Friday, 26 July 2013

Week Three Reflection

I wanted to create a reflection that works for me as a learner and as an educator. I think it is important to be open and honest for these reflections to assist myself to grow personally and professionally. If I look at the course to date so far, I must admit it is not rocking my boat. I feel at times stranded with little feedback to help guide my thought process. I always reflect back to myself as the teacher and how what I deliver in the classroom can affect the outcomes of student learning. The workload is high but I find it manageable to date. Initially I struggled with the format as I thought it was too busy and very unfriendly to navigate through. Shroff, Deneen & Eugenia (2011) theory, of perceived ease of use (PEOU), perceived usage (PU) and attitude towards usage (ATU) can affect the behavioural intention to use technology may initially have had an impact on me. I didn't find it easy to use and struggled with the change where I found it to be of little use from what I had been using previously. This certainly affected my attitude towards using it, but now I am through that dimension and hopefully on the other side. It is easy to see how, and I'm not saying that this was the case with this course, but if the student does not have the support and is not guided to the idea that this new technology (tool) is easy to use, is of use and I think needs to be better than what was there previously then as the theory suggests it strongly influences the attitude towards use. I would also think, the motivation to use the technology for the full intended purpose as well.

Readings have been both challenging and inspiring. Niki's article on the arena of change showed that what I do at the ground level has implications throughout the stand. An example is my introduction of utilising the wiki for the use of collaboration to create a piece of writing. This is a standardised paper test for our cluster so by introducing this technology and a different format has involved changes in the ecosystem. Already it is noticeable that certain areas within the stands are not cheering me on. I believe more information and support for their changing of opinion is needed. Reading the "Theories of Change" models showed how complex one change can be and how it has an ongoing affect around us. The CBAM model I thought was great as it looked at the cognitive concerns of the teachers and used developers as a supporting role. But the LAT Model was more direct in asking the questions, and I think a better model with the stages that it proposed. I like the idea of systemic change needing three processes before sustained adoption can take place; convergence, mutuality, and extensiveness. These three factors show the importance of communication and sharing for adoption of technology to take place.

Rogers' "Diffusion of Innovation" I found was very relevant to my technology tool (wiki). His theory of the five attributes needed to reduce uncertainty is certainly transferable to my context. Also relevant to my topic as it is now is the Technology Acceptance Model. When I read this I was over joyed as finally something was based on the students' perception. I could see this being relevant for my classroom as Brunei students with their limited exposure to IT and their lack of motivation can influence the adoption of technology in the classroom.

Through my own research into wikis I have learnt a lot. For me I am not a advocate of wikis. Not because I don't believe they are an incredible educational tool but from my previous experience in working with them. My knowledge so far through experience and research of wikis;

When I look back I can see how much ground we have covered in this course and how my ability to look at change and the effectiveness of it relies on more than just me. This is pivotal for my own thinking as at times I think of myself as a lone wolf, trying to stimulate, innovate and motivate my students to achieve with the help of technology. The readings have certainly helped my positioning on influencing the adoption of change which will hopefully have an effect in the future.

I made a comment in the forums that I was more influenced by my employer (an outside agency) and the MOE. I thought this was correct, but when I began setting up things in place for the adoption of this new technology I was pleasantly surprised to see I was actually working closely with the management within my school. I saw them further out in my arena but see they are closer than I thought. If I didn't notice this, maybe this would have had an effect on the adoption of the wiki. Something maybe as an outside contractor I take for granted.

I have three goals for the next three weeks
  1. To analyse readings (at least eight more) and report on them identifying the key findings and how they specifically relate to my context
  2. Play with wikis. Ensure I have begun to address my concerns so that I can give every chance of my topic been a success
  3. Stay on top of the course. Develop my understanding and share within this community and my professional community

Finally, my last thoughts. I want this paper to make a change. I want to make a change professionally to give the adoption of new technology every chance of success. I want to sleep at night without thinking about this course. I want to receive more feedback to see if I am on the right track or not. I want to reflect through this course and help others with their journey. I want to create knowledge and understanding throughout my arena.
I know there is a lot of wants but, if you don't want something and go for it you may never get there and if you do, you may not appreciate it.
Off to Cambodia next week so need to stay focused and work towards my wants and goals!


  1. Hi Aaron,

    I agree -- learning reflections should be candid, but above all, work for you as a learner and educator. I think you're not only succeeding with this task, but your insight and understanding into the complexity of change is clearly evident in your public blog posts. I must say that I had a chuckle about your "want" to sleep at night without thinking about this course ;-). I hope we are not the cause of insomnia but rather your passion as educator to know through knowing. An open question what is the motivation underpinning TAM based theories? Is it about technology adoption or selling more technology? Some technologies are harder to use than others. We run a large international wiki project. The MOE commissioned the integration of a rich text editor in WikiEducator on the notion that wiki text was too hard for the average educator. After implementation of the rich text editor, we didn't observe any substantive changes in editing behaviour from the community which could challenge the notion of "usability" as a prime indicator of technology adoption - -at least based on our experiences.

    Change is complex and difficult and sometimes I think its valuable to recognise and experience that complexity. For example, learning to ride a bicycle is not easy - but children persist until they get it right. Why? Another example -- many kids struggle with word problems in Math (because this deals with a high level of application which is much harder to do) -- should we dump word problems in Math because perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use is low?

    Don't mean to generate further insomnia ;-). I've enjoyed reading your blog posts and this reflection. Keep up the outstanding work and safe travels.

  2. Hi Aaron, well done on writing a real reflection and it was obvious from reading it, it was heartfelt with emotion coming through - in a good way of course. You have also provided some excellent examples of your experience and reflection on the last 3 weeks. I think you have certainly proved to yourself that you have chosen a challenging paper and you are engaging in it - enjoy the journey I say. All the best for Cambodia - a place I have not been to. Regards Sandra

  3. Hi,
    I enjoyed reading your reflection, I am glad I am not the only one that has made discoveries throughout the last 3 weeks about things we thought were one way and were actually completely different.
    I agree, If you want something you need to go for it! good attitude to the course :)

  4. Hi Aaron, thank you for your very open and honest blog. I am trying to do the same. I found your reflection comforting (as strange as it seems) because of the honesty. If you/we are able to clearly articulate how we feel about it, it certainly helps others. About the insomnia, funnily enough it is 1:13am as I am writing this and I feel like I could keep going. I know I have to turn out the light earlier when I try to get up in the morning. You are not alone.

  5. Hi Aaron,
    I agree completely with all your thoughts in the last paragraph and,if you are OK with it, I would like to quote you in my reflection that I will put up tomorrow. Maybe you won't see this in time if you've gone to Cambodia, but I can always add it in later. Love the mind map on the wiki connections between your experience and the research.

    1. Hi Lyn
      No problem with quote. Cambodia Friday but rest of family leave Tuesday so I can cram in plenty of study (oh joy). Looking forward to reading your reflection. I have read most and I think they are all really great. I like seeing the personal side come through.