Monday, May 27, 2013

Workshop preparations for "Open Education 2030: Exploiting the Potential of OER for School Education"

I'm preparing for a foresight workshop on the topic of  “Open Education 2030: Exploiting the Potential of OER for School Education”. It will be organised at the IPTS in Seville - and I'm already here!

So, my IDEAL vision on “Open Education 2030” is the following:
In 2030, Open Education Resources are not only considered as content, but people and their networks make an important contribution to opening up education through better online and offline collaboration opportunities.
Here are a few words of my background and what I want to bring to the workshop.
Since 2000, I have been involved with the topic of digital learning resources, back in the day they were often called Learning Objects. I’ve worked on various aspects ranging 

  • from  metadata (e.g. application profiles and multilingual vocabularies to describe learning resources, different standards) 
  • to issues related with the quality of learning resources (e.g. review mechanism by experts and end-users, rating & tagging) and  
  • with findability of resources (e.g. search across multi-lingual federation of repositories, recommendation systems, social navigation). 
  • I’ve also extensively worked with school teachers in various European countries on the use and reuse issues around learning resources and on exchanging good practices.
With the usage issue in Europe, the idea of cross-boundary use of learning resources is a less researched area - and in my opinion, one of the most crucial one. We tend to take it for granted that school teachers can, and want to, use and reuse learning resources that are in a language other than their mother tongue is and/or originate from different countries than they do. In addition to lingual and national boundaries, there are also the local curriculum and educational/school cultures that set boundaries. We now know that some resources travel-well, meaning that they cross these boundaries more easily than others, but more work needs to be done to make sure that these resources are readily foundable and accessible to all with a good community structure around that supports the reuse in new educational contexts (see the links below for references).

As mentioned, my vision of education in 2030 relies heavily on the idea of networks, being networked and how social influence is passed through such interactions among individuals (e.g. learners, teachers). Last year, as part of one project that I managed, we published a neat booklet called “Teacher networks”. As part of the book, we also elaborated visions on how teaching profession would look like in 2025.

Some links to references:

Inspirational videos/websites for education in 2030:
•          Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud 
•          Daphne Koller: What we're learning from online education 
•          Duolingo (a free language-learning website and crowdsourced text translation platform): 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Survey from schools in Europe: teachers' and students' confidence in ICT related tasks

This really interesting study came out earlier this year about the use of ICTs in schools across Europe. I was really intrigued by the issue around the confidence in ICT related tasks. Here are a few bits to ponder...

The survey asked teachers and students in different levels of education (Grade 4, 8, 11 in general education and 11 in vocational education) about their confidence in performing 20
ICT-related tasks.   
  • In general, they can be divided into operational skills and social media skills
  • The survey finds out that 
    • teachers' operational skills, when averaging out across education, are at 3 and social media skills are at 2.4 (1 being "none" and 4 being "a lot"
    • students' operational skills, when averaging out across education, are at 2.8 and social media skills are at 2.6 (1 being "none" and 4 being "a lot") . For details, see the paper!!
What surprises me is that students do not estimate having such high confidence in their own skills! In general, and on contrary to what we usually think, teachers still seem to have more confidence in their own ICT-related operational skills than students do! 

Wastiau, P., Blamire, R., Kearney, C., Quittre, V., Van de Gaer, E. and Monseur, C. (2013), The Use of ICT in Education: a survey of schools in Europe. European Journal of Education, 48: 11–27. doi: 10.1111/ejed.12020

ICWL conference, submission deadline extended (May 10 and 17!)

ICWL is an annual international conference on web-based learning. This year it is taking place on 6-9 October 2013, in Kenting, Taiwan
  • Abstract submission deadline: May 10, 2013 (Extended)
  • Paper submission deadline: May 17, 2013 (Extended)


The conference program consists of high quality technical papers that are reviewed and selected by an international program committee. Papers are solicited on all technical aspects of web-based learning and related technologies, including but not limited to the following topics:
  • Personalized and Adaptive Learning
  • Computer Support for Intelligent Tutoring
  • Intelligent Tools for Visual Learning
  • Web-based Learning for Oriental Languages Learning
  • Game-based Learning
  • Personal Learning Environments (PLE)
  • Computer Supported Collaborative Learning
  • Web 2.0 and Social Learning Environments
  • HTML5 Web-based Learning
  • Intelligent Learner and Group Modeling
  • Learning Analytics
  • Human Factors and Affective Computing for Learning
  • E-Learning Platforms and Tools
  • Design, Model and Framework of e-Learning Systems
  • Deployment, Organization and Management of Learning Objects
  • E-Learning Metadata and Standards
  • Semantic Web and Ontologies for E-learning
  • Mobile, Situated and Blended Learning
  • Cloud-based Learning
  • Pedagogical Issues
  • Practice and Experience Sharing
The submission web page is: