Sunday, February 07, 2010

Integrating Technology for active lifelong learning - Seminars

Image: by lepiaf.geo -

This weekend I have been attending some of the presentations at the Integrating Technology for Active Life-long Learning Connecting Online 2010
Feb 5-7

It is
an annual live online conference of interest to educators, administrators, students, and community members who value the importance of integrating technology into the curriculum to improve instruction and learning. The Conference was conducted on the IT4ALL Moodle site and using WiZiQ.

First of all I attended the excellent presentation Sarah Stewart gave about: Working out the difference between online teaching and facilitation. This provoked a lot of thoughtful discussion.

For example an excerpt from a post I made on the Discussion Forum: "
You cannot come in and assess at the end of the course as a so-called objective independent marker unless there are strict and standardised criteria. This then means that professional judgement cannot be used. This is not ideal in any situation. Why should a student's understanding and assessment be weighted on one final piece of work? Exams work like this and they do not encourage holistic learning.

The idea of developing a partnership is great but if the teacher steps back and takes time to learn from the students and listens and gets to know them and interacts without always having to be the expert - the same thing can be achieved without separating facilitation/teaching/assessment. What do people think?"

Helen Barrett spoke about: Social networks and interactive portfolios: Blurring the boundaries. (recording to come soon.) The idea of integrating social networking into the eportfolio was presented and is based on Helen's most recent article: Online Personal Learning Environments: Structuring Electronic Portfolios for Lifelong and Life Wide Learning

Also the idea of what motivates us. Dan Pink's book - Drive - covers motivation - autonomy, mastery and purpose. I will be interested to see if values are mentioned as an important part of intrinsic motivation. It is fun to master something you are curious about and have passion about it and this will be more of a driver than anything. More on this topic to track down the book. There was a question about how the big picture purpose of portfolios could motivate. What are the mastery elements in social networking - mastering skills, showcasing achievements, flow of learning, increasing self-awareness and self-understanding. Apparently the key is that all of us want to be part of something bigger than ourselves? So if the portfolio can be seen to have a lifelong purpose it could motivate.

What got me all excited is the concept that "reflection is the heart and soul of a portfolio" - my sentiments exactly. And the comment that most documents start their life in electronic format so my question is why print them off and bind them in a hard copy portfolio?


KateS said...

Hi Bronwyn
I am going to be part of your flexible learning course so I am looking through your blog as part of that. I was fascinated to read the statement that most documents start life in electronic format, especially pertaining to reflection. My most reflective work never gets anywhere near electronic format, and never will do. I find creating a document in Word, or whatever, far too formal and restrictive. I have been journalling nearly all my adult life and would not comtemplate committing those thoughts and reflections to the electronic medium. The advantage of my journals? They can be completely destroyed, should I wish to do so. Reflection is a deeply intimate process and I would rarely wish to share it. I may create a document that is the fruits of those reflection but the inital thoughts are pen and paper--still.

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Bron, I became a little perturbed about the comments about 'experts' at my online session - it set me off:

Would love to hear what you think?

The other thing I got out of Helen's session that I would have liked to have followed up was Helen's comment that you cannot assess a portfolio for summative assessment.

mack said...

This is fascinating.
I’d been taught that left-aligned labels are preferred, to support the prototypical F-shaped eye-tracking heatmap of web browsing. The idea is that it supports easy vertical scanning.
online learning

Bronwyn hegarty said...

Kate you have quite rightly pointed out that there are exceptions in terms of documents always starting life in digital formats. Perhaps this raises the point that helen was thinking that Digital Portfolios only contain material which can be showcased to the world, even though people can choose to keep it hidden. There is certainly an issue of confidentiality with any electronic document - how do we know something has really been erased from a computer. Your journaling has a specific purpose and is clearly needing protection from potential digital fish hooks.

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