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iManager word cloud

Education struggles to respond to the potential of Cloud computing

How vital is Cloud computing to 21st century education?Cloud computing, education, Digital Agenda

What really prevents educational organisations from implementing Cloud solutions and limits its integration in learning and teaching?

These were some of the topics discussed at the latest School on the Cloud iManager workshop held in Šiauliai, Lithuania December 15-17 2015. The meeting brought 11 partners of the School on the Cloud project from 10 countries together to examine the important role of inspirational leadership in education in bypassing the many barriers to the transition of education organisations into the Cloud.

Participants heard, via the Cloud, from Danny VanderVeken, a head master from Geel, Belgium, how imperative it was enable learning, teaching and administration through the Cloud, but that the challenges faced by his schools urgently needed to be addressed. The issues related not only to infrastructure and security but also to the training needs of his staff. He explained how the issues were very complex and many leaders were facing them right now. Participants confirmed that guidance and support were needed and a blueprint for leaders and managers would be useful.

cloud, education, discussion photo

Discussing Cloud issues in education

 leadership and management photo

Dealing with leadership and management

European policy under the Digital Agenda and Europe 2020 is committed to innovation and change through the use of open access to education through new technologies. The Cloud offers huge potential for this. However despite huge investment and major developments in business, education continues to lag behind. There are many reasons for this but particularly policy remains weak at European level and fragmented at national, regional and organisational scales. Major funding support for training is missing and pilot projects fail to be scaled up despite obvious benefits to productivity.

The activities of the iManager working group has identified specific roles for leaders in the process of inspiring Cloud-based education. Organisations need to ensure the development of integrative management plans to make the most of the immense opportunities for learning teaching and administering education. Visit and contribute to the workshop activities on the Cloud at: http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/imanagerworkshop

About School on the Cloud

School on the Cloud – Connecting Education to the Cloud for Digital Citizenship (SoC) is an ICT network. It explores new dynamic ways in education that align with the way we think, share, learn and collaborate, across various sectors, by exploiting the opportunities arising from the Cloud.

School on the Cloud has created a learning network consisting of 57 European partners from 18 countries, distributed widely across Europe and includes most types of educational stakeholder and all sectors of education. More specifically, there are 21 Universities and teacher training departments, 9 NGOs, 8 schools, SMEs, research institutes, adult education and VET providers, a European professional association and a library.

The coordinating organization is The Doukas School in Athens Greece The Network is funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme, Key Activity 3 – ICT Networks, with a duration of 3 years (01/01/2014 – 31/12/2016).

Join School on the Cloud on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and invite your friends and contacts.
Website: http://www.schoolonthecloud.eu/ 
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SchoolOntheCloud
Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/school_cloud
LinkedIn Group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/schooloncloud-7426807

contact ILN for more information

cloud computing, learning, teaching

The Future of Learning and Teaching in the Cloud

School on the Cloud (SoC) is a network project exploring the impact of Cloud computing on different aspects of education. Project partners interested at the ways the Cloud transforms learning and teaching meet in Porto between 7-10 November 2014 to share experiences and expertise in learning and teaching with the Cloud. The project has produced a ‘state-of-the-art’ assessment. The goal is now to develop and provide recommendations for European education authorities.Cloud computing, education, Digital Agenda

European policy like the Digital Agenda, Europe 2020 and the European Innovation Plan are committed to innovation and change. There are many drivers for this, notably with a forecasted European ICT skills gap of 15% between 2012 and 2020 which needs urgently to be closed. Europe must encourage innovative uses of technology to drive business and industry forward for ensuring the longer-term economic success in Europe. In order to do this innovation in learning and collaboration is vital, enabled by Cloud Computing.

Access to Cloud-based technologies is recognized as having mutual benefits for companies and public sector activities, they need a well-trained workforce able to cope with these developments. If they are to be well prepared to compete for the higher-skilled jobs demanded by today’s knowledge economy, young people must be able to tackle the use of 21st century Cloud Computing tools head on. Access to the Cloud in education will also provide the impetus to modernise educational institutions and strengthen their reputations, helping to improve quality and drive greater competitiveness. School on the Cloud is a new European ICT project that assesses the state of the art of Cloud Computing in education in different European countries. The network examines the potential of Cloud for schools, colleges, universities and other education agencies.

The 2011 European Commission ICT Cluster report “Learning, Innovation and ICT” commented on lessons learned through the Lifelong Learning Programme. They identified i) digital leadership, ii) placing the learner at the centre; iii) a change of mindset in teacher training and iv) reinforcing the evidence base and research on use and impact of ICT for learning as most important features.

Six future actions for the future of learning in Europe were recommended:

  • Leadership and institutional change for a renewed strategy on learning
  • Digital competences and new transversal skills as core life and employability skills
  • Towards a new learning paradigm
  • Professional development – the teacher as learner at the centre
  • Research on learning in a digital society
  • Envisioning the future of learning in a digital society

The four working groups organised under the School on Cloud network embrace all these areas. The meeting in Porto will concentrate on the innovative teacher (iTeacher) and the independent learner (iLearner). Outcomes include a state-of-the-art assessment as well as guidance and advice for those looking to use the Cloud for learning and teaching.

About School on the Cloud

School on the Cloud – Connecting Education to the Cloud for Digital Citizenship (SoC) is an ICT network. It explores new dynamic ways in education that align with the way we think, share, learn and collaborate, across various sectors, by exploiting the opportunities arising from the Cloud.

School on the Cloud has created a learning network consisting of 57 European partners from 18 countries, distributed widely across Europe and includes most types of educational stakeholder and all sectors of education. More specifically, there are 21 Universities and teacher training departments, 9 NGOs, 8 schools, SMEs, research institutes, adult education and VET providers, a European professional association and a library.

The coordinating organization is The Doukas School in Athens Greece The Network is funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme, Key Activity 3 – ICT Networks, with a duration of 3 years (01/01/2014 – 31/12/2016).

Join School on the Cloud on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and invite your friends and contacts.
Website: http://www.schoolonthecloud.eu/ 
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SchoolOntheCloud
Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/school_cloud
LinkedIn Group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/schooloncloud-7426807

contact ILN for more information

geoskills, geoskills plus project, geo-jobs, geography

Is Geo- really important?

Is geo- really important?

Why has President Obama put his name behind a $1 billion programme in the US? http://tinyurl.com/nfpb826

Why are there plans to integrate geospatial education in every school in India? Indian National Task force in Geospatial Education

Why is geospatial compulsory in Finnish schools? http://www.oph.fi/english

GeoSlills Plus Project

GeoSlills Plus Project

This post is about the GeoSkills Plus Blog, raising awareness of the education gap between the needs of the European geo-industry and education and training policy and perspectives. In 2011 EUROGEO estimated more than 50,000 geo-jobs remained unfilled across Europe (http://www.abc.es/agencias/noticia.asp?noticia=1300333).

Geo- is not recognised in Europe. The GeoSkills Plus Project tries to make a start on putting that right. It is an ambitious attempt to transfer innovation in geo-vocational training, geo-jobs and geo-skills development from one country (The Netherlands) to others around Europe. It is based on establishing a professional community in the geo-sector – something I have been working on for the past 10 years through innovative projects and networks like HERODOT (http://www.herodot .net) and digital-earth.eu: geo-media for education (http://www.digital-earth.eu).

geography, higher education, learning and teaching, quality

HERODOT network

The GeoSkills Plus Project is a Transfer of Innovation Project funded by the European Commission. The Project has its own GeoSkillsPlus Blog sharing news and ideas on geoskills and geo-jobs. You can register at http://www.geoskillsplus.eu/press/blog.

The challenge is to raise awareness of the importance of the geospatial sector in policy and among decision makers in education and training.  There is a greta need for quality education to feed the rapidly growing geospatial industry sector. Three areas need to be focused on: careers, skills and qualifications. Sign up for the GeoSkills blog and help us on social media to raise awareness of the issue.

So what are GeoSkills? Find out more at http://www.geoskillsplus.eu/press/blog

 

Cloud computing, education

School on the Cloud: lessons from Digital Earth

It is commonly agreed that networking in education is important. This post reflects on some lessons learned from networks I have been involved in and looks to the future. It is based on a presentation I am making at the 2014 Scientix  conference in Brussels. It’s planned to be a networking meeting for projects, researchers and leaders in the field. It is hosted by the European Commission and European Schoolnet.

My presentation will reflect on the experiences learned from the  Scientix 2014digital-earth.eu project, which networked more than 80 organisations involved in using Digital Earth technologies and geo-media in schools, teacher education and training.

It seems to be a real pity that such neworking opportunities for schools and teacher education have disappeared under the Erasmus Plus funding system. These networks generated so much innovation and built the capacity for change. They were able to gather ideas and initiatives from many different stakeholders.

My presentation will review the outcomes of the ambitious digital-earth.eu network, recently graded at 90% by evaluators from the European Commission and which received a Global Award for Capacity Building in education at the GeoSpatial World Forum in 2014.digital earth, geospatial, industry, geo-media

The digital-earth.eu project raised awareness of the explosion of science and technology opportunities, open data and open science developments. It highlighted learning and teaching perspectives and sought to scale up the implementation of innovative approaches through a Centre of Excellence approach. These outstanding organisations continue to be highly active in promoting geo-media and geotechnologies in their own contexts. Many spinoff projects and other innovative developments continue.

I will examine the digital-earth.eu legacy and subsequent developments taken forward by the School on the Cloud network: Connecting Education to the Cloud for Digital Citizenship. School on the Cloud (SoC)  is a KA3 ICT network aiming to explore new dynamic ways to integrate the Cloud into education.

Cloud computing, education, Digital Agenda

The goal of the network is to explore how to align education with the way we think, share, learn and collaborate, across various education sectors, by exploiting the opportunities arising from “Cloud” Computing environments.

SoC started with 57 Partners, most of whom are leaders in their educational sectors. They represent 18 European countries and include 10 Schools, 21 Universities, Companies, NGOs, National Authorities, Research Centres, Associations and Adult Education providers. School on the Cloud has undertaken a state-of-the-art survey and established 4 working groups to look at the prospects for management, teaching, learning and Cloud-based digital futures,

Scientix  conference programme - School on the Cloud - digital-earth.eu

spatial citizenship

Spatial Citizenship

Logo SPACIT

SPACIT project logo

The term “urban jungle” has been used for some time to describe the environment created by the growth and development of our cities, the activities and infrastructures people produce. In the jungle, many youngsters have become dislocated from the environment in which they live, they do not have the skills to properly navigate the jungle or follow the laws of the jungle. I think this is because of the narrow curriculum (dominated by literacy, numeracy …….) delivered in our schools. Youngsters learn from the laws of the street, education has become external/marginal to their world. The Spatial Citizenship Project tries to redress this situation.

Young people need to be helped (through education) to understand, appreciate and relate more closely to the places they live in. We defined this in a recent article as ‘spatial citizenship’, whereby place, space, ownership and responsibility are interconnected. In the article we suggest that education needs to involve much more than classroom abstraction from the real world, it should be connected closely to learning in and about our world. So, all youngsters need a good “geographical” education to provide them with a real sense of place (including their place) in their community.

The availability of location-based technologies and open access to geoinformation affords an excellent opportunity to effectively integrate the real world with geo-media communicated through social networks into school education. It would also help students actively participate in the world they navigate. Yet such geotechnologies are used in less than 1% of schools. The paper and further research goes on to introduce some of the key concepts through which spatial citizenship could be addressed as a core area in the curriculum.

geo-media, spatial citizenship, education, Geography

Using geo-media

Living, surviving and competing in the jungle requires a deep understanding of the jungle! I suggest the riots that took place in London in 2011 (see http://www.theguardian.com/uk/london-riots) were symptomatic of the marginalisation of important curriculum areas in teacher training and in schools, like geographical education. The delivery of Geography lessons by non-specialists, unaware of the importance of the meanings we attach to the places we inhabit and the relationships with the needs of citizens componds the issue. This needs to be addressed.

We need a broad. balanced education not one based almost entirely on literacy, numeracy, technology, SATs and PISA comparisons!! Forthcoming curriculum reforms will be an opportunity to make a difference….. but will the decision makers realise it?

Read more about spatial citizenship at: http://bit.ly/isx3EG