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


  1. Candid and valuable reflection. Its great to read about your learning journey on the course and I hope you will continue to find these experiences useful as you progress into the future.

  2. Hey Aaron, almost there!!! I have really enjoyed getting to know all about your ventures in your school and 'holidays in Cambodia'!!! It has been a pleasure working with you online - knowing we are in 398 aswell but your postings are always insightful and worth a read which is great having fab people in online courses!! All the very best for your future and take care. Regards