Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Visible learning for teachers: book summary

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. London: Routledge.
A follow up to  Hattie’s 2009 book Visible learning: A synthesis of 800+ meta-analysis on achievement, with an emphasis on applying the research findings to enhancing student learning. A powerpoint summarises key points and main messages / arguments.

The 2012 book arrived in the library last week. Had time over the weekend to work through and glean the important messages of relevance to vocational education.

Chapter one provides a short 6 pages introducing the book and purpose - to make the findings from the meta-analysis, accessible and applicable for teachers.

The second chapter summarises the findings from the 2009 meta- analysis – influences on students’ learning, including the conclusion that the teacher plays a big role in helping students learn. The term ‘visible learning’ is defined as occurring when “ learning is the explicit and transparent goal, when it is appropriately challenged, and when the teacher and students both (in their various ways) seek to ascertain whether and to what degree the challenging goal is attained”. Visible learning occurs when there is deliberate practice to attain a learning outcome, appropriate feedback is provided or asked for and when both teachers and students are engaged and passionate about learning. (page 18)

Chapter 3 puts forward the case for the ‘passionate. Inspired teacher’ and identifies traits of expert teachers as being able to:
- Identify the most important ways to represent the subject that they teach
- Be proficient at creating an optimal classroom learning climate
- Monitor learning and provide feedback
- Have the belief that all students can reach the success criteria
- Influence the learning outcomes of students with respect to deep or surface outcomes.
The next part (part 2) from chapters 4 – 8 presents the recommendations for teachers on preparing, starting, structuring the flow for learning and feedback and ending the lesson.  This part is recommended NOT as a linear process but provides concrete connections with findings from the 2009 meta-analysis on the effective things teacher can do to enhance students’ learning.

Chapter 4
Firstly, a need to establish ‘what the student already knows’ and what the students is able to achieve (Piaget). Secondly, learning is a social and collaborative process between teacher/student and student/student interaction. The chapter summaries the various ways students approach learning – their self-efficacy, readiness and motivation to learn. Then connects to how teachers plan lessons to establish students’ readiness, chart progressing and raise student goal expectations.

Chapter 5
The chapter ‘starting a lesson’ discusses setting a climate for learning and tracks the various studies on the ‘flow’ of a lesson and how learning can be improved.

Chapter 6
This chapter follows on to concentrate on the learning aspect of the flow of the lesson. Summaries of various phases of learning (capabilities in thinking, phases of thinking, motivation, how we learn) and discussion on various methods useful towards meeting students’ learning needs. Includes differential instruction, various learning strategies, backward strategies, deliberate practice, concentration and persistence.

Chapter 7
The role of feedback in the flow of the lesson is discussed in this chapter. A summary of the three feedback questions (where am I going? How am I going there? Where to next) and the four feedback levels (task and product, process, self-regulation/ conditional and self).  Overview of studies of feedback including frequency, types , formative, prompts. Also the role of peers.

The last chapter presents the need for teachers to commit to establishing ‘mind frames’ with support from school leaders and the school system. These mind frames are important through professional development, teachers’ own reflection and on-going commitment, towards adopting, developing and sustaining the concepts presented through part 2.
Eight mind frames are presented. They are:
- A belief that teachers’ fundamental task is to evaluate the effect of their teaching on students’ learning and achievement.
- A belief that success or failure in student learning is about what they, as teachers do, or did not do.
- Encouragement for teachers to talk more about learning than teaching
- To see assessment as feedback on teachers’ impact.
- To engage in dialogue, not monologue.
- Enjoy the challenge and never give up on ‘doing their best’
- The teachers’ role is to develop positive relationships in classrooms / staff rooms
- For teachers to inform ALL about the language of learning.

Overall, the book is easy reading, introducing a wide range of teaching concepts and philosophies through a ‘talking to the teacher’ writing style. I have now placed an order to purchase the book as the book is a ‘must-read’ for anyone in teacher education. I can then highlight and bookmark the many pertinent sections of the book, of which there are many.

Almost all the recommendations are generalizable to the vocational education sector. However, the book is pitched at the school sector, hence the discussions in part two on ‘lessons’ are based around NZ classroom practices and the studies used to substantiate recommendations come from a wide range of mostly Western education school systems.  A synthesis between the workplace based learning literature and the recommendations from this book will be useful for vocational educators. As although there are many commonalities, vocational education has different learning objectives and an intended curriculum which impinges heavily on how teaching and learning is delivered. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

business apps for ipads - vodaphone presentation

A day for catching up with tools to enhance teaching and learning. After lunch, attended a vodaphone sponsored session on Ipads for business.
Presentation began with news on launch of 4G to NZ. Now available in Auckland and arriving to Christchurch in June. Focus of the event is on maximising the mobility of businesses using tablets. Monique and Rick presented. 
Video to begin with  American case studies - JacksonKayaks- of businesses using ipads to improve productivity, sales, manufacturing, marketing and design. Adoption of mobilisation still requires planning and development. Smart devices out sold PCs in 2009. In Oct. To Dec. 2012, 23 million I pads were sold! More than all categories of PC's sold. Therefore, we are in post-PC era.

To mobilise business processes, need to evaluate systems, processes and roles. Ideas of where to start form base of presentation. The key core business processes include Email calendar contacts, document management, customer info. Human resources, ordering and stocks, dashboards, training and financial systems. Mobilizing of all of the core processes now possible.

Traction in large businesses on way to already mobilised. 94% in USA. If any of the following exist,
Paper based processes a good way to start. Job roles where laptops are already issued. Back to office requirements - replaced by mobile access and interaction. Attachments shifted to real time dynamics.
Eliminating or reducing time delays.Siloed data not shared. Profligation of hardware, costs savings through consolidatiin to one device.Collateral that can be more accessible.If just one worked on to produce cost savings or increase productive. Apps need to be chosen to match the business needs.

Examples include dropbox or share plus for document sharing. Streamtime HD and Sao business editors for customer info. Hand base or fikemaker go for stock control. Micro strategy and roanvi anaytics visualiser for dashboards. Ibooks and Vmobilearn HD for training. Imvoice2go and pocketcloud for financial systems.
Important for companies to work out which business process to mobilise, which one will have most impact for effort and resources put in?

Other apps include
Presentations with keynote
Documents with documents to go, smartoffice, expert pdf
Expenses with expensify,
collaboration with gotomeeting 
Note taking with evernote, skitch,
Travel support with trip it and Itranslate.

Fundamental difference between applications on PC and apps on mobile device is specificness of apps. Might need to use a few apps to do a task usually carried on one PC application. Apps cna be individual, integrated with organisation or customised. Check app store for apps status if it is trusted, intuitive or validated.
Demonstrated evernote bringing various note types into evernte folders so that they are accesible from one space and is searchable. Also can be shared or handed to other people reducing effects of silos. Ever note hello takes a photo of business card and transfer to contacts. Then find people and network via linked in. Ever note trunk provides info. on other apps to form networks with - e.g. linkedin.

Peek works with the Ipad cover for doing questions and answers. Pdfexpert for filling in pre-formated forms. Trip it allows upload your ticket and summarises all the details. Flipboard as an RSS feeder in the form of images.

Examples of xero for setting out quotes, invoices and tracking jobs and vend for mobile transactions. Download podcasts using podcast app. Discovr app to find apps bringing up better matches than through appstore. In appstore use app collections to narrow down useful apps. Examples being apps at work or business starter.

Overall, presentation pitched at businesses trying to leverage mobilisation without incurring huge costs for customised software. Consolidation apps like evernote are the key to bringing apps together, for instance in education, to collect multimodal learning evidence using a variety of apps, store and collate into eportfolios or similar.

echo 360 - active learning system -

Attended a presentation on a lecture capture system by Chris Barnes, sales manager for Australia and New Zealand from Echo 360.

To begin, attendees updated Chris on CPIT context so that the diverse nature of the programmes could be  taken into account.

Chris started the session with an overview of company, their philosophies and mission - designed for educators by educators - continued with an overview presentation "powering the age of active learning" on echo 360 as a blended learning, flip learning support mechanism. Echo 360 sees itself as a bridge connecting the traditional institution and digital instruction. Assist by removing technological barriers to using video to supplement or underpin learning.

Possible to use video that has recording triggered either by teachers or students. So can be use to capture student learning for further reflection or to record presentations or demonstrations for archiving, use in a flip classroom scenario. Etc.

Note taking and annotation is build into instructor and student reviews of videoed performance
This is an important advantage to allow for videos to be accessed through live streaming or immediately after event for peer feedback and learner reflection. Automation of upload is a key feature with mobile upload also available but to be upgraded in the near future. Delegated administration also available along with a suite of analytic tools.

Demonstration of the product followed. Including how to use it before, during and after class, and provide access any time and any device. Syncing of slides to audio is tracked and an optional transcribe the lecture option is available. Students can choose to turn off video and listen to audio as they view slides. Analytics track student usage providing data on students' engagement. Interface to moodle and equella available through free plugins allowing access to be more seamless. Video or audio content s search able though Meta tags and downloaded for online or offline viewing.

Personal capture app available to all staff and students to capture screen, audio video etc. And then recording is easily edited and uploaded. Original recording can still be kept for further editing and enhancement.  Workflow of the system allows scheduling of recordings, auto capture to take place (plugins for timetabling systems), auto packaging, auto publish and availability across web, mobile devices or download to play offline. Monitoring and analytics work in the background either via google analytics and also accessible through an instructor dashboard.

System also useful for research using multimodal data collection and analysis purposes as well.
Chris provided some good examples of how to use video capture not just as lecture capture but to provide opportunities for active learning engagement before (flipped classroom, surveys or feedback), during (live response, distance learning) or after class (virtual office hours, multimedia guides, assessment).  Some good ideas to maximise students' notional learning hours created discussion through the group closed the session. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

HP elite pad

Had the opportunity to try out the HP elite pad late last week for a day. A heftier tablet than the ipad or the Lenova but the elite pad was encased in the elite expansion jacket which increases the ports to include a HDMI port. Without the jacket, the tablet has usual USB and mini USB. Pricing is at the top end, around NZ$900. The tablets have been purchased for use by our carpentry tutors who use them to record workplace based skill and knowledge acquisition of apprentices learning in the workplace.

Generally positive reviews on the net from the uk, usa and laptopmag. I am now familiar with the Windows 8 tiles format having used a Windows 7.5 phone for a couple of months. The two tutors  who had a play with the tablet also found the interface to be easy to use.

The main advantage, from a corporate point of view, is the alignment of the Windows 8 tablet. Windows office can be assessed and when you go to Windows desktop, the familiar windows screen with documents on the desktop comes up. The lack of the ‘start’ button on the bottom left hand corner is a bit confusing at first though.

Had a very quick play with Word, Excel and Powerpoint and they have all been adapted to have the various drop down menus and icons work with touch. The multiplicity of icons etc. may be confusing to the beginner but reassuring to people moving from a windows desktop environment into the tablet interface. Did not have time to fully work through all the various capabilities I would usually use on so unsure if I would use a tablet to fully replace what I now do on a desktop. Will need more time to try things out. The onscreen keyboard could have keyboard click sounds turned on. A reassuring feedback for people unused to typing on a glass screen.

At last, window 8 tablets are starting to arrive in NZ. We will evaluate a few more tablets before purchasing a few. Then do a comparative exercise between the tablets we now have – ipads, the Toshiba Thrive running on Android and the Windows tablet.  The main objective would be ease of use for the variety of projects we now use tablets with for technology-enhanced learning (TEL). 

Monday, March 04, 2013

Google glasses and low tech rapid prototyping

This year, we begin working with trades tutors interested in using video cameras to enhance student learning. We are working with point of view (POV) videos and the go pro cameras favoured by outdoor enthusiasts.
The learning and teaching objectives are varied, and dependent on the contexts of each trade. The approach is to try to ‘fill a gap’ in helping students learn a trade. So Peter Harrison is using the POV glasses  to video tutors’ work on engineering lathes and other machinery to provide students with guidance on the nuances of how metals behave when subjected to high speed machinery. The go pro camera is being used with electrical supply industry students, to provide the viewpoint of linesmen and cable jointers via work learnt by Andrew Massie through his academic study leave.

One development we will be closely following is the googleglasses project The google glasses bring mobile learning and the advantages of situated technology enhanced learning (STEL or STL) to an even more accessible level. The google glasses website now has enticing videos on how it feels to be moving about an information on its capabilities

Blogsphere and other tech sites have provided their viewpoints, examples from techradar, business insider and fastcompany after the sort of pre-beta launch of the glasses with a call for volunteers, keen to test the glasses and willing to shell out US$1500 for the hardware. Us of A applicants only though :( 

While googling 'google glasses', also happened on a ted ed session featuring the work of Tom Chi (and team?) with a more up-to date profile of Tom from this blog The interesting feature of Tom's work is his use of  rapid prototyping – using everyday materials. The useability and design of Google glasses being undertaken with everyday office or takeaway dining materials. Concepts can be put together very quickly. tested and evaluated, with multiple variations possible in brainstorm sessions able to be tested. Many of the concepts can be tested in a matter of hours and either picked to be extended and refined or thrown out. In the ted ed video, he compares book learning vs hands on learning and describes hands on learning as a form of expansive learning - as in expanding possibilities.

Slides from  the ted ed session are available here and an overview on this blog. Overall, a very salient demonstration of flexible, creative thinking being tested using 'no.8.wire' ingenuity.