Do you like books or do you like reading?

August 25, 2010

I am running another symposium at ALT-C, this year it is on ebooks.

eBooks and eBook Readers bring new challenges and new opportunities for learning technologists. Sony has the eReader, Amazon the Kindle and now Apple has the iPad. Publishers are now offering more titles as eBooks.

There is a huge growth and interest in this new medium. Some learners prefer physical books and the feel of paper, but do eBooks have the potential to offer more to the reader? Are eBooks a new way for learners to access information and learning? Are they just a digital version of print, ignoring the affordances of new technologies?

This symposium will explore the potential of eBooks, the role of eBook Readers for learning, and the ways in which learning technologists can utilise eBooks to enhance and enrich the learning experience.

The panel consists of: educators who have used eBooks with learners; researchers who have researched the use of eBooks in education by learners; publishers who have designed and developed eBooks; and learning technologists.

Each member of the panel brings their experience of embedding the use of eBooks with learners. These experiences have been through using eBooks in the classroom and in the library with learners. Researching user behaviour in the use of eBooks and designing eBooks for learners.

The session will commence with an overview and introduction of eBooks and eBook technologies, through mobile devices such as the iPad and using the browser.

The members of the panel will each deliver a presentation on their view of the future of eBooks. They will pose questions to the audience to stimulate debate and discussions. Panellists with the audience will debate the strengths and weaknesses of eBooks and the various eBook Readers available. They will discuss whether eBooks offer new pedagogies or reinforce existing ones.

By the end of the debate participants will have had an opportunity to discuss the advantages and challenges that eBooks bring to education and the role they could play in the enhancement and enrichment of learning.

The symposium takes place between 17:10 – 18:10 on Tuesday, 7 September in Room 1.

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Jorum Learning and Teaching Competition 2010

May 14, 2010

Do you create open educational learning and teaching resources? If so, the Jorum Learning and Teaching Competition is for you.

Following on from last year’s successful competition, which resulted in six highly creative and valuable resources winning places, we are pleased to announce that the 2010 competition is now open and accepting entries.

The competition runs again in conjunction with the ALT-C conference in Nottingham, 7-9 September, and the six winning entrants will have the opportunity to present and showcase their resources at the conference.

The panel of judges will be looking for exciting and innovative resources created under a creative commons licence, and entries will be judged against a set of criteria – appropriateness, engagement, effectiveness and reusability.

We have engaged another great range of judges this year, including Russell Stannard and James Clay, who are both advocates of sharing resources openly.

Final judging will also take on a new twist this year, as the judges will be asked to rank their top ten resources, which will then be placed on the Jorum Community Bay to allow for a public vote – so never mind The X-Factor – vote for your choice of resource to win!

You will be able to vote from 19th August, and details on how to vote will be announced nearer the time.

There are three cash prizes up for grabs, along with three commended awards.

Closing date – Friday 25th June 2010

Full entry details on the Jorum Website.


Want to join the conversation?

February 5, 2010

I am in the process of planning two symposia submissions for ALT-C 2010.

If you were aware of the VLE is Dead Symposium from ALT-C 2009 then you will know that these can be not only great fun, but interesting, useful and informative.

So what are the two?

Are you stealing stuff?

So there you are creating a presentation, learning resources, handouts, learning objects, handouts…

Now in those is there any stuff, such as text, images, audio, video that you didn’t create, have “taken” from somewhere else (such as a website).

Did you think it was okay, as it was “for education” and it’s not as though you took it, you merely made a digital copy.

In this digital age it is much easier to create interactive, colourful, exciting learning resources. It is also just as easy to infringe copyright.

Should we as learning technologists be turning a blind eye to this, to increase the usage of learning technologies, should we be the guardians of digital content, should we be ensuring that infractions don’t happen?

This debate will look at the issue of copyright in a digital age and the role of users of learning technologies and learning technologists.

Best thing since the printing press!

Alternative title: Do you like books or do you like reading?

e-Books and e-Book Readers are going to be big! Apple have announced the iPad, Amazon have their Kindle, many other manufacturers are offering a wealth of e-Book Readers. Likewise publishers are now offering many more titles in the e-book format.

We know that some people like physical books, well if you like reading and e-Book Readers offer the reader a lot more than a traditional book.

With an e-Book Reader you can carry more than one book, you can carry a lot more than one book. You can carry documents too. The screen is reasonably large enough too so that it is easy to read. The battery life is pretty good too, much better than many laptops or a phones. With devices such as the iPad you can view video or play audio.

e-Books are not about replacing books, in the same way that online news sites don’t totally replace physical newspapers, or YouTube replaces TV.

Likewise e-Book Readers don’t replace computers; what both e-Books and e-Book Readers do is allow reading to happen at a time and place to suit the reader.

However is this all just hype? A marketing dream that will never bear fruit and e-Book Readers and iPads will be placed in dusty cupboards.

Will e-Book DRM make it impossible or difficult for educators to use e-Books effectively?

This debate will discuss the emergence of the e-Book as a new format to enhance and enrich learning. Is it the best thing to happen to reading since the printing press, or is it just a big hyped bubble that will burst?

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If you are interested in being part of this then please let me know either by e-mail or adding a comment below.

I would suggest if you haven’t done so already, watch the VLE is Dead debate , as this will give you an idea of the format; likewise read this blog post on how I feel about conference symposia and how the symposium will be run.

I am looking for people to have different views to my own. I am also looking for a chair for each discussion

Deadline for submission to ALT is the 15th February, therefore I need to know as soon as possible.

Photo source.