Monday, January 26, 2009

Plans for 2009

Refreshed & re-invigorated from some grand tramping trips into the NZ outdoors followed by several weeks of thesis writing interspersed with challenging walks into the high country, I am looking forward to the year.

This year, I begin a full year in staff development and staff education. I will really miss teaching baking. Mainly because the rhythms and rituals in baking have been so much a part of my life. My identity as a person has been very much moulded by being a baker & teacher of baking. I will miss the students, my colleagues & the opportunity to get my hands into lots of dough. However, I am looking forward to the challenges that the new role will bring. I am excited about the enhanced opportunities to work with staff & the possibilities for embarking on research projects that will contribute to improving teaching & learning within the institution.

It will also be good to not be ‘wearing too many hats’ & I can concentrate on getting more done in greater depth. I will have two projects on the boil while I apply for more funding. One project will be to interview beginning trades tutors to gauge their perception of their new roles as trades tutors. As an institution we need to work out better ways to induct trades tutors into the craft of teaching. At the moment, we provide a generalist introduction to teaching & learning in the form of Certificate in Adult Teaching courses. These courses have a strong emphasis on adult learning principles. However, many trades tutors may perhaps relate better to the concepts of workplace learning & find these more relevant to their teaching. It’s something we will need to find out more about.

The other project will be to further the mlearning / eportfolios project. This will keep me focused on maintaining my knowledge & expertise in the use of technology in learning & provide fodder for this blog.

I will also teach various courses that are part of the Diploma in Adult Education level 6 and workplace assessment courses. This will provide me with the student interaction I will need to keep me grounded in the reality of teaching as researching & working with technology can lead to becoming removed from the actual nuts and bolts of working with a class.

To start off the year, I spent an afternoon browsing through the ForumOxford on Next generation mobile applications. It’s always a good read & I found & read some especially good information on ‘mobile phone as the 7th mass media’, ‘the wireless future’, the ‘future of mobile’Web 3.0 & the EU’ & ‘sensor based interaction & cloud computing – quoting Tim Reilly – “we can imagine the future of mobile: a sensor-rich device with applications that use those sensors both to feed and interact with cloud services. The location sensor knows you're here so you don't need to tell the map server where to start; the microphone knows the sound of your voice, so it unlocks your private data in the cloud; the camera images an object or a person, sends it to a remote application that recognizes it, and retrieves relevant data. All of these things already exist in scattered applications, but eventually, they will be the new normal.”

Latest horizon report places mobile learning (with phones) & cloud computing as within a year of becoming main stream. Hmm, the future is closer than we expect!

Off to another interesting year.