Monday, May 26, 2014

Reading Heidegger - a simple guide to being and time

The work of Heidegger occurs regularly in the literature I work with. Some years ago, I have worked my way through two of his books. The books were hard work, something I attributed firstly to reading Heidegger’s work via translations from German to English and secondly, to my patchy conceptualisation of philosophical thought and my unfamiliarity with the presentation of philosophical writing. I am not the only one who finds Heidegger difficult to relate to or get into.

Heidegger’s books are part of this year’s on-going ‘catch up’ reading on things philosophical and neurobiological. I put off re-encountering Heidegger’s work until after I had attained a better grip on mind / body philosophical issues as a way of becoming more attuned to how philosopher’s write.
So, when I came across this book for the kindle, I downloaded to have a look through to see if it would help make the work of Heidegger more accessible. A simple guide to being and time (2012) is one of a series of books by NZer Steven Foulds. 

The concepts used by Heidegger – being, disclosedness, there-being, existential are introduced in the getting started chapter, setting up the scaffold to proceed with a lay person’s version of Being and Time. Then there is an overview of the there-being concepts.

The following chapters explain concepts of being in the world, being a whole and temporality. Appendices are included to further unpack occidental ontology, Edmund Husserl, Heidegger and the Nazis and Heidegger’s methods. A glossary of Heidegger’s terms used in the guide completes the book.

Overall, I found it useful to read the guide as it clarified many of the confusions I found through reading Heidegger ‘raw’. Now, I am better prepared to re-read ‘Being and Time’ and then attempt another of Heideggers’ work without recourse to a guide. Will report back on whether this strategy works!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Handbook of mobile learning - summary and overview

New book at the CPIT library published by Routledge (2013) and edited by Z.L. Berge and L. Y. Muilenburg. The book is a contains a comprehensive corpus of work to date on mobile learning frameworks, theories, pedagogies and challenges.

Book has 53 chapters in five parts. Relevant chapters to our project surface tablet summarised.
Chapters are short and cover a good spectrum of mlearning sphere to date. The list of contents has short summaries of each chapter.

Part 1 –Foundation and Future has 12 chapters providing overview of the evolution, foundational theories and possible future trajectories of mlearning.

Chapter 1 by Helen Crompton covers the development of mlearning through it’s elearning roots. Definitions of mlearning are proposed. The pedagogical shifts in education also summarised from the 1970s (discovery learning) to constructivist (1980s), constructionist (later 1980s), problem-based learning and socio-constructivist (1990s) along with learning centred developments. The advances in ‘educational technology’ also summarised through 1970s to 1990s.

Chapter 2 - W.C. Diehl covers ‘mlearning as a subfield of open and distance ed.’ A mainly American historical evolution of distance learning is summarised from the 1800s through postal / paper-based, to the emergence of radio and TV.

Chapter 3 by T. Cochrane provides ‘a summary and critique of m-learning research and practice’ through overview of the various phases and research approaches used. Key mlearning projects, sources of research funding, project contexts and methodologies are presented. The gaps in mlearning research summarised as being a lack of explicit underlying pedagogical theory, lack of transferable design frameworks, longitudinal studies, explicit support for student / lecturer support and poor integration with pedagogical; and general lack of awareness of ontological shifts required of learners and lecturers to move forward.

Chapter 4 covers the ‘sociocultural ecological frame for mobile learning’ contributed by N. Pachler, B. Backmir and J. Cook. Argues for the need to adopt a cultural ecology perspective for mlearning, Sociocultural structures include the inter-relationships and reciprocities between sociocultural structures, agency and cultural practices. ‘Appropriation’ of learning (new cultural products) needs to be couched in terms of individual’s habitus of learning as it is the individual who shapes knowledge out of their own sense of their world.

5th chapter written by H. Crompton offering a new approach or theory for mobile learning. Proposed theories supportive of mlearning precepts include activity theory, conversational theory and connections between multiple theories (e.g. behavorist, constructivist, situated, collaborative, informal / lifelong and learning / teaching support). Mlearning ‘special’ contributions include context, connectivity, time and personalisation. The specialised and unique characteristics of mlearning is able to contribute to require a rethink and a need to develop a new theory for mlearning.

Chapter 6 by A. Moura and A.A. Carvalho describes a framework for mlearning integration into educational contexts. Activity theory is used to ground the study leading to development of the framework. Mobile learning is informed by pedagogy and aspects of mediation and learning through inter-relations between activity, tools and students.

Chapter 7 on ‘learning and teaching as communicative actions’ is by S.J. Warren and J.S. Wakefield. Communicative actions to support teaching and learning are defined as normative, strategic, constative and dramaturgical. Each of the communicative actions inform instructional design principles and establishes the design directive. An interesting concept to follow up on.

Chapter 8 by C. Quinn discusses the ‘future of m-learning’. Mlearning is defined to afford content consumption, interaction to compute, ability to communicate with others and to capture context with combination of one or more of the 4 Cs. Suggested ways in which mlearning may move forward include capabilities that may allow the ‘making of thinking’ visible; ‘meta-learning’ supporting formal and informal aspects of learning between contexts; and meeting learners’ needs when (connected through calendars) and where (location awareness via GPS) required.

Chapter 9 is written by 6 authors with M. Milrad the first author. The chapter focuses on ‘seamless learning: an international perspective on next-generation technology-enhanced learning’. The 10 dimension of Wong and Looi (2011) are used to help provide anchoring points. The dimensions are: encompassing formal / informal learning; personalised / social learning; across time; across location; ubiquitous access to content for learning; encompassing physical / digital worlds; combining use of multiple devices; seamless switching between multiple learning tasks; knowledge synthesis; and encompassing multiple pedagogical and learning activity models. Projects from Taiwan, UK, Sweden, Singapore and Japan are provided as examples.
The next three chapters, report on the state of the play with regards to mlearning. Discussions are on ‘educational change in the palm of our children’s hands’; ‘future of mobile apps for learning’; and ‘mobile learning across developing and developed worlds’.

Part 2 – learning and learner support covered in 9 chapters
Chapter 13 by A.Kukulska-Hulme summarises the profile of mobile learners ‘who they are and who will they become?’ Targeted learners have included school children and their carers; higher education students; young adults not in education or work; the underserved in development contexts; workplace learners including employers, apprentices and professionals; communities, friends and families; and learners with special needs and abilities. Not represented as much are older people and retirees; engaged, enthusiastic and talented young adults;  families; support for disabilities; and under privileged in all countries, both developed and developing.

Chapter 15 by O. Ozan and M. Kesim covers ‘rethinking scaffolding in mobile connectivist learning environments’. Summarises Vygotsky’s scaffolding concept and Berge’s learner support strategies and synthesises with Siemen’s connectivism approach. Provides an example of how a mobile connectivist learning environment may occur through collection of ‘mobile learning management system’ with social community and various affordance of mlearning as summarised in chapter 8.

Part 3 – teaching in instructional design has 10 chapters
Chapter 22 by T. Cochrane on ‘mlearning as a catalyst for change’ uses case studies from performing arts, architecture and journalism to argue the case for the entry of a ‘disruptive’ form of technology to become the lever to change pedagogical practice.

Chapter 23 by A. J. Sams is on ‘flipped classroom meets mobile learning’ detailing the implementation of a sustainable flipped classroom learning model. The 4 flipped classroom models are also defined as pretraining, inquiry, flipped-mastery and project-based.

Chapter 24 by J. Gerstein provides the rational for ‘team and community building using mobile devices’. Increased usage of mobile devices along with characteristics of the millennial and igenerations along with the greater need for building of collaborative skills push the adoption of mobile devices. Examples of team building activities using mobile devices are detailed.

M. M. Grant and M.K. Barbour in chapter 25 provide case studies from the K-12 context on using mobile to teach and learn both in the classroom and when on-line.

 A.M. O’Loughlin, S.M. Barton and L. Ngo report on the use of mobile technology to enhance teaching in chapter 26. The framework is that learning occurs through processes of ‘test programming’, questioning, reflection on the programming and feedback. The need to ensure ‘human and social’ capital investment is a strong recommendation from the evaluation.

Chapter 27 on ‘teacher tools’ contributed by S. Price, P. Davies and W. Farr. The designing of customisable applications for mlearning activities is reported.

In chapter 28, S. Huber and M. Ebner report on ‘iPad human interface guidelines’ and why the interface with mobile devices is important towards ensuring learning is assisted.

X Ge, D. Huang, H. Zhang and B. B. Bowers report on chapter 29 the ‘three dimensions design for mobile learning’ to include pedagogy, design and technology considerations using a case study based on learning through simulations for nurses.

S.A. Nikou and A.A. Economides summarise the current ‘mobile assessment’ landscape in Chapter 30. A range of approaches in deploying mobile learning to assessments are discussed. Included are classroom response systems, self / peer assessments, collaborative assessments, computerised adaptive tests, dynamic assessments, context-aware assessments, location aware assessments and mobile game based learning (mGBL).

Chapter 31 by I. de Waard explores the concept of mobile MOOCs and the design aspects required to work mMOOC in the cloud.

Part 4 – 7 chapters on policies, administration and management. Issues covered include: institutional move to mobile platforms (chapter 32 by G. Baroudi & N. Marksbury); Framework for implementation of mobile technology (33 with R.M Seilhamer, B. Chen and A.M. Sugar); BYoD case study by J. LaMaster and J.D. Ferries-Rowe; holistic framework for ethical mlearning by L.E. Dyson, T. Andrews, R. Smith & R. Wallace; copyright and fare use by P. Aufderheide; accessibility issues with J.B. Roberts; and role of academic libraries with R. Wexelbaum and P. Miltenoff.

Part 5 has 15 chapters providing various cases and perspectives. Of note are:
Chapter 41 by S. Stoerger on ‘becoming a digital nomad’. Chapter 42 with R. Brandt and R. Rice on ‘mobile medicine praxis’. Closer to home, chapter 44 by J. A. Willems with ‘mlearning during emergencies, disasters and catastrophes. Chapter 45 with H.G. Tuttle on ‘improving students’ modern language speaking skills through mobile learning.

Overall, the most relevant chapters are in Sections 1 and 3. Specific case studies, especially those involving the customised production of mobile apps, become dated very quickly in the fast changing mobile technology world. We learn from every project deploying mlearning to a range of diverse and often challenging contexts. Mlearning is still to meet its potential especially in helping to bring affordances to learning to remote, deprived and transient communities most in need of access to education. This book is an excellent resource for any educator embarking on the mlearning journey as it reports triumphs and challenges, modelling the complex political and social area mlearning occurs in.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

CPIT professional development day - new city:new CPIT

Today is CPITs second whole institution professional development day. The occasion opens with a welcome from CE Kay Giles. Joe Bennett returns as a popular MC. The theme for the day and following year is new city: new CPIT. Kay commends on the resilience of staff and the institution and how we need to mine the learning to move CPIT forward into the futures. The earthquakes present a unique opportunity. Following last years PD day a catalyst team was formed and 3 key projects identified to increase collaboration across the institute. A video produced by students at Olds College in Canada on gamification and another Victoria University, Melbourne on work integrated learning used as example of whole institute direction towards future proofing the institute. Two other objectives include sustainability and opportunities for all. A scene from the play by the 'no limits group' is presented as a way to illustrate marginalisation and its effects.

First keynote is with Michael McQueen on decoding the next generation. Aims to provide practical suggestions at the end of the presentation for educators to bring back into their teaching. Summarising some of the concepts from his book. Engagement with Gen Y often thought to be difficult. Important to be authentic, not assume gen Y have no moral compass as they possess post-modern mindset and respect is not bestowed but earned through reciprocal relationships. Gen Ys may be 'unreliable' but their post-modern mindset prepares them well to cope flexibility and innovatively with change. If things don't work out they actively seek a different route and that causes them to be seen as lacking resilience. Gen Y are assumed to be technology savvy and also seen to be high maintenance. Strategies for engaging and equipping Gen Y is to prioritize the relationship, embrace new learning formats using appropriate technology and learning activities (check Donald Tapscott book on 'growing up digital') and use stories to make your point.

A staff activity follows morning tea. We broke up into 56 groups of about 12 in each group to work out the values CPIT should hold on to and work out what behaviours and activities would reflect these values. Group suggestions are to emailed into one repository and collated into informing the values development process of the new CPIT strategic plan.

After lunch, another activity to drive off the post lunch blahs.
Rhythm interactive takes through some collective flow activities with drumming, clapping, chanting and singing.

Second keynote from Peter Townsend CE of the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce. A video 'new city, new Christchurch' is shown to provide an update of rebuild plans for the city. He opens his presentation with a vision of  Christchurch into 2030. Participatory democracy applied to inform the various innovative and future directions of development. For the city to become a centre of excellence that supports NZ and South Island economic, research, commercial and education goals. Currently, there is population and capital inflow, increase of economic activity due to business resilience and the recovery has only just begun. We need to capitalise on the opportunities and to understand the scale of the work coming and the place of CPIT in contributing. He challenged the institution to strategically plan for the future.

Jenn Bestwick, chair of the CPIT council follows with an overview of the day's activities and updates on the council's direction. CPIT needs to continually work at leading innovation and embracing change for the benefit our students. We have performed well but demands for education and training increasing from industry, schools and students. Going forward requires remaining relevant to our communities and stakeholders and continuing with evolution and innovation to meet diverse needs.
The CPIT staff awards are next. There were 19 nominations for the rising star award which goes to 4 people. Charlotte Griffiths, Hemi Hoskins, Natalie Thomas and Jan Connolly. Certificates also to Nick McQueen, Clare Brokelhurst, Marion Peawini and Manu Fata. 10 nominations for the management awards with the winner Bree Underhill. sustainability awards from 6 nominations to Emma Meijer and the outdoor and sustainability education team. The excellence in teaching award goes to the midwifery team. The practitioner award goes to the teaching team of the 'next step' centre who work with women second chance learners to help them re-enter tertiary education and the workplace. The teaching award from the CE goes to the manufacturing team and then front-line management team.

The day closed with the great waiata challenge for the institute to learn the CPIT waiata.