Posts Tagged ‘change’

there’s one constant we can be sure of – change

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

It’s been too long since my last post and a lot has happened in my professional life. Things are the same, but they’ve changed – here’s a quick update.

Since coming back from FUSION 2011 mid 2011, I worked on a small research project that examined the planning for the integration of ePortfolios into degree program. I believe this is a worthwhile way to implement ePortfolios by having them embedded in a purposeful and meaningful way with authentic assessment activities. The resulting research report was submitted as the final piece of assessment for the Graduate Certificate of Higher Education (happy to say that I’ve now graduated).

Then there was a flurry of conferences from October to December that provided me with opportunities to share, learn, reconnect and be inspired. I was able to present the preliminary findings of the ePortfolio research project at the ePortfolio Australia Conference (#EAC11) in Perth last October.  I also came away from the conference understanding that sufficient planning & preparation are required to introduce ePortfolios successfully, that student respond well to engaging ePortfolio tasks, and that ePortfolios provide a useful platform for student reflections on learning. While in Perth I was also able to attend the Apple Paperless Padagogy Workshop (great to see the development of tools to create epubs on the iPad platform) and the ATN Assessment Conference (#ATN11). I came away from this conference thinking more about how we can design assessment to be more meaningful in the 21st Century, how we provide authentic assessment of graduate attributes, skills and capabilities attainment, and how we might provide alternative modes of feedback such as audio.

I was on the organising committee of the Teaching and Learning with Vision Conference (#TLV11) in early November and we had a great lineup of speakers and a great vibe over the two days. We were challenged to think about using games for learning, creating innovative learning spaces, how a new generation of learners like to learn, the power of networks for learning, learnt more about QR codes, using point of view (POV) glasses to record skill development, and we shared our favourite social media & networking tools. Make sure you come along to TLV12 in November this year.

TLV keynote
Photo By miz minh TLV11

In mid November I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Informa Technology for Learning and Teaching Forum and caught up with friends Steve Wheeler, Tom Cochrane and Dave Cummings (amongst others). Then at the end of November there was the ConVerge conference (#ConVerge11) and I enjoyed catching up with Howard Errey, Greg Young, Joyce Seitzinger and Nancy White. Came away with a better understanding of; how MOOCs work, ways mobile devices and video conferencing can be used for engaged learning, how to create epubs, the use Diigo & Evernote for social bookmarking, and the power of connecting groups and networks. 

Also late in the year I applied for a job in the School of Medicine at Deakin, and was very happy to be offered the position of Senior Lecturer, Medical Education (eLearning). This meant that I had to say goodbye to my team and colleagues in the Faculty of Business and Law and finished up on the last working day of the year. My new role is to support the use of technology in learning and teaching so has a similar focus as my previous position, but I’m also keen to develop the research component of my work to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of what we do. 

In early December I was able to attend ASCILITE (#ascilite11) in Hobart and and caught up with friends, made some new connections, and got to know some of my new colleagues from the Faculty of Health. I appreciated hearing about projects involved with; learning design and the use of technology in teaching, student response systems, rubric creation and use, curation and social media, and the potential for learning analytics. 

ascilite 2011 opening keynote

I started in the School of Medicine mid January and have been busy getting to know staff and students as well as learning how the medical program is delivered. The LMS (Desire2Learn) is used extensively to support the delivery of the program and I see lots of opportunities to augment that system with the use mobile devices, ePortfolios, and video and multi-media. I hope to get a few projects going and looking at how we can improve the outcomes of learning & teaching program for both students and staff. 

So, while my work has been constant over the past nine months, there has been some change in the context of what I’m doing. I was very fortunate and appreciated the opportunities of professional development through conference attendance late last year and look forward to making a contribution in my new workplace. 

ascilite09 conference reflections #2 – Day One

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

It was a beautiful morning in Auckland and a pleasant stroll through the University of Auckland grounds to the impressive (fairly new) Owen G. Glenn Building.

A genuine and wonderful welcome and greeting in Maori to start off the conference.

The first keynote by Dr Scott Diener took us through the sense of self, sense of place, & sense of emotion that can be exploited by virtual worlds. He suggested that something different happens when we are together and finished off saying we need to be open and share our development and experiences.

Then a plenary by Mark Nichols who provocatively asked if we thought enough about, and recognised & questioned, the ‘group think’ (the wisdowm of crowds) that can mislead us regarding the imagined benefits of technology and elearning. We need to be realistic and not get caught up in the hype of possibility, but be rigorous in our examination and critique of the affordances of new technologies.

I sat in on a symposium called ‘Cascading Change: The role of social software and social media in educational intervention and transformation’. The discussion was focused on how little effect small interventions have at an institutional level and how might we best approach change from a broader ‘whole of organisation’ scope. What conditions, factors, drivers are required? I missed a social get together to continue the discussion so hope to hear more, in the meantime James Clay has blogged about the symposium.

In the afternoon I listened to presentations on the adoption of web 2.0 technologies. Take home points were; workshops don’t always work, follow-up and evaluate any professional development activity to see if practices have changed, there are always new tools to try, and students can do peer assessment if trusted & scaffolded appropriately.

The next session I attended was focused on mobile learning and we learnt about pod/vodcasts to support information literacy for students, using mobile technology to interact during the lecture and about lecturers adopting mobile technology into their teaching. Summary of these presentations is that while we can understand that there are benefits for learning in the adoption and use of mobile technologies, there are still significant barriers to uptake and we need to think carefully about how we might introduce and scaffold the use of these tools in learning & teaching.

Had some fun catching up with friends and meeting twitter followers/ees during the breaks. This link will search twitter for #ascilite09, the conference hashtag so that you can read all the tweets posted with delicious insights to the presentations and other goodies.

All the proceedings of the conference have been published and you can search the programme and find links to all the papers on line at the Conference Programme website.

Reflections on Day #1 of the Learning Technologies 2008 Conference

Friday, November 7th, 2008

How quickly I forget the effect of sitting down most of the day listening to presentations that provide me with new tangents to explore and people/ideas to follow up. Then there’s the busy time during breaks when you find something to eat and drink, talk to exhibitors and meet strangers. I think that’s what school was like (for both student and teacher) – It’s tiring. Anyway lots of good stuff to digest, notes taken, things learned, tweets twittered, conversations had, connections made, and that’s what I’m here for.

The theme of the conference is Learning Connections, and I’ve enjoyed the format with a few keynote presentations as well as presentations of case studies that demonstrate the application of learning technologies in specific situations. I’ll post a summary of these in a future post.

The last session of the day was concerned with a group activity discussing how learning technologies might revolutionise (or not) education. A useful exercise that got us in groups to think about how:
1. Technology can revolutionise education through expanding classroom horizons and enabling students to engage in new learning environments.
2. Technology can revolutionise education by enabling students to engage in learning through social networking.
3. Technology can revolutionise education if we move away from the chalk and talk mode of teaching.
4. Technology can revolutionise education if we stop focusing on how to use IT and begin questioning why and where our students need IT.
5. Technology can revolutionise education if teachers are empowered to make choices about access.
6. Technology can revolutionise education if teachers are supported through on-going PD.
7. Technology can revolutionise education if students don’t have to power down at the classroom door.

Some interesting discussion and outcomes as each group had to report back with a 25 word ‘pitch’ to an audience to convince them to implement change.

We also had a number of product showcases where vendors had 15 minutes to ply their wares. Mostly focused on video conferencing hardware and software, we saw some neat applications that I’ll want to follow up: Integrated Vision spoke about Videolinq, Tandberg, and Broadreach Services demonstrated Vidyo.

… I was also able to make more (real life) connections during the day and at the Conference Dinner – particularly with fellow Tweeps such as; @mollybob, @gsiemens, @mikecogh, @jokay, @skytrystsjoy and @caroldaunt.