Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The driver of change

The context of global interdependence is especially important for this generation of students because many of today’s challenges will be solved only by individuals and nations working together. The future depends on educating a generation of young people who are capable of navigating an interdependent world and collaborating across borders and cultures to address today’s great problems. The future also depends on educating a generation of young people who know how to use technology to learn both formally and informally. Technology itself is an important driver of change. Contemporary technology offers unprecedented performance, adaptability, and cost effectiveness.

We can make the future happen.......

While many nations around the world have embraced the need for technology to achieve sustainability in education, only limited progress has been made on any level. This lack of progress stems from many sources. In some cases, a lack of vision or awareness has impeded progress. In others, it is a lack of policy or funding.  In addition to these generic issues, governments at all levels will need to address issues that are specific to local conditions (e.g., the quality of the relationship between the school governors and the teachers and the students and community).

The initial step in launching technology change in education is to develop awareness within the educational community and the public that reorienting technology to achieve quality education is essential. If government officials or school district administrators are unaware of the critical linkages between education and technological development, reorienting education to address the change will not occur. When people realize that technology can improve education, the likelihood of implementing national policies, regional and resource management programs, and local programs, then technology is in a position to be reoriented to help achieve the change. This awareness forms the essential first step in the reorienting process.

It is apparent that we were ready to move forward with the next steps; however, the importance of technology in education must reach beyond the delegations and permeate the educational community and the general public.

Inherent in building awareness are efforts to outline important linkages between technology, education and more responsible societies.
In large part, perceiving a need brings about a corresponding change in educational systems. 

Unfortunately, the need to achieve quality education is not perceived today as sufficiently important to spark a large response in the educational community. If leaders at all levels of governance are to make progress, the recognition and active involvement of the education sector is imperative to bring out the change.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

EDEM630_ Declaring myself

I work as a Mathematics Teacher at Te Kura, the Correspondence School. I am based at the Hastings Regional Office. I have a lot of interest in using technology in education and have always used technology in my classroom. My interest in technology in education is growing day by day! I am married and have a 5 year old son who is turning 6 soon.

EDEM630 is a part of my Masters study. I am really looking forward to go through this course and now also SP4ED has added more enthusiasm.

This course is indeed taking me through changes in digital technology in education. It has a variety and challenges as well.....Now connecting to the world is an added advantage as plenty of views and suggestions will be available.

I would like learn and get experience more in implementing changes in education via digital technology. And keep up to date with changes in technology. Much more to learn and more to go.....


Finding and exploring my way around at lunch break.....

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

EDEM630: Reflection :Week 1 & 2

The start of EDEM630 was not as simple as the other courses that I had done through distance learning. It was the layout of the course! It took me time to find my way through! I thought what a change……after all it had to go with the course title: Change with Digital Technologies in Education. I experienced the change in the first instance. After a few attempts, I was successful in accommodating the change…and maybe still accommodating.
Then came the first e-activity: Setting up the blog.
Being working full time and also the last week of the school term, it was hard for me to complete the activities. Being in a temporary accommodation with no internet, I panicked but got a relief when received Wayne’s message that I can do it in the weekend. Took very quick breaks at work to read what was happening in our course..I felt I was missing a lot. At the end of the week, I drove home and from next morning (while still on the breakfast table) started off with my work: Setting up the blog, didn’t take me time as I had done it before but overlooked the part of putting the label to each post and as a result my blog did not get through in the blog feed. Upset!!!! Asked for help on the forum but did not get any replies. My husband came to my rescue and later Timothy came in as well. Thanks to both.J. I worked all day on Saturday to complete all the tasks for the week. Next morning I was delighted to see my blog feed on Learn.
Week 2 was exciting as break from school has started and I thought I will have heaps of time for EDEM630. To my surprise came the demands of my 5 year old boy. Every time I sat on the computer, he came running with some requests…oops decided to work on EDEM630 after he goes to bed at night and this was a successful plan and is working till now.
During this week: the ecological perspective of change was in discussion. It was amazing to see that we worked around this change in education all the time and yet not realized its role. After completing the e-activities for week 1 and 2 and scanning the readings, I am able to make more out of Ecological arena of change.
I feel that in a learning environment, learners work together and support each other as they use a variety of tools and information resources in their pursuit of learning goals and problem-solving activities extends the meaning of the learning environment as the overall setting in which learning communities come into being, evolve, die, regenerate and transform. According to Visser (1999)  in using an ecological metaphor, the learning environment is linked to the biosphere and the learning environment is to learning what the biosphere is to life.

Similarly, learning happens at a rich diversity of levels in the learning environment and can be seen from different perspectives. At the individual level, learning happens at the cognitive level. At the group level when the individual learns with peers, interactions take place at the species level as group, peer or social learning interactions. When different species or populations coexist, there is a thriving community. Different communities form a learning ecosystem in which there is interaction within and between each level giving ecological arena. Examples of learning communities include the school, the work place, the home, the extended environment of family and friends, or a special interest group. The advent of the digital technology as a medium for two–way interaction has brought about a variety of learning communities in which people become members and derive great learning benefit from their interaction.  An ecological perspective of change with digital technologies in education emphasises the relationships and dynamics between the various participants in and outside the classroom or other learning situation.
Knowledge is distributed among different people and mediated by tools and artifacts in the environment. Besides emphasizing the relationships and dynamics between the various participants in a learning situation, it is useful also to examine the interactions the participants have with the changing tools, artifacts and content which are provided by designers or other participants. Different parts of the ecology co-evolve, changing together according to the relationships in the system. As people participate in the ongoing development and change of their ecological arena in education, they also drive the technological and social aspects of this change . The participants of a learning ecology are responsible for deciding how to use the tools and technologies available, and in doing so, establish the identity and place of the technologies. Designers of tools for the Internet are responsible for providing useful and clear functionality. 
Ecological arena of change can be seen in terms of the providers of education (ministry of education, school), the providers of the props (commercial companies), and the consumers of the experiences (teachers and students). The space (parents and community) is a vital part as well. The change in this arena should be such that it soughts out ways to capitalise on the lasting experience of education with technology by helping enrichment opportunities for learners.
Over the last century there have been several waves of massive investment in technology to improve education and the most recent movement to put computers in schools. Despite the generous investment in, and increased presence of, technology in schools, they have been found to be unused or underused in most schools. So the question that I want to ask is: What is the reason for this? And how can this be corrected?
I know that the dispersal of technology uses in schools is a very complex change. To understand this change it requires a comprehensive and systemic approach that takes into consideration the nature of the technology, the environment, other facilitative forces, and the interactions among these components. And this is what I think I have yet to learn. It is still a long way for me to go……

Visser, J. (1999) Overcoming the underdevelopment of learning: A trans-disciplinary view, New Horizons for Learning.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Provisional Essay Plan:EDEM630

Goal:  to demonstrate my knowledge on a model(s) of change to answer the question: The effectiveness of using online virtual manipulatives in solving linear equations in Mathematics. This will relate to my personal change context in order to demonstrate my ability to apply theory to inform practice.

Information to be included: Abstract -summarising the topic, key findings and conclusion, Introduction-describing the context of change i.e traditional mathematics instruction to 21st century mathematics instruction using technology.The traditional or innovative technological methods of teaching Mathematics are to be explained. Importance and significance of the change for teachers and learners is to be explained. The central question of "online virtual manipulatives vs pen & paper method of teaching linear equations is to be addressed.
 Body-An appropriate  model of change with connections, which informs my case study. The traditional or innovative technological methods of teaching Mathematicsis to be critically examined. evaluated and some modifications in the delivery of knowledge is suggested. As such, the strengths and weaknesses of each teaching methodology are identified and probable modifications that can be included in traditional methods are suggested to bring about a successful change.
Conclusion-pros and cons of the models discussed.

Personal Change Context : I would like to focus on Teaching Practice in classroom.

Key question:Online virtual manipulatives Vs pen & paper, which is more effective?and How?

Main themes:
  • Change:from where, to where?
  • How
  • effectiveness
  • evidence
  • case study
  • participants
  • procedure
  • literature
Conclusion: Technology wins....adopt the change


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

EDEM630 :Arena of Change

The purpose of my case study is to compare the effects of online virtual manipulatives to enhance algebra instruction i.e solving linear equations and traditional algebra instruction in terms of student academic achievement, student motivation, and student attitude towards algebra. In doing this comparison, I also hope to gain an understanding of how technology is being used by teachers and students in algebra instruction. In my study, I will concentrate on comparing two methods of instruction:
Online virtual manipulative (technology) enhanced algebra instruction and traditional algebra instruction
in three areas: student  achievement, student motivation, and student attitude.

In the pre-technology education context, the teacher is the sender or the source, the educational material is the information or message, and the student is the receiver of the information. In terms of the delivery medium, the educator can deliver the message via the “chalk-and- talk” method and overhead projector (OHP) transparencies. This directed instruction model has its foundations embedded in the behavioral learning perspective and it is a popular technique, which has been used for decades as an educational strategy in all institutions of learning.

The arena of change for the study is shown by the mindmap. There are various changes that are going to take place. The main change that is to be focused is the traditional method of instruction to 21st century teaching learning style. My mindmap is showing the 21st century instructional method and the changes that are to take place or is taking place in various sectors of education and yet they are all converging to achieve the same objective: Use of Online Manipulatives to teach Mathematics