EMT503

Leadership in learning and teaching with ICT

Module 9: Problem Solving from a Leadership Perspective

In a large school, differing priorities and perspectives can become challenges and it is hard to develop and maintain the ‘shared schema’ recommended by Bain and Weston (2013). Encouraging colleagues to access available professional learning and to try new pedagogies with technology can also be frustrations. However, one element of our college infrastructure that I think impedes progress and limits opportunity to develop and implement a shared schema is our building design, with silo-oriented staff rooms and traditional classroom spaces. Whilst Flanagan & Jacobsen (2003) do not note attention to physical space as a barrier or recommendation, I think it is a factor that affects, pedagogy and professional development – two of the four identified barriers (Flanagan and Jacobsen, 2003).

 

My first Masters unit was ‘Designing Spaces for Learning’ (INF536) with Ewan McIntosh. Through this unit I realised the potential difficulty of leading change in a school where the spaces provide teachers with little vision outside of their historical classroom experience (Woolner, McCarter, Wall and Higgins, 2011); through their limitation, the majority of senior school spaces reflect and encourage tradition practice. For example, I teach a collaborative, practical subject in a room packed with rows of desks that are too heavy to move. Other rooms are so small, teachers cannot move between students. The nature of the school environment set into the landscape, does not lend itself to open doors, visible practice and visiting colleagues. The school buildings cover a large area and therefore little interaction occurs between staff rooms due to the physical geography.

 

This aspect may be a tangent from the central foci of our readings, however it is a considerable constraint limiting access to informal learning through classroom observation, the exploration of flexible teaching strategies and the development of a shared vision (Bain and Weston, 2013; Petersen, 2014).

 

In terms of a response, planning for retrofitting of spaces could be a useful strategic direction; this is an aspect convincingly advocated by Terry Byers in a recent Design and Play podcast (Brophy and Pearman, 2017). Considering creative solutions for enabling classroom observation within a structured community of practice could have a positive impact on shared professional learning (Muhammad, 2009). Developing further ways of encouraging transdisciplinary learning and interaction between silos could also help to move the school out of what is largely an ‘introverted’ silo-oriented culture (Hadjithoma-Garstka, 2011).

 

References

Brophy, S., & Pearman, D.(2017). Design and play: Episode 4. Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/ep-4-interview-with-terry-byers/id1207005111?i=1000383119856&mt=2

Flanagan, L. & Jacobsen, M. (2003),”Technology leadership for the twenty-first century principal”. Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 41, 2. pp. 124 – 142.

Hadjithoma-Garstka, C. (2011). The role of the principal’s leadership style in the implementation of ICT policy. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 42(2), 311-326. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.01014.x

Muhammad, A. (2009). Transforming school culture: How to overcome staff division.Moorabbin: Hawker Brownlow Australia.

Petersen, A. (2014). Teachers’ perceptions of principals’ ICT leadership. Contemporary Educational Technology, Vol.5(4), pp.302-315 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

Woolner, P. McCarter, S. Wall, K. Higgins, S. (2011). Changed learning through changed space: When can a participatory approach to the learning environment challenge preconceptions and alter practice? Paper presented at AERA 2011. Retrieved from http://www.ncl.ac.uk/cflat/news/documents/AERAWoolnerMcCarter.pdf

Module 8 – Macro, Meso, Micro

The catholic and independent schools where I have worked have enjoyed significant self-governance in regards to big decisions about ICT funding and integration. In some cases, this has allowed future-focused initiatives, unimpeded by systemic barriers; however, in others, the lack of connection and conversation has retained the status quo, hampered by lack of vision and fear of risk. Whilst the schools in my area do not have the long histories and traditions that schools elsewhere have, I have seen the impact of existing school culture in stifling ICT integration and shifts in pedagogy (Muhammad, 2009). As this flexibility to operate autonomously can be a benefit and a deficit, many areas of concern that I have observed relate to the micro level (Younie, 2006).

 

I think the implementation of the Australian Curriculum, Digital Technologies (ACARA, 2017) provides an impetus for change initiated from the macro level (Younie, 2006) – the curriculum is mandated and has driven movement for effective learning with technology to be formally included. Whilst the silo implementation of  the Digital Technologies curriculum may concern some practitioners (see this article found on LinkedIn – Moule, 2017; Voogt and Pelgrum, 2005), I think we will see a flow-on effect from student learning. Where digital technology is explicitly taught through the curriculum, students are likely to apply their learning (technology and soft skills) to other areas of their study more effectively. I also think this macro factor will support and frame discussions for the micro level document on which my assignment will focus.

 

Networks between the schools for teachers to consider infrastructure and practice at a grass roots level are relatively new initiatives that are helping to forge a transition in schools in my area, supporting meso level progress (Younie, 2006). These have largely been spurred by professional learning opportunities initiated at the meso (ICT Teachers’ Association) and macro (ACARA) levels. For these reasons, I think in my local area, the macro and meso level operations driven by the Digital Technologies curriculum are helpful in scaffolding processes and planning in the micro environment.

 

References

ACARA (2017). Australian curriculum: Digital technologies. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/digital-technologies/curriculum/f-10?layout=1

Moule, R. (2017). LinkedIn untitled post. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6263667463502856192/

Voogt, J. & Pelgrum, H. (2005). ICT and Curriculum Change. Human Technology, Volume 1 (2), pp. 157-175.

Younie, S. (2006). Implementing government policy on ICT in education: Lessons learnt. Education & Information Technologies, 11(3/4), 385-400. doi:10.1007/s10639-006-9017-1

http://primo.unilinc.edu.au/CSU:CSU_ALL:TN_springer_jour10.1007/s10639-006-9017-1

Module 7 – Curriculum Development

The Proctor et. al article looks at one way of measuring the way ICT has been integrated into the curriculum in schools. In your organisation/school do you have a way of assessing the degree to which you are integrating ICT into your classrooms? Do you measure the impact of the use of ICT in your organisation? If you don’t, why not? If you do, what instrument, tool, or prcess do you use?

In recent years, considerable work has been done to track the use of ICT in classrooms and to determine its impact in my school; often an informal process, there are some measures in place and planned to provide a more data-based analysis of ICT use and the impact on teaching and learning.

The Australian Curriculum General Capabilities (ACARA 2016) has provided a scaffold against which to measure use of ICT and department areas have collated the what, where, who, how and why of their ICT integration. This information has been mapped, outlining how ICT is used across the large school. The General Capabilities also serve to remind teachers that integration of ICT needs a learning focus and encourages considered use against curriculum standards (Proctor, Watson and Finger 2003). The mapping documentation will need to be reviewed regularly and could be a shared, live document so that the community see it is a flexible, fluid space where exploring new initiatives is desired.

We are currently preparing a survey for departments in the senior school to seek feedback on the professional learning provided this year, as well as the perceived needs of our staff community to inform next steps for professional learning.

The Voogt & Pegrum article looks at the ways in which ICT integration has changed the curriculum in a number of schools. Their conclusions are interesting. To what extent to their findings mirror your own school or organisations experiences?

Voogt and Pegrum found evidence that formative assessment practices have increased due to technology integration. In my school, the inclusion of more extensive formative assessment practices is increasing. An example of this in practice has come with the integration of OneNote Class Notebooks across most department areas, as it has enabled teachers to see and provide feedback on their students’ work at anytime.

I think the finding that innovative practice is not crossing the school boundary (Voogt and Pegrum, 2005) may now be dated. Whist my particular context is not trail-blazing this innovation, there are teachers making good use of social media and Skype to connect with experts and engaging in collaborative programs with external experts.

Mishra and Koehler (2006) and Wellington (2005) outlined that effective implementation of technology for learning requires more than isolated, narrow use of ICT; Voogt and Pegrum also advocate a broad, rather than focused integration. They indicate that such findings may influence decisions against computer literacy as a separate subject (2005). This is an interesting point with the implementation of Digital Technologies Curriculum across Australian schools this year.

I think that the requirements of the Digital Technology curriculum serve to deepen the use of ICT beyond the superficial. The Digital Technology Hub published and circulated a useful infographic, outlining differences in practice between the ICT General Capabilities and Digital Technology, which I find helpful to consider ways in which ICT may be integrated into using the curriculum as opposed to, or alongside the capabilities.

 

References

ACARA. (2016). Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/overview/introduction

Digital Technologies Hub. (2017). What’s the difference between ICT capability and digital technologies [infographic]. Retrieved from https://www.digitaltechnologieshub.edu.au/teachers/australian-curriculum/ict-vs-digital-technologies

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054.

Proctor, R., Watson, G. and Finger, G. (2003). Measuring information and communication technology (ICT) curriculum integration. Computers in the Schools, 20(4): 67–87.

Voogt, J. & Pelgrum, H. (2005). ICT and Curriculum Change. Human Technology, Volume 1 (2), pp. 157-175.

Wellington, J. (2005). Has ICT come of age? Recurring debates on the role of ICT in education 1982-2004. Research In Science & Technological Education, 23(1), 25-39.

Module 6 – Educational ICT leadership and decision making

As a large PreK to Year 12 college, the ICT roles in my school are owned my a number of staff members, each with a different focus. My role is not a formal leadership role, although I have the opportunity to peer-lead colleagues in their integration of technology. Devolder, Vanderlinde, van Braak and Tondeur (2010)argue “that schools need a facilitator or a change agent”. Led by the Director for Digital Learning and Innovation, Tech Coaches at my school are largely able to lead a learning-focused use of technology as there is a substantial IT Support team to respond to technical issues. Whether multiple roles help or hinder planning and use of ICT is highly context specific and often affected by personalities and agendas; it is also dependent on the leadership management of ICT support teams as inferred by Stuart and Mills (2009). On the whole, staff in my college context are altruistic and collegial and this helps to create a collaborative environment that is not impeded by the challenges of ‘too many cooks’. 

The 2012 Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development eLearning planning resource provides a useful structure for assessing the current situation for ICT integration. We recently became an Apple Distinguished School and in this process, had the opportunity to access our college use of technology against a scaffold of integration in a range from ‘Developing’ to ‘Transformative’. This has helped to define the level at which we are currently functioning as well as where we aspire to. Such a structure helps to formulate a common direction and keep staff on a consistent and focused trajectory. 

I found the Stuart and Mills, “School leaders, ICT competence and championing innovations” article relevant and inspiring. I feel fortunate to be part of an organisation that values a designated role for ICT champions and this is essentially what I am employed to be. I have worked in other schools where my interest in ICT integration was valued, but the time commitment and focused role were not possible/considered necessary.

In  my role, staying up to date and responding to change are critical. My online PLN, engagement with peers on Twitter and university connections have been central to my work in recent years. I think responding critically to new technology and evaluating developments with a pedagogical framework is imperative. Online Professional Learning Networks help us to ascertain the potential successes and pitfalls of new technology integration. We also test new technologies with staff ‘champions’ (Stuart and Mills, 2009) who are competent with the purpose and function of the technology before roll out to the full staff. As I read Start and Mills’ (2009) article, I could envision ways that we could embrace the ICT Champion concept across department areas and with Community of Practice teams further in our organisation to support and assist our colleagues in their ICT integration. 

On a related note, a colleague recently referred me to an article that discusses a current perspective on ICT integration through the new Australian Curriculum Digital Technologies framework (Blannin, 2017). It includes some current insight into the Prensky Digital Native/Immigrant debate (2001). You may also find it useful. 

References 

Blannin, J. (2017). Coding in the classroom: Australian schools are about to introduce the new Digital Technologies curriculum. Retreivedfrom https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/coding-in-the-classroom 

Department of Education and Early Childhood Education, Victoria. (2012). eLearning planning & planning support documents. Retrieved from http://epotential.education.vic.gov.au/showcase/resource.php?res_id=592&showcase_id=59 

Devolder, A., Vanderlinde, R., van Braak, J., Tondeur, J., (2010). Identifying multiple roles of ICT coordinators, Computers & Education, Vol.55(4), pp.1651-1655.  

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the horizon, vol.9(5).

Stuart, L. H., A. M. Mills, et al. (2009). “School leaders, ICT competence and championing innovations.” Computers & Education 53(3): 733-741.

Module 5: Teacher Professional Development – Forum Post

At numerous points in my study so far I have noted the importance of professional learning (PL) for teachers to successfully integrate technology. I think I have noted in another forum that part of what led me to my study was the evidence in the school I was in at the time that many teachers were unsure what to do with technology in their 1:1 classrooms beyond internet research and word processing. People often struggle to see beyond what they know and therefore, PL to provide exposure to new pedagogies using ICT is essential (Tondeur, Forkosh-Baruch, Prestridge, Albion, and Edirisinghe, 2016). The need for ongoing, meaningful PL is consistently acknowledged amongst the readings; I think what is sometimes lacking clarity for those planning PL is the form it should best take to support teachers as learners (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007). 

I think many schools have moved on from the model of the ICT presenter who sweeps in, shows a new tool and leaves (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007). Such a model of PL does not sustain ICT integration as it is transient and not necessarily timely or connected to the context (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007). Internal, peer-led PL is becoming more prominent (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007), making use of the teachers as resources – they understand the local context, they are there to answer ongoing questions and coach their colleagues and provide the just in time learning and modeling that is needed for sustainable action. 

Drawing the readings together, the key points are: 

  • PL needs to be relevant to the teacher, but also the school context (Armfield, 2011) 
  • The pedagogical value and purpose of PL should be clear (Tondeur et.al,  2016) 
  • PL needs to be differentiated, tailored or personalised in some way 
  • Practical, hands on and collaborative PL processes will support improved integration 
  • PL needs to be ongoing 
  • Peer coaching and/or train the trainer models as well as Communities of Practice are likely to be most successful (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007; Tondeur et.al, 2016)  
  • Reflection of learning and success is essential (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007)  

One aspect of my role is to facilitate professional learning both in formal and informal settings. As an example, we started the year with a PL session on using OneNote. Much of this initial session involved demonstrating the specific skills required to set up and use the software, so it was initially skills based, but modeling the tool’s pedagogical capabilities had to be front and centre for people to be motivated to transition to a completely new platform (Armfield, 2011; Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007). This one-off event may have got some staff going but it was necessary to offer a series of follow up processes (Armfield, 2001) to make a sustained integration more likely (Matzen & Edmunds, 2007). We made video tutorials, infographic instructions, held drop-in sessions after school and offered further 1:1 coaching where needed.  

Without these subsidiary offerings, much of the initial motivation may have fallen away and implementation for some teachers may have seemed too hard (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007). In terms of measuring the success, we are planning to survey Heads of Departments this coming term to get their sense of the impact of this and other PL activities. A process that includes students in the review of TPL would be good (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007) and may be an option for the future. 

References 

Armfield, S. (2011). Technology leadership for school improvement. Planning, designing, implementing and evaluating technology, pp. 109-128, 2011. in Technology and Leadership for School Improvement. Papa, R. (Ed) California :Sage 

Lawless, K. & Pellegrino, J. (2007). Professional Development in Integrating Technology into Teaching and Learning: Knowns, Unknowns, and Ways to Pursue Better Questions and Answers. Review of Educational Research, Vol. 77, No. 4 (Dec., 2007), pp. 575-614

Matzen, N. J., & Edmunds, J. A. (2007). Technology as a Catalyst for Change: The Role of Professional Development. Journal Of Research On Technology In Education, 39(4), 417-430. 

Tondeur, J., Forkosh-Baruch, A., Prestridge, S., Albion, P., and Edirisinghe, S. (2016). Responding to Challenges in Teacher Professional Development for ICT Integration in Education. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 2016, Vol.19(3), pp.110-120 [Peer Reviewed Journal] 

Module 4: TPaCK framework and using technology in a meaningful way – Forum Post

I have been aware of the TPaCK model throughout my study and have considered the implementation of the holistic structure quite extensively in my current and previous work environments. The TPaCK framework is a useful model, drawing together essential components of a successful contemporary learning environment where one element cannot survive without the others. I like the idea that where when one component – tech, pedagogy or content knowledge – is reduced, then the others must step up to compensate (Mishra and Koehler 2006).

I have been thrown in the teaching deep end in recent years, moving out of my content knowledge comfort zone into the depths of teaching digital tech in a new school without a department, relevant colleagues or support network of any kind. I built an emergency PLN out of local and global (Twitter) connections in order to swiftly build my capacity in T and CK elements, as hanging on with pedagogy alone was pretty tough there for a while! Amongst the challenges of this experience, I learnt that I did not need to have every element of TPaCK nailed down in order for great learning to happen, and that designing inquiry learning experiences can have incredible benefits for students (and teachers like myself who needed the chance to practice outside the box). 

Having said that, I have been very pleased to have now learnt enough to create more of a balance, but the experience was definitely a valuable learning experience and one that has allowed me to experiment and explore with far less trepidation.

References

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054

Module 3: ICT Integration and pedagogical change and approaches – Forum post

Watson (2001) investigates ideas about the focus of the ICT in education issue, and postulates that ICT is still an outsider and “imposed” in educational settings. To what extent do you think this is accurate in both your own setting, but in general now that we have had 10 more years of ICT integration. 

My recent experience would refute Watson’s (2001) idea that ICT is an outsider, however my perspective may well be affected by my circumstances. My previous school required a high level of proficiency with integrating ICT for learning and my current role as a Technology Coach, supporting others to integrate technology for learning has provided evidence that most of my colleagues are ready and willing to integrate ICT. I am seeing significant growth across the school as systems are more seamlessly incorporated. These two roles have repositioned my perspective, but may be isolated as I have sought learning environments where integration of ICT to enhance and transform learning is a priority. 

Whether technology is “imposed” on the other hand, is an interesting question in this discourse. As Watson reflects, teachers may be (rightly) reticent to accept change where it does not tangibly improve learning outcomes – if the rhetoric is deeply flawed (Watson, 2001, p. 261), why would educators get on board? Perhaps this has created a catch 22, with educators reluctant to invest in a pedagogical shift without first seeing evidence of its worth. 

To some extent, IT systems have been imposed on teachers in most school contexts including mine; however, despite the cognitive overload that comes along with new learning, the merit of improved, more successfully integrated systems has become evident and therefore accepted by the staff over time. Over the past two years at my school, Microsoft Office 365 including OneNote Class Notebook has been recommended as a learning tool allowing for multimodal, collaborative processes for teaching and learning, alongside the scope for differentiation and formative assessment. In this space, dialogue is enabled between teachers and students and new scenarios are opened up by ICT (de Aldama and Pozo, 2016) 

Initially, there was uptake from a minority, however in contrast to Watson’s (2001) finding that cascading change has little impact, a shift has occurred amongst our staff and OneNote has now been incorporated into most department areas as evidence of the pedagogical value has filtered through the staff community. Such examples of rich learning tools where educators can see learning potential as well as measures to save time and effort are likely to influence a more successful uptake than that described by Watson. 

The Tech Coach model at my school provides a pathway for modeling initiatives and supporting learning and the development of confidence for other educators. Although there is some overwhelm with systemic change of ICT, the staffing model may help teachers to feel supported and less that technology is unreasonably imposed. 

What shifts in thinking and approach in a pedagogical sense are needed to ensure the appropriate approach to the integration of ICT into education for learning? 

de Aldama and Pozo’s (2016) discussion would indicate that teachers need to shift their beliefs about teaching, learning and knowledge acquisition before they will be prepared to invest in a significant integration of ICT. This is consistent with Bain and Weston’s assertion that teachers struggle to move beyond their own schemas (2013), and therefore may need to experience or witness integration in action to shift their beliefs and change their approach. They need to know it is likely to work and they need to be supported by school leadership to try new approaches.  

Watson outlines Morin’s seven knowledges. These reflect a more holistic view for ICT integration than just the supply of devices, with a broader pedagogical focus including soft skill development. Where ICT integration incorporates a pedagogic and societal focus, repositioning technology as a tool and not a catalyst (Watson, 2001, p.264), transformation of learning with ICT is more likely. 

At mine and many other schools, 2017 has seen the introduction of the Digital Technologies Curriculum which is rich with an emphasis on sophisticated skills, including critical, analytical, computational and design thinking; requiring creative and collaborative solutions to design problems and challenges. Although the segregation of ICT to its own learning area is questioned by Watson (2001) and Somekh (2008), this curriculum framework provides considerable scope to open discourse on transdisciplinary learning opportunities, where STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) through project based learning could tick many of the Australian Curriculum requirements both for the Digital Technologies curriculum as well as the ICT General Capabilities, alongside criteria for other subject areas. This transdisciplinary opportunity is something we are currently planning for our Year 7 cohort later in the year. 

References

ACARA. (2017). Digital Technologies Foundation to Year 10 Curriculum by rows – The Australian Curriculum v8.3. (2017). Australiancurriculum.edu.au. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/digital-technologies/curriculum/f-10?layout=1 

ACARA. (2017). Information and communication technology (ICT) capability – introduction – The Australian curriculum v8.3. Australiancurriculum.edu.au. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/information-and-communication-technology-capability/introduction/introduction 

Bain, A., & Weston, M. E. (2012). The learning edge: What technology can do to educate all children. New York: Teachers College Press.  

De Aldama, C. and Pozo, J.I. (2016) How are ICT used in the classroom? A study of teachers; beliefs and uses. Electronic journal of research in educational psychology, September 2016, Vol.14(2), pp.253-286 [Peer Reviewed Journal] 

Somekh, B. (2008). Factors Affecting Teachers’ Pedagogical Adoption of ICT. International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education. J. Voogt and G. Knezek, Springer US. 20: 449-460. 

Watson, D. (2001). Pedagogy before technology: Re-thinking the relationship between ICT and teaching.” Education and information technologies 6(4): 251-266.

Module 2: The History of ICT Integration – ICT lack of impact – Forum Post

What are the main reasons for the lack of impact given by the authors of these articles? 

  • Disparity between ICT use at home and at school (purpose and connectivity) (Somekh, 2004: Cuban, Kirkpatrick, & Peck, 2001) 
  • Access to computers and digital divide (Somekh, 2004: Cuban et al., 2001) 
  • Constraints of system requirements and teacher capacity, including risk averse and litigious social context (Somekh, 2004) 
  • Open and unregulated nature of internet vs heavily regulated school systems – “institutionalised resistance” (Somekh, 2004, p. 171) 
  • Silo orientation of subjects including ICT limiting capacity for transdisciplinary and integrated use of ICT (Somekh, 2004: Cuban et al., 2001) 
  • Lack of differentiation – varying skills and experience not considered in preparation of curriculum (Somekh, 2004). 
  • Not enough time for teachers to learn (Cuban et al., 2001) 
  • Teacher turnover/burnout (Cuban et al., 2001) 

Has education always been resistant to new technologies? Why/why not? 

Perhaps people are often resistant to change and therefore yes? Plato is quoted as concerned for the future of memory if people were to record information in writing (Shaban, 2016), so apprehension about change in education is nothing new. Many of the prescribed authors’ observations about resistance to technology integration reflect apprehension and uncertainty – fear of failure, of the unknown, of perceived error, criticism of employers or parents etc. – I suspect apprehension is not unique to contemporary education.

To what extent does this lack of impact resonate with you in your educational setting? 
Five years ago, my experience was consistent with the lack of impact the authors’ record; however my more recent experience supports more movement and development. At the risk of being one who sees “the inevitable victory of technological progress” (Cuban et al., 2001, p. 829), I think the “slow revolution” (Cuban et al., 2001) is evident overall in my school. Teachers are seeing the worth of incremental change as it is modeled by colleagues. 

I would agree with the assertion that larger scale change would require fundamental changes in “how schools are organized, how time is allocated, and how teachers are prepared.” (Cuban, Kirkpatrick, & Peck, 2001, p. 830). Inspiring models like High Tech High, as represented in the 2015 film, “Most Likely to Succeed” have invested in these (amongst other) core perspectives to bring about wholesale redefinition of schooling. 

References 

Cuban, L., Kirkpatrick, H., & Peck, C. (2001). High access and low use of technologies in high school classrooms: Explaining an apparent paradox.  American Educational Research Journal, 38(4), 813–834. 

Most Likely To Succeed. (2015). Information available at: http://www.mltsfilm.org 

Shaban, A. (2016). How to change teacher resistance in using technology into teacher resilience. [online] Academia.edu. Available at: https://www.academia.edu/31672052/HOW_TO_CHANGE_TEACHER_RESISTANCE_IN_USING_TECHNOLOGY_INTO_TEACHER_RESILIENCE.

Somekh, B. (2004) Taking the sociological imagination to school: ananalysis of the (lack of) impact of information and communication technologies on education systems, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 13:2, 163-179

Module 2: Historical Debates re: ICT in Education

What are the historical debates outlined in Wellington that you still observe in your own educational setting?

Writing in 2005, Wellington made pertinent points, noting incongruity between ICT use and learning outcomes. Some of these concerns are still prevalent and needing attention.

Preparing students for their future is still a feature of educational rhetoric. The introduction to the 2016 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards states:

It’s not about using digital tools to support outdated education strategies and models; it’s about tapping into technology’s potential to amplify human capacity for collaboration, creativity and communication.

This motivation to refocus education technology from digital tools to broader skills is aligned with Wellington’s warning about “situated cognition” (2005).  Desiring a shift from a narrow, skills-based approach, current ideologies also emphasise the need for soft skills – problem solving, creativity, collaboration, empathy, adaptivity (Crockett, 2013) – skills which may transfer to new and evolving circumstances.

Many schools and systems still focus on gaining a body of information (Wellington 2005) and testing students’ memory rather the application and transference of understanding to demonstrate higher order thinking – the “grammar of schooling” (Tyack & Cuban, 1995) that Wellington sites, where content-driven curriculum and standardised testing “straight jacket” (Wellington, 2005) teachers and schools into compliance can still inhibit transformative use of ICT.

To what extent do you think past policies such as the Digital Education Revolution and current policies such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or your own local policies address these debates?

Wellington (2005) and Bain and Weston (2012) cite concerns about the discontinuity between home and school and the limitations of ICT use outside of IT lessons, however in the schools I have worked in since the Digital Education Revolution, these issues have largely been addressed by the introduction of 1-to-1. Cloud-based systems and BYOD have further provided a seamless integration for technology between home and school. Further again, the capacity for independent learning online is a growing affordance – a number of my own Digital Technology students have independently taught themselves to program robots or code websites and my own kids have taught themselves to play guitar via YouTube or to speak Swedish via DuoLingo. Providers of online learning (often free of charge) and peer learning have changed the paradigm (Richardson and Mancabelli, 2011).

To what extent do you experience some of the faulty assumptions about ICT in schools/educational settings and how do these manifest?

Putting technology into the hands of every student and teacher does not revolutionise teaching and learning. The authors’ observation that money was spent on technology without evidence of a significant impact on teaching and learning (Bain and Weston, 2012; Wellington, 2005) is consistent with my experience during the rollout of 1-to-1 where largely, students researched digital encyclopedias and regurgitated information into digital notebooks. However, my subsequent schools demonstrate the benefit of hindsight. I had opportunity to work in a new school with a pedagogical focus on creative and collaborative processes, using ICT to transform learning through interactive and diversified learning experiences and my current school, whilst in some respects traditional and challenged by ingrained practice, has invested in staff roles to lead and encourage the integration of rich learning opportunities using ICT.

As alluded to by Wellington (2005), it is imperative that educational leaders continue to question purpose and practice of ICT integration – what is the value? Is there a tangible impact? Amongst the ongoing analysis, support for teachers to adapt curriculum and develop skills for effective integration is important; however as Bain and Weston (2012) contend, professional learning initiatives have often missed the mark. Perhaps of more impact is the access to and sharing of self-initiated learning through broad professional networks and ongoing coaching (Nussbaum-Beach 2012).

References

Bain, A., & Weston, M. E. (2012). Education and technology. In The learning edge: what technology can do to educate all children (pp. 1-24). New York, NY. Teachers College Press.

Crockett, L. (2013). Literacy is not enough: 21st century fluencies for the digital age. YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8DEeR1sraA

International Society for Technology in Education. (2017). Retrieved from ISTE http://www.iste.org/standards/standards.

Nussbaum-Beach, S., & Hall, L. R. (2012). Defining the connected educator. In The connected educator: Learning and leading in a digital age (pp. 3-24). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Richardson, W., & Mancabelli, R. (2011). Introduction: The power of networked learning. In Personal learning networks: Using the power of connections to transform education (pp. 1-14). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Tyack, D. & Cuban, L. (1995). Tinkering toward utopia. Cambridge MA and London Harvard University Press.

Wellington, J. (2005)., Has ICT come of age? Recurring debates on the role of ICT in education, 1982-2004. Research In Science & Technological Education, 23(1), 25-39.

Module 1: ICT Affordances and Use

Forum questions:

  • What are the primary justifications in these readings for the integration of ICT into educational settings?
  • According to Selwyn, social and democratic issues need to be considered in this process – what might this mean in your context?
  • Given the idea of affordances discussed in Conole and Dyke’s article, what sort of relationship do you see between the percieved affordances of ICTs and the way ICTs are actually used in your educational context?
  • In your organsiation or educational context, what does the use of ICT invite or facilitate, and what does it lends itself to and what can it can do well?
  • What justification is given in the policy document you have chosen for the use of ICT for learning?
  • To what extent are issues of social justice and democracy, or affordances of technology for learning integrated into this policy?
  • How much is “improved learning outcomes” a focus of the policy?

These readings urge movement beyond an assumption that ICT will inherently improve teaching and learning and for educators to consider the ways and means to invest in structures and strategies to promote learning outcomes. The affordances that emerged most strongly for me include:

  • Non-linear structures that allow for improved differentiation
  • Need for development of digital literacy skills, where students have the capacity to decipher quality information and sources.
  • Capacity to make use of extended opportunities to connect with a broader network, including diverse cultural opportunities, subject matter experts, multi-sensory learning materials.

As Matt Ives (2017) indicated, the implicit consumerism of device ownership and the potential for devices to be status symbols is present in my context, however from a college perspective, funds are not invested in ICT without an overarching consideration of value for learning and a meaningful trajectory for the use of programs and products. Improved learning outcomes are central to my workplace and therefore considering the learning value of all ICT initiatives is front and centre.
Leadership at my school have worked hard in recent years to implement initiatives and develop staffing structures that will provide a solid grounding for leadership and momentum, merging perceived affordances with the “state of the actual” (Selwyn, 2010, p. 70). Investing in staff roles (like mine) to guide and coach colleagues in meaningful use of technology is improving the confidence of staff to try new approaches. Guided by PYP principles and with structured collaborative planning sessions in the junior school, robust conversations are encouraged to discern the most effective means to include digital technology with a focus on valuable learning outcomes.
This does not mean there is not a way to go; in a successful school context it can be challenging to convince educators that there is a reason to shift their paradigm, so for many it is a slow burn where we are working hard to lead by example.

References
Conole, G. and M. Dyke (2004). What are the affordances of information and communication technologies? ALT-J 12(2): 113-124. http://primo.unilinc.edu.au/CSU:CSU_ALL:TN_doaj_xmloai%3Adoaj.org/article%3A1f16a6337fb1406b996a116ed45f5ffd

Ives, M. (2017) EMT503 forum post March 11, 2017.

Selwyn, N. (2010). Looking beyond learning: notes towards the critical study of educational technology. Journal of Computer Assted Learning, 26(1), 65-73.
http://primo.unilinc.edu.au/CSU:CSU_ALL:TN_wj10.1111/j.1365-2729.2009.00338.x

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