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

Category: sharing

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…

Educational Design Research: Local Change, Global Impact

Posted on December 19th, by George Veletsianos in sharing. 1 Comment

If you are interested in design-based research and (like me) have a great appreciation of Dr. Reeve’s contributions to our field, you might be interested in the following conference/celebration (via ITFORUM):

“Educational Design Research: Local Change, Global Impact”
A Special Conference to Honor Professor Thomas C. Reeves upon his retirement from The University of Georgia

March 26 – 27, 2010

Call for Participation

Barab and Squire (2004) describe design research as “a series of approaches, with the intent of producing new theories, artifacts, and practices that account for and potentially impact learning and teaching in naturalistic settings” (p. 2) (italics added). This definition highlights the twin outcomes that educational design research ideally yields, important local change with respect to enhancing learning, teaching, and performance, and viable global impact with respect to the development of reusable design principles and enhanced theory. With roots in the 1980s and earlier, educational design research has begun to be more widely adopted by educational researchers and practitioners across a variety of fields, including educational technology and the learning sciences. You are invited to submit papers and posters that report the status and results on recent and on-going design research projects. In addition, papers and posters are encouraged that present arguments for and against educational design research, recommend new directions, and/or share new methods and tools.

Barab, S., & Squire, K. (2004). Design-based research: Putting a stake in the ground. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), 1-14.

Submission Overview

Proposals for full papers will be due by January 23, 2010.  Proposals for full papers will be subjected to review by an editorial team. Presenters will have 20 minute slots in the program with 15 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for discussion. Accepted papers will be considered for inclusion in an edited volume of papers from the conference.

Poster proposals (500-1000 word description) will be due by January 23, 2010. Poster proposals will be reviewed by an editorial review team.

Guidelines for paper and poster submissions appear below.

Full paper and Poster proposers will be notified of acceptance decisions by February 15, 2010. Once a proposal has been accepted, each presenter must register for the conference. Presentations/posters will not be scheduled in the program until the presenters of papers or posters have registered. Final revisions of accepted papers will be due no later than March 5, 2010 in order to be included in the conference proceedings.

There will be a minimal registration fee for all attendees. A highly discounted rate for students will be available. The registration fee will primarily be used to help cover the costs of the refreshments and materials for this event. Additional information will be posted to the conference Web site: http://etc.coe.uga.edu/conference/ in January 2010.

Full Paper Proposal Details

Presentation time: 20 minutes including questions
Proposal submission length: 1,000 -1,250 words (without references)
Proceedings length (if selected for presentation/publication): 4,000-5,000 words

Full paper proposals should report on significant work related to research, development or applications of best practices related to the focus of the conference. Integrative literature reviews that advance the knowledgebase in interesting ways are also invited. In addition, paper proposals are encouraged that present arguments for and against educational design research, recommend new directions, and/or share new methods and tools. Proposals reporting studies should include the following information:
The topic and how it relates to the theme of the conference
A description of the problem or opportunity addressed in the work
The goals and/or questions posed
A clear description of what was done (data collected, system development, processes implemented)
Results of the work or major findings
Implications for research, theory, and practice

Please submit your proposal to Diane Igoche (specialconference@gmail.com) as a PDF document by January 23, 2010 at 11:59p. Proposals will be reviewed by an editorial review team and rank ordered according to how well they fulfill the proposal requirements.

If your paper is selected, you must be able to attend the conference, March 26-27 2010.

Poster Proposal Details

Proposal submission length: 500-1,000 words (without references)

Poster proposals should report on significant work related to research, development or applications of best practices related to the focus of the conference. Projects that are in-progress may be presented if preliminary results can be presented. In addition, poster proposals are encouraged that present arguments for and against educational design research, recommend new directions, and/or share new methods and tools. Proposals reporting studies should include the following information:
The topic and how it relates to the theme of the conference
A description of the problem or opportunity addressed in the work
The goals and/or questions posed
A clear description of what was done (data collected, system development, processes implemented)
Results of the work or major findings
Implications for research, theory, and practice

Please submit your proposal to Diane Igoche (specialconference@gmail.com) as a PDF document by January 23, 2010 at 11:59p.

Proposals will be reviewed by an editorial review team and rank ordered according to how well they fulfill the proposal requirements.

If your poster is selected, you must be able to attend the conference, March 26-27 2010.

Preliminary Conference Schedule

Friday, 26 March
Time
Activity
10AM – 12PM
EPIT Department Retirement Celebration for Dr. Reeves
1– 5 PM
Pre-Conference Workshop (4 Hours) – “Conducting Educational Design Research” will be provided by
Dr. Jan Herrington (Murdoch University, Australia),
Dr. Susan McKenney (University of Twente, The Netherlands), and Dr. Thomas C. Reeves (The University of Georgia, USA)
6 – 8 PM
Poster Reception with Refreshments* (Posters will remain up until 5 PM on Saturday)

Saturday, 27 March
Time
Activity
9 – 10:15 AM
Welcome and Keynote – Dr. Jan Herrington
10:15 – 10:30 AM
Coffee Break
10:30 – 11:30 AM
Paper Session 1 (3 papers – 20 minutes each with questions)
11:30 – 12:30 PM
Paper Session 2 (3 papers – 20 minutes each with questions)
12:30 – 1:45 PM
Lunch and Keynote – Dr. Susan McKenney
1:45 – 2:45 PM
Paper Session 3 (3 papers – 20 minutes each with questions)
2:45 – 3:00 PM
Coffee Break
3:00 – 4:00 PM
Paper Session 4 (3 papers – 20 minutes each with questions)
4:00 – 5:00 PM
Keynote and Farewell – Dr. Thomas C. Reeves
6:00 – 9:00 PM
Buffet dinner with folk music and fun

What Google Wave does best

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

Has everyone blogged about Google Wave yet? I have to confess that I haven’t yet found a profound use for it in my work, but it just occurred to me that what Google Wave does best is to discover your social network and connections, and to allnetworkow you to seamlessly collaborate with them without any mediating steps. Google Wave takes the view that people I have contacted should be added as contacts to my account. If I contacted someone, I therefore “know” him/her, and this person can automatically be added as a contact to my account, so that I don’t need to add them again. Rather than spending time on re-establishing connections, figuring people’s usernames, and going through the process of sending invitations to connect, Google does that all that automatically (at least for those of us who already use google products)…. is this marking a new era of living where our networks (both within and across services) become discoverable and transferable? The implications are wide-reaching.

Photo courtesy of Nimages DR licenced under a CC-license.

Choosing a career (14-17 year olds)

Posted on December 3rd, by George Veletsianos in sharing. No Comments

I started writing this post when I was at 38,046 ft in the sky, somewhere above the great state of Virginia, 3,670 miles away from Manchester. I’ve been flying for six and a half hours and in-between watching TED videos, listening to an audio recording of Machiavelli’s The Prince, and sleeping on the two empty seats next to mine, I have been thinking about how people decide on their career choice. This seemingly random thought has been nagging me for a while. This thought has nothing to do with me personally: I love what I do and I would do it again if I had the option. But going beyond my own experience, and leaving aside the cultural and need-to-work aspect of things, how do people decide on what they want to become? Sure, we take classes that sound interesting, appealing, or just different. Or, in some situations, we are forced to take classes from different domains (two thumbs up for liberals arts degrees). Or, we just stick with classes that we like or are forced to take (and two thumbs down for Anglo-type universities that force students to focus on one single discipline). Maybe we have role models or we have certain aspirations in life and figure out a career/job that allows us to achieve those certain aspirations. Or, our parents encourage us to take a certain path in life. Or, it’s all of these factors together or a combination of these. But this is all relative still. Where I want to end up is the magnificent (for those of us who aren’t yet parents) age of 14-17. That age is critical for one’s aspirations in life, for what one wants to become. Note that the emphasis is on having goals and becoming, and not on simply getting a job. So… at the age of 14-17, what guidance are we providing to students to help them choose socially important and personally meaningful, challenging, and interesting careers? When I went to school, I was given an outdated booklet describing (and stereotyping) jobs that would be available to me. I was also given the option to participate in a learning practicum. In Cyprus, this is still standard practice. I am interested in learning what schools worldwide offer for their students, especially when technology is involved. How do you introduce students to possible career options? Do you bring individuals to school to talk about their professions? Do you offer day trips? What do you do? Let me know!

Capturing influence in informal social networks

Posted on November 27th, by George Veletsianos in open, sharing, work. 1 Comment

Data on the influence and impact of interactions in informal social networks is difficult to come by. Dr. Jon Becker is trying to collect data on the influence of Dr. Alec Couros‘ work, in support of Alec’s Tenure and Promotion application. Data from this endeavor will go in Alec’s digital portfolio that supports his application. This is a great idea, not just in terms of evaluating one’s contribution to the community, but also in terms of celebrating the achievements of a dedicated, resourceful, and brilliant colleague. If you have benefited in any way by interacting with Alec – and if you have interacted with Alec, I am sure you have – say it here!

Emerging Technologies in Primary Education

Posted on November 24th, by George Veletsianos in open, sharing. 2 comments

A few short weeks ago a colleague at the University of Nicosia-Cyprus asked if I could pay a virtual visit to her class and have a discussion on issues relating to educational technology. Below are the slides that I’ll be using to discuss the use of emerging technologies in primary education. I don’t usually post these, but this one is in Greek so I thought that some people may find use in it. Below is the same message in Greek.

Πριν μερικές εβδομάδες μία συνάδελφος απο το Πανεπιστήμιο της Λευκωσίας ρώτησε αν θα μπορούσα να κάνω μια εικονική επίσκεψη στην τάξη της για συζήτηση για θέματα που αφορούν την εκπαιδευτική τεχνολογία. Πάρακάτω θα βρείτε τις σημειώσεις μου για τη χρήση των νέων τεχνολογιών στην πρωτοβάθμια/δημοτική εκπαίδευση. Δεν συνηθίζω να τις δίνω αυτές αλλά μίας και είναι στα ελληνικά  σκέφτηκα ότι κάποιοι μπορεί να τις βρουν χρήσιμες.

Two Quotes

Posted on November 23rd, by George Veletsianos in sharing. No Comments

I’ve been thinking a lot about educational change lately. I’ve also been trying to connect a few ideas relating to culture, power, access, and responsible teaching. Though I usually return to Paulo Freire for these things, I’ve been reading a bit more on what other authors have to say. Below are two quotes that provide food for thought:

From the Foucault blog, “I lecture at a rather special place, the Collège de France, whose function is precisely not to teach. What I find very pleasing about the situation is that I don’t feel like I’m teaching, that is, I don’t feel that I am in a relationship of power with my students. A teacher is someone who says: “There are a certain number of things you don’t know, but you should know.” He starts off by making the students feel guilty. And then he places them under an obligation, saying: “I’m the one who knows these things that you should know and I’m going to teach them to you. And once I’ve taught them to you, you’re going to have to know them. And I’m going to verify whether you really do know them.” So there’s verification, a whole series of relationships of power. But at the Collège de France, students take only the courses they want to take. And anybody can sit in on classes, anybody from retired army officers to fourteen-year-old lycéens. They come if they are interested, otherwise they stay home. So who is tested, who is under power? At the Collège de France, it’s the teacher.”

From the Encyclopaedia of Philosophy of Education: “In Nietzsche’s thoughts, education and culture are inseparable. There can be no culture without an educational project, nor education without a culture to support it. Education in German schools springs from an historicist conception and gives origin to a pseudoculture. Culture and education are synonyms of “selective training”, “the formation of the self”; for the existence of a culture, it is necessary that individuals learn determined rules, that they acquire habits and that they begin to educate themselves against themselves, or better, against the education forced upon them.”