It happened to the record industry first. While popular music had long been available on radio, it could be argued that a true music industry as we know it today didn’t arise until the 50‘s and 60‘s when distributable media and players became widely available. To summarize – you bought your music on record, then on 8-track, then on cassette, and then on CD once again. Sounds very much like a ‘cartel’, or “association of suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition”. Record companies (not artists generally) held the content and the means of distributing it to us the passive consumer.
But that’s where technology turned. CD drives in computers plus early sharing software like Napster meant that instead of getting good at mashing the pause button on your stereo so recording to cassette stopped before the adds kicked in, you could rip a whole CD to MP3 in minutes and upload it for anyone who was also connected to the net. You could also bypass the record stores entirely by downloading songs, for free. It meant you didn’t have to buy your music a fourth time in some other format – you now controlled the file. No it wasn’t legal, but it was what the people wanted.
Fast forward to 2013 and we can choose to buy tracks one at time instead of ten at a time. NOW we have Pandora, and Spotify and Rdio et al. Now Music gets pushed to me. Now I tap a thumbs up button and more great tunes keep rolling in, for free if I put up with the Pandora Ads like four times an hour.
Imagine if the streaming music app Pandora was the education system. How would that change things?
The ‘cartel’ has been broken, or at least radically forced to change its ways. Dropping DRM restrictions on music files for instance means we the customer can choose when, where and how we want to store and play our music. Funny then that last year was the first time in a decade that the music industry saw an uptick in profits – after finally signing licenses for online services that are very similar to Napster.
Now get ready to lose your job – so says Jon Evans in a recent article at TechCrunch. His argument is that nearly all industries are facing a similar shakeup as the digital revolution enters a new stage and the stuff of the world moves into silicon. He quotes Chris Dixon’s remarkable idea that just as in the previous four technological revolutions, we are at the stage where new tech is replacing traditional jobs before new digital industries that will appear have had a chance to create new ones.
For example, as information has moved online, print newspapers are failing faster than they can hit on a successful digital strategy. Indeed, Wired reported nearly a year ago that some sports journalism jobs have already been taken by software that in part takes advantage of the proliferation of easily accessible data.
Part 2. The MOOC did it: What it all means for Education
“Education is the cartel that technology is going to break next” Heppell, 2011
“Higher education is just on the edge of the crevasse … I think even five years from now these enterprises are going to be in real trouble” Clay Christensen, 2013
Recently the New Media Consortium Future of Education Conference spent a good deal of time identifying just what are 5 of the most wicked problems facing Education going forward. As a I currently have the opportunity to contribute a solution to one of these, I wondered if there would be other educators keen to help me refine the idea by leaving comments and suggestions if there are additions or suggestions you think could improve my pitch.
I’ve chosen a particularly trick problem – Rethinking Teaching.
And here is the overview of the solution to ‘re-thinking teaching’ that I’d like to present:
Throw Long, Throw Short:
The Paradox Of Teachers Stepping Back So Students Can Step Up
Throw Long: Educators are busy. When do we ever have the time to sit back reflect on the big picture of where we are heading and what our goals for educating students are? One source of help might just be the SAMR model of Dr Puentedura – but pitched not as a lesson or unit analysis tool – but as a life journey. In this session I will firstly spell out how this may be done, so that then we can…
Face the Paradox: Only when we are assuredly on our own journey can we as Educators step back just enough to ‘throw short’, ie. allow students to surprise us by teaching themselves. This will be the second key point I share in this session – with a practical example of where, after a period of reflection, I was able to stepp back and run a project at my school to “help students learn to be their own teachers”.
Learn more about the NMC Summer ConferenceHERE where solution such as these will be presented – maybe even by me
Wanted to share my recent article on this topic with you all. As the miniaturisation of tech continues, there is every chance that small wearable devices like smart watches will be the next are that we as educators explore regarding how it’s mobility and ubiquitousness can enhance learning…
Recently I’ve re-visited the topic that was the very founding-theme of this here education and technology blog – that being, what does the dawning of a ubiquitous computing era mean for learning? These articles look at the no-longer near-future topics of ‘The Network of Things’ and ‘Perceptual Computing’. Head over to Mactalk.com.au where they are published to read both and get an idea of what the current section of the road to Everyware looks like:
I’ve started using Twylah.com to compile all the links and stories I tweet and re-tweet – its a central curated space to see what I’ve found to be the best mLearning, PostPC, EduTech etc stories at any one time. Enjoy.
A strong case can be made that a revolution is underway in how computers are being perceived and used in schools across the world. In Australia it could be said Queensland is one of the epicenters of this change.
How do we know this? Several recent reports have shown that Australia has just about the highest uptake of smartphones and ‘mobile’ computers in the world.
Figures from analyst house Telsyte show that 1.4 million tablet computers were purchased in Australia in 2011 and that Australians are taking to tablets – especially the iPad – at a higher rate per capita than other countries (http://delimiter.com.au/2012/02/15/apple-australia-sold-1-million-ipads-in-2011).
The results of a Telstra Neilsen survey from July 2011 revealed that Australian smartphone ownership may already be as high as 46%, a 10% jump from 2010 (http://www.telstra.com.au/abouttelstra/download/document/fact-sheet-telstra-smartphone-index-2011.pdf).
Google research from September 2011 showed not only that Australia is number two in the world for smartphone ownership (behind only Singapore), but that Australians also download more apps than users in the US and UK (http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/australias-white-hot-smartphone-revolution-20110908-1jz3k.html).
In Queensland, Optus reported that by October 2011, 55% of regional phone owners (traditionally a sector that lags behind in gadget adoption) had a smartphone (http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/story/2011/10/14/smartphones-hit-regional-qld).
This high uptake of mobile computers could mean that Australia is a key place to observe the move from computers being seen mainly as specialised machines that sit in their own category, to one where they are readily available at hand to enhance learning. This process can also be described as a move towards ‘appliance computing’, where the low cost and wide-spread use of mobile computers reaches a point where society views them as expected utilities, or everyday appliances in the same category as TVs, DVD players or microwaves.
It’s a situation which may be the norm for many of today’s students. For example an informal survey of over 600 students conducted by the Principal at a lower-socio economic school north of Brisbane in 2008 showed that more students already owned a mobile device such as an MP3 player, Nintendo DS and digital cameras than used a PC regularly (and this wasn’t even counting mobile phones!).
This rapid uptake by the Australian and Queensland public is one of the two main factors supporting the belief that this country is in a position to lead the way in pioneering ‘appliance computing‘ in education. The second factor is the growth in availability of these devices in schools. While some teachers in Queensland participated in a small PDA (personal digital assistant) trial in 2005, and others purchased small numbers of Nintendo DS handhelds, it has really been the release of the iPod touch (and then iPad), as well as the introduction of the XO mini-laptop program from One Laptop per Child Australia (OLPC), that has boosted the numbers of devices in schools.
Twenty–eight schools across Queensland ranging from lower-socio economic schools in northern urban centers, to the most remote in the very far west and in the Torres Strait have now been joined the OLPC program. Some schools partner with OLPC to deploy only one class-set, while others such as Doomadgee have over 350 across years P-7. OLPC Australia has been recognised for its training program that focuses on educational outcomes rather than just the laptop itself.
In addition, With mobile phone subscriptions now outnumbering computers, TVs and even FM radios (T. Ahonen, 2010) to the point where by as long ago as 2004, 45% of 13-15 year olds owned one (Allison, 2004), it is inevitable that such devices are having an impact in Queensland. Much has been said about the parental responsibilities involved with students having mobile phones by experts such as the Queensland Governments bullying adviser Michael Carr-Gregg who has advised parents not to “outsource responsibility to schools” (Brisbane Times, October 26 2010).
There are many schools that have reacted responsibly to the high ownership of mobile phones by students by instituting mobile phone use policies that suit the needs and expectations of their communities as well as legislation and state policies such as those posted at http://education.qld.gov.au/strategic/eppr/schools/scmpr003. One example that can be googled forms part of the Drillham State School ʻResponsible Behaviour Planʼ (see p20).
Apart from the behaviour management side of the impact of mobile phones, there are many examples of teachers gaining prior-approval and taking advantage of the mLearning (or mobile learning) capabilities of such devices such as their portability, simplicity and potential for improving the personal learning productivity in ways that donʼt actually use the ʻphoneʼ capabilities but rather the devices other features.
One of the main educational uses sees old or second-hand mobile phones being used as audio and video recorders. At Tullawong State School Learning Support Teacher Jonathan Nalder employed an old phone in this way to allow students to listen back to their reading and correct their own errors. A Year 6 Teacher at Worongary State School has supervised students to use them as mobile sound effects recorders to capture sounds not available in the classroom that are needed for stop-motion video creations.
At Strathpine West State School, a year seven teacher has also used old phones to record student verbal responses which would otherwise be lost on those occasions when they are working outside the classroom. These same students have also used them capture images whilst on excursions for later integration into learning tasks back in the classroom. Senior students at Kelvin Grove State College, which has begun incorporating the use of reference Apps (or software applications) into its Science Department ICT Strategic Plan, are using phones that can download apps to allow learning tools such as calculators, timers, stopwatches, periodic tables and biology charts to be available on a much wider basis to support ‘just-in-time’ learning as it happens than was possible before.
Not all educational use of mobile phones is driven just by teachers however. A Physical Education Head of Department at Palm Beach Currumbin State School has had his students approach him to request permission to use their mobile phones to improve their learning productivity by recording lessons. This allows them to better concentrate on the class because they can now review and study what was written and said at their own pace later on.
It is widely acknowledged that tablet devices are also becoming more popular, and an official Department of Education trial of iPads was conducted in Queensland in 2011 in two schools (http://education.qld.gov.au/projects/educationviews/smartclassrooms/2011/feb/ipad-110224.html). As well, enough other state schools had also purchased iPads such that a site was established in 2011 in the online community known as the Learning Place to support them. Several private schools such as Redlands College and The Southport School have also run trials or initiated 1:1 deployments of iPads. The latest development is the policy of the new LNP government in Queensland to deploy 20 tablet devices to every special education school, and 10 to every school with a special education unit to support students with special needs.
While it would be easy to assume that schools are just jumping on the latest bandwagon, the reality is that innovative professional development is being conducted to maximize the use of these devices as enablers of learning. All teachers from schools who join the One Laptop per Child program receive an initial 15 hours of training, with options for further accredited training to become local expert trainer. Students also can receive certificates for learning and then through demonstrating their skills, including becoming an ‘XO Mechanic’ become qualified to pull apart and conduct basic repairs on the devices.
Schools using other mobile devices such as iPads have been able to access for some time, numerous training sessions provided by the Department of Education and Training’s ICT Learning Innovation Centre. This centre, which is based at the University of the Sunshine Coast, delivered several online and in-person iPad-related workshops in 2011, with others already also conducted in 2012. In addition, the Department’s Division of Indigenous Education and Training Futures ran an in-person day of mobile device workshops in Cairns in late 2011, and due to demand, this was expanded into a two-day forum known as ‘Learning@hand’ attended by 130 educators in April 2012 (http://www.learningathand.info).
What has the impact been of all of this activity? A number of research projects overseas show that mobile devices have had a positive impact on learning; for example one from Maine in the United States where kindergarten students’ literacy and engagement levels saw a dramatic increase when using iPads (http://www.loopinsight.com/2012/02/17/ipad-improves-kindergartners-literacy-scores). Indications closer to home also show similar improvements.
In one of the first documented iPad trials anywhere in the world, Trinity College (TCFS) in Victoria deployed devices across eight classes and conducted a number of surveys (with 106 responses). They found that not only did the use of paper dramatically decrease, but that iPads were “effective, durable, reliable and achieve their educational aims of going further, faster and with more fun” and that they “have advantages for TCFS over other technologies such as netbooks and laptops”. As well, 80% of students and 76% of staff indicated they would recommend the iPad for others as a learning tool. (http://www.trinity.unimelb.edu.au/Media/docs/iPadPilotReport2011-1b1e1a52-79af-4c76-b5b6-e45f92f2c9e9-0.pdf)
A pioneer in this area has been Hambledon State School in Cairns who initiated an MP3 player program in 2009 that has since expanded into a parent-supported and Showcase for Excellence Award winning iPod touch and iPad project that ran from 2010-2012. Results from students participating showed that the number of behaviour tickets issued decreased markedly, and that 96% of students themselves reported they were learning better.
In its trial of iPads with Year 9 students in 2011, Brisbane’s Kedron State High School found that 15 out of the 24 students involved “improved their performance in comparison to previous grades” and assessments (http://education.qld.gov.au/smartclassrooms/pdf/ipad-trial.pdf).
At Doomadgee State School in far north west Queensland, use of XO laptops has been partially credited by the Principal Richard Barrie, with helping the school’s Year 3 students achieve what the Courier Mail described as ‘stunning’ results (http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/doomadgee-state-school-produces-stunning-naplan-results-thanks-in-part-to-technological-advancements-in-teaching/story-e6freoof-1226137211426) in national numeracy testing (results went from 31% to 95%, where the state average is 95.2%). Overall, the school, which has 350 XO laptops in total and 30 iPads, saw NAPLAN scores lift in 13 out of 15 categories.
Using community engagement as another measure of success; the recent explosion from 65 to over 100 Prep enrollments at one Cairns school who promised XO mini-laptops to their 2012 Prep students as a way of addressing a local ‘digital divide’ in access to technology.
So it is not just the increase in numbers, but the positive examples of mobile technology use in Queensland schools and the willingness of schools to engage with these devices as additional tools to enable student success that demonstrates the possibility and flexibility these devices value add to the technology toolkit available to students, families and teachers.
Its well known that giving easy digital content creation tools into the hands of more teachers and students is a great way to encourage focus on higher order thinking skills in the curriculum. For schools with Macs and iPads, the release of Apple’s iBooks Author software in January made this even more possible.
Attached to this post is 1.0 draft of a ‘know-why’ guide to using iBooks Author to make digital content thats localised and personalised just for your students. Download and enjoy, plus leave comments if you have questions or feedback.
To load, just download directly onto an iPad with iBooks 2 installed, and tap ‘open in iBooks’, or download to your PC and sync via iTunes.
I’ll also attach a PDF version for those who want the info but don’t currently have access to an iPad with iBooks 2 installed.
DROPBOX DOWNLOAD LINKS:
(If tapping to download on an iPad, please wait 1-2 mins for the download screen to appear, then several more while it downloads)
UPDATE – have taken the iBooks file link down as enough time for the feedback version to be up has passed. Will post the final one hopefully in the near future.
(Disclosure: Assisting OLPC Australia to support schools has been one of my primary employment duties since mid-2009).
(Full PDF with higher res figures can be downloaded HERE).
There has been a new buzz word added to the education lexicon of late (as if one were needed) – the flipped classroom. This is an idea thats not so much brand new or revolutionary as it is one whose time has come. Technology now allows anyone (ie. any teacher or lecturer) to quickly and easily record and share lesson demonstrations online. Access to such a capability is now allowing teachers to schedule the content-consumption aspect of the curriculum as pre-lesson time work so students view it in their own time and come to a lesson already with a basic understanding. Thus the lesson is ‘flipped’ and class time can focus on discussion, interaction and tasks that build upon the basic content, rather than just on the content itself.
Case in point is Salman Kahn whose prolific creation of online science and maths lessons is often cited as one of the best examples of the flipped classroom. Salman is not a trained teacher, but through his creation and sharing of the online Khan academy, and indeed by using tools like a video camera and YouTube, or even a mobile app like ‘Explain Everything’, any teacher can provide students with content that prepares them for lessons that they can access in their own time, at their own pace. Indeed, students world-wide can also access (and create) such content themselves, without having been directed by a teacher to do so.
There is understandably much potential in this model thanks to the extra ease and accessibility current technology such as ubiquitous video cameras and internet access is providing it, but it is by no means an answer of itself. In fact, too much focus on the technological side of this model could be its downfall if educators use this aspect as a substitute for a solid curriculum and pedagogy underneath the learning itself. This is a trap that many ICT in education programs have fallen into in the past.
One high-profile example where the focus on the tech itself has at times become the problem rather than the enabler is the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative started by Nicholas Negroponte at MIT university in the United States. This project has five core principles: child ownership of devices; low ages as the target; saturation of whole schools; connected learning; and free and open source software. It has delivered over 2.5 million XO personal learning devices to countries across the world. But what does their strategy for supporting and nurturing the learning experiences that the XO can enable look like?
Some sense of the OLPC thinking in regards to this may be gained from the recent plan announced by Negroponte to deliver XOs by helicopter (‘I Want To Give Poor Children Laptops And Then Walk Away’, New Scientist, December 2011) and have no actual contact with those receiving the devices until one year later. Not to mention how many extra devices could be procured for the cost of the helicopter hire. If there is no local buy-in, planning or commitment – what is the purpose of such an exercise? A research experiment?
As my own experiences over the last four years supporting technology deployments here in Australia have shown me, the initial stage of getting the hardware out to schools can be such a massive job, and the excitement of the students when it arrives so rewarding, that its often easy to confuse this stage with what George Bush once called ‘mission accomplished’.
An example of this is a 2010 OLPC laptop deployment that I now have mixed feelings about having been a participant in. A remote community in Western Australia was taking delivery of 60 devices in the middle of a busy term. Teacher training that had occurred prior to delivery? None. Planning by the school on how such laptops fitted with their existing learning goals? None. Time until the school stopped returning our calls or replying to our emails? Three months. And yet this model of bringing the hardware, meeting with teachers for a few days, and then leaving has been a common one here in Australia whether it’s laptops or interactive whiteboards or any of the other technologies regularly deployed into classrooms.
Also known as ‘shiny object syndrome’ or ‘miracle transformation falacy‘, the belief that a new piece of technology is itself enough to ‘transform’ education is either an agenda of supreme hope or extreme negligence. Hope and belief are necessary traits for those working in difficult schools and regions, but placing that hope entirely onto a device, no matter how well designed (and the XO is one of the best education-tailored devices) leaves no room for investing in people, ie. those whose lives and futures are at stake.
So we’ve seen briefly that some of the best intentions of OLPC have foundered at the delivery stage, the ‘engaging with the very people expected to run, operate and learn with the XO’ stage. Indeed, the failure to provide teachers with appropriate guidance in a rural OLPC deployment in India led to the Write activity being used simply as a ‘routinised’ worksheet substitute almost to the exclusion of other XO tools such as “the group and community collaboration features, the Internet, the Chat activity, pedagogical activities such as Turtle Art, and the Hindi keyboard language feature”(2009, p154).
In ‘OLPC laptop: Educational Revolution or Devolution’ (2007) authors Bastiaens and Carliner own survey revealed that before there could be any guarantees regarding the XOs potential to provide an education, a deployment program that includes planning around curriculum and evaluation needs to be developed. Further, a 2009 review of global OLPC projects by the Australian Council for Educational Research suggested that all future projects needed to “embed an evaluation framework at the very beginning of a deployment, preferably at the project design and planning stage” because the paucity of evaluation conducted by deployments to that point meant it could not be known what impact they had had, if any.
Around the world however, there have been regional OLPC organisations that have recognised the need to flip the XO deployment model that early on assumed countries would sign up for 1 million devices without ever having run a trial – to move the emphasis from the pre-delivery to the post-delivery stage in much the way that the flipped classroom attempts to move basic remembering of content from being the centre of a lesson to just the setup for the lesson.
- Figure 1
OLPC Australia is one such regional arm, and they are accomplishing this ‘flip’ in several ways. The first is by putting school-based demand at the top of their deployment model (figure 1) such that the program is one done for schools rather than one done to them. A second is that remote and disadvantaged schools themselves contribute funds ($80 per device) to the project to cover training, spare parts and ongoing support. This local ‘skin in the game’ as it is called, means that the chances of schools abandoning their initial work are greatly reduced, while still allowing the program to exist at a low cost-of entry.
Another unique modification has been adding of two extra ideals – empowering teachers, and community engagement – to the five OLPC core principles. Take note that both of these could not be delivered on from a helicopter in the sky, nor from a delivery visit of a few days. Instead, it means that OLPC Australia interacts with schools over a longer term to initially provide training (through the laptop.moodle.com.au course) even before class devices are scheduled for delivery. This training (which is itself another major investment not often seen in technology deployments) is targeted not just at teachers, but includes tailored versions for local teacher aides and assistants, as well as for community members.
Following the pre-deployment training, which includes planning and lesson-creation, other training modules are available for staff to become local trainers so their use of the XOs becomes one that is driven by local knowledge and know-how (see figure 2). Even community members can now become an ‘XO-local’, while students now have targeted modules where they can become ‘XO Champions’ and ‘XO Mechanics’ as a way of recognising the skills they are developing. To further build on and support the knowledge staff in XO schools develop, the program in Australia also has a dedicated Yammer social network where support can be provided by OLPC Australia staff but also by other teachers and community members.
- Figure 2
Finally, OLPC Australia have begun to work closely not just with schools but with state education departments, (and in my case, the Indigenous Education and Training Futures Division) to ensure that the program can be aligned with existing education frameworks (such as the Smart Classrooms Professional Development Framework in Queensland) rather then existing separately (and thus adding to teachers’ workloads). They are also partnering in training events such as the Learning@hand mobile learning forum to share what they have developed.
This engagement has also seen them develop localised versions of the Sugar OS that XO devices run which can be easily updated from USB drives, and seen OLPC Australia supply its own unique warranty for XOs as another sign they are supporting schools on a longer-term basis.
In starting with school demand, being committed to teachers and communities, providing pre-deployment training and post-deployment followup, as well as by working with education departments, OLPC Australia is now in a position where all their work on fundraising can translate to an ongoing project with a chance of sustainable connected learning in schools that in the past have often been the ones to miss out on the benefits of such an approach. Hopefully the flipped classroom movement can similarly learn from past experience to keep focused on the learning, not just on the technology that enables it.
Spanish Translation (only by Google Translate) for South American readers:
(Revelación: Asistencia OLPC Australia para apoyar a las escuelas ha sido uno de mis funciones principales de empleo desde mediados de 2009).
(PDF completo con mayores cifras de resolución se puede descargar aquí).
No ha sido una nueva palabra de moda añadido a la educación en el léxico de la tarde (como si se necesita) – el salón de clases vuelta. Esta es una idea eso no es nuevo tanto o revolucionario ya que es uno cuyo tiempo ha llegado. La tecnología ahora permite que cualquier persona (es decir, cualquier maestro o profesor) para grabar rápida y fácilmente compartir lecciones y demostraciones en línea. El acceso a dicha capacidad está permitiendo a los maestros para programar el aspecto de contenido el consumo del plan de estudios como el trabajo a tiempo antes de la lección para que los estudiantes que ver en su propio tiempo y llegar a una lección ya con un conocimiento básico. Así pues, la lección es “volteado” y el tiempo de clase puede centrarse en la discusión, interacción y tareas que se basan en el contenido básico, y no sólo en el contenido mismo.
Ejemplo de ello es Salman Khan, cuya prolífica creación de la ciencia y en línea las clases de matemáticas a menudo se cita como uno de los mejores ejemplos de la clase volcó. Salman no es un maestro capacitado, sino a través de su creación y puesta en común de la línea de la Academia Khan, y de hecho mediante el uso de herramientas como una cámara de vídeo y YouTube, o incluso una aplicación móvil como “explicar todo”, cualquier profesor puede proporcionar a los estudiantes con el contenido que los prepara para las lecciones que pueden acceder en su propio tiempo, a su propio ritmo. De hecho, los estudiantes de todo el mundo también se puede acceder (y crear) el contenido de tales a sí mismos, sin haber sido dirigido por un profesor para hacerlo.
No es comprensible que un gran potencial en este modelo, gracias a la facilidad adicional y las tecnologías de accesibilidad actual, tales como cámaras de video omnipresentes y acceso a internet que ofrecen, pero no es en absoluto una respuesta de sí mismo.De hecho, centrarse demasiado en el aspecto tecnológico de este modelo podría ser su perdición si los educadores utilizan este aspecto como un sustituto de un plan de estudios sólido y la pedagogía bajo el mismo aprendizaje. Esto es una trampa que muchas de las TIC en los programas de educación han caído en el en el pasado.
Un ejemplo de alto perfil donde el foco en la propia tecnología ha sido a veces convertido en el problema, más que el facilitador es el One Laptop per Child (OLPC) comenzó por Nicholas Negroponte en el MIT, la universidad en los Estados Unidos. Este proyecto consta de cinco principios básicos: la propiedad de los dispositivos de niños, las edades más bajas como el blanco, la saturación de las escuelas integrales, el aprendizaje conectado, y el software de código libre y abierto. Ha entregado más de 2,5 millones de dispositivos personales XO de aprendizaje para los países en todo el mundo. Pero, ¿qué hace su estrategia para apoyar y fomentar las experiencias de aprendizaje que permitan a la XO puede parecerse?
Algunos sentido de un pensamiento OLPC en lo que respecta a esto puede ser adquirida en el reciente plan anunciado por Negroponte para entregar XO en helicóptero (‘Quiero darle a los niños pobres Portátiles y luego a pie “, New Scientist, diciembre de 2011) y no tienen real póngase en contacto con aquellos que reciben los dispositivos de hasta un año después. Por no hablar de la cantidad de dispositivos adicionales podrían ser adquiridos por el costo del alquiler de un helicóptero. Si no hay participación local en la planificación o el compromiso – ¿Cuál es el propósito de este ejercicio? Un experimento de investigación?
Como mis propias experiencias en los últimos cuatro años de apoyo a las implementaciones de la tecnología aquí en Australia me han mostrado, la etapa inicial de conseguir el hardware a las escuelas puede ser un trabajo tan masivo, y el entusiasmo de los estudiantes cuando llega tan gratificante, que su a menudo fáciles de confundir a esta etapa con lo que George Bush llamó una vez “misión cumplida”.
Un ejemplo de esto es un despliegue de 2.010 portátil OLPC que ahora tengo sentimientos encontrados acerca de haber sido un participante in una comunidad remota en el oeste de Australia fue aceptar la entrega de 60 dispositivos en el medio de un término ocupado. La formación del profesorado que se había producido antes de la entrega? Ninguno. Planificación de la escuela acerca de cómo las computadoras portátiles de ese tipo con sus metas de aprendizaje ya existentes? Ninguno. Tiempo hasta que la escuela dejó de responder a nuestras llamadas o responder a nuestros mensajes de correo electrónico? Tres meses. Y sin embargo, este modelo de lo que el hardware, reunirse con los maestros durante unos días, y luego dejando ha sido muy común aquí en Australia si se trata de computadoras portátiles o pizarras interactivas o de cualquiera de las otras tecnologías de la regularidad desplegadas en las aulas.
También conocido como “síndrome del objeto brillante” o “falacia de transformación milagrosa”, la creencia de que una nueva pieza de la tecnología es en sí misma suficiente para “transformar” la educación es tanto un programa de la esperanza suprema o negligencia extrema. La esperanza y la fe son los rasgos necesarios para que las personas que trabajan en las escuelas y regiones difíciles, pero la colocación de esa esperanza por completo en un dispositivo, no importa lo bien diseñado (y el XO es uno de los mejores dispositivos de la educación a la medida) no deja lugar para invertir en las personas , es decir. aquellos cuyas vidas y futuro están en juego.
Así hemos visto brevemente que algunas de las mejores intenciones de OLPC han fracasado en la fase de entrega, el “compromiso con las mismas personas que se espera ejecutar, operar y aprender con la XO etapa. De hecho, la falta de profesores con la orientación adecuada en una zona rural de implementación de OLPC en la India llevó a la actividad de escritura que se usa simplemente como un sustituto de ‘rutinizada’ hoja de trabajo casi hasta la exclusión de otras herramientas de XO, tales como “el grupo y las características de la comunidad de colaboración, Internet, el chat, las actividades pedagógicas, tales como Turtle Art, y el teclado Hindi característica del lenguaje “(2009, P154).
En ‘OLPC laptop: Revolución Educativa o la devolución “(2007) Bastiaens autores y las encuestas Carliner propia reveló que antes de que pudiera haber ninguna garantía con respecto a las XO potencial para proporcionar una educación, un programa de implementación que incluye la planificación en torno a las necesidades del plan de estudios y evaluación que se desarrolló .Además, una revisión de 2009 de los proyectos globales de la OLPC por el Consejo Australiano para la Investigación Educativa sugiere que todos los proyectos de futuro necesaria para “integrar un marco de evaluación en el comienzo de un despliegue, de preferencia en el diseño del proyecto y la etapa de planificación”, porque la escasez de la evaluación llevada a cabo por las implementaciones de ese momento significaba que no podría ser conocido el impacto que había tenido, en su caso.
En todo el mundo, sin embargo, ha habido organizaciones regionales de OLPC que han reconocido la necesidad de dar la vuelta al modelo de implementación de XO que desde el principio asumió que los países en firmar para arriba para 1 millón de dispositivos sin tener hacer un ensayo – para mover el énfasis de la pre-entrega a la etapa posterior a la entrega en gran parte la forma en que los intentos de clase volteado para mover básica recordar el contenido de ser el centro de una lección a poco la configuración de la lección.
- La figura 1
OLPC Australia es uno de los brazos regionales, y que están logrando este “tirón” de varias maneras. La primera es poner la escuela basada en la demanda en la parte superior de su modelo de implantación (figura 1) de tal manera que el programa es un hecho para las escuelas en lugar de uno hecho para ellos. La segunda es que las escuelas remotas y desfavorecidas contribuir con fondos propios ($ 80 por equipo) para el proyecto a cubrir la formación, repuestos y soporte continuo. Este local de la piel en el juego “como se le llama, significa que las posibilidades de las escuelas que abandonan su trabajo inicial se reduce en gran medida, al tiempo que permite el programa a existir en un bajo costo de entrada.
Otra modificación único ha sido la adición de dos ideales adicionales – los profesores empoderamiento y participación de la comunidad – a los cinco principios básicos de OLPC. Tome en cuenta que ambas cosas no se pudo entregar desde un helicóptero en el cielo, ni de una visita de la entrega de unos pocos días. En su lugar, significa que la OLPC Australia interactúa con las escuelas de más de un más largo plazo para proveer inicialmente de capacitación (a través del curso laptop.moodle.com.au) incluso antes de que los dispositivos de clase se han programado para la entrega. Esta formación (que a su vez es otra gran inversión no se suele ver en las implementaciones de la tecnología) está dirigido no sólo a los profesores, sino que incluye versiones adaptadas para los asistentes de maestros locales y asistentes, así como para miembros de la comunidad.
Después de la capacitación previa al despliegue, que incluye la planificación y la lección de la creación-, otros módulos de formación están disponibles para el personal para convertirse en capacitadores locales de modo que su uso de las XO se convierte en uno que es impulsada por el conocimiento local y know-how (ver figura 2). Incluso los miembros de la comunidad ahora puede convertirse en un ‘XO-local “, mientras que los estudiantes ahora se han centrado en los módulos donde se pueden llegar a ser los Campeones’ y ‘XO XO Mecánica”, como una manera de reconocer las habilidades que están en vías de desarrollo. Para construir más allá y apoyar al personal los conocimientos en las escuelas XO desarrollar el programa en Australia también cuenta con una red dedicada Yammer social donde el apoyo puede ser proporcionado por personal de OLPC Australia, sino también por otros profesores y miembros de la comunidad.
- Figura 2
Finalmente, la OLPC Australia han comenzado a trabajar en estrecha colaboración no sólo con las escuelas, pero con los departamentos estatales de educación, (y en mi caso, la educación indígena y de la División de Formación de Futuros) para asegurar que el programa puede ser ajustado a los marcos de educación existentes (tales como el Smart Marco de las aulas de Desarrollo Profesional en Queensland) en lugar de existir por separado (y por lo tanto añadiendo a las cargas de trabajo de los docentes). Ellos también se han asociado en actividades de formación como el foro de Learning @ por el aprendizaje móvil para compartir lo que han desarrollado.
Este compromiso se ha visto también a desarrollar las versiones localizadas del sistema operativo de azúcar que se ejecutan los dispositivos XO, que puede ser fácilmente actualizado de las unidades USB, y he visto OLPC Australia suministrará la garantía propia y única para la XO como otra señal de que están apoyando a las escuelas sobre una base a largo plazo .
Al comenzar con la demanda de la escuela, estar comprometido con los maestros y las comunidades, proporcionando formación previa al despliegue y el seguimiento posterior a la implementación, así como mediante la colaboración con los departamentos de educación, la OLPC Australia está ahora en una posición en la que todo su trabajo en la recaudación de fondos se puede traducir en una proyecto en curso con la posibilidad de aprendizaje sostenible conectados en las escuelas que en el pasado a menudo han sido los que disfrutan de las ventajas de este enfoque. Esperemos que el movimiento del aula volteado de manera similar se puede aprender de la experiencia del pasado para mantener la concentración en el aprendizaje, no sólo en la tecnología que lo permite.
Visita www.laptop.org.au para leer más sobre One Laptop per Child es uno mismo.
I recently had the great opportunity to attend the Learning Without Frontiers ‘festival of learning and technology’ in the UK in January of this year. The conference itself had three streams of Handheld learning, Game based learning, and digital safety. I of course had been interested mostly in attending the handheld learning sessions, but it was in fact the lineup of amazing short talks (what we used to call ‘Keynote’s in a pre-TED talks world) that ended up having the most impact on my thinking.
(Collage created in Moxier Collage on iPad)
So, I’d like to share here which of these talks I found the most inspiring, and hope they may provide the great start to your year that they did to mine: (I’ll include direct viewing links as well as links to download the podcasts via iTunes).
Iris Lapinski – Apps for Good, a problem solving program for young people that leads to their apps being created using Android. Features students themselves talking about the project.
Bill Rankin – ACU mobile connected initiative. ACU in Texas, USA was the first university to deploy iPhones and iPod touches to all students and faculty, and they now have three years of data showing the initiative to be a success. Bill talked also about eBooks and the future of books and textbooks.
Stephen Heppell ‘Education is the next cartel that people and technology will break’. Inspiring and disruptive as ever, Stephen was great at cutting through to inspire thoughts about what education should look like.
Just wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge thanks also to everyone who SMS’d and TXT’d in to support my shortlisting in the Primary Innovator Award category – the win was a great surprise, and just goes to show the strength of the great networks I’m privileged to be a part of.
Nearly two years ago, I closed down my Google top ten Mobile Learning blog after 3 years and over 10,000 hits. I felt that the time of calling from the roof tops that mobile learning existed was over. People had started paying attention to the rise of mobile phones etc as the preferred computing platform of those who education should be centered around, ie. students. Reports like New Media Consortiums ‘Horizon Report’ were including mobile learning as one of the top educational trends. Game-changing next-gen devices like the iPhone were just appearing, and when I went to write an mLearning paper for my Masters thesis, I discovered there were plenty already.
So I was forced to research where mLearning was going, and to think about what was the next phase that the world of education needed to be hearing about. It seemed logical after a time that of course as computing became more miniaturized and mobile, it would eventually become ubiquitous, or an unnoticed part of everything – invisible as all other technology that has proceeded it has after enough time has passed. So in a world such as that, what will ubiquitous learning need to look like?
I’m still not really sure exactly what it will look like, but as you know if you’ve been following this uLearning blog, I’ve been continuing to follow several mLearning developments as a way to track the overall journey. There are two in particular I’m most involved with here in Australia, and I’d like to detail whats been happening and what learning that takes them into account looks like.
1. Single use – multi-use – ubiquitous uses
The first is the continued convergence of the standard mobile device from being a phone or a mp3 player into one that does everything. Dedicated devices will always be around, but what has also occurred is that the average device, especially now that touch-screens have replaced buttons and mobile app stores are proliferating, is becoming ubiquitous-use devices. Its safe to say for instance that the 300,000 apps in the iOS App store provide at the very least thousands of potential uses, be it as a digital level tool for building, or a portable weather radar etc, as well as the more traditional phone, camera, GPS etc.
In Australia, the uptake of the iPhone is the highest in the world. That alone has to tell you something about how deeply entrenched these kinds of devices are here already. The state of Victoria is trialling 800 iPads, and I personally know of over 40 schools (there will be many times that number I don’t know about) here in Queensland who have deployed iPod touches and now iPads. In fact the second Slide2Learn conference focusing on these devices in education recently sold out 80% of its places in only 2 1/2 days.
Here are some links to explore more of what the actual practitioners are doing:
Also significant has been the spread of educational net-book programs into countries that have skipped the desktop PC era (for various reasons) and gone straight into the mobile computing one. In this category we have the One Laptop per Child XO laptop, as well as the Intel Classmate. OLPC has seen over 2 million XOs deployed, with many more ordered. Classmate numbers are harder to get a hold of, but large orders have been placed in addition to the many schools that have opted for standard netbooks.
Like the iPod touch and iPad deployments happening here in Australia, the OLPC XO laptop is much more in the complementary/ personalised learning device category. What this means is that most schools already have PC labs and other ICT infrastructure, but they don’t have mobile devices that allow students constant, anywhere access to the potential benefits of having connected, personal tools in student hands. The rugged nature of the XO device in particular makes it ideally suited to use by early and primary school aged students, especially in remote locations far from repair sites.
Here are some links to see more of what has been happening:
The basis for this blog is that the steady miniaturisation of digital technology means that in the near term, we will find it embedded in so many of our everyday tools, objects and environments that it truly becomes ubiquitous. If we take this as a given, then as educators, it is our responsibility to be considering what learning will look like in such a world, am I right?
I’ve had the chance this week to play with a learning tool that fits squarely into the early days of exactly this kind of scenario: Talk Time Boards sold by TTS in the UK. Imagine if you will, a classroom, library, hallway, hall etc where much of the wall space is covered by A4-size writing and drawing zones covered with notes, sums, drawings etc. Then imagine that each of these zones also feature digital audio recorders with buttons built right in… I can hear the creative pedagogue in you getting excited already – especially when you realise the price is only $10 each (slightly more if bought non-bulk).
At that price, the cost to a school to put even 4 in every classroom is pretty minimal, especially when the potential advantages of having ubiquitous voice recording and playback available around the learning space are so many. I’m thinking these advantages would apply to teaching oral literacy, reducing the amount of times you as a teacher has to repeat instructions for tasks, assisting auditory learners, assisting visually-impaired students … please add your ideas in the comments.
In use? Classroom-class simplicity is a very important factor in why I’m so taken with this tool. Place on a table, or hold, whatever suits the task. Hold the record button while talking, push the green button to hear it, right on the board, attach to wall – thats it. Students can use it without thinking. It’s also extremely light and portable – so it could conceivable travel anywhere your students do, making it available to augment learning moments if and as required.
I must say that the 10-second model I’m testing however really is too limited for meaningful work. By the time a student pushes record, composes thoughts, starts talking etc its done. Fortunately there is a 30 second model, and I guess for longer recordings, the separate and similarly low cost I-Memo is the next step (has 2 hour recording).
My only other concern is battery life? This is not mentioned anywhere I can find, but short of carefully slitting the board open and putting in a new one yourself, this is the one thing you may want to wait for someone to find out in practice before buying. I have plans to lend the two I have to a classroom shortly, so over the 10 weeks of the coming term we may find out.
The TTS website lists about 28 variations on this ‘embedded audio recorder as learning tool’ theme – have a search yourself on the international catalogue (ICT products from page 775) HERE. You’ll see some images with ideas there of how they can be used also.
- Turns out also there is a Talk Time resource pack that gives you 25 assorted talk time boards for around $80.
Welcome to 2010. I feel a bit foolish writing my first 2010 blog entry when the announcement that might define mobile and ubiquitous computing this year is still a week away, but there have been enough early signs from a range of companies to make some assumptions, and speculate on what they will mean for learning that attempts to take advantage them.
The previous decade has seen computing move from being desk-based to lap and now hand-based, no doubt about it. Laptop sales overtook desktop pc sales, and mobile phone sales have long dwarfed both. In fact sales of Smartphones (or mobile phones that are also computers) will very shortly pass those of laptops to become the main way that we access and share information.
That’s the hardware story. Software wise, I think the picture is less clear as the different design and interface requirements of mobile devices is not something that most hardware makers have yet got their heads around. But there is an emerging way of controlling hardware, and by extension, interacting with information that has come to maturity in the last couple of years, and that is touch, direct contact between our natural selection devices (fingers) and the machines we are using.
Coupled with the release of multiple tablet-like touch devices (such as the several models announced at the CES events, and the expected Apple iSlate in late January), its fair to say that this kind of personalised, more natural computing could be the real hallmark of 2010. I’m excited to see what happens as it becomes possible to move back to a direct hand-eye form of control that has been lost while we used physical keyboards that made us look somewhere different to our fingers, pretty much for the first time in communication history.
So, is learning and the institutions who’s job it is to propagate it ready to embrace a touch-computing future? I’d like to think so. The presence of over 50 teachers at a day exploring the iPod touch in education yesterday – while they were still on holidays – indicates that at least in my Education Department, interest is high. What I love about the potential of simplified, touch-based interfaces I hope to see is that they open up computing to everyone. There is nothing between you and the information and you, and the smaller screen sizes are forcing companies to reduce clutter and non-logical menu’s and buttons. Sounds like the sort of improvements that can benefit students right?
This will be the final journal of my current ‘how to learn’ unit before we hit the end of the educational year. Remember the intent of the unit was to shift the emphasis from me teaching to students learning, and especially to students taking responsibility for their learning. The unit has been aided by mobile, ubiquitous devices (in our case, the iPod touch) – chosen because of the power of such devices to put learning tools right into each learner’s hands.
First, I’ll report on how the last weeks of the unit have been going. As alluded to in the last journal, school events such as swimming and compulsory PD I had to attend have really impacted on how much time I’ve had with students, such that we will not complete the unit. Now, two things – first, this is still ok as I’d built the critical thinking/ making learning decisions throughout. Secondly, in reflecting on this I’ve realised that all units suffer from interuptions – I just need to plan less – or maybe not – perhaps I actually should keep planning ambitious units but just plan in agility for the sub-parts.
Agility really has shown itself to be the key to the success of the unit actually. Because even though I planned for reflective points every two weeks, some students only needed one week, some three to work through the ‘solution’ (app) they had found (duh!). To help manage this complexity, rather than go back to a one-size-fits-all unit, in this phase I introduced a data-base tracking where each student was up to. By displaying this at the start of each session via data projector, I could begin each lesson discussing with students exactly where they were up to. This database also includes a cell for student comments – I quiz students constantly about their app – what, how, why questions linking it back to their decision making and chosen focus area. These comments then form the basis of the review that students write once they either complete an app, or decide its not helping them.
So as we near the end of this ‘proof of concept’ run through of this unit, I must ask – did it work? I’ll answer for myself, and for the students. For me, what I’ve found is that this unit has been very hard work. Thrilling yes, exciting, but also – going uphill – ie. creating rather than just using an exisiting program, and stepping back rather than always stepping in. These are not always natural teacher behaviours, and despite knowing in my head lots about student-centred learning, the power of what is established (both for myself and my institution) has shown itself to be very strong. But I do believe in personalised learning, so I’m committed to this now.
For the students – I’ve had comments like – ‘why are we doing this?’, and ‘do I have to come?’ – exactly the kind of questions that students have always asked in regards to being part of learning support. Does this mean it wasn’t the revolutionary change the world unit I had thought? I hope I never did expect so much of it – what I did differently though when asked these was respond back with a question this time – putting the emphasis back on student decision making. I see that it will take more than one unit though to have students take full responsibility for their learning. But now they have successfully completed pro’s and con’s charts for example, they have begun to learn critical thinking. Some students have completed these independently to such a degree that I am sure they will be able to do this.
As for 2010, I’ve already started planning two additional units with the same approach but building on what I’ve learned. And I’d like to set up some ‘critical friends’ as part of this – email me jnxyz at mac dot com if you are interested!
There were three jobs I had for this week if this mobile learning project with learning support students was to get off the ground:
1. intro the personalised learning approach to students
2. explain concept to staff
3. physical setup of space and devices
Here’s some reflection on each of these:
1. very silly of me, but introducing the philosophy of students taking responsibility for their learning (via personalised learning using the iPod touch) was probably the area I found I had least through through. Selling the use of the devices was easy – but helping students grasp what would be expected of them learning-wise is a bit harder to do. My first intro sessions (with students in levelled groups of four) didn’t go so well at explaining this – I had to create a short keynote and incorporate a group mindmapping exercise before these sessions started to achieve what I’d been after. Live and learn. – I must say that being able to use a projector has also transformed this intro. I project up an image (say of a mindmap) which shows students instantly what me drawing and talking about would take a few minutes to do as well.
I’ve also now compartmentalised the steps involved in this first part. Students have just completed part 1 where they are introduced to the personalised learning challenge and have chosen their focus area. Next week is hitting the app store to find an app that will fit with their chosen focus.
2. This has gone well – staff are used to me trying new things etc. And all are supportive of creating self-motivated learners
3. This is proving to be the hardest area as it relies on others… Not that that is a bad thing, and in fact the other staff involved are great. But getting one thing in place (say a lockable cabinet) involves many steps and I’m not even sure if I can get the devices in students hands until next week even though they are here! – I have been able to get a special email account setup (thanks Kate!) so we can open an App store account. – Need to get the devices security coded and get some furniture supplies sorted…
I aim to keep reporting on our progress, good and bad! Love to hear from others also seeking to add personalised and challenge-based ubiquitous learning to their school environs.
Keywords: Personalised learning, challenge-based learning, digital pedagogy, iPod touch, OLPC XO laptop
As a learning support teacher, I happily spend my days teaching struggling and disadvantaged students in years 4-7 some of the basics that they have missed or have difficulty with. I see groups of four to five for 60 or 90 minutes a week for about half the year. Is that enough time for one teacher to ‘fix’ them, or have them ‘catch up’?
No. And yet for five years I have been content that the regular improvements 75% of them make each year are sufficient. But I’m changing my mind now. I’ve identified that in fact, much of the improvement I see is in danger of falling away once my regular but limited scaffolding and support is not available. Some of their classroom teachers are able to provide ongoing scaffolding also, but in a room of 28 needy kids, I ask how can learning support students experience ongoing success in their learning?
I recently blogged about just how many giant shoulders I feel I stand on in being awarded a Smart Classrooms Teaching Award and being a finalist in the Handheld Learning awards. Giants like my own Education Department’s Smart Classrooms framework, the Connectivism ideas of George Siemens, the ‘death of education but the dawn of learning’ thinking of Stephen Heppell, the ‘less us, more them’ philosophy of Gary Stager, the #eqelearn twitter network of engaged and dedicated Queensland teachers, fellow edtech bloggers (especially this post from shanetechteach and this one from josephperkins and this article), the Challenge-based learning tenets of Marco Torres and fellow Apple Distinguished Educators, the ‘addicted to learning’ mindset of Kristine Kopelke… All these and more have been percolating thru my mind over the last few months.
So in recent weeks when I asked ‘how can students experience ongoing success in their learning?’, an answer has started to emerge. Its probably not half as innovative or radical as I’d like to think, but it does reflect a big change in the way I’m going to approach my teaching. A change from incorporating bits and pieces of digital pedagogy into existing programs where I as teacher chose entirely what students needed to learn, to one where the presence of digital tools makes it possible for students to begin to take charge of their learning.
And I’m going to do it! I’m going to attempt to teach my students how to reflect and HOW TO LEARN rather than what to learn. With this skill and awareness, they will be able to succeed on their own.
Now, it is true that I’m only able to do this because:
The ‘digital’ in this digital pedagogy ie. iPod touch’s and XO laptops are available to me in enough numbers now to be used by students as personal learning platforms
I have a supportive local and regional administration
I stand on the shoulders of the giants above
My education department recognises how key ‘digital pedagogy’ is
I feel confident enough to attempt it.
So what will this look like in practice? Well here is a draft diagram:
Basically the plan is that students will reflect on what their learning strengths and weaknesses are and create an iLearn plan by selecting the learning tasks (in this case, XO activities or iTunes apps) that will help them improve. They will further be shown how to ask if their choice is in fact working or what other resources (podcasts, Smartpen ‘pencasts’ etc) they might incorporate as well. Finally, because data and assessment are still the be-all of the curriculum in which we teach, the original instruments and data which students based their iLearn plan on will be re-sat/ administered.
Sound ok? A bit simple? A bit …? Please all feel free to contribute feedback – in fact I’m inviting it. After all, why not ‘crowd-source’ a project like this and give it a better chance of success?
In a few days, I get to present at a massive educational conference – Ulearn09 in Christchurch, New Zealand. This year there will be over 1700 educators present. I’m presenting the following paper. I publish it here now (and at Scribd) so attendees, but also the wider blogosphere and twitterverse can appreciate the great thoughts contributed by several distinguished educators from George Siemens and Stephen Heppell, to practicing classroom teachers. Enjoy! (UPDATE: slides of the presentation are now available at Slideshare HERE)
TIME between TIMES
: the joy of educating during a time of rapid technological change.
Which educator with even a vague interest in keeping pedagogy up to date hasn’t shaken their head when overhearing comments like these in staffrooms or education gatherings:
“I have a school provided laptop, but it just sits in my cupboard.”
“Our network is always down so I’ve just given up trying.”
“All mobile phones in schools should be banned.”
“I’m just a digital immigrant, so can’t be expected to learn that!”
“I’m retiring in 5 years, so I’m not going bother with technology.”
“You’re the guru, you do it!”
At my own large primary school with over 65 teaching staff, I sadly know of several for which the first comment holds true. Anyone reading this could probably similarly pick out the ones they have been exposed to. Day after day, and year after year of being an advocate for transformational learning in the face of these kinds of attitudes can have a pretty disheartening effect. Thank goodness that one of the benefits of the technology that so many educators still shun is that we can now access other colleagues via Facebook and Twitter who feel the same, but just as what is still most needed across nearly all Education sectors is not necessarily more money, but a total mindset change, so can we who are charged with leading change benefit from turning around our thinking.
The Digital revolution is a fast moving beast. Change is now a constant, not a once every now and then event. Mobile, wireless and cloud computing developments are leading very quickly towards a world of ubiquitous, or ‘everyware’ computing. Its no secret that Education has been slow to respond to rise of these technologies. In fact, a 2003 report into the ICT-intensiveness of 55 industries found that Education ranked … last. While its easy to get down about such a result, as well as the responses that many teachers still give today when invited to incorporate digital pedagogies into their students learning, there are plenty of great examples where educators have responded in wonderful ways to the digital revolution. I encourage you to seek them out, perhaps by visiting the sites of the distinguished educators you’ll find below who have responded to this:
This is the time between times for educators working with technology. Before mobile, ubiquitous and everyware computing become the invisible norm, but after a time when educators could sit back and wait for the digital revolution to pass on by. As slow as some in education have been to respond to rapid technological change, this is however the most exciting and dynamic time to be an educator of the educators because …
George Siemens, Canada.
Founder of ‘Connectivism’, Associate Director with the Learning Technologies Centre at University of Manitoba.
“I believe that we are seeing, in educational technology, a rare convergence of technological transformation and ideological development. Twin trends of this sort are infrequent, last occurring with the industrial revolution when (rudimentary) concepts of democracy compounded the trends of industrialization. In education, the last century has provided growing consensus of learning as a social and participative process. While not always ideologically aligned, thinkers like Dewey, Vygotsky, Piaget, Bandura, Bruner, Engestrom, Wenger, Lave, Pea, and others have emphasized the distributed, social, and multi-faceted dimensions of learning.
The last several decades has also produced an increase in technologies that enable participants to engage with information in a manner not seen in history. The rise of social networking services, participative web, and growth in mobile technologies and broadband access, provides a compelling argument for change. When the technological movement combines with the ideological shift in learning theory, the impact on education may be transformative. The future of education will be shaped by those who are able to anticipate and understand the impact of the dual forces of social learning and participative technology”.
Tony Vincent, USA.
Former teacher, now trainer and education consultant.
“What I love even more than teaching is learning. And in the changing digital and social landscape, I get to learn constantly and reinforce my learning by sharing it with others”.
Dr Tony Karrer, USA.
CEO/CTO of TechEmpower, a software, web and eLearning development firm.
“My only real formal learning on the metacognitive methods and tools that are the heart of the value I bring as a knowledge worker was by educators. But I learned in an era of card catalogs, microfiche readers, notes on paper. There were no laptops or mobile devices; no instant access to trillions of web pages; no networks of millions of people; nor free access to thousands of new tools. Educators today are in the midst of one of the most interesting transformations where individual knowledge becomes devalued but the ability to teach new metacognitive tools and methods is more important than ever”.
Toni Twiss, NZ.
Former teacher, now a director of eLearning for secondary schools and a lecturer at Waikato University.
“Of the opportunity we have to remind ourselves of and rekindle our passion for learning within a truly authentic context. We are forming our own new way forward, often through experimentation, and along the way are experiencing the feelings of satisfaction when something new is learned or achieved. I think as teachers it is also a timely reminder of what it feels like to be a learner and perhaps at times a struggling learner. We are put in the shoes of the very students we teach as we explore and experiment with the potential of new technologies and perhaps most importantly reconstruct and refresh understanding of our own pedagogy and practice rather than just doing what we have always done.
We are developing teaching methods to allow our students to be successful contributors to the world that they will be part of when they leave school. It is exciting because by the choices we as teachers are making about what and how we choose to teach, we are helping to define the values and skills that we see as being key to the future”.
Shane Roberts, Australia.
Secondary HPE teacher, and Advanced Pedagogical Licence holder.
“The change in others that can be realised and witnessed is immense. This could be a time considered for preparation for anywhere, anytime learning and as such the phenomenon of educators learning from each other is a rising river. Innovators and early adopters can educate through means other than direct tuition which is impacting on the teaching and learning methodologies and practices experienced by today’s students. The range of devices available is also transforming ideas about teaching and learning, and the processes that distribute this teaching and learning.
Change is an exciting process, for me in particular as it means trial and experimentation are welcomed. Less effective or productive practices can be discovered, trialled and reported on without fear of being labeled incompetent – as long as learning is achieved and demonstrated. Accompanying this is the ability to gain feedback from a worldwide audience, leading to inspiration within one’s own practice.
Mathew Nehrling, USA.
Sr. Instructional Designer with a Fortune 500 telecommunications company.
“During a transition period like this, many minds are not in the box to solutions and ideas. Everyone is looking for how to integrate the new innovation (be it idea or technology). After an innovation is standard, creativity is often stifled because people have the baseline as to ‘how it is’.
During the economic downturn as much off the world is having, it forces people to think about real, practical application. It sharpens the focus like a sword. How can you take the innovation and produce the greatest ROI? It takes all the creative ideas and helps one hone in on what is practical.
We are at a point now where we have a perfect combination of the two. There is a technological revolution in anywhere, anytime computing, but with economic downturns, you have to focus on real, productive solutions, thus more energy is spent on what can be produced and static (data asphyxiation) is pushed aside”.
“For the first time in history, students and teachers are consciously playing the same role; learners. Technology is a great democratiser of education. It is no longer expected that educators hold the knowledge to impart to their learners, rather that we are all learners. The role of the educator is evolving to one of true facilitator, guide and model learner. We have unprecedented access to people, information, resources and wisdom, and as we develop new ways of learning and working we are reshaping our view of education and schooling”.
Professor Stephen Heppell, U.K.
Founder, Ultralab and Think.com
“Because we are in a world recession. Every past recession has seen a step change for New Learning as Keynesian investment boost the new, rejects the old and favours public service; because we have moved from the flat start of technological progression’s exponential curve to the steep part. Where before we had good time to reflect on small changes, now we have little time to reflect on momentous changes – that means there is no time for a top-down quality control model and we must rely on people, practitioners and communities for judgement for what might be effective;
Because technology destroys cartels: music, automobiles, banks and more. Those who sought to build value from vast scale and barriers to new competition see their walls crumble as a people’s century erodes their foundations. It was people that called time on recorded music and rediscovered live performance; it’s small local mutual banks that have survived. Learning is about people, not corporations.
Because all the old certainties of a last century world of factory schools with its formulaic rigours of “met before” learning have palpably failed to meet the needs of a world full of surprises and the unexpected. It’s the death of factory education and, as I have often reflected before, the dawn of learning..
And the winner is … ? Based on all the above responses, and a word count/analysis, LEARNING is now king, and being a learner the key to educators finding a place in 21st Century learning. Many thanks to all the respondents for their key contributions.
I’ve recently had the fortune to attend major technology in education two conferences in the space of a week that featured Keynote’s from such high-profile educators as Stephen Heppell, Gary Stager, Mark Treadwell and Mark Prensky. As interesting as these were however, I’m not going to write about them here. I can probably post links to the podcasts at some stage, but what doesn’t necessarily get captured on video at these conferences is what the attendees themselves revealed about just where educators are at in this ‘time between times’ – before mobile and ubiquitous computing becomes the invisible norm, but after a time when we could sit back and wait for the digital revolution to pass on by.
So what did I observe?
Firstly, that pedagogy and learning can still be outshone by shiny technology. I saw educators flirting with software and hardware vendors rather than asking ‘where’s the research for that?’.
Secondly, that paper and pens are still ahead as notetaking tools of choice for educators, but only just. Despite one lady failing to bring a notepad or pen as “every conference always gives you free notepaper and pens”, the ratio I observed has improved to about 50:50 between pen and paper and laptops and smartphones. In fact, at both conferences, I had people comment to me that they’d never seen so many laptops at a conference. And there were a lot, at least 50% of attendees I observed were using laptops or smartphones to record their notes. Why the other 50% are even attending a technology in education conference yet still recording everything in un-taggable and un-searchable or un-sharable paper notepads (especially when at least several digital pen options are now available) is …
Thirdly, that just as the Horizon report moves mobile technology into the ‘one year or less’ zone of implementation for education, the promise of anywhere, anytime learning is starting to be taken seriously in my corner of the world. There were at least two sessions around this topic at each conference, and not only was a significant proportion (15%) of educators I observed using mobile devices to enhance their own learning, but many of them are also thinking now about how to catch up to where students are already at in this area.
Lastly, if you do want to see what the connected learners at each of these conferences were thinking and recording, many of them did actually capture it themselves. The fascinating and infinitely useful results can be found by conducting a twitter search for the tags #IWBnet09 or #SC09expo ! Enjoy.