Sunday, August 19, 2018

Quickly Constructing University Buildings from Timber

ANU Timber Student
Building Construction
A free half day seminar on how the Australian National University's newest student accommodation and teaching buildings are built in Canberra from timber, will be held 12:30 pm, 13 September 2018. This includes a guided walk to the building site.
"The Union Court Redevelopment project includes a 450 bed student accommodation and 7,000 m2 teaching building to be built using cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam (GLT).
Mass Timber in the form of Cross Laminated Timber and Glulam has finally come to Canberra, with the recent redevelopment occurring within the campus of the Australian National University.
Lendlease DesignMake, the designer and fabricator of the engineered timber structures for this project will discuss the design and construction of this redevelopment. Other speakers will discuss mass timber use, CLT and fire rating of timber. The seminar will also include a guided walk to view the actual construction on the ANU site.
This half-day seminar is a must for all building and design professionals including architects, engineers, building designers, certifiers, developers, builders, regulators and educators. ...


12.30pm Welcome
  • Welcome and WoodSolutions Update and Mass Timber - Andrew Dunn, TDA
  • Building’s use in Australia to date
12.45pm Union Court, ANU
  • Design and Construction of Union Court
  • Student Accommodation and Teachers Facility - Andrew Smith, DesignMake
  • Guide walk to building site - Andrew Smith, DesignMake
03.00pm Afternoon tea and coffee break
03.30pm Mass Timber Solutions
  • CLT Design and Fabrication insight - Sean Bull, XLAM
  • Mould & Fire = Destructive Forces & Solutions for Mass Timber - Andreas Luzzi, Laros Indust.
  • Calculating Timber Charring Rates and AS1720.4 Update - Andrew Dunn, TDA
05.00pm Finish"

From: "Mass Timber (CLT) Building Free WoodSolutions Seminar"

 ps: I will be speaking on "Learning to use new  tech-infused teaching spaces" at EduBuild 2018 in Singapore, 9 October, 5:20pm.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

New Zealand to Recognize Micro-credentials from 22 August 2018

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) proposes to recognise micro-credentials from tertiary education organizations from 22 August 2018. This follows a consultation paper and feedback.

What is not clear to me is how micro-credentials will fit with existing university and vocational education and training (VET) qualifications. The NZ micro-credential is 5 to 40 NZ "credits", where a year full-time study is 120 credits. This make a NZ micro-credential is about one hundredth, to one tenth, of a three year degree, making it a deci- or centi-credential (a literal "micro-credential" would be about 30 minutes study).

In the Australian system a common sub-degree qualification is a "certificate" (or graduate certificate) requiring half a year study. This would make a NZ micro-credential between 8% and 67% of a certificate. An Australian university year is commonly 24 weeks of study, making a NZ micro-credential equivalent to 1 to 8 weeks study. An Australian VET Certificate IV requires ten "Units of competency". So a NZ micro-credential would be between half and four units of competency.

Micro-credentials may well "disrupt" the higher education system, by providing shorter, cheaper, more convenient and relevant qualifications. Hopefully this can be done with protection for the students, teachers and the community, from exploitation. It needs to be kept in mind that qualifications are not just about students getting a better job, they are about ensuring the community receives the safe level of service expected.

Australia has experienced exploitation of students in vocational courses, where they were signed up for overpriced worthless qualifications, and exploitation of students in the "gig-economy" workforce, where they were underpaid (and threatened if they spoke out). If not carefully regulated, micro-credentials could create perfect conditions for further exploitation of students.
Educational elements
  • Certifies achievement of a set of skills and knowledge
  • Coherence of the skills and knowledge required
  • Purpose statement required
  • Learning outcomes required
  • Strong demonstrable evidence of need by industry, employer and/or community required
  • Does not typically duplicate current quality-assured learned approved by NZQA
Credit values            5 to 40 credits
Entities who may deliver or arrange training
  • Tertiary education providers and Industry Training Organisations can seek approval of micro-credentials through the training scheme rules and consent to assess rules
  • Non-Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs) - Equivalency service only
  • Yearly review of quality-assured micro-credentials
  • Quality-assured micro-credentials published on a public register
  • Micro-credentials with an equivalence statement (delivered by non-TEOs) published on a separate register"
 From: "Recognising micro-credentials in New Zealand", NZ, 2018

Friday, August 10, 2018

Innovation ACT

InnovationACT is a ten week startup program and completion for Canberra's university students (with a $50,000 seed pool). IACT starts 14th August. I am one of the mentors (my team last year was OK RDY).

Thursday, August 9, 2018

ANU Innovation in Teaching Showcase

The Australian National University is holding the 2018 CAP – CASS Innovation in Teaching Showcase in Canberra, 4 & 5 September. The ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, and the College of Arts and Social Sciences will discuss teaching innovations. Highlights include ANU language courses with Open Universities Australia. The event is free and all teachers and academics are invited to register through Eventbrite.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Learning to use new tech-infused teaching spaces

The control console for an Australian National University flat floor classroom.
ANU "TechLauncher"
in flat floor classroom.
I will be speaking on "Learning to use new  tech-infused teaching spaces" at EduBuild 2018 in Singapore, 9 October, 5:20pm. This is a new part of the annual EduTech conference, focusing on classroom design and use. For this I will relate my ANU experience.
"Teachers and students will need to learn to use new flexible classrooms.

This will require blending the physical spaces with online tools and techniques. Both staff and students will need to work together, with team teaching and group learning.
  1. How do we get teachers to use these new spaces for more than old fashioned "chalk and talk"
  2. How can physical spaces be integrated with flipped, blended and online courses?
  3. How can these spaces fostering student engagement?
  4. How do these spaces promote collaborative and peer learning?
  5. What curriculum changes are needed to promote effective use of new teaching spaces?
  6. Can the new teaching spaces also be innovation centers?
  7. Do teachers, and university academics, need new formal qualifications to teach in these spaces?"

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Computer Professionals Providing Mobile Learning for the Digital Economy

The theme of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka  National IT Conference (NITC 2018),  2 to 4 October, is "IT Changes Everything". Australian speakers include Craig Horne, Vice President of the Australian Computer Society, Carey Furze, entrepreneur and myself.

My topic is "Computer Professionals Providing Mobile Learning for the Digital Economy". I suggest that teaching is an under-recognized skill for computing academics, they can be trained using mobile learning, and use it for teaching. There is a short promotional video and here are some notes:

Computer Professionals Providing Mobile Learning for the Digital Economy

by Tom Worthington
for NITC 2018, October, Colombo

IT Professionals Change Everything

IT developments depend on trained computer professionals to make them happen.
 Example: Async-Sync Learning System being built at ANU.

Drive the Digital Economy Through Education

Education is an under-recognized specialist area for  computer professionals.
Example: Free open online ICT Sustainability Course, delivered via the open source Moodle Learning Management System, by ACS, ANU, and Athabasca University for the last ten years.

Changes Needed in Education

  1. Qualify computer professionals as education specialists at higher education institutions.
  2. Accelerate their training, using mobile learning.
  3. Have these professionals design and deliver mobile learning.
  4. Teach these techniques to educators in other disciplines and other education systems.

Key Metrics

What proportion of your computer educators are dual qualified in computing and education?
What proportion of your computer education courses are offered on-line via mobile devices?

Register Now

NITC 2018, Colombo
2 to 4 October 2018