FOTE10 is more technology focussed then many of the events I attend but my talk concentrated on teachers/lecturers and their importance in the successful implementation of educational technologies. My talk in brief:
We have the technology
The technology is here and continues to arrive and has great potential uses in education. But teachers don’t fully utilise what we already have and understanding why is necessary to ensure we realise the full benefits of future technologies for education.
Yesterday Steve Wheeler raised a two fingered salute to open another chapter in the ongoing VLE-PLE debate (see VLE vs PLE fight club for an earlier installment). It’s an excellent post but I’m not wholly convinced.
Firstly, some points that Steve and I probably agree upon:
Personal Webs have an important & central role in the future of technology enhanced learning
Wherever appropriate teachers should be given freedom to teach with the web technologies of their choosing
Students should also be encouraged to use the web technologies of their own choosing to support their learning
More focus is needed on the teaching activities and not the tools that enable them
However, unlike Steve, I believe that VLEs (institutionally managed webs for teaching & learning) are here to stay and have an important role in the future:
Not all teachers are tech-savvy ‘edupunks’. Many are not interested in developing and teaching with their own personal webs. Some would need considerable support to do so. This will undoubtedly change over time but for a good while to come many teachers want to be provided with a single, simple, managed & supported platform. Continue reading “VL-istically speaking”
Yesterday at a staff development session for teachers I asked the following question both within the room and via Twitter, ‘Describe the Future of ICTs in Education… in one word’
I received several answers in the room and within 10-minutes had 16 from Twitter, which I think impressed the participants! (“Now I get Twitter!”) All these answers are combined with the ones from my presentation slides in this Wordle.
Anything you’d like to add? It was a very interesting exercise both in terms of how well it worked as a twitter demonstration but also in terms of the answers.
My presentation was followed by a very interesting one by Gordon Rimmer from the education arm of Microsoft. I may say more about this later but for now a video that took me by suprise as one of the teachers in it is a school friend! So absolutely must be embedded below! And also gives me a great excuse to share the Microsoft Surface parody video too!
Both staff and students, according to the report, are struggling to see how social web technologies can be applied to learning. It also highlights that face-to-face teaching really matters to students and I’m pretty certain this is true of teachers too!
However, the report suggests that there is a digital divide between students and teaching staff in terms of more general usage of social technologies. While this is undoubtedly true to a certain extent, there is also a danger of overstating it. It’s like the digital native – digital immigrant labelling, it just isn’t that simple. Many students don’t engage with digital technologies and many teachers do.
Anyway, there is a need, as the report indicates, for staff to:
be technically proficient, i.e. capable of using social web technologies
make effective use of these technologies for teaching/learning (effective e-pedagogies)
keep up-to-date with ongoing developments as web-based ‘resources’ continue to grow
This morning I delivered a talk on the future of e-learning! I was unusually apprehensive before I started – no familiar faces in the audience, a sector I have limited knowledge of (schools) and a topic that took me slightly out of my comfort zone. I felt it went well though and received some complementary feedback and one offer of work, so not all bad!
My slides are below and along with the presentation links you’ll get a flavour of my themes: open education, participation (communication, collaboration & creation), mobile learning and personalisation. Of course you are missing the real meat, mine & the participants’ voices – but you’ll get the idea. And you can ignore the govt strategy stuff… paid it lip service!
The technology in the room looked state of the art but unfortunately failed to deliver… my attempt to show the Google video below was prevented (I think) by a slow Internet connection, youtube was blocked completely! The room layout, presenter podium and the dual-projection interactive whiteboard were a big let down:
Dual-projection – absolute overkill for a room the size of double garage.
Interactive whiteboard – I have little time for them so didn’t go there but as the next presenter discovered it wasn’t configured/orientated correctly so ultimately unusable.
Podium – too small for the keyboard & mouse to sit side-by-side. No monitor on it, making it impossible to face my audience while doing the demonstration bits and because of the dual projection / room layout I couldn’t actually see the right-hand side of the screen.
It’s such a shame when the technology gets in the way but today it really didn’t need to… a simple PC / data projector with decent, un-filtered Internet access was all I wanted. Oh well, take some inspiration from Buckingham Primary School…
A couple of weeks ago I was in the audience of BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? Afterwards, once I’d finished admiring Theresa May’s boots, I was chatting, as you do, to a real-life Secretary of State. We started off on safe ground talking about his dad. Once that was covered, I was asked, ‘what do you do?’; Learning Technologist I say, after which an explanation was not unsurprisingly required. Now, it may well be the way I tell ’em but the Secretary of State was struck dumb and an awkward silence ensued. I kid you not.