Friday, July 11, 2014

IAL 2014 symposium - day 2

Day 2 begins with an online keynote via Skype from Professor Andrew Ng from Coursera and Stanford University. He talks on 'the online revolution: education for everyone'. Covered characteristics of MOOCs along with advantages and social responsibility model to provide access to learning for all.  People all over the world, regardless of social status are able to access courses from 18 of the top 25 US universities and 29 of the top universities in the world. Courses usually have video lectures and computer graded quizzes. Peer grading process available to instructors. Some instructors use project-based learning. Most students (75%) have batchelors degree and most 20 - 39 years old (62%). Future is to provide on-demand content rather than have set start / finish dates.

After morning tea, the concurrent sessions begin, I attend Siddharth Jain's from Playware Studios Asia Pte. Ltd. presentation on 'learning how to play and use gamelets effectively - challenges and strategies for creating engagement in training skills development'. Introduced the free authoring tool to build virtual simulations called 3Dhive. mobile learners proposed to like multi-tasking and access to bite sized information. Preference for relevant, visual and hands-on content which is always available and cross-platform. Future learning requires creation of multi-layered short form and crowd sourced content. Every learning process feeds into another learning process with frequent reiteration of continuous content which is multi-disciplinary and multi-lingual. Need to make use of the emergent nature of content. Proposes educational games as a means to assist with current learning needs. Creation of games via commercial companies is too expensive for education. 3D hive developed to provide a solution- a free educational game development platform. emphasis on experiential learning as a means to transfer skills through guided experience, immersive environments, simulated role play etc.

Second concurrent session is with Dr. Michael Choy from the IAL who speaks on the topic of 'enabling mindfulness and learning at work: a learning design perspective'. Uses the concept of learning from errors. Proposes DELeTe (designing errors in learning and teaching) as a way to learn to difficult skills and dispositions. DELeTe not to be used in an ad hoc way but carefully deployed to promote reflective and transformative practice. Modelled an example using a case study to illustrate how DEleTe can be deployed to confront learners' with a non-standard situations.

After lunch, the first keynote of the day is from Professor Jack Whitehead (University of Cumbria) on 'improving learning and practice in the workplace through living theory'. Living education theory is a form of action research drawing on individuals' lived experiences. A way to evaluate own practice and then through reflection, draw up action plan to improve. Provided links to his website which archives a range of thesis as examples of how practitioners  from diverse backgrounds and discipline areas, use living education approach to improve professional practice.

The second keynote of the afternoon is with Professor John Field from the University of Stirling on 'building social capital for lifelong learning in the workplace'. Focus on the informal learning occurring through work. Defines social capital as the 'networks, norms and social trust that facilitate co-ordination and co-operation for mutual benefit' - Putnam. Social capital is difficult to measure. Both in formal pre-higher education and through adult learning programmes, civic engagement is highly correlated to higher participation and positive outcomes.

After afternoon tea, the last keynote of the day is with Dr. Lee Kwok Cheong , CEO of SIM Global Educational on 'CET- for IT, by IT'. Sharing the future Infocomm plans training within the ITC sector to develop agile IT professionals. As with other industries, manpower challenge is to attract, retain and upgrade. Currently still a mismatch between school preparation and work demands. Need to have a more open and accelerated professional development, not just completion of a 4 year degree. Suggest open learning platform for modularised online learning and testing. Accelerate through part-time degree integrating work projects, awards with a bond period to employer and support of company-led training and centres of attachment to provide off-job training and mentoring.

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