Category Archives: stuff

Turnitin is quite good, it once showed me that I had plagiarised myself

Gloucestershire College
Gloucestershire College by James Clay

Was reminded of this tweet this week.

Turnitin is quite good, it once showed me that JISC RSC London had plagiarised me. This was back in July 2012.

What happened was that for a Turnitin training session at Gloucestershire College I took three pieces of work.

  • A piece of work which was a straight copy of something from the internet.
  • A second piece which contained quotes of content from other sources.
  • A third and final piece of original content.

Each time I did the training I would have to create a new piece of original content, as once submitted it would flag another submission of the same content as plagiarised or with an originality warning.

So with confidence I went through the three pieces of work, so you can imagine the shock and surprise that the Turnitin system flagged my original content as being copied!

Time for a little detective work. The original piece of work (in theory) was authored by JISC RSC London. Though digging deeper, what had happened was that before then I had written a piece of work, which JISC RSC London then copied and used on their website.

When I wrote my original piece of writing, though it was written completely fresh, it bore a huge similarity to my writing that JISC RSC London had copied.

So what I thought was an original piece of work, was so similar to a piece I had written a fair few years ago, it was picked up by Turnitin. Though Turnitin didn’t pick up the original piece of work, it picked up the work by JISC RSC London that had copied my work.

That took some explaining to the academic staff in the training session.

Let’s be more innovative

We often talk about innovation in education and sometimes the context in which it used implies that innovation is required to make things better.

laptop user
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

When I think about innovation in the use of technology in education, I always look at the formal dictionary definition of the word innovation, my dictionary, says it is “a new method, idea, product” whilst the Thesaurus says: change, alteration, revolution, upheaval, transformation, metamorphosis, reorganization, restructuring, rearrangement, recasting, remodelling, renovation, restyling, variation; new measures, new methods, new devices, novelty, newness, unconventionality, modernization, modernism; a break with tradition, a shift of emphasis, a departure, a change of direction.

This means that innovation for me means new or different. It doesn’t necessarily mean better or improved.

For me in the context of education technology, innovation means taking an existing non-digital educational processes and using technology to improve it.

It can also mean looking at how another innovation (such as a new device or an online service) and using it to improve teaching, learning and assessment.

I don’t actually think much of what is defined as innovative within educational technology is in fact innovative. Too much of it is small scale, poorly defined and low impact.

For me true innovation in educational technology is change which has significant impact across the whole organisation. However this isn’t always exciting and shiny! Too often we focus on the new and the shiny and less on those innovations, that are holistic, organisation-wide and would have a greater impact on the learner experience.

These are for me examples of innovations that had a positive impact.

chromebook
Image by 377053 from Pixabay
  • Some staff from one college were using the collaborative aspects of Google Docs for assignment creation, with staff providing ongoing meaningful feedback as the assignment was created. There was also a plan to scale up and roll out across the whole college.
PSP
Image by WikimediaImages from Pixabay
  • At Gloucestershire College, Sports used video capture devices (originally PSPs with cameras, then tablets with cameras) for body movement analysis.
  • Cornwall College used a virtual world (Second Life) to create and display artworks that could not exist physically in the real world.
  • MMU redesigning their entire curriculum to allow for the embedding of the use of Moodle into teaching and learning.
iphone
Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Is innovation a meaningful concept in education, or just a buzzword? Too often innovation focuses on tools and technologies, but innovation in processes and practice is often going to have a great impact.

The main barriers to innovation (change) in large organisations vary, but often a lack of understanding of what large scale implementation actually means. The words pilot and project are used interchangeably. Pilots often don’t scale as they haven’t been planned with a future large scale implementation in mind.

There is often a lack of desire to use existing research or results from other pilots and projects, a good example of this was the Sounds Good project from 2012 on audio feedback. The fact even now nine years later, we are still discussing audio feedback shows that innovation can take a long time.

A focus on innovation in relation to specific devices and tools over impact on teaching and learning.  It’s then about the technology and not the pedagogy. Though you do need to understand the potential of technology to successfully use technology innovatively to enhance and improve learning and teaching.

Google Glasses
Image by Jürgen Schmidtlein from Pixabay

The pandemic has demonstrated that organisations can change, but change caused by a crisis, is just that change caused by a crisis. It wasn’t planned, it wasn’t organized and the change we saw wasn’t necessarily the change we wanted.

 

Day 30: Showcase your EdTech Journey

This post is part of the #JuneEdTechChallenge series.

The final day of the #JuneEdTechChallenge asks you to showcase your EdTech Journey so I created an infographic of some of the key moments in my personal EdTech journey.

Part of the series for the #JuneEdTechChallenge.

For those who prefer real text or require a screen reader here is the text from the infographic. Also with links and images. Continue reading Day 30: Showcase your EdTech Journey

Day 29: A piece of your edtech past

This post is part of the #JuneEdTechChallenge series.

WCC Logo

The 
WCC.

Though I didn’t post these posts each day in June (and to be honest I didn’t post it each day on the Twitter either) except the final day, I have decided to retrospectively post blog posts about each of the challenges and back date them accordingly. There is sometimes more I want to say on the challenge then you can fit into 140 characters (well 280 these days).

Day 28: Golden edtech oldies

From 2006.

Mobile Learning on a VLE?

Wouldn’t it be nice if all learners in an educational environment had access to a wireless laptop and free wireless access to their digital resources at a time and place to suit their needs.

The reality is that learners don’t always have access to what we as practitioners would like them to have.

However, they do have access to some mobile digital devices which could be used, these include mobile phones, iPods, mp3 players, portable video players, PSPs… These devices are used extensively for entertainment, but rarely used for learning.

However, though many of these have limited web access, most are unsuitable for viewing traditional webpages, can not access a VLE or e-learning content, and often can’t read PDFs, Word Documents, PowerPoint presentations, or other complex documents.

Virtually all however can read images, short video clips and some have the potential for interactive content.

Most will work fine on buses, trains, planes, cars and even on foot, using a laptop or desktop in this way can be problematic…

The question is how does a practitioner convert and distribute content to their learners in the preferred format easily and quickly?

How can a learner access this content easily and quickly?

How can you ensure that mobile content will enhance the learning experience for learners?

Some devices have communication facilities, e-mail, SMS, MMS, Video, how does the practitioner interact with the potential learning activities which can utilise this functionality?

The WCC core team working with our partner colleges have been investigating the means and mechanisms to ensure that practitioners can both easily work with content for these mobile and portable devices, but also that the learners can access this content.

We shall demonstrate the processes been developed and implemented to allow learners to access their learning content and activities at a time and place to suit their needs.

We shall show how the WCC shared VLE is being used to host this converted content and distributing it to the learners.

There will also be some discussion on the use of similar processes being used for home based digital devices such as DVD players and media streamers.

The submission will be a short paper (webpage format) with examples of content for various mobile devices being made available for download and use.

Though I didn’t post these posts each day in June (and to be honest I didn’t post it each day on the Twitter either) except the final day, I have decided to retrospectively post blog posts about each of the challenges and back date them accordingly. There is sometimes more I want to say on the challenge then you can fit into 140 characters (well 280 these days).

Day 27: Hot fads

Google Glasses
Image by Jürgen Schmidtlein from Pixabay

This post is part of the #JuneEdTechChallenge series.

I have seen many hot fads over the years, people focus on something and assume it will radically change education.

Usually they don’t!

Second Life

Google Glasses

MOOCs

Flip Cameras

iPad

Netbooks

Prezi

Ning

OER

Digital Badges

Twitter

Though I didn’t post these posts each day in June (and to be honest I didn’t post it each day on the Twitter either) except the final day, I have decided to retrospectively post blog posts about each of the challenges and back date them accordingly. There is sometimes more I want to say on the challenge then you can fit into 140 characters (well 280 these days).

Day 26: Best recent EdTech Read

This post is part of the #JuneEdTechChallenge series.

Probably this recent blog post by @Lawrie  and @nicwhitton.

looking through a telescope
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

Though I didn’t post these posts each day in June (and to be honest I didn’t post it each day on the Twitter either) except the final day, I have decided to retrospectively post blog posts about each of the challenges and back date them accordingly. There is sometimes more I want to say on the challenge then you can fit into 140 characters (well 280 these days).

Day 25: EdTech Klaxon

->-> Digital Natives <-<-

laptop user
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

This post is part of the #JuneEdTechChallenge series.

My EdTech Klaxon goes off each time I hear the term Digital Natives. This thoroughly debunked term for labelling young people is often used to describe how the fact that as young people use digital technology then they are extremely competent in using digital technology for all aspects of their life, and in the case of students for teaching and learning.

The reality is that digital is not static, it is a constantly moving feast, the technology or digital tools they grew up with is not necessarily the technology and digital tools they will use today.

Also just because you are confident in the use of say, one consumer technology, this doesn’t mean you have the skills, capabilities and confidence to use all digital tools and technologies. This is very much the case with educational technologies.

Though I didn’t post these posts each day in June (and to be honest I didn’t post it each day on the Twitter either) except the final day, I have decided to retrospectively post blog posts about each of the challenges and back date them accordingly. There is sometimes more I want to say on the challenge then you can fit into 140 characters (well 280 these days).

Day 24: Favourite theory read

This post is part of the #JuneEdTechChallenge series.

TALL blog » Blog Archive » Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’ by 

Not ‘Natives’ & ‘Immigrants’ but ‘Visitors’ & ‘Residents’

Though I didn’t post these posts each day in June (and to be honest I didn’t post it each day on the Twitter either) except the final day, I have decided to retrospectively post blog posts about each of the challenges and back date them accordingly. There is sometimes more I want to say on the challenge then you can fit into 140 characters (well 280 these days).

Day23: Best conference merch

This post is part of the #JuneEdTechChallenge series.

I could say the iPad I got, but it was a prize, so guessing doesn’t count.

I really loved my Cambridge University Press mug I got at UKSG in 2011. I used for many years across three jobs and then it got smashed.

I’ve always liked the pick and mix, or jars of sweets I have managed to swag at various conferences. They were always very much appreciated by the children at home, well those bags that managed to make their way home.

sweets

The really nice notebooks that seem to be the order of the day in the last few years have been useful as well.

I also liked the Canvas t-shirts which they use to give away.

The downside of online events over the last eighteen months has been that there has been no chance or opportunity to get some swag or merch. 

Though I didn’t post these posts each day in June (and to be honest I didn’t post it each day on the Twitter either) except the final day, I have decided to retrospectively post blog posts about each of the challenges and back date them accordingly. There is sometimes more I want to say on the challenge then you can fit into 140 characters (well 280 these days).