Neilsen, L. (2011, August 12). The 5 Cs to Developing Your Personal Learning Network [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/5-cs-to-developing-your-personal.html
Green, P. (2016). Building With Sticks and Stones. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/garden/07twig.html?_r=0
Naturalhomes.org (2016). Thatched homes around the world. Retrieved from http://naturalhomes.org/thatch.htm
Elendellesonne.co(2015) Architectural Design In Germany: The Fincube Modern Architectural Simple Ideas Architectural Designs. Retrieved from http://www.elenadelledonne.co/architectual-designs/architectural-design-in-germany-the-fincube-modern-architectural-simple-ideas-architectual-designs/
Now is the time to make the confession, I do love a good story. Stories traditionally can help us to learn abstract concepts quickly and efficiently (Ellington, 2014), which can be a personal and emotional experience (Sukovic, 2014). This got me thinking about making my digital artifact for INF532 something slightly different for my prospective audience, adult learners who are being forced to do their Certificate IV in TAE to be compliant.
I fondly remember from INF433 Digital Preservation that the Library of Congress created a digital story based on the story Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and thought maybe I could create something similar for helping my cohort to understand how a personal learning network could support them with their learning.
I trawled through stories that could be appropriate and finally landed on “The three little pigs”. A simple story, but one that would resonate with the learner as they knew the story which is a touchstone moment in peoples lives (Ellington, 2014) and would hopefully remember the new version that included the information about personal learning networks.
I have to admit that this has been fun to re-write the story, but am concerned at the length of the video. However, as this is a narrative it did give me the latitude to make a more lengthy video (as it was a full recreation of a story). But to include all the information necessary and make the story interesting has meant that the length has been impacted.
Originally I had wanted to do shadow puppets or a traditional storyteller in the chair just simply telling the story, however these were all a little low tech for me, so went with PowToon. The nice thing about using PowToon is that I will be providing professional learning sessions on this and other animation software in 2017, so the story boarding and brainstorming I have done will all feature.
The digital artifact “How a PLN saved the three little pigs” will form part of a series of session on how to become a 21st Century educator in 2017. It will be released under the flipped learning model as a precursor to a session on personal learning networking and personal learning environments.
Stoytelling, grounded in the human psych and important culturally for all humans.
Storytelling is a solid mechanism for teaching (Thornburg, 2007), and still has a place I feel in a digital experience via digital storytelling and videos.
It is always exciting and daunting to be doing a body of research on the organisation where you work.
For my final assessment for my Master of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation) – INF537 Digital Futures Colloquium I have decided to focus on how webinar technology is impacting on the State Government Department where I work. The Case Study will be used to decide future directions and needs for both my agency and the VET sector in WA, which is exciting and daunting at the same time.
For research I have access to all of the records within the system, so am working through a data cull currently. The trick (and key problem for me) is going to be paring the amount of information available to me down to a useful size. I’ll also be sending out a short survey to gather feedback from my colleagues who are using the systems.
Approved proposal below –
Proposed topic: How webinar technology has impacted on the way DTWD now performs core business functions. Research focus question: How and to what extent has webinar technology impacted on DTWD business? Brief description:
Since 2012 there has been a contraction of funding in the WA VET sector and within the Department of Training and Workforce Development. This reduction has seen sector wide severances (internally DTWD saw 900 staff down to 450). This reduction in both staff and funding has seen DTWD staff having to engage with teams, stakeholders and clients over wide distances in innovative ways. There has been both an interest and uptake in webinar technology. I would like to explore how effective use of webinar technology is impacting on business and allowing DTWD to meet KPI whilst on reduce funding and lower staffing ratios.
I have DTWD management keenly interested in my pursuing this topic as it will help to inform future directions for the department and the WA TAFE sector, especially after the huge reformations that have happened this year.
Case study information sources:
1. Raw data on session creation and usage to be accessed from the SAS for all directorates.
2. Interviews with team leaders using the system effectively.
3. Raw data from Event 360 regarding use from external people engaging in training via webinar.
4. Informal comments from Event 360 – participants that have attended training via webinar.
12 Aug – Submission of proposal and approval
12 Aug – 26 Aug gather raw data from the systems
22 Aug – 12 September Interview users of the system
12 Sept – 24 September Interrogate information and locate supporting information to support how webinar technology has impacted on core business (either positively or negatively).
24 Sept – 9 Oct write up the case study and critical reflection
10 Oct – submit assessment
Though personally I really like the simplicity of Scratch and how engaging it can be, without the right direction and support it can turn into a classroom nightmare and turn students off a brilliant way introduce students to coding.
Mitchel Resmick- the director of the Lifelong Kindergarten MIT Media Lab says Scratch “teaches kids to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively”. It is very important for our students to learn lessons from being able to fail in a safe and supportive environment. Game Based Learning (GBL) can support teachers in providing a safe space for students to work and learn from failure. But, this must come with a caveat attached, for students to fail and learn, teachers must at least have an idea of how to support students to succeed within the GBL environment. Prototyping methodology as outlined by Drew Davidson can be a powerful tool set in the hands of learners, especially if a teacher has taken the time to support students to develop their computational and design thinking skills. However, not all students start out on an activity with the same skill set, including problem solving, creativity and critical thinking skills so be must build their capacity first to assist them to achieve.
Recently I was invited into a classroom in Perth to watch a practicum student teacher present a session on coding to Year 8 students – the invite was from the practicum student as they know my background in mentoring technology in the classroom. Unfortunately for the practicum student teacher the lesson did not run according to their plan. Ultimately the session outcomes were not met key reasons for this were: there was only a little introduction to the topic; a very small amount of task description which was given verbally only to the students; no scaffolding; and poor support skills from the practicum student. The students in the classroom became frustrated as they really did not have a solid foundation for the task or what the teacher wanted them to achieve, this then resulted in the students becoming disengaged mid-lesson.
At the end of the session (after the students had left) I debriefed with the supervising teacher and practicum student about the session. My worry was the practicum student had become increasingly frustrated and angry with the students during the session as they became disengaged. The frustration stemmed from the students not grasping what was required of them and that they did not seem to have the skills to complete the task. I asked the practicum student about previous lessons that the students had in using the software and quickly discovered that this was the very first time it had presented to students and the practicum student was using a colleague’s lesson plan. As our conversation progressed about the topic I also realized that the key difference between how this lesson ran and her colleague’s lesson was that her colleague had taken the time to learn the software, worked up an example for the students to get an understanding of what was required and put in some solid learning outcomes.
Now from this story there is a happy ending. I was invited back to support the practicum student in presenting another session to the same group of students – this was at my suggestion. We really took the time to structure an example, demonstrated the techniques that were required to be used to create the digital output (ie. wire frame, story boarding and coding skills) gave the students a solid understanding of what was required for them to achieve. The practicum student and myself then became guides on the side for the remainder of the lesson to support the students as required. The result for the practicum student was that the class achieved all the outcomes, a complete turnaround to the previous. All the students had achieved and were excited to continue on with the next lesson. By investing the time to support and engage with learners and to demonstrate prototyping learning design.
To me this basic failure of the teacher to use effective teaching strategies just because she was using technology was the primary issue. I do believe however, that we need to support teachers in learning how to play and engage with technologies as well as support them to develop their own computational thinking and design thinking skills. By investing in our teachers we are investing in the students.
Students still find it difficult to creating new technologies and expressing themselves with technology. We need to support students to develop design thinking skills to support them in creating in new and different ways. Students will become familiar in technologies without a teacher always standing over them to make sure that they are using the technology exactly the same way the teacher would.
Pip Cleaves presented recently to the CSU MEd INF537 cohort about her journey leading learning and she mentioned the Diffusion of Innovation (Rogers, 2003). Tom Fishburn from Skydeckcartoons.com captures the Diffusion of Innovation cycle perfectly in his cartoon that primarily deals with the cycle of new product adoption, but the same cycle works for the adoption of technology in the classroom environment.
This made me reflect on what category I naturally fall into and I would say possibly the early majority group is where I fit best. However, the challenge for me is that I’m in a job role where I have to be an innovator and early adopter so that I can mentor others in the uptake. To be honest when I first started I felt like a fish out of water having to take risks, learn rapidly and eventually share widely. But I can say the more that I have been challenged in my role the more comfortable I am.
This is the difficulty and the challenge that I face when I am training VET practitioners from all around Australia in the ways technology can support and augment their training. Through the wide variety of programs that I have put together we now cater for people from early adopters all the way through to laggards.
The RIPPLES model that Surry, Ensminger and Haab (2005) created and Jaskinski (2006) used as the basis for the VET sector research project Innovate and integrate: Embedding innovative practices, has formed the basis for much of the professional learning series of sessions around elearning implementation and modelling of a champion model that I develop for organisations and for the Department of Training and Workforce Development. RIPPLES is the acronym for the seven components of the model: resources, infrastructure, people, policies, learning, evaluation and support.
The champion model picks up the innovators and early adopters and encourages these individuals or groups to share their stories with others. The E-learning Quality Model developed by the National VET E-Learning Strategy in 2014 and helps our champions by defining quality expectations of elearning more clearly. It is designed to help RTOs and to give them a competitive advantage. But it does assist practitioners in aligning their resources to a framework.
In my dynamic and technology rich life it is interesting to reflect on my teaching to see how I am tracking against my peers with integration of technology to support my pedagogical practice. This personal reflection is something that we as teachers need to do often to ensure that we are still meeting the needs of our clients (the students), to ensure that they are going to have the lifelong skills to succeed in this New World.
The digital footprint of our students/users gives a better picture of how people are using the systems and the content held in those systems.
Internally for the government department that I work for this means that we are able to see how well content presented in mandatory training is put into practice. Managers can access how long team members have been working through content prior to attempting the tests, which could have impacted on the scores that team members received.
My concern about this is how soon will the length of time someone has spent learning within mandatory course work be used as a measure in performance development meetings by a crackpot manager who does not have the capacity or capability to understand learning styles and the simple point that people learn at many different rates.
Upon saying this I do not feel that learning analytics are bad, but they do need to be used with caution. It would also help if organisations developed strategies around learning analytics to be able to use them in the best to support achieving improved outcomes for students and clients. The Charles Sturt University Learning Analytics Code of Practice is a good example of documents that bound an organisation to how this valuable data set will be used.
Another exceptional use is an example from the Western Australian TAFE sector. Recently I was discussing learning analytics internally with our ICT department, especially the LMS that we supply the WA TAFEs and how users are enrolled into online courses. From this discussion a new building block was created by out ICT team which I was discussing with a client from a TAFE. He had used this new building block (as well as other reporting functionality) to view how staff were using the various tools within the LMS. The client discovered that staff seemed to be enrolling students individually more than by class rolls. There could be a wide number of factors including rolling enrolments where a cohort could have new people added adhoc over the course of the study period. But what this has highlighted for the TAFE team is that they can tailor training for staff better as they are able to watch the watches and support them to become better online trainers.
This does beg the question, who exactly are watching the watchers?
Recently in the agency that I work one of our mandatory courses grade books had been tampered with by a member of HR staff. Corporate Leadership team requested an independent review by a team external to HR who knew how to interrogate the system logs to determine who had access and tampered with the course grade book (as it is a mandatory regulatory course that all staff must complete and pass to maintain employment). I was able to track back through the logs that the HR team were unaware of, locate how the issue came about and reported back to Corporate Executive with recommendations regarding restrictions to the higher level access functions to ensure that this issue did not happen again as well as rolling the course back to the last backup date as no members of staff had been employed in the period that was impacted, which removed the problem. For the future I noted in the system the issue and why the reset had happened so there was a reason to my wiping a month of course logs. As part of my final report I also suggested further training of the HR team was required which has occurred.
In this instance the watchers were completely unaware that they were being watched and monitored until after the fact. I personally feel that this is not the way morally that we should be using this technology. It should be above board and everyone aware that they can be tracked, no matter what.
Simply a Code of Conduct policy around the use learner analytics is so very important for any organisation.
Charles Sturt University (2015). Code of Practice. Retrieved from https://www.csu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/2160484/2016_CSU_LearningAnalyticsCodePractice.pdf
Welsh S. (2016). INF537, Colloquium 1, Learning Analytics [PowerPoint Slides and Connect recording]. Retrieved from https://connect.csu.edu.au/p65jlka06d6/
It is easy to think from my perspective that technology has always been there, for a large portion of the population it has. My job would not exist if it were not for technology as I am a technology mentor and professional presenter of everything elearning. I remember when I first started working (all those years ago) and suggested that I would like to do some training on computers for my professional development. My boss at the time was sceptical as he really didn’t see the trend catching on but let me do it anyway, fortunately for me that professional development has become a lifelong career.
Technology is now everywhere almost insidious with how it has wriggled into every aspect of our daily lives, but the real trick for educationalists is to know how to harness technology to augment teaching and learning for the betterment of students.
In certain situations the use of technology can be harnessed for teaching the theory behind a topic. However, in the VET sector (and any other sector for that matter) there are just times when for safety reasons the learner needs to have a teacher, trainer mentor or workplace supervisor standing with them to see that they are safe.
For instance the very first time a student uses a metal lathe should not be after they are watched a video created by their tutor then move out unsupervised into a workplace to work on the equipment. It is a recipe for disaster, that being said in a well-constructed course then a student will has the skills and abilities (thanks to working with a teacher/trainer/mentor etc) to achieve a physical component of assessment.
The most is important thought for teacher and learner alike in this new age is that everyone must become lifelong learners. Admittedly this can be confronting for some, but being open to learn from anyone is a very important skills set to obtain. In reflection of what has been happening in the VET sector in WA over the past few years, to be honest, this is not always the case. Some lecturers have their “happy place” and do not like to be challenged or even asked to move outside of their comfort zone to improve their teaching for the betterment of students. Yes there is a requirement that VET trainers all must have a certain amount of professional development a year, but nothing stops them from walking into a room signing on the role then sitting there doing nothing. They get the credit for attending but no actual learning.
This is not to say that there are some very good practitioners who are doing amazing blended and technology enhanced lessons. I myself when I was a VET lecturer had to foresight to let my students help “take control” of their learning.
I was training education assistants in a face-to-face environment who were due to go out on their block placement, the students had heard that I also trained online and begged me to setup an online site that they could stay in contact with each other for support throughout their placement. I was dubious but set it up and sat back to watch what would happen. Many students posted in what was happening and the positives of their placement, others posted up questions for help finally other posted up problems they needed help with. Not one topic was not course related and the students became a very close knitted group who managed together (with the help of myself) to get through their placements and secure jobs. The highlight was that this group did over 1000 discussion forum postings, all on topic and all supportive in nature when required within a 3 month period. These student were all seen as “technology challenged” by other trainers, but took to this system like ducks to water because they had the support of not only myself but of my students as well.
It is said that everything old is new again perhaps it is true of this new paradigm. After all we are adjusting our mindset to view things in a different way, much like when any major new system or way of thinking is introduced. We are in the settling period, but eventually education will catch-up to everyday life.
The superhighway is at our doorstep and as long as we have the imagination and the willingness to grasp hold and be willing to learn the really the future is a bright one, maybe so bright you have to wear shades.
Is there too much of a good thing with the amount of content that you can find on the internet? Not only is there an overabundance of good content but it is fast becoming like the proverbial “needle in a haystack” for a user to locate quality information quickly and efficiently amongst the bad, tragic or just mediocre content on offer in our digital smorgasbord.
With the fast approaching world of Web 3.0 and the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) means that the internet and its horizon is an ever-changing and evolving landscape that can provide personalised information to the user and about the user. You do have to question if this is always a good thing.
The 2016 NMC Technology Outlook – Australian Tertiary Education noted that learner analytics and location intelligence, which information is a form of big data, are areas that will have an impact in the next few years.
Big Data and meta data (data about data) have become a key focus with regards to who is creating, storing, using and most importantly selling data about you and what you look at. Think about the last time you searched for anything and you will have been prompted with possible fee-for-service products that might be similar to what you have been looking at.
Another form that this takes is when you are on social media sites such as Facebook™ you will notice based on your searches, friends and groups that “sponsored” sites appear as suggestions you might like to follow. You will also be aware (if you are using a desktop that there is an advertisement stream that is tailored for you. How does it know what you have been looking at while you are not on Facebook, simply it is from the cache in your computer or smart device and your browser history.
But when you consider the importance of how you can use learner analytics and learner actions within your site to track what they have been reviewing to ensure that the content of the course is meeting their needs then bib data is not seen quite so much in a horrible tracking light – stalking your movements around the internet, but a useful tool to support and help students.
With the increase in the cost of creating print products and the speed that these products become redundant saw the rise of Web 2.0 technologies that enabled user-generated content simply easily and cheaply. This power to the masses revolution of technology has meant that often we do forget that the internet is ‘forever’. Need proof that this is the case, then please feel free to review the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
It is interesting that with the increase of the individual’s ability to have a voice on the internet has seen many companies fall-by-the-wayside as they have not adapted and changed their business structures to compensate for the new market place. Some may argue that if you do not adapt to the market place to survive then you do not have the right to survive.
So with that thought where does this leave educators? In this brand new world are we expecting teachers to become technology experts to guide students to some mythical promised land of better understanding? I would say that at best we need to encourage our teachers to become the facilitators of tomorrow. This means that we must move away from the “sage on the stage” mentality to perhaps taking up the guide on the side role where technology plays a helpful hand in supporting and augmenting learning for students. Technology can support student outcomes but should never dictate or drive the learning.
So the future is looking bright, but is it looking as bright as it once was or are we seeing it through a binary code induced haze? Time will tell.
De Saulles, M. (2012). New models of information production. In Information 2.0: New models of information production, distribution and consumption (pp. 13-35). London: Facet.
Kellmereit, D. and Obodovski, D. (2013). The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things. DnD Ventures 1st edition, California.
Roblyer, M. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Harlow: Pearson.
The New Media Consortium. (2016). 2016 NMC Technology Outlook Australian Tertiary Education. Retrieved 7 July 2016, from http://www.nmc.org/publication/2016-nmc-technology-outlook-australian-tertiary-education/
With technology becoming more pervasive in our everyday lives and being prevalent in classrooms it is interesting to stop and take stock and reflect on technology trends from the past to inform us on what worked well and what didn’t. By reflecting on this I believe that I can fix my sight on the future and move forward with knowledge.
It is always the risk, should you be an early adopter of a technology on the forefront trying to work out how to fit it into a class, or should you sit back and wait for it to become mainstream and are forced to use it because your organisation has created a user policy. The key question to ask, as an educator is; Why should we use technology in the classroom? (Drager, 1, 2015)
As a teacher it is always important to think about the affordances to technology that you are considering implementing in the class. Bower (2008) outlined an affordance classification system, that is incredible useful to work through when deciding on technology for the classroom, a process I went through for the Moodle Learning Management System (Drager, 2, 2015).
As a trainer when I go to use a new technology I will put it through an affordance review and also reflect on my own TPACK (Drager,3, 2015) with the technology to ensure that I am not just using a trendy new technology for the sake of it but there are solid links to curriculum.
Reflecting on technology trends from the past 10 years has been an interesting undertaking, especially in relation to what I personally used in education. It is interesting that though LMSs have been around for over 15 years that they still remain a critical part of the e-learning landscape, but the question is for how long (Conole, 2012)? I can map how I have taught by the technology that I used personally. Some key highlights from the years include:
2006 learning to develop web content for my Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) which opened up an awareness of digital creation and curation.
2007 the year of Virtual Worlds and social networks, with exciting projects such as ‘Virtual World’s – Real Learning’ from the then Australian Flexible Learning Framework inspiring people from the VET sector which opened up a huge new realm for me.
2010, mobile media tablets changed workplace training due to the simplicity of use and ease of integration.
Gartner every year puts out a Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. 2014 shows types of technology that have been around for a while but appear simply because they’ve gained mainstream attention, such as gamification.
The Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies should be studied with a critical eye own in relation to education but linked to other important reports such as the Horizon Report to identify critical trends that will indeed support teaching and learning. When you compare 2012 to 2014 Hype Cycles you are able to see that BYOD was at its zenith in 2012, but does not even rate a mention in 2014. What does this mean to us in education and the trends in technology? Simply if there’s enough ‘hype’ around technology it can very quickly be adopted into mainstream and education.
Bower, M. (2008). Affordance analysis – matching learning tasks with learning technologies. Educational Media International, 45(1), 3-15. doi:10.1080/09523980701847115
Conole, G. (2015). Designing for Learning in an Open World (1st ed., pp. 47-63). Dordrecht: Springer. Retrieved from http://csuau.eblib.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1030803&echo=1&userid=Kw3jR%2bAhgEwAdjjiAfq0LQ%3d%3d&tstamp=1427684336&id=99B29BF9A978474F0ED16153A21450DBF7961F02
Drager, Y. 1, (2015). Affordances of Moodle – a multiplatform application. Yvette’s Reflective journal – A site of Discovery. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2015/01/19/affordances-of-moodle-a-multiplatform-application/
Drager, Y. (2015). TPACK framework. Yvette’s Reflective Blog : A site of Discovery. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2015/01/12/tpack-framework/
Drager, Y. (2015). Why should we use technology in the classroom?. Yvette’s Reflective Journal – A site of discovery. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2015/01/12/why-we-should-use-technology-in-the-classroom/
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