New Generation Learning Conference, Dalarna University 2012

February 28, 2012

The NGL Conference came to an end on Thursday with some final presentations and a closing debate.

Rosamund Sutherland and Ton de Jon were the main presenters on the day. One subject that Rosamund Sutherland and many others took up was that of the digital tools that are used during instruction and the importance of using them in the correct way.

“Developing these in a professional manner is key… Many teachers don’t actually know how they should use the tools,” stated Rosamund Sutherland.

Lots to gain from using digital equipment

That there is a lot to gain from using digital equipment is clear to Rosamund. In her main subject area, mathematics, digital equipment is not used as much as it is in many other subjects.

“It has a great potential that is not being made best use of in England.”

Commercialisation

There were many positive thoughts about online learning at the NGL Conference. However, there was also an element of criticism. In the final discussion, the commercial aspect of digitalised learning was brought up and the risk of companies developing software that is not even necessary and that costs upon purchase and then as a result of future support services.

Andrew Casson, Director of Education and Research at Dalarna University, stated that staff must be educated so that they are able to identify what is required and consequently avoid making the mistake of purchasing unnecessary software.

Terry Andersson felt that the purchase of commercial products was a natural development.

“Previously, we have invested a great deal of money in, for example, libraries. This is a natural process. It’s business, and it will continue to be business,” he stated.

I was interviewed by Alastair Creeland on my paper on the use of learning platforms. You can hear it at http://audioboo.fm/boos/679211-ngl-2012-albin-wallace


Itslearning Webinar: Research into Student Use

November 28, 2011

I recently conducted a webinar for itslearning entitled “How to succeed with learning  platforms – new research into the student’s perspective”. The webinar raised some questions including:

What do students really think of learning platforms? And how can they be used  most effectively to improve the performance of teachers and students?

You can listen to and watch a recording of the webinar at http://info.itslearning.net/Wallacerecorded.html?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRokvaXLZKXonjHpfsX%2F7ugkXrHr08Yy0EZ5VunJEUWy24ICSNQhcOuuEwcWGog8yRhLFuWUbo5J9PI%3D


Next Generation Learning Conference 2012

November 14, 2011

I was pleased to be invited to speak at the “Next Generation Learning Conference ” in Falun, Sweden in 2012.

The conference is being hosted by Dalarna University in collaboration with KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and is a Nordic conference on the implications for learning and education of the digital revolution. The conference is aimed at development and research projects on NGL in both educational and professional settings.

Next Generation Learning Conference include, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Mobility and learning
  • Self-paced learning and open educational resources
  • Information-tools and knowledge processes
  • New knowledge processes within the working life
  • Web-based higher education
  • Collaborative learning
  • Learning environments and the modern school

You can read more detailed descriptions of each topic on their respective page at http://www.du.se/en/NGL/Next-Generation-Learning-Conference-2012/


ELSE Conference in Bucharest, Romania

October 13, 2011

I have had my paper on an analysis of national patterns of learning platform use by students in schools and academies accepted for the  8th International Scientific Conference eLearning and Software for Education, Bucharest Romania,  April, 26th – 27th, 2012. Conference details are at http://elseconference.eu/. I hope to see some of you there.


The Reflexive Teacher

May 5, 2011

Presentation from the Teacher Leader Induction Day Sheffield Hallam University. Download from  Reflexive Teacher


Googling through the Research

January 23, 2011

I had the privilege for the past two days of running a seminar on educational research for our Master’s level teacher leader programme at Sheffield Hallam University. During the seminar we talked about the eclectic methodologies one can use when evaluating data. The discussion inevitably turned towards the tension that sometimes exists between qualitative and quantitative methodologies and the unhelpful binary that this sometimes creates. We also examined some of the free tools that are available to both the professional and the occasional researcher, and between us we uncovered a rich mine of easily accessible tools. Without meaning to sound like a Google zealot, the Google suite offers a range of helpful applications in this field. Google Scholar is a great alternative to the sometimes unwieldy online university library resources, offering access to many online journal articles. Narrow you search by include the metatag ‘pdf’ in the search criteria. Google Docs has a powerful spreadsheet that offers the facility to create simple aggregated statistics. For the analysis of qualitative data, free applications such as Weft QDA (Qualitative Data Analysis) can help with thematic analysis of text based data and the mighty and majestic Wordle.net creates word clouds based on text files that not only analyse but present data in an attractive and readable form. For online surveys and questionnaires, both zoomerang and survey monkey are good applications that allow data to be collected quickly and efficiently online. I wish I was doing my Master’s now. Back in 1984 I used a manual typewriter and spent an eye-watering amount of money on a scientific calculator that proved to be totally counter-intuitive and ill-suited to the purpose for which I bought it. The tools available now offer huge affordances to the teacher researcher. I can hardly wait to read the research reports from the people doing our teacher leader programme.


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