Re Thinking Innovative E Learning Along The Lines Of Local


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Creating E-learning Environments for Marginalized Communities. A Trinidad and Tobago Model. Presented at the E-Learn Conference 2009. Candice V. Sankarsingh.
'Podcasting in your nets' explores suitable and customized training alternatives for fisherfolk.

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  • IT’s the BIG GOAL? Why am I doing this? Its my contribution to our objective….any Ministry doing what they are mandated to do. How it ties into the work of the DLS but first some concepts as to where I am coming from with all of this….A knowledge-based society is an innovative and life-long learning society, which possesses a community of scholars, researchers, engineers, technicians, research networks, and firms engaged in research and in production of high-technology goods and service provision.How does e-learning figure in this? It’s almost only natural. Because characteristics of the KBS also include that its communication and information technological tools make vast amounts of human knowledge easily accessible. Knowledge development in the information age is a technologically aided activity. E-learning or electronic learning is evidence of the knowledge development revolution taking place and ‘being born of the new and emerging society as a result of technological advances.
  • If we are building this national innovation-production system- A KBS then 1) a cultural change in the way we treat with knowledge development and sharing is relevant to ensuring successful transformation/ transitionSo why culture? This is one of the most powerful lessons underlying my work at the Distance Learning Secretariat of the MSTTE. What has emerged from every test pilot within the CoP model endorsed by the Secretariat is that, to move towards the KBS, a change in the our customs, our ideas and social behavior with regards to KNOWLEDGE Development, Sharing and Access has to take place. So then 2) since E-learning Culture is relevant to the entire transformation process of a country headed towards ‘developed country status’ E-learning needs to demonstrate more than ever the added value of the E to the learning process.(*)Engendering E-learning culture is not just about learners or educators anymore, this includes the business community- which is often overlooked in its value to the kind of meaningful change and innovation it can influence.
  • If E-learning Cul. is not generated, the journey to KBS can be quite shaky for EVERYBODY. The ‘E’ is actually bigger than we think. (explain formula)If we don’t create the culture, we don’t create the environment to breed the kind of innovation and support for that innovation required of a KBS. It’s essentially partnerships that have to be established if sustainability is to take place.Pragmatic: about all people, seamlessness and practical. Learning geared towards change is a futile exercise if it cannot be accessed and is not delivered to the people who most need it. [Expanding choices]Pedagogic: how do we move beyond traditional learning paths, how do we address content to suit to different learning styles [ Expanding choices]Business: how do we move beyond offering communication systems? [Expanding choices]
  • (Briefly mention who we are, link back to COL-VUSSC-and our mission for institutional strengthening)…research to inform policy development.Understanding who we are and where we are at in this whole process affects e-learning initiatives aimed at empowering people to build a sustainable society.
  • This has caused us to re-visit our approach to our mission.What we learnt is that:Building the E-learning culture has to be supported or built on our cultural strengths. We can’t just pull e-learning ideas, products, apps, services, processes whatever from other cultures, other developed nations and think that it will work. This required ‘culture’ cannot just be bought, cannot just be imported and transposed upon our own because 1) it just might not address our local needs, 2) there’s no validation of local skills and talent of our SMEs, 3)no real innovation, 4) our local human resource is one of our greatest assets: trump card in this entire movement esp. if in terms of self-sustainability.Access to learning is fundamental. Issues in inequalities to access, concentrated in hands of few, affordability, digital divideFocus on more flexible, innovative and intelligent systems, processes, applications and assistive technologies.
  • I am speaking of e-learning initiatives within a specific Model: i.e. the Community of Practice Model – identified by Etienne Wenger. It was through this model that I started to identify solid ‘cultural’ traits w.r.t. knowledge development/sharing and interaction and only when I used this data for planning was I able to produce more meaningful results in my e-learning initiatives. Important questions asked by the DLS in its work with the COPs in priority areas marked for development have been: Are we there yet? NO; Have we engendered the kind of culture needed to support ready-made apps, services etc. NO; Some of the challenges which emerged with CoP initiatives with the knowledge culture was that: Still operating in silos even within our knowledge networking. We are very conservative when it comes to sharing knowledge. This is not a blogging culture…online collaboration Some might be internauts. Some are engaged! Yes you have the students and young adults on social networks, facebooking, skyping, youtubing, downloading movies, etc., And yet even in this, we are majority ‘followers’ not ‘innovators’. You have a lot of cyber-activity but cyber activity with specific purpose for knowledge DEVELOPMENT and building, exchange of ideas?? Independent Activities showing innovation? Very low.Then you have those who are just NOT even there. Not engaged. Disconnected. Just couldn’t be bothered. The computer is an electronic typewriter. They have not been able to bring the cyber culture comfortably into their daily lives. Copy/Paste/Print.
  • Discussion on the idea. How do you partner? What are your motivational strategies? Who are we as a people? Understanding your environment and the culture of the subject area, the dynamics, the learners, the tutors. How do you use this creatively? (bootcamps/ expand the learning paths/ understand the environment and validate what they do by complimenting it with appropriate technologies/ gives us a feel for how receptive they are/ dialogue on the issues) you have to do a lot of field work.This is who we are….we discuss, we talk, we express. We tell stories we give examples we are naturally a very animated people. Opinions a plenty. There is an energy here…but the collaboration is accustomed to being ‘real-time’ ‘live’ ‘audience’ or ‘social’ ‘people enviroment’ Left alone would they? NO. Solo acts? NO. harder….we need to feel like we have connected.
  • Knowledge sharing and open access….not being afraid/ others are doing it, feedback on will this work? Why? Why not? (in this case, they need a version for them)No need to reveal everything all at once and overwhelm your audience. Let the experience be a discovery. Wet appetite but move quickly too to avoid loss of interest.Confronting the realities. This is what is out there. Some people just DON’T know. New and emerging technologies. Life long learning. Why the talk show? (ties in to the culture we observed….the culture of these CoPs!)
  • Immersion. Jump in. People drive the process. People at the heart of knowledge development. Entrepreneurship is the surest way for a nation to meet these goals. Outstanding performance. Totally embraced this and successfully deployed.Technology should be the bridge not the divide. How natural can this process be made?
  • Training to be able to perform in the real task ahead.Do a mock-up.Amazing how they organized themselves. They were passionate about their work and obviously spurred on by the impact this alternative path could actually have on the Institute’s learner population.
  • An invention is useful only to the inventor unless it is offered to the public. If the invention improves some product, process or service for the public, then that invention transforms into an innovation. Innovation involves the taking of the work of an individual or team, and taking it to a broader audience.An innovation is the extension of an invention.The creation, development and implementation of a new product, process or service with the aim of improving efficiency, effectiveness or competitive advantage.Entrepreneurship, business and investment (funding! Infrastructure)
  • Simultaneously began to engage and feel out service provider.The concept here is not to lose the cellphone.To stay within the environment of the learner.To meet him at his level.Response….lackadaisical for want of a better word. (christmas, carnival, summit!) this is who we are. I wasn’t speaking their language…they want to sell phones. Where is the real business opportunity candice. What happened was they were almost beginning to dictate NOT how it would play out….but rather IF it would play out at all.This pushes me into innovation mode…break it down, bring it simpler, forget what I see online, forget what I do as an internet or technophile. What does the average common man have at his disposal to make this happen? Retrofitting.
  • Communities of Practice should be able to manage and organize themselves, give the subject matter the tools and the skills training and let’s see what they come up with. (+) they need to understand why they are doing this, cannot be left out or side-lined, so that they OWN the process.
  • Exposure to the studio environment. Findings: were unable to handle the pressure. There are occupational considerations in this process. Your subject matter experts are just that. Subject matter experts. For this short test pilot…To produce a professional podcast, professional services had to be used. (+) greater appreciation for the production process. Can the institute send persons for training? Perhaps.Vital for the institute to understand the process, type of investment needed to make this DL initiative sustainable.
  • Practically have already begun to take ownership of this initiative.Working it into their strat plan.Inform the institute’s practices, policies….test modeLiterally just using DLS as facilitators to support. Hand holding. Stakeholders coming together. Our role to influence the enviroment by policy is more informed. Data plans? Seamless education?
  • Who you consider upgrading? ( THIS IS BIG!) Changes in users attitudes to the cellphones, smartphones.
  • Does it affect you neg.? It’s a new experience….people are genuinely interested.
  • Impossible to micro manage with such a wide mandate and we are just without the resources to micro-manage Stakeholders. That is just not our purpose! We can manage rather our strategy/ plan d’attaque 2) CoPs allow for test pilots and case studies, This is a useful for the DLS because of its situational results-based, local fact-finding approach to planning. Shouldn’t we understand the stakeholder, get into their environment and thrash it out so that the policies we develop are relevant , functional and insync with the realities? Esp. the reality of those whose quality of life we want to improve? Use this hands-on understanding to now plot out how you are going to move closer to your Secretariat’s goals.3) Profiles emerge in this Model. It works well in the right enviroment ( one ready for change- CFTDI survival!). People who drive and sustain a CoP are particular. It’s a team. Team profiles vary. Who is the dynamo? Who is the balance? Who are the foot soldiers? Who is the source? Who is the architect? Who is the oracle?4) Have we really influenced the business aspect of E-learning? One of the identified drawbacks of the CoP model is the need for funding! ($) Money talks. Business stakeholders technological service providers are still not on-board. Their empathy is perhaps there but empathy won’t build an empire. Without a viable e-learning market rich with apps, added services and processes, why should they invest in more infrastructure?5) It is Innovation ( or re-newed interest in Innovation) that will populate the market.6) Learners are ready to move to the next level….Everybody is Gung ho! How do we take advantage of these energy levels and how do we sustain it? How do we prevent disillusionment?
  • Michael Fairbanks’ book, In The River They Swim, which uses Rwanda as one of its examples, highlights the need to respect local wisdom, build a culture of innovation and create investment opportunities in product development, new distribution systems and innovative branding. Government activities should focus on supporting entrepreneurship not just to meet these new goals, but because it unlocks people’s minds, fosters innovation and enables people to exercise their talents. If people are shielded from the forces of competition, it is like saying they are disabled. Entrepreneurship gives people the feeling that they are valued and have meaning, that they are as capable, as competent and as gifted as anyone else. Asking our citizens to compete is the same as asking them to go out into the world on behalf of Rwanda and play their part.
  • Re Thinking Innovative E Learning Along The Lines Of Local

    1. 1. Re-thinking Innovative E-learning along the lines of local culture<br />By Candice V. Sankarsingh<br />E-learn Conference June 8th-11th 2009<br />
    2. 2. The Intent<br />Significant to the achievement of developed country status is the intent to transform Trinidad and Tobago into a knowledge-based society. <br />
    3. 3. Essential Stepping Stones<br />
    4. 4. Getting the Bigger Picture<br />The added value of the ‘E’ in ‘E-learning’ can be pragmatic, pedagogic and commercial (P-Community/E-Community/B-Community formula).<br />
    5. 5. Human Development Learning Access<br />The Distance Learning Secretariat is involved in re-engineering and connecting Learning Access and Human Development to support the development of a Lifelong Learning System in Trinidad and Tobago. <br />
    6. 6. The Added Value of Innovation<br />
    7. 7. Test Pilots in the CoPs<br />Podcasting<br />
    8. 8. “Podcasting in your nets” a case study<br />Partnership bet. MSTTE and CFTDI (local VUSSC Community of Practice)<br />Addressing institution challenges through development of innovative & alternative learning paths<br />Impact of audio-based learning objects on fisher folk & the Institute’s ability to apply ODL initiatives in its outreach programmes.<br />
    9. 9. “Podcasting in your nets” a case study in phases<br />Pilot Orientation <br />Phase A) Identifying and building a community of practice<br />
    10. 10. Pilot Orientation<br />Phase B) Sharing the idea of “knowledge sharing”<br />
    11. 11. Pilot Orientation<br />Phase C) Investing in local human resources by engagement in the process<br />
    12. 12. Phase D- Training and Practicum in the Knowledge Development Process:<br />Fundamentals : <br />Scripting for Podcasts;<br />Bluetooth technology<br />Audio File Formats<br />
    13. 13.
    14. 14. Innovation: Re-visited<br />“We are {not just} interested in the invention of the new idea, but more so that this idea is actually ‘brought to market’, used, put into practice, exploitedin some way leading to new products, attitudes, processes, systems, services that improve something or add value.”<br />
    15. 15. “ Podcasting in your nets” Delivery Issues<br />Issues:<br />MMS Podcasting to IVR to Audio text services to…?<br />Service Providers Merchants/Buccaneers?<br />When culture of a Monopoly impacts negatively on innovation?<br />Solution:<br />Use accessible platforms/ existing technologies to support professional goals and impact learning.<br />
    16. 16. Phase E- Creativity in the Knowledge Development Process:<br />
    17. 17. Phase F – Production Techniques in the Knowledge Development Process:<br />Studio Environment<br />12 Professional Podcasts Series Produced<br />Sample<br />
    18. 18. Phase G: Delivery & Outreach <br />
    19. 19. Results: Knowledge of Learning Device<br />
    20. 20. Results: Impact of delivery<br />
    21. 21. Knowledge Workers = Knowledge Society<br />How do we use this to now “generate a cadre of qualified, skilled, capable, marketable and civic-minded citizens who can preserve democracy, transform the socio-economic environment and modernize the society?”<br />
    22. 22. Lessons Learnt<br />CoP (ComPrac) E-learning model works for the DLS and its mission.<br />Test pilots: local fact finding, situational results-based approach to planning.<br />CoP Machinery, profiles, successes closely linked to local culture and practices.<br />The added value of the ‘E’ in ‘E-learning’ can be pragmatic, pedagogic and commercial (P-Community/E-Community/B-Community formula).<br />Local learners and faculty are demonstrating HIGH levels of interest. <br />Impact of CoP model on business sector still very weak. Can the CoP model move telecommunications beyond communication systems and into intelligent systems?<br />
    23. 23. One small giant leap???<br /><ul><li>Service Providers interest peaked on Podcasting via mobile phones
    24. 24. Recognition of the Institute and its learners as a viable client
    25. 25. Entry of new blood into the institute and industry
    26. 26. Recognition of the value of mobile learning as a potential market
    27. 27. Intelligent systems vs. communication systems?
    28. 28. More democracy in the levels of influence?</li></li></ul><li>The End (NOT!)<br />