Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Draft Presentation of my FL plan

Kia ora koutou

Congratulations on nearly finishing!

I've separated my draft presentation of my FL plan into 3 parts.

You can choose which you want to watch and as the links connect to swf files you can skip through any material. The files do contain sound but they are fine just to read through as well so if you don't like the beats - you can mute it. I do let you know when there is actual audio clips (there are 3 interviews in total with other learners). Also they take a couple minutes to load...

 Here's a summary...

1. Introduction- looks at my understanding of FL (3 minutes). see LINK

2. Part 2 discusses how key learning theories, concepts (such as Cultural Sensitivity) and organisational policies/strategies continue to shape FL in my course (4 minutes). see LINK

3. I look at one learning approach and discuss how access, equity, diversity, inclusivity, sustainability & open education factors can shape flexible learning specific to this context. (NOTE: the presentation is 5 minutes- but there are 2 interviews worth listening to for about 5 minutes also -your choice!). see LINK

I am presenting next Monday and any feedback is welcome.
In my presentation I intend to pick a few key slides from the above presentations so I can keep to time...
Thanks Gina

PS here are the url details to cut and paste into your browser if the links above are not working....

1. INTRO:                               http://swfcabin.com/open/1340121532
2. KEY CONCEPTS:             http://www.swfcabin.com/open/1340122766
3. EXAMPLE:                        http://www.swfcabin.com/open/1340123101


  1. Gina your three presentations are inspiring and so interesting to listen to and watch. Your understanding about the principles of flexible learning and the application to your teaching flowed so easily in the way you explained it in this medium.

    Your analysis of aspects of flexible learning, and the illustration of key points using interviews with practitioners demonstrated your stance clearly. Using strategies such as the discussion forum activities to build in some interaction and engagement is a good way to encourage discovery learning. Your rationale for the choice of strategies is well explained. I thoroughly enjoyed these presentations.

    It was particularly useful to see your critique about the pros and cons of the constructivist theory of learning.

    Regarding open education practices, do you see a way to encourage students to interact with the wider community online? For example, to connect with bloggers around some of the topics you teach, or professional networks or discussion forums? Or could the students be encouraged to use media sharing sites (slideshare, Youtube, Flickr, Picassa) to give each other feedback on images, video or audio that they either source or create?

    1. Thanks for your comments Bronwyn. Here's my response to your questions:

      1. Regarding open education practices, do you see a way to encourage students to interact with the wider community online? For example, to connect with bloggers around some of the topics you teach, or professional networks or discussion forums?

      Me and Alexa are laooking at this next year with the merging of the two courses in terms of accessing blogs. In terms of interacting with the wider community the students in this class already have a heavy focus on this as they engage with runaka at hui, they meet many guest speakers from across the community where interaction is encouraged and they are working on placement while doing this paper. The discussion forums would be reflecting on all these sources so I'm not sure if they need to seek more of this??

      2. Or could the students be encouraged to use media sharing sites (slideshare, Youtube, Flickr, Picassa) to give each other feedback on images, video or audio that they either source or create?

      I made a small point on slide 13 in the 2nd presentation re: having software to support trend technology. So we could look at this too if the various parties are happy. This is because is if students ant to use an image from hui- there are restrictions about putting this in an open forum which includes online. The same may apply to placements and this would need some ethical analysis and conversations to take place with the stakeholders.

  2. Gina some further suggestions for your plan. I think it is great that you are going to give students choice about the type of media they post on the discussion forums. I do think you could expand on this strategy. Some ideas how this might be done:

    - encourage the use of media including web 2.0 tools that will enhance collaboration and sharing of ideas. How could you do this? (Otherwise, they will just continue to write posts.) Here is a suggestion.
    - get everyone to try the same approach for one activity, e.g., taking photos and putting them in a Flickr or Picassa album (called a Set) with short written descriptions of what they are trying to illustrate with the images. Anyone with an ordinary cellphone can do this.

    And so on. I am sure you will have some good ideas. Then you can discuss how this sort of approach will enhance digital skills, and open education practices etc, and fits with constructivist learning. At the moment you plan is stronger on how your teaching fits within the concepts of flexible learning than it is with how the strategies will enhance access, equity, cater to diversity and inclusiveness etc etc. For example, by encouraging peer feedback on the media that students use in the discussions,how will this contribute to more sustainable practices?

    1. Thanks for your suggestion- I like the idea of having the same approach- but not sure if it's sustainable? Not everyone may have a phone (1/4 of the class last year had no 'reliable' cell- despite the myth that students all have phones- as many found they just couldn't afford one- and a few students had no computer access outside of campus). So whatever the medium is it would need to be sustainable across the class- and as we have nearly 100 students I was leaning to the side of choice. Again the photo on an open forum has some tricky ethical dilemmas so this is why I am keen to keep it within the class for now as the key learning is about using an example (which may be captured as a picture) to reflect on. It's the reflection that's important, but allowing different ways to do this?

      I'm not sure if the key learning is to necessarily 'enhance' digital skills, but to allow those who want to explore this to not be restricted. I make this distinction as the students can be easily overwhelmed in this course as they have to learn a new discipline, learn another language - te reo which for some is a new area, and learn what communal living is about. The stress levels of many are already up there, so again in looking at this strategy within the context of the whole paper, it's making sure this one strategy plays it's role well. The strategies can be more flexible depending on the student, but as this course also has restricted face to face time (I have already been told the maximum of Face to face hours we can offer) so I don't want students to use a digital option that later on they find they need support in but as facilitators we do not have the time. Some students are happy to take time out and learn themselves and off each other (which I'll also encourage) and Youtube has amazing tutorials for almost any software these days so there are ways around this...

      Food for thought I think! Thanks, Gina

  3. Hey Gina.
    Lots resonated in there for me and can I also say that I am well impressed with your flash pressie! Well done. Comments - sometimes the slides go too fast... it can take this old brain a while to process what is getting flashed in front of me (such a lot of great thoughts and ideas), and stopping it loses that lovely sound track. However... very picky. It is awesome...

    Slides 15 and 20 - is there a right way? and the concept of ako. These are two very powerful concepts or ideas.

    I sort of see ako as the basis of flexible learning. As we facilitate, we learn in the sense of knowledge potentially, but also in the sense of learning about all the other stuff that influences learning - culture, ideas, prejudices, prior knowledge, lack thereof etc etc etc. And only through learning and acknowledging this as we go, can we provide flexibility to suit our learners. Is there a right way??? No, I don't believe so, AND it might have to be dynamic into the bargain, as we learn more about our learners as they go on their journey with us through education.

    Into the bargain - the learners, must learn (we hope) and sometimes this might be about what they thought they knew (in a knowledge sense but also in sense of self sense - that's quite a sentence!!!), but also about what they didn't know they didn't know - both with regard to knowledge, and sense of self.

    So their own needs and values around education are likely to be dynamic.... and this is also what we have to manage and provide flexibility for, in order to ensure engagement as these needs change

    Does that make ANY sense??? and wasn't life as an educator easier when it was facilitator driven!!!!! (not to say that is good, but this stuff does throw a spanner in the works in some ways!!)

    Looking forward to your presentation... Helen.

    1. Thanks Helen- yes I agree -no I don't think there is always a right way... but maybe better ways? And yes you made sense! I did a film course earlier this year and really enjoyed observing the lecturer- she was so skilled at engaging the class it was inspiring. I learnt lots in how she worked around a big class, all of us doing individual topics in film and yet keeping us on track with the subject area. Ako in it's finest. I don't know if life was easeir - I need to go visit my old legal history lecturer from days at uni- he seemd to skip right along not knowing if anyone was with him or not- most of the time I was not!) - life seemed pretty good for him!
      Yes the slides do move fast- sorry about that- I will pick a longer piece of music next time...
      Thanks Gina

  4. Great to see this discussion on here. I think the difficulty at the moment in education is the 'perceived difference' created by digital options. Also, the assumption that it is easy for students to pick it up especially if they are just out of school.

    As we know, the environment they have previously been exposed to is the defining factor. Just like the expectation that everyone should know how to cook so they can feed themselves. If you have never been expected to cook in the home, shown how to do it, or have little interest, and no opportunity to take a class in school, cooking like computing is easy to avoid.

    The two skills nonetheless are both essential for lifelong learning and habitation in our society are they not? Somehow, teachers have to integrate the development of digital information skills into their educational practices, in a way that makes it painless for students. Not so that other approaches such as f2f interactions are avoided but invisibly and as well as, as a matter of course. One day this will happen more easily I am sure.

    Don't you think that the 'powers that be' need to be informed that support for developing these skills is needed, and encouraged to put the appropriate resourcing in place? Rather than not being able to go there because teachers and students are so overwhelmed. Otherwise aren't we disadvantaging people in not preparing them for this rapidly changing world?

    Don't get me wrong though as I don't think digital competency should overtake other essential skills like communication and developing respectful relationships with others, and the opportunity to share learning experiences in a variety of ways.
    But if students and teachers perceive that digital information skills are not really necessary isn't this a myth that needs to be imploded in this day and age?

    I was once told by a student midwife, "midwives don't need to know about intravenous fluids because all births are natural" - if only! To me that says it all. Students do need digital skills alongside everything else in my opinion, and it is our responsibility to help them obtain them. Yep, whether they like it or not.

    See I want to revert to the facilitator-driven model that Helen mentions - not really but sometimes 'tough love' is needed. Being flexible is also about keeping up with the times...how far have we come reallyfrom enforced learning suffered at a wooden desk while the teacher told us what we needed to know, in between coming round to smack us on the hand with a ruler or throw chalk? (Us as in not you but people cos I know you are both too young to remember that. :))

  5. Ka pai - I also think both skills are necessary (cooking and computing- lol!) but I think digital learning needs to happen across the course as a whole and not be isolated in one learning strategy or module, which I think SAOT has been working on over the past year. I also beleive this is happening across papers in OT and in other departments- we just need to be balanced in our approach. Remember I still have 3rd year students who have been left with the scars of 100% digital learning and were almost completely put off (which is the opposite to flexible learning). So it's not saying the building of digital capabilities are not necessary- but they too have a context and like you said it sometimes means that they come at a different stage to other key learnings like communication. I also agree that it's important we do not ignore digital skills- but try to introduce new digital skills with appropriate support in the context of what we are learning.

    When you mention 'our society' in terms of essential lifelong learning - I would question- whose society are we talking here? In SA we would critique this and say 'our societ'y would assume a shared understanding of what 'society' is and yet when we scratch this concept, we find as people we have many different interpretations/ practices of society and our role within it. Lifelong learning also involves a multitude of understandings and expressions, and for some learning journeys this involves digital capabilities and for some learning journeys, digital space does not enter the picture. I remember one of my post grad professors who handwrote me a note of his thoughts for that day- there was no throwing of chalk- but definitely a wooden desk. I still have that bit of paper because it symbolises a key point in my learning journey, he also was (cause he's now dead) an inspiring teacher- and he didn't do tough love, just love of teaching. I still think the provision of choice is better than 'you must' approach, as people come to certain places of learning in their own times. Look at me, this is my first blog- a couple years ago I wouldn't have even gone down this track!
    Ka kite apopo. Ka mihi Gina