We recently spoke with Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector Education at Microsoft Corporation, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona 2013. Salcito works with education institutions to embrace technology to optimize learning environments and student achievement.
What challenges does fomenting innovation in schools currently face?
At the moment, youth unemployment in some European Union member states exceeds 50%. The preparation of young people for the labor market has to be improved, especially since companies hire their workforce primarily on the basis of skills. Collaboration, communication, and leadership skills should be at the center of schools’ education.
21st-century learning should be competency based, because becoming prepared for life and work is crucial, more important than content knowledge alone. The problem is that pupils today are awarded grades based on content knowledge. They often progress to the next level despite low grades in certain subject areas, which actually signals a lack of foundational knowledge they’ll need in the future.
Proper assessment should therefore not be bound to specific timing, but to understanding—that’s the true measure of achievement. Furthermore, it should take into account the learning of concepts and overall progress, instead of focusing solely on content results.
The research project Assessment and Teaching of 21st-Century Skills (ATC21S) proposes ways of assessing 21st-century skills and encourages teaching and adopting those skills in the classroom. Ultimately, the best results are achieved when learning is personalized.
What role should teachers play in this transformation?
The role of teachers is essential, but they need training and support in order to move toward increasingly teaching skills and competencies. Teachers should listen more, and provide individual assessment and mentoring to their pupils. To this end, various different resources are available, such as “Education Competencies”, designed to help educators and administrators.
Coming back to the topic of assessment, we are not welcoming educators and curriculum developers to innovate if we do not change the way we assess what learners know and what they are supposed to know. Global assessment models such as PISA should be improved in such a way that they incorporate new trends currently taking place in formal and especially informal learning.
Who would you say are the innovators in the education field?
Innovators in the education field are mainly individuals. Innovative teachers who have created their own educational resources often do not want to share their content; they don’t think about scalability and believe that this content only works for them. It’s crucial to show them how they can be examples for others. Microsoft has therefore created a network of innovative teachers and a network of innovative schools.
I would also like to briefly mention our entrepreneurship program for young people. The Youth Spark Hub is an online space to explore and access all the Microsoft programs and resources to help youth imagine and realize their full potential.
How do we transform innovative teaching with scalability?
I recommend the scalability toolkit developed by Christopher J. Dede, Professor of Learning Technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Innovation in education is a global matter, and everything teachers do has a directly global dimension.
MobiCloud is a collaborative platform for developing, deploying and managing mobile cloud applications for business-critical scenarios such as public transport, field service or construction. Its initial demonstration scenarios focus on industries where collaborative mobile applications can support a more efficient, greener organization.
MobiCloud is also an online technology marketplace where end-users, mobile developers, application vendors, system integrators and cloud service providers can collaborate to develop end-to-end solutions with high ROI. MobiCloud is co-funded by the European Commission under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) of the Competitiveness and Innovation framework Programme (CIP).
The new 'Towards Maturity' In-Focus report concludes that over 70% of companies will implement mobile learning within the next 2 years. This free document outlines practical ways to implement m-learning successfully, drawn from independent research findings.
A 16 page free independent report entitled Mobile Learning at Work, identifies the key trends in m-learning, helping organisations understand how their peers are using this growing learning technology and how to plan effectively.
How does new technology make the personalisation and contextualisation of learning materials possible? eXact Learning Solutions, an award-winning learning-content-management-solutions provider, shared its perspective at this year's Learning Technologies exhibition. eXact also showcased the latest version of its learning-content-management system (LCMS).
Version 10 of eXact learning LCMS, the latest one to be released, includes new additions like dynamic publishing, responsive XML, and template-based HTML 5 authoring and DITA support. All these features are an improvement on the previous model, a unique product that was awarded at the Best of Elearning! 2012.
This Working Paper Series scans the globe to illuminate the ways in which mobile technologies can be used to support the United Nations Education for All Goals; respond to the challenges of particular educational contexts; supplement and enrich formal schooling; and make learning more accessible, equitable, personalized and flexible for students everywhere.
Today there are over 5.9 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, and for every one person who accesses the internet from a computer to do so from a mobile device. Given the ubiquity and rapidly expanding functionality of mobile technologies, UNESCO is enthusiastic about their potential to improve and facilitate learning, particularly in communities where educational opportunities are scarce
The subjects covered by these working paper series include Illustrative initiatives and policy implications, Exploring the potential of mobile technologies to support teachers and improve practice, and Key issues to consider and implications for policy makers and planners.
The 32nd issue of eLearning Papers focuses on mobile technology applications and their potential to enhance learning within the broad-spectrum of education and training. The articles clearly demonstrate that mobile learning is moving beyond its early infancy.
This latest expansion is accelerated by the increasing penetration of smart phones and the ecosystems that they have enabled. In this environment, the student population has become more diffuse, but also more connected.
The issue features a wide range of topics, describing research ranging from eportfolios, serious games and OER for mobile learning scenarios. Furthermore, articles discuss the vendor’s perspective and describe two studies for developing and using mobile devices in advanced learning scenarios.
eLearning Papers 32 that has been guest edited by Prof. Dr. Martin Wolpers, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT and Tapio Koskinen, www.elearningpapers.eu, Director of the Editorial Board, includes the following articles:
Learning Layers develops a set of modular and flexible technological layers for supporting workplace practices in SMEs that unlock peer production and scaffold learning in networks of SMEs, thereby bridging the gap between scaling and adaptation to personal needs.
By building on recent advances in contextualized learning, these layers provide a meaningful learning context when people interact with people, digital and physical artefacts for their informal learning, thus making learning faster and more effective.
Building on mobile learning research, we situate learning into physical work places and practices to support situated, faster and more meaningful learning.
Learning Layers provide a shared conceptual foundation independent of the tools people use and the context they are in.
Learning Layers are based on a common light-weight, distributed infrastructure that allows for fast and flexible deployment in highly distributed and dynamic settings.
We apply these technologies in sectors that have been particularly hesitant to take up learning technologies, i.e. health care and building and construction.
Involving two representative and large-scale regional SME clusters allows us to involve end users in co-design of the system and later scale up the approach to more than 1,000 learners within 4 years.
By inviting a larger set of stakeholders to adapt and build on our solutions and through research in sustainable business training models, the project will generate significant impact by boosting the ability of regional innovation systems to adapt to change and thereby remain competitive, on the individual, organisational and regional level.
We demonstrate the impact in the two chosen sectors, but widen the scope to other sectors and regions towards the end of the project.
Denne artikel handler om et internationalt samarbejde, hvor studerende fra forskellige universiteter designede og udviklede mobile læringsapplikationer via samarbejde i tværfaglige grupper og sociale og mobile medier. Vi beskriver konceptet, processen og resultaterne af samarbejdet, herunder udfordringer i forbindelse med design og udvikling af mobile læringsapplikationer i virtuelle grupper.
Denne artikel handler om de udfordringer, den professionelle sektor møder, når den bliver mobil. Rapporten diskuterer rollen, mobilenheder spiller i medarbejderstaben og tager fat på udfordringer som kompatibilitet, sikkerhed og uddannelse. Den giver også en omfattende gennemgang af det mobile landskab og vurderer nuværende bedste praksisser inden for mobil læring.