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