Friday, 20 April 2012

Weekly Learning Technology Digest... 8

Image by Dave Heuts, available under a
CC BY-SA 2.0 license 
Friday is Learning Technology Digest day -  and here I am again, pulling together lots of bits of learning technology-related loveliness which I've spotted from across the web this past week.  It's been a really busy week, so I've probably missed something!  If you spotted something which I should have included, do let me know in the comments below.  Otherwise... here's my version of the things that caught my eye...

  • 'Battle for the Internet' - this has been an absolutely fantastic series in The Guardian.  If you've missed it - go take a look.  It covers everything from online identity and creativity to privacy and internet freedom.  If you want to know where we are with the open internet and what could be stopping us from us getting where we might be going... this is a brilliant series.  If you're interested in internet culture / history / learning technology, these are a set of articles you'll want to refer back to.
  • As ever The Guardian's Higher Education Network turned up a handy learning tech-related article, 'Digital technologies and the tension between research and teaching' - it's essentially the summary of a live chat about what good teaching looks like in HE, but everything from the role of teachers to issues over contact hours and the value of teaching in a research-intensive environment is covered making this an excellent overview.
  • 'Get back in the saddle' - a terrific article in the Times Higher Education from a few weeks ago but which I'd missed until now.  It talks about the importance of being allowed to fail and along the way has a huge amount to say about the learning process as well.  Success, it turns out, isn't all it's cracked up to be.
  • Employability is a bit of a buzz word in Higher Education at the moment.  And an article which appeared in The Guardian said, 'Universities failing on 'employability' students say' - but one of the most interesting things that emerges from this article is that there is a gap between what universities believe they're doing and what students feel they're experiencing.  I think for employability to move from buzz word to part of meaningful conversation, we need to give some careful consideration to our understanding of what that actually means!  A good starting place is 'Pedagogy for Employability' from the Higher Education Academy and takes a far more practical approach than just hoping we can use the word and get away with it!
  • I rather liked this simple '20 Reasons to switch to Google Plus' infographic.  Though it's not education-specific and you can safely ignore a few of the 'reasons', it provides an easily digestible overview of what the plus points are of this relative newcomer.  Read in tandem with 'Higher Education is missing the boat with Google+' (though to be fair, the latter article is more about Google+ as marketing tool rather than as learning environment)
  • If you've ever edited photos online using Picnik (which was built in to Flickr - they've now switched to using Aviary as their photo editor), then you might have spotted that it got swallowed by Google and was set for closure on the 19th of April.  That date has now passed, so... what to do instead?  This handy article from Mashable has '7 Free Alternatives for Quick Photo Edits', so if you're wanting to edit images for educational resources but can't afford to splash out on Photoshop etc, then these are a nice place to start.
So, there you have it.  A small slice of tech.  A few current educational issues to think about.  And a little bit of employability and learning on the side.  Delicious!


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