Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ntlt conference day 2

Ntlt day 2

Day 2 shapes up to be another busy day with a technology focus in many papers. Keynote to begin the day is with Dr. Wayne Mackintosh on " Kiwi ingenuity favors pragmatism above presence" representing the OER foundation. Open Education Resource university is an initiative including universities, polytechnics. In NZ based at Otago Polytechnic with University of Canterbury, Open Polytechnic, Northtec are main partners. Contrasted the open source movement to the less active OER, so a need to encourage educational institutions to learn to share and share to learn. Examples of OER are wiki educator and OERTen, working towards shared resources. First OERu degree programme via USQ now in prototype and officially launched 2013. Philosophies around OERu utilizes open source platforms and open resources. One advantage for institutions is to be part of an international education network. Resources now include open courseware, open access journals, open distance learning protocols. Presented the OERu logic model of how learners access resource to obtain credible qualifications. Technology requirements to set learning free include open planning and development, collaborative development environment, support multiple delivery platforms, scalable and has detailed version control. Argues that OER is low cost, low risk but high innovation.

A series of concurrent sessions follows morning tea. I attend the presentations focused on technology and literacy and numeracy. First up, James Mackay, Mary Fawcett and others from the Wellington Institute of Technology (Weltec) on " using pen cast". Presentation provided overview of how live scribe pens work and a series of projects on animal care, auto electrical, plumbing and engineering students. Move from using pen cast for tutors to produce content to encouraging students to produce records of their learning (individually or in groups). Noticeable lack of writing on trades examples, pen casts captured drawn diagram and recorded oral explanation. Assist non-text reflection of learning as student explains concepts to peer. Pen cast useful for finding out what and how much students understand.

Then a session with Emma McLaughin from Weltec also on "how technical vocabulary is used in vocational contexts". A sharing of ideas. Defines technical vocabulary (TV), reasons for interest, and strategies for improving TV. Important literacy demand is the learning of TV. Asked tutor, literacy tutor and students to highlight words in a passage from workbook. Reveals a few from tutor, handful from lit. Tutor and none from students! Recommends use of vocabulary profiler to help http://www.lextutor.ca/vp/

"iPads 4 teaching" was session presented by Mark Caukill. Mark teaches IT and shared experiences with using iPads plus ideas for future. 50 plus staff took up NMIT offer to support purchase of iPads. A users group formed to share practice. Used airsketch to show and annotate slides. Used Apple TV to synch iPad to data projectors but does not always work. Demoed 3 ways to show and tell including airsketch, using VGA code to attach iPad direct to data projector, remote control laptop with iPad, wireless ipad display using apple TV and using splash top streamer to link desktop to iPad. Also used socrative as an example of gathering student input. Www.socrative.com

After lunch, second keynote with Stephen Hickson and Steve Agnew from Univerity of Canterbury on "assigning grades during an earthquake - shaken or stirred ? Experiences from first year economics course at Canterbury and learning from what happens when earthquakes cause cancellation of exams. In microeconomics, final exam became an I vigilantes term test. Macroeconomics final exam was allocated to term test and online assessment items. Analysed effect of weighing and scaling to provide students with a realistic grade. Complicated by historical date from 6 years to have cohorts which are difficult to match. Found better to have 2 invigilated assessments to ensure grade disruption does not affect grade.

Then 2 sessions for the afternoon. First off with Carol Campbell and Margaret Henley from University of Auckland with assessment busters. An interactive workshop introducing a learning activity to help students prepare for assessment.
Margaret introduced the importance of getting assessments right as year one students disengage if experiences with assessment are clear. Need for greater communication and integration between teaching and student support staff. A solution was to provide Targeted learning to all students, in a one stop shop, facilitated by peers, introducing the values of support services.

Last session of day with Clement Sudhakar from Weltec on open source and freeware in distance education. Provided definitions for freeware, shareware and open source. Encourage to explore FLOSS (ope source software free software) as an option.