Education Eye
Various AuthorsVarious authors, FuturelabFutureLab,

Interesting visualization, but the recommend feature will make or break this site. "The Eye provides a way to discover, explore and share new ideas. It maps hundreds of the top educational websites, blogs, forums and practitioner case studies. With additional features like saving your own favourite innovations, Futurelab's favourites, customisable email digests, and a widget version, it is invaluable." Via Derek Wenmoth. Today: Total:149 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Learning Objects
Ken AllanKen Allan, FutureLabFutureLab,

Basic paper that introduces the motivation behind learning objects, some thoughts on the classification of learning objects, and some considerations regarding their development and design. This paper will be review for many readers, but is a good introduction to the topic if it is new to you. You'll want to open the PDF version of the paper, since the website only posts the introduction in HTML (why? are they saving bits? browser space?). Posted as a FutureLab report - FutureLab is exactly the sort of site that would really benefit from an RSS feed, sinc eit publishes infrequently, but inexplicably does not have one. Today: Total:74 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Games and Learning
Richard Sandford and Ben WilliamsonRichard Sandford, Ben Williamson, FutureLabFutureLab,

This is a good paper, though it's frustrating to watch a completely undefended approach to learning being applied over and over again. The authors, after describing how games support learning in general, attempt to apply this to the formal environment. Part of the problem is a lack of experience with the games - the authors complain that the 'enemies' in war games are usually German, Vietnamese or Arab, for example, without realizing that in many games players can pick either side to play. But mostly, the authors' application of the games to a classroom environment contorts them - in the case study involving Civilization, for example, a value of the game is that players learn that there isn't a simple cause-effect relation between actions and consequences, but in the chart (pp. 18-19) the authors say that the players should be able to "infer from the feedback supplied how their actions have caused particular effects." In the recommendations (p.30) the authors state that "Educators should be clear about the exact learning goals they are hoping to achieve when using games." This does not follow at all from the description of games previous, and reflects nothing more than presumption on the part of the authors. Via Alexander Hayes, who links to several other useful reports from FutureLab. Today: Total:54 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Learning with Handheld Technologies
Fern Faux, Angela McFarlane, Nel Roche and Keri FacerFern Faux, Angela McFarlane, Nel Roche, Keri Facer, FuturelabFutureLab,

As Leonard Low summarizes, "Futurelab, a non-profit U.K. based organisation, who previously published one of the best literature reviews of mobile learning, have now published a handbook of recommendations for mobile learning approaches - including implementation ideas and case studies." It's a bit funny reading the summary by Tony Vincent... "the device" this and "the device" that. Always referring to 'the device' as though it were some sort of MacGuffin. Interesting observation: "It is harder and takes more time to manage a small set of devices than it is to manage models of use where each learner 'owns' the device." Today: Total:76 [Comment] [Direct Link]


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