28 May 2009 The project commenced with 11 participants, ACE LLN Practitioners from 11 Community Colleges across NSW, a mentor from BACE, a Project Facilitator and a Project Manager. Along the way the Project Manger resigned her position at the Community College and hence her position as Team Manager. By the end of the Project six team members had engaged in 75% of the DiscoverE Sessions. The team Mentor had enthusiastically supported us for the duration of the Project.
28 May 2009 Q.1 1. What inspired you to join the ACE Connections Project? 1. To learn as much as possible regarding web connections for myself as well as teaching. Also to learn about LearnScope and what the benefits are. 2. It was a great opportunity to develop my IT skills in a way that will hopefully benefit my students. It was also appealing in that all the participants could share ideas and resources which will hopefully be an ongoing process. 3. I believe that Adult Literacy cannot be effectively taught in the 21st century without using computers. Therefore we as teachers need to be continually improving our IT skills and be aware of what is out there to help our students. 4. I waned to find out if I could use any of the information learned to improve/ expand on the way I teach 5. I felt that i was out of date and wanted to find out about how new technologies could make my teaching better. Also I wanted to meet up with other literacy teachers who worked in similar isolation to share ideas and network 6. I wanted to be able to use the computer as a learning medium. I needed to know more about the CGEA &computer as a new force in adult learning. I felt I needed to know who my teaching compatriots in my area 7. The biggest inspiration was Judi's enthusiasm! Also, the need to make connections with other Literacy tutors so there is some group support. 8. I wanted to mentor the LLN teachers in the Northern Inland Cluster. they are a very motivated group who can benefit so much from e working because they are geographically isolated. Survey Monkey was used for reporting purposes - Eight participants started the survey and seven completed it.
28 May 2009 Questions 3 & 4 related to the Use of the DiscoverE Virtual Conference Room and 42.9% classed it as a positive experience and 42.9% believed that they gained more confidence as the Project progressed . One respondent found it always frustrating. 2. Before commencing the ACE Connections Project how would you have described your computer skills? extremely confident confident skills adequate skills require improving hesitant and nervous Response Count Before the Project 0.0% (0) 42.9% (3) 14.3% (1) 28.6% (2) 14.3% (1) 7 After the Project 14.3% (1) 42.9% (3) 14.3% (1) 28.6% (2) 0.0% (0) 7 5. The following were expected outcomes from the ACE Connections Project. How do you rank the success of the achievement of these goals? Successfully achieved Partially achieved Still working towards Not achieved at all Explore the issues around online and blended learning for LLN students. 28.6% (2) 42.9% (3) 28.6% (2) 0.0% (0) Explore a range of online freeware such as Wikispaces. 85.7% (6) 0.0% (0) 14.3% (1) 0.0% (0) Access online learning activities and create assessment tools for the implementation of the new CGEA. 57.1% (4) 28.6% (2) 14.3% (1) 0.0% (0) Create a network of LLN practitioners from Community Colleges across NSW. 57.1% (4) 28.6% (2) 0.0% (0) 14.3% (1) To trial online learning activities and validated assessment tasks with a target group of learners. 28.6% (2) 28.6% (2) 28.6% (2) 14.3% (1)
28 May 2009
Q.6 List 3 positives that came out of this project:
Able to use a variety of websites that are beneficial for me as a teacher;
Met lots of nice teachers working in the ACE Sector with some terrific ideas to use with my students;
Feel more confidence working with LearnScope and found it very beneficial.
Increased confidence with online learning tools;
development of online communication network;
sharing of new ideas and resources.
Shared resources for new CGEA with other LLN practitioners;
Made a Wikispace for our student group;
Learned about programs/IT tools to use with students
Increased awareness of what is online;
Using a Wikispace with my students;
gained some new computer skills.
chance to interact with other teachers
have a network of literacy tutors whom I can contact
now getting updates from Edna which I had not used before
Computer technology doesn't just have to be for an IT genius
Confidence with DiscoverE greatly improved though not perfect!
I improved my online facilitation skills from observing Judi.
I got inspired to make better use of lots of online tools;
I learned of many practical applications of social software for learners.
28 May 2009 Q7. Barriers
If there was a barrier, it would be needing more time in my days. If you could make the days 30-36 hours then that would be great.
Time - finding time to try out & implement new learning tools.
Failure of the technology - hence frustration. Lack of time to check out the new tools. As teachers/tutors, we need to practise using them ourselves to have the confidence to present them to our students.
The time to attend the sessions proved difficult so I missed more than I attended. This impacted on how much I gained form the project.
Time to try out new tools and confidence to start using them in the classroom.
Need more practise using these tools. I cope better with one new development at a time. I could not use the knowledge with my students due to lack of computers, students who won't use computers and my own lack of confidence with the new knowledge.
No real barriers, I allocated the time and found it very rewarding
28 May 2009 8. Respondents were asked to rate the following aspects of the ACE Connections Project. Exceptional Excellent Adequate Poor Response Count Support given by facilitator. 42.9% (3) 57.1% (4) 0.0% (0) 0.0% (0) 7 Communication among the team. 0.0% (0) 85.7% (6) 14.3% (1) 0.0% (0) 7 Project direction. 14.3% (1) 71.4% (5) 14.3% (1) 0.0% (0) 7 Session planning. 28.6% (2) 57.1% (4) 14.3% (1) 0.0% (0) 7 Communication between sessions. 14.3% (1) 71.4% (5) 14.3% (1) 0.0% (0) 7
28 May 2009
The majority of responses to this questions were positive:
Wikipedia - they love. So very beneficial. Also have lots more ideas to try with them from doing this project .
The confidence of the students, with regards to computer skills, has increased as mine has increased. The students have been exposed to a variety of new ideas and IT tools.
I am more aware of tools which can be used to improve their computer literacy skills and confidence. They have enjoyed using their own Wikispace to communicate with other LLN students.
I now have more variety in my teaching methods. We are using a computer more and students are becoming more confident in using a computer. The students are feeling excited by being able to communicate with other students in literacy classes in other areas, through links with other classes' Wikispaces.
I better understand the barriers that learners face in using e learning and have learned some strategies for overcoming barriers and encouraging students
Only indirectly, in that my learning curve is still happening and the connections with other tutors is valuable.
None because the small amount that I was able to take on board I couldn't really see how it could be applied with students.
Q9. In what ways do you consider the ACE Connections Project has been beneficial to your Students?
28 May 2009
Using the computer more with my students - not just Google but some very fun and enjoyable websites discovered through the project. The use of EdNA as well as being shown by Judi Gowing how to put my favourites into del.icio.us - fantastic.
I would like to be a part of an online communication network with other tutors to continue sharing resources & ideas.
I would like to continue with more of the same for 2008. Some of the tools I haven't used (like Flickr) and I'm not really using my Del.icio.us account to advantage. Then if you don't use your newly-acquired skills, you lose them! So we need more practice!
Still a level of frustration because as much as I want to time is against me to be fully involved or provide the opportunity to practise and become competent in the ever increasing range of online activities.
10. What direction do you see for yourself as a result of the ACE Connections Project?
28 May 2009
To develop the use of our Wikispace within the class. To try out other tools e.g. digital storytelling to enhance the literacy skills of my students. To keep more up to date with changes in technology through using Edna groups.
Extra experience using these tools with either Judi or others needed first. Then the push for regular computer access for my students. Connecting to another class by computers would be great.
Further promoting e learning in the ACE sector, linking the outcomes of this and other LearnScope projects so that the benefits are shared around our colleges in NSW.
28 May 2009 Facilitator's Summary As facilitator of the ACE Connections Project I have seen a range of positive outcomes. Many of the team members work in isolation and this project has bridged the gap by connecting LLN tutors across vast distances of NSW. The increased confidence of the team members became apparent as the project evolved. An inexperience with technology for the majority of the group meant that the initial session plans had to be adjusted to suit the group but I believe the direction taken was positive and worthwhile. The project has given team members the opportunity to broaden their horizons and, for the majority, will have a lasting impact on their response to the educational needs of the learners in this ever changing world. I see this LearnScope Project as a beginning ………….. Judi Gowing http://aceconnections.wikispaces.com Joy Sharpe, Team Mentor has this favourite quote The only sustainable value you bring to an organisation is what you show and teach and inspire in other people you work with . Dave Pollard http://blogs.salon.com/0002007 /