UCOL Workshop feedback – Reconceptualising Learning and Teaching for the 21st Century Learner

The pictures below are of the feedback given after the workshop by UCOL staff. The outline of the workshop and other resources can be found at this location: http://effectivepedagogy.wikispaces.com/1.+UCOL+Workshop+Plan

UCOL Workshop Feedback

Students and Technology – What the students want/value. What we are doing wrong.

While I find this infograhic informative, it also reveals what we need to be doing in order to move forward. To me it shows how strong a hold traditional pedagogies have in our classrooms. The high use of technologies such as projector and document camera highlight how delivery of content is still the focus of our practice. The fact that when asked, if technology was used effectively, only 19%  (of 3000 students surveyed) agreed that technology was being used effectively and was appropriately embedded within the learning process. Out of the 3000 students surveyed, 55% of the students had smartphones, yet skills such as audio-creation, geotagging and eportfolios were amongst what students wanted to learn more about.

We are not doing it right!

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.

What has changed?

What has changed?

We have better equipment, most rooms now have a projector and a smartboard but that’s about it. The pandemic that surrounds the lack of innovative and effective practice for enhanced learning is still the wide application of  traditional pedagogies with smart technologies! So in reality nothing has changed! We continue the same practice with new tools. And the implication of this as highlighted in this tweet by @tomwhitby (http://tomwhitby.wordpress.com)

“If we continue to teach as we were taught, we will be doomed to live in the past as we move to the future! “

Back then:



  1. New technology
  2. better seats
  3. Whiteboard (has progressed from Blackboard :-D)
  1. Passive role of the students (sit and listen)
  2. Sage on stage – delivery of information/knowledge to the students
  3. classroom setup – rows and columns
Time for a change:
Involve the students in what we are doing. Better, you get involved in what the students are doing. It’s about them, their future is on the line. Knowing is not enough to survive in this world, but continuously finding ways of knowing what you don’t know is. This is where technology helps the most. It helps by enabling a medium by which you can give feedback, and guide the students when needed. It enables learners to be active knowledge seekers and generators. It allows them (learners) to bring into learning their own experience and knowledge – a level of ownership and this ensures sustained engagement since they are solving a problem closure to their heart rather than something you have pitched (Authentic Learning).


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

>Moodle4iPhone project some thoughts


Julian Ridden demoed a web based Moodle site for iPhone, they have called it Moodle4iPhone Project. It’s not just all about iPhone, they have one for Android phone as well.

What I was expecting from the session.

Well I was expecting to see an iPhone platform that takes Moodle into mLearning territory. Unfortunately Moodle4iPhone is replicating all what Moodle on a computer would do. What I really found disappointing was the start of the session where the presented stated mobile phones are for assessing content and information. It was as if the only purpose mobiles could be used for was for transmitting content to students who are sitting idol somewhere doing nothing 😦

Delivering content to students who are some where out there doing nothing is a good idea but can we call it learning? For me learning is a result of someones experience and the experience will result in user generated content. Moodle4iPhone offers features that are present on Moodle like forum (you can reply to the forum) and almost all activity that can be found on a standard Moodle install.

What’s missing from Moodle4iPhone

I still think this is a opportunity lost if we are just trying to re-create something that is doable on Moodle through the computer. To make Moodle a true mLearning system we need to leverage on things that are offered to us while using a mobile phone rather than just seeing it as a delivery tool. Things like geotagging, video, pictures and audio now offer users to create rich content at a touch. Why not use these to allow students on Moodle to create and share their experience with their network. We have to remember that learning doesn’t happen in classrooms only, it’s about capturing these moments and mobile phones make it easy. There is a touch of authenticity to a persons learning experience. The term Ubiquitous learners comes about whenever we talk about eLearning, the ability to capture a thought or take a snapshot of something interesting is a part of learning.

In my opinion Moodle4iPhone totally misses the strength of mLearning altogether. It renders itself to a teacher driven learning environment.