To manage cravings, recovering alcoholics are often told to “play the tape to the end.” It’s an exhortation to consider the entire experience, consequences included, of starting at one drink and ending at twenty. That’s good advice for those of us who aren’t addicted too: when possible, thinking a process through to its natural outcome is useful. MOOC enthusiasts, I suspect, are not playing the tape to the end, creating a worrisome disconnect between shortfalls in a student’s education and in the cost this can have for the rest of us. Read more...
This lecture was recorded in April 2013 and features professor Bjørn Stensaker (HEIK, UiO) and dr. Antigoni Papadimitriou (HEIK) and focuses on capacity building as an EU policy instrument. Read more...
The project has been promoted by IES Ribeira do Louro, a Spanish school with a fair number of Roma students. A total of seven other organisations from five different countries have been involved in its development including The University of Manchester, one of the leading universities in Romani Language in Europe, several international NGO’s working with the Roma and a Romanian school with a high percentage of Roma. The project coordinator, AtinServices, is a consultancy specializing in the development of language courses. Concept Consulting has ensured the required quality level of the project.
The course is built on the European Common Framework of Reference for Romani language at beginner level (A1 & A2), for all ages. Its multimedia format facilitates the learning process and also motivates those with a low academic level.
The course includes 15 lessons, each of which has a dialogue based on animations, the new vocabulary from each lesson, a number of exercises for practising the content of the lesson, a simple grammar explanation and a tool for practicing listening and repeating. The course also includes Games to further practice the content of the lessons in a fun way, and a test to allow the user to confirm that the objectives of the lesson have been achieved. The course includes translations into five different languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian and Bulgarian.
The Romaninet website includes:
- The Romani language course
- Three cross units for use at three different academic levels
- Romani Language & Culture Reports
Romani Language - Origins
Romani is the only Indo-Aryan language that has been spoken exclusively in Europe since the middle ages. It is part of the phenomenon of Indic diaspora languages spoken by travelling communities of Indian origin outside of India. The name Rom or Řom, which is the self-designation of the speakers, has related cognates in the names of other travelling (peripatetic) communities that speak Indian languages or use an Indic-derived special vocabulary: the Lom of the Caucasus and Anatolia insert Indic vocabulary into their variety of Armenian. The Dom of the Near East, originally metalworkers and entertainers, speak Domari, one of the most conservative modern Indo-Aryan languages. In the Hunza valley in the north of Pakistan there is a population called the Ḍum, who are also metalworkers and musicians, and who speak a Central Indic (i.e. not a local) language. Based on the systematicity of sound changes attested in these languages, we know with a fair degree of certainty that these names all derive from the Indian term ḍom.
Guidelines and tools for an inclusive approach
The Council of Europe has recently launched a website on the linguistic integration of adult migrants.
Its purpose is to foster the debate between policy-makers and practitioners and to share best practice at European level.
Particular attention is given to contexts where language tests are obligatory. The website presents results of the 2008 and 2010 surveys on language-related measures for granting migrants residence or work permits or citizenship.
The Council of Europe will soon launch its third survey on integration and language policies for adult migrants.
Martin Dougiamas, the founder of Moodle, will be speaking at the opening ceremony on May 31 at 9 PM EST New York and at 9PM Perth (Australia) time. In addition, there will be other guest appearances by Stephen Downes, who will be talking about connectivism and teaching/learning online and MOOCs on June 15, 2013, and Bryan Alexander, who will be presenting on June 22, 2013. Both Bryan and Stephen started the first MOOCs. In fact, Bryan Alexander is said to have coined the term MOOC, along with Dave Cormier. George Siemens will also be helping out behind the scenes. He may still surprise us with an appearance if his internet connection is good. Read more...
Qu'est-ce qu'un MOOC?
Mon objectif, dans le cadre de cette présentation, est d'examiner comment les MOOC, ou les cours en ligne ouverts et massifs, influenceront l'avenir de la formation à distance et, en particulier, des stratégies et des exemples de l'utilisation des MOOC pour promouvoir la diversité linguistique et culturelle.
Je soutiendrai que les MOOC nous offrent une nouvelle façon de comprendre l'apprentissage et, par conséquent, une nouvelle façon de comprendre certains types d'apprentissage, comme c'est le cas, par exemple, de l'apprentissage qui appuie la diversité linguistique et culturelle.
En clair, mon expertise se situe dans le domaine de l'apprentissage ouvert en ligne et non dans le domaine de la diversité linguistique et culturelle. Par conséquent, mon discours ne peut que mener la discussion jusqu'à un certain point. J'espère offrir un point de départ pour cette discussion.
De plus, je tiens à préciser que lorsque je parle de MOOC, je parle d'un différent type d'apprentissage. La plupart d'entre vous êtes déjà familiers avec le cours en ligne traditionnel, qui est basé sur la présentation de contenu et d'information, et basé sur un curriculum précis à retenir.
En outre, ce que vous avez lu au sujet des MOOC, les cours en ligne offerts par les universités américaines comme Harvard, Stanford et MIT, ces MOOC sont également des exemples d'apprentissage traditionnel en ligne, avec un contenu et un curriculum.
Mon interprétation du terme « MOOC » est un peu différente; elle est dérivée d'une théorie d'apprentissage basée sur l'engagement et l'interaction au sein d'une communauté de praticiens, sans résultats prédéterminés ni de base de connaissances que nous pouvons simplement « transférée » à l'apprenant.
De plus, mon interprétation du terme « MOOC » repose sur cinq ans d'expérience à concevoir et à offrir des MOOC, du tout premier MOOC, le « CCK08 », que j'ai créé avec George Siemens en 2008, et offert quatre fois au cours des années suivantes, aux MOOC en environnements d'apprentissage personnels, en littéracie critique, et plus encore.
J'expliquerai d'abord de ce que j'entends par MOOC et j'élaborerai davantage sur la pédagogie d'un MOOC. Je parlerai ensuite des résultats d'un MOOC et de l'objectif d'offrir ou de suivre un MOOC. Puis, j'aborderai le lien entre le MOOC et la communauté, pour finalement faire quelques observations et offrir quelques exemples pour démontrer comment les MOOC peuvent promouvoir la diversité linguistique et culturelle. Suite de l'article...
There’s really four elements companies like Coursera have brought to the table.
- Massive Classes: This was the original “intellectual” pitch. Massive data was going to build better product. Massive classes were going to provide new ways of formative assessment via peer assessment, and new modes of support via massive forums. The idea here is a single large cohort has efficiencies of scale that outweigh the drawbacks of centralization.
- Elite Content: This was the press story. The giants of education, who had been on the sidelines, were now entering into the online market. The national press, which often graduate from elite schools, tended to ignore that the best research schools do not necessarily provide the best education, but more on that in a minute.
- A Technological Framework: The LMS of Coursera is streamlined to give a certain type of educational experience. Most of the technology tends to focus on two aspects – peer assessment frameworks, and in-video questions.
- Open Access: Students, in case you haven’t heard, are able to take these courses for free.
With today’s announcement, it’s interesting to recalculate where we are. Coursera’s business model, after a year and change of talking about massive cohorts, is now to sell a combination of technology platform and content. They are, in fact, an educational publisher. How does that affect things? Read more...
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
— supports the call to enhance efforts on developing transversal skills, particularly entrepreneurial skills;
— considers it essential to build bridges between informal and non-formal learning and formal education. Too often curriculum development at second level is focused on acquiring information, rather than focusing on strengthening understanding, the learning of key skills and developing skills to deal with and navigate their way through this world;
— in the present economic climate, considers it vital to recognise the importance of combining public and private investment in education and training. It is not just important but vital to have totally inclusive policies;
— underlines that in relation to multilingualism and media literacy the specificity of the teaching needs and the rapidly changing curricula require investments in teaching instruments, broader partnerships and constant vigilance. ICT has unlocked enormous potential to improve learning outcomes;
— welcomes the Commission's intention to continue to engage with the stakeholders to take forward the proposed strategy for ‘Rethinking Education’ in a concerted push for reform and reconfirms CoR interest in continuing to work with the European Commission and other partners in the field.
I. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
1. welcomes the communication on Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes as a timely and valuable input to launching a renewed process of developing modern and effective education and training systems;
2. considers, however, that the title ‘Rethinking Education’, deserving broader focus than the one stated in the communication,
should not overlook the goals of active citizenship, personal development and well-being, though skills need to be improved with a view to employability and growth, and as a means of addressing challenges for the 21st century such as climate change, ageing or migration;
3. stresses the fact that The Rethinking Education Communication
package sets out the policy priorities for education and training systems for the next years, an essential part of which must be personal development when it comes to educating the young, pushing Member States for a renewed focus on:
— QUALITY: The right skills to be delivered for the workplace
— ACCESSIBILITY: What reforms will increase efficiency and inclusiveness of education and contribute to lifelong learning
— FUNDING: With which resources and with whom should reforms be achieved relating to actions necessary to unlock the potential of education and training systems as drivers for growth and youth employment. They are in line with the Country Specific Recommendations made to Member States in the European Semester.
4. acknowledges the Commission's efforts to improve and innovate the concepts of entrepreneurial education and vocational
training as well as its call for further sustainable investment in education and training in order to respond to the challenges posed by the global economy and the shift in skills demand so to generate growth and ensure jobs;
5. emphasises that Commission's communication does call for a fundamental shift in education, with more focus on ‘learning outcomes’ - the knowledge, skills and competences that students acquire. The Committee underlines the core motivational
and substantive role of education, namely to create the conditions for continuous learning;
6. considers that the length of time spent in education is a poor indicator of learning. Interesting and relevant educational content and learning methods and environments that are motivating
and effective are much more important than the length of time spent in education. In addition, highlights that literacy and numeracy, including basic financial knowledge and digital literacy, still needs to be significantly improved and entrepreneurial
skills and a sense of initiative need to be developed and strengthened. There is also a clear need for analysing and studying the distribution and number of hours of the curricula across the European education systems in order to optimise the time spent in education in terms of the pupil's real academic performance;
7. agrees with the OECD Skills Strategy published on 21 May 2012 which considers that ‘skills have become the global currency of the 21st century’. The value of this ‘currency’ is determined by its scope for use and potential for development.
Without proper investment in skills, people languish on the margins of society, technological progress does not translate into economic growth, and countries can no longer compete in an increasingly knowledge-based global society. But the value depreciates as the requirements of labour markets evolve and individuals lose the skills they do not use or fail to acquire new ones as part of a lifelong learning process;
8. draws the attention that skills also do not automatically convert into jobs and growth. The OECD Strategy advocates for promoting equity in educational opportunities. While inequality is deepening in many areas of life, education and training can help to bridge this divide. Therefore considers that improving equity in skills development is both socially fair and economically
efficient. Moreover, research has long confirmed that equity and quality in education are not mutually exclusive, but on the contrary: the highest-performing education systems across OECD countries are those that combine quality with equity;
9. emphasises the value of the system-wide perspective this opinion brings on education and training, and believe it important to highlight the importance of using policy evidence and good practices in shaping the proposed actions and reforms needed to render these systems more efficient, flexible and relevant. At the same time, highlights the broad mission of education and training, its role in ensuring social inclusion and the need for support at all levels – EU, national, local and regional;
Building skills for the 21st century
10. supports the call to enhance efforts on developing transversal
skills, particularly entrepreneurial skills. While striving to meet the high demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and research and innovation related skills, considers that the first step must be that foundation or basic skills are achieved by all, which includes digital literacy and basic financial knowledge. It is essential that learning entrepreneurial
skills, many of which are closely related to emotional skills, be included in the curricula of all European education systems;
11. stresses that learning at all levels should make much greater use of team, group and network learning, because only a small part of working life involves working alone and solving problems alone. In all activities, good team-building is always based on different peoples' knowledge, skills and personalities
being compatible with and complementing one another;
12. agrees that vocational education and training (VET) must be a valued and an integral part of the education system, particularly the dual system involving work based learning. Countries that have highly developed dual systems tend to perform better in terms of youth employment. Yet over half of Member States have less than 50 % of learners engaged in VET. Member States are therefore called on to develop excellence in VET, aligning delivery to match local labour market need, with strong involvement from business. Short cycle qualifications in areas of skills shortage, for example, can target skills mismatches and make a real impact on employment. The CoR emphasises that the specific circumstances and needs of a given country and/or region should be taken into account when developing high quality dual vocational education systems. The CoR also suggests launching pilot programmes to encourage education systems in states disposing of an underdeveloped dual education system to promote apprenticeships and better link vocational training to the work environment;
13. welcomes the fact that the need for entrepreneurship education strategy at institutional levels was duly acknowledged by the Council of Education Ministers of 15 February and expects that it will soon translate into concrete action by the Member States;
14. acknowledges the importance of developing and implementing entrepreneurship education systems across Europe. Considers that special focus should be placed on overcoming the disparities and substantial differences in their development, as shown by the 2008 survey on entrepreneurship in higher education and confirmed in the 2011 Budapest high level symposium;
15. underlines that students' access to entrepreneurship education varies and is often determined at institution level; considers teachers and educators as important multipliers, but at the same time there is a need to address, to the extent possible in the school environment, the existing lack of understanding of what entrepreneurship education entails and how it can be taught; thus considers that Member States, working with the education institutions and the relevant bodies providing support to businesses, should include elements of entrepreneurship
education in the curriculum content in basic education, vocational training and higher education;
16. stresses the importance of the European framework of key competences, among which entrepreneurship education has been identified as very important; therefore suggests that a strong focus needs to be given to teacher training on entrepreneurship skills, but also informal learning between entrepreneurs and students should be promoted widely;
17. calls on local and regional training providers and the education system to provide more tailored offers (formal and non-formal learning) for specific target audiences to be trained to become entrepreneurs or to develop their business. The good practices from the European Entrepreneurial Regions (EER) may be a valuable source of inspiration in this respect. The Committee of the Region's European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award label is a good example to demonstrate that regions can develop, at low cost, future-thinking strategies with specific focus given to increasing enterprise skills especially among young people and, thus, contribute to promoting a new generation of entrepreneurs and jobs;
18. while foreign language proficiency is one of the main determinants of learning and professional mobility, as well as of domestic and international employability, the communication concludes that the ‘outcome of foreign language learning in Europe is poor’: only four in ten pupils reach the ‘independent user’ level in the first foreign language, indicating an ability to have a simple conversation. Poor language skills thus constitute a major obstacle to free movement of workers and to the international competitiveness of EU enterprises. This is an issue particularly in areas where our European citizens live close to the border of a neighbouring country with a different language. Language learning is deemed to be much more effective at an early age and at the same time, the fostering of mutual understanding and developing a sense of European citizenship require contacts from an early age onwards;
19. acknowledging the progress that has been achieved so far, considers that there is still unexploited potential for the education and training systems to better fulfil their role in promoting social and territorial cohesion and to contribute to Europe's prosperity, e.g. by tapping into the new possibilities offered by the ICT and Open Educational Resources (OER) as well as open innovation;
20. in the present economic climate, considers it vital to recognise the importance of combining public and private investment in education and training. Moreover, underlines the need to safeguard against possible undesirable side-effects such as hindering access of socio-economically disadvantaged groups to education and training. It is not just important but vital to have totally inclusive policies;
21. special attention is given to fighting youth unemployment, with four areas considered essential to addressing this issue and where Member States should step up efforts:
— developing world-class general, continuing and vocational education to increase the academic knowledge required for lifelong learning and the quality of vocational skills;
— promoting work based learning including quality traineeships, apprenticeships and dual learning models to help the transition from learning to work;
— promoting partnerships between public and private institutions (to ensure appropriate curricula and skills provision);
— and promoting the learning mobility of all young people so that learning can be accessible under equal conditions, regardless of where they live;
22. welcomes, in this regard, the Youth Employment Package from December 2012, which includes the Youth Guarantee, and the European Council proposal for a Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), with a budget of EUR 6 billion (2014-2020) for regions with a youth unemployment level above 25%; urges the European Commission and Member States to work with regions in ensuring that the YEI will be truly complementary and additional to existing regional and national actions to combat youth unemployment and that it will give tangible effect to the Youth Guarantee;
23. therefore reiterates its call to Member States and, where relevant, regional governments, despite budgetary pressures, not to mortgage the future by making cuts in sectors (such as education and training) that are the foundation of tomorrow's growth. The European Semester could be used to ensure that cuts do not affect those sectors that are crucial to implementing the Europe 2020 strategy; insists that Member States currently under severe budgetary constraints should not be left behind.
Stimulating open and flexible learning
24. considers it essential to build bridges between informal and non-formal learning and formal education. Too often curriculum development at second level is focused on acquiring information, rather than focusing on strengthening understanding, the learning of key skills and developing skills to deal with and navigate their way through this world; points out that Member States are responsible for drawing up and shaping specific curricula and for organising and funding education systems;
25. calls for these key skills to be considered central when rethinking education and training: creative thinking, communicating,
information processing, being personally effective and working with others; these key skills complement and facilitate the acquisition of the eight key competences for lifelong learning...
44. notes that in some Member States that vocational education can be stigmatised and seen as inferior to a University Education. This needs to be addressed in any future actions. The Personalised Learning System developed in the 1990s in Poitiers is another step in the right direction – people were treated as individuals and a learning plan developed for them according to their specific needs. In addition, development of learning plans for communities and teams has become increasingly important; underlines that labour market relevance of higher education, but also VET should be strengthened and encourages the involvement of employers and labour market institutions in the design and delivery of programmes. In short, trainees must be able to see the advantages of vocational education over other forms of education, such as opportunities for ongoing skills development, so that pursuing vocational education does not mean hindering or spoiling one's chances of making progress; Read more...