Professor Mike Sharples and I worked at a European policy gig for Intel in Stockholm back in October 2012. I was presenting on education transformation though 1:1 (or 1:many) while Mike gave a fascinating overview of mobile learning (including a historical and research perspective). I've been following his work ever since and I have enjoyed watching the Open University (OU) Open Learn Project and his own FutureLearn Project grow with time.
Mike (Professor of Educational Technology at the OU) is the lead author of the Innovating Pedagogy 2014 Report. The report sets out to explore new forms of teaching, learning and assessment as well as helping to guide educators and policy makers.
The report is split into ten sections and in a way is not dissimilar to the annual Horizon Report (from the The New Media Consortium) in that it tries to identify the potential impact of a specific trend on education along with a rough idea of to when the concepts might be adopted into the mainstream.
The ten trends identified in the Innovating Pedagogy 2014 Report are:
- Massive open social learning: Free online courses based on social learning
- Learning design informed by analytics: A productive cycle linking design and analysis of effective learning
- Flipped classroom: Blending learning inside and outside the classroom
- Bring your own devices: Learners use their personal tools to enhance learning in the classroom
- Learning to learn: Learning how to become an effective learner
- Dynamic assessment: Giving the learner personalized assessment to support learning
- Event-based learning: Time-bounded learning events
- Learning through storytelling: Creating narratives of memories and events
- Threshold concepts: Troublesome concepts and tricky topics for learning
- Bricolage: Creative tinkering with resources
The report itself makes fascinating reading for both teachers and school leaders and the links to individual case studies are also very helpful in exemplifying practice.
At the end of July 2015 the OU announced that Education (Technology Enhanced Learning) as one of its priority research areas for the next five years. This will build on the OUs existing success as a European leader for innovations in learning technologies, which have historically broken down barriers globally.
Indeed as we increasingly work to develop distance learning models within the Senior Phase of The Curriculum for Excellence lets hope that some of the key architects build on some of the valuable lessons and blended learning methodology developed by the OU over the last 45 years which is fundamentally about real people, rich content, robust discussion and rewarding progress.