The World Information Society Day, also known as Internet Day, is observed every year on 17 May since 2006. The main objective of the day is to raise global awareness of the possibilities offered by new technologies and promote widespread Internet access, reducing the digital gap.
This year, the day will be celebrated throughout Spain with conferences, training sessions, competitions, online games and many other activities.
Universities will invite middle and high school students to virtually visit their premises and ask questions about their academic future.
The main event of the day will be held in the Spanish Senate in Madrid, where a high level panel debate will discuss about sustainable creativity and several awards will be handed.
All activities will be promoted and commented in Twitter with the hashtag #DiadeInternet
The Viducate Network has launched a new version of its guide to promote video production and media education in Europe.
The document, targeted to teachers and educational professionals, provides an introduction of how to use video production in the classroom. It includes first ideas for different school subjects and an updated background to what production involves and needs.
The TEL-Map European project, funded by the European Commission, has launched a survey about technology supported, innovative learning practices.
TEL-Map is a Coordination and Support Action focussing on roadmapping activities for innovative forms of learning. A roadmap can be understood as a ‘strategic lens’, through which future developments in a domain or an organisation are analysed for the purpose of channelling available resources wisely.
The aim of this new survey is to collect the views of teaching professionals to inform future roadmapping activities by probing certain statements with regards to their likelihood, desirability and – when it comes to policy measures – their feasibility.
There is no need to be an expert in all areas addressed to answer the survey, as the objective of TEL-Map is to get feedback from people with as diverse backgrounds as possible.
Question blocks have been created for each of the following innovative practices:
- Gamification: using game mechanics and elements of game design in non-game contexts in order to motivate learning. Controversial issues evolve around 'hunting for points as a distraction of learning', neglect of demographic particularities, availability of gamification strategies.
- Free Massive Open Online Course: bringing existing courses to an extended audience by driving technological and economical innovation. Controversial issues evolve around funding models, accreditation, high attrition rates and possible ways of highly automated learner support.
- Flipped classroom: inverting classroom situations so that the lecture part is moved from school to home and the exercise part takes place at school. Controversial issues evolve around managing differences between learners being more or less successful doing their homework, which requires fundamentally new types of in-class activities.
- Seamless Learning (Ubiquitous Learning): obliterating borders between different technologies and learning formats such as formal and informal learning or individual and social learning. Controversial issues evolve around the ownership of learning tools and data generated by learners' activities, or the potentially invasive character of learning technologies to the detriment of a balanced life style.
The International Council for Open Research and Education (ICORE) is a new association bringing together interested experts and stakeholders from the fields of open education and open research. The association will be officially launched on May 16 in Rome (Italy) during the Learning Innovations and Technology (LINQ 2013) conference.
ICORE is a non-profit and requires no membership fees to join. Open to both representatives of organisations as well as individuals, it aims to promote open research and open education as a fundamental social objective. This promotion of these goals will be accomplished through the fostering of collaboration between relevant stakeholders in open research and education, such as national, European and international policy makers, researchers, educators of all levels, students, non-profit educational providers as well as commercial educational providers, among others.
The association's activities will include the administration of an online community portal for information exchange, the organisation of scientific and educational events (conferences, summer schools, etc.) and the establishment of creative partnerships between ICORE members to advance open research and open education internationally.
Interested applicants can register easily at the ICORE website, where the complete first public draft of the association’s statutes can also be found. Joining before the first official meeting of ICORE on May 15 allows new members to be recognized as co-founders.
The report “Report on using information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education for persons with disabilities”, published in 2012, is the outgrowth of a joint initiative by UNESCO and the Trust for the Americas, non-profit organization cooperating with the Organization of American States (OAS).
The joint project consisted of a significant study, country by country in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, elucidating achievements and shortfalls, while demonstrating that democratizing free access to ICTs for persons with disabilities in the field of education is an attainable goal.
As a result, the final report provides a meaningful assessment of the status of access to ICTs for such persons and identifies both the good practices and the problems and pending needs that require the most support. It also evinces the need to enhance access to ICTs and the duty for all societal stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental, as well as international organisations, to work toward attaining this goal.
The overall goal of the study is to provide recommendations to improve information policies, strategies for using ICTs to educate persons with disabilities and incorporate issues related to disability.
The publication targets especially decision-makers, national and regional educational institutions, organisations and associative movements of and for persons with disabilities.
The 2012 Paris OER Declaration was formally adopted at the 2012 World Open Educational Resources Congress held at the UNESCO Headquarters in June 2012.
The Declaration marks a historic moment in the growing movement for Open Educational Resources (OER) and calls on governments worldwide to openly license publicly funded educational materials for public use.
The Declaration recommends UNESCO member States to:
- Foster awareness and use of OER.
- Facilitate enabling environments for use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).
- Reinforce the development of strategies and policies on OER.
- Promote the understanding and use of open licensing frameworks.
- Support capacity building for the sustainable development of quality learning materials.
- Foster strategic alliances for OER.
- Encourage the development and adaptation of OER in a variety of languages and cultural contexts.
- Encourage research on OER.
- Facilitate finding, retrieving and sharing of OER.
- Encourage the open licensing of educational materials produced with public funds.
UNESCO proposed with all relevant stakeholders to design and implement a series of global activities based on all the 10 points of the Declaration. This project aims to assist Member States in developing national-level OER policies and implementing the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT CFT) by harnessing Open Educational Resources (OER).
The Inception Meeting of the "Implementing the Paris OER Declaration" project took place on 26 and 27 March, 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
“The Industry and Policy Context for Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion: Market Analysis, Future Prospects and Key Challenges in Videogames, Serious Games and Gamification” is a report published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in 2013 aiming to help policy makers and other stakeholders in their decisions about the potential contribution to economic and social goals of the creative, cultural and technological industries that develop digital games and gamification.
The effective use of Digital Games for Empowerment & Inclusion (DGEI) of people and communities at risk of exclusion will be shaped by, and may influence the development of a range of sectors that supply products, services, technology and research. The principal industries that would appear to be implicated are the videogames industry, and an emerging “serious games” industry.
The videogames industry is an ecosystem of developers, publishers and other service providers drawn from the interactive media, software and broader ICT industry that services the mainstream leisure market in games, The “serious games” industry is a rather fragmented and growing network of firms, users, research and policy makers from a variety of sectors.
These actors are trying to develop knowledge, products, services and a market for the use of digital games and products inspired by digital games for a range of non-leisure applications.
Authored by James Stewart and Gianluca Misuraca, from the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), the report provides a summary of the state of play of these industries, their trajectories and the challenges they face. It also analyses the contribution these actors could make to exploiting digital games for empowerment and social inclusion.
Finally, it explores existing policy towards activities in these industries and markets, and draws conclusions as to the future policy relevance of engaging with them to support innovation and uptake of effective digital game-based approaches to empowerment and social inclusion.
The European Commission’s report “Survey of schools: ICT in Education”, collects information from 31 European countries (27 EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Turkey) and provides detailed, up-to-date and reliable benchmarking of Information and Communication Technologies in school level education across Europe, painting a picture of educational technology in schools: from infrastructure provision to use, confidence and attitudes.
According to the survey, based on data collected during the school year 2011-12, students and teachers in Europe are keen to "go digital", computer numbers have doubled since 2006 and most schools are now "connected", but use of ICTs and digital skill levels are very uneven. These skills and support for teachers to deliver them need a strong boost.
Some of the key findings of the study indicate that teachers are generally confident and positive about the use of ICTs for learning and most of them believe there is need for radical policy change. However, teacher training in ICTs is rarely compulsory and therefore most teachers devote spare time to private study of these skills. Teachers use computers to prepare lessons more often than they use them in lessons.
The report shows there are marked country differences. Scandinavian and Nordic countries have the best equipment (Sweden, Finland, Denmark); while students in Poland, Romania, Italy, Greece, Hungary and Slovakia are most likely to lack the right equipment. However, lack of equipment does not mean lack of interest: some countries with the highest use of computer equipment are the ones with the lowest scores on equipment provisions (e.g. Bulgaria, Slovakia, Cyprus and Hungary).
The findings and recommendations of the 163-page report will feed into the Digital Agenda's effort and assist the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs (which plans, for example, to promote Massive Open Online Courses for teachers and spread the use of incentives and coordination in teacher ICT training), and other Commission initiatives such as the Rethinking Education Strategy and the forthcoming Opening Up Education proposal.
The study was undertaken by European Schoolnet and the University of Liège. This is the third European survey of ICT in schools, and the first to survey students directly.
INTUITEL is a project that promotes e-learning systems with a strong emphasis on guidance and feedback for learners. INTUITEL-enabled management systems provide automated, personalised learning support.
The objective of INTUITEL is to enhance e-learning content and Learning Management Systems (LMS) with features that so far have been provided only by human tutors. It creates an integrated learning environment that can reconfigure and adapt itself to the needs of any learner.
The INTUITEL Project has brought together members of the ICT industry and the commercial e-learning sector, as well as university e-learning expert practitioners to test and evaluate INTUITEL under realistic conditions.
For more information on the project, click here.
Conference Programme for Learning Innovations and Quality: The Future of Digital Resources Available
LINQ event hosts from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany have published the final conference programme for LINQ 2013. The conference in Rome will be supported by a variety of prominent figures vital to the fields of technology-enhanced learning, open educational resources, and vocational education in Europe and worldwide. Furthermore, their presence will further the highlight of LINQ 2013: the launch of ICORE, the International Council for Open Research and Education (www.icore-online.org). Registration for LINQ 2013 is still open for all interested parties until May 8th, but seats are limited and should be reserved as quick as possible.
On May 16th, Learning experts and pioneers such as Dr. Tony Bates of Tony Bates Associates, Dr. Ignasi Labastida, director of the OCW Consortium and Creative Commons, and António Silva Mendes, Director of Education and Vocational Training at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture will take part as keynote speakers at LINQ 2013. They will join the already confirmed Prof. Dr. Rory McGreal and Prof. Dr. Fred Mulder, both UNESCO chairs for Open Educational Resources (OER), as well as Christian-Friedrich Lettmayr, Director of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP). Together these esteemed speakers will establish the greater context of international learning innovations for LINQ 2013.
Complementing the established experts, selected researchers from over 150 submissions will also present new and innovative research papers and projects. Four parallel sessions, divided into three parts each, will provide the structure for presentations. The 1st Parallel Session will consist of invited European speakers as well as two workshops respectively on the co-hosting VOA3R project and the innovative ODS project. The 2nd Parallel Session will consist of the selected papers from the LINQ 2013 call. These papers in turn fit into three thematic sections: “Digital Resources & Online Repositories”, “TEL for Schools, Universities, & Lifelong Learning”, and “Innovations & Future Trends in LET”. In addition, the 3rd and 4th Parallel Sessions will be dedicated to the presentations of selected European and international projects, thematically divided into “Quality Management: Evaluation, Standards & Certification”, “Open Access & Open Educational Resources: Policies, Tools and Content”, and “New Knowledge Networks – Ideas & Innovation for LLL” on the one hand, and “VET, New Skills & Quality”, “Teachers in Focus: Competence & Skill Development”, and “Innovation in TEL” on the other. The final conference programme is available on the LINQ 2013 conference website at www.learning-innovations.eu/2013/programme.
Registration for LINQ 2013 is still available for all interested groups until May 8th – only a few seats remain, so please register as soon as possible to ensure your chance to participate. Further information on registration is available at the conference website at www.learning-innovations.eu/registration. For the latest updates on LINQ and related initiatives, follow @LINQ_Conference on Twitter and like www.facebook.com/LINQConference on Facebook.