Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 review

Time to have a look back on 2009 to assess what I have achieved and what I need to work towards. I have had a busy but interesting, intellectually rich and rewarding and productive (I hope) year. 2009 has been my first full year to concentrate on formulating and working on a new career direction into the areas of vocational education research and the teaching of adult educators.

In teaching with the staff education section, I am really enjoying working with tutors at CPIT and other institutions to improve teaching practice and to enhance student engagement and learning. The section has had to work hard at reviewing, re-documenting and re-developing the current Certificate in Adult Teaching and Diploma in Adult Education qualifications in to a new Diploma in Tertiary Learning and Teaching (level 6). Lyn Williams, programme leader for the staff education team has worked hard all year towards ensuring that we are all conversant with the overarching philosophies of the DTLT, to prepare people for teaching who are reflective inquirers, ready to continually learn the complex craft of teaching and who hold students as the centre of the learning process.

In research, I am starting to make progress in obtaining some funding to complete projects. The Ako Aotearoa Southern Hub fundedperspectives of new tutors’ project provided me with the opportunity to do some in depth reading into vocational identity formation and to learn how to use the nVivo qualitative analysis software.

Partial support with hardware from Renaissance computing in the form of two ipod touches and from the academic research committee with a PSP II has provided the opportunity to build capability with our new elearning team, Sam Hegarty and Alison Soo towards optimising Moodle for mobile access. Good progress in this area so watch this space.

A grant from the CPIT Foundation for a start to be made with a multimodal discourse analysis research programme on how trades students learn at CPIT. This first project is to work on the logistical issues related to using videos, voice recorders and mobile phones to collect evidence of student learning in workshops and classrooms. The Ako Aotearoa National Fund project is a project I am also really excited about starting early next year. I will be working with seven industry training organisationa (ITOs) to investigate the perspectives of first year apprentices on their apprenticeship experiences.

The only thing that has stalled is my PhD which I will have to work on over the coming summer to get to a final draft!! However, the various projects and the opportunity to teach research methods to others has meant that I now have a firmer understanding of how to re-structure and make appropriate links to previous research to my dissertation. My academic writing skills have also been developing well, partly through keeping this blog up but also in constructing various papers for conferences (7 this year!!) and seminars / presentations (9!). All good practice at organising my thought processes into a text / aural based literacy format.

So having just come off a very satisfying pre-Xmas tramp to the Tongariro National Park, I am looking forward to Xmas with the family and a camping / walking trip in Southland over the New Year. Then several weeks of intensive work on the dissertation before the 2010 teaching year begins :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Multimodal data analysis - hints

Free WiFi and internet at Auckland public library, so updating with my notes on meeting with Dr. Sigrid Norris at AUT on multimodal analysis.

A good chat to share research interests and to learn from Sigrid’s experiences. Also affirmation of the things I had planned to put in place would work.

Firstly, point of view & perspective important, use of overhead cameras ineffectual for capturing the nuances of interpersonal & individual gestural clues. If using multiple cameras, each camera should focus on one unit of analysis (an individual, or a group or the total group). Best for researcher to do the filming or to be taking field notes – with timer- which can then be used to track back on data stream later during analysis.

Data analysis best done as individual annotated still shots rather than a stream of images. Transcribe only the portions which may illuminate research question!! Use of atlasti recommended.

Sigrid also provided invitation to share pertinent data once we have collected some so that a joint data analysis session may be convened to work through the data. Also recommended touching base and reading the work of other researchers including Kay O-Halloran in Singapore and Gunther Kress's team in London.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

blogging with the ipod touch

Just did a quick tidy up of the blogs posted using my ipod touch during the ascilite conference.  Good access to WiFi in all the various rooms plus a good way to learn my way around the use of the ipod touch for text input.

In all, a quick way to take notes etc. as I was less distracted by web surfing the various presenters & sites as the presentation ran. Which is what happens when I attend conference sessions and blog sessions on my laptop as they happen.  The lack of capability to put in links easily is a hassle as it means I need to go back to the blogs when I am free to do a general tidy & update.  However, it does mean I do the requisite followup on the various papers.

The ipod touch text entry is easy to use, the 'p' does occasionally get lost as it required firm tapping to bring it up.  Moving between the text and the numeric keyboard came with a bit of practice.  So as long as there is good WiFi, I will consider just bringing the ipod touch to the next conference and leave the laptop at home.

Ascilite 2009 - day 3 - last session

Last session with keynote from James Clay (Gloucester university). he presented an entertaining presentation on the future of learning. Tweeter feeds provide an ongoing impression of his presentation. The future of learning IS mobile learning!! Presented a good overview along with advantages and disadvantages.

Then moved on to how we can work together to assist change and to work around the organisational barriers to change. Learners should be the ones to lead us into the future.

Prizes for best papers plus thanks to sponsors, organisation committe, reviewers and especially local conference committee.

Ascilite 2010 from 5th to 8th December in Sydney at University of Technology Sydney.

Ascilie 2009 -day 3- late morning sessions

Still following the eporfolio mobile stream with the presentations after morning tea.
Beginning with Norhayati Baharun and Anne Porter from University of Woolongong on using blended approach to teaching stAtistics. Statistcs often seen by students to be difficult. So the use of support resources on Blackboard was used. Most students found the online resources to be useful.
Next up Jenny Waycott and Gregor Kennedy from University of Melbourne on mobile technologies and web 2.0 in science and how this assist to situate learning in everday experience.used mobile tools to collect everday examples of chemistry and photo archive on collected based on 2 chemistry topics and were captioned and tagged. Most students did not find the activity useful but there was some enhancement of learning amongst students.
Then Karen Day and Stewart Wells from the University of Auckland on adapting social media to be used as a scaffolding tool for teaching health informatics. Based on digitalmindedness survey LMS was adapted to cater to students' capabilities.
Moved across to catch Martin Jenkins and Phil Gravestock from University of Gloucester on supporting the co-generation of work-based learning designs.involves improvement of engagement of employers with co-generation oh curriculum and leading to better support of student work-placements. The project Co-gent is to develop demand led curricula and have student eportfolios reflect these profiles or attributes.

Ascilite 2009 - day 3 - morning sessions

A sparse crowd this morning after last night's dinner and dance!

Morning began with a brief presentation from Matthew Riddle a Blackboard research grant winner on ICTs in the daily lives of Australian students. Uses Sms and the 'day experience method' to prompt them to record what they are doing and what technology they are using.
I then attended the eportfolios stream which had 4 presentations.John Roder and Mark Brown from University of Auckland on educators' perspectives on PLEs, Web 2.0 and eportfolios. We are moving from web 1.0 / eportfolios to web 2.0 /PLEs. Influenced by thinking from Feng, Siemens, Attwell and Fiedler. Generally many educators know about web 2.0 but do not necessarily use them to the PLE capabilities.
Then Jane Goodyear and John Milne from Massey University spoke on developing competency portfolios with engineering undergrads.used Mahara and began by asking students to find examples or exemplars based on graduate profile. Uptake was low so more work required! Critical factors include to have clear purpose, think transformative, support for reflection, hold into programme and assess.
Up next Beverley Oliver and Peter Nikoletatos from Curtin University present on building physical and virtual learning spaces.Engagement, students and mobile technology, iportfolio And mobile Curtin form the four parts of the learning spaces.
Last in this session, Jennifer Rowley and Peter Dunbar from University of Sydney on integrating eportfolios.Need to collect expression of many music identities, as performers, composers, music teachers etc. Therefore asked students on what they thought should be in their eporfolio. They wanted their eporfolio to reflect their individual personalities and skills / learning.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ascilite 2009 - day 2 - late afternoon sessions

Attended a mixed bag of sessions this afternoon.

Caught the tail end of presentation on a definition of digital literacy by Bronwyn Hegarty (otago Poly), Oriel Kelly (manukau institute of technology). An intriguing mix of skills proposed and discussed.

Thomas Duggan from Central Queensland University then presented on the Moodle support provided to indigenous Australian pre-undergraduate students. Focus on recognising the foundations of indigenous students and structuring on-line support material. Reveals a few constriants of Moodle including predominance of text based tools, no easy oral interface and intermediate tools required to bring support up to requirements.

Next presentation by Katherine Gilliver-brown and Marcia Johnson from University of Waikato on academic literacy development with multiple perspectives approach to blended learning. Reports on various interative computer assisted learning tools. Approach works with students, students are able to work automously so learning support able to progress with structural development.

Helen Cartner and Julia Hallas from Auckland University of Technology present the R2d2 model for online activities to teach academic language skills. this uses the read, reflect, display and do. This shows learners value the use of real-life activities assist the learning of academic skills. R2D2 model from Bonk and Zhang 2008.

Last paper for the day from Peter Strauss, AUT and Robin Goodfellow and Marianne Puxley from the Open University in the UK. This reports on work on providing contextualised and individualised on line writing support for postgraduate students. Contextualised online writing support (COWS)is a project which brings together a range of on-line tools and have acdemics provide a link to the specific discipline area.

A busy and varied day. Good to catch up with North Island staff developers. the conference dinner on tonight to continue with more convivial networking.

Ascilite 2009 - day 2 - morning parallel sessions - mobile learning stream

Staying with the mobile learning stream this morning.

First up Norshuhada Shiratuddin and Syamsul Bahrin Zaibon from Universiti Utara in Malaysia. They report on two projects which used local game characters and contxts in a mobile game. This has led to improved student engagement and built capability in the development of mobile learning games which are locally contextualised. Good example of how to complement learning with play and entertainment.

Thom Cochran and Roger Bateman then present their learning from their work at Unitec with product design, performance arts and music students. Good to catch up with the evaluations of their project with a report on student views of their experiences in working with eportfolios using mobile phones.

Followed by Joan Richardson and John Lenarcic from RMIT University present their pilot implementation of a SMS system for student-academic staff admin info exchange. Allows for both "push" and "pull".

Last up Krassue Petrovs and Chun Li from Auckland University of Technology present on a framework for evaluating mlearning artefacts.

Ascilite 2009 - day 2 - morning keynotes

Morning begins with a short presentation from Blackboard.

Keynote this morning is by Professor Graine Conole Professor of elearning from the Open University UK. She spoke on Cloudworks,a place for sharing learning and teaching ideas.
She then introduced a case study intervention on cloudworks founded on Jenkin's 12 skills for partcipatory culture. Ended with a discussion on the five challenges presented to elearning by the move toward the partcipative digital landscape. These include dealing with the digital divide, digital literacies, new methods, theorectical insights and new pedadogies.

Peter Mellow is the morning speaker. Having missed several of Peter's presentations at other conferences it was good to be able to attend his energetic and enthusiastic presence. He used a double screen display which made the presentation much more visually engaging. His presention encompassed the need to engage young people in tertiary learning in order to improve learning outcomes for a diverse range of students.

Ascilite 2009 - Tasden @ascilite sessions

After morning sessions shifted off with lunch in hand across to sessions with the Tertiary Academic Staff Developers Education Network (Tasden).

A couple of keynotes from Ako Aotearoa begin the session. Ruth Peterson with an overview of AA's stategic direction and Justin Sampson on AA's websites and CoPs. Ruth provided emerging strtegic themes including a second front, evidence based practce enhancement, support for Maori and Pacifica educators, suportind the learner voice and supporting networks. Also a thought provoking 'definition' of the term Maori cultural content.

Then workshops on getting connected with Judith Honeyfield and collaborative research facilitated by Jane Stewart and Jacqui James. I attended the research workshop where we all shared information with each other in order to assist with cnnecting with each other.

A plenary session on cultural awareness with Ngahiwi Apanui from Ako Aotearoa followed. Ngahiwi spoke on developing a strategy to support Maori educators and learners.

Good to be able to touch base with North Island tertiary staff developers and to establish links with researchers involved in investigating the development of tertiary teachers and in vocational education.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Ascilite 2009 - day 1 - afternoon after lunch presentations

Attended four sessions after lunch around the web 2.0 in education.

First up, Iain Doherty and Pauline Cooper from University of Auckland on "educating educators in the purposeful use of web 2.0 tools for teaching and learning". A research study of worksops offered to university staff to see how effective these workshops are ib contributing to a change in teaching practice.

Next up Lynette Zeeng, Diane Robbie, Keith Markham Adams & Clive Hutchinson from Swinburne University of Technology presented on the implementation of web 2.0 for use by first year photography students across three universities. International students formed a part of the student cohort and the project had to create a global classroom which reqiured guidelines and planning.

Then Matt Bower, John Hedberg and andreas Kuswara used TPACK model to provide foundation learning design to think about use of web 2.0 in education. matt presented an overview via video conferencing and Andreas provided the connection and wrapup using prezi. A good summAry of the various approaches to teaching and learning from a elearning perspective.

Last session before afternoon tea from Ruth Weeks & Richard Seymour who have been using web 2.0 in a postgraduate programme. This involved the use of a wiki as not only a knowledge repository but also as an assessment tool which complemented learning outcomes of developing skills and perspectves to seek opportunity, take initiative, have ownership and curiosity.

Ascilite 2009 - day 1 - after afternoon tea

Last sessions in a long but productve day. My poster was also up and several I interested people dropped by for some good conversations. One adnantage of posters is the opportunity for greater one on one interaction.

Leanness Cameron from Macquarie University spoke on using generic learning designs to promote good teaching and learning practice. She provided a series of guidelines on how to setup a planning tool for use in learning design based on a scaffolded system.

Second up was Ian Robertson on teachers as active agents in contextualising pedagogical spaces in vocational education and training. Ian from RMIT University had completed previous work on TAFE tutors knowledge requirements. After a brief introduction to set the scene Ian runs a slideshow with audio to explain the concept of pedagogical space with a comparison between classrooms and flexible delivery. And then between flexible delivery and flexible learning. Followed by on-line and then elearning!

Caught the end of a presentation on interactive classrooms using mlearning by Andrew Litchfield from University of Technology Sydney. Proposed that interactive mobile learning may be interpreted using experiential learning theory.

Last one today from Kathryn MacCullum and Lynn Jeffrey from Eastern Institute of Technology and Massey University who presented on identifying factors which determine mobile learning
adoption by educators. Generally those enthusiastic about use of tecnology in learning most likely to try out mobile learning. Most acknowledged usefulness of mobile learning but many did not have time or access to funds or technical support to get them started.Survey for tutors to fill in on

A busy and varied day. I now have a poster to support future presentations on the CPIT mobile ortfolios project and another list of new learning to catch up on.

Ascilite 2009 day one morning symposium

Decided to attend the one hour symposium on "Cascading change: the role of social software and social media in educational intervention and transformation."

Originally with 9 but due to various professional and personal lifes we have 4. They are Sebastian Fiedler, main presenter, from tech.knowledge unit in Vienna. He provided a good overview of the social networking landscape and the focus of the symposium.

Terje valjataga from the Tampere University in Finland summarised a research project there to study the resources, tools and landscape of social networking.

Robert Fitzgerald from University of Canberra followed with a review of the broader socialand political trends in building a better understanding of users and their use of technology. Students who are high users of technology score more poorly in th Pisa maths and Reading tests. Most university students tend to browse rather than generate content for blogs, wikis and social networking sites.

Next up was George Siemens now at Atabasca University, spoke on need now for organisational change to transform society and how it works.

Getting the hang of blogging on the iPod touch although still to work out how to copy and paste hyperlinks in!! Instead of having to type them in.

Ascilite 2009 - day 1 morning plenary session

This session from Mark Nichols began with an invitation to engage with his presentation. Not with our laptops and other mobile devices.

Using rise and demise of Prensky's digital natives, he arques for the power of group think and how many of us accepted Prensky's premise which are now being seen to not hold up to detailed scrutiny.

Access to large amounts of information brings with it the challenge of making sense of all of it and making decisions of what to do with it. Group think may not be the best approach as the group itself may not reflect the correct direction.

A thought provoking presentation.

Ascilite 2009 conference - day one - opening

Blogging using iPod touch. Conference opened with a Mihi.
Opening address by HoN. Mary Street followed by official welcome from Vice Chancellor of University of Auckland, Stuart McCutheon.

Opening keynote from Dr. Scott Diener who focused on SecondLife.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Ascilite2009 - workshop on Moodle 2.0

Workshops day for Ascilite 2009 at University of Auckland run by Human Development Resources NZ with Stuart & Tabitha. HRDNZ is a Moodle partner.

Moodle 2.0 probably still a year away for Southern hemisphere with updates coming up on Moodle tracker. Draft release notes on a roadmap and a tracking document.

Moodle 2.0 is a major release & needs PHP 5.2.8 to install plus upgrades to the files API, Repository API & Portfoliio API. Improvements also provided for blocks, pages, themes, tabbed interfaces & menus. Provides for better navigation, consistency, usability, performance, backward capability , allows ‘dependencies & forced/structured pathways through activities, progress tracking.

Changes to ‘activities’ including update to wiki (yeh), feedback module for course evaluations, many improvements to quiz (report enhancement, navigation, flag questions, edit, tagging etc.),and gradebook, blogs now allow commenting and support external blogs, messaging, secure RSS feeds, workshop (sets up assignment with an example, complete activity either individually or in groups including peer assessment – to allow students access to all other students’ input, use database).

Also a major change in the HTML editor which works better with more browsers. Backup also updated to increase speed. IMS CC import & export also improved. Site-wide groups now possible. Administrator improvements, internal clean ups etc. plus hopefully also a student information API, Moodle voice(?) & learning design export (?), Turnitin integration.

Demonstrations of the various Moodle 2.0 followed. Many reveal some thought into making Moodle interface much more user friendly to both students and teachers.

After lunch, an opportunity to do some hands-on exploration. All in, a good day to do a catch up on the ways to maximise uses of Moodle.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

multimodal research equipment and Centres doing research into teaching & learning in the US of A

Having a look around at hardware appropriate to the multimodal research project exploring the learning of trades students. Found this article via Google scholar which is a project by Bell, Toomey, Zimmerman and Clark at the Everyday Science & Technology Group base at the University of Washington and part of the Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE) Center.

The article also detailed their use of Inqscribe for video transcription and Atlasti for video analysis.

Further exploration of the LIFE centre reveals many areas for followup! Including the US of A National Science Foundation Science of learning centres. Which include the LIFE centre, the Center of Excellence for Learning in Education, Science, and Technology (CELEST) , the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center for Robust Learning (PSLC) the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC), The Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center (TDLC) and the Visual Language and Visual Learning Center (VL2).

All worth a look through for their work in furthering our understanding of teaching and learning both at a micro and a macro level. Resources also available via LESTER, which archives research on innovations in learning science and technology.

Also turned up the International Society of Learning Sciences which produces the Journal of Learning Sciences .

Monday, November 30, 2009

Research projects for 2010: Ako Aoteoroa National Project funding & CPIT Foundation funded research projects for 2010

Looks like a busy 2010 will be coming up.

I have had the good fortune to be one of  the projects to be awarded funding for the 2010 round by the Ako Aoteoroa National project fund. The collaborative project involves Nicholas Huntingdon from the Industry Training Federation as research mentor (overall reviewer of data analysis), seven industry training organisations (ITOs), Dr. Robyn Chandler from CPIT as research mentor (data analysis & report collation) and myself as project leader and researcher.

The ITOs involved cover a range of industries in NZ including primary industries (Agriculture ITO), manufacturing (Boating ITO, Building and construction ITO, Competenz – engineering & Joinery ITO) and service industries (Hairdressing ITO & Hospitality Standards Institute). The topic builds on some of the findings from my PhD and revolves around investigating the ‘experiences of first year apprentices of workplace learning’. The main research questions are to find out what are the main influences on young peoples’ decisions to enter into an apprenticeship, the support factors which support their initial experiences in the workplace and mechanisms and personal agency factors which help young people engage with belonging to a workplace and becoming trades people.

I am really looking forward to getting this project underway as there is so little research in the area of apprenticeships in New Zealand. Having the opportunity to be able to access apprentices employed in a diverse range of industries will help provide depth and no doubt bring forth important learning about the challenges facing young people as they embark into an apprenticeship.

This project complements my other research project for 2010 which is part of a larger research programme ‘studying the learning of trades students using multimodal discourse analysis’. The first project will be on ‘learning a trade @ CPIT: learning welding’ which will work through the logistical issues of gathering data using videos, voice recorders and mobile phones of students learning ‘How to adjust their welding equipment (to suit different mediums)? So besides learning the technicalities of multimodal data collection and analysis, I should pick up some learning on welding as well!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Learning trades skills - using multimodal discourse analysis

Doing some reading in preparation for next year’s research project which I now have some funding from the CPIT foundation to kick start. It is one of a series of projects on studying the learning of trades people using multimodal discourse analysis. The foundation has provided enough money to purchase hardware (2 digital videos, 6 digital voice recorders) plus research hours for one trades tutor (the redoubtable Flip Leijten) and myself.

Not much available but found Transmitting Craft Knowledge: eliciting and passing on the skills of craft masters with the help of interactive media. This project at Sheffield Hallam University draws on expertise in the role of tacit (unspoken) knowledge in design, interactive learning materials, contemporary craft metalwork, video production and human computer interface design, all based in the Cultural, Communication and Computing Research Institute.

"practice-led" in the sense that much of the investigation is pursued through making and evaluating things. The relationship between creative practice and development of new knowledge has been a feature of this and other design research at the university where creative practices may be an important feature of the methods, but the focus is on developing useful knowledge that has implications beyond the problems of designing.

youtube video by Nicola Wood on clog making, baskets, wooden bowls provides a sense of how some of the research was completed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Video annotation tools vs video analysis tools

During the presentation by Dr. Laurent Filliettaz, excerpts of videos and transcripts from the videos were provided as examples of the data gathering and analysis of workplace based interactions between apprentice and trainer. From this, I could see that it would be important to have a way to bring transcripts and the video together in order to save time and multiple screenings. Therefore I had a look in the library for articles or books on video annotation.

An article by Rich & Hannatin (2009) in the Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 21 (2) caught my attention. This article reported on a project ‘ scaffolding video self-analysis discrepancies between preservice teachers’ perceived and actual instructional decision’ used a customised video analysis tool (VAT) to annotate the videos using a ‘commenting’ process to add speech bubbles to the videos.

The previous review of video analysis software shows that many of the tools are used in the sports areas and can be expensive when all we need to do in our project is to annotate the videos.

I then began an investigation into video annotation tools, as opposed to video analysis tools. nVivo provides for the facility to run a video and to have a transcript entry along with a blank column (for comments). I did the usual google search for ‘video annotation tool’ and came up with the following.

Anvil is a free for educational and research purposes and requires a email to the developers to obtain a copy. Seems to work very much like Audacity. Not sure if we will need all the bells and whistles but will email to obtain a copy to do a comparison with nVivo.

A simple video annotation tool might be the way to go if all we need to do is to put simple tags on the video.

Project pad provides a comprehensive tool with more information provided at open cast projects

So will need to follow up with trying things out on nVivo. As future iterations of the multimodal analysis project at CPIT will include collaboration with other polytechnics, I will also explore the use of Anvil and perhaps Transana, which has appeared on several research papers which require video data analysis (does cost small amount).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Workshop & presentation from Laurent Filliettaz at Victoria University, Wellington

Travelled up to Wellington yesterday to meet up with Associate Professor Dr. Laurent Filliettaz, from the University of Geneva (currently on a one year sabbatical at Griffith University).  The workshop & lunch time presentation was hosted by Professor Janet Holmes, from the School of Linguistics at Victoria University.

Both the work of Laurent & Janet's team are pertinent to my 'studying the learning of trades students using multimodal discourse analysis' project.  I will begin stage one of this project with funding from the CPIT foundation early next year. The funding provides sufficient money to obtain hardware & pays for a small amount of research time for me and for one trades tutor (Flip Leijten who teaches welding).

Laurent's work & that of his team, Ingrid de Saint-Georges & Barbara Duc is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation Professorship programme. The project began at the end of 2005 and runs until January 2011. The main objectives of the programme is to understand apprentices' perspectives of how they gain knowledge, skills and experience identity transformation during their apprenticeship, the perspectives of trainers and teachers on what skills are required to teach or train apprentices & the potentials & limitations of the Swiss 'dual' traning system.

The overall programme was to study the Swiss dual training system whereby students attend school for 1 to 2 days and work as apprentices in the workplace for 3 to 4 days.  The current system has its challenges including difficulties with placing apprentices and poor completion rates. 

The main data collection method was to collect video evidence of workplace interactions between apprentices and trainers in both vocational school workshops (3) and at workplaces (7).  Three industries, motor mechanics, automation specialists and electric assemblers were involved.  150 hours of video evidence was collected, providing a rich corpus of evidence to study.

The main activities studied were knowledge transformation and transmisson, transitions and identity construction, the aspect of time in action and learning and the continuities and boundaries between schools and workplaces.

During the lunch presentation, Laurent presented 4 video vignettes with their accompanying transcripts and interpretations.  These were based on a case study of a new apprentice starting out in a electrical assembly workplace.  The presentation provided a good example of the power of using video based evidence in collecting workplace based apprentice / trainer interactions.  Especially rich evidence of how apprentices have to negotiate for their learning opportunities, the techniques / strategies workplace trainers use and the interactions apprentices have with other workers.  This reveals issues with power, communication or mis-communication in the workplace, language use in vocational learning and the transitional issues faced by school leavers as they are inducted into the workplace.

All in a worthwhile day to talk to many of the staff at the School of Linguistics and to have see examples of multimodal data collection and analysis.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ipod touch for enhancing student learning

The more I play with the ipod touch, the more I excited I am with its potential for enhancing student learning. There are many examples, mostly from the school sector to learn from. Last week, the local paper’s technology section featured the the ipod touch plus a cheap phone as an alternative to owning an iphone (cheapest option with $40 a month plan for 24 months comes to almost $2000) compared to under $400 for a ipod touch 8G & a couple of hundred $$ to purchase & run a phone.

As an alternative to using netbooks, the ipod touch is more suitable as individual student hardware. The smallness of the device means that doing group work on the ipod touch will be more difficult then with a netbook. Small groups of 2 or 3 will work though. However, maximising the use of the ipod touch must include the need for each student to have one and a robust wifi network to cope with multiple users all accessing the network at the same time.

Examples of the use of ipod touches in education are plentiful. Louise Duncan is one who has set up a good resource including a list of the apps she uses in class & a list of ipod touch tips from students.

Tony Vincent, always an great advocate for mobile learning provides a good overview of educational possibilities for the ipod touch including good tips & tricks.

Wired educator (Mr. Croy) has an Apple slant which covers all sectors of education and has good overview of the use of the ipod touch in education and examples from his students .

A good collection of resources for use of the ipod touch in education from Chris Webb. And a whole host of examples of using ipod touches in education from Classroom 2.0 a social network on Ning.

Apple also has a recently published (July 2009) official guide to educators for using the ipod touch. So lots of examples to distil, try out and evaluate. Plus to work out how best to make use of the ipod touches capabilities within a blended learning environment.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

ako aotearoa southern hub research projects colloquium

Attended & presented at the Ako Aotearoa research projects last evening. The Southern Hub (2 other hubs are the Northern & the Central, both in the North Island) is able to provide up to $10,000 to support research projects which lead to better learner outcomes. Nine projects presented on research progress & some findings. All in, an interesting session as each project had relevance to the tertiary sector, provided an interesting collection of research approaches and showcased the interest in research taken by each of the presenters. We had 10 minutes each (8 to present & 2 for questions!) but each presentation was supported by a one page handout which provided pertinent background & project details.

First up, Ronnie O'Toole from the University fo Canterbury with Alison Ogier-Price. Their project was on investigating the role of emotion in tertiary teaching. A pilot to gauge how emotions experienced by tertiary educators influence their teaching and student learning in the classroom. Collection of data was via 'emotion diaries' kept by 17 participants & based on Oatley & Duncan (1992) & Sutton (2004). Participants were also interviewed. Data still to be analysed.

My presentation followed on 'perspectives of new trades tutors' - interim report - which is on the intense vocational identity trades people have & how a process of 'boundary crossing' is required to help trades people accept & incorporate the identity of a teacher. A draft of my report has been circulated to the Southern Educational Developers (SED) group & will be discussed at a meeting next week. After that a final report will be completed by end of this month.

Next up, Gareth Archer from Community Colleges New Zealand on the influence of traditional sports & games on soft skill development for Maori youth. It involves the revival of a game ki-0-rahi (youttube video) which is played on a circular field & where one team (kioma) scores tries and the other (taniwha) scores by hitting a central target.

Nick Draper also had a sports slant, developing pedagogy for exercise science in tertiary physical education programmes. In particular to investigate how to consolidate knowledge aspects of exercise science which is often taught in 'chunks' & at different times during a course / programme so that students are able to bring together the a 'whole person' understanding of how physiology works.

Moving on the the early childhood sector, Elizabeth Elsworth, from the College of Early Childhood Education presented on 'sharing minds: promoting a research culture within a tertiary environment through mentoring relationships. Elizabeth used the concept of ako (knowledge & learning in Maori) to underpin the relationships between tutors and students, so that each learnt from the other during research mentoring sessions.

Then Gerry Duigan from CPIT poster/banner project. This project is in it's evaluation stage. The first stage was to select 10 sayings which were useful for adult educators to display in classrooms or web pages. Then banners were produced and dessiminated to 30 institutions in the South Island to gauge responses. These are now being collated & once evaluations have been actioned, the final banners will be produced and access provided via the Ako Aotearoa website.

A collection of health related projects began with Phillipa Seaton (plus 7 others) from CPIT & Pegasus Health presenting on 'practice nurses' learning needs'. The project is still in progress but has, to date, distilled five top learning needs and predominant learning styles of practice nurses.

Arindam Basu then presented on his project (involving 7 other researchers) on 'training for telehealth' which is a form of health by distance. the project reviewed current telehealth for teaching the concept/ process and based on the review, develop a 'best practice model'.

Last up, Paul Watson & Deb Sims from CPIT presented on their project which is to evaluate the quality of workplace learning for student nurses. The project was also to establish the validity & reliability of a 'clinical learning environment, supervision & teaching scale' -CLES+T developed in Finland, to find out if the scale would be usable within the NZ context.

All in a good session ably organised and hosted by Ako Aotearoa Southen Hub convener, Bridget O'Regan & Pat Robertson.

Monday, November 02, 2009

ipod touch and the MLE project

About a month a go, I picked up two ipod touches funded by the CPIT academic research committee. Renaissance computing, the agents for Apple in NZ kindly provided two ipod touches (an 8G & a 32G) for the price of one 8G :) So I have been busy over the last week or so having a play to evaluate the potential for it’s use with various mlearning projects. Being away much of October has provided time while travelling to work with the ipod touch and to utilise and evaluate its many capabilities.

Comprehensive information is provided on the apple site for using itunes, the main way to transfer information between PC and ipod without going online. Unfortunately, the ipod touch touch does not run with the mobile learning engine plug in for Moodle but accessing our normal Moodle using a web browser has always been an option.

Good starting point to the 1000s of ipod touch apps plus here is one which includes an app to turn your ipod touch into a remote control for itune PC! This one includes the app video piggy to download youtube videos.

I also downloaded stanza to convert ebooks to read on the ipod touch with a good guide from this site on how to read ebooks on the ipod touch.

From the education point of view, there is itunes u for courses, top tips on using the ipod touch for learning by Jonathan Nalder, a teacher from Queensland and a slideshare ppt providing examples of using ipod touches in learning.

The user interface for the ipod touch is intuitive to use, picture and sound quality also good. At just under NZ$400 for an 8G ipod touch, it is an accessible mobile alternative to a desktop or smartphone. The many apps available, many free and most at an affordable price provides an indication for the future role of software on mobile devices. Apps are also a cinch to download and although many are little ‘play’ apps, many provide useful utilities to enhance productivity at work and learning opportunities.

Only bugbear is no camera/video but the ipod touch does have a good voice recorder. The new ipod nano has a video camera so maybe a video camera is going to be in the next model of the ipod touch?

Friday, October 30, 2009

ako aotearoa academy symposium - day two afternoon

Afternoon began with a session by Dr. Peter Coolbear on 'staying in limelight - the future of the Ako Aotearoa Academy. He covered Ako Aotearoa's strategy for championing excellence in tertiary teaching & learning. Emphasis is changing along with locus of activity towards becoming more strategic with an advocacy role on future government policy development. Emerging strategic themes are to develop a 'second front on 'threshold of acceptability' for advocacy?, evidence based enhancement of practice, strategic, sustainable support of Maori educator/learners, also with Pacific educators & learners, supporting the learner voice & working in partnerships.

Oriel Kelly then facilitated a discussion on the future priorities for the academy. Groups worked on how the academy may meet individual members' needs, how academy is able to work with Ako & how Ako supports the academy.

Last session was organised and facilitated by the Massey University Teaching Excellence at Massey (TE@M) with their Vice Chancellor, Hon. Steve Maharey, academy members from the Waikato, Bay of Plenty & Dr. Craig Pritchard also from Massey.

ako aotearoa academy symposium - day two morning

A busy morning with variou presentations and workshops.

first up, three award winners provide a view of 'how did I get here?' The three presenting are Prof. Gary Bold, Karl Dodds (both Prime Minister award winners) & Dr. Rachel Fewster (winner of two awards - 2003 & 2009). Gary's humour came across well during his presentation on techniques for lecturing to large classes. Rachel covered 'how to make 90% of students love statistics?' providing a good example of how to make a subject interesting by building on what students know & providing relevant 'real life' problems & reasons for why they should solve them. Karl covered the more serious side of winning the award including increased levels of expectations from students & other colleagues.

Second presentation from Dr. John Reynolds on "the impact on curriculum change on health sciences first year students' approaches to learning". He presented on a study which used a learning inventory (the approaches and study skills inventory - ASSIST) to measure if curriculum change on students' approaches to learning. John provided good examples of how the curriculum has been changed in structure (eg. student study groups formed) and objective (deepening understanding & links between concepts to made) and the results of an evaluation using ASSIST to find out if there were changes in students learning (surface, deep, strategic). Found surface similar to pass cohorts, strategic increased but significant increase in deep learning.

Dr. Lisa Emerson then lead a session on the new criteria for the Tertiary teaching excellence award. Lisa is the academy representative on the TTEA panel & found the experience to be inspiring & a great privilege. Background provided to assist academy members in mentoring potential applicants for future TTEAs.

Great presentations from all :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

ako aotearoa academy symposium - day one - afternoon

Two main sessions this afternoon. The first one is three discussion groups to produce position papers for the academy. These are on teaching excellence (facilitated by Pip Lynch & Juliet Gerrard), Scholarship of teaching (with Peter Mellow) & quality enhancement process in education (with Karl Dodds & Rachel Fewster). I chose to attend the session on scholarship of teaching as a continuation of my project on "perspectives of trades tutors." Group discussed the definition of 'scholarship' which has various connotations depending on teaching subject and institution.various papers put by Peter on to the Ako website were discussed with expectation of others to put more papers on plus need to perhaps do a literature review of the field. group then organised to work out how it will work together towards producing a position paper by December!!

After afternoon tea, Welby Ings, facilitated a session on 'challenging some debilitating myths', using story telling as a method to elicit our philosophies on teaching & learning. Welby modelled the power of story telling by firstly narrating a story to us. Group work then followed on using narratives in teaching. A good session which provided a good opportunity to explore the deeper issues related to using narratives in enhancing learning, especially metacognition and attitudinal transformation.

ako aotearoa academy symposium - day one morning

Symposium began by Dr. Peter Coolbear, Ako Aotearoa director with a karakia. Then welcome from Donna Buckingham who is the president of the Academy to the symposium 2009 - turning vision into promising practice.. Hon. Wyatt Mapp, associate Minister of Tertiary Education then provided the official opening. He covered the macro picture, tertiary education strategy, the research /science / technology strategy & how the academy may assist with bringing some of these strategies about. John Hosking summarised the academy's response and thanked the minister for his encouragement and support.

First key note from Dr. Sally Kift on "a transition pedagogy for first year curriculum design and renewal". Sally provided results from a review conducted via a Australian Learning & Teaching Council fellowship. This was pushed by a recognition of the growing diversity of students and the need to engage, support and realise a sense of belonging for first year students in tertiary education. A transitional pedagogy was proposed around the identification of six first year curriculum principles. These are transition, diversity, design, engagement, assessment and evaluation & monitoring.

My workshop followed after morning tea. I covered the usual ground of the move of hardware to mobile, software to the cloud & humanware to virtual social networking = everyware. I provided the opportunity for participants to explore a range of web 2.0 tools which may be useful in various teaching & learning contexts using small group activities supported with Dell Minis on loan from AUT and organised by Peter Mellow. An opportunity for partcipants to get to know each other better & to share ideas & applications of various web 2.0 tools with examples from their teaching contexts. Plus the challenge to use these tools for their own professional development and for students to 'do the work to do the learning.'

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ako aotearoa academy symposium - afternoon second session

Second half of the Ako Aotearoa Academy symposium provided for two concurrent sessions to run.

One from Peter Mellow & Paul Denny, who facilitated a session on Web 2.0. A session from which I would build on for my presentation tomorrow. Attended the session on research funding so had to give this one a miss. However feedback from the others who attended this session indicated blogs, wikis etc. were covered by Peter & Paul covered Peerwise which supports the construction, display & organisation of student generated multiple choice questions.

Kirsty Weir, research manager from Ako Aotearoa, ran a 'funding clinic' to provide information on the various funding streams available for research in education. Always good to recieve some clear indication of what is expected when applying for funding. All in a very helpful session.

ako aotearoa academy symposium - 28/10 afternoon

Over the next few days, I am attending (& presenting again!) at the Ako Aotearoa academy symposium. This is open to all winners of the New Zealand excellence in tertiary teaching awards. So for the next few days, a busy programme unfolds with various keynotes, workshops, presentations and academy organisational matters.

First up this afternoon - which is a pre-symposium workshop - is Professor Sally Kift from Queensland University of Technology - on 'engaging diverse first year student cohorts: Moving from theory, through policy to action", with some good links to a proposed project I am hoping to begin on studying the first year experiences of first year apprentices.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

eportfolios for VET - 16/10 afternoon sessions

Richard Wyles from flexible learning network in NZ speaking on "regional & sector eportfolios".
started with youtube video on eportfolios at solent university . & for tertiary are service for portfolios system based on Mahara. Detailed origins of Mahara & explained it's many goals including flexibity to accommodate a variety of models of learning, learner centred (learner decides what to add, who sees what etc.), personal learning environment, includes social networking for learner communities, has blogging tool, resume builder.

It is open source so has a strong developer community including peer support via forums, wikis, training content etc.original funds from TEC in NZ but has had $$ contributed from many other international institutions plus now supported by a host of Mahara partner. Also provided examples & listed ongoing development going on with the myportfolio platform.

Next up, eportfolios communities of practice;local, national & global - from Gillian Hallan, Queensland University of Technology. she spoke on how eportfolios COPs may assist each other in moving eportfolios forward across different sectors and into the future. Especially important as eportfolios move from early adoption into the mainstream. study undertaken to find out what eportfolios COP would actually need in the for of support & the attributes of a successful COP should have. findings from the Australian eportfolio project - report out oct. 2009
majority of eportfolios use in Australia are in the higher Ed. sector (70%) with only 10% in the VET sector. There is a strong need for COP to be available for the VET sector. In the study, most people wanted the COP to be used to share pedagogy, or disciplined based, assess technology / tools etc. needs of new & seasoned (over 2 years) eportfolio practioners differed. Seasoned practioners more interested in sharing ideas about 'resources'. critical success factors seems to be having a funded facilitator, member engagement and diversity of community activities. Main challenges were using the technology, facilitator workload and community engagement.

Virtual presentation from University of nottingham - Kirstie Coolin, Stuart Wood & Kat Wehrheim on eportfolios to support lifelong learning did not run due to problems with audio not getting through.

Last session of the day, eportfolios for lifelong learning: the benefits for Australia by Jerry Leeson from Everyone should have a right to have a eportfolio. Presentation covered review of SICTAS report'eportfolios beyond education & training', better support for lifelong learners & the focus on the ACE sector.
SICTAS research reveals eportfolio used globally beyond traditional formal ed. including supporting workers facing redundancy, career development (careers wales & myfuture - Australia -, workforce development & planning, continuing professional
development, lifelong learning, articulation of skills & experience & development of competencies in ICT.Not formal sector fit into industry or regional. Small number of large scale implementation exampled by careerswales,( )
netherlands (the future that works), nedcar , efolio minnesota ,europass.

How can lifelearn learning be recorded? especially for people who began their formal learning long before digital arrived. Is your digital evidence enough? does if show 'all of someone's learning? Web is not a good place for employers to be researching job candidates! dependent on what the intend of your web identity is. Challenges for lifelong learners & eportfolios include uncertainty about reflection (how, when, how much?) there might be multiple portfolios accumulated over time, stuff disappears before they are archived, ACE sector could be a potential user of eportfolios.

Allison closed the conference with where from here? We are in an era of innovation in order to meet the challenges of the future. where does learning happen, where we value learning, much of learning happens outside of formal learning, eportfolios need to be one way for people to collate the learning they undertake through their learning lives.

eportfolios for VET - 16/10 morning sessions

welcome by Howard Errey from the Australian Flexible Learning framework.
Followed by welcome to country from the Wurundjeri Council.
Opening address was from Rodney Spark, Victorian Flexible Learning Advisory Group (FLAG).
He also set the scene by reading a case study example of 'lifelong pathways to empower learners' as the VET visions for eportfolios.

Allison Miller from the Australian Flexible learning network then updated on current VET initiatives & eportfolio national directions. Also the blog which accompanies this conference
She drew attention to the eportfolio roadmap & resources availablewhich are excellent resources contextualised to provide information on eportfolios for learners, teachers /trainers, CEOs / managers, IT & teaching & learning support staff, employers, prof bodies & career services and employee.

Morning keynote from Ruth Wallace (Charles Darwin University, Darwin) on eportfolios supporting learner identity & re-engagement. Detailed research undertaken with disenfranchised learners living in areas with very little infrastructure for use of technology. Interest in using eportfolios to reengage learners in exploring the ways in which they learn which may not be similar to the recognised forms of learning 'accepted' by the mainstream. Learner identity was found to be important especially the development of an active learner identity rather thatn learners who' were passive & waiting for things to happen. eportfolios provide opportunities for the exploration of learner identity - are they active or passive. How can they enhance their own learning? Also allow the way in which people connect and how people represent their conceptions of the world.

eportfolios should not necessarily be linear but be like a 'bramble' where various aspects of someone's knowledge are 'collected' and the connections between the different ways in which this knowledge becomes applied. Therefore eportfolios & learning need to be learner-led. trying to fit disenfranchised learners in to the current framework only leads to frustration both of the part of the learner & the provider :) Also inportant for learners to own their own knowledge even if it is a mportfolio on a memory stick. They are then able to make the decision to share their knowledge at the time/place and with people that they are ready to share.

Second morning keynote from Hazel Owen (Unitec, NZ) eportfolios and web 2.0. summarised the projects at Unitec including work with Thom Cochrane.
Provides examples from her work in Dubai & the work at Unitec to bring together some strategies to enhance eportfolios development.
Handout of links & photos. Future possibilities summarised with the mindmap which detailed the learner eportfolio of a fictional learner - Chan Sook.
Need to ensure there are no barriers to learners developing their own ways to describe how they learn, what they have learned & how they will recieve feedback, what you do with the feedback & then who & how you showcase your eportfolio.

Again, needs to be learner led. They need to set up their private, public spaces and which parts they make visible & share. Call to educators to develop their own eportfolios so that they are themselves more confident with using technology and also for them to then become of the possibilities of eportfolios within their subject area & with their students. They are then better placed to evaluate suitability, set up of support structures and use of eportfolios.

eportfolios at VET - Thursday 15/10

Arrived off an early flight across from Christchurch to Melbourne. Paul Levy picked me up at the airport & we commenced for a longish drive in the much needed rain to the Croydon campus of the Swinburne University of Technology. Here Terri Mathot had set up the conference centre for my lunch time presentation to staff on 'using technology to teach baking. Prentation went well, with about 40 -50 attending & many relevant questions fielded. My overall message was to start with something apppropriate to subject context & student profile & to gradually build on introducing ICT into enhancing student learning as required.

In the evening, the eportfolios showcase mix, mingle & network sessions bracketed the presentations by vendors of eportfolio platforms.

The presentations were on Concord, from eTech, Desire2learn, Mahara, Pebble Pad & Skillbooks
Mahara, Pebble Pad & Skill books were eportfolio focused platforms with the others being learning management systems with added eportfolios capabilities. Mahara & Skill books are open source.

All pretty much did the same things, allowing for archiving of artefacts, revision of material, areas to store reflections, possibilities for feedback from various interested parties and the ability to showcase the portfolios in a variety of ways to cater for intended viewer audiences.

Visually, Pebble pad stood out with a very clean, user friendly user system. Mahara had drag & drop capabilites & most of the others had standard browse your folders methods for bringing artifacts into the eportfolio.

Desire2learn had a mobile interface for phones, PDAs and ipods.
Most also had the option of putting in a template so that users could then pop in the required evidence into the right places. rubrics were possible for teachers & student reference so that students could work out the level of learning required to be reflected in their artifacts.

So a good opportunity to catch up on other people working on or intending to work on eportfolios. Also good to see what is available in the market for eportfolio solutions. There are inherent advantages & disadvantages to using proprietary software when some alternatives are available the aggregation of Web 2.0 tools. However, a structured eportfolios environment might be one way to get things started.

Learners & teachers, once familiar with eportfolios' capabilites may then be more confident with exploring other options for eportfolio collation & construction.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Richard Stallman on threats to & due to digital inclusion

Yesterday evening, I attended a presentation by Richard Stallman at the University of Canterbury. He was in Christchurch to present a keynote at the annual LIANZ – library association of NZ conference. So a good chance for me to catch up on the current thinking around creative commons, copy left and the GNU

The presentation was very well attended. At least 70 – 80 people filled most of the large lecture theatre. Richard Stallman (bio) is best known for starting the free software movement, however his talk was focused on digital inclusion, its effect on society and the threats digital inclusion presented.

Free software (read as in ‘free speech’ not ‘free beer’) provides choices including freedom to use programme as you wish on your computer, freedom to have access to the source code to amend, to provide assistance to others/contribute to the community by improving the source code & to be able to provide changes of source code to others. There is therefore democratic development of the programme. No malicious features included as for proprietary software.

He covered threats to digital inclusion including surveillance, censorship, restrictive data formats, proprietary software, software as a service and war on sharing.

On surveillance, digital technology allows for ease of access by authorities to the private lives of citizens. Eg. Eftpos which traces all your purchases/spending or mobile phones aka a portable tracking device – which does not only track where you are but also who you talk to. Ditto for social networking sites. CTVs track where cars go (eg. UK). Citizens need to resist the automatic collection of all this data about our lives.

Censorship is facilitated by people using computer networks. Networks tend to be directed through very limited number of ISPs. Therefore it is easier for governments to block or censor websites (including information about censorship!).

Restrictive data formats (eg. Microsoft word!) do not have code which is accessible or patented or copyrighted. Another example is Abode’s continual versions of Flash, so that it is difficult to keep up with each version & restricts users from viewing these files. Many media players (realplayer, windows mediaplayer & quicktime) plus audio formats like .mp3 & video .mpeg2 etc.. Better to use formats which are not closed or secret. Make an effort to use formats which are not restricted –

Proprietary software, users do not have control, only developers are able to access the source code. Some proprietary software may have features in them which may collect data about the user which the user does not know about (eg. Real player, windows media player sent information back to the organisations about how users are using these). Microsoft windows is able to use a back door to install changes, restrict access of users to parts of the programme & sends messages about the user without the users knowledge back to the company. Kindle from Amazon is also another example.

Software as a service involves another company doing the data processing using software which you do not have access to. Users then not only have no control of their data but also no choices on how their data is used.

The war on sharing prevents individuals from sharing copies of published work. Publishing houses take the stance that sharing is pirating and is lobbying governments to tighten laws on copyright. His view is that sharing provides more advantages to society than not sharing, therefore should be encouraged, not forbidden.

Thought provoking, providing another way of understanding the viewpoints which revolve around the complex issues presented by digital information technology. We need to be aware of all these perspectives and ensure that evangelisation of ICT in education includes the threats as well as the advantages.

Friday, October 02, 2009

efest - eTLC2009 - day three

My workshop went well with just over a dozen keen people attending & participating. We explored possibilities A 9am start after a very late finish at yesterday’s conference dinner. Convivial community, good food, a nice merlot & a hypnotist for entertainment.

Professor Tai Black keynote on relevance, research outcomes of Tuhoe oral & written literature as a continually expanding commentary on Tuhoe people’s infinitely varied lives of yesterday, today & tomorrow’ dedicated to Sir Howard Morrison.

Dr Black began with a story about how he first met Sir Howard. His first meeting was to bring Sir Howard out hunting & fishing into the Ureweras. Hi grew up in the Bay of Plenty / East Coast where much of the ‘literature’ he encountered was oral & not written. Hi provided examples of the oral richness of Maori literature & provided these within the context of why & when these were coined. An example is:
‘Hokia ki o maunga kiap urea koe e nga hau Tawhirimatea’ (John Rangihau) Return to your mountains that you may be cleansed by the winds of Tawhirimatea. In order to find out about yourself, you have to go home. There is a need of Maori academics to assist Maori (especially urban Maori) to find where they come from, the land & people they are connected to, to help them ground themselves for life. The presentation provided a good background on an aspect of multiliteracies valued by Maori but generally well known or appreciated by the wider NZ population.

Second keynote of the day from Dr. Peter Coolbear from Ako Aotearoa. Peter spoke about the ‘meaningful reflective practice: the mark of a professional tertiary teacher. The recent Tertiary education strategy emphases quality of teaching and learning framed in value for money terms. Increasing whole-of-institution perspective on completions/outcomes, performance based funding framework, self assessment & evaluation review (SAEER) & governance accountability. Tertiary teachers (should be in leadership position to make changes to teaching & learning), are they professionals (have power & influence) or journeypersons (skills & buffeted by policy changes etc)? Critical reflective practice through reflection in action and reflection on action. Need to move from self reference/self reflection towards meaningful critical self-reflection. High performing professional tertiary teacher has empathy, utilises reflection-in-action, able to use critical self-reflection & emancipatory. Evidence based research informs what tertiary teachers to do, how it is done & how they are valued.

Last conference keynote from Dr. Lisa Emerson on ‘teaching for excellence – excellence in teaching’ picks up on the conference theme. What is excellence in teaching? How can it me measured quantitatively – retention, success rates, student evaluations, compliance measures, willingness to engage with new technologies, willingness to engage in professional development & willingness to disseminate good practice? Used the consequences game process to collect & share participants’ thoughts on teaching excellence.

Conference closed by Bonnie Dewart, deputy chief executive at UCOL.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

efest - eTLC2009 - day 2 afternoon workshop

Thom Cochrane presents on mobile learning with Roger Bateman (Design tutor) from Unitec. Demonstrated use of poll everywhere again which also allows you to embed into a powerpoint. Short history of cell phones including short clip from Lethal Weapon (1987) compared to what is now possible via vodaphone ad. (2008).

Followed by a demonstration of live video feed via qik. Live feed followed by video playback on qik almost immediately. Question followed on privacy on youtube. Students tend to enjoy sharing their work with others online but also important to form community of practices in the form of study groups which assist students in using the technology. Students choose technology based on the context they are working in. Eg. Design students rejected iphones as they did not have good cameras & could take videos which was part of design students’ specific learning direction.

Student work was showcased. Video of a students’ mlearning scenario with photos of drawings etc. on a Nokia N95. Students’ organisation of the end of year grad design show focused on mobility on Prezi including using a qik video, using GPS to show people how to get to the show & photos of how to collect evidence using camera, microphone for her studies. Using fring to chat, twitter etc. Site on ning to archive student work to build sustainable habitats which included discussion forums etc. Mobile integration provides an email link for students to email photos etc. into the site.

Important to find the correct hardware which matches the requirements of the course and the students’ expectations. Use of the technology needs to be seen to be an advantage for the student. WiFi capability on mobile phones or devices important to cut down on costs related to mobile web browsing. Support sites set up on Unitec LMS along with the weekly meetings with students to help with technical challenges.

Thom also showed livestream as a way to store & show case videos. Costs of pre-data is dropping esp. for Vodaphone allowing for photos & videos which cost less than txt messaging.

efest - eTLC2009 - day 2 afternoon keynote

Joyce Seitzinger from EIT presented on "You are not alone" centred on social networking sites including twitter and blogs. We are able to connect & contribute but there are thousands of web 2.0 sites, too much information to access!

Where to start? Join a community of practice. Find a community which appeals eg everybody, trademe. Ning was used as a site for the eTLC09. This is more than a website as it includes many opportunities for networking. Examples of smaller communities include online conferences & Special interest groups.

Start a personal learning network. Maybe based on a blog, wiki or a social networking site.
Helen McPhun presented on engaging, motivating and assessing learners.

Opportunity one – cultural diversity should be used to enhance classroom learning. Move out of your comfort zone, bring learners together, challenge them & work with what results from the challenges. Employers need knowledge, skills & right attitude = cognitive (in context & memorable), psychomotor (realistic & practiced) & affective (fun & engaging) domains.

Need to bring separate units together into an integral part of the programme. Current assessments tend to assess declarative knowledge (what & why – algorithmic approach), how about the procedural knowledge (how & when – heuristic approach). Which one engages learners? Therefore best to provide opportunities of what & what if, why & why
not, how to & then what, when to & what happens, who does what but what if?

Project based learning recommended eg. To complete 6 units on communications, work in two teams to plan a real ‘school excursion’ working within real parameters, budgets etc. Mon – Wed. = teach led interactive lessons, Thurs. group time to do ‘research’, Fri.was run as a formal meetings in board room over the course of 8 weeks with last Friday being a formal presentation. Week nine, winning team subcontracts the logistical dogsbody work to the other team. Week 9 ended with THE TRIP. Week 10 focused on review of the trip & ended with where to from here session.

Formative assessment formed the background of the project. Summative assessments were also completed to reflect individual evidence of understanding and performance. Other evidence including audience feedback, peer assessments, personal reflection & teacher observations. Weekly self assessments were provided to assist with the reflective learning process.

efest - eTLC09 - day two debate

A debate on ‘the web: End fo the classroom era’ was adjudicated by Alan Caldwalder. Affirmatives on the motion by Stephen Bright, Joyce Seitzinger & Leigh Blackhall. The Negatives represented by Helen McPhun, Bonnie Dewart & Colin Cox.

Stephen began by stating the affirmatives case. Online school students on the increase. Evidence provided by increases in students, courses & teachers using Moodle. Helen approached the debate from the point of ‘sensing human instead of insensitive technology’. F2F affords PRESENCE both for the learner & for the teacher. Joyce countered with the need to provide students with a voice using technology so that learning is not teacher-led. Recommends we check out youtube video – Mr Winkle wakes up where all of society apart from education has engaged with technology. This was followed by Helen J. with the trivialising of knowledge by twitter & other web 2.0. Leigh provided a rebuttal to the negatives case & brought the affirmatives case by stating that school as being interdependent & does not meet learning needs of students but the internet is where the student connects with experts, other kindred spirits etc. Colin closed the debate of how effective elearning / simulators may be in training pilots & dentistry?

Interesting points of views from the audience & rebuttals from both the affirmatives & negatives. Alan provided a quick summary. Votes counted indicate a DRAW!!

efest- ETCL2009 - day two morning workshop

Workshop on ‘towards excellence in e-learning for adults with needs in literacy, language & numeracy’ with Dr. Niki Davis & David Earle from the University of Canterbury.
Details of project and report available soon & also via project blog.

How characteristics of programmes (mixed mode, blended, online) etc. cope with literacy needs of learners. Initial literature review include ALLs survey (not many people are able to self access their own literacy to the right levels), low levels of adult literacy have a direct impact on the economy and reduce life chances for adults & their children, there are many challenges in supporting adults to improve literacy & one approach has been to use e-learning to extend self-study.

Studied five ‘nested’ case studies, web based numeracy online distance learning (not all engaged), blended m-learning with apprentices (fits student & tutor lifestyle), ESOL resource centre (not without challenges – autonomous learning had to be an end goal), online units & simulation accessed through LMS (increasing access for students literacy & numeracy) & evening class to support adult literacy using ICT including games (intensively supported environment required).

Whole organisation buy in important including leaders’ vision, learning services coordination & resources, professional & curriculum development, e-learning professional development, e-maturity & development & Maori-related initiatives.

Findings include LNN in the 21st century includes: proficiency with digital technologies & elearning. Computers provide a relevant learning context with adults seeking to enhance their LNN skills & help alleviate some of their anxiety about LNN learning; Elearning for LNN not widespread in NZ. Teaching strategies recommended include; elearning is more effective as part of F2F training; Maori approaches to elearning can be used to build capacity; and with adequate support, elearning provides a good source of practice & motivation for second language learners; diverse Pasifika peoples benefit from elearning that is accompanied by induction which fits in with their culture & lives; many elearning strategies used for building reading & writing can also be successfully used for & by adults with specific needs; and mobile elearning increases flexibility of provision. Professional & organisational development also required.

efest - eTLC2009 - day two morning keynote

First keynote of the day from Colin Cox from National Semantics on ‘Talent Development’. What are the components that make or grow talent? What is or not talent?

Case studies of exemplars of talent (eg. Tiger Woods) who achieved success through HARD WORK. Supported by work achieved at Carnegie Mellon University where the average 7-9 digits retained in short term memory could be extended to 88 & on to 105 based on hours of practice. It’s not neurons & synapses it’s about myelin. Myelin is a neuron insulator. The more you do an activity, the thicker the myelin becomes.

Talent is made up of passion, practice and persistence. Passion maximised talent as development of talent is demanding requiring effort & time, hard work which is not always fun. Perfect practice makes myelin grow & deliberate practice is not any old practice. It is designed to improve performance & identifies specific elements for improvement. The learning zone is beyond the comfort zone. It is where you have to apply yourself to move items in the learning zone into the comfort zone. If too much push applied, the panic zone occurs! Burn out or giving up occurs.

Practice involves repetition includes observation & imitation. Focused work helps builds myelin & feedback is VITAL.

efest - eTLC2009 - day two - Sitech presentation

An earlyish start with a vendor presentation from Sitech. Nicholas Hall from Command systems represents Commbot (control system), Video Commander (original analog video) & DVC (current product replacing video commander).

DVC is a way forward for managing & delivery content. It is a content management & distribution system for video recording, editing, digital signage, camera management, control system & educational content packages. So all content videos, lecture notes, powerpoints, DVD, podcasts etc. can be stored in one box (the DVC server). The content can then be managed by using age level restrictions (schools), meta data/tagged, integrated into one place. Can then be distributed through intranet, via hyperlinks from Moodle & available via portal access as well.

Content is then multi/uni-cast so that streaming is real-time. Digital signage can also be used for internal broadcasting of messages. DVC content has ability to store 25000 hours of video (16 terabytes) linked to internal PC, laptops, interative whiteboards, TV/CD player etc. Admin PC & a com box control (which links to DVD & VCR players – for copyrighted material, Sky etc.), security cameras, event recording videos, video capture & editing, internet & digital signage.

Demonstration of some of the above in real time provided good examples of how the system works using DVC player, DVC administrator (has nifty user-friendly editor) and DVC commander. Capabilities go well beyond what is now available with ecast.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Efest eTLC2009 - day 1 afternoon – keynote – Derek Wenmouth

A much anticipated keynote from Derek Wenmouth (only 30 minutes long :( on "the changing role of the teacher in the 21st century".

Set the scene with a presentation with using his grandsons, born beginning of 2008 who will start school in 2013 & tertiary study in 2027. What will learning (& teaching be like)?

In 2027, the world will be increasingly globalised, population increase projects 9 billion people in 2048, increased competition for everything, increased diversity of cultures, etc.

So important to account for changing nature of tertiary education (growth of mass education, international groups, increased participation & access). Alongside unpresented rise of ICT (digitalisation & Web 2.0). From analog to digital to connected / ubiquitious - virtual reality, wearable computers, ubiquitious idenity, voice recognition, agents & avatars, miniaturisation, reusable paper, sematic web, personal learning environments.

Need to integrate pedagogy & technology & important for individual educators to keep up with the play. "ICTs can enable teachers to transform their teacher practices." Need to think not as individuals but as a network. These assist with meeting changing student & institutional expectations. Changes include those to be brought about by the shift to the new NZ school curriculum.

efest - eTLC2009 - day one afternoon workshop one

First workshop of the conference from Karen Young & Fred Koenders from Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) on “ whole of organisation engagement in effective learning”.

Both Karen & Fred are not involved in teaching but in the development of teaching & learning at EIT. EIT began two & a half years ago to improve both learning & teaching within the institution. Started with setting up innovation & learning group (19 staff) who set up parameters. In 2007, first ever half day professional development day for all staff was organised to collect ideas on how to improve learning. Data collated & initial model develop & presented to 19 focus groups. End of 2007 model developed to provide direction. Innovation & learning group then critiqued. Sub group formed to improve which emerged with EIT model of effective learning. Each of the titles in the model expand to provide guidelines. All pertinent to ITPs in NZ.

efest - ETLC2009 - day one morning

The conference officially opened with a powhiri from UCOL welcoming the conference delegates to Palmerston North.

The conference was officially opened by the chief executive of UCOL, Paul McElroy. He made a good point about the need to support good learning & teaching with infrastructure including good ICT, learning resource & support centres. The ICT (desktops & WIFI) provided at UCOL has been very good so far.

Opening address was provided by Dr. Roy Sharp, chief executive of the Tertiary Education Commission. He provided a good background on the fiscal constrains imposed by the current economic climate. The challenge is to maintain & improve tertiary education given limited resources. Themes of the current government were summarised. These include value for money = improved graduate outcomes, high trust + high responsibility ITP system = need to ensure graduates attain skills which will assist future development of individuals and the country. TEC will work at incentivising outcomes & completions as a means to meet government direction. ITPs need to maximise outcomes /completions without compromising quality of learning. One way is to support excellence in teaching. He encouraged the participants to follow the developments on the Amendment to the Education Act (polytechnics) plus look at the draft Tertiary Education Strategy which is open for consultation yesterday & to register comments by Nov. 6th.

Opening keynote address was from Dr. Angie Farrow. A teacher & a playwright. Presented on the concept of teaching as a art form. She told the story of how she got into teaching after a dysfunctional childhood in the East End of London. The decision to go to teachers college was motivated by not having to work in very boring job. She advocates a kinaesthetic and connected form of teaching and learning, based on the concept of ‘presentness’ which she learnt from here experiences in the theatre.

Recommends techniques which can be used to prepare ourselves for teaching which allow us to get into the zone (flow) when we teach. Interactive sessions to assist the opening of new neurological pathways between brain & body were practiced throughout the session. A passionate & enervating presentation providing a good start to the conference.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

efest unconference -afternoon session - LMS & eportfolios

Attended the session on LMS is dead. The other session was actually for 21st century libraries (not learners!).

Is the LMS wagging the dog?? Do we need an LMS? Is cloud computing an alternative or are we moving from one app to another, just the provider is different! Alternatives to LMS include synchronous tools, Google apps & other Web 2.0 tools.

Whatever is decided on, there is still a need for the institution to provide sufficient formal /structured training to ensure staff are upskilled sufficiently to be able to use ICT appropriately. There seems to be a lack of understanding from higher levels as to what is involved in changing staff culture to accept & work with the chosen tool. Discussion centred around how to bring the majority of staff on board.

The next session was on eportfolios. Facilitated by Justin from Ako Aoteoroa & Hazel from Unitec. A round of introductions established that most of us were very interested in eportfolios. Justin is encouraging the group to connect via the Ako Aoteoroa eportfolio group. Many of the challenges faced by the group were similar. There was discussion on how to aggregate, what to collect, where to store, how to assess the evidence, security issues, what to do with multi-media/ multi modal evidence, how to support students with collating and compiling eportfolios, diversity of options available (closed, open source Mahara, free flow using social networking sites), opportunities for research as eportfolios are relatively new, not only student but staff use, potential for recognition of prior learning, meeting cultural diversity, what is the eportfolio for, who owns it etc., portability.

Ako is able to fund the group to meet again in the near future if there was a reason to meet. For example, is a national eportfolio system way to go? Should institutions actually make decision as to the which eportfolios to use?

Discussion also on the depth of reflection possible. Formative assessments of the evidence important to assist students in gauging the level of their own progress and this sometimes encourages the whole group to lift their performances. Useful also for workplacements where students are able to share their work with tutors, employers and other students.