records.  Interdisciplinary research is becoming more essential with academics collaborating across disciplines and with the broader public in order to mine extensive amounts of online data.

Matthew will be speaking at NetworkEDGE on Wednesday 14 January 2015, at 5pm

networkEDGE.fwThe event is free to attend but places are limited so will need to be reserved via the staff 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.

See the slide share of Marieke Guy’s presentation here: http://www.slideshare.net/MariekeGuy/edtalk2 and go to the LTI Youtube channel for the video of the event and to watch previous NetworkED and NetworkEDGE seminars.

 

 

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

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?

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

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?

October 29th, 2014|Ed-Tech news and issues, Roundup, Social Media, Teaching & Learning|Comments Off on Weekly Roundup in Education Technology: The Rules of Learning Technology, Yik Yak and More|

Weekly Roundup in Education Technology: #Gamergate, Wearable Technology and More

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!

Technology’s culture of misogyny is an education technology issue – Audrey Watters

“It’s an education technology issue, in part, because of the expectations that we all are supposed interact online – for profession, personal, and academic purposes. What does that look like for girls and women? You can’t just tell us to “not read the comments” when the threats against us escalate.”

With the #Gamergate scandal getting increased public attention in Britain, Audrey Watters* summarises the #Gamergate issue and its impact on ed-tech in two of her weekly round ups. Trolling impacts on the safety and dignity of users (particularly female users), not just on gamified educational platforms, but also on discussion forums, comment boards and any other communication platform where harrassment can occur and identity can be compromised. This could be a serious issue for the ed-tech community, one which threatens a key tenet of online education; student engagement. We will explore the topic and its implication for education technology further next week.

Technology is not going to fix our education systems – Dr. Madhav Chavan

Dr. Madhav Chavan notes that while technology and the way we use it is non-linear, our education systems are designed in a linear way. While technology may not be able to “fix” education systems, he argues, it can help us to break free from their constraints – if we are willing to rethink education on a larger scale.

Innovating education through wearable technology  – Brad Spirrison for Huffington Post

5 short, inspiring examples of how wearable technology can innovate and improve education

Competency-based learning: The next revolution in online education? – Michelle Weise for Harvard Business Review

This recent contribution compellingly analyses the weaknesses of MOOCs that merely transfer existing content and course design onto the web. However, the claim that the future of online education lies in short, competency-based courses is perhaps more controversial. After all, existing university courses are often (or should be) designed around specific competences and the “skills needed by employers” referred to are hardly clearly and unambiguously defined.

Technology: Cultural resource or slave for our lifestyle?  – Sally Davies for Financial Times (subscription required)

Timely reflections on the future of technology – could “techno-hippies” make us think about using technology as a tool to improve society?

 

*Audrey Watters will be giving a lecture as part of LTI’s NetworkEd series on February 11, 2015. You can subscribe to our blog or follow us on Twitter to keep informed about LTI’s events.

Weekly Roundup in Education Technology

Education technology is rapidly moving, sometimes divisive and always interesting, especially to us working in higher education. Every week, we will share helpful, interesting or controversial tweets, websites and articles relating to education and technology. Do comment, recommend and share!

Mediocrity v. innovation – Paul Taylor

“Why do we apply scrutiny to people working in innovation in a way we don’t to other functions like Operations, IT, Communications, HR or Finance?”

Regardless of whether or not the term “innovation” is overused or devoid of meaning, Paul Taylor’s rallying cry against mediocrity deserves some reflection. Perhaps not just the “innovation” sector, but a lack of scrutiny across all sectors deserves our attention.

Learning about learning technology through learning technology – EdX

Talk about practicing what you preach: A MOOC about MOOCs (and other learning technology), so to speak, culminating in a pitch for a new educational technology. The MOOC started last week and we will make sure to have a look at how it progresses.

Getting student privacy right – Adriene Hill

“Like everything else these days, education runs on data. Our kids’ data. Every digital move they make in school, on homework websites, and apps can be tracked. And it’s not always clear where that information is going or how companies are using it.”

A timely reminder that privacy is as (if not more) essential in the field of education technology as elsewhere.

Our brains rewired – Douglas Coupland

Last, but not least: Douglas Coupland’s (Author of Generation X and Microserfs) reflections on his experiences inside Alcatel-Lucent and how the internet has rewired our brains certainly make for an interesting short interview.

October 15th, 2014|Ed-Tech news and issues, Roundup|Comments Off on Weekly Roundup in Education Technology|