UK universities are testing a new online teaching link for students in China – which will require course materials to comply with Chinese restrictions on the internet.
The pilot project involves four Russell Group universities – King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London, York and Southampton – and is run by JISC, formerly the Joint Information Systems Committee, which provides digital services for UK universities.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is to scrap a commitment to get 50% of England’s young people into university, which was reached for the first time last year.
He is also promising a German-style further education system with a focus on higher technical qualifications.
Tony Blair set the target over 20 years ago to boost social mobility.
Friday I delivered a presentation at the University of Hertfordshire Teaching & Learning Conference. Originally when planned I would have travelled over to Hatfield to deliver the conference in person. With everything that has happened since March, I did my presentation via Teams. My presentation was on learning analytics and ethics.
My top tweet this week was this one.
On this day in 2009. I led some staff development at Gloucestershire College on mobile learning. In the evening myself, Lilian Soon, Dave Sugden and Dave Foord went to La Tasca for some tapas in Cheltenham pic.twitter.com/0C9UONMGV8
On this day nine years ago I was presenting and giving anoverview of the current state of play of mobile tech and MoLeNET for the JISC Cetis Mobile Tech Event on the 15th June 2010 in Bolton.
Here are the presentation slides I delivered.
I created the slides in Apple’s Keynote application before saving them as images which I then imported into Powerpoint.
I thought it would be interesting to reflect on what we thought then was the state of play then and what the current state of play is.
June 2010 was just two weeks after the iPad was available in the UK and people were still wondering what to do with it and what it’s potential was, I used the image of iPad boxes to show that this was going to be a “something” and I think we can say it certainly had impact.
Not just putting the tablet as a mobile device into the heads of consumers and educators, but also the influence it had on smartphones as well. I don’t think we would have the huge large screen smartphones we have today if it wasn’t for devices such as the iPad and notably the iPad mini.
In most of my presentations I usually put a slide like this in.
There was still a culture of presenters asking people to turn off devices, give me your full attention and all that. Today I think we have more idea of if we want to use our device or not at conferences and presentations. I certainly wanted people to think about what I was saying, but also join in the conversation using new tools such as the Twitter!
In the presentation I started to look at the news headlines of the day
Apple had released their iPhone in 2007, now three years later it was having a huge impact on the market for phones.
Today the figures are somewhat different, there is no more sign of Nokia, RIM, HTC or Motorola, but look how Samsung dominates that market along with Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers.
Another headline was the success of the iPad.
What was interesting was how much the iPhone (and the iPad) were used to browse the mobile internet back in 2010.
Today most smartphones are capable of web browsing, mainly as most websites are now mobile optimised, making it a much easier experience than trying to navigate a desktop enabled site on a mobile browser. The other big change has been the growth of smartphone apps.
Back then the data limits with mobile contracts was really limiting.
Though these limits are still here today, having an unlimited data contract is no longer the realm of business accounts, consumers and students can access contracts with unlimited data more easily and quite cheaply as well. The data landscape has changed as well with 4G speeds being widespread and we are on the edge of the 5G world as well. The other factor that has changed is the widespread availability of wifi.
I really find these data usage patterns for the O2 network for 2010 incredibly low compared to today.
This report describes the results of a series of discussion workshops where experts and experienced practitioners explored visions of how mobile technologies and devices will influence practice in Higher Education (HE) and Further Education (FE) in the near future. The workshop series was funded by the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) as part of the Emerge Community within JISC’s own Users and Innovation research programme. This exploration focused on identifying emerging issues for the sector arising from the increasingly likely large scale use of Smartphones, PDAs and camera phones by learners in HE and FE, both on campus and in the workplace.
One of the things that is apparent from the report is how different mobile learning was back then compared to now. The main difference is the increase in bandwidth and connectivity. Then there was quite a bit of reliance on offline mobile learning and SMS texting. Today we see the use of mobile optimised web sites and apps.
However some of the issues in the report, highlighted in my presentation are still relevant today.
Training is still an issue, and not just with the technical side of things, understanding the affordances of mobile devices and mobile learning as well isn’t something that just happens and people instinctively know.
As discussed above, the issue of connectivity. Luckily today we have much better and more reliable wifi and mobile connectivity. This allows for mobile learning without the learner having to worry about being connected. Faster speeds allow for real time video chat, as well as streaming high quality video whilst on the move.
Collaboration back then often meant asynchronous textual conversations, as poor or expensive connectivity meant that real-time chat and conversations were not a possibility. Today collaboration is so much easier and can be done with audio or even video chat.
I also mentioned the Twitter.
As well as issues I also in the presentation talked about the fears that practitioners often felt when it came to mobile learning.
The cultural shift towards the use of mobile devices and learning whilst mobile, was something that hasn’t really gone away.
There is still resistance to change despite advances and increases in the use of mobile technology. Often though people are happy to discover and use mobile devices for their own stuff, using mobile devices for learner is still a step too far for some.
One reference I think still stands is how as learning technologists we often think we come over as Luke Skywalker, here to “save you”.
We do need to remember that others mainly see us as…
Resistance is futile.
One important aspect that is equally important today was privacy.
With the increase in data gathering, location data gathering and increase in analytics, what was a real issue in 2010 is a much bigger issue today.
Having discussed the state of play back in 2010, I then went into discuss the MoLeNET project.
It’s interesting to see what has changed and what has remained the same.
After a busy week last week with three days in London, this week is nearly as busy with another three days in the big smoke. On Monday I attended an ideas workshop in London. There were two identical sessions looking at two grand challenges. I enjoyed both sessions and felt that I both learnt stuff and contributed stuff.
The following day I was preparing for my presentation on Thursday and the slidedeck I prepared was just images. I like to do that now and again. Back in 2006, which for me feels like last week, but was some time ago, I remember a senior manager commenting on the amount of text I had on my slides I gave for a presentation. I realised that despite having initially a minimalist approach, I had started to have “text creep”and my slides were filling with text. I usually try and keep the number of words on my slide to a minimum, but now and again I miss words out completely and go just for images. So from then on I tried to do as little text as possible.
One meeting I was in was about Jisc’s student partners. I have always thought that the student voice is important and should inform your planning and development. Having students participate is really informative and useful, but as we do, consider what the student gets out of the experience as well.
Another meeting was discussing a development session we are running for staff towards the end of April on implementing agile. This was originally something I said I would do in my previous role, but am happy to do
Wednesday I was back in London for a workshop on looking at how Jisc can influence the influencers. This was an interesting day and again it reminded me how much I enjoy working in the London office. This was followed by a management meeting. A later finish and an earlier start the next day meant I was staying over in London. Gave me a chance to walk around the area near the hotel (close to BBC Broadcasting House) and have a nice meal at Wahaca.
On Thursday Waking up earlier than planned gave me a chance to have an early morning walk around Regent’s Park, there are some lovely green spaces in London and if I have the chance (and the time) I do like to explore some of them now and then.
I was presenting on Thursday the keynote I prepared earlier in the week for the Association of Colleges and The Education and Training Foundation Data Science Conference. My session entitled What is required of us as educators for the future was an insight into fourth industrial revolution, Education 4.0 and what FE Colleges might need to consider to meet these exciting challenges and opportunities.
I also showed the Jisc Education 4.0 video.
The rest of the day was stimulating and informative. The hands on workshop run by my Jisc colleagues sparked a lot of interest from delegates.
Friday was a chance to update my colleagues on Jisc the state of play of the sector strategies that we have in place and are developing. I lead on the HE and student experience sector strategy and this was an chance to discuss progress on the existing strategy and where we may be heading in the future. You won’t be surprised to hear that Education 4.0 is on that horizon. I spent part of the day clearing out my inbox of e-mails, making sure I was up to date and planning for the next couple of weeks as well.
Looking at the applications on my Mac that I use on a regular basis, apart from mail and browsers the one app I probably use the most is Apple’s Keynote. I use it to create presentations for events, conferences and workshops. Having delivered my presentation (or sometimes before) I would upload it to Slideshare. Slideshare is a great site for hosting presentations that can then be embedded into blog posts, web pages or the VLE.
Though you can upload Keynote presentations to Slideshare, due to the nature of the types of presentations I create I have had issues with the conversion process. It works fine with simple presentations, buy my multiple page presentations sometimes have ground to a halt. As a result I now use the following workflow to ensure that my presentation uploads correctly to Slideshare.
I use the same process if I need to share the presentation with others, some conferences and organisations like to have a copy of the presentation on their website. Also when I know I will be presenting at a conference and I won’t be able to use my Mac directly and will have the use the provided Windows PC that is connected to the projector.
The process also works really well with online presentation systems such as Elluminate, Adobe Connect, Instant Presenter, and so on…
I know a lot of people like and use Prezi, though I created an account back in 2009 or thereabouts, I have not yet managed to create even a single presentation until now.
I am delivering some training this week and wanted to include Prezi, so I thought I ought to create at least one presentation. Having planned the presentation on “paper” well using a Word Processor, I then created the presentation using Prezi.
It was quite simple to create, though I would recommend going through the tutorial. Designing the presentation takes a little more thought than the standard slides you find in Powerpoint or Keynote. But you can add images and video quite easily.
I am still a little unsure of the real benefits of Prezi, in some ways it reminds me of Powerpoint with vomit-inducing transitions. Though I do like the fact that it is possible to see the whole presentation on the screen at once and go to where you want to go in a non-linear fashion. In many ways I think Prezi works better allowing individuals to explore the presentation at their own pace, over showing the presentation to a large group. Of course if you show it first and then allow exploration later, it does work better than Powerpoint in that way.
Today I gave an online presentation about how we have Web 2.0 embedded into our ILT Strategy as part Ask the Experts: Web 2.0 Policies and Frameworks session from Staffordshire University’s Best Practice Models for e-Learning Project.
It is one thing to use Web 2.0 tools and services for teaching and learning, but why should you put it into your e-learning strategy?
James Clay from Gloucestershire College will talk about why he included the use of Web 2.0 into the college’s e-learning strategy, the reasons for doing this and how effective it has been.
I still yet to upload my presentation from FOTE10 to the web.
Well at 250Mb it’s a tiny bit large for the average user.
It’s also in Keynote format, so not very accessible for anyone other than a Mac user.
Then again I think what’s the point?
Anyone at FOTE10 will know (and the photo above testifies) that my presentation had very few words in it, it was a presentation of images and video. There were more words on the final slide with my contact details than there was in the rest of the entire presentation.
If I uploaded the presentation, without the context and without the “speech” itself then it would be like a nice screensaver.
I do see the value in online presentations, but do feel that a presentation designed for the web is a different animal to one that is used in person.
I have recorded my presentation (as an mp3) and will release that, but that probably stands on it’s own feet better than the slides would on their own.
So you will be able to hear what I say, not necessarily see the slides. I know at some point ULCC will release a video of me presenting, then you can see me, hear me and watch my slides. Though without the Twitter backchannel…