The Virtual Classroom

Learning with Technology
Gone are the days when our primary resource was the blackboard. Join the digital revolution. #CloudNotChalk #ICTEDU

Learning today is a far cry from the picture twenty years ago. Lecturers consisted of hand written notes on a blackboard, whiteboard or overheads. Students looked forward frantically transcribing the lecturer in illegible handwriting – perfect study material for adding to exam stress two days before the exam. With the addition of online notes, students can now better decipher these notes by combining their own with the lecturers, to produce a higher level of learning.

Communication between students and teachers was also far more formal in the past. The way in which teachers engage with students project work has also changed. Assignments no longer need to be physically delivered to teacher’s pigeonholes. Student’s located dozens of kilometres from the college can upload their assignments remotely 24/7. Teachers can see exactly when assignments were uploaded. They will know if it was submitted before or after the deadline. Students can include much more information surrounding their projects with their submission, plus a multitude of online resources to back up their work. This gives teachers a much clearer picture of the student’s thought process and work method.

The delivery of information is not the only thing that has changed about education. Digital technology has completely altered the student/teacher relationship. Students can now access teachers as never before, thanks to email and social media, which has its pros and cons. It enables teachers to answer queries and give feedback on the current state of assignments, but it can also blur the lines of appropriate student teacher interaction. As a consequence, teachers need to be much more aware of protocol when engaging with students, particularly during out of school hours, and so appropriate codes of conduct should be put in place to ensure the rules of engagement are clear.

The call for presenters for this year’s ICT in Education conference is now open at bit.ly/icteducall.

For more on how ICT can help to improve the way you teach, or to join the digital revolution, come along to this year’s ICTEDU (ICT in Education) on Saturday the 23rd of April in Limerick Institute of Technology, Thurles. For more information see http://lit.ie/ictedu.

Written by Kevin Dwane, Digital Animation Student in Limerick Institute of Technology, Clonmel, helping to promote #ICTEDU during syndicated online conversations, along with his team Laura Pigott, Sean Jordan and Marta Casalini.

From clouds of chalk dust, to cloud computing

Technology in the Classroom
Gone are the days when our primary resource was the blackboard. Join the digital revolution. #CloudNotChalk #ICTEDU

It was not too long ago that a teacher’s primary resources were the book and the blackboard. Students would sit while teachers imparted wisdom, scribed in chalk onto the all-conquering slate. When the board was full, all that information would disappear into a cloud of chalk dust, which benefited everyone’s lungs. If you were really lucky you might watch a video that was often older than the teacher who was letting you take a break from your normal studies. Those days are long gone. Learning has entered the digital revolution. Tablets, desktops and laptops have replaced books. Digital projectors have replaced black boards. The World Wide Web is the new school library. Everyone can now breathe easier (pun intended) that the internet is speeding through the school corridors.

The digital revolution is changing the way we live and learn in the 21st century as much as the industrial revolution changed lives in the 18th century. Oceans of information have flooded the classroom thanks to the internet. However, is all this unfettered unlimited information a good thing? In the past, teachers only had access to books and journals through the library or by mail order. It was cumbersome and slow, but students had time to digest what they learned.

Now teachers can project pre-prepared lessons onto a white board, sprinkled with the latest video links. This allows for a much more immersive and interactive experience for all concerned. Pressure is taken off the teachers, as they can generate materials that can be reused again and again. It also gives students a much more enriching experience. Educators can now focus more on educating, than writing the lesson content on the board during class time. Students in turn can access the lecturer’s notes and video links online at a time of their choosing. They need no longer concern themselves with excessive note taking while simultaneously trying to listen during lectures, as they are now free to take shorter notes, or even doodle the content that is being explained to them, to hep accommodate a diverse range of learning styles across the student population. This takes the stress off both students and teachers.

The call for presenters for this year’s ICT in Education conference is now open at bit.ly/icteducall.

For more on how ICT can help to improve the way you teach, come along to this year’s ICTEDU (ICT in Education) on Saturday the 23rd of April in Limerick Institute of Technology, Thurles. For more information see http://lit.ie/ictedu.

Written by Kevin Dwane, Digital Animation Student in Limerick Institute of Technology, Clonmel, helping to promote #ICTEDU during syndicated online conversations, along with his team Laura Pigott, Sean Jordan and Marta Casalini.

Rewinding the ictedu Archives

While talking to third level students about the 2016 ICT in Education Conference the discussion meandered into the archives of the annual event. We started sharing how technology has advanced the way we teach and learn. We’re not far away from the days of chalk dust and board time.

Amish School Run

I remember school runs behind horse-drawn buggies in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Amish schools throughout the States will always have those chalk boards and personal slates. Decades ago, the mathematics teacher in the high school I attended enthusiastically had everyone in our class stand side-by-side working out quadratic equations with chalk. I had relegated those moments to my failing memory until I read a piece by Kevin Dwanealong with his team Laura Pigott, Sean Jordan and Marta Casalini. It’s a memory filled with chalk dust and jerky video footage.

Kevin’s lovely recollection will surface on the ICTEDU blog. Spoiler alert: #CloudNotChalk.

(Photo by @topgold in Lancaster County, PA.)

Walking the Talk at #ictedu

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The theme of “Student Voices” permeates the entire programme for the conference and on the day we will have a Youth Media team capturing the events of the day and the reactions of the attendees.  The idea behind the Youth Media team is to let them ‘walk the talk’ of social media, blogging and more … and maybe to show us how it’s done 🙂

You won’t be able to miss them on the day, they’ll be the ones in the red t-shirts, so please share your thoughts with them.  For those of you who can’t make it on the day, keep an eye on the #ictedu hashtag on Twitter, and on this blog as it’s likely to be busy!

The cap-stone session at ICTEdu usually offers something a little bit different. This year is no exception as we plan to give the floor to the Youth Media team to bring us up to speed with their conference experiences / impressions and their digital-doings. 

 

Martha Rotter on Digital Literacy – Your Message is Your Medium

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Martha Rotter gave a Keynote presentation at the EdTech conference in 2012 entitled Digital Literacy – Your Message is Your Medium. In her presentation (shared below) Martha refers to the changing nature of digital literacy and the opposing views of technology as a distraction for learning versus technology as essential for learning.

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Martha is one of the keynote speakers at this year’s ICT in Education Conference on the Thurles campus of Limerick Institute of Technology on Saturday, May 11th. Book your place at the conference at www.lit.ie/ictedu.

Catherine Cronin on Enacting Digital Identities

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Catherine Cronin presented on “Enacting Digital Identities” at the Plymouth Enhanced Learning Conference (#pelc13) in April 2013.  In her presentation (shared below) Catherine reflected on Digital Identity, shared her experiences of working with students as they enact their digital identities and discussed practices and resources.

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Catherine is one of the keynote speakers at this year’s ICT in Education Conference on the Thurles campus of Limerick Institute of Technology on Saturday, May 11th. Book your place at the conference at www.lit.ie/ictedu.

Grainne Conole at the 24th ICDE World Conference

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Gráinne Conole was one of the keynote speakers at the 14th world conference of the International Council for Open and Distance Education in Bali, Indonesia. In her speech, Gráinne examines new technologies, provides examples of pedagogies of e-learning, explores how different pedagogical approaches can be supported with technology and analyses the co-evolution of tools and practices in education.

Gráinne is also one of the keynote speakers at this year’s ICT in Education Conference on the Thurles campus of Limerick Institute of Technology on Saturday, May 11th. Book your place at the conference at www.lit.ie/ictedu.

Learning Design Workshop, May 10th

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On May 10th, the Friday preceding the ICT in Education Conference, Gráinne Conole will present a workshop on Learning Design in LIT-Tippeary, Thurles campus.

Grainne has published and presented nearly 1000 conference proceedings, workshops and articles and keeps a blog www.e4innovation.com. She is author of a new Springer entitled: ‘Designing for learning in an open world’.

Attendees will engage with a range of learning design conceptual tools and a social networking site for sharing and discussing learning and teaching ideas. They will work in groups and will periodically share back their discussions with the rest of the participants. Artefacts produced will be captured and made available online.

All of the activities that comprise the Learning Design Workshop are underpinned by the 7Cs of learning design framework:

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  • Conceptualise – which initiates the design process and consists of imagine, design and prepare.
  • Capture – which covers the ways in which search engines, OER repositories and social bookmarking can be used to find and collate relevant resources and activities.
  • Create – which covers both the creation of content and activities.
  • Communicate – which covers how to moderate asynchronous and synchronous forums
  • Collaborate – which considers how tools like wikis, voicethread, pirate pad can be used to foster collaboration and how to work in virtual teams.
  • Consider – which covers the ways in which tools such as blogs, e-portfolios and Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) can be used to promote reflection and different forms of assessment.

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By the end of the event, attendees will be able to:

  • conceptualise the learning design process from different perspectives
  • apply a range of learning design resources, tools and methods to a learning intervention
  • critique a range of pedagogical approaches and the role played by different technologies in supporting these
  • review and debate the theoretical underpinnings of learning design
  • develop an innovative storyboard, learning activities and a structure for implementation.

The workshop begins at 10 AM and will run until 4:30 PM. Register to attend the Learning Design Workshop at www.lit.ie/ictedu.