G’day everyone, snowbound or not!
the ‘NZ elearning in practice symposia’ and the accompanying NZ Shar-e-fest 2011 went extremely well. Prof Tom Reeves and his wife Trisha were a real delight to have in New Zealand. That Tom did an excellent job in providing numerous presentations and workshops at the seven institutions we visited, goes without saying. The feedback has been nothing but positive. Trisha was also kind enough to provide presentations at several of the institutions and once again her input was greatly appreciated and well received.
Needless to say the NZ Sharefest 2011 was an outstanding success. Once again a real community of practice enjoyed the friendly and very collaborative event. If you want to have a look of some of the presentations from Tom, they will be available on the site Shar-e-fest along with copies of slides etc from some of the other presentations.
I would like to acknowledge all those who contributed to the success of the series, especially those in the audience, the presenters and specifically the local organisers: Lisa Ransom and Mark Northover (Auckland),Jeanette Stephens and Lisa Ransom (Hamilton), Terry Marler, Bronwyn Hegarty. Jenny McDonald and Kerry Sheppard (Dunedin), Stephen Marshall,(Wellington), Mark Nichols and Angela Page (Lower Hutt), and, Mark Brown,(Palmerston North) Musn’t forget John Clayton, the Director of the Emerging Technologies Centre (Hamilton) as he had the original inspiration for the series. Thanks to Wintec the major sponsor ,with Ascilite following closely on its heels. This year for the first time Template Ltd NZ also contributed to the sponsorship.
I could wax poetic about all the things that came out of the series and how Tom Reeves was an inspiration to many. His message was really that we need to do better with online learning and focus on changing our teaching and learning methods to provide greater impact on the student learning and the environment in which they learn. Tom contends that there is more than enough research to show that there’s no significant difference between traditional approaches and online learning. A real commitment to change in attitude, focus and methods will be needed to initiate any significant change to students learning online or in a blended mode.
I would venture to suggest that maybe pedagogy needs an overhaul (someone is already into iPadogogy). But there again I can still remember the words of Angela McFarlane at an ALT-C conference in Bristol some years ago (1999). What I heard her say was,’pedagogy gets in the way of learning’. Maybe she’s right when it comes to ensuring the effective transition from the traditional teaching approaches to the Web based and blended dimensions of the student driven learning environment and experience.
Some of the links in this posting reflect the thinking of Tom Reeves, others are here to make you ponder and think, they include reports on some trials from the Australian Flexible learning framework, the conative domain, design based research, future schools,student feedback,librarians,virtual environments, wheels for the mind, RSA animate series. conferences and the odd one out.
More good things on the horizon for September, maybe even the weather.
1. 21st Century Schools: A comprehensive report on what school so fhb future could be. Written in 2004, you might find it interesting to see what, if anything, has actually transpired in the past seven years and whether what was predicted for 2024 now needs a change in direction. Predicting the future is an interesting exercise. My crystal ball has a few cracks in it, so some things have fallen.





















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