Summary: Wildcards!

This area of work was about those unconventional or radical changes which hadn’t been considered in the workstreams. They were added by interested users via our open-access Google Drive site.

Ideas that have emerged so far:

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Scale up the impact of ‘cutting-edge’ people teaching one day a week in VE (Teach Too) by screening their classes on a video-sharing platform, crowd-sourcing questions using Twitter, etc. and get celebrities (including YouTube stars) to make video for MOOCs
Rating: 2.6/5 (7 votes cast)
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Teach-the-teachers how to design on-line learning materials on their own websites, using open-source packages
Rating: 2.0/5 (4 votes cast)
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Fund the REal Deal - currently there are lots of pilots around such as those offered by TechDis, which allow disabled learners to communicate with other learners and other providers). Pick a project that learners vote for and scale up (we only have funding for small projects and even those that are brilliant and work well frequently don’t get long-term funding)
Rating: 4.0/5 (4 votes cast)
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Promote learners as Technology Ambassadors and let them teach staff and management
Rating: 3.4/5 (11 votes cast)
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Public funding for employer-designed courses that train people for specific role in businesses
Rating: 2.3/5 (3 votes cast)
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Each provider to develop a “Virtual College” to offer all provision virtually (providers not in direct competition to be encouraged to work together to avoid ‘re-inventing the wheel’)
Rating: 2.2/5 (6 votes cast)
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Mandatory practical module on all teacher-training courses on technology in teaching and learning. Practical assignments from module to be shared on a national platform and prizes awarded annually
Rating: 4.0/5 (7 votes cast)
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Have Ofsted include a new judgement “capacity to innovate”, or include “capacity to innovate” explicitly under Leadership and Management in the Common Inspection Framework
Rating: 4.0/5 (10 votes cast)
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Have Ofsted act on ALT’s November 2011 response the the consultation on the then draft of the Common Inspection Framework (http://goo.gl/EiiWkZ)
Rating: 5.0/5 (5 votes cast)
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Mandate the inclusion in every publicly-funded programme from 2014/2015, of a 15% wholly-online component, with incentives to increase this to 50% by 2017
Rating: 3.1/5 (7 votes cast)
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Minister to hold a livestream Hangout (video conferencing with unlimited viewers) with FE learners from across the country to listen, debate and ask for further ideas for initiatives, with thousands more learners watching and tweeting in questions
Rating: 3.0/5 (4 votes cast)
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Make the whole of ‘Civil Service Learning’ open access and accreditable for the public
Rating: 3.8/5 (5 votes cast)
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Hancock Days – cancel lessons one day per term for dedicated digital CPD sessions with regional road-shows and live webinars
Rating: 3.0/5 (8 votes cast)

Your views:

  • Based on these wildcard proposals, which specific ideas would make the biggest difference to you?
  • Can you suggest any good mechanisms for achieving these?
  • Are there other wildcard areas not considered above – or in the main workstreams – that should be proposed?

Rate the Wildcards!:
In your opinion, how useful are these wildcard suggestions (5 = very, 1 = not at all)?

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Rating: 4.0/5 (5 votes cast)
Wildcard!, 4.0 out of 5 based on 5 ratings

7 thoughts on “Wildcard!

  1. Seb Schmoller

    These wildcards need to be separated out if the “rating” process is to have any meaning. This is because some of them are very good ideas and some are not.

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  2. FELTAGadmin

    Hi Seb – thanks for the feedback. Rating have now been split for one per wildcard.

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  3. Crispin Weston

    Can we include new wildcards?

    * Create a “technical specifications incubator” that encourages ed-tech suppliers to develop robust data specifications for improved interoperability.

    * Create on online marketplace for ed-tech products, supporting user reviews and certification against data standards.

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    1. Nick Lambert

      Thanks Crispin – can you provide more detail on what each of your new ‘wildcards’ might look like in practice, what would be needed and who might do it?

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      1. Crispin Weston

        Hello Nick,

        Sorry – I missed your reply last week.

        If you could drop me a line at my email address (which I think you have), I would be happy to send you three pages of text outlining the proposal. But in the meantime, here are some more thoughts.

        On the “who?” question, my answer is that it doesn’t ultimately matter. But ideally, I think this would be provided by government. While advocating a market approach (because I think this will attract investment and sort out what works and what doesn’t) I think that any market needs to be well regulated. And control of the online marketplace will give government the means to do that (e.g. to ensure transparency and competition). For example, your suggestion for common contractual and IP standards: all products could be certified against such standards on the marketplace, leaving it up to the practitioner to whether they want to buy safe or buy risky.

        Even with government funding, the online marketplace could be established in such a way as to achieve a sustainable business model over a 5 year period. So it might be some sort of private-public non-profit partnership. But unfortunately, government has been very unwilling to get involved in any of this at all over the last few years. So it might be necessary to look at other models as second best.

        The DfE tried something similar to the online marketplace for schools, in the form of “Curriculum Online” in 2002 – but the implementation was flawed: *suppliers were over-burdened with complex metadata requirements; *spending was focused on so-called “vouchers” (which in actual fact was just money that could be spent in any way that schools liked); *yet even when the money was spent in the way that intended, the result was to throw too much money at an undeveloped market, leading to schools over-spending on what turned out to be poorly designed shelf-ware; *on the other hand, not enough money was spent on advertising the marketplace to potential buyers – such advertisement would ideally be done in an intelligent and dialogic way.

        So suppliers must (maybe after an initial holiday) pay for listing and practitioners must pay from existing budgets to buy costed products. OER requires a different model, of course, and if both OER and commercial models are to be supported, some sort of additional quality filter (e.g. based on user reviews) needs to be applied to the OER. I am all in favour of user-review/popularity filter also being applied to commercial products – but that builds on top of the payment pre-filter that ought to take out most of the rubbish.

        I am against aggregated procurement or formal quality qualification filters being built into the marketplace. If people think that aggregated procurement offers better value for money, then that is a service that can be advertised on the marketplace, just like any other. But the default rule must be for a low and open threshold of entry that offers everyone a level playing field.

        In my view, the details of the interface would need to be determined after close consultation both with suppliers and users. Instead of government dictating top-down standards, the incubator would allow suppliers (working within a governance framework) to propose proto-standards (both technical and minimum quality). Products could be badged against these proto-standards on the marketplace. Government would be able to influence the emergence and progression of these proto-standards but ultimately, buyers would decide which proto-standards achieved most traction in the market. Successful proto-standards could be progressed through BSI (the relevant committee of which I currently chair) to formal international standardisation in ISO/IEC and/or CEN – at the moment these organisations produce paper standards for education which no-one has ever (or probably could ever) implement – so opening up a new channel of vigorous, market-driven pre-standardisation activity would revolutionise the world of international standards.

        So the online market-place has two very important spin-off benefits, beyond the obvious ones of achieving price transparency and giving a platform to new, innovative solutions:
        * supporting the emergence of standards;
        * supporting a conversation about what “good” looks like, bringing in user and professional reviews.

        Re the second of these points, one of the problems that has been identified by recent debates about education research is the damaging chasm between academics and practitioners, leading to muddled views of what constitutes good pedagogy. In my view, this chasm is perpetuated by current models of funding academic research – what would produce better research would be if academics were funded by business (as e.g. physicists and engineers tend to be) rather than by government or European Commission programmes, which invariably fall over once the funding is withdrawn.

        This whole approach is predicated on the view (which runs counter to much of the orthodox opinion in ed-tech over recent years) that technology matters. I lay out my argument on this point at my recent blog, “It’s the technology, stupid!” at http://edtechnow.net/2013/11/10/wheel/. Education-technology software can become a means of encapsulating pedagogy in ways that assist the teacher, but in ways that can be assessed and replicated.

        A final point is that taking this software-centric approach to learning technology will enable systems that automatically harvest data, that will in the end provide the evidence for what works. There is a lot of talk at the moment about “big data” in education but the truth is that we have hardly any useful, real-time data in education at all.

        Thanks again for your interest and do send me an email if you want further information or see ways of continuing this conversation.

        Best, Crispin.

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  4. Ben Rowland

    Government should:

    • Run a competitive process to find 5 organisations to deliver training in how to do e-delivery of vocational training, and fund them to offer the first 500 places on the course for free to members of AoC or AELP, up to a maximum of 10 people from each organisation; allow the 5 organisations thereafter to commercially compete for further business

    • Create 2 year funding pots for organisations to bid for in each of the major components e.g. vocational MOOCs, gameification, getting online exams as trusted as offline exams, working out how to track learning activity online etc.

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  5. Helen Milner

    Encourage and support the use of collaborative MOOC approaches in appropriate parts of the FE and Skills system, and identifying what works and what doesn’t.
    BIS should make the free open adult learner’s MOOC – Learn My Way – widely available to all relevant providers across the sector.

    To bring the creation and co-creation of online courses swiftly as a reality for the sector by encouraging sector staff (and their learners) to use the Learn My Way Course Builder to develop their own free and open online learner pathways and then share them across the sector with other teachers and learners.

    Work with local communities to pilot and evaluate online only community learning, including the use of Badges and to make the findings widely available across the sector.

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