I’m moving

Following startup of my consultancy business, CloudEd, I have moved my blog to cloudeducation.com.au/loud-cloud-blog/.

I will continue discussions that I have started from my new blog and I apologise for my delayed posts.

Cheers Louise

Pedagogy in distributed learning environments ????????

Jenny Mackness is a researcher and author of a number of papers on the subject of digital learning and MOOCs.  Her blog post Program for Online Teaching cuts to the core of what it means to be a teacher in these environments.  George Siemen’s metaphors of educators is a starting point where he describes the roles as master artist, network administration, concierge and curator. Stephen Downes adds to this with his Twitter research where he found 23 roles for educators.  Jenny has presented the quandry of offering quality learning experiences for the masses such as can be experienced in MOOCs. Downes talks about a number of educators supporting larger groups of learners.  How is this done?

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“Digital Divide”: Educators debate the use of technology in the classroom

Joe’s response highlights the new and varied roles of teachers which have become far more complex in the digital learning space. The notion of teacher as a curator, guider, interpreter are just some examples of skills required to prepare learners for 21st century workplaces where all these skills are necessary to gather knowledge at a pace. The assertion that capability is required to use devices for education effectively is a real gem and is an area that is sorely lacking. That digital learning has a bad reputation is not necessarily due to the space but how it has been used with a technology focus, to the detriment of effective pedagogy ie the technology will only be effective when placed in capable hands. This may be why Bowen and others like him are balking when it comes to embracing digital learning and seeing its usefulness to quality education.

Joe Hirsch

Is technology going to save or savage 21st century learners? To deny the disruptive force of digital technology in schools is about as useful as contesting the presence of TSA screenings at airports – it’s here, so accept it. But is it good for students and the future of learning?

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There is a case for 21st Century Learning

Schleicher talks about the need to break free of our single discipline silos and make the paradigm shifts required to ready learners for 21st century work. It’s a 360 degree shift from teaching disparate parts to encouraging learners to connect the parts.  He makes the important point that curation skills are paramount and there is also reference to horizontal rather than vertical knowledge acquisition, eloquently described. The idea being that learners will be more engaged in knowledge building and be more likely to retain it if they work with others rather than being fed instructed by a teacher. A good summary article but I believe that one last paragraph could be added that relates to the benefits to learning of content creation both individually and in groups.

In Job Interviews Find the Pain and Get the Job

Interview Your Best

Discovering the “Pain”

Many sales training programs instruct salespeople to look for the prospect’s “pain” points. Their contention is that customers are motivated to purchase services only if the service relieves a pain or problem. In many sales situations, the prospect knows the pain and is looking for a solution- for example, “My computer is broken. It can’t be repaired, and I need to purchase a new one.” In other situations, a salesperson has to identify the pain for a prospect and then sell her the solution: “Are you aware that your computer isn’t being backed up offsite to a secure location, and you could lose all your information? You need a backup service.” When you are buying something, consider what pain you are hoping to relieve.

Candidates can do both- sell to the obvious pain and identify additional pain points. The obvious pain is the company’s stated reasons for…

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Tracking learning in the cloud, self tracking – not such a silly idea!

I have been dabbling with learner analytics particularly in relation to capturing Web 2.0 activity which is much more difficult than LA within a learning management system.  As an educator, my main interest is early early intervention for those who require it followed by using the data to allocate resources to where they are most used/needed. Erik Duval is amongst researchers who suggest self tracking as a means of recording learning episodes in the cloud and this got me thinking about the Fitbit type trackers that can be used to send statements to a central database which in turn can be used to support learners.

It appears that this line of thinking is growing legs. Mostly recently Doug Johnson (http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2015/1/2/an-educational-fitbit.html) posted similar thoughts on his blog.  While he doesn’t mention learner analytics, he is certainly referring to the types of actions that may be logged in the learning sphere.  I suggest that we watch this space.

See Erik’s presentation at

Digital learning and me