Friday, September 13, 2013

Reflection 3:EDEM630

Learning over the weeks was not confined to LEARN. We have explored Blogs extending to SP4Ed mOOC. Over the last week, the changing theories of change and organization with the eLPF was very interesting.

The best reading that really engaged me was Davis, Eickelmann& Zaka (2013). This reading talks the reality of integrating technology in education system.  It is far away from the abstract imagination and assumptions. Reading this, puts one in the real world of coping with change in technology in education.

The slides (  illustrates the disparities between schools that adopt technology and their own beliefs on technology in classrooms. It was interesting to note the various opinions of schools leaders on technology in classrooms.

Another interesting part was critical review of ePLF and evaluation of the school. This activity was quite engaging to me as being a part of the school which very closely incorporates e-learning.

ON whole, EDEM630 has taken me out of the LEARN site to use various ways of interacting with
students and also on a global scale.  Apart from interaction, the study of change in various arenas has moved me out of the classroom (personal) perspective to the ecological perspective to understand what changes happen/needs to happen and how it happens before teachers and students enjoy technology aided education in the classroom. The interacting factors and their effects on the change is much known now and understood than before.

Scenario planning was another part of EDEM630. Frankly speaking, I did not understand anything about it. I ended up making massive error in my scenario planning.  However, after Speakinng to Wayne about this, something came up!!!! At least the second attempt had some positives in it. Firstly, as I looked at the quadrants, I only thought in mathematical terms about increasing and decreasing quadrants and my thoughts were fixed on it.

The last part of the course was theories of change which has already been discussed at the beginning.

However, the big question that lies for me is the: How can the community be involved in the whole process of implementing technology in education and how are the parents going to cope with the digital changes in the technology in their kids education?

I would really like to be a part of a team in implementing a new technology in my field of work and I think this what I still have to learn.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Whole School Evaluation:EDEM630

The Whole School Evaluation
The school that I have selected is the one that provides distance education from early childhood level to Year 13. The school has regional offices all throughout New Zealand and at present is in the process of decentralizing their services even more. The current e-learning approach of the institution is going through the empowerment phase in relation to eFLP framework. Personally, I would place the school at the extending stage if looking at the process of decentralizing the school services.
The capability, profile and visibility of eLearning both within the school and across the broader education sector and the increasing contribution it is making to the achievement of the school’s strategic visions and goals have also increased substantially.
Leadership & Strategic Direction: Empowering
e-Learning offers a unique opportunity for school to provide individualised learning programmes due to the flexibility offered by the delivery method and the capability for teachers to proactively manage, create, and offer specific and individual learning opportunities. When implemented and utilised effectively, this flexibility leads to improvements in student achievement, presence, and engagement.
The school vision integrates e-learning throughout.
The school’s approach to eLearning must also viewed against key national and international trends in educational use of technology. These include the blending of distance education with classroom practice across the sector, the potential development of a National Education Network based on advanced networks, the proliferation of third party digital content, and a paradigm shift in media creation and ownership propelled by developments in web technologies and diminishing ICT costs and copyrights.
Professional Learning: Extending
The professional learning in on going, open and safe. There is ongoing PDs going for staff every week on various ICT use in teaching/learning/administration.  The schools also provide free Microsoft courses to staff and students as well. The implementation of personalised learning has been spearheaded by school-wide professional development that will continue in 2014 and beyond. This professional development supports regional teams of teachers to use information they have about students to develop and adapt programmes to meet students’ needs.
Beyond the Classroom: Empowering
Technology is one of major form of communication with students and parents as well as with other staff. ICT also provides a range of communication tools for students and their caregivers to interact with the school and better access to community resources. Culturally inclusive practices includes the capability of eLearning and specifically its use of multimedia, plays a core role in the achievement of Maori learners through its flexibility and capability to deliver via Te Reo Maori, audio and visual media and experiential learning.
Technologies and infrastructure: Empowering
Through the delivery and implementation of the Systems Replacement Project (SRP) and specifically the new Online Teaching and Learning Environment (OTLE) as well as key personnel and capabilities within school, the school has positioned itself to have the capability and resources (both human and systems) to take advantage of the opportunities that eLearning and ICT provides our students, teachers, and broader community. There is a whole school virtual network for student learning as well as for staff which is safe and flexible. There is efficient administration network of technology for effective management and organizational work such as (SMS). School wide system for maintenance and development is available. There is very efficient technical support with remote server connections as well. Help is available in a flick of time.
Teaching and Learning: Extending
Whatever the technology, learning is the vital element. E-Learning is an important element in the evolving distance learning pedagogical framework within school and is key to the new approaches to learning required to meet the learning needs of individual students. Providing access to learning activities through a range of ICT applications and services also provides students opportunities to develop a range of 21st century skills and competencies that are increasingly required for success in the workplace and further education. E-Learning is fundamental to the effective delivery of personalised learning programmes. E-Learning provides the school with many ways to connect with students and engage them in learning. School recognises that some of the students have no or limited connectivity. The school has improved this situation by developing community relationships that provide students with access to safe and reliable connectivity such as in local libraries and having regional centres where students visit to work.  The school shapes the review and development of courses ensuring that the approach chosen for each course best meets the learning needs of students. Increasingly, as students become more independent, the balance of activities in the distance environment will become less focussed on instruction and more on experience, with teachers facilitating and supporting the growth of a student’s personal knowledge networks. The use of different ICT and/or media needs to reflect learning needs and context. The idea is to match the learning intent with the eLearning method and tools that can deliver those learning outcomes within the learner’s own context and capability.
Over the next two to three years the contribution of eLearning and ICT will increase, as the school deploys a greater proportion of courses onto the OTLE and more courses and content are delivered via eLearning.
In future, the role and delivery of eLearning and ICT must fit within the school’s business practices. It should not restrict or impinge on the opportunities for learners who are unable to participate in eLearning.
To this end, the school has developed an e-Learning content development framework which sits alongside current business practises offering enhancement through eLearning, whilst ensuring no student is excluded or restricted in their capability to achieve and succeed.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

EDEM630 : Reflection 2

The journey of EDEM630 continued and moved to Personal Perspective of theories of change. Here I came across various models of change and innovations regarding the technology. However, the model that attracted the most is Technology Acceptance Model.

Going through the weeks of exploring the theories, I asked the following questions to myself:
How willing are students to embrace a new technology-supported approach that engages them in the entire education lifecycle?
Can information technology improve the education process, making it more enjoyable and increasing learning?

On the other hand, I also believe that the online participatory education transforms the traditional instructor-dominated learning process into a cooperative learning experience. Learners learn, create and solve problems in an asynchronous virtual learning environment in which they can see all content, questions, answers and feedbacks.

While some students have trouble adjusting to the radical change in their traditional role, research shows overall acceptance and recommendation of the participatory approach.

It also supports a Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) adapted to the educational context for predicting acceptance of this new approach to learning made possible by information technology.

The online education transforms the traditional instructor-dominated learning process into a cooperative learning experience. Collaborative learning often results in higher learning compared with individual-oriented learning due to social interaction among students. On the one hand, this enhances knowledge sharing, helping students clarify confusing course materials as well as grasping understanding beyond the individual‘s perception. On the other hand, the underlying assumption for educators is that collaborative learning holds the promise of active construction of knowledge, enhanced problem articulation, and benefits in exploring and sharing information and knowledge gained from peer-to-peer communication.

Among the pedagogical advantages of collaborative learning online, besides its fundamental characteristic of helping students to actively construct knowledge, are that collaboration models activity in the workplace, enhances students' understanding and appreciation of diversity, and may give students a sense of belonging .Perhaps most importantly, collaboration allows distant students to interact socially and develop a feeling of community in online courses. For information systems researchers, there is a need to further investigate students‘psychomotor, cognitive, and affective skills in computer-supported collaborative learning environments. A number of technologies (e.g., online discussion boards, visualization tools, multimedia) have been implemented to support the online educational content delivery. Our participatory learning engage the students to increase their learning and their enjoyment of the learning process.

What factors lead to the acceptance of a technology supported educational innovation?

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the most widely used model in Information Systems, predicts that Behavioral Intention to Use an information system in the future is a product of Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Ease of Use. I t has seen many variations in its development and has been criticized for treating its constructs as ―black boxes with little effort going into understanding what actually makes a system useful . A number of authors have extended TAM by proposing external variables as antecedents to better explain perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use 


This unified TAM model identifies a variety of individual differences (i.e., gender, age, and experience, social influence, etc.) that may affect acceptance of IT within an educational context. Recent TAM research has further incorporated individual characteristics and situational/contextual variables to understand initial and continuous acceptance and adoption of an IT.

Higher education and e-learning sectors is an important and widespread domain utilizing information systems, so understanding what constructs impact educational technology acceptance is critical. Therefore, researchers have utilized TAM to evaluate educational technologies acceptance. They adapted TAM to examine effectiveness of a particular desktop technology or online learning communities

Therefore, it is useful to build on adapting and extending the TAM model and not to a particular technology, but to a particular technology-supported learning process in asynchronous learning networks.