Friday, August 18, 2006

The future of the Welsh Baccalaureate

The changing nature of the things students study before they come to Higher Education influences their experience of this education.

It is therefore with interest that I have been reading the report of the Evaluation undertaken on the Welsh Baccalaureate thanks to the Dysg Blog for providing the link.

The recommendation is very clear and will impact on future developments in education in Wales

The WBQ model is suitable for roll-out to all schools, colleges and workbased providers in Wales, provided the issues identified in this report are addressed and that the roll-out is staged.

Online Social Spaces take off

I've blogged about the significance of Social Software often on this blog and on my work blog. It is fascinating then to see the figures from the latest piece of research into the growth of the Web.

Of the top ten fastest growing websites in the US 5 (i.e. half) are user-generated content (social software) sites. As e-marketer (note access to this site is time-limited for non-subscribers) :

Image-hosting site ImageShack ranks fourth among the fastest-growing Web brands, increasing 233% between July 2005 and July 2006, from a unique audience of 2.3 million to 7.7 million., a video-sharing site, is No. 5, increasing 213%, from 965,000 to 3 million unique visitors. Photo-sharing site Flickr is next on the list, growing 201%, from 2.1 million to 6.3 million unique visitors.

"User-generated content sites have seen significant growth over the past year, owing in large part to their reliance on viral marketing," said Jon Gibs of Nielsen//NetRatings. "They also benefit from their cost-effectiveness — the content is practically free."

The trends happening in the business world, will continue to effect us in education. Social Networking is here to stay, how we best use it in learning and teaching is up to us.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Love the title - 15 years of the WWW

I've had the chance to catch up with my blog reading after a crazily busy two weeks and came across a piece from my old friend Dave Snowdon. As I have no children I wasn't sure that the topic was relevant as it was titled Would you trust a teenager with your economic future? however a brief read made it clear the 'teenager' being referred to was the WWW which has just reached the age of 15! (I reckon Dave wins the prize for the best title of a blog entry for this!!)Yes August 1991 was when the web was born - see Fifteen years of the web.

As someone who has been using the WWW since 1993 I had quite realised how much of an innovator I was being in those early days. Certainly by 1995 it had become a normal part of both my working and business life. Now it dominates my life as I work to encourage others to engage in the use of the WWW and other technologies in enhancing their learning and teaching.

So only 15 years, no wonder that we are only just developing pedagogies and andragogies that work in this environment. No wonder either that the andragogy/pedagogy debate needs to be refocused at a time when we move form structured forms of learning planning towards social software enabling learners to plan and manage their own learning.

Well we have it right in 115 years time? At least for me I hope I've stopped worrying about it by the web's 30th birthday :-)