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High school staff's Web 2.0 and abundant digital media feedback


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A South African private high school's staffs' responses to a Web 2.0 and "abundant digital media" presentation.

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High school staff's Web 2.0 and abundant digital media feedback

  1. 1. Abundant Digital Media at a Private High School A Report on Research Questionnaire Feedback Travis Noakes This report sums up feedback from 14 South African private High School educators to a presentation on Abundant Digital Media * . It raises concerns from their feedback and gives high-level recommendations for school management on Web 2.0 curriculum support. Due to research ethics requirements, the identity of the private school and its educators must remain confidential. July, 2010 Prepared by Travis Noakes, a PhD in Media Studies (UCT) candidate * View it at
  2. 2. It’s “Abundant Digital Media” NOT “Abundance Culture” Addressing a Terminology Concern <ul><li>An educator pointed out that the term </li></ul><ul><li>“ Abundance Culture” could easily be </li></ul><ul><li>misconstrued as promoting an affluent, </li></ul><ul><li>materialistic cultural bias. This was not the </li></ul><ul><li>researcher’s intention. </li></ul><ul><li>On reflection, using the terminology: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Abundant Digital Media” is more </li></ul><ul><li>appropriate and accurate. </li></ul><ul><li>While “Abundant Digital Media” replaces </li></ul><ul><li>“ Abundance Culture” as used in the previous </li></ul><ul><li>presentation and questionnaire; its </li></ul><ul><li>meaning has not changed. </li></ul>Travis Noakes
  3. 3. Questionnaire Completion The Breakdown Travis Noakes Concern #2 Relatively few staff returned a completed survey, despite being encouraged to do so by the executive. The survey is unlikely to be representative. Concern #3 Few staff from school management returned completed questionnaires. Addressing the opportunities and hazards posed by abundant digital media may not be a priority for the school’s leadership.
  4. 4. <ul><li>Rate Your School’s Promotion of Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Innovation? </li></ul>Concern #4 Educators rate the promotion of entrepreneurship by their school much lower than creativity and innovation.
  5. 5. 1. Creativity & Innovation & Entrepreneurship Individual ratings Travis Noakes Concern #5 There are significant differences in educators’ perceptions of the school’s promotion of creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation. © Travis Noakes
  6. 6. 2. Will Abundant Digital Media Change Formal Education? The Likeliest Answer. Travis Noakes Concern #6 Although most educators believe it will have an impact, initial research fieldwork would suggest that few are prepared for this impact.
  7. 7. 3. Rate the Scope for Including Abundant Digital Media Software in Your Subject Curricula? Travis Noakes Subject Respondents Result 1 Result 2 Result 3 Result 4 Biology 2 5 4 Drama 1 3 English 1 5 Geography 3 5 5 5 Library 1 4 Life Science 2 5 3 Life Orientation 4 5 4 4 4 Physical Science 1 4 Science 1 2 Visual Arts 1 5
  8. 8. 3. Rate the Scope for Including Abundant Digital Media Software in Your Subject Curricula? Travis Noakes Concern #7 No feedback from educators in these subjects: Afrikaans, French, Latin and Xhosa. History. Music. Computer Studies. Mathematics. Physical Education. Concern #8 Are the educators that see scope in using Web 2.0 tools using them?
  9. 9. 4. Do The Benefits Of Using Abundant Digital Media Outweigh The Hazards For Students? Travis Noakes Concern #9 Just under 43% of educators are worried that the benefits of abundant digital media are not more than its hazards.
  10. 10. 5. Rate Your Attitude Towards Using Free Software in the Classroom? Travis Noakes Concern #10 While most educators have a positive attitude towards using free software in the classroom, they may not know how or why to teach with it.
  11. 11. 6. Explain How You Might Use Free Software in Your Classes (or Why You Won’t)? Travis Noakes <ul><li>For research . </li></ul><ul><li>Research sites - browsing is more on web-pages. Creating media software (videos and pictures). </li></ul><ul><li>In Chemistry , it is very useful for creating molecular structures in 3D, </li></ul><ul><li>as well as for simulating experiments. Physics too has some great software </li></ul><ul><li>for simulations of otherwise very expensive experiments. </li></ul><ul><li>Population datainland designclimate models, etc. opportunities in Geography are endless. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating (educational) YouTube videos. Creating KML Files for Google Earth. </li></ul><ul><li>If it assists in teaching/helping a student understand a concept or a drill that is required. </li></ul><ul><li>As in the grade 10 - 12 Visual Arts online portfolio project using Carbonmade. </li></ul><ul><li>Short clips - reviewed & seen they support knowledgework taught. Debate issues </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. global-warming, evolution etc. </li></ul><ul><li>In Lifestyle Orientation they must learn the morality /risks/EQ skills needed to handle </li></ul><ul><li>this. We must therefore expose then to it in controlled circumstances (as sources for tasks, </li></ul><ul><li>perhaps.) </li></ul><ul><li>PowerPoint resources from other teachers . YouTube clips of adsmovies interviewslog </li></ul><ul><li>moviesook reviews. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication (collaboration). Only reason not to is Internet speed. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating/updating information in Wikipedia . </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to access (with Microsoft platform ) interactive. Refers to Internet software that, if stolen, </li></ul><ul><li>we would need to use paid-for-software. </li></ul><ul><li>Not sure now. </li></ul>
  12. 12. 7. What Are the Biggest Challenges in Preparing for Abundance Culture? (Tick One or More) Travis Noakes Concern #11 What can be done to overcome the challenges of time, training and home web access cost?
  13. 13. 8. Are There Any Other Challenges That Make Preparation Difficult for You? Travis Noakes <ul><li>Where to begin? </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of time, but also a lack of &quot;readiness to change&quot;. Organisations hold onto old </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;tried and trusted&quot; ways quite securely. </li></ul><ul><li>Science syllabus is over-written. It is still “new” and there are still uncertainties. </li></ul><ul><li>This is another add-on and another uncertainty. </li></ul><ul><li>Bandwidth (currently). </li></ul><ul><li>Need for time to experiment on a personal basis. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of connection: work stops when network goes down. </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, much material has a USA bias and content not enough South African stuff. </li></ul><ul><li>Within constraints of existing physical structure - layout, time - formal learning </li></ul><ul><li>program segmented. </li></ul><ul><li>Time to network with other people. </li></ul><ul><li>I believe in children running around in nature and meeting REAL people. I instinctively </li></ul><ul><li>resist a dismal virtual world devoid of sunshine ! ONE STEP AWAY FROM INSANITY </li></ul><ul><li>IN MY MIND! </li></ul>Concern #12 How can interested educators be aided in overcoming these challenges and preparing Web 2.0 curriculums?
  14. 14. 9. What Is Your Biggest Concern About Generation Content and Abundant Digital Media? Travis Noakes <ul><li>I don't know if I can get my head around all of this - yet I know the kids I teach will do so. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of interpersonal skills and a general decline in Emotional Intelligence. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology is changing so quickly that fashions, fads and ideas change similarly. </li></ul><ul><li>What next?? </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of boundaries on the part of students. privacy hazards towards staff not only </li></ul><ul><li>students. </li></ul><ul><li>They lack the responsibility to manage it. High risk take but low on impulse - control </li></ul><ul><li>(adolescents that is). No life experience. Inflated idea of their NBness = hazards for </li></ul><ul><li>the (and us). </li></ul><ul><li>A paradigm shift needed on all levels in order to bring young inventors closer to </li></ul><ul><li>traditional education. </li></ul><ul><li>Weaker students are easily distracted and need structure. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty in managing the progress of the pupils’ use of media. </li></ul><ul><li>Not valid in respect to accuracy, open and educational. Can be subverted. </li></ul><ul><li>Plagiarism - proof. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty in knowing what is &quot;real&quot; original and verifiable & what is plagiarised (fiction). </li></ul><ul><li>Education re: appropriate (ethics) morals. </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback, sharing info. sending messages. </li></ul><ul><li>Too much time spent in front of laptops. </li></ul>Concern #13 How can educators be supported in helping learners develop EQ and addressing other Challenges, like plagiarism?
  15. 15. 10. What Do You Think Is the Best Opportunity That Abundant Digital Media Offers, and Why? Travis Noakes <ul><li>Inter-connectedness. Vast amount of knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Constructive networking and the speed at which information can be sourced. </li></ul><ul><li>It enables problem solving to be accomplished faster. </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual - this is where our student base operate. </li></ul><ul><li>Egalitarian access to information via cell phones. </li></ul><ul><li>Access to (unlimited) information. Opportunity to analyze information. </li></ul><ul><li>Wider exposure to different ideas (that is both an opportunity AND a threat). </li></ul><ul><li>Information up to datevariety of opinions. </li></ul><ul><li>Bright students can take ideas far beyond my knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Richer learning environment. Pupils to liaise with those at other schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Interactivity. </li></ul><ul><li>Information - knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Not sure what this question would involve. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration (co-operation). </li></ul><ul><li>Need to think about this and brainstorm with colleagues. </li></ul>Concern #14 Can educators take advantage of these opportunities?
  16. 16. 11. Are There Any Other Opportunities Would You Like to Use in Class? Travis Noakes <ul><li>Connect with other schools (in South Africa and internationally). </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, with improved bandwidth, speed and availability: interactive lessons </li></ul><ul><li>with specialists via Skype or something similar would be great. </li></ul><ul><li>Only if they don’t take away the little time we have. </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2 tools create the ideal opportunity for schools like Bishops to improve educational </li></ul><ul><li>standards by contributing towards the curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>Keen on using One Note </li></ul><ul><li>I am not sure if I understand all the opportunities that I can use. </li></ul><ul><li>I would like to know more of where the system is going so as to use it effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>Kids are wealthy and can afford to upgrade own technology. </li></ul><ul><li>The school can concentrate on teachers and bursary kids. </li></ul><ul><li>Training teachers in latest software and creativity. </li></ul><ul><li>No - no more IT please. </li></ul>Concern #15 How can educators get informed of opportunities relevant to their subject areas, societies, etc.?
  17. 17. 12. What Is the Most Important Opportunity for Your School to Take Advantage of? Travis Noakes <ul><li>People like yourself who can guide us/inform us/ lead us. </li></ul><ul><li>There are teachers like myself who are way behind (& intimidated)! </li></ul><ul><li>We are already technology-rich, so this has the potential to be integrated in some areas. </li></ul><ul><li>Problem -transferring information into useful knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Large degree of literacy (literate boys). Large number of laptops. </li></ul><ul><li>Branding - OD contact. </li></ul><ul><li>Literacyglobal connectivity facing a generation of kids who `’know nothing </li></ul><ul><li>but can find anything” As a 50+er I found your talk fascinating if not frightening </li></ul><ul><li>as I know we are in a digital age where one struggles to keep up with ever </li></ul><ul><li>changing technology and sources. </li></ul><ul><li>Bandwidth; time off for teachers to develop work and collaborate with colleagues. </li></ul><ul><li>Educate and train staff about the possibilities of Web 2.0 & 3.0. </li></ul><ul><li>Represent itself as a leader in the field and make use of the system to market school. </li></ul><ul><li>Used to communicate and get views impacting the Christian activities at Bishops. </li></ul><ul><li>NA. Wikipedia and other resource sites. </li></ul><ul><li>That’s the point - there is no one ethos to introduce new technologies to children staff in small ways and let them run with it. Have open mind - communicate. </li></ul>Concern #16 Which opportunities should be prioritised by school management?
  18. 18. Recommendations Action Options To Discuss Travis Noakes <ul><li>School management encourage exploration of new technologies and look to the expertise of the people who are responsible for ICT integration for advice and leadership – all within the competing needs and existing structures - in areas of the school.  </li></ul><ul><li>Define whether New Media Literacy skills must be included in curriculums, and how. </li></ul><ul><li>Incentivise educators to prepare curriculums that address new media literacies. </li></ul><ul><li>Be the first school to define ICT proficiency expectations for learners’ by grade and ` </li></ul><ul><li>subject. Use these standards to benchmark and improve your curriculums. </li></ul><ul><li>Define a concise, clear school policy on educator and learner use of social media. </li></ul><ul><li>Use alumnae to “teach the teachers” and develop and document “how to” and “principles” know-how. </li></ul><ul><li>Use safe, bridging environments (like an educators’ intranet) for educator’s to trial Web 2.0-like services in-house. Before they move to the Wild Web outside! </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage educators to share their positive experiences of using social media. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Recommendations Action Options To Discuss Travis Noakes <ul><li>Encourage each educator to develop their own self-publication strategy. </li></ul><ul><li>Promote the school by making the best of its content readily searchable. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a “Technology Change” advisory group. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify which learning activities Web 2.0 is most appropriate for. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the staff conference to trial social media tools. </li></ul><ul><li>Define the “principles know-how” that learners should be taught to make best use of their laptops, mobile phones, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Define whether learners should develop a learning portfolio (e-portfolio) to showcase </li></ul><ul><li>their achievements and, by implication, their school’s. </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare a strategy that supports all educators with teaching ICT relevant to their subjects. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Thanks to All Who Supported This Research… Travis Noakes National Research Foundation University of Cape Town, Department of Film and Media Studies Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Department of Informatics and Design. The private High School’s management, IT and Visual Arts departments. All educators who participated in the presentation and/or survey.