Monday, November 30, 2015

OneNote Class Notebook creator - resources

Here is an update on Onenote class notebook creator bringing together, the various resources created by Microsoft and others to support the platform. These resources will be used as we structure plans to extend our initial pilot of the platform to other departments and discipline areas.

Notebook creator is part of suite of tools offered through office 365 educator suite. Not all the products will be available at the initial launch of Office 365 as we will also be using a range of corporate tools.The most important outcome of moving across to Office 365 is the 'one access' password into the system, providing access to all the apps available and ability to connect all the software being used to the cloud.

There is a dedicated page for teachers with links to various resources / tutorials etc. to get started and make the most of onenote. Including one on curriculum 'delivery', and one on collaboration. Some of the resources were put together using the relative new 'Sway' app to put together a presentation with ebook book style navigation.

Pros and Cons of using notebook creator are discussed in this blog from broadeducation.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Ako Aotearoa Academy symposium - day 2

Day begins with Dr. Peter Coolbear, director of Ako Aotearoa providing an update on the tertiary landscape. He discussed - what's on the horizon for NZ and Ako Aotearoa. Stressed importance of cooperation due to increasing sector complexity. Summarised current challenges : integrity of funding system and fundees; validity of NZQA quality assurance processes being questioned; TEC trying genuinely consultative on mew models of investments; productivity commission review; expectation that domestic demand to fall; employability still on agenda; renewed push for international education; and inherent assumption that tertiary education can fix socio-economic deprivation. 
Encouragement to contribute practitioners view when productivity commission seeks feedback. Look at recent review of social services as an example. Covered Ako Aotearoa objectives for 2016. There is need to demonstrate impact; re focus project funding - with need to rationalise 'gaps' in regionally funded projects, re invest in dissemination of project recommendations to push change etc.; use strategic fora to drive change; becoming semi-independent; Expand work on evaluative self assessment; support professional accreditation of practitioners. 

James Patterson leads a session on "the outward looking face of the academy". Shared overview of the work done to publicise the academy. Refresh of the imagery and material providing academy information. Shared potential new and brochures. New website launched. 

Professor Angus Macfarlane presents on "looking back at 50 years of Maori education" or nga tapuwae o mua, mo kura - food steps from the past, informing the future. Covered briefly historic icons, recent thinkers, knowledge areas, ways of knowing, examples of culturally responsive education, summary of more recent thinkers, the discourse of diversity. Posed challenge to all academy members to accept responsibility assist adding value to Te Ao Maori. In particular, truths tolerated, data sought, experiences tasted, assumptions challenged. Reviewed historical colonisation impact on Maori, Maori education and current lobbies and organisations supporting Maori initiatives. Increase of 'conscientization' to accept Maori streams of consciousness with a convergence of streams of knowledge and consideration of culturally embedded streams. Need to destory the past negative experiences and restory positive success. Need to ensure Maori perspectives become part of all deliberate acts of teaching. Challenged academy to step up ensure meaningful cultural responsiveness. Encouraged insistence of high standards, tap into students culture, consider nuances of dominant discourse, take at risk students under their wings, perceive teaching as a calling, provide care and guidance and transform classrooms from boring to brisk. Covered ways to engage students including withitness and mana. Therefore need to integrate culturally inclusiveness, avail socioculturally grounded resources, attitudinal shifts, good teaching, wise leadership and informed and confident communities of learning. 

After morning tea, we have Dr. Elana Curtis present on "Maori and Pacific success: how tertiary institutions can make a difference ". Shared experiences, personal and professional, on strategies to assist. Tertiary institution strategies can help. Exampled Auckland University 40 years of investment in increasing numbers and improving outcomes for Maori and Pacifica. Need to reimagine potential and invest in recruitment (starting early), re focus selection process. If applicants follow advise and meet criteria they stand higher chance of completion. In programmes, important not to spoon feed, assist independent learning, support learning community. Need to reorient academic support. Also review and critique own role as educator.

On a similar theme, Margaret Henley shares her work on "first in family (FiF) and the recognition of non-traditional cultural capital in first year tertiary learners: a NZ / UK comparison". Shared literature on the topic - UK, USA, NZ and Australian. Tended to have a deficit approach and as a problem to solve. Recommended work by Yosso, 2005 as an approach. Find out aspirations, work out familial resources, linguistic skills, social capital, navigational abilities through institute and experiences with resistance to the norm. Need to be aware of the invisible pedagogy accessible more to middle class families. Aims of FiF programme to help manage transition, maximise learning, enhance engagement, reduce attrition rate and pool academic and professional staff resources. Provided details of intervention - targeted learning sessions - to identify students early, build relationships and provide assistance where required. Online version ask so available. Students identified through completion of 5 mark trigger assessment as a diagnostic and 'product' to frame the targeted learning sessions. 

After lunch, Ksenija Napan leads a workshop to work through the "many faces of academic life: the adventures of Pinocchio and his friends while navigating through a neoliberal university". Questions posed to teams, each taking on a character from Pinocchio, to work through. The goal is for each team to co create an alternative story, relevant to academy member. Modelled the co participate inquiry approach.

Symposium closed with academy hour to provide feedback on the experiences.  Eric Pawson facilitated session on Feedback collated from members on action points started, progressed or completed through the learning from last years' symposiums reported. 

Overall, a growing maturity of the academy came through. We are larger in number, still diverse but finding common ground in our practitioner perspectives on excellence and quality tertiary learning and teaching. 

Feedback session closes a busy but interesting symposium. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ako Aotearoa Academy Symposium 2015 - day 1

At this year's annual gathering of Excellence in tertiary teaching awardees held in Wellington over two days. Great to touch base with familiar people and to get to know the awardees from 2015.

Symposium opens with Maori welcome from Angus McFarlane, Kelly Pender with a special welcome from Dame Dr. Iritana Tawhiwhirangi. She shared her initial teaching experiences following on from teaching in the school with Sylvia Ashton Warner to the setting up of the total immersion schools in the 1970s. James Patterson welcomed everyone and provided overview of program and Amy Fitzgerald ran through housekeeping matters. 
Eric Pawson, currently academy president then welcomed the new members and members at the first time to the symposium. Committee members introduced. Tony Zaharic went through details of two days and logistical matters. James facilitated a welcome to new members. Alison then summarised role of academy and where it connects with other Ako Aotearoa functions. 

Dr. Karyn Paringatai presents on an approach she uses successfully to enhance student learning - nga kura huna o Te Po - the hidden secrets of the dark. Went through evolution of method, refining and evaluation. Then modelled the technique for all of us to learn a Maori song. Questions followed to better understand the concepts.  

After lunch, parallel sessions begin with two short sessions. I support Paul Robinson's presentation on "lateral speed" with Paul sharing his journey a chef and educator. An interactive session to celebrate life long learning. Paul summarised the themes encountered as he travelled a journey both physically and cognitively. Showed video made to complete his Bachelors in Culinary Arts centered around case studies of 3 chefs / bakers / restauranteur and their on going learning and entrepreneurship beyond the Christchurch earthquakes to re establish their businesses. 

Then with Warwick Murray on " virtually there? Transporting students to the field through music and images". Shared 4 ways to teleport students to the field while they are situated in a lecture theatre. Field work is preferable but expensive, time consuming and has inherent cultural and physical challenges. Transform and translate context, delivery and assessments to assist setting scene, activities and expectations. Examples are simulation e.g. Working in the governance of an imaginary country through interactive game followed by reflective practice. Strategies include music and images to set scene, writing songs and listening to songs, ge-ogs (small snippets taken using mobile, usually personalised so connects with students), and amalgamate various scene setting and digital resources into virtual field trips. Immersive virtual field trips final objective. 

A reflective session followed to unpack learnings from previous sessions. 

After afternoon tea, I facilitate a workshop on "using video to improve learning skills, knowledge and dispositions" with emphasis on the sociomaterial dimensions of learning. An interactive session where my assigned 1/2 hour ran to an hour. Good ideas generated by participants which I hope they will put into practice and report back next year 😀

Then a closing plenary for the day from Zoe Jordens on "an exploration of science lecturers' views on quality teaching in science at university". Opened with her experiences from scientist to becoming an educator and how the learning process has captured her interest and focus. Compared typical undergraduate science lab with workplace collaborative lab practice. Provided overview of her current PhD studio topic and overview of the Delphi method (specifically dissensus) used to collect data. Participants were Academy members teaching science. Findings indicate themes of relevance,motivation, understanding the scientific process and variety of ways to deliver assist how students learn science. Variety of ways include doing science, working with scientists, observation and other supporters and sources to construct own knowledge. Quality teaching includes interactive teaching, connection, critical thinking, scientific ways of thinking, reflection and the NZ context. Approaches that prepare students well include authentic tasks, scientific ways of thinking and practicing,mrelationships with industry and inquiry based learning. Next phase of Delphi to analyse data from collection of responses from larger sample of science 'lecturers'. 

Dinner provides another opportunity to catch up and learn from each other. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

OneNote - Notebook Creator - interim pilot

Our small pilot of OneNote Class Notebook has yielded positive results. Only a small cohort of engineering students (year one on a three year degree) participated.

The main objective of the pilot was to:
  • ·         Test one note notebook creator as lab report tool
  • ·         engage engineering students in using lab books on a progressive basis
  • ·         Provide students with formative feedback as their lab books are completed.
  • ·         Provide a platform for summative assessments of student lab reports.
Both tutor and students feedback were supportive. The main bugbears were difficulties with inputting equations, sketching and citation/ referencing. Some of the challenges with entering equations etc. can be solved with using stylii.
'     OneNote Class Notebook’s capabilities are especially useful for pedagogical approaches reliant on timely formative feedback. The platform allows tutors to ‘see’ student work as traditionally paper-based learning activities are worked through and provide feedback ‘in-situ’. Co-constructive learning through problem-based or inquiry-based learning are also other areas the capabilities of OneNote Class Notebook would be useful.
      We will now plan for a more extensive pilot from early next year as the institute attains full access to Office 365. In particular, we need to try the platform across a range of discipline areas, with a variety of formative / summative assessment requirements.

Monday, November 09, 2015

The body in professional practice, learning and education - book overview

A book edited by Bill Green(Charles Sturt University) and Nick Hopwood (University of Technology, Sydney), published 2015 by Springer as part of the series on professional and practice-based learning. Read the ebook accessed over the last week through CPIT library.

15 chapters in 4 parts

Part 1 – Introductions
Chapters 1 and 2 by the editors provide a foundation with overviews of role of body in practice.
On professional practice as embodied, performed by material and corporeal beings, in specific space-time. Reasons for the topic and themes in the book discussed. Frameworks anchoring the studies and concepts introduced through the book are briefly discussed. Includes works from philosophers exampled by Aristotle, Witttgenstein, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Schatzki; feminist literature of Butler and Grosz, sociology of the body with Shilling and Turner and the poststructuralist theories from Foucault, Derrida and others. The relevant contemporary work on ‘professions’ and ‘embodiment’ also reviewed briefly, providing good grounding for any future work.
Defines practice, rationalises the reasons for researching the topic. Recommends research methods including combination of ethnography and discourse analysis framed by actor-network theory or  cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT).

Origins and chapter summaries also provided in the first chapter.

In the second chapter, the theoretical underpinnings supporting the various discussions in the book are previewed, summarised and discussed. There is an overview and discussion of Schatzki’s conceptualisation of ‘being a body, having a body’, the instrumental body’ and relevance to practice. The aspects of performance and habituation are also considered.

Part 2 – thinking with the body in professional practice
Chapter 3 by Margaret Somerville and Karen Vella on ‘sustaining the change agent: Bringing the body into language in professional practice’.  A complex chapter whereby Feminist thought is used to study how organisational change affects professional practice. The PhD supervisor, Somerville and the Phd student, Vella, use an experience working with fabric, to assist in the unpacking of the nuances of embodied experiences.

Next a chapter by Nick Hopwood on ‘relational geometries of the body: doing ethnographic fieldwork’. This draws on personal ethnographies from the author and how ‘body geometries’ can be used to theorise what occurs to the ethnographer as he is steeped in fieldwork.

Chapter 5 with Mary C. Johnnson on ‘Terroir and time space: body rhythms in wine making’. An interesting chapter bringing together the findings on how bringing the body through embodiment with work and the practices of wine making, leads to the discovery of the body rhythms’ roles in learning and continuing practice.

Jo Anne Reid and Donna Mathewson Mitchel provide a chapter on ‘inhabiting the teaching body: portraits of teaching’. Provides good overviews of ‘embodiment’ through practice. How ‘teacherly’ action is adopted. The context of the article is pre-service teacher education and how to prepare beginning teachers to become in touch with their body as teacherly thinking and actions through interaction with material practices and arrangements occur. There is an examination of how expertise develops through experience, as novice teachers ‘fashion’ themselves to diagnose and act pedagogically.

Dianne Mulcahy writes another teaching themed chapter with ‘body matters: the critical contribution of affect in school classrooms and beyond’. The chapter follows on well from the previous. Seeks to break the cognitive bias of studying education to include trying to understand the how emotion impacts on how our bodies interact with ‘objects and spaces’. Uses actor-network theory as a means to unravel the interactions and envisages the many inter-relations between human and material objects as ‘assemblages’ as based on work by Deleuze and Guattari. Has good overview on the affect and bodies – summarising what bodies do and the kinds of practice thinking that informs doing.

Last chapter in this section is with Bill Green on ‘thinking bodies: practice theory, Deleuze and professional education’. Reviews the work of Deleuze and contributions to what it means to think of the body in a post-cartesian frame. Work of Schatzki’s also discussed. The chapter uses the example of how teachers teach reading, to provide frameworks from which the work of Deleuze and others may be understood. In particular, the perspective of the classroom as a ‘corporate body’ whereby the bodies of teacher and students align through activity to try to meet the activity’s goals.
Part 3 relates to the body in question in health and professional education and practice, perhaps of less relevance for the moment, but these chapters ‘show the way’ of how to integrate thinking about practice within specific practice contexts.

In chapter 9, Stephen Loftus writes on ‘embodiment in the practice and education of health professionals’. The chapter is narrative in nature, drawing on the author’s early experiences in medical practice. The need for empathy is a theme through the chapter and understanding the embodied body is one approach to better become a health professional.

The next chapter by Erika R. Katzman is on ‘embodied reflexivity: knowledge and the body in professional practice’. Brings together aspects of embodiment and reflection and how ‘embodied reflexivity leads to improved professional practice. Has overviews of each of the concepts, embodiment, reflection, embodied reflexivity, as understood or applied to a health context. The chapter revolves around the experiences of the author as an ‘attendant’ to a patient who is bedridden. How the author came to know her patient’s body and had to intervene when she saw changes in the patient’s bed sores but due to her position, had great difficulty obtaining assistance.

Then, a chapter on ‘embodied practise in dialysis care: on (para) professional work’ by Lara L Ellingston. The work of para-professionals working with dialysis patients is analysed through ethnographical methods  to foreground principles of embodiment.

Chapter 12 is on ‘(per)forming the practice(d) body: Gyneacological teaching associates in medical education’ by Jody Hall. Uses the experiences of gynaecological teaching associates (GTAs) to unravel the complex processes underlying how they assist medical students to learn how to perform pelvic examinations by allowing students to use them as patients. The author is a GTA and uses her ‘insider’ eyes to bring forth the stories of GTAs, their challenges.

The next chapter focuses on ‘the (de)fragmented body in nursing education’ by Sandra DeLuca, Pat Bethune-Davies and Janice Elliot. Explores how the use of simulations / virtual learning experiences used to educate nursing students, may lead to disembodiment.

Last chapter in section 3 is with Sally Denshire who writes on ‘looking like an occupational therapist: (re)presentations of her comportment within autoethnographical tales’. An example of using autoethnography to unpack the many socio-material aspects of occupational therapy.

The last section and chapter provides concluding reflections from Elizabeth Anne Kinsella on ‘embodied knowledge: towards a corporeal turn in professional practice, research and education’. The rationalisation for the need to widen perspectives on understanding practice is the main focus of this chapter. Not only the socio-material but also potentially difficult aspects (emotional or social taboos etc.) are brought to attention through the various research approaches sympathetic to examining emotions, embodiment etc.

Overall, a good compilation of contemporary work on practice / embodied practice and in consequence, the flow on impacts on embodied thinking, reflection etc. Each chapter takes a slightly different slant on the topic. The work of Schatzki crops up often along with Deleuze, Foucault, Heidigger and Meleau-Ponty, signalling the need for me to get into more reading to get my head around the various perspectives. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

webinar with echo 360

Notes taken from Webinar with echo 360  on"Achieving active learning in experiential learning environments"

With panel members front Unitec (Dr. Karen Haines and James Oldfield) and Sydney TAFE (Stephan Ridgeway and Tom Hore) and facilitated by David Bartolo.

Karen presented context and details of unitec transforming of learning and teaching, spaces and technologies to support collaborative on campus, highly blended and work based learning. James summarised ways echo360 fits into transitioning teaching approaches. Important to use the platform not as an add on with ease of use and integration into new learning spaces. Provided details of staff support through pilot including kickstart activity, targeting of key staff, hands on ad hoc support and assisting staff to explore beyond video of presentations and personal capture of content. Examples of how tutors used provided. Some use of recording practice e.g. osteopathy point of view recordings and a review after by class; future possibility with the use of drones to record fly overs. Points to considers included lead time, workload, infrastructure and conversion of interest to uptake.

Stephan presented on context. Sydney TAFE has 7 campuses and commenced trial in 2013. Active learning platform (ALP)adopted since June this year. Summarised reasons for adoption both strategic for institution and pedagogical. Challenges included integration into internal network, AV available in training rooms, embedding new technology and VET teaching practice. Plans to use to assist with transforming teaching practice, allowing students to do uploads and workplace assessments. Tom presented example in building design through use of personal capture to video flip classroom type content on how to use drawing software. Questions of interest on learning analytics

Overall still quite traditional, mostly teaching led approaches with teachers producing video content. Still need to shift towards more learning or student focused approaches with better mechanisms for students to upload their work / evidence and also to see the analytics from their uploads.

Monday, November 02, 2015

NZ vocational education and training forum, presentations now online

As a followup to blogs on the recent NZ Vocational research and training research forum, the various presentations /slides are now available via the conference site.

A good opportunity to catch up with some of the concurrent presentation I missed. Of note are:

Dr Nicky Murray and Cushla Wilson, Careerforce on 'critical thinking for industry trainees in the health and community sector'


Dr Jo Cribb, Ministry for Women Affairs with 'utilising womens' skills in the workplace' with full report available through the Ministry's website