My instructional design journey begins as I prepare to interview a subject matter expert on independent travel for students with special educational needs (SEN). I am posing questions against a 'learning journey' frame so that as I ask questions I can build these into a story.
It is this story, and the ability to successfully and effectively bring the story to life, which will decide whether or not this elearning experience achieves its goals.
The off chance one-off exhibitions were the greatest surprise, such as Olin Maspons the Spanish photographer.
You see quickly that he frames every shot as a painter would. They are masterfully done, often witty, sometimes shocking and usually arresting. As much photo journalism as model work.
As I find across Barcelona a great deal of thought, care, expense and preparation goes into these exhibitions. Barcelona behaves like and deserves to be the capital city of an independent nation.
Projects for the next four months with Open Access release in the New Year.
Using a Cash Machine (ATM)
1. How many numbers are in an individual pin
2. How to protect yourself from others seeing your pin number
3. The colour of the button you press once you have entered the pin number
4. In the home screen what does each tab mean i.e. cash withdrawal, printed balance, onscreen balance etc
5. Who should know your pin number and why is it important that no one knows your pin number (outcomes)
Approach: Linear video with synched slides and bold caption on Planet eStream.
Crossing the Road/Puffin/Pelican crossing
1. Where and how to stand when crossing the road (well back from the edge of the kerb, looking and listening for dangers etc)
2. Look at the dangers of crossing the road (not paying attention, walking across the road when traffic is coming, not using crossing points)
3. Colours of the Pelican Crossing lights – Green mean go or stop
4. When crossing still be looking and listening out for traffic
Approach: Linear video with synched slides and bold caption on Planet eStream.
The Learning Resource Centre, Broadwater
1. Who to go for help and what help they can offer (buy pens, change password and computer advice)
2. Where the quick read books are within the LRC
3. 360 tour of the LRC, especially chill out room (is it a chill out room?)
4. How to start the computer
5. How to use the printers
6. Swiping in and out of LRC
Approach: ThingLink 360 tour with interactive hot spots, tour links and voice over narration.
Independent Travel Training
Approach: Scenario-based elearning. Video with voice over, text and interactive prompts.
My asthma awareness script for age group swimmers is now done. The next step is to cost it, fund it and produce it. I feel like the teenage who got into video production age 17 - 40 flipping years ago!
Am I as excited? A bit, though I lack the drive and have far too many other distractions.
These are at the core of G Suite for Education.
It might be as basic as learning how to drive - but you still have to learn how to drive and then set off on a journey where the road signage changes, and slow side roads become slick interstellar space ports overnight. Accepting constant change is part of working in digital.
I have taken an educator through Google Classroom and Google Drive twice or three times in a year so doing this requires me to revisit what I knew then, check all updates and give things a go myself before hand. The tutors themselves, with there 25+ students and a term of assignments to prepare are more versed in it than I am.
This isn't how I would chose to be, or not to be in my case - an industry expert. I need to be doing on a daily basis. What I currently do on a daily basis is Twitter, WordPress and Umbraco, and every few months a newsletter using MailChimp.
For me to develop a skillset requires time and constant practice.
So I am back peddling and using time set aside this week to work on video and scenario-based learning for SEND students.
I'm not the kind of person who handles these kinds of frequent adjustments in direction well.
I've been fascinated in Ebbinghaus ever since the OU introduced me to his work. I've come to believe that this is a generalisation. Like all populations there are outliers: in this case, those who are better able to hold onto information and those who are not. I am on the 'do not' end of the scale. A lecture or class followed by review and homework and testing, then further prompts and exams worked for me. Anything less and I lose it. I don't concentrate enough in the class or lecture anyway, even note taking becomes mechanical.
This work offers explanations and methods.
REad the short paper by 'The Forgetting Curve' by Dr John Whitman
How things come around.
Starting out in corporate video training and information films in the 1980s I found myself working with an ex BBC Money Programme Producer Alan Scales who won the contract to replace a carousel slide show (really) sent round to all branches, with video. One of the stories we covered was the opening of Abbey National's first cash machine at their Baker Street Branch (and HQ). That was 1985 or 1986.
Here I am in 2019 planning to create a simple 'how to video' for Students with Special Educational Needs (SEN). This will include how to use an ATM and to use a Pelican Crossing. No production team - just me, a camera and tripod, student actors. No budget so no producer role. I'll cut it on my desktop. It will be 'hosted' on Planet eStream, as a play alone video, or with a second screen of synchedslides.
I would have hoped after 34 years to have moved on but my 'career' has been a constant spiralling up and down and off in all directions as I catch fermal, or come to earth with a bump, or jump out (with or without a parachute
I got through it in an hour.
Using edtech in a way that helps your learners
Having the skills and mindset to embrace constant change in a fluid environment while every emerging technology develops its functionality and sophistication.
Edtech should always be linked to meaningful formative assessment.
Types of tools
Recent and emerging themes in edtech
- Assessment/assignment tools
- Social media
- Video and audio
- Collaborative working
- Games and learner response systems
Name of the edtech tool
An infographic summarising its benefits
What can it do for teachers and learners
How to use it
How to assess using it
It is wrong to reference Prensky whose theories were entirely hypothetical and once tested proved to be totally wrong. Search here to see the multiple times I have picked up on this one and stripped in bare. Prensky wrote a piece for Atlantic in 2001 - journalist, not research. There was a resonance about it that people wanted to believe. It is nonsense.
Nonsense like ‘though digital natives are demonstrating advances skills in multitasking at speed’.
When someone was born no more makes them digitally literate than being capable of driving a car or flying a light aircraft. The inverse is the truth: those with the greater digital skills are older and educated: they could afford the devices and the Internet connection. Today, a student who can waste their day playing games, using Instagram and messaging friends cannot even search for something and differentiate between fact and invention, let alone complete a range of digital skills - skills they come to college to be taught from scratch. Indeed, in a vocational college some students baulk at the site of a computer saying they came to study carpentry or motor vehicle maintenance because they wanted nothing to do with them.
It is also utter nonsense to talk about preferred learning styles such visual and kinaesthetic. Once again, this is a plausible theory that has no basis in fact. The facts are that the highly complex brain exploits multiple parts of the brain stimulated by all the senses in varying circumstances in order to construct a short term memory and in time reconstruct and build on this in the long term memory while clinging on to some sense of it all before some of it, or the best part of it is forgotten. All the senses matter. If a student tells me they prefer to watch videos rather than being given a written test, then I will oblige them to take notes, write essays and do written exams because it has also been shown that the challenge of doing something you don’t like, rather than doing things the way that suits you is more memorable.
At this point the author has lost all credibility and I am loath to read on.
Nor does he know the correct definition of the word ‘indifference’ mistaking it for
There's a good review of the pros and cons of Nearpod.
Others include: Turnitin, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Learnium, H5P, YouTube, EDpuzzle, TuitionKit, Panopto, Audacity, GarageBand, Padlet, QR codes, G Suite for Education, Lino, Popplet, MindMapfree, WordPress, Notability, Slido, Kahoot!, Quizlet, GoSoapBox, Poll Everywhere, Wordclouds, Plickers, ClassDojo, Explain Everything, Infographics, Canva, PowerPoint, iSpring,
Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities [SEND]
My interventions, advise and efforts to date have been aimed to students without specific needs. I am now looking at what provision is available for our SEND students and how I can support them and their tutors.
SEND students will have difficulties with:
- Communication and interaction
- Cognition and learning
- Behaviour and social development
- Physical or medical needs
Differentiated and personalised, even 1:1 teaching is required, rather than the teacher teaching from the end of a classroom and hoping to keep order and anyone engaged.
Personalisation and carefully structured lessons are key.
The aim is to provide help so that students can access the parts of the general curriculum that is available to all students. It is at the frontline of accessibility. Assessment is important as there is a constant need to understand and develop students’ progress. Observation is equally important.
Some things I can read about (the rest I will have to pick up first hand)
- If too detailed some students may feel threatened and disillusioned.
- If the challenge is too great, work becomes boring and any effort is a waste of time.
- Creating a self-compiled visual dictionary for subject-specific vocabulary
- Chunking the work
- Using visual clues
- Having a ‘lesson menu’ and tick off as the student completes tasks so that they can identify their own progress.
Some specific suggestions include:
Unable to focus (ADHD)
- Small sections
- Have ample ‘time out’
- Used realistic timed targets
- Phased classwork and homework
- Reading and writing is a challenge
- Use of coloured overlays to reduce glare and jumping letters
- Keep instructions simple and short
And in general:
- Facilitate 1:1 tutorials
- Record lessons by phone or laptop
- Use visuals to support written text
SEND students need to be catered for in a non-discriminatory way, in an inclusive environment, can only enhance the self image and self worth of young people.
To achieve a higher level of personal self-sufficiency and success.
Integration can reduce social stigmas and improve academic achievement.
Where can technology help?
A special education program should be customised to address each individual student’s unique needs.
Individualised Education Program
This will address each student’s unique learning issues and include specific educational goals.
To help them participate in the educational environment as much as possible.
There are five broad categories of provision
What strategies will be used
What provision put in place?
Identifiable outcomes to monitor progress.
Likes, dislikes and anxieties
Specific: it is clear what the student should be working towards.
Measurable: it is clear when the target has been achieved.
Achievable: for the individual student.
Relevant: to the student’s needs and circumstances.
Time-bound: targets are to be achieved by a specified time.
There are 14 categories under special education (in the US):
Intellectual disability (formerly referred to as mental retardation)
Other health impairment
Specific learning disability
Speech or language impairment
Traumatic brain injury
Visual impairment, including blindness
Nearpod offers close integration with Google Educator Suite which makes this of interest; content is readily shared into a Google Classroom. So what benefits does it bring?
Why might, in some instances, Planet eStream be better than Nearpod? Some of the things I have to help educators fathom out.
The sales patter says that with Nearpod you can:
- Create interactive lessons in minutes
- Easily import existing lessons (pdfs, jpegs, ppts)
Add interactive features such as:
Virtual Field Trips,
Open Ended Questions
Download and customize ready-to-run lessons
Choose from thousands of free or paid lessons from expert educators and our educational partners.
Customize any lesson to fit your students’ needs.
Synchronize and control lessons across all student devices
Teachers share a live session, students enter a code, and the lesson is synced to all devices.
Evaluate student responses live or with post-session reports
View student answers individually or as a class and generate post-session reports with one click.
Give every student a voice
In an inclusive and immersive learning experience that allows students to participate actively in every lesson.
Students to take ownership of their learning which enhances their sense-making.
Increase students’ access to information, ideas, and interactions.
To test it and compare I need a real project, a teacher with students to teach and a lesson objective in mind. It is impossible to make a fair judgement simply by 'giving it a go' with some random content.
A slide show can be synchronised to run alongside a linear video using Planet eStream. The slides might reinforce what is being said, or ask questons. I would like a clearer two screen display with images side by side though.
This is a way to make content and interaction accessible for those who would struggle with smaller text and tricky tools to activate and complete an interactive quiz.
Working with Anna Sabramowicz I have been introduced to the following scenario-based projects. This is what I would like to create to teach compliance with asthma drugs, and so much more ...
Broken Coworker : https://brokencoworker.com/
Connect with Haji Kamal : https://www.worldwarfighter.com/hajikamal/activity/
How to survive a nuclear bomb : http://how-to-survive-a-nuclear-bomb.pilots.bbcconnectedstudio.co.uk/index.html#
Our World War : WWI BBC :https://our-world-war.pilots.bbcconnectedstudio.co.uk/
Life Saving : Life Saver:http://life-saver.org.uk/#/REAL_STORIES
Will You Fit In? Deloitte:http://www.raptmedia.com/customers/deloitte/
I break the process down into six parts:
- Business Alignment : are you a match for the client. Do you understand what they want and where your skills lie for delivery of interactivity.
- My Perfect Learner [Persona profiling] : get it down to one learner. Know who they are so that you can talk to them.
- Interview. Call preparation and the story journey questions : interview the life out of the Subject Matter Expert (make sure they are the SME and you're not being fobbed up with an apprentice or someone tangential to the learning problem).
- Character Identification Criteria : build a profile of the protagonist of your story. The hero. It is their journey.
- Write the Script : like any great storyteller, made all the harder with what is in effect a short story with a number of parallel routes.
- Produce it: find an illustrator, get a developer.
The contest is between Pebblepad, Wordpress, Google Sites and Blurb.
Pebblepad is great for a national or regional institution creating a workbook-like course for swimming or nursing.
I just completed a Swim Coach Level II course through Swim England that used Pebblepad. It was a monster! Demanding, massive and took several months to pull together and upload the required materials.
Wordpress is a blog.
Some tutors at GB MET swear by it and many years of students in Prop Creation / Theatre Design have used Wordpress not just to blog, but as a way to submit work for grading and to develop clients or potential employers. Having been on Wordpress since 2007 you'd think I'd be convinced: I am not. Lately the platform has become overly slick and in the process tricksy. I feel like an artist on ice-skates; it works but I don't feel in control.
Google Sites is like a paired back version of Wordpress.
For students it does the basics without too much fuss. I'm giving it a go and will report back more fully in due course.
Blurb is new.
For a tool aimed at creating eportfolio like collections of work it has the required focus and simplicity. I could see myself introducing this to students in construction and motor vehicle maintenance; it has that level of practicality about it. I wonder if students in the creative arts would want more scope to design the experience?
On the other hand, from an examiner and tutor's point of view keeping it simple might be he best answer - like putting work up on a studio wall, or in this case on an electronic scroll of paper.
Learn from a Master of their subject from the youngest possible age. Picasso studied under his father, a university art teacher, from a young age - from the moment he could pick up a pencil, crayon or paint brush I imagine. His talent is extraordinary and takes off someone between the age of 10 and 14 by which time Picasso could produce works such as this:
Having visited the museum before my interest this time was drawn towards his life drawing studies - such a vital skill. Seeing his anatomical drawings as well as life model drawings brings it home. He had the skills. He did the preparation work. He knew what he was doing - even if for now he is under the direct guidance of his father.
Annotated anatomical drawing by Picasso.
9 Museums, 13 exhibitions, 4 days. Mostly visited on foot from a small Barcelona Air BnB off Rambla del Ravel. 4 wonderful vegetarian/vegan restaurants too.
And back to Life Drawing next week (I'm on holiday).
What gives? Extinction Rebellion. I can support at arms length but I think being active and getting myself arrested is too disruptive and potentially career damaging - though it gets people's attention when I talk about it. Suddenly I am a serious Green, a Green that breathes fire. As I expressed at the Green Party Conference last month the Green Dragon needs to rise.
I used to have this gripe about Microsoft - that on a PC the default on a computer bought in the UK was for US English. Why has it just taken me 10 minutes of pain trying to change the page settings in a Google Doc from inches to centimeters? Because the default on thousands of college computers is US English, and with that all the spelling, punctuation and measurement defaults.
It no longer surprises me how much American English is now used in England - not just spellings, but pronunciations too. But I am no longer my mother's son, ready to do as her generation did - correct anything that wasn't 'Received Pronunciation'.
I see it is indicative of multiculturalism and welcoming constant change. I am the antithesis of conservative, laggardly tradition.
I've suffered too often from death by PowerPoint. Are you now suffering from death by Kahoot? These gimmicks come in waves. At the Sussex Show & TEL event a presentation on Accessibility in HE incorporated a Kahoot quiz which included irritating Teletubbies/Angry Birds style music during the count down as every question was posted, and absurdly detailed niche questions. In particular percentages expressed to the third decimal place were totally out of place. Too many educators fail in the most basic of communications best practices - know your audience!
On 7th July the Environment Agency were called out to investigate the condition of Piddinghoe Lake, East Sussex as there were a number of dead fish. Acting quickly to test the water first an emergency pump and then two industrial scale pumps were brought down and set to work re-oxygenating the water.
Speaking to Mark Bennett, Team Leader at the regional headquarters of the Environment Agency, Worthing an explanation was offered. Warm weather, a lack of shade on the lake and little wind or rain lately had caused the temperature to rise. This had resulted in an algal bloom. Not a worry in itself, these blooms might crash suddenly at night or even with a thunderstorm.
Blooms such as these are a summer event. It is rare but not unknown for these to occur as early as February. Algal blooms like these have been occurring more often in recent years so there is no doubt that climate warming is a factor.
This event impacted on the larger fish and eels. Smaller fish and carp have proved more resilient.
The water is not a health hazard so long as people don’t ingest the water and you wash your hands before eating. There were no signs of the blue/green algae which would have been a cause for concern.
Several weeks working Anna Sabramowicz and I'm now scripting my own 'scenario-based' e-learning aimed at age group swimmers struggling to manage their recently diagnosed asthma. So much of this takes me back to scriptwriting and story telling - short films in particular. There is a unique skill in narrowing things down to the characters and events that produce conflict and outcomes.
Give it a go 'Broken Co-Worker'.
I struggle with this. I am far more inclined to say 'yes' with apparent enthusiasm even though I want to say 'no'. I am too keen to please. This gets me into a mess - I find myself caught up doing things I wish I was not doing.
This might help: 'The Power of Saying No!'
If you have an interest in interactive learning then this is a great example of how a story can have multiple outcomes.
This requires some defining. We are talking e-assessment and e-feedback here (i.e. digital) and for 'authentic' and 'alternative' we mean 'vocational' and accessible digital initiatives.
I am here to search through my Student Blog. I had hoped to be able to use the 'Massively multiplayer online role-playing game' Second Life but it is no more.
Can anyone suggest a virtual world where students with accessibility needs can get online 'in character' and role play some actions and decision making?
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