Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Day Three - Panel

The last part of the panel session was about the Future of learning 2027:
Generic off-the-shelf products are no longer in vogue and businesses have moved out of the tertiary organisations. "The only sure thing is that things will change". There may be holographs accessed via smart cards as learner needs them.
Also the 4 Rs - "Right information to the right person at the right time and in the right way". Situated learning in the workplace.

"Not everything is possible" and "we're just all going to be lazy" or "work too hard" - we already do. what can we do that computers can't - creative stuff. Skill sets instead of knowledge because information is doubling constantly - need to know how to handle all the information. We will be moving between careers more rapidly. 'Don't afraid to jump on the technology train. We're not and it is going to be exciting!" (Miria Royal, 2007.)

The workplace will be the new university. "The illiterate of 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn or relearn" (Rachel Skudder, 2007).

The law of more! More bandwidth, web 2.0, 3.0, 4.0. More creating content. speed - faster, faster. Just-in-time products. Pull vs push, m-Learning. Open education resources. Content rich courses will not longer be norm. Push rather than pull...RSS. Power shift to the learner.

eFest Workshop Communities of practice

Derek Chirnside - Communities of Practice, creative facilitation in a Web 2.0 world
Some wonderful insights into this phenomenon. A wonderful mix of multimedia to illustrate concepts and principles of what a community is and how to create it. A little bit of theory (situated cognition) and seeding some ideas e.g. identity...Material from Etienne Wenger and ideas for designing a structure for a community. The following question caught my attention:

Does a community of practice need a place?
Share tools and stories e.g. housewives who meet over coffee. Elements in design - connectivity, leadership, membership, events, artefacts, projects (p17 in handout).

Bounded learning communities in formal taught courses - goals, identity, collaboration, respectful inclusion, progressive discourse and knowledge building.

Facilitation ideas: liked the one about having a task which passes from one to another "you are it" idea.

Used an idea called organic metaphors.

Derek told the group a little about Web 2.0 tools. We discussed things such as: what makes a good blog? Think of an expert in our field who keeps a blog. For example, Derek Wenmouth - models putting yourself into it, weaving stories, keeping it up to date. Blogs can be Vblogs (video) audio blogs.

Podcasting: mentioned ipods and recording, Audacity. Could do 6 minute audio summary of lectures and post to blog. These resources can be a nuturing tool.

Tools serve the community. Think identity not technology. can be used for organising tools - use it as a course homepage.

What We 2.0 tools should we use for the community of practice. uses a content area (Moodle or Blackboard), blog, wiki, RSS feed, Flickr, Skype.

This was a good chance to pull together some different ideas around communities of practice and it was fun. Learned about off to find out more about it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

FLLinNZ facilitation sessions - day two

Sean McDougall - speaking via videoconferencing classrooms of the future
not a lot has changed - still sitting in classrooms altogether slumped over desks which are unsuitable for learning and sitting at all day. All studying at same time in groups. Sean has been working in designing learning spaces for the future.

No point in designing new buildings and doing the same sort of teaching there will be no additional benefits for the teachers and students. "It is about how you do it not where you do it." Example of a design where the teacher could get around the students (children) better which improved the activitiy. Design of saddle seats which could swivel in any direction - take up less of a footprint - tables fit around the room - four-way data projector. Cheaper option than billions spent on school rebuilding. Room designed to encourage conversation and collaboration and teacher tried to teach by standing up the front. Learned from mistakes - need to educate teachers in new approaches.

Design my school - tool where students could be involved in designing school. used wikipedia design - Co-Design

Provided some statistics about education in UK - 80% black children leave school at 16yrs and over half jobs advertised in UK in 2012 will require a degree. need to get back to the idea of a creative school rather than an "exam factory". The system is not working - community minority groups illustrate this.

Singapore example
eight years old problem-solving re bomb in an oil facility - building robots to clean up oil, building website to keep parents informed, writing business plan - a year long project. need to invent and create and solve future for themselves.

Xchurch School called Unlimited
Barriers removed - students direct their own learning Involved in projects in which they are interested e.g. designing logos, music distribution, own record label. Studying alongside 18 yr olds to get qualifications like Business.

Design done by people and with people. How can we work with excluded communities?
Example from Ireland - Sean is working with nuns in Cork. How can they work with people who are falling through groups. Responsive servicing. Immigrants, travellers, prisoners working together to find solutions to help stop people dropping out. They told their stories -
1. need place to come to meet with friends

children had different perspectives about how the building looked like - teachers forget what the rooms of the school look like.
Introduce opposites e.g. if you want technology look at what the organisation would look like without technology.

Another example-what could we do to make a fountain better? Designing a programmable, interactive fountain e.g. speed camera - measure how fast children are running around. could measure height and jets could respond to different heights. Give fountain three wishes - to see, hear, feel. Children helped design a mural with pictures and ideas of what they liked or did not like about the school. invites configuration and brings people together to work on a common problem to prepare them for the rapidly changing 21 century. create your own models and not wait for someone to "design a catalogue and you order from it".

Allow people to skill up - learn and make mistakes. Video showing chidren with robots they constructed - watching them work and showing the great excitement. learning what they need for the knowledge economy. Need to redesign the service to meet the needs of the children e.g. reading construction manuals as that is where the interest lies for one of the children who likes building things.
Have moved from where things are done to them to one where people create their world. can you hand over what is seen to be important information to be displayed e.g. Cardiff streets.

1.What will it mean if we get it right?

increased success. Teachers who get it. learners who get what they want.

2.What happens if we carry on as we are?

no change as technology etc. changes around us.

3.Why haven't we done anything about it?

too hard, no money.

4. What could we do about it?

let people know what skills people will need in the future

Mark Nichols - institutional change for eLearning
now know how eLearning works - do we? We know how to facilitate online discussion - do we?
Beeby 1992 wrote about lessons learned in 1930s. Mark is an educational evolutionist. Focus is on formal education. He has failed spectacularly. Failures are far more interesting and you can learn from it. In his FLLinNZ year he read a lot about institutional change and talked to lots of people about it. Reckons it is commonsense. Has been ignored and now feels like he is prophetic.
What do we know about change
Peter Senge -
see institution as a whole "see the wood for the trees". Large scale change is complex. Example: had a CDROm of video, looked after website, used discussion - looked after it himself and it worked well. what would happen if it was systemised? Need to train people and learners. need to copy multiple CDs. What about looking after discussions - technical support, archiving.

Who maintains resources? How do we support subject matter experts with elearning. can they use pre-prepared materials. how are new technologies incorporated? How do we enrol students? Innovation in one course is very different to what is needed in a whole programme. Good systems solve problems before they happen.

Best to work with late majority - sustainability through transformation
work on changing core ideas - workshops Core and custom - complement standardisation with innovation. How do you get buy in. Use systems that organisation has in place - systems for internal review. Meet with programme leaders and work with them. Division of labour - how to best support those who are not tech literate. Engage at level of the core with tech support at that level.
FL strategy or teacing and learning strategy - use them.

How do you go about internalising elearning?
strategic ownership - VLE a thermometer - some staff flocked to it - others ignored it. If few staff got excited good prognosis - otherwise more difficult to change ideas about eLearning.

John P. Kotter - leading organisational change, very good book.
useful orientation to major changes that are involved.

Examples from Bible College
1. establishing a sense of urgency -
better resourcing of students, costing
Developing a strategy and PD. College eLearning audit and prepare national exemplar.
Sense of urgency varies - depends on hierarchy and priorities e.g. pbrf. When there is a crisis - lack of students for programmes. Responding to market.

2. Creating the guiding coalition
put ideas in front of managers with evidence

3.Developing a vision and strategy
what evidence is there that it improves learning? works well where there is no choice or it supports lifestyle. Don't change what is working and change what and when you need to.

4. Communicating the change vision

5. Empowering broad-based action

6. Generating short term wins

7. Consolidating gains and producing more change

8. Anchoring new approaches in the culture

Some discussion on the above questions but not enough time and no summarising of them at the end.

Maret Staron - TAFE
Overview of some research projects. "Designing Professional development for the Knowledge era".
Big emphasis in Australia with workforce development. Mentioned learning environmnet managers - work done in the workplace with learners there. Moving more to learner directed ideas. Open standards
Now in the Knowledge era - environment, learning ecology, business,
focus for all four areas on learners, context, technologies

Suggestion that the knowledge era will only last a decade - has progressed from information era. Next era proposed to be the concept era. Is this true?

Need to be knowledge workers - need to find, use information. Now need to generate our own information. One of our greatest challenges - how to work in groups to generate new knowledge?

Work is becoming more unbounded in time and space now with practitioners increasingly needing to work and engage in their own learning at work and at home" (ANTA 2004).

Used an ecology metaphor - broader than networks - what is your learning ecology? relationship between entitities and their environment. Dynamic, adaptive and diverse - there is no one way. Maron promised a model to help but no one way.

Stuck in the mechanistic metaphor - want to think, feel, use intuition, be creative - a contradiction.

Strength-based Philosophy - moves us from deficit-based model
What is wrong and we will fix it. Hard to shift to strength-based model. Constrained by bureaucracies who follow the deficit-based model. A lot of organisations try and solve problems by looking at what they need to fix. Martin Seligman - how to look at what helps people thrive. How to help organisations be the best they can. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - psychology of optimal experience - "in the flow" when things work well and you are in the optimal skill level. When in the flow anxiety, boredom and apathy reduces.

Business wisdom
How to bring leadership on board. What is the glue that connects the elements of a learning organisation? (Wise thinking and actions.)

Key findings of research
Strength-based orientation more effective.
capability - moves beyond professional development - confident, capable, competence - ability to work in unknown areas.
Values is the bedrock
Disruptive model
  • action learning, mentoring is strength-based, communities of practice
Some places run events on a cafe conversation model for PD. Look at what is working and why.
Who is practising deviance in a positive way for the benefit of the organisation.
What gifts does each person bring to the organisation?
How to reshape the description of your work so it is more flexible - job sculpting.
Appreciative inquiry.
Disruptive technology - policy, research, processes
Life-based learning, expert-centred model, work-based learning
In reality learning crosses work, leisure, family etc.
What is the source of learning not the continuum? "Learning for work is not restricted to learning at work."
Life-based learning is integrated and holistic. What are the enablers to create this type of learning?
"A business approach to capability development "- companion document to research report.

Discussion of four questions: Modifying what could we build? - Listening, sharing stories and conversations. previous knowledge and recording.
Exploring - what assumptions should we challenge?
Visioning - what would be your ideal, your dream?
Experimenting - what can we combine and test?

What is your personal stance in relation to work-based and life-based learning? What does it it mean to design this ideal for approaches to learning?

Stanley Frielick - Real change institutional challenges and opportunities
Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge - a new way of understanding, interpreting or viewing something may emerge a transformed internal view of subject matter, subject landscape or world view.
What is a threshold moment? - when someone starts contributing and/or facilitating to an online discussion. When people take charge of something - self-directed learning.

The real university is a state of mind. Zen and the art of motorocycle maintenance : an inquiry. Are there two universities? The first real university is the concrete one - state of mind sits within there. What are the mental models which underly our university structures?

Teachers and learners are inextricably linked and there is not just a one-way flow of information. Reactive (teacher-centred) versus constructive (learner-centred). Both demonstrate a dualist model - autonomous model where learner is separated from the world. Ecological model - capillaries of power - an energy which circulates through an institution. (Foucalt). Need to focus on capillaries when look at change. what are the technologies of power?

threshold concept 3 - Can teaching and learning function like an ecosystem? Is it similar to indigenous models of learning? Example, dialogical model where relationships occur between teachers and learners.

Mention of DNA and genetics as shaping learning - evolution, mutants, survival of the fittest - social dynamism - who supports the weak and do we just leave them in the wilderness?

Threshold concept 4 - ecological sensibility - disruptive technologies. who decides what is knowledge? Who decided what is needed for promotion?

Real change
Form (media) and content - most disruption happening here - disruptive technologies and disruptive pedagogies.
Assessment examination and accreditation
Appraisal (teacher) and evaluation (courses)

Immune system - assessment and appraisal areas. what is needed to make this disruptive - quality, prescriptive and normative, secretive - policies and processes, rewards. Suggests real change needs to be focussed on immune system (resistance). Make them more open, networked and ecological.

The disruptive technologies and pedagogies will act as an external stimulus which will upset the balance of the ecosystem and stimulate internal systems in assessment and appraisal i.e. disrupt them - they will have to change so they can revert to a balanced model. Change cannot occur in an ecosystem without an external stimulus. An internal stimulus can change an individual's system but not when an individual is part of a bigger system. Negative and positive feedback. Negative feedback in a closed system will return it to the status quo. Positive feedback will stimulate either rebirth or bleeding to death or system wide shock and collapse.

In complexity or chaos theory where there is a complex system - competency alone is not enough - it is very linear and serves only part of the purpose. Capability occurs when there is a branching out and multiple layers of action and direction.

What are we going to do about this? Why are teachers and students not revolting?

Monday, June 25, 2007

eFest Day One

Here we all are at the first day of eFest. The feeling is relaxed and friendly and it looks like the emphasis is going to be on round table conversations - well the set up of the room has set the scene. Lots of familiar faces and it is good to have time to catch up with old friends and eLearning colleagues.

Presentation from NorthTec introduced by the CEO and several staff - They have six campuses and lots of Learning Centres scattered around Northland. They use Moodle and have set up wireless and computing and video conferencing in all the LC. Also have a staff portal to provide information management, ICT access which is the same for all staff - RSS, document sharing, web space. They have Mobile programmes - f2f courses delivered in communities including on marae - horticulture, forestry, environmental studies, construction, sport and recreation.

Case studies
1. Bachelor of Nursing - five semester development, e-capability eCDF funding, team approach. Supported by senior management and evaluated by action research - Dr Nancy George. Video interview with a nursing student illustrated how important it is for a woman with children and a part-time job to be able to study flexibly.

2. Certificate in eLearning Design and Development (eCDF) - video clips of students talking about what they got out of the programme.

3. Mobile programmes teach skills as part of a community project. For example, gardening in schools.

4. Learning support - eTech support, online counselling, online learning objects. also reconfiguring technologies and buildings around the flexible approach.

Nursing communication scenarios using actors - example in palliative care - appropriate and non-appropriate.

Also have a student portal - blogs, portfolios. also have virtual classrooms.
Staff development in staff and student portals.

Polytechnics and universites are going to be connecting to KAREN (advanced research network) - ultra fast Internet connection.

Presentation by Murray Brown from Ministry of Education
joined the dots about what has been happening - funding, eLearning advisory etc.

Barry Ogilvie from Tertiary Education Commission speaking about eLearning project update
They have four projects under discussion. Looking for a vision for network capability. Also flexible and distance learning options. Looking for a range of methodologies for assessing capabilities across ITP sector - e.g. maturity model.

District Health Boards - Wintec and Northgate - nursing education - use mentoring, reflection, innovation. Staff want to have fun when learning. Mandatory training - national online campus, generic material with local contexts. Liked Moodle.

NorthTec nursing programme
Development and action research of Bachelor of Nursing programme. using a blended model as they do not want to lose face-to-face component. Have students who can study even though they live in isolated areas in Northland. Gave away online discussion as not popular with students.

Contextualisation of multimedia resources
Developed communication modules. Read information and choose correct answers. simple to change text. Originally created by WELTEC - not available in a repository and not sure abut IP issues. Have Grammar online. have a lesson and go through and choose options. Read information and do a test - so they changed it. Flash object with xml file at the back - replace text here and leave the codes. Could be easy to delete code if staff are unaware. Design perspective given and then pedagogical perspective given. How does it affect the learner?

Monday, June 11, 2007

cognitive, social and teacher presence and PLEs

This posting is in response to Derek Wenmouth's diagram - OLE a school perspective - illustrating a school-based PLE. This is currently being discussed in a very interesting online discussion seminar run by Derek Wenmouth and Derek Chirnside on SCOPE.

It strikes me in all this talk about personal learning ecologies and personal learning environments (PLEs) that we are paying a lot of attention to the structure of the system. I am currently exploring how Derek's proposed system can help with learning. At the moment the diagram represents a mish mash of ways to collect together content - very important but not enough to stimulate engagement and reflection and deep learning.

Inherent in the use of some of the tools e.g. blogs, is a belief that communication will happen but I think we need to look carefully at this. Just because we keep a blog does not mean that someone will give us feedback on the content. We could also have a collection of tools in a system such as that proposed by D and have no interaction at all with another human being. At least in a classroom, there is a teacher to guide or control the learning.

My question is how can a PLE incorporate teacher presence and scaffolded learning and still enable the learners to have autonomy in their choices?

Is a PLE only really any good for the development of a cognitive presence online? i.e. information processing and can this truly happen without discourse and input from another human? Does a PLE automatically stimulate social interaction? I have found that there is no guarantee of a social presence i.e. interaction with other students, and even if this occurs and is unguided and unstructured, how much learning actually occurs? I believe that if any system such as a PLE is to succeed, teacher presence is very important. There is more about the ideas of cognitive, social and teacher presence in an article called:

Farmer, J. (2004). Communication dynamics: Discussion boards, weblogs and the development of communities of inquiry in online learning environments. In R. Atkinson, C. McBeath, D. Jonas-Dwyer & R. Phillips (Eds), Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference (pp. 274-283). Perth, 5-8 December.

Actual example of the use of social networking tools and strategies in a course.
In a course where I co-teach design for flexible learning, we have encouraged participants to set up their own PLEs using a blog, account, mailing list and wiki as the backbone. They also have access to a LMS discussion and content on a course wiki,and are encouraged to use a range of open source software e.g. audacity for audio, gimpshop and gimp for image manipulation, CMap and Gliffy for mindmapping, and web-based tools e.g. Flickr (images), Bubbleshare, slideshare, Youtube, bliptv. There is variable take-up. Some really explore and try out lots of things to design and create resources and a learning space for themselves, others sit on the fringes.

The blogs which each student is required to keep and the course wiki and mailing list, and del.ici.ous accounts depend very much on an active teacher presence to keep the participants linked and motivated. It also depends on these items being connected to the course assessment. The tools are there, but without facilitation by the "teachers" the participants tend to learn in isolation apart from when they come together for f2f workshops.

We have found that unless guidance is provided by the "teachers" very few of them provide feedback to each others' blogs, contribute to the wiki or del.ici.ous account or contribute meaningful discussion to the mailing list.

I wonder is teacher presence vital for a successful PLE?


Friday, June 01, 2007

Sustainability workshop

Model based on The Natural Step idea. Curriculum DNA model - disciplines, needs, actions.
what is the concept of sustainable education - sustainable education - thesis by ?
looks at core values, transformative education. There is a specific language.

Discussion about how material will be presented e.g. via Internet or Intranet, and what should be open or private.
Four issues around education - knowledge, student-centred learning and action capability, ?

OP wants sustainability embedded in curriculum rather than starting with specialist options at most basic level of operation as sustainable graduates.

Staff development ideas
workshops: 1. what's best? Decision-making for a sustainable future. From June 28 EDC and Steve.
2. Curriculum development for a sustainable future.
Should these be done in order or in parallell. Do we use inquiry, authentic-based, experiential?

Do we work within discipline or across discipline? There is a place for both.