OU blog

Personal Blogs

Picture of Anna Greathead

The Angry Blogger

Visible to anyone in the world

We have been directed to the blog of Audrey Watters a few times in H819. This is a brave choice for the Open University as she is, it's fair to say, highly critical of EdTech.

I knew little of EdTech before I began MAODE (at least in an academic sense - I had unknowingly been using and creating EdTech for ages!) and, like many new converts, have become excited by the development of new technology-enhanced learning innovations, and the potential for EdTech to revolutionise education, learning, and the world! This makes reading Watters' blog slightly uncomfortable as a lot of what she writes is critical of EdTech and uncomfortably valid! It cannot be denied that many EdTech innovations have not lived up to the promises made in the timescale predicted.

However - I remain hopeful. Although technology has not provided the revolution in learning first predicted, and hoped for, it has made a huge difference. After all - I am on my sofa on a rainy Tuesday studying for a Masters Degree without ever having met one of my tutors, and only having met my student colleagues after making specific arrangements. My learning in MAODE has taken place in asynchronous forums, online tutorials, watching YouTube videos, searching for online journal articles, writing blog posts, utilizing Google, researching on Twitter, creating surveys on MailChimp, using my laptop, desktop, mobile phone and tablet....  All of this would have been impossible fifteen years ago. EdTech is doing something right.

One thing I read today from Watters' blog was a critique of EdTech based on the fact that the introduction of EdTech into a classroom had not resulted in higher grades. EdTech had failed in improve the outcomes for an individual cohort of students. On the one hand I can see this is disappointing - one function of EdTech is supposed to be to better engage students which should lead to better learning and better outcomes. However I reacted against this as improved outcomes for students who were already in the classroom is not the sole, or even the principle, aim of EdTech. EdTech broadens the range of people for whom education is an option. EdTech improves the efficiency and  cost effectiveness of education. EdTech could (and should) allow more depth of learning based on greater opportunity to access resources about and collaborate with experts in niche areas.

I'm not sure if I want to read Watters' blog! I don't like my idealism to be challenged! But maybe that's exactly what I need if I am to become an effective practitioner.

Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Work and work

Visible to anyone in the world

Two laptops, both in useThis is my view right now.

The laptop on the left is my work laptop. As I type there is a webinar ongoing with 60+ participants. They are all preparing for a professional dilemma exam and while my boss is doing the talking, I have to be logged on to help with technical issues and to answer any questions within my sphere of knowledge or expertise.

It's a bit tricky as I really don't have to sit there all day waiting for these events but I do need to be ready whenever one arises!

My point is that I am already engaged in online and technology enhanced learning in a professional commercial setting. The pivot to online learning has been very natural for us and a lot of our professional activity has been unaffected - even positively affected - by Covid-19. The fact that we have been doing this for years means it was easy for us to move existing programs online.

In the stretches of time I am not needed for the webinar (e.g. when the participants are doing an online mock exam) I swap laptops (the laptop on the right!) and trying and do some of my Master's work.

There is a certain irony to trying to fit studies about online and technology enhanced learning in between practice of the same!

Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Implementation

Visible to anyone in the world

The three subjects up for discussion in H818 are inclusion, innovation and implementation. We are to concentrate on one of them. I have chosen implementation because I think it is the most important. Innovation can happen and inclusion can be a key priority but unless the ideas and tools created by the innovators, and the policies and systems developed by the inclusionists are implemented in some way then none of it makes any difference.

Part of the 'problem' of implementation is that some innovation, and some inclusive policy, is hard to work. It may be badly designed albeit based on a good idea. It may be well designed but not as good as an existing tool or system. It may be brilliantly designed but doesn't actually meet a need as perceived by the learners and practitioners.

I think the main problem with implementation is that it has to not only be good enough to ensure the effort which goes into making practical changes or ideological shifts worthwhile but that it has to seem good enough to those having to make the changes and shifts.

It is much easier to install hardware and software than to make a teacher of many decades change their habits, or a student who is already busy and under pressure adopt a new learning tool. It's a linguistic stretch but I would say that changing the coding (the software) in the people involved - aka their culture, habits, experiences - is the most important step in implementing any change of practice.

Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

An introduction to Social Learning Analytics

Visible to anyone in the world

Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Chickens and Eggs

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Anna Greathead, Saturday, 15 Jun 2019, 14:47

An academic setting, with its fake contexts and imagined personas, can ask that a learning program be designed, or a learning tool be developed, in a specific order and way. In real life the the learning program must be fitted to an actual context with real people and programs are developed according to the capabilities of the available technology rather than developing technology to fit the ideal scenario.

I have experienced some frustration in this TMA03 process due to the very deliberate and linear way the activities have been set. Finding and describing the theoretical underpinnings of anything at all is something which hardly ever happens and when it does it is usually done retrospectively rather than at the start. While I understand that fitting the theory to the activity may seem backward it is the way most people operate most of the time.

I don't think this is usually a bad thing. Theory describes why and how things work but often our experiences and intuition enable us to make valid choices - which fit with theory - without us having to refer to theory beforehand.

I appreciate that the OU have tried to make the experience as realistic as possible by asking us to develop a context before developing a tool but the fact that we all know the end point makes this moot!


Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Cut and paste

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Anna Greathead, Wednesday, 8 May 2019, 19:31

Word processing is a technological enhancement to learning right?? It's certainly a technological enhancement to assignment writing. 

Writing an assignment in report form is a new skill for me and something I didn't have to do in H800. Post graduate study was challenging, even daunting, but I did feel confident that I knew how to write an essay. Writing a report is something I have not done before except for TMA01!

Today I actually reached the word count and have something I could submit. It wouldn't be my highest scoring assignment but I think it would comfortably pass. I won't submit it right now. I will spend a bit of time every day reading, re-reading, polishing, editing, reconsidering and rewriting but essentially I am on to the accessories rather than the outfit. 

I was struggling a lot over the bank holiday weekend because my report was so unbalanced. I worked out an approximate word count for each section based on the percentage each section would count towards the final mark and endeavored to keep the ratio approximately the same. One section which should have accounted for 20% was taking 30% of my word count and another which accounts for 30% of the mark was only using up 20% of the words. And then I realized than a few key points were simply in the wrong section. Cutting and pasting a few paragraphs between them rectified this main problem almost immediately. 

The final three sections are extremely context specific and I was struggling to find a way to include references to justify my position and suggestions. I queried this on the group WhatsApp then went to bed. Upon waking this morning it occurred to me that I could just google the section question and search within the OU library. I opened WhatsApp and discovered that my colleagues had suggested I do just that (and had kindly omitted the 'duh!' I so clearly deserved!)

Anyway - here's to a few days of reading the same 3000 words over and over in an attempt to ensure I neither repeat myself (repetition), omit key facts (hesitation), or go off subject (deviation)! If only I were playing 'Just a Minute' - the whole process would be a lot less time consuming!



Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Happy 50th Birthday Open University

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Anna Greathead, Sunday, 28 Apr 2019, 16:28

If you didn't watch the fantastic program presented by Lenny Henry giving a precis of the whole ethos, life and times of the OU then please get to iPlayer ASAP and catch it!

I am unexpectedly moved and inspired by the history I just watched and the future I just envisioned. As a MAODE student it even seemed very educationally relevant. 

The open ethos of the Open University, the way resources have had to be created entirely to fit that ethos and courses designed with that ethos central to the pedagogy, the way that the OU has collaborated with other bodies, the way that the OU has utilized every emergent technology for the purposes of learning.... in fact.... was the whole show someone's MAODE dissertation?! 

Whilst I did put on the show as a slight 'TMA02 procrastination' activity I am now feeling full of enthusiasm! 


Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Podcasts as a part of open education

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Anna Greathead, Thursday, 25 Apr 2019, 13:35

I am a podcast geek and the further my OU studied take me the more I a convinced this technology is both under rated and under utilized (though I must confess to having done a sneaky search to check that it was them, and not I, who had under utilized the podcast!)

The OU does produce a number of podcasts around disciplines as wide ranging as learning Italian (amongst many other languages), creative writing, astronomy and project management. I cannot describe how helpful I would have found additional instruction about the theories of education or a glossary of key terms at the start of my studies. Whilst there are resources I could have found and read, having something to listen to on my commute, or at the gym, would have made use of some time in which I couldn't read or watch.

That is, I think, the strength of the podcast - it uses a spare sense (hearing) in times and spaces where other resources aren't useful. There is something quite special about hearing experts explain their expertise. I often understand things I have heard explained better than things I have read. 

Outside of my OU studies I listen to dozens of podcasts - some for entertainment but many for learning as well. The learning is pretty non-linear and scattergun as I can only listen to material which has been produced. An institution like the OU would be in a position to create short (or long) series on the fundamentals of hundreds of subject matters. This would not only be useful for people studying those subjects but may simply be interesting for those who love to learn outside of formal structures. 

Podcasts are free and easy to access. They make use of the one commodity we all have in equal measure and which cannot be bought or sold - namely time. I hope, in time, a podcast version of YouTube with the vast choice of professional and amateur content, every subject under the sun and ease of access and sharing will develop. 


Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Anna Greathead, Sunday, 28 Apr 2019, 18:25)
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Welcome to the study on E-learning, Learning Technology and Technology Inspired Pedagogy

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Anna Greathead, Sunday, 3 Mar 2019, 20:13

I found this article so useful. I wish I had read it a year and a bit ago at the beginning of my MAODE journey. I had lightbulb moments as I was able to clearly distinguish between a trend and a development, a technology and a device. 

The paper, taken as a whole, paints a bright future in which technology is used to specifically create learning programs and resources for individual people with unique needs. The opportunities for these people to learn in a place and at a time which is convenient to them are wonderful but better still they will be able learn via rich, contextual resources and environments whilst collaborating with experts, fellow students, learners from complementary and opposite disciplines. Their progress will not only be closely tracked to quickly identify any potential problems or missing elements before they become insurmountable issues, but it will be able to anticipate future issues and needs using the mounted swathes of data previously analysed. 

Of course - it is unlikely that every point in this paper will turn out to be accurate but it's definitely helpful to see what might happen, what is currently being thought likely. 

Anyway - here's my summary! 

Six Key Trends

1.    Advancing Cultures of Innovation: Flexible, responsive, agile. Emphasis on entrepreneurship. Making universities seed beds of innovative economic activity. LONG TERM

2.    Rethinking How Institutions Work: Working towards a better match between graduate academic skills and desirable workplace skills, alternate methods of delivery of education to growing, and more specific, body of students. “Education as a Service” (EaaS) – students ‘pick and mix’ what they learn according to their needs. LONG TERM

3.    Redesigning Learning Spaces: more access to high tech devices and internet connectivity. Change from libraries full of physical journals to access for more people to more online journals. MID TERM

4.    Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches: Learning To Learn; project based learning, problem based learning, challenge based learning. Primary goal of higher education to prepare learners for employment.  MID TERM

5.    Growing Focus on Measuring Learning: rethink on how to assess subject mastery. Students are producing exponential amounts of data which can be analysed. Students desire for immediate and continuous feedback. SHORT TERM

6.     Increasing Use of Blended Learning Designs: drawing the best from online and face to face learning.

Six Key Challenges

1.    Blending Formal and Informal Learning: Moving away from the ‘credit culture’ and acknowledging the value of experience, informal learning and that unqualified does not mean unable. SOLVABLE

2.    Improving Digital Literacy: Teaching with tech is different to learning from it? Lack of consensus on what digital literacy requires. SOLVABLE

3.    Competing Models of Education: Capitalising on emerging technology is not enough – new models of teaching and learning must be developed to engage students in a new, expanded and unfamiliar system. DIFFICULT

4.    Personalizing Learning: demand for personalised (bespoke) learning is there but it is not supported by current technology or practices. DIFFICULT

5.    Balancing Our Connected and Unconnected Lives: there is general concern about the balance individuals have of online vs offline portions of their lives. Educators must play their part in addressing that. WICKED – HARD TO DEFINE, LET ALONE SOLVE.

6.    Keeping Education Relevant Keeping Education Relevant: Education is not the guarantee of gainful employment it once was. Funneling students into STEM to make them ‘economically useful’ disregards the ethical voice of the humanities. Formal academia still has a higher status than vocational training. WICKED – HARD TO DEFINE, LET ALONE SOLVE.

Six Important Developments

1.    Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Majority of learners own their own devices. Requires robust Wi-Fi. Rather than discouraging Smartphones in teaching environment, devices are being utilized. <1 YEAR

2.    Learning Analytics and Adaptive Learning: “Learning analytics has developed in three stages, moving from a focus on hindsight to foresight; the first stage was describing results, the second stage was diagnosing, and the third and current stage is predicting what will happen in the future.” <1 YEAR

3.    Augmented and Virtual Reality: AR = incorporating digital information into real work, VR immersive experience where the entire world is digital. Both provide contextual settings for learning. Particularly useful (so far) in medical training. 2-3 YEARS

4.    Makerspaces: Informal workshop environments in community settings where people create things in a collaborative setting. Use of 3D printers? 2-3 YEARS

5.    Affective Computing: Machines can be programmed to recognize, process and react appropriately to human emotion. Machines can be programmed to simulate human emotion. Machines can recognize bored or disengaged students. 4-5 YEARS

6.    Robotics: Increased use of robotics in industry will require more students to learn about, and innovate with, robotics. 4-5 YEARS


Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Technology in E-learning in my Context.

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Anna Greathead, Tuesday, 5 Mar 2019, 14:24

In my professional context the remaining three technologies are inextricably linked - we don't currently have software which enables us to track our learners so we don't have any data to drive assessment or to analyse learning or even to offer prizes! I would love to do this but I suspect that the cost of tracking software (with the associated legal ramifications and headache) would pale into insignificant against the cost of effective analysis of the data it would produce let alone the effective use of the data analysis in order to drive assessment and target future learning. 

If we were to change the software we use to provide good tracking data the other things we would have to do would include:

1. Retrospective 'coding' of existing questions to classify what skill, subject, knowledge and application they are testing

2. Retrospective and future  'coding' of our customers to enable two sided analysis 

3. The development of an analysis methodology and the appropriation of software to support that

All of this could be very worthwhile to provide our learners with targeted resources, personalized analysis of their strengths and areas for improvement and to identify any globally weak / strong areas so we can target future developments BUT pragmatically I don't think our particular market is large enough to justify the costs associated with this. 

Personally - I'm self obsessed enough to want to see analysis on my learning done by some formally recognized software! I am mercenary enough to want as many virtual badges and points as you can shovel in my direction! 


Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Technology doesn't educate people, people educate people

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Anna Greathead, Monday, 4 Jun 2018, 23:14

I began yesterday by describing technology as 'neutral'. A comment suggested that this did not make technology inert and I have since been formulating a response. 

The gun control debate within the USA (and between the USA and the rest of the world) is frustrating and circular. One regularly cited soundbite is

Guns don't kill people, people kill people

You can't argue with it when taken as a standalone sentence and I suppose my argument that 'technology is neutral' is in a similar vein. However - it is not the 'slam dunk, check mate' soundbite many who cite it consider it to be!

A gun cannot shoot itself, it has no agency. However - it absolutely amplifies the agency of the person holding the gun. An angry person and an angry person with a gun have entirely different levels of power and incomparable potential to cause harm. A depressed person with a gun is more likely to end up successfully killing themselves than a depressed person with a bottle of pills. A police force with guns are more likely to make snap judgements which turn out to be fatal and unjust than a police force armed with pepper spray and truncheons. Additionally - society at large changes due to the 'neutral technology' that is the gun. A perception - real or exaggerated - of likely harm creates an atmosphere in which people who may not want to own a gun feel they have to 'just in case'. In short - the neutral technology distorts situations so much that not only is the impact of behavior changed, but the behavior changes as well. 

So does technology cause or encourage change? I would have to concede that yes - it does both. I can see that technology distorts the status quo ante significantly enough that the outcome of people's behavior and actions are different and that the mere existence of technology creates an atmosphere in which people makes different decisions. 

Learning Technology seemingly offers so much in terms of pedagogy, reach, impact and engagement that educators may begin to make the technology central in their learning design and the technology could massively amplify the impact of their teaching. Then the perception that 'everyone else is doing it' can create an atmosphere where using the available technology becomes imperative for fear of falling from relevance. Of course - our studies thus far have shown that the 'enhancement' offered to 'learning' by 'technology' is far more complex than some of the hype would have you believe - but it is the perception which changes behavior far before the statistics and facts do. 

Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Chickens or eggs?

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Anna Greathead, Sunday, 3 Jun 2018, 22:14

Is technology itself a cause of reform or an instrument used to encourage reform?

One argument I have repeatedly made within H800 is that technology is neutral. It can be used for good or for ill, it can enhance or detract, it is neither good or bad - it simply is. Whilst this is not a fully formed position I tend to think that it's a good place to begin from. 

However - this question doesn't really ask if technology is good or bad. It assumes a correlation between technology and reform and asks us to assess a causal link.

The personification of 'technology' is the first problematic idea we face. Technology is not independent - it is all created by, and for, people. It can not cause or encourage anything. The people behind it may do so. Do these people develop technology with a view to reform? I suppose some may but I would be surprised if that was the majority position. Technology, ironically, seems to evolve in an almost biological way with unexpected successes, inexplicable failures and a messy march in the general direction of forwards - but with many tangents and offshoots. 

The company I work for could not exist without the internet. All of our services and products are bought online, a great many of them are delivered online. Was this was Tim Berners-Lee had in mind? Or Bill Gates? No - absolutely not. The long term impact of their inventions was not so much unintended and unexpected as beyond our wildest dreams. 

So many aspects of everyday life (in the developed world, and increasingly everywhere) are now technology dependent. Banking, shopping, travel, communications - all heavily reliant on the internet. Did the development of the internet cause this reform or was it a tool used to encourage reform? Did we, 20 years ago, even perceive that reform was necessary or possible? 

Given that we are specifically looking at 'learning' in H800 I suppose the question must be applied to the classroom, lecture theatre, study hall and library. What is technology doing there? I think I can safely assume that the experience of a student - at any level - right now is unrecognizably different to the experience I had at university in 1996; the main difference being the birth and growth of the internet in the interim. But did the internet cause the change or merely encourage it? I'd argue neither. The internet grew and the people used it. As more people used it, the internet grew more. The internet became more useful to more people as more and more people were able to manipulate it. So more and more people used the internet. It has been an organic process despite it being an entirely inorganic invention. 

Future reform may well be just as the internet was 20 years ago. Limited only by our imaginations. 


Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Anna Greathead, Monday, 4 Jun 2018, 22:59)
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

The narrowing of the digital divide

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Anna Greathead, Tuesday, 15 May 2018, 23:00

One of the activities I plan to write about in my TMA is the Global Digital Divide. When doing this activity a few weeks ago I looked at the region (ha!) of Africa (a pretty big region!) and speculated that the provision of OERs by western universities would be unlikely to be helpful to most people in Africa as internet connectivity was both rare, poor and expensive. I looked up infographics to show how the undersea cabling simply didn't reach Africa as strongly as it reached North America and Europe.

https://www.submarinecablemap.com/#/

I assumed that the vastness, and relatively emptiness, of the African continent meant that stretching the infrastructure from the coast inland simply hadn't been done and therefore, the videos, quizzes, resources and lectures being provided 'for free' would not actually contribute to the improvement of the learning environment for Africans but rather sit there uselessly - an unusable but expensive white elephant. 

However - this was based on the information linked to by H800 - mostly at least 5 years old. 

I've now done some much more up to date research (aided by the hive mind that is Facebook and specifically three computer-y friends who exploded with geekiness upon being asked for advice and information!) and see that the global digital divide is narrowing - pretty much before our eyes in a visible way. 

This website is full of very up to date information about the whole world and if, how and why it connects to the internet. 153 pages of fascinating data. Yet not one which expressly refers to learning or education. Lots about social media, banking, commerce... but no learning.

I also was linked to this initiative by Facebook which also fails to explicitly refer to education and learning except for two video diaries of learners - one school boy and one adult learner. It addresses connectivity and some of the technical efforts they are making to address the shrinking inequality. 

Other projects were linked to which had the aim of both strengthening the internet connection in Africa, and utilizing it for the common good in various ways - though education was, once more, notable in its absence. 

So it's back to the drawing board! I think that 10 years ago my planned plea for OERs to be made in text form, avoiding bandwidth munching pictures and videos, would have been right on the money! However - now I think I will have to rethink. Maybe the same problems which always faces schools in Africa will be the key - simply having buildings, teachers, uniforms and equipment will continue to be the challenge. The equipment may be more technological, and the teachers may need more training and the buildings may need internet connectivity.... yeah - there's still 1000 words in that!

 


Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Crushing on Michael Wesch... just a little bit!

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Anna Greathead, Saturday, 5 May 2018, 15:21

Saturday is 'new week' day for OU students so I try to get a good start and spend a few hours studying so that I don't have to play catch up later in the week. The first activity for this week began with some interesting (slightly dry!) summaries of various studies looking at how learners use technology in their learning and whether the very process of learning may be changing as technology offers more and more options. After a few pages of these we get presented with this video by Michael Wesch who also produced this video which I found profoundly helpful - and moving - earlier in H800. At that time I watched a few talks by him on YouTube. He is an inspiring figure. 

Anyway - I wish I had watched the video and then read the text-reports. I'm not surprised to find a well made, slickly produced and cleverly devised video to be more engaging than academic reports - what did surprise me was that when I re-read the text summaries of those reports it all made a bit more sense to me. The medium really is key - and that seems to be the foundational point of every conclusion by every researcher in this area. 

There is debate over whether 'young people' (Digital Natives, Google Generation, Millennials) are fundamentally different in some way having grown up with technology. What there can be no serious disagreement about is that they are growing up in a world unlike any anyone else ever has grown up in; and that they, possibly more than any generation before them, have seen such profound and massive cultural change and will see more and more of it with each passing year of their lives. A multitude of agencies are trying to catch the attention of this generation with the technology. The agencies have to be cleverer and cleverer because the young people are getting savvier and savvier! Agencies who seek to engage learners with technology to enhance their studies also have to be cleverer and cleverer! 


Permalink
Share post
Picture of Anna Greathead

Week 1, H800. A post-graduate newbie!

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Anna Greathead, Wednesday, 14 Feb 2018, 23:31

I have not formally studied anything since 1996. I signed up to do MAODE in a mad moment when I thought I wouldn't be busy by the time February rolled around! I really didn't know what to expect and I was apprehensive.

Technically week 1 has been slightly less of a challenge than I expected. Whilst I use computers and technology all the time I have only the most passing familiarity with how anything actually works and I was somewhat intimidated by the idea that there would need to be a wide variety of materials to download, save, print, annotate and so on. I bought, just this week, a new laptop as our old PC showed itself unfit for the job. I've also bought some USB headphones. 

I am under no illusions that week 1 has been an 'easing in' exercise. We have watched, read and listened to people who have made interesting and thought provoking arguments and points. We have conversed on the forum (so far it's been very friendly and supportive - long may that continue) and I have looked at some of the extra reading and also followed some links provided by others in my tutor group. I have found it fascinating.

Things which have grabbed my attention this week:

1. A reflection on the short and long term effects of the invention of the printing press in Europe was simply mind blowing. As a sociology graduate the details about the lengthening of childhood - not for sentimental reasons but simply because it takes longer to learn to read and write than to speak and listen - was so interesting. This sent me on a train of thought as I considered the impact of other technologies in a much wider and long term way.

2. A TED talk linked to by a tutorial group colleague by Sugata Mitra inspired me! His account of how organically children can learn by themselves with little adult intervention (The School in the Cloud) turned my experience and expectation of education upside down. I reflected on how this could work in a context where formal schooling is the norm and whether adults who have been formally schooled in a western setting may be ruined for this kind of peer to peer learning. The SOLE (Self Organised Learning Environment) seems miraculous but I wonder if it can be effectively used alongside more traditional and familiar schooling methods or if it really is an either / or situation.

3. A webcast (Dr Ian Rowlands) about the 'google generation' multi tasking also made me think a lot. (I watched it and then read the transcript). In common with the interview with Gregor Kennedy there was a discussion about whether the generation who had grown up with the internet were fundamentally different in their learning behaviours, or if they simply were using new technologies to behave exactly as all generations have behaved. I recalled my own undergrad studies where I could often be found with ten books on a library desk, a few folders crammed with print outs and photo copies of journal articles and a fellow student to discuss things with. I was a pre-google multitasker! My (tentative) conclusion is that learning to be a focused student has always taken some people some time and that the advent of the internet hasn't altered that - it just makes the multitasking (procrastinating? distraction?!) easier to log and count.  

So far many of our resources have been very old (2008 may not sound that long ago but it was before widespread social media penetration and before the smartphone was ubiquitous) which concerns me a little. Surely the changes between 2008 and 2018 are at least as much, if not more, than the changes between 1998 and 2008?

I am looking forward to exploring the online library. A few experimental searches have convinced me it is a veritable treasure trove of fascinating and relevant material (not to mention fascinating, irrelevant and time consuming!).  


Permalink
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 65601