IMS Global Learning Consortium announces release of Common Cartridge v1.1

IMS has announced the final release of Common Cartridge v1.1.

According to the press release: “The Common Cartridge standard provides a means for interoperability, reusability, and customization of digital learning content, assessments, collaborative discussion forums, and a diverse set of learning applications. The standard offers both end-users and vendors the possibility of greater choice in both content and platforms. This latest version of Common Cartridge includes support for Basic Learning Tools Interoperability which provides a standard way of integrating rich learning applications or premium content with platforms such as Learning Management Systems, portals, or other systems.”

The standard is available for download from the IMS website.

Google Apps for Education UK User Group

Yesterday I attended the Google Apps for Education UK User Group meeting at the University of Loughborough. Organized by Martin Hamilton, the day provided a really useful update and insight into how google apps are being used throughout the education system, from primary schools to Universities.

Though the day was focused on google, the presentations, discussions, tweets did show an increasing demand from educators for more flexible, easy to use systems that just do what you want them to and are either free or have little cost. Google do seem to provide an awful lot (including jelly beans and rubik cubes). However they’re not the only game in town. But they do have awfully deep pockets, and I did have an overwhelming Pinky and the Brain sensation (what shall we do tonight, the same thing we do every night try to take over the world) but they have a much more successful strategy than my cartoon friends.

To give you a flavour of demo’s and discussion that took place over the day, I’ve collated some of the tweets into my story of the event.

Crib sheet for 2011 Educause Horizon Report

The 2011 Horizon Report from Educause again provides some clear indicators for key trends and drivers for technology in education. As ever the report outlines key trends, critical drivers and short and long term forecasts as well as providing an excellent set of resources for each of the identified trends. But if you haven’t time even to read the executive summary here are the main points.

Key trends (building very much on previous years):

*The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching, and credentialing.
*People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want.
*The world of work is increasingly collaborative, giving rise to reflection about the way student projects are structured.
*The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized

Critical Challenges:
*Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.
*Appropriate metrics of evaluation lag behind the emergence of new scholarly forms of
authoring, publishing, and researching.
*Economic pressures and new models of education are presenting unprecedented competition to traditional models of the university.
*Keeping pace with the rapid proliferation of information, software tools, and devices is challenging for students and teachers alike.

Technologies to watch:
*electronic books – as they develop they are changing “our perception of what it means to read”
*mobiles – “increasingly a user’s first choice for Internet access”

Second Adoption Horizon (technologies expected to gain widespread adoption in 2 to 3 years from now).
*Agumented reality
*Game-based learning

Far term horizon (technologies expected to gain widespread adoption in 4 – 5 years from now)
*Gesture based computing
*Learning analytics

Assessment and Feeback – the story from 2 February

Many thanks to my colleague Rowin Young and the Making Assessment Count project at the University of Westminster for organising a thoroughly engaging and thought provoking event around assessment and feedback yesterday. I just got my storify invite through this morning, so to give a flavour of the day here is a selected tweet story from the day.