Exploring Education Futures Conference
Introduction – Professor Uvanney Maylor, director of IREd, University of Bedfordshire
ICT influencing student engagement and the attainment of diverse students
As well as opening the conference, the introduction given by Prof Uvanney Maylor aimed to encourage conference participants to think about how ICT/digital technologies might be used to motivate and facilitate the inclusion of students from diverse backgrounds (in terms of gender, ethnicity, class, disability) in the classroom and wider curriculum (e.g. mathematics, English, science). It was argued that a key challenge for any teacher is how to personalise their teaching so that students feel included in the curriculum and at the same sustain student engagement – very often students say that their lessons are ‘boring’ (resulting in them distracting others and themselves becoming excluded) and parents also complain that schools are not engaging their children. ICT/digital technologies (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, DVDs, digitised stories/Iwriters) present teachers with creative and dynamic ways of engaging young people and are also critical to enabling students from diverse groups to feel included and able to contribute their learning.
While acknowledging that students use ICT/digital technologies in unprecedented ways, the introduction nevertheless pointed to the attainment variation across ethnicity, gender and class (EHRC 2010) and the challenge this presented for ICT/digital technologies in fostering childrens’ attainment and challenging underachievement across groups. The introduction ended by posing a series of key questions for the conference participants to consider during the day:
Given that not every child has access to a computer/laptop or even a smart phone at home, how can children from the poorest backgrounds be assisted through ICT/digital technology to access the curriculum? What are the implications for the setting of homework?
How can every child be assisted in maximising their full potential and how can ICT/digital technologies support that?
How can ICT/digital technologies improve student GCSE outcomes?
How can ICT be used to engender greater teaching flexibility in the classroom?
An Unconference: Learning Collaboratively
Dr Andrea Raiker, Head of Learning Futures REsearch Centre, IREd, University of Bedfordshire.
This presentation takes the outcomes from two previous Mirandanet unconferences and shows how participants are able to generate, amend or confirm policies through their own agency. The Mirandanet unconferences and the venues and website functionality used in the sessions allow experienced teachers, academics and consultants to critically analyse and evaluate their practice through collaboration in both physical and virtual spaces. Previous collaborations had resulted in the emergence of five interest groups. Using these, and a sixth identified as being appropriate for the focus of the November MirandaMod, as foci for discussion Doctor Raiker argued that participants could use the outcomes generated to write reports. The intention of these reports is to impact on ICT policy and practice. In this way, the waning of teacher professionalism could be reversed through communicative and communicated action within the public sphere. Raiker Impact on policy and practice
Education Futures: Making Sense of digital learning spaces,
Dr Noeline Wright: Faculty of Education, University of Waikato
Case studies in emerging technologies and their implications for practice
Digital technologies and practice. Where are we? Who are we influencing?
CPD – How to transfer innovation to the classroom?
As already mentioned at our meeting in Prague (Link <http://prezi.com/9e3wphddmbsy/introduction-mirandanet-unconference/> for Prezi) for me CPD is the often missing link between knowledge – what we think teachers should know in the 21 century – and assessment. There are theoretical models revealing the requirements and connections between them which are necessary for a successful teacher training. To improve the current situation in Saxony we are working simultaneously in two different directions: We designed a subject-specific teacher training (Link <http://www.inedp.org/?conference=ioste-XV&schedConf=Thematic&schedConf=Thematic&page=paper&op=view&path%5B%5D=333&path%5B%5D=60> for IOSTE XV paper) for the use of IWB in physics. On the other hand we tried to start earlier, with students who want to become teachers. Our hope is that students who are aware of the possibilities of ICT and social media in school will fasten the innovation process and can inspire even experienced teachers at schools.
Actually we’re establishing a range of offers for our students:
- BYOD-action research in cooperation with Promethean
- Integrating IWB and other ICT tools into lectures and seminars
- Developing special seminars about use of ICT and social media in physics
I am very interested in sharing ideas and experiences both about developing and understanding of CPD and how we can integrate innovations in education to prepare our future teachers.
Mobile Technology and Education
Gerlinde Gniewosz, KO- SU
Mobile technology today is one of the most ubiquitous forms of technology in the world, with mobile far outstripping fixed line. Is there a place for such technology in education? Can it be harnessed to improve learning and teaching? As with all technologies, mobile is not a panacea, but rather its impact is dependent upon how it is used. It may even require a new pedagogical approach for it to be effective.
This presentation will:
- Propose areas where mobile technology can support and complement learning and teaching
- Illustrate how the use of mobile technology has evolved
- Show examples of engaging mobile learning design
- Provide a glimpse into the future and its challenges
KO-SU: Empowering teachers to go mobile
Gerlinde Gniewosz, KO- SU
Mobile technology today is one of the most ubiquitous forms of technology in the world, with mobile far outstripping fixed line. Is there a place for such technology in education? Can it be harnessed to improve learning and teaching? As with all technologies, mobile is not a panacea, but rather its impact is dependent upon how it is used. It may even require a new pedagogical approach for it to be effective. We have identified 4 broad areas where mobile can support and complement teaching and learning – Complementary, Exploratory, On-the-Go and Primary Access. Nevertheless there are still barriers or perceived barriers to adoption, including:
- Time and space for teachers to learn yet another technology
- Lack of a tradition of pedagogy that incorporates use of mobile technology
- Inconsistency of user experience across the different types of mobile
- Measuring results and recording progress from the use of mobile technology
- Network connectivity and reliability
KO-SU, the new innovative mobile learning platform, goes some way to overcoming these barriers. A short video demo will provide a taste of what is now possible.
The challenge that will be left with the audience:
“What is best practice and pedagogy for use of mobile technology in order to improve learning and teaching outcomes? Or is mobile simply a waste of time?”
Dr Katya Toneva: “Using Google Apps for Creating Online Communities of Practice to Facilitate CPD for Academic Staff (Two Case Studies)”
With the extensive expansion of the Information and Communication Technologies in the learning, business and home environments it is becoming apparent that there is considerable opportunity for increasing collaborative interaction if a framework is developed to coordinate the activities of the individuals across the different sectors. As a possible way of achieving this objective, we present the online Communities of Practice (CoP) developed at the Institute for Work Based Learning, Middlesex University and at the International Community School, London.
The creation of a suitable online environment for sharing good teaching practice and building professional knowledge made the choice of tools for the development and facilitation of a virtual space for CPD a crucial one. We have chosen Google Apps – tools that are simple, accessible, interactive, collaborative and cost effective.
Google Apps support social constructivist approaches to learning. Social constructivism creates a learning environment that emphasises collaboration and exchange of ideas.
Constructivism gives people ownership of their learning, since they are engaged through sharing, questions and explorations.
This presentation includes a number of examples illustrating our experience in utilising Google Apps for developing online communities of practice for CPD for academic staff. More details about our approach can be found at our collaborative article: “Using Virtual Spaces for Learning Communities to Facilitate Project Development and Collaborative Learning” (Leading author: Dr Katya Toneva, Co-authors: Dr Kathy Doncaster and Dr Darryll Bravenboer).
Poncelet O. Ileleji
TECHNOLOGY IN A CHANGING ICT LANDSCAPE: A View From an Educator in Sub Sahara Africa
Technology in a changing landscape is one that reflects the dynamism that the ICT industry has taken to include inclusiveness in all sectors of our lives.
The question comes how do we reflect and take advantage of the tremendous strides that technology has made in a changing ICT landscape. When I look at West Africa particularly the Gambia what comes to mind is the soon to be launched Africa Coast to Europe Sub Marine Cable which will be launched for all the 23 countries involved to be process on the 19th of December in the Gambia.
Research Education Futures: new ways of impacting on education policy and systems
Initial Teacher Education (ITE), schools and digital technologies in New Zealand: implications for local practice and policy in one region
Dr Noeline Wright, University of Waikato, New Zealand
This presentation sets out what one Faculty of Education is doing to better understand what is already is happening in local schools, particularly in relation to mobile technologies for learning. The Faculty of Education in the University of Waikato has begun a process of discovery: a key question for the faculty is to address the Graduating Teacher Standards which require ITE graduates to display, among other things, “proficiency in ICT relevant to their professional role”. While primary schools in the Waikato region and beyond are already using mobile technologies (especially tablets and other touch-and-swipe technologies), the uptake and nature of this is patchy; more so in secondary schools. Secondary schools, because of factors such as size, subject silos and assessment and compliance regimes, tend to be less nimble in their ability and desire to harness these tools.
This presentation therefore, outlines what the faculty has learned from recent visits and collaborations on mobile digital projects with schools. It also explores some barriers to change within the institution, notwithstanding the robust digital infrastructure within the faculty. A one-year graduate ITE secondary programme will illustrate some of the difficulties of expecting practicum to be a time of experimentation with mobile and other digital technologies.