I have been following the bitcoin evolution with some curiosity but without really looking at the underlying technology being used.

Having been involved in the Open Badges for Higher Education WG, I follow Carla Casilli posts to check what is happening with open badges, namely the launch of @badgechain. Being currently involved in a project to support Syrian refugees to attend online accredited courses and MOOCs, in Jordan, I became less active and more of a practitioner looking at ways to use them to support the engagement and motivation of these students, who have been sometimes through traumatizing experiences.

Today, while reading one of Carla’s posts, she directed to W. Ian O’Byrneexcellent post What is blockchain? https://goo.gl/yZFdwi and to ethereum.

Ethereum moves blockchain technology from a financial application (bitcoin) to contracts (I am new at this so please bear with me), and this shift suddenly made all the sense to me and to its huge, even life saving application in higher education in emergency contexts.

One of the main problems faced by Syrian students who wish to enroll in higher education or who attended higher education is to be able to produce their certificates of high school completion and/or attendance of university. In order to obtain these certificates, they need to return to Syria, at great rick of being caught, even killed and paying enormous sums to be able to obtain them. Without these precious documents, they are simply not allowed to enroll and pursue their education most of the times.

Blockchain technology with its peer2peer network and distributed database, time and date stamped blocks may have an enormous potential to allow these students (and mobile students around the world), or the higher education institutions where they wish to enroll, wherever they are, to be able to access the certificates, authenticated to be used as proof of their education, becoming sometimes even a life saving instrument…

Now, I will let the experts talk. Does this make sense? Is it possible from a technological perspective?

Getting the Ministries of Education and Higher Education Institutions to move with this, it is another story…

First published in medium.com https://medium.com/@pmorais/blockchain-and-higher-education-in-emergency-environments-4a5e47b84176#.4dz2edg3f

excellent reflection! the problem of quick fixes and being ruled only by analytics and tunnel vision…this is the reason, I appreciate so much the Finnish model…

A Manifesto for Digital Messiness

It’s not just cities, politics and civic life that suffer from an excess of technological determinism and techno-utopian visions. In education, too, ‘digital by default’ thinking tends to dominate decision-making, and technology is frequently looked at as either a cause of, or a solution to, many apparent ‘problems’ in schools, and in further, higher and continuing education.

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DFID financing education in Punjab, requiring to be further investigated and properly evaluated on the field.

Tim Unwin's Blog

Shia TretOne of the most interesting aspects of my visit to Pakistan in January this year was the informal, anecdotal information that I gathered about educational change in the Punjab, and in particular DFID’s flagship Punjab Education Support Programme II.  I should declare right at the beginning here that I used to work for DFID (between 2001 and 2004), and I am a member of their Digital Advisory Panel.  I have many friends in the Department, and I admire much of the work that they do.  I was therefore indeed shocked by what I was told and what I summarise below.

When ever the subject of this particular programme came up in conversation in Pakistan, it was always greeting with severe criticism, even derision.  Most of my conversations were with educationalists, academics, landowners, and rural people in the Punjab.  I have not shared these comments before, because they were indeed…

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Horizon 2020 Open Access guidelines. Thanks for sharing, Veronica.

villywonka

Open Wires

Created by Libby Levi for opensource.com

This topic I experienced that our PBL group has a lot of own experience to share with the rest of the group and that´s real interesting to take part of and to have a more “direct” use in. But I also yhink, as the scenario tells us, many people are afraid of use and share and publish, and get a feeling of loneliness with this, while they give up. That´s a sad situation. Cause using these sources of OER has so many potentials, benefits like saving money, a shared possibility to develop new and productive ideas, get a lots of help from each other, teamwork and collaborating, you have to communicate in any kind of way, I think it’s a good way to get a picture of how creative the learners are and how much the collaborate and help each other, the “classroom is…

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To hope and new possibilities… “As we’ve seen with the horrific experience of jelly babies, sometimes, women give birth to the traumas they’ve experienced. And sometimes, if given support (and even sometimes without it) they give birth to a new life, to fresh possibilities. For this International Women’s Day, I celebrate the resilience and strength of our Marshallese women.”

IEP JELTOK

*originally published on The Elders website to coincide with a blog post by Mary Robinson, former Ireland president and climate activist, for International Women’s Day. 

Here in the Marshall Islands, International Women’s Day immediately follows a national holiday. On March 1, Nuclear Victims Remembrance Day commemorates the legacy of US nuclear testing on our islands. As these two events collide, I find myself wrestling with connections between gender, international power, nuclear legacies, climate change, and lost land.

From 1946 to 1968, 67 nuclear weapons were detonated, which is the equivalent of 1.7 Hiroshima bombs being exploded daily for 12 years in terms of radiation exposure. Just the Bravo shot alone, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, was 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

Women disproportionally bear the burden of the trauma their society has been exposed to – in this case, they bear the burden…

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villywonka

I´ve been thinking how this concept – collaborative learning – has different meaning for us, and in different situations, concept and in other cultures, how wide is this concept? And what does it mean to me. Earlier, during my time as a student at the university, I haven´t thought so much about working collaborative, maybe I don´t like it, cause I more like to work individually, and there always are those who works and those who don´t work when it comes to collaborative working or group work. So, what´s the meaning of working in groups? Others will get approved without doing anything, just passive participation and not take part in the group as an active member, just for the credits for the actual course, for getting ready with the whole education. BUT the more I read about teamwork, collaborative work, working in couples I begin to see the effort and…

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Registration available for a webinar March 10

Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources

Achieving the Dream (ATD) has announced the Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative, an opportunity for public two-year colleges in the U.S. and Canada to apply for funding  to develop OER-based degrees to increase completion rates and access by involving faculty in redesigning courses and degree programs using open educational resources.

Achieving the Dream, Community Colleges CountAn OER-based degree, sometimes referred to as a Zero-Textbook-Cost degree, is a pathway to a degree or credential with no textbook costs because all the courses have been redesigned to use  open educational resources (OER) for instructional materials. OER-based degrees have been gaining in popularity over the last few years particularly at community colleges where students can save 25% or more on the cost of attendance.

The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) has been a leader in developing OER-based degrees with Tidewater Community College and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) each offering these degrees.  Early research has shown that their students enrolled in these pathways are doing as…

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Fantastic rant on the Educational charlatan (in Spanish). Worth being discussed and reflected upon…

Conexiones

Por Javiera @jatenas , Nico @nicoschongut y Carlos @CarlosRuz_F

El charlatán educacional o iactator pedagogus grandiloquus como los definía Cicerón en el siglo IV DC, es un personaje inmerso en el mundo de la educación desde el inicio de los tiempos, es más, se han encontrado frases inspiradoras sobre educación en la cueva de Altamira en las cuales el charlatán le dice a los profesores de la prehistoria cómo deben enseñar a cazar mamuts siendo ellos los primeros vegetarianos de la humanidad.

Dicen los libros de historia, que en la magna Grecia los filósofos como Sócrates, Platón y Aristóteles eran repelidos del ágora a piedrazos por los chalatanes gurúes del conocimiento, argumentando que ellos no tenían un blog, ni suficientes seguidores en twitter, ni eran CEO de una empresa de tecnología educativa y por lo tanto, su filosofía y pedagogía no era válida al no poder demostrar liderazgo en…

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“One black South African scholar said to me, “we thought America was fixed!” I took away that none of us is “fixed” but that many of us, across contexts, are trying.” and this is a common situation across geographies…and what is really “fixed”? what does it mean?

tressiemc

The International Conference on Open and Distance Education was hosted by the University of South Africa this month. Paul Prinsloo put together a truly remarkable set of keynote addresses and invited me to present the opening keynote. I have more than a few reflections, many of which are probably beyond the scope of a post but here we go.

Tressie McMIllan Cottom, Opening Keynote, ICDE UNISA 2015, South Africa Tressie McMIllan Cottom, Opening Keynote, ICDE UNISA 2015, South Africa

First, let me tell you something. You know how folks seem physically incapable of hosting an event that has any women or non-white people in positions of expertise? Paul and the ICDE organizing committee at UNISA made it look easy.

Not only were the majority of the keynotes women but they hailed from within and beyond the academy, at all academic ranks, from a diversity of viewpoints and disciplines, and came from around the world. And this wasn’t a “diversity” panel or…

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#LTHEchat

Interdisciplinarity is a an important construct in terms of advancing research and knowledge. Working with multidisciplinary teams allows for a sharing of expertise in a natural and meaningful way, but do we always do this in our teaching?

Do our universities allow for genuinely innovative interdisciplinary learning, and to what extent are our teaching practices putting our students into the same silos that we are hemmed into ourselves as teachers and learners? This Tweetchat aims to raise some of these issues, and by the very nature of the community will itself be a smorgasbord of interdisciplinarity.

If you are reflecting on this specific #LTHEchat in your blog or anywhere in social media please share your post with us so that we can reblog.

If you participated/are participating in any way in the #LTHEchat, please complete our short survey and let us know if you have other suggestions on how we could…

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