I’ve just been looking through last years members’ posts to our online debating area, MirandaLink which is received by more than 1,000 international educators in edtech. Members have built up a tremendous resource of discussion comments, information and publicity about free events.
I always enjoy hearing from our experts and practitioners from all over the world on edtech topics of immediate interest.We’ve certainly had some busy debates, usually simulated by a members’ immediate concern. For example, Keith Turvey started a debate on Computational Models of Memory by saying, " I'm frequently frustrated by over simplistic models of the brain and memory such as those peddled by 'cognitive scientist' Dan Willingham". Another debate on the status of VLEs in schools came up because I visited a school where they were on their third platform and still not happy. ‘Replacing Computing with a Digital Media as a curriculum subject’ started with an example from a school in the North East who had made this decision based on their practice based research study.
Some Scholars ask regularly for information like Professor Mike Sharples whose Open University team develops a report every year on pedagogy innovations based on edtech uses www.open.ac.uk/innovating. Every year he receives valuable ideas from MirandaNetters: examples for the 2015 report included crossover learning, computational thinking, embodied learning and stealth assessment.
Daniel Needlestone who now teaches in a kindergarten in Oslo asked if there were any experts on computers and technology for early years education on MirandaLink. He was pleased with the results: “Just wanted to say thanks for all the responses, there have been many! I haven't had time to reply to them yet, little kids at home and bank holidays equals not much email time! Just starting to reply to people now. What a fantastic resource MirandaNet is!”
The debating threads are mixed in with the requests for information and notices about events and publications, but we have kept MirandaLink this way because our members have said that they prefer to have all the posts in their inbox. If the topic is not of interest the post can always be zapped, but we have found that moving a debate to a forum tends to kill its energy. Nevertheless, we can offer online forums to any groups of members who want to have a private discussion.
If you are not sure whether your post should be on MirandaLink send an email directly to Christina@mirandanet.ac.uk. I will also help anyone who want help with the wording of a post. However in some cases a blog service or a regular newsletter may be better placed on the MirandaNet website. This will be picked up as we reach more than 64,000 visitors a year who read up to 10 pages. We are keen to recommend members’ blogs, reports and books and articles. Articles or multimedia presentations submitted for MirandaNet members merit a Fellowship award for sharing. Please send these to me for peer review by our team.
Next month we will be announcing some of our newest practice based research.
THE SCHOLAR RESCUE FUND
The Institute of International Education's Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF) solicits applications from scholars facing threats to their lives or careers. Fellowships support temporary academic positions at colleges, universities, and other research institutions anywhere in the world where scholars can continue their academic work in safety
The following research reports and publications may be of interest to members.
The Class - Living and Learning in the Digital Age
This qualitative research project by Dr Sonia Livingstone Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE and Julian Sefton-Green Principal Research Fellow at the Department of Media & Communication, LSE, followed a class of London teenagers over the course of a year to find out more about how they are operating in the online digital world.
The study shows how individual students interact (often very differently) with online technology and it examines relationships between home and school identifying some of the (serious) issues and areas of conflict that arise.
"In exploring the lives of these young people within and beyond the bounds of the class and the school, this book offers a rich portrait of young people’s everyday lives. Most simply, we wanted to get beyond the many fearful claims circulating among adults about today’s youth - that they are so immersed in the online world that they cannot concentrate on learning, that they neglect family life, that they disrespect their parents and teachers, even that they no longer establish their own values or sustain a sense of privacy"
" ...attempts to use the media across the boundary of home and school were actually seriously policed, or did not function as intended. SIMS worked really well as a form of digital surveillance while all too often the VLE didn't work or wasn't properly understood by either teachers or students. Mobile phones, which could of course be very useful, were forbidden in school. For all the talk about living in a connected world, the students didn't want teachers or parents to have access to their world and the same was true of the adults."
This longitudinal research looks at at experience as well as outcomes, something that is sometimes missing from a great deal of educational research. You can buy the report here or read it free online. The work is shared under a Creative Commons BY NC SA Licence.
FEATURED IMAGE Beware of Images
Still Beware of Images - (Fair Use
"From cave paintings to virtual reality, Beware of Images embarks on a fascinating journey through the history of mediated representation"
One of MirandaNet's areas of expertise and interest is visual learning and communication. 'Beware of Images' is an extensive project and video by Sergio Toperek, an instructor of visual communications at the Vancouver Film School, to explore how visual communication has affected mankind. It draws together all areas of human experience including society, religion, politics, education, science, culture, advertising and leisure. This work should be invaluable to all educators and researchers who are interested in visual media and history.
Available on Vimeo you can watch the trailer or rent or buy the film online. (Advisory Note: conatins some mature content).
Margaret Cox shared this valuable information with MirandaLink "There are small charities that sometimes fund people to attend conferences. The Grant Register, now online costing £280 is the best source of funding information. Many University libraries also stock it and I have successfully obtained small grants in the past to attend conferences and buy computers"
Call to Members
Christina Preston is inviting all members to get in touch with her directly if they have some news to report or you want to draw attention to their blogs or research. There is a link library on the MirandaNet website for members' blogs. Christina would also like to know if any members would like to summarise a MirandaLink debate and gain a Fellowship for their summary.
Internet of Things: National Survey
Brett Laniosh, a MirandaNet member and Naace Fellow, has notified us of this important survey by the Catshill Learning Partnership that will "identify how children get online at home and schools across the UK are being invited to take part in a national survey of internet use by pupils when they are at home. Education consultant Brett Laniosh from Catshill Learning Partnerships, who are carrying out the survey, said that the results will provide valuable information to schools on the range of hardware such as laptops, tablets, consoles and smart phones being used by young people"
Schools can access and sign up to participate in the survey here
Visualisation of Hurricane Matthew
This visualisation of wind data set to music by Andrew Revkin shows the beauty and the power of Hurricane Mathew as it reaches the Florida coast. The data has been created by programmer Cameron Beccario (@cambecc) at http://earth.nullschool.net which provides a real time map of the Earth's global wind patterns.
RESOURCES & APPs
Tools for Teachers
For a number of years MirandaNet member Nik Peachey has been curating a Scoop-it resource Tools for Teachers and Learners which now has over 1000 resources listed. Most of these are free to use tools and apps.
SEN News and Apps
MirandaNet member and Specialist ICT SEN Consultant, Myles Pilling is pleased to to share his AccessAbility Solutions website which has many useful resources for SEN including an App Database which is searchable according to category of need and ability.
Unfiltered News is a (beta) browser app that pulls in Google News data in real time from around the globe. It allows you to explore all locations to find important global stories and perspectives on topics that may not be covered in your location. You can compare reports and discover different perspectives on an issue.
Finally, if you travel, whether it's to conferences or destinations for pleasure this online map of airport wifi facilities and passwords might just come in handy ;)
IN THE NEWS
Brexit concerns within HE
The Independent reports that the uncertainty resulting from Brexit could force up to 15 per cent of university staff to leave UK Higher Education. Another ominous development reported by the Guardianis that the Government may be banning foreign academics at the LSE from advising on Brexit based projects. This is denied by the FCO and the influential legal blogger David Allen Green aka Jack of Kent, has commented on the story here and Steve Peers, Professor of EU, Human Rights and World Trade Law at the University of Essex shares his viewpoint.
Swimming against the tide of current educational policy former Conservative education secretary Kenneth Baker is critical of the EBacc and argues that in the 21st-century pupils need a core of academic subjects supplemented by technical and creative skills. Source TES
Schools Census - Pupil Nationality
The new DFE requirement for schools to ask parents for the country of birth and nationality of their child has raised concern and some opposition. Although there is no legal requirement for either parents or pupils to supply the requested information not all schools have made it clear to parents that this is optional. Some schools have gone further and asked to see official personal documents including passports. Source SchoolsWeek.