• 25yearsedtech,  Books

    25 Years artwork

    Because I’m quite sad, and have also learnt all I know about merching from Jim Groom, I created a t-shirt and a poster for the 25 Years of Ed Tech book. However, these services are not always available internationally, so here is some of the fab Bryan Mathers artwork for you to use in whatever way you see fit:

  • 25yearsedtech,  25YearsOU,  Books,  OU

    25 + 25

    February is quite the month for 25 Year related events in the Weller household. For a start I celebrate 25 Years at the Open University. I joined in February 1995 on a 3 year lecturer contract, contributing to a course on Artificial Intelligence. At the time I had romantic visions of being a wanderer, an academic factotum, drifting from job to job as if precarity was cool. “I’ll only stay for 2 years, max” I confidently predicted. (Narrator: he stayed longer). It is also the month when my book 25 Years of Ed Tech comes out, this Friday in fact. My copies turned up today. That Bryan Mathers artwork really…

  • 25yearsedtech,  Books

    25 Years of Ed Tech book – get those pre-orders in!

    Next month my book 25 Years of Ed Tech is published by the lovely people at Athabasca University Press. It will be available under a Creative Commons license, with the digital copy free. But, look at that lovely Bryan Mathers cover – wouldn’t you want a physical copy of that in your hands? If so you can pre-order via Athabasca site or via Combined Academic in the UK. I expect there will be a flurry of self-promotion over the next couple of months. Bear with me. I will reveal the highlight of the book now, which is its dedication, which screams “I have no friends”: To my two canine writing…

  • 25yearsedtech,  assessment,  higher ed

    25 Years of EdTech: 2019 – Micro-credentials

    This is year 27 in my 25 Years of Ed Tech series (no – YOU do the math). The book is scheduled to come out next year, but I thought I’d add one for this year which won’t make it in to that. For 2019 the educational technology I would choose would be micro-credentials. I was at OpenEd and WCOL conferences recently, and micro-credentials were a common topic, plus in my place of work, IET at the Open University, we are busy developing courses for these. So it seems I can’t turn anywhere at the moment without bumping into them. Micro-credentials are smaller, certified chunks of learning, often allied to…

  • 25yearsedtech

    25 Years of EdTech book – website suggestions?

    via GIPHY As you may know, I turned my 25 Years of Ed Tech blog series into a book manuscript over the winter. This is my 5th book (does that make me ‘a writer’ now?), and like the previous two I wanted it to be published open access. Athabasca University Press were an open access publisher I had long admired but not worked with before, so I sent the manuscript to them. AUP work slightly differently in that it is not a book idea they are commissioning but rather publishing a completed manuscript – it’s akin to journal article publishing. The manuscript was sent out for review, and bar some…

  • 25yearsedtech,  Books

    The benefits of a writing retreat

    I’ve been in a cottage in Cornwall for the past two weeks on a writing retreat, turning my 25 Years of Ed Tech series into a book. First of all, I need to acknowledge the privilege of this – many jobs do not have the type of work that allows this, and in education many people don’t have the time or money to do so, or home life makes two weeks away impossible. I am lucky to have this opportunity, and I appreciate it greatly. With that accepted, I want to set out how beneficial such a retreat is. I am returning with approximately 46,000 words written. I started with…

  • 25yearsedtech

    25 Years of Ed Tech: Themes & Conclusions

    Now that I have completed the 25 Years of Ed Tech series (which was actually 26 years, because maths), I thought I’d have an attempt at some synthesis of it and try to extract some themes. In truth, each of these probably merits a post of its own, but I wanted to wrap this series up before the 25 Year anniversary of ALT-C next week. Plus, tired. No country for rapidity – one of the complaints, particularly from outsiders is that higher ed is resistant, and slow, to change. This is true, but we should also frame it as a strength. Universities have been around longer than Google after all,…

  • 25yearsedtech

    25 Years of EdTech: 2018 – Critical Ed Tech

    [The last in the 25 Years of Ed Tech series] I’ll do a conclusion and themes post (if I can be arsed) of the 25 Years series, but now we reach the end. For this year, I’ve chosen not a technology, but rather a trend. I see in much of ed tech a divide, particularly at conferences. There is the gung ho, Silicon Valley, technology utopian evangelists. This is a critical reflection free zone, because the whole basis of this industry is on selling perfect solutions (to problems they have concocted). This is where the money is. In contrast to this is a developing strand of criticality around the role…

  • 25yearsedtech

    25 Years of Ed Tech: 2017 – blockchain

    All clear now? (image from https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2018/03/22/blockchain-future-record-keeping) Of all the technologies listed in this series, blockchain is perhaps the most perplexing, both in how it works and in why it is even in this list. In 2016 several people independently approached me about blockchain — the distributed, secure ledger for keeping the records that underpin Bitcoin. The question was always the same: “Could we apply this in education somehow?” The imperative seemed to be that blockchain was a cool technology, and therefore there must be an educational application. It could provide a means of recording achievements and bringing together large and small, formal and informal, outputs and recognition. Viewed in this…

  • 25yearsedtech

    25 Years of Ed Tech: 2016 – The return of AI

    [Continuing the 25 Years of Ed Tech series] I covered this in 1993’s entry, that Artificial intelligence was the focus of attention in education in the 1980s and 1990s with the possible development of intelligent tutoring systems. The initial enthusiasm for these systems waned somewhat, when they failed to deliver on their promise. For example, in their influential 1985 paper, Anderson, Boyle and Reiser detailed intelligent tutoring systems for geometry and the programming language LISP. They confidently predicted that “Cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer technology have advanced to the point where it is feasible to build computer systems that are as effective as intelligent human tutors”. Yet, by 1997…