Professor & Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University

Category: sharing

Supercomputers and Open Science

Posted on April 15th, by George Veletsianos in my research, NPS, online learning, scholarship, sharing. No Comments

The University of Texas at Austin, along with numerous partners, has dedicated Lonestar 4, its latest supercomputer, to the scientific community for research purposes. Researchers around the world have already been using UT’s supercomputers for scientific exploration, and I was really excited to find out that social scientists have increasingly been inquiring about using the supercomputer for their data needs. To put the system’s capabilities in context, Lonestar 4 encompasses:

  • 302 teraflops peak performance
  • 44.3 terabytes total memory
  • 1.2 petabytes raw disk

One of my research strands is focusing on educator and researcher participation in online networks (which is a topic closely related to digital scholarship), and I am in the process of investigating the opportunities provided by supercomputer to understand various facets of digital scholarship. Incidentally, I came across the following TED video yesterday that touches upon a similar idea, namely scientists participation in online spaces with an eye towards embracing open science and enhancing research outcomes and processes:

Emerging Technologies and Transformative Learning

Posted on February 25th, by George Veletsianos in my research, online learning, open, papers, sharing. 1 Comment

I’m excited to announce the publication of a special issue that Brendan Calandra and I did for Educational Technology, focusing on the complex relationship(s) between emerging technologies and transformative learning [Educational Technology, 51(2)]. The  issue is in part the result of a conversation we have had over the last two years about emerging technologies and their potential to foster unique types of learning. We have found that these unique types of learning to be qualitatively different than goal-based and performance-oriented learning, and to share many characteristics with Jack Mezirow’s original notion of transformative learning such as disorienting dilemmas, critical reflection, dialogue, and changes to frames of reference (1978, 1991, 1997). Our suggestions for future work include further examination of how transformative learning might be negotiated in technology-enhanced contexts, and how emerging technologies might foster and influence transformative outcomes.

Here is a copy of the introduction to the special issue: Emerging Technologies and Transformative Learning.

The papers for this issue are as follows:

Teaching in an Age of Transformation: Understanding Unique Instructional Technology Choices which Transformative Learning Affords
Kathleen P. King

Transformative Learning Experience: Aim Higher, Gain More
Brent G. Wilson
Patrick Parrish

Learning Experience as Transaction: A Framework for Instructional Design
Patrick Parrish
Brent G. Wilson
Joanna C. Dunlap

The Seven Trans-disciplinary Habits of Mind: Extending the TPACK Framework Towards 21st Century Learning
Punya Mishra
Matthew J. Koehler
Danah Henriksen

Virtual Worlds as a Trigger for Transformative Learning
Steve W. Harmon

Using digital video to promote teachers’ transformative learning
Brendan Calandra
Anton Puvirajah

Opportunities for and Barriers to Powerful and Transformative Learning Experiences in Online Learning Environments
Benjamin B. Bolger,
Gordon Rowland,
Carrie Reuning-Hummel,
Stephen Codner

Designing Opportunities for Transformation with Emerging Technologies (pdf posted by permission)
George Veletsianos

Shaping global citizens: Technology enhanced inter-cultural collaboration and transformation
P. Clint Rogers

A Framework for Action: Intervening to Increase Adoption of Transformative Web 2.0 Learning Resources
Joan E. Hughes,
James M. Guion,
Kama A. Bruce,
Lucas R. Horton,
Amy Prescott

Enjoy!

The importance of ALT-J going open access

Posted on February 15th, by George Veletsianos in my research, open, scholarship, sharing. 3 comments

The ALT-J Journal has been renamed to “Research in Learning Technology”, but more importantly, starting in January 2012 the journal will be published under an open access license.Why is this important? ALT-J is quite respected in the field, and the number of high-profile, highly-respected journals in the field that are open access is limited. As high-profile, high-quality journals take the open access route, it is highly likely that more and more researchers will entertain the idea of publishing in venues that embrace openness (and not the type of “openness” that requires researchers to pay to have the ability to disseminate their work).

Scholarly publishing has traditionally been evaluated in terms of perceived journal quality and citation counts. Empirical research has indicated (a) citation advantages for papers published in an open access manner [Hajeem, Harnad, & Gingras, 2005], or (b) no significant differences in terms of citation counts between open access and non-open-access journals [Zawacki-Richter, Anderson, & Tuncay, 2010]. As far as journal quality goes: even though the number of high-quality open access in the field is limited, open access does not necessarily mean low quality. ALT-J’s move into the open access realm demonstrates this, and a number of people even predict that ALT-J will gain a higher status in the field.

References

Hajjem, C., Harnad, S. and Gingras, Y. (2005) Ten-year cross-disciplinary comparison of the growth of open access and how it increases research citation impact. IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin, 28(4), 39-47.

Zawacki-Richter, O., Anderson, T., & Tuncay, N. (2010). The growing impact of open access distance Education journals: A bibliometric analysis. The Journal Of Distance Education / Revue De L’ÉDucation à Distance, 24(3).

Full disclaimer: I serve on ALT-J’s editorial board.

Scenes and Symbolisms of Learning

Posted on February 9th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 1 Comment

Mike Wesch recently put out a call asking for “2 minute video[s] showing us scenes of what you see in your everyday life during your most critical learning moments.” Crowdsourcing video is a powerful strategy to gather authentic and interesting data from a wide range of contributors, and the contributions that Dr. Wesch has received so far demonstrate this point clearly.

I used this call to develop the first 30-minute “in-class” activity my students engaged with in my Spring 2011 course entitled “Online Learning in the Participatory Age.” This video contributes to the project described above, but also serves as our first contribution to participatory cultures (with follow-up activities designed to understand the implications of online participation for individuals). Our discussions not only denoted critical learning moments, but, we believe, reveal the spectrum of learning that may exist between the new and the old, the formal and the informal, the traditional and the non-traditional. More importantly however, we tried to stay away from binaries and from elevating one form of learning over another, using the video as a jumping point for the Spring semester.

The video is posted here, and is also embedded below:

Data Snippet: Connections in an Online Course

Posted on January 22nd, by George Veletsianos in my research, online learning, open, sharing. No Comments

This post is part of this year’s goal to share more data and findings from my in-progress papers. My research assistant and I are working on a paper examining certain aspects of an online course. We came across an interesting quote and I thought that it might be of interest to others because this student is describing an experience that (some might say) is not frequent:

[I am] really liking that connection with our classmates… it’s interesting that in a traditional face-to-face course, I don’t always feel as connected to my classmates, even though I’m going to be sitting right next to them, engaged in face-to-face conversation.

Even though I am not at all interested in comparing face-to-face and online courses (other than to point out that online affords different opportunities), I think that the quote above indicates once again that online courses can be enjoyable and that face-to-face does not necessarily mean interactive or connected. To play with Sherry Turkle’s new book title, is this a case of “together alone?”

Photo credit: Sitting alone, by naraekim0801

Emerging Technologies in Distance Education: Summary

Posted on January 19th, by George Veletsianos in emerging technologies, open, sharing. 1 Comment

Following Elizabeth Wellburn on her project to blog summaries of each chapter of Emerging Technologies in Distance Education has been very exciting. She has now blogged summaries of each chapter and if you’d like a short introduction to the book, you can head to her blog.

Crowdsourcing online video

Posted on January 18th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 3 comments

I love listening to people’s stories and learning from people’s experiences, especially when these experiences differ. The rise of video on the web  as a communication medium has allowed many of us to share our stories and our experiences in a fun, first-person narrative format. This is increasingly recognized in educational/scholarly projects around the world in the form of crowdsourced video, in which project leaders request narrative videos from participants interested in the topic. Examples include the following,

  • The first time I came across crowdsourced video was in 2008, when participants at the World Economic Forum at Davos where asked to respond to the Davos Question of the year. Since then, they’ve started crowdsourcing  video online
  • Alan Levine’s amazing stories of openness from Open Ed 2009 serves as another example
  • … and the 2010 project on amazing stories of sharing
  • Christina Costa sent me a link to the Open Source Cinema work, which features what it describes as the world’s first open source documentary
  • The Earthducation project from the LT Media Lab, seeking answers on the question “What is education to you?” to study education and sustainability features a site where participants can record their video without the need to post on third-party sites. Incidentally, the Africa expedition was just launched – check it out and send them their video. I’ve worked with Charlie and Aaron in the past and their work is fantastic!
  • Our YoTeach project asking participants to answer the question “What is the role of the teacher? where video contributions were used in a sociology course and function as resources for teacher educators wanting to explore teacher roles with their students
  • The Narrating Lives Video project where individuals where asked  “to record short video responses to questions about their experiences as readers, scholars, and teachers.” Videos available here
  • Finally, Michael Wesch has posted a note last week asking for video contributions from students and professors demonstrating how students see their world and how they learn.

I would love to see more of these! Do you have any other examples that you can share?

Educational Technology and Related Education Conferences January- June 2011

Posted on January 15th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 1 Comment

Clayton Wright has once again provided us with his extensive list of educational technology conferences for the upcoming 6 months (Jan-Jun 2011). If you haven’t explored this list yet, here’s your chance to explore new conferences and lose yourself in places you might want to visit.

Clayton Wright Educational Technology and Education Conferences January to June 2011 (Word document)