Technology Enhanced Learning

The Faculty of Information Sciences and Engineering at the University of Canberra hosted a talk by Catherine McLoughlin today: Web 2.0 integration in Higher Education: it’s all about participation and personalisation.


Catherine is the coordinator of SiMERR ACT (Centre for Science, ICT and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia) and is in the Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University, Canberra. She is editor of the Australian Journal of Educational Technology and a member of the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Educational Technology. In addition, she is on the editorial boards of a number of leading international journals in the field of educational technologies and mentors early career academics in research and publication. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and related to pedagogical improvement and innovation, translating theory into practice –through appropriate learning design and learning environments; evidence based practice in education, the application of emerging and mobile technologies in higher  education and the development of underpinning research frameworks and theory for current ICT supported  teaching and learning. Catherine’s most recent publication is a co-authored book on Web 2.0 practices in higher education titled  Web 2.0-based e-learning: applying social informatics for tertiary teaching, published by IGI Global in August 2010 (Contents listed here).

Her talk focussed on:

the changing landscape of Web 2.0 practices and their impact on teaching and learning. As technologies have evolved, the shift from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 signals more user-centered, participatory Web practices. By describing a typology of Web 2.0 tool types, a number of different pedagogical approaches are outlined. The opportunities and challenges for using these social networking tools in an educational context are discussed along with their implications for learners, focusing on three themes:

  • Digital literacy skills
  • The importance of task design
  • Pedagogies to engage learners

I was particularly interested her discussion of pedagogical transformation of teaching and learning.

Photo Credits

Catherine McLoughlin

Forty Years On: Reflecting on Good Fortune

I saw of a copy of Alan Bennett‘s play Forty Years On (1968) in a second hand  bookshop this week.

By coincidence it is forty years ago this week that I went to the University of York to start my social sciences course. Ironically I should have been on my way to the University of Reading to study French and German!

Heslington Hall

Revision for my final year school exams in 1970 were distracted by the Football World Cup in Mexico. I am not sure whether it was the excitement generated by the World Cup or my lack of study skills that led to some final grades that prevented me from going to Reading. York kindly offered me a clearing house place.

Looking back I believe I was enormously fortunate to take up my place at York. My experiences there gave me a real desire to follow a polymath interest in society, culture and learning. Over the years I have maintained a fascination with language that may have been different had I studied it formally.

Later in my course at York I read Brian Jackson and Dennis Marsden’s (1962) Education and the Working Class. Recently I looked back at a 1986 edition of the book and appreciated the subliminal impact of their approach on my thinking.

I went to University as the son of a steelworker and postwoman. I had no idea what University education was and was ill equipped to study with peers who had come from completely different backgrounds. As a ‘new’ university York was a rick mixture of people like myself and many who had come from the private education.

I went to York two years after events of May in Paris,  a year after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a few months after Brazil, with Pele in the team, defeated Italy to win the World Cup in the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City and shortly after Leonard Cohen’s appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival. It was a time when anything was possible.

York nurtured this sense of the possible and enabled me to pursue a path that Brian Jackson and Dennis Marsden championed. My first week there was spent in a pre-season training camp with the University’s rugby team. The group really welcomed me and may have been over-anticipating my ability. I had told them correctly that I was from Wales and played outside half. I think they were anticipating a Barry John!

Attendance at the training camp introduced me into the University and ever since I have been grateful that sport does offer distinct social inclusion possibilities. I could not have blogged about my experiences at the time. I would have needed thousands of these:

to program a third generation computer so that I might take advantage of “a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite” in the early 1990s!

Forty years on it is wonderful to reflect on good fortune. I am more convinced than ever that personal learning environments must celebrate biography and work with our ‘taken-for-grantedness’.

Photo Credits

1970s photographs of the University of York taken from the Alumni site.

Coaches and Technology

I am at the Japan Institute of Sports Sciences (JISS) in Tokyo. Today I hope to meet with some coaches at the Institute to discuss their use of technology. Chikara Miyaji is my host and I am hopeful that he will help me with the translation required for the conversation with coaches.

I have prepared a SlideShare for the discussions (a copy here 100927 Coaches and Technology) and I am hopeful that my use of photographs will unlock our shared understandings about coaching an performance. I do believe that whilst there are enormous cultural differences in coaching and athlete behaviour there are some fascinating cultural universals that bind coaches and athletes together in the world of sport.

The ideas I am sharing today are connected to this blog post (18 April 2010) written for colleagues at the Qatar Academy of Sport. I believe there are four key themes to address, coaches as:

  • Educational technologists
  • Users of commercial technologies
  • Users of free resources
  • Technology developers

I am interested to learn about how coaches undertake this work at JISS and the role that people like Chikara play in support of innovation and early adoption of technologies.

Photo Credit

Fritzi Scheff demonstrating Magnavox for Fifth Liberty Loan in New York City, 1895