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The world of education is changing forever.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 1 Dec 2020, 17:18

Education coming out of Covid will put 25% to 100% of their content online, whether or not students come in for classes or workshops, the go to place will be digital and online. It can therefore be used as flipped or blended learning and will replace textbooks. In some instances colleges will go down the Open University model and close their estate and put everything online. 

The role of marketing to sell digital to students and staff, or at least the skills of advertising, marketing and PR to get and then hold the attention of users is becoming all the more important. This is not just a case of getting the message out on digital platforms, but getting our wishes in front of students the traditional way too: in posters, displays and with electronic signage - but in a coordinated rather than a fragmented manner. 

Teachers will have to become facilitators and moderators of content created by others. For example, taking Geography in the UK. How many teachers does it take to get 240,000 students through their GCSE in Geography? And how many of these also support the 36,000 students at A'Level? In the physical world I'm guessing 1,300 or so? 

Online Barbara Oakley created 'Learning How To Learn' module on Coursera. 2,649,556 have enrolled on the course. A handful of people created the content, with Barb as presenter, writer and lead producer, a resident expert to offer further weight to the science, some greenscreen presenting and some simple graphics and animations. There has been a 'moderator' role - I have done this on a volunteer basis having taken the course but it is being down played and even discontinued by Coursera. These are designed to be self-paced courses. It's simple and it does the job. Why look elsewhere to 'learn how to learn' ? Who is doing this for other subjects? Well, there the Khan Academy for Math. What about History, or Biology? 

Ok, we cannot have 75% of students dropping out in the first week! This doesn't mean we can't use the very best online content out there, it simply means that the role of teachers should be collectively to make the experience even more engaging without simply recourse to holding the interest of a captive audience in a classroom.

And a module on Coursera is not two years of education delivered over three terms a year. It will take time an investment to create the content. Are the likes of City & Guild Kineo, and Pearson not doing this already? And what about universities that have committed to 100% online, such as the University of Coventry in the UK and Duke University in the States - and not forgetting the Open University (as everyone does) who have been online since 2001.

If teachers are creating their own content from scratch, beginning when they set out as trainees, are they not reinventing the wheel every time? Have their predecessers not produced materials already? Lesson plans to follow? Top notch resources? If not, why not? I see the value and pride of ownership of this work, of reliance on it to deliver in the class. Can one standup comic hand their material to another? Or might I be saying, the comic presenter has his or her team of writers? What if teachers deliver scripts others have written and that we all work to perfect? 

The model and financing will be more like the Open University producing high quality and engaging content. The issue for teachers is if this is seen to undermine their role, their lead role in the class and their pay. The issue for college is paying the licence fee for such content - unless of course it is pre-paid for and offered as a free Open Education Resource. 

I'm hazzarding a guess that if we with with the Bell curve of normal poplatoin distrubution in a cohort of teachers 70% will find a way to treat going digital and getting it online as part of their job, the rest will split into two camps: 15% who would prefer to leave - to take early retirement, the resist the change and technology absolutely - while the other 15% of ‘outliers’ are already ahead of the curve when it comes to creating content. They may even feel the benchmark has been set too low.

There is a need to collaborate with others in order to deliver the class. Teachers should not be expected to achieve the Google Certified, Microsoft Certified or Apple Certified Educator Level I, II or II but rather educators should be supported by a larger team of coders and designers in order to deliver content, but rather they feel supported by someone with the skills: like a director working with an editor to deliver the content. 

There are some who think that the creation of materials should go down the OER path. There are issues with IP over content created by teachers. They want to be paid up front for their time, not put on some option or share deal.

One way or another, things are going to change. It ought to change for the better for the student, where the student who gets behind receives support, while the student who gets ahead is offered an ever greater challenge to feed their curiosity and desire.

REF: Geography in the United Kingdom 2004 Belgeo 

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Design Museum

Learning how to learn online with FutureLearn and The OU

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 12 Dec 2014, 07:18
From E-Learning V

Fig.1 My progress on The OU MOOC on FutureLearn 'Start Writing Fiction' (c) FutureLearn 2014

More than any module or exercise I have done over my four years with The OU, it is a MOOC in FutureLearn that is giving me the most thorough experience of where the future or learning lies. I'm in week seven of eight weeks of 'Start Writing Fiction' from The OU, on the FutureLearn platform. Just in these few weeks I've seen the site change to solve problems or to enhance the experience. Subtle lifts and adjustments that make a positive out of constant adjustment. Those tabs along the top: activity, replies where under a tab. I think 'to do' is new while 'progress' was elsewhere. This is a responsive platform that listens to its students.

In the final week we submit our third piece of work.

As assessments go these are far less nerve racking than a TMA. The first piece was 300, the second 500 and the last will be 1000. These are assessed by fellow students. In my case I had one, then two reviews. Most people seem to get at least two sometimes three. The system is designed, I'm sure, to try and ensure that everyone's work is reviewed at least once. Tens of thousands, certainly thousands of people are on the course.

We're here to the 19th of December or so ... if you follow the tracks as laid.  

I hazard a guess that between 20-100 have posted there final piece already. Some, I know, got to the end of the entire course a few weeks ago; I looked ahead to see out of curiosity. There have always been 20 who post comments one, two even three weeks ahead. If 20 are posting I hazard a guess knowing my stats on these things that another couple of hundred could be clicking through the pages to read and observe. They may, like me, be coming back later. They may only be following the course, but not participating. Often, it is like standing on a stage looking into the gloom of the auditorium. Someone probably out there. One or two let you know. The rest don't.

I hope those that race ahead come back ...

I find that if I get ahead then I slow down and retrace my steps. To learn in this connected and collaborative way you are far better off in the pack ... it is not a race to get to the end first. In fact, those who do this have already lost. They've missed the point. I'd suggest to people that if they have the time to do the week over. That's been my approach anyway - the beauty of these things is everyone can come and go as they please, at a pace that suits them. Skip a bit. Go back. Follow it week by week, day by day ... or not. Whatever works works?

There's another very good reason to stay with the 'pack' or to come back and do a week over - the platform depends not on tutors and moderators commenting and assessing work, but us students doing a kind of amateur, though smart, peer review. This is what make a MOOC particularly vibrant, memorable and effective. Not listening to an educator telling us what's what, but the contributors sharing, figuring it out, answering each other's problems in multiple ways. We all learn in different ways and at a pace that shifts too. I find that often a point I don't get first time round, on the second, or third, or even the fourth visit to an activity someone, somewhere puts it in a way that suddenly brings complete clarity - their way of seeing a thing, or expressing it, makes more sense than the writes of the course could manage. Because they can only write one version, not the 'tartan' that comes from an intelligent, threaded online conversation.

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Livewire with Brightwave

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 06:48

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I have no reason to plug these guys but as an e-learning practioner I want to try and engage with everything 'out there'.

I was fabulously impressed with this service and totally sold on the benefits of blended learning, of doing it live, synchronously with a highly professional, amusing and sparky moderator and equally passionate fellow students.

This is how to learn on line.

Though I appreciate that this level of intensity is unsustainable over the duration of a module, it is nonetheless what the once fornightly Elluminate session ought to be like.

It doesn't require bells and whistles. The platform is simple.

The human interaction is key. We learn best from each other with the right mix of the knowledgeable and the ignorant who are keen to learn.

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Social Learning

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 4 Oct 2012, 12:52

This isn't something new; the best way to learn is from and amongst others. John Seely Brown gets it right when he talks about 'learning from the periphery'. Think how in the playground or when joining a club where there may be no formal induction or training, how you gravitate towards the centre over time as you listen in to conversations, get the drift of what is being said, get up the courage to ask questions (which is hopefully encouraged), and in time gain knowledge and confidence to offer your own unique take and things. In time you gravitate towards the centre; you may even become the centre. the 'leader' or part of the 'leadership' those wise folk at the centre of things.

I recall this as an undergraduate on campus, an outsider for a year, at the centre for a year and then worrying about Finals.

The OU launched 'Social Learn' yesterday.

This is exciting. It brings the hubbub of the eclectic learning community online. This is more than a forum, it is a virtual learning space.

It will take all kinds of participants for it to work otherwise it is like one of those South American Pipe Dreams to build cities from scratch in the Amazon Jungle. It is the people and their ideas, thoughts, knowledge and participation that will bring it to life. It will require moderators, and leaders, and champions, and people to listen and guide and share. It will require moderators:

'The essential role of the e-moderator is promoting human interaction and communication through the modelling, conveying and building of knowledge and skills'. (Salmon, 2005:4)

And a new take on things:

'Online learning calls for the training and development of new kinds of online teachers - to carry out roles not yet widely understood'. (Salmon. 2005:10)

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Blog Analytics

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 26 Dec 2020, 10:06

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Average page views by month. Why not by week? Why not the daily figure. And how does viewing change during the day? (It's fairly obvious to get a fraction overnight compared to late afternoon and evenings when OU folk are online). As my tutor says repeatedly when it comes to marking a TMA he does not wanting to be asking himself 'so what?'

In WordPress you have a myriad of ways of understanding what is being read, how often and by whom. You know where people have come from, the search terms used and even what takes them away from your pages. And people leave comments, or subscribe or like.

Here you get a current no. of page views. Nothing else. No indication of which pages are being read.

 

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This makes fascinating viewing.

The rhythm in a Tutor Group session on the MAODE. I doubt other courses get a fraction of this kind of activity. I also know tutor groups in H800 that are moribund by comparison, while others still get double the activity. It's down to the tutor, as well as the mix and ambition of the participants. It helps that many are 'digital residents' too, folk like me who are online for several hours a day in any case.

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