Friday, December 27, 2013

Fertility series

Fertilty InheritanceintimacyDecentStillnessFalling and FailingStatus of Pursuit
Listening for AdvantageWhispersTime Passing ThroughKilling SelfMoth NightEmpire Building
Peacock SacrificeJudgmentPeacock DanceWar HeadAction ManRunning through Reflection
Prayers and AttackTaking Aim at DistanceScales and BalanceForging onLocked within BattleRepression Over and Over Again
Fertility series, a set on Flickr.
Oil paintings by John Bennett - jjfbbennett. Painted in the late 1980's. Influenced by Balinese, Javanese and Thai art and stories of external strategy and personal needs.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Multimodal SLIM challenge

A presentation I made for School Leaders in the Making Program

Challenge Title: 21st Century Multimodal Learning

Purpose: Today’s students are the 21st century students whose lifetime experiences are enriched with using digital technologies. They need to develop 21st century skills to become the valued skilled workers, entrepreneurs, innovators and global citizens of tomorrow
The Department is working to meet the needs of the 21st century student through the provision of a rigorous curriculum, technologies of today and expert teachers inspiring learning with passion and purpose
This project is purposed to;
* introduce innovative technologies into schools,
* change teaching practices,
* align with the Australian Curriculum, and
* inspire learning.

Benefits: The benefits to teachers and students should;
* ensure that the selected technologies will meet the demands of the curriculum,
* employ technologies which are accessible in daily life, and
* gain digital fluency skills.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Poowong series

Poowong series AgitatedPoowong series Big CityPoowong series CrusadePoowong series Falling ProgressPoowong series Grab snatchPoowong series Hospitalised
Poowong series I am wastePoowong series IndustrialbatePoowong series Industrial mightPoowong series lovePoowong series man with sticksPoowong series Route into night
Poowong series Veils and Belief

Poowong series, a set on Flickr.
I painted the Poowong series in the 1980's. The paintings have been destroyed but the photo's survive. The theme was based on organic and mental structures, complex problems and simple solutions. Poowong is a small town in SE Gippsland Victoria. Land of dairy cattle and potatoes.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

2014 National Visual Art Education Conference - Digital literacy and participatory multimodal media

I shall be presenting 'Digital literacy and participatory multimodal media' 2014 National Visual Art Education Conference in Canberra.

The session details are;

‘21st Century Learning – Changing classroom paradigms for students, teachers and institutions’

Tuesday 21 January at 1.30

Presentation Duration
15 min

Title and précis
'Digital literacy and participatory multimodal media'
Schools are the engine house of the future however there is disconnect between workplace expectations, and students’ in-school and out-of-school learning experiences. This discussion is about ‘cultures of learning’ and engaging 21st Century students through innovative programs.

10 Work Skills for the Future: Sense Making, Social Intelligence, Novel and Adaptive Thinking, Cross Cultural Competency, Computational Thinking, New Media Literacy, Transdiciplinarity, Design Mindset, Cognitive Load Management, Virtual Collaboration”

Our schools are the institutions that step Australia into the future. Curriculum expectations, national assessment and professional standards have changed. Society has moved from enterprise networks of PCs to a mobile world connected through social and personal cloud services. There is a convergence of entertainment, media, knowledge and information. New workforce skills are becoming essential. Today’s and tomorrow’s students are entering a life of work that demands significantly more technical skills than previously required. The steps forward are through creativity and innovation. Teachers, school and department leaders need to commit to innovative learning programs that employ 21st century technologies and are connected with contemporary society.

Students’ in-school and out-of-school ICT experiences are polarising and innovative learning programs can face multiple obstacles and gatekeepers. A learner-centred approach is required. An innovative and creative ‘culture of learning’ needs to be the driver and definer of classroom activity. This presentation discusses digital literacy proficiency, 21st century skills, and the value of ingenuity, innovation and creativity expressed through multimodal technologies.


John Bennett started his career in Victoria as an exhibiting artist. On moving to the Northern Territory John focused his energy on the integration of ICT within the classroom.  Over the past decade John has been employed as an Assistant Principal, Director of ‘Teaching and Learning with ICT’, and Senior Program Manager of multiple systems level, cross jurisdictional and in-school projects. John is currently the eLearning Strategic Consultant of the Northern Territory Department of Education. His studio arts background influences his administration processes.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Educators connecting with students - courage

Back to the future

There seems to be an effort in many levels of education to simplify and return to the golden age of education when administering teaching and learning was easier.  

Standardization: 2nd way of service delivery

I cannot describe this golden age but it has something to do with not being able to deal with;

  • complexity
  • feeling confused by multiple options,
  • moving from knowing systems, 
  • moving from knowing procedures, 
  • moving from knowing processes, 
  • moving from knowing methodology,
  • moving from knowing content, and
  • moving to knowing the student. 


The simple question I have  

Do we as educators want to connect with our students;

  • do we want to connect on our terms, or 
  • do we want to connect in courage and compassion to embrace the vulnerability of our learning relationships?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

System Leadership for Innovation in Education

Notes and reflections 

- Caldwell, Brian J., Professor. "System Leadership for Innovation in Education."Centre for Strategic Education Seminar Paper No 209 (2011): 3-14. Web. 28 Aug. 2013.

My interest is in corporate education and its contextual influence on schools. This interest is in the change based mechanisms within schools. Most of the research information I have read do not study the relationships between corporate and schools (until I read Caldwell's seminar paper). Much of the reading concerning corporate change is based on business principles and not so much on public service (non for profit).

A school is not a silo and impacting change should remove rather than build silos. Many of the contexts presented in blogs, conferences and academic papers do not consider policy and guidelines despite the significant influence they have on the operations of schools. In general, many of the impacting change-based decisions and financial project money is distributed via corporate (public service) education. The strings attached to financial project money, systems based restrictions and inflexible policies/guidelines can become frustrations and disincentives to change and innovation. The recognition and tactics to employ corporate processes would strengthen the program and perhaps increase the possibilities of generating intended outcomes. The question I have are;
  1. What is the role of corporate in change and innovation?
  2. How can schools pro-actively employ corporate direction to generate change and innovation?
  3. How can corporate effectively influence and support change and innovation in schools?
Corporate's position is to instigate in-school activity as an external entity. Most of the projects I know of are based on partnerships to fulfil high level and external needs. The Digital Education Revolution 1:1 laptop and the Australian Curriculum deployment are 2 initiatives generated by Federal politics, supported by state/territory leaders, administered by corporate are 2 significant examples that effect all schools. These I would describe as externally influenced needs. Innovation grants in schools, where school provide the need and processes, and corporate provides funding and consultation, I would describe internal. In general corporate leaders and school leaders need to become better at project managing external and internal needs to engineer the outcomes expected to realise the promised benefits.

Caldwell's seminar paper describes many of the objectives, incentives and difficulties aligned to corporate influencing whole school and whole system change. The big issue Caldwell frames as whole school whole system change is 21st Century schooling. This corresponds with the purpose of my project. This seminar paper has some insights that important to reflect on. Corporate's efforts is to provide change in some form that is underlined by 'coherence and consistency' (p3). Corporate looks at how to move from novel to whole school to whole system solution. How to have whole impact and move away from the isolated success story is the area and focus of this page. It is easy to enable the small and isolated good idea innovation. The project manager feels good, the teacher feels good, and the student feels good. 'letting a thousand flowers bloom' where individual (or small teams of) teachers are supported to change in individual processes and gain immediate benefits without consideration of other classrooms, schools and whole system impact is immediately rewarding . Unfortunately letting a thousand flowers bloom can mean that the resulting near future is one of a thousand flowers dying. Likewise 'coherence and consistency' can result in significant size impact it can also result in little change over a lengthy time period and change that no-longer meets the now need.

From a corporate perspective, change in schools (whether it be a thousand flowers blooming and dying processes and or the slowness within coherence and consistency) has demonstrated little benefits gained. Schools are still managing to operate in similar patterns as they did in the past. Corporate needs to look at their practices if change is not being achieved. The importance of changing educational practices is expressed in every federal and state/territory election. Australia wants schools to change, improve and to meet the needs of the 21st century - but the what and how is extremely difficult to logistically engineer and operate.

Caldwell states that there is a ''cultural divide', between those who lead at the centre and those that lead in schools' (p3). A similar disjuncture is note by Schon between the academic and schools, 'growing perception that researchers, who are supposed to feed the professional schools with useful knowledge, have less and less to say that practitioners find useful' (Schon location 169). There is a logistical concern that if the change identified by academics and strategised by Federal/state/territory corporate jurisdictions is not up taken by the in-classroom teacher how are students going to benefit and demonstrate improved learning. Why does this disjuncture exist?

Caldwell views change as an interaction of reform and innovation. Obviously both reform and innovation has their own characteristics and it is important to understand which one underpins the actual change in question. Caldwell also suggests that certain changes are going to happen because they are disruptive. The iPad tablets and Interactive White Boards are good examples of changing technologies as they hit a 'tipping point' (p6) quickly with little corporate intervention. Both technologies come at a cost, require a multitude of technical issues to be identified and solved, and professional development / skills training. School leaders need to look at return on investment. In regards to iPads and Interactive Whiteboards corporate became involved with the promotion of the technologies, provisioning of professional learning and the development of problem solving materials. It was essential to have corporate involved as there were many technical issues to be solve. Multiple technical issues results in frustration and limited uptake, however the most significant is limited use of the technology's capacity. The capacity of an Interactive Whiteboard was mostly limited to and employed as a projector. Many principals mentioned to me that their teachers rarely use the interactive aspects of the technology. In effect, when principals are frustrated by their return on investment innovation and change recedes as a priority.

Caldwell introduces a table titled 'three ways of educational change'. The table is based on Hargraves and Shirely research. Change is illustrated as the domain that houses innovation and reform. Caldwell describes 3 distinct ways of change.

  • 1st Way - The 1st way concerns corporate supporting professional freedom. This results in change driven through individual and or small group intuition. Individual gains through individual methods. 
  • 2nd Way - The 2nd way concerns prescriptive processes where change is based on standardisation. This results in change driven by the designated need through designated methods. 
  • 3rd Way - The 3rd way concerns change driven by accountability. This results in change being driven by data. The 3rd way is interesting and I can easily view where and how corporate influence can be identified and regulated. 
The 3rd way is presently being attempted by corporate as a leverage to make targeted change. Data is an element that can be used as a stick and carrot. I would suggest that corporate employes methods that are both the 2nd way and the 3rd way. Examples of the 3rd way are Hattie visible learning, NAPLAN scores and attendance records. The 3rd way seems to be driven by measurable outcomes similar to formal project management processes. The 2nd way is a way of simplifying technologies. It is easier for centralised bodies to support specific technologies rather than supporting a variation of the similar. This is where technology could be described as the tail wagging the dog. In many cases it is easier to deploy a generalist technology that relies on the user changing their practices. The 2nd way is about the user conforming their practices.
Hargraves and Shirely refer to a 4th way as a pathway to social change. I would like to suggest that perhaps the Melbourne Declaration is concerned with the 4th way whilst corporate education is emphasizing the 3rd way, and corporate technoloies emphasises the 2nd way. I do need to read The Global Fourth Way by Hargreaves to gain a stronger and more sophisticated understanding. Based on my in-school activities and experiencing the disjunctures Caldwell and Schon refer to perhaps I would like to make this observation. This observation requires some research and analysis however, In the large I see that the general teacher sits in 2 camps. Camp 1 - autonomy. Camp 2 - prescriptive

  • Camp 1 - Many teachers prefer the autonomy aligned with the 1st way. From my perspective these camp 1 teachers know their students best and that they do not need any interference. I will call you when I need help. (Innovative and creative but not change focussed)
  • Camp 2 - Many teachers are tired of change and the inconsistencies that exist. A standardisation environment would make things clear and simpler to achieve. This would mean that corporation would provision teachers with the tools and learning materials required. Give me what you want me to teach. 
Camp 1 and Camp 2 teachers are not fond of data generation, synthesis and analysis. Data requirements for change can be a burden on teachers. Teachers operate in a complex and demanding studio like environment that is essentially knowing in action (Schon). I would suggest that camp 1 and 2 would dominate (as a percentage of teachers) over the data led change 3rd way teachers. The 1st way teachers are the teachers corporate should target to work towards the tipping point of whole school change.

I agree with Caldwell's writing that new ways of change need to be designed to accommodate many sources. The complexity of the student body and their 21st century learning needs is far more complicated than pre 2001. The complexity of sources is a problem that corporate needs to identify to actually address if solutions can be developed, contextualised and applied across other schools, regions and or clusters. One of the solutions is that innovation is everyone's responsibility.

Caldwell's primary argument is that innovation should be across all levels - corporate leaders, school leaders, teachers and students. This cross innovation should permeate within all teaching and learning settings '- through organisations, systems and platforms, to the social movements and the ideologies that inspire them.' (Leadbeater, 2011, p4. The question is how and being prepared to recognize that it is not a quick fix. Caldwell and Leadbeater are describing what can only be described as cultural change and this change is a hard (hierarchy) and soft structure (mandate).

Caldwell refers to Christensen's theory of 'disruptive' change (Christensen, Johnson and Horn, 2008). I am aware of Christensen's theories from seminar and video interviews posted on YouTube. In general Christensen believes that innovation should be a key feature in every job description, with the intention to permeate change across organizational systems (school and corporate). In context to education this would include the CEO to Senior DIrectors, General Mangers, District Inspectors, Principals and Teachers. If society is to enable students to gain 21st century skills it can only be achieved via 21st century schools and corporate. To achieve this objective, each position should have prominent innovations portfolio. The key feature of disruptive change, within school sites and corporate, is that small innovative project teams should exist, and these projects should take smart risks.

The importance of change whether it should originate within schools or corporate is that all levels of leadership should be identified as innovators. 'Coaches and mentors who help others reproduce the status quo may have limited value'(p8). Many projects I have been involved in rely on project participants who demonstrate a willingness and want for change. However if the school leadership is not invigorating the worth of the project across the school the project suffers. Projects where the participants want to remain in the status quo are the projects that produce little to no benefit. The participants of those involved must feel part of a culture of change. Without addressing the participant's cultural environment corporate-led-change has limited impact.

In the McKinsey & Company report How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better, 4 ranking are employed to identify what type of change (who and by whom) can be applied. These rankings are good identifiers of the school's context and cultural situation.

  1. Poor to Fair - achieving the basics of literacy and numeracy (raising the floor)
  2. Fair to Good - getting the foundations in place (raising the floor)
  3. Good to Great - shaping the profession (opening the ceiling) - peer led creativity and innovation in schools
  4. Great to Excellent - improving through peers and innovation (opening the ceiling) - peer led creativity and innovation in schools
The 4 rankings point to where corporate can effectively strategise funding, human resource and intent. The rankings emphasizes what change through what innovation and what reform are to be contextualised. If the school is struggling with innovation and student outcomes, there is little to be gained through introducing 'open the ceiling' strategies. It is essential to meet the emerging needs of the school's students and teachers. 

To activate change Caldwell reflects on a number of countries and jurisdictions who are successfully implementing the task. These schools would be in the Good to Great and Great to Excellent rankings. The progressive change in jurisdictions resulting in improved student learning outcomes was generated through;
  • encouraging schools to innovate in curriculum and pedagogy.
  • encourage educators to network.
  • encourage educators to share innovative achievements.
  • innovation champions in all levels of corporate.
  • setup projects that are conducted under terms and conditions.
  • innovative creative projects based on local needs.
  • innovative creative projects objective - explore approaches in teaching to improve learning outcomes.
  • project requirements - project plan, benefits measurements (I would suggest Prince 2 structure), report structure, annual show case of successes.
  • projects that remove the 'cultural divide' between school and corporate structures.
  • enhance university partnerships - school administration, curriculum and teaching, parents and community.
  • all schools should be participating in a grant. 
  • corporate should be represented in key school focussed conferences such as ACEL.
  • development of a strong corporate memory.
Caldwell suggests that corporate is often playing catch up with schools who are at the forefront of innovation. In the 2nd way corporate was and is presently standardizing systems and processes. Corporate bodies that actively standardize systems and processes are actively stifling schools who wish to operate at the forefront of innovation. Whilst a standard equality of service is being provided it is actively stifling progression. Jurisdictions need innovative schools who are at the forefront. Corporate ICT need to address and support a differentiated approach to services.

Caldwell asks the question - how can government funded systems scale up projects from novel to full scale implementation. He then answers 'there is no best way to achieve scale up' (p13). From my perspective I feel diminished by the improbability of whole system scale up, however from this reading systemic change (innovation & reform) could be achieved if an appropriate differentiated lens of benefits can be applied.

A good example of a standardized whole system scale up failure is the Victorian Ultranet. In 2011 when this paper (System Leadership for Innovation in Education) was published the Ultranet was one year old. The paper describes the Ultranet as a good example in how corporate can optimise their technologies to benefit schools, teachers and students. In 2013 the Ultanet is facing the scrap. It is now viewed as a failure. The cost of the failure (up to June 2013) is $180 million. According to the Jewel Topsfield (Age reporter) the Ultranet 'failed to deliver promised benefits and was shunned by schools' link.

There have been many examples of systemic based standardized technology solutions that have failed. Whilst, the Ultranet promised so much and delivered so little it is not the only and last big dollar spending that will fail to bring innovation and reform. I do share Caldwell and Gladwell's identification of the tipping point in conjunction with knowledge-based learning networks as a step to bring on change. Looking at the jurisdiction through a differentiated needs based lens could improve the achievement rate of benefits. An innovation portfolio in all job descriptions would give change a priority. I have attained an optimistic position to move forwards and towards the development of a 4th way in building corporate and school relationships. In essence it is cultural structures and not the standardized technologies that will enable benefit achievements.

The step forward is to instigate a 4th way is the strategic focus. To achieve this within the context of this seminar paper the following approaches need to be achieved;
  • update the agreements between corporate and school leaders to ensure that innovative practices are a priority.
  • ensure that each school involved with the project has a leader who is monitoring and supporting the innovation practices.
  • key corporate positions are engaged with the innovative practices.
  • ensure that the invigoration of the innovative practices are school based.
  • cross divisional units should be proactively seen as supportive to the innovative practices within the schools.
  • knowledge and outcomes should be distributed across the system.
  • schools should network with other schools across the world who are employing the similar change agents.

Topsfield, Jewel, Ms. "Ultranet Facing the Scrap Heap." The Age. The Age, 19 June 2013. Web. 31 Aug. 2013. .

Caldwell, Brian J., Professor. "System Leadership for Innovation in Education."Centre for Strategic Education Seminar Paper No 209 (2011): 3-14. Web. 28 Aug. 2013.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

eduTECH 2013 Government and Corporate Congress reflection 1

eduTECH 2013: Blog 1 reflection


This reflection is based on my personal opinions and learnings gained from attending a variety of key notes and presentations at EduTECH 2013 Brisbane Australia.

Key Notes and Presentations 3 - 4 June 2013

The conference contained an exceptional array of presentations and I was only able attend  a fraction of what was offered. The array of presentations I was able to attend was titled  Corporate Government Learning Congress. I attended the following presentations;
  • Drive: What the science of motivation can teach us about high performance - Daniel Pink
  • Rethinking Education - Salman Khan
  • Working and learning smarter with the 70:20:10 model - Charles Jennings
  • It's in the "APP"lication: Technology + learning = capability - Peter Ferreira
  • Shaping Australian Curriculum - Barry McGaw
  • The creative technology revolution you cannot ignore - Gary Stager
  • Design thinking to create The Living Organisation - Ewan McIntosh
  • Major trends and deriving forces in business, people and technology - Craig Rispin
  • Changing complex behaviors using digital technologies - Andrew Duval
  • Implementing new technologies in learning to cement high standards in compliance - Cameron Hodkinson
  • eLearning within the wider learning plan - John Stericker
  • Building a sound vision and strategy for your digital plumbing - Scott Kiososky
  • Out Of Our Minds: learning to be creative - Ken Robinson
  • Highlights K-12 


This blog is not an analysis of each presentation. It is a reflection of the themes that I felt are most relevant to my context as an educator.
  1. Autonomy,  mastery and purpose
  2. Knowledge map - by achievement  rather than by academic modules
  3. Formal learning is not keeping up with change 
  4. Anything a child brings to schools should be used
  5. Domain expertise transference has limitation
  6. Less us (teachers) more them (students)
  7. If teachers don't learn the school dies
  8. Internet of things is here
  9. Computer games enable progress based on reflection
  10. Schools need to employ real time analysis and predictive analysis to increase efficiency and remove time waste
  11. Cherish diversity
  12. Culture of schools
I have broken this reflective analysis into 3 blogs to reduce a scroll of death
  • Blog 1: Themes 1 to 4
  • Blog 2: Themes 5 to 8
  • Blog 3: Themes 9 to 12

Theme 1: Autonomy,  mastery and purpose 

In general, common sense understandings suggest that if you reward behaviour you get more of that behaviour and if you punish behaviour you get less of that behaviour. In general schools have constructed their behaviour management processes on this common sense understanding. Essentially this is used to standardise acceptable behaviour to efficiently co-habitat numbers of students in what is a standardised school/classroom. Reward and punishment is employed to gain compliance of the  expected norms associated with a school and classroom.
Research indicates that if the sort compliance is related to mechanical tasks then rewards and punishments can be effectively employed. The issue that concerns me is that the reward and punishment process is underlining instruction. As learning is a complex cognitive activity underlining instruction with reward and punishment processes could actually negate learning.  My fundamental question is;
  • Can rewards and punishment improve learning?  
Unfortunately schools are employing the reward and punishment conditioning process across all student management activities, whether they be rudimentary or complex. The conditioning of students are based on if-then actions. If you do this then you will get this. My secondary questions are;
  • Is learning by if-then instruction suitable for 21st century learning? 
  • Is 21st century learning better suited through enabling autonomy, mastery and purpose? (Pink)
If schools are to limit the use of if-then controllers (rewards and punishments) to basic mechanical tasks what conditioning processes can be used to stimulate cognitive activity? Dan Pink refers to giving the participant controlling autonomy and the space to gain mastery as good conditioning processes. The cornerstone to support autonomy and mastery is purpose. Teachers could construct autonomy and mastery through a student centered and team centered purpose. 

The task for schools is to move away from didactic instruction (teacher-centered) where teachers are;
  • presenting information without student context,
  • doing most of the talking and students doing most of the listening,
  • directing the students every move (no student autonomy), and
  • supplying the answers.
The task for schools is to move towards student centred learning where instruction;
  • is based on students' experiences,
  • has meaning,
  • where learning is part of the process learning, and 
  • students are able to develop a mastery of skills.

Theme 2: Knowledge map - by achievement  rather than by academic modules

Do teacher know their students like computer games know their players? Do teachers know their students' inquiry preferences as much as Google search does? Are teacher generated learning programs as contextually comprehensive as the immersive adaptive programs generated by instructional designers and other non classroom based professionals.

The gaps in learning can cause a dysfunction of future understandings. Are teachers of the 'standard classroom' capable of identifying gaps in their students' learning and then are capable of programing individualized programs to address these gaps? From my experiences as a teacher, education administrator and parent - when a student doesn't grasp a concept or essential idea there are few alternatives for that student to acquire the essential knowledge. 

Adaptive learning systems could alleviate these concept gaps through tasks that construct comprehension. The program through continuous formative testing can identify gaps of understanding and formulate learning pathways to address the failing issue. The challenges for schools is to change teacher practices and move away from teacher based content management processes to adaptive content management processes.

The Khan Academy was presented as one such solution to alleviating gaps in student understanding. However, from my research adaptive learning systems are relatively new and there are concerns associated with standards and compliance. The Khan Academy platform is based on one individual's 'unqualified' vision of teaching and learning. It is supported by advertisements and private donations without any formal standards of compliance that guarantee quality and assurance. It sits outside of any formal learning institution/jurisdiction. Despite this the Khan Academy has a significantly high viewing rates and large number of subscriptions.

Other concerns associated with adaptive learning systems include the lack of proprietary standards and possible data lockin. In reference with Theme 1: autonomy,  mastery and purpose the capacity of contextualised need and collaboration based learning based on purpose, autonomy and mastery is not fully realised. At this point in time adaptive learning systems are potentially capable of addressing the learning needs of 21st century students, however present regulatory policies and guidelines address learning standards based on brick and mortar schools.

Adaptive learning systems do have the potential through  their proposed data emphasised design construct to improve learning conditions. Beneficial learning conditions can include;
  • personalised learning interfaces,
  • capacities to plugging into learner chosen platforms (eg Google apps and Facebook),
  • aligning content to individual understanding - assembling content as required,
  • acting as a supplementary tutor, and 
  • the generation of learning analytics that communicate learning gains and needs with the student and teacher.
The logistical tasks education jurisdictions need to consider the transition from present learning management systems (content) to adaptive systems (data). As the systems emerge jurisdictions will be presented with a wide array of choices within choices.  Jurisdictions may need to employ multiple interconnected adaptive learning systems. An adaptive learning system also requires a transition from 'traditional' teaching practices to practices that are data analysis based. This requires a different skill set. Teachers will need to apply the mind-set of a facilitator, mentor and coach to assist students. Significant levels of professional development will be required.

Notes from the video
  • Schools are holding back students - fear of failure - stigma of failure.
  • Are schools poorly designed games?
  • Students want to access and see their progress - instantaneously.
  • Schools are not learning from advancements in other businesses.
  • Differentiated learning is a difficult objective in what can be described as a normal classroom.
  • Education data is not being tapped - it disappears into the void.
  • Learning based on problems rather than content.
  • DYOL - Do Your Own Learning.
  • Analytics will assist teachers to have higher level relationships with their students.
  • Newton Adaptive Learning.
  • Collaboration example in an adaptive multiplayer game
  • Adaptive learning example: Radmatter 
  • Administrators - get students into your office (bottom up end user experience design (student and teacher)) 

Theme 3: Formal learning is not keeping up with change

Perhaps the biggest challenge for schools is professional development. As the integration  of technologies, the demands for differentiated learning and 21st century fluencies require significant operational changes in the classroom professional development becomes paramount.

Great Teachers
The influence that great teachers have directly on students and indirectly but ongoing influence of future society is significant. The Queensland Department of Education Training and Employment explicitly states Great teachers = Great results.
According to the Australian News (link) ....the countries with the best STEM learning outcomes, teachers are well respected, are well paid and are promoted based on their continuous participation in professional development training.

My concerning interest is in the professional development needs of school districts/regions that have high leadership and teaching staff turnover, and high rates of student disengagement/achievement. What are the professional development processes that can assist in nurturing a service delivered by great teachers?

There is little doubt that budgets for professional development will decline. Teacher's are overwhelmingly stating that their profession is getting busier. The teacher workplace is becoming more complex. Society is placing more demands on teachers. Teachers are time poor. Classroom demands are higher, accountability is higher and there is accordingly a  rise in numbers of disengaged students.  The profession is recognized for it's mental and emotional effect on practitioners. Teacher lifelong impact is high.

Possible Model 70:20:10

  • Formal Learning accounts for only 20% of learning.
  • Most learning occurs on-the-job.
  • Informal learning on-the-job is less expensive and more effective.
  • Informal learning give the direction of learning back to the participant. This is consistent with Theme 1: purpose, autonomy and mastery.
  • Focus on Experiences, Practice, Conversations and Networks, Reflection.
  • Informal learning is tacit.
  • In regards to students - harness out of school learning.
  • 70 = Experience | 20 = Exposure | 10 = Education
To enable teachers to change practices and to accomodate rapid change a systemic approach that defines and acknowledges informal professional learning is required. If on-the-job experience is the most efficient synthesis of professional advancement this needs to be recognised within standards and compliancy organisations such as the The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership  and the value permeated through jurisdiction leaders, administrative support services, and on site school leaders.

Theme 4: Anything a child brings to schools should be used

BYOD - Bring Your Own Devise
Bring Your Own Devise will become one of the critical 21st century decisions a school will need to make. Getting it right is important to future growth. This decision will define how a school will accommodate difference and personalised learning. As schools progress towards differentiated methodologies BYOD, will impact on processes which are fundamentally linked to group based collaborative activity. These immediate decisions a school will face are not simple. School leaders feel the pressure to keep up with fast-pace change, manage budget pressures and client demand. There are no one stop solutions

The session I attended was composed as a role play highlighting the difficulties a school board can have when trying to deliberate on whether or not to proceed with BYOD. Whilst it was tongue in cheek it did bring forward the complicated issues associated with BYOD technologies. Issues such as consistency of technology, technology as a fashion statement, affordability, equity,  duty of care, lack of knowledge and vendor pressure were some of the issues raised.

BYOD is an impacting issue that Australian Schools are forced to face. In the The Sydney Morning Herald online article BYO laptop to school as funds dry up (link) it is stated that "Many schools will ask students to bring their own smartphones, tablets and laptops from home as a federal government program which gave every student in years 9 to 12 access to a computer expires at the end of this month". The given reasons are;

  • the Digital Education Revolution $2.4 billion funding concluded June 30 2013, 
  • schools schools have a large stock of ageing computers that need to be replaced,
  • school based BYOD policies would assist in the replacement of ageing computers,
  • the use of technology within curricular and instruction is significant, and
  • many private schools expect parents to buy computer technologies for their children.
There are a number of government schools who have developed BYOD policies. Some of the schools have posted their BYOD policies online. A sample includes; 
BYOD is a significant step towards student autonomy. The initial wave of computers were essentially locked into computer labs guarded  by an IT teacher. The second wave liberated computers into classrooms, but were still locked down by firewalls and the IT Administrator. The third wave inspired by the Digital Education Revolution enabled students take laptops home. The BYOD wave will allow students to bring their computing devices to school. Essentially schools will need to change their connectivity and teaching practices to meet this wave of diversity and student autonomy.

Blog 2: Themes 5 to 8
To be developed

Saturday, April 6, 2013

21st century student systems

21st century student systems

Are the Information Communication Technology (ICT) systems, software applications and school centred processes of your school purposed to support the instructional needs of the 21st century student?

In the essay ‘Do They Really Think Differently?’ (2001) Prensky defines Digital Immigrant and the Digital Native. Prensky proposes that one’s thinking patterns change depending on one’s experiences to the level that the Digital Native has a very different blend of cognitive skills than its predecessor the Digital Immigrant. Other commonly employed terms that describe pre and post 2000 students and learning frameworks are the Millennial Student, the Net Generation and 21st Century Student. All classifications support Prensky supposition that the Digital Native student is required to and have acquired different thinking processes.

Since the late 1980’s schools have adapted and integrated technologies to support instruction. Schools have connected to the internet to access content and employed an industrial office suite to produce assessment based materials. The 1980’s and 1990’s technologies effectively supported lower order thinking skills: Remembering Understanding and Applying.

Since 2000 the internet has moved from push, to share to connecting live data. The Office Suite is no longer central to the production of assessment based materials. Post 2000 technologies support higher order thinking skills: Analysis, Evaluation and Creation.

Pre and post 2000 born students and technologies

1980 - 2000
  • Millennial Student / Digital Immigrant
  • Web 1.0 Push / Stand Alone Office Suite / Connect to school network
  • Remembering / Understanding  / Applying
2000 - 2013
  • 21st Century Student / The Net Generation / Digital Native
  • Web 2.0 Share / Web 3.0 Live data / Cloud Technologies / Open Content / Connected by personal networks
  • Analysis / Evaluation / Creativity

The Millennial Student (Digital Immigrant)

The millennial students were born between 1983 and 2000 (Australian Bureau of Statistics). These students have either entered the workforce, are completing a post-secondary course, completing senior school and or are selecting pathway options into the workforce. The last of this generation is in year 8/9. The millennial students are moving into a transitioning knowledge-based workplace and into university courses that are increasingly accessed online. Whilst unskilled jobs diminish and higher levels of skills are demanded by employers on the job training is declining. Australian employers buy rather than train workers (Manpower Services Australia).  Millennial students entering the workforce need to possess the personal self-advocacy skills to self-train as and when required.

Millennial Generation (Technologies)

The millennial students on the large grew up with stand-alone technologies, office focussed software and the limited capacities of a push based web 1.0. Student generated content was largely type and then print.

Breaking Ground Technologies pre 2000
  • 1982 Commodore 64 
  • 1984 Apple Macintosh 
  • 1986 Pixar creates 3D animation
  • 1988 First computer virus
  • 1989 First simulator game 
      • Nintendo Game boy 
  • 1990 WEB 1.0 (push) is born
      • Windows 3.0 
  • 1993 First Person Shooter games (DOOM)
  • 1993 First Graphical Internet Browser (Mosaic)
  • 1994 Yahoo 
      • World of Warcraft
  • 1995 MS Office 95
  • 1996 The launch of Hotmail
  • 1998 Windows 98 
  • 1998 Google launched

21st Century Student (The Net Generation / Digital Native)

The 21st Century Net Generation student has never known life without the Internet. The first of the Net generation is 13 years old and are presently in year 7/8. In 2013 these students total approximately 66 to 69% of the student body and in 2017 will be 100% of the student body. These students have accessed IT at very young ages through playing with toys containing microchips, digital gaming, accounts to web services, personal computers, and mobile technologies. They have grown up in society where technology is becoming transparent to the actual activity. Their connected expectation is 24/7. They have grown up on the Net, with Facebook and Google and research via YouTube.

Breaking Ground Technologies post 2000
  • 2000 Playstation 2 
      • WEB 2.0 (share) 
  • 2001        Sharepoint 
  • 2002 Blogger by Google, 
      • Moodle
      • xBox 
      • Amazon Cloud Services
  • 2003 Wordpress 
  • 2003 Apple  iTunes store
  • 2004 Facebook 
      • Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age
  • 2005 WEB 3.0 (live data), 
      • YouTube 
      • Google Earth 
  • 2006 Khan Academy
      • Google Apps For Education 
      • Wii console 
  • 2007 Apple iPhone
      • iTunes U opens
      • Dropbox 
      • Google Maps
  • 2008 Android smartphone
      • Flickr
  • 2009 Minecraft 
      • Microsoft Kinect
  • 2010 Apple iPad 
      • Instagram 
  • 2012 Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)
      • Coursera, Udacity, and edX (free university courses)
      • Computer Generated Books (automatic authoring, marketing, and distributing)

The F-10 Australian Curriculum

The Melbourne Declaration, the Digital Education Revolution, Closing the Gap and the Australian Curriculum Online is designed to support students born post 2000. The Australian Curriculum explicitly supports 21st century learning. 

Today’s students need the knowledge, skills and confidence to make ICT work for them at school, at home, at work and in their communities. The 21st Century Curriculum implores students to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation. 

This requirement is beyond the scope of an office suite or a standardise and limited suite of designated software applications.

 A 21st Century Teaching and Learning vision is required to ensure that students are supported to meet the expectations of the Australian Curriculum, develop lifelong learning skills to embrace changing work placed skills, and have the capacity to achieve at any-time, anywhere and from any device.  This vision needs to be persuasively communicated to parents and community to ensure clarity of purpose.