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It’s not (only) about the ebook


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Presented at the Footnote Summit 2015, Johannesburg, 30 July 2015

Published in: Education
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It’s not (only) about the ebook

  1. 1. It’s not (only) about the ebook Footnote Summit 2015 Steve Vosloo Head of Mobile Pearson South Africa
  2. 2. Technology ‘Technology’, as the computer scientist Bran Ferren memorably defined it, is ‘stuff that doesn’t work yet.’ Douglas Adams, 1999
  3. 3. A book is not technology What’s good • Very familiar (years of training to draw upon) • Known user interface: people know how to switch is on, browse, bookmark • Known information architecture: people go straight to the homepage (ToC) or the search (index) • Very durable (can last hundreds of years) • Very rugged – it can be dropped • Does not need a battery What’s bad • Can be expensive • Single distribution model • Hard to update • Flat, one size fits all • Non-interactive, non-dynamic, non-trackable • Not connected
  4. 4. An ebook is technology What’s good • Multimedia and interactive  engaging • Connects to LMS and captures learning journey  adaptive and personalised) • Very easy and cheap to reproduce • New ways to distribute • Easier to update What’s bad • Not familiar • It needs a reader • It needs power, a battery • It is fragile (including it’s standards!) • It is part of an ecosystem
  5. 5. “Since the introduction of e-Learning at my school learner participation in class has increased. As at teacher I find it easier to explain concepts using the models, activities and videos…” Teacher at Zweilibanzi Secondary
  6. 6. How do we make an ebook no longer technology? Build better ebooks? Yes. And no. The move to digital is a seismic shift, it is not about replacing paper with screens but rather about ensuring a learning experience that is enabled by digital opportunities. This represents a whole new ecosystem: digital learning, which we need to ensure is delivered effectively and holistically.
  7. 7. Digital resources work alongside all other classroom materials Increased Collaboration and development Of 21st Century skills Revision and practice including mobile apps outside the classroom Front-of-class teaching is enhanced by interactive assets Time-saving assessment tools enable the teacher to adapt their lessons to ensure successful outcomes Core curriculum content delivered via eBooks on a variety of devices Individual diagnostic assessments identify personalised learning needs
  8. 8. Digital learning ecosystem Has many parts, stakeholders, principles. What ISTE calls essential conditions to effectively leverage technology for learning. Let’s look at the parts. Which ones are relevant for you? Which ones do you have? Can they be strengthened? Which ones don’t you have? Where do we need to work together? Which partners do we need?
  9. 9. Digital learning is a journey Uneven landscape at the school/college and district level: technology, infrastructure, ICT literacy, buy-in, etc. Not all are at the same point of digital readiness. Therefore we need to create multiple entry points into digital learning. Not all institutions will adopt and grow at the same pace. Therefor offer a suite of solutions. A roadmap approach is appropriate, that allows for institutions to begin the digital journey at a level of innovation that they can absorb, but with a clear roadmap of where they need to get to. We need to cater to everyone, but provide clear direction and support. Long-term view is necessary.
  10. 10. Shared vision Where is the institution/district going? How will it get there? Shared vision for digital learning among all education stakeholders, including teachers and support staff, school administrators, teacher educators, learners, parents and the community. And curriculum advisors, departmental officials, Depts of Education. All stakeholders should be able to give input, and be kept informed. This is about change management. About buy-in.
  11. 11. Implementation planning Guides the manifestation of the shared vision. Covers every aspect of the move to digital learning, e.g. infrastructure to professional development, monitoring, content. A detailed roadmap: short term and long term goals. Must be agile and adaptable.
  12. 12. Content and learning products and services Full range of ebooks: flat ePDFs to interactive ePubs. Digital assets (online and/or offline). Online assessment. Learning and revision apps. Learner Management Systems. Because many schools don’t allow learners to take tablets home, a blended approach -- print textbooks AND ebooks -- is needed.
  13. 13. Equitable access Connectivity: can it be provided? At what quality? Is a local offline solution adequate (for now)? Devices: Do all learners have equal access to devices? And what devices to buy? Not just about access, but about being empowered to use the technology to its fullest capacity.
  14. 14. Teacher training and ongoing professional development ISTE: “All the technology in the world won’t make a difference if educators don’t know how to leverage it for deeper learning.” Solid teacher training, ranging from basic ICT literacy to teaching with technology. If we don’t change the pedagogy, we are pouring new wine into old skins. Continuous professional development. “Focusing on both learning to use technology and using technology to learn” Range of modalities: face to face, online, blended, linking teachers into virtual peer-to-peer support networks (use the technology!) Need incentives to encourage participation.
  15. 15. Support Technical support, provided just-in-time so that the teaching and learning process is not disrupted. Support needs to be on-site, ongoing and phased, e.g. first 3 months very intensive and mainly about access, then focus moves to ICT integration into teaching, etc. For sustainability, skills and support must be embedded into the organisation, e.g. through a Schools eLearning Management Programme. Variety of roles: facilitators, technology specialists, e-Champions. Everyone must know whom to turn to for assistance.
  16. 16. E-Champions
  17. 17. Supportive policies Appropriate use of technology: • Learner and teacher safety online. • High-level policies governing web filtering and access to low- level policies around digital citizenship, digital responsibility, cyberbullying. Remember, cellphones are BANNED in many schools! Effective management: • Financial plans, accountability measures and inventory management tools and approaches, such as passwords, accounts and installation procedures.
  18. 18. Security Personal/physical. Infrastructural (at the school). Community buy-in very important.
  19. 19. Funding: Adequate and ongoing About more than buying the ebooks. Includes: devices, connectivity costs, ongoing technology maintenance and support, hardware and software updates, professional development, etc. Strategic budgeting mitigates against buying the “latest and greatest” and should prompt leaders to select the most cost- effective tool for achieving the program’s goals.
  20. 20. Monitoring of effectiveness It is essential to measure the effectives of the programme and, after the massive financial and human investment, the return. Are there better learner outcomes? Is there more efficient assessment that informs teaching practices? Is there more effective administration? Has the move to digital been worth it? Etc.
  21. 21. Efficacy Framework: Likelihood of impact Criteria area Rating Rationale summary • Action plan • Governance • Monitoring and reporting • Pearson capacity and culture • Customer capacity and culture • Stakeholder relationships Outcomes • Intended outcomes • Overall design • Value for money • Comprehensiveness of evidence • Quality of evidence • Application of evidence Evidence Planning and implementation Capacity to deliver Efficacy Key Green: Requires small number of minor actions. Amber/green: Requires some actions (some urgent and some-non urgent). Amber/red: Requires large number of urgent actions. Red: Highly problematic requiring substantial number of urgent actions.
  22. 22. Supportive context What national policies support or hinder digital learning? What can be influenced? What budget can be tapped?
  23. 23. “Dropping technology from the sky is tantamount to missionary work from the Church of Technophilia.” Jordan Shapiro, 2015
  24. 24. Principle: User-centred design Does the teacher care if you’re using ePub2 or ePub3? What matters to the teacher? Easy to use, effective in conveying concepts, saves them time. What matters to the learner? Interactive, connected, creative. It is time we adopt user-centred design approaches into the creation of digital learning products. It’s about putting the user at the centre to create better ebooks, ereaders and a learning experience in a way that understands the context in which they are used. Many examples: UNICEF, IDEO Design Thinking for Educators
  25. 25. Not an easy road We have to take baby steps, AND we have to think big. In this way we are both at the mercy of the market we are selling to, which is very uneven and may not be able to absorb the proposed innovation, as well as responsible for building its capacity to be guided into the digital learning era.
  26. 26. But necessary to take If the publishing industry only focuses on selling ebooks and not creating the bigger future, then it will not succeed. When digital learning fails, we all fail. We are now ALL in the digital learning business – trying to make ebooks no longer technology.
  27. 27. Thank you Steve Vosloo @stevevosloo