Posts tagged open education
Last week I was at the annual conference for the Association for Learning Technology (ALT-C) and, while I’ll write a more detailed summary of the event (including my two presentations) soon, there was a keynote by Natasa Milic-Frayling from Microsoft Research, Cambridge that showed a very interesting Open Source add-on to Excel that is worth having its own post.
Network graphs are a method of showing the links between things (a.k.a. Nodes), typically people or computers, which can be analysed to extract data about relationships between Nodes that may not be explicitly visible elsewhere. Earlier in the summer I posted about a tool that can automatically create network graphs from Moodle discussions, and at ALT-C we heard a keynote presentation about an Open Source template for Excel which can help automate the creation of network graphs, NodeXL.
By filling out the spreadsheet, it is possible to create many different types of network graph automatically, but the big selling point is that NodeXL supports automatically importing data from Social Networks, such as Facebook, Flickr and Twitter, which can then be graphed and analysed. This is could be a very useful tool for staff and students in Mathematics (the tool has been used to help teach students about graph theory) and for staff and students conducting research into online Social Networks. If you are interested in these topics then I would recommend taking a look at NodeXL (and the SNAPP tool from my earlier post).
The EdX initiative was started in 2011 by MIT and aims to provide free, certified, online education to anyone who is interested and motivated enough to take part in the programme. It is different from a typical MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) programme in that the tutors and the materials are the same as those on the equivalent on-campus course, rather than simply volunteers, and students will receive a certificate from the institution upon successful completion.
Following a highly successful test run last year with the Circuits and Electronics from MIT, the programme has been expanded to include the following modules from MIT, Harvard and UC Berkley:
On Monday (16/7/2012) the association of UK research funding bodies, Research Councils UK (RCUK), announced its new Open Access policy. Essentially the new policy mandates that publicly funded research must also make its results freely available to the public. There are a few options for this, including paying journals an upfront fee for open access, publishing in open access journals, and uploading a copy of the paper to an open institutional repository after a 6 month embargo period. This applies to articles published from 1 April 2013.
RCUK includes the EPSRC and BBSRC, so this will likely have impact on many researchers in our schools. More >
I was recently at the JISC-supported Dev8D conference for software/web developers working in UK Higher Education. It was a very useful experience for me because it was an opportunity find out what is happening on the ‘Bleeding Edge’ of Learning Technology and its related fields. Much of the work that I do is necessarily operational (e.g. supporting Moodle, looking into issues, assisting people with Learning Technology questions) and when it isn’t operational it tends to be tied to specific needs, so it was good to go and see what people at other institutions are doing.
The sessions were a mix of introductions and in-depth hands-on sessions and the main theme that came out was Open Linked Data. This is the idea that open data sets can be made available for people to use in innovative ways beyond those conceived by the original author. It is what makes it possible More >
A competition was announced to kick off Open Education Week – make a video on the topic “Why Open Education Matters” and you could win one of 3 cash prizes.
This is a good opportunity for any budding film makers to show off your talents, try and win some cash and support a good cause – so what is stopping you?!
This week (5th – 10th March) is Open Education Week. This event is intended to highlight the Open Education movement, which is encouraging people to make their educational resources freely available for anyone to use and remix to create brand new resources. There are online seminars archived on the site and it is worth taking a look at to get an idea of this growing area of education.