Whiteboard learning

Ever wanted to use whiteboard animation for learning? Here is an example of one we did together at our department to visualize what we do.

To complement with words our head of our department Arnold Pears has written a blog post today about what we do.

Why educate graduates to work in Industry 4.0 with Education 1.0?

 

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Animations Pros & Cons

Pros – Animations easily visualize and simplify anything no matter how complex it is. One minute of online video equates to about 1.8 million written words, according to Forrester Research. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text in the brain. Animation easily helps students to describe a process.
Self-learning lets students explore different aspects of a problem and figure out by themselves how to solve it. During such a process, students gain a set of skills in critical thinking and problem-solving. However, as a teacher, you have to be aware of the learning objectives that the animations are serving.
Cons – Customized animations are cost consuming even though there is a range of free animations on the Internet, tailor-made productions are very costly, and most will need some sort of designer to help.
There are, however, plenty of cheap software on the web that you can use to make some simple animations. Search for animation tools.

AI & Post- Human-ism

After reading the latest report on Innovating pedagogy some ideas came to mind.

Using AI to streamline processes for better service levels is great for Higher Education.

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Photo by Alex Knight on Pexels.com

Blockchains to automate the transfer of credits and learning opportunities across universities is positive and that it can be used to register IPR’s within education research so that it can be tracked on what sort of impact it has had is great too. Using AI to enable smart buildings for new ideas in modern smart learning spaces to encourage collaborative active learning, yes, but taking Artificial Intelligence into the classroom for teaching and learning? Hmmm….
Research implies that outsourcing tasks to a machine, makes people dumber and the ability to multi-task reduces. A good teacher will give students several ways to solve a problem a machine will offer one stand-alone solution.
Will we be robbing the students with interactions with the teacher, the personal guidance and flexibility of a student’s mind? Soft skills like dependability integrity, reliability and teamwork are what companies are looking for which are not something you can learn with suggestions from a machine.
With AI comes high costs – implementation and maintenance will need constant upgrading and eventual procurements. We have seen how much costs, time and energy it has taken with the implementation of Learning Management Systems can Higher Education afford AI as well?

After reading the report I did some searching as you do and found a great podcast by Stefan Herbrechter (link below) he said “If you look at the word “post-human-ism”, it contains three elements: there’s the human in the middle, there’s the “post-” in front of it, and there’s an “-ism” at the end. It basically means we’re no longer happy with humanist ways of defining what it means to be human. It’s one of the greatest fears of humans: how to make sure you’re human and not a machine”.

With education at the moment we are teaching our students to be (good) humans so that they can be successful as a great human in their chosen professions, if we move forward with replacing some teaching with robots, one can only imagine how the replacement of teachers by robots would be met by faculty. Like the industrial revolution that effected many back in the day and I can remember it well in UK, where people were replaced by machines there were strikes and wars. As well as students protesting about climate change teachers can also start movements and protests and I am sure there will be.

References:

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Photo by Matan Segev on Pexels.com

Challenge Driven Digitalization

For the past few months, I have been involved in a great new project Called Challenge- Driven Education Teacher Training course which had its roots and developments in the KTH Global Development Hub (GDH)
The teacher training course consists of several modules that consist of how to use design thinking, being a facilitator rather than a teacher, how to work with stakeholders and various other tips on teaching with challenge-driven ideas.

It involves multi-perspective student teams and external stakeholders. It is a team-based learning approach that intends to develop students’ key competencies for sustainability and abilities to analyze complex societal challenges, related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UN’s 2030 Agenda.

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Discussions with stakeholders (companies, communities or authorities) on a challenge that needs to be solved is the first phase, they then become a partner with the students who will be taking on the challenge as part of their course. The students need to come up with a solution to the challenge and deliver a proposal on how to best solve the challenge. Apart from the students learning. ways on how to run projects, networking with real-life companies, being a part of communities and social skills, they also contribute to the sustainable development of society by becoming a part of it.

I got involved by helping them create a more blended approach to the teacher training course- The first beta version of one module is live and ready to go, hoping to get some feedback at the end of January. As well as helping with the learning design, I also worked on the filming, the editing, and coordination of the project. If anyone is interested in taking the course then here is a link to the course at KTH. Teaching and Learning for Challenge Driven Education in a Global context

Here is an introduction to each module by the faculty teaching the modules.
Continue reading

How digitalization has changed the relationship between customers and suppliers.

Many moons ago my own digital transformation journey started as a photographer when all of a sudden, well it wasn’t that quick but it felt like it at the time, the digital camera was an affordable mechanism for everyday people. Along with it came the difficult realization that the customer and I as the supplier of great photography ceased to exist as most decided that they could take the pictures themselves and save on costs. It was only 15 years or so later that people realized that you did actually have to have some sort of eye for it. I had by then moved on from my lack of ROI freelance photography business to the digitalization of things.

After a stint at web mastery both in programming and design, learning the backend of the Internet of things was a great start on the journey to online sales and marketing. The year was 2005 the dot com crash had taken its offers, and few companies were left to pick up the pieces and start on a new road on customer digitization.

The next era was from 2005 to 2010 and I worked at a new startup software as a Service (SAAS) company. We realized that technology and the market were always linked to each other in some way and marketing campaigns were targeted to generate leads, push & pull was the terminology of the day and online sales started to happen slowly but surely, not huge sales, but enough to deem it interesting. The launch of YouTube, Twitter and split testing email campaigns were in. 

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Also, at that time many other technology companies started up, Spotify, Groupon, Tumblr, and then big ol’ Google launches for real-time search engine results. In the marketing team, we had to learn a whole new way of thinking it was not just the design and content anymore but you had to have some sort of mathematical intuition to understand how to calculate the results and follow up on the leads to generate the custom.

The online sales side of the internet was still young, and it wasn’t until I tried a start-up of my own, which wasn’t very successful, that I decided to take on a real job again at an IT training company in 2010. Customers had now become tech savvy and their digital expectations much higher than previously. Most purchasers started their online purchase process with a query on a search engine, then used a social activity as a next step in the process this enabled us to gain the edge on our competitors.

The Social media strategy was on, integrations with other technologies to align leads to the sales team were vital so they could act on the call to action. We used Google SEO & PPC AdWords, new software from a Norwegian (Finch) was in place to help us with the PPC. A banner company, a technology start-up in Sweden (Vendemore) which coined the phrase “Rubberband banners”, enabled the return of the customer by reminding them of us on various web pages. On the social media channels, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube we added the product reviews, blog posts as a brand strategy and to initiate the final purchase. It was certainly a success; online sales went from 20% to 80% in a year.

New ideas and channels are evolving, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented reality and Neuromarketing are on their way in are we ready for the future of online sales & marketing?

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CC: Benoit Rochon [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

References:

Digital Champions at KTH

At the Digital Learning unit at KTH, we have been wanting to find some….. what we call “Digital Champions”. Teachers that are using digital tools in their everyday work at KTH for best practice ideas to help our other faculty in their teaching methods. First of all the task was to create interviews for the website but being passionate about media and video storytelling I decided to work with our media production team to get some great video documentaries together.

The videos are less than 5 minutes long so as not bore the watching public.

Here is the first one with Maria Morgunova who has been involved in many an
E-learning project and talks about how she uses the new LMS tool in her courses.

Maria Morgunova

This next one is in Swedish, though you can click on the subtitles in the video player on YouTube to get the English text.

Introducing Lars Filipsson……. a maths teacher who loves using digital technology to help the students understand the mathematical questions he delivers in his face to face classroom and videos as preparation for the classroom activities

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The third one is all about how Pernilla Ulfvengren who uses flipped classroom in her courses.

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We are hoping these video stories will inspire faculty to start using digital technology in their classrooms.

Blended learning ideas for Faculty Development from OLC

Just got back from the very sunny, blue sky, Sunshine state of Florida after attending the OLC (Online Learning Consortium) there in Orlando with over 2000 participants from around the world.

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Disney Dolphin Hotel – Where the conference is every year

With Floridian friendship and many new colleagues in the field of online and blended learning there were some juicy bits to be had, experiences from the field and hopefully ideas for our future strategies.

First up was a panel discussion on ”Blended Learning from Design to Evaluation” led by the charismatic Dr. Norm Vaughan from Mount Royal University Canada (who is by the way going to be here at KTH for a few seminars in the spring, watch this space…..)

The panel discussed and highlighted the benefits, challenges, strategies and lessons learned from their own faculty development initiatives for blended learning.
Here is a summary of what was said by each University.

Benefits

  • Positive feelings in creating new ideas to redesign teaching & learning
  • Some acquired more positive attitudes towards technology
  • The Faculty felt that the professional development has an impact on students learning
  • Flexible learning opportunities
  • Creating smaller communities of practice
  • Getting students engaged

Challenges

  • Faculty motivation
  • Sustainability
  • Resource requirement
  • Time
  • Misconceptions of Blended Learning
  • Change Management – Institution readiness

Lessons Learned

  • Set realistic targets
  • Always remember all stakeholders
  • Get some examples of best practices
  • Provide variation of support offered
  • Patience
  • Time
  • And Listen

Ron Bleed, the former Vice Chancellor of Information Technologies at Maricopa College, argues that the definition “Blended learning is often defined as the combination of face-to-face and online learning (Sharpe et al., 2006; Williams, 2002)” is not actually a sufficient definition for blended learning as it simply implies “bolting” technology onto a traditional course, using technology as an add-on to teach a difficult concept, or adding supplemental information.  He suggests that blended learning should be viewed as an opportunity to redesign how courses are developed, scheduled, and delivered through a combination of physical and virtual instruction: “bricks and clicks” (Bleed, 2001).  Joining the best features of in-class teaching with the best features of online learning that promote active, self-directed learning opportunities with added flexibility should be the goal of this redesigned approach (Garnham & Kaleta, 2002; Littlejohn & Pegler, 2007; Norberg, Dziuban, Moskal, 2011).

Another session I attended was called “Reviewing our Digital Pedagogy Workshop for faculty: success & future improvements”. Dr Kelly Keane was the presenter and is an assistant professor of Educational Technology at Loyola University Maryland. She teaches graduate level educational technology courses to practicing teachers and her teaching style is based in active and collaborative learning.

Their Institution offered a 2-week digital pedagogy workshop for faculty who were interested in converting a traditional course to the hybrid/blended or online environment.  The faculty that were chosen each received a $2500 stipend, which obviously helped along the way, from the University’s Office of Academic Affairs and Technology Services. The workshop occurred over two weeks and support was provided by instructional designers (A role that is not recognised yet in Swedish Universities) and faculty experienced with instructional technologies.

Workshop sessions occurred on campus as well as in a synchronous online environment, where participants received experience in the live sessions from both a student and teacher perspective. Daily instruction was organized around the Understanding by Design process (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005) and the Community of Inquiry framework (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000)

Their Success stories of the 2 week workshop:

  • Pedagogy driving tool selection – Instead of saying this how to use the blog, the questions were more in the lines of what do you want to do? And what do you want your students to be able to do?
  • Asynchronous and synchronous sessions for the workshop – A good balance of face to face & Online workshops over the 2-week period.
  • The participants connected with many “experts” – Experienced Faculty, Instructional designers, Instructional video developers
  • Flexibility of the workshops – Prior to the workshop they had asked the participants about their technical skills so they could choose which grouping they wanted to be in according to their experiences.
  • Providing them with the student perspective of learning by being a student themselves
  • After the workshop a formation of a professional learning community was built, to me a very important aspect in Blended Learning course development

Their lessons learned and future improvements was that they wanted to have more examples of courses that were already built by other faculty that they could look at and more time to develop more modules as they only had time to redevelop one module during the whole 2 week workshop.

 So if we are to move forward in helping our faculty and initiate strategies for Blended Learning course development, then we have to really have a good plan in place, a group of resources that can support in many different aspects not only technological support but also instructional support, time & motivation for the faculty to do this and last but by no mean least (and probably the most complex and challenging in our Swedish Universities), communicating to the leaders the importance of Change Management.

It’s that simple…..

References

  • Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2010). Class differences: Online education in the United States, 2010,
  • Babson Survey Research Group, The Sloan Consortium. Available online at: http://olc.onlinelearningconsortium.org/publications/survey/class_differences
  • Arabasz, P., Boggs, R. & Baker, M. B. (2003). Highlights of E-Learning Support Practices.Educause Center for Applied Research Bulletin, 9.
  • Bleed, R. (2001). A Hybrid Campus for a New Millennium. Educause Review, 36 (1). 16-24.
  • Clark, D. (2003). Blend it like Beckham. Epic Group PLC.
  • Dziuban, C. D., Moskal, P. D., & Hartman, J. (2013). Blended learning: A dangerous idea?. Internet and Higher Education, 18(7), 15-23.
  • Garnham, C. & Kaleta, R. (2002). Introduction to Hybrid Courses. Teaching with Technology Today, 8 (6).
  • Garrison, D.R. & Vaughan, N.D. (2008). Blended Learning in Higher Education. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA .
  • Graham, C. R. (2006). Blended learning systems: Definitions, current trends, and future directions. In Bonk, C. & Graham, C. (Eds), The handbook of blended learning: Global perspectives, local designs (pp. 3-21). San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
  • Halverson, L. R., Graham, C. R., Spring, K. J., Drysdale, J. S., &  Henrie, C. R. (2014). A thematic analysis of the most highly cited scholarship in the first decade of blended learning research.  Internet and Higher Education, 20, 20–34.
  • Laumakis, M., Graham, C., & Dziuban, C. (2009). The Sloan-C pillars and boundary objects as a framework for evaluating blended learning. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(1), 75-87.
  • Littlejohn, A., & Pegler, C. (2007). Preparing for blended e-Learning: Understanding blended and online learning (Connecting with E-learning). London, UK: Routledge.
  • Mayadas, F. A. & Picciano, A. G. (2007). Blended learning and localness: The means and the end. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 11(1), 3-7.
  • Norberg, A., Dziuban, C. D., & Moskal, P. D. (2011). A time-based blended learning model. On the Horizon19(3), 207-216.
  • Sharpe, R., Benfield, G., Roberts, G., & Francis, R. (2006). The undergraduate experience of blended e-learning: A review of UK literature and practice. London: Higher Education Academy.
  • Vaughan, N.D., Cleveland-Innes, M. & Garrison, D.R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Athabasca: Athabasca University Press. Available online at: http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120229
  • Vaughan , N.D. (2007). Perspectives on Blended Learning in Higher EducationInternational Journal on E-Learning, 6(1), 81-94.
  • Williams, J. (2003). Blending into the Background. E-Learning Age Magazine, 1.
  • Williams, C. (2002).  Learning on-line:  A review of recent literature in a rapidly expanding field. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 26(3), 263-272.
  • Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher educationmodelThe Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.
  • Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005).  Understanding by Design (expanded 2nd edition).  Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

 

 

The beginning of a new Faculty role

So after the summer break, students have arrived on mass to be introduced to the new city, the university, the various student associations, the student culture by the older students dressed up in some colourful boiler suit covered with patches from various interests and activities the student has accomplished over their time at the University. The woop… wooping has died down, the different types of music blaring out in different locations at campus are replaced by doors shutting and the learning begins.

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I can’t help but reflect on the different leadership roles they will be meeting whilst learning in their different learning styles and wonder how they will perform, conform or quite simply leave and pursue another direction all together.

They will most likely meet a Hierarchical Individual leader, some one who makes sure they focus on clear performance targets, bringing the external requirements from Academia into the work & practice of their teaching, they will also meet many that are a Hierarchical collective leader who will add values and norms to their lessons building relationships with their students so that they build a strong community together based on trust (but only the trust that does not require input from all the students), before a decision can be made.
But there are 2 other leader types they will meet if they are lucky, (though I am biased of course) which are very few and far between:
The Distributed individual leader, a leader that responds to learner needs, who is not afraid to embark on new entrepreneurial ways of teaching and who likes to inspire a team of collaborators with diverse knowledge and skill-sets.
And the Distributed Collective leader, someone who inspires individuals to operate in networked relationships, motivating the students to share resources they have found and create a community of practice.

The beginning of the new leadership/faculty roles in education has begun. I am facilitating the course at KTH I took last spring, we have 12 enthusiastic faculty members that will be starting a new Open networked learning course in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, Lund University, Linnaeus University, (Sweden) and Independent Institute of Education (IIE) (South Africa).
This course is to teach our faculty to involve inquiry into their own practice, give them an opportunity to explore and try collaborative learning in an open online learning environment with colleagues from different universities, disciplines and cultures (nationally as well as internationally).

It’s a matter of choice of what type of organisation we want to work in, what type of learning environment we want to work in, but also as a leader we need to be responsible in shaping that environment.

As EdX Rob Lue Faculty director quoted in Leaders of Learning
“I’m quite convinced that leading in digital education does require a taste for uncertainty. That ultimately, actually, I think leading in general requires a taste for uncertainty.There’s nothing I can think of where everything is certain. I do think what’s important, or exciting, in fact, about the space that we’re in right now in terms of digital education, is that the landscape is changing. So that we need to build an organisation and a leadership style that allows for a process of learning, a process of deep adaptation, as the environment changes very dramatically”.

References