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

Category: sharing

Learning from your students

Posted on March 4th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. No Comments

This post lists 5 resources that in, one way or another, will be or have been helpful to me. These resources were discovered by my students and I am posting them here to serve 4 purposes: First, this post celebrates the fact that students have as much to add to the learning experience as instructors/professors (all of you out there who think that your work is about giving out knowledge, pay attention). Second, this is a way for me to acknowledge some of the things that my students have brought to my attention this semester without spending time in class to talk about them (after all, most of my students are subscribed to my blog). Third, I can model how social technologies can be used in educational contexts. And finally, the post serves as an example of how networked technologies and filtering information through tags can empower relevant learning.  So, here we go:

Practical Advice from Working Researchers… (From Chris: http://delicious.com/c_costello)
“4researchers is an NIH supported project that disseminates practical information to help you conduct research. Get advice from experienced researchers through our catalog of quick tips, Q&As, and presentations. Or, sign up for advanced online training courses. Currently, there are more than 1000 articles posted by over 200 contributors.”

A Don Norman talk at TED: The three ways that good design makes you happy (from Woonhee: http://delicious.com/swhee03)

The Online Course Evaluation Project (OCEP) “identifies and evaluates existing online courses in higher education, Advanced Placement© and high school. The goal of OCEP is to provide the academic community with a criteria-based evaluation tool to assess and compare the quality of online courses.” (From Renata: http://delicious.com/rgeurtz).

Apture “gives content creators the power to find and incorporate relevant multimedia items directly into their pages. Readers can then access these items without ever leaving the page, providing them with a deeper and more meaningful web experience.” 3 years ago, we developed a similar system in our endeavors to scaffold learners who were learning geography. This application opens lots of possibilities for effortless implementation in other areas. (From Yin Li: http://delicious.com/moonchild100).

River City project “is an interactive computer simulation for middle grades science students to learn scientific inquiry and 21st century skills. River City has the look and feel of a videogame but contains content developed from National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, and 21st Century Skills” (from Royce: http://delicious.com/roycekimmons).

Help choose a book cover

Posted on February 20th, by George Veletsianos in open, papers, sharing, work. 1 Comment
[Update Feb 22, 2010: Thank you for the comments on the form below! I already have 70 bright ideas to improve the covers!!!]

Emerging Technologies in Distance Education is getting closer to completion. Now, we need to select a cover. Can you help?  The amazingly talented Natalie Olsen created the four cover concepts appearing below and I am having trouble selecting one! If you can help by completing the form below, we would greatly appreciate it! I’ll post the result by the end of next week (Feb 28).

The four designs are:

Cover 1: Pencils. Cover 2: Wordle.

Cover 3: Chalkboard. Cover 4: Tin Cans.

Learners as theorists

Posted on February 10th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. No Comments

Last week, my students and I explored readings relating to “theories of learning in the digital age.” Specifically, we explored connectivism, rhizomatic education, and social network knowledge construction (links to readings appear below). To tie the readings with our experiences as learners/educators, to contemporary developments in the field, and to our shared understanding of what these really mean, we formed groups and designed our own learning theories. (and, hey, why not, everyone’s creating theories/models/approaches/frameworks so why not do it within a matter of an hour to demonstrate that the “theory development” part is the easy part of the process :) )

I was glad to see deep reflection on the readings and questioning of these approaches to education. While both myself (and most of my students) seem to espouse a socio-constructivist view to learning, I was happy to see a true engagement with the readings in an attempt to understand what they are offering, while at the same time rejecting the pie-in-the-sky view of learning, as evidenced by this post for example.

References
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age, International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, 2(1): http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm
Kop, R., & Hill, A. (2008). Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past?. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 9(3). Retrieved November 7, 2009, from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/523/1103
Cormier, D. (2008). Rhizomatic education: Community as curriculum. Innovate 4 (5). http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=550 (free sign-up required)
Dawley, L. (2009). Social network knowledge construction: Emerging virtual world pedadogy. On The Horizon 17(2), 109-121. http://edtech.boisestate.edu/ldawley/SNKC_pdf.pdf

E-journals and readership

Posted on February 3rd, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 1 Comment

The image below comes from IRRODL and relates to a paper one of my students and I published a month ago: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/author/submission/755 (Veletsianos, G., & Kleanthous, I. (2009). A review of adventure learning. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distance Learning, 10(6), 84-105)

Even though numerous other metrics could be added to gauge readership, impact, and interest of an academic paper (e.g. pdf downloads, # repeat visitors,  citation counts, and social media references) this is a step towards the right direction. Making such data publicly available would further benefit the academic community :)

Arrived in Austin, TX

Posted on January 13th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 1 Comment

This blog has been quiet for a bit…. and the reason is because I was moving. I have finally arrived in Austin, Texas and this is the required “I have moved” blog post. Starting next week, I will be joining the Instructional Technology program at the University of Texas at Austin as an Assistant Professor (part of the Curriculum and Instruction department). This blog’s regular program will commence again soon :)

P.S. Here is the University president’s blog and the newly-launched U of Texas iPhone app – happy to see both of these of course! :)

2010/365 Project

Posted on January 4th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. No Comments

This year I decided to participate in one of the “take a photo every day” projects. I am doing this partly to improve my photography skills through practice, partly to learn from others, and partly to force myself to pause and enjoy the daily beauty of life that usually escapes undocumented. I commit to taking a picture every single day, but don’t commit to be uploading the photos on a daily basis. I will be posting my photos at my flickr set entitled 2010/365 and at the 2010/365photos group. Pictures from the first four days of January are embedded below. If you’d like to follow, you can add me as a contact on flickr or subscribe to my set’s RSS feed (none of that “RSS is dead” conviction here!)…

Measuring (and forging a path to) openness

Posted on December 31st, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 1 Comment

George posted a note on elearnspace blog on developing a Measurement of Openness in Education Systems (MOES) to raise awareness and draw attention to openess, while at the same time providing a measure that allows discussions to ensue. George lists a number of measures to be included in a metric to openness and asks what else can be added to this. The following additions may be of interest:

  • Adopting an institutional repository (or at the very least, supporting researchers in posting their publications on university-sponsored sites).
  • Open access to the data behind publications (perhaps published concurrently)
  • Open Tenure and Review applications, decisions, and data supporting them (see for example, Alec’s application)
  • Open access to instructor, department, school, college, and university reviews (e.g., student course evaluations and institutional reviews/assessments)

More importantly however, in line with developing a Measurement of Openness in Education Systems (George’s phrase), we need to develop guidelines on becoming open thus forging a path to openness. As highlighted in the various discussions occurring at the moment surrounding “openness” (here, here, here, and here), the term and it’s meaning are somewhat mystified. To confuse you even more, I suggest that being open doesn’t necessarily mean being open, which I gather is the point behind Siemen’s latest posts.  For example, having a university-wide statement on openness is not the same as adopting and actively supporting an institutional repository or providing incentives for instructors to teach open courses. I keep returning to the shades of gray idea: We usually treat issues as if they are black or white when in actuality they are not. There is no one single notion of closed, open, virtual, real, hybrid education, online learning, constructivism, and so on. There are multiple shades of gray in much the same way that there are multiple variations on constructivism, in much the same way that virtual experiences are quite real.

I am ranting… anyway, the point is that it would be beneficial to publish a document on steps to becoming more open, with each step representing a stronger stance to adopting openness. Such a document can align with the Measurement of Openness in Education Systems suggestion, highlighting relative positions on an openness scale.

< How’s that for an end of year post!? :) >

(Closed) Open Access, or Open Access Fail

Posted on December 28th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 1 Comment

A few minutes ago, I received an email alerting me that the following paper was available at the TC Record website: Open Access, Education Research, and Discovery. I clicked on the link, eager to read my colleague’s ideas! But then I hit the subscription wall that you see in the image above. This led to my current state of dizziness. I tried to access the paper through my university’s databases and figured out that we don’t subscribe to TC Record. I searched the googlesphere in case the author posted a copy on his own website or institutional repository, but I couldn’t find it. It’s not that I don’t have $7 to buy the article, though, arguably, some people may not (hence, the economic argument for open access).

I also want to see if this paper would be good for my students since we will be examining the notion of “openness” in technology-enhanced learning next semester. Unfortunately, I have adopted an open access policy for my class, and unless someone directs me to a publicly available copy of the paper, it does not look like this paper will be on the mandatory reading list…