Will it blend?

Back to the running thing. I was explaining to my mother-in-law about my new addiction hobby. She was interested in the “program” I’ve been a part of: 12 weeks to 5k.

I started to dissect it for her: describing the formal course of study (Mondays and Wednesdays, lead by the instructor), the community of practice (Fridays, more of a study group), and the independent activities (Saturday/Sunday, optional, self-study). “It’s a lot like blended learning”, I suggested.

flickr.com/photos/barkbud

cc: flickr.com/photos/barkbud

As her eyes glazed over, I went on to equate the program to a piece of curriculum, with learning objectives, milestones, assessment criteria and the rest. Then it started to flow: the importance of the learning community, critical reflection of the practice, using evidence and analytics to show progress and guide decisions, goal setting and celebrating accomplishments…

A new app to transform education: MapMyLEARNING

Map My Learning

MapMyLEARNING lets teachers and learners create learning maps or use those already logged by others. It tracks your activity, and allows you to set goals and follow your progress. It promotes healthy study habits, helping you learn how to make your education work for you. It’s loaded with robust reporting tools, quickly and easily allowing you to keep track of the resources you use to achieve your learning objectives.

Fully integrated with other social networks, you can use your existing login and password to access MapMyLEARNING. You can also “find your friends” easily and continue to build community. Through secure authorization, you can share information about your learning accomplishments easily to your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts.

Users can set up groups within MapMyLEARNING to share information and help each other meet their learning goals. They can also create Learning Events and Learning Groups tied to a specific class or assignment. Advanced users can create Challenges for themselves or their friends.

GO MOBILE: iMapMyLEARNING works on every phone and every network. This enables users to use the built-in GPS of your mobile device to track all your learning activities. Record details of your learning on an interactive map. You can even effortlessly save and upload your learning data to the MapMyLEARNING website where you can view your learning journeys and comprehensive education history.

Check it out today!

Yes, the iPad *will* transform education

…but not in the way you think it might.

There’s been a bunch of chatter about how Apple’s iPad might “transform” education. Here’s a couple posts to that effect:

THEY’RE ALL MISSING THE POINT.

An article in THE Journal, Measuring the iPad’s Potential for Education discusses iPad’s potential as a new publishing and development platform. The fact that it has it’s own software development kit will help to make it impactful in education, creating a new platform for educational apps to come to the market.

iPad on Tanmay's jeans

cc: flickr.com/photos/neuralchaos

BUT, the *real* change, in my opinion, is that (to use Steve Job’s words), the iPad is a “post-PC device”. By design, it extracts/elevates itself from the world of personal computing into *something different*. It changes the game in terms of how users (students) interact with it, how they access content and communicate with each other. You do not need to know how to use a computer in order to use an iPad, and that’s the point. Love it or hate it, it’s revolutionary. It’s changing the way that people use computers. It’s changing the way people learn.

This can be quite liberating. If an instructor or student doesn’t have to worry about how their device works (provided that it does work), maybe we can get on with what’s really important – teaching and learning.

I had fun during ePweek, and learned a lot

Many thanks to those who participated in the University of Guelph’s first (annual) ePortfolio week.

ePweek 2011

Dave Cormier joined us on Tuesday: Managing to know – a tale of cave paintings, eportfolios, printing press and PLE. Dave’s talk visualized by Giulia Forsythe in the image below:

Managing to Know

Some great presentations during the week, drawing on expertise and experiences from the School of Engineering, Educational Development, Student Life, the Graduate Student Learning Initiative, Hospitality and Tourism Management and the Bachelor of Arts and Science Program.

Analytics & Ukuleles (reflections on #ITC11)

I’m just back from eLearning 2011 in sunny Florida. Hands down one of the best conferences I’ve attended. Fabulous keynotes: (@cogdog, @colecamplese, @busynessgirl, & @opencontent). I’ll be posting some reflections on these presentations at some point. Inspiring sessions from people I’ve known from awhile and from some new friends, and an idyllic setting (especially when juxtaposed with cold and snowy southern Ontario).

I had the pleasure of presenting alongside Michael Amick, Dean of Academic and Technology Services from Central Lakes College (Minnesota). Here’s the slide deck:

And yes, there was a ukulele soundtrack to accompany this presentation:

  • “Would I Lie to You” (Eurythmics)
  • “Theme from the Facts of Life”
  • “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” (Simple Minds)
  • “Every Breath You Take” (The Police)

me and my uke
Many thanks to the organizers and all who participated. Hope to see you next year.

What if you could rebuild the University from the ground up?

Some inspiration from from Michael Wesch:

Wait for the punchline at the end.

A picture paints a thousands words, and all that

These images from visualizing.org:

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One of the nice things about data is that you can make graphs out of it. A good visualization can help tell your story. It can also help you cover-up some lies, but we won’t get into that right now. Add some graphics, colours, lots of lines and a quirky element or two and you’ve got it made. Your visualizations will go viral before you know it.

Learning Analytics: The Holy Grail for Education?

Learning and Knowledge Analytics is a conceptual and exploratory introduction to the role of analytics in learning and knowledge development….We live in digital times. The conversations that used to evaporate around the water cooler are now digitized, waiting for a clever algorithm for analysis.

(http://learninganalytics.net/syllabus.html)

I’m a bit late to the game, and just getting caught up on LAK ’11, a Massively Open Online Course (MOOC). My first impression, is that the quest for the answer to how to effectively implement and use Learning and Knowledge Analytics is a bit like this:

Logically, if she weighs the same as a duck, she’s made of wood, and therefore…a witch!

MOOC?! WTF?!

Excellent summary from @davecormier. We’ll need to know about this, for later discussion:

You can choose what you do, how you participate and only you can tell in the end if you’ve been successful. Just like real life.”