Monday, March 21, 2016

Why we work

Recent 'discussion papers' and various fora in NZ have been discussing the 'future of work'. Left and Central left viewpoints via the Labour Party and the Tertiary Education Union, provide access to the Productivity Commission's investigation on the role of tertiary education in NZ, published late last year.

As per reports in other countries, e.g. this one from knowledge works, the world of work is now one of continual change. Workers of today will expect to shift jobs and careers several times during their life times.

This TedTalk by Barry Schwartz  asks the question 'why do we work'? and the reasons for the importance of 'rethinking work'. Work is not just to earn a wage, for many, it is also a source of fulfilment. Workers often 'go that extra mile' not because there will be a financial reward, but to make their work more fulfilling and to meet individual's intrinsic motivation. Companies who put emphasis on nurturing their human resource, obtain returns in outputs.

Slightly longer version of Schwartz's work is in the book, with overview at brainpickings.

In NZ, the Productivity review 'issues' section is now open for submissions. An 'issues paper' detailing the context / background and various possible 'models' for tertiary education in NZ. Tertiary education providers in NZ include universities, polytechnics (ITPs), Wananga (Maori tertiary), provider providers and adult and community ed. (ACE). Provision for this large sector has always been a challenge. In short, the government is seeking better return on investment for the $$ put into the system. There is also the mandate to improve outcomes for all NZers regardless of ethnicity and social capital. Some of the 'models' put forward as examples in Chapter 5 (new models) make for interesting reading and critique. Chapter 6, proposing a range of 'questions' for submission, poses a range of interesting options. As with large shifts in public funded education in the past, NZ does not shy away from asking the hard questions. How things eventually workout, will impact on the future career prospects of a generation of NZers. Therefore, important for all in the sector to respond, bearing in mind the global / international changes bearing down on the world of work. How do we assist our students to meet the challenges of the future of work?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Using Sway

Sway is microsoft's free, online, presentation and storytelling app. I have been dipping in and out of it and the concept holds promises for enabling our staff and students to put together short presentations.

Several examples are showcased on the sway site, including this one on the future of education, and this one with examples for teachers. So education is one of the areas, the developing team have targeted as users of sway. Microsoft blogs indicate the trend with this one on using sway as a case study in education and another on teaching math with sway.

Also examples from ethos3 as a comparison between other presentation apps and mieexpert archiving various sway features and resources.

A few critiques / reviews from teacher with this one from the Australian teachers' blog and another which includes a tutorial on using sway / office mix from jonathanwhylie.

Looks like sway will be here to stay. Overall, the app is quite user friendly but tends towards a linear structure. So, sway is structured for linear rather than ad hoc storytelling. Along with office mix, sway provides an alternative to powerpoint. Both useful expecially for tutors putting content together for distance students and students to showcase their learning. However, there is a need to ensure story boarding type planning precedes, otherwise, messy presentations lacking coherence are the result :(

Monday, March 07, 2016

Connected learning advisory - NZ

Picked this one up from the NZ Educational Gazette – Tukutuku Korero – the fortnightly publication by the Ministry of Education providing news and updates relevant to the compulsory school sector.

The Connected Learning Advisory – Te Ara Whitiki -  is set up by the NZ Ministry of Ed. to support schools and clusters as they plan for, manage and use TEL. 
There is a god series of guides, including:

decisionmaking guides’ useful for deciding various permutations of providing devises, BYOD and multimedia hardware selection.