ALT Scotland Policy Board

alt-logo_0_0On behalf of the Members of the Association, the ALT Scotland Policy Board is convening in Glasgow on the 16th of November 2015, 10.00-13.00. The Policy Board will bring together representatives of Scottish ALT Member Organisations and individual members to discuss key policy issues for Learning Technology and the wider education and training landscape in Scotland.

The Policy Board will be chaired by Professor Linda Creanor, Head of Blended Learning, Glasgow Caledonian University, and Joe Wilson, Chief Executive of the College Development Network and is organised with the ALT Scotland Members Group.

The number of participants in this event is limited to 30 and places will be allocated to representatives of member organisations based in Scotland and individual members based in Scotland on a first come first served basis.

Tea and coffee are served on arrival and a working lunch with conclude the proceedings.

There are still a few places available for this event, to register please go to https://www.alt.ac.uk/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=185

US Federal Government Support for Open Education

doeLast week the US Federal Government announced that it is

“supporting the use of open educational resources to provide equitable access to quality education.”

Building on a recent International Open Education Workshop that examined existing open education initiatives and identified opportunities for future collaboration, the U.S. Government aims to continue expanding and accelerating the use and availability of openly licensed educational materials worldwide.

Today, the Department of Education formally announced that it is proposing a new regulation that would require all copyrightable intellectual property created with Department grant funds to have an open license.

John King, senior advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Education commented

“By requiring an open license, we will ensure that high-quality resources created through our public funds are shared with the public, thereby ensuring equal access for all teachers and students regardless of their location or background.”

In tandem with this announcement, The U.S. Department of Education announced the launch of #GoOpen, a campaign to encourage states, school districts and educators to use openly licensed educational materials.  As part of this initiative a cohort of ten districts has committed to replace at least one textbook with openly licensed educational resources within the next year and a group of #GoOpen Ambassador Districts have committed to help other school districts move to openly licensed materials.

Clearly the education landscape in the US differs significantly from the Scotland and the UK more widely, however it is encouraging to see a national government actively supporting open education initiatives at this level. It will be interesting to see how these initiatives progress and what transferrable lessons can be learned from the experiences of our colleagues in the US.

Links

Whitehouse Blog: Openly Licensed Educational Resources: Providing Equitable Access to Education for All Learners

Office of Educational Technology: Open Education Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and #GoOpen Initiative

Press release: U.S. Department of Education Launches Campaign to Encourage Schools to #GoOpen with Educational Resources

Fact Sheet: Enabling Innovation and Teacher Creativity through Open Licensed Educational Resources

Open Badges as Bridges – Design, Create, Connect event

A guest post from Gráinne Hamilton, Programme Director (HE / Adult Learning), DigitalMe, about a forthcoming Open Badges event.  

digital me logoAnyone interested in recognising learning in a way that can be communicated across the web using an open infrastructure, is invited to join the DigitalMe consultants for a free event on designing, creating and connecting Open Badges on Wednesday 28th October at the Scottish Youth Theatre, Glasgow.

We know that increasing numbers of people are investigating Open Badges but it can be challenging to know where to start, how to turn an idea into reality and how to connect Open Badges to opportunities. This event will start with hands-on activities for participants to design their own badges, followed by the opportunity to create, issue and share the badge(s) they have designed using DigitalMe’s new website and mobile app, the Open Badge Academy.

The design aspect of the day will use the DigitalMe Badge Canvas, which has been created with the aim of making explicit the value proposition for the earner, issuer and consumer of the badge. The canvas works well as a social activity, helping a group of people to dig into the detail of a badge at the same time as keeping the value of the badge to the fore. Everyone can contribute in whatever way they feel comfortable, quietly contributing some text to the canvas or discussing some of the finer points of the assessment methodoloy, what evidence should be required or what to include in the badge criteria.

To date, the process of creating, issuing and sharing a digital badge has not necessarily been the most straightforward. Being able to easily display and share badges has perhaps been the least developed aspect of the infrastructure so far but participants will have the chance to use DigitalMe’s new Open Badge Academy, which features the end-to-end process, from creation, issuing, tracking and displaying badges via a website or mobile app. The mobile aspect of the platform allows badge earners to collect evidence on the go, ensuring applied skills can be captured and easily shared from their phone.

The event is influenced by one of the key aims of the Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy, Developing the Young Workforce, which is to build bridges between education, business and industry. It also aims to respond to the current Enhancement Theme for the Quality Assurance Authority for Higher Education (QAA)Student Transitions into, during and out of university. Participants will be able to hear case studies of how Open Badges are being used to bridge transitions and engage in activities to create badge pathways connecting learners to destination points such as learning opportunities or employment. DigitalMe has been working extensively with employers, such as those involved in the Tech Partnership trailblazer group (over 600 technology companies defining the new standards for technology related apprenticeships) to develop employer endorsed badges that allow badge earners to showcase the hard and soft skills employers are saying they are looking for.

The intended outcomes of the event are to:

  • Learn what Open Badges are and how they can communicate the skills your organisation needs or evidence the skills you have
  • Learn how to design a badge of value
  • Learn how to create, issue and share a badge using a website and mobile app
  • Learn how to create badge pathways to learning or employment opportunities
  • Learn how badges can support transitions and act as bridges between education and employment

The event should be of interest to educators, employers, charities, voluntary organisations and anyone else who is interested in recognising learning.

You can register here.

Gráinne Hamilton
Programme Director (HE / Adult Learning)
DigitalMe

Wikimedia opportunities and events at the University of Edinburgh

edinburghLast week, the University of Edinburgh became the first Higher Education institution in Scotland to advertise for a Wikimedian in Residence.  The post will be based within Information Services where the successful candidate will work alongside learning technologists, archivists, librarians and information literacy teams to help establish a network of Wikimedians on campus and to embed digital skills and open knowledge activities in learning and teaching across the University.  Applications for the post, which is part-time and fixed term, are open until the 29th October 2015.

The University of Edinburgh already has a strong tradition of engaging with the Wikimedia Foundation through Wikimedians in Residence at the National Library of Scotland and National Museums Scotland.  A number of editathons have already taken place at the University focused on raising the profile of women in science and Scottish history.  The hugely successful Edinburgh Seven editathon, focused on the first women to be admitted on a degree programme at any British university. The achievements of the Edinburgh Seven were also recognised when a commemorative plaque was unveiled by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, at a ceremony in the University of Edinburgh’s Anatomical Museum in September.

ADA_Blog

Another Women, Science and Scottish History editathon will be taking place at the University on Tuesday 13th October to coincide with Ada Lovelace Day, the international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).  In addition to the editathon, the event will feature speakers on Lovelace, research using LEGO, programming and games, and sessions on composing music with algorithms, and building Raspberry Pi enclosures with LEGO.

Links

University of Edinburgh Wikimedian in Residence job advert – http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AMB999/wikimedian-in-residence-fixed-term-part-time/

Ada Lovelace Day at University of Edinburgh – http://thinking.is.ed.ac.uk/ada-lovelace-day/

Edinburgh Seven – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh_Seven

Edinburgh Seven honoured with plaque in Edinburgh – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-34207742

OER16 Conference Submissions Open

oer16_logoThe OER16 Open Culture is now accepting submissions.  The conference, which is taking place in Scotland for the first time since it began in  2010, will take place at the University of Edinburgh on the 19th and 20th April 2016. The call for proposals was launched at the ALT Conference in Manchester at the beginning of September and the submissions site is now open.

Submissions are invited for presentations, lightning talks, posters, and panels and workshops on the themes of:

  • The strategic advantage of open, creating a culture of openness, and the reputational challenges of openwashing.
  • Converging and competing cultures of open knowledge, open source, open content, open practice, open data and open access.
  • Hacking, making and sharing.
  • Openness and public engagement.
  • Innovative approaches to opening up cultural heritage collections for education.

If you have any queries about the conference themes please contact conference co-chair Lorna M. Campbell at lorna.m.campbell@ed.ac.uk / lorna.m.campbell@icloud.com or on twitter @lornamcampbell. Any queries regarding the submission process should be directed to Anna Davidge at ALT, anna.davidge@alt.ac.uk.

Further information about the conference is available here oer16.oerconf.org and you can follow @oerconf and #oer16 on twitter. Look forward to seeing you in Edinburgh in the Spring!