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Archived Posts from “Professional Development”

I store my knowledge in my friends

20

May


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Kim Flintoff drew the attention of readers of the fantastic West Australian eChalk email list to this video - eSN TechWatch: Preparing Kids for 21st-Century Success. Kim observed:

Yet another smart person (Daniel Pink) recognises what needs to be done in education – why don’t things change? Interesting that embedded arts is identified as a key shift – and that current arts programs ore often tack on rather than fully integrated. Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to break from disciplinary isolation – tear down the limiting walls of arbitrary learning area demarcation.

To which Bryn Jones replied and pointed out that Jamie McKenzie had added a critique of the video here. I love when people share elements of the wider conversation in the spirit of collegial interest. This is another aspect of connectivism that underlies the learning going on around our professional association with each other. I am started to observe this more and more as George Siemens says we “derive our competence from forming connections”. Karen Stephenson states:

Experience has long been considered the best teacher of knowledge. Since we cannot experience everything, other people’s experiences, and hence other people, become the surrogate for knowledge. ‘I store my knowledge in my friends’ is an axiom for collecting knowledge through collecting people (undated).

On the subject of ‘change’ it is interesting to compare the “Preparing Kids for 21st-Century Success” video with this one “Progressive Education in the 1940s”. I came across it on Gary Stager’s blog post here.

Weird huh?! Progressive, interdisciplinary education was mooted back then too. Who would have thought! Still I’d argue that OBE (outcomes based education) when used well by teachers allows for a multidisciplinary approach. Although, I was speaking with a teacher/leader today who noted that WA teachers have a natural aversion to sharing - let alone across disciplines; this hinders the whole approach somewhat! Are we wilfully ignoring the lessons of the past or are our systems simply morphing without focus to meet the economic needs of the times?

But in the 21C, what about the inventive needs of the knowledge economy where the right-brainers need opportunities to become equipped? I’m optimistic. Rudd is right. Empowering students with access to their own ‘digital pencil’ and the connectivism it brings is a good start, and will, with trust and time, help them form an aptitude for being creative, critical thinkers - hopefully with inquiring minds to boot.


Technology Integration Matrix

03

May


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This Technology Integration Matrix is a very handy reference point for school administrators, especially those ready to take the plunge and give students the opportunity of 1:1 access the Digital Education Revolution funding offers.

It is worthwhile clicking on the links under each indicator to see how the integration works in both shared and 1:1 learning environments. You’ll find video examples, objectives, materials/technology list, standards, and what amounts to basically a lesson plan. Incredible resource!

The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e., reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells as illustrated below.

Technology Matrix


31 day Comment Challenge

30

April


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As @dswaters pointed out at the recent ECAWA unconference I am not the most social creature online these days! I do engage with some discussions on email lists and a little bit more lately on Twitter but in general this year I have not really been joining in the dialogue of the blogosphere as much. I have been considering the reasons behind this, and think it is simply that I am so busy with the new job, but most of all I think it’s because if I am going to engage with a discussion I feel I need to really immerse myself in the discussion to have my contributions be of any use.

CommentThis general demeanour leaves me missing out on a fantastic project is going on in the edublogosphere called the 31 day comment challenge. I would love to be part of it but instead I am just going to write about how cool it is instead :-). Sue Waters makes some valuable points here about the fact “that commenting on blogs is a crucial aspect of blogging conversations for achieving the greatest learning,” and this is put in context by an insightful reference to Derek Wenmoth’s diagram The Four C’s of Participation in Online Communities. Maybe I’ll be up for the next one.

BTW - Digital Chalkie is a multi-user web-blog. If you are a blogger who would like a different audience, register above, and blog away here to your hearts content. As an open group-blog anyone is welcome to share their posts.


Encouraging teachers to use technology

11

April


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Technology now dominates every area of our lives and educators need to make sure they are prepared for its inclusion into our schools. This may mean making a break from traditional teaching methods; but there is no denying the inevitability of technology being thrust into curricula around the country. Many teachers may be hesitant to accept this new world order but the key is to ensure they are ready for this new challenge. Here are some tips for preparing teachers for the future:

Make teachers feel comfortable. Many, at first, will resist the influx of computers into their classroom but if you can make feel at ease by letting them know the full spectrum of possibilities out there, then they will warm up. Appeal to a teacher’s passion in their given subject area of expertise and show them a computer program that will open their eyes to new, different ways of teaching their subject.

Teach the teachers. Keep in mind that teachers are just like the students in that they will learn at different rates. Develop a comprehensive training program, but allow the faculty to learn at their own speed. Avoid putting overt pressure on them to be at a certain computer aptitude. Eventually they’ll get the hang of it. Don’t rush them because then they’re more apt to abandon the training.

Keep a slow, deliberate pace. There will be plenty of staff members that are already advanced when it comes to using computers but for the ones that are a little slower maintain a steady training pace. Technology training is not something that can be accomplished overnight. It is something that you will continually be working on with workshops throughout the year.

Create a rewards system. Implementing such a training regimen may often require teachers to spend more time than the district allows for in a pay structure. Anyone will be more apt to quit on a project if they’re not being properly rewarded. Compensate teachers if they’re spending more than the allotted time on the training.

Be strict. If teachers are resistant to using computers then you may have to come down on them harder than you would desire to. Warn them that if they don’t use computers in the classroom they will lose them. Consider adding their adherence to the technology policy into their evaluations. If you’re serious about the program, then chances are your staff will get on board as well.

By-line:

Heather Johnson is a freelance writer, as well as a regular contributor for OEDb, a site for learning about online education. Heather invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: heatherjohnson2323@gmail.com .


happy 10th b’day edna from digitalchalkies

21

November


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10 years is a long time in digital life, especially when you are quietly prompting your own education revolution(sic). But when you are based upon open-source organically created tools, it becomes easier to weather the times. Education Network Australia (edna) has been well managed to be flexible enough to move with the technologies of the times. The professional learning scaffold they have built provides for thousands of teachers (and now students) Australia-wide and is a remarkable success story.

I work within a few of these communities of learning and what continues to impress me is that for all intents and purposes they have become self-sustaining. This is remarkable simply because we 21C teachers often require guidance and multiple learning opportunities to get to grip with the digital tools of the age. However, edna’s mash-up of tools offer an engaging, easy-to-use toolset of open-source technologies based mostly upon social constructivist pedagogy - this simple formula leads to strong social support networks (crucial to scalable lifelong learning).

In this spirit of utilising the free, open-source and social tools of the web, edna has set up a LiveClassroom webconference, a VoiceThread and a party in SecondLife. I love this spirit of fun and adventure they bring to their learning events.

Via Kerry Johnson:
edna is going to be holding an event in SL on Tuesday 27 November — and I thought you’d be interested in attending.

SL EDNAHere are the details:
“Official” start time is 2:45pm Adelaide, South Australia time - check your timezone here - on the island of Terra Icognita - click this slurl to access. But you’re welcome to drop by any time after 2pm.

We’ll have free ‘tedna-shirts’, virtual cake and champagne and, after a live broadcast of speeches including the launch of myedna, your avatar can rock out to popular Second Life band Space Junky.

We have a 10th birthday page on the edna site with more details and info on the Live Classroom event Kerrie Smith is hosting also. It’s located at: http://www.edna.edu.au/10birthday

Sounds like fun! Thank you to Kerrie Smith, Kerry Johnson and the rest of team for personally taking the time to engage with the communities of learning you support. I can’t even begin to imagine what your 20th anniversary party will be like.


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  • Melanie: Thank you Kim! I will definitely check out this link and see the developments for higher education on the SLED.
  • Kim Flintoff: We have been using Second Life in a range of situations. Built a Wound Care Clinic with Curtin University for training nurses about wound care and the relationship between hand-washing and infection in a...
  • Melanie: Hello Paul, I am wondering, have continued to utilize SecondLife? Do you find that it has better user-friendly features? Do you find that your courses are easier to teach in this format? Is the VLC classroom a...

  • Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/polriid/digitalchalkie.com/wp-includes/post.php on line 115
  • Melanie: We may agree to disagree on the instant gratification society term, however when you look at new social network devices that are connected to mobile devices – there is an urgency that is attached to those...
  • Kim Flintoff: "instant gratification society" - I'm not sure I'm part of that society. Educational institutions do not make decisions - people do. Which people in educational institutions will cling dearly to email? Email...
  • Melanie: I agree that email is outdated in most settings. However, many educational institutions will cling dearly to email due to the aspect of "waiting before sending." Email is still a resource and an appropriate tool...

  • Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/polriid/digitalchalkie.com/wp-includes/post.php on line 115
  • Maryjane: This is incredible and we need to spread it to school districts. It was posted two years ago and I've not seen new policies or classroom innovations happen since then. People are afraid of what the kids might do....
  • Suzanne: I cannot help but think that this trend, while reflecting archetypal youth rejection of all things "adult," is also related to the digital immigrant/digital native thing. The young are very flexible, very willing...
  • Maryjane: This made me laugh outloud. School districts are still discussing whether they'll give access to students for email; do all their business by email instead of walking next door and talking to someone; and wonder...
  • Nick Smith: This video was exactly what I needed/wanted to hear. As a student working towards being a teacher, I find it great to not only revolutionize teaching, but to re-invent it all together. One woman mentioned...
  • Scott Merrick: Hey there, feel free to unpublish this comment--it's more or less for your own info: This is to let you know that Digital Chalkie has been nominated for Blog-o-the-Month at the Blogger's Hut on Second Life...

  • Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/polriid/digitalchalkie.com/wp-includes/post.php on line 115
  • Laura Seabrook: I have one other question, which I can't find answer to on the Murku wiki (no doubt the answer is right there and I keep missing it) - where/how does one get it?
  • Laura Seabrook: Murku looks really interesting (and I shall definitely try it), though the examples could do with some improvement, as per my comments above. Positioning can be important - see the Blambot article at...
  • Kim Flintoff: Murku is designed to facilitate the construction of comics based on content in a Second Life TM, ie SL, environment. Murku will be of interest to those who have always dreamt of creating their own comics but...
  • Laura Seabrook: Actually there was a typo in my previous comment. I meant to write wouldn't be, not would as far as being the first to do an SL comic. I discovered Plywood shortly after starting my own, which can be found...
  • Kim Flintoff: Hi Laura, The example in the article wasn't intended to be a highly refined product - it literally took me 60 seconds to create with some random images grabbed from my hard drive. The points you make about...
  • Laura Seabrook: I started doing Second Life comics late in 2007 ( though I didn't use Comic Life - rather I drew bits, used screenshots and put it together using PaintShopPro and Fireworks (for speech balloons etc). I knew...

  • Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/polriid/digitalchalkie.com/wp-includes/post.php on line 115
  • michael chalk: Great stuff Paul .. lots of good points here. You are right about the ABC - they're really leading the charge into the new era of digital participation aren't they! My favourite thing they do is the way they...
  • Ken Allan: Kia ora Kim! I don't think it is anything to do with HOW we communicate. It is more to do with how kids see email. It is simply to do with the age-old feature of youngsters avoiding ANYTHING that is associated...
  • Aaron Fisher: This is very cool! It is amazing how those principles from long ago are relevant today, just in different forms. Students do learn better by doing, no matter the subject. We teachers need to do a better job...

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  • Julie Carney: Thanks for this post, and for posters like Paul who have linked and commented on resources for educators to use. As is the case with most things, it seems the right combination of educator/program/developer...

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  • Debbie: I, too am upset that this website has been taken off-line. My special education students loved it, and I knew I could always find an activity geared their levels and abilities. I hope that it will soon be running...
  • Andrew Westerman: Each LO costs $20 000. So, if 20 students use that learning object for 0.1 of an hour (6 minutes), that's 2 student / hours @ $10 000 per hour. If 2000 students use that LO for 0.2 of an hour (12...
  • Cathy Nash: Learning Objects are one of the tools in a good teacher's toolbox. It is simplistic to lay them aside as past it. A poor teacher can make a pencil look dull and a great teacher may just achieve great things...
  • Suzanne: I am so upset that this site has been removed, however I fully understand why. My Year One children and my pre-primary children loved using the site and it catered for all ability levels in my class. i do hope...
  • Julie: I am sorry that Rainbow Maths has been forced off the web. My daughter loved it so it is missed. Any idea when Jenny may put it back on the web with added security measures to prevent it being copied etc?
  • Jen Zupp: I totally agree with Jenny's reason to take it off. I have spent thousands of hours keeping my website up which is pretty much a directory of quality websites I find online. If I had created a masterpiece like...
  • Kristy Dickson: I agree with Paul, $20 000, $80 000, or whatever they cost, kids are losing interest. I think they have their place for a bit of drill and practice occasionally, but I wouldn't pay for them. Motivation and...
  • Ingrid: I'm distraught that rain forest maths is not available. My 3/4 kids loved it. My kids loved it and it is so easy to cater for their abilities with the different levels. Anyone know if there's a chance it will be up...
  • Azam Ali: my kids love this site, they come on rainforest to learn. Anyone trying to stop kids education is playing with our future. Shame on people who are greedy for money and dont care for the future.
  • Bryn Jones: Channel 4 in the UK has £50million to develop new media content. Ewan McIntosh has some role in it as Digital Commissioner for Scotland. Jobs open now! http://www.4ip.org.uk/
  • Thomas Goodwin: Paul Reid has pointed educators in the right direction (create and collaborate) however he started from an incorrect premise; The Learning Federation's Digital Resources are completely different from the...
  • Patricia Corby: Phew, what a terrific wealth of useful info here! Thanks Paul. In reference to this comment "They need to move from static to dynamic in form" as an overall comment it is relevant but being fair some are...
  • Paul Reid: If everyone's Math is correct the Teaching & Learning Federation pays $20k for jpeg pictures Learning Objects! eg these ones shown here http://www.thelearningfederati on.edu.au/for_teachers/what...
  • Janice Millard: its not fair that my class can't go on rain forest maths because of other people copying we were going to do a test on it but it was closed down my class was very upset not very happy!