I think the increased attention for learning analytics is valid. A lot of learning and teaching taking place today takes place in digital environments. It is implemented more structurally, which means patterns of behavior may have more meaning as they have increased context. Yes we should be leveraging the vast amount of data to better tailor education. But unless I missed something, I am afraid this year’s Horizon Report focusses heavily on what the educational institute can do with the data, and what the teachers can do with the data, and less so (or not at all) on what the students can do with the data.
Somewhat off topic for educational technology, although if the context for teaching and learning is not right, then there is a lot of distraction from the core business. And we are experiencing a lot of distraction.
This is nothing new for the world, but it is new for the University (I think?): we’ve officially posted our first lecture on YouTube last November. You can see it in all its glory here (in Dutch though):
Discussions about the effects of technology, both positive and negative are not new. What is new is that we live in a time where it is developing at such a fast pace that the research into it’s effects can barely keep up. We have technology which begets the new technology. Cars could not make better cars.
The internet, computer processing speeds, social networking sites and mobile technology are exposing us daily to new ways of accessing information and communicating. Many of these technologies have been and are being adopted in the workplace and in education. It is not surprising then that discussions are taking place between lecturers, students and policy makers about which technologies to embrace and which to avoid.
This is Part I of a series wherein I would like to share some recent discussions, publications and presentations on the effects of new technology on society and by extension on learning and teaching.
Forgive me but, hogwash! The article title reads “School courses dissapear into the tablet”. (“Schoolcursussen verdwijnen in de tablet”)
I happen to be a firm believer that mobile internet does bring the whole information cycle full circle, away from the stationary desks, into “real life”, and therefore will be adopted by many more users than limited to the computer-savy fanatical few (yours truely being a card carrying member). And my expectation is also that tablets will be sighted more often in the lecture halls and their use will grow amongst students.
Mobile in education is the next big step. But to state it in this Draconian manner, scaring all tentative users, arming skeptics and nay-sayers to new technologies. It might be my age but I have seen this response too often. I prefer to focus on the possible advantages and lets put energy into taking the best of both worlds, the old and the new, and make learning an even more richer and tantalizing experience than it already is.
Open principles. A personal favorite of mine. Why? Because they make it possible for you and me, and people like Isaac Newton to excel: “If I have seen farther than most men it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants”.
Sharing data, source code, architecture, background, makes it possible for others to pick up where you left off, to take your info and make it more. It speeds up learning, and increases the expanse of its positive impact. Adhering to open principles is recognizing that together we are more than the sum of the individual parts.
This is why I am especially excited that one of my team members is leading a project together with Social Geography staff and students in Open Street Maps. It’s mirrored on this initiative which displays how a street has changed over time.