Good morning and welcome.I’m Phil Clarke, Head of Digital here at EdComs. I’ve been designing and developing digital programmes for over 10 years now, for much of that time I’ve been working within education and learning, developing what we used to call distance learning as well as resources for education.
This is the planned schedule – we’re aiming to be finished by 12 – there is an opportunity for questions for all of us at the end, but none of us are rushing off, so feel free to join us for tea and coffee after that.Quick bit of house keeping – the fire alarm will go off any moment now, but this is just a test. However, if it starts again it’s not a test we’ll need to go down the stairs at the back of the office.
We’re all here today because we have a passion for Education and Technology.Anyone involved in either of these over the past few years can’t have failed to see the rapid take up technology has had both in schools and more widely as learning is becoming interwoven into our daily lives.The pace that technology is moving in education is breath-taking – and the creativity of teachers making use of technology in ways that you wouldn’t have thought likely is impressive.I’m going to walk you through some of the types of work we’ve been involved in and how these have changed (or not)Examples of some innovative uses of technology in education that I’ve seen andA tiny bit of speculation about where it’s going from our perspective
We’ve been lucky enough to work with some visionary clients, and Michaela from pfeg is going to show you some examples of work that we’ve been doing with them over the last 3 years, but I just wanted to go back a little more than that and look at how things have developed and what it’s meant for us.In many ways, the ‘brief’ if you like hasn’t changed too much over the past 5 years – there are a number of core themes that always need to be considered:ContentAttentionRelevanceAlthough all of these are now under much more scrutiny and the time window for conveying all of these is shrinking, they’ve always been there.Many educational resources used to consist of a fairly bland website, with a few lesson plans and worksheets – with any ‘interactive elements’ consisting of powerpoint files. Whilst this is OK, as time has progressed we’re all competing more for a learners’ attention and time.
So, here’s Jack, my eldest son, revising for his GCSE’s. This is a fairly typical sight for me when I get home. We’ve all read about digital natives, Jack isn’t really one of these – even he’s a bit too old for that, but because of what I do he’s always been exposed to it, so let’s just see what he’s doing here:SMSMSNGamingIn game chatFacebookTV (on his computer – because if he used the TV he wouldn’t be able to play…)I come in and say hello. I lose. To get his attention I need to compete with all of these – we need to remember that in the classroom we’re held up against these, and that if studying at home, we’re competing with them and learning from them helps us to stand out
It’s a similar story when designing educational resources. We can borrow a great deal from these devices – and any attempt to bring interactivity, gaming and entertainment into the classroom brings with it increased engagement. I’m sure none of you are old enough to remember this, but there was always a whoop of joy when a TV was wheeled out in any of my classes to support a lesson.There was perhaps a feeling that teachers were slacking off back then and using a TV was a bit of a filler. There has been a sea change in this over the last 10 years I believe and the use of rich media is accepted as a power of good.We’re not talking about resources in schools competing with triple A games - the budgets just aren’t there, but by creating interactive and engaging resources to support education we are creating a link with young people’s wider world.Admittedly, that was some time ago, and in a sense was stark from the usual educational experience of the time, and we now have so many more tools available to us, that we can be much smarter about how these are delivered. Technology is embedded into education now and is a tool to assist learning now – not something in itself to learn, and we’re making use of a wide range of technologies to help deliver this.
Looking back at the sites we were developing 5 years ago, many of these concepts were being considered – an RAF website we developed back in 2005 had a Learning Management system for teachers to personalise student journeys, and we had just started to have confidence that video could be delivered in the classroom – interactive whiteboards were on the increase as was broadband provision, meaning that lesson ‘starters’ could be delivered as video to a whole classroom.We’ll return to video as it’s becoming increasingly more widespread – obvously the benefits are that it adds relevance and can show learning scenarios – helping to create empathyi
If we jump forward 5 years we can see these concepts are almost defacto in our work now.For example, our recent RBS MoneySense project makes great use of a wide range of interactive activities, tools (or apps) like this one that allow students to guess their outgoings and then record them to see what the difference is through to video based case studies and peer opinions.Again this has a LMS sitting behind it allowing teachers to tailor a learning experience for their students.Jan will touch more on using VLEs later in her slot - especially around collaboration and how these tools can help to remove geographical barriers
We’re also making use of LMS with clients working outside of schools – for example we’re bringing the same concepts – personalised and adaptable user journeys to eLearning – working with the Youth Justice Board to deliver engaging content to staff in the secure estate – the same concepts can be applied to any business for staff training, CPD etc.. This is perhaps the expectation of this type of elearning looks like, but through the use of interactive activities, peer opinions and video scenarios we can make it much more engaging,Again video is used heavily to demonstrate real life scenarios in a safe environment
The notion of gaming in education, when coupled with technology also has the potential to grab users attention and increase relevance. There are many reports of teachers using gaming in the most innovative ways – for example the use of Angry Birds here. Now, I’ve got no idea what the answer to this question is, but the game itself includes many educational themes that we can recognise:Sharing learning intentions – they can see what the task is and what is expected of themSuccess criteria – the game tracks previous attempts and shows progression and allows collaboration with peers and assessment of tutorFeedback – you instantly know if you’ve successfully completed the task – and this draws on gaming concepts to engage learners more by allowing rapid progression early on, giving the player confidence, so they feel they understand the mechanics of the game before working in a hard level that challenges them.
Clearly angry birds wasn’t around 5 years ago, but also who’d have thought of using a multi player game to teach personal financial education was on the cards back then?This was a ground breaking game for us as it was the first ‘serious’ game we developed and was enormous fun to work on.It’s based in the familiar environment of a board game, so that learning the game mechanic takes no time at all to learn.
Games can also be a tool to allow experimentation and ‘safe failure’. One example, although not a game, is with our Primary school BP resources, where we have a number of animations and activities that show experiments that would be perhaps difficult or impractical to set up in the classroom. This can then be backed up with further questions and activities to support the learning.
Games have long been used in learning and perhaps help Kinaesthetic and more visual/auditory learners. I’ve seen some schools start to use what’s termed triple A games in the classroom – that is big title Playstation, Nintendo type games. Sometimes these games are used as a reward – golden time for achievement,. But they can also be used more widely. For example, Drkowaschema is well known as a lesson starter to get young people’s minds moving, but other games are used as more of a theme across lessonsGuitar hero for example has been used (Ollie Bray, formerly a depute head of Musselburgh Grammar School, was inspired by the Consolarium (The Scottish Centre for Games Based Learning)) as a tool to give a topic across subjects in the classroomGeography to plan a world toorArt and design to design a band name and logo and create postersFinance to plan a gigAll culminating in a live performance where parents are invited inMore info on Learning and Teaching Scotland website
A good example of ‘safe failure’ is this virtual scenario developed for the Army - While watching the video, just think about the different methods of interaction, and that when the soldier walks up to the truck he’s being controlled by the user/player as in a game.It is a blend of activities with the context relevant to the user, played out through a game style interface. Of course the poor chap had no chance there as he should have gone to the other side of the vehicle, but it demonstrates how learning can be tailored, specific and have real context to the learner. This could either be set as a module to be taken again and again until you get it right, or could be facilitated, either face to face of online, enabling a tutor to pick up on the issues and respond appropriately.
This a fast moving and exciting area, and the opportunities looking ahead are huge.App development and mobile has, for a long time been something we’ve been looking at and is something we’re starting to put into practice. With the introduction of tablet devices, the opportunity to create fun, collaborative resources that pull some of these elements together is becoming possible.There are loads of info apps out there for these devices now – similar to using an ‘interactive’ book or web page, but once you mix location services and video you can see the possibilities for highly contextualised and relevant content explode. So, clearly there is a lot happening with technology in education and we’re constantly looking at how we can use it in our resources.This of course needs to be balanced with sound pedagogy and robustness – with everything we do we need to have at the forefront of our minds that whatever we’re developing needs to be easy to find, easy to understand and easy to deliver.
Just for fun… and to demonstrate how a story can be told in a total web 2 way…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZrf0PbAGSk
Many thanks for joining us today – we hope you got something out of itWe’ll be posting the slides up on slideshare, and our contact details are all up hereFeel free to join us for a drink!
EdComs Classroom Everywhere - Phil Clarke
28th June 2011 | London<br />Classroom<br />Everywhere<br />
Martin Finn<br />Managing Director<br />EdComs<br />
Phil Clarke<br />Head of Digital<br />EdComs<br />
Timetable<br />9:30 - Phil Clarke – intro and welcome<br />9:50 - Jan Webb<br />10:30 - Questions for Jan<br />10:40 - Coffee break<br />11:00 - Michaela Kirsop-Holdford<br />11:30 - Closing remarks<br />11:35 - Panel questions<br />12:00 - Refreshments and networking<br />12:15 - Close<br />
Welcome<br />EdComs work over last 5/6 years<br />Current examples of using technology<br />The future<br />
Personal Finance Pirate<br />Classroom Everywhere | 28th June 2011<br />
Problems?<br />Classrooms often lag behind technically– hardware may be sound, but S/W either v specific or old<br />Now budgets are devolved to schools its hard to know what will be maintained with a central message<br />Time – UGC is great and is something to consider, there are still issues around privacy, time, moderation<br />Access to the sites YP use outside of the classroom sometimes blocked – replicating the functionality isn’t always the answer<br />