eTwinning Learning Lab

Tea describes an eTwinning learning lab that she has launched in Spanish about using Web 2.0 tools.  She demonstrates an answer garden which anyone can type in to answer the question

One of the first activities was to create an AnswerGarden with a question which Web 2.0 tools have you used before. By providing a link to your blog or any page, you get feedback and brainstorming.

In a follow up post she provides a list of a range of Web 2.0 tools that have been used in the Learning Lab including Animoto, Prezi, Vimeo.

The full list

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Bosnia and Herzegovina gets its first e-classroom

Aldina Dzebo reports on an eClassroom initiative in 2012 aimed at elementary students who can choose their own learning areas and access learning materials and resources as they need.

Courses last between five and ten weeks and all of them include video presentations on their given topics, as well as weekly assignments that students must complete. Upon completion of the course, students are given certificates in both the local language(s) and in English

The areas include arts, music, natural and social sciences, linguistics. The project formally launches in October with courses running from December onwards.
In full

the real blog #1

Minulii takes a look back at technologies she has used – in school using different Apple technologies and she later took classes in IT where she learnt about using the interne, creating websites and editing photos. She thinks of IT as tools but remembers playing educational computer games as a child. She enjoyed the discussion groups more than the lectures.

Later in the post she reflects on gaps with technologies including countries where Internet access is more restricted and refers to a study which notes the importance of being able to find relevant information

Students more often search for relevant information, without taking into account how credible the obtained information is

In full

11th Sharing – Lifegiverian

Jorie reflects on the use of technologies and how it can create meaningful learning opportunities which have resulted in reduced student absenteeism and creating opportunities for independent learning. She has observed her teaching colleagues preparing technologies and media and notes the amount of time involved. She looks at the internet use by both teachers and students seeing advantages of being able to find interesting resources but notes being able to find precise information can be challenging

The achievement of technology in instruction is the effectiveness on how it is being incorporate in the teaching-learning process. Teachers should skillful enough and innovative to create new ideas in order to build meaningful learning environment.

In full

Moroccan education and the Challenges of Tomorrow: Are our Teachers Prepared?

Abdallah Zbir reflects on the different trends that are forming part of the discussion of educational reform worldwide including development and implementation of technologies across education. He discusses the role of different academic agendas, the role of vested interests in technology and how that will impact teachers and schools

The Thinking of today is a thinking of clicks and buttons. Of course, technology and web-based inventions have been occupying our privacy and have been directing us towards new ends. In the world of today, time and space have new dimensions in the course of our lives. Human activities are influenced now by new trends, and our experiences are centered on new concerns. Cellular phones, Geographical Positioning Systems, LCDs, and so on are offering new sources of information and new sorts and definitions of knowledge

In full

Burundis push for universal education

Jocelyne Sambira of Africa Renewal Online reports about the opportunity for free education through cooperation with the Burundi government and partners such as Unicef offering facilities and educational materials. They point out that whilst the rates are higher in rural areas, the drop out rate is high. In some areas the drop out rates vary by gender and wonder about economic issues that may be affecting these decisions as well as maturity.

The problems compound across the entire education system, Mr. Wedenig explains. “If you have a low intake in early childhood development for instance, it is sure that you would have lower achievements and retention in primary school. If you have high dropouts in primary, low transition to secondary and high dropouts in secondary, obviously you will have a problem in terms of the quality not only for university and tertiary education, but also for teacher colleges and for the future of teaching.”

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Adopting new technologies in class

IDentifEYE blog writes about a series of pilots and discuss use of QR codes and augmented reality in the classroom.

The project’s basic assumption is that online information matters – both the information we share on ourselves and the information that others share on us. From all this online information emerges our online identity. IDentifEYE’s aim is to start a dialogue with youngsters on online information and on online identities. IDentifEYE’s basic instruments are an Augmented Reality game and a lesson program.

One teacher had left a small clue about where to find information, some students watched other students and then began experimenting.  They have noted that children seem more keen to experiment with new technologies whereas adults are a little more cautious and highlight the importance of being emotionally at ease with the technology.

In full

Building Democratic Learning: The limits of Moocs

Fred Garnett writing from the WikiQuals project, mentions how he has been participating in several MOOCs and working on various open projects for several years. He calls the content-driven MOOCs #edspam which refers to the new range of MOOCs that have emerged after the original connectivist MOOCs. He refers to a discussion where commenters have said that the for students following Coursera MOOCs there is limited navigation opportunities. He reflects on the concept of distributed knowledge:

I don’t see that Connectivism MOOCs are creating distributed knowledge either, although they are distributing new practice and asking new questions about learning. The participants seem to be acting more like Wenger’s’ Technology Stewards within evolving Digital Habitats, (who walk at 45 between hierarchies & networks) revealing new ecologies of learning, or at least new Personal Learning Environments and Personal Learning Networks. It is this networked learning potential that is really exciting in the hype-world that MOOCs currently exist in. Sadly the MOOC is becoming a box in which institutions are trying to capture this evolving practice so they can sell it; they are trying to build an e-education service delivery model.

He discusses American educational policies and his own experience teaching in the US, reflecting on Open Access Models and Open Scholarship  and links to a slideshare he created of a recent discussion on education and what is emerging alongside market influences and makes suggestions for how to create participatory democratic education.

Hiding behind my avatar

Sharon at NUI, Galway reflects on how she has used an avatar image on her Twitter account and what that meant to both her and connections she has made. She originally had a cup of coffee then moved towards a graphic that more closely resembled her physical appearance

I have been told that I look a little bit like my twitter image (or should that be the other way round?). I have even been recognised at conferences, twice. But it’s clear that most people don’t recognise me when they meet me in real life. I’m fairly comfortable with that. But, I wonder if I’m still hinding behind the avatar and is it prohibiting me from a deeper engagement with my PLN when I meet them in real life?

In full

Tricks for teaching tech quickly – the series

Mike Muir posts a mini-series on his blog including suggestions such as kids teaching kids

In its simplest form, “Kids Teaching Kids” can be as simple as when a student comes to you and says, “I saw that Moesha had some interesting animation in her project; will you show me how to do that?” You respond, “Why don’t you ask Moesha how she did that?”

More deliberate approaches include creating a poster listing typical tech issues, apps, peripherals, devices, and programs for your classroom, and the students who know how to use them, do them, or fix them. When a student needs help with using the iPod Touch as a digital camera, he can look up at the list and see which of his classmates already know how to use it

The Series