Monday, August 24, 2015

coaches' eye - use in improving vocational education

We have been using coaches eye successfully (the Ipad App) for several years with hospitality students. Mainly for the improvement of skills and dispositional learning as students learn how to check in and check out guests.

This semester, we are trying coaches' eye app on surface pro tablets, with nursing students and office systems students. Nursing students to learn how to communicate with patients and other health staff using 'health' discipline protocols and office systems students learning how to chair meetings.

We have found coaches' eye to be better for skills learning rather than to improve communication skills requiring ongoing conversation.

Coaches' eye works best when there is not too much talking, and feedback is mainly on 'action'. In hospitality, the check-in / check-out process includes 'in-built' pauses in the conversational flow between receptionist and guests, allowing for aural feedback to be provided between students' activity. However, when there is a constant stream of conversation, it is much more difficult to provide oral feedback, as the oral feedback voices over the conversation between student and role play conversationalist. The pause button can be used to stop the video and offer feedback. However, there is a break in continuity in the learners' conversation and this lowers impact. Additionally, the role plays in nursing and office systems are quite long. Again, it becomes difficult to sustain attention when there are too many pauses in the feedback on a role play.

We are now working on focusing on key aspects of the role play. i e. what is the skill being practiced for each role play. Tutors then hone in on the key aspects and offer feedback only on key aspects. Meanwhile, I return to evaluating other possible video annotation tools, starting by a refreshment of work from several years back from two blogs in 2009, one on video analysis vs video annotation, the other on video analysis for multimodal discourse analysis.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The teenage brain

 Attended a short presentation with Nathan Mikaere-Wallis who is an educator with a trust, Brainwave Trust Aotearoa, set up to disseminate neuroscience research on brain development from birth to adulthood to NZ organisations.

Most of the trust’s work is focused on supporting better outcomes for young children as the bulk of brain development occurs in the first 1000 days, the first three years of life. Our brain grows by a third during the first 1000 days and the various networks in the frontal context and our efficacy to learning etc. are set up at this crucial life stage. For summary, see wiki by Nathan and podcast on National Radio on what 3 to 7 year olds should learn.

Much of the framework supporting early brain development is based on the Perry neurosequential model. More also from the childtrauma academy.

In short, our brains have evolved over millions of years. We have a brain stem(brain 1) which takes care of our physical needs to keep us alive. Then there is the brain 2 which ensures we move as it controls motion etc. Brain 3 is the limbic brain which provides us with our emotions / feelings / motivations etc. and brain 4 the neocortex, allows us to learn complex cognitive tasks like reading and writing.

Babies need dyadic attachment relationships to ensure brain development progresses well during the crucial 1000 days. We are primed to learn how to read and write at 7. During adolescence, there is a period of reconsolidation and reconstruction in the neocortex at average age of 27. Girls generally mature beyond adolescences between 18 and 24, boys between 22 and 32. The adolescence phase is theorised to exist as that is the time we have evolved to be sexually active and begin procreation. However, contemporary society is not in synch, with child birth in women now pushed well into the 30s.

Having a dyadic relationship during adolescence may assist in helping young men engage with learning. Perhaps why apprenticeship work as young men are ‘primed’ to be receptive to building a relationship with a mentor at this stage in life development.

Will need to do some reading around this area to see if there is synergy in bringing some of the concepts into my area of interest - occupational identity formation especially at the beginning of apprenticeship.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Kaleidoscope - CPIT research week

This week, we hold the annual CPIT research dissemination event. A week of presentations from staff and students with a much anticipated 'Great Debate' on Wednesday around the topic - 'Google does more for sustainability than Greenpeace'.

Today at lunch time, Kay Giles, CPIT CE opened the first session, a series of short 6 minute presentations on a range of topics from the departments.

The format actually works quite well as it provides an overview of what our research colleagues have been up to. We had presentations from Architecture (Dr. Rory Green on various projects to help make NZ homes drier and warmer); Performing Arts (Tony McCaffrey on his latest theorising of performance by people percieved to have intellectual disabilities); Design (Michael Reed on a print portfolio project and Bruce Russell on the social utility of improvised sound work); Science (Dr. Jerry Sherman on a 'survey' used to find out what works best to tailor cardiac rehabilitation and Dr. Barbara Dolamore on using gene modelling to identify camphylobactor types); Business (Dr. Juan Pellegrino on SMEs learning to move into international markets); Computing (Amit Sarkar on resilience of information systems in crisis - Chch. earthquakes); and Midwifery (Dr. Mary Kensington on the findings from the midwifery first year of practice support programme (it works); Dr. Rea Dallenbach on evaluation of OB3 - a platform for co-creative learning; Dr. Lorna Davis on resiliance).

Tomorrow, another series of  a dozen of so presentations from tutors. Students 'pitch a project' on Thursday and Friday - providing summaries of their own projects.

Always a good opportunity to celebrate the diversity at CPIT through the many perspectives brought in through the various disciplinary areas.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Learning in the landscapes of practice - concept summary

Had time over the weekend (wet and snowy) to catch up on various accumulated links, readings and notes. One thread I followed through was on Wenger-Trayner's re-conceptualisation of the 'communities of practice' towards 'landscapes of practices'.

The newer conceptualisation of practice as landscape extends on the original premises of the socio-cultural foundation of learning. Communities of practices are linked, interconnected (loosely or tightly bound). Individuals traverse the landscape of practices as they enter and become part of specific communities of practices, often boundary crossing various communities due to the multi-disciplinary and multi-organisational nature of globalised organisations.

The book  summarising all the arguments represents a good first port of call to review one's own understanding of how communities of practices have shifted. Parts of the book is on Google books. Book overview can be obtained at this blog by David Rubeli and book review summary with s Nordic slant.

Since publication, Dr. Wenger has delivered several conference addresses summarising the approaches of landscapes of practice. This powerpoint is similar to the one used at a presentation given in 2013 at the University of Manchester.  Although about an hour long, worth a watch as the salient points are discussed.

In short, the concept of landscapes provides a refreshed view in light of the complexities now inherent in work organisation and the mobility of workers across discipline areas as their careers develop. Workers / learners have to continually negotiate / re-negotiate new perspectives as they are jostled from within their established Communities of Practice into being peripheral to others or their existing communities morph due to socio-political pressures. The journey is one across a landscape which is familiar but also includes gullies, unexpected turns and bluffs. Learning to walk through the landscape is now also as important as becoming part of the landscape.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Using Miracast

The new learning spaces at CPIT have screens with Miracast, which is where we are able to project the image from a tablet on to a large flat screen. There are pros and cons, discussed here and there is always a need to assist tutors in 'thinking outside the box'. Many teachers plan to use Miracast to enhance their use of powerpoint - some tips here for powerpoint on surface tablets.

However, Miracast is also a powerful tool if used to share 'learning moments' in the form of examples of students' own work, videos of stduents' practice or role plays etc. Our work has shown students take ownership and are more likely to re-watch learning resources, if students' work is incorporated into the teaching resource. A power point up loaded on to Moodle, means much more if examples of students' work from a class session, form part of the resource.

The opportunity to use students' work as 'learning conversation starters' is also a focus of our use of Miracast. Students' progressive work can be shared via Miracast on tutors' tablets if the work is transferred on to a shared class folder (say on OneDrive or Moodle or Dropbox) or transferred physically using a memory stick. We are using Surface RT tablets which have a usb, making physical transfer in a BYOD environment workable during tutorials. Five wired PCs around the room provide students without a device with digital hardware.

The rooms also have glass 'whiteboards' allowing for the use of 'office lens'. Office lens provides the facility to take images off surfaces with a bit of glare or crop pieces of work taken off note books etc. Office lens is linked to One Note, allowing for ease of transferability within the Windows OS.

I will undertake a series of class observations this semester to improve the deployment of Miracast though supporting tutors. In particular, to assist the building of a trusting learning culture within our classrooms to allow for co-construction of students' work as their learning progresses and to maximise opportunities for peer and tutor feedback.