Mittwoch, 31. Juli 2013

Education changes slowly - why?

There are so many new trends in education – concerning materials, methods, resources and settings. These days, Open Educational Resources (OER) start cleaving and everyone talks about Open Access (OA) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC).  But Why are we teaching like it’s 1992?

The new normal is a very interesting blog post dealing with this topic and pointing out some of the reasons, why teachers are so reluctant when it comes to shifting the paradigm of teaching AND learning. One important reason is – to be sure – the difficult discussion about copyright and faire use (even within a MOOC) with its different national occurrences. No one really knows how to produce their resources. What is legally correct? What is at least allowed? 

Even though there are many new gadgets (some even inspired by Inspector Gadget – do you remember him?), teachers do note dare to use them (while they are willing to use them), fearing the consequences. Isn’t it time to get rid of all these fears? There are many initiatives that show how to handle the different copyright issues, how to use the different Creative Commons licenses and nevertheless plagiarism is still widespread (as Richard Byrne and Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano experienced some time ago)Here are some of my thoughts, unfortunately in German, about copyright issues. You can also watch the video by Webcomic Alliance.

We have to rethink a little bit our teaching manners and avoid "traditional" mistakes being part of our teaching habits, like producing inappropriate resources or concentrating on the teaching process instead of the learning process being too teacher-oriented. Maybe the following tips can help you to overcome some of these "traditional patterns": Personal Learning Networks for Educators: 10 Tips.

Here are some tips to help reluctant teachers to use technology in their teaching settings:

Mittwoch, 24. Juli 2013

lernen = kopieren verändern verbinden

Unter diesen Titel hat Jörg Lohrer einen Beitrag auf RPI virtuell (Die überkonfessionelle Plattform für Religionspädagogik und Religionsunterricht) gestellt. Dahinter versteckt sich zunächst ein Video mit dem gleichen Titel, das sich mit dem Thema Kreativität bzw. dem Schaffensprozess neuer Materialien und Werke beschäftigt. Zunächst ist schon mal das Video ein echtes Plädoyer dafür, zu teilen, kopieren, verändern und verbinden, wenn man Materialien erstellt. In der Regel müssen wir das Rad nicht neu erfinden, und das ist auch gut so. Man muss sich aber an bestimmte Regeln halten. Und genau diese zeigt Jörg Lohrer auch in seinem Making of des Videos auf. Er zeigt dabei seine Arbeitsschritte beim Erstellen des Videos genauso auf, wie Überlegungen, die er angestellt hat. Alles in allem ein lesens- und anschauenswertes Good Practice Beispiel, das zum Nachahmen anregen sollte.

Dass nicht alle so denken,  zeigt jedoch der Beitrag Don’t ask, don’t tell: (k)ein Kommentar zum Thema Remix.

Dienstag, 23. Juli 2013

What did we do before the digital age?

I found a very nice video while browsing the web: Life Before the Internet: What We Used to Do. It shows how we used to interact some years ago. Today's youth can't understand how we could live without the internet and without cell phones. Here's a short explanation of what we used to do.

The infographic Kids of Past VS Internet Generation shows the differences between the Baby Boomers, the Generations X and Y and the Millenials. How do they spend their free time? How do they study? How do they use mobile devices and social media?

Time has changed. Here are 10 Things Students Won’t Need To Know When They Graduate. Do you use a mouse? Do you regularly place data on a CD? Did we replace them? Look at this infographic: 50 Activities Replaced By Technology (Or Were They?) Or read the article Say Goodbye to the Tech Sounds You’ll Never Hear Again. Do you remember all these tech sounds?

So let's face the crucial question:  Are you a kid of the 90s? Do you know all kind of stuff mentioned in this presentation? May be we should sometimes think back and remember the good old times in order to cope with our new, "digital" problems. Life was not better 15 years ago, it was different. Do you remember? Il était une fois... les technologies du passé

And if we get stuck, here are Free Classroom Guides and Educational Downloads that can help us to cope with the new situation. Or is it that new to thank a teacher or to think green?

Freitag, 19. Juli 2013

Two goodies for the weekend

Browsing the web you can find real treasures that can make you smile or that are really useful for teaching. One of these goodies is a short video posted on Vimeo called Bow Wow Meow - Animal Sounds in Different Languages. It's not just that the video is cute, it's a nice way to make cultural differences visible. There's just one thing: the German "translation" is missing. So there's no wuff, wuff, miau, muh, kikeriki (or gack, gack) and oink, oink. For more information see the articles Tierlautbezeichnungen and Dyrelyde on Wikipedia.

The second goodie is an infographic showing the work flow when doing research: A Must SeeGraphic On How To Do Research. The graphic describes the different steps from the planning period to the point of publication focusing on digital literacy.

And finally for all my colleagues teaching French as a second or a foreign language, there is a nice Jeu du dictionnaire. It helps students who learn French to develop searching skills, e.g. to use the dictionary in the right way.

Mittwoch, 10. Juli 2013

8 things kids should be able to do with technology...

... that's the title of an interesting article published by Educational Technology and Mobile Learning on the basis of an image found on Twitter some time ago. It shows in a very clear way what we want our students to do (create presenations, videos, images...) instead of what we should teach them. Tho', to teach is not the right word. We should help our students building up different compentencies on a meta level. Instead of creating a stunning presentation using effects and colors and music, they should know where to find the right pieces of information, they should be able to select those pieces they need and think critically. They should also be aware of copyright and the reliability of information found online.

In order to reach our goal, we - as teachers and trainers - should be aware of the different styles of learning. That's a traditional point of discussion: are there different styles or learning or not... Wether the theory of the different learning styles is true or false: It's for sure that we learn better in learn settings rich in variety. There is just one crucial point: Don't overtax your students! Variety is fantastic, but don't forget to schedule periods of rest and positive "boredom".

Dienstag, 9. Juli 2013

#OER Remix Game for iPhone, iPod, and iPad (by #tugraz)

A new app by TU Graz is online. Here is the official description taken from the download site.


Do you ever wanted to explore the depths of license combining or even wanted to proof your knowledge in this craft? Then the OER remix game may be an interesting way to do so!
The Game is structured in two parts. The first and also main part of the game consists of a deck of cards, which is used to explore the challenge of open content license compability issues and, in this context, how you are able to combine open educational ressources. After you found a valid oer remix, you have to choose the end license in the second part of the game , under which your project has to be published.

* Start in relax mode to explore the game
* Study the game winning rules and train to be faster
* Choose a harder difficulty and proof your knowledge and swiftness
* Gain Achievements to be an oer remix game professional

If you discover any problems, suggestions for improvement or even new features for the game, please send us an email and we will help you as far as possibile!"
Try it out! It's for free and it's quite tricky to find one's way through  the tasks. The app might help people who are not very used to creative commons and public domain licencing to understand how the different options work and how to remix the different licences.

Mittwoch, 3. Juli 2013

Writing and reading in a digital world: R U ready?

As mobile devices and digital artifacts become increasingly part of our every-day-life, quite a lot of things are about to change. It's not only the possibility to look up everything within a few minutes that changes our way of learning; it's also the way we read. Journalists will have to adapt to our new reading habits if they want to be read in the future. They have already noticed this fact and ask openly Should we be writing for mobile devices and people with no time to read? As content curators and producers we should all consider writing in a different way, as the presentation La curation de contenu: de nouvelles pratiques de lecture underlines. The Telegraph, in contrast, discovers Mobile phone 'text-speak' boosts children's language skills

Teachers, in fact, face a new way of writing – SMS-language is a special way of writing, like a new register, that doesn't fit in every context. Students will have to learn that it's not polite to use minuscules in German when writing an e-mail to their professor or to their boss. Emoticons should not be used in an abusive way to express their feelings. Abbreviations can lead to misunderstanding: it's not sure everybody is able to understand the new and cryptic way of writing. Do you need an example? What about I h8 txtmsgs: How texting is wrecking our language? A fantastic overview is given in a blog post named How to Text in English. Even the Southern Times, the newspaper for Southern Africa asks The Text Generation - Has the SMS killed the English language? Try out this short test: Know your internet-speak?

La même chose vaut pour la langue française - c'est ce que les deux articles Unlocking French language: text a’grieve’iations et Quand Petite Poucette écrit nous montrent.

Auch vor der deutschen Sprache macht die SMS-Sprache nicht Halt, wie Fasse Dich kurz: wie SMS und E-Mail die Ausdrucksweise beeinflussen oder der Artikel SMS-Studie: Anglizismen sind keine Gefahr für die deutsche Sprache zeigen. Eine Auflösung für die deutsche Sprache liefert SMS-Kürzel - Das steckt hinter den Akronymen.

Anche la lingua italiana vede ausbreiten Il linguaggio degli SMS in Italia come dimostra l'articolo sul sito di Zanichelli che elenca tantissimi esempi di questo nuovo linguaggio. La tesi di laurea Il linguaggio degli SMS: il caso dell’italiano e del francese ci fa vedere come viene utilizzato. Un altro articolo con buoni esempi nelle diverse lingue europee: IL LINGUAGGIO DEGLI SMS.

There are several articles concerning reading and writing in a digital era - especially in the context of touchscreen writing skills. Martin Ebner therefore asks Ist der Touchscreen der Füller von morgen? [a presentation in German] and Edudemic detects the 5 Myhts About Writing With Mobile Devices.

Here are cited just some of the most interesting articles found on the web:

Dienstag, 2. Juli 2013

Wie erstelle ich einen Podcast? Der Podcast-Podcast hilft!

Podcasts können in Unterricht und Lehre einen erheblichen Mehrwert haben. Sie zeigen komplexe Handlungsabläufe in einer nachvollziehbaren Form und bestimmten Abfolge. Statt langer schriftlicher Erklärungen und Anleitungen können einzelne Prozesse einfach gezeigt werden. Die einzelnen Episoden eines Podcasts sind somit multimediale Lehr- und Lernressourcen, die unterschiedliche Sinne ansprechen und ein mehrfaches Lernerlebnis garantieren.

Wie man einen Podcast erstellt, wie man Podcasts einsetzen und distribuieren kann, lernt man am besten mit einem Podcast. An der Akademie für Neue Medien und Wissenstransfer der Universität Graz wurde aus diesem Grund ein fünfteiliger Podcast-Podcast produziert, der die grundlegenden Fragen rund um Podcasts erklärt. Er ist auf dem Podcast-Portal der Universität Graz verfügbar.

Mehr zum didaktischen Einsatz von Videos findet sich auf der Seite Audio und Video.