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PechaKucha Session 2: Engagement by stealth: Can a PG Cert get teachers excited about tech? -- 229

13:40 - 14:40 on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 in 2.220

The question of how to engage academics with learning technologies remains current and pressing. Engaging and supporting academics in the appropriate use of technology is the core business of e-learning teams across UK HEIs, and is one of the few areas in which institutional investment is increasing. Learning technologies have become more user-friendly but their affordances have become more far-reaching; current technologies facilitate new and disruptive models of teaching and learning that pose a significant challenge to established academics. This short presentation will summarise the approach taken by one UK HEI to use their compulsory Initial Teacher Training programme as a conduit for immersion into the world of learning technologies, with the intention of encouraging and empowering participants to consider using similar tools and techniques in their own teaching practice.

The compulsory nature of this particular programme has historically provided a valuable opportunity for its participants to capitalise on the range of prior experience that their peers bring with them. In previous years this experience fuelled many hours of face-to-face discussion, but in the last twelve months, with course ‘contact hours’ significantly reduced, these discussions have been hosted online through participants’ blogs. A series of blog-based learning activities, rendered mandatory through self and peer assessment and a low-stakes (10%) weighting, have formed the cornerstone of a technology-rich learning landscape. Participants write and discuss through their individual blogs, create group pages for their learning groups, sign up to present project proposals through Googledocs, produce short videos to accompany their project reports, use Cloud applications to upload and access resources, and assess their own and each other's performance through Google Forms.

In addition to the large quantity of data accessible through the participants’ blogs and assignments, in-depth participant feedback on these experiences has been collected through two surveys, a focus group and a series of individual interviews. Through analysing these data, a complex and uncertain picture begins to emerge of what it means to be digitally literate, and what role educational developers can play in accelerating this development across whole institutions.

The presentation concludes not only by summarising the extent to which the programme has succeeded in getting teachers excited about technology, but also briefly evaluating the success of these innovations in supporting the ‘official’ learning outcomes of the programme, and outlining how the analysis of the past twelve months’ work will be taken forward into clear and specific revisions to the curriculum, the tools and techniques that are incorporated within it, and changes to the learning activities and assessment methods. Limitations in terms of scalability and application to other domains of learning will be discussed.


There is a virtual handout for this presentation in the form of a Prezi:

Oh, and I'll be in fancy dress for this one too!!

Monday, 10 September 2012, 22:57

Presentation slides in Powerpoint:

Thursday, 27 September 2012, 14:30