What was I trying to do in my talk to the Solstice conference 2016?
Learning technologies and technology enhanced learning are not quite the same thing. The position and semantic force of the words is different. Learning as adjective and learning as noun; technology as nominal object and technology as agent of change: learning enhanced by technology.
There is a greater degree of abstraction in TEL, somewhat more particularity in learning technology, especially when pluralised as learning technologies.
Learning technologies are things: tools, software, applications like Moodle and GradeMark or in older days Authorware.
Technology is all these things and more. Continue reading
Reviving Tealab: Tealab is explicitly a Teaching Laboratory and discussion “space”. There are a number of excellent initiatives across the university that lap over the territory. When Tealab was set up it was intended to replace the Learning and Teaching Forum (LTF), with a focus on people (possibly “younger” whatever that might mean) interested in new or innovative teaching practices. These practices did not need to make use of learning technologies, but given the zeitgeist and interests of the proponents of Tealab there was a strong learning technology focus.
The institutional learning and teaching focus is currently on the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Framework with its participatory underpinning. The aim of the framework is expressed in four domains: Learning, Identity, Community and Place and is intended to enable the creative appropriation of tools, transformative academic practice, inclusive communities and safe spaces for learning.
Tealab can do two things.
One is serve as a clearing house and notice board of all the extra and co-curricular learning opportunities for teachers at Brookes, pulling from many sources: OBIS training, Library training courses, Digital Services training and various Guides, and OCSLD teaching courses.
And second Tealab can serve as a forum for collaborative discussion and development of the aspirations of the TEL framework. With this in mind, I am planning a series of Lunch-time sessions (and I know that time is troublesome so forgive me if these sessions are not accessible for you; we will simulcast and record for later review). I am proposing three this semester:
- Monday 19 October 1200-1330 – Participation in learning, aspirations for teaching: introducing the TEL Framework
- Monday 09 November 1200-1330 – Creative appropriation and appropriate technology for teaching
- Monday 30 November 1200-1330 – Academic Identity today
And three next semester (dates to be announced)
- Learning Communities
- Holding space
- Frameworks for learning and teaching
Semi-live notes from very interesting and data filled Oxford Brookes University Widening Participation Working Group Away Day at Marston Road. (Of 30 people in the room only one obviously black man and two Asian women. Matches our BME student profile? c. 10%)
The day was framed by demographics about where Brookes sits, and politics in light of the forthcoming election, which enabled a critical frame for the day: whose WP are we talking about? Is the “lifecourse” educational – or institutional – for everyone?
Should OCSLD have had a pitch here? Because support for staff development IS support for WP. Though we are not seen as a service for students, institutionally, the significant change that has to be made is “Academic”: academic literacy, academic content, academic writing, academic culture. Critical analysis is HUGE. Planning and structuring assignments is HUGE. When you have many inquiries from the same course at the same time, you ask: Can we move up the river and see “who is ‘pushing the bodies into the stream'”? Is this is where OCSLD has a role working with course teams?
This post will be updated through the day (Tuesday 10 March 0930-1430)
I am developing a new online course on “Extending your online course” (how meta is that). We go live with it on 2 November 2011. This four-week short course focuses on enhancing teaching and learning by using new technology and tools – social media – for interactivity and engagement.
What does that mean? We are going to experiment with new “stuff” to teach with. This has been the most fun I have had at work in a while. The website will go live next week. Contact me (Twitter @georgeroberts) if you want a preview.
The course is primarily aimed at teachers who have some experience of teaching online, those who have done one of OCSLD‘s other online courses, or those who are bold about trying new things. You do not have to be a techie. In fact the course is not really aimed at techies. But, you should be willing to embrace social media technologies for education and get your hands a little dirty when we “lift the lid”. If you are reading this, please forward a link to any of your new colleagues who are getting into blended online teaching.
The course is going to be experimental. We are not going to tell you what to do or how to do it – though we will if we can. We do aim that through this engagement you will discover (and we might as well!) new ways to interact in learning environments and new tools to facilitate that interaction. We will adopt the motto (though not, perfectly, the method) of the MOOC, “… we suggest, you decide”. We will look at not just the tools and techniques, but also the social implications of going on-line through the social media world. Questions of privacy, identity and community in respect to academic practice will be raised. (These questions were explored in a series of online seminars and are the subject of another new course “Academic practice online”, which I am developing for later next year.)
As with our other courses, “Extending your online course” will be taught primarily through asynchronous group discussion. However there will be some use of synchronous audiographic virtual classrooms. We will use Wimba Classroom. It is a lot like Elluminate or Adobe Connect. If you are thinking about participating you might want to put Friday 4 November 1200-1400 (GMT) into your diary for the first of the live audiographic sessions. And, there will be two more live sessions on the two following Fridays.
The course is organised around weekly tasks supported by associated readings. In order to make a full contribution to the course people need to commit approximately a total of 4-6 hours per week to course related activity.
I hope people join!
COPPA has played a important role limiting the data collection practices of online advertisers targeting children under 13. It has been a very effective safeguard. Anyone who actually researches the online ad business recognizes that: once you are 13, online marketers treat everyone the same in terms of behavioral targeting and other applications that threaten privacy. But if you are under 13, because of COPPA–you don’t see the same kind of targeted online marketing. Berkman should do a better job in its research providing its readers a more informed assessment of how online marketers have created what the industry calls a digital advertising “ecosystem.” The system is designed to collect tremendous amounts of data on individual users, track them everywhere [including merging online and offline databases instantly, so a user can be auctioned off to the highest bidder]and also deeply influence our behaviors. Companies involved with Berkman or Berkman staff are even using the latest advances in neuromarketing to create digital ad campaigns designed-in their own words–to influence our subconscious. When Berkman writes about COPPA and other online marketing issues, it should always prominently disclose [page 1] that it is funded by many leading advertisers–including Google and Microsoft [http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/about/support]. Mr. Palfrey should also ensure his work as a venture investor–including with online marketing companies–is part of that disclosure–especially to Congress and the FTC: http://www.hcp.com/john_palfrey
I hope Ms. Boyd will also address the extensive work done by her employer on online marketing–including its targeting of youth (for such things as junk food). See, for example:http://advertising.microsoft.com/research/Doritos-Xbox; She should also examine its efforts on neuromarketing:http://www.emsense.com/press/game-advertising.php
This is a brief comment.
This is a comment by Jeff Chester on a post by danah boyd about the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. danah’s article opened my eyes to the real reason for the requirement that one be 13 or over to set up a Facebook account (nothing to do with safety). But Chester’s comment, while maybe harsh in its implications for the Berkman Centre, exposed and evidenced a whole set of practices that we probably knew were going on, but didn’t really want to believe were going on. To quote myself: “When you think it can’t get bigger, it gets squared and squared again…”
the #alt-ac label speaks to to a broad set of hybrid, humanities-oriented professions centered in and around the academy, in which there are rich opportunities to put deep — often doctoral-level — training in scholarly disciplines to use. Recent #alt-ac conversation online additionally tends to focus on the digital humanities, a community of practice marrying sophisticated understanding of traditional disciplines with new tools and methods. The digital humanities constitute, in my opinion, the best gig in town — attracting scholars who exhibit restless, interdisciplinary curiosity, mastery of relevant research tools and methods (old and new), and uncommon comfort — in a world that defines expertise like this — with a general assumption that practitioners are jacks-of-all-trades.
Or, rather, ought the “academy” be equated with the “institutions” of higher education, which, now, seem to be serving the community of scholarship so poorly.
In “Introduction to Mass Communication,” I’d like to see more discussions about how personal communications can easily become mass communication because the Web has hyperlinked everything. Students should explore the changing models of mass communications – how int he past, content used to be broadcast to the masses, and would then be shared person-to-person. Today, content is often shared person-to-person first, to be followed by dissemination to the masses. Why? How?
In “Human Communication,” I want to see the students dive down into the intricacies of how relationships created and maintained using social media are different than those that are solely face-to-face. How does social media enhance or degrade these relationships?
In “Visual Communication,” the students should understand the visual impact of content on the Web. How did we go from fancy, tricked out websites being a best practice to something as plain and boring as Twitter? How and why did the banner ad die? Why, when asked if there were ads on Google, did one teenager at the Web 2.0 Summit say, “no – are there supposed to be?”
In “Digital Skills and Information Gathering,” how do you differentiate between what’s fact and fiction online any more? How many sources are need to verify? What’s the definition of a source? How do you use tools like Wikipedia and other social media as breadcrumbs to find more credible sources?
When I took “Media Writing,” I learned the AP Stylebook and how to write press releases. Students should absolutely still learn these skills. But, they should also learn how to write like a human being, in a conversational tone, not as a public relations machine. They should learn what a good blog post looks and sounds like. They should learn how to take a key message and put it into their own words, into their own writing style instead of conforming to a style guide.
“Media Law” should still involve a LOT of discussion of past cases and legal precedents, an exploration of the First Amendment, thorough reviews of the Pentagon Papers trial and other landmark cases. But, there should also be a lot of “what if?” questions that tackle today’s social media landscape that hasn’t, in a lot of cases, gone through the legal rigor that other media has. Let’s study Cybersquatting cases like LaRussa vs. Twitter, Inc. – let’s discuss the impacts of cases like that that don’t have a long legal history, but will surely help define the environment in which these students are going to be working.
I’d rename “International Communication” to be “Global Communication,” and I’d focus not just on the differences in communication styles between Western and Eastern countries, Asian cultures and Hispanic cultures, but on how it’s just as easy to communicate with someone 10,000 miles away as it is with your next door neighbor. I’d have my students study the differences in how Americans communicate with each other online vs. how Eastern countries do it. Do the basic communications differences that apply in face-to-face communication apply online too? If not, why?
In “Communication Ethics,” this class would bring up discussions about attribution in an online, shareable communications environment. How do the old rules of copyright and intellectual property apply? Do they apply? What about basic human interactions – if you ignore someone who sends a DM on Twitter, is that akin to ignoring someone who reaches out to shake your hand? Where’s the line between criticizing the service your receive from a company on Twitter and attacking the person? If I say,”I think @comcastcares is an idiot who doesn’t know which way is up, am I attacking Comcast or am I attacking Frank Eliason? Note: Frank is awesome
I would also add a class on “Principles of Customer Service” and make “Creative Writing” a prerequisite as well. You see, social media shouldn’t be a class – it’s interwoven throughout a lot of classes. And this isn’t just for communication classes, this would apply to political science majors (Barack Obama’s campaign anyone?), economics majors (how has the ability to share data globally and instantaneously impacted the speed at which the market changes?), sociology (how has social media changed the way families and friends communicate with one another?).
A much longer excerpt than I usually feel comfortable reposting, but this is a great illustration of curriculum redesign for digital/academic literacy.
This post is one small link in a chain started for me by A J Cann in a post on his Emerge blog, The P word, fed from Science of the Invisible that linked to Michael Wesch’s post, Participatory Media Literacy: why it matters, referring to “… Howard Rheingold’s great little article, Participative Pedagogy for a Literacy of Literacies,” I am reminded of my colleagues at Brookes, who regularly observe that students show a highly uncritical approach to the media with which they saturate their world (and by which it is saturated). Undergraduate use of the Web for learning was studied in a large multi-method research project aimed to evaluate learner experience of e-learning at Oxford Brookes University, Exploring patterns of student learning technology use, reported at Networked Learning 2008.