The Institute of Technology Sligo (Sligo, Ireland) will now become Ireland’s first public higher education institution to offer a free online course or a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC).
Traditionally, colleges charge fees for online programmes and offer accreditation upon completion. By comparison, under the MOOC model, courses are free, are not accredited and have ‘massive’ enrollments. Ireland’s first MOOC will commence at IT Sligo this September and will take the form of a free, six-week online course in Lean Sigma Quality, the foremost quality process improvement approach for companies in the manufacturing and service industries. The first MOOC will be delivered by Brian Coll and Dr John Donovan, academics from the institute’s School of Engineering & Design who both lecture on the Institute’s online BSc and MSc in Quality.
The eLearning Africa Photo Competition is currently accepting entries from aspiring photographers across the globe. This year marks the Fourth Edition of the competition, which aims to gather photographs under the theme of Tradition and ICT innovation: a couple with potential.
Anyone with an eye for image can contribute their view on how communication tools and information technologies can successfully coexist with and enrich a traditional lifestyle. The photo should be submitted to eLearning Africa Photo Competition, along with a brief text that details the inspiration behind the idea.
eLearning and photography enthusiasts from Africa and the rest of the world have until April 3rd, 2013 to share a glimpse of ICT in Africa. Snapshot submitters have the chance of winning a tablet pc, a digital camera and an mp3 player. Participation is free and finalists will have their art featured at this year's eLearning Africa Conference, which will take place May 29-31, 2013, in Windhoek, Namibia.
What role does technology play in promoting creativity and innovation? How is the world of learning changing, and how can technology help us change the world? Proposals are now being accepted for this year's Online Educa Berlin 2013, which will focus on these questions.
As the fourth Special Edition of eLearning Papers will be published in a few days. We invited Tapio Koskinen, the board’s Director of eLearning Papers, to tell us about this first issue of the year, and to share his ideas on Open Education.
The fourth special edition of eLearning Papers is fresh off the press. What will we be able to read in it?
This is the third time I help prepare the special edition, which involves choosing the most interesting and popular articles published during the past 12 months, and then selecting a representative set of topics.
One of our most widely read issues in 2012 focused on Cyber Security, for example. For the special edition, we picked a Finnish article on “Children’s Experiences of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse on the Internet”, a problem that is more widespread than what we, adults, might think.
We also published an issue in the context of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012 from which we took a very interesting “From the field” article on mobility, international students and challenges of Lifelong Learning.
In the creative classrooms’ issue – probably this last year’s most important one – we had a wonderful article outlining the concept of creative classrooms (how they are developing and their future trends) from our frequent contributor Yves Punie and also from Panagiotis Kampylis and Stefania Bocconi.
So, would you highlight this particular article?
Indeed! It might just be the best one amongst last year’s articles. It is not only really important but also nicely linked with the European Commission’s policy priorities at the moment.
Also, from our issue on learning and work–which had many good articles–we choose a “From the field” article (although it could also be considered an in-depth article) about using serious games and apps for learning.
You mentioned the terms “From the field” and “In-depth” articles? What is the difference between the two?
It was never our intention to be strictly an academic journal. Since the very beginning we have been addressing practitioners and trying to bring them together with researchers, academia and policy makers.
We look at eLearning from a broad perspective, which is why we decided to include these two categories. With “From the field” articles people can share their experiences from projects and practical work without having to “compete” with very extensive research papers. In my opinion this model has been quite well received.
You have been director the board of the eLearning Papers for a long time, how do you see the portal’s evolution?
My predecessor and the first director of the board, Roberto Carneiro from Portugal, did a lot to get this initiative started. During my time in the position, we have managed to develop a dynamic and effective way of working remotely by using digital tools.
The portal itself also met a few changes to reflect the division between “From the field” and “In-depth” articles, and the improvements in the review and selection process, but the greatest change was definitely the publishing format. We decided a few years ago that since we are eLearning Papers, we should publish the material not just on the portal or paper-based formats but also as an online magazine. Since then, we have had three issues published as a downloadable PDFs.
Which topics will eLearning Papers address in 2013?
The first issue will address learning analytics, a very hot topic in all areas of ICT applied in education and learning. The following issues will be just as interesting, with topics ranging from learning spaces design, creative classrooms and personal learning environments, to an even hotter topic such as MOOCs, which will be the third issue. By the end of the year we will also have an issue focusing on digital literacy and e-competencies.
We keep hearing about "open education" and MOOCs lately. How do you think this will transform the educational world?
A couple of decades ago, when elearning first appeared, many people were saying that digitalisation was going to revolutionise the learning processes. In reality things have not changed that much and the same people became disappointed to see universities using the digital tools for administration rather than bringing them into the classroom and beyond.
I believe that open education as a concept, opening access to knowledge, content and learning is the main driving force of today. It’s actually the first time we see big changes coming to education and learning that are being enabled by digitalisation, for example, social and participatory media tools have made MOOCs and open learning resources possible and are opening a path to change as we speak.
Thank you for your time, Tapio.
Before we finish, I would like to emphasize the fact that we are the only journal in this field being published in Europe in 6 different languages. We are most thankful to our readers, contributors and guest editors, who inspire us and make it possible for us to keep on working and to continuously improve eLearning Papers.
Thanks to funds from UK-based Jisc, about 6,500 newly digitised museum objects from University College London and the University of Reading are now available to students, teachers, and the public at large.
Rare Ancient Egyptian artefacts (enhanced by 21st C. 3D imaging), digital images of zoological specimens, strange and beautiful anatomical prints, sixteenth-century portraits, and intriguing nineteenth-century scientific gadgets are just some examples of the digital artefacts recently added.
“Teaching using museum objects is increasingly popular in universities. However, hands-on time is always limited and providing access to our collections digitally overcomes barriers to independent student learning," says Leonie Hannan, teaching fellow in object-based learning at University College London.
This online compendium of objects, which will add to a bank of 150,000 already existing digital resources from the two museums, can be freely viewed, downloaded, and used on a Creative Commons licence. It is available through Culture Grid, the UK gateway to heritage resources.
Also available is a broad range of interdisciplinary Open Educational Resources (OER) that are both apt for online learning, and suitable for burgeoning initiatives like Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These OER's can be accessed through JORUM (the online educational resource sharing site), using the search term OBL4HE.
"We’re proud at Jisc to see how university museum staff has joined forces with academic colleagues and students to ensured the resources created respond to the needs of the teachers and learners," asserts Paola Marchionni, programme manager at Jisc.
Management of the Vital subject and special interest portals, an invaluable resource for schools, will switch over from The Open University to Jisc as of 1 April 2013. The portals direct teachers to some of the best subject resources available, helping to bring about innovation in the classroom to inspire learners.
Jisc (Joint Information Systems Committee) has finalised an agreement to preserve and host the Vital subject portals, which will be free to access, complementing Jisc Advance’s new subscription offer to schools.
“We are delighted that the DfE and The Open University selected us to provide a legacy for the Vital programme," says Guy Lambert, CEO of Jisc Advance. "We’re looking forward to taking over the reins of these established resource portals, accessed by up to 6,000 users every year."
This service will provide practical support to:
• Optimise the use of schools’ and academies’ existing technologies
• Link the use of technology to improvements in learning outcomes and progression
• Provide opportunities to share with and learn from peers
• Provide open access to resources and professional development opportunities.
Current Vital users will be contacted in Spring 2013 informing them of the changes and increased benefits. They will be offered the opportunity for their registrations to be transferred to Jisc to ensure continuity of service.
While learning has always expanded beyond the walls of the classroom, the proliferation of devices and applications, which have greatly expanded when, where and how information can be accessed and stored, brings this issue to the fore. How have such devices had an impact in learning, and what role may they play in the future? This issue hopes to showcase practical examples and generate serious reflection on an emerging topic.
Today’s youth are growing up in a world very different from the world their teachers or parents knew when they were young. Where and how they learn is changing as mobile learning and social networking become part of their every day life. Ubiquitous access to social media, tools and knowledge resources is taken for granted, while passive teacher-directed work dominates life at school.
Open, social and participatory media have significant potential to transform learning and teaching. They offer numerous ways to communicate, collaborate and connect with peers. The range of free educational resources and tools is rapidly increasing. Cloud computing has enabled free or inexpensive access to applications that were once available only to those who were willing to pay premium license fees.
The gap between the potential and actual use of technology in education is a paradox. eLearning Papers seeks to facilitate the sharing of innovative and creative uses of technology to support learning among its readers. The upcoming 32nd issue focuses on mobile technology applications and their potential to enhance learning within the broad spectrum of education and training. Papers are welcome on any aspects related to the use of open, social and participatory media, cloud computing or mobile learning. Some suggested focus areas are listed below.
- How do mobile devices enhance learning and creativity?
- Mobile learning and creative classrooms
- OER for mobile learning
- Mobile learning management models and strategies
- Learning design for mobile learning
- Mobile learning platforms, devices and operating systems
- Authoring tools and technologies for mobile learning
- Content design and development for mobile learning
- Platform specific applications for learning
- Augmented reality in education
- Mixed reality and mobile devices supporting learning
- Mobile devices and schoolwork, in classrooms and beyond
- Mobile devices supporting performance and learning at work
- Low-tech mobile learning, e.g. the power of SMS
The article submission deadline is November 19th, 2012. The provisional date of publication is December, 2012. For further information and to submit your article, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest editor: Prof. Dr. Martin Wolpers, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
The consultation on "Opening up Education - a proposal for a European Initiative to enhance education and skills development through new technologies", will explore the perceived need for EU action to promote the use of open educational resources (OER) in education.
From 13 August 2012 to 13 November 2012.
New technologies, in particular the internet, together with globalisation and the emergence of new education providers, are radically changing the way people learn and teach. Open access to education resources offers an unprecedented opportunity to enhance both excellence and equity in education. The EU aims to help both individual learners and education and training institutions in Member States to benefit from these opportunities and to increase their contribution to society.
In the last quarter of 2012, the Commission will present a Communication on Rethinking Skills aiming to increase the quantity, quality and relevance of skills supply for higher economic and social outcomes. This will, among other actions, announce a new EU Initiative on "Opening up Education": a proposal to exploit the potential contribution of ICTs and Open Educational Resources (OER) to education and skills development. This new EU initiative on "Opening up Education" will be the topic of a subsequent Communication in mid-2013.
View the consultation document [45 KB]
Fill in the survey!
The aim of this short questionnaire is to gather information about the types of skills project managers and others involved in the communication and dissemination activities of Lifelong Learning Programme funded projects require in the area of web strategies and social media.
Help to find out the real needs of project coordinators and partners in respect to these topics by completing a short questionnaire (which takes about 5 minutes). Your replies will help to ensure that the resources and training provided is appropriate, relevant and fit-for-purpose. The results will be published here.
Read more about the Web2LLP project here.
June 28 - LS6 Webinar: Empowering future language learners: Formal and informal language learning through social media
Pierre-Antoine Ullmo, P.A.U. Education, Barcelona, Spain
Stylianos Mystakidis, University of Patras, Greece
Pere Arcas, Catalan TV, Barcelona, Spain
Laia Canals, P.A.U. Education, Barcelona, Spain
Nina Timmer, P.A.U.Education, Barcelona, Spain
Join us for the special live debate (videostreaming webinar)
For free registration email now: email@example.com