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Don Passey, Widening learning and gaining achievement impact


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Birmingham eLearning Foundation, (BeLF). presentation at the 2013 Annual Conference on Feb 14th. Further information can be found at

Birmingham eLearning Foundation, (BeLF). presentation at the 2013 Annual Conference on Feb 14th. Further information can be found at

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  • 1. Widening learning and gainingachievement impact: maximising andmeasuring itDon PasseySenior Research Fellow, Co-director, Centre for Technology Enhanced LearningDepartment of Educational ResearchLancaster University, LA1 4YD
  • 2. Do digital technologies supportlearning?• A second-order meta-analysis of the last 40 years of research (Tamim, Bernard, Borokhovsi, Abrami and Schmid, 2011) collated evidence from the widest possible range of sources• Average effect sizes ranged from 0.30 to 0.35• Digital technologies lead to 12 percentile points more than those in a learning environment without them• But, importantly, they argued that: “aspects of the goals of instruction, pedagogy, teacher effectiveness, subject matter, age level, fidelity of technology implementation, and possibly other factors … may represent more powerful influences on effect sizes than the nature of the technology intervention” (p. 17).
  • 3. Where can learning happen withdigital technologies?• Formal – Classrooms or lectures – Seminars• Informal – At home or in a car – In a museum or gallery• Non-formal – In clubs or societies – On projects• Passey, D. (2012). Educational transformation with open and social technologies in the non-formal school curriculum: An analysis of three case studies in the United Kingdom. Paper presented at the OST 2012 conference, Tallinn, Estonia, on 3rd August 2012. Accessible at: http://ifip-
  • 4. How do digital technologiessupport curriculum needs?
  • 5. How can we measure impactsarising?• In context• Qualitatively• Quantitatively• Involving stakeholders• At various points in time• In the longer as well as in the shorter term• Passey, D. (In press). Inclusive technology enhanced learning: Overcoming Cognitive, Physical, Emotional and Geographic Challenges. Routledge: New York, NY
  • 6. Using artefacts to learn betweenand across these settings• Homes and home learning• The project was initiated in 2004 in an area in the north of Birmingham, in one of the 10% most deprived areas in England (Batty et al., 2010)• Concerned with community development and regeneration, it focused in part on aspects of education and learning, as key elements to address short and longer-term needs of the community
  • 7. Results arising• By 2011, 2,680 computers were deployed in homes; some 60% of homes gained up-to-date ICT access• All 8 primary schools in the area facilitated home support• The project developed pupils and teachers as ‘readers’; pupils accessed online educational games at home, they shared files of completed homework with some teachers, and increased their communication with parents. They did not develop as ‘newscasters’ in this project• Mathematics and reading results improved significantly for Year 4 pupils
  • 8. Digital technologies in non-formalsettings• After-school clubs and group work• Pupil teams aged 11 to 14 years used Little Big Planet 2, a popular Sony PlayStation videogame, in 15 secondary and special schools in one LA• The project focused on development of 21st century skills required by employers and trainers, widening career opportunities in the videogame industry, and ‘building scenes for learning’ by creating levels in the game
  • 9. Results in this case• Almost all pupils involved became ‘readers’ and ‘gamers’, but fewer engaged technically to create new levels. Teams completing levels (about half the number starting the project), were encouraged to broadcast their games across an international user network for others to access and play• Pupils used social media widely to maintain contact, including using Facebook and mobile telephone messaging, but did not use bespoke chatrooms or forums
  • 10. Using broadcast technologies• The BBC News School Report project, run since 2006, enables pupil teams to create and broadcast video, audio and text- based news reports. In 2009 it involved 514 schools from across the UK• Teams put reports onto school websites at a particular time on a particular day (News Day), the sites are linked to the BBC News School Report website, made accessible to regional and national radio and television broadcasting teams, and to a worldwide audience
  • 11. Results from this case study• At the end of the project, more pupils were listening to and watching news media and developed team work and management skills• The project did not focus on developing gamers. Some file sharing did happen, between pupils and between pupils and teachers• Communication, (working in teams), was enhanced greatly, but the major project focus was to develop broadcasters, which it clearly did
  • 12. Findings from across all 3 studies• These case studies were not run in all schools across England, but were implemented in ways suggesting wider potential adoption• In each case digital expertise came from the young people, was extended in the young people, and used in sharing activities and experiences with older people• The extension made the difference - reaching out to others – parents, teachers, and wider community• Each project fitted alongside a content-based curriculum - curriculum intentions matched project intentions, and some enabled important long-term skill developments such as group work, team work and communication skills
  • 13. What are differences here?• These projects worked in ways described in extended schools and extended curricula contexts (Barker et al., 2003)• Integrated projects and after-school clubs of these forms focus on important aspects of educational transformation – they demand a different form of organisation from that found in classrooms generally, putting the teacher squarely in the role of facilitator (including technological facilitation)
  • 14. How were the technologiesinvolved?• In these cases important networking happened outside technologies but was encouraged by the technological medium• Face-to-face interactions often flourished, but not in traditional ‘apprentice-master’ form• In many instances, the young were the ‘masters’ and the older generations (parents, teachers or managers) were the ‘apprentices’
  • 15.