Monthly Archives: June 2014

Finishing #OcTEL and Gliddon’s Law

So we are in the last week of #OcTEL mooc and I am reflecting on what I have learnt, I started out with my “Big Question“, I looked at changing the ways I teach, the use of “Teaching Machines”, the ways people learn, making online materials and I thought about why EdTech projects fail.

So returning to my question “What could learning be – if we embrace technology?”  I think it could be different, it could be better, it could be many things including lots of things that teachers did not expect.  Though we may make models of things that work there will never be a single model much in the way that every brain is unique.

Which brings me nicely to something that the reading I have been doing and a few other things have merged together to make…

Gliddon’s Law -“The interaction of any Technology with Education is more complicated than you expect, even when you take into account Gliddon’s law”

Now I obviously owe a debt to Hofstadter’s Law and Ben Goldacre’s “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that …“, I should also credit the work my colleagues put in by saying “But what about…” whenever I make sweeping statements about EdTech.

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#Octel Why projects fail

Running to catch up I had some thoughts about last weeks #OcTEL, there was an interesting paper looking at some of the project that had failed and drawing 6 critical success factors for mobile web projects.

  1. The pedagogical integration of the technology into the course and assessment.
  2. Lecturer modelling of the pedagogical use of the tools.
  3. Creating a supportive learning community.
  4. Appropriate choice of mobile devices and web 2.0 social software.
  5. The need for technological and pedagogical support for matching the unique affordances of mobile web 2.0 with social constructivist learning paradigms.
  6. Creating sustained interaction that explicitly scaffolds the development of ontological shifts, that is the reconceptualisation of what it means to teach and learn within social constructivist paradigms, both for the lecturers and the students. The use of a structured and sustained intentional community of practice around each project was found to facilitate these ontological shifts.

Now we were meant to look back at one of our projects and use this to evaluate the key failures and successes of the project.  I didnt do this!

Instead I looked at the 6 factors and thought, I think I can do better than that or at least explain it in a way that is easier to understand.  A year or so back I developed “Gliddon’s Hierarchy of Technology Enhanced Learning”

You can work your way up the levels in this and use it to determine what the potential risks are to your project (just add them to your risk matrix as you consider them).

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Better quality videos

So one of my colleagues has got another job, and I have inherited a room full of audio/video kit.  Which is great because I enjoy messing about with video and there is enough kit to produce some fairly professional content.

Here is a quick video I shot to test the set up when we were planning on taking a few “talking head” interviews with students.  It contrasts nicely to the phone head shots I have previously done.

If I get time over the summer I will start experimenting with different shots, backgrounds and the lights (I have spots and a light box – as well as the light bouncing/diffuser covers) and I want to see what type of sound quality the different mikes provide.

#OcTEL Creating your own materials

In week 3 of Octel we had to look at a few tools for content creation and say how they might be used.  I chose Xerte because my Uni is looking at making this tool available to all staff in the near future.

Here is a brief video of my thoughts

The things that impressed me most with Xerte are the quality of question types which do allow you to provide something a bit more intellectually challenging than a multiple choice question and that the finished product looks very stylish without people having to spend lots of time getting it right.
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