Taghreedat partners with Meedan to provide international open education resources in Arabic

Mohamed Tazi reports on the announcement of a new initiative to develop high quality Arabic content.

This new agreement will allow Meedan, which has been working on building an online translation community since 2008, to focus its resources on program and software design and delivery. Taghreedat will work towards translating all online educational content and dialogue initiatives into Arabic through its active social media community of over 2500 volunteers.

In full

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DeGraff awarded $1 million NSF grant to continue linguistics research in Haiti

Peter Dizikes reports on the award of this grant to Michel DeGraff whose research has specialised in use and origins of Creole language.

Along with this research, DeGraff has helped initiate a project, Open Education Resources (OER), intended to develop Creole-language classroom tools. The NSF grant will enable OER to create and disseminate those tools in the so-called STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In full

gvSIG Batoví, the first gvSIG distribution for Education

Mario writes about the launch of gvSIGEduca which is

a customization of the gvSIG Desktop Open Source GIS, adapted as a tool for the education of issues that have a geographic component. The aim of gvSIG Educa is to provide educators with a tool that helps students to analyse and understand space, and which can be adapted to different levels or education systems. gvSIG Educa facilitates learning by letting students interact with the information, by adding a spatial component to the study of the material, and by facilitating the assimilation of concepts through visual tools such as thematic maps or helping to understand spatial relationships.

The post outlines the collaboration between everyone involved and links to the project

In full

Upon reflecting on how I became an EFL teacher in Venezuela

Miguel Mendoza writes

I have been teaching English for more than 20 years. From teaching children to adults; from teaching students to training teachers; from EFL to ESAP; from using board and chalk (I still do!) to computers, flipcams and smartphones; from teaching F2F to emoderation; from being trained to teach able-bodied students to “training” myself to teach and care for functional diversity students; and from contemplating a career in arts to choosing my second best: teaching English. And from this last revelation, and maybe you sitting on the edge of your seats, you might be wondering how I ended up taking the road of teaching – and not exactly the one less travelled!

He explains his journey from early influences in childhood and his incredible work with EFL teachers in Venezuela,

In full

Why Anyone Who Cares About the Metaverse Needs to Move Beyond Second Life; Now, Not Later

Fleep Tuque who is well known in both online education and virtual worlds communities expresses her passion for the concepts of virtual worlds and issues a plea to develop virtual worlds beyond the experiences and platforms of the last few years. She reflects on her experiences and hopes whilst she began to explore 3d virtual worlds seeing an open metaverse where anyone could develop in virtual worlds and improve theirs and others prospects in the real world too. She spent a lot of time developing and using Second Life for education but feels a hostage as she is not able to reuse her content anywhere else

Imagine you are writing that novel you’ve always dreamed of writing, the novel that will change the world. And it’s early on in the development of software for writing novels, so there are only one or two platforms that allow you to even do it. One of the downsides of these early platforms is, you can only ever work on your novel on their servers, and the only copy that exists of your novel only exists on their servers. But hey, there aren’t any other good options out there, so you dive in, pouring your heart and soul into writing the best novel you can.

The more you add to your novel, as the years pass, the more attached you become, until one day something terrible happens. You lose your job, or you get sick, or the stock market crashes, whatever the reason, suddenly you can’t afford to pay for access to your novel. And just like that, all that work, all that effort, gone in a blink. Or one day the company changes its mind and decides it doesn’t even want to host novels anymore, novels are not their target market now, who needs these novel writing people! And just like that, all that work, all that effort, gone in a blink

In full

 

 

 

Enhanced Learning Conference – PELeCON 2012

Matt Lingard provides links and highlights from trip reports from some of this year’s conference attendees. There were student showcases with examples in primary and secondary learning ages including use of tablets, apps, Skype, google groups. Other highlights from keynotes and parallel sessions included examples of

  • 70,000 students involved in blogging projects across the world
  • being able to improve writing through a writing challenge involving peer interaction
  • questioning what reform and change mean for education
  • openness and barriers to open learning practices
  • engagement in alternate reality games
  • ‘future building’ education with digital architectures
  • conditions that allow creativity to flourish
  • educators sharing their top 100 tools for learning

There are also contributions from virtual participants via twitter, liveblogging, a crowdsourced wiki

In full

What does it mean to be open online?

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, recently addressed the World Wide Web conference on the subject of being open online.

She mentions that she received a pair of handcuffs in the mail. She believes that openness can improve lives through greater access to information and how the development of open standards can promote innovation.

For me, openness means giving every person a forum in which they can express themselves. Every creator a way to be rewarded and recognised for their work. The security that ensures liberty for all. And services that transparently provide the consumer with what they’ve asked for and pay for.

Innovation can deliver all of these, giving choice and opportunity to all. Let’s really be open, and allow that innovation to happen

In full

The Ethics of Mobile Learning – Troubling and Complex

By John Traxler, Professor of Mobile Learning and Director of the Learning Lab at the University of Wolverhampton, England, in a guest post for Mobile Active

John Traxler reviews the development of mobile learning, take up and engagement within communities and questions whether educators and institutions know what is best for learners and how they might learn using mobile devices, services and connectivity:

http://www.mobileactive.org/ethics-mobile-learning

Dissing the Dissertation

By Scott Jaschik

The Modern Language Association looks at the format, descriptions, guidelines of dissertations and questions whether traditional views of scholarship are appropriate – moving beyond ‘the pdf’

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/01/09/mla-considers-radical-changes-dissertation