Sunday, February 07, 2010

Integrating Technology for active lifelong learning - Seminars

Image: by lepiaf.geo - http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajawin/2551566739/

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 later...off 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?