Monday, 30 September 2013

End of Course Reflection

What a journey! From a personal view point it was a real struggle initially working in a new format. It was frustrating which  I struggled to come to grips with. This format was chosen possibly to put us in an authentic situation in relation to change with technologies.

The course implemented a blogging component which I really enjoyed. I found the features that  this technology can bring to education extremely worthwhile. I am not new to blogging but every time I have utilised a blog my expertise has grown and allowed me to use the technology effectively for myself. I have also used blogging with one of my classes and this experience supports the view that it can be an effective reflection tool.

The 'arena of change' highlighted that each decision made by an ecosystem affected other ecosystems throughout the stadium. Davis (2008)suggests that the teacher is a keystone specie that has the most influence on the learning ecology. This was a positive idea for me personally as this supports my belief on the importance of the teacher's role. The scenario planning utilising the mOOC format was fast paced and enlightening. Being able to collaborate with people around the world on the same journey made the discussions broader and yet more balanced. The scenario planning was beneficial as to often you have an action plan to reach a goal that does not take into account the plausible future. I can certainly see the attraction of this model and can see myself using it in the future.

Once this intensive two week section was over it was time to regroup and focus on the case study research topic and the bibliographies. After being introduced to more change theories and models we were to identify ones we were going to implement and why for our final assignment. I found this really worthwhile as it helped to scaffold my train of thought for the intended journey of implementing a change. Researching Shroff, Deneen, & Ng (2011) Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) supported providing a voice from students that sometimes is needed when trying to adopt change in the classroom. Although I totally agree with the theorists (Davis, 2008; Evans & Chauvin, 1993; Sherry & Gibson, 2002) who suggest that teachers are an important factor as change agents, I believe that research needs to focus more on the students acceptance of technology.

The other two theories I drew on were, the Learning Adoption Trajectory (LAT) Sherry & Gibson (2002) and Rogers’s Diffusion of Innovation (2003). LAT I found was focusing on supporting the teacher while Rogers's theory aims at reducing the uncertainty. Both key elements for my case study which I found beneficial for the final assignment.
E-activities were designed to support our understanding, although at times the puzzle was not getting clearer. I want to focus on the main ones that strengthened my understanding. The initial topic for research was to be completed early in the course, although I felt unprepared this began the train of thought needed to be successful. It was tough in the sense that I was coming to terms with the change in format and now having to think ahead to predict what I was going to do and draft a provisional plan. I found it a strong start to the course as the communication and the ideas were flowing back and forth from the blogs and the forums strengthening our community.
As I am not a creative person and pretty much black and white it was a creative challenge to change the way I approached the task of creating a scenario plan. I really valued the lessons learnt and believe that by planning for the plausible future has more depth and value than that of  action planning. I found the scenario planning e-activities scaffolded this through the section well and believe without the strategic activities and enthusiasm of the participants on this course it would have been reduced.
Niki's "arena of change' model heightened the awareness of the need to consider the ecosystems that relate to our stadium. The mind map was a great tool to visualise these connections. This activity changed my way of thinking in respect to my acknowledgement of how I am connected to the school as opposed to my contracted employer.
There is still a lot to learn, but I feel I have a good base to expand on. From the scenario aspect of looking at the plausible future and what we should do to be prepared. To the 'arena', where identifying not only who is in the arena but also how we can communicate and share ideas and concerns effectively to enable successful adoptions of technology. How can I implement the framework such as the e-Learning Planning framework within my current school to assist them with the transition that they are planning to take without them taking offence?
As I complete my second assignment, the theories that I have used has helped to support the adoption of the new technology into my classroom. It supported me as a practitioner and personally as each model provided effective guidelines to assist this change. Change is complex, but not impossible, you have to be prepared to work with the theories and models to support all of those in the arena.
Davis, N. (2008) How may teacher learning be promoted for educational renewal with IT? In J. Voogt and G. Knezek (Ed.), International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education': 507-520. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Evans, L., & Chauvin, S. (1993). Faculty developers as change facilitators: The concerns-based adoption model

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press.

Sherry, L., &  Gibson, D. (2002).The path to teacher leadership in educational technology. Comptemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 2(2), 178-203.
Shroff, R. H., Deneen, C. D. & Ng, E. M. W. (2011). Analysis of the technology acceptance model in examining students’ behavioural intention to use an e-portfolio system. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 27(4), 600-618

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Reflection For The Organisation

This section of our course has certainly been enlightening and beneficial to myself as a practitioner. When implementing change whether it is with a technology or not I see the steps needed through my eyes. So this week was looking further out in my arena to the school. Firstly I investigated the e-maturity model.  

This “linkage” e-learning model recognises that organisations change progressively with the adoption of digital technologies. The linkage was between student, home and school. It was good to see that three way partnership being recognised. It looked at a range of schools which was at different stages for various reasons. Lowmoor School which had progressed would be an interesting school to observe and even work in as it had moved forward with the technology and the structures were it seemed, in place to effectively support the stakeholders and the new technology.  

The framework that sparked a real desire to look deeper into the organisation was the e-Learning Planning Framework (eLPF) document. This document was clear and precise and easy to use in an educational setting. The framework for me provided a guide to; where are you now, what needs to be done and how you could get there. The document describes itself as a “road map” which is exactly what it is.  It enables schools and staff to review their current level and provides avenues for improvement. This framework seems to have been influenced by Rogers’ diffusion of innovation and the TPACK Model to assist with the adoption of change. There was possibly more as it is structured to support and guide organisations, but I see these theories coming through the strongest.  

We were asked to do the readings for this section and then with the eLPF we were to examine a school of our choice and plot where we identified their stage and justify. Gathering data from discussions and strategic plans the school I investigated came out as emerging. For me that was interesting as by looking at the form initially I would have put them at pre emerging. It was a valuable exercise for me to grow as a professional. It opened my eyes up to where schools can sit and the ways and resources that could make them progress. The TKI website was full of information that could benefit this school. Reflection is a strong key to this framework as without it, leaders and teachers can not truly gauge where they sit in the framework and move forward.  

I am not sure how this school would use this framework. Would it bring about self doubts? Would it be valuable within this educational context? Or would it be just another piece of tokenism? I want to move forward with this framework, I think it could really help to grow the adoption of new technologies within the school. A few issues I would have is “saving face”. There seems to be the hierarchy in this society and you never question those perceived as more important than you (unfortunately I am not the quiet obliging type and question many things around here). Would this be an appropriate model to help shift this mentality?  

I have assessed this model as having the ability to support the ‘meso’ level to move into e-learning. By the eLPF having the four stages for each of the five dimensions as listed below allows motivated schools to identify the challenges and implement actions to succeed.
  1. Leadership and strategic dimension
  2. Professional learning
  3. Teaching and Learning
  4. Technologies and infrastructure
  5. Beyond the classroom

There is I think, much too learn about this model and how it could impact in the educational environment. I often think back to the infrastructure and drive within my context and think this would never work here. Do my leaders think that? Or are they willing to be supported by frameworks such as this to give them the drive to successfully implement e-learning?

As I reflect, I tend to have more questions than answers. However, I am ever hopeful in applying this into this context and help support the ‘meso’ level for better e-learning opportunities for the school, students and country.
Link to the eLPF section on the TKI website:

Sunday, 8 September 2013

eLPF- E Activity

 eLPF Framework

I have selected a large state secondary school from the UAE. The school’s current e-learning approach is characterised by a few individuals working by themselves to implement e-learning into their lessons.  
Above: Representation of my findings. Please note some boxes shaded to the left of emerging, indicating that the school has been assessed at a pre emerging stage.

The Five Dimensions:

Leadership and strategic planning: After consultation with school leaders I assessed this dimension as emerging. The school has implemented leaders to investigate opportunities for technologies to use in the school. Although no formal plan is in action that includes technologies, a small team is investigating possible future e-learning goals but does not show a pathway to get there. In their standing policy which is generic from the Ministry of Education, reference is made to the use and reasoning behind the use of ICT and cybersafety and their new iniative to implement ICT in schools (Ministry of Education). A big push for ICT in schools is about to happen and leaders did acknowledge that engagement through professional development needed to identify ways to work with and through technologies for learning and help support peers within the school community. 

Professional Learning: This dimension is at the emerging stage. Although there is not a strong culture of supporting learning with technologies, there are some teachers that are happy to mentor peers. This largely focuses on the skills needed to use the technology. With the lack of present support, mentoring and guidance there appears to be little inquiry into e-learning. Technology is still seen as an add on and not “as part of a teacher’s whole practice” (TKI). The school’s ICT Leader explains that prior to the present drive, little focus and opportunities for professional development for e-learning has been available. 

Teaching and Learning: No sign of e-learning in the near future playing an important role in the whole curriculum. Leaders and teachers agree it will happen but “in Brunei time”. This is a reality and it is restricted even further by the role of agencies outside of the school organisation. Through a questionnaire of 20 teachers it was identified only ten percent used technology to engage students. Of these ten percent  of teachers, they acknowledged it was not for deeper learning just as a filler or as the rubric identifies, an isolated skill building exercise. Assessment is paper based and strongly influenced through summative data. Identified as, emerging stage. 

Technologies and Infrastructure: Assessed as emerging, this is where a lot of the issues and lack of motivation relates to. Strong infrastructure is not in this school, lack of space, time and connectivity impact heavily. Leaders could not tell me if there was a plan to improve these challenges. Administration is balanced 50-50 between using paper and technology. The ICT lead position is newly created and she has a team of two around her to address issues that may arise. These staff members have an interest in ICT but little to no technical background. 

Beyond the Classroom: Identified as pre emerging this dimension is not seen as important in their culture. From an outsider point of view looking in, the possibility of “losing face” places the culture of education in a box. School leaders feel they do not need to engage with the family or community using technology. Many of the teachers are not qualified here and are hesitant about failing.  

Overall Judgement: Emerging. I believe they are in a culture and a system that puts a stranglehold on technology but with the new focus, hopefully this will change. As investigating this and talking to leaders and peers it seemed there was a sense of tokenism towards e-learning.



Ministry of Education Strategic Plan 2012-2017. Retrieved from 


DISCLAIMER: This assessment was conducted as a personal learning exercise to gain an understanding of the eLPF and my assessments were restricted to public documentation, discussions and feedback via a questionnaire. As part of this exercise I acknowledge these findings are based on the evidence I had gathered and that I did not have detailed insights into all organisational processes

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Halfway, Halfway, Halfway

Reflecting on the last couple of weeks I feel a little disjointed. For me personally I have been on holiday for two weeks in Cambodia were I was giving my time and resources to an underprivileged  school I am involved in. Many times I found myself thinking of the benefit that scenario planning may have within this environment to ensure they are prepared for the future. I spoke to Py Py who is the manager of the school and we have decided to action this form of planning for the benefit of the school. Personally I think it is great, as I can see how we can benefit from this, especially in this third world country. Planning to begin in December when we are back, can't wait! Nothing like putting into practice new skills.

I have found myself this week over complicating things. Having been sick when back from holiday (that will serve me right) I have been working through the assignments and the tasks that I missed while being away. Although I have enjoyed this part of the course (SP) it is a lot to get your head around especially when missing some of the collaboration from the tweets etc. Revisiting my tasks it certainly has become apparent that there is so much more learning to do on this subject. At times I can see myself thinking that it is a new approach, but it is interesting to see the range of organisations and people utilising this form of planning now and in the past.

I work for a so called "Global Company" and was having a chat with the Country Manager on SP. It was interesting to discuss how they plan to meet the future. He had not heard of scenario planning which is quite funny really as Shell who I see as a big advocate of SP is one of the main financial partners here in Brunei which the country relies on for its wealth. So I can see one organisation forecasting with set goals and one looking out of the square to be prepared for plausible futures. After talking we decided to set a date to discuss what this planning involves and for what purpose. I certainly am trying to drive ICT here for the future so will be a good way to help plan for this future.

Going back to revisit the assignment one I have really enjoyed reading about the models and theories of change again. Placing the model/ theories into the context of implementing a wiki into the learning environment is really exciting. I am finding it is a real passion now as I am not of fan to date of wikis but by planning/ researching and working with the students I hope to be able to change my own mind and encourage adoption of the technology by the students, staff and management. I plan to use the TAM model as I see that as the biggest obstacle here while relying on Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation to increase the chance of a quicker adoption of the innovation.

As I work through the models and theory and justify my decisions of the inclusions of them I can see the relevance to my topic more clearly. It is interesting coming back to the topic as I felt that we had moved away from this and that I needed to confirm my understandings of what I had already written as well as strengthen my understanding. Davis (2008) arena of change is an area I am linking back into as this holistic viewpoint opens up the need to address the impact of decisions throughout the ecology system.

Sorry Wayne, aim to have completed last Friday but needed to read through and analyse again which for me the revisit has been beneficial to my understanding.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Brunei Loses It's Grip On Education

Who would have thought that in todays world in 2030 Brunei has lost its stranglehold on it's own educational curriculum. A lot has changed as Mohd Hakeem Effendy explains, "Gone are the days when we were an oil rich nation able to support the direction of education in our own country, it has all gone". This is the sentiment held by many in Brunei where it seems not identifying this plausible future has allowed global corporations to hijack and manipulate our education system for their own good.

Dr Bob Bobby Head of Education for Asia is the man responsible for turning our curriculum upside down. As part of the Real World Corporation he has restructured learning to meet the needs and benefits of the company over it seems, the needs of the children. Dr Bobby explains that it was necessary to restructure, closing down schools, teachers and administrative staff being made redundant and shutting down the Brunei Ministry of Education. Without these measures Brunei would be bankrupt in 50 years. By creating online course we have allowed students to learn from home while still interacting with others globally. Although many students and parents we have contacted have embraced this new mode of learning it is widely felt that the Brunei culture will be lost as now it is not been taught throughout the grades.

Dk Siti Farina the former Head of Religious Affairs says, "If we lose our identity Brunei will be finished as a nation" She goes on to identify that the young people will be lost to the global world and as a nation we will be unable to keep them in our own backyard. But many young people we have spoken to disagree, many believed by learning in a more recognised curriculum will allow them to work overseas and bring the wealth back to their homeland. But the risk is the young will not return as the excitement and the advancement of possibilities will be too strong.

This reporter has witnessed the change and was a student when that change was beginning. It has allowed me to open my eyes and see what the world can offer me and what I can offer the world. I have not lost my culture or my drive to succeed instead I share this globally with others and also embrace other cultures and drive. The chance to work collaboratively with my global friends has enhanced not limited my education and my prospects in life.

Scenario Matrix

This is my scenario matrix looking at what education in Brunei may look like in the year 2030. These plausible futures are illustrated through the foods that are  key features in Brunei. My matrix is looking at the way open online learning education may change education in the future. It identifies push and pull factors such as global versus local, corporate versus government.
Within Brunei the banana is seen as a staple fruit, always here and readily eaten. The Bruneain durian is famous around Asia, and is supported by small local and corporate businesses to help with sales and production. Brunei is attempting to grow rice cheaply with the help of global partners. Brunei's shrimp crackers are marketed and produced by a global corporate company with the aim of achieving the best results for Brunei.

The horizontal axis identifies two uncertainties  that will impact on education in the future in Brunei. With the future in education looking possibly towards more online learning, will Brunei provide these opportunities for their students? Who will fund these new learning communities and at what cost to the community. Will the Government and the religious sector remain in control?  
The vertical axis looks at the local and global curriculum content. Will Brunei stay in the safe confines of their local curriculum or will a global curriculum open up and provide students the skills and learning opportunities needed to succeed in the wider global knowledge age?

These scenarios I will describe below:

Banana- In this scenario the learning is centred around the Islamic culture. Government and the religious sector steer the direction of the of the curriculum to meet the perceived "local needs" of the community. Technology is not embraced to create knowledge but rather to regurgitate existing knowledge. Connection between religious leaders and students becomes more widely accessible through technology with compulsory tutorials held everyday online. Although online learning will play a bigger part in a student's life,  schools will still exist to meet the majority of subject requirements. Limited money is spent on professional development to meet the changing ways of teaching and learning. These professional development sessions will remain in the control of the government where by so called "leaders" in the field will have very basic knowledge and understanding of the tools they are teaching the teachers how to use. Online learning will put pressure on the infrastructure of the network providers and will cause many frustrations for both students and teachers.  Free internet will be provided to all homes that have students residing in them.

Durian- This scenario is where corporate meets the local market. The corporate sector moves in to revolutionise teaching and learning. Education is fully funded, supported and delivered by the corporate sector.This is supported by local and international educational businesses aiming to open up educational markets online and face to face. Funding is performance based, where grades play a pivotal role. Standardised online assessments are administered with little to no formative assessment being recognised. Online learning is the recommended choice of students where they have access to online tutors and resources. Students will be using applications and tools created by these corporations to promote the corporations brands and products.

Rice- this scenario represents the Government working alongside global partners to produce a curriculum that meets the needs of Brunei and at the same time open up opportunities for global learning. Religious studies are now integrated throughout to keep the strong foundations that have been previously set by their parents and grandparents. Students will now have access to online courses at home, on their mobile and even through  holograms. Teachers are trained to deliver programs online and on going professional development led by local and international experts keeps them up with best practices. Education remains free, although extra incentives are given to high academic achievers. Online collaboration between local and international students as well as  teachers are common and are part of everyday life.

Shrimp Crackers- Due to the oil running out Brunei officials have opened up the market for education. It is too expensive for Brunei to run their schools and provide quality international teaching and learning opportunities. Open online learning is now the norm for Brunei. This is led by corporate businesses around the world. Options of asynchronous and synchronous modes of learning are available, however most integrate these two forms of delivery and learning. Education is now fully user pays and scaffolded costs are determined against achievements. The higher grade the less cost. High risk situation caused by the user pays system puts off many students who are unable to gain high grades limiting their discount of fees. Knowledge, is now "global knowledge" it embraces what is "out there". Students are self motivated to achieve and earn recognised badges to gain access to employment worldwide. Future employers have access to student learning to mentor and help guide students with the aim of a cadetship for the student. Learning is now in the hands of the students where teachers help to guide and support creation of knowledge. Standardised assessment is no longer used, it is now badges of achievement based on formative and self assessment of learning.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Enjoying the Ride

So far it has been an interesting ride. I find myself thinking about terms such as forecasting, scenario planning, lens, uncertainties and trends without even realising it. Too give credit to this course I am enjoying this challenging change in mind set. With having a breakaway  with the family in Cambodia  where we help to sponsor a school through financial and time support I constantly see myself reflecting on the meaning of scenario planning and how it could benefit these wonderful children. I want to walk away from this course with the knowledge that I am able to use these skills to help plan a future for the better in this context. Is it going to be tricky? Sure is. But I think to work and collaborate in an environment where there are less barriers in relation to imagination and creativity I think we can help to map out a better future for the school.

I feel I am slightly behind as I now need to work on my matrix. It is an interesting proposition as I want to utilise it for the better of my educational situation in Brunei. I am not a creative or imaginative person rather a black and white sort of guy who is determined to succeed through strategic planning and goals. But, as I have discovered this is a predetermined focus of where I want to go and the need to diversify plausible possibilities will help me I think to have a better "go forward" plan.

My journey through the lens of a secondary teacher (year seven and eight, primary in New Zealand) will I think be interesting. Although I will not be here to witness and meet these new plausible futures in Brunei, hopefully by sharing and incorporating this form of planning will provide better opportunities for staff and students within my school. Although planning is mainly directed by the MOE, Principals are having more say. Is it a plausible future where Brunei Principals  have the control to plan/ map out their own plausible futures under the umbrella of the MOE? I don't think so but maybe it will happen. What will that mean for the use of technologies in education? I think it will have a huge impact as my Principal has been impressed with the easy introduction of tools for learning such as AVAILLL and Blogging.

Onwards and upwards as we take a break for 3 days on the beach before heading back to Phnom Penh. Next goal to do my matrix!!!