This section of the portfolio should demonstrate our understanding and use of technology. It is divided into three subsections.
An understanding of the constraints and benefits of different technologies
Technical knowledge and ability in the use of learning technology
Supporting the deployment of learning technologies
Value: A commitment to exploring and understanding the interplay between technology and learning.
This area is particularly highlighted in section 1b, live OERs I developed are listed in the associated MindMap. The key premise behind the listed resources was to utilize technology for improving learners’ experiences.
My first and foremost approach to designing learning and teaching strategies and activities, is to focus on the aims and outcomes for each. In some instances like the one I reflect on in 1a this includes the incorporation of digital space. One of my favourites remains an activity undertaken with Master students in Astrophysics. For several years I ran their half day creativity training, and one of the core aspects I was asked to highlight is how significant a change in perspective can be and how collaboration significantly increases different viewpoints. So I used a strategy from visual research methods and combined it with an interactive online pin-wall (Padlet). I asked the students to take their mobiles devices (BYOD) or team up with someone who has a mobile-device and spend 10 minutes taking a photo from one object or place in the building or outside that has meaning to them. Then post the photo on the pin-wall (or send them to me as email attachment if easier). They were not permitted to share the purpose of meaning of the photo with anyone. Once they were back in the room we looked at the photos and the class had to guess what the photo was about and only after people ran out of ideas the photographer shared why they took the photo. In most cases no one had guessed the actual meaning behind the photo or why the person had taken it. This exercise incorporates the students’ physical learning environment, digital spaces, and their identity-negotiation within these spaces. It demonstrates clearly that often simple objects can hold a multitude of meanings depending on a person’s background, and we used this as an incentive to reflect how collaboration can thus bring more comprehensive understanding, and different viewpoints to a problem.
Value: A commitment to keep up to date with new technologies.
In Core 1 this is particularly highlighted in Section 1b. I created a mind-map highlighting the diverse range of technology I used across a variety of teaching situations and institutions. I believe this mind-map showcases this commitment best and demonstrates that I am keen to try out new technologies and test how they might enhance the learners experience.
Value: A commitment to communicate and disseminate effective practice.
I communicate about learning and teaching strategies in my professional blog, in this portfolio here, or during #DigiWriMo I created a Google Sheet to share apps and other software I have tried before.
Since I have begun teaching on the postgraduate certificate and the masters in academic practice, so teaching new academic staff, I aim to showcase the use of blended and online approaches to learning and teaching. So the participants of the course can experience these from a learner’s perspective and reflect on potential uses for their own pedagogy.
And because I do like the meta-level I use a similar approach for Core 1 demonstrating the different areas with different online platform. I have chosen to demonstrate the three different sections on external platforms. This way the storytelling about the different aspects, and the tool used for storytelling are playing together.
One of the aspects I enjoyed enormously this academic year was, when the participants in my course showcased learning and teaching strategies they applied, I have learned about software and online platforms I was not aware off myself, and the learners disseminated this to the rest of the class. It was so enjoyable to experience such a positive attitude to sharing.
Value: An empathy with and willingness to learn from colleagues from different backgrounds and specialist options.
Contributing to the European E-Learning Conference with a paper that asked more questions than offering answers, having worked with a colleague who is a statistician to obtain advice on YouTube analytics, to understand the numbers. Demonstrates willingness to engage with colleagues at national and international level to enhance my learning and understanding of issues related to educational technology.
I am lucky at work for collaborate closely with colleagues who have a learning technologist background, and whom I can ask about things like functionality in Moodle, or bounce ideas about online teaching. I have taken over the leadership for an online Masters’ programme and have found that I struggle with engaging the participants during the dissertation year. A conversation with one of my colleagues has equipped me with strategies I am going to implement for this coming academic year.