Monday, May 22, 2017

Inge de Waard's blog

I bumped into Inge de Waard at several mlearning conferences in the past. The last one at least six years ago. Time flies! At that time, she had just started the PhD journey and has now just completed her viva.

Inge's blog - @IgnatiaWebs - has been a good way to keep in touch with happenings in the mlearning research scene. Especially since I have had to put my energies into vocational education research with mlearning as an adjunct.

Her posts always lead to extra exploration of various concepts, resources and the work of other leaders in the field. So, a good 'go to' place for updates and to keep up with the ever changing mlearning scene.

One of the real gems with technology focused blogs, is the historical recording of how various types of technology evolve. In the case of @ignatiaWebs, the history of mlearning is archived. Mainly due to the Inge keeping a focus on the topic. She posts strategically with posts around here various presentations and publications as well.

So, always something to learn from others. This blog meanders across several topics as my research interests shifts horizontally across 'learning a trade' type topics. I need to start putting up overviews of recent presentations and publications as well. Something I will start doing this year.








Monday, May 15, 2017

Academic Study Leave presentations - Ara Institute of Technology - May 2017

Notes taken on the reports from Ara staff on their 2016 ASL. This 'sabbatical' is used in various ways by staff . Some update their discipline specific pedagogical understandings, others complete their PhDs or other research projects. I enjoy listening to the range of reports, encapsulating what makes Ara an interesting place to work. Our staff bring much passion into their work and ASL presentations provide a window of opportunity to 'see into' their professional lives. 

4/5
Adrian Blunt – teaching maths –
Listed the various activities undertaken and his learnings from each. Was grateful for the opportunity as he had never, in all his teaching career, been able to put time into reflecting on his practice, work on resources informed by the latest findings on how people attain a ‘mathematical mindset’ and compare / evaluate how other institutions teach or embed maths or numeracy into programmes.
Recommended the book – mathematical mindsets by JoBoaler as required reading for all maths teachers.
Undertook to doing all the exercises required in engineering programmes and engaged – electrical trades - to strengthen his skills in ensuring maths teaching and support was ‘authentic’.
Developed short videos, socrative quizzes, testmoz to support his teaching.
Updated on current ideas, strategies and resources in teaching numeracy and mathematics in the UK.
Classroom learning in schools – back to traditional. No real embedding in FE sector as students attend Maths / English classes outside of discipline studies. OFSTED requires ‘progress for ALL students’.

Anna Richardson from Nursing
Recommended to pre-plan well before starting to garner the most benefit from ASL.
Met with nurse leaders in UK, Canada and US of A. presented at all of these places, largely with undergraduate students. Topics varied but matched to Anna’s research interest and the NZ context.
Completed 2 publications.
Reported on meetings with the institutions to learn how they approached the teaching of nursing. Provided examples of the use of simulations in nursing. Findings inform curriculum review at Ara.
Proposed possibility of aiming for setting up a centre of excellence in NZ family nursing at Ara.

Marg Hughes from nursing
Completed writing up of PhD while on ASL and just about to complete vivo. Shared an overview of the methods and findings from her thesis – How do registered (RN) and enrolled nurses (EN) communicate within the delegation and direction relationship.
Summarised rationale and background for the project. For over 30 years, RN only workforce but ENs reintroduced in 2000s. Described and defended choice of narrative inquiry as the methodology. Shared findings with ENs showing understanding of their responsibilities but RNs struggling with aspects of delegation and direction.

9/5
Social work and community development in post-earthquake Chch. Schools – part of her PhD thesis which is in progress and submitted by end of 2017.
Provided the contexts with focus on social workers based in low SES. Numbers of social workers in this scheme were increased after earthquakes to middle SES along with 3 funded by Red Cross for higher SES. How would social workers contribute to assisting in the post-earthquake recovery process and how did their practice shape the schools.
Rationalised and explained the discourse analysis process as research process.
Two major discourses – community as recovery (encouraging of community self-help but target vulnerable groups) and community hub (schools as significant places of belonging).
Therefore, important to offer spaces for alternate community practices e.g. channelling kids who are disruptive into community work to increased self-esteem, awareness and confidence.

Rural midwifery practice in NZ and Scotland: a collaborative study.
Provided the background, evolution, contexts and challenges on the project involving, Ara, AUT, University of West of Scotland and Robert Gordon University.
Presented similarities between both countries.
Overview of the ASL and need to align research process to the requirements of the ASL. For example, obtaining ethics approval across two countries and large number of health boards took much longer than planned.
Summarised the various data collection tools and processes. Findings on joys and challenges of working in rural midwifery practice. Collated perspectives on what was required to become a midwife – skills, qualities and professional expertise – with emphasis on ‘courage’ / fortitude, preparedness, resourcefulness and the development of relationships. To prepare midwives for rural practice important through rural midwifery placements for students, developing confidence to practice autonomously, having rural specific education in the under-grad programme so continued numbers of midwives able to undertake practice.

11/5
Effectiveness of a newly developed Masters pathway for RNs
Overview of how ASL was structured around teaching and admin commitments for 2016. Planned to use ASL to develop up to 4 projects related to the new Masters pathway into becoming RNs. Students exit in 2 years with masters at University of Canterbury and a Bachelor of Nursing with opportunity to sit for nursing registration exams.
All 4 projects now approved. Provided overviews of all the projects.
1)       Demographic characteristics – why they enrolled and students’ rationale for a change of career and intentions for going forward. Project involves collaborative team between UC and Ara.
2)       Men in nursing – qualitative approach – specifically why men select Masters vs traditional programme and reasons for selection of nursing as future career. Has underlying objective to build research capability with Ara staff. Two key themes – in search of a satisfying career / answering a calling? and ‘the time is right’.
3)       Investigating perspectives from key stakeholders (key drivers, challenges and risks) on the programme – was is right, viable, fit into current challenges. Small UC and Ara team using a historical case-study approach.
4)       Career progression – longitudinal study of 5 cohorts from 2017 to 2020 – critical analysis of RNs on career planning, commitment and satisfaction.

Sustainable housing for the elderly
Investigated the homestar and lifemark ‘tools’ used to rate housing with regards to environmental and energy efficiency (homestar) and intelligent design rating (lifemark) improving usability, safety and access.
Housing options for older people summarised – staying put, adaptation, sheltered or retirement housing, retirement villages and care homes. Studied the first 3 option as ‘aging in place’ seen as advantageous.
Summarised the tools as compared to NZ standards and explained how the rating systems work and what criteria used.
Overviewed application of this learning to teaching practice.
www.superhome.co.nz - visits in May 2017 to homes build to sustainability principles.

12/5
Dr. Michael Edmond’s presentation - not on ASL but a staff sharing session also open to students. Michael provides his take on "how to to be happy at Ara"

Described his interest on ‘eudaimona’ – how humans flourish which informs this presentation.
Presentation shares his journey and how the interest informs his work as an academic, scholar and Head of School
Covered neuroscience underpinnings of how we reason and the role of emotions – do we actually have control?
A successful or happy life is about how we take control of what we do and how we perceive the world.
Summarised the range of Western philosophy informing present understandings. Free will is a key to how individuals cope with things they may not have any power to change. Therefore in life, “you cannot control the wind, but you can adjust your sails”.
So question – does this really matter? And find meaning / purpose – why are you here? What can be done to make a contribution? What is important?
Begin with asking – what are your core values? Is what you now do, aligned to these values?
Reassess these core values regularly and also forecast 5 to 10 years ahead. Offered participants the opportunity to work further on these next Friday.
Shared several examples as to how individual action may be ‘diverted’ e.g. bystander effect, social protocols, deference to authority.
Provided some evidenced-based ways to influence others – reason, inspire, ask questions, compliments, reciprocal negotiation, favour via social capital, peer pressure, authority and force! Reiterated the importance of the power of language and the concepts of word bombs, hot buttons and triggers.
Need to be empathetic and be kind J
Provide examples of experiences with having challenging conversations. Structured approach works better. If raising an issue, focus on a solution, own the problem, be specific, understand their perspective, negotiate a solution – be genuine.
Summarised his understanding of effective learning. Encouraged the ‘growth mindset’ approach. Motivation is important. Effectiveness is improved with better learning to learn skills. Provided study skill tips for students.  








Monday, May 08, 2017

Mike Rose's blog

While away just after Easter to support my aged parents, I managed to catch up on several blogs pertinent to my work. These will form the basis for the next few postings as it is important to match my perceptions with those of others who are also working in similar fields.

To begin:

It has been sometime since I checked out the blog of Professor Mike Rose - author of the book 'the mind at work - summarised here.

Professor Rose's work advocates for the recognition of vocational education as a valid pathway and his blog provides rationale for the adoption of 'pathways' and better funding and support for American community college. Also for schools to provide better alternatives to the academic track.

His blogs are usually long but well thought through and structured. Most are therefore 'essays', bringing together his thoughts on each topic rather than short bursts of commentary and links. In a way, the blogs summarise his viewpoints, albeit from an American perspective, of the state of play with vocational education.

His latest blog, posted mid- April, provides a good overview of the effects of the recent election of President Trump and its effects on the American psyche.

Of note is the blog of  21/3, on re-reading vocational education and the new world of work, which fits in well with my recent readings and blog posts on 'the future of work'. From Professor Roses' point of view, there is a need to raise profile and esteem of vocational education and ensure vocational education is widened beyond occupational focuses to prepare people for the 'gig economy - see examples from Channel Asia News on 'the sharing / collaborative economy'. Trades work, would I think, be the original 'gig; economy as historically, 'journeyman' craftspeople would obtain work as they travelled to learn more about their trade before attaining 'master' status. Many trades occupation require 'in-situ' work and are less threatened by 'outsourcing'. Although 'pre-fabrication' as per Dr. Philip Alviano from Master Builders Association Victoria from presentation at recent AVETRA  examples may well change the nature of even more trade occupations. So, as with all occupations, there is still a need to ensure workers attain skills to continually retrain, re-skill or up-skill to meet the challenges represented by AI, automation, robotics and technology-enhanced everything.