The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Seville has published the report on blockchain in education. The report is written by Alex Grech, Anthony Camilleri and Andreia Inamorato. The report introduces the fundamental principles of the Blockchain focusing on its potential for the education sector. It explains how this technology may both disrupt institutional norms and empower learners. It proposes eight scenarios for the application of the Blockchain in an education context, based on the current state of technology development and deployment.
One of our MOOC rockstar professors, Felienne Hermans, was awarded today the SURF Education Award at the SURF onderwijsdagen in Rotterdam.
The SURF Education Awards are presented annually to changemakers in educational innovation across four categories: lecturer, ICT professional, educational adviser and manager. Candidates are nominated by the professional field, after which the judging panel selects a winner in each of the four categories based on several criteria. Last year Anka Mulder won in the category of manager.
Felienne is the professor of our Professional Certificate Programme on Data Analysis & Visualisation in Excel and two Dutch MOOCs about scratch for kids and their teachers. Below is the promo video, unfortunately in Dutch.
Today at the SURF onderwijsdagen VSNU (Association of universities in the Netherlands), Vereniging Hogescholen (association of universities of applied sciences in NL) and SURF presented. The three organisation see many opportunities for digitization in education, but they also see that the pace of adoption should speed up to meet the demands of businesses, students and politics.
In the document they list nine concrete actions grouped by four themes:
- Connection with the labor market
- digital literacy part of core curricula
- digital literacy part of core curricula
- Flexibility of education
- investigate the possibilities to make our education programmes more flexible.
- Smarter and better learning with technology
- Open up towards edtech companies
- Open sharing of educational resources
- Towards evidence based educational innovation
- utilitsation of educational data
- Create possibilities for innovation
- Direction on shared urgency on educational innovation
- Accelerate the development of a vision on educational innovation
- Facilitate professionalisation of teachers
The Dutch version is available on surf.nl/versnellingsagenda, the English version will be published a little later.
This morning Martin Weller of OU UK and OERhub gave an interesting keynote about the landscape of open education. In his presentation he gave an excellent overview with some interesting remarks. Three things that kept me thinking.
Open Education has to become boring
"when a technology becomes normal, the ubiquitous, and finally so pervasive as to be invisible, that the really profound change happens" ~ Clay Shirky
This is so true and the interesting thing is that I have had a couple of discussions with Anka about this. She said that she doesn't see a lot of new things and my response has been that this is positive and we working on mainstreaming open education.
Open flip economics
Instead of spending the money on buying textbooks, you spend it on production of open textbooks. I just heard a case about this in the Netherlands, that publishers were not interested in developing a certain textbook and that the money now spend on freeing up time of teachers to creat #OER to be published in wikiwijs.
Ignore the hype
Education is one side always sensitive for hypes, but at the end not that much has changed. We see that the hype of MOOCs is ending, but they still offer great opportunities for students and life long learners. Great example that Martin mentioned is the Credit for MOOCs project that TU Delft initiated. This gives students a great set of additional courses they can get credit for.
Below the slides of Martin. If you are interested in discussion more about open education, you should come to OEGlobal18 in Delft.
This week are the yearly Dutch Onderwijsdagen. This is a two day conference about education and ICT organised by SURF. This year there is a strong focus on open educational resources. There is a special pre-conference session on OER and the power of sharing. Also the diner theme on Tuesday is about sharing OER.
Pre-conference OER - the power of sharing
The keynote speaker of the pre-conference is Martin Weller. His keynote will focus on navigating the Open Education landschape:
With the advent of open educational resources, MOOCs and open access publishing, open practice has moved into the mainstream in educational practice. This talk will examine the different aspects of open practice, highlighting common themes and principles. The impact of open practice on teaching and learning and how openness is now providing alternative, sustainable business models will be explored.
This will lead to analysis of the challenges and opportunities these new approaches offer for those operating in education.
After the keynote Anka Mulder (of TU Delft) and Etienne Verheiijck (University of Amsterdam Medical Centre) will talk about what institutes should do to make sharing and reuse successful.
The keynote of the main conference on Tuesday is about learning analytics. Timothy McKay (Professor of Physics, Astronomy, Education and Director of the Digital Innovation Greenhouse of University of Michgan) will talk about harnessing data science to transform education. His focus is role of research in establishing an evidence-basis for education. As background you can read this interview.
During the conference I will tweet with the hashtag #OWD17 and will write a couple of blog articles.
Katy Jordan and Martin Weller have written an interesting beginner's guide to openness and education. It clearly shows the different ways of thinking about openness.
The idea started with the conception that many have forgotten the past. They used a citation analysis approach to try and map the ‘open education’ landscape from the early beginning back in the 1960s to the now. In their analysis they identified eight clusters of papers:
- Open Education in schools
- Distance education & open learning
- E-learning & online education
- Open Access publishing
- open practices
- Social media
I think this is an interesting document for any researcher and practioner in open education. It will give you background in the history and difference in thinking. Below is the guide:
- Jordan, K. & Weller, M. (2017) Openness and Education: A beginner’s guide. Global OER Graduate Network.
Exactly 10 years ago, on 16th of October 2007, we launched the website ocw.tudelft.nl (see my blog post). We started with 10 courses from 3 master programmes. 10 years later we have 200 courses on the site and many more initiative that happened because of OpenCourseWare, such as iTunesU, our MOOCs on edX, our open & online education programme, our open science programme. Below a short video we made for the celebration.
From the beginning I have been involved with the project and looking back I'm very proud of the impact we have had with small OpenCourseWare project. Not only outside the university for learners around the world, but also within the university. Check out our special page we created to give an overview of 10 years of OpenCourseWare.
In the last couple of years we have been working hard to embed open education in the core of the university. Part of this is sustaining it in our university policies. This means that it is included in TU Delft's Vision on Education. The document describes our educational goals and quality ambitions, and states directions for further development of our educational portfolio and our way of teaching and learning. The document states:
As an open academic community we see it as part of our public mission to:
- Share latest insights from our research with our students, alumni, working professionals and learners all over the world and become a learning community in which we learn and collaborate to solve the challenges of our time
- Share our courses and course materials with a global public by publishing them under an open license that allows re‐use for non‐commercial ends
The new institutional strategic framework will also include important statements about open education and open science. It will be finalised later this year.
in the short term some celebration during the Open Education Week in March. The big event next year will be the Open Education Global Conference we are organising together with Open Education Consortium. You have one week left to submit a proposal!
In the long we continue to support our academic staff to opening up the education and research. Open should become the default for our researchers and teachers.
The last four years we have worked very hard to establish the TU Delft Extension School. One of major contributions to our success is the creation of an international team of professionals. In our team we have (or had) Dutch, Portugees, Slovenian, Italian, Mexican, Israeli, American, South-African, Canadian, and British nationalities. Although I prefer to keep talent in house, sometimes it is better for them to move on. In most cases this means they move into a leading position in the field of open/online education at another institute (e.g. WarChild, IHE).
It does offer the opportunity to hire some new. So, there is a job opening for a new Learning Developer to join our great team of learning developers.
As Learning Developer you will be part of a team creating advanced learning modules for open, online, and blended courses for learners, professionals, and students. You will have considerable experience designing and developing online and blended courses. In this role, you will partner with the academic staff to create outstanding courses. Your project management skills contribute to your success in this role as you will be responsible for managing multiple projects.
Your tasks include the following:
- Guiding course teams in the entire process of designing, producing, delivering and evaluating online or blended courses or programmes.
- Devise complex technical methods and processes to meet new and unique eLearning and web requirements and resolve technical problems.
- Work independently and interact effectively with various faculty in the TU Delft organisation.
- Recognise, recommend and participate in the development of standards and procedures that support quality improvement in the Delft Extension School and products for our students.
- Provide project management for learning projects with tight deadlines. These projects bring together people from various departments and backgrounds to develop content, technical specifications and functional prototypes for the Extension School.
- Develop and provide workshops and trainings for academic staff.
- Meet all internal deadlines according to project plan regardless of project limitations.
- Participate in educational innovation projects for online courses and in the new TU Delft Teaching Lab.
Applicants should have the following qualifications:
- Master of Education (MEd) in Instructional Design, Educational Technology or related experience plus 1 year recent curriculum design and/or course development experience in online education;
- Keen sense of organisation and attention to detail;
- Demonstrated ability to handle unforeseen difficulties and obstacles with ease;
- Excellent team player attitude and ability to work on complex projects with a group of other course developers;
- Ability to work on a tight, rapidly-changing schedule;
- Experience with using ICT in education, such as digital assessment, e-moderating, online teaching methods and platforms;
- Commitment to consulting and strong communication skills in English; mastery of Dutch is a plus;
- Experience in higher education;
- Experience as a teacher of open or online education is a plus.
- Experience with D2L Brightspace is a plus.
Deadline for your application is 29th of October 2017. More information and to apply go to the university website.
Yesterday we had the official opening of the brand new TU Delft Teaching Lab. It is a laboratory where, as a teacher, you can experiment with new forms of education and/or tools. Together with students and fellow-teachers from all faculties. Try out new assignments, improved ways of lecturing or the implementation of a new educational concept. All with professional (technical & didactical) support.
Last week a group of edubloggers were invited for a session at the HTC office in Utrecht to learn and experience the HTC Vive. HTC Vive is a Virtual Reality system (hardware and software). First we got a presentation of Graham Breen. He is the senior product manager of HTC Vive. After the presentation we all got the play around in the VR world.
HTC Vive products
The HTC Vive product lines consists of five parts:
- Studios: for creating content
- Port: for the distribution
- X: an investor/accelerator for startups
- Port Arcade: to support the arcades you see in many US malls
- Enterprise: support specific industries, such as automative, architecture, design and education
Something he emphasized is that from the beginning they have focused on minimising the delays. If your brain notices delays, this can cause the nausia and dizziness that some people experience. Many people have experienced google cardboard, but that isn't the full experience according to Graham. He is very confised about VR and used this quote:
"There are two kind of people: people who love VR and people that haven't tried it"
For education VR can offer a way of engagement that you can't reach other ways. What you can do is limited to your imagination (and your budget). There is no gravity, you can zoom in and out, there is an history. During the demo we could go through the content of Engage platform:
ENGAGE is a new free to use education and presentation platform that seeks to transform how people share ideas and teach lessons to each other globally by harnessing the power of virtual reality technologies such as the Oculus Rift & HTC Vive.
Engage is created by Immersive VR Education Ltd.. This is a virtual reality software company dedicated to creating quality educational experiences for all students. This video gives a nice overview of the platform:
HTC is currently put a lot of resources and time in supporting developers. The key to succes of VR is great content. I definitely see the added value for the learning experience, but I also see the limitations. The current developments are fast paced, so these limitations will disappear in no time.
Activities in Delft
At the TU Delft we have different departments that are experimenting with VR. In our new teaching lab we will organise a bi-weekly Virtual Playground to bring together teachers that are interested in VR/AR/360 videos. Our NewMediaCentre has already built up expertise in this field with the HTC Vive. We also offer an AR/VR educational accelerator to promote the usage in our education.
The photo below is the group of Edubloggers with Graham. My colleague Michel is wearing the HTC Vive.