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INF537 The final note

INF537 is the finale to my Master of Education Opus.

Music - like anything requires time. INF537 also has required time to gain the most from it.
Music – like anything requires time. INF537 also has required time to gain the most from it.

It’s enabled me to bring together the numerous melodies that each unit taught and finally see how they interweave and echo each other in a beautiful theme and variation form.

I was enthused by the cavatina of the various guest colloquiums, each entwining and complimenting the INF537 basic melody line. Not all of the colloquiums supported my work, though all were incredibly interesting and provided valuable information. I focused on Simon Welsh and Pip Cleaves to blog about as these colloquiums gave me interesting points to research and reflect on.

Learner analyitics can help a course thrive and survive or crash and burn, tit all depends on how well us use the metrics.
Learner analyitics can help a course thrive and survive or crash and burn, tit all depends on how well us use the metrics.

Simon Welsh provided an excellent counterpoint with his Learner Analytic presentation that resonated to my current work role. I reflected upon thoughts I had been building from INF530 and INF443 and contemplated in Learning analytics – who is watching the watchers (Drager, 2016 July 27).

Pip Cleaves discussed the ‘Diffusion of Innovation cycle’ (Rogers, 2003), which made me rethink the Gartner Hype Cycle (Gartner, 2016) and how the adoption rates directly link to Rogers (2003) work. Those cycles prompted me to jump to the Horizon Report (NMC, 2016) and think about how both cycles impact on what is reported annually by the New Media Consortium (NMC, 2016).

I now have the empathy and understanding to walk a mile in others shoes thanks to Pip Cleaves.
I now have the empathy and understanding to walk a mile in others shoes thanks to Pip Cleaves.

As an educator it’s supremely important to recognise the levels of engagement with technology my students fit into and where within the ‘Diffusion of Innovation cycle’ (Rogers, 2003) they belong and contextualize my training delivery accordingly, as well as adjust my expectations of them to ensure we are all singing from the same hymn sheet.

What I benefited most from during these colloquiums was the experience for the class to moderate and work together in small groups. This enabled us to create firm contacts with in the course. My group worked in harmony via Twitter and a live Google document. We fast came to the realization the nightmare we put out students through when asking them all to edit live at once, a truly memorable and wonderful experience.

I am sitting back happy to watch others perform due to my support and reaching out to them.
I am sitting back happy to watch others perform due to my support and reaching out to them.

INF537 has enabled me to re-examine Communities of Practice and given me the impetus to encourage my peers to setup up a new Community of Practice and newsletter for the WA VET Sectors Adult Literacy and Numeracy area, which has been launched, which I intimated to in Participatory culture – Do we dare to partake? (Drager, 2016 August 9), and am happy to sit back and watch their performance.

I gained a new respect for the output of scholars with the assessment task on Digital Scholarship and posted my assessment onto my  blog INF537 Digital Scholarship Interpretive discussion paper (Drager, 2016 September 16) for future INF537 students to benefit from, paying it forwarded to the next cohort. I do this in the hope that they will also review my various blog posts which contain information on accessibility, participation as well as vital other topics and benefit from my solo learning journey.

I am ready to solo
The individual case study gave a soloist focus to my ongoing learning at the end of this unit.

My coda came in the form of the Case Study final assessment. This was challenging, fun, exciting and liberating assignment that gave an opportunity to showcase what I could do on a topic of my choosing, it really was my cadenza. The dissonance that I have increasingly discovered, thanks to my research for my case study, is the little is no understanding that individuals have when it comes to preserving data. I have discovered that we have lost valuable data from the end of 2015, simply because DTWD were using a different system for webinar streaming. This one event made such a cacophony that it prompted my post You live you learn you upgrade (Drager, 2016 October 3).

Started on a small public stage.
Started on a small public stage.

In my final refrain INF537 has been a wonderful learning experience that has developed my skills in research, and renewed my energy for participation in my networks. It has added a rich timbre to my Opus and has me finally ready to perform on a grander public stage, rather than busking in the high street.

Now I am ready for something grander.
Now I am ready for something grander.


Drager, Y. (2016, October 3). You live, you learn, you upgrade [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/10/04/you-live-you-learn-you-upgrade/

Drager, Y. (2016, September 16). INF537 Digital Scholarship Interpretive discussion paper [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/09/16/inf537-digital-scholarship-interpretive-discussion-paper/

Drager, Y. (2016, August 9). Participatory culture, do we dare to partake? [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/08/09/participatory-culture-do-we-dare-to-partake/

Drager, Y. (2016, July 27). Learning analytics – Who is watching the watchers? [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/07/27/learning-analytics-who-is-watching-the-watchers/

Gartner. (2016). 2016 Hype Cycles Highlight Digital Business Ecosystems. Retrieved from http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/hype-cycles/

NMC Horizon Report > 2017 Higher Education Edition Wiki. (2016, October 11). Retrieved from http://horizon.wiki.nmc.org/

Rogers, E.M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press

Network literacy evaluative report INF532

Part A: An evaluative statement using the networked learning experiences documented on your Thinkspace blog as evidence of meeting the learning objectives of this subject.

Information is now accessible on the worldwide web for everyone, not just for scholarly elite. However, since the 1990s an acute issue that is becoming more important is the curation and filtering of information (Bawden & Robinson, 2009). A simple search on any topic will result in a plethora of hits. Using tools to aid curation of content is vital to a person seeking to make the most of the myriad of information for individuals and their personal learning network (PLN) (Visser, 2011). Individuals will go through a trial and error process before settling on a suite of tools that will work from them personally, as explored in curation – the final frontier (Drager, 2016 October 4).

A 21st Century educator needs to have a solid understanding of how the social nature of knowledge networking and content production can help them lead their organisation from being knowledgeable to knowledgeable (TEDx Talks, 2010). While teachers might use technology in their personal lives there has been an increasing disengagement with the use of technology for education purposes, especially in the VET sector (O’Brien, & Maor, 2013). Unfortunately it is critical that educators adapt to a new way of teaching to survive in the education sector (Drager, 2016 July 12).

Wheeler (2010) stresses educators must become self-directed and socially connected learners who can develop a PLN as a key component of their professional toolkit and Patnoudes (2012) states that PLN is a structure for learning and it’s crucial for educators to understand how to employ effectively their PLN for lifelong learning (Drager, 2016 October 8). Educators need to embrace the 21st Century multi-literacies (Nussbaum-Beach, & Hall, 2012) and become active participants in the development of content and sharing of knowledge (Rheingold, & Weeks, 2012; Drager, 2016, August 9). An educator can easily become a connected learner; they simply need the will to commit and the ability to reach out to others for support (Lindsay, 2016; Drager, 2016 September 13). The act of reaching out and sharing is of benefit to the educator, their direct connections and the wider education sector. For an educator sharing is an obligation, not an elective (Gerstein, 2015) and it’s important to pay the knowledge forward (Drager, 2016 October 8).

Educators need a good understanding of their own TPACK (TPACK.org, & Koehler, 2016; Drager, 2015 January 12) as well as the capability and capacity to use instructional design methodologies. Design and development of content uses instructional design principles such as ADDIE and it’s important for educators to understand not only instructional design but the affordances of tools they’re using to disseminate information (Bower, 2009; Drager, 2015 January 19).

Instructional design is defined as the process instruction is improved through the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of learning experiences (Kearsley, & Culattahttp, 2016) and is echoed by Morrison’s personal definition (2013) which is why instructional design is crucial for developing content. The five first principles identified by Merrill (2002) underpins instructional design models and provides a framework for problem centred instruction which forms the basis for many blended and online courses and content, such as in ‘Blending and flipping- not just for cooking’ (Drager, 2016 October 9).

21st Century skills are vital for educators to effectively create authentic learning experiences that will have meaning for their students (Herrington & Parker, 2013) while also ensuring that curriculum is being met (Drager, 2016 August 9).

Jonson (2014) says “Blended learning is about good teaching and making the most of our online and face to face environments”. Blended delivery is not an easy approach. It requires thoughtful and deliberate instructional planning which can impact the teacher student relationship because of the pedagogical approach (Herrington, & Parker, 2013). The dynamic of interactions move from teacher-student (sage on the stage) to student-student (peer to peer with guide on the side teach role) and technology becomes a new space for teaching and learning in the classroom (Jonson, 2014; Lukin et al., 2009).

The VET sector already views the trainer as a facilitator or ‘meddler in the middle’ supporting students’ in-class interactions (Herrington & Parker, 2013; Day & Kumar, 2010) rather than the traditional ‘sage on the stage’ (Lukin et al., 2009). By employing different teaching methodologies such as flipped learning, blended delivery and virtual classrooms as well as the facilitator’s direct involvement with the students in the education assistant (Drager, 2016 July 13) and facilitate e-learning (Drager, 2016 October 9) courses was crucial for student success.

Learner 2.0 –  are students born after 2000 and have been wrapped up in technology their entire lives (Wheeler, 2015) are our current learners. Meeker (2016) identifies that students who fall into the Millenials generation prefer visual/video over traditional text. When designing learning experiences for students we need to understand them and create engaging experiences for specific cohorts, not just a blanket one-size-fits-all approach (Herner-Patnode, Lee, & Baek, 2011; Drager, 2016 September 21; Drager, 2016 August 5; Drager, 2016 July 27).

Merrill’s top first principle is particularly important to the VET student – “learning is promoted when learners are engaged in solving real-world problems” (2002). Resmick says that Scratch (along with other game based learning programs) “teach our children to think creatively, reason systematically and work collaboratively” (Ray, Jackson, & Cupaiuolo, 2014; Hanghøj, 2013) and can help support students to learn via failing in a safe and supportive environment. This philosophy extends to include real-world online tools to makes the learning authentic and real for students in a meaningful and relevant context, which is often more effective than learning that happens outside of the context (Herrington & Parker, 2013; Van Eck, 2006).

Being networked is important for students and educators alike. It can be a rich, fulfilling experience that can be symbiotic to both educators and students as information and the ability to reach out to professionals in industry is available now unlike never before.

Part B: A reflective statement on your development as a connected educator as a result of studying INF532, and the implications for your role as a ‘connected leader’ within your school community, and/or at district/state/national level.

In reflecting back on INF532 there was a number of key learning points that resonated with me throughout the unit that deal with pedagogy and making effective connections. I was fortunate to do INF532 at the very end of my course and have been able to draw on knowledge and experiences from previous units as well as from my work.

I now have a solid grasp on not only the need for curation but also a practical implementation of it in my everyday work practice as explored in curation – the final frontier (Drager, 2016 October 4). Though digital obsolescence was not covered in this unit I feel that it is important to be mindful of, especially when using tools for curation purposes and blogged about this in you live you learn you upgrade (Drager , 2016 October 3) with interoperability and transference (import/export) and maintaining networks being paramount (Good, 2014). I am cognisant now that the filtering, selecting and managing of information streams can be problematic for users and can lead to ‘pathologies of information’ such as Information Anxiety, Infobesity, Satisficing (Bawden & Robinson, 2009) so used tagging to improve user experience on my blog. This idea has flowed through to my workplace where our website and LMS now employ tagging for enhanced user interaction and search-ability to improve work flow  Boud, & Garrick, 2012).

Creation of a digital artefact helped me in stepping outside my comfort zone to create something quirky for training with inspiration being drawn from the Library of Congress Snow Byte and the Seven Formats; A Digital Preservation Fairy Tale. I set the bar high and worked through a formal development process which helped focus the context for the resource to be used and provided a necessary blueprint (Oliver, 2000). The process included scoping projected target group, project managing timelines, storyboarding the resource and finally producing the digital artefact: How a PLN saved the 3 pigs (Drager, 2016 September 13). The creation of the digital artefact, though not worth a huge amount of marks certainly was a critical learning point within the unit. As a result I have developed skills in PowToon and have broadened my skills in Camtasia, Adobe Photoshop and location of creative commons audio and images and will be using my digital artefact as a basis for a content creation session early in 2017 for VET professionals.

Partnering in this unit is important (Prensky, 2010) with each stakeholder group playing a distinctive role, which supported the authentic learning experiences that were worked through both individually and as a learning cohort (Herrington, & Parker, 2013; Oliver, 2000; Herrington, Reeves, Oliver, & Woo, 2004). Vital to a successful course is the valuable peer-to-peer learning that goes on and is central to knowledge networking (Davidson, & Goldberg, 2010), which in this unit was employed in the peer review of the digital learning artefacts and enabled students to get honest supportive feedback from like-minded peers as demonstrated in Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts (Drager, 2016 September 30).

Unintentionally the sessions I present to trainers follow Merrill’s five first principles, which I’ll endeavour to make a conscious decision to use this as a framework in the future so I can use the principles as a teaching point. Technology in the classroom should directly link to curriculum and the educator needs to be informed by the five principles of meaningful learning; technology active, constructive, intentional, authentic and cooperative outlined by Jonassen, Howland, Marra, and Crismond (2008) to ensure that students are being taught how to become effective connected learners.

Blended delivery and technology enabled teaching is important, but not to the detriment of the pedagogy. In the VET context there is a need to scaffold the learning and link to previous experiences for adult learners to develop a deep understanding of principles (Roblyer, 2013; Drager, 2015 January 11) via authentic learning and Anderson and Krathwohl’s knowledge dimension taxonomy (2001). For me I must ensure correlation between skills learnt in a classroom and the transferability of skills into the workplace (Buzzard, Crittenden, Crittenden & McCarty, 2011; Drager, 2016 July 9) for the training and professional development sessions I present, as outlined in Blending and flipping – not just for cooking (Drager, 2016 October 9) and Less screen more green – an adventure in blended delivery and games (Drager, 2015 May 18).

Most importantly in this unit I am at a point where I will share my work both with fellow students and to my wider personal learning network (PLN) via social networks such as Twitter as discussed in Up close and personal – my PLN (Drager, October 8). I have been surprised at the number of views that my simple digital artefact has had. In the past I may have been concerned with the reactions, but I’m happy now to share my good quality thoughts/content and move on. I suspect the change in my mindset is due to my well-developed PLN who expects me to share and comment and has invigorated my informal learning (Nesloney, 2013).

In thinking about the personal growth I have made in this unit and linking previously learnt skills and knowledge as well as the development of new skills has led to my professional practices being improved. I am now a connected educator who can help lead the VET sector in primarily WA and then linking out to the whole world. I have been fortunate enough this year to serve on the NMC 2017 Horizon Report for Tertiary Education (International report) and the 2016 NMC Technology Outlook for Australian Tertiary Education (Australian report), which is directly linked to my learning from this unit, so I can now say I will impact on the world stage largely thanks to INF532.


Adobe. (2015). Photoshop (Version Creative Cloud) [Computer software]. Retrieved from http://www.photoshop.com/

Anderson, L., & Krathwhol, D. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of education objectives. New York: Longman.

Bawden, D., & Robinson, L. (2009). The dark side of information: Overload anxiety and other paradoxes and pathologies. Journal of Information Science, 35(2), 180–191. doi: 10.1177/0165551508095781

Blended learning. (2016, September 18). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blended_learning

Boud, D., & Garrick, J. (Eds.). (2012). Understanding Learning at Work (1) [Routledge]. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/detail.action?docID=5001415

Bower, M. (2008). Affordance analysis – matching learning tasks with learning technologies. Educational Media International, 45(1), 3-15. doi: 10.1080/09523980701847115

Buzzard, C., Crittenden, V., Crittenden, W., & McCarty, P. (2011). The Use of Digital Technologies in the Classroom A Teaching and Learning Perspective. Journal of Marketing Education, 33(2), 131-139. doi:10.1177/0273475311410845

Creative Commons. (2016, October 3). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons

Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. (2010). Ch 7. (ln)Conclusive: Thinking the future of digital thinking. In Future of thinking: Learning institutions in a digital age (pp. 175-199). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Retrieved https://mitpress.mit.edu/sites/default/files/titles/free_download/9780262513746_Future_of_Thinking.pdf

Day, J., & Kumar, M. (2010). Using SMS Text Messaging to Create Individualized and Interactive Experiences in Large Classes: A Beer Game Example. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 8(1), 129-136. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4609.2009.00247.x

Digital Obsolescence. (2016, July 30). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_obsolescence

Drager, Y. (2016, October 9). Blending and flipping – not just for cooking [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/10/09/blending-and-flipping-not-just-for-cooking/

Drager, Y. (2016, October 8). Up close and personal – my PLN [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/10/08/up-close-and-personal-my-pln/

Drager, Y. (2016, October 4). Curation – the final frontier [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/10/04/curation-the-final-frontier/

Drager, Y. (2016, October 3). You live, you learn, you upgrade [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/10/04/you-live-you-learn-you-upgrade/

Drager, Y. (2016, September 30). Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/09/30/success-is-not-final-failure-is-not-fatal-it-is-the-courage-to-continue-that-counts/

Drager, Y. (2016, September 21). Profiling – Not just for the FBI [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/09/21/profiling-not-just-for-the-fbi/

Drager, Y. (2016, September 13). Knowledge networking digital artefact and exegesis INF532 [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/09/13/knowledge-networking-digital-artefact-and-exegesis-inf532/

Drager, Y. (2016, August 9). Participatory culture, do we dare to partake? [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/08/09/participatory-culture-do-we-dare-to-partake/

Drager, Y. (2016, August 5). Are we there yet? [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/08/05/are-we-there-yet/

Drager, Y. (2016, July 27). Learning analytics – Who is watching the watchers? [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/07/27/learning-analytics-who-is-watching-the-watchers/

Drager, Y. (2016, July 13). A new age dawns [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/07/13/a-new-age-dawns/

Drager, Y. (2016, July 12). INF532 – Information environments [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/07/12/inf532-information-environments/

Drager, Y. (2016, July 9). Social media in the VET classroom [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2016/07/09/social-media-in-the-vet-classroom/

Drager, Y. (2015, May 18). Less screen more green – an adventure in blended delivery and games [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2015/05/18/less-screen-more-green-an-adventure-in-blended-delivery-and-games/

Drager, Y. (2015, January 19). Affordances of Moodle – a multiplatform application [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2015/01/19/affordances-of-moodle-a-multiplatform-application/

Drager, Y. (2015, January 12). TPACK framework [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2015/01/12/tpack-framework/

Drager, Y. (2015, January 11). Why we should use technology in the classroom [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/yvette/2015/01/12/why-we-should-use-technology-in-the-classroom/

Gerstein, J. (2015, March 29). Sharing: A Responsibility of the Modern Educator [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/sharing-a-responsibility-of-the-modern-educator/

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Morrison, D. (2013). Why online courses [really] need an instructional design strategy. Online learning insights. Retrieved from http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/why-online-courses-really-need-an-instructional-design-strategy/

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Nesloney, T. (2013, September 23). My PLN saved my career [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://nesloneyflipped.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/my-pln-saved-my-career.html

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INF537 Digital scholarship interpretive discussion paper





It is interesting in a time when we are championing networked education, the ethos of networked educators and the need to grow from traditional teaching methodologies to blended teaching approaches, that we are still in a relative dark age when it comes to academia accepting the scholarship of a digital scholar as authentic work (Cross, 2008; Weller, 2011; Heap, & Minocha, 2012; Pearce, Weller, Scanlon, & Kingsley, 2010). Technology makes connecting and collaborating easier than never before (Nussbaum-Beach, & Hall, 2012). It makes sense to reach out and seek peer review and input from a wider audience as there is a finite amount we can learn by ourselves, especially if academic endeavours are hidden under a bushel open to only the select few (Fullan, & Hargreaves, 1991; Nussbaum-Beach, & Hall, 2012) in the case of ‘possessive individualism’ or the lone scholar (Rosenzweig, 2007; Pearce, 2010).

Before investigating digital scholarship and the role it plays in the modern scholar’s life it is first important to understand the term scholar and for this paper it is best defined by Weller (2011) as a learned or specialist in a given division of knowledge. A scholar may gain tenure through a strict set of parameters that include (but not limited to) past and continued teaching practice and more importantly research undertaken within their field of study that is published in peer reviewed publications (Costa, 2015; Cross, 2008; Wolski, & Richardson, 2014; Weller, 2011; Veletsianos, & Kimmons, 2012). Unlike the images of dusty academics working by candle light it highlights that society needs to reimagine its collective image of academics, as reality is far from this outdated vision. In the realm of academia there has been an ongoing division as to what is deemed to be a scholarly pursuit. This is not new debate and has been discussed for decades (Wolski, & Richardson, 2014; Weller, 2011; Heap, & Minocha, 2012; Veletsianos, & Kimmons, 2012; Pearce, Weller, Scanlon, & Kingsley, 2010). Scholars working in academic institutions such as universities, even now are using social media and new technologies not prescribed by the institution on an ad hoc basis to encourage discourse around their work with peers and the general public (Pearce, 2010; Pearce, Weller, Scanlon, & Kingsley, 2010).

Boyer (1990) in his work “Scholarship reconsidered” suggested that society needs a more inclusive view of scholars that includes an understanding of how their knowledge is acquired through discovery, integration, application and teaching. Boyer’s work (1990), though a solid place to start (Weller, 2011) is now over two decades old (Heap, & Minocha, 2012) and primarily focuses on the individual, there are other conceptual quality frameworks that could also be used in the argument to support the growing need for digital scholarship to be recognised. Borgman (2007) considered three categories to reflect on the process of digital scholarly communication: legitimization, dissemination and access, preservation and curation, which focuses on the scholarship outputs of teams (Hank, 2013) and when applied to Kjellberg’s analytical framework for scholarly blogging (Kjellber, 2009) it is possible to see that there are synergies to be drawn across all these frameworks that can support the recognition of digital scholarly research outputs of both individual and teams.

The research for authentic online learning model outlined by Herrington and Parker (2013) Herrington, Reeves and Oliver (2007) and Cua (2014) is aimed at authentic online learning experiences for students, however, this could be used to form a basis of a capability quality framework, in conjunction with the frameworks of Boyer (1990), Borgman (2007), Kjellberg (2009) and Heap and Minocha (2012), for how institutions can authenticate digital scholarly outputs by scholars, especially regarding research. This can be easily explored through the concept of participatory Web 2.0 tools such as blogging by scholars. A new language must be developed about how scholars’ multi-modal and participatory outputs are considered in terms of publication and tenure (DePalma, & Alexander, 2015).

Salmon (2005) in her work regarding strategic frameworks for e-learning encapsulated the role of digital scholarship being one of flapping and not flying and suggests more needs to be done to support scholars in the development of skills to ensure that digital scholarship can be recognised by institutions as valid. Digital scholarship can leverage the affordances offered by mobile technology (Cochrane, & Bateman, 2010; Laurillard, 2009) while not creating a digital divide for scholars (Costa, 2015) by revisiting the terms of what is scholarship and relate it to digital born outputs. Weller (2011) put forward that outputs for digital scholarship need to be (1) digital, (2) networked and (3) open. The term digital scholar, and indeed for a scholar to become one, implies the need for a cultural change as the engagement with new technologies means that scholars who are using participatory Web 2.0 tools are causing a wicked problem for recognition of scholarly activity in a digital format (Costa, 2015).

The term digital scholarship is more and more being used to refer to the use of social media and participatory Web 2.0 software in academia and research (Heap, & Minocha, 2012), blogging is a useful output to frame the discussion about scholarship in the digital format. In the past formally published items such as peer reviewed journals and manuscripts formed the backbone for what was considered academic writing (Hank, 2013). This view is being challenged by the participatory Web 2.0 tools and the affordances they provide scholars (Luckin et al, 2011; Bower, 2008; Laurillard, 2009; Martindale, & Wiley, 2007; Sappey, & Relf, 2010; Sheffield, 2015; Cochrane, & Bateman, 2010). The affordances that blogging offers academic scholars are varied, but can encompass collaboration, interactivity, connectivity and social rapport, content creation and curation (Kirkup, 2010).

Blogging can be argued to be the conversational scholarship and have made scholarly work accessible to those outside the hallowed halls of academia (Gregg, 2006; Kirkup, 2010). Walker (2006) identifies three types of academic blogs (1) public intellectuals (2) research blogs and (3) pseudonymous blogs about academic life, but it’s only the first two types of blogs that hold a place in the discussion of digital scholarship (Gregg, 2009). It is critical that the distinction be drawn between scholars writing an academic blog and a blog written by a scholar (Mewburn, & Thomson, 2013).

The key problem with traditional academic writing and scholarship, though it develops the reputation of the scholar and likewise associated institutions, is that it is writing that never leaves the institution (Brett, 1991; Gregg, 2006). However, academic blogging on the other hand makes the scholarly work accessible and accountable to a wide readership and opens the content up for deep scrutiny from others outside of the learning area and supports the emergent practice of networked participatory scholarship (Veletsianos, & Kimmons, 2012). Blogging enables scholars to share early research results and gives them the ability to debate and discuss results with peers prior to formal publication and they are also able to seek input with experimental issues (Powell, Jacob, & Chapman, 2012). By leveraging the affordances of blogs researchers can disclose details of method design, data collection and initial results and the affordances also offer the researcher the ability to provide links and embed media to support their research (Bower, 2008; Costa, 2014; Heap, & Minocha, 2012). Blogs can be tools that support scholars in facilitating their research, collaboration with a wider audience and sharing their knowledge which supports the openness of being a digital scholar (Park, Heo, & Lee, 2011).

If scholars are using Web 2.0 tools to support their pedagogy and to model lifelong learning principles then it is imperative that exemplars are created of high quality scholarly work to support the context of concepts and to provide points of reference for students (DePalma, & Alexander, 2015; Goodfellow, 2013; Greenhow, Robelia, & Hughes, 2009; Heap, & Minocha, 2012; Kirkup, 2010), currently this is not the case for many teaching areas. The ability to demonstrate effective use of the multi-modal design of a blog is important for scholars to come to terms with, but also forms an integral part of providing authentic learning experiences for students (Herrington, & Parker, 2013; Herrington, Reeves, & Oliver, 2007; Cua, 2014). For outputs to be considered as exemplars the scholar needs to blog under their real name rather than a pseudonymous, as this will lend authenticity to their work, and enable them to use this digital scholarship as part of their discussions around tenure where academic outputs are to be demonstrated (Walker, 2006; Weller, 2011; Kirkup, 2010; Heap, & Minocha, 2012).

The need to develop the necessary skills around digital technologies could conceivably be started in the K-12 education space, the VET environment, as well as post-secondary. Skills for writing for an online audience can be developed through blogging and academic blogging (Walker, 2006; Gregg, 2009; Kirkup, 2010) with the thought the more you blog the better you become at it being paramount. Reflective writing in a blog can form an important part of authentic online learning and to ensure its authenticity students must have a specific purpose for their writing (Herrington, & Parker 2013; Herrington, Reeves, & Oliver, 2007), equally reflective blog writing could form another dimension to research projects that have been funded as it adds a level of openness and dynamisms to the project as it has a key purpose of reflecting about the research process (Heap, & Minocha, 2012).

The practice of peer review in academia is well-known to form a critical part of scholarship, but many feel that this is absent from academic blogging (Cross, 2008; Gregg, 2006; Powell, Jacob, & Chapman, 2011). Though there is the ability to add comments to blogs, the key point is that this is not true peer review (Sheffield, 2015; Cross, 2008; Weller, 2011). Hank (2013) challenged this point by observing that the peer review process does form a gatekeeping function and that the use of comments on blogs could free an academic from this locked-step approach of formal peer review and thus open a scholars work up to scrutiny from a wide audience, though admittedly less expert. This could then reasonably be used as part of the discourse around scholarship of academics.

The discussion around how to quantify the scholarly output of a scholar in light of digital scholarship is always problematic. Metrics are used regarding publications and citations that are then linked directly to performance and funding, however, currently there is little acknowledgement of the digital scholarship that many scholars create. In a world of big data and user analytics it should become standard that digital scholarship is accounted for. Frameworks that can incorporate both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to investigate digital scholarship could be created to capture information about digital scholarship using, for instance, in blogs monitor link analysis, usage statistics such as page views or comment analysis and blog posts citing articles (Veletsianos, & Kimmons, 2012; Wolski, & Richardson, 2014; Kjellberg, 2010). This could help scholars and institutions to understand the impact that digital scholarship and subsequently the outreach it is having (Veletsianos, & Kimmons, 2012).

Though the affordances of blogs are varied there is a concern about the longevity of them in terms of accessibility, duration and digital preservation (Walker, 2006; Pearce, 2010). Unlike traditional journal articles that can be housed in curated collections within a library or publishing house there is simply not the same robust set of preservation strategies around digital outputs, especially if they are created ad hoc and not within an institutions supported ICT (Pearce, 2010). Gregg (2009) identifies blogs as short term, which lends support to the need for institutions to capture important academic information from scholar’s academic blogs (Cross, 2008). With-out prudent, timely intervention of preservation strategies traditional forms of scholarly output will continued to be favoured (DePalma, & Alexander, 2015; Walker, 2006).

Scholars work in the genres of their time (Walker, 2006) and with the advancements in technology and the fast pace of adoption institutions are moving at a glacial pace to recognise and accept the scholarship outputs in a digital space such as an academic blog. It is unmistakable that technology is creating new situations for learning with digital scholarship opening up scholars to new and different ways of working that needs to be valued by academia. There are those who will embrace new technologies and new ways of working and understand its benefits to both society and academia (Weller, 2011) and will lead at the forefront. Whilst these scholars have embraced the new, they have become hamstrung by the lack of acknowledgement for scholarship contained in these tools, such as blogs (Sheffield, 2015; Cross, 2008; Weller, 2011). With usage analytics it is possible for universities and institutions to track the activity of the academic blog and can be tied to the carefully constructed metrics that are currently employed against publications rates that result in funding. Powell, Jacob and Chapman (2012) eludes to blogs not replacing traditional forms of scholarship, but blogs and Web 2.0 participatory scholarship should become part of the body of evidence to demonstrate scholarly activity and discussion as blogs can and do complement as well as contribute to traditional forms of scholarly publication.


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Knowledge Networking digital artefact and exegesis INF532

Assignment 2 for INF532

Part A – Digital artefact

How a PLN saved the three little pigs

Part B-Exegesis

Educators need to become more connected with the world around to ensure effectiveness and currency. A connected educator is a role model for students and embodies the ability to leverage the affordances of technology to collaborate, which helps their professional and personal growth while making them lifelong learners (Whitby, 2013). An educator can easily become a connected learner; they simply need the will to commit and the ability to reach out to others for support (Lindsay, 2016).

The digital artefact ‘The three little pigs: How personalized learning networks can make a difference (A personal learning network fairy tale)’ (Drager, 2016) is a short animation that explains the importance of a personal learning network (PLN) via the fairy tale ‘The three little pigs’, with a twist to the story to contextualize the content for the purpose of the learning outcomes. The use of stories assists learners in the understanding of abstract concepts quickly and efficiently (Ellington, 2014; Drager, 2016). By linking to a traditional fairy tale that provides a personal emotional link to a touchstone story of their childhood (Ellington, 2014) the designer wanted to provide a novel approach for adult learners around the concept of building a personal learning network (Sukovic, 2014).

Employing a blend of both the ADDIE and Rapid Prototyping design models as a rapid interactive design cycle (Forest, 2014; Kearsley, & Culatta, 2016; Melles, 2010) the initial analysis process started with an environmental scan to review digital content already available in the topic area – PLN and employing a braintrust of colleagues (Catmull, 2014) to brainstorm initial design ideas for the digital artefact as they will be using the digital artefact for training.

The initial design ideas were driven by the need of putting the user first and the necessity for them to remember the content after viewing (Brown, & Katz, 2011) and doing more with less (Brown, 2009) due to technology, skills, budget and time constraints. By looking around the edges to see what could be possible (TED, 2007) it was decided the idea of storytelling could add an unusual depth and novelty for the digital artefact that would support learners remembering the key concepts (Ellington, 2014). Though storytelling is definitely not a new concept, in fact it is as old as mankind (Thornburg, 2007) it is an unusual technique to use for adult learners. Schrange (2013) points out that designers will parody items that have worked well previously, in 2013 the Library of Congress published ‘Snow Byte and the Seven Formats’ a digital preservation fairy tale (LibraryOfCongress, 2013), which provided an instance of how the retelling of a traditional fairy tale coupled with animation has been successfully employed for adult learners and was the impetus for choosing a well-known fairy tale to base the digital artefact on. The storytelling idea was driven by the theory that the glow of the campfire is fast being replaced by the glow of a computer screen (Thornburg, 2007) and fitted well with the Concept Space where the crazy out there ideas can be the basis for interesting innovative solutions (Hatchuel, Le Masson, & Weil, 2004) and resulted in the animated PLN fairy tale becoming a practicable option.

The choice of the animation platform was driven by the need to use a site that had a free option, could also upload external images and audio and could produce a rendered video output that could be shared via different mediums. Platforms were reviewed with PowToon being chosen due to its ease of use, availability of support videos, ability to render final output to YouTube and the functionality in the free option. Included in the functionality were the hand scribe function and the hand placement options which helped build the viewer anticipation and added movement. When scribing hands are coupled with the multiple still photos and use of speech bubbles it becomes the perfect online medium for storytelling, which is extremely important in maintaining audience engagement (Air, Oakland, & Walters, 2014).

The design phase commenced with the creation of a rough outline of the animation in a wireframe storyboard and a rough cut audio track of the story. This was presented to the braintrust, in an open meeting and members were asked to be as candid as possible with feedback (Catmull, 2014). The feedback included the need to expand on key learning points, simplifying the images being suggested, extending the narrative to build an emotional tie with the characters and finally cutting the length as it was felt that at nearly 10 mins it was too long. The design process needs the honest feedback from a user group, but not only can feedback be sought by a designer, but it must be used otherwise it will impact on the product (Brown, 2009; Brown, & Katz, 2011; Schrage, 2013).This feedback loop is a divergence from the strict ADDIE process and demonstrates the need for a Rapid Prototyping methodology to be employed as a companion design process simply put drawing, prototyping and storytelling helps inspire innovation (Brown, 2009) and improve the output.

The digital artefact is a combination of still images, screen grabs and animation with a soundtrack that combines narrating voice and musical score. The animation was developed to be eye-catching to engage both audio and visual learners (Bennett, & Rolheiser, 2001; Roblyer, 2013). The animation was created in PowToon separately to the audio track, which was imported at the commencement of the animation process. The narration was recorded in Camtasia due to the facility to finely edit the audio track. Music was sourced from Jamendo, and was creative commons and available for non-commercial use. Only instrumental tracks were chosen, so not to muddy the narration, with the music being both energetic and appropriate. The music score was cut into the narration using Camtasia with the final audio track exported into PowToon. For ease of user accessibility and use of the video it was streamed via YouTube, rather than just shared via PowToon, as YouTube streams on all connected devices and will compress the streaming experience to cater for devices connectivity. YouTube also offers excellent closed captioning functionality, which is very important to make it useable by a wide audience.

It was critical to avoid making a how-to portion in this digital artefact as it did not fit into the story format, but to include all key points into the narrative and supported learning points with relevant images. To cover all the key points it was important to stay true to the story narrative and avoid information overload of interesting, but unnecessary information (Bawden, & Robinson, 2009).It was also paramount that the story remained playful to elicit an emotional connection to the characters for a memorable and favourable impact on the end user (Barrett, 2013).

This video could be used as a standalone item for various aged learners, however, the primary design intention is for this video to be utilized as part of a flipped classroom approach (Bergmann & Sams, 2012) to introduce one session with the focus on PLN development that would form part of a series of sessions about being a 21st Century educator for VET lecturers who have to complete their Certificate IV in TAE in 2017. The idea is that it will be used to arouse an interest in these new trainers to develop a PLN; reach out online to different professionals and industry to be a source of inspiration for developing new approaches for their training.

The animation supports knowledge networking by providing a solid memorable example of how a PLN could support personal learning and the importance of seeking input and feedback from the PLN (Richardson, & Mancabelli, 2011). It was extremely important to demonstrate and reiterate the point that a PLN supports life-long learning and gives the user limitless support (Patnoudes, 2012; Siemans, 2006; Rajagopal, Joosten-ten Brinke, Van Bruggen, & Sloep, 2011). Informal learning via a PLN can go hand in hand with formal training and indeed can augment information provided in a formal training context (Siemans, 2006; Richardson, & Mancabelli, 2011; Lindsay, 2016), this was outlined and demonstrated in the animation by one of the characters. Personal learning networks reflect the individuals context and relate to interests of the person (Tour, 2016; Ballard; 2012; Rajagopal, Joosten-ten Brinke, Van Bruggen, & Sloep, 2011) in the setting of the animation this was dealt with via the third little pigs interest – sustainable housing. Personal learning networks are agile learning without formal structure, but are heavily connected to social media. With-in the animation Rheingold’s social media literacies (2010) and Neilsen’s 5 C’s of PLN (Neilsen, 2011) supported the primary concept dealt in the narrative and reinforced the just-in-time nature that a PLN can offer a user (Richardson, & Mancabelli, 2011) along with the philosophy of the PLN being tied heavily to the user – my needs not yours (Ballard, 2012).

Once the final animation was complete the braintrust were asked once again in an open meeting to review for candid input (Catmull, 2014). By reaching out to this braintrust the designer was not only deploying an important design phase feedback session but was also seeking feedback from the designers own PLN. Many of the users felt that the PLN message was memorable because of the fairy tale link and felt they could reinforce this message within a set of training sessions; one related comment was “I didn’t realize I had learnt anything until I was quizzed afterwards and retained knowledge about PLNs”. It was mentioned that is this was to be used as a standalone item then it might need further scaffolding around it to ensure that users would gain the learning required, but as it was developed to introduce a series of sessions around the PLN concept then this is an easy way to unpack the concept for them. Tools and how-to-build a PLN were noted as missing from the animation, but the user conceded that these were not really needed in the context of a wide session use. Users did feel that the story did not get in the way of the learning, which was the key point for the story approach and validated the designers’ choice for the unique and novel approach for the animation. These feedback points are critical and will be implemented in the future. This exegesis forms part of the evaluation along with the previously discussed user feedback. The evaluation of course will kick start the ADDIE process again, as the production methodology of any resource is cyclic and must contain a review and refresh phase for any digital artefact to ensure currency and usefulness.

The content, design and deployment of the artefact have initially been a success. However, the educational benefits of the artefact is yet untried, apart from with the braintrust group. The next phase will be a further redevelopment phase then rolling the artefact out to a test pilot group for assessment. In the ever changing learning landscape digital artefacts are only as good as the content and the learning that users take from them (Kolko, 2010). By employing sound instructional design methodology such as the nine events of instruction (Gagné, Briggs, & Wager, 1992) and VAK principles (Bennett, & Rolheiser, 2001) the current format this animation does deliver the content, but it can be further refined. That being said it does deliver on providing information regarding the importance of a PLN and will support learners understanding of this concept.


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How a PLN saved the three little pigs – credit and references

How a PLN saved the three little pigs – credit and references


Now (2014) DJ Smallest


Energy (2014) DJ Smallest


Free (2014) DJ Smallest


Ft. Charie – Music for life (2014) DJ Smallest


Paradise (2014) DJ Smallest


Born Free (2014) Pokki DJ


Creativity (2015) Pokki DJ



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/

Images (free)



Images (Purchased)




Case Study – the beginning INF537

It is always exciting and daunting to be doing a body of research on the organisation where you work.

Webinars - connecting the world.
Webinars – connecting the world.

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.

Projected timeline:
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

The hype and trends of technology

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.

Let’s look at the facts that not that long ago it was standard modern practice to use acetate overhead project sheets and Gestetner copies.

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.

Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2014 (Gartner, 2014)
Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2014 (Gartner, 2014)
Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2012 (Gartner, 2012)
Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2012 (Gartner, 2012)

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/

Gartner,. (2014). Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2012. Retrieved from http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2124315

Gartner,. (2014). Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2014. Retrieved from http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2819918

The New Media Consortium,. (2014). NMC Horizon. Retrieved 30 March 2015, from http://www.nmc.org/nmc-horizon/

Web.archive.org,. (2007). Australian Flexible Learning Framework – Virtual Worlds – Real Learning!. Retrieved 30 March 2015, from http://web.archive.org/web/20070613001430/http://www.flexiblelearning.net.au/flx/go/home/projects/2006/newpractices2006/pid/368

Wikipedia,. (2015). Transparency (projection). Retrieved 30 March 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparency_(projection)

Wikipedia,. (2014). Gestetner. Retrieved 30 March 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestetner

Social media in the VET classroom

VET inclass example of a twitter back-channel.
VET in class example of a twitter back-channel.

Social media for many means catching up with what friends are doing via Facebook or following the latest celebrity on Twitter. But is can be so much more than that for an educator who is prepared to put in some extra work to effectively use to Social Media within a class environment.

It is important to consider the affordances in relation to the learning program to determine if there will be of benefit to the students (Bower, 2008). There will always be resistance from some students when social media for a variety of reasons. Due to this resistance it is important to ensure that any learning done through this mechanism is duplicated elsewhere.

One crucial issue is of course age, with many social media requiring the user to be over a certain age to agree to the terms and conditions. For use in a VET classroom, as outlined by Roblyer (2013) it is crucial that appropriate social media site are chosen that will create a professional learning avenue for students. It is also important for students to understand this is a professional site and should not be linked to their personal activities. By utilizing the affordances outlined by Bower (2008) and the taxonomy of learning, teaching and assessing created by Anderson and Krathwohl (2001) a teacher can provide supported pedagogical reasoning behind why they are choosing a specific social media platform in their classroom.

One interesting piece of research by McCorkle D.E, and McCorkle Y.L., (2012) focussed on the use of LinkedIn in a marketing class room. The article outlined the assessment program that stepped students through the very basic setting up a profile to building a professional network.

This strategy has been reflected in current practice in the 2014 Article in Training Matters which focused on the use of LinkedIn in a VET Certificate III in Pathology qualification. The lecturer used LinkedIn in a variety of ways; the initial use was a discussion forum between students and industry but then it branched out as a mentoring forum for alumni students; a employment and job placement area; industry announcement. The heavy ties with industry through LinkedIn gave currency to the course.

With any social media it is important for students to understand why they are being asked to participate. Twitter as a back channel for on topic discussion by students during a lecture or presentation can vie valuable insight into the understanding by the students. This can simply be as easy as putting together a hashtag for the class group to respond to. In Hew & Cheung (2013) article they outlined how one institution saw an increase in GPA’s in the test group using twitter which was put down to students engaging with lecturers and content discussions via this social medium. Being able to access this application through a mobile device or desktop meant that the students were able to continue to learn and reflect of critical points 24/7.

The implementation of social media in a VET classroom does warrant investigation as an avenue to support students who are often in the workplace or studying through a blended delivery approach.


Anderson, L., & Krathwohl, D., (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman

Bower, M. (2008). Affordance analysis – matching learning tasks with learning technologies.Educational Media International, 45(1), 3-15. doi:10.1080/09523980701847115

Herrington, J., & Parker, J. (2013). Emerging technologies as cognitive tools for authentic learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(4). doi:10.1111/bjet.12048

Hew, K., & Cheung, W. (2013). Use of Web 2.0 technologies in K-12 and higher education: The search for evidence-based practice. Educational Research Review, 9, 47-64. doi:10.1016/j.edurev.2012.08.001

Jelfs, A., & Richardson, J. (2013). The use of digital technologies across the adult life span in distance education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(2). doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2012.01308.x

Laurillard, D. (2009). The pedagogical challenges to collaborative technologies. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 4(1). doi:10.1007/s11412-008-9056-2

McCorkle, D., & McCorkle, Y. (2012). Using Linkedin in the Marketing Classroom: Exploratory Insights and Recommendations for Teaching Social Media/Networking. Marketing Education Review, 22(2), 157-166. doi:10.2753/mer1052-8008220205

Passion for teaching. (2014). Training Matters, (20), 17. Retrieved from http://www.dtwd.wa.gov.au/employeesandstudents/training/otherinformation/trainingmatters/previousversions/Documents/April%202014/Training%20Matters%20April%202014%2017.pdf

Roblyer, M. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Harlow: Pearson.

ETL523 – The final pledge

It is always difficult to reflect on a whole course of work at the end, especially one as diverse as Digital Citizenship. So much of what we covered in ETL523, I personally feel, has been embedded across the whole qualification. Without a solid understanding of Digital Citizenship it is almost impossible to work effectively and ethically within an elearning space.

For my work in the VET sector there are some aspects of this course that drive my work, such as the need for greater understanding of copyright and intellectual property. For instance the department where I work is organises the Training Providers Forum in Perth. Last week I was reviewing presentations when I came across a very visually stunning presentation. I was impressed with the quality of images used, and knowing the presenter is a graphic design lecturer others had let the material go through without any checking. I however felt the need to query the use of the images that had no acknowledgements within the presentation. It was a simple email to clear up the issue and the situation was solved, but it was a situation that could have left out department open for legal ramifications.

Litigation is one copyright infringement away.
Litigation is one copyright infringement away.

To me, we as teachers hide behind the CAL license (for education use) and this is fine. However, as educators I need to set the bar high not only for my students but also for myself and not be tempted to limbo under it.

I feel that Hollandsworth, Dowdy, & Donovan (2011) encapsulated my thoughts best on the need for more understanding and solid application of good digital behaviour. Their discussions on us all forming ‘the village’ for our online youth and implementing a curriculum that upholds the need for good digital citizenship and find the middle ground between the reactionary and proactive environments rang a bell in my conscious. Now I know that in the VET sector with the many upheavals that we have been experiencing that our curriculum is strong, we just need to educate the educators.

I strongly believed coming into this course and only have had my beliefs confirmed that digital citizenship is not just something that we teach in schools and forget once a student leave a K-12 environment but must stay with the individual for the rest of their lives. It is about the lifelong skills from the ‘Enlightened digital citizenship’ model (Lindsay & Davis, 2012) such as privacy, respect, etiquette that need to be reinforced in all walks of life.

Digital citizens are aware.
Digital citizens are aware.

Our students, to be able to learn effectively ultimately need to feel secure and safe in any environment that we construct for them. It also needs to support the curriculum outcomes as well as the needs of an individual (P21, 2016).

Recently I have been training a group of students from around Australia in how to facilitate online classes, both synchronous and asynchronous; I wanted to instil the importance of digital citizenship concepts to them. In my first online class I introduced the concept of a ‘Course Code of Conduct’. Instead of my dictating how I expected the class to behave we brainstormed the idea using the whiteboard, microphone/audio and chat box tools. I drafted a version based on what the class decided. I have referred the students back to the document to remind them of their own ‘class rule set’.

The implementation of a digital learning space needs to be safe and owned by the not only faculty but by the students for their use as well as for learning. That is how strong bonds are built and strong support networks through a personal learning network are forged, just like the ETL523 twitter feed or discussion forums, where we (as students) interact and own the space (Lindsay, 2016) alongside Julie – our amazing lecturer.

In closing I would like to leave you with my version of the Digital Australian Citizenship pledge:

1912 Australian Government Commonwealth crest
1912 Australian Government Commonwealth crest.

From this time forward, I pledge my loyalty to Digital Australia and its digital citizens, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey as a good digital citizen.

So I pledge and so shall it be.



Department of Immigration and Border Protection (2016). Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code. Retrieved from https://www.border.gov.au/Citizenship/Documents/australian-citizenship-ceremonies-code.pdf

Hollandsworth, R., Dowdy, L., Donovan, J. (2011). Digital citizenship in K-12: It takes a village. TechTrends. 55(4) 37-47

Lindsay, J., & Davis, V. (2010). Navigate the digital rapids. Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(6), 12-15.

Lindsay, J. (2016). Professional learning networks [ETL523 Module 3.4]. https://interact2.csu.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-767091-dt-content-rid-1699121_1/courses/S-ETL523_201630_W_D/module3/3_4_Professional_learning_networks.html

P21. (2016). Framework for 21st Century Learning. Retrieved 13 April 2016, from http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework

Digital artefact – the debrief

It is always important when you create something to tell others not only about what you have created, but how you create it. My job in WA is all about sharing how I do things, so that I can upskill the VET sector of WA.

With the recent ETL523 assignment 1 not only did we create a group wiki, but each student were required to create an individual digital artefact that was created in Web 2.0 technology. When I read this I knew that I wanted to create something that not only would work for my assignment but could be used either in part or whole as a support to a training session that I would run later in the year.

Mindmap of all key ideas for the digital artefact are mapped out on this page.
Mindmap of all key ideas for the digital artefact are mapped out on this page.

I brainstormed my initial ideas in hard copy, which is fairly common practice for me to do when I commence a design project as I am a visual person. This storyboard gave me a solid starting point to what I wanted to include in the group wiki and what I wanted to include in my digital artefact. After reviewing my ideas I knew that I wanted to create a video that would be embedded into a Nearpod activity. This meant combining two Web 2.0 tools and a huge amount of film and edit work to make it all happen. The reason behind this choice was simple; my philosophy when creating something that I will be using later for training is that whatever I produce must be done simply without too much high tech so that a VET lecturer can also do this.

This storyboard is the overview level. More in-depth shot storyboards were completed for each section of the artefact.
This storyboard is the overview level. More in-depth shot storyboards were completed for each section of the artefact.

Once I knew what I wanted to do I roughed out a very brief high level storyboard that showed the shot list, still images and screen grabs I needed for the video, rough ideas for the script and the outline for the Nearpod content and how it would all look together. I then created individual storyboard for each of the different sections of the digital artefact so that I knew I would be able to work to a plan. This was critical for me as my personal life was all about dealing with a family death.

I had to be clear what simulation software I wanted to showcase and how as another team member was doing a digital artefact on a similar topic and create a filming schedule so that I could coordinate various people to ‘appear’ in the footage as well as organise access to various businesses and school that were using the simulations. I filmed simply on my mobile phone the video footage I wanted to use incorporating many different shots and angles to give me good editable footage I could cut together. I opted not to use an external mic to capture the sound as I decided early on that I would voice over only and use footage to support the audio script. This decision meant that I would save time on having to edit audio footage and I could ensure good quality audio through the entire video.

This is a screen grad of the final edit screen prior to rendering the video for final publication file.
This is a screen grad of the final edit screen prior to rendering the video for final publication file.

For the voice audio track, and film editing I used Camtasia Studio. This is a low end video editing tool, but many VET organisations have access to this rather than Adobe Premier (which I could have used). Another alternative I could have used was Windows Movie Maker, which was installed on my laptop, but the edit would not have been quite as easy.

I recorded the audio script and saved out 25 audio tracks, which I would later import into my Camtasia Studio edit suite for bringing the final video together. I did start using Audacity for recording the voice audio, however my work computer no longer had the correct codec to save in a cross platform file and I could not get my this laptop back to our ICT department for them to load it for me so Camtasia was my fall-back position.

Once the voice audio tracks were completed and all the film footage was completed, the various screen grabs were taken and still shots were saved to my computer I commenced the film edit. As I knew exactly what shots went with which voice over it was a fairly easy edit to complete, probably only taking roughly 23 hours to complete to final production rendering stage.

I uploaded the final version into YouTube, which I had to set to ‘Public’; otherwise Nearpod would not be able to locate it when I go to link it. What I have not yet completed and it is so very important that I will go back and complete this next week is to upload a transcript for accessibility. This means that I have to create an audio transcript document (usually I do this in Notepad)

This is  an example of an audio transcript.
This is an example of an audio transcript.

It does mean that I have to sit with the YouTube open and set accurate time codes, but it is very important. YouTube now has the feature where you can do some of this in the system, which I will play around with when I am doing the audio transcript. I do have a written script, so this should be a relatively painless process, but time consuming.

After the video was complete and uploaded I could then set about constructing my Nearpod content and activities. Nearpod is brilliant if you have not used it before, so easy and quick. It allows you to upload videos, sounds, images and presentations. I created my content in Microsoft PowerPoint and uploaded, this was so simple and easy. It then meant that I could play about with the content and be able to reorganise the order around the internal Nearpod features of quiz activities and the YouTube video.

If you are interested in screen grabs for any of this process I have created a Sway that showcases this which are found here.

Any further questions about the digital artefact then please do not hesitate to ask!

Nearpod activity access  https://s.nearpod.com/j/CVEJZ

Simulation isn’t futile YouTube link.