Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Introducing Linux...



Introducing Linux...


The Linux operating system is sensational, free as in beer and freedom. Did you know that Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and the New York Stock Exchange are just a few examples of everyday names that use Linux. 

Linux (Ubuntu) is my operating system of choice as it is stable, secure and extremely fast. How did I come to use Linux... through overcoming the challenges of embedding technology enhanced learning into my teaching. 

My next post will discuss the 'comfort triangle' and how it can be used to help teachers and IT professionals to find an improved level of synergy and therefore work more effectively through a better understanding of the challenges each profession face. 





Sunday, 13 September 2015

Education as a business in the new learning paradigm - repost

I am currently linking my Blogger posts to my current social networking environments. Please use this post to visit my blog called:

 Technology Enhanced Learning http://tel-paulfloss.blogspot.co.uk/


This post was first published on Thursday, 5th September 2013

Education as a business in the new learning paradigm

This is the working title for my Phd proposal. Why have I chosen this title... well it is based on my experience of two areas of my working life:
    1. Managing both private and public businesses
    2. Appreciating the impact technology is having on the learning experience
      My main focus in point 1 will be the 'hidden factory'. Most companies will have a hidden factory working very hard behind the scenes unless they are using tools and techniques such as Six Sigma. 

      I define the hidden factory as all the additional processes required to ensure an imperfect system works. A simple example could be a report where data is not automatically available and personnel work have to 'cut and paste' from differing information systems to build spreadsheets that can be configured to produce (flawed?) data/information. Two earlier blog entries (part 1 and part 2) provide an example of the possible costs of a very simple hidden factory. Considering that most businesses are very complex, a hidden factory is likely to be a significant cost and one which must be removed. There is also a moral dimension to consider... any business considering making redundancies must be comfortable that it is not because of they have a hidden factory.

       So how can a business find out if they have a hidden factory? The first step is to understand all the processes that the business has then refine them to be as efficient as possible. Finally, use technology to automate as many steps as possible, this includes reports and data.

      Teachers and educators also need to understand the data available (Including non-electronic). Google has designed a course called 'Making Sense of Data'. you can preview and register by clicking  https://datasense.withgoogle.com/course

      The need to understand data is becoming main stream. It is no longer the domain of specialists as this TED video http://www.ted.com/talks/andreas_schleicher_use_data_to_build_better_schools.html explains.

      Please do contact me if my working title is of interest, especially if you are already exploring this area. Although I have never been in a position to start a Phd, I am extremely interested in 'education as a business', especially in blended learning using MOOC style learning paradigms.

      Please do comment on any aspect of my past and future posts.

      Paul


      Thursday, 5 September 2013

      Education as a business in the new learning paradigm

      I am currently linking my Blogger posts to my current social networking environments. Please use this post to visit my blog called:

       Technology Enhanced Learning http://tel-paulfloss.blogspot.co.uk/


      This post was first published on Thursday, 5th September 2013
      Education as a business in the new learning paradigm

      This is the working title for my Phd proposal. Why have I chosen this title... well it is based on my experience of two areas of my working life:
      1. Managing both private and public businesses
      2. Appreciating the impact technology is having on the learning experience
      My main focus in point 1 will be the 'hidden factory'. Most companies will have a hidden factory working very hard behind the scenes unless they are using tools and techniques such as Six Sigma. 

      I define the hidden factory as all the additional processes required to ensure an imperfect system works. A simple example could be a report where data is not automatically available and personnel work have to 'cut and paste' from differing information systems to build spreadsheets that can be configured to produce (flawed?) data/information. Two earlier blog entries (part 1 and part 2) provide an example of the possible costs of a very simple hidden factory. Considering that most businesses are very complex, a hidden factory is likely to be a significant cost and one which must be removed. There is also a moral dimension to consider... any business considering making redundancies must be comfortable that it is not because of they have a hidden factory.

       So how can a business find out if they have a hidden factory? The first step is to understand all the processes that the business has then refine them to be as efficient as possible. Finally, use technology to automate as many steps as possible, this includes reports and data.

      Teachers and educators also need to understand the data available (Including non-electronic). Google has designed a course called 'Making Sense of Data'. you can preview and register by clicking  https://datasense.withgoogle.com/course

      The need to understand data is becoming main stream. It is no longer the domain of specialists as this TED video http://www.ted.com/talks/andreas_schleicher_use_data_to_build_better_schools.html explains.

      Please do contact me if my working title is of interest, especially if you are already exploring this area. Although I have never been in a position to start a Phd, I am extremely interested in 'education as a business', especially in blended learning using MOOC style learning paradigms.

      Please do comment on any aspect of my past and future posts.

      Paul



      Saturday, 6 July 2013

      Rejoining the blogging world

      Why do I suddenly feel I want to blog again? Is it because I am not so busy? No... I am just as busy as ever. Is it because I want to moan about the state of (insert world, country, work etc)? No... I can do that without a blog. 

      I believe it is about having a passion; these are normally positive and can flourish by sharing experiences. The passion I have is teaching and learning and after receiving an encouraging comment from a colleague... I now realise this is the right time (again) for me to share my thoughts through my blog.

      Communities of Practice has been the power behind groups of like-minded people making real change! So lets get together, collaborate and through  intelligent analysis of facts and careful evaluation... real and lasting change is possible!

      Don't just read my blog... comment on it to help me learn more.

      Lets start with this question: have you ever received a positive comment which has made you feel empowered to make a change to something or yourself?

      Wednesday, 26 October 2011

      Information: Why do we duplicate it? Part 2 of 2

      I decided not to complete the original post as I can clearly see that the information systems I have to use are not designed to provide information. They are in-fact just databases with very little refinement. Unfortunately, some information is not available in the databases and requires examination of paper records.

      I believe there is a need for a complete system overview to decide what information is required for each individual report. If the information is inserted (live from the database) in the report template then the evaluation and impact could easily be written with reference to the information contained. However, the current practice is to spend time finding information from paper based records and on-line databases which in many cases require training from the administrator on how to obtain my own data. Bonkers!!, why should anyone have to learn someone else's job.

      I have spoken about the 'Hidden Factory' in the past, well this is an example of one. Consider the following... if it takes say, 15 hours (conservative estimate) to produce information from the various data available for one report. If the on-costs of a member of staff is £40, then the cost will be £600. If there are 12 managers doing the same than the cost rise to £7200. Now consider that most tutors are spending a number of hours finding their part of the information; 200 tutors spending 3 hours each could easily add an extra £24000. Therefore each report approximately costs £31,200.

      The solution... closer communication between business support and teachers/managers to focus on streamlining the report process and making every aspect electronic.

      Tuesday, 25 October 2011

      Information: Why do we duplicate it? Part 1 of 2

      I have recently changed roles at my place of work (college) and as I expected, the first few weeks have been challenging. The challenges are not from the staff as they are very hard working, dedicated professionals who have the interest of the student at the heart of their role. It is the processes that are used that I am finding slightly difficult to adapt to.

      The processes are working, especially for the staff who have used them for a number of years. The difficulty for me is that it is very paper based and information is not necessarily in sync with the central college data systems. Paper is not the problem (except for cost), it is the transparency that is my challenge. As information is mainly paper based it can only be located in a particular folder, draw or cupboard.

      The effectiveness of the administration system(s) have a direct impact on the quality of teaching and learning. Effective administration allows trends to be identified, predict possible problems in financial terms as well as highlighting possible errors. At a simple level, good administration release time which can then be used to focus on the delivery of the learning content. The college has many systems and databases and a team of support staff to maintain it all.

      The question I pose myself is... why is there such a need to hold local information and data in staff rooms? I will explore this interesting aspect from a personal perspective in part two.