Sunday, July 27, 2008

Keyboard kids losing art of handwriting

Keyboard kids losing art of handwriting - by Gerard Noonan Social Issues Editor

I found this article particularly relevant moving forward, as a younger person who is no longer required to produce large amounts of writing by hand for work or for uni, I feel its particularly important that Educational Insititutions look for alternatives when it comes to exams.

Turning off Spelling, Grammar options as well as access to the internet shouldn't be something that is too hard to do for exams. Most schools have PCs and it makes sense that their should be restrictions on these PCs.

For exams that involve Essay writing or Multiple Choice PC's should become an option for those who prefer not to handwrite!

You would think having to mark thousands of exam papers would be easier if it was done electronically!

I'm not of the belief that writing is linked to thought for all people, personally I believe I have longer to think when typing than handwriting as it does not take me as long to put "pen to paper" so to speak, and thus it allows my output to match my thoughts!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

E-portfolios signal new digital dawn for universities,25197,24061467-12332,00.html Andrew Trounson | July 23, 2008

Following on from my previous post comes a report from Andrew Trounson, highlighting the need for a greater focus towards e-portfolios.

E-portfolios, which combine narrative digital and multimedia work with a student's wider experiences, are so far being used in a patchwork way across the sector, as a way to bring a greater focus on individual learning in an age of mass education. They are seen as a way of feeding off the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook.

Education management services provider Blackboard has produced an e-portfolio product specifically to link with the Facebook site.

Although this article is specifically targeted towards university education, I'm interested in how this could possibly be used in a corporate environment, the option to store previous work experience and reflective journals relating to projects and tasks would certainly make for a fascinating more accurate Resume than your standard 3-4 page hard copy CV!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cut and paste 'not plagiarism',25197,24025610-12332,00.html by Andrew Trounson

I have to say that I found this article absolutely fascinating, the most interesting being the quote below.

"I don't really care if there are bits and pieces in their initial information that is downloaded from different points. What I care about is: do they understand it and did they use that information to come up with a solution to solve a problem?" she said.

Certainly the nature of computing, in particular the internet means that information is more accessible and that research has become a matter of copy and pasting information for assessment tasks. I agree with Dale Spender that perhaps there does need to be a review of citation requirements and assessments. As suggested, students do have a responsibility to ensure that work from others is recognized in their own, but at the same time by copying and pasting information into their own work, students are still required to filter what information fits in order to complete the assessment tasks.

I have to agree as a future adult educator, that

"We still have this responsibility to maintain integrity, we still have a responsibility to ensure that our students are actually learning something, but in the process perhaps we do need to rethink our assessment practices. I don't think citation practices are going to go out the window."

Could the future of academic writing include a new citation technique or recognition system that allows for the mish mash of different bits of unrecognised literature? Or will academic writing continue to be heavily focused on peer reviewed literature and existing citation techniques?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Interesting interview with Steve Wozniak co-founder of Apple Computer

Interesting interview with Steve Wozniak co-founder of Apple Computer.
July 14, 2008
By Susan Kuchinskas"

If you have a committee designing something, that's where it breaks down. Then, putting it out there will get the excellence. You have to give users the respect of listening to what they have to say. Maybe what you've done isn't the best way. You have to have openness and clear your mind out.

You might have someone who builds a chair in a different way, but you need to come up with overriding principles. What's a good chair concept? That can be hard to spot. Steve Jobs is very good at looking at specific things and putting a category around them.

Interesting that he notes that maths is only taught because we can teach it, however its hard to beleive that a former computer engineer would think this as maths is the base of many programming languages!

Who would of thought the Scots would be ahead of the times?

The force is with Scotland's schools intranet, says George Lucas by Melanie Reid

This is an absolutely fascinating article, about director George Lucas and a modest Scots initiative to improve e-communication within schools.

What Glow brings to Scottish education are collaborative social tools which people in education are unwilling to use because of the dangers. By putting it in the closed and safe environment of Glow, where the teacher monitors it, you can use them with confidence. It means you can bring in things you would have never dared to before - discussion, chats, web conferencing, input from outside.

Similar to the idea of texting/emailing the Teachers prior to class, this article shows just how beneficial online environments can be for enhancing discussion.

Educators and government officials from China to Singapore to Australia have been visiting LTS to see how Glow is going to be used to enhance learning and teaching in Scotland.

Let's hope that other big name movie directors and stars can assist with the quest towards “edutopia”!

YouTube research shows picture is changing rapidly

I found this article interesting, even with its heavy positive bias towards YouTube. It's interesting to note how many "How-To" videos that users are posting on YouTube, could this possibly have an effect on formal short courses at TAFE/ACE Providers or will it always be used for Comedic and Entertainment purposes?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mobile web reaches critical mass

Following on from my previous posts, m&e (mobile and online or electronic) learning is something that I have an interest in.

The following article on the BBC website explores recent research data that shows that browsing via mobiles is increasing, particularly in the US. Could Universities and other adult learning educational institutions swing towards mobile phone based discussion forums/information pages?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Possible Ideas for Presentation

After Damon's class where he had organised for a previous B&ALD student (John) to deliver his futures presentation, I left class driving down the monash with thousands of ideas going through my head of where I might take this project.

As my areas of interest stem towards, sport and technology - I'd like to research how these two could possibly impact on adult learning (in particular informal learning) in the future.

As Damon has suggested, I am intending to keep a wide lense - however, I believe I will focus my research initially on

- Mobile learning /(m-learning) and e-learning in particular how it can be used in regards to call centres and other casual office workers
- pod and can this assist with athlete/career education
- Sporting clubs, what is the future of player education - specifically tactical/social education that stems from young adults at sporting clubs?
- Social networks (facebook, myspace, etc?), what is the future? Can social education/awareness programs replace the advertising that is saturated on these websites?

When I eventually decide on my topic, I intend to reflect on my comments throughout the semester - imagination and foreward thinking isn't one of my stronger personality traits, however I hope I can improve this throughout this subject!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mobile and PDA Learning

Technology in particular the use of the internet, pdas and mobile (cell) phones is an area that I have a particular interest in.

Providing PDA's to student in low socio-economic areas, may indeed assist students with seeking jobs and allowing teachers to undertake regular contact with the students. I found the below article particularly interesting and I look forward to reading further developments in this area.

'The PDA has helped me apply for more jobs' - Ellie Levenson and Kate Hilpern

Mobile phones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and other technology are often a pain in the neck for teachers in the classroom, whose lessons are disturbed by a seemingly never-ending series of rings and bleeps. But for Pembrokeshire College in rural Wales (pictured above), they are proving an excellent tool for motivating and supporting disengaged young adults who are not in education, employment or training, enabling tutors and students to stay in touch through text, voicemail, e-mail and the internet.

"The PDA that the college has provided me with has allowed me to phone a lot more employers than I could have afforded on my own budget. I have also had unlimited access to helpful internet sites like driving theory practice questions, job search sites, and many more that have helped me in my career choice," says one student. "With help from my tutor I have gained the confidence and many skills to contact employers and go to interviews. I have had lots of help updating my CV and writing cover letters which have helped me apply for better jobs."

The "mlearning" project (m stands for mobile), which supplies a PDA as well as a bluetooth keyboard to everyone who becomes an mlearner, states its aim as giving young people the opportunities to break through their barriers to learning and fulfil their potential through a flexible, innovative and high quality learning programme.

"The mlearning project has been a real positive hook for our young people," says Sue Edwards of the Over 15s Service. "They want to engage with the learning because the offer of a loan of a PDA is a real incentive. It motivates them to learning through a new medium. They are keen to use the technology and find it empowering to be responsible for expensive kit."


Monday, July 7, 2008


This blog has been created to assist me with my 3rd Year - B&ALD research task for EDF3806 - Future Directions in Adult Learning and Development.

I am required to compile a Futures in AL&D Database and reflective journal that will assist me with my assessment task.

The blog will allow me to collate information about trends and developments (social, economic, technological, political, cultural, educational) that may shape the future directions of AL&D,

This information will come in the form of

  • newspapers, magazines, websites etc.
  • thought-provoking images (eg. cartoons, pictures)
  • peer reviewed literature
  • professional literature
  • my own individual observations
I invite anyone visiting this page (in particular my fellow classmates) to leave comments on my posts to assist me with my research task.