Peer Review

The Design Based Report proposal was initially conceptualised in assignment one where I considered the use of Networked and Global Learning (NGL) in primary education. I did struggle with finding practical examples of NGL in the classroom and more specifically, in Australian classrooms. I commented on these challenges in my blog through my post on ‘As teacher’ Focus and As (primary school) teacher.

I received feedback and advice from participants in the course and through talking to some of my colleagues. I brainstormed some of the topics that I am interested in including sustainability, student centered learning and Virtual Fieldtrips. Recently, as part of the Brisbane Catholic Education system, the school where I teach has run a professional development opportunity to learn about the use of Virtual Fieldtrip experiences in the classroom. I outlined my experience with these sessions in the post Videoconferencing update. After having a week to think over some possible pathways to go down for this proposal I asked fellow participants of the course for feedback or ideas on which way I should go. I really appreciated the ideas put forward by Alex, Murra Mumma and Lisa in response to my going around in circles post.

I then decided to stick with Virtual Fieldtrips and after receiving some great advice and consideration from David here, decided to start the DBR proposal. I began by looking into the research to ensure I was able to establish the foundations for my proposal and see if I could find any real life applications of the Virtual Fieldtrips in Australian classrooms. I had success with this process and this gave me the confidence to move onto the next stage, getting feedback from my principal to see if this was feasible in our school. I did get approval and some advice from my principal and other key staff members at the school (Administration) for implementation next year.

Furthermore, I posted an outline for my draft proposal to my blog and received feedback from David and appreciated advice on how to improve my research questions and guidelines for use of Virtual Fieldtrips in the classroom.

Overall, I was able to develop, alter and create my proposal through this peer review process. I felt supported by participants in this course and also from my colleagues through receiving feedback and advice. The peer review process provided me with the confidence to move throughout the DBR process and create this proposal. I believe I have created a proposal that could be implemented in a primary school classroom and I look forward to putting this proposal in place next year with my own class.

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My Design Based Research Proposal

Virtual Field Trips creating global networks in the Primary school classroom

Introduction

It has been well documented that the integration of technology can support, enhance and has the potential to transform teaching and learning (Kirkland, 2014; Taylor, 2007). Students are coming to school with the knowledge and skills to operate technology and the Internet; educators must ensure they are equipped with the ability to cater for their students, the curriculum and the 21st century (Keengwe & Onchwari, 2011). Parker, Maor and Herrington (2013) state that ‘a key challenge for educators is linking learner needs, pedagogy and technology in order to construct more interactive, engaging and student-centred environments that promote 21st century skills’ (p. 227). Many schools are filled with technological devices and are making full use of E-learning principals and theories to inform and guide authentic teaching and learning. Some schools, particularly teachers, within schools are still behind the ball in terms of the prospect and possibilities that technology can afford their classroom and students (Ertmer, 2005). The Ministerial Council on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA,) (2008) outlined in the Melbourne Declaration of Goals for Young Australians that:

Rapid and continuing advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) are changing the ways people share, use and process information and technology. In this digital age, young people need to be highly skilled in the use of ICT. While schools already employ these technologies in learning, there is a need to increase their effectiveness significantly over the next decade. (p.5)

Technology provides limitless educational possibilities, but a more critical stance needs to be taken to ensure that classroom technology integration is transformative and enhances learning (Selwyn, 2015). Skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, collaboration, communication, global citizenship and reflection are essential for students to develop in the primary years (Rednecker & Johannessen, 2013). Prensky (2012) stated that technology should not be used to merely replace existing foundations but to do new things in new ways. Teachers need to ensure they help students create connections between themselves and content, other students, and the world around them (Keengwe & Onchwari, 2011). The theories of constructivism and connectivism are present in the literature on E-Learning as the concepts of student-centered learning, seamless 24/7 learning, creating meaning for learning, and the 21st century skills addressed above are promoted (Carter & Crichton, 2014; Siemens, 2005). The Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), 2014) outlines the content and skills Australian students need to achieve by the end of each year level. These are also supported by cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities such as:

  • ICT

  • Critical and creative thinking

  • Personal and social capability

  • Ethical Understanding

  • Intercultural understanding

Moving forward, a critical approach towards E-Learning needs to be taken to ensure teaching and learning is transformative.

Statement of the problem

Through a combination of ensuring the curriculum, student’s needs and the school day/year are met; it can be easy for teachers to become complacent with just ‘getting the work done’ (Australian Government, Department of Education and Training, 2014). From personal experience, it can become easy to fall into handing out piles of worksheets and allowing students to talk about concepts rather than experience them (Downes, 2006). Innovation, transformation and creativity are all words that teachers would love to uphold, however, time and other demands can get in the way. A problem that has been encountered includes the undervaluing of the cross-curriculum priorities and 21st century skills addressed above (Australian Government, Department of Education and Training, 2014). Particularly allowing students to connect what they are learning to the real world, to collaborate with people outside their school, to create solutions to problems with creative and critical thinking and be involved in critical reflection (Pailey, 2013; Parker, Maor, & Herrington, 2013).

This Design Based Report is proposes a project to be implemented in a Primary school context using the principals of Networked and Global Learning (NGL). There is minimal literature to illustrate the use of NGL concepts within primary education in Australia. NGL, while hard to define, can be split into various networks between learners and experts, other learners, and resources/content (Goodyear, 2005) within a global learning community (Cochrane, Buchem, Camacho, Cronin, Gordon, & Keegan, 2013). Goodyear (2005) suggests that:

Successful networked learning depends, to a considerable extent, on well-targeted effort at design time – designing good learning tasks, ensuring good access to robust and appropriate technology, and helping create a convivial learning culture (p. 84).

The proposal will investigate the use of video conferencing and specifically Virtual Fieldtrips (VT) into the classroom. The report will outline the current literature surrounding this topic and then state the description of the proposed intervention.

Key research question:

Which Networked and Global Learning principals could be applied to the use of Virtual Fieldtrips in the primary classroom?

Two marginal questions have also been proposed:

  • How can educators ensure Virtual Fieldtrips help students to develop global citizenship qualities through connecting with other students, schools and cultures?
  • How can Virtual Fieldtrips ensure learning moves towards the redefinition stage of the SAMR model?

Literature review

Videoconferencing has been around for quite some time as individuals and groups of people interact with each other through video/camera software, technological devices and the internet (Barniskis & Thompson, 2012). Videoconferencing in Australia has been used to connect rural and remote located students, teachers and communities to education, resources and professional development (Reading, Fluck, Trinidad, Anderson & White, 2008). This report will look specifically at the use of Virtual Fieldtrips (VF) and the potential it can have in the primary classroom. It will look specifically at identifying if global education, networked learning and the general capabilities of the Australian Curriculum can be addressed with VF.

Field trips are often referred to as excursions in Australia and include students going outside of their classroom and school to experience different learning opportunities (Morgan, 2015). Morgan (2015) suggests that while students love going on these excursions they do cost money and take time to plan and complete relevant risk management forms. VT allows educators and students to go on these excursions without having to leave their seats or classrooms. They provide access to other students, experts and resources across the globe such as NASA, historic museums and scientific laboratories (Zanetis, 2010). Australian educators are already harnessing VT in the classrooms and this has been documented especially by a initiative of Connected Classrooms in New South Wales (NSW) schools in 2007 (Groundwater-Smith, 2010). One of the goals of this project was to enable the use of VT to allow collaboration with other student’s schools and the access to experts with videoconferencing (Groundwater-Smith, 2010). When completing an Internet search to look for VT providers, it is clear to see that there are multiple opportunities for students and educators to obtain. Distance And Rural Technologies (DART) connections is a website create by the NSW Department of Education and Communities for Australian schools to access VT that support and enrich the Australian curriculum and provide access to experts across the globe. There are scheduled excursions (VF) to places such as Questacon, virtual dives into the Great Barrier Reef and Indigenous art workshops (DART Connections, 2012). Another great provider for VT and schools is the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) created through the Global Alliance through Innovative Thinking. This website hosts a plethora of opportunities for students to work across geographic and cultural boundaries (Barniskis, & Thompson, 2012) as they connect specially with schools across the globe on shared topics and go on various VF with different content providers (CILC, 2015).

Davy (2014) states that now more than ever, schools need to prepare students for the future and that global citizenship must become part of the curriculum. Davy (2014) also states that there is a growing need for a curriculum that develops open-mindedness, intercultural understanding and comfort with plurality and complexity in our globalized world (p.9). NGL is a concept that is forward thinking in creating a way for teachers to guide their teaching and learning to prepare students for the future. VF allows students to make connections and networks with students, experts, ideas and resources and access these from all over the world (Morgan, 2015). It is believed that VF encapsulate the potential that NGL principals can have to help students develop the skills that Davy (2014) outlines as those needed for digital citizenship:

  • Critical thinking

  • Communication skills

  • Issue analysis

  • Problem-solving

  • Ability to challenge injustice

  • Reasoned persuasion

  • Cooperation and conflict resolution

  • The ability to choose a means of responding

  • Technology skills.   (P.8).

These also align with the general capabilities of intercultural and ethical understanding, creative and critical thinking and Personal and social capability (ACARA, 2014). VF also allow educators to align fieldtrips with the cross curriculum priorities such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia and Sustainability (ACARA, 2014). Furthermore, VF are also a great opportunity for teachers to align the key learning areas such as the Arts, Science, Technology and History through interacting with experts in these fields, collaborating with other students around the world on joint projects or creating content to share with others (McDermon, 2010; Zanetis, 2010). VF really allow chances for students to be involved in what they are learning, to formulate questions and meanings from ideas, to collaborate and communicate with other students, link learning with real life problems, and be engaged and inspired whilst doing these things (Morgan, 2015; Zanetis, 2010)

While the perceived benefits have been outlined above it is important to consider the limitations to VF. Groundwater-Smith (2010) outlines some limitations encountered by educators as part of the Connected Classrooms project discussed above. When using technology and the internet there is always the chance of lost or low signal/connection, time zones, cost of video equipment and of the VF, language and cultural barriers, and the time of the meeting (asynchronous) (Barniskis, & Thompson, 2012; Groundwater-Smith, 2010). Barniskis and Thompson (2012) questions if you can replace human interactions with that of a virtual presence of an individual or group; are meanings lost and how do you stay on track? While these are limitations that need to be taken into consideration if educators are to use VF in their classroom, these concepts can be avoided or minimised through careful planning, scaffolding and consideration of these before commencing (Morgan, 2015).

Draft Principals

Morgan (2015) lists these guidelines for creating and participating in VF:

  1. Identify the national and state standards you will use
  2. Select the content, such as images or video for asynchronous VF, or choose an expert for a VF requiring video conferencing technology.
  3. Decide on the software (PowerPoint, Movie Maker, YouTube, Internet, etc.).
  4. Test the finished VF to make sure the audio works, the video plays, etc. For VF using videoconferencing software, practice connecting with a guest.
  5. Plan activities that engage students, build vocabulary and promote problem solving.
  6. End the VF by allowing students an opportunity to reflect.

It is believed that this is a good backbone of principals to consider before, throughout and after a VF experience. It is also important to minimise and try to avoid the limitations addressed above. Technical issues sometimes cannot be avoided, however, careful planning and preparation of the event can be taken to avoid wasting time and misunderstandings occurring. It is important to ensure the VF aligns to the curriculum and is appropriate to the students learning needs.

Proposed Intervention

This proposal will be specifically for a middle years class located in the Brisbane Catholic Diocese. Recently teachers from these schools have completed a professional development session via videoconferencing about VF. The two sessions were run by Jan Zanetis and included teachers and administrations staff over the diocese. This proposal will look specifically at the use of the CILC website and in particular the ability for students to connect with experts (content providers) across the globe as well as being able to connect with another school on a joint project or topic.

Cost:

Some of the content providers provide free VF, however, most do have a cost associated with them. As part of the Brisbane Catholic Education system teachers are given $100 to go towards this website. Teachers must put in a request for a specific VF prior to the event, once approved the VF can go ahead. Schools in this diocese are already equipped with videoconferencing materials and so the teacher would need to book out this learning space prior to the event.

As part of the CILC website educators are able to look through the collaboration tab to see teachers and experts from around the world that would like to connect. They have written a short description about what they are looking for and specific details such as year level and learning area. This is an example taken from the website:

Teachers can also put up their own collaboration request to see if any schools are interested. This is one option that the CILC website could be used for, the other is based on content providers and this encompasses a VF with an expert in a relevant field. Within Geography students learn specifically about various continents and there are many VF that allow students to be able to be transported to one of these places, find out about the culture, talk to an expert (e.g. a worker at the Alaska sea museum) that is living in this area and actually see what they have been learning about in class (CILC, 2015).

The Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition (SAMR) model can be used to ensure that this proposal has the potential to enhance and transform learning for students (Romrell, Kidder & Wood, 2014). This proposal looks at moving past the substitution and augmentation level and focuses on the modification and redefinition stage as students are able to participate in learning activities that would not have been possible without the video conferencing features of VF (Romrell, Kidder & Wood, 2014). Students may never get a chance to visit the Great Barrier Reef and actually go under water and see the marine life, they might also never get to ask specific questions to an expert that works at NASA without the features of VF (CILC, 2015).

These following guidelines have been created for the use of VF based on the literature review above:

  1. Ensure your school/classroom is equipped with the necessary video conferencing hardware and software for the VF. Create an account with the CILC website to view the various VF options. Make yourself familiar with the features and options you can use on this website.
  2. Ensure curriculum alignment so that the key learning area descriptors and general capabilities are at the forefront.
  3. Receive permission from your school administration to go forward with the VF process (cost, time frame, prior learning and scaffolding for students- especially for the first VF experience, follow up/support with the chose content provider or school).
  4. Identify the type of content, activities and interaction students and other participants will have within the learning event. Get in contact with the expert or school prior to the session and outline the structure for the event, questions that you or the students may like addressed and any resources that will be used or referred to. At this stage of the process it is important to consider the potential for the event to help students connect with Global citizenship skills and values. These need to be a focus in the planning and implementation stages.
  5. Prepare students (expectations of behaviour and involvement in the vent, students could create questions they may like to ask prior to session), background information on the event and people they will be interacting with).
  6. Reflection and follow up activities (stay in contact, further VF sessions, blog/email etc.).

Conclusion

This Design Based Report has examined the use of VF and their potential to creating global networks in the Primary school classroom. The research questions were considered throughout the literature review where both the potential benefits and limitations were outlined. Draft principals based on the literature were provided and then a set of instructions for educators was developed to ensure the learning activity of VF aligned with the SAMR model for learning to be transformative and also encapsulate the constructivist/connectivist learning theory (Romrell, Kidder & Wood, 2014). Looking forward, the proposal created is being rolled out in schools across the Brisbane Catholic Diocese and while more research is needed to ensure it aligns with NGL principals, it is exciting for both teachers and students as the potential value to education has been recognised.

References

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2014) General Capabilities. Retrieved October 17, 2015 from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/overview/introduction.

Australian Government, Department of Education and Training. (2014). Review of the Australian curriculum. Retrieved October 17, 2015 from https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/review_of_the_national_curriculum_final_report.pdf.

Barniskis, B., & Thompson, L. M. (2012). The Art of the Videoconference Lesson: Practical Application and Implications. Teaching Artist Journal, 10(1), 15-23. doi:10.1080/15411796.2012.630635

Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration. (2015). About us. Retrieved October 17, 2015 from http://cilc.org/c/about/about_cilc.aspx.

Cochrane, T., Buchem, I., Camacho, M., Cronin, C., Gordon, A., & Keegan, H. (2013). Building global learning communities. Research In Learning Technology, 211-13. doi:10.3402/rlt.v21i2.21955

DART Connections. (2012). Information for schools. Retrieved October 17, 2015 from http://www.dartconnections.org.au/Schools/Information-for-Schools.html.

Downes, S. (2006). Learning networks and connective knowledge. Collective intelligence and elearning20, 1-26. Retrieved October 17, 2015 from https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=GGx0GlvbYa0C&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=Downes,+S.+(2006).+Learning+networks+and+connective+knowledge.&ots=t45OONG25S&sig=S38pSz1NfhxWwDCPFcXHrtN9VzQ#v=onepage&q=Downes%2C%20S.%20(2006).%20Learning%20networks%20and%20connective%20knowledge.&f=false.

Ertmer, P. A. (2005). Teacher pedagogical beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration? Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(4), 25-39. do: 10.1007/BF02504683

Goodyear, P. (2005). Educational design and networked learning: Patterns, pattern languages and design practice. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 21(1). Retrieved October 20, 2015 from http://ajet.org.au/index.php/AJET/article/view/1344/714.

Groundwater-Smith, S. (2010). Connected classrooms program in actions. Retrieved October 17, 2015 from http://www.dec.nsw.gov.au/detresources/ccp_in_action_compendium_FNOouLXKim.pdf.

Keengwe, J., & Onchwari, G. (2011). Fostering Meaningful Student Learning Through Constructivist Pedagogy and Technology Integration. International Journal Of Information & Communication Technology Education, 7(4), 1-10. doi:10.4018/jicte.2011100101

Kirkland, A. B. (2014). Models for technology integration in the learning commons. School libraries in Canada, 32(1), 14-18. Retrieved October 17, 2015 from       http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.usq.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=a3efb628-634c-4e3e-b063-   2aed90cf6550%40sessionmgr198&vid=1&hid=106

McDermon, L. (2010). Bring the World into Your Classroom. Learning & Leading With Technology, 38(2), 34-35.Retireved October 20, 2015 from http://content.ebscohost.com/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=AN&K=53919895&S=R&D=ehh&EbscoContent=dGJyMNHr7ESeqLM4zdnyOLCmr02eprBSs6a4TLeWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPPn833j5LmF39%2FsU%2BPe7Yvy.

Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs). (2008).Educational goals for young Australians. Carlton South, Australia: Curriculum Corporation. Retrieved October 18, 2015 from          http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australi         ans.pdf.

Morgan, H. (2015). Focus on technology: Virtual field trips: Going on a journey to learn without leaving school. Childhood Education 91(3) 220-222. doi:10.1080/00094056.2015.1047316

Paily, M. U. (2013). Creating Constructivist Learning Environment: Role of “Web 2.0” Technology. International Forum Of Teaching & Studies, 9(1), 39-50. Retrieved October 18, 2015 from http://content.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.usq.edu.au/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=AN&K=86717777&S=R&D=ehh&EbscoContent=dGJyMNHX8kSeqLY4y9fwOLCmr02eqLFSsqi4SbWWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPPn833j5LmF39%2FsU%2BPe7Yvy.

Parker, J., Maor, D., & Herrington, J. (2013). Authentic online learning: Aligning learner needs, pedagogy and technology. Issues In Educational Research, 23(2), 227-241. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from http://www.iier.org.au/iier23/parker.html.

Prenksy, M. (2012). Before bringing in new tools, you must first bring in new thinking. Amplify, June,3.Romeo, G., Lloyd, M., & Downes, T. (2013). Teaching teachers for the future: How, what, why, and what next. Australian Educational Computing, 27(3), 3-12. Retrieved October 18, 2015 from             http://acce.edu.au/sites/acce.edu.au/files/pj/journal/AEC27-3_RomeoLloydDownes.pdf.

Reading, C., Fluck, A., Trinidad, S., Anderson, N., & White, B. (2008). Connecting teachers in remote Australia: Challenges in realising the potential of videoconferencing. Australian Computers in Education Conference: Conference Proceedings. Retrieved October 18, 2015 from http://acce.edu.au/sites/acce.edu.au/files/archived_papers/conf_P_948_videoconferencing.pdf.

Rednecker, C., & Johannessn, Ø. (2013). Changing Assessment — Towards a new assessment paradigm using ICT. European Journal of Education, 48(1), 79-96.

Romrell, D., Kidder, L. C., & Wood, E. (2014). The SAMR Model as a Framework for Evaluating mLearning. Journal Of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 18(2), 79-93. Retrieved October 20, 2015 from http://content.ebscohost.com/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=AN&K=110128385&S=R&D=ehh&EbscoContent=dGJyMNHr7ESeqLM4zdnyOLCmr02epq9Ssqq4S7SWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPPn833j5LmF39%2FsU%2BPe7Yvy.

Selwyn, N. (2015). Technology and eduation- why its crucial to be critical. In S. Bulfin, Johnson, N. & Bigum, C (Ed.), Critical perspectives on technology and education New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved October 21, 2015 from https://www.academia.edu/7771394/Technology_and_education_-_why_its_crucial_to_be_critical.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism a learning theory the digital age. International Journal of Instructional    Technology & Distance Learning, 2(1). Retrieved October 18, 2015 from  http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm.

Taylor, E. W. (2007). An update of transformative learning theory: A critical review of the empirical research (1999-2005). International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26(2), 173-191. Doi:10.1080/02601370701219475

Zanetis, J. (2010). The Beginner’s Guide to Interactive Virtual Field Trips. Learning & Leading With Technology, 37(6), 20-23. Retrieved October 17, 2015 from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ886387.pdf.

Draft Proposal ideas

Hi everyone

So I have been working hard to get this second assignment ready. I have tried to ensure I follow the DBR structure. I had a meeting with my principal last week and put this proposal forward to implement next year and got the approval. I am also going to be presenting this to the staff and helping them set up their own Virtual Fieldtrip experiences:

Virtual Field Trips creating global networks in the Primary school classroom

Introduction

  • The use of ICT in Primary Education
  • Link to the Australian Curriculum (General capabilities- ICT, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural understanding)
  • Constructivism/Connectivism

Statement of the Problem

This Design Based Report will outline the proposal for a design of a project to be implemented in a Primary school context using the principals of Networked and Global learning (NGL). There is minimal literature to illustrate the use of Networked and Global learning (NGL) concepts within primary education in Australia. NGL, while hard to define, can be broken down to mean creating various networks between learners and other learners, experts and resources/ content (Goodyear, 2005) within a global learning community (Cochrane, Buchem, Camacho, Cronin, Gordon, & Keegan, 2013). Goodyear (2005) suggests that;

Successful networked learning depends, to a considerable extent,       on well-targeted effort at design time – designing good learning tasks, ensuring good access to robust and appropriate     technology, and helping create a convivial learning culture (p. 84).

The proposal will investigate the use of video conferencing and specifically Virtual Fieldtrips (VT) into the classroom. The report will outline the current literature surrounding this topic and then state the description of the proposed intervention.

Research questions

Which Networked and Global Learning principals could be applied to the use of Virtual Fieldtrips in the primary classroom?

  • Can Virtual Fieldtrips help students to develop global citizenship qualities through connecting with other students, schools and cultures?
  • Can students help create content to share and use with other global learning communities?

Literature Review

  • NSW Connected classrooms Virtual field trip research
  • Benefits
  • Limitations
  • Link to Global citizenship and skills for the 21st century learner
  • Explain the CILC website and the avenues that teachers can go down for Virtual Field Trips (connecting with experts, connecting with schools around the world for joint projects).

Draft Principals

Morgan (2015)

Proposal

Context- Schools within Brisbane Catholic Education professional development in this area.

Cost

Two options- Connecting with experts, partnership with another school/class

These following guidelines have been created for the use of VF based on the literature review above:

  1. Ensure your school/classroom is equipped with the necessary video conferencing hardware and software for the VF. Create an account with the CILC website to view the various VF options. Make yourself familiar with the features and options you can use on this website.
  2. Use the Australian Curriculum to ensure the relevant key learning area descriptors and general capabilities are at the forefront.
  3. Receive permission from your school administration to go forward with the VF process (cost, time frame, prior learning and scaffolding for students- especially for the first VF experience, follow up/support with the chose content provider or school).
  4. Get in contact with the expert or school prior to the session and plan key learning activities (content) and questions you would like addressed.
  5. Prepare students (students create questions they may like to ask prior to session) and the learning space).
  6. Reflection and follow up activities (stay in contact, further VF sessions, blog/email etc.).

Conclusion

This is a detailed outline for my report. Any feedback would be so greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Bec

Slowly getting there…

Thanks to the feedback from Alex, Murra Mumma and Lisa in my previous post I have gained the confidence to select a topic and run with it.

Exploring global education through the networks created with videoconferencing across the globe.

Needs tweaking and probably will change the title. Todays task is to now find all of the literature to either back me up or challenge my thoughts on its potential in the primary classroom.

Here we go… Hope everyone else in the course is well.

Bec

Going around in circles

Hi everyone

I hope you have had a nice weekend. This is a post that I hope does not come off as me complaining about this assessment but rather sharing my thoughts and hopefully receiving some feedback. So I have just spent around two hours looking into research articles about what topic I could do for the assignment two proposal. I have tossed up these ideas:

My partner is studying environmental science and has just completed an assignment on the place of sustainability in the Australian curriculum. At the moment it is taught as a cross curriculum priority (but not assessed) and it is also taught as part of some of the geography and science strands. I have a keen interest in sustainability as well and have found some research on the need for teacher education on how to teach this. I also think that this topic is very important to look at through a global view as the issues, concerns and concepts are happening all around us, over the world. However, when trying to think of a proposal to put forward to assist this… I am blank.

Originally I wanted to do something with virtual field trips as this really allows students to be transported to different places and settings in the world and potentially other people. However, I have not been able to find much literature on this topic.

The third pathway I looked into was students creating content such as their own quizzes (where they have to find the correct information, word their question so it is easy to understand and analyse the results), games, websites and videos. However I then though that this topic was too broad.

When reading through the literature something that popped up quite often was the 21st century learning skills- critical thinking, problem solving, use of ICT and so forth.

I think I am struggling because i can not read any real examples of these practices happening in Australia yet. I know that it will be hard for most of you to comment because you do not come from a primary background but seriously, any feedback would be so much appreciated.

Many thanks

Bec

S

As a student, NGL has been useful to me.

I took a little while to get started with this course as the idea of blogging, setting up new programs such as Diijio and Mendeley and sharing my ideas with others, scared me. I approached this reflective blog post in the same way, slow to start and a little nervous about not knowing where I should start. However, similarly to starting this course I stopped, went back to the start and actually read the requirements of the task/activity and jumped in.

The purpose of this post is to share my journey of how Network and Global Learning (NGL) has been useful to me as a student. In this post I will outline my triumphs, challenges and reflect on engaging with NGL, blogging, and my role as a student.

As David said in week one, it did take time to set up our technology (blog, Diijio, and Mendly), read the first few articles to get an idea of what NGL was and make ourselves familiar with writing blog posts to express our ideas on course concepts. Once this was achieved, weekly blogging became easier as did connecting with the ideas of other participants on their blog. I really learnt so much from reading and responding to the posts of others in this course. Whether it be reading about Charm’s Chickens, MurraMumma’s worries about the future of the ‘teacher’, Alex’s ideas about the link between instructional design and teachers or just finding out that other people in the course were sometimes struggling with the same things that I was. Connecting with others through this learning network was integral to my success, understanding and enjoyment of this course (Goodyear, 2014). I also found it easier to share my ideas when other people commented on my posts or linked some of my ideas in my blog posts to their own blogs like Alex, Angela or here in Sharon’s where she thanks me for a website I posted. I also did not find our various teaching contexts (higher education, primary, secondary, instructional designer, nursing) a barrier, instead it made it more interesting to read about the power and potential NGL and technology can have in different areas.

Daily and weekly reflective blog posts were imperative to deepening my understanding of course readings, other participant’s posts and assumptions held (Brookfield, 1998). This ongoing critical reflective practice challenged the ideas I already had about technology, education and myself as a student (Graham & Phelps, 2002). It also opened up new thoughts and questions as I engaged with the readings and activities. The article by Siemens (2006) highlighted NGL’s potential and how understanding our roles as a life long student can assist our own students.

Day, Kington, Stobart and Sammons (2006) address the concept of identity and this allowed me to see the link between both my professional and personal identity. I see myself as a lifelong learner and I am invested in always learning new things to better my both my professional and personal self. Blogging was a new concept to me and I was nervous and hesitant to share my thoughts on readings, share personal details such as my learner journey, and teaching philosophy. Once I started the blogging journey and responding to weekly activities, I began learning so much about the course and how I learned.

My PKM routine took me a little while to put together and I have to admit that I did not always stick to my weekly goals (Jarche, 2014). I must say that I did get overwhelmed by the amount of content there was to get my head around and in the beginning I did find it hard to define what NGL was and how it worked for me and my context (learner and teacher). Around week six, I finally discovered what Diijo was actually for when I downloaded the extension on my toolbar and could annotate, tag and share articles I was engaging with. I only wish that I found out about this earlier but this is a tool that this course has taught me and I will now be able to use this in both my professional and personal Internet use. Siemens (2005) states that Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where and these online sharing tools matches this. Additionally, this article also addresses learning theories; connectivism being a learning theory that I can see working within this online learning network (course) and the world around us.

I would like to reflect on my week one Student post about what I think NGL is:

I believe that NGL is an online community of learners that create, share, evaluate and use resources as well as building relationships, knowledge and skills through the world around us. I believe that these days learning is everywhere around us. We, as learners and educators are able to access information or answer questions with our many portable technology devices and the internet (connectivist learning theory- Kligyte, 2009).

I am happy to say that nine weeks later I have come to put into practice this definition and now have a better understanding of NGL through being a student in this course. I believe that connectivism is key to the way that technology supports and enhances learning and teaching in and out of the classroom (primary, secondary, adult education and beyond) (Wong, 2012). I have connected to various networks through connecting with people/experts both in and out of this course, connecting with the literature, committing to ongoing critical reflective practice and creating valuable resources through my blog and PLN. I now have my personal tool belt of resources and applications such as Diijio, Pinterest, web searches, portable devices and social media (Socol, 2008).

I can happily say that NGL has been and will continue to be useful to me as a student. Through understanding who I am as a learner I have been able to better understand what and how NGL works and the potential it has for my lifelong learning journey and consequently for my students and teaching philosophy.

References

Brookfield, S. (1998). Critically reflective prac-tice. The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions18, 197-205. Retrieved September 21, 2015 from http://www.anitacrawley.net/Resources/Articles/Brookfield.pdf.

Day, C., Kington, A., Stobart, G., & Sammons, P. (2006). The personal and professional selves of teachers: stable and unstable identities. British Educational Research Journal, 32(4), 601–616. doi:10.1080/01411920600775316

Goodyear, P. (2014). Productive Learning Networks: The Evolution of Research and Practice. In L. Carvalho & P. Goodyear (Eds.), The Architecture of Productive Learning Networks (pp. 23–47). London: Routledge. Retrieved September 21, 2015 from https://lor.usq.edu.au/usq/file/66bc5ec7-de45-434c-be66-c7d0325e40f9/1/The%20Evolution%20of%20Research%20and%20Practice.pdf.

Graham, A., & Phelps, R. (2002). ‘Being a teacher’ : Developing teacher identity and enhancing practice through metacognitive and reflective learning processes.. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 27(2). Retrieved September 21, 2015 from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1318&context=ajte.

Jarche, H. (2014). What is your PKM routine? Retrieved September 21, 2015 from http://jarche.com/2014/03/what-is-your-pkm-routine/

Kligyte, G. (2009). Threshold concept: A lens for examining networked learning. In Proceedings of the Ascilite 2009 Conference (pp. 540–542). Auckland, NZ.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: a learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved September 21, 2015 from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm.

Socol, I. (2008). A toolbelt for a lifetime. Retrieved September 21, 2015 from http://speedchange.blogspot.com.au/2008/03/csun-2008a-toolbelt-for-lifetime.html.

Wong, L.-H. (2012), A learner-centric view of mobile seamless learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43: E19–E23. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01245.x

How NGL can inform my role as a Teacher

I am in my second year of primary school teaching and I have taught year four for the past two years. As part of my role I plan, deliver and assess the Australian Curriculum to 25 amazing, diverse and talented students. Within this process, I use technology in just about every part. Through applying the NGL lens to my teaching context, I have exposed some previously unconsidered questions. However, I am excited about the potential it has for myself as a teacher through online professional development and networking; as well as for my students.

Based on my personal experience, NGL does not play a dominant role in primary education. As I mentioned in some of my earlier blog posts, technology, at this point in time is seen as an extra thing to use in the classroom to support learning and teaching. Through the study I have completed so far in this course the terms enhance, transform and redefine have all been used to encapsulate the potential and authentic use of technology in education (Hughes, Thomas, & Scharber, 2006; Keengwe& Onchwari, 2011; Taylor, 2007). I have completed a review of the literature on this topic and while I have found some great examples such as the use of blogs, twitter, robotics, gamification, learning analytics and simulations I am yet to hear about any real life applications about these concepts in classrooms. I know this in part my fault, as I have not established a wider Personal Learning network or community outside of the teachers I work with (Goodyear, 2014).

One concern/question that was and is still concerning for me is a topic that MurraMumma touched on early in the semester and that is, what is the role of the future educator? I took a lot of time to get past this question as it generally did worry me. This is an excerpt from a blog post I created called the changing classroom:

I am nervous. I have to believe that there will always be a role for the teacher (physical/human not a computer generated robot) in education, wether this be in the virtual or physical classroom. While there are universities and educational courses that are solely online, there is still the position of the educator who creates, maintains and assesses students. I think back to my previous post on John Hattie’s research about how the greatest effect on student learning is teachers and this makes me feel more at ease with my chosen career path and six years of study. 

As the course went along I came to terms with the idea that the role of the teacher is changing and that is not a bad thing because teachers need to change to keep up with our students, technology, theories of learning (connectivism) and the world around us (Bauer& Kenton, 2005; Siemens, 2005). The next stumbling block that I came across was when I started to think about what specific NGL proposal I would put forward for assignment two. With no real examples or experiences to go off, I confused myself and sought the help of other participants in the course. I found out that others were also struggling with trying to work out their role as a teacher within NGL. Although, life continued to go on and I am glad it did as through connecting with my networks of research, Tedtalks, talking to other educators and having a play around with different applications, it slowly started to become more clear to me. I found that there are already so many wonderful and authentic resources out there that use NGL practices. I also found that it is my role to go out and find these rather than thinking that they will be handed to me on a silver platter (Bauer & Kenton, 2005). I wrote a blog post on my involvement in staff development through educating others on the BI Awesome tool, I found great resources through Education Services Australia and only recently my experience with virtual excursions through web conferencing. Also through the use of this blog I now feel comfortable to use my own class blog, which can be accessed by the parents and students in my class.

This reflective post asks us to select at least two distinct possibilities for transformative change with NGL. I have come across the word transformation many times in courses I have completed and the need for critical reflection of technology in education (Selwyn, 2015). When looking at what I can do ‘as teacher’ within NGL, I think I will have to start with my own self and go down the professional development road. This course has opened up for me possibilities through connecting with others through the various networks, resources and research that is out there. There are already many networks operating for teachers, specifically early career teachers, and I have also seen that it is quite possible for me to create my own network through blogs and social media. This is an area I need to continue to look into and research so that I am equipped with the best knowledge of how to go about this as there are many roads I could go down. I also addressed the issue of motivating the unmotivated here, where I raised the issue of how do you get people to undergo professional development when there isn’t that gold star or certificate at the end? I think NGL has unlocked for me the understanding that goes beyond this gold star and to entering the world of the future and the power that these networks can have for education and the future.

So far I have looked into these online, free and interesting professional development opportunities:

Secondly, my second possibility for the use of NGL will be in the classroom with my students. I outlined my excitement and possibility for use of virtual excursions through web conferencing and have since looked into it further and received a statement from Brisbane Catholic Education outlining prices (a budget of $100) and further details and research (Gregory, Gregory, Wood, Masters, Hillier, Stokes-Thompson, & Yusupova, 2011). I am also well on my way in my blogging journey, having created and maintained a class blog to communicate with parents and share all of the great work we are doing in class. What NGL has taught me within this teacher context is to allow my students to be active in their learning journey, to make use of the wonderful global resources and communities that are out there and to be inspired to use technology to enhance and eventually transform learning and teaching. I know I still have a way to go in this journey and I look forward to exploring this idea more in assignment two.

References

Bauer, J. & Kenton, J. (2005). Toward Technology Integration in the Schools: Why It Isn’t Happening. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 13(4), 519-546. Norfolk, VA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education.

Gregory, B., Gregory, S., Wood, D., Masters, Y., Hillier, M., Stokes-Thompson, F., … & Yusupova, A. (2011). How are Australian higher education institutions contributing to change through innovative teaching and learning in virtual worlds?. Retrieved September 23, 2015 from http://www. ascilite. org. au/conferences/hobart11/downloads/papers/Gregory-full. pdf.

Hughes, J., Thomas, R., & Scharber, C. (2006). Assessing Technology Integration: The RAT – Replacement, Amplification, and Transformation – Framework. In C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber, & D. A. Willis (Eds.), Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2006 (pp. 1616–1620). Orlando, Florida: AACE. Retrieved September 22, 2015 from http://www.editlib.org/p/22293/

Keengwe, J., & Onchwari, G. (2011). Fostering Meaningful Student Learning Through Constructivist Pedagogy and Technology Integration. International Journal Of Information & Communication Technology Education, 7(4), 1-10. doi:10.4018/jicte.2011100101

Selwyn, N. (2015). Technology and eduation- why its crucial to be critical. In S. Bulfin, Johnson, N. & Bigum, C (Ed.), Critical perspectives on technology and education New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved September 21, 2015 from https://www.academia.edu/7771394/Technology_and_education_-_why_its_crucial_to_be_critical.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International journal of instructional technology and distance learning, 2(1). 3-10. Retrieved September 23, 2015 from http://www.ingedewaard.net/papers/connectivism/2005_siemens_ALearningTheoryForTheDigitalAge.pdf.

Taylor, E. W. (2007). An update of transformative learning theory: A critical review of the empirical research (1999-2005). International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26(2), 173-191. Doi:10.1080/02601370701219475

As a learner, NGL has been useful to me

As part of the learner component for this course we were asked to learn something that we would like to learn that is not something you would typically study as part of formal education. In the early stages of this course I played around with some different ideas but I settled on one that I knew I would be interested in and would want to stick to, my love for everything health and wellbeing.

In the beginning I think my student and teacher component of learning with NGL took a backseat because I was just so interested and passionate about my learner goal. My goal started off being to learn yoga to increase my flexibility, strength and balance. I had dabbled in yoga concepts before this course but I had never stuck to these. So I set out to search the Internet on the best way to go about this. A friend had introduced my to the website 30 days of yoga with Adrienne which is a series of 30 YouTube tutorials that guide you through yoga sequences, moves and meditation. I committed to this and have now completed the full thirty days of this program.

I posted on my blog early on in this journey and said that:

 This task has forced me to commit to this goal as I am accountable for my actions as I am publishing them on this blog.

In the beginning I really looked forward to my daily yoga practice and enjoyed documenting this on my blog. However, as the weeks went by I did loose some motivation and I didn’t want to over share or overdo the posts on my yoga progress as not everyone is as passionate about this area as I am. I enjoyed reading about other people’s learner goals and the diverse range of these.

On top of the YouTube videos I also created my community of learning through other applications such as Pinterest, other websites such as Lorna Jane, daily cup of yoga, the various Instagram accounts that I was already following and the new ones I came across with a specific focus on yoga (Downes, 2006). I also looked into books I could read such as Yoga girl and I participated in a webinar with participants from all over the world about ‘ditching the diet’. Furthermore, I was then inspired to take a broader approach to the fitness and decided to include a goal of running 5km by the end of the course. I purchased a Fitbit (wearable technology) used applications such as couchto5km, participated in online running forums and connected with other people with similar goals such as Lauren and Rebecca. I participated in an online steps competition with some of my colleagues and was able to track this using my IPhone and the Fitbit application.

After engaging with the Riel and Polin (2004) reading about community, I was a little concerned about how I might be going about this learner task in the wrong way. I could not think of my ‘online learner community’ as I saw this as being a group of people with the same goal, purpose or intent to be there. The community of our course participants is varied as we all have different learner focuses. However, after delving deeper into the course materials, I could then see that my community extended further than this as I was actively engaging with people, resources and ideas that helped me to create my own meaning, Personal Learning Network and journey with NGL (Goodyear, 2014). I then extended my understanding through creating blog posts on this topic, receiving feedback and providing feedback to others in this course. I also agree with Simens’ (2008) description of limitless dimensions of education and from this learner task I have seen the transformational benefits that this task will have on my future learning and teaching.

I like this image as it really illustrates the overlapping, interconnected and holistic view of learning and the potential that NGL can afford to this.

Learning ecology

Figure 1: Limitless dimensions of learning (Image available Siemens (2008))

Furthermore, I have also really connected with Downes’ (2006) Educational Theory:

A good student learns by practice, practice and reflection.

A good teacher teaches by demonstration and modelling.

The essence of being a good teacher is to be the sort of person you want your students to become.

The most important learning outcome is a good and happy life.   p.20

Downes (2006) also discusses being part of the learning process, where the learner is participating in the community through practice and reflection. This task has been more than just getting to explore something I was interested in; it has grown to allow me to see how I can use this understanding and take it into my teaching and the future. As a learner, I was able to participate in learning in various spaces both physically and virtually (Siemens, 2008). I was able to utilise various resources and multiple learning styles through videos, research, kinaesthetic concepts (yoga/running), intrapersonal- interpersonal (community) and through documenting (blogging) my experience (Gardner, 2006; Solvie, & Kloek, 2007).

I was passionate about what I was learning and was motivated to want to keep the learning going, achieve my goals and be rewarded internally and externally. I was truly involved and active in my learning journey and while I lost some motivation initially, I now understand this task’s goal as it demonstrated NGL’s potential through personal experience. I often reflect on my teaching and by reviewing the demands of the curriculum, school day and other external barriers; I believe we become complacent with just doing the work and moving on to the next topic rather than providing authentic learning experiences (Lombardi, 2007). I know in some of the other courses I completed as part of this Masters program, I just read certain articles or participated in activities to achieve that passing mark, rather than stopping to actually understand or be invested in what I was learning. For education to have that transformational potential I believe we need to stop, re-evaluate where we are and where we are going both in our personal and professional identities (Day, Kington, Stobart, & Sammons, 2006).

As a learner, NGL has been useful to me as a learner and I look forward to continue re-evaluating where I am, how I can use this in my teacher context and my lifelong learning journey.

References

Day, C., Kington, A., Stobart, G., & Sammons, P. (2006). The personal and professional selves of teachers: stable and unstable identities. British Educational Research Journal, 32(4), 601–616. doi:10.1080/01411920600775316

Downes, S. (2006). Learning networks and connective knowledge. Collective intelligence and elearning20, 1-26. Retrieved September 22, 2015 from https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=GGx0GlvbYa0C&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=Downes,+S.+(2006).+Learning+networks+and+connective+knowledge.&ots=t45OONG25S&sig=S38pSz1NfhxWwDCPFcXHrtN9VzQ#v=onepage&q=Downes%2C%20S.%20(2006).%20Learning%20networks%20and%20connective%20knowledge.&f=false.

Gardner, H. (2006). Multiple intelligences: New horizons. New York, USA: Basic Books.

Goodyear, P. (2014). Productive Learning Networks: The Evolution of Research and Practice. In L. Carvalho & P. Goodyear (Eds.), The Architecture of Productive Learning Networks (pp. 23–47). London: Routledge. Retrieved September 21, 2015 from https://lor.usq.edu.au/usq/file/66bc5ec7-de45-434c-be66-c7d0325e40f9/1/The%20Evolution%20of%20Research%20and%20Practice.pdf.

Lombardi, M. M. (2007). Authentic learning for the 21st century: An overview. Educause learning initiative, 1(2007), 1-12. Retrieved September 22, 2015 from http://alicechristie.org/classes/530/EduCause.pdf.

Riel, M., & Polin, L. (2004). Online learning communities: Common ground and critical differences in designing technical environments. In S. A. Barab, R. Kling, & J. Gray (Eds.), Designing for Virtual Communities in the Service of Learning (pp. 16–50). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved September 22, 2015 from http://usqstudydesk.usq.edu.au/m2/mod/equella/view.php?id=446157.

Siemens, G. (2008). New structures of learning: The systemic impact of connective knowledge, connectivism, and networked learning. Presented at Universidade do Minho, October 10, 2008. Retrieved 22nd of September, 2015 from http://elearnspace.org/Articles/systemic_impact.htm.

Solvie, P., & Kloek, M. (2007). Using Technology Tools to Engage Students with Multiple Learning Styles in a Constructivist Learning Environment. Contemporary Issues In Technology & Teacher Education, 7(2), 7-27. Retrieved September 22, 2015 from http://www.editlib.org/p/22811/.

Video Conferencing update

So this morning was my video conferencing meeting and I must say that it was everything I hoped it would be. There was a big TV set up in our school library with a camera attached. We were able to see around ten other schools in the Brisbane Catholic Diocese who were also attending. We started the session off by watching this video which I thought I would share.

We then looked at the various benefits of video conferencing and how we could utilise the CILC site in our classrooms. We were then connected with the Alaska sea museum where we spoke in real time with Darryn who works at the museum and runs the virtual excursion. We also looked into many of the different benefits of virtual excursions and these were some of these:

  • Access- allows for schools to experience different cultures, learning, concepts and information without the barriers of distance, time and resources. Some of the excursions though are a little costly.
  • Meets the needs of millennial
  • Ability to re-access and review content;
  • Collaborative projects
  • Distance education
  • Student content creation
  • Professional Development

FullSizeRender-1 FullSizeRender

There are over 180 content providers over the US, Canada and Australia and over 60 are Australian friendly. All of the content is evaluated by the educators after they have viewed the virtual excursion to ensure qualitative and quantitative measures.

I am really excited about the potential for this resource and I think this may be a pathway I go down for my ‘as teacher’ task for assignment two. I thank Charm for suggesting the Widerdom.com website and I look forward to looking into this topic more.