This is the blog that was set up on eraccommons.ca. At the Friday meeting, I can demo the site and invite the stakeholder group to join.
Example of a posting on the group blog.
Excellent digital learning resources are available in all kinds of places and formats. One way of categorizing them is based on how proprietary vs. open / shared they are and how local vs. global they are.
There is clearly a trend in education away from proprietary learning resources towards open / shared learning resources. The challenge comes in filtering out the bad resources and filtering in the good ones. There is an awareness that both quality, local resources must be available as well as the best of global resources.
It’s an enormous job to evaluate all types of learning resources. It’s also a big job to license the proprietary learning resources. It seems to make sense administratively to have ERAC responsible for evaluating and licensing proprietary learning resources and have LearnNowBC evaluating open / shared learning resources via crowdsourcing from teacher, student and possibly even parent ratings. Global content wherever possible could be embedded in LearnNowBC so students and teachers wouldn’t for example have to actually go to YouTube to view a YouTube video.
Despite having specialized administration of the learning resources, the end users (students, teachers, parents, etc.) should be able to view and interact with the digital learning resources from one location. A social network would provide the context and discoverability to enable this.
Having this co-ordinated approach and with the addition of a BC-wide social network, e-portfolios, student and teacher file storage space and learning / collaboration tools would help improve student and teacher access to high quality learning resources, and with better access to the most powerful learning resource of all, each other. It could act as an anchor for many of the good initiatives already underway that focus on sharing knowledge. The social network would provide the context for the digital learning resources and would aid in discovery of the right resource to the right audience at the right time. This social network could use content management systems that have effective categorization and tagging functionality.
It’s not cost effective for individual districts to act on their own. More importantly, students and teachers can benefit from a BC wide approach by having faster, more reliable access to high quality learning resources and that are easily discoverable. It’s important to note that if any of the items in the stack are missing, the initiative won’t be successful (i.e. slow Internet access or sub-optimal hosting will make the content and community on LearnNowBC irrelevant since users will give up trying to access)
Most organizations are facing the same challenges that ERAC, LearnNowBC and school districts are facing.
The biggest gap area missing from the current B.C. digital learner strategy is in the area of collective intelligence and knowledge sharing.
Sharepoint may be a core solution for some districts and could be part of the solution for a provincial system. There is growing awareness though that there is no single tool that provides a comprehensive solution.
High level IT architecture approach. Content stored either in original external locations or B.C. hosted in a LOR. Social network provides the context required to make resources discoverable and shared. E-Portfolio provides the personal context where learners and teachers can store their bookmarks and relate it to their learning. Apps / Toolkit (e.g. Google Apps for Education) provides many of the other learning tools teachers and students could benefit from that would help bring alive digital learning. LearnNowBC could be the central site to deliver this (they are doing many parts of this already). Mobile access would need to be further built out.
Recommend that province advocate an open Web approach, moving towards HTML 5 and away from proprietary plugins
Need to be careful to avoid traditional approaches to LOR. They didn’t work well in the past. Need to keep as simple as possible and in many cases content management systems and social network approaches are preferred or at least a necessary component.
As TarmoToikkanen states, context is key. This is why the social network component is so critical.
A number of post-secondary institutions are having success with a social network approach to learning (e.g. CUNY Academic Commons) rather than the LOR focused approach.
Image shows sharing functionality of video player
A province wide personal file storage solution would likely be a powerful addition.
Equella is being used in a number of B.C. organizations. It was recently bought by Pearson.
SFU uses Shibboleth to integrate with BC Campus’s LOR
Groups, blogs, wiki, activity feeds, etc. --
There are a lot of synergies between K-12 and post-secondary. Many jurisdictions have chosen common solutions for both areas, a K-20 strategy.
Timing is right. There is provincial interest as well as a critical mass of teachers, school administrators, students and parents that would like to see better approach for students accessing digital learning resources. There is a real opportunity to “get this right”.
Digital Learners Road Map<br />Phase I – High Level Strategy<br />June 10th, 2011 <br />
Digital Learners Roadmap Goal<br />Where should digital learning resources be stored, backed up, discovered, and delivered?<br />Delivered to students, teachers, librarians and administrators (also possibly to parents)<br />Delivered in a scalable, high-performing, user-friendly and cost effective manner. <br />
Digital Learners Roadmap Goal<br />System must accommodate free materials<br />E.g. Creative Commons licensed<br />Locally created content<br />System must accommodate proprietary content licensed by vendors to all schools in B.C., or just selected districts or schools.<br />
Big problem with no single solution<br />On surface digital learners strategy sounds simple but it’s actually a very complex and difficult problem<br />Human side is most challenging<br />Technical side is actually the easier to solve<br />
Process – Quick and Thoughtful<br />Process<br />Individual research conducted by project lead<br />Best practices in other jurisdictions<br />Break up solution into components<br />Intent to follow with RFI / RFP process in future phase<br />Research into prospective solutions for different components<br />
Process – Quick and Thoughtful<br />Process<br />“Think tank” was held May 31st of IT thought leaders that have background in education<br />Group blog set up on eraccommons.ca to help key stakeholders continue to collaborate on strategy<br />Drafted out a provincial digital learner strategy<br />
Process – Quick and Thoughtful<br />Process<br />Gather feedback from initial stakeholder group<br />Revise as necessary<br />Final deliverable in the form of a 5 minute animated video that clearly articulates recommended approach<br />Plan to send to District Superintendents for their review<br />Brief report will also be sent<br />
Where should digital learning <br />resources be stored?<br />
Everywhere!<br />… but wherever possible, they should be embedded within the local context<br />
Proprietary<br />EBSCOs Professional <br />Collection<br />CBC News in Review<br />Local<br />Global<br />Highest context<br />Teacher created <br />learning resources<br />Community created<br />learning resources<br />Student created <br />learning resources<br />Social networks<br />Open / Shared<br />http://teacherlibrarian.ning.com<br />
Proprietary<br />- Facing disruption<br />- Moving to electronic versions <br />and distribution<br />- Bundled licenses<br />- Prices dropping<br />- Some very high quality, <br /> useful content, especially with <br /> global focus<br /><ul><li>Relatively small number of large players</li></ul> that contribute most content<br />Local<br />Global<br /><ul><li>Explosive growth
Affordability of learning resources</li></ul> improving<br /><ul><li>Paradigm shift to sharing </li></ul> and mash-ups<br /><ul><li>Challenge is in filtering</li></ul> to get top resources<br /><ul><li>Growing rapidly
New, easy to use digital </li></ul> content authoring tools<br /><ul><li>Moving to Creative Commons licensing
Social Networking Software<br />Example of components<br />Open source alternatives<br />Elgg<br />WordPress / BuddyPress<br />Drupal<br />Sakai<br />
Social Commons Components<br />Activity streams<br />Extended profiles<br />Friend connections<br />Private messaging<br />WordPress blogging<br />Discussion forums<br />Extensible Groups<br />Wiki (using Media Wiki tool)<br />The following examples show functionality from WordPress/BuddyPress but many other systems are available with similar functionality<br />
Implementation<br />RFI ASAP this summer<br />Some initial pilots started in the fall<br />Social network added to LearnNowBC?<br />District pilot social network?<br />Fall 2011 -- Full RFP process and vendors selected<br />Solutions rolled out between Jan. and June, 2012<br />Full provincial system rolled out by Aug. 2012<br />