Monthly Archives: October 2013

Climate Group Programme Manager⤴

from

Young scot are currently working in partnership with Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group on an exciting new programme for young leaders in Scotland. To support this work, we presently have the following vacancy available to join our offices in Haymarket, Edinburgh.

2050 Climate Group Programme Manager (21 hrs per week. £23,000 pro rata initial fixed term contract until December 2014)

The new Programme Manager will lead on the establishment and running of Scotland’s 2050 Climate Group and its associated projects. The role will include responsibility for the project management of the 2050 Group, helping to create work plans, scheduling activities, reporting on progress and managing relationships with funders, local and national stakeholders. The role will also include delivering training and presentations on behalf of the 2050 Climate Group to young people, partners and external agencies. A key element of the programme in its initial year will be to hold a Youth Climate Summit, pulling together young people and partners from across Scotland, to articulate their vision for a low carbon Scotland and how we can get there.

Further details and the application materials are available from Young Scot on our website at www.youngscot.net/ or via email at: recruitment@youngscot.org or by telephoning 0131 313 2488.

Closing date for the receipt of applications for this post is Monday 25th November 2013.

Interviews will be held in our offices at Haymarket on Monday 9th December 2013.

At Young Scot, you can look forward to an excellent package, including a generous holiday entitlement and Stakeholder Pension.

Young Scot is committed to being an equal opportunity employer; we warmly welcome applications from all sectors of our community. No employment agencies or businesses please.

North Highland College Graduate encourages others into equestrian pursuits⤴

from

rsz_robert_howden_north_highland_college (1)A graduate at the North Highland College-UHI Academic Awards Ceremony encouraged other young people to sign up for the college’s Equestrian Studies course. 

Robert Howden, 24, is one of the first students to graduate from college with a BA qualification in Equine Business Management since the course was established in 2012.

During his time at NHC-UHI, Robert gained extensive experience in the industry and credits the course for its innovative mix of practical and theoretical learning.

Robert has worked alongside some of the country’s top equestrian professionals including leading trainer in the racing industry, Ginger McCain, and top international young show jumper, Georgie Strutton.

Robert now coaches at the Scottish National Equestrian Centre and the Scottish Equestrian Centre in Fife. He has also recently been appointed to chief instructor at the Edinburgh Pony Club.

“I feel extremely proud to have graduated from such a fantastic college. When I think back to my time at school, I always doubted my academic ability but the lecturers and staff at the College are so passionate that it really boosted my confidence and made learning interesting.

“My experience just goes to show that if you are serious about applying yourself to develop your career, anything is possible. The support I received encouraged me to remain determined and, although progressing from HNC level to a BA degree may seem daunting, the dedicated staff at the College are on hand to help you along every step of the way.”

Read More Graduation News Here

The post North Highland College Graduate encourages others into equestrian pursuits appeared first on Engage for Education.

Impulse and change of momentum⤴

from @ Helpmyphysics

When a car is in collision with a wall which brings it to a stop its momentum must be reduced to zero.

The change of momentum of the car is equal to the impulse it receives.

Impulse = change of momentum.
Ft = change of momentum

Now this change of momentum can come about with a LARGE FORCE acting over a small time or a small force acting over a LONG TIME.

The above movie shows the force time graph of two collisions of a car with a wall and then a collapsible wall.

Assuming the car is travelling at the same speed before each collision the change of momentum will be the same in each case.
You can calculate the change of momentum from the area of the force time graph. Note each graph has the same area but the time to change the momentum is different.

You will notice that in the collision with the collapsible barrier the time for the change in momentum is longer. This means that to keep the same area the peak force will be lower.

So to survive collisions it is important to increase the time you take to come to a stop. That is why car safety needs airbags, seat belts and crushable car fronts.

iPad Playflow at #TMTablet⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display » John's World Wide Wall Display

I went along to the High School of Glasgow this evening for TeachMeet Tablet 2. Work and traffic conspired to make me pretty late and I had missed the first set of presentations, arriving in time for the round tables.

At the last minute I had volunteered to organise one of these, on workflow, handing out work and gathering it in on iPads. I demoed showbie and we had a chat about some edge cases and how these could work.

After that we had some more presentations:

Sally Foster talked about using one iPad in class, with more ideas than I could take notes for. I liked, in particular, the idea of a the teacher moving round the classroom and showing pupil work on the smartboard via Apple TV (you could use a computer and AirServer too).

Paul Casey showed some apps for teacher workflow, Planbook, Gradebook, HanDBase, and iBooks (and Author). All of these apps look as if they can help with teacher planning and organisation.

Both Sally's and Paul's presentations were of interest to anyone with an iPad, you didn't need to be in a 1-2-1 classroom to get some great ideas.

David Muir then started what looks like a long term view, over several teachmeets at the SAMR moodle. Using iBooks he too us from substitution to augmentation, demoing some nice features of the iBooks app an a few minutes.

My own presentation was the last. I was showing an example of using several different apps in a row do preform a task. I've found myself often doing this in iOS and noticed in classroom visits that primary pupils seem to pick this up naturally, more so perhaps than with traditional desktops.

I've seen this referred to as app smashing or chaining, I prefer the idea of a playflow, having fun with a series of applications. (I do not want to smash or chain anything up;-)). Here is a quick and dirty screencast of the process I demoed, the only difference was at teachmeet I recorded an audience produced series of croaks as an audio track to the final movie.

This particular flow is adapted from one shown to me by my collegue Ian Sorensen.

Here is the process.

  1. Starting in Safari, use morguefile.com to find a copyright free photo.
  2. Save to Photo Library/Camera Roll
  3. Use superimpose to save a 'mask' with a transparent background.
  4. Saved To Photo Library
  5. Explain Everything: Import background then add image with transparent background. Create recording of image moving across background.
  6. Export movie to Photo Library.
  7. Open in iMovie for further editing.
I was delighted to see this tweet linking to a video today, showing I had at least a little impact:

Watch the #TMTablet tweets for the next teachmeet tablet.

iPad Playflow at #TMTablet⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display » John's World Wide Wall Display

I went along to the High School of Glasgow this evening for TeachMeet Tablet 2. Work and traffic conspired to make me pretty late and I had missed the first set of presentations, arriving in time for the round tables.

At the last minute I had volunteered to organise one of these, on workflow, handing out work and gathering it in on iPads. I demoed showbie and we had a chat about some edge cases and how these could work.

After that we had some more presentations:

Sally Foster talked about using one iPad in class, with more ideas than I could take notes for. I liked, in particular, the idea of a the teacher moving round the classroom and showing pupil work on the smartboard via Apple TV (you could use a computer and AirServer too).

Paul Casey showed some apps for teacher workflow, Planbook, Gradebook, HanDBase, and iBooks (and Author). All of these apps look as if they can help with teacher planning and organisation.

Both Sally's and Paul's presentations were of interest to anyone with an iPad, you didn't need to be in a 1-2-1 classroom to get some great ideas.

David Muir then started what looks like a long term view, over several teachmeets at the SAMR moodle. Using iBooks he too us from substitution to augmentation, demoing some nice features of the iBooks app an a few minutes.

My own presentation was the last. I was showing an example of using several different apps in a row do preform a task. I've found myself often doing this in iOS and noticed in classroom visits that primary pupils seem to pick this up naturally, more so perhaps than with traditional desktops.

I've sen this referred to as app smashing or chaining, I prefer the idea of a playflow, having fun with a series of applications. (I do not want to smash or chain anything up;-)). Here is a quick and dirty screencast of the process I demoed, the only difference was at teachmeet I recorded an audience produced series of croaks as an audio track to the final movie.

Here is the process.

  1. Starting in Safari, use morguefile.com to find a copyright free photo.
  2. Save to Photo Library/Camera Roll
  3. Use superimpose to save a 'mask' with a transparent background.
  4. Saved To Photo Library
  5. Explain Everything: Import background then add image with transparent background. Create recording of image moving across background.
  6. Export movie to Photo Library.
  7. Open in iMovie for further editing.
I was delighted to see this tweet linking to a video today, showing I had at least a little impact:

Watch the #TMTablet tweets for the next teachmeet tablet.

War and Peace and the new translation⤴

from @ blethers

I've done it. Another of the imperatives crossed off the list, which only means, presumably, that I draw closer to shuffling off this mortal coil. Yesterday I finished reading War and Peace. It's one of these questions, isn't it - perhaps when there was nothing one wanted to read: Ah, but have you read War and Peace? And now I have. And?

And now, for a start, I can feel able to read something else. This massive tome - for I was reading it in the new paperback, single-volume edition illustrated here - has dominated my reading, threatened to topple off the pile on my bedside table, weighed down my overnight bag when I travelled for literally months now. When I travelled abroad on holiday I took holidays from Tolstoy and read other stuff on my Kindle, but all my home reading has focussed on Russian gentry and the laborious prose of Anthony Briggs' translation. I suspect you're getting my drift now. I shall speak plainly.

I asked for this version because I read things like this: 'This is the best translation so far of Tolstoy's masterpiece into English. It achieves the difficult feat of combining faithfulness to the original with smooth, idiomatic English. The result is a triumph of cultural mediation' – Robert Maguire, Professor of Russian, Columbia University, New York. 'If you haven't already read War and Peace, there's no better time to do so' - Vogue. And I was convinced, because the neat little 3-volume Oxford World Classics edition that I had inherited insists on having the pronunciation marks for all the Russian names every time they appear and I thought it would drive me mad. I chose a book rather than a Kindle edition because it had a dramatis personae that I could flip back to when confused (frequently), despite the knowledge that it would break my nose if I fell asleep reading it.

But I'm perplexed. How can anyone - except, perhaps, an American - think it acceptable to keep saying that characters 'coloured up'? As in 'Countess Marya coloured up'? What, pray, is wrong with 'blushed'? (It's repeated so often I found myself cringing in anticipation). I find myself looking through the World Classics edition and noting that the slightly old-fashioned language (this translation, by Louise and Aylmer Maude, dates from 1933) seems to suit the narrative better; I read in the notes to the version I've just read that the Maudes lived in Russia and had actually consulted Tolstoy himself, who claimed that 'better translators could not be invented', and wonder why anyone else would undertake such a thing.

And the novel itself? The novel that Tolstoy apparently said was not meant to be a novel at all? It drove me crazy several times, primarily in the conversations and social manoeuvrings of the characters in peacetime - all these soirées and balls. I enjoyed, if that's a suitable word, the descriptions of battles and the retreat of the French from Moscow. I pictured the mural in the Moscow Metro which showed the nonplussed Bonaparte's bafflement when he found Moscow deserted and open, and felt I had learned more of the background to a culture I find fascinating. I hated the over-use of adverbs and the repetition of adjectives - 'His handsome eyes were shining with an unusual brightness and kindness' - and I found much of the dialogue banal and superfluous - a bit like ploughing through an interminable episode of East Enders. 

I made up my mind to read War and Peace after my Russian trip - that picture, and my ignorance of what it depicted, played a part in my decision - and I'm glad I've done so. I feel that what I've written here might have some of my dear readers thinking 'She's for a jig or a tale of bawdry or she sleeps' - or whatever. Not so. I was raised on classics and Victorian verbosity (Whymper's Scrambles Amongst the Alps before I was 10, for example). But the combination of a novel that, in Simon Schama's words, 'you don't just read, you live' and an entirely superfluous and inelegant translation leave me, I'm afraid, as cold as the retreat from Moscow.

Now, what shall I read …?

Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference⤴

from @ Open World

Last week I went to the Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference in Paris where I presented two Cetis papers on the Open Scotland initiative and technology challenges from the Jisc / HEA UKOER Programmes. Both papers were well received and there was considerable interest in Open Scotland from colleagues from Norway.  The papers are available to download form Slideshare here:

Technology Challenges from the UKOER Programmes by Phil Barker and Lorna M. Campbell

Open Scotland by Lorna M. Campbell, Phil Barker, Sheila MacNeill and Joe Wilson

EADTU Conference,  Les Cordeliers, Sorbonne

EADTU Conference,
Les Cordeliers, Sorbonne

This is the first time I’ve attuned the EADTU Conference, with its focus on distance education provision in the HE sector, it’s a slightly different community from the one Cetis usually engages with. However there were many well known faces there and it was good to see such a large contingent from the Open University UK present. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to arrive in time to hear the opening keynote presentations however the papers I heard in the parallel sessions were excellent and the closing keynotes on the first day were suitably thought provoking. Inevitably MOOCs were a prevalent theme but I was encouraged that there was still a lot of discussion about other forms of open education practice and open education resources. It was also good to see Li and Stephen’s MOOCs and Open Education Cetis whitepaper quoted by one of the delegates from Lisbon.  Here’s a few of the highlights.

Variable cost minimisation business models in higher education
- Yoram Kalman, Open University of Israel

This excellent talk presented a coherent analysis of the nature and characteristics of business models and exploded many of the myths surrounding the ability, or not, of MOOCs to disrupt HE business models. Yoram’s presentation raised so many relevant issues that I’ll try and write a blog post summarising his main points.

Sketching the user interface of digital textbooks applied to formal learning environments
- Luis Fernandes, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Unfortunately Luis himself was unable to be present but his paper was ably presented by his colleague Andreia Teles Vieira who demonstrated Luis etexbook implementation based on HTML5, EPub3 and CSS3. The implementation included book marks, annotation, and discussion groups, the ability to share via social media, rearrange and reorganise book content and compare different versions of books. Cetis have recently been discussing the potential of ePub3 and its ability to interoperate with other specification such as QTI, so I hope we can find out more about Luis work.

Do MOOCs announce a new paradigm for higher education?
- John Daniel and Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic

Daniel suggested that while MOOCs are not a new paradigm for education, they may usher in other new paradigms and are accelerating three trends in HE:

• Shorter courses
• New types of awards such as open badges.
• Accelerate the move to online learning.

In response to these trends universities must develop new policies, execute online courses well and pay attention to quality. Uvalic-Trumbic developed the theme of quality and suggested that new courses and forms of assessment and accreditation need new forms of quality assurance, adding that open badges don’t take quality into account. I’m not sufficiently up to speed with open badges to know if this is actually true, so I’d be interested to hear other’s thoughts on the matter.

While I agreed with some of the points raised by this presentation I strongly disagreed with Sir John Daniel’s assertion that “Most MOOCs are OER with added assessment.” As I see it, most MOOCs have little to do with openness and even less to do with OER!

Foresights on Open Education 2030
- Yves Punie, Institute or Prospective Technological Studies, Seville

Yves presented the outputs of Imagining Open Education 2030 initiative, which called for vision papers covering three sectors; school education, higher education and lifelong learning. The vision papers and outputs of this exercise can be found here: http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/openeducation2030/

The following key tensions were distilled from vision papers and scenarios.

  • At the core of open education 2023 are unbundling, abundance, networking, flexibility and personalised learning
  • Learning services will not necessarily be free, under an open licence and accessible to all.
  • HE institutions will not disappear but need to redefine their role in the open education landscape – existing funding and quality mechanisms are not sustainable.

Yves also highlighted the SURF Policy paper e-InfraNet: ‘Open’ as the default modus operandi for research and higher education which can be downloaded here: http://www.surf.nl/en/publicaties/Pages/e-InfranetOpenreport.aspx

I haven’t had a chance to look at this paper but it does include this diagram illustrating the range of “opens”.

range of open

OpenupEd as a European answer on MOOCs: a student centred approach
- Fred Mulder, OUNL and UNESCO

Fred introduced the EU Opening Up Education initiative, which appears to be gearing up to become a direct competitor to US MOOC providers such as Coursera and Udacity. Opening up education is a subtle change from open education and shows that this is a process; there is no fixed model for education over time, there will always be diversity.
The term open is used widely but is not well defined. OER is one of the few terms that is well defined. The Hewlett Foundation defines OER as:

“OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”

But OER is not open education, there are five components of open education:

Supply side components
1. Open educational resources
2. Open learning services
3. Open teaching efforts
Demand side components
4. Open to learners needs
5. Open to employability and capabilities development

Opening Up Education is a globally linked and decentralised model that will provide a distinctive quality brand with high visibility and marketing potential. Participants will be able to engage with partners’ experience and expertise in developing MOOCs and evaluating and monitoring them from an institutional perspective. In addition partners will also have the opportunity to join cross-national projects with external funding. I also got the impression that there is, or will be an Opening Up Education platform, but that’s something I need to look into in more detail.