The latest issue of THEMES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION is now available on the THESTE Journal Web Site.
THEMES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION invites contributions in the form of original theoretical works, research reports and literature reviews about the development of Science Education, eLearning and ICT in Education.
The editors cordially invite contributions for review and publication.
What is it like to teach 10,000 or more students at once, and does it really work? The American journal The Chronicle recently conducted the largest-ever survey, interviewing over 100 professors across the United States to ask them their opinions about teaching and learning from a massive open online course, also known as MOOC.
MOOCs charge no tuition and are open to anybody with Internet access. The average number of students per class is 33,000, but classes can surmount 80,000. Originally, state universities and community colleges were the ones to offer these classes, but institutions such as Stanford, Princeton, and Duke are also embarking on this new approach to education.
Most professors agreed that their interest was motivated by their belief in more economically accessible education. Others, however, found globally sharing their subjects more appealing. In addition, some claimed that online teaching helped them reconsider their own pedagogical methods and believed that it improved them. Overall, the survey concluded that most argued in favor of incorporating these types of courses into traditional education.
MOOCs decrease the cost of earning a degree and make college experience less expensive. John Owens, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California at Davis, teaches parallel computing, a method that allows computers to multitask at once. 15,000 students enrolled for his class at absolutely no cost and were able to learn in a flexible and personal way.
These courses are also readily available to anyone across the world. Princeton University professor Robert Sedgewick co-lead an online class on algorithms, which he had taught for forty years in a classroom. Initially skeptical about online education, he nonetheless was intrigued by the idea of reaching a global audience of over 80,000 students. He signed a deal with Coursera, an upstart company offering MOOCs, and spent copious hours preparing and videotaping his lectures. The experience was rewarding, he feels, and he is now enthusiastic about including online components to his teaching.
Online platforms also grant the chance for instructors to acquire teaching tips. Computer programs collect data that track each student’s success and failures and most professors are attracted to this quality since this information cannot be gleaned so precisely from traditional classroom participation. An associate professor of physics at Duke University, M. Ronen Plesser, found that videotaping lectures also forced him to reevaluate his pedagogical presentation in class. His style is much more rigorous and demanding than it was before he taught a MOOC since “producing video lectures spurred [him] to hone pedagogical presentation to a far higher level than I had in 10 years of teaching the class on campus.”
MOOCs are transforming higher education by make learning less expensive, more accessible, and educationally rewarding. Society increasingly prioritizes technology and many professors admitted that not adapting to this would imply lagging behind professionally. Mr. Owens acknowledged that he “would rather understand this at the front end than be forced into it on the back end.”
The European Network of Education Councils (EUNEC) has issued a statement as a reaction to the European Commission’s recent Communication “Rethinking education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes.”
On 20 November 2012 the European Commission published a set of policy recommendations to reinforce the cooperation between EU Member States and give a new impetus to education policy. The most important part of the proposal is the Communication “Rethinking education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes”, where the EC takes the opportunity to gather all aspects of European Education and Training policy in an encompassing framework and to give some new impetus.
As a first reaction to this Communication, EUNEC issued on April 2013 a document with comments and recommendations regarding the EC’s text, stressing the need for a broad approach of education and training policy.
“Sustainability, social cohesion, equal opportunities and a development oriented approach are as important as the labour market orientation. EUNEC cannot support an approach to Education and Training that is exclusively labour market oriented”, says the statement.
The lack of attention to the role of school communities and school groups in the Communication and the lack of transparency of the decisions are also issues of concern for EUNEC.
Observing the 1980s offers a unique and inspiring insight into the lives and opinions of British people from all social classes and regions during the 1980s decade. A lot of the material comprises the personal memories of people who lived through the Thatcher era, making this resource seem all the more resonant now.
The Observing the 1980s project brings together ‘voices’ from the Mass Observation Project and the British Library’s Oral history collections, alongside 1980s documents and ephemera such as public information leaflets, pamphlets, posters and tickets from the University of Sussex Library’s archives.
The value of digitising these collections and disseminating them as open educational resources is that currently no established historiography of the 1980s exists. The decade is largely represented as polarised and the work that does exist is similarly divided into oppositional camps.
By bringing together these resources, students and academics will be able to make and illustrate connections across and between these polarised approaches. Additionally, a key benefit for educators at all levels is in the raw nature of the information and its potential use across subject areas such as politics, sociology, oral history, cultural and media studies, linguistics, gender studies, narrative and memory studies, migration studies, folklore studies, anthropology and contemporary history.
The material is also embedded into the University of Sussex Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) using open Moodle software. A variety of open education resources have been created, including one titled “Thatcher's Britain: Observing the 1980s”, with videos, images and slides that can be accessed by anyone through a guest login with no need sign up. There are also several infographics covering the Falklands Conflict, unemployment, the miners’ strike and sexuality in Thatcher’s Britain.
The Observing the 1980s material will also be available through HumBox and JORUM as well as via other educational resource sites such as the British Library.
Join the eLearning Africa 2013 pre-conference workshops and participate in the seminar on 29 May 2013 in order to improve practical knowledge, learn from international experts, and network with other professionals. Space is limited — register as soon as possible to secure your spot!
EDULEARN13, the 5th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies will be held in Barcelona (Spain), on 1-3 of July 2013.
EDULEARN13 is an International Forum for those who wish to present their projects and discuss the latest innovations and results in the field of New Technologies in Education, E-learning and methodologies applied to Education and Research.
Contributions to EDULEARN13 (in person or virtually) are welcome, as a way of sharing results and experiences in Education, Research and learning/teaching technology. The deadline for abstracts submission has been extended to 11 April 2013.
Two ISBN publications will be produced with all the accepted abstracts and papers that will be included in the digital library database of innovation projects in Education and New Learning Technologies.
This conference will be held at international level, and more than 700 delegates from 75 different countries are expected to attend.
The main goal of this paper is to stimulate the discussion on future issues on Open Education and Open Educational Resources (OER) in a mid- and long-term perspective.
The main issue discussed is how OER are utilized on an international level. Internationalization and global collaboration are crucial to Open Education:
- How can OER be utilized across borders?
- How can OER contribute towards better education for less developed countries?
- How can Open Education contribute towards better collaboration in Europe and globally?
These are just some questions to be explored and solved in the next years. As a starting point, I would recommend two key visions:
1. Creating a European Open Education community towards collaboration, mutual support and participation.
2. Creating global outreach of European Open Education towards European leadership in both, the educational market and development cooperation.
This paper identifies key issues and potential solutions for international aspects regarding open education. Using a roadmapping methodology, I propose steps and recommendations for advancing Open Education.
The project to implement the Paris Open Educational Resources (OER) Declaration brought together OER experts, UNESCO specialists, and representatives from Bahrain, Indonesia, Kenya, and Oman at the end of March.
The Paris OER Declaration was initially adopted at the 2012 World OER Congress, and included 10 points to work toward developing national-level OER policies, and implementing the UNESCO ICT Competency Frameowrk for Teachers. The meeting held a few weeks ago at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris was intended to review the project objectives, share ideas and practices about OER policies and determine the best way to implement the project in each country.
Representatives from Bahrain, Indonesia, Oman, and Kenya shared their particular national educational context, highlighting the status of ICT in Education and OER, before working with UNESCO specialists to come up with a road map that accomodates their country's specific needs. Indonesia, for example, decided to focus on teacher training using OER.
OER experts and potential partner organizations also contributed, including Creative Commons, Intel, Commonwealth of Learning, Organisation International de la Francophonie (OIF), and UNESCO Category 2 Regional Center for ICT, Bahrain.
The end result of this meeting was workplans and outlines for each country. The next step will be organizing national workshops in June 2013.
The first of three LinkedUp Challenges is now open! 'Come' participate in the Veni competition, which promotes the innovative use of linked and open data in an educational context.
Researchers, students, developers and businesses...and anyone interested is invited to the first installment of the LinkedUp Challenge: 'Veni'. Participants must build prototypes, demos and innovative tools that exploit, use, integrate or analyse large scale web data for educational use.
The Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) is a partner and sponsor of the OpenCourseWare (OCW) international consortium since 2009.
Committed to share knowledge and to promote the teaching materials of its faculty members, the UPM offers teachers, students and professionals anywhere in the world free and open access to highly educational resources through its OCW online platform.
The UPM OCW website offers a wide array of formal course materials published under a Creative Commons license, encompassing hundreds of valuable educational documents for students, teachers and lifelong learners of all ages.