using_computerThe Faculty of Education and UBC Library have teamed up to introduce UBC’s first LOOC – or local open online course.

The offering, part of UBC’s Master of Educational Technology program, is meant to help UBC students, staff and faculty hone their digital literacy skills. The course, called M101, features topics including Mining (research), Meshing (idea creation) and Mobilizing (generating value from information and knowledge).

The LOOC is open to all members of the UBC community who have a campus-wide login. M101 is self-paced, and users can build their skills in any area, in any order that they wish. As the name suggests, a LOOC is a localized form of a MOOC – or massive open online course. MOOCs have been a big topic in online education recently and UBC’s first MOOC – which launched in January 2013 with Stanford University – attracted more than 130,000 registrants.

The LOOC project received a grant from UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund in spring 2013. Work began in April, and the LOOC was opened to co-authors of content, including UBC librarians, in July. The first set of students from the MET program will be able to contribute as of September.

For more, visit UBC Library’s site.

apple“Join Rod Allen, BC’s Superintendent of Learning, and Maureen Dockendorf, Superintendent of Reading, as they describe BC Ministry of Education perspectives, contexts for teaching and learning, 21st century competencies and new approaches.  Invermere secondary teacher, Heather Brown, will outline the Power of the Professional with specific references to what’s happening in her classroom. UBC faculty members will provide perspectives from their research areas to show Principles to Practice links in the areas of Social Emotional Learning (Dr. Shelley Hymel and Dr. Kim Schonert-Reichl) and Self-Regulated Learning (Dr. Deb Butler).” from http://yte.educ.ubc.ca/august-27-ministry-of-educationubc-faculty-forum/

More “Year of Teacher Education” events found here: http://yte.educ.ubc.ca/?login

A research study conducted by a professor in UBC’s Faculty of Education in collaboration with UC-Riverside has found that when children engage in small acts of kindness they experience a surge in happiness, and this may help to decrease bullying.

Click here to read the Vancouver Sun article, written by The Canadian Press.

Social justice, diversity and aboriginal perspectives will be dominant themes in all courses offered by the University of B.C. education faculty starting next fall as a result of a program overhaul that’s been in the works for several years.

The subjects won’t be taught as separate courses but will be infused throughout the curriculum, Associate Dean Rita Irwin said in an interview this week. “The program will have a very different look and feel,” she noted.

There will also be greater emphasis on research and inquiry, along with a requirement for student teachers to complete an alternative practicum in a non-school setting — such as a community centre, a museum, or even a senior-citizens’ home. That’s intended to open students’ eyes to a variety of work opportunities beyond the often-tight job market for generalist teachers in Metro schools.

“It will help our graduates understand what they can do with their Bachelor of Education degree,” Irwin explained.

The exceptional emphasis on diversity will better prepare teachers for work in classrooms that include students with special needs and behavioural challenges. A special focus on aboriginal perspectives will help teachers encourage success among aboriginal students while also teaching all children to appreciate aboriginal culture, Irwin said.

While these studies are not new at UBC, they will no longer be confined to a separate course with lessons to be learned and set aside. Rather, they will be embedded throughout the program, which represents a change for both students and faculty, she added.

Asked what new students are likely to find most surprising upon entering the education faculty, Irwin said it is the ever-growing emphasis on professionalism and the message that once they become teachers, their actions — and their relationships with students in particular — will be under constant review.

“That’s an eye-opener for many of them,” Irwin said.

Last year, approximately 2,700 new teachers were certified in B.C. but only 1,500 new teaching positions were available, the university says. Nevertheless, Irwin says, there are still plenty of opportunities for graduates, including jobs teaching abroad.

BY JANET STEFFENHAGEN, VANCOUVER SUN

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