Tag Archives: pedagogy

Are we there yet?

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.

Diffusion of innovations - this model can be adopted by many sectors from marketing through to education.
Diffusion of innovations – this model can be adopted by many sectors from marketing through to education.

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.

Resrouces, Infrastructure, Poeple, Policies, Learning, Evaluation, Support.
The RIPPLES Model (Surry and Ensminger, 2005)

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.

Review and reflection should become commonplace as best practice to improve teaching.
Review and reflection should become commonplace as best practice to improve teaching.

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.


Jasinski, M. (2006). Innovate and integrate: Embedding innovative practices. 1st ed. [pdf] Canberra: DEST, Commonwealth of Australia. Available at: http://tle.westone.wa.gov.au/content/file/b2abda95-f95b-4366-afb6-7e3e401fdf72/1/Innovate_and_Integrate_Report1.pdf

Fishburne T. (2007, Februaru, 26). Brand Camp [Image]. Marketoonist. Retrieved from https://marketoonist.com/2007/02/new-product-adoption.html

NVELS (2014). E-learning Quality Model. Accessed from: http://webarchive.nla.gov.au/gov/20141215081514/http://www.flag.natese.gov.au/quality_model

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

Surry, DW, Ensminger, DC and Haab, M (2005), ‘A model for integrating instructional technology into higher education’, British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 36 (2), pp.327–329.

Why we should use technology in the classroom?

As educators it is always important to understand what is happening outside the classroom in the ‘real world’ in terms of being able to contextualize lessons to reflect current attitudes and utilize contemporary tools to achieve our desired outcomes. In the Australian VET sector training packages are now on a continuous upgrade cycle to reflect current industry practices which means that students expect that technology will form part of their learning.

When you review the dramatic changes over the past 5 years that the VET sector has undergone it stands to reason that information and training methodologies that we once held close to our hearts are now outmoded.

Banning mobiles in the classroom sign from RTO in Perth.
Banning mobiles in the classroom sign from RTO in Perth.

The Industry Skills Councils and industry in general demand as part of the training packages that trainers have and maintain currency in chosen fields. This includes the use of current technologies within the industry space. Therefore not only do our students expect to use technology but the curriculum documents ensure that as trainers we must.

The Waldorf philosophy of not utilizing technology within the classroom or training environment it is not practicable for a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in Australia. For a training organisation to not to accept that they need to train students with current workplace skills using technology to fulfill some of that requirement would be a critical issue. Adult learners learn is different ways to school students and bringing in ‘life experiences’ including the use of technology is and always should be just another way to ensure that the students needs are being met.

All RTO’s do need to build skills and abilities in their staff and students with technology. Being aware of the E-Standards for Training is critical to ensure that digital literacy skills are addressed as part of the training that students receive from an RTO.

For me it is critical that we do establish solid digital literacy for our VET clients/students, with solid skills to evaluate, find use, share and create content using technologies and the internet. Without these digital literacy skills we are not equipping our VET students and practitioners with the ability to operate in the relevant industry areas.

E-standards.flexiblelearning.net.au,. (2014). E-standards for Training. Retrieved 12 January 2015, from http://e-standards.flexiblelearning.net.au/

Training.gov.au,. (2014). Skills: training.gov.au. Retrieved 12 January 2015, from http://training.gov.au/