Under the microscope

Digital's role for teaching, learning, assessment, inclusion (and exclusion) has been thrust under the microscope in 2020.

Last year, internet access, devices, tools and platforms were revealed as essential infrastructure. Our dependency on digital and data for culture, communication, collaboration was laid bare.

Privatisation and enclosure are not solutions. Handing education over to commercial actors, Silicon Valley platforms or the next big technology fad would be another sad spill-over from the mess of 2020.
"E" is no longer a novelty for a critical mass of teachers, academics, learners, and students. Educators need to look to 2021 as the time to imagine, influence, and improve the digitalization of education for public good.

Plain Language Multilingual Glossary

I've been working as a mentor for Matilda Smith on a glossary in a project initated by Open Education for a Better World (OE4BW).

The glossary contains law terms with explanations in Plain Language in English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa.

Matilda has met with a brief and developed a table containing initial legal concepts in English with translations available in Afrikaans, isiXhosa and plain English.

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CC Certificate Course

I've been awarded a scholarship to the June 2020 Creative Commons (CC) Copyright Course

During my collaborations with clients on both an implementation level and an enablement level, I am a consistent advocate for open licenses. I often find myself recommending CC licenses as a viable alternative to copyright as this framework has relevance and comes with the potentials to add greater value to the work being done. I use CC with clients, both the operational level, to help the people I'm working with to understand copyright issues and alternative means to manage their creative outputs. And at a policy level, giving guidance about suitable versions of the license for the institution.

Time Management

One of the more complex challenges associated with digital, is managing the many competing and shifting priorities that face remote students.

Logistical considerations such as class size, venues and timeslots are usually confirmed and published in the academic calendar. When online, a clear and (preferably) consistent schedule or timetable that compliments the academic calendar is also necessary. When learning is behind a screen, a timetable adds rhythem to a flexible day and communicates the many course-related events that need to be juggled and priorized by the off-campus student, who is attending to multiple responsibilities.

Down for Maintence

Yes, you can see. Things are in a bit of a muddle at the moment.

I moved my website to a new service provider, messed up my blog and decided that this would be a good time to improve the site's look and feel.

Poor timing.

Sorry about the inconvenience.

SA Covid-19 Portal

You can find trusted sources of information at the South African Covid-19 portal*.

Pleased to support the communication of credible sources of information about Covid-19. Little puzzled why the pandemic communications portal has chosen "sacoronavirus.co.za"*. If you want to reduce the likelihood of increasing the information disorder amid the pandemic, then wouldn’t it make more sense to distinguish between governmental and commercial sources of information?

* "sacoronavirus.gov.za."

Covid Teaching

Online education is not the same as Covid teaching, and a distinction between the two needs to be drawn.

In the middle of a crisis, it can be hard to imagine what good online education looks like. Isolation, uncertainty and stress makes us revert to digital twins, like Zoom. Many of the initial mitigation steps taken by management, administrators and educators to respond to the circumstances have been heroic. However, our current short-term emergency efforts are, at best, a rapid response to a set of immediate circumstances.

I do not want to be the source of unsolicited advice. But I do want to share some ideas that go beyond Zoom. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting some of these ideas here.

Visits to Yangon

I'm working with Montrose to co-author an ICT textbook, intended to improve the Myanmar pre-service teacher education system.

Ready for Work

Pleased to be working with Pretoria University on a programme entitled "Ready for Work". The online course aims to develop student’s essential workplace skills as they think about their employment future.

"Open education for an open future”

Was fortunate to attend OE Global in Milan in November 2019

Empty promises

Edtech shininess is often style without substance. Pretty interfaces, buzzwords and glib methodologies are to show, sell and ship.