#ALTC Winter Conference – Day One

2017-12-12_09-39-20Today, was day one of the 2017 ALT Winter Conference (#altc) and I was supposed to chair the 10:00 am session “The Great Sussex Podblast” to have been delivered by Pete Sparx, George Robinson and Tab Betts from Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) at the University of Sussex. Unfortunately, problems with the Conference Webcasting platform (Blackboard Collaborate Ultra) and it’s back up (Blackboard Collaborate Classic) meant that the session had to be cancelled. Hence, my first opportunity to moderate a webcast of any kind passed me by! The guys did, however, create a video, slides (bit.ly/podblast-altc) and you can hear the Podblast podcasts here: soundcloud.com/teachingwithtech/sets/great-sussex-podblast-digital.

In other events, there were five tweet chats. I was able to participate in VLE Minimum Standards—Lessons from the Sector (hashtag: #UCISAVLE) and watch the
#altc blog showcase (hashtag: #altcshowcase).

I then had a meeting to attend so I will need to catch up with the other sessions via the webinar recordings and wait for the storify versions of the tweetchats:

I will have more time tomorrow to attend the live sessions.

#OpenEdMOOC Week 1

2017-10-10_1838Though signed up to the EdX Course in good time, I’ve only just today, already half-way through week 2, gotten around to exploring the resources and activities for Week 1 of George Siemens’ and David Wiley’s (or is the attribution the other way round) open course on an Introduction to Open Education (hashtag #OpenEdMOOC).

On first viewing, the structure is interesting. The course is available as an xMOOC (with the possibility of an optional certification) on the EdX platform. In this version, there are weekly exercises, that are assessed  — I’ve missed the deadline for the first one — and the usual mixture of text, video, readings and discussion. This version will cease to be available, shortly after the course ends, unless the $59 certification fee is paid by the end of October. But there is also an xMOOC version, made available under a CC BY licence at URL linkresearchlab.org/openedmooc, with largely identical content.

So my initial question is why did George and David chose to present their course on Open Education in a format that is “Open” only in the sense of free to register and also in the form of an Open Education Resource that satisfies Wiley’s 5Rs that come up in week 3. Another question that will be interesting to reflect on later, is where will the most useful course discussions take place? In the walled garden of the discussion boards on EdX (analogous to an institutional VLE) or in the wider network?

Personally, I expect to remain at least one week behind, so I already know that I’m likely to find the xMOOC version of the course more accessible. I also expect most of my contributions to be made via this blog and any discussion to take place on Twitter.

Ada Lovelace Day 2017

Ada Lovelace color

Today is Ada Lovelace Day – an annual celebration of women in STEM.

To mark the occasion I used Storify to make a personal curation of the tweets and blog posts that I liked on #AdaLovelaceDay 2017 (#ALD17)

Work-life Balance in Academia

Important thread on work patterns in academia.

I recommend that you read the whole thread!

Perhaps it reflects the US experience more than the UK, but I think the pendulum might be swinging this way in the UK too.

One of the replies

prompted this response from the Times Higher’s Phil Baty

What do you think?

#HEblogswap – Transferring Enthusiasm

Spherical Reflection

I’ve been a teacher in engineering and technology for over 30 years. I love computing, coding, and ed tech. I spend hours on-line watching videos to increase my understanding of the technologies that I love. I love engaging with my personal learning networks, particularly #LTHEChat and #CreativeHE. I take part in MOOCs and am curious about teaching and learning and how to do it. I’m a course leader and want my students to have the best experience possible. I think I’m a good mentor to my colleagues and respected for my experience,knowledge and skills and in my institution. What I haven’t cracked is translating my enthusiasm for my subjects into engagement in the classroom.

Part of this stems from my natural reserve. I am definitely not an extrovert. I don’t find it natural to be the life-and-soul-of-the-party. Social occasions are difficult for me in real life. (Interestingly I’m more extroverted in social media.) So perhaps I don’t come across as enthusiastic in the classroom setting. I’m better one-on-one and in small group contexts, but most of my students don’t get to experience that.

So how do I improve? I’m hoping the Enthusiastic HE community can help!

This post was written for Enthusiastic HE as part of Santanu Vasant’s September 13 #HEblogswap.