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Social and Big Data Computing Keynote

KMi Reporter, Sunday 15 September 2013 | Annotate
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Opening Keynote of the International Knowledge Management in Organizations Conference was KMi Director, Professor Peter Scott. This event, which was the 8th in the series was held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on 9th -13th September, 2013. This year the conference used as its theme: Social and Big Data Computing for Knowledge Management.

Professor Scott spoke on the theme of 'Transforming learning via social and big data computing'

"Social and big data computing presage massive changes for Higher Education. Today’s students navigate an online world with a great deal of free and high quality learning material available as Open Educational Resources (OER). These are also now being framed by leading international institutions as Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC). In addition, learners’ activity in these new spaces is logged and available to inspection and integration. This can be used by big data services to predict trends, and make recommendations. Indeed, one of the most promising new areas of ‘learning analytics’ is not just the dashboard service provided to the institution which helps understand where students may fail, and to offer appropriate help; but to offer the learner a view of their ‘quantified self’. To compound the challenge offered by this new ‘data view’ of learning, it is also now moving out of classroom-like spaces into a much more pervasive and mobile context. New computing platforms and channels are starting to offer an interesting set of new affordances to learners via wireless phones and tablets. Learners can now connect with peers and mentors in much more flexible ways, and even conventional resources such as ‘the textbook’ are starting to offer new things. Electronic texts can now be highly interactive; moreover they can be both social and even ‘data driven’ themselves.   The Open University in the UK has taken a strong view of OER, providing many ‘purpose designed for the remote learner’ resources as creative commons – actively facilitating their sharing, redesign and reuse. The impact of this position has been significant – with 10 million unique visitors in the last two years to our OpenLearn OER website (http://openlearn.open.ac.uk); through to impact in very new distribution channels – with over 64 Million downloads via iTunes U since 2008 (http://itunes.open.edu). We have also taken a strong position on the MOOC, creating a new company launched in September 2013, FutureLearn (http://futurelearn.com). We are also at the leading edge of innovative use of the new learning affordances with an app providing access to all our student resources ‘OU Anywhere’; and a set of highly interactive new format texts, exploring how our students could reach out of the book back into our University services, and out to each other. This talk will provide a snapshot of this work at the OU, and seek to provide a roadmap for where it is taking us".


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