Wednesday 13 December 2017

Report on Innovative #Pedagogy #EdTech #elearning #data @IETatOU

The new 48-page Innovative Pedagogy report from my colleagues at IET at the Open University, UK is published in collaboration with the Learning In a NetworKed Society (LINKS) Israeli Center of Research Excellence (I-CORE). And as always it is of interest for everybody looking for a quick overview of interesting innovative educational technologies, including practical examples and linked references (with the great PhD-researcher Tina Papathoma @aktinaki on the front cover).
The report was written by Rebecca Ferguson, Sarit Barzilai, Dani Ben-Zvi, Clark A Chinn,
Christothea Herodotou, Yotam Hod, Yael Kali, Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, Haggai Kupermintz,
Patrick McAndrew, Bart Rienties, Ornit Sagy, Eileen Scanlon, Mike Sharples, Martin Weller,
Denise Whitelock.

The 5 previous reports with themes can be found here.

This report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education. A remarkable move is the insistance of looking at the learning from the learners' perspective, including emotions, self-direction in terms of learning analytics, values and communities.
  1. Spaced learning: admittedly not that new, but functional and effective for more behaviorist content (including test preparation), includes 3 spaced learning resources.
  2. Citizen science: I am totally in favor of more of these projects, as citizen science can benefit from all for all citizens. The three resources mentioned (which you can experience as much as you like are: Galaxy Zoo (yes! observing and adding star galaxies!), iSpot (identifying plants and animals!), nQuire-it (which lets you decide what you want to explore - android mobiles)
  3. Open textbooks: in relation to OER, with links on the benefits of open pedagogy, for example a wonderful chapter by DeRosa and Robison entitles from OER to Open Pedagogy: harnessing the power of open.
  4. Navigating post-truth societies (think critical thinking in action): with a focus on epistemic education and ways to stimulate epistemic growth. Including the very useful guide for web literacy for student-fact-finders.
  5. Intergroup empathy (nice!): or understanding the perspectives of others. This connects with the post-truth society topic. A remarkable initiative is 'the enemy is here' (it is a mixed Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality experience where you meet persons at different sides of a war conflict and you get to 'engage' with them and their believes which comes down to the shared humanity on both sides (small critique: mostly male protagonists it seems, but okay that can improved in later versions). And a science game called to-be-education.
  6. Immersive learning: or intensifying learning by experiencing new situations.
  7. Student-led analytics: refering to the University of Michigan and their toolkit for students to direct their learning based on data, the Academic Reporting Tool.
  8. Big data inquiry (thinking with big data):  wcith a nice link to Ocean Tracks.
  9. Learning with internal values: more along the line of using students' interests to stimulate their learning. 
  10. Humanistic knowledge building communities: helpint learners to develop knowledge (now that is a lifelong mission :)

Monday 11 December 2017

Free report on #digital competences of educators #EUpolicy #education @EU_ScienceHub

This 95 page report on Digital Competences of Educators was brought to my attention by the fabulous Yannis Angelis, who is also a great twitter networker (@YannisAngelis). This recently published report offers a European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators and is written by Christine Redecker and Yves Puni.

This is a really strong framework (really good read) and it does touch all the competences a contemporary educator should have (and already has in many occasions). I think this framework can easily be tailored for practical use inside educational institutions. Another thought that crossed my mind: look at the competencies and than try to come up with any profession that includes all of these competencies as well... not easy, as it implies communication skills, technological skills, social skills and pedagogical skills.... and all in an increasingly complex world of learners. So what I hope is that this report will see the start of a reappreasal of the educator in the whole of society... I mean, you got to love the teachers!

The tagline of the report is: the European Framework for the Digital Competence of (DigCompEdu) responds to the growing awareness among many European Member States that educators need a set
of digital competences specific to their profession in order to be able to seize the potential of
digital technologies for enhancing and innovating education.

Content of the report
The report focuses on 22 competences, organised in 6 areas:
Area 1: Professional engagement, using digital technologies for communication, collaboration
and professional development.
Area 2: Digital Resources sourcing, creating and sharing digital resources.
Area 3: Teaching and Learning Managing and orchestrating the use of digital technologies
in teaching and learning.
Area 4: Assessment using digital technologies and strategies to enhance assessment.
Area 5: Empowering learners using digital technologies to enhance inclusion,
personalisation and learners’ active engagement.
Area 6: Facilitating learners’ digital competence, enabling learners to creatively and responsibly use digital technologies for information, communication, content creation, wellbeing and problem-solving.

For each of these competences more information is given, including a description of what the authors define the competence to be, and how to achieve it.

Nice side note: self-regulated learning is part of the competences of an educator. I really like the addition of this aspect to the teaching and learning competence.

Take into account competence levels of the educators
Another nice point of attention used in this report is the levels given to the competences in relation to the digital experience of the educator: in the first two stages of DigCompEdu, Newcomer (A1) and Explorer (A2), educators assimilate new information and develop basic digital practices; at the following two stages, Integrator (B1) and Expert (B2), educators apply, further expand and reflect
on their digital practices; at the highest stages, Leader (C1) and Pioneer (C2), educators pass on their knowledge, critique existing practice and develop new practices.
The labels for each competence level were selected to capture the particular focus of digital technology use typical for the competence stage. the descriptors also relate to an educator’s
relative strengths and roles within a professional community. And within the report a clear proficiency progression by area is also provided (page 31). Adding examples to make this theoretical framework a practical document (e.g. finding digital resources and what this entails for all 6 competency levels). A lot of work is put into making this theoretical framework accessible for practical implementation, an aspect I really appreciate and like a lot.

background of publication
This publication is a Science for Policy report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, which you can follow @EU_ScienceHub. It aims to provide evidence-based scientific support to the European policymaking process, but it also offers great insight into what policy makers find of interest, and where they think educators will benefit from in order to ensure digitally competent education.

Abstract from the report
As educators face rapidly changing demands, they require an increasingly broader and more sophisticated set of competences than before. In particular, the ubiquity of digital devices and the duty to help students become digitally competent requires educators to develop their own digital competence. On an international and national level a number of frameworks, self-assessment tools and training programmes have been developed to describe the facets of digital competence for educators and to help them assess their competence, identify their training needs and offer targeted training. Based on the analysis and comparison of these instruments, this report presents a common European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu). DigCompEdu is a scientifically sound background framework which helps to guide policy and can be directly adapted to implementing regional and national tools and training programmes. In addition, it provides a common language and approach that will help the dialogue and exchange of best practices across borders.
The DigCompEdu framework is directed towards educators at all levels of education, from early childhood to higher and adult education, including general and vocational education and training, special needs education, and non-formal learning contexts. It aims to provide a general reference frame for developers of Digital Competence models, i.e. Member States, regional governments, relevant national and regional agencies, educational organisations themselves, and public or private professional training providers.

Thursday 7 December 2017

360 camera use in online/blended courses #elearning #IDesign #MOOC

Sometimes simple instructional design tools can add to the efficiency of learning in an online or blended course. One of the simple options is using a 360° camera to immerse learners in a specific setting providing a more indepth learning context. Creating, using and providing a 360° experience has a long standing use especially with artists who wanted to use multiple visual angles to create a more captivating piece of art using multiple mirrors.

At the same time, using 360° cameras to give contemporary (MOOC) learners a better idea of what is meant by specific descriptions is now being fully tested in online courses. The real-life example provided a bit further down, relates to a MOOC on Climbing and the effect of using 360° videos to instruct online learners (comparing fully online with blended learners and the effect of those videos... really great research read!).


The 360° camera is a camera which records or captures visuals in a 360° field (so the entire sphere). This offers the viewer the ability to move through the full panorama by choosing a specific or multiple viewing directions, using either a keyboard, pointers or by simply tilting their head in the direction they want to view when using Virtual Reality glasses.

360° camera functionality

As a 360 degrees camera will allow you to capture a scene or setting with a 360° angle, this means you - as a learner - can manipulate what you see with your keyboard or mobile phone buttons and get a full visual overview of ... for instance an engineering plant, the inside of an ambulance which is filled with medical equipment, a specific controller room, an event where all of the surrounding areas are of importance to the learner... all shown from one particular point in that space (that being where the picture or movie is taken) but enabling the learner to shift through that space to see all of the potentially interesting features as they can be seen in real life.

An example of this can be seen here, which depicts a room at the Gaudi Exhibition Center in Barcelona, Spain, where I took a picture of a historical artist set-up for 3D capturing (old style). You can see the whole room by using the pointers at the bottom of the picture frame.

Today the 360° camera can be purchased at a reasonable price (e.g. Ricoh Theta S) which allows you to make pictures as well as 360 degrees videos. Although these more reasonably priced camera's come with some restrictions (e.g. size of the videos), they are a good testing board to see what you can do with such a device. Once you realise its applications, you can consider implementing it in a bigger online or blended course.

When to use this tool

A 360 degrees learning element is of use in any situation that demands a full surround understanding of a certain context. If you are looking for an instructional decor which has multiple elements all gathered in one space, or related to each other in a space, than this is the way to go. Providing a 360 overview of such spaces enables the learner to grasp all the elements influencing each other. For instance if you are a medic in an ambulance, you need to know where to find specific equipment in a moments notice in order to save the life of the patients. At the same time the driver of the ambulance can benefit from a 'real life' drive through traffic after picking up a patient, and see which traffic situations (being able to see full street coverage) to watch out for while having a patient in the back.

Example of implementing 360° video in online and blended learning

A great research example can be read in this paper shared and co-authored by Martin Ebner.
In this research study a course, combining both computer-supported and face-to-face teaching using the concept of blended learning, has been designed. It is a beginners climbing course called “Klettern mit 360° Videos“ (climbing with 360° videos) and the online part has been implemented as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). This research study presents the background of the course, the course concept, the course itself and the results of the evaluation. To measure the difference between the pure online participants and the blended learning participants the MOOC has been evaluated independently from the blended learning course. It should be mentioned that all participants (whether pure online or both) evaluated the course in a positive manner. The use of technology enhanced learning realized by the concept of blended learning proved to be a well-suited method for this course setting. Furthermore, many advantages of computer based learning, blended learning and 360°-videos have been reported by the participants.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Data analytics: one call for papers, free research papers, and a free paper on libraries

BayLAN conference, UC Berkeley

Submission deadline December 15th, 2017 (submit here)
Conference date: February 24, 2018
Conference fee: students for free, professionals: 15 $
Can't make it to LAK'18 in Sydney? Want to meet Bay Area LA practitioners and researchers on your way south? BayLAN is a local network of researchers and professionals in the field of learning analytics. The BayLAN conference is a regional event designed to  facilitate the exchange of information, case studies, ideas, and early stage research in the field of learning analytics broadly construed.

The Bay Area Learning Analytics Network (BayLAN), in co-operation with SoLAR, is hosting the third annual BayLAN conference on February 24, 2018 at the University of California, Berkeley. The BayLAN conference brings together thought leaders from both industry and academia. Presentations and discussions will focus on current research at the intersection of education, data science, and technology.

Registration is free for students and $15 for professionals. To register click here:

BayLAN is currently accepting abstract submissions for the conference. Abstracts should report on research in the broad area of learning analytics.  Presentations may include technical work that applies data science or other quantitative methods to improve education, as well as interventions, methodologies, tools or technology that are intended to improve learning outcomes.
Suggested topics: 
  • Theoretical topics: cognitive science models about education, data science methods applied to learning, novel theories about learning
  • Lessons learned: After going through the learning analytics implementation process, share insights that have surfaced that affect the completion of the project
  • Innovative new tools/techniques: Share newly developed tools or approaches to learning analytics that have been implemented at an institution.
  • Application of standards: A project making use of data/analytics standards and illustrating the benefits of such an approach.
  • Collaboration and sharing: How are groups of institutions/practitioners partnering to solve shared problems in the learning analytics space?
The deadline for submission is December 15, 2017. Submit here 

Free papers on Big data available until 4 December 2018 (the free access is available until then)

Special Issue: Big Data in Robotics from Liebert publishing
This issue was guest edited by Jeannette Bohg, Matei Ciocarlie, Javier Civera, and Lydia E. Kavraki
FREE ACCESS through December 4, 2017. Read Now:
Big Data on Robotics
Jeannette Bohg, Matei Ciocarlie, Javier Civera, and Lydia E. Kavraki  Read Now
Recent Data Sets on Object Manipulation: A Survey
Yongqiang Huang, Matteo Bianchi, Minas Liarokapis, and Yu Sun  Read Now
Leveraging Large-Scale Semantic Networks for Adaptive Robot Task Learning and Execution
Adrian Boteanu, Aaron St. Clair, Anahita Mohseni-Kabir, Carl Saldanha, and Sonia Chernova  Read Now
The KIT Motion-Language Dataset
Matthias Plappert, Christian Mandery, and Tamim Asfour  Read Now
DOOMED: Direct Online Optimization of Modeling Errors in Dynamics
Nathan Ratliff, Franziska Meier, Daniel Kappler, and Stefan Schaal  Read Now

Free paper on libraries from paper to cloudbased

With the open access discussion going strong as ever (great reflective article here on the goal of open access from Stephen Downes, in reply to Willey's view on open access).
IGI global has just released a free paper (downloading free papers seems like a good strategy) on library history from paper to cloudbased, with examples.

The library paper can be downloaded here (you must register for IGI global)

The abstract of this paper: A Library is an organized collection of resources made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to material, and may be a physical building, or a virtual space, or both. During the last decays, the Libraries had witnessed a continuous revolution and still do. This paper reviews the main milestone of such revolution starting from the classical up to the current Cloud-based era passing by the intermediate digital transformation period. It reviews the library types, services, problems and drive of changes from the classical form. The paper then tackles the transformation of the library to the digital form. It discusses the characteristics of the digital library, the web-based library, and the library 2.0 through their advantages and limitations. The paper finally focuses on the current Cloud-based ear, where most of the library cloud platforms, services management, innovative products and opened environments are addressed through their features, add values, pros and cons. The paper also provides a comparative study on such solutions coming up with opened research issues. Hereby, the paper provides a comprehensive overview on the development of the library till now. 

Thursday 16 November 2017

Free mLearning eBook: Mobilizing and supporting educator practice #mLearning

At the mLearn2017 in Cyprus, a free and useful eBook was launched by the International Association for Mobile Learning (IAmLearn). It is a free book entitled 'Mobilizing and supporting educator practice', edited by top mLearning experts (Robert Power, Mohamed Ally, Dean Cristol and Agnieszka Palalas) and as such available to all. They even have a download button (tucked away in the table of contents tab) where you can download the free book as a PDF, right here. The other download formats are ePub and mobi (great!).

Description (from their own website)
"Teachers are more likely to experiment with and integrate mobile learning strategies if they feel confident in their ability to do so. Professional development resources and activities that focus on making instructional design decisions can help to increase teachers’ confidence with mobile learning. Teachers have indicated that a community of practice would also help them to increase their confidence with mLearning. To that end, mobile learning experts and practitioners from the International Association for Mobile Learning (IAmLearn) have prepared this open access eBook to help create such a community of practice."
The chapters in this book are useful for researchers implementing mobile learning (eg. 6 mobile learning theories!), but above all to educators, as each chapter gives a clear description of what you - as an educator - can do and specifically, the authors added digital extra's (although I did not get the tub-tub app to work). Yes, those are ready to use in a classroom or training setting (eg. using the jigsaw method).

The table of contents:

Ch 1: MALL Gains, Barriers, and Opportunities

Mobile Application Use to Support Vocabulary Knowledge in a Japanese High School: Learning Gains, Barriers, and Opportunities

Digital Extras - Supplementary Materials

Ch 2: Enhancing Residential Student Leadership Training with AR mLearning

Enhancing Residential Student Leadership Training with Appropriate Augmented Reality mLearning Trail Design

Digital Extras - Teacher and Student Testimonials

Ch 3: Resourceful Instructors & Students

Resourceful instructors and students: Overcoming barriers to integrating mobile tools

Digital Extras - The Course Assistance App

Ch 4: Teacher Training and PD in Mobile Pedagogy for English Language Teaching

Teacher Training and Professional Development in Mobile Pedagogy for English Language Teaching

Digital Extras - Tasks and Guidelines for Teacher Development Questions
Digital Extras - Activity 1
Digital Extras - Activity 2
Digital Extras - Reflection Activities

Ch 5: Moving to Seamless Learning

Moving to Seamless Learning: A Framework for Learning Using Multiple Devices

Digital Extras - Appendix 5.1

Ch 6: An mLearning Toolset

An mLearning Toolset for Leveraging Learning Theory
Six Learning Theories
The Analytical Tools

Digital Extras - Design Rubrics
Digital Extras - The Digital Analyzer

Additional Resources:
The Collaborative Situated Active Mobile (CSAM) Learning Design Framework
CSAM References
The Mobile Teacher's Sense of Efficacy Scale (mTSES)
mTSES References

Monday 13 November 2017

Free OLC virtual expert meet-ups and speaking opportunity #elearning #online

More info on a free online learning meet-up with eLearning thought leaders, and a speaking opportunity at the eLearning Guilds Realities 360 learning event focusing on augmented and virtual reality and simulations further down this post.
The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Accelerate in collaboration with Inside Higher Ed is planning two days of virtual meet-ups with eLearning experts, called virtual thought leader interviews.. These interactive interviews, promise to provide the opportunityregistration is free and can be found here, and you only have to provide an email (for confirmation and sending you the information for login).
to all attendees to enter into a dialogue with the experts as well, using Shindig as a virtual meeting tool. The

When: Wednesday, November 15th, from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm ET and Thursday, November 16th, from 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET (for a time conversion, have a look here).

From the event description:
Moderated by Inside Higher Ed Editor & Co-Founder Doug Lederman.
Shindig’s unique technology will also enable online participants to discuss, network, and socialize privately with one another as if they were attendees at the OLC Accelerate Conference.The growing list of confirmed interview participants includes: Curtis Bonk, Professor at Indiana University and Owner of CourseShare, Phil Hill, Co-Publisher of the e-Literate blog, Co-Producer of e-Literate TV, and Partner at MindWires Consulting, Rolin Moe, Assistant Professor and Director of the Institute for Academic Innovation at Seattle Pacific University, Jill Buban, ‎Senior Director of Research & Innovation at ‎Online Learning Consortium, and many more!
Shindig also seems to have an iOS and Android app to join the event while you're on the go. With possibly the same ability to chat privately, submit text questions, and be spotlighted to the stage - just like the desktop version.

Realities360 Speaking Proposals Due this Week

There are only 4 days left to submit a speaking proposal for 2018 Realities360 Conference. Realities360 is about exploring emerging technologies to create new and exciting immersive learning experiences.
They are interested in proposals exploring the design, development, and/or implementation of learning programs that take advantage of virtual and augmented reality and simulation technologies.

Deadline for submitting a speaking proposal: 17 November 2017
Event dates: 26 - 28 June 2018 in San Jose, California, USA.
More info on the conference here.
If your speaking proposal is accepted, you get a full conference registration for free (worthwhile!). 

Tuesday 7 November 2017

Call for papers, free online events and paper opportunity #CfP #elearning

In this post you can find three Call for Papers, two publication opportunities, and to start off multiple initiatives from EDEN (European Distance and eLearning Network) which has their online learning week (started yesterday, with free online seminars each day up until the 10th of November.

EDEN European Distance Learning week

An online, free event with daily seminars. The one for today is starting soon. More info here or look at the upcoming events below.
You simply need to provide your name and email to get registered, and also receive the link to the recording. 

Perspectives on Open Education

Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 13:00-14:30 CET
Format: Presentations and panel discussion
Moderator: Fabio Nascimbeni, EDEN Executive Committee member
Please click here for a more detailed description of the event
Click here to register

Designing Learning Spaces in Open and Distance Learning

Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 13:00-14:30 CET
Format: Presentations and discussion
Moderator: Lisa Marie Blaschke, EDEN Vice-President
Please click here for a more detailed description of the event
Click here to register

Re-considering Access, Quality and Flexibility of Education

Thursday, November 9, 2017, 13:00-14:30 CET
Format: Presentation and discussions
Moderator: Sandra Kucina Softic, EDEN Vice President
Please click here for a more detailed description of the event
Click here to register

International Experiences with OER

Friday, November 10, 2017, 13:00-14:30 CET
Format: Presentation
Moderator: Antonella Poce, EDEN NAP Steering Committee Chair
Please click here for a more detailed description of the event
Click here to register

EDEN Open Classroom Conference: Introducing Agenda for Open Professional Collaboration – Plenary broadcast 

Friday, November 10, 2017, 9:45 – 11:45 CET
Format: Plenary Session live stream – Live streaming of the plenary session of the EDEN Open Classroom Conference held in Kaunas, Lithuania. Link to the broadcast will be announced soon. Participants will be able to ask questions using the conference website.
Moderators: Kristijonas Jakubsonas, Elena Trepulė
Keynote speakers:
  • Digitally competent teachers in the area of Open Education, Yves Punie, European Commission – DG JRC – Directorate Innovation and Growth
  • The Joyous Voyage: situating open learning in a fractured world, Alan Bruce, Universal Learning Systems, Ireland, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan
  • National ICT Implementation Initiatives for Educational Openness, Vaino Brazdeikis, Ministry of Education and Science of The Republic of Lithuania
  • Implementing recognition of open non-formal learning. Organizational perspective, Airina Volungevičienė, European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN), Vytautas Magnus University

Technological Innovation for Specialized Linguistic Domains (TISLID 18)

A conference on EdTech, MOOCs related to languages for digital lives and cultures.
Conference dates: 24-26 May 2018
Venue: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Abdisstraat 1, 9000 Gent, Belgium.

Call for abstracts deadline: 10 December 2018 (an 300 - 500 word abstract, more CfP info here).
More information:

This conference offers a great opportunity to interchange knowledge and experiences, both in a formal and informal, creative way, regarding language-based digital realities. This event aims to promote academic debate on digital language technologies, with a special focus on their potential for promoting communication and (lifelong) learning.

The conference will include keynotes, paper presentations, posters, a roundtable debate (on Thursday and Friday) and workshops (on Saturday).

14th International Conference Mobile Learning 2018

Conference dates: 14 – 16 April 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
Deadline for papers: 8 December 2017

* Conference Scope
Mobile learning is concerned with a society on the move. In particular, with the study of “…how the mobility of learners augmented by personal and public technology can contribute to the process of gaining new knowledge, skills and experience” (Sharples et al. 2007).
The ML Conference seeks to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of mobile learning research which illustrate developments in the field.
For more details and information about topics please check

* Paper Submission
This is a blind peer-reviewed conference. Authors are invited to submit their papers in English through the conference submission system by December 8, 2017. Submissions must be original and should not have been published previously.

* Important Dates:
- Submission Deadline: 8 December 2017
- Notification to Authors: 8 January 2018
- Final Camera-Ready Submission and Early Registration: Until 29 January 2018
- Late Registration: After 29 January 2018

* Paper Publication
The papers will be published in book and electronic format with ISBN, will be made available through the Digital Library available at
The conference proceedings will be submitted for indexation by IET’s INSPEC, Elsevier, EI Compendex, Scopus, Thomson Reuters Web of Science, ERIC and other important indexing services.

* Conference Contact:
Web site:

EDEN Annual conference on 17 - 20 June 2018

Subject: investigating the micro, meso and macro in digital learning landscapes
Deadline for submissions: 5 February 2018
Information on the call for papers/workshops:
Scope of the conference:
The demand for people with new, enhanced skills is growing. The volume of information produced and shared in all fields is overwhelming. Building the data economy became part of the EU Digital Single Market. Powerful and sophisticated ICT is part of everyday life, and the world of learning is not an exception. Pressure is on all players of the online education community to keep up with new learning solutions, and better supply the skills currently demanded by growing economies.
Open Education continues its success, providing radical advances in knowledge acquisition, sharing, distribution, and improving business models. Digital credentials and open badges are the new currencies which are beginning to transform the economic models in education.
Social and economic tensions continue to raise the issues of scalability, the micro-credentialling of education, training and skill development processes. Practitioners and stakeholders are eagerly seeking right approaches to providing learning opportunities, and many scholars are researching holistic answers.
Micro, meso and macro aspects provide an interesting range of lenses for considering the problem. These aspects may be applied in a general sense, distinguishing between the learning of individuals (e.g through mobile learning), learning at the institutional or group levels through a meso lens, and the learning of organizations or societies directed through policies through the macro lens.

EDENchat initiative, using the twitter chat approach on subjects related to distance, open and eLearning

#EDENChat is an online discussion event on Twitter initiated by Steering Committee of the EDEN Network of Academics and Professionals (NAP). It is mediated by members of the NAP community and runs for approximately 1 hour. Anyone can join in and contribute to the discussion which is presented in a Question and Answer format, and focuses on current issues in distance, open and e-learning.
EDENchat schedule:
European Distance Learning Week #EDENChat November 8, 2017
What is Open Web? November 22, 2017
What are Open Licenses? December 6, 2017
What are Open Degrees & Open Badges? December 20, 2017
More information (and prior chat info): and here

Opportunities for publication: one on mobile learning, and one on launching at technology driven university.

IGI global: Handbook of Research on Challenges and Opportunities in Launching a Technology-Driven International University 

Publication edited byDr. Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, Executive Director of the Information Resources Management Association (IRMA).

Deadline for chapter proposals: 30 November 2017.
Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by no later than December 13, 2017 about the status of their proposals and will receive chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by January 30, 2018. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind basis. Contributors may also be requested to be engaged as reviewers for this project.
To view the full call for papers, with recommended topic areas, please visit the link here:

The aim of this publication is to offer both empirical and theoretical research focused on the effective construction of technology-driven higher learning international universities. Themes such as: developing an accelerated and innovative curriculum, the recruitment and retention of internationally renowned faculty and researchers to lead courses, as well as the development of an on-campus and distance learning system will be presented. Also, taking into consideration the financial and economic impacts of launching a university – specifically, how to identify the appropriate locale for universities and/or branch campuses, which will ideally complement the local interest of business sectors within the selected location.

The target audience for this publication will be entrepreneurs, practitioners, academicians, instructional designers, administrators, government officials, and independent researchers and consultants focused on online education research and scholarship, educational leadership and administration, educational marketing, educational policy, course management, instructional design, educational theory and practice, human resources in educational settings, and curriculum design and management.

Mobile book looking for contributors, but it costs 350 Swiss Franks (approx. 300 EUR or 350 USD)

This looks like a good, yet paid, opportunity for those wanting to get a chapter in a research book on mobile learning. The publication is international and Open Access, but indeed the publishers demand a downpayment to get accepted (so, only when you will be published) chapters published.
Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102, is currently running a Special Issue "Mobile Learning" (, which is guest edited by Prof. Maria Uther, from the University of Winchester, UK.
The submission deadline is 31 May 2018. You may send your manuscript now or up until the deadline. Submitted papers should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

This Special Issue, Mobile Learning, addresses the increasing popularity of mobile devices and their potential for developing learning. Articles are welcomed for inclusion in this Special Issue that:
(1) provide empirical evidence on the efficacy of mobile devices for learning applications; (2) showcase novel uses or technical developments for mobile devices in learning; (3) review pedagogical and user interface design considerations and develop theories around the design of mobile learning applications; (4) interface mobile technologies with other technologies to enhance learning (e.g., speech recognition, augmented reality, psychophysiological recording); and (5) offer examples of situated learning (e.g. using augmented/virtual reality technology) with mobile devices. The above topics are indicative and we would also welcome any papers relating to mobile learning that do not immediately fit into the above categories.

For further reading, please follow the link to the Special Issue Website at: We also encourage authors to send a short abstract or tentative title to the Editorial Office in advance (

If the Special Issue collects more than 10 papers, it will be made available in printed book format. An example could be seen at

/Education Sciences/ (ISSN 2227-7102) is an international and open access journal, which is double-blind peer-reviewed. It is published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland: Open access (unlimited and free access by readers) increases publicity and promotes more frequent citations, as indicated by several studies. Open access is supported by the authors and their institutes. More information is available at If you decide to submit to this Special Issue, Article Processing Charges (APC) of CHF 350 is applied. For more information on APCs please visit
Education Sciences has been accepted for inclusion in ESCI
For further details on the submission process, please see the instructions for authors at

Sunday 8 October 2017

Free webinar: language learning apps and MOOCs for refugees

This one hour free webinar focuses on language learning apps and some used within MOOCs for refugees. The idea is to increase social inclusion and enhance employability for new arrivals. However, the language learning apps can also be an addition to other formal learning (e.g. for students who recently came to live in a new country and are attending regular school but who can use personalised language support, anyone moving to another country where they need to learn another language (ex-pats, immigrants), to anyone simply interested in keeping up to date with a language they have learned (e.g. my French needs refreshing).

Free webinar link and registration information:

When: Wednesday 25 October, 15.00-16.00 CEST (Central European Summer Time, to know when the webinar takes place in your timezone you can look at Time Zone Converter here: )
Where: Online via Adobe Connect (so check the link to the webinar once it is sent to you).
You need to register for this free webinar (link here), this means you need to add your firstname, name and organisation (if you are not linked to an organisation, simply put 'virtual network' or similar).  

The link to the webinar room will be sent to all registered participants one day before the event.

Agnes Kukulska-Hulme: mobile language learner by excellence, The Open University, UK
Timothy Read: computer languages and systems (also set up first MOOCs in Spain), UNED, Spain
Alastair Creelman: elearning specialist, Linnaeus University, Sweden.

What to expect
The question being considered in this webinar is whether such resources represent an effective learning approach for refugees given their changing geographical, sociocultural and technological circumstances?
An important part of social inclusion is having the foreign language skills necessary for day to day life. ICT, including mobile apps and open online courses, forms an important part of the way in which languages are learnt in our modern society. The improvement in communication networks and online tools, accessible from a range of mobile devices and desktop computers, facilitate activities developed to improve the four basic language competences (written and oral comprehension and production). Furthermore, the wide availability of free language learning apps can help to supplement the online learning experience, especially when network access is limited.

The webinar is organised by the Erasmus+ project MOONLITE in cooperation with EDEN (European Distance and E-learning Network), NVL Distans (Nordic Network for Adult Education) and the Swedish Network for IT in Higher Education (ITHU). The Moonlite project focuses on MOOCs for social inclusion and employability.

Thursday 3 August 2017

Diagnosis in limbo: don’t eLearn now! Use time #blogphilosophy

Where a month ago I felt strange becoming 50, right at the moment of turning fifty I heard that I had malignant cancer in one of my breasts, possibly both. Well, let’s just say I was no longer worried about age, but about life in general. At this point in time I am still in limbo on what the next steps are, but an answer is soon to come.

Learning is the highest of life achievements
In my family (all sides) learning is considered the highest form of living. I live, therefor I learn. Without learning life has no meaning. Or, at the end of your life, a human being is considered to have obtained new knowledge that can be taken to the realm beyond or simply has to be used in this life (depending on the view of what death is).
However, the learning which makes up life is mostly informal learning, as most of my family (including me) are not that well equipped to learn formally. However, since a few weeks I now know that informal learning is not always an option. This is why: as the first indications started to point to cancer, I did not know that the eventual plan of action to tackle the disease would take so much time. And time – to me – is mostly spend on learning anyway. So, after hearing the bad news, I referred to my natural plan of action: learn … learn online. But, for first time in my life, learning was not the best option. Not in this case. It turns out that cancer, even a specific cancer like breast cancer is treated in many different ways, has multiple possible outcomes and each person’s body reacts differently to the chosen operations. Reading up on the subject, just gave me too many options, unclarity and anxiety. So… any type of learning I have ahead of me now, will be experimental learning, and on a highly personal note. And it would not be learning to be prepared, but learning to cope.

Change is gonna come
No matter what happens next, it is inevitable that change is happening more rapidly than in ordinary life: possibly coping with a new body, with a new timeline, with a new condition. I learned from my diabetes that it does not make any sense to linger for the past. That is gone, but can be a happy part of the new me. I guess, this change is going to be even more manifest now. So, the only thing for me to do is to find out what I can do, to at least make this transition more rewarding. I am scared, scared that I will no longer be able to add to anything related to online learning. I will write some long overdue papers (distilled from my phd), but I feel weary on whether I will be able to add anything relevant. The time to read everything that is happening might be scarce. I do have a small plan, but not sure if I can realise it. Apart from online learning, what else is there?

No bucket list, but a bucket (well one single) idea: Time
Most people seem to have a bucket list, I searched for mine, but did not find it. So, there is no list of things I want to do… I seem to be more of a person who just does it, or simply does not come up with large projects and certainly nothing high risk.
So, I wondered whether I had a bucket idea? I actually have, what is explored so little, yet enough to make a comfortable complex idea to tamper with for (possibly) the next few months? Time, time itself, for time to me is not linear, which has always intrigued me. Maybe, this is a good time to focus on Time. I will have to gather more information on this: what is time, how much has been mathematically analysed for linearity, multiplicity, …

So, not sure what online activities I will keep doing. But I sure hope to have ample time to enjoy thinking… learning and thinking for the coming weeks or months.