Keynote: Practical learning in a digital world


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Practical Learning in a Digital World
Keynote: RSC Yorkshire and Humberside symposium
March 2012

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  • This video was produced as a contribution to the EDUCAUSE book, The Tower and the Cloud: Higher Education in the Age of Cloud Computing, edited by Richard Katz and available as an e-Book at or commercially at Produced in 2007 as a conversation starter in small groups. Released in 2011 as a conversation starter online.
  • Resnick, M., 2002 Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age. MIT [online - available at]
  • Boats are designed to go to sea, not stay in harbour
  • Local networkingGlobal attention
  • Credit: David Vignoni Nuvola Images
  • Keynote: Practical learning in a digital world

    1. 1. Robin Trangmar@yrathro #pldwrtPractical Learning in aDigital WorldKeynote: RSC Yorkshire andHumberside symposiumMarch 2012 Credit:
    2. 2. Symposium themes1. Exploring and sharing innovative practice2. Developing knowledge through hands-on practice3. Scholarly activity in the HE, and HE in FE community
    3. 3. Landscape Increased student fees Reducing government funding Pressure to reduce contact time Communities of practitioners who increasingly share resources Increased [free] access to open source resources Free certificated University courses Someone’s idea that online learning is the answer to everything, and that it can be done ‘just like that …’
    4. 4. Theme 1: Exploring andsharing innovative practice
    5. 5. What is innovation? “… we mean the sort of transformative innovation that challenges our assumptions about how we do things. We mean developing creative approaches to problems, by asking questions about the status quo, about accepted practice and about the prevailing ‘logic’ that permeates the system.” (Sutch et al. (2008) p5)
    6. 6. Innovation … ... in teaching is most likely to take place when:  the innovator feels a degree of security within an understood community or cultural context, recognises the need for change and has encouragement or support from the head of department, dean or other person in authority (Hannan & Silver, 2002; 3)
    7. 7. Innovation … … is most likely to be obstructed by:  low esteem of teaching and learning, compared with research;  lack of recognition and interest by colleagues and people in authority;  quality assessment procedures or other procedures that inhibit risk-taking. (Hannan & Silver, 2002; 3) Remember that  institutions are generally change-averse  ‘the speed of change in HEIs is glacial’
    8. 8. Research or Teaching? Simplistically …  Research – brings in most of the cash for HEIs  Teaching – brings in the cash for FEIs Many HEIs and FEIs have teams aimed at improving the quality of learning, teaching and assessment
    9. 9. Research into Teaching There is a need for continued research into learning, teaching and assessment  Sound learning, teaching and assessment structures are fundamental  We need to invest more in evidence-based practice Teaching needs to embrace surface, deep and concept learning  Is the focus on input, process or outcomes? Are we merely justifying established practice?  Do the benefits of technology appear early enough in our learning and teaching strategies?
    10. 10. Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age Rethinking how people learn Rethinking what people learn Rethinking where and when people learn (Resnick, M., 2002) … and rethinking how we work as educators
    11. 11. preparation marking policies funding admin admin admin research publication Sometimes it feels like a never-ending expedition … Credit: Rune Gjeldnes
    12. 12.  Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. (A.A. Milne 1926; 15) Source: Milne, A.A., 1926 The World of Pooh. London; Methuen. Image: Pete Rollins
    13. 13. Theme 2: Developingknowledge through hands- on practice
    14. 14. Innovation is important … but … There has to be an impact on learning, teaching and assessment That impact has to be realised through practice Practice often needs  The ability to take risks  The support to take risks  The time to do so  A consideration of the ethical issues of taking those risks
    15. 15. Importance of collaboration Public (shared knowledge) is more important than private knowledge Communities of practice  Personal learning networks (PLNs)  Professional learning communities (PLCs) (the phrase used in schools in Wales)  #teachmeets The use of social networks  to ‘glue’ these communities of practice together  to support our own practice through crowd sourcing
    16. 16. Credit: Stephen Arbib
    17. 17. Theme 3: Scholarly Activity in the HE, and HE in FE community
    18. 18. Credit:
    19. 19. Scholarship and Scholarly Activity We need to be ‘fit for purpose’  Research active, or research aware Recent, evidence based, and research led Impact studies should guide our strategies, and be an outcome of our activities Engage in small scale practitioner research The academic profile of the HE in FE practitioner needs developing Research, practice, publish
    20. 20. Subject – specificCredit: David Vignoni Nuvola Images knowledge Pedagogical skills Learning Technology The Three Tyrannies
    21. 21. Things to do … Present at a conference  Academic paper  Enter a Poster  Lead a Workshop Not got a conference?  Organise one  Hassle your HE Manager to present papers / posters at the 2012 HE Conference … Small scale stuff is interesting and useful Be cheeky …
    22. 22. EC&I 831
    23. 23. Credibility Trangmar, R., (2012) Keynote: Practical Learning in a Digital World. Presented at the JISC - RSC Yorkshire and Humberside symposium. Beverley. Trangmar, R., (2011) Using Crowdsourcing and Social learning Networks in Teacher Education. Presented at the FE in HE Conference, University of Wales, Newport. Newport. Trangmar, R., (2011) Improving Practice Through Scholarship. Presented at the Annual HE Conference. Colwyn Bay
    24. 24. Higher Education Academy Don’t spend all your time working IN the business; Allow time for working ON the business YOU are the business  Customers buy your skills and knowledge  You need a benchmark that they can measure you against  HEIs will increasingly use HEA membership as a quality marker Apply for HEA professional recognition  Associate Fellow  Fellow
    25. 25. So what? There is no point in addressing any of these three themes unless there are two principles at the heart of what we are doing:  The quality of learning, teaching and assessment  The development of the learner’s knowledge, skills attitudes and behaviour
    26. 26. "Not simply dream, butdream extravagantly;see possibilities notproblems.Seek an image ofperfection to which wecan aspire"(Sir Ernest Hall, Brathay 1996) Credit: Charles Drakew; Wikimedia Commons
    27. 27. Contact details Robin Trangmar FHEA, FIfL, FRGS, M.Ed., CharteredMCIPD @yrathro Head of Education and Training, Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, Colwyn Bay LL28 4HZ 01492-546666 x427
    28. 28. References Hannan, A., & Silver, H., 2002. Innovative forms of enhancement in Teaching and Learning. Plymouth; LSTN. Milne, A. A., 1926. The World of Pooh. London; Methuen. Resnick, M., 2002. Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age. MIT [online - available at] Sutch, D, Rudd, T, and Facer, K., 2008. Promoting Transformative Innovation. Slough; Futurelab.