Friday, 4 December 2015

#OEB15 liveblogging robots in education

Presentations of 3 robotics builders and developers. nice conversation with some informative links. 

iCUBE is first project introduced by Giorgio Metta .
1 robot 250000 euro, built in 6 months and the robot is open source, so you can do it (if you have the financial means)
Balancing, recognizing objects, can point to the objects when asked, manipulation (using the object) which depends on feedback.
Challenges: materials (very fragile), AI, energy, cloud,

Manfed Hild: neurorobotics reseach laboratory (NRL)
little 15 EUR robotset + 2 to 3 hours you can make a walking spider robot. This allows students to get an idea of a robot.
Step by step robot learning is explained by Manfred: first simulations limited to two or a limited amount of parameters, after that e-robot simulation is stated (all the circuits within the network).
Cognitive robotics: with a really difficult platform (dense one), you can only allow a couple of students on the platform, but if you use a less expensive platform, it allows you to add more students to the platform.

Question: which robot would you buy: mindstorms from lego is really good, but as an entrance to robots any robot (cheap) will do to allow learning the necessary elements that come along with the idea of robots.

Robotics in education: right now only in universities students get opportunities to work with robots. Some initiatives within high school, but there is a big gap related to robotics in education.
Robotics is a very differentiated field: maths, design, physics… which gives it diverse practical fields of study. There can be multiple real world tasks that can be investigated across fields.
But it does (mostly) use a top down approach

With using the visual programming language Python it is possible to visualy build a pogram you have in mind, and then get a coded result. 

#OEB15 open badges by @mediendidaktik

Great presentation by Ilona Buchem on using open badges for individuals and organisations. Ilona knows how to concentrate a bundle of information in nice small yet very useful bits.

#OEB15 liveblog Future workers and the future

On this last day at online educa berlin, these are my notes from the keynote with Cornelia Daheim, John Higgins, Ioannis Angelis on the topic of future and future work(ers). 

Work or jobs or employment… paradigm shift in work. We all earn our living, with a variety of different models, but the classic work traject of school, job, retirement will be less frequently happening.

Cornelia Daheim
Future of critical future topics, specifically work – non-profit organisation
About 50% are at risk of being automated, since that oxford published report people looked at which type of jobs would might disappear.
We have a high possibility that work in the future will be: we do not have to work. So not in the terminology that we have today.
Experts (who? Conservative professionals) technology will drive change: AI, robotics, analytics…
AI where machines can learn to learn, which affects the face of work.
Industry4.0, but how will this shift affect knowledge.
There is a chance of 25% of 2050… but we might get into a new society, where more machines do the jobs, and a such we need to make a new system.
We need to find a new way of how society can function in the long run when the model is not based on jobs/income.
We need to start thinking about it.
She looked at predictions of 2030. If there is no a major breaks (war…) and demographic evolution continues. If we extrapolate these changes, people might live longer, but this means that you work in a 4 generation team (which is really new). A new way of generations working together. The same is true for more freelance, project oriented work, more international… so here are the new forms that come into play. We need to use new terminology for this new era.
The studies show us that there is a possibility for radical change, but even if we simply extrapolate we already get multiple challenges.

What are the new skills needed

John Higgins
Discovered that in 1831 (Peel) he mused that we might prefer that brittain stays a country of cotton fields, but we will be a land of cotton mills. This is representative for current age, one of the interesting pieces of data: cognitive robotics, AI, but also basic connected things (internet of things)… wave of new technologies, and looking at EU adoption of these technologies, only a limited amount of companies (50%) is picking this up.
It seems to me that the pressure is on to start using all these tools to move with the drive pushed by technology.
He does not buy the idea of hollowing out jobs. There is an interesting piece of McKinsey report that all jobs will need to be able to use parts of these technologies, and will be improved by these sort of jobs. (eg; exo-skeletons to carry objects and/or people – nursing, car assembly)
What sort of skills are companies looking for: three main one’s:
Analytical data driven reasoning: identify different sources of information, and be analytical about them (numerical mostly, draw conclusions from big data)
Not following processes, but understanding the goal of an organisation (details change too quickly, so goal-oriented thinking is preferred).  Curation: how to filter out the massive information you get.
Working in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams: using modern collaborative tools. Eg. The 5 why’s model.
What sort of skills are we going to need? New jobs will appear, so there are changing hard and soft skills that will be needed.

Ioannis Angelis
Our predictions about the future fail frequently as they are built from the presence.
The workplace of the future is significant in this debate. There will be multiple spaces that will offer learning and working spaces. But this means that the virtual reality office will give an immersive experience, which will give us a real feeling of reality. But how will this affect work.
Paradoxical trend that done is better than perfect (in terms of work), so how can technology be used to point people in the right direction.
Digital transformation: two ICT people led the debate: somewhere in that discussion was a topic: we cannot speed innovation down. There are risks: it might endanger us by addiction, tension, virality of data…
Nomad society sees themselves as workers in the future, they can work for anyone anywhere at any time.
We all need to take ownership of our own learning.
Creative adjustment: people will continue to look for the meaning of life, but they will use their own creativity.
We want to be competent and skilful.
Missing in a lot of skill discussions: we all need to be change makers (not project management, but in terms of how we influence humanity). We need to focus on humanity.
Dealing with change is an attitude.
In order to become the worker of your dreams, we all need to slow down.
At the agora, if we take this to the future, the slaves can be replaced by the robots (which to me might sound as some people will not be in society anymore).
Aren’t we as workers obstructing the technological drive, as we are unable to change that rapidly? Big systems are extremely slow, but people get happier if they can self-adapt their learning/working.

People resist or adapt to change, which is delivering a balance, but it affects the speed of change or the take up of new options. (inge note: uptake of mobile use). 

Thursday, 3 December 2015

#OEB15 keynote Cory Doctorow we are living in a surveillance state

If you can see a sci-fi novelist, blogger, and technology activist at work using a wonderfully harsh Canadian accent …. you need to stretch your fingers, massage your brain and prepare for some quick thinking.
Cory wears a nice reversed white and black jacket over his skull-pirate t-shirt and it suits his stage presents. So, Cory Doctorow.

Schools are increasingly surveyanced places, but this means that learners are negatively impacted by the idea of what is good and bad learning. Eg. Website pages that have been blocked for learners, but this flies in the face of digital learning. As kids are exploring information and content.
This means we are filtering pages, censoring pages for repressive regimes. We are offshoring our kids clicks to war criminals.
But kids (time rich and cash poor) will find solutions, but this means that they are not really learning digital skills, but marginal digital solution finding.
So what if we will give them real life challenges: which pages would you catalogue, and what do you think about the pages that they are not allowed to be seen.
Freedom of information act: explore that
Research companies by using the internet, and give that to the journals, magazines… which will make them fully digital citizens.
Children are the beta testers of the internet age.
It matters what we teach our kids.
Macbooks: laptop was equipped with software that would harvest the clicks of all the kids (in the most affluent high school of USA).
Now school administrations provide laptops, with those types of software.
The surveillance state are increasingly spreading to all digital users. They want to take the inkjet model into every home. Making it difficult to build tools without giving them some money (standardisation).
Digital locks are now used in cars to make sure that every garage owner buys the readers. And this pressures those garagists to buy parts with particular stores… which should be seen as a felony
But it is not restricted to cars, it is part of the complete ecosystem we live in and in which (John Deers tractors, with software from Monsanto).
Also inside of the body. The logbook of continuous blood glucose meters… so human beings are turned into inktjet printers.
The rules that prohibit people from downloading their own data generatied by these softwares, makes them objects without rights.
We only have one methodology to see whether security works: making it transparent.
We need to ask for a knowledge age that is enlightened, to free people in our society.

Cory gives example of STazi, then NSA spionage, … so there is a productivity gain in surveillance due to data recording devices.
(inge: add this to the telepathic slides)
And, strangely enough each one of us is actually paying the companies that get these data for this data (mobile plans).
In our own living memory, people that are seen as right, which first were people that could go to jail, social inclused… the way we as a society changed to a more open social attitude, we made things transparent. But how do we do this?

ICT literacy is thinking critically on how they stand on the digital data, the social implications of this data… all foundational, future fights will be fought on the internet. So it is pivotal to make our world more transparent, especially the security software… and to make people critical and smart and above all subversive on how they use the technology around them.
Computers have brought new powers to us, but producers prohibit access to your own data.
Although computers can have really safe encrypting software, our kids must just learn to use it.
 People care about security, so that is a good thing.
Electronic frontier toolkit (Inge look it up).
We need better tools, and social
Living in an age of surveillance: total control of the means of information: why is the computer not doing what you want it to do.
Improving digital citizenships: should be lead by institutions, so as teachers the only thing we can do is to teach them how to ask critical questions, to demand evidence-based proof. Digital citizenship is crucial, but there is a lock on personal data. Digital locks have been put on so much, how can we see where to unlock them: it is a matter of policy and skills.
At present non of us know how much of our data is shared or owned by whom.

Security services should be on the side of the users, not on their own existence only. 

#OEB15 liveblog keynote David Price on people powered innovation

People powered innovation: important because it is a natural consequence, as we can now exchange knowledge and information.
David Price: look up ‘we do things differently’, #davidpriceobe just slipped through the net that the grim reaper set for him, and this OEB speech is the first after his surgery (and complications coming with recovery) for colonic cancer.

Major shift in the way knowledge and skills is  seen. Involving users in the process of innovation, users lead users to other options or creating new products and services.
Look at Patreon: recreates patronage for artists.
Where can we see people powered innovation: eg; autonomous…

What are the core key concepts
Need: need drives innovation by creative users
JUGAAD: Hindi term: making the most of what you have got. Eg. Turning a truck roof into a dry ox-card driven riksja. Western companies are now using the JUGAAD ideas.
Hacker ethic: eg. Wikipedia. Citizendium versus Wikipedia: depends on peer reviewing before making it open as an academic publishing, so open source is the only way to make things happen. Eg. Schools for communication arts: no degrees because people can hack ideas from others. Based on open curriculum: cfr Rhizo20XX the learners get a lot out of this school, as they have a 100% job outcome afterwards.
Agency: eg. YouTube => MOOC => Youtube … learner agency is what is happening in social learning. The agency in informal learning is not hard to do, but it depend on six key ideas
  • Do it yourself/autonmy
  • Do it now (immediacy
  • Do it with friends (collegiality)
  • Do it for fun / playfulness
  • Do unto others / gernerosity
  • Do it for the world to see / work out loud = visibility

These six qualities are the means by which communities develop agency, and this should be integrated in formal learning.
What we must do is trust openness. (eg. Jack Andraka on pancreatic cancer cure at 15 years with bio-marker).
Do not be afraid of the pro am
De-regulate where possible – welcome education hackers
Don’ be in denial

The time to open up education is now, and we must allow users to make this happen.
Shift to knowledge is more open (Inge note: but was open first, then closed, now going open again)
Innovations within education: strategist from policy makers, redesign learning environment, from senior management who is open to this idea (inge note: strange contradiction).
Similar strategy as with mobile learning uptake: work with the enthusiasts, and just do it.

Importance of degrees is in decline, in favour of the real skills and capacities people have. 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

#OEB15 Chairing the New versus Old Schools session #SPL07

This Friday I am chairing a session on New versus Old schools during Online Educa Berlin, looking at the emerging schools and learning centres. In the session I have the opportunity to listen to, and moderate debates with Maurice de Hond and David Cummins. If you are interested, or if you are an un-schooler, new educational thinker... join the session on Friday 4 December, between 12 - 13 o'clock on the spotlight stage room Potsdam III.

Now in preparing this session, I contacted both speakers. And admittedly when I was reading the name of Maurice's new school (The Steve Jobs School), I was thinking "oh no, wondering why they used that name... marketing!" .... but in less then a minute that man enlightened me and got me enthusiastic. This is not just a hyped name, it is a truly well-build concept. Maurice's school concept is actually making a start of personalised learning from primary school onward. While still checking the boxes and demands asked by government (mandatory curriculum) he manages to refurbish established schools into a new concept school that allows young pupils to choose their own focus of subjects, plan their week, and learn by slowly (or quickly) building autonomous learning skills. In order to achieve this, he has twisted the school lessons a bit (e.g. using stamgroepen (something like kernel groups)) and he has built software that enables planning, assessment, and scheduling including learners, teachers and parents alike. Nice one! To give an idea of what one of the schools looks like, I am embedding a nice video (English subtitles). 

David Cummins will focus on the Hacker school, which has also stolen my heart by their conscious aim to attract the less common learners as future programmers. They really put energy and zest into the concept of diversity and culture. Which to me is always a positive action. 

#OEB15 MOOCs in Schools adding a lifelong learning experience #OPN19

On Thursday 3 December 2015 during Online Educa Berlin, Kathy Demeulenaere, Heidi Steegen and myself will be leading a session looking into MOOC and how they can be used in secondary schools (high schools, K12) to enhance lifelong learning skills and put more students on route to find their own meaningful, professional life. The session is an open session, where we will start off with our own project. In brief, our project is about supporting 16 - 17 year old students to start learning with MOOCs, and then letting them choose the MOOC they want to follow, in a non-native language, specifically in French or English).

This means that teachers need to let go: they are guides, no longer teachers; and it means that students need to enhance critical thinking and autonomous learning, which can be quite scary. But while doing this, and might I add that the three teachers who are leading this project obtain amazing results (looking at self-esteem and motivation of students). But there are also many challenges, as well as new opportunities that might be good to find answers too or to explore. In this session we want to look for answers to these challenges (maybe we can find answers in the experiences from participants in the session), and also explore options that might help in getting these lifelong learning skills somehow manifested or strengthened by educational technologies.

So feel free to join this session (it is planned for 90 minutes, with our project highlighted for the first 30 minutes and then gathering answers and options for challenges). The session is #OPN19 on Thursday 3 December, from 14.15 - 15.45 o'clock in room Lincke at the OEB conference hotel.

These are the slides for the session (with links to more information):