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.
Category: "Open Education"
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.
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.
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.
On September 5th I attended the Blockchain in Education conference in Groningen. More than 250 attendees came to the beautiful Academiegebouw of University of Groningen to learn about the great potential of blockchain in education. Probably you have heard of blockchain (or maybe bitcoins), but you don't exactly know what it is. Blockchain is a way of encrypting information and simultaneously storing it in different places. Its most important feature is that the stored data can no longer be changed or deleted. Blockchain technology uses decentralized networks and thus avoids a central party determining or changing the rules. All blockchain transactions are encrypted, public and completely transparent, and therefore supposed to be safer and more reliable.
Already other attendees have written excellent blogposts about the conference:
- “Tour d’Horizon” of the organisation
- Wytze Koopal
- Joël de Bruijn (multiple articles in Dutch)
- Wilfed Rubens (in Dutch)
After the day I know much more about what blockchains can do, but also the limitations. Most important conclusion for me is that there are some cases to make for using blockchains, but that the technology is still in its infancy. One of the most mentioned case is for diplomas and certificates. Although you know if a diploma or certificates was changed since it was granted, it still doesn't say if it is a valid diploma and you should trust it.
We have to be careful to use blockchains for everything, it is starting to show hype characteristics. In many situations other options are better.
In the Open Access Journal International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) three researchers of the University System of Georgia published on the student and faculty perception of OpenStax in high enrollment courses:
As public funding for higher education decreases and the cost to students to attend college increases, universities are searching for strategies that save students money while also increasing their chances for success. Using free online textbooks is one such strategy, and the OpenStax College initiative at Rice University is one of the most widely recognized producers of such materials. Through a mixed method approach, this article examines the student and faculty experiences of adopting and using an OpenStax textbook. With 1,299 student participants, it was found that students greatly value the quality, attributes, and the cost of the OpenStax Biology textbook, though minor concerns were raised about its online format. Faculty adoption of a free textbook provides unique opportunities for course redesign and improvement, and the approach employed in this course transformation context resulted in clearly articulated learning outcomes, a fully realized structure in the course’s learning management system, and improvements to instructional practice. The student, faculty, and course benefits of this study offer a compelling argument for the adoption of high quality open education resources (OER) in public higher education contexts.
This kind of research shows every time that OpenTextBooks and OER is comparable to commercial textbooks, but it has a couple of important benefits:
- No or limited costs for students. This removes the financial barrier to fully participate in a course and its content.
- More flexibility to the teachers
I fully agree with their conclusion:
Such student benefits, coupled with opportunities for course revision and improvement, create a compelling argument for the broad adoption of OER at public institutions of higher learning.
Watson, C., Domizi, D., & Clouser, S. (2017). Student and Faculty Perceptions of OpenStax in High Enrollment Courses. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 18(5). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i5.2462
Image is screenshot of website OpenStax.org
We continue to develop new MOOCs as part of our Open & Online Learning programme. This fall we have 9 new MOOCs that will start, next to the reruns of 16 other MOOCs. In total we have 64 MOOCs announced and a couple more in development.
- Programming for teachers
Last year we introduced a programming in Scratch for kids, in September the accompanying course for teachers will start. This course will teach teacher how to teach programming to kids. The course is in Dutch.
- Solar Energy: Photovoltaic Technologies
This is the second course of the MicroMaster programme Solar Energy Engineering. This course will get you insight into the main PV technologies in the current market.
- Managing Building Adaptation: a Sustainable Approach
The biggest sustainability challenge for cities worldwide is adapting existing obsolescent buildings and making them future-proof. In this course, you will learn about adapting buildings for sustainability.
- Business Model Metrics and Advanced Tools
This course is the fifth course in the XSerie on Business Model Innovation. In this course you will learn advanced business model tools and metrics to help you achieve an agile business model.
- Co-Creating Sustainable Cities
This is the second course we are co-developing with Wageningen University. This course is about how citizens can be co-creators of sustainable cities when they engage in city politics or in the design of the urban environment and its technologies and infrastructure.
- Railway Engineering: An Integral Approach
Discover the science and complexity behind the exciting world of metro, tram and railway systems.
- Forensic Engineering: Learning from Failures
Don’t let good failures go to waste! Identify the causes of failure and use this knowledge to enhance safety and improve performance.
- Globally Distributed Software Engineering
Software engineering operates ever more frequently in globally distributed settings. This practice, also known as Globally Distributed Software Engineering (GDSE) has advantages and disadvantages that will be addressed in this course.
- Solar Energy: Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
This is the third course of the MicroMaster Solar Energy Engineering. In this course you will explore the wide range of solar energy applications and learn to design a real PV installation with excellent performance and reliability.
Our MOOCs keep attracting new learners. This summer we reached the milestones of 1.5 million enrolments and 1 million learners. Overview of all the course we offer you can find on our online learning website.
After eight years Mary Lou Forward is leaving the Open Education Consortium (OEC). It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that we see her leave. Mary Lou has played a critical role in the development and success of the organization. It does mean that the consortium has an opening for a new executive director. Will you be the new ED?
The Open Education Consortium is looking for an Executive Director who is a creative thinker with strong leadership skills to join a small, internationally diverse team of educational change-makers to lead planning and implementation of activities for our second decade. Under the direction and guidance of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and managing all aspects of the organization, while motivating staff, volunteers and members to advance open education around the world. OEC is a virtual organization, and therefore the location of the position is flexible.
Please see the position announcement and description, including how to apply. The Open Education Consortium is committed to promoting geographical distribution, gender equality and diversity within the organization, and we welcome applications from all who meet the requirements. Position open until filled, with review of applications starting on 30 August 2017. Salary is commensurate with experience.
Today we launched the conference website for the Open Education Global Conference 2018 in Delft. The theme of the Open Education Global 2018 Conference is Transforming Education through Open Approaches.
This theme is a result of many discussion within the programme committee (Robert Schuwer is the chair of the committee) and I think it reflects very well the global development how education is transforming. The open approaches are not limited to education, it includes the broader perspective of openness. This aligns with the Year of Open strategy of bringing together all the different kinds of openness, suc as open science, open access, open data, open ict, open education, open research and more.
Call for Proposals
The website includes the Call for Proposals including the conference tracks:
- Open Connections
Connecting different worlds of Open, such as open access, open science, open source software; strengthening our reach and increasing impact through collaboration.
- Open Education Research
Research on practices to mainstream openness in education; evidence of impact, studies of educational transformation using open modalities.
- Innovation through opening traditional practices
MOOCs as an accelerator for open & online education, opening teaching practices through open textbooks, openly licensed student work as OER.
- Policies & strategies for Open Education
Setting priorities and conditions for mainstreaming Open Education, designing effective policies and strategies, connecting open education policies to larger policy movements such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Open Government Partnership.
- Institutionalizing Open Education
Intellectual property arrangements at schools and universities; reward and recognition systems; institutional conventions; disciplinary norms; types of in-service training for Open Education; impact on hiring practices; challenges and barriers for mainstreaming openness; openness as a tool for community outreach, enhancing leadership in open education.
- Tools & Technologies for Open Education
Supporting the development and use of tools for OER production, hosting, use and remix, authoring OER, conventions for tagging OER, hosting derivative works, citation conventions for derivative works, standards for remixable formats.
- Open Educational Practices/Open Pedagogy
New approaches to teaching and learning based on openness, personalization of education, OER-enhanced teaching, facilitating informal learning with open resources, course redesign with a focus on open.
- Connecting Open Education to formal education
Accelerating adoption of open education, recognition and rewards for open education adoption, alignment of open education values to institutional mission, accreditation of open education, recognition of learning through open means.
- Student perspectives
Student-led initiatives to advance open education and research, impact of open for students, student perceptions of open education, students as open education leaders.
The deadline for submitting proposal is 23rd of October. I hope to see many great proposals from around the world. Check out the conference website for more information.
At the Creative Commons Summit two weeks ago the book Paul Stacy and Sarah Hinchliff Pearson worked on for two years was released: Made with Creative Commons. It has been interesting journey and a great result. The book is an excellent read on how to make openness core of your business model:
Made With Creative Commons is a book about sharing. It is about sharing textbooks, music, data, art, and more. People, organizations, and businesses all over the world are sharing their work using Creative Commons licenses because they want to encourage the public to reuse their works, to copy them, to modify them. They are Made with Creative Commons.
But if they are giving their work away to the public for free, how do they make money?
This is the question this book sets out to answer. There are 24 in-depth examples of different ways to sustain what you do when you share your work. And there are lessons, about how to make money but also about what sharing really looks like -- why we do it and what it can bring to the economy and the world. Full of practical advice and inspiring stories, Made with Creative Commons is a book that will show you what it really means to share.
Today Paul Stacy presented the research to our Extension School team as part of our Year of Open activities, below are his slides:
Business Model Innovation
We also invited Mark de Reuver. He is associate professor at TU Delft and is the coordinator of the European project ENVISION and of our MOOC Serie on Business Model Innovation. ENVISION is an EU funded program aiming at understanding and supporting business model innovation.
The combination of the presentation of Mark de Reuver and Paul Stacey gave us great insights and inspired our team in current discussion on the business model of the TU Delft Extension School. During the event Mark van Huystee made sketches of the event. They will be published on our Open Sketching blog.
Image Credit: Creative Commons CC BY-SA