Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Module reflection on course 6310

I have summarized the following on my reflection
  • The 6 dimensions points out the importance on the scalability, sustainability and transferability for the innovative practices. It is useful to analysis the innovative cases by using the dimensional model.
  • Learning within other classmate's real experience and sharing is a practical way to learn on each other by the peer-to-peer learning mechanism.
  • Understanding different innovation types and the innovative practices in student role, teacher role, curriculum, policy and school context. Learning how to build up the professional learning community (PLC) as well
  • SITEM2 cases analysis is good learning on IPPUT collection. In the M2 database, a lot of examples and the latest IPPUT cases can let us got a clear picture on the real life by these IPPUT case observation.

Comments for group: ITE6310 and Transformer

For group ITE6310:
I has posted their comment on last session! The ITE6310 has a clear picture. The information, activities and articles are pointed out quite clear. It categorizes the session in a clear view. It is easily to read and find out the necessary information on your blog.

But it seems the reflection and comment on the posting is not enough. Many postings just got zero comments and feedbacks! I think it can improve in the reflection and comment section!

For group Transformer:
They divide into 2 main parts on their layout: (1)Case Study Analysis (2) ePortfolio.
The part Case Study Analysis contain Site M2 case analysis, it looks well. The ePorfolio contains the Session activities. It is organized in good arrangement.

However, it seems difficult to 'leave comment and reflection' because they use Google Sites. The reflection and comment seems absent! The other classmates who is not belongs to group Transformer, that get difficult to 'leave feedback' to them because the Google Sites design constraint!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Waldorf Academy

The Waldorf Academy has been in the news a lot recently. You must have seen it! Here's one of the news reports;

This school apparently eschews technology, according to the news reports. Well, it doesn't actually. Students in senior grades are able to use the internet to search and the schools have their own web site, and in some cases, even Twitter accounts (/fr.twitter.com/WALDORFtoronto). But why let the full truth stand in the way of gleefully proclaimed headlines.

And it's the gleefulness I want to focus on. If, like me, you consider yourself to see the value in technology in educational settings then you've probably had the same experience as me: Somebody approaches you (a colleague probably) or engages you in casual conversation and then with utmost glee asks whether you've heard about the school where all the tecchie bigwigs send their kids that has no technology. They then sit back and wait for a reaction.

What's going on here, why the Glee!?

Here's my take. These are the Late Adopters. The Laggards. Those that have this hidden belief that technology is just a fad and will soon disappear. Like atheists in church primary schools they hide their beliefs away hoping that one day they will be able to 'come out' and proclaim they were right all along. In the meantime they do enough to get by and in doing so their students don't get as good a deal as they should.

But how about the Waldorf way? I like a lot of what they say and do but I don't believe that technology hinders a creative curriculum. I believe it can enhance it.

The idea that you can do some wood carving or sock knitting instead of "real work that can be assessed" would also cause a few to break out in a sweat!

In some ways, I also like the attitude that there is stuff that can wait until later. In education we seem obsessed with the future: "We can't do this because we need to prepare students for exams", or "we need to study this exam board as it gets them into a better university."

Focusing on the here and now can sometimes be forgotten. Focusing on the future too much can undervalue student achievement as it is subconsciously gives students the message that what they're doing is not good enough. Whilst it's important to "skate to where the puck is going to be", it's also important to take care of the puck when you have it!

As far as innovation is concerned the curriculum is innovative in that it differs from the norm; a kind of retro-innovation. Within the innovation framework studied as part of this course the technological aspects fail, of course. However, some of the teacher strategies seem relatively innovative; an emphasis on discovery & creativity.

When the innovation framework was designed it was probably not intended to look at classroom practice that featured knitting!

My take is that if the best way to support learning is without technology then so be it. However, it's not just so much the technology that's an issue. In the above video clip, maths classes are shown with student and teacher work being written on a blackboard. Is that the best way. A standard, modern whiteboard with no technology attached at all would surely be a better way?

Is the Waldorf Academy really saying that the blackboard is a better way of supporting the learning of young mathematicians than a wipe clean whiteboard, or are they simply trying to propagate an image of a bygone era to attract the Late Adopters?

I suspect the truth is really somewhere in-between!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Building Professional Learning Community (PLC) Resources

With respond to "Chapter8 PLC".
First of all, what is the PLC, LC means?
PLC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_learning_community
LC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_community

How to create a PLC?

The 7 Signs of Creative and Innovative PLC in educational innovation:

Session7 activity: Rayson's own review

Scalability of innovation:
It can rate it by using the Diffusion of Innovation to put a value on the specific innovation. It can make it measurable on the innovation. Also, it makes the policy based on the method about 'Diffusion of Innovation' can let the innovation become scalability.
Detail: http://mitesuperstars.blogspot.com/2011/10/diffusion-of-innovation.html

Sustainability and transferability of innovation:
From wiki: In contrast to disruptive innovation, a sustaining innovation does not create new markets or value networks but rather only evolves existing ones with better value, allowing the firms within to compete against each other's sustaining improvements. Sustaining innovations may be either "discontinuous" (i.e. "transformational" or "revolutionary") or "continuous" (i.e. "evolutionary").
Above means sustaining innovation has maintained its original market value. But it can put add-on on the technological part innovation rather than the market part. Then the policy should put emphasis on the technology to let it become transformational innovation (transferability). This new product should be the transferability of innovation from the original sustaining innovation (sustainability). The innovation move from sustaining to transformating one!
From the above 'Sustaining Innovation'  process diagram, it transfers from Scalable Startup (scalability) -> Transition (transferability) -> Sustaining Innovation (sustainability).

Session6 activity: Rayson's own review

Task1: analyzing school context on the innovation
We use Ken's post-secondary institution (community college) in Hong Kong for analysis.

Task2: individual assignment task review
I do the 2nd task, the standalone learning object resource collection. I will collect the findings/ resources on the one of the eight modules. Then using the material to form a collective learning object (LO)!

Task3: review of sample VoiceThread/ SlideShare/ Prezi
On VoiceThread, I think it is most suitable to the presentation that with speech and dialogue.
On Prezi, I think the transitional effect between the slide show is the best between these 3 online presentation tools.
On SlideShare, I think it is a simple layout than Prezi and SlideShare.
But three of them are user-friendly!
If I use, I prefer to use Prezi as well!

Session5 activity: Rayson's own review

From the curriculum role using IPPUT to analysis, we still use the "Project-based Learning (PBL) in Maine using one-to-one laptop" case. This case is extended the previous activities work but concentrate on the curriculum focus!

The case detail link are the following:

The 'PBL laptop' case, there has one in SITEM2 database, the case "US003: Making Learning Meaningful through Project-Based Learning Using Wireless Laptops in a K-5 Math, Science, and Technology Magnet School"
Our case is a similar case to this US003.

The reflection and comment are emphasis on the THREE types curriculum focus:
- Single subject focus
- Thematic focus
- School-wide focus
The detail are included in the following work:

Session4 activity: Rayson's own review

In the innovative classroom, for example, like RM101, each students are provided with a new iMac for learning. Students are cooperation and join into grouping with the movable chairs. Also, the new design of the classroom is not only innovative, also elegant!

From the S1 to S17 student roles, I found that students have at least fit on the following roles:
S3: Search for information - we can use iMac to look for information from the web.
S6: Data gathering and processing - we can process the suitable data after information retrieval.

Then, on the classroom, the new interactive whiteboard (IWB) occurs, it can assist the student to present their idea, concept and work:
S4: Presentation on our own learning
S9: Reflect on our own learning by presentation
S10: Electronic presentation on own learning
S14: Peer tutoring by the presentation work

In addition, from the innovative classroom, the innovated movable chair can assit students role are:
S11: Engage in collaborative tasks with other students
S12: Engage in enquiry
S13: Collaborating with remote peers

I can see there are many roles that students have in innovative classroom. However, I just explore our new innovative classroom for example!

Our analysis for innovative cases, please refer:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A brief definition on type of innovation in marketing

Innovation initialized from the 'business' approach and then transfer to the 'education' discipline.

An innovation that does not affect existing markets. 

An innovation that improves a product in an existing market in ways that customers are expecting.

Revolutionary (discontinuous, radical):
An innovation that is unexpected, but nevertheless does not affect existing markets.

An innovation that creates a new market by applying a different set of values, which ultimately (and unexpectedly) overtakes an existing market.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wrap up: iBand case study - a deeper analysis

As a wrap up, how about if we try to analysis the case of “iBand” example (http://mitesuperstars.blogspot.com/2011/09/innovation-or-just-shiny-gadgets.html) based on the analysis framework?

Just a recap of the case: students where taught music in a music lesson, by playing mobile tablet devices installed with music software. Students follow instructions by teachers to play the note, yet collaboration exists among students.

In the previous discussion, our group suggested that the case is innovative. Clive has pointed out previously that in the technological aspect, the case is innovative that latest ICT products (touchscreen devices) are used.

Let’s try to have a deeper analysis on this case. While the teachers’ role in the case has been discussed before, here I would like to point out the analysis with respect to (1) students’ role, (2) the ICT used, and (3) Connectedness.

(1) Students’ role

Cooperation and collaboration

  • Certainly cooperation is found among students. They play the devices together aiming at attaining the same goal – to produce a song together
  • Collaboration may be found as well – there may be discussion on the role played by each student before the actual performance. This requires the setting up a common language and meaning in the task
Roles of students revisited – we can identify the following role of students, from traditional one to innovative one
  • Follow task instruction
  • Presentation of own learning
  • Electronic presentation of own learning (using the iPad to produce musical note)
  • Engage in collaborative task with other students

My opinion is that, if there are more follow-up tasks among students regarding the music lesson, e.g., self-reflection or peer evaluation, then the case would be more innovative.

(2) School context – ICT structure

Based on the video, certainly there is a sufficient support of the ICT infrastructure – there are iPads for each student. Additionally, as we can see from the video, there are many computers along the walls in the classroom (just like our classroom’s setting). Musical instruments like digital piano, drums, etc. are all available. The iPads are also specialized, designed for the digital orchestra.

(3) Connectedness

The connectedness in the case may score low. There is little connection of teaching outside the classroom. However, from the video, we may find certain “hidden connection” to the public throughout the students’ learning because their music performance was recorded and put onto YouTube. Students may have learnt something outside apart from just playing music – they may learn the way to prepare for a performance, the importance of rehearsal, how to cooperate in an orchestra performance, etc.. At the end, a student girl was interviewed, she may have learned the communication skills which is outside the music lesson curriculum too.

Summary and reflection of group assignment

In MITE 6310 innovation in education is mainly discussed from several aspectsinnovation
role of teacherrole of studentscurriculumschool contextpolicy and professional community.
Our group work is mainly focused on the following Maine case:
Some links of the case and our discussions are as follows:

On the other hand, lot of examples of our own experiences, outside resources and evaluation of our courses and program are introduced to our blog work.
Case study based on our own experience:

Resources found online and analyzed in group activities and recent events such as the passing away of Jobs:

Evaluation of our courses and program:

I really appreciate my group-mates hard work and contribution to our group activity. Although we may not post the most passages on the blog, we do make comments and give feedback to each other, from which we benefit a lot. As Clive said in last session, the main value of learning is getting feedback and reflection from each other and we have achieved the value, I think. It is a good opportunity to rethink of innovative practices in education, as well as in our lives. Lively discussion always occurs when we try to follow up what happens around us, such as the unfortunate passing away and great achievements of Jobs and our new classroom. Finally, I suggest we try to make more comments on other group’s blog and share our opinions during the process.
Any reflection and comments are warmly welcome.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A case study of MITE program----Group activity 6

Factors contribute to the emergence of IPPUT practices:
A.the necessity of communication and sharing on an online platform
B.the convenience and pleasure brought by innovative practices
C. the willing to share and to discuss in and between groups
D.the proper assessment system to support these practices
Leadership characteristics most conducive to innovations:
Distributed leadership: everyone in the group is equal and act as a leader in turn. Most importantly, everyone should be totally responsible for his/her own study,as well as the group activites online. In other words, if a student works hard individually, it is not enough to get a high mark. He should also cooperate with group members. On the other hand, if a student does not strive to explore and learn more, it is impossible for him to get satisfactory results even if his group members are all working hard.

Implementation strategies:
Based on my own experience, when participants are encouraged but not forced to do something innovative , satisfactory results are more easily to achieve.For example, in some modules, when discussion on online platforms and sharing of materials are optional, students tend to forget what they should do after class while an other extreme is that students' post number is taken as the major standard of evaluation. In this situation, innovation practices seldom occur since students would rather do something the same as others and post as much as possible.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Group Activity 6 - ICT infrastructure

Here this is my brief sharing of the ICT infrastructure in my school.

I am teaching in a post-secondary institution (community college) in Hong Kong. Perhaps the ICT facilities available is richer when compared with secondary schools. One of the reasons is that, the mode of teaching in my school is closer to that in university - students do not have fixed times of lesson, students' self-learning (using ICT?) is highly promoted. Hence there are WiFi networks around, sufficient computers in the computer centre / library, and technical I.T. support team.

Nevertheless, the use of ICT in teaching is still not yet popular in my school. The most advanced one is the use of specific language software in teaching language / translation subject. However, in other subjects, use of ICT in teaching is not common. Probably there is lack of funds to support the installation of ICT hardware devices in normal classroom. In addition, "initiation" is another factor - there is not anyone who acts as the initiator for such activities.

My feeling is that, after taking this course, I hope I can initiate some innovative learning practices in my classroom, and see if it can be promoted further within my school.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Group Activity 5 - Curriculum focus of a recent case

As discussed in the notes there are THREE types of curriculum focus:

- Single subject focus
- Thematic focus
- School-wide focus

We may study the IPPUT cases that have the above subject focus, and understand more about each type of focus first.

I suggest to use, again the Maine's "Laptop Program" case, and analyse it in terms of its curriculum focus.

New classroom developing

Any thoughts on ow the new classroom is developing? Will the learning space encourage or hamper innovation? What do we think HKU are trying to achieve with this room?

Review of Group activity 4

This week, we mainly discussed students' role in a case (http://www.edutopia.org/maine-project-learning-schools-that-work) in Maine.
All 17 roles have been discussed no matter whether we consider it is included in the case. Among the 17 roles, key points to innovation are included. Cooperation, collaborating reflection and presentation are mainly discussed in our activity. Basically, it is an innovative practice in education just as the teacher said in the video "students are not just learning, they are doing". Obviously, engagement is important to innovative practices.

After discussion on student role, Clive offered excellent resources related to the example to further explore the effects of attempt in Marine. What arousing wide attention is the assessment system. It seems that in innovative practice, it is hard to improve marks in standard exams, however, in this case, it did. But in New York Times article, they cast doubt on the results and pointed out the computer may not be made fully use of. Also, lots of limitations and negative effects are mentioned. We all felt unsatisfactory with the assessment system, but it seems that it is quite effective and easy to use. Perhaps exam itself is not a problem, but it can no longer be the only assessment tool in the innovative period.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Impact of one-to-one in Maine

Angus King, the ex-governor of the state of Maine who was instrumental in the mass roll out of the one-to-one laptop initiative in the state's middle schools characterises the benefits of the programme as follows:

to significantly improve writing scores
to improve behaviour and attendance
provide true 21st Century skill

and all for the same cost as the state snow-ploughing budget! http://goo.gl/FMRr9

It's interesting that even this (at the time) highly innovative project
had standardised testing in mind as an achieveable outcome, which, given the US obsession with test scores as a means of identifying teacher performance (see Race to the Top; http://goo.gl/yOltm ) is hardly surprising.

Of more surprise is that this objective was actually achieved.

"Analysis of these average scale scores indicated that, in fact, there was a statistically
significant improvement in writing scores after implementation of the laptop
program" (Silvermail 2007)

Although writing is only a part of the range of testing it was an area for improvement as noted by Angus King.

However, outside of Maine there has been a more lukewarm response to one-to-one initiatives, as highlighted by the New York Times; http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/04/education/04laptop.html?pagewanted=all

The articles states that laptops have been ditched as they have "showed little, if any, measurable effect on grades and test scores at a time of increased pressure to meet state standards." Note again the stressing of the importance of standardized assessment scores.

But as Scott McLeod points out on his blog, the types of higher order, authentic, 21st Century Learning experiences that an innovative laptop programme should be looking to achieve are unlikely to create an atmosphere conducive to higher standardized test scores: http://goo.gl/N0l1S

He also highlights key factors in lack of training and support to help these initiatives achieve their true potential.

Silvermail, D.L., Gritter, A.K. (2007). Maine’s Middle School Laptop Program: Creating Better
Writers. Maine Education Policy Research, University of Southern Maine.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A case to be analyzed for Group activity 4----Role of students

Some links to the case: Project Learning in Maine


Project Fun Way: When Project Learning and Technology Meet

A Computer for Every Lap: The Maine Learning Technology Initiative

An Entire State Commits to Laptops on Every Middle School Desktop

Laptops on Expedition: Embracing Expeditionary Learning

Perhaps we can identify the roles of students in this activity - do they have the roles S1 to S17 in the activity?

Session3 activity: Analyzing teacher roles in innovative classroom

Rayson said:
Analyzing teacher roles in innovative classroom

On the above 13 teacher's pedagogical roles, it  realizes that some are internal role who performs it inside the classroom-based. Some roles are external role that the teacher or the instructor performs outside the class. The external roles include the curriculum development, educational administration and school counselling work. But the class is a e-class, online learning and e-learning approach, there has only virtual campus. The teaching role (internal role above) become redundant and maybe vanished! Moreover, classroom usage and teacher's classroom duties can reduce. The teacher's role is completely changed. Their role maybe Q&A online to answer the student's question and give feedback on chat room, email or SMS/MMS. The advantage of innovative ICT can assist teacher to reduce their workload and can save much spare time when the online learning or e-class can fully occupy the class role of the them. However, the drawback is if this virtual learning can fully occupy for the teacher's role. The teacher's role may become a 'phase out' job title! This is a weakness or disadvantage for the teacher's role.  Moreover, when this technology become mature. That something like 'virtual teacher' this technology come out, the student just 'input their question on the system' and 'can get the answer/ feedback immediately'. Furthermore, the student just ask the question to a 'Robot' teacher in front of them and this machine teacher can answer them, coach them and lead them. The 'real' teacher become useless. The 'robot' teacher or answering teaching machine, they are innovation and creative, they are fully used the AI (artificial intelligence). When innovative educational technology become sophisticated, it remains only the document work and administration work for the teacher. In the future, the innovative ICT on education maybe a bonus to teacher's role but is also a nightmare to teacher!

Session2 activity: Exploring success in innovations

Rayson say:
Exploring success in innovations
According to Joyce Wycoff's 'Big 10 Innovation Killers', it can summarize the above 'killer' factors make the innovation unsuccessfully. If it want to success innovation, it should prevents the above elements occur. She points out 'Culture', 'Ownership', 'Process', 'Resources', 'Strategy', 'Fuzzy front-end', 'Diversity', 'Criteria and metric', 'Training' and 'Idea management', First of all, culture is important for innovation. A success company culture can let all the employee concentrate on one product/thing 'innovation', the working environment and the in-house design of a company also are the 'Culture' part to benefit on the innovation 'Process' and 'Strategy'. A good working atmosphere is a basic 'Criteria and metrices' can let the people easy to brainstorming for 'Fuzzy front-end'.

Then, on the 'Ownership', it explores me to think the intellectual property problem to affect the personal idea has stolen. Because nowadays, Hong Kong people are still weak on the copyright concept. The idea stealing are series barrier to affect the creative idea. People are still easy to get the software, books and other resources by using peep-to-peer sharing software such as BT and other 'download accelerator' software. It affects the intention of creativity about song composer, screenwriter, software developer and designer since their intellectual property has become public-sharing! The creative workers are lose confidence to the social culture when this 'free-downloading' activity occurs.

Moreover, this is a money-oriented world. Money-driven is the main purpose to the company, organization and enterprise. The boss always want get 'instant-money'. They need the revenue immediately. However, they want to cut the budget, cut the research and development (R&D) time for their product life-cycle. This can affect the quality of innovation also! Because the innovated product and invention need time, idea and capital. Reduce time and money can direct influence the innovation. I think this should be Joyce Wycoff's 'Resource' not enough problem to affect the 'Strategy', 'Process' and 'Idea management'.

Eventually, the staff 'Training' and product 'Diversify' are needed. Not enough training will let not enough knowledge and experience to generate a new idea. The product diversified is important, it cannot concentrate on one product's success. Such like Apple, their products are not sticking on one product, it covers a wide-range product line includes music player, tablet, laptop and mobile!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Group activity 3---Teachers' role in innovation

The main topic in this week is the teachers' role in innovation, which is tightly related to Steve Jobs' who unfortunately passed away several days ago.

I do not choose the grey apple, instead, the colorful one may well represent the contribution made by Steve since our world becomes more colorful owing to his great innovative practices.

However, it should be pointed out that innovation does not simply equal to educational innovation. One of the obvious reason is clearly stated by Clive in his "What if Steve ran your school?": examination. In other words, it is the assessment system that exert negative influence on innovative practice in education.

Looking back to what is discussed in class last week, we can see there are traditonal and emergent roles of teachers. Although the emergent role seems more attractive especially we are trying to introduce something new, the traditional roles of teachers should also be reconsidered carefully. To manage the whole class, to provide useful and selected resources, to assess students' assignment are all teachers' task. More importantly, the traditional role is the basic of other roles. If there is no well mananged class and satisfactory resources, the innovation is meaningless.

Finally, innovation is a kind of personal practice and the greatest advantage of Steve's products is that countless of possibilities are offered. While special personalities and abilities are expected to be developed in school, as a class, students may be well organized to do something together. So it is the teachers responsibility to explore to what extent should we introduce innovative practices in today's complex situation and assessment system which seems hard to change.

Session1 activity: education ICT innovation example & impact on practice

Rayson said:
Identify examples of educational ICT-innovation and their impact on practice

Innovative Teaching on the deaf students with ipad. Making the teaching and learning more fun.
The innovative teaching can apply to the disabled student such as the deaf or the blind students. They are needed the ICT technology to help them. There has many new ICT technologies developed to assist the disabled student.  In the above video, we can see the deaf students can learn the Science subject by using the ipad. Special education with hand-sign to the deaf students to help them to easy to understand the subject. Images, graphics and hand-sign are important to the deaf student because they can only learn by their vision and feeling without sound. Another technology I know, for example, the Voice-over technology, which developed by Apple Inc to help the blind student for target. When they listen to the song or some voice-clips, they just press the button and then the device can speak out the detail of the song or that voice-clips such like the song's name, performer and other information as well. 

What if Steve Jobs ran your school?

Or your place of work no matter what it is. What would the difference be?

Would it impact upon your role as a teacher? Could you be more innovative? Would there be an expectation for you to be an innovative educator?

A few thoughts from me.

Yes, Apple under Jobs designed amazing products that have seriously impacted upon people's lives. So much so that in using them one can take the view that Don Ihde's philosophy on the negative impacts of all technology inventions is complete twaddle. After all, whilst using my iPhone I can take a photograph of my son and send it to his grandparents instantly. I can't see the negative in that, Don!

But for Apple, and Apple shareholders there was always a bottom line. It's no good coming up with innovative designs and products if they don't sell (see the Lisa, Mac Cube, Pippin, Apple Quick Take camera, which my school had!). Apple's success has been built upon great, intuitive designs which sell well.

So, what's the bottom line in schools?

It's examinations.

The number of times I've heard that something cannot be done in a a school I've worked in because of exams, or tests, or assessments is extraordinary. This is nowhere as apparent as in the international school system, where schools are constantly being compared using examination data and where school leaders are obsessed to the point of paranoia regarding these tests, even for students in the primary age category.

So would Jobs have been concerned about exam results? Of course he would. The Apple shareholders would have insisted upon it!

There are various stories about Jobs, many of which have become legends (or myths) over the years, from sacking people in elevators to blunt assessments of projects; "that's a D". From an innovation point of view some of the more interesting ones focus upon when he had a viewpoint but was persuaded by his team that he was wrong... although they may have used a different word.

Apparently he was very keen on keeping iTunes as a Mac only project, not allowing it's use on Windows. However, the team around him persuaded him otherwise and iTunes on the PC platform is now very popular and drives much revenue to Apple through the iTunes store.

So, despite being a visionary leader he had the sense to surround himself with experts who sometimes questioned his vision and influenced his thinking. This is a key aspect of innovation as many "visionary" leaders simply surround themselves with those who think in the same way, so there is no questioning, no contrary view, so things are always accepted, and, in my opinion, innovation is dampened.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Analysing teacher roles in innovative classrooms

Below is my sharing after reading the notes and the M2 website.

Among the 13 pedagogical roles of the teachers, some are more traditional while some are more innovative. Group as five clusters, two of them: "facilitating exploratory learning" and "guiding collaborative inquiry" are more emergent in supporting students' learning.

In my opinion, whether the teacher's role in classroom is innovative not only depends on the teacher himself/herself. I think it is natural that teachers who are enthusiastic in teaching would take more innovative roles. However, I think the subject taught will also affect the role of teachers in classrooms.

Some subjects focus on individual logical thinking while some focus more on discussion and presentation. Just a comparison: Maths vs. Social science. When teaching Maths, teachers seldom "facilitate exploratory learning" or "guide collaborative inquiry" - there are few things to explore and few chances for collaboration among students. Pedagogies are limited to traditional type - present, instruct and assess students. However, for social science subjects, discussion and collaboration on social issues are common classroom practices. Teachers can play innovative roles during lessons.

It is also discussed that some pedagogical practices like "project work" are conducive to emergent pedagogical roles by teachers. I have an experience in teaching an I.T. subject which requires students to work as group to complete a group project. In this project, collaboration is achieved among students who are within the same group, or who are in other groups. During their presentation session, there is a Q and A session, and I assess my students through their participation in the Q and A. Students need to raise question to score some participation marks. I observe students did well and participated quite actively in their learning.

Looking back and while I try to relate the innovative pedagogical roles of teachers with my teaching, I think that to make the whole thing more innovative, I may also try to use ICT tools during students' project work or presentation, or put more emphasis on guiding students to inquire on the project matters.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Project Based Learning in Maine

Diffusion of innovation

The diffusion of innovation theory is a good description to explain how the connection between idea and technology.

Diffusion of innovation theory (below wordings and images from wikis): Diffusion of Innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures.Everett Rogers, a professor of rural sociology, popularized the theory in his 1962 book Diffusion of Innovations. He said diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. The origins of the diffusion of innovations theory are varied and span across multiple disciplines.......

My collection on "Diffusion of Innovation":

Monday, October 3, 2011

An example of innovative practice in education

Attached is the outline of my design my individual assignment in last module (6024). In general, it is a DIY(do it yourself ) programm to the your dream university aboard. The purpose of this design is that students who mainly depend on travel agency and teachers may have chances to design their own journey with the assistance of ICT.

Aids to Innovation

Whilst there are many barriers to innovation, as discussed in the comment threads below, there are also some aids to innovation. At our school we use an online CPD portfolio to link school development planning to individual staff performance.

This online tool allows staff to measure themselves against a variety of performance criteria and categroies. It also allows for senior managers to provide targets for all staff. This has been a key driver of some innovation within our schools as all teaching staff are given a technology related target at the beginning of each year.

In some cases, it may be quite limited, requesting that the individual

member of staff uses an online resource repository to enhance learning, but in others, more complex. One member of staff was charged with collecting quantative data to show progress within a technology enhanced writing module.

Wycoff's point about making innovation part of the performance review process is definitely relevant here.

Like all school systems, the buy-in for Blue Sky has not been 100%, but in using it to initiate staff appraisals and contract discussions, the take up has certainly been quite apparent.