Tag Archives: universities

Social network: knowledge and learning at work

Here are my slides from a workshop held for the University Forum for Human Resource Development (UHRD)

My talk was followed by Amy Woodgate talking about the University of Edinburgh‘s experience with MOOCs. There is a detailed report on the University’s first round of MOOCs available here. What surprised me, was the extent of the treatment of MOOCs as Open Education Resources  and the positive way the University was supporting other universities in using MOOC content for their own degree programme, other organisations in using MOOC resources for workplace learning and even schools using the MOOCs for classroom teaching. All in all, an inspiring talk and discussion.

Globalisation, walled gardens and higher education

An interesting post here from George Siemens on Blackboards partnership with McGraw Hill and Pearson’s acquisition of TutorVista. George concludes:

The integration of publishers, teaching content (i.e. video lectures, tests, not only textbooks), LMS, synchronous classrooms, and evaluation (see Knewton) is the most significant trend in education today. The financial crisis is assisting in a move in this direction. It’s a huge opportunity for some. A nightmare for others.

George describes this trend in terms similar to the emergence of other walled gardens in the online world:

Fairly soon, the system will require small colleges and universities to partner with the big content providers because they (colleges) simply cannot provide the technological infrastructure and content needed to attract students. Blackboard is developing end-to-end learning systems. As is Pearson.

Some questions arise: to what extent is a single distribution channel going to be central to higher education provision? – see the death of the VLE debates; or will a lock-in with the content providers secure the strength of the VLE? Alternatively, as with other content industries, will alternative sources of content undermine the business model being suggested here?

roundup of interesting stuff: edupunk and social business

More on edupunk/ hacking the education “system” here Although I think there is a conflation of two issues here: (a) the brand recognition and market value of possessing a recognised degree (preferably from a prestigious university and (b) the power of the www to enable lifelong learning. So one is concerned with the confirmation that I have understanding of a particular body of knowledge in a form that others will recognise, the other is about learning and reflection in pursuit of my own interests, to be more productive/ innovative, etc. at work

This post overlaps many of the issues highlighted in the notion of the business as a social environment. If the ability to learn is key to competitive advantage then designing organsiational forms and practices around learning – social, informal, serendipitous – becomes an organisational imperative which is so much of what enterprise2.0 is about.

riding the Google Wave

… well technically more like watching someone else ride the Wave. Anyway, a very clear and helpful post on Google Wave from Dion Hinchcliffe here. The potential of Wave in terms as [tacit/ social] knowledge ‘management’, collaboration and learning is immense [or will be a big disappointment – assuming, of course, that organisations have the leadership and vision to embrace that potential.

What this post and others on Wave really bring home to me is the extent we in higher education are or are not preparing future talent to live, work and change things in this sort of environment. I feel, but would be delighted to be wrong, that too many Programmes are no where near understanding the implications of all this. Understandably to a degree – if learning is social, networked, experiential and collaborative, then what is the point of a “lecturer”?

social media platforms for learning

Here is the last in an excellent series of posts on social media platforms for learning from Jane Hart at the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies. Much of the challenge for the provision of qualifications is in the cultural, pedagogical (or should it be andagogical) and bureaucratic changes required to allow the formal accreditation of the demonstration of learning through social media. Is there a cultural similarity between the control imperative of qualifications based quality assurance agencies and traditional management thinking/ practice with both acting as barriers to social media adoption reaching its full potential for learning?