More than 5,000 participants from 138 countries participated in the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization”, making it the largest class to date held by the institution.
The MOOC was taught by renowned expert Alberto Cairo between January and March 2013, as part of the Knight Center’s new MOOC initiative, which began in October last year with the first edition of the infographics course and counted with the participation of 2,000 people from 109 countries.
"As far as we know, this was the first MOOC on journalism in the world," said professor Rosental Alves, founder and director of the Knight Center. "This first MOOC was an experiment and I can now say that it was a big success. We proved the concept and now we are preparing several other MOOCs on journalism topics.”
Professor Alves said that about half of the participants were engaged in the discussion forums. "The fact that 2,214 people interacted in the forums of the course is really a good indicator of the effectiveness of the MOOC," he said.
“People from more than 100 countries have participated in this MOOC. We've had journalists, designers, scientists, economists, statisticians, developers, etc. This fact has made the course much richer and more engaging. It would not have been so interesting if the student body were not so diverse,” wrote instructor Alberto Cairo in his final message to the class.
The Knight Center’s pioneering MOOC programme has been designed especially for this new, massive format and seeks to encourage the largest amount of student-to-student and instructor-to-students interactions as possible. On March 8 the Knight Center launched its first MOOC in Spanish, "How to Improve Electoral Coverage."
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.
“Cloud Computing and the Power to Choose” is an article published by the magazine Educause Review in June 2010. Written by Rob Bristow, Ted Dodds, Richard Northam, and Leo Plugge, it provides insight into the chances and risks in cloud computing and cloud services for higher education and research.
With many in higher education today eyeing the potential of the cloud, the question now according to the authors of the paper is not so much "Is cloud computing a good idea?" The key question to answer is: "What can we do with the cloud?"
Colleges and universities around the world are discussing, planning for, and using cloud computing and cloud services. The rate of adoption varies from country to country, but the need for awareness and preparation is universal.
This article examines cloud issues (both opportunities and risks) by looking at examples from four countries: Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
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.
This 'Learning Now' event will reveal how learning technologies can be used to help improve compliance training in organisations.
"Why won't they comply?", the first of three 'LearningNow' series of events, will help participants identify the problems often encountered when delivering compliance training and examine ways to inject new life into dry subject matter. Participants will get a chance to discuss the real issues behind developing compliance content, and consider new ways to put behavioural change into practice.
“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 Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an ambitious project launched in April 2013 with the aim to bring together and make freely available to the world the resources from libraries, archives and museums across the United States.
The DPLA offers a single point of access to millions of items, from photographs to manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images and more. Users can browse and search the collections by timeline, map, format, and topic; save items to customized lists and share their lists with others. Users can also explore digital exhibitions curated by the DPLA’s content partners and staff.
The DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used, through its three main elements:
- First, an easy-to-use portal where anyone can access collections and search through them using novel and powerful techniques, including by place and time.
- Second, a sophisticated technical platform that will make those millions of items available in ways so that others can build creative and transformative applications upon them, such as smartphone apps.
- Third, along with like-minded institutions and individuals the DPLA will seek innovative means to make more cultural and scientific content openly available, and it will advocate for a strong public option for reading and research in the twenty-first century.
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.
Oceans Solutions is a free 6-week online course offered by the University of Western Australia (UWA) Class2Go programme and taught by Carlos M. Duarte, Director of the Oceans Institute and Research Professor with the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC),
This course focuses particularly on the Indian Ocean, which is arguably the least explored of the world's oceans. However, and like many other oceans, it is under stress from overfishing, pollution, climate change and sea level rise.
Students will analyse and discuss the great challenges humanity will face, and is already facing, due to the increase of the world’s population and address how an intelligent and innovative use of the ocean can sustainably and safely deliver the key resources necessary to meet the challenge of providing fair livelihoods to 9 billion people by 2050.
Professor Duarte will argue that while we live on a planet mostly covered with water, we get most of our resources from land, and we need to reverse that thinking.
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.