Tweet! connecting

It’s always a great feeling when we connect with our classmates. I’ve never met Philip, he lives miles away across the pond and I probably will never meet him, but there are moments when I feel close to him, that we have more similarities than dissimilarities and it’s a nice feeling.

Thank you technology for helping this happen.

Tweet! Nuff said

Time is a very precious commodity for me, everything takes me longer to process, to read and to write, so assignments are particularly scary because of the set time factors.

Tweet! For Colin it was just coffee

This conversation was one of those smiley moments where we connect with each other over the spread of the planet and recognise our joined human traits 🙂

We were jus chatting about comforts, but it also reminded me of a comment Colin had made way back in the fist block where he needed another cup of coffee to get through the Donna Haraway paper. I wonder, did any of us find that easy?

A read for later – comparing learning analytics with fitness tech

Tags: #mscedc
March 24, 2017 at 07:57PM
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Further findings show that 80% of FE students would be happy to have their learning data collected if it improved their grades, and more than half would be happy to have their learning data collected if it stopped them from dropping out.

This block started with my concerns for students receiving “bad news” via learning analytics and how they might react. I was concerned about how stats may be delivered to students and the potential impact of this information.  I saw this reaction on a small scale this week when the tweetorial analytics were released where some of my classmates described shock, annoyance and even anger when seeing a top ten league table that they weren’t in. This, however, was a minor exercise which didn’t feed into any final assignment grades or directly affect the possible pass or fail of the course.

It was during this period that I came across this article about the work being done between 50 education institutions to create an app for learning analytics which could be an aid to both students and teachers. The subheader grabbed my attention as it quoted that 80% of student wanted learning analytics to be carried out and wanted to have this information available to them, this seemed to go against my initial concerns, however on closer inspection, the student seem to want the analytics in all the positive ways, if it improved their grades, if it prevented them fro dropping out. However, there is no thought in that sub header to the students who wouldn’t be receiving good news via the analytics app, so I am afraid I am still on the lower rungs of the cautious ladder when it comes to analytics and information we provide to students and its purpose.


Tweet! Sometimes marketing is about too much bling

It’s always interesting how some TEL initiatives are pitched, sometimes we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong.

Lecture capture is one of those oops moments.  It’s not new, it’s not something we are suddenly going to be doing, but because it’s just a part of teaching which has worked away quietly in the background for those who have chosen to use it, it feels like such a big deal now because so many parts of the institution staff have never been involved with or aware of the work that has been going on. The marketing pitch that has been used to “sell” things hasn’t helped, making it out to be so much more than it is.  The big deal is more about the technical aspect of how we will make this available for those who chose to use it on such a large scale, how we will teach our students to make the best use of this as a learning tool and how as educators we will make the best use of it.

If all we do is record lectures and make them available, we are wasting a valuable opportunity to create new learning opportunities and work on new methods.

If we want to control how a technology is being used (pushed on us), we have to take ownership of it, we have to test it, tweak it, find areas where it is a benefit and show areas where it doesn’t work as hoped.


Tweet! Just a random thought as I took photos

I try to spend my lunch break practicing my photography skills I am learning on my MOOC course, today I was taking photos of a lecture theatre at work which was empty (it was lunch time after all) and it made me consider the impact of digital education and the question of…

Is digital education an enhancement to current practices or is it the realisation of the MOOC hyperbole of 2012?

This came to mind as I know that there is an imbalance between some of the student body and some of the faculty of UoE, where students are asking that lectures are recorded to be used as study aids, and some faculty are reluctant to do this, with one reason being a fear that it would lead to a drop in numbers in the actual lecture.

I understand these worries, after all, if your lecture is consistently half empty, it could be mistakenly thought that your class is not popular.  However is this not a similar chain of thought to the one saying that students aren’t attending the lecture if they are not in the lecture hall as deliver the lecture?  Instead, could we say that recorded lectures, in fact  extend that lecture period, that the learning can now be happening way past the close of the live lecture and into time perods where the student can be more productive? That maybe students may actually be more present in a lecture and making better use of it if they can participate at times when they know they will take the most on board?

Digital education is such a varied and huge topic, but I also believe it’s more than an enhancement of current methods, I believe it’s a philosophy of encompassing the whole.  A chance to experiment and learn, to change for the better or discard that which doesn’t work, a chance to make use of new tools and technologies where appropriate and more importantly an opportunity to raise the bar rather than follow a path.

Tweet! Algorithms and bots are active

Ok I’m going to explain the cheese thing which happened during the tweetorial. it seemed crazy to some of our class, but I assure you it was a genuine testing of algorithms.

During the tweetorial, there was a question raised about the amount of new followers some of us seem to have collected especially since the algorithm block of the course. This led to an experiment to find out what was catching the attention of whatever bot or algorithm which was deciding that these random people would be interested in our tweets. Hence Nigel’s play with hashtags and keyword son cheese. I had done the same on roller skates, but since I was working during the tweetorial I only managed a couple of tweets on this, so poor Nigel took the brunt for the weirdness.

I didn’t get any new followers interested in roller skates 🙁  but it was really interesting to try to reverse engineer the algorithm.