Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Global Learning Technology Conference Notes

Oct 10-11th I attended a day and half conference -  the 2nd annual Global Learning Technology Conference hosted by UNCW.  My favorite session was the  Keynote Speaker: Disruptive Innovations  by Dr. Kyle L. Peck  Principal Investigator for the NASA Aerospace Education Services Project, Co-Director of the Center for Online Innovation in Learning (http://coil.psu.edu/) and Professor of Education at Penn State University.  Peck discussed what he sees as 3 things that will together are disruptive innovations to higher education and learning.

1) open educational resources
2) moocs
  • Started in Canada actually, but really got going at Stanford. Dr Thrun taught comp science class online and had thousands sign up, some people in the end took the same quiz his real class took and his mooc class did and 200 better than his top kid at Stanford!!
  • Growing faster than Facebook.
  • Coursera now offers a "Signature track" which can track user keystrokes, students submit photo and using webcam show photo id, can then take tests w webcam, and with a fee, get certification they took the course - including access to a Coursea hosted “detailed course performance” (or their record of their performance)
  • Key for MOOCs  - must build in peer support. These apps and tools can be applied to other courses too.
  • BB now has mooc platform, "course sites"
  • Google will work with EdX to create a platform.
  • Though many sign up for moocs and don't finish, even with 200 finishing the mooc, out of 200,000 that is still more people than take the class on campus!
  • Idea- have alumni (or grad students) host a week in the mooc (give back to the campus) discussion board monitoring mainly
3) digital badges
  • Signifies life learning learning
  • Need to complete X criteria to earn the badge. Details on badge indicate the assessment, criteria, evaluation skills required...beyond just for motivation.
  • Recognize significant accomplishment such as a flipped classroom badge for faculty.Why not give  badges along the way like as you work through a phd program benchmarks. Can document people skills through badges beyond the degree.
  • Mozilla badge backpack. http://backpack.openbadges.org/backpack/login
  • Penn State has a badge within their LMS so easy for faculty to use!
  • Have potential to change things -- can allow lower level not big name school  to move ahead with creating real badges that align w rubrics and skills and applied!
  • one size doesn't fit it all. Differentiation will be expected.
  • can be called micro credentialing (aka digital badging)
  • can be considered competency based learning
Kyle's predictions--
  • Big changes are coming so we need to lead the way before outside HE started doing it
  • Moocs will grow (coursera is adding one engineer a week!)
  • Moocs will develop  tools to scaffold peer support and evaluation.
  • Course credit will be given soon. Credit by exam, by portfolio review, for a fee. (Pearson is creating centers around country now for this -  we in HE need to jump in and do this!)
  • Curriculum in all fields will be redesigned. According to taxonomies of cognitive design. Look at blooms taxonomy. Competency based approach. (Competency - take midterm get a c but final get an a, why should final grade be an a instead of b? you learned those skills right?). Make these skills into chunks of badges. Makes these little chunks aka badges into mooc.
  • "Flex mooc" users can pick their plan, personalized learning plan, what they want or need to learn. Can earn badge by peer reviews  by others and peer review of others. Can take a test too, over and over if necessary. Add to eportfolio. Submit portfolio with badges and at a cost to get credit. More flipped classroom all over education
  • Will end up with more students on campus but less time. So much on their own before or during actual classes. Also synchronous from a distance work too.
  • "Knowmads" - wander from school to school to earn badges
  • More collaboration w real world companies on competencies. But note -- there is a difference between education and training. Some good competencies come from companies for employment there, but students also need to learn general (critical thinking) skills to apply everywhere in real world and any job.
The first afternoon offered some hands on session  - something I love, as most of us really do learn when we are able (and have time!)  to play with the tool and not just sit and listen.  So I attended a very useful and fun session by some excellent  instructional designers/faculty at Appalachian State called Mobile Learning in Schools: Turning Distance Education Theory into Classroom Practice. They led the session using Apple TV and Airplay which was very cool to see in action. walking around the room, they could each throw up their ipad screen on the big screen for us to see. In turn as they had us do activities we could share via our ipads on the big screen too. They had ipads for each of us for the session though some people used their own. We did an actual activity you could do with students they called "place based education"  Each group had an image to view and QR code to scan with our ipad (using a tool called Qrafter) that pulled up google form with a few questions to answer reflection on the image. We also had to take a photo of the image as well do some research on what it was  (these were all dust bowl era images) and then record ourselves with a reflection on the image and our research. This mini project lead into the next tool we used called Explain Everything ($2.99 but worth it!) This tool allows you to annotate, animate,  narrate explanations and presentations.to create  interactive lessons, activities, assessments, and tutorials! We took our stuff from the first mini project and then created a "presentation" using explain everything. Several people then used the AirPlay option to show their results to the whole "class."  Lastly one of the coolest apps I have seen which ventures into the Augmented Reality arena called Aurasma. This free app uses  image and pattern recognition to take real-world "things"  such as a painting or an object that leads the explorer  to interactive content such as videos and animations which they call “Auras”. (confused? watch some of their video tutorial for more examples)  You have to follow a channel on Aurasma or create your own channel to share with others.

The next day I attend a few more lecture style sessions. One was by a librarian (yeah!)  Anne Pemberton, from UNCW discussing some very interesting research she conducted "Can personalized learning improve motivation and student success in online  learning?"  (her ppt slides)  Anne did some major research and study to see if  by personalizing online learning could be a motivational factor for students. She discussed the  "Market of one" concept in companies advertising " it's for you, you are our only customer!"  Examples: iTunes personal music, grocery store coupons of what you bought, amazon recommending books, fb customized ads, etc. Can we apply this in education (wolf 2010) --- big shift in our culture to do so.  She applied a theory by Margaret Martinez on the whole person approach - an inventory combined with learners interests and goals using a learning orientation questionnaire. With one control group, one differentiated learning group and a full on personalized learning group of first year students in a required library skill courses she took the existing materials, aligned w learning objectives for course for all. All students took pretests. But only the second two groups took the the learning orientation inventory, got to view their results and then got  pushed only materials and activities related to their learner orientation style  - with the last group the ones who actually got to choose their options to make it truly personalized to them. This last group  got to see how well their did in each area and decide what they want to learn or not as some people got 80% and wanted to take that module/objective again and others said they did good enough to skip. Also at end of class they took a Motivation survey by John Keller instructional materials motivation survey. Unfortunately there was no statistical results that showed it mattered to have it personalized! And the group 3 actually scored  worse on post test!  Her conclusions were:
  • too time consuming to implement
  • First year freshman might not be the best for personalized learning
  • All asynchronous online so hard to get in and mentor and bring that personalized aspect to the course
  • Each group had solid instructional design so maybe it was so good it didn't matter about personalization
  • It would be good to talk to the students, focus group etc to learn what they really liked on not about it.
  • Should students really be able to select their own objectives ?

I also attended a few sessions focused on how to use virtual environment to enhance collaboration around the world global connections. Two sessions were about East Carolina U's global understanding program with  over 50 universities over 30 countries. My favorite quote to sum up these sessions  "Strangers in a new culture only see what they know (Arab proverb)"
  • Why global?  Only about 4%of us college study abroad -- but 100%of our students face challenges associated w globalize world.  Misunderstandings and stereotypes, from tv and media too, risks and fears about foreign travel, the diversity of the world
  • Goals are to build meaningful relationships and intercultural skills, how to work w people who see the world differently than you. "Global competence" ; Better understand their own culture by having to explain it to others; Learn to communicate better
  • Global understanding course offered in 19 classes at ECU could be matched w totally other course abroad, all disciplines, but with this shared components, academically and disciplinary independent.  But the core is shared format, procedures and board topics like:  college life, family and cultural traditions, meaning of life and religions, stereotypes. They learn 3 cultures each semester  (plus "your own" culture); 4-5 weeks long; Facilitated discussion by students , little lecture; Collaborative project - presented last day of class
  • Some of their global courses:  Youth Theatre course  (Learn other cultures, folk tales, fairy tales. One country class them performs one of those from another culture and perform via web conferencing for that country to see and vice verse);  Global climate change course started in 2010; Medical lecture series (Series for med students, various topics, panels of doctors volunteering their time ask the other countries how they would handle problems, alternatives bc they don't always have the tech in those countries); Lecture exchanges either w/in a class or as as a special lecture exchanges too; Special events- at international women's day, international education week.
  • Looking at having every English 101 section to have one time global session once, since they can't do global understanding  course in every class
  • Plan for:  Internet must be 256k upload and download; Videoconferencing H323 protocol; Web co,freeing (Saba meeting); Chat (irc) basic level works for all/no distracting like other chats might be;  Wiki (confluence); Skype as backup
  • Benefits:   Connects students to share stories w each other internationally about life studying abroad; International collaboration too (Faculty doing research on same topic connect virtually  to talk and share ideas);  Global partners in education journal created -  Online peer reviewed;  Global conference every 5 years
  • Challenges:  Comprehension; Accents; Meaning varies; Timing of semester schedules  (create a master calendar); Time zones; Different academic goals; Different standards; Technology access & proficiency 

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