elearning

Digital Divide: If Youre Reading This, Youre One of the Lucky Ones [INFOGRAPHIC]

Digital Divide: If Youre Reading This, Youre One of the Lucky Ones [INFOGRAPHIC].

Digital Divide: If Youre Reading This, Youre One of the Lucky Ones [INFOGRAPHIC]

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What has changed? – Part 2 – iOS5 and ATV

Following on from my last post – What has changed? I thought this would be a good time to talk about iOS5 and Apple TV.
The last blog post highlighted how the technologies in our current classroom have failed to inspire the change much needed in education today. The limitation of the early blackboard to a whiteboard and projector have always had or come with a hierarchical structure, again mainly to do with the affordance of these technologies. The biggest problem being having to be ‘at the front’ and by default the teachers have primarily assumed this role.

iOS5 and ATV – A game changer?

If you are not an Apple fan then, with the iOS 5 update and if you have an Apple TV with the latest iOS update for it installed, you can mirror the iPad 2 screen wirelessly on the projector. There are a few things you need to sort out before you are able to do this since most projector in the classroom are not HDMI compatible.

How does this change the game?

Firstly, it tackles the issue which has been at the heart of education for decades, breaking down the hierarchical structure. Now, there is no need for anyone to be at the front of the classroom. Students and teachers alike can share and learn together! Sharples (2002) speculates ‘the tensions between personal technology and institutional education will increase as students breach the sealed world of the classroom by bringing in computers that are capable of communicating with the internet’ (p. 6). What Sharples (2002) here is talking about is the change brought about by students and their interaction with and use if different technologies and tools, which blurs the formal and informal learning context. While this change is driven by students and their use of the tools, can a similar change in the classroom be driven by replacing the primitive technologies that exist and are conducive to traditional learning and teaching paradigms? I argue, it is capable of ‘flipping the classroom’ given the right technological and pedagogical support is provided to the staff and students involved. The affordance of new technologies like ATV, iOS screen mirroring and AirPlay offer more opportunities than the whiteboard or the projector combined.

I am not arguing that technology itself is capable of driving change in the learning process rather the need to be creative and imaginative with these tools accompanied by the right pedagogy. The need to peak outside the ‘box’ and explore what else is possible, to try something different, to be able to think and conceptualise something that does not resemble the practice which is decades old. Something we all know is in a desperate need for change for the betterment of our learners and their/our future.

TPACK 2.0 – The framework for learning and teaching with Web 2.0 tools

TPACK 2.0 – The framework for learning and teaching with Web 2.0 tools

>Automotive CoP – eLcc’s running the show

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Today I was invited to a CoP get together that my eLcc’s (eLearning Community Coordinators) had organised.
I in a prior conversation I had told my eLcc’s that I will come and sit somewhere in the corner and would only observe the session. I wanted the eLcc’s to take control and to drive the community. I am not a member of the Automotive department hence I didn’t want to intrude on the staff in the department.
I have to say I found it very difficult not to get involved in the discussions. I however had to get involved in some discussions and when some questions where directed at me. For example, I was put on spot when someone asked me what the acronym URL stood for ……. to buy sometime while I Googled the answer …. I yelled out let me Google it. I guess it played to the moment and to say that none of us were experts. (URL – Uniform Resource Locator)
I am slowly getting to know the staff in the department and understanding what their believes are. The session the eLcc’s facilitated yesterday was to get the members in the room and to talk about issues and fears around eLearning. Chris had put a Fear Wall in the room and he started by putting his own: Too quick … things were just moving very fast and Chris feared that he may not be able to cope with it. Scott on the other hand was showing the DTT (Department of Transport technology) online Community space and explaining the purpose. Scott tried to demo the forum and it wasn’t working properly. Someone in the room suggested that Scott try Firefox. This person also shared with all in the room his experience with FF and Internet Explorer. I guess one thing we achieved yesterday for certain was the move away from IE and into FF. I really enjoyed this discussion because it had true characteristics of a CoP.
One member in this department shared the Moodle resource he had created for his students. The teaching staff are now interested in having a look at it and evaluating if it will help them with using Moodle.
Chris shared how his students were using the Flip Camera in Boat  Building. It was surprising to see how many staff were interested in knowing more about it while few in the room where clearly wondering how or what difference it would make for their students.
Youtube was a major topic …. mainly the copyright issues. I had to sum it up “If it’s yours, upload. If you are not the creator/owner, don’t.” The discussion moved to eLearning. Many in the room were suggesting Moodle was eLearning and that uploading documents and videos was enough. I was hoping someone would just yell out, eLearning is NOT Moodle and just uploading content is not enough, luckily Chris did. He corrected that eLearning not just Moodle and most innovative/creative learning and teaching actually happens out of Moodle in the Cloud (Web 2). Chris showed them what you had done with his students and the use of portfolios – Blogging.
Google came up and the information available if you searched for something, some questions: how do you make out if the information is correct? How to do know if its authentic, Too much information, information overload. I had to chip in: Google is a great place to start looking and for gathering opinion. If you are looking for authentic data that is verified and critiqued then our Library offers Online Journal databases. The information available on these DB’s are peer review and verified. If you require your students to present correct, up-to-date information, you would probably direct them to seek information from these DB’s. This itself could be a huge topic of discussion, academic skills and writing.
Something that came through explicitly in the gather together yesterday was the different needs staff in the department have mainly learning styles. The ‘Little Book‘ came up –  a notebook (book and pen not the Netbook PC) most staff curry with them to note important details and they frequently refer to the information they would have written down. Some comments: 1) workshops are organised and the presenters come in and show them how and what but don’t provide any hard copy resources they can keep for later use (problem remembering things) and 2) they present too fast. I was dragged into this discussion, I and few others in the room suggested that you have to speak up and let the presenter know that he/she was going too fast. I suggested that if they don’t provide you with the printouts, you can create your own by simply noting down the important points in your notebook. You can then circulate this between other staff members and expand it. I could have gone on to suggest doing it online but this I felt wasn’t the right time …. maybe at a later stage when people have come to grips with Moodle, some Web 2 tools and the Internet.
The session concluded with a challenge for the staff present: create a Google Account and have a play for our next meet.
Another update soon.

>Dinner with Etienne and Bev …..

>I felt some-wort lucky to be invited to a dinner organised by our Dean to welcome Etienne Wenger and Bev Trayner who are here at Unitec to deliver a week long workshop on community of practice, this also marks the official launch of the Unitec eLearning Strategy.

Our manager, Robert Aryes (soon to be, starts on March 1) offered to pick and drop me from my place, a huge thanks Robert!

To be honest I wasn’t sure what sort of environment I’ll be in. I mean whether the conversations would flow freely or it will be that awkward dinner you’d remember for a while. I was however glad to know that Robert would be there hence I felt we’ll keep company if things didn’t go well.

Well I am glad to say the dinner at the Viaduct (Kermadec Ocean Fresh Restaurant, Auckland City) was awesome. I would probably go as far as saying it was one of the best ‘professional’ dinner I have been to. The conversations started on the way to the venue and it continued during and after. Some constructive talk and reflections on CoP, and lots of stories from Etienne and Bev who have traveled quite a lot around the world. Robert, our new manager was able to find some commonalities since he has just finished a 12 month OE through Europe and most of Asia. I actually found Bev and Etienne very open, humble and down to earth people who appreciate an honest discussion and they also have a great sense of humour.

Oh I almost forgot to mention the food was awesome! I guess the favourite of the day would have to be grilled fish … just divine, plus local wine, Kumeu and Hawkes Bay. Robert had the honour of choosing the wine for us, have to say …. good choice … he knows his wine alright!!! O yes the desert ……. Vanilla cheese cake and Etienne found out all about Kiwi Hokey Pokey.

(Clockwise starting from left: Linda Keesing-Styles (Dean Teaching and Learning), Bev Trayner, Etienne Wenger, Vickel Narayan and Robert Aryes)