Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Professor Chan Lee on elearning design

Attended a presentation by Professor Chan Lee from Seoul National University as part of the Institute of Adult Learning - Singapore - monthly Adult Educators' Network (AEN). Professor Chan Lee presented an on 'the new era of elearning design for adult learners'.

 He provided a good summary of the multifarious challenges facing elearning designers who need to design courses that have to assist diverse learners based all around the world.  Various issues include the needs of just in time education, heterogenous cultures, official language to use, costs of long distances, challenges of interaction to maintain education effectiveness and the pull between globalization and localization. He presented an adapted version of ADDIE as ADDPIE (analysis, design, develop, PILOT, implement and evaluate) as an approach to meeting the challenges.

Then provides some examples including an induction programme used by Samsung Electronics to assist employees in 25 countries to learn about the company; examples from the Korean Government initiative the Cyber Home Learning System with videos of online lecture systems, online games to simulate study; and company in house courses from Sumitomo Corporation and the Visa business school.

All in, an interesting overview of work coming from an Asian country and how technology is harnessed in various ways to afford training for multi-national companies and the future potential for use of technology in the Korean school system.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hunting for tablets in Singapore

Back in Singapore for almost two weeks to do some work with the Institute of Adult Learning. This is the 3rd time I am in Singapore within 7 month. It’s the most visits I have made to Singapore since I left over 30 years ago. Apart from the interesting work at the IAL, who are charged with setting up and developing post-compulsory education or continuing education and training (CET), it is a good opportunity for me to hone specific skill sets including navigating one’s way through crowded streets and shops and catch up with the latest food trends (the local master hawker  awards were announced), local politics (Prime Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew’s third book, based on interviews with the local papers’ journalists released) and catch up with some of the rellies.

As usual, there was the opportunity to check out the latest tech offerings. The local papers now contains many advertisements for tablets. With the Samsung Galaxy Tablet being offered by various telcos at around Singapore, starting from $250 with 2 year plans. Also the Viewpad 7(S$749) and the Viewpad 10 (S$899) from Viewsonic is offered either with Android or Windows 7. At Funan IT Mall, several shops now sell tablets, with the Archos 7 (around S$500) and Archos 10 (S$600 thereabouts) the most prevalent. Had a play with the Archos and it has a responsive touch screen and runs on Android. Also tried out the Samsung Galaxy (almos S1000) and the Viewsonic (windows version not very user friendly on a touch screen).  Lots of ipads about starting at S$748 for the 16G with WIFI. The Archos will be worth a closer look at to experiment with the Android OS.

Over the weekend, had time to spent a good afternoon at the large Japanese bookstore, Kinokuniya, which is a book lovers haven. I could have spent a couple of days there :) I usually try to make at least a brief visit as the shop has several shelves devoted to Asian fiction writers who write in English or there are translated works. Bought a few interesting offerings to add to the ‘books to be read after thesis completed’ box. Also noticed the many books on the effect of social networking including – Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick, Facebook Era by Clara Shih, the Social Factor by Marie Azua and more internet centric ones like Future Minds by Richard Watson, Socialnomics by Eric qualman, Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bennett and a follow up book on the wiki phenomenon – Macrowikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams.
The noticeable thing about Singapore is how go-getting most people are. The mostly young staff at the IAL are all passionate about their roles, generally tech savvy and keen to learn better ways to provide a more learner-centric curriculum to adult students.  It will be interesting to work on future projects to explore strategies for introducing student-led learning into a culture which has been traditionally content-focused, exam-orientated and teacher-centric. This is not only for the teachers but also for the students, many of whom would have not experienced formalized opportunities to set up their own personal learning environments.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Plans for 2011

Looking forward to another busy but interesting year after a couple of weeks of tramping and camping in the great NZ outdoors. On the research front, a major objective will be to ensure the Ako Aotearoa National project ‘perspectives of first year apprentices’ is completed. Also, will need to put time into organising myself to apply for funding for projects in 2012. Several ideas now starting to firm up and move into the proposal writing stage. These include an ‘interactive text book template’ for tablets and a bid for external funding to explore ‘authentic assessments’ which reflect the multiliteracies and multimodalities inherent in trades skills (or for that matter any other vocational learning).

On the teaching front, it will be good to work through a really ‘blended’ delivery option for one of my courses as there will be students enrolled from both CPIT (Christchurch) and NMIT (Nelson) on the same course. It will be good to be able to move back into ‘distance delivery’ mode as it presents on-going challenges to my teaching practice.

In the area of staff development, the Centre for Educational Development (CED) should be gaining traction across this year as our new manager settles in and the new programme development and review regime through NZQA beds down. I am looking forward to working with the CED team as roles become established and the centre gains credibility within the institution.

In addition, I have received an invitation from the Institute of Adult Learning in Singapore to do some work with them. Firstly through a feasibility study to be completed at the end of January. From the study, the contribution of the CPIT adult education team, the CED and Ako Aotearoa Academy may become more formalised into the future. I also hope to negotiate some shared projects on the research front, especially into the area of workplace learning and assessments. The work will be especially interesting for me as it means a return to the country of my childhood, where the contexts of education and training is different from what occurs in NZ.

I have put in abstracts to two conferences for this year but will not be committing to many more, probably just another one. Also have started on drafting several journal articles and it will be another learning experience to work at submitting and honing the articles for acceptance.

So another year of more learning and development as I settle into my various roles. Life is always interesting :)