Quick question: if you could only recommend three blogs to read, three podcasts, three TED or similar talks, three twitter accounts to follow and three google plus folks to circle, which would you choose?
(The context: trying to identify a bit of ‘flipped classroom’ pre-session material for a session with Gerhard Fischer on ‘cultures of participation’…)
The relationship between technology and decision making is often a difficult one…
Technology evolves fast. (Right, this should qualify me for the platitude-of-the-week award). Decision makers want to develop policy based on preparatory study work (which takes time) and for a certain time (during which technology has already developed further). The result is that plans are often obsolete by the time they are ready.
I’ve been asked by my university to help prepare policy on how we can deploy technology in education, so I’m kind of sensitive to this problem at the moment. BTW, I’d appreciate pointers to policy plans on ICT in education from other organisations. Or information about the process that lead to these plans…
One thing that often strikes me in this context is how little use is made of technology to develop such plans: most of the discussions and preparation work are Plain Old Face-to-face meetings and reports.
That is where the announcement below comes in the picture: it is part of a program I’m involved in to help prepare future decision makers. If you have a few days to spare in January, you may want to participate in the first session?
Technology for Decision Makers
Join renowned specialists such as prof. Gerhard Fisher (U Colorado-Boulder), leading expert in human-computer interaction and computer-mediated learning; dr. Jos Delbeke, director-general for Climate Action, European Commission, prof. Hans Bruyninckx (KU Leuven), coordinator of TRADO, the Flemish policy research centre on transitions for sustainable developments, and many more in a three-day workshop that explores how societal challenges can be matched by cutting-edge technological developments.
The workshop is the first in a series of three workshops preparing the new Master of Science in Technology for Decision Makers (MTD) that KU Leuven will launch in January 2014. Participants will get a taste of the new master’s cutting-edge approach of teaching professionals the fundamental drivers and new developments in key technology domains, but also how to embed innovations in a wider ecosystem of markets, organizations, sectors, governments and ultimately societal change.
Participants will get the opportunity to interact with experts from academia, business and government in an innovative learning environment.
The first workshop will provide an overview of societal challenges, unravel the fundamentals of a key enabling technology such as ICT, explore the dynamics of global energy systems and investigate how our transportation and logistics systems are using state-of-the-art technologies. It consists of three days of lectures, high-level guest seminars, discussion sessions, and workshops:
Wednesday 23 January: From societal challenges to the drivers of global energy systems
Thursday 24 January: Energy system scenarios and the fundamentals and outlook of ICT
Friday 25 January: The transportation system of the future
Time: Each day starts at 9.00 h and ends at 18.00 h
Venue: Leuven (exact location will be given at a later stage)
Participation fee: 200 Euro (for 3 days, 3 lunches included)
More information: Please contact Erik Mathijs, MTD programme director (Erik.Mathijs@ees.kuleuven.be) or
Alain Smolders, coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Because of the highly interactive approach, the number of participants is limited!
Registration: Register before Friday 14 December 2012, by email to Alain Smolders (Alain.Smolders@set.kuleuven.be), including all contact and invoice details.
To learn more about the new Master, visit our website: http://set.kuleuven.be/technology-for-decision-makers
Interesting… Suddenly, we have a bit of a debate in
Belgium Flanders about the use of iPad’s in the classroom. It started with a planned experiment in a school that requires all students to have an iPad.
If you don’t have the patience to read on: I’m rather on the school’s side.
My main reasons to support such an initiative:
- I believe that it is a mistake to keep technology out of our schools: we need to make sure that people learn how to use technology to their advantage. Schools are learning places, no?
- Technology can help to make learning more flexible and fun. By automating what can be automated, teacher time becomes available for doing what people do well and technology doesn’t.
I admit there are some reasonable questions about such an initiative:
- Many raise the issue of price. I think it would be informative to look at the complete picture, including costs saved (less ink on dead trees…). The school in question mentions that they have carefully considered costs and it is reported that ‘No pupils will be left out. Parents who need to can call on a special fund to pay for the ipad’.
- Some mention the danger of lock-in: why only iPads? Why no other tablets. I have great sympathy for this issue – and I have spent much of the previous 15 years in trying to build standards that make technologies from different vendors work together, so that we all have more choice. But the reality is that there are only two tablet platforms at this moment, iOS (i.e. iPad) and Android. Working with a mix of both is not very realistic at this moment for a school.
I also discussed this topic with some real experts – my kids. Not surprisingly, they were not in favour of iPad’s in the classroom.
- They mentioned price – see above.
- They were worried that there are not enough good quality apps. They have kind of a point. I am not sure that everything can be taught with iPads only. But I am sure that there are many things that can be learned in ways where iPad’s can improve the process.
- They worry that kids will no longer learn how to write. Or draw. I doubt that the school experiment is that drastic. More fundamentally, I am not sure that writing or drawing, without keyboards or iPads, i.e. through ink on dead trees, is a skill we need to preserve.
In any case, paper and ink is a technology. It is certainly not completely obsolete yet. But it is much less dominant than it used to be, and, if it were to become obsolete, then why would we continue teaching kids with it?
More fundamentally, my kids assume, like many do, that disturbing the status quo is dangerous. I don’t. Current learning in schools is not all that great, so there is plenty of opportunity for improvement. Everybody seems to want more innovation – but you can’t innovate if you give in to Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
As a follow-up to my last message, here is what you get if you send me an email in the next three weeks:
Congratulations, you have reached my Inbox!
However, your message will most likely never be read.
I’m off to the Alps and Tuscany for 3 weeks of Family, Reading, Swimming, Hiking, Eating & Drinking…
When I return on 20 August, I will archive all the messages that arrived in my absence, and start with a clean, empty Inbox
If you send me your message again after that time, I will be delighted to read your undoubtedly extremely interesting and terribly important message then.
Apologies if this is inconvenient, but I’m sure you appreciate the need for a Life too.
You can always send your message to email@example.com, if you
think my team may be of help…
Or you could take some time off for yourself too
I’ve loaded the car with a few clothes, and more books and dvd’s than we can read in a year. Tomorrow, I’ll add G., the kids and the dogs. We’ll be all set then…
First call for contributions:
LAK13: Third International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge
8-12 April, Leuven, Belgium
Papers and Workshop/Tutorial Proposals due November 1, 2012
Doctoral Consortium, Poster and Workshop Participation Submissions due January 31, 2013
The International Learning Analytics & Knowledge Conference, now in its third year, is a venue for reporting and advancing research at the nexus of two emerging societal phenomena. First we are witnessing the rapid expansion of the use of technologies in supporting learning, not only in established institutional contexts and platforms, but also in the emerging landscape of free, open, social learning online. Second, the unprecedented availability of data that learners generate in the process of accessing learning materials, interacting with educators and peers, and creating new content in these technological settings, coupled with advances in analytics and data mining, knowledge modeling and representation and open data offer great potential for research into how learning takes place in socio-technical settings and the development of new forms of analytics that can inform learners and educators. Learning Analytics research brings these technical, pedagogical, and social domains into dialogue with each other to ensure that interventions and organizational systems serve the needs of all stakeholders.
THEME: Dialectics in Learning Analytics
The first two conferences have established the range of issues and approaches of concern in leveraging the availability of data about learning with powerful computational, representational and visualization techniques. This third conference will be designed to consolidate the field by bringing these many voices into dialogue in a “middle space” under the overarching theme of “Dialectics in Learning Analytics”, which has these facets:
The Middle Space: The conference will explore the middle space within which Learning and Analytics intersect, and seeks proposals for papers and events that explicitly connect analytic tools to theoretical and practical aspects of understanding and managing learning.
Productive Multivocality: Learning analytics is multidisciplinary, drawing on theories and methods from diverse research traditions. Our community includes educators, learning scientists, computer scientists, administrators, and policy makers, among others. The middle space serves as a topical “boundary object”, enabling productive discourse between these many voices.
The Old and the New: We are facing a centuries old problem: to improve learning, but we are trying to solve it using a new set of tools, not available before. We address these problems in the city of Leuven: centuries old, lively new.
We invite submissions on topics including but not limited to the following:
– New models of learning enabled by analytics
– Personalization and adaptation in the learning process through analytics
– Learner modeling
– The analysis of emotion, flow, and affective data in learning environments
– Ethical considerations (e.g., privacy and ownership)
– Learning analytics for accreditation
– The influence of analytics on designing for learning
– Learning analytics patterns
– Organizational dynamics and adoption strategies
– Educational research methods and learning analytics
– Learning analytics in relationship to other fields (e.g., educational research, educational data mining, web science, etc.)
* Technical Innovations for Sensemaking
– Network analysis methods for understanding learning
– Visualization techniques
– Attention metadata for learning
– Data mining and machine learning techniques in learning analytics
– Natural language processing and text mining in learning analytics
– The role of knowledge representation and ontologies in learning analytics
– The semantic web and linked data applied to learning analytics
– Analytic tools that could be used for learning
– “Big Data” applications and opportunities in learning and education
– Learning environments enhanced with analytics
– Architecture of learning environments and implications for learning analytics
– Recommendation Engines
– Interfaces for learning analytics
– Decision-support systems for learning
* Applications and Use Cases
– Interventions based on analytics
– Visualizations to support awareness and reflection
– Social and technical systems to manage information abundance
– Personalization and adaptation of the learning process
– Corporate and higher education case studies of learning analytics
– Learning analytics for intelligent tutoring systems
– Open data and data access for learners
– Harmonizing individual learning with organizational learning
– Organizational learning and knowledge sharing models
– Use of learning analytics in centralized (learning management systems) and decentralized (personal learning environments) settings
– Planning, deploying, and evaluating enterprise-wide learning analytics
Full and Short Papers, Design Briefings, and the abstracts for Panels, Workshops and Tutorials will be published in the main proceedings. Submissions in these categories are due November 1, 2012.
– Full Papers
Use a full paper to share substantial conceptual, technical and empirical contributions, following the advice to authors given above. Submit up to 10 pages in the conference paper format.
– Short Papers, Design Briefings, and Formal Demonstrations
Use a short paper to share preliminary conceptual, technical and empirical contributions, or substantial contributions that can be reported briefly. Short papers can also share a design concept or tool that addresses a challenge of interest to interface designers, system architects and programmers. A formal demonstration of interactive software or tools may also be proposed: such submissions should include at least one link to a current demo movie. Submit up to 5 pages in the conference paper format.
Panels provide the chance for delegates to hear a range of speakers address a topical issue, e.g. diverse approaches to a problem, or a debate a hot topic. Submit up to 4 pages in the conference paper format suitable for publication in the proceedings, including an introduction to the nature and importance of the issue to be addressed and panelists’ position statements. Submit 2 additional pages (not to be published in the proceedings) with the names and qualifications of confirmed panelists and discussants and a summary of how your panel format will ensure that there is interaction between panelists rather than consisting of a collection of disconnected talks.
Workshops (8-9 April, 2013) provide the opportunity to explore learning theory, analytics, methods and tools in depth. Workshops should be designed to take advantage of the interactivity afforded by this format, and should not consist merely of a day of talks. They may include for example, experience sharing and brainstorming, interactive demonstrations, data analysis by multiple analysts, problem solving sessions, and a few short and/or enlightening presentations. The length of the workshop sessions can range from a half to a full day (consisting of two to four 1.5 hour blocks between breaks). See web site for submission format.
Tutorials (also 8-9 April, 2013) provide the chance to take participants deep into a specific tool or technique in which you are experienced, or an introduction to a topic/class of tools. The time could range from a 1.5 hour session to a full day (consisting of two to four 1.5 hour blocks between breaks). Please use the workshop/tutorial template for submissions.
Submissions for the following forms of participation are due January 31, 2013.
– Doctoral Consortium
A one-day consortium will be organized for doctoral students who are about to defend or have recently defended their proposals. Participating students will have the opportunity to present their proposed research to reputable faculty in learning analytics and obtain valuable advice. Other professional development and social networking activities will be included. Details for submission requirements will be forthcoming in a future call.
– Informal Demonstrations
A space (table top surface) and designated times for informal demonstrations of relevant software will be provided at the conference. Submit one page that includes a 1-line title, name of presenter, and an abstract limited to 100 words suitable for printing in the conference guide. Demonstrators should be prepared to interact with several conference participants at a time in an interactive and not excessively scripted manner.
Posters are suitable for describing late-breaking results or for engaging conference participants in discussion of preliminary ideas or findings. Submit a 1-line title, the name(s) of the presenter(s), and an abstract limited to 100 words suitable for printing in the conference guide. This should be followed with up to two pages describing the concept or results to be presented, the expected interactions with conference participants, and the poster format that will support these interactions. (If available, a high-resolution image of the poster provided as the second page can fulfill this requirement, and is preferred. Easily visible graphics and large brief texts are encouraged rather than small text.)
– Workshop Participation
LAK workshops will provide conference participants with opportunities to interact intensively on a topic of shared interest. Workshop calls for participation will be distributed shortly after the December 14th workshop acceptance notification date. January 31st will be the uniform date for priority submissions for participation in workshops, although we encourage workshops to accept later submissions on a space-available basis. Workshop organizers will specify submission requirements.
SUBMISSION FORMAT AND PUBLICATION
LAK 2011 and LAK2012 were published in the ACM Digital Library International Conference Proceedings Series. We plan to do the same following the granting of ACM In-Cooperation status to the conference. Author guidelines are available at http://www.acm.org/sigs/publications/proceedings-templates (option 1).
November 1: Paper, Workshop, and Tutorial Proposals Due
December 14: Notification for Papers, Workshops, and Tutorials
January 31: Workshop Participation, Poster, and Informal Demonstration Submissions Due
February 15: Workshop, Poster, and Demonstration Notification
February 15: Final Papers Due
March 1: Early Registration Deadline
April 8-12: Conference
– Erik Duval, Belgium
– Xavier Ochoa, Ecuador
– Dan Suthers, USA
– Katrien Verbert, Belgium
It’s that time of the year again… As folks are leaving for their Summer Holidays (excuse my Northern Hemisphere bias), I’m sure that you are getting lots of ‘vacation messages’ in reply to your emails too…
Some of them are a bit trivial, or standard. Others are more interesting and show that the sender is already anticipating how to react to the large number of messages he will find upon his return.
For a number of years now, I’ve informed people who send me a message that I will archive my inbox when I return and start with a new, empty one. That has kind of worked well for me.
But there are alternatives: I like this one from Joris for instance:
I am on vacation until the beginning of august 2012. I will allow each sender one email. If you send me multiple emails, I will randomly delete your emails until it is pared down to one. Choose wisely. Please note that you already sent me one email.
Maybe you get some other interesting ones too? I’d love to hear from you if you do!
(BTW, I’m still around for a week or two, so you may just want to send me that Important Email before I leave …)
From the recent teleurope newsletter:
the TELeurope audio-visual archive of talks and interviews at http://teleurope.eu/pg/podcasts keeps on growing: there are now more than 200 recordings available.
Maybe you can contribute to this archive by adding a Youtube or Vimeo resource? It’s easy: log-in, click podcasts, click add new, paste the link – click save
Whatever you add will be available immediately on TELeurope. After you post, a small editorial committee will review whether the item is relevant and remove it if necessary. (We’ve had no problems so far, but will continue to monitor submissions…)
You must know of some great talks or interviews that are Out There. By submitting them to TELeurope, you will help your colleagues discover these hidden treasures.
Looking forward to discover more Great Stuff thanks to you…!
Your TELeurope.eu team!
Feel free to add your favorites!