Monday, August 26, 2013

Mobile pedagogy - book summary

Disclaimer – I have contributed a chapter in this book.

Book summary of just launched book in the ‘advances in mobile and distance learning series’ published by IGI Global titled ‘mobile pedagogy and perspectives on teaching and learning’. The book is edited by Douglas McConatha, Christian Penny, Jordan Schugar and David Bolton (all based at West Chester University , Pennyslavia, USA) and contains 15 chapters collected into 3 sections.  Brief summary of each chapter below:

Section 1: Current demonstrations and developments in the field of mobile pedagogy

1) Towards a mobile pedagogy by Scott. E. Hamm, Jason, Drysdale and Diana Moore. This chapter reports on the uptake of mobile learning at Abilene Christian College through a range of projects including students’ access to pre-lecture resources on mobile devices; distance learning / remote teaching using mobile devices; introduction of ipads and its impact on the college’s LMS; use of Twitter; audio as alternative to text-based feedback; and using games. Koole’s framework to study the device (useability), social (social technology) and learning (interaction technology) aspects was used across the various projects to evaluate the various projects and form recommendations to improve mobile learning implementation.

2) The second chapter ‘ student development of E-workbooks: A case for situated-technology enhanced learning (STEL) using net tablets’ by Selena Chan with Katrina Fisher and Peter Sauer (Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology), an extension of our project for Ako Aotearoa Southern Hub. Basically, leveraging off affordances of mobile and situated learning with constructivist and multimodal / multi-literacies focus to deploy net tablets (ipads and toshiba thrive android OS tablets) for students to develop their own workbooks or to complete competency based assessments.

3)  Podcasting and pedagogy also from a New Zealand author, Ross Kendall (Wintec, Hamilton, NZ). Uses Engestrom’s expansive activity model to assess the efficacy producing podcasts. A small group of sociology students (level 5) interviewed experts (on sustainability). The students then consolidated their learning through a project to report the outcomes of their interviews, including how they planned , carried out and conducted the sessions.

4) Then a chapter on ‘communities of communication: using social media as medium for supporting teacher interpersonal development’ by Laurie Stone Rogers.  The chapter discusses potentialities and recommendations for various stakeholders (community, administrators, policy makers, teachers, teacher educators and educational researchers). In particular, to encourage the use of social media to provide teachers with the opportunity to overcome isolation, feelings of loneliness and lack of community. In so doing, to improve teachers’ support as they work through an ever challenging time of change.

5) ‘ebook readers for everyone: FATIH project, is from Turkey with Nilgun Ozdamar Keskin, Furat Sarsar and Michael Sean.  A good overview of the historical evolution of ebooks, their advantages and limitations. The chapter also provides a review of recent ebook projects from around the world and then details the FATIH project, the largest educational technology project in Turkey covering 40,000 schools and launched in 2011 to run through to 2014.

Section 2 has 5 chapters on the themes ‘research, theory and practice with mobile pedagogy in differentiated instruction’.

6)  Mobile learning for all: accessibility considerations for mobile pedagogy by Luis Perez and Ezzard Bryant (University of South Florida). Introduces the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and it’s key principles to make digital resources accessible to all. A degree of flexibility is recommended to cover the myriad contexts of modern technology use. The UDL support of iOS and Android OS are then summarised. Case studies of application of UDL to challenge based learning, including apps used to help students participate in learning activities (brain storming, reflection, data collection, presentation, project management and collaboration) are provided. A good chapter to inform ‘disability’ support services in the education sectors and beyond.

7) Mobile learning applications and differentiated instruction with Shelley A. Jackson, Sharla Snider, Nicole Masek and Joanne Baham (Texas Women's University). Differentiated instruction is defined as being based on teachers being able to adapt instruction to student differences. Examples are provided of implementation of differentiated instruction through instructional groupings, multiple levels of kinds of materials and tests, learning assignments, assessment and evaluations.

8) Then Terese Cumming (University of New South Wales, Australia) continues the theme on ‘does mobile technology have a place in differentiated instruction’. Presents the advantages and challenges of using mobile technology in classrooms. Recommends the process of implementing differential instruction through planning, selecting appropriate ‘content’, undertake processes for teacher planning, contextualise according to ‘product’ (problem based learning, layered curriculum rubrics) and learning environment.

9) Ann Orr and John Conley (Eastern Michigan University) write on ‘mobile technology and differentiated learning: meeting the needs of students with significant disabilities’. This chapter covers assistive technologies and how tablets, with their intuitive interface, variety of access options and possibilities for individualisation offer opportunities for enhancing learning for students with disabilities.

10) M. Liu, C. Navarete, E. Maradiegue and J, Wivagg (University of Texas -Austin) close the section with a chapter on ‘a multiple-case study examining teachers’ use of Ipod touches in their pedagogical practices for English-language learners’. An overview of mobile learning applications that assist English language students with case studies of 3 US of A schools. The challenges of incorporating the technology are discussed along with solutions and recommendations.

Section 3 covers ‘implications and innovative applications of mobile pedagogy.
11)  New demands of reading in the mobile internet age are covered by Byeong-Young Cho and Lindsay Woodward (Iowa State University). Covers the changes on-screen, web-based, small screen and digital / multimedia content impacts on learning reading. The change in how information is presented changes our ‘textual landscape’ and our textual conceptions need to learn higher-order strategies to identify, understand and evaluate web based resources. Recommends reading strategies required to deal with the mobile internet context include being able to constructively and responsively read; realise and construct potential texts; identify important ideas and learning across multiple texts; monitor the process of selecting and understanding texts; and evaluate different aspects of text.

12)  Then ‘iteach literacy with ipad devices: preparing teachers for effective classroom integration, with Diane Santori, Carol Smith and Heather Schugar (West Chester University). Two case studies are presented to discuss the many challenges and potentials through introducing ipads to pre- and in-service teachers for literacy instruction.

13) ‘Journalism and media: From mellowed pedagogy to new mobile learning tools’ is covered by Pamela Walck and Yusuf Kahyango (Ohio University). Studies how mobile technology has changed the way media organisations have changed the way they operate and contrasts to the uptake and deployment of mobile technology in a university preparing undergraduates to work in journalism. Media professionals have been rapid adopters of mobile technology and teaching institutions struggle to keep up with the range of methods now possible.

14) An African example with Mawuadem Koku Amedeker (University of Education, Ghana) with ‘stuck in neutral: why technology hasn’t made major inroads into education in Ghana’. Reports on efforts in Ghana to introduce technology into schools, stymied by lack of professional development support to teachers. Recommends ensuring teachers are ready to integrate ICT into learning before launching hardware focused initiatives.

15) Last chapter a pertinent ‘an ROI Ed-Biz approach for deploying mobile pedagogy with Professor Douglas McConatha. Introduces the CADRE model to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of introduction of technology into education.

All in a coverage of mobile learning potentialities through real case studies. Of interest is that many of the projects use tablets as the mobile device. Teacher capability also mentioned in many chapters. Without teacher buy-in and understanding of the pedagogical implements of introducing / deploying technology enhanced learning (TEL), the promise of TEL to contribute to educational change (for the better) will never be fully realised. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

CPIT research month week 3 day 1 - Tuesday 20/8

A selection of topics today around the theme of 'aftershocks' with presentations from CPIT projects completed since the 2011 earthquakes.
Gleaning ideas and perspectives to enhance journal articles being prepared from Ako Aotearoa funded project completed on 'institutional programme-design strategies supporting forced change'.

First up Ada Campbell, Jane Maidment, Raewyn Tudor and Karen Whittaker from nursing  and human services, on 'role of craft post-earthquake. Post earthquake saw a flowering of art, creativity and community. Craft played a role in contributing to positive mental health of individuals and their families and social cohesion. The project studied crafters and spectators of craft. Interviewed 20 crafters and 4 focus groups of 6 people in each of spectators.

Then, an Ako Aotearoa funded project with Drs. Judy Yarwood and Phillipa Seaton. The departments experience of managing, sustaining, and future proofing educational provision following large scale disaster and disruption. Others involved include Irene Absalom, Dr. Lesley Seaton and Melanie Ryan. Data gathering across 2 years to assess implications of various decisions made at time of the event. Interviews and survey of academic, teaching, management and corporate staff. Model of interconnecting themes distilled from data. Individuals had to deal with competing tensions. Department leadership a key with communication across all staff important. Recommendations on immediate reactions, coping with ongoing disruption and moving on.

Libby Gawith from Humanities presented on 'Christchurch two years after'. Summarised where we have got to. In for long haul and a marathon, not a race. We are only at the beginning the 20 years physical model of reconstruction and 5 years psychological model of recovery from disaster (Gluckman). Surveys summarised include CERA 'healthy Christchurch welbeing survey (2013). In 2014, a campaign to assist, 'are you alright' will begin.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

CPIT research month week 2 day 3 15th August

Managed to get to and attend part of a session revolving around 'performance and politics' presented by our performing arts tutors. Always interesting to attend on topics that I have limited background on.

So notes on two out of the four from today's lunch time presentations.

TonyMcCaffrey on 'Where is disability disabled? Aesthetic, ethical and political implications of  involving intellectual disabilities in contemporary performance'. Used examples from recent plays attended whereby the audience are invited to participate in terms of 'the ethics of participation' and performances, some perhaps controversial with disabled actors / performers. Tony raised some thought provoking concepts around how we see disability, why acceptable performances from 'normal' people are viewed differently when people with disabilities undertake similar performances and how disability and the ethics surrounding disability are 'not contestable' due to society's perspective of disability as being outside the norm.

A change of scene with the next presentation from Richard Marrett on 'I've heard that song before - 100 years of Sammy Cahn. Described how he 'presented' at recent conference. The presentation included 'singing through' the repertoire of Cahn. Instead of just listening to Richard, the audience, mostly vocal teachers or performers, sang their way through songs written or associated with Cahn across each era of his career and important aspects of Cahn's lyric writing. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Cpit research month - week 1 day 2

Managed to get to a couple of presentations this afternoon.

Hana O'Regan on 'mai i ka kokoka o te ao' - from the corners of the heart to the world. 'Language endangerment in the 21st century globalisation'. Traversing the domains between the public / private relationship. A study of public representation / recording and diary excerpts. Diary excepts from Matiaha Tiramorehua from the late 1800s. Access to 'original' private texts reveals much about language as used before it begins to decline. Need to capture ways language is structured and words no longer in common use, all to inform current resurrection and renewal in the present. Conversational language, idioms, colloqaulisms, dialogue, arguments, debates etc. Recordings from radio in the 1930s and 1950s.

Then presentations from Te Puna Wanaka with Hemi Hoskins and Hohepa Waitoha on an ongoing enquiry 'taking the language from the class'.Presented on learnings from a educational exchange between Hawaii and NZ. Presentation focused on ideas to engage with students and the community to achieve authentic language use in the classroom. Using natural habitats to increase language application, increase vocabulary and cultural practice. Learning language is a social process and environmental context supports the process. Provided examples of how nuances of language better learnt through experiencing the language 'in action' i.e. while working in taro patches, at the seashore and in the natural environment.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

CPIT research month - DAY 1

CPIT research month takes place across this month starting today with presentations and running most lunch times from Tuesdays to Fridays. I will summarise presentations as they take place, dependent on whether I can get to them.

The event opens with a welcome from CPIT research and knowledge  transfer manager, Dr. Margaret Leonard and a summary of the many innovative inventions and processes New Zealanders have contributed to. Using informed curiosity, lateral thinking and 'giving it a go'.

Dr. Peter John provides the opening keynote on 'securing external research income' with a presentation on 'research, development and commercialisation'. Peter provided background on his previous role at Lincoln University. How did Lincoln build a research culture with focus on industry relationships and practical timely collaborative projects. Eventually generating the highest amount of contract research of any of the other universities. Peter provided overview on challenges and issues. Need for research office to assist with brokering relationships and potential projects. Universities not good at design and development to help the process of bringing application and commercialisation of  research projects. Therefore important to identify where best opportunities lie. Focus on staff who want to be involved. Find leaders and support them. Tag team between research office, stakeholders and staff. No loss leaders. Focus on enabling process. Reward good performance. Not all research returns. Possible reasons are no IP of value produced.  Partner could no resource conversion of IP. Product did not have commercial advantage. Target market could have shifted. Encouraged relationships to be formed with Canterbury development corporation to encourage research (CRIS) to assist.

Presentations focus for this first session on enterprise and innovation with staff from the  Business Department. A key government focus.

First up, Dr. Juan Pellegrino on 'supporting the international expansion of small local and medium enterprises'. A TEC funded project, objective to understand the internationalisation process for SMEs and assist SMEs to move into international arena. Method to build case through interview of SME CEO. Then focus group with CPIT academics and literature review to garner ideas. Synthesis of ideas reported back to SME CEO and evaluation follows. Issues identified were 'breaking through the novelty barrier' and 'supply drift' or 'quality creep' due to outsourcing. Good example of problem solving using focus group of 'experts' and literature.

Dr. John O'Sullivan then presents on 'Maori entrepreneurship'. Reported on 13 narratives in Maori tourism operators. Explored issues of identity and ''capital' and their contributions to how entrepreneurs think about themselves. Went through a series of narratives as examples of how themes were identified including characters, plot and settings. Then how themes identified through the narratives and how findings on identity and capital extended. Also example of how to makesense of themes through a sense making approach.

Dr. Eldrede Kahiya into stage 2 with possibility of continuing into next year.   with 'qualitative insights on the strategic drivers of export performance 'the open secrets to export success'.Export performance most researched by least understood!
Drivers of export performance various but are internal / operational or external. Strategy factors can be at high, medium or low levels of abstraction. Weaknesses of qualitative approaches can be partly obviated by careful selection of exemplar firms, re'liable data collection, triangulation of data and robust data analysis.

I end the afternoon with a wrap up on the 3D printer project 'innovating with industry: a case study bringing industry and ITP expertise together'.main finding is need for 'partners' to work together through initial set up stage, have one knowledgeable partner assist to smooth the way and institution to work towards systems and logistical issues.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Learning by watching

Writing up the final report for the learning a trade project and expanding on the section on 'learning by watching'.

I have had a look through both editions of  – Skill Acquisition in Sport: Research theory and practice to bring together various recommendations for improving learning through observations.  The chapters of most relevance in Edition 1 are chapters 8 (instructions, demonstrations and the learning process), 9 (observational learning) and 11 (deliberate practice and expert performance) and in Edition 2 are chapter 2 (how to schedule observational practice), 6 (mental imagery, action observation and skill learning) and 11 (motor skill coordination)

From these chapters, three main topics arise. These are learning by observation; motor skills learning and relationship to deliberate practice; and role of mental imagery in learning motor skills.

Learning by observation:
Observational learning occurs through processes of copying, emulation and echokinesis. Some of the processes are innate, which is why motor skills learning can be difficult to describe and articulate through voice or text. Examples from my own experience abound whereby teaching a motor action, also involves ‘going through the motion’ as well. Learners trying to explain their action, also tend to use bodily action to ‘explain’ what they have done.  Therefore, there is a need to ATTEND to how motor skills are being learnt with a proviso to not overly analyse until basic movements are attained.

‘Stages of learning by observation’ include the need to pay focused attention at the initial stages. Visual and verbal cues from coaches are helpful in ‘priming’ a learner up and providing the learner with the ‘whole picture’. Initial practice needs to be well-supported with appropriate feedback. Feedback can be from others, but also importantly from the learner (knowledge of result – KR) as aspects, small steps, nuances of motor skill learning are sometimes difficult for observers / coaches to pick up. Here is where videos can come in handy, to record initial learning and then for coaches to assist learners to pin point areas to be improved.

Once initial learning and practice is completed and the learner is building up competency, error detection and correction (from individual and others) is undertaken. By this time, the reference points for correct posture, performance and/ or process also need to be established. Otherwise, the learner is unable to self-correct as they have unclear KR.

Motor skill learning through deliberate practice:
More on this aspect in a previous post as ‘practice’ comes up highest on list of ways of learning for apprentices. Suffice to say, ‘practice makes perfect’ and the requirement to engage in repetitive work tasks, is a cornerstone of much of human learning.

Mental imagery and motor skill learning:
The role of mental imagery is signalled in stage one of the learning by observation process. The learner needs to have some form of ‘model’, physical or mental, to base deliberate practice on. Learning can be ‘on-line’ through situated practice or ‘off-line’ through mental practice. Off-line can take the form of reviewing the steps before actual physical action or reflection after physical action. Off-line learning also required to bed down and consolidate new learning, hence importance of rest, sleep and recreation. Bringing the tenets of deliberate practice together with mental imagery is an aspect not explored in the learning of vocational trade skills.

Therefore, still the three areas of learning to work on. 
1) Individuals’ learning strategies can be improved through deliberate practice, coupled with metacognition of learning progress and perhaps assisted through use of mental imagery. 
2) Guidance from others may be direct (as per coaching) or indirect (learning by observing others) and learners need to learn the skills of how to apply suggestions from others. 
3) Workplace organisation or structure of learning need to take into account and provide support for deliberate learning processes.