Sunday, January 21, 2018

Route to ExCEL via East India, help very welcome

Now planning trip to BETT next week. I am part of both Wild Show and @wenotno on Phonic FM . Chris Norton and Jon Mahy also coming so we need a route that is ok for access. Staying at Travelodge near East India in DLR. Need to travel back to Tower Gateway one evening.

Have found the "Avoiding Stairs Tube Guide" PDF and I think our best bet is to go from Paddington on Hammersmith and City line to West Ham, then DLR to Canning Town and head back West. But once you start the idea of going East for a modern railway it may be that Waterloo line would be better. Overground from Clapham Junction?

Shadwell looks ok on the map but how many stairs to link from tube to DLR?

Rail and Tube map PDF

West Ham and Canning Town both show some distance between platforms. How far is this?

Last year it turned out the "Circle Line" is not really  a circle. It stops at Edgware Road, one stop?

Friday we intend to wheel back along south bank then to Westminster, arrives back at Paddington on easy side of the platform.

Any clues or suggestions welcome.

Mapping #Futurelearn / #OU controversy around #BETT2018

Trying to remember about mapping a controversy from a FUN MOOC on Digital Humanities. I know one of the first things to do was to find a news story and identify who said what.

So seems best to start with Peter Wilby in Guardian, apparently based on interview with Peter Horrocks. Nothing new from Horrocks that was not said in Durham lecture a few weeks previously. The OU is moving into the cloud and will continue to invest in Futurelearn. The news aspect of the interview was what was said by Peter Wilby, based on anonymous comments by OU staff. Objections to closing buildings and face to face. Letters to the Guardian so far have supported the Wilby views.

Next week at BETT on the opening day there will be a presentation by Simon Nelson, Chief Executive of Futurelearn, and Ian Dunn, Deputy Vice Chancellor ( Student Experience ) for Coventry University. Probably this will include details of degree courses online. Some would say this is a new phase for MOOC technology, part of a viable business model. Others might object that there is no place for a "chief executive" in education and that the rot started when "student experience" became an issue.

So how to map this? Clues please. I think the MOOC has not been repeated recently but there must be other resources available. More later when BETT is over. This could be a major news item but my guess is there will be a few tweets from #Futurelearn fans and not much else unless someone is critical.

See previous posts for more links.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Notes background on Futurelearn ahead of BETT

Next week at BETT there will be a presentation by Futurelearn and Coventry University. So far I have done a post for LinkedIn and also a moment for Twitter. The post is about Mode 1 & 2 knowledge, something to check out given what is happening online. After posting this there was an article in the Guardian by Peter Wilby with a critique of Peter Horrocks policy on OU and Futurelearn. At least it links to a Horrocks lecture at Durham, text PDF available from OU, video now on YouTube. Links in the tweets.

When I did stories for OhmyNews I often stored away bits of background and waited for a news event to open with. In this case BETT is an occasion but the announcement is known. There could be more details on actual courses launched. This blog is more likely to look at how it is reported if at all. The Guardian is interesring as Peter Wilby seems to have been prompted more by the anon comments on Horrocks than the news value of what he was saying. The lecture was in November.

Just checking Class Central , source for news on the MOOC. They have a 2017 report on Futurelearn showing moves towards viability in 2016 and 2017. Charges for certificates and continued access to content. Degree courses starting with Deakin, now Coventry and others. On numbers of learners, 5th in world. Claims on social learning may be credible to distinguish from other platforms.

Other reports for 2017 are on the Class Central pages. One links to this comparison of Futurelearn with other platforms. There may be more competition from China later but Futurelearn is doing ok, definitely in with a chance on a global basis. So far no mention of this in the Guardian for example. Degrees online could work out as well, eventually from OU as well as other UK sites.

Education Intelligence seems to be from August last year, so probably lots more happening.

After BETT, expect more of the same txt but in a different order.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Comment on Peter Wilbey / OU / Guardian / Futurelearn

Today Guardian mention for MOOC. Not really reporting as in trends and numbers. Main point is negative opinion from anon staff on policy to move to cloud. There is an interview with Peter Horrocks, OU vice chancellor and he is reasonably quoted. But the drift of the Guardian editorial view is hostile.

Maybe not surprising as the lecture at Durham started by comparing unis with UK newsrooms before the digital shifts ( continues on ReadG ) , I think the newspapers are reluctant to report the MOOC and other EdTech because of the implication for their own business model.

A few details, more later. I have to get ready for @wenotno on @phonicfm later today. Maybe some more rave but short between music.

Money will also go to FutureLearn, a commercial offshoot offering Moocs(massive open online courses) from the OU and other universities around the world. Seven million “learners” (in Horrocks’s word) already use its courses.

So what do we mean by learning? Has it got to be in quote marks if not part of a campus based event? What word would the Guardian use? Full disclosure, I have done several Futurelearn courses , some more than once. Social learning seems to make sense to me, see previous posts.

“Our worry,” one senior academic told me, “is that the current management is running the university down. They see its future not as an academic institution but as a media platform.”

Blended learning assumes a mix, worth a discussion.

Many academics, however, see conflicts of interest between the OU and FutureLearn. It was recently announced, for example, that FutureLearn will provide the platform for 50 all-online degrees, initially postgraduate but possibly also undergraduate in future, offered by Coventry University. Why is the OU promoting its competitors’ courses, academics ask. “We could lose thousands of students,” said one.

This seems to me to ignore completely what is happening online. Maybe because UK media do so little reporting. Futurelearn is top 5 or top 10 on global platforms list, depending how many to include from China. they all work with a number of university brands / campus sites.

Main news event not mentioned, presentation at BETT , ExCEL end of the month. Futurelearn and Coventry. Durham lecture will be on YouTube later I think, previous ones in series are. 


Also in Guardian , Peter Scott on why unis still needs lots of money and to be left alone. Nothing on Mode 2 as in EdTech or what Mode 1 might be nowadays, see recent posts.

There is a risk public opinion will turn against higher education. English universities cut their moorings to the public sector – and wider public interest. They have embarked on the choppy seas of what is justly perceived to be another tawdry privatisation. Universities no longer feel like “ours”, the public’s.

So if you can use a voice interface to machine learning and find it useful, adjusting how you learn, what to think about a world that would then put learning into quote marks?

Comment welcome. Doubtless Peter Wilby has a source for the anon quotes but anything public would develop conversation.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Jeff Jarvis definition of journalism

Found this, will think about it.

We must learn to listen and help the public listen to itself. We in media were never good at listening — not really — but in our defense our media, print and broadcast, were designed for speaking. The internet intervened and enabled everyone to speak but helped no one listen. So now we live in amid ceaseless dissonance: all mouths, no ears. I am coming to see that civility — through listening, understanding, and empathy — is a necessary precondition to learning, to accepting facts and understanding other positions, to changing one’s mind and finding common ground. Thus I have changed my own definition of journalism.
My definition used to be: Helping communities organize their knowledge to better organize themselves. That was conveniently broad enough to fit most any entrepreneurial journalism students’ ideas. It was information based, for that was my presumption — the accepted wisdom — about journalism: It lives to inform. Now I have a new definition of journalism:
To convene communities into civil, informed, and productive conversation.

"War" confirmed, Guardian on Murdoch

I have now uploaded a clip from Marr show yesterday. Definite mention of "war" as noted in previous post. I still think there is not much about this in reports. I notice newspapers have lots of stories about the dangers of social media. What do people think who have a different experience themselves? my guess this is so but make your own mind up. Explanation of business situation of UK newspapers not found anywhere. Guardian tabloid, why?

I am guessing a bit but the story about Trump / Murdoch phone call is making more sense given the comments in Guardian today alongside more about Facebook. As reported by Michael Wolf. Murdoch complained about visa priority for software workers then thought Trump an "idiot" for not reversing this. Even if he thought he could demand this policy , why would he think the problems for newspapers would be helped if software development had to move to India or somewhere?

Issues for newspapers getting closer to a news event about who knows? I think we should be told.

#mtwr probably already happened somewhere

Looking at various links around BETT and Learning Technologies I get the impression things have already changed a lot. HE already online with certificates and viable business model. The adverts on Gmail took me to Liverpool, then YouTube, then British Council with text from Simon Nelson, CEO Futurelearn.

Still probable the presentation with Coventry at BETT will be a news hook but really the question is why this sort of thing is not much noticed. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places.

I guess some research style unis still have a critique take on this so are not convinced enough to get much involved. So still a debate to continue. Timing and scale uncertain. Lancaster campus still a good location once the Spine is complete.

But I guess something similar has already happened somewhere else. #mtwr is about management theory in radio, followed on from management theory at work. Could be about unis or any disrupted organization. Video production is available on campus but the budget seems to be for promotion. There are good lecture and talk recordings, even though "content marketing" now seems replaced by classic advert broadcast mode.

One section of the article worth querying

Do you think online learning will make location, such as cities, irrelevant?

We’re not trying to reproduce the overall university experience. I think the experience in physical settings will change, but that’s not to say campus-based universities will become obsolete.

A switch here from city to campus. Why do students go somewhere? Is it the campus or the city? In Exeter and Lancaster they are some way apart. Maybe in Exeter this is social not real. Somehow the city centre is becoming a dorm area. Arcade in Fore Street had cheap cafe now being demolished. Sorry, going off topic.

More or less relevant question, is is still sense to invest in buildings rather than coding?

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Marr mentions "war", newspapers and tech

Not sure I got the words right. Will watch again later, may revise this post.

As if to explain not going into detail on Sunday Times front page story, Marr on Marr Show mentions a tension between newspapers and tech companies. I think the word used was "war".

I hope there is more of this with some explanation. Broadcast media are in a position to comment on newspapers, as a situation. Not just read out opinions as if valid or follow a news agenda.

The "war" seems to be on two fronts. Circualtion/viewing and advertising is one area. Negative stories on social media is another. The money made from treating addicts is an issue but the conection to Google ads is a bit of a side issue as far as I can make it out.

If Marr has noticed a topic, will it be reported? Maybe somewhere else, daytime on 5 ?

See Read G post on Twitter and Guardian / John Naughton. Same sort of thing. Twitter covers this area a bit but TV and radio also well placed, some might say.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Pinned Tweet draft #1

Recent tweets have been about Brexit and Trump although stats tell me most followers still mainly interested in tech and learning. I think there is a connection but not sure how to explain it. The politics and journalism exist in context of tech trends. Social media now a major influence.

I realise my opinions are not shared with all on Twitter but I try to follow other points of view. even if just to comment.

Now going back to Ohmynews and Guardian Unlimited Talk. English version of Ohmynews about 10 years ago I think. Guardian Unlimited Talk now not mentioned in Guardian history but I think crucial as when they lost the plot. Citizen journalism not a joke, continues as retweet / edit role for example.

2018 Stories. 

15th Jan  Tabloid Guardian, what is happening online? Will print just knock social media or is there an option?

24th Jan Simon Nelson BETT Arena  Futurelearn and Coventry University . Degree courses extend MOOC ideas. Raises issues for campus investment imho

Both stories will crop up in various versions. Tweets and bits of blog may not make much sense but later edits may work better. Or maybe just links to somewhere else. Clues always welcome.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Notes ahead of BETT

About 10 this morning I will mention BETT as part of the Wild Show on Phonic FM. These notes are to check some links. Longer version later. Actual show at end of Jan 2018.

Radio tech main reason to go. What used to be BETT Radio is now NetSupport Radio ( stand D120 ) there is a new studio in a case that is highly portable.

The STEAM area has A for Art in STEM. In Exeter at RAMM there is now interest in Minecraft versions of the city in Roman times. Links possible. Also BAFTA awards for animation, usually something going on in Exeter.

Looks like Serif will not be there this year but Affinity brand is online. There is a photo edit and illustration offer, page layout coming soon. Mac versions known at Exeter Apple store, Windows also now or soon. I mention this in case you think I am putting too much space for Adobe. I just tend that way. The Spark software is suited to social media and much is free. You can subscribe but I do not see that removing the Adobe branding is much of an advantage.

Last year there were not many Chromebook examples of screens that actually made use of the graphics software Adobe pushed. This year Google has at least one but it is expensive for schools. In Exeter John Lewis almost one thousand pounds. Expect some much cheaper at BETT. Also Microsoft software for similar devices. Not sure of details but will update on show visit.

YouTube not there but Google may know something. When will YouTube RED come to the UK? They may know but will not tell us, my  guess.

Cannot find a stand for FutureLearn but they are shown as a media partner or something. They may be viable now with the certificates etc. Last year they promoted the MOOC for schools. Should be topic also for HE / FE.

Also looking for video / sound. Aim at mobile studio.

Apple not there but has many fans. There may be speakers. This from a couple of years ago.