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  • kstackhouse 12:16 pm on October 28, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: elearning, Online conference, technology   

    Just wanted to let people know about this free online conference that is coming soon.  I did not participate last year but heard through a colleague that it was a very interesting experience.  Here is the link if you are interested: http://www.globaleducationconference.com/page/2012-conference Enjoy!

    Continue reading 3rd Annual Global Education Conference Posted in: Announcements
  • rebeccaharrison 11:56 pm on October 21, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , technology   

    Hello and welcome to Week 8 of ETEC 522, where our topic will be Personalized Learning Tools. We hope that you enjoy the information and activities provided. We have tried to address different learning styles throughout the blog, so that you are able to choose which way you can best acquire information and show your […]

    Continue reading Hello and Welcome to Week 8 Posted in: Week 08:
    • kstackhouse 7:37 am on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great job on your intro video. The questions you posed have been on my mind for some time now. I look forward to seeing what types of answers or solutions you feel Personalized Learning will provide.

    • ETEC522grp8 8:31 am on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks! We hope our answers and solutions help you with some of your questions.

    • tomwhyte1 9:03 am on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great opening video, it reminded me of Sir Ken Robinson’s video on a similar topic, this is the link:


      • jameschen 12:44 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for linking the video. It provides us with a great illustration of Sir Ken Robinson’s take on the need for our education system to facilitate learning environments that support divergent thinking. I do wonder whether or not the move towards a personalized learning education system would bring about change to the current approach to standardized testing? – James

    • jenbarker 9:37 am on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Outstanding opening video with some really powerful and relevant questions. I look forward to learning more about personalized learning this week. As someone who likes the ideas in the BC Ed Plan I am excited to hear more about real examples that could be implemented in BC to give the Plan some “legs”.

      • avninder 12:36 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Does anyone know which schools are being referenced in the BC Education Plan video?

        • jameschen 1:06 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          Good question. I searched the Principal’s name and found the institution that he’s in, but I am not sure if it’d be appropriate for me to post the school’s name here because of privacy concerns. – James

    • avninder 12:59 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great job! When taking the Emerging Markets Poll at the beginning of this course, I did not rate personalized learning positively. Your site has changed my mind. There is definitely a lot of potential in this market.

    • Jenny Brown 2:54 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great introduction and quality video! I recently heard about a school group in Sweden that is really focusing on personalized learning – getting rid of traditional classrooms and grouping students not by age but abilities and interests. Here is a link for more information: http://www.businessinsider.com/a-group-of-schools-in-sweden-is-abandoning-classrooms-entirely-2012-1?op=1

      • ETEC522grp8 9:45 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the link. I can see how the philosophy behind Vittra schools reflect Sir Ken Robinson’s views on divergent thinking (see tomwhyte1’s video link above), and sets a good example for public schools in North America to follow. – James

    • ETEC522grp8 3:45 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great links guys! On a side note, I was recently at a Pro-D on Saturna Island where they use an interesting approach to Personalized Learning as their program is an Ecological Education experience. They are very careful about their uses of technology and only use it to support their classroom and outdoor experiences. A bit of a different approach, as it does not have technology at the center, but very valid nonetheless. http://seec64.ca/index.php?//programs/seecsemester_overview

    • Ranvir 3:46 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Agreed! Powerful questions challenging the status quo. In the week I look forward to some practical and budget-friendly ways in which we can provide personalized learning to our students.

      Although I am not a pessimist, I am yet to find an educational institution where pedagogy drives the business as usually its the other way round (for fair reasons). For instance, in a recent LMS upgrade that I was part of, among other functional requirements, PLE was ranked high by faculty and students, however we ended up implementing a standard LMS not much different than the status quo as it made more business sense (you know what I mean?)

      Unlike private institutions such as Knewton, K-12 schools have limited budgets. Unless a technology is reasonably priced (if not free) and can be easily integrated with the existing systems, there will be limited uptake. With the popularity of social media, many new LMS have emerged in the market that have integration with FB, Twitter and other similar sites. Sadly, they all lack “meaningful adaptive capabilities” that will give the learner all the controls of his/her learning. I recently completed a Gamification course on Coursera and thoroughly enjoyed it. Games are all about Personalized Learning where the game is on the hot seat, in control of the game and learns based on his/her actions and corresponding feedback…

      Perhaps a good starting point would be to get a good understanding of what personalized learning is? Maybe get some cues from Games…Finally, is it just the ability to change the layout, colour scheme, perhaps content on learner page on the LMS/ website or is it little broad … perhaps a different approach to teaching and learning?

      • ETEC522grp8 10:13 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        You made some very valid points, Ranvir. And I see what you mean about the challenges that exist in the implementation of PLEs being mostly related to limited budgets. With the way the economy has been going, educators might have to wait a while for hardware/software prices to drop before real personalization can begin to take shape in the education system.

        Gamification, now that’s something worth thinking about! Have a look at Jane McGonigal’s TED Talk on how gaming can make a better world at http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html

        – James

      • Pat A Son 11:32 pm on October 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Ranvir I do not think that money is as much of a limiting factor where the implementation of modern technology at school is concerned. To make a case for this point the open source movement has provide many free software alternatives to expensive commercial software yet most schools do not capitalize on these. Even with heavy investment in commercial a lot of these schools have still not been able to get minimum benefits from them.
        I think the problem is a collective mental one in that we are living in a ‘renaissance’ period as far as thinking in education is concerned and the world is virtually bursting at the seams as far as ideas and technologies for this field. The old guards at the top are just overwhelmed as to how to cope with all these new concepts. So at the end of the day they just go for what they feel comfortable with which means the old ways of doing things. With the passing of time as our students who are more comfortable with the technology occupy decision making positions in education we will see the implementation of more of these ideas

    • Peggy Lawson 8:38 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great into Week 8 – awesome video. I agree with so much of what you included. Ever since the (correct, I feel) push toward differentiated instruction I’ve come more & more to see the apparant fallacy of expecting every student in a grade to master the same set of outcomes in the same restricted time period. How does that promote differentiation and individualized learning?? I’m looking forward to some great information this week. I’m already off to learn more about Newton for my meeting tomorrow with our division Coordinators & Superintendents!


      • ETEC522grp8 10:19 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        If you could share with us some of the feedback you received regarding Knewton from your meeting tomorrow that would be very much appreciated, Peggy!
        – James

    • Doug Connery 9:11 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great video introduction and questions to ponder while going through the module. I have been through your first module on Personalized Learning and my perception that this type of learning is labour intensive for the instructor has been challenged.


    • Shaun Pepper 10:56 pm on October 22, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great Video. I am looking forward to this topic. In my experience learning centred environments and projects have always facilitated the greatest amount of engagements from students.

      • ETEC522grp8 9:36 pm on October 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I agree, the challenge is finding relevant and useful ways of finding and maintaining engagement with all different types of learners.

    • jkotler 8:38 am on October 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great video! I really enjoyed watching it and appreciated that the questions were so relevant and thought provoking. Some of it started to make me thing of past discussions I’ve had about the pros and cons of Montessori schools.

    • joeltremblay 9:01 am on October 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great opening vid! You posed a lot of interesting and poignant questions about the existing status quo infastructure that we all operate in. I’m interested to see what options you’ve proposed to us?

    • pcollins 9:17 am on October 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I can’t wait to engage with this topic group 8. Thank you for the inspirational introduction. As I was thinking about your questions from the video I kept orbiting back to the same answer……

    • frank 12:13 pm on October 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Personalized Learning Tools team.

      I am confused about this week’s structure. Can you please what you expect and if there are missing pieces (2-4?), when they might be up?


      • ETEC522grp8 1:05 pm on October 23, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hello Frank
        Did our page launch for you? The link is above – hyperlinked where it says ‘Homepage’ but if that isn’t working for you, here is the link: https://blogs.ubc.ca/personalizedlearningetec522sep12/

        Here are all of the activities, we ask that you complete 3-4 of them:

        Activity One – Create your own program (link and instructions on project weblog)
        Activities Two, Three and Four are polls located on the project weblog
        Activity Five and Seven are discussions (post on course weblog)
        Activity Six is a SWOT Analysis (post in course weblog)

        Hope this helps and please let us know if you have any more questions.

        • frank 2:02 pm on October 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          Thanks Coral. No, I hadn’t seen your homepage, and going through it now. Really Excellent Stuff!

    • Eva Ziemsen 1:04 pm on October 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for a great intro video. I agree that these questions are very relevant. I’m including a video that I made (although please don’t think this is the usual quality of my videos, as I had no microphone available). However, it was filmed during a 3-day intensive course this summer: Recurring Questions of Technology
      A Brief History of Consciousness and Learning

      In it, you will find that BC Educators speak about some of this week’s topic. Feel free to scroll through to find those parts. It’s a bit long (and, as I said, quality is not great).


      Looking forward to the activities. I already did a poll.

    • manny 6:43 pm on October 24, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Great opening video! As was mentioned earlier, it brings up the same questions that educational philosopher Ken Robinson poses in his talks. I think most educators would agree with the points that were brought up, the thoughts that came into my head upon watching it was why not? However, as was stated earlier in the course in a quote by Neil Postman, education as an institution exhibits the most resistance to change. Even when change is accepted, it progresses at a snails pace. I look forward to playing around with these ideas this week and look forward to participating in your activities.

      • ETEC522grp8 3:23 pm on October 25, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I think it is already happening at the grassroots level in classrooms all over the world. The challenge is taking personalized learning mainstream. Educators that are seeing first hand personalized learning increasing achievement and outcomes will need to be the advocates of change in education.

    • teacherben 5:34 pm on October 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      It seems to me that most of the questions you posed in the video come down to economic issues. Obviously, it’s no coincidence that the modern education system closely resembles the Lean Manufacturing systems of Eli Whitney and Henry Ford. But manufacturing hasn’t changed a whole lot since then either. I recently visited the Hong Kong Electronics Expo and spoke with manufacturers from all over Asia and learned a bit about their factories. They do things the way they do to minimize costs, maximize production and reduce defects. The fact that few of our students work on farms anymore would indicate that the system is sorely out of date but economics will always be the determining factor behind what initiatives happen and which ones don’t. On the ground, it feels like common sense that the student ought to be at the center. But at the top, it will always be numbers. Programs like Khan Academy and The Rosetta Stone may present some great potential to reshape the landscape a bit and tailor programs to individual students but this only happens when it can equally be justified by numbers. And these numbers will still come from highest test scores for the least money.

    • ETEC522grp8 10:53 pm on October 26, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      That is a valid observation, Ben. At times it does feel like the people up above liken teaching to an assembly line. The most kids who can read well with the least amount of dollars spent. Even that view of “defects” or, as they are often labelled (on the graphs they show at the end of the year), “outliers” is very present. Another determining factor is public opinion, and if enough people recognize that the system we have is out of date (and in itself can be quite costly), is personalized learning the next step?

      • teacherben 5:00 am on October 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        It would appear that personalized learning is indeed the next step, but primarily because it is cost-effective. It looks good on paper because the computer can do some of what the teacher used to do.

        Check out this great scene from the most recent Star Trek movie that depicts automated personalized learning on Vulcan. You can imagine that this is where we are headed–Khan Academy on steroids:


        • teacherben 5:20 am on October 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

          I was just looking at government spending over the last decade and you can see a clear trend. Not only do education and health care make up more than half of provincial spending, but with an aging population, health care has increased significantly year after year. The money has to come from somewhere. While education funding has increased as well (almost a billion a year over the past 3 years) the language of the document is not unlike cost/benefit analysis you see in any other industry. Here’s a publication from the Ontario govt:


          Here’s a pie graph showing government expenditures:

          Here, you can see that health care went up from 29.4 billion in 2003-4 to 42.6 in 2010.

          Given the fact that purchasing usually happens a couple steps over the teachers’ heads (at least when i last worked in public education) the people that need to be convinced of the efficacy of your new product are the penny pinchers at the board level. I would be interested to hear how much influence everyone here has on spending in their schools.

  • Doug Connery 9:21 pm on September 25, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , databases, technology   

    Paula Young is the founder and President of Governet.   Paula founded Nevada Contractors Registry, the predecessor company to Governet in 1986. Her original idea was to pioneer the concept of distributing aggregated databases from many local and state government agencies through a single point of access on a network.  The success of this idea […]

    Continue reading Paula Young, Founder and President of Governet Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • kstackhouse 9:24 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is an interesting concept. I have participated in the writing of two course curricula over the past two years. I just completed piloting one last spring and presented in the summer to new teachers. As I was an active participant I am not sure if the upper-ups were using anything like this to coordinate and manage the work being done by those of us that were working on the courses. It seems that this would be of benefit…what are the costs?

    • Doug Connery 8:39 pm on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ken:

      I am not sure of the costs, it is managed at the institutional level. We have been using it for 5 years. The service was acquired to replace to two outdated in-house systems: one to manage curriculum changes and one to house course outlines. We now have a reliable archive of old course outlines and we can track exactly what changes have been made by who and over the years that follow our curriculum change processes and procedures.


    • kstackhouse 7:16 pm on September 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Very interesting. Thanks for responding. I wonder if this would be a benefit for the projects I was working on. Who knows maybe the coordinators were using something like this and we weren’t aware of it? I am curious to find out now.


  • Doug Connery 9:40 pm on September 4, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: administrator, business, , cycling, hiking, humor, technology   

    My name is Doug Connery; this is my 9th MET course. I started in the MET program three years ago in September 2009. To enable me to balance work, life and lifelong learning, I take one course at a time; thus I am on the scenic route through the program! However the end is in […]

    Continue reading Greetings from Calgary Posted in: Week 01: Introductions
    • kstackhouse 5:39 am on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Congrats on being almost through the program! It looks like you live a very active life. Great to see that you and your family share the same passions. I look forward to working with you this term!


    • adi 12:57 pm on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug,

      I enjoyed your story very much. I think the SAIT has a very complete view of what ‘curriculum’ is; however, it must be very hard to put and keep all the pieces together. I am very much looking forward to learning from you as you have clearly have a lot to share.

      • Doug Connery 7:36 pm on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Adriana:

        Yes it makes each day unique and interesting keeping track all of the pieces and demands. This is what keeps me at SAIT though.


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