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This topic briefing is titled Modernising the Curriculum and will demonstrate how technology can enable greater personalisation & learner engagement and in effect help to bring the learning experience …

This topic briefing is titled Modernising the Curriculum and will demonstrate how technology can enable greater personalisation & learner engagement and in effect help to bring the learning experience up to date.
It looks at:
• Meeting the needs of learners today
• Changing pedagogies
• Technological solutions

More in: Education , Technology
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  • Modernising the curriculum and demonstrate how technology can enable greater personalisation & learner engagement. Meeting the needs of learners todayChanging pedagogiesTechnological solutionsManaging curriculum change
  • You’ve probably heard references to “digital natives” and “digital immigrants” coined by Marc Prensky. He suggests that how students today think and process information is fundamentally differently from their predecessors, as a result of being surrounded by new technology. He characterises differences between the younger and the older generations. So I think going by that definition most of us in here will digital immigrants. Well I’m pretty technically savvy so maybe that’s to broad a generalisation. You’re maybe also familiar with the phrase “Google Generation” – David Nicholas (UCL) - Young people tend to skitter over the surface of the web rather than going deep into particular areas; they are always being distracted and sent off to other sites by links and search engines..(sound familiar?).... He says “It appears speed and convenience are superior to content, depth and understanding.” Not sure if they always behaved this way because it’s only technology that’s enabling behaviour to be accurately tracked. He has discovered though that this is true of adult behaviour as well - suggesting that we have all become the “Google Generation” - it’s actually the way we all work these days, flitting between emails, checking flights online, preparing a presentation.Wim Veen has developed the concept and the term "Homo Zappien“ that I quite like. He suggests that in our schools, colleges and universities we have a generation that were bought up in a digital age – Homo Zappien. Homo Zappiens are used to having many feeds, capable of holding a number of online conversations, watching TV, listening to back ground music and doing their work! A much more “random” way of working. Well I might be deluded by not considering myself as one of the “older generation” but I’m no spring chicken either - I certainly don’t operate like that and don’t have the capacity for assimilating multiple channels of info at the same time so that’s maybe why I liked this notion as it describes a difference that I can relate to better.Wim Veen is a professor at Delft University of Technology, where his research focuses on new concepts and strategies for ICT enhanced learning.
  • If you take age out of the equation though, a learning theory that provides an interesting alterative to the constructivist model that I think best describes the model that we generally use in FE comes from George Siemens. He suggests learning is determined by context not age.Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where -When knowledge, is needed, but not known, the ability to plug into sources to meet the needs is a vital skill – an understanding of where to find knowledge is what’s needed. That might be within a community of practice, within a database somewhere, through personal networks. He calls it Connectivism and so it’s understanding and making the appropriate connections that enable us to learn which are more important than our current state of knowing. The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe.
  • So we really do have to take these differences into consideration. Increasingly though learners are ICT literate with high expectations of ICT availability, interactive teaching resources & learning materials and want to be able to use their own technologies along with institutionally provided tools. Why shouldn’t they – they’re often more up to date, with greater functionality. Peers play an important and often unacknowledged role in the learning experience. Many learners use personal technologies to elicit help from others, whether through one to one text messages, instant messaging or facebook groups. This mostly occurs without the support or knowledge of their tutors and in terms of developing a more reflective attitude to their own learning – having good access, being familiar with new technologies and being able to make choices about what and how they use them means that they’re almost half way there.  JISC - Learner Experiences of eLearning Theme – Project focusing on Learner Voices and these a few quotes from some of them. So we need to be able to harness this experience somehow and exploit it for teaching & learning. I use a lot of MSN and forums to communicate with fellow students and teacher, where I can ask questions and discuss with my colleagues (Lead)You chat to your friends on MSN to see if you missed anything if you don’t go in. (BLUPS)The people in my course created a Facebook group where we discuss logistical stuff like availability of books or clarification of certain concepts or sometimes even, outlines of formats etc (Thema) However - I don’t think that digital literacy and learning literacy can be assumed – these testimonies show that initiative + technology can provide a great enhancement to the educational experience – There is no doubt in my mind that technology has an important part to play but these examples are happening in an ad hoc way and I do think that mechanisms to support the development of digital skills & learning skills are needed. (e.g. Proper support & induction to learning platforms, templates to assist reflective writing or digital storytelling, a consistent approach to the use of technology across a whole course, considerable development of staff skills and confidence and clear policy and guidelines on e-Safeguarding )
  • The problem with exploring pedagogy is it’s highly theoretical nature – and so it’s hard to find concrete examples of Pedagogies that work. The research that I’ve done over the years either point to research conducted by Faculties of Education that by their very nature provide theoretical perspectives. There have been a lot of JISC projects which I guess are an effort to apply theories in a more practical way - curriculum design projects that look at the processes involved in designing learning experiences that have a technology focus. They always seem to take a very systematic approach, developing various design models which I suppose if you’re trying to determine models that are scalable and sustainable is necessary but I find it quite hard to relate that to my own experience teaching in FE for over 10 years and I don’t think I’m alone. So I’m not sure how helpful it is to describe curriculum design models here.I find it easier to think in terms of types of learning activities that we can now aspire to because of the technologies that are becoming available. I like to think that by doing this it accommodates the need to address differing learning styles, different learners needs and the different needs of the broad curriculum that is delivered in post 16 Education.
  • The impact of new and ubiquitous technologies enable new paradigms of learning & teaching to be developed which increase the possibilities for Personalised Learning and improve Learner Engagement. Although online instructional materials are widely available and make use of digital images, video animation and are great for understanding and replaying processes – they are still in my opinion rather passive so it’s more about learning activities that engage learners to process & assimilate information in new and more exciting ways. E Resources – websites, eBooks, interactive resources – (the way learners are accessing information has changed and the way that resources can be used has changed. e.g. ebooks for FE project – log in through library systems, annotate /highlight/ bookmark /search – saved for future reference – personalised service) Enquiry based approaches / discovery learning / web quests using web resources (e.g. simple activity sheets with hyperlinks – finding out information & sharing it with peers rather than being given the information)Collaborative learning / with collective outputs that exploit new technologies (e.g. planning an event using software features that enable co-editing that results in tangible output of the collaborative process – WIKI, Google doc) - eBooks for FE - http://vimeo.com/6592468 Reflective activities using online tools which measures distance travelled and learning taking place rather than assessment of knowledge or skill and demonstrates to learners their own progress. (using Blogs or ePortfolio to record diary type journal entries) Peer Review – a formal term to describe the process of commenting on others’ contribution. (tools that enable comment , discussion or enable a star rating for example) Better simulation / by providing 2 dimensional & 3 dimensional Case Studies / providing greater authenticity and a richer learning experience (e.g. conducting a real time email / letter exchange dealing with a customer complaint)Using multimedia creatively and for assessment purposes. Internet access is all that’s required to access, record, store and stream video and audio to the desktop. (e.g. Digital images may provide a mechanism for students to demonstrate and record skills acquisition, using audio may be a vehicle which would allow learners to provide a much richer account of what they have learnt than a written account )eAssessment / both formative and summative which can provide quick and relevant feedback to learners and support personalisation of the learning experience. (designing e-assessment of higher order skills a critical area for staff development)
  • The term Virtual Learning Environment or VLE is often applied to any kind of learning platform or expanded intranet which allows online access to course materials and has communication, eAssessment and administration tools embedded in it. You can see a typical structure here.Perhaps the most common use of VLEs is through blended learning where the VLE can be used to provide additional content and support to the student, reinforcing face-to-face classes. Accessibility whether for accommodating learners with additional support needs or simply for providing more flexible access is greatly improved. For formative & summative assessment – results can be stored as evidence & tutors able to see what level of understanding each student has achieved with the tracking tools available to identify problem areas.  In my experience these most useful tools i.e. communication, assessment tools and tracking are used very little. VLEs are largely used as a content management & delivery system with learners taking a relatively passive role. Any discussion that do take place tend to be highly formal, often a part of a assessment, and tutor rather than student led – with other learning platforms in use now - ePortfolios and web 2.0 technologies - the emphasis is on learner ownership and control and that’s a tricky area of tension. 
  • “An e-Portfolio is a purposeful aggregation of digital items …..…..ideas, evidence, reflections, feedback etc, which “presents” a selected audience with evidence of a person’s learning and /or ability”Sutherland, S. and Powell, A. (2007) Effective Practice with e-Portfolios, JISC (2008)  What’s missing from this definition though is the capacity within most e-Portfolio systems for self assessment leading to the setting of personal goals and targets (Personal Development Planning). An e-Portfolio therefore is not simply the digitisation of paper-based portfolios (with perhaps the inclusion of some new media), used to document evidence of achievement. Rather the functionality of e-portfolios enable learners to assemble, demonstrate and reflect on the skills, knowledge and achievement they have built up during their learning experience and document their progress towards personal goals.  Research suggests that e-Portfolios can be characterised by purpose.Achievement of standards – meeting minimum standards (accountability purposes)Documentation of deep learning – showing growth and development over time (learning purposes)Resumes to show competency - showing best work (marketing purposes)  e-Portfolios promise support for both high stakes assessment and deep learning but the purpose of adopting an ePortfolio needs to be clear and this will determine the type of system deployed.Are they to be used for accountability purposes / providing evidence of achievement ? (perhaps appropriate for some courses – I know that some systems provide mapped out learning outcomes & performance criteria which might be appropriate)Are they to be used to encourage deep learning / demonstrating personal growth ? (I know that The Skills for Work programme for young adults, is in it’s second phase - the main focus of which is employability skills. As well as vocational skills, there was significant focus on generic “soft” skills and attitude using a strategy of learning through experience and reflection. Unclear to me whether it would have the same success without quite intense support and guidance and I think that’s been borne out by other ePortfolio projects too)- speaking to Duncan & Robert at D&G I know they’ve had great success using ePortfolios and although I think learners have required a lot of support, there was a huge improvement in retention figures (construction 30% computing 100%) Are they to be used for self evaluation / personal development planning ?Are they to provide a window for prospective employers / further study ?  JISCInfonet – tangible benefits of elearning – “the e-portfolio system offered a 'kit' of features which were felt to be most conducive to online learning community support, in particular the provision for each user to set up their own space without any institutional intervention. Unlike the VLE the e-portfolio system facilitated the setting of more sophisticated privacy settings when sharing material with others” There were no institutional restrictions on the choice of tools to support the learners.Wolverhampton University (tangible benefits of elearning) I do think though that at this stage the level at which a learner is working at will determine the degree of support that’s needed to fully exploit the capacity for deep learning and reflection that an online ePortfolio could provide. 
  • Lines blur between Web2.0 applications – all are online services, all are searchable – the key is the “social” element -Web2.0 programs allow users to interact and share data with other users. (allowing & encouraging comments – a mechanism for peer review?) & RSS feeds to keep people up to date on request = personalisationYou’ll recognize a lot of these icons on web pages. Characteristics It assumes people are “always on-line” either on PC mobile phone, PDA, Applications used are web based – depending only on browser based applications Applications are easy to use – although web based still WYSIWIG – Things can be published in real time and from different devices without the need to understand the methods of uploading to servers.These are the new tools that have become very widely used over the last few years and could reduce the perceived chasm between education and real life. Linked to the idea of personalisation where learners can use their preferred application however that’s not with problems in terms of structuring activities when a number of different systems are being used but there’s no doubt many learners are quite adept at using Web 2.0 technologies. Deeper and more reflective learning can be encouraged e.g. Reading and commenting on each others’ postings = peer review / working collaboratively WIKIs/ keeping online Blog / journal to record activities and progress towards their own goals / sharing with their peers can all contribute to a richer learning experience. Many tools are relatively informal with much written, usually in the first person from a range of different perspectives. Most tools are easy to use and can incorporate images & multimedia which I think is a big draw. I’ll describe a few that in my opinion are currently of most use.Blogs – a templated website that can be edited online - designed for personal accounts & opinion / online journal or diary / reflective in nature / presented in chronological order / comment facility / enables a range of media to be incorporated (an attraction for learners) / possibilities for community blogs. Micro Blogs are a relatively new phenomenon they provide a mechanism for you to send updates of what your doing up to 140 characters to a website that others can follow & see. (online equivalent of popping bubble wrap – Charlie Brooker, guardian column Feb 09)Wikis – a website that can be edited online by multiple people using familiar WISYWIG interface. Most useful for collaborative activities such as planning an event or for capturing collaborative outputs of a group. Again enables a range of media to be easily incorporated. Individual’s activities re: editing a WIKI are recorded and all previous versions can be viewed allowing individual contributions to be monitored.Social Bookmarking – an online service where you can store & organise your favourite websites for access from any internet enabled device including mobile devices. Sites are organised in a non linear way using your own key words so collections are searchable. It is possible to have an account for a group so that there can be a collaborative approach to selecting and collecting relevant websites for a say specific course / subject or unit.Social Networking – a service which allows you to create your own profile and make it available to friends & find friends or common acquaintances though the networking tool – they usually include a number of features including – blog, photo & video uploading, networking, messaging & chat. Could be used for team building, communication, languages but difficult to control access to provide a meaningful platform for learning (my opinion) – many are over 18s only.Multimedia Sharing – sites that allow you to upload digital images & videos. Have a comment & rating facility and recommendations can be useful – now a good source of images (many attributed with a creative commons licence) – should be aware of some copyright issues regarding some videos. Also potential inappropriate content means that it’s sometimes blocked by firewalls. Risk v Reward.Podcasting – these are audio or video recordings put online that are made available using syndication software. They are episodic in nature, published with a degree of regularity. Users “subscribe” to a podcasting service and each time a new episode is published it is automatically downloaded to their PC or mobile deviceWeb 2.0 is challenging our understanding of how IT works Sharing & showing a cultural shift for many – It’s more a change of a “attitude” that’s needed rather than any particular technical skills. Many systems are available and learners will have a preference – do they use what they want - or – do we provide systems that they must use – does this compromise the quality of activities of users.The more institutionalised systems seem to be the less open dialogue occurs in the web2.0 tools with the opportunities for deeper learning often compromised. Views on mixing social & academic activities are a bit polarised – evidence inconclusive.Same issues arise re: training and staff release and the difficulties of employing the skills learned. Students need to be schooled in being discerning about the information that is presented and responsible for the information they post – really a modern day requirement in terms of digital literacy more generally.
  • Whether you describe handheld technology as a gadget, tool or device there is certainly a choice to pick from if you're considering developing m-learning in your organisation.Ultra mobile PCs like Asus eeePC or plethora of net books (designed for web based applications, cloud computing, simpler operating systems ) largely for internet & email. Max screen size 7 inchesHandheld games consol like Sony portable PSP, Nintendo DSPortable media players range of iPods, iPod touch, creative zen, Archos media tabletsMobile storage – USB sticks, SD cards, Mobile Phones – that seem they can do everything ?   In essence, most mobile devices have similar functionalities. They may differ in megapixel capacity of the camera or webcam, or have a touchscreen text input rather than keyboard entry. They may all store and play sound or video files, but may differ in the way the files are formatted or transferred to the device.But all, to a greater or lesser degree, can help manage and support teaching and learning - whether you have a device from the Apple family such as an ITouch or IPod, a Smartphone or PDA/phone or an ultra-mobile pc or mini-laptop. Even a non-Smart phone with basic functions can be a useful tool for learners. The critical elements that enable them to have potential for useful learning is their size and especially the new screen sizes, resolution, super bright and anti-glare technologies. Anytime, anywhere connectivity which enables access to learning resources & communication with tutors and other learners. The potential to exploit different media – use images, video and also use web 2.0 tools & social software e.g. Blogs, microblogs, mobilicious, media sharing sites etc and upload from mobile phone without having to go through a computer to do it.The organisational tools such as alarms, calendar, text messaging – SMS messaging both to college and from the college is proving popular providing announcements of timetable or room changes. Electronic reminders invaluable for many learners including learners with additional support needs.Note taking facilities - whether text-based or with the use of voice recording - can really support learners inside and outside of the classroom. As a personal device is likely to be readily available in a learner's pocket private note taking is available at any time during a class. The ability to capture real time reflection proving to be valuable e.g. Short & frequent “tweets” can be easily shared.There are many devices with in-built cameras to enable a user to take still or moving images and many easy to use applications that allow you to manipulate images in many different ways. A camera can capture a moment in still or video image, which is a great way to collect assessment evidence for a portfolio. There are many photo sharing sites like Flickr with images able to be uploaded by email or from mobile phones. Again I can cite Duncan and Robert from D&G who have developed a mechanism for learners to upload content into their ePortfolio system from a mobile phone.Many mobile devices, including handheld games consoles, can connect to the Internet - some by WiFi or with the ability to connect to a wireless LAN (local area network). Being connected by Bluetooth has a lot of potential and means that we can work or play collaboratively sharing ideas, thoughts, or files - whether that means documents for business or study or simply photos to share with friends and family. You can ask questions to a speaker and it’s also possible to vote via blue tooth . QR codes which are like a square bar code can contain information and be photographed by mobile phones equipped with a QR reader and the information is transferred to the device. 
  • Have tried to give you some food for thought in terms of the part that Technology can play modernisation of the curriculum and the achievement of more personalisation and learning engagement.

Transcript

  • 1. ModernisingLearning
    Pedagogy for the 21st Century
  • 2. Modernising the Curriculum
    Meeting the needs of learners today
    Digital Natives
    (Mark Prensky)
    The Google Generation
    (David Nichols)
    Homo Zappiens
    (WimVeen)
  • 3. The pipe is more important than the content of the pipe
    Siemens (2005)
    Constructivism V Connectivism
  • 4. The way people learn is changing
    Institutional Tools V
    Individual V
    Information V
    Passive V
    Knowledge V
    Dis-engaged? V
    Personal Tools
    Social
    Communication
    Interactive
    Reflection
    Engaged?
  • 5. Learner voices
    “I use a lot of MSN and forums to communicate with fellow students and teacher, where I can ask questions and discuss with my colleagues” (Lead)
    “You chat to your friends on MSN to see if you missed anything if you don’t go in.” (BLUPS)
    “The people in my course created a Facebook group where we discuss logistical stuff like availability of books or clarification of certain concepts or sometimes even outlines of formats etc” (Thema)
  • 6. Modernising the Learning
    Changing Pedagogies
  • 7. Modernising the Learning
    Changing Pedagogies
    Discovery Learning
    Collaborative Learning
    Reflective Activities
    Using & Creating Multimedia
    Peer Review
    eAssessment
    Technology Solutions
    • Mobile & Wireless Technologies
    • 8. Web-based Software
    • 9. Virtual LearningEnvironments
    • 10. ePortfolios
    • 11. Web 2.0 / Socialsoftware
  • Virtual Learning Environment
    administration tools
    VLE
    resources
    communication tools
    assessment tools
    Icons by DryIcons
  • 12. ePortfolio
    ePortfolio for...
    Assessment & Accreditation
    Repository
    ePortfolio for...
    Showcase for
    Skills &
    Knowledge
    ePortfolio for...
    PDP
    processes
    Private use
    Icons by DryIcons
  • 13. Web 2.0 – online technologies
    Using the Cloud
    Icons by DryIcons
  • 14. Range of mobile devices
    Images from Flickr licensed under creative commons
  • 15. ModernisingLearning
    Pedagogy for the 21st Century