onsdag 28 september 2016

Taking the Introduction Webinar, notes


Starting the webinar at https://connect.sunet.se/onl/. We started the webinar with some soundchecks and questions to make sure people knew how to use the chat.

Nice to see so many participants.

Unfortunately I lost sound in the beginning of Lars talk and had to restart. I got back in time for the questions session... I hope they recorded properly...
 Quite good presence 41 participants + 7 presenters and seven hosts. There seem to be a lot others that also have sound issues. But with 80 participants that is only 50%!

We also wrote lists on what we expect to gain and what we thought was going to be the challenges we face. I wrote that I look forward to make new friends and that I look forward to gaining the student perspective, both things were mentioned by the hosts, nice!

Connect really is not a good platform anymore, its based on old technology and I have used it far too long.

Good things about Adobe Connect

  • Low latency on sound
  • Many can participate
  • Multiple chats
  • Polls
  • Divide participants into separate rooms
  • Nice to see webcams
  • It feels like a classroom!

Bad things about Adobe Connect

  • Sound needs to be setup for everyone
  • Does not work the same on all platform 
  • Lots of students drop out due to techical issues
  • Recordings are not in mp4
  • Generally very messy to setup sound

Its going to sound like I complain a lot on my blog but I try to capture the student perspective and see what problems there are that creates obstacles for the students.

Unfortunately the webinar did not give that much to me. It was mostly a QnA session I missed the presentation and I guess I have to watch the recording instead. I think the most giving was a cite from Lars:
"The course was the course" - Lars Uhlin

måndag 26 september 2016

Reading Topic 1, notes


Topic one was finally introduced today and its time to take action and to prepare for it. The course web site has four new blog posts on the subject. These are my notes from reading them.

Introductions, aims and resources

Some notes on reading it, its a bit wordy and unclear at best.
"An essential part is to connect with peers and facilitators, begin to build relationships and to form groups. "
This I guess is a reference to the google community. At least that is boiling with activity right now. I spent some time reading others blogs and giving welcome messages and handed out a +1 to every one I could see. But the cite sounds like we should form groups ourselves of that I'm not sure I thought we would be divided into groups. +Lotta Åbjörnsson wrote "You will get a mail from +Lars Uhlin tomorrow telling you what group you're in and what to do next!" So I guess that is going to happen, just wait an see. Some seems to already know what groups they are in, and the co-facilitators seems to start sharing to some that they belong to a group... confusing at best... and makes me feel a bit left out. Mental note: release vital information to everyone at the same time.
"You will be encouraged to start creating your own online learning space for sharing of reflections on your learning. "
I guess this means the blog I'm writing. Its a learning space. Hm spaces and places now again.
"As a starting point you will reflect on and discuss your own digital presence and identity and your experiences, concerns and challenges."
I guess this is the first blog task. I do hope there will come more instructions!

Reading and resources.

There are two short videos and an article, there seem to be another article not yet published on PBL. This means I will have to go back, hm how to remember.

Watching: David White: Visitors and Residents (part 1)

He start by rambling about digital natives and immigrants. I guess this a competing theory to his own? I totally don't agree that the younger generation are born into the digital skills. They are consumers but have little understanding. Sure they can handle an interface, but that is not understanding. Fortunately David comes to the conclusion that that model did not hold.

David goes on and exemplifies a couple of learning literacies:
"...critically evaluating a range of digital resources" and "...formulate and express cogent arguments online."

David proposes (his?) model of "our relationship with the web" showing a continuum of "modes of engagement" from the visitors who uses the platform as a tool to solve a task and don't leave social traces, like paying bills - to the residents ( oh no! the spaces and places again! ) who go online "to be present with other people". He then lists different types of social activities like posting on Facebook.
I always wonder what kind of explaining power or predictive such model as the visitor/resident has? I hope he will reveal it soon! 

The model as proposed
David expands the model by adding a vertical axis of personal and institutional, they are not opposing forces but again a continuum. Then right at the end he states a lot about resident forms of practice and how it can affect the institutional work. Resident forms of practice (mode of engagement) give new ways to engage students and staff. They can affect how we assess credibility, how we produce and consume knowledge etc.

Watching: Visitors and Residents: Credibility (part 2)

The video start with a comment on the price of creating content now and before. 
The question is is some knowledge less worth if its online than if it was published with peer review?

Now he start telling of currencies... The traditional credibility currency given by institutions and the second popularity currency of likes and search result fit.
Students often chooses convenience over "accuracy, authority and legitimacy". Wikipedia is used as an example of a learning black market where students go to actually learn and then they need to pretend they got the information from more accredited sources.

Developing digital literacies (2014) JISC guide.

"Digital literacies are those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society."
"digital literacies are essentially a set of academic and professional situated practices supported by diverse and changing technologies."
The seven elements of DL, according to image:

  • Media literacy - critically read and produce academic communications
  • Communication and collaborations - participate in networks for learning and research
  • Digital reputation and online Identity management
  • ICT literacy Use digital devices, apps, and services  
  • Learning skills in formal an informal technology rich environments.
  • Digital scholarship - academic, professional and research practices that depend on digital systems
  • Information literacy -  Find interpret, evaluate, manage, and share information.
Then there was something about the Beetham and Sharpe’s framework (2010), probably going to read up on that, since the info on the page was not understandable... "a development process from access and functional skills to higher level capabilities and identity." . 

- Ok, not sure what this is... not sure if the first page or the entire guide. not sure If it is at all interesting... Oh I guess I need a break from this... learning continues another day...

I ended up filling in the activity tracker...

lördag 17 september 2016

I am an ONL 162'er (presentation)


"As a starting point you will reflect on and discuss your own digital presence and identity as well as your experiences, concerns and challenges. You will be encouraged to start creating your own online learning space for sharing of reflections on your learning." - ONL 162
To know someone, you need to know what roles they play or hope to play.
Here is a set of "I am a ..." that I hope defines me...

I'm passionate about computers, therefore I'm a programmer

Once I aspired to become a game programmer. And for a while I happily programmed computer games like Caribbean Pirate Quest and Hero with Spell of Play Studios. Unfortunately, writing games did not pay the bills... but fortunately there was a teaching opportunity at the University, first as a teaching assistant and later as a lecturer. I'm still passionate about programming and daily use the programming skills but not so many games lately...

I passionate about sharing my passion, therefore I am a teacher

I started teaching fifteen years ago and since then I have given a lot of different courses. Most of my teaching concerns programming with different flavors: web, games, database, operating systems, algorithms, artificial intelligence, and lately code quality and software testing. I have found that what drives me as a teacher is to inspire students to share, engage and learn.

I'm curious, therefore I am a researcher

A couple of years ago I got the opportunity to continue my studies. The subject of my research is to find what programming practices that are good for programming students, and I want to automatically identify students that needs help and also help them. In my research I use techniques from educational data mining, learning analytics, and statistics.

I have kids, therefore I'm a father

Finally I'm very lucky to be a father of four, from the eldest ten year old son to the youngest daughter of only a couple of weeks. Kids are naturally curious and generally awesome!  As a parent you need to keep on growing with your kids, therefore you are never done learning.

I want to continue to learn and teach, therefore I'm an ONL 162'er

I'm taking this course to get new experiences. I hope to find new tools, new skills, and new friends during the course. I hope to struggle, learn, share, and experience...with you.


Starting the course

This fall I'm taking the Open Networked Learning Course at Linnaeus University. The course uses methods for open networked learning and is also given as an open online course available for anyone here.

The course description can be found here (in Swedish) and states that the course aims to give the participants an opportunity to explore open online-learning and use digital-tools for teaching and learning. 

There are two main goals that we who takes the course should achieve:

  • first we should be able to explain different aspects of e-learning such as digital competence, cooperation, open and online-learning.
  • second we should critically reflect on questions regarding e-learning and something that I do not get... in Swedish: "kritiskt reflektera över frågor som rör e­lärande i samband med äger praktikinställningar.."  does not make sense too me, google translated? Lets ask Alastair when I meet him.
I searched for definitions for the concepts in the first goal and found the following:
  • Digital Competence "...skills and understanding people should have in the knowledge society" - What is digital competence? by Liisa Ilomäki, Anna Kantosalo and Minna Lakkala
    (Sounds like programming, math, and science to me... :)  )
  • Open learning "activities that either enhance learning opportunities within formal education systems or broaden learning opportunities beyond formal education systems." - Wikipedia Open learning
    To be true the openness was more due to "...the development and use of open educational resources." and there seems not to be any consensus definition. But I like almost everything open, open source for instance... and most material in the courses I give are openly available. Do we give a certificate to anyone in the ONL-course? Where does the money come from?
  • Online Learning "Online learning is a way of studying for an internationally recognised qualification without needing to attend classes on campus." -The University of Edinburgh 
    Seems simple enough!

The course is given over ten weeks and the first meeting will be on Monday. Apparently It will be just me and Alastair Creelman. The following meetings will consist of Problem Based Learning(PBL) work in groups with a topic per week and a given scenario. According to Wikipedia PBL gives the learner not just knowledge about the domain but skills to solve problems, collaborate and also improves intrinsic motivation, Sounds exciting! 

To get the course certificate I need to actively participate in the PBL groups, present findings, write reflective blog posts (400 words) with references to course literature, a summary blog post, but also to give feedback to other course participants!

My main concerns right now is to get my schedule synced with the other course that I take and the courses I give.