Response to the Selwyn type critique of educational technology [...]

I enjoyed that talk much more than I really wanted to. The point that I keep grappling with is that if you've got the luxury of working for a living where what you have to produce can be critique then there is not so much of a problem with this. Many people who work in the edtech area do not earn their living in that way and they have to engage in various forms of action, and that action is very constrained by the politics, the economics, etc. of the circumstances in which they're operating. And so, the question for me then is to what extent can a critical perspective, disposition or midset, become a resource for action in those constrained circumstances and it seems to me that part of the answer is to develop an ability to understand what the scope for action is in a specific set of circumstances so that one can ask questions about what is doable amongst a range of things that might be doable and what action one might then take. And I think that gels with your notion of being modest about the effects that we can have and not trying to be revolutionary and change all the world. The one thing I do then worry about is that if you've got the freedom to act as a critical commentator you can always trump that local action, you can always say, "hey, yeah, but it's pointless really'. (Source)

Queensland Universities – balance of academic/non-academic employees [...]

The Queensland Auditor General reports the state’s seven universities were financially sustainable in 2016, all able to comfortably cover short-term liabilities.

On 2015 figures, at 28.3 per cent state system spending was also well up on the 27 per cent national average of expenditure on non-academic employees. James Cook U had the lowest, 25.2 per cent and University of Southern Queensland the highest, 35.6 per cent. The figures for the three major metros were University of Queensland, 26 per cent, Griffith University 29.7 per cent and QUT 30.5 per cent. “Queensland universities have an opportunity to improve their efficiency of service delivery,” the auditor observes. (Source)

Systems thinking [...]

Systems thinking is a mind-set—a way of seeing and talking about reality that recognizes the interrelatedness of things. System thinking sees collections of interdependent components as a set of relationships and consequences that are at least as important as the individual components themselves. It emphasizes the emergent properties of the whole that neither arise directly, nor are predictable, from the properties of the parts. The vocabulary of formal systems thinking is one of causal loops, unintended consequences, emergence, and system dynamics. Practicing systems theorists employ tools such as systemigrams, archetypes, stock and flow diagrams, interpretive structural modeling, and systemic root cause analysis—all of which is beyond the scope of this post. For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll simply introduce the Iceberg Model and briefly discuss two key concepts in systems thinking—emergence and leverage points. (Source)

Define and constrast – Education & Learning [...]

a) education; is a process organized by institutions who offer qualifications based on set texts to be used by learning groups in classes to meet accreditation criteria. Teachers provide resources and broker these educational processes.

b) learning; is a process of problem-solving carried out by people individually or collaboratively by finding resources and discussing the emerging issues with trusted intermediaries. (Source)

What is it to teach? [...]

Basically, to teach means to risk something, to teach is to be human, to teach means to accept the fundamental weakness of the purposeful, creative process we call education. (Source)

50 research methods for innovation – infographic [...]

Over the years, many different works have been published that deal with creative research methods: there are so many great alternatives for finding that real gap in the market and iterating your product to its final stage. I decided to create an infographic with 50 different research methods (Source)

tag: lxdesign tags: bad

Professional standards, teacher idenities and an ethics of singularity [...]

This paper offers a critical analysis of the education policy move towards teacher professional standards. Drawing on Lacan's three registers of the psyche (real, imaginary and symbolic), the paper argues that moves towards codification (and domestication) of teachers' work and identities in standardized (and sani-tized) forms, such as the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership professional standards recently adopted in Australia, can be read as a colonization of the Real and the imaginary by (a rather static, mortified form of) the symbolic. The paper argues that in response to such normalizing moves, we need to consider how we might conceptualize the reanimation of what it means to teach and be a teacher, something we attempt in terms of enabling each of the psyche's registers to inter-animate each other, as a means of engendering teacher identities characterized by criticality, creativity and passion – that is, by an ethics of singularity rather than by standardization. (Source)

Empowering the future teacher – tensions [...]

Highlights some of the key tensions.

From Empower the future teacher

Current problems and tensions

Autonomy <--> Quality assurance

Context dependence <--> Global policies

Research insights <--> Practitioner intuitions

How do we enable teachers of the future to:

Apply knowledge from research
Propagate innovation from practice
Enhance creativity
Reflect on practice
Make good decisions about pedagogy
and about technology

Know thy students [...]

The overarching goal of teaching is not to deliver information to faceless crowds, but instead to cause learning to occur among enrolled students.4 Courses and classroom activities should be developed on the basis of helping students discover and construct knowledge, not on the basis of what the instructor wants to talk about.5 And importantly, to develop successful learning activities, instructors must have some insight into their students' relevant knowledge base, and they must also be sensitive to their students' sociocultural approaches to education.6 Otherwise, instructors risk more than just appearing "out of touch" — they risk developing ineffective educational experiences. Course planning involves predicting the effects of learning activities on a group of students, and to make successful predictions, we must have relevant knowledge about those whose behaviors we are trying to predict.7

For these reasons, experienced teachers advocate for instructors (particularly new instructors) to collect information about their students at the beginning of the semester, either by administering a questionnaire or by giving a short ungraded test that directly measures background knowledge.8 These efforts could help inform instructors about their students' interests, abilities, demographics, and skill sets, and ideally, the remainder of the course would be tailored to the general characteristics measured in this initial survey. (Source)

5 points for teaching anything in the digital age [...]

5 points

  1. Be assistive
  2. Be connective
  3. Be interactive
  4. Be constructive
  5. Be reflective

These statistics are evidence that people are by nature connected learners. We learn through a process of inquiry that takes shape through social communication. It’s safe to say that humanity itself is a learning community; full of great teachers and great learners. (Source)

Education has been inadequately slow to move from conceptual frameworks that recognize digital age deficiencies in creating deep learning opportunities

Additionally, it is a reason that prototyping is an essential component of product development. In education, the new digital tools that we have available require the same process of innovative inquiry