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Understanding the Digital Student Experience

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Josh Fleming, Head of Strategy and Oversight, Office for Students (with Sir Michael Barber).

(This is a preliminary review of a report that will be published next year). 

Triggered by the pandemic response while looking ahead. Digital poverty, definition: 

Six elements that make up digital poverty. 

  1. Hardware > having the appropriate device for the work you are doing. 

  2. Software > having the right software for what you are learning. 

  3. Connectivity > having the connection to get online 

  4. Having response TECH support when the student needs it

  5. Having a trained facilitator/teacher with the necessary skills to deliver learning online and to support the learning. 

  6. Having the space to learn.

Anecdotally the above are live issues and students are struggling. 

Emerging themes:

  1. Training for staff. There is a correlation between student engagement and the better trained the staff are and the better that staff feel that they are supported.

  2. Asynchronous learning is vital for anyone needing to be able to work around their studies especially if they are having to negotiate over who uses the one computer in the house and can do so on the kitchen table and not be disturbed.

  3. Surveys to quickly provide devices and connectivity where it is needed. 

  4. All institutions should be listening to students. THEY are best placed to tell institutions what they should be doing.

  5. Regular, clear communication is ‘so terribly important’ to navigate the situation created by Covid. 

  6. The potential is a huge opportunity. Over a five to ten year period, say taking disabled students, it can be transformative for them and for learning around the world.

We expected to find subject bias. The anecdotal bias of humanities vs hands on technical degrees, we have been surprised at how well the creative arts have transitioned so that lab time is far more effectively utilised in a way that helped with their pedagogical approach. 

With international students, asynchronous learning can be really good if there is a different time zone, but synchronous learning does aid with any sense of isolation. 

Use of AI to augment human instruction to free up staff time to concentrate on the higher order learning and to improve the student experience. The students of the future may not be taught by Bots, but they will be supported by Bots.



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Understanding the digital student experience

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Razan Roberts, Senior Director, Strategic Engagement and Communications, Salesforce.org Research findings. Link to PDF for this interim report available. Full report Spring 2021. 

  1. The challenge of providing a sense of belonging when everything is digital and virtual. A community approach is easy to introduce and scale.

    1. In the nordic countries 21%, in the UK 31% and Spain 39%.

    2. A community feeling is easy to implement and scale. 

  2. There is a widening trust gap between institutions. The trust gap was poor before and is widening. 40% between them and the leadership and 50% saying it is getting bigger. 37% staff are feeling this gap. Optimistically institutions have an opportunity to make changes now, to drive with transparency and clear plans to close the gap.

  3. Holistic well-being. Top of mind. 73% maintaining their wellbeing is their top challenge now. 72% financial concerns. 71% just finding a quiet place to work - yet it is such a simple problem to solve. Universities are taking this to heart. E.g. LSE. Community Club or Experience Club service beyond just reviewing assessments. 

  4. Students expect more flexibility in grading, course assessments and course content. So new business models are forming. 

    1. The Immersive hybrid > all the learning is online. Blends digital and the physical. Every single service being reviewed that goes to students. What is best served online, and what is best served in person. 

    2. Subscription model so that people can go in and out of training depending on the life and career plans.

  5. Revisiting career and education plans. 

    1. Students are Looking for learning with internships and direct job opportunities. 

    2. Students are looking for contact with alumni and employers.

What are the barriers to universities?

  1. Online learning, Zoom and others. But more like a bandaid. So they have to rethink the concept of what is online learning, more project based and interactive. 

  2. Digital Transformation. The fuller view of the students who have such a poor experience because they repeatedly find they have to tell one person after another who they are. 

  3. Human interaction and empathy. 

Effective communication. How do we rebuild the trust? The sense that they are looking after staff and student

  1. Frequent personalised communication. Knowing the words to use and the channels to use. Creating the connections. 

  2. Students are not feeling the support, which they could get in the past in person.

  3. Find a way for the interaction and communication to bridge the gap.

  4. Keep the students, and staff - safe and convincing people that this is the priority.

Coming out of Covid we will land somewhere in the middle. Some things will never go back. Many institutions are using data to enrol more students and to find a better match with the right academic programmes for them and help them feel they belong to that institution while opening up new markets - not least for the millions who need to find a way back into employment with further training. With insights and data we  are better able to identify students who are being challenged and need support - and this can be scaled and will be used.

A blended model is the future, rather than all online or all in person.



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From Buzzword to Baseline: Digital Transformation in action

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WONKHE@Home

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Debbie McVitty

linkedin.com/in/debbie-mcvitty-59769146 

Debbie McVitty introduced the panel with the following preamble. We would be reflecting on digital transformation: organisations, cultures and practices.

  • That technology imposes on every aspect of our lives.

  • What this means for university cultures and how we teach and communicate with students.

  • A warning that Covid has created a crisis condition that has forced us onto a testbed preemptively - not everyone was ready for it. 

  • And the difficulty of trying to add change to old platforms and practices. (The recommendation is to start again on an entirely different space and then fold the successes into the university online space). 

  • The first speakers were: 

  • Patrick Mullane, Executive Director, Harvard Business School Online

  • Rebecca Galley, Director, Learning Experience and Technology, Open University.

My own reflection on this is that it helps to have an understanding of the 'diffusion of innovations'. Going digital with has been a clear case of innovators and early adopters (The Open University, Coursera, Duke University, Coventry University ), as well as late adopters (Oxford and Cambridge University) and laggards (FE colleges and Secondary Schools?). 

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Being as good as you are online as you are in person

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020, 17:54


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Rebecca Galley, Director, Learning Experience and Technology, Open University.

linkedin.com/in/rebecca-galley-16021b149 

  • It is hard for an organisation to deliver online until it changes how it does things offline. 

  • Two years ago a failed attempt at digital transformation began again looking at everything from first enquiries through to alumni. It wasn’t possible to implement the change required where there were so many silos in the organisation. It required a very different approach, an holistic one, that integrates marketing, business, IT, Data Security … 

  • Co-design with students to improve the experience, not with the different business units. To adapt to suit their expectations. Students want simple, elegant and intuitive

  • Activities on site must be complemented by experiences online and work together.

  • All units must be working towards the same aims otherwise you end up with a very fragmented and unsatisfactory student experience.

  • An enterprise approach to digital, data and data governance to enable seamless integration in order for students to be successful and happy online. 

  • Work to horizontal value chains, not KPIs to particular units which result in a fragmented experience. 

  • Take a UX, or service approach, so that you have a very clear understanding of the what the personalised student experience will look like rather than buying off the shelf and plugging everything into it. Rather understand what you want your UX to look like and build it. An enterprise approach is to make it as simple as possible: a single data hub for all university dataL various content stores managed in a consistent way, and then you can be flexible in the way it is offered to students. 

  • Chatbot being used across universities for all courses and throughout the course, not just part of it, because that’s what students expect.

Look at how the Open University do it. Simple! Students have what they need to study on one page without the need to click through multiple times or having to use a search function for anything. 

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You do not start at the Open University Home Page, or a Student Hub. What you see relates to what you have studied and are studying and the links to support you need for this.

  • A simple student experience is very complex ‘under the bonnet’, with clear calls to action, clear accessibility … 
  • Have a firm idea of what the student experience should be, then build to achieve that.
  • Listen to the students and act on that.
  • Work with agencies who bring the capabilities and objectivity that we don’t have ourselves. 
  • Support a mix of student types and know who these are and build for them. 
  • Studying online has been found to be BETTER than face to face for demographic and student types

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How do you get students to engage online?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Tuesday, 24 Nov 2020, 17:57

Digital Transformation in action : Part of WONKHE@Home Online Summit 

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Patrick Mullane, Executive Director, Harvard Business School Online >  linkedin.com/in/pjmullane

We teach digital transformation, it is NOT about platforms but about everything that wraps around it. The Covid experience may set us back as so many institutions rushed to get online and created a poor experience .

  1. Pedagogy > the way you teach when it is technology enabled. Lectures are dull in person, deathly online. Simply putting what you do face to face online will be dreadfully boring. 

  2. Leadership commitment > not a dip of the toe in the water, but a commitment to the path with money and time. 

  3. The Core competencies you need online are different to online> If you do not make digital marketing a key competency within the university you will not succeed/ There must be a robust marketing facility internally to let students know what there is. We made incredible platforms and spent a lot of money expecting students to turn up and they did not.

  4. Legacy > have realistic expectations. It won’t change overnight. It won’t reduce cost.  

  5. Restructuring for the new world > it is not enough just to have the technology. If you are doing something new it will be better to do this somewhere else. When successful, fold it back into the current structure … which may have to be blown up so that you can start again. 

You will be planning a path where there will be failure. 

Having a technology department is NOT the same as having people who understand pedagogy and can design student centred learning.

Harvard used the ‘Aristotelian - the case method’ in which a tutor leads a discussion and with the students you reach an ‘aha’ moment. Inductive learning required ways for students to take part, to challenge each other … 

Interaction is essential. 

A lot of support, in the community, makes for the overall learning experience. 

Simplicity for the students creates complexity in the backend. But the end objective has to be the simplicity for the student.  

Students know how to crowdsource answers to questions so once the platform has been created the faculty can walk away. 

Don’t let complexity get in the way.

Bespoke platform built by Harvard Business School online.

Have a clear idea of what success looks like at each stage and build on that. Commit to two or three experiments. Either commit and do it well, or fail. Certificates for example are inevitable.


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You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink

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Such is the life of speculative web design. They didn't ask for it, so wy should they use it?

There are three approaches to fixing this:

1) Only design based on a clear creative brief which has identified a genuine communications problem which the website resolves. 

2) Get the intended audience involved in the creation of the website, generating content for it and talking about it. These days social media will do. Facebook or LinkedIn have great ways to keep the conversation to a limited circle.

3) Push it and develop it relentlessly using all the skills or PR and marketing.


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This is sooooo out of character

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Evidence of Module 1 Hand In

Historically, as anyone might recall from the MAODE days, I was always the student how tried to handin a piece of work 5 minutes before the due date - at midnight of course. And then things would go wrong. Or I'd be the student asking for an extension days before. 

I am a changed man! I am three days ahead here and feel confident I've not missed anything that matters to the module assignment. It could always be better, but I'm not going to fret about that. I've given it my best shot under the circumstances and in the time  could give it.

I have to say, that this blog has been an indispensbile resource. I can search a word or academic and up comes what I know about that thing or person from notes I have taken over the last ten years; it is surprising how much comes back to me and even more of a delight the way this knowledge has embedded itself in my thinking. I feel moire fluid and confident about it then I ever did ten years ago.

I also matters hugel that for the last two and a half years I have been in a teaching environment where the theory of education is tested daily - and in an FE college, that means being 'tested to destruction'.


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Teachers like creatives in advertising should work in teams

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A teaching team of two (at least) is what teaching requires in 2020. Digital changes everything, whether online or off, as soon as it goes on a screen it has to compete for the 'attention of eyeballs'. Not only that, it isn't a cliché that 'two heads are better than one'. Advertisers know that it takes a write and an art director to create a compelling idea. For something compelling to work online it need the write, visualiser and coder. A team of three might be asking for too much, but the point remains.

How many people does it take to create a module of online learning at the Open University? The figure is more than one. Why therefore are teachers and tutors expected to do everything themselves? 

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A Model of Reflection : ‘Brookfield’ lens Theory of reflection

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The ‘Brookfield’ Lens Theory of reflection was introduced to us


We are told that we see things as we are … 

I ponder this and reflect on that fact that artists literally see themselves in others as when they draw and paint people often bear a resemblance to them, whatever the age or gender of the person portrayed.

Brookfield Theory PDF attached 

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How long does a teacher wait for an answer having asked the class a question?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 20 Nov 2020, 21:57

Had I been attentive to the question I may have proffered an answer closer to the mark. In this instance  I  was taking note. I take copious notes. I will even record where I can. Few others do. I don't trust my memory.

After a scintillating delay in which the question was put several times, to the room and those online, everything from 3 seconds to 'something under a minute' is suggested. 

We are told that the average delay is 7 seconds.

We learn and are told that "Thinking takes time - that a considered response takes time".

We are told to use the silence, say nothing for 7 seconds and only then give them a nudge, offer a clue to the answer, but not the answer itself. 



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When is a reflection a ramble?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 20 Nov 2020, 19:01

Look no further. Most of this blog is nothing more than a ramble. What do the likes of Virginia Woolf, Norman Mailer and Henry Miller call it? 'Stream of consciousness' - a vomit of thoughts. There's rarely flow. I just find an idea is better off it isn't stored in my head. 

No word count to stick 2. No critical eye seeking relevance. But this is not a tutor marked assignment. Just as well, 'writing up my reading ...  in a descriptive formulaic fashion without exploring the content or the process .. [I] ... am going through' will not get a tick. Creme (2010) 

Looking at all I grabbed or mentioned on reflection 10 years ago I can see that I had little intention of following the guidelines. My modus operandi is to get it down however it comes out. Not for me a flow chart of prompts to get me from confused to enlightened in six clear steps or a spin cycle set on 'Cool Wash' to get me round the bend and not quite back where I began.

I'm a Dewey man. I just "turn a subject over in the mind". If I get lucky I even dream about it. These dreams are so vivid that I have been searching through my notes over the last 24 hours determined to find a recording, notes and screengrabs from an EdTec session that I believe I attended online on Tuesday afternoon which doesn't exist. Maybe the dream version will do for something, though getting a screenshot from my mind might prove tricky.

'A reflective thought' is nothing more than an 'active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it tends' (Dewey 1933: 118). Read that back. An editor would limit this to an 'active, persistent, and careful consideration of something'. 

REFERENCES

Creme, Phyllis (2010) 'Should student learning journals be assessed?', Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30:3, 287 - 296

Dewey, J. (1933/1998) How we think (Rev. ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.


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Challenging behaviour fills me with dread.

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 20 Nov 2020, 18:33


Personality and upbringing puts me in a bad place when faced with challenging behaviour anywhere. I can't abide rule breakers. I like order. I expect students to be keen not  disruptive; I am doomed to be disappointed. 

Running through a SWOT analysis as a step towards reflection in teaching we dwelt on what more than one of us brought up as a weakness or threat; that we had faced down or failed in front of challenging behaviour. I had a few showdowns in 2007 which put me off having anything to do with Year 9 students - at least in the classroom setting. I've been teaching and coaching swimmers since 2002; that has generally been a different matter, though I've learnt not to be phased by younger teens.

Understanding how to change behaviour came up with my recently quality niece Dr Vicki Russ. She sent me a couple of papers. My thinking was on how to change behaviours so that young people would be compliant with a simple regime for talking their medications - say if they have asthma. We also discussed how patients fail so baldy to follow physiotherapy guidelines.

It isn't that complicated. With young people look to their parents. Where's the solution to that though? We can't fix things at home, so we will never fix things in the class. 

Will this help me:


Here's 'A Guide on The Com-B Model of Behaviour' from Social Change UK. 

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The simplicity of research > keep it simple

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 20 Nov 2020, 15:56


Ask yourself some questions. Narrow the topic. 

Then go out and ask your respondents. One or two will do to start with. Take the view that you may interview two or 50. Sit them down. Record it. Ask questions and keep asking as long as they are willing to respond. Some of the greatest insight will come when they think it is over; something will come to them. A throw away thought, recollection or metaphor will put a smile on your face. THAT is what this research is about. And if you are their tutor/teacher too, that is fine. Don't let it get in the way. It shouldn't. Afterall, don't you listen actively to feedback from your students in any case? 

And to justify my approach I can provide a list of papers and quotes: 

In action research, the educator is both researcher and teacher (Kuhn & Quigley, 1997).

And try different approaches, say 'informed observation' - The Human Lab at the Institute of Education at the Open University have made a business of this. You put learners into a space designed to look like an office, or home, even a student's bedroom. Then you give them a device and ask them to fulfil various research and study tasks. By watching closely what they do, and recording it, you get an insight that might otherwise be impossible, on how people use the technology.

We don't follow our guinea-pigs into bed or the bathroom though. Yet, these are places where people 'work' too. 

'Ethnographic fieldwork' makes up part of this research process too. All this requires is that while teaching you make notes that go beyond the teaching framework in order to understand the context of what the students are doing. 

Victor Lally calls it a 'participatory and iterative approach'. (Lally et al. 2012 : 02) Something he undertook to understand how students interacted in the virtual world Second Life. 

‘Different methodologies can be taken to embody different views of the nature of meaning’. (Snyder, 1995)

Indeed according to Patton (1982), a framework should be created whereby "respondents can express their understandings in their own terms". 

A wide literature review is necessary. 

Not only does it give credibility, but it also finds out what has been done by whom already. If research such as this has been done before and elsewhere, in all likelihood it has, let's see it. 

"It should be extensively and systematically woven into the paper to provide background and balance and even trying hard to offer contrasting perspectives so setting out clearly the pros and cons of the methodology and past experiences with these techniques in this kind of setting." (I believe I am quoting myself from 2013). 

This is worth looking into:

Oxford Research: Department of Education 

Digital youth and learning

This area examines how young people are using new technologies in their everyday lives and the potential learning that occurs as a result of this use. Work in this area includes the Learner and their Context study – a 3-year study that explores how and why young people learn outside formal educational settings using technology. Previous projects include the ESRC seminar series The educational and social impact of new technologies on young people in Britain that was jointly run by the Department of Education and LSE.

From > Sage Publishing 



Research Methods in Education 

REFERENCE

Kuhn, G., & Quigley, A. (1997). Understanding and using action research in practice settings. In A. Quigley & G. Kuhne (Eds.), Creating practical knowledge through action research (pp. 23–40). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Looi, C.-K., Chen, W. the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (Vol. 2). International Society of the Learning Sciences.

Lally, V; Sharples, M; Tracey, F; Bertram, N and Masters, S. (2012). Researching the ethical dimensions of mobile, ubiquitous,and immersive technology enhanced learning (MUITEL) in informal settings: a thematic review and dialogue. Interactive Learning Environments, 20(3), pp. 217–238.

Patton, M.Q. 1983, (p. 205). Qualitative Evaluation Methods 

Snyder, I. (1995) Multiple perspectives in literacy research: Integrating the quantitative and qualitative. Language and Education 9 (1).

Wiggins, B J (2011) 'Confronting the dilemma of mixed methods', Journal Of Theoretical And Philosophical Psychology, 31, 1, pp. 44-60, PsycARTICLES, EBSCOhost, viewed 13 February 2013.

Wittel, Andreas (2000, January). Ethnography on the move: From field to net to Internet [23 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [Online Journal], 1(1). Available at: http://www.qualitative- research.net/fqs-texte/1-00/1-00wittel-e.htm [Date of Access: June, 26, 2008,].
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EdTech Question of the moment 11

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Is it possible for machine learning to synthesise an empathetic conversation through inquisitive questions - how are you? how do you feel? etc. Is there much research into the ethical implication of this when humans begin to emotionally attach to anyone/anything that shows empathy?

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EdTech Insight 7

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Digital literacy surveys of students may show high confidence levels but this confidence is often with highly intuitive apps rather than digital tools required for the world of work or independent learning.

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The Future of Education in the Age of Covid-19 : Daniel Sussking

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 20 Nov 2020, 12:06

David Susskind on AI in the world of work and how it will impact the laggardly education

This was a lecture that sustained its pace. I've changed its title because I suspect that he adapted 'the lecture of the book' 'A World Without Work' and then journalistically tossed in a bit of Covid, when in fact his presentation and thesis was that education is getting behind and profound change is in the air. Some have already embraced it. Woe betide those who get left behind. 

There is a time and place for talking not teaching. Teaching can be talking, whatever you are taught in PGCE.  

There were five parts to this memorable and important talk. 

  1. Blue collar workers

  2. White collar workers 

  3. Artificial Intelligence 

  4. White collar work is at risk of technological disruption

  5. How to respond to this > education 

  6. The Context of Covid-19 

Part five is what matters to us in education - the rest was a preamble. 

Too often education feels as if it is working in isolation from the ‘real world’, not helped if underfunded and using kit, platforms and apps that are out of date.

If we want to prepare students for the world of work they need to be equally familiar with Microsoft systems (Team and 360) as well as Google. In the creative industries they’re better off on Macs too. 

It was an eyeopener to learn what Artificial Intelligence (AI)  is doing in medicine, journalism, law and architecture. Where is it making the most ground in education though?? Language learning? Accountancy and Law? 

As a society we suffer from a bias towards the status quo, Susskind said. I have to wonder if we are just little England. We can never be Singapore. We lack the desire to succeed through change. 

I have to wonder if education is populated by what Everett Rogers would term the ‘laggards’ rather than 'innovators' and 'early adopters'. We lack the money to come in earlier and lack the mindset to try new things, indeed anything that hasn’t been suitability certified first. 

Speaking like a consultant to the education sector, Susskind warned that ‘the way we teach people hasn’t changed for decades.’ Ironic therefore that he was speaking from a Balliol College study, one of the oldest colleges in Oxford, in one of the oldest universities in the world that has its foundation and geographical location based on the printed book, its rarity and exclusive access to the knowledge they contain through the Bodleian Library.  

Susskind spoke of ‘spectacular failures in teaching people remotely’, without offering examples; perhaps this is personal experience. There have been successes too. I have to wonder if the fails get talked about, while the successes go under the radar, just as the world wide web did for a decade or more after its invention and application in Cern. 

HIS CONCLUSION

"We need to think more boldly about the way we teach and face the inevitability, ambiguity and uncertainty - and be willing to retrain."

I need  to read his books! 

Daniel Susskind, Balliol College, Fellow 

I have ‘A World Without Work’. 

It is stacked with no fewer than 27 other books I want to read and review I will have to set some priorities. First World War History Books form one stream - by far the largest. I can have two of these on the go at any one time. E-Learning comes next, and includes a backlog of TES magazine and now Daniel Susskind. There is also a small stack on sustainability and the environment - mostly George Monbiot’s back catalogue.



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The Future of Work : Daniel Susskind

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As presentations go, this one broke the ground. Once I'd unstuck my jaw from my chest, I ordered his latest book (it arrived 22 hours later). I then got down to taking notes and grabbing screenshots.  They always say that a recording will be available later, but I have found that to be a half truth: later can be weeks, not days or hours and 'available' can mean after an edit. I need to reflect on this now, not after my brain has been scrambled several times more. 



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The State of the Education Sector : EdTech Summit 2020

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 20 Nov 2020, 10:46


EdTech Summit 2020I could do with a dose of this each term. We could do with this kind of engagement across the college. There were 576 for these keynotes. There were between 6 and 50 in the breakout workshops I attended. I did maybe seven in two days? I tried to take notes and screenshots as I went along, will go back to recordings for some, and share draft notes ASAP before life slides me off to something else and more pressing. Like another conference on Tuesday. 

Some EdTech Summit notes: 

Online learning is becoming more sophisticated. Sir Andrew Carter, CEO South Farnham Educational Trust

There will be NO going back to the way things were done before the Pandemic. Working online has shown its value and is here to stay. There has been a widening of the disadvantage gap/loss in education. Far greater collaboration between colleges coming up. Debbie Clinton. CEO Academy Transformation Trust

TEL [Learning Tech] is fundamental to identifying where learning isn’t working and can be improved. Widening of the disadvantage gap/loss in education. The Rt.Hon David Laws. Education Policy Institute EPI 

The disadvantage gap is a difficult one to bridge. Students don't only need a device (something better than a pone), but they need the broadband at home and a place they can study without disruption - not easy in a shared bedroom, on the sofa in front of the TV or on the kitchen table. We need student internet cafés. 


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The best of both worlds

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Back then I become a snob about digital over analogue. I went all Kindle. Books were dead ... so were libraries. My library was Amazon. It saved me time but was expensive. 

A decade on I buy second hand hard back books if I want to read; I still don't go into a library (even if once again I have a student library ticket). The physical artefact matters. If I am reading a the physical thing I am better able to concentrate. On an iPad (long ago replaced the Kindle) I am always a click away from the news, emails and social media. 

If I really care about the author and what they have to say I may get an electronic version of the book too; different things are revealed on the screen compared to the page. Either way a collection of handwritten notes or Post Its are used to build up my impression of what I am being told. No longer do I trust 'highlighting' or note taking electronically as a way of engaging with the text; you don't. You just copy and paste, risk being caught by plagiarism software and more importantly learn little as what you produce hasn't been through the composting process of your mind. 

QQ: What does it mean to be reflective in education?

  • The ability to reflect on an action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning. 

  • Deliberate reflection is essential. 

Is that what I am doing here? Am I supposed to spend as long reflecting on a thing as I originally spent doing it? Is two and a half hours reflection on a class that lasted two and a half hours over the top? 

One 'active learning' exercise followed another. A pattern was established. We were going to have to think, to engaged our brains. There'd be no concentrated note taking while she talked, no lengthy quotes to grab from multiple authors. Though I have them here. 

QQ: Analyse why the process can be helpful (what happens if you don’t reflect)

ACT: Compare and contrast how mere reflection is different from critical reflection.

We were introduced to Kerouac: fixed mindset or growth mindset? 

I googled him to get the right spelling of his name and the link.

"There should be a culture where mistakes are not frowned upon." 

And I stumbledupon Carol Dweck

I'm trying to get to an understanding of what the world of education will look like by 2025. How do we get the best of both worlds? And what about the third world? The hybrid, deconstructed, individualised, non institutionalised approach to education that might come out of this?



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Micro Teach Reflective Cycle

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Introduced to 'The Reflective Cycle (Gibbs, 1988)' I then used this to consider the micro teach I gave last week. 

Description

What happened?

  • I tried to deliver a 60 mins class in 15 minutes. 

Feelings

What were you thinking and feeling?

  • Like a runaway train. 

Evaluation

What was good and bad about the experience?

  • It is self-evident that I need to observe a lot more , and teach a lot more and improve at every step and opportunity. 

Analysis

What sense can you make of the situation?

  • All things can be taught? Though you’ll never teach me to dance! But teaching isn’t a dance. Might I be better suited to some teaching situations than others? 

Conclusion

What else could you have done ?

  • Observed the micro teach sessions the week before while self-isolating and I would have quickly understood what can be done in the time ! 

Action Plan

If it rose again, what would you do? 

  • Keep it simple.

  • Talk less, teach more 

  • Give it to them.

The consideration of, and time spent on the exercise is in profound difference to the way reflection was considered ten years ago on the MAODE. That was an entirely academic exercise, entirely based on reading around the subject. I may be wrong, but I don't recall any elaborate process whereby we dug deep to develop and share our thoughts. Or if we did, on reflection, I had little to draw on - I was not a teacher. I had started this journey in order to learn how to create learning for businesses and organisations, not in the classroom or workshop. 

What I wrote, see above, was of less value than what others wrote and shared. It was a lesson to be part of an exercise, the second of seven or more, over three hours, where it felt as if we were being indulged. The tutor actively sought out our experience and point of view, pausing to develop a variety of insights that resulted and only as a final thought did we go to a description or summary that had been prepared in advance. This was neither an afterthought, nor the statement that would dominate all others. The way it was shared it simply become one more opinion in the shared and constructed meaning.

A number of things are profoundly different face to face: the context of the learning. We are in a place designed to study (albeit a teaching restaurant with dining chairs used as desks). But there are chairs, there is a teacher on her feet with a big TV screen at the end of the room.  This context includes other learners. You see and feel their response to the experience, how they take notes (or not) and how much a point of view, a conclusion or shared anecdote matters. Doing this in a group chat online is not the same; for a start only four out of twelve would do it. My experience of the MAODE was that those of us who shared our experience, learnt together and got to know each other online, were a minority. Did we gain from that experience, or was it an indulgent distraction? 

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Reflections on Teaching

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In a tour de force example of the value of face to face teaching in a class over learning online our PGCE tutor took us through the power of reflection. Look at the title of this blog 'Reflection on e-learning'. 10 years and eight months ago I was keenly filling these pages (on an ever so slightly different platform) as I took the first module in the Masters in Open and Distance Education (MAODE). Search 'Reflection'.

Ten years on, while being invited to dig around in my head for an understand of the what it means to 'reflect', and while listening to my fellow students express their views and share their insights, we collectively construct and shape a meaning.

The beauty of this blog and its value ten years on and 5,000 entries later, is that I can search 'reflection' or seek out the tag 'reflection' and immediately be shown what I was reading, what I was being invited to read and what I was writing about it all. The beauty of this blog and it simplicity is that I can post and keep private, or post and share; it is as much as a private, even intimate scrapbook, mind dump and learning journal, as it is a potential resource for others. 

Reflecting on 'reflecting on teaching' and the profound differences between learning online (as it has so far been able to manifest itself) I see that one cannot replace the other, that certain elements are different to the point of being incompatible, that trying to recreate the class experience online is foolish and bringing the online way of doing things into the class just as wrong.

We have a long way to go yet to distinguish these differences and play to their strengths, rather than thinking one is superior to the other; neither is going away. The class I attended last night in which seven of us where there in person with the tutor and four were online is one I will return to again, and again for two reasons: first of all, to pick through what I was exposed to, what I was taught, the learning journey I experienced and the voices and words of others - everyone, in equal measure, was given the time and chance and encouragement to talk. And second of all, to contemplate the difference between the classroom and the online experience. What worked and what did not? What needs fixing to make it work better? 



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Black History is British History ... is Global History

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https://theblackcurriculum.com/

Another invaluable session with EdTech Summit 2020. 


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How to write a Digital Strategy for Your College

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50 delegates, a conference video call, with an interactive 'Miro' board. Frenetic, but engaging and balanced doing and therefore thinking with consultancy like top level conclusions offered. I took notes and screenshots throughout so plenty to digest or to post here PRIVATELY. Looking back it is extraordinary just how much we got through. Thank you Mark Ayton from JISC. 

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EdTech Summit > Miss it our miss out!

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Day two is proving as valuable as day one. 


I'd like to do this every quarter, or at least once a term ... just to get a grip on industry best practice in a fast changing world, to get a feel for what works so as to avoid what in practice does not. 

I've just come out of 'Promote the Benefits of Using Technology'

From Personal Learning Networks (PLN) - very OU MAOD, we also came away with two books, a few theories and a lot of notes on what people like or do not like.


Matthew Syed: Rebel Ideas


David Price: The Power of Us

Communities of Practice > Wenger quoted, I'd add my old favourite Engestrom.

Then a mix of the physical environment: corridor, coffee machine, staff room and water cooler, as well as the digital apps and platforms such as Google Classroom, WhatsApp, Chat, WordPress blogs, use of e-Newsletters and flyers ... and analogue favourites of posters and newsletters too.

Others have had success with Digital Champions.

No one has had success with Twitter, but Facebook and LinkedIn are worth another look.



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The Ethics of Second Screening

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Not just the ethics, but the practicalities.

Wanting to be in two places at the same time I now find I can. I need to be vigilant and not engage with either session and get it wrong though!

Town Council Meeting and Club Zoom

Two conference Meets running simultaneously

All are recorded so I could pick one or the other up later - but I don't want to. I want to 'two track' and get the gist of both then and there.

Today I have two EdTech sessions. I'll sign in on two screens and see if the software filters me out. I can get around that by signing in with a different gmail account: college, me, digital editor, 'e-learner at Mindbursts' even as a Town Councillor. 

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