Friday, 17 August 2012

Weekly Learning Technology Digest... 24

Image by JD Hancock under a
CC BY 2.0 license
Hooray!  I'm on time with the weekly learning technology digest for the first time in weeks.

The summer is a funny old time, isn't it?  People are either away on leave or snowed under with work in preparation for the next academic year. For me, it's been a combination of both of those elements and with the reality of yesterday's A-level results and the new year looming large, things are going to get hectic until well into October!  Got to love the academic year.

Anyway, enough waffle... on with the learning technology!
Gartner's Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2012
  • One of the first things to catch my eye during the past week was Six Big Ideas for Educational Technology Leaders from Innovations in Education - and if you can repeat to yourself 'be open to new ideas, be a practitioner, model the behaviour you want to see, have vision and be prepared to fail'... then those will stand you in very good stead!
  • There was also a good piece in The Guardian's Higher Education Network from the HEA Chief Executive Professor Craig Mahony on learning and teaching for higher education today - and if you can make time to read it, I think it's worth seeing what he has to say.
  • If you're not aware of this development at London Metropolitan University then there are changes afoot reported in The Guardian as their bid to outsource most sources to private firm.  This is a huge change in the way universities are run with IT, library services, student counselling etc all being out-sourced - keep an eye on how this one works out...
  • Talking of things to keep an eye on, Gartner have published their latest Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies and bring your own 'everything', smart things, big data and human interaction with tech are key messages. Lots to digest!
  • For something a little smaller scale, there have been some nice developments with Prezi including 3-D backgrounds, fade-in images and screen blackouts (which can be very handy when presenting) - these changes will be handy in the classroom if Prezi's your thing - but as ever, don't overdo those animations!  Travel sickness in a presentation is never a good thing!
  • In fact, if you're thinking about whether or not something's working... why not evaluate it? In fact, why not have a look at this handy basic guide to evaluation which Mozilla's Doug Belshaw has put together? A good, plain English guide.  We like!
  • Oh, and if you wondered why I hadn't mentioned MOOCs this week... well, it's because I was waiting until now to do it.  I've just seen this one called Dozens of plagiarism cases are reported in Coursera's free online courses which is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  Fascinating that people feel the need to cheat even when no course credit is involved and this should just be about learning. 
  • To finish though - I liked the fact that these MOOC students from MITx ended up creating their own MOOC - what a contrast from the last story, huh?  Plagiarism vs. taking learning that step further.  What makes learners make those choices? A good contrast of how learners respond to MOOCs.
... and I'm going to leave you with a TED Talk on the 'Barefoot College' which I've just seen (though it's been around for a year)... and for Friday inspiration, it's just the ticket.

Have a great weekend.  Dodge the showers.  Enjoy the sunshine!


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