uLearn08 Workshop Presentation

Here is an abridged version of my uLearn 08 workshop presentation, minus any audio or video content, activities, links and of course the all important commentary. If I have time, a slidecast version will be added in the future.

Any feedback would be welcome either here or on SlideShare.

Ulearn08: AFL & ePortfolios

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: 2.0 web)

#AFL #ulearn08 #eLearning #Research #ePortfolio #assessment #formative

ICAS Computer Skills test

Today I saw for the first time an ICAS (International Competitions & Assessment for Schools) Computer Skills 2008 test. Take a look here for yourself if you have not previously seen one:

Wow. Once again I am amazed by how different people’s perspective of the role of computers in teaching and learning is. This is a test of computer skill knowledge only, and very MS Office’ish at that. What purpose does it serve?

My biggest fear is that parents will see this test and think that the use of computers in schools consists of a skill based programme where children are taken through a prescribed list of skills to learn.

Can you imagine, “No sorry class, you don’t make podcasts until year 5. Today we are gong to look at how to change the font, size and style.” Eeeeek.

I hear you say, “But those children will need to know how to do that in order to get a job and…” Really? How can you be sure what technology will be around in 2020? That is when today’s year 6’s could be finishing a degree at university…

Technology is their for us to support learning. To engage and motivate students. To allow them to connect and collaborate. Find information, reorganise, compare, create, share. Not because someone has decided that it is a skill they need, but because it is helping them to learn.

We shouldn’t learn about computers, we should learn with them.

#computer #ICAS #skills #test

Networking, links & teachers.

Today I had a really good discussion with some other staff from school. We were discussing the best solution for pooling together the wealth of information teachers often collect individually to help facilitate a new learning context, especially web links and tools.

The discussion came about from the teachers’ use of forums, used to generate discussion around their personal goals, progress and feedback from mentors, of school and EHSAS cluster goals.

The forums are starting to be used for more than just of goals, and teachers are throwing in web links and ideas, not directly related to the forum topics. You know what it is like, throw a bunch of teachers in a room and they’ll talk shop, jumping from one idea to the next with a bit of personal news thrown in. Transfer this to a forum environment and you know what I mean.

Does this unorganised jumble of links needs to be addressed? Reorganised to allow easier access to the links? Or should we just leave it as is?

Some other questions raised:

  1. Do teachers want to have a list of elearning resources (i.e. web links) gathered for them before a context of learning is about to begin?
  2. Do teachers generally find these resources a week before they need it, when the plan it, or just in time?
  3. How do they access or find them? Word of mouth? Delicious? RSS? Googled?
  4. Should we expect teachers to understand RSS? subscribing? news readers?
  5. Do we need to teach specific skills related to the use of online forums?

Lots of questions and to be honest, we came up with no one-answer-fits-all solution, or if there even needs to be a solution.

What is important is that teachers are engaged and active with online forums to support, improve andss share their classroom practice. That is just great!

#feeds #forum #rss #weblinks

eLearning and ePortfolios

I presented to a group of Hawke’s Bay principals today on how how my research and implementation of eportfolios is beginning to effectively pull together the strands of elearning, assessment for learning and the NZ Curriculum. This will be increasingly so as the process of facilitating learning through eportfolios is increasingly embedded in the teaching and learning process.

eLearning ePortfolios

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: assessment formative)

When putting this presentation together I used the coloured pencil as a visual metaphor for the themes and elements of elearning, assessment for learning and the NZ Curriculum. There are lots of different coloured pencils out there just like there are lots of options for designing your schools curriculum delivery model…

#NZ #AFL #curriculumdesign #eLearning #formative #ePortfolios #FormativeAssessment #presentation

iPhone – now the perfect eportfolio gadget, Part 2

My earlier post about the iPhone and its suitability to be the hub of the ePortfolio or even your PLE, has taken another turn as the Apple rumour mills get into the “What’s going to be available for Christmas 2008?” mode.

9to5mac.com this morning wrote UK report claims iPhone nano for Christmas on their website. Pictured above, the phone will cost £150 and be available on prepay. Sounds promising if it is to be believed.

This would certainly get me interested as the iPhone in its current pricing configuration is not really achievable for use in education and therefore in my ePortfolio plans. But as prepay and a one off purchase price, that would be great… if it were only true…

Just like the MacBook touch rumours… or here. Looks to good to be true, but wouldn’t it be cool?!

#touch #iPhone #rumour #MacBook #PLE #ePortfolios

Developing Digital Portfolios

I have just read this article:

Developing digital portfolios: investigating how digital portfolios can facilitate pupil talk about learning.

Kate Wall, Steve Higgins, Jen Miller and Nick Packard
Centre for Learning and Teaching, University of Newcastle, UK.

Technology, Pedagogy and Education

Vol. 15, No. 3, October 2006, pp. 261-273

As part of this research project I read a lot of articles in the areas of eportfolios and assessment for learning. Like anything you read, be it a magazine article, novel, or newspaper, as you are reading you can immediately connect (or not) with the text and message. This article was one of those. Throughout reading it I found myself nodding my head and murmuring consent to the ideas and concepts it was discussing as they mirrored some of the central aims of my research.

If you are interested in eportfolios, assessment for learning and thinking skills I thoroughly recommend you source a copy of this article.

Some ideas the conclusions that grabbed the attention of my highlighter:

The combination of a digital portfolio and thinking skills has been revealed to be a powerful one with plenty of scope for development in the primary classroom.
The reflective nature of the pupils’ comments regarding their learning and achievement as part of the digital portfolio gives valuable evidence to support formative assessment theory.
…a digital portfolio has the potential to create independent learners who are responsible for the collection of their own evidence of achievements across the curriculum and this process has impact on the pupils and how they perceive themselves and their learning.

Another couple of reasons why this research interested my was that it included many quotes from students. The students’ voice really gave the article added authenticity for me and less academic blah.

Finally, the fact that this research was undertaken with primary aged children was a breath of fresh air as the majority of research and published articles are predominantly secondary of tertiary education based.

#education #learning #pedagogy #technology