Wednesday, 28 August 2013

2 down ....1 to go...

What a monumental task!  Despite all the distractions and speed bumps I've had I thought I was on top of things...
I have managed to submit the first 2 assignments - the annotated bibliography with essay and the scenarios for alternate futures. I found the bibliography and essay the biggest challenge - I found the lead up tasks somewhat scattered, in part due to my own schedule, but also I think I found it hard to follow so many different places to post ideas. I have never been a fan of this type of assignment as I always feel a little like I'm just proving that I read lots of articles by rewording them to prove my idea was actually theirs.

The scenario planning was fun!  (hopefully I will still think so after I get my mark) I enjoyed considering the vast possibilities out there and how we could get there.  I think that is closer to what I naturally do within my leadership - although possibly I take a few too many leaps towards things without enough planning.

Today I can across an article about the possibility of using cognitive enhancing drugs to increase the achievement of our struggling students.  A great scenario article as it looked at a variety of possibilities and viewpoints.  If I can find an online version I will add a link.

Monday, 12 August 2013

University Students’ Perception of the Pedagogical use of Podcasts

University Students’ Perception of the Pedagogical use of Podcasts: A Case Study of an Online Information System Course.

This study considered the use of podcasting as a means to deliver supplementary information to course participants.  Their findings supported the information found in a literature review completed as part of their research.  Students found the podcasts beneficial when reviewing concepts, it supported distance learners, aided the review of material, and assisted those who were absent from a lesson.  The disadvantages found when using podcasts included; unidirectional communication, limitations of technology used, classroom session not designed to use podcasts, and it encouraged absenteeism.  It was also noted that some students found it difficult to remain focused on an audio only presentation, especially it if was longer than 20 minutes. (Khechine, Lakhal, & Pascot, 2013)


While this study researched the use of podcasts with university students, many of the same issues apply in primary school.  The length and appropriateness needs to be considered to ensure that students are not becoming bored or distracted with listening to recordings.  This study also highlights the need to plan for more opportunities to communicate about the recordings and to plan for the use of the podcasts or a discussion time within the class to make the most of the learning opportunity.


Khechine, H., Lakhal, S., & Pascot, D. (2013). Universtiy students' perception of the pedagogical use of podcasts: A case study of an online information system course. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 1(2), 136 - 151.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Scenario Matrix

The two uncertainties I have used on my matrix are; Pedagogical development and Internet access

These are both important factors in my context as a primary school leader and teacher. 

In order to fully develop the use of e-learning opportunities, pedagogical reform needs to take place.  Teachers need to adapt their current practice to incorporate ICT and e-learning and as blended classrooms and open resources develop teaching may become a very different skill than we currently use.

Internet access is also an important factor.  In a rural setting access to the internet at school can be unreliable, and many students cannot yet access reliable internet at home.  As the use of interactive games and instructional video increases the pressure on the existing infrastructure is increased.  The cost of upgrading to the use of fibre is currently inhibitive to small schools.  The access to internet must improve if learners are to be able to make the most of e-learning opportunities.

Typewriters : This is the ideal quadrant, where access to internet resources is unlimited, fast and reliable and teachers have developed mew pedagogical strategies to facilitate self-directed learning within the educational setting.

Pens: This quadrant has developed new pedagogical strategies to incorporate e-learning opportunities; however teachers are limited by the limits of internet access including speed and reliability.

Pencils:  This quadrant has improved access to internet resources through a fast reliable network; however they have yet to develop new pedagogical practice to use these resources more effectively.

Quills:  This quadrant has limited access to internet resources and as such has not needed to develop / evolve their pedagogical practice as learning opportunities have not developed beyond current practice. 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Drivers of change

Open content is changing education as it allows more learners to access opportunities. It also is more easily updated and learners can revisit it as needed.

Online collaboration is changing education as it expands support for teachers, and can provide a wider range of resources. Student collaboration encourages gaining a wider viewpoint, and building a stronger collective understanding of the topic.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Scenarios can’t predict the future, so what’s the point?

Scenario planning isn’t about predicting the future.  It is about considering possible futures, the challenges along the way, and preparing ways to work with or around the relevant effects these events may trigger.
By considering a variety of possibilities instead of just planning based on the current trend, organisations can prepare for the effects of event types. For example; there are a variety of major disasters that could occur, earthquakes, pandemics, floods, etc.  While it is impractical to plan for each disaster, it is sensible to prepare for the common effects these events would create – possible lack of communication, loss of power, isolation.  By considering the effects that different event types may create the organisation can be prepared to maximise positive opportunities and minimise the effects of negative events. 

Scenario planning also takes into account a wide variety of viewpoints. By looking at what is happening outside the organisation, as well as at all levels within the organisation, this model assists planners to have a greater perspective on what may impact the future. 

In my situation, this would be a very effective model to use.  I have a lot of knowledge around the trends in education, ministry aims and current issues at my school.  However using scenario planning, I would need to include a wider scope of ideas and viewpoints.  This could include including the perspective of current and former students, parents, Board of Trustees members, teaching staff, resources and technology providers, university and Ministry of Education advisors.  By considering these viewpoints and discussing possibilities with this wider range of people, I am more likely to identify a wider range of future possibilities and be able to be more prepared for the variety of event effects that will impact my school. 

Revised research topic

Proposed question…

How does a rural primary school prepare for (or embed) the use of online courses and instructional video to support student achievement?

(What I want to look at is the use of online video & courses to improve the learning opportunities in multilevel classes – with a scenario planning lens this will consider and plan for how the school may need to change some of its infrastructure and curriculum expectations to embed this practice.)

I believe that students need to be self-motivated in their learning and be able to self-direct their learning.  The use of online video and courses means that students can learn and revisit instructions as they need to.  At a more personal level, using online video / courses would allow students in my multilevel class to receive quality instruction when I am working with a different learning group, thus maximising their learning opportunities.

Major questions include – what infrastructure is needed, onsite resources needed, skills for teachers, new pedagogy to support effective use, perceptions of key users such as staff, students and parents – time frame for achievement?

I feel this is a key issue in rural schools around the world.  Teaching in multilevel classes is always a challenge as there are so many learning needs to cater to.  This could be an effective way to modify pedagogy and teaching strategies within a multilevel classroom to enhance the learning taking place.


This is both an historic issue as well as current/future based.  The idea to use educational / instructional video has been around since the popularisation of television.   However it has not had the predicted impact on education, likely because the pedagogy hasn’t changed to support effective use.

Thinking about technology innovation, perception and the relationship between the past, present and future

To dwell on the earlier fads and disappointments that technology has generated in education would be pedantic. Innovators like to believe that theirs is the real revolution. But technology has been about to transform education for a long time. In 1841 the 'inventor of the blackboard was ranked among the best contributors to learning and science, if not among the greatest benefactors to mankind'. A century later, in 1940, the motion picture was hailed the most revolutionary instrument introduced into education since the printing press. Television was the educational revolution in 1957. In 1962 it was programmed learning and in 1967 computers. Each was labelled the most important development since Gutenberg's printing press.
                                                                                                                                                                —Sir John Daniel
Why would the major events and drivers of change you identified earlier be any different? 
What do I think?

Why would online video / open courses be different than the innovations and expected revolutions of the past?

Open access to education takes the control of who learns what and when away from the educator and potentially puts it in the hands of the learner.  A learner no longer has to wait until a course is available, until their teacher thinks they are ready or they can afford to attend the ‘right’ school.  However, this shift in education depends on the learners taking ownership and leadership of their own learning, which is something educators should be promoting and instilling in their learners.  The drive for life long learning.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Thinking about big change in education

In human affairs — political, social, economic, and business — it is pointless to try to predict the future, let alone attempt to look ahead 75 years. But is possible — and fruitful — to identify major events that have already happened, irrevocably, and that therefore will have predictable effects in the next decade or two. It is possible, in other words, to identify and prepare for the future that has already happened.
—Peter Drucker[1]
What do I think?

I think the use of online instructional video and open online courses will enable motivated learners to follow their passions, achieve their potential no matter their circumstances.   The challenge will always be to motivate reluctant learners, and help them see the benefits of education. 

Why do people use information technology? A critical review of the technology acceptance model.

Legris, P., Ingham, J., & Collerette, P. (2003). Why do people use information technology? A critical review of the technology acceptance model. Information & Management 40(40), 191-204.


The technology acceptance model measures user satisfaction to explain why people adopt the use of information technology.  Satisfaction is the sum of a person’s feelings and attitudes towards the factors affecting the innovation.  These factors have been grouped into three categories; uncontrollable, partially controllable, and fully controllable.  This model provides a foundation for measuring the impact of these external variables on internal beliefs, attitudes, and intentions.  Limitations of this method include the reliance on self-reported use.  This is an inaccurate measurement and can only be considered a relative indicator and a more accurate measurement of use should be used.  It also considers the use of information systems independently from organisational dynamics which other research has shown to have a great impact on the adoption of innovations.  While this model is a useful tool when implementing change, it needs to be incorporated into a broader change model that includes the social dynamics and encourages the adoption of the innovation. (Legris, Ingham, & Collerette, 2003)


This model would be effective when used in conjunction with a broader model.  While TAM focuses on the satisfaction of the user; their feelings and attitudes towards the information system, it does not consider the bigger picture of social and organisational dynamics.  This model has grouped the factors that affect satisfaction according to their degree of control.  This aspect of the model is effective as it can highlight for the change manager where improvements can be made in the system to encourage adoption.

Attributes of Innovations and their rate of Adoption

Rogers, E. M. (1995). Attributes of innovations and their rate of adoption. In Diffusion of innovations (4th ed., pp. 204 - 251). New York: The Free Press.

This chapter considers how the innovation itself, affects the rate of adoption.  Rogers states that the perceived attributes; its relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, opportunities for trial, and observable improvements, all affect how quickly an innovation will be adopted by a community.   Other aspects that affect the rate of adoption include the type of innovation or decision.  One that is individual based will be adopted more quickly than one that has to be adopted by an organisation.  The type of communication used to disseminate information about the innovation is important too.  The more complex the change is the more likely interpersonal contact will be needed to encourage adoption. As opposed to simple changes which can be affected through mass media.  The type of social system up-taking the innovation as well as how the leaders of change promote it also affect the rate of adoption. (Rogers, 1995)


As a leader of change these attributes of innovation and variables are important to be aware of in order to effectively promote adoption of innovations.  By considering the attributes of the innovation being promoted the leader of change can address or highlight these issues with the adopters.  Consideration of variables such as the social system being encouraged to adopt a new innovation, and the complexity of the change will impact of the chosen methods of promotion.  This will also allow the promoter to align the change with the values and experiences of the target adopters and increase the rate of adoption.

CBAM change model

Evans, L., & Chauvin, S. (1993). Faculty developers as change facilitators: The concerns-based adoption model. To Improve the Academy, paper 278. Retrieved from

Research has recognised that change is a process and leaders in education are facilitators of change.  The Concerns-Based Adoption Model outlines the stages of concern as the change process evolves.  The seven stages progress from concerns about what the innovations is; how the change will affect them personally; how they can use the innovation; building efficiency; effectiveness of the innovation; integrating or collaborating with others; and finally, improving on the innovation. These concerns progress from a self-based concern, to a task oriented concern and finally a concern based on the impact of the change that has occurred.
It is important for leaders of change to be aware of which stage faculty are at in order to address the concerns and provide the needed support to help them move forward in the process.  This is support is needed throughout the process and is likely to be required at all stages of change.  This model provides a useful conceptualisation of support stages required to implement planned long term change effectively.

As a leader in a school, this model is important to be aware of.  Staff are often expected to implement changes to their practice based on Ministry of Education directives, Best Practice innovations, trends in education and community needs.  These changes are often expected to be implemented with little support from outside sources.  By being aware of the stages of change and being prepared to support staff through the whole process, school leaders will be more successful in embedding effective innovations.