Thursday, June 24, 2010

Interactive ebooks with Inanimate alice and istories

An great example of the future of ebooks via Evan McIntoch’s edublog. Inanimatealice has been released since 2006 and currently has 4 out of 10 episodes available for download and viewing/reading. The book details how a young girl grows up to become a game digital designer. Each chapter seems to improve in sophistication as the techniques possible through interactive ebooks are explored and modelled. Also, each chapter increases in length, fro 5 minutes to 30 minutes, with greater use of interactive sections. There is some work still to be done on navigation, for instance if you are part way through an interactive section and are interrupted, when you click on the icon to go back to the relevant bit, you need to repeat the entire interaction. So a criteria I would like to see for interactive ebooks is to be able to dip in and out where ever you want to, like in a real book. 

There is a discussion on the impact of interactive ebooks on publishingperspectives. Interative ebooks will have many possible applications in education. It is also possible to purchase the platform on which inanimatealice has been developed. Istories is promoted as a straightforward way to construct digital stories which include pictures, text, videos, interactive sections and sound/music. Does cost a bit though.

I have been reflecting on the different literacies our staff bring with them and how to better introduce staff unfamiliar with academic tasks like reading education journal articles. The end objective is to encourage a deeper engagement with the scholarship of teaching and learning. Will think through a possible project to develop an example of an interactive ebook that can be useful to introduce some of the concepts or theories of adult education. Staff can then build their own versions to share with other staff and this can then be a shared resource we can use for future courses. This ebook could be consolidated using powerpoint or better still using something like voicethread or perhaps even live binders. Live binders featured on Jane Hart’s tools this week and seems to be imminently suited to eportfolios with a show and tell type structure. So there are possibilities to explore for interactive ebook authoring and application.

Monday, June 21, 2010

App Stores, new hardware and mLearncon 2010

Did a catch up over the course of last week on technology in teaching and learning. First up, App stores.Popular mobile operating systems all now have an app store of some kind or other. Apple's itunes App store has over 200,000 apps for iphones and ipod touches.  Other app stores include the up and coming Android with it's market, blackberry world, Nokia's ovi stores and Palm's app catalog

There are also sites which provide assess to multiple platforms with this report featuring getjar and others including Handago recently acquired by Pocketgear and also Handmark and Appboy. For free apps,
Mobango provides a comprehensive list featuring all the popular OS. I will be keeping at eye on these and may put in a formal project to further explore how many of our students actually access and use apps and how readily CPIT caters for students' mobile usage. Also if some apps may be useful in some specific content areas and the apps availabity / integration with Moodle.

Caught up with Engadget's posts from the last two weeks and a few new hardware of interest to the education community. Firstly, an etext book called the kno which is like two ipads joined together. Innovative and a good way forward into interactive books and how to leverage possibilities for learning using ebook technology. Secondly, launch of the iphone 4 OS with video calling capabilites using 'facetime'.  will be interesting to see if anyone develops this one further to allow for conference video calling on mobile phones to be a reality. And the launch of the new Xbox360 and kinect provides educators with another challenge, to harness games technology to enhance learning.

Ingnatia from ignatiawebs was attending mlearncon 2010 organised by the elearning guild in San Diego. A foretase of mlearn 2010? Of note was the presentations by Toni Ahonen on the future of learning.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Trip to Singapore - wrap up

Back home after almost a week in Singapore. Left Singapore’s balmy 30’C plus weather to return to wintry Christchurch. Cycled in to work this frosty morning and checked the temps. at 10am to be 1’C.

Managed to do the obligatory catch up with various aunties, cozzies and my mother-in-law. Good to catch up with news in Singapore on what all the various family members are up to. The Temasek Polytechnic International Conference on Teaching & Learning went well. All the keynotes provided good presentations and workshops. There was a wide range of presentations / papers and I have been catching up with the full papers this morning. Of note are: Gary Poole’s paper to support his presentation on ‘I care & I can’; two papers with a problem based learning focus, one on student experiences by Chan Chun Ming (Temasek Polytechnic) and the other by Lisa Lim and Madeliene Lew (Republic Polytechnic) on first year students perception of one day/one problem PBL strategy; and two on feedback – one by Daphne Pan and Kiruthika Ragupathi from National University of Singapore and the other by Min Yan, David Carless, Diane Salter and Joy Lam on Feedback.

The staff at the local Polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education (ITE) seem to all be very young (perhaps it’s just me feeling old), enthusiastic about teaching and keen to learn. Networked with a few of the Polytechnic & ITE academic / staff development staff and they seem to all be focused on student centred forms of learning including an emphasis on problem based learning, especially at the polytechnic level.

Singapore, as usual, has changed physically since I was last there almost two years ago. New buildings including three tall buildings on the waterfront with what looks like a ship on the top of it. The MRT and most public areas were even more crowded that before. Where do all the people come from?? And how many more will be packed into a very small island? So good to come back to NZ where I did the grocery shopping at the local supermarket on Saturday afternoon. Just the usual small number of people about, enough to know that the supermarket was not closed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Temasek Polytechnic International Conference on Teaching & Learning - day 3

The last day cosists of two workshops sessions, one in the morning with either Prof. David Boud on 'assessment reform in education' and the other with Ass. Prof. Gary Poole on ' Self-directed projects as assignment options'. The second workshop sessions are in the afternoon. Workshop sessions bracketed with one lot of concurrent sessions along with usual refuel /networking sessions.

I chose to attend the session/seminar Ass. Prof. Gary Poole with the other 1/2 of the CPIT team attending the session facilitated by Prof. David Boud. The objectives of Gary's seesion were to define 'self-direction' in student learning, identify key elements of an effective self-directed project option and to begin designing our own self-directed project option. He is keen to use the workshop, where everyone is prepared to come to do the work and shop for ideas as well :) to achieve the session's objectives.

When self-directed projects are used, the logistics, structure and preparation are crucial to ensure students are provided with sufficient support to complete their project. In particular, the negotiation process to agree to criteria for doing the project, meeting project objectives and assessing or evaluating the project is crucial. This allows for moderation of various self-directed projects to ensure parity between various self-directed projects.

After morning tea, last concurrent sessions take place. I attended the sessions which had an academic/ teacher development focus. First up, Tay Sing Leong & Roger Khoo from Insitute of Technical Education on 'staff active and reflective learning (ARL)' to enhance student management. ARL to assist staff with career exploration, public responsibility, leadership development, intellectual pursuits and professional development. ARL should be a facilitated process. The facilitator's role is to encourage active participation, create a safe space be mindful of power and who has it. Provides a forum for support, building a COP and increasing teaching practice skills.

Then 'exploring transnational approaches to educational integrity: A showcase of work of the work of Asian Pacific Forum of Educational Integrity (APFEI)' by Ruth Walker, Tracey Bretag & Julianne East from the University of Woolongong, Australia. Integrity could be academic integrity / educational values (honesty, trust, equity, respect and responsibility). Generally, the onus seems to be on students to imbibe these values and assumption is that there is a shared understanding of the requirements of academic integrity. However, challenges posed by changing student profile including internation, lower socio-economical status students and changes to social conventions on copyright requires a rethink of perception of integrity. Therefore, need to move beyond 'student deficit' but need ot focus on educative rather than punitive approaches; align policies & practices; recognise need for academics, authors and teachers to model ethical practice; realise implications of using digital technologies & changed 'economies of effort' (competing pressures of popular media culture & pedagogical directives). Approaches to help students come to grips with the concept of educational integrity include various strategies around increasing students' awareness of issues.

Final concurrent session was with Lyn Williams & Robin Graham from CPIT run a workshop on 'the complexities of learning be a tertiary teacher: emerging perspectives on the boundaries between formal & informal learning in tertiary teacher professional development'. The presentation covered the development and initial implementation of a newly developed teaching qualification, research proposal to investigate effectiveness of new qualification and feedback on ideas on how the move forward with this project. Background of CPIT & the qualification within a NZ context was firstly covered. Then the research question 'what do new vocational tutors percieve as the significant influences on and themes of their emerging practice for improving teaching to enhance student learning?' was 'unpacked' to explain the direction & focus of the project. A collaborative participatory model is proposed as a research method. Then the audience asked for feedback and suggestions on what methods, questions, gaps etc. would be useful.

In the afternoon, the concurrent workshops ran with Prof. Stephen Brookfield running one on discussion as a way of teaching and the other with Prof. Diana Laurrilard on 'A learning design support environment for collaborative pedagogical innovation'. I attended Prof. Laurrillard's workshop in order to become more familiar with her ' conversational framework'. Outcomes of this workshop / seminar are to be able to appreciate the complexity of the learning design process; a sense of how this might be embedded in a design support environment and how collaborative online design tools could enable lecturers to act 'like scientists'. Collabortive pedagogy innovation includes teachers collaborating, sharing designs or capturing pedagogy, testing pedagogic design and challenging the technology. Theorectical background includes social constructivism, collaboration, constructionist learning and knowledge building. Need for teachers to be reflective practioners (like researchers as reflective practitioners) which means building on work of other teachers; working in collaborative teams of respected peers; seeking ways of rethinking their teaching; being able to experiment, and reflect on results; and disseminating findings for peer review and use by others. Used SMS aggregation system to provide for interactivity during the session.

Introduced the concepts for capturing good pedagogy (iCOPER - standardised description of instructional model) / and Learning Design Support Enviroment (LDSE) as software developed to try to represent methods of teaching. Founded on work of Beetham (2004) - teachers'knowledge is mostly implicit' Oliver et al (2009) & Dernlet et al (2009) - teachers are not used to recording or sharing their teaching methods and Sharpe & Oliver (2007) - process of course design is complicaed and often remains a private, tacit process. Existing learning design representations tend to not allow 'tweaking' so the two examples presented provide for opportunities by practioners to adjust and customise to their own context, student profile / learning and individual teaching pedagogical approaches. A comparison made of these two 'tools'.

Good pedagogy implies alignment between learning outcomes, assessments and learning activities. Activities are categorised by the nature of the learning activities and there should be a focus on learner time (less directed, more self directed learning time).

There are possibilites for taking an existing lesson and formulating a pedagogical pattern which is generic and can then be customised for other contexts. Example at
Opportunity to work through an example was then used to help the seminar participants come to grips with the concept.

temasek Polytechnic International Teaching & Learning conference - day two afternoon

Concurrent sessions this afternoon. I attended the sessions on elearning.

First on was Jillian Lee & Carol Lee from Temasek Polytechnic Engineering school shared a 'case study of students' experience of online learning.' This was a case study of a support course set up for students who were in a remedial class for year one algebra. Instead of standard lessons, these students recieved online delivery via online videos, pop quizzes, a written test and evaluated using an online survey

Effectiveness of the online module showed 2/3 to 3/4 of students able to score 100% on pop quizzes / written test. Useability & student perceptions were evaluated through the online survey. Generally, good feedback for the online option.

The next session was on 'innovative use of technology for vocational education' from Judy Lim Kim Kee, Lim Juat Fong, Soh Guan Kiong and Lim See Yew who are from the Institute of Technical Education. Online portal created to encourage students to be more independent learners, collaborative learning and increase literacy. Blended learning suited to student context. Elearning seen to provide opportunity to differentiation and adaptation of teaching and learning to individualise instruction. mlearning seen as an alternative. This has a fact mode, quiz mode, SMS mode (including a real time quiz - fastest fingers quiz) and video mode (short instructional video clips). Access vis GPRS or by memory card.

Another approach is to use remote virtual educational laboratory (cyberlab). This provides access to and control of real laboratory instrumentation and experiences. Various virtual instruments were provided for students to practice how to set up and use equipment. Students are able to do independent study on equipment to ensure competency.

iDe'lite - used to provide real time / role play type training for service training. Videos used to run through procedures (e.g. facial massage) and especially useful with various service based programmes.

Last session for the afternoon with Noor Fariday A. Rahim from Temasek Polytechnic on ' Web 2.0 with blended e-learning in education to engage youthes and enhance their learning. A case study of using web 2.0, elearning & blended learning in one module 'effective internet research (EIR)', a cross disciplinary subject. Began with covering definitions and examples of Web 2.0 and blended e-learning. Used blogs, wikis, forums, live chats with audio, video, print, elearning with f2f tutorials. These provide a more flexible, stimulating and independent learning environment. Linked to the specialised subject by completing a subject orientated project and also topics which impact on youth. MSN live chat as a ice-breaker and for building rapport. Blogs to reflect on student's learning process. Twitter for tutor to connect with students. Wikis to virtually collaborate and share group project. Discussion forums to learn, exchange and share knowledge about their research interests with others and Web 2.0 with blended elearning activities linked to assessment (graded portfolio).

Need to support/scaffold students into processes like blogging which young people are not as keen to use. This can be done by using a template by providing the points to write about and also model by providing an example. Introduce concepts like metaphors to help students construct better reflective blogs.

Online survey results reveal satisfaction with the teaching approach with over 90% satisfied, learnt a lot, interesting, electures convenient and helped them learn how to search the internet more effectively.

Temasek Polytechnic International Teaching & Learning Conference

day two began with a video produced to celebrate the Temasek Polytechnic 20th anniversary.

First session was presented by four students speaking on their experiences of assessment processes. A good opportunity for the student voice to be heard :) a range of project based / realistic / real-world focused / applied assessments were described by the four very articulate students. The assessments were underpinned by a problem based learning focus including group work, peer assessments, reflective journals and team / individual projects.

The first keynote was with Professor David Boud on "a new assessment agenda: equipping students for the continuing challenges of learning and assessment". His presentation covered why assessments seemed to have failed educationally and pedagogically and how to move assessments and transform them towards supporting longer term learning. A key factor in changing assessment practices is to shift the ways in educational practioners' assessment thinking.

Assessments have failed as it tends to drive compliance, not initiative; foster depenency by learners on assesors and being assessed; backward looking to what has been rather than what may be achieved; makes us fearful rather than build confidence and depletes capacity rather than builds it. Reasons for this state of affairs include a fixation with certification and with measurement (e.g. norm referencing which is based on the performance of student cohorts and the standard is there set by each group!).

Into the future, we do not know what we must prepare for students for as the future is unknown. Therefore, students need to be prepared to cope with the requirements of the future. Assessments mean different things to different people. Assessments have moved from educational measurement to competence, authenticity and attributes and in the future moves to building capacity for judgement. This then provides students with skills to cope with future needs.

Therefore, shift in assessment thinking involves - from teacher to learning centred; from testing knowledge to judging outcomes; assessing subjects to judging professional capability; and testing students to producing learners.

Current agenda of assessment includes assessment based on explicit standards, constructive alignment between desired learning outcomes, teaching & learning activities & assessment; well-timed, high quality feedback to students; and assessment of graduate attributes. Need to move assessments from certification(summative assessments) to aiding learning (formative assesments) and fostering lifelong learning (sustainable assessment).

Sustainable assessments look beyond the immediate context, avoids creating dependency and focuses on higher-order knowledge and skills in context. Needs to develop informed judgement by developing students capacity to make judgement; assessments are about informing students' own judgement and opportunities for developing informed judgement to be staged across a programme. also needs to construct reflexive learners by involving students in assessment, position students to see themselves as learners who are pro-active and generative and focus on reflexivity and self-regulation though every aspect of a course. also forms the becoming practioner as assessments help calibrate judgement; develops confidence and skills to manage their own learning and assessments and develops capacity to work effectively with others to assist learning and mutually develop informed judgement.

After morning tea, the second keynote for the day from Ass. Prof. Gary Poole from the University of Columbia who presented on "I care and I can: the importance of student attitutes towards course relevance and their ability to succeed. Why does it matter to educators that different people have different beliefs about whether they can or cannot do something. Gary covered two items. Why the content of the presentation is important and how pedogogical practices can help to encourage students to succeed.

The ways students think about a subject, affects their learning of that subject. This includes the extent with which students find relevance and value in the subject matter; different students' perceptions about the difficulty or intellectual accessibility of course material. Therefore, I care - beliefs about relevance and I can - beliefs about self-efficacy.

Do we introduce a problem before or after the presentation of content? After - case based, can apply newly acquired knowledge to problem. Before - problem based, can place new knowledge in the context of the problem and can see the relevance of the knowledge early.

how will students know that they can? Then may find out from their teachers or from other students. Students need to be cognisant of the need for effort on their part as an important adjunct to their own natural ability and the help of others. Teachers need to set 'problems' which are clear, challenging and relevant and to know now much support should be provided for students to learn through solving the problem.

Morning session ended with the the results carried out by two students of a student survey on I care / I can carried out at Temasek Polytechnic.

questions include 'for me, the person who usually drives my learning are -- students themselves (70%) with lecturers, parents etc. very much less

'I will accept the diploma if offered to me right now without any work or courses' 90% said NO.

Reasons for answers include I need to acquire the necessary knowledge/skills (60%), i do not feel right to recieve something for nothing, studying gives sense of satisfaction.

how confident are students when they first start? - 90% confident

ability to succeed is within your control - almost 80% strongly agree

factors which help students succeed? Students efford almost 80%, both lecturers & student support also important.

most important factor which motivates learning? acquiring knowledge & getting good job around 35%.

students require relevance of studies to future career - yes.

therefore students care about acquiring knowledge /skills, they are confident and willing to work and if shown relevance of content will maintain motivation.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Temasek Polytechnic International Teaching & Learning conference - Day 1 afternoon

After lunch, my presentation on the CPIT mportfolio project took place with a good group attending. The concept used in the project is now so much more easier to put into place with the improved capabilities and range of mobile hardware and web 2.0 based software now available.

Stayed for presentations by two others. First up Nalaka Edirisinghe on managing learner diversity in teaching a year 1 programme. The development and provision to first year Diploma in IT students by using programming languages which are pertinent to their specialisations (eg. game programming). Students could then begin work on the language they would be studying over the course of three years but all the different groups of students were taught in a generalised course. This had advantages for the students but led to more work for teaching staff to set up the relevant examples in all three languages and write assessment questions which could be answered with anyone of the languages taught.

Next up Tan Hock Seng also from Temasek Polytechnic on 'a model of simulation-based learning. This focused on finding out is SBL was actually useful as a learning tool. A good followup to Diana Laurrilard's presentation by providing an example of how a well thought out interactive virtual machine (eg. a lathe) assists or does not assists / enhance student learning. also a similar concept to the 'laying out a building site' simulation used at CPIT to help construction students become familiar with a practical task before actually undertaken the actual practical task.

After afternoon tea, attended a couple of sessions. First up, Chung Yin Wah from Nanyang Polytechnic on the 'accumulated experience sharing system' (AES). Nanyang Polytechnic uses a practice and application-oriented training featuring authentic learning environments. Examples include chemical engineering, engineering, software quality and security and business administration, supported through industry sponsorship and real-life project work opportunities. These help to emulate and integrate real-life industrial environments in teaching and learning. The AES has a repository of over 5000 projects between staff/students and industry projects/services. This repository can then be used by future students to provide examples and also as a way to help other students with information including tacit knowledge they can mine for their own projects. Staff can also use the AES as a teaching resource to show exemplars and model project development stages.

Next up, Catherine Ross from the Open Polytechnic in New Zealand on ' I don't feel so isolated': crossing the boundaries of distance through peer mentoring and support. This project put in place for 1st year students by the Open Poly. to support students, especially those in programmes which have a high attrition rate. Peer mentoring is used by employing experienced senior students to support newer students. Learning motivation theories including Dweck (1999) theories of self, self motivation theory (Cohen, Garcia, Apfel & master, 2008), strengths approach (Anderson, 2003), positive psychology. This approach centre on identifying students' underlying goals /motivation, focus on existing strengths and competencies, draw out past successes and validate effort rather than achievement. The programme help new students to settle into study and peer mentors maintain contact via telephone. Contact times concide with stages which have been found to be times students have difficulties, these include start of course / before the first assignment, second assessment/mid-course and end of year assessment / examination. In each contact time, specific 'scripts' are followed in order to ensure students recieve the appropriate support.

Temasek Polytechnic International Teaching & Learning Conference - day 1 morning

At the Temasek iternational Teaching & Learning conference today. Conference opened with 10 minute video on Temasek Polytechnic's facilities, programmes and educational philosophies. Welcome from the Temasek Polytechnic Choral followed by official opening address by Mr. Boo Kheng Hua, the Principal and CEO of Temasek Polytechnic. The conference officially opened by guests of honour along with presentation of gifts to the keynote presentation. feedback, comments & questions can be texted to

First keynote, the much anticipated Professor Stephen Brookfield on 'Becoming a Skillful Teacher'.

Who we are as teachers may be premised on who we are as learners. Stephen proposed that being a poor learner helped him to become a better teacher.He illustrated this proposal by telling his story, of how being a student who struggled academically flourished when he was provided the opportunities for self direction and support for individualised assistance when required. From his experiences as a Phd student, he became interested in the importance of building trust between students and teacher. Especially in how this reciprocal trust may be used to enhance the development of critical thinking strategies.

He also spoke of the challenges of teaching, using the term the term 'muddling through' but doing this in a delibrate and reflective manner to ensure the one learns from each teaching situation.

Four assumptions - teaching is helping learning, good teaching = whatever helps students learn, best teaching is critical reflective - checking assumptions informing your practice and most importatnt the pedagogical knowledge we need - how students experience learning. He provided stories from his own teaching for each of the four assumptions. An engaging approach as he was able to built rapport and empathy from the audience. Remember the examples which are also provided in several of his books. He also spoke on his use of the Critical Incident Questionnaire in probing student's perception of learning progress.

after morning tea, a session - pedagogy - in search of a definition - which is background and presentation from the interactive digital media programme at Temasek Polytechnic's Informatics and IT school. Began with overview of digital use by Singaporeans and then of TP students. Findings show a preference for a 'blended learning approach' to teaching and learning. TP using IDM technology to form communities of self-directed learners to help co-create knowledge, personalised to individual learning needs and be accessible anytime/anywhere. An example of better meaningful learning is to encourage sharing of information beween students via shared note-taking etc. to encourage this, some changes need to be made to physical environments, definitions (learning spaces) and pedagogy which encourages not only mastery of knowledge & skills but also knowledge construction and sharing.

Dr. Diana Laurillard presented keynote on 'can pedagogical creativity cross discipline boundaries? The role of learning technologits in collaborative innovation'  from the London Knowledge lab. The presentation covered 'why might we need digital tech in learning & teaching?', optimising the learning design process, improving leanring through technology and capturing pedagogy. Need to not just use the technology because it is there but to challenge how technology can actually enhance student learning.

Why? might be through fit to pedagogy (personalised, social and/or active learning, digital skills for work & life), logistics (flexibility, wider reach, better use of teacher time), economics (blended delivery, much more for slightly more and sharing tools, resources & designs), strategic fit and student demand.

To optimise the learning design revolves around encouraging and supporting educators as 'researchers' to adopt, critique, adapt, do and then evaluate. Can be done via "scaffolding the learning design process, embracing a gentle introduction by modelling and visually representing the learning design process, capturing teachers' learning designs for later revision or sharing in appropriate visual representations and foster a community of practice in which teachers can share, take inspiration from, each others' teaching & learning designs". this is based on the concept that the learner (the connversational framework model), in order to understand concepts or adopt practices/ skills (learning concept) is through carrying out an action plan (learning outocome) which is tempered by reflection and adaption. Teachers add to learning by teacher contact (listening / reading) beings guided, students asking questions and through teaching practice which involves working to a goal, providing feedback and by students experimenting and revising. Other learners can also support this via students having access to ideas of others, comparing student outputs and being able to articulate ideas and use all thes to improve on their own learning outputs.

Used an example to explain how to use technology to improve learning by unpacking how 'parts of an engine' can be enhanced. For instance, just using flash to just label parts or reassemble a 3D engine might not lead to greater reflection/adaption. needs to include a more delibrate feedback cycle to encourage in deeper learning, for instance why putting an engine together in various ways affect efficiency etc.
with capturing pedagogy, an example used where by a specific example of a learning activity can be generalised and then contextualised to another use. Firstly, highlight the actual keywords which are learning outcomes, then convert to more generalised description and then adapt to other specialists areas. This can be visually expressed and patterns can be better discerned, adapted, improved etc.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Use of mobile devices on met in singapore

In Singapore this week for the temasek polytechnic international teaching n learning conference which begins on Wednesday. First up a catch up with the rellies. Did several trips on the mass rapid transport system which is clean, efficient and cheap
capacity was crowded to chocker to fully stuffed!! Seems a lot more crowded then when I visited a couple of years ago. Of note is the prevalence of mobile use.ranging from grannies txting to school kids sharing iPods with one earbud for each person to little tods playing games on PSPs. Also usual business types with smartphones and every other person seems to me poking at a small screen. At least 70% seem to be engaged with some sort of mobile device with those not either reading or sleeping. Will visit a couple oh the technology malls tomorrow which will be techy heaven.

Friday, June 04, 2010

ITPNZ Foundation tutors Forum - 3rd June

Presented a version of the ‘perspectives of new trades tutors’ Ako Aotearoa Southern Hub funded project at the ITPNZ Foundation Educators’Forum at the Wellington city campus of Whitireia Polytechnic yesterday. The title of the presentation was “ITP communities of practice: Their contribution to the induction of new trades tutors.” I used a comparison of various activity theory nodes (subject, tools, object, communities of practice, rules, division of labour, mediating artefacts) to compare the socio-cultural spheres of new tutors who come into ITP teaching careers with a workplace /trades orientation and the needs of ITPs which are focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning. This, along with the concept of vocational identity boundary crossing, presented at the ITF conference in March, provide for a metaphor to explain and assist the transition of trades people into trades teachers.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Tacit Knowledge

An article on the New Scientist via my iGoogle page caught my attention this morning. This is probably because the term came up as a point of discussion in one of my adult learning principles classes. Several of the students were not familiar with the term and we then did a brief side step during the course of the lesson to explore the implications of tacit knowledge on their roles as teachers. In summary, the article provides a good overview, brief history of how Polanyi coined the term tacit knowledge and the three kinds of tacit knowledge. These are somatic (innate), relational (social/logistical) and collective (contextual/socio-cultural).
Above of use also to my current research in trying to unpack how trade skills (much of which seem to have become tacit in experts/tutors) can be better modelled / taught to novices.

The article above also leads to a website of the University of Cardiff research group, led by Harry Collins, working on expertise. Lots of information on this site to trawl through with up to date information on various aspects of expertise. Links to publications and books produced so it will take me some time to trawl through all the interesting bits.