Saturday, 13 April 2013

Which knowledge sharing network?

Having shared the links to two 'knowledge sharing networks' I am now have a dilemma. Which shall I use? I don't want to have to maintain lots of collections. I already use Zotero for my own resources, but that is incomplete.I have links in documents and bookmarked we content which have never made it into my Zotero collection.

So now I am wondering whether to invest my time in Diigo, Mendeley, something else or stick with Zotero (supported by my employing institution) and my Blog entries.

Any ideas?

Mendeley group

Thanks Anne Nortcliffe

Diigo list

Thanks David Jennings

What is a MOOC?

This YouTube media file is neat.
Cormier, D et al (2012) What is a MOOC?

Activity 0.5

Small group reflection

First find/ create a small group and then reflect.... off to the forums to see if there is a small group to join...

Activity 0.4

Interesting examples of Technology Enhanced Learning

I explored the resources presented and the examples of TEL I find interesting are:

Digital literacies this is something each of the organisations/institutions I have worked in have tried to define and then create strategies and policies to achieve. My current role is supporting academic staff to develop their confidence and capability using technology in teaching. I will read up on the project results to see if there is a global applicable outcome.

Digital inclusion, here in New Zealand we are aware of the digital divide in both the physical network provision (or lack of in many rural areas of the country) and the limited access to technology of students in some cultural groups and/ or low decile schools.  Victoria University of Wellington strategic focus sets targets and assigns accountabilities for actions to improve academic outcomes for Maori and Pacific students Annual reports 

Early Career Researchers, although I am not early in my professional and teaching career I am early in my 'research career'. 

HEA (2009) Transforming Higher Education Through Technology Enhanced Learning. Section 3 Transformation through technology-enhanced pedagogy. It will be relevant to consider the findings in relation to my current institution.

Further reading:

Internet New Zealand (2011) Future: Digital. 

MoE (2009) e-Learning in tertiary education. NZ Ministry of Education resources focussed on eLearning and connectivtivity in Tertiary educations.

Robertson, R (2012) Identification of Strategies to Improve Digital Information Literacy Skills amongst Frontline Public Library Staff.

Salmon, G (2012) Tech for teaching: five trends changing higher education.

Activity 0.3

Exploring and experimenting

Although I really enjoy technology and have a role which is to inspire and encourage others to use technology in their learning and teaching. I feel more confident in closed environments where I can get to know the audience, feel safe to engage in the discussion and build trust in the discourse. So my open contributions are sparse.

I admit it was a bold move for me to start a twitter account (the number of tweets so far can be counted on one hand) this was created as it seemed like a good idea at the time and was being promoted for communications at the ascilite 2012 conference I attended , and this blog (I so wanted to lock it down and restrict viewing only to ocTEL participants!

So what are they for:

Twitter - for short points, those times when you think aloud to yourself  and don't usually require an answer. Now you can think aloud and tweet and there may be someone out there who wants to respond. If you are really luck they you may gather some followers, hopefully they are not the unwelcome kind :-)

Blog - (a digital diary of sorts) a space for collecting your thoughts and reflecting on events and writing it down, sharing online so others can read it.. I have started using a blog (this one), however I realise this take the discussion outside the course environment. I am still reflecting on whether this is the right thing to do or whether I should stick to the email list to feel more inside the community.

Reflecting on this I feel compelled to Tweet! OMG

Activity 0.2

Initial comments and discussion
So having finally finished viewing the emails from the first week of the course. 
I am pleased that there are a range of people participating in the course from the newly engaging in technology in learning through the the experienced researchers and well published, innovaters in the field.
Some participants appear daunted by the experience in the course, many of the introductions are very impressive reading.  I am pleased to see the range and depth of expertise and experiences  and I have been happy to say to myself wow, I do/have done that too.. I just haven't written about it!. 
Note to self: Start doing proper research and publishing... Anyone in ocTEL willing to volunteer as a mentor?
Characteristics? a willingness to try something new, to extend their experience using technology, to share their expertise globally, take risks with technology, passion to enhance learning of self and others.
different or atypical? I think that for many of the colleagues I have been learning with at work there are strong similarities. However some colleagues are only interested in the basics to meet the need/ demand and not to take it further.
For the students at the institutions I have worked, on occasion they have lead the direction for technology use and adoption in teaching, for example the creation of repositories of digital assets to support learning out of class, the increase in digital library content as off campus access is increased, the purchase of personal devices and the demand for multi platform operation to meet the wide number of devices.
Outside work, my learning has often been discreetly influenced by digital technologies. The areas which come to mind are dance, yoga, skiing and kayaking. In all of these hobbies/activities technology is essential to the activity but are more discreet. To enjoy the activity I don't have to know all there is to know about the technology. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Wow, emails a plenty...

Re: Disengaging
During the week the course has been live there have been in excess of 200 email exchanges.
I  have given up counting the number of #ocTEL participants who have asked or stated the desire to be removed from the JISCemail list. This is an interesting point to ponder on. For many of these the sheer volume of communications is the 'factor' which appears to lead to disengaging. I wonder whether they withdrew from the course or elected to communicate/ contribute in another way?

Activity 0.1

Forget catchy titles for these blog pages they will be purely functional, and for those who know me that is no surprise.

My big question 

In my current role supporting academics to develop their confidence and capabilities using technology in their teaching I am often asked questions such as...

Why should I use technology in my teaching?
What technology should I use?
How should I use it? and
How do we know if  'technology' is enhancing the student experience? 

I feel confident with many of these questions but I am left wanting in others...

So my big question(s) are: 

How will I/we/they (academics) know when/whether the technologies deployed have enhanced learning?

How can we identify when learners have disengaged from learning because the technology acts as something other than an enhancer?

I will no doubt have more questions as the weeks progress.....

Monday, 8 April 2013


Hello and welcome to my first Blog.
I felt compelled to create one while I participate in the #ocTEL course, so here goes...