Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Alpha Release of a Possible Bookmarking Solution - Part 2

This post was created for a Yammer post.

ME Online Bookmark Links

Click the HTML icon to view a simple public webpage of ME Online Bookmarks with a contents table.

Click the OneNote icon to view a Notebook of ME Online Bookmarks.

(Access for Department staff only.)

These OneNote bookmarks can be customised by the user.

Click the Evernote icon to view a public Evernote Notebook of ME Online Bookmarks. You can view the Notebook without signing up for Evernote.

Evernote is a free bookmark and research tool – these tagged notes can be imported and customised by the user.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Alpha release of possible bookmarking solution

For 15 years the Department has maintained a collection of bookmarks to useful curriculum resources for teachers. The bookmarks are accessed as URLs coded into intranet webpages. The content is located across various Department systems and in multiple external storage/services. Access to these bookmarks has dropped in recent years and many bookmarks have become outdated or broken.

This service is now being reviewed to meet new needs:
  • accessibility - mobile devices and open access
  • resource discovery - effective searching and browsing
  • content curation - sustainable and quality assured

One possible solution is to move all the bookmarks to a social bookmarking service that includes tools for sustainable content creation by multiple users and provides opportunities to develop QA workflows.

Captured bookmarks can be tagged in a way that facilitates research discovery and mobile and desktop apps provide accessible across devices.

Following agile development methods such those outlined by several NextGen Government presenters earlier this year a decision has been made to quickly develop an 'alpha' product and begin user testing within 6-8 weeks. A few topics have been selected to bookmark and a preliminary workflow has been established.

Evernote has been chosen to host the 'alpha' product. Evernote is a well established service with the required feature set to meet the needs identified above. Some staff currently use Evernote.
Bookmarks will be migrated from Evernote into OneNote which is used by many staff. OneNote doesn't have the same functionality as Evernote but will provide an adequate service.

Bookmarks will also be exported from Evernote to an 'HTML Bookmark' web page accessible across all browsers.

Users will also have the option of importing and customising Evernote and OneNote bookmark notebooks to meet specific needs.

The diigo service was tested for importing the HTML Bookmark file but tags, descriptions and graphics did not import so this part of the solution was not implemented.

My Education and specifically ME Online has been chosen as one of three topics for early 'alpha' release and feedback.

HTML Bookmarks webpage

Evernote ENEX import file (unzip before importing into Evernote)

OneNote ME Online Link (Department staff only at this stage)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

EduTECH 2016 Day 2 - Possibility and Creating Preferred Futures

Jane McGonigal Presenting

For me Day 2 at #EduTECHAU 2016 was about possibility.

Anthony Muhammad began the day speaking passionately about the endless possibilities that arise when we make conscious - and then question - the mindsets and assumptions underpinning our educational processes and structures. 

Jane McGonigal closed the day by showing how a futures perspective can open up a space to think about possibilities in the present. She provided a forecasting  framework to help imagine education in 2026 so that we can create preferred futures.

I resonated strongly with these messages. 

Muhammad's words sit comfortably within the holistic and integral frameworks I use that highlight the importance of culture - and question our implicit assumptions and world views. He questioned the often self-fulfilling 'bell curve' mindset.

McGonigal's words reminded me of the importance of social foresight, creating preferred futures and my time playing Evoke six years ago. Her work has helped shape my educational practice over the last decade.

At #EduTECHAU McGonnigal's ideas had close links with Larry Johnson's (now ex-NMC) presentation which asked if our strategic thinking is based on a world that no longer exists. Both spoke about the future already being here - but not evenly distributed. They both mentioned Bitcoin and Blockchain - and the importance of asking 'what if' questions.

Viv White's presentation on how students excel in Big Picture Schools reminded me of the times I taught Student Directed Inquiry (SDI) in years 11/12. Students followed their interest/passion for a year which made up 20-25% of their course load. 

White spoke of recent agreements for Big Picture School students to bypass traditional tertiary entrance which opens up new possibilities for students who become deeply engaged in and responsible for their own learning. I remember an external assessor from university commenting that many SDI students were performing better than her 2nd year students. 

When you tap into student interest and passion the genius within blossoms.

I wasn't expecting to hear these views at an educational technology conference. 
For this I have to thank the #EduTECHAU conference planners for their visionary leadership.

It seems to me the educational technology agenda is about to move on. I'm looking forward to participating - and this might start with a visit to Jane McGonigal's Learning is Earning game to collectively imagine education in 2026.