Events archive

Researching participation in teachers' Facebook groups: Sharing, suggesting, and supporting

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20 April 2017 15:30 - 17:00
Seminar Room D

Speakers: Dr Thomas Hillman, Dr Mona Lundin, Dr Annika Lan-Andersson, Dr Louise Peterson, and Dr Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt, Learning and IT Group, Department of Education, Communication and Learning, University of Gothenburg.

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon Learning and New Technologies Research Group

Teachers are increasingly participating in social media to discuss their teaching and instructional issues, particularly in relation to IT. The question is what support for professional learning such discussions offer over time in forums like thematic groups on Facebook. Based a study of a corpus of three years of posts, comments and likes from a Facebook group with almost 13,000 members combined with extensive ethnographic engagement, this talk will discuss issues of methodology and research ethics, along with highlighting findings related to when and how teachers use the group as part of their professional practices.

For more information about this project, please see: http://ipkl.gu.se/english/Research/research_projects/fem/?languageId=100001  

Heroic ideals: holding tech space for learning

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01 February 2017 17:00 - 18:15
Seminar Room E

Speaker: Dr George Roberts, Oxford Brookes University

Convener: Dr James Robson, Learning and New Technologies Research Group

What does it mean to “hold a safe space for learning” in the technologically mediated environments of higher education? I suggest in this seminar that the problem of holding space for learning through technology is generalisable to higher education and needs to be taken into account in any learning journey, or plan or curriculum: particularly those that assert the learner or world is or will be transformed by the endeavour in or through learning spaces. I address this question from two directions, dialogue-centred teaching in online spaces and narrative theories of learning.

To download more information click here.

View Dr Roberts’ profile here

Stories from Facebook

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17 February 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Dr Eve Stirling, Sheffield Hallam University

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group

Abstract:

Within the range of websites and apps that are part of first-year undergraduates’ digital environments, the social network site Facebook is perhaps the most popular and prominent. As such, the ubiquitous nature of Facebook in the higher education landscape has drawn much attention from scholars. Drawing on data from a longitudinal connective ethnography, this paper uses two ethnographic stories to explore further the realities of social media usage by newly enrolled undergraduate students in a UK university. These ethnographic stories tell two differing tales – one of connection, intent, use and organisation – the other, of disconnection, disengagement and unrealised expectations. Facebook structures students’ time at university both through connection and disconnection practices and examples of these are presented under two headings ‘I’m always on it’ and ‘Being academic’. First-year student experiences of Higher Education and social media use are not uniform, but nuanced and responsive to their specific ecosocial systems.

Eve Stirling is a Senior Lecturer in Design at Sheffield Institute of Art at Sheffield Hallam University. Her research interests include the use of social media within society and more specifically within higher education and the pedagogical impacts of this. She is also interested in design thinking and its influence on the research process, ethnographic research methods and social media as a research tool and research site. She uses practice based and visual research methods to explore the everyday lives of her participants. She gained her PhD from the School of Education at the University of Sheffield and in this took a longitudinal ethnographic approach studying Facebook use by students in transition. She is interested in the proliferation of digital spaces within our everyday lives and the relationship between time and space within these.

Inferentialism, knowledge and technology

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03 February 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room B

Speaker: Professor Jan Derry, Institute of Education, UCL

Conveners: Dr Niall Winters and Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group

Abstract

This talk is concerned with the human dimension of technology-enhanced learning; many suppositions are made about this but the amount of attention it has been given relative to that paid to technology is quite limited. I will argue that an aspect of the question that deserves more attention than it has received in the work on the application of technologies to education is epistemology on the grounds that the nature of knowledge and the general character of mind are critically important.

I will introduce recent philosophical work concerned with Inferentialism and its connection to the work of Vygotsky. I will argue that Inferentialism offers rich theoretical resources for reconsidering challenges and issues that arise in education. Inferentialism is a theory of meaning which attends to, what is a distinctively human characteristic, our capacity to let one thing stand for another.  Key to Inferentialism is the privileging of the inferential over the representational in an account of meaning; and of direct concern here is the theoretical relevance of this to the process by which learners gain knowledge. Inferentialism requires that the correct application of a concept is to be understood in terms of inferential articulation, simply put, understanding it as having meaning only as part of a set of related concepts.  It is argued that the implication of these ideas for education differ radically from the pedagogic models that underpin much work on technology-enhanced learning where the suppositions about experience are quite different. Indeed the nature of knowledge is usually presumed rather than examined and often what is taken for granted is awareness as a conceptually unmediated response to the world.

Jan Derry is Professor of Philosophy of Education at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London. Her research interests focus on philosophical psychology, the post-Vygotskian research field and its implications for theories of mind and activity. She has taught in the post-16 sector and worked in Teacher Education before developing her research in Philosophy of Education. She led the European funded Philosophy of Technology-enhanced Learning Special Interest Group for the Kaleidoscope Network of Excellence, while based at the London Knowledge Lab. She is currently working on the application of the semantic theory of Inferentialism to the teaching of probability, a research project funded by the Swedish National Research Agency. Her book Vygotsky, Philosophy and Education, (2013) continues her work addressing the connection between epistemology and pedagogy. Other recent publications are: ‘Can Inferentialism contribute to Social Epistemology?’ in Education and the Growth of Knowledge: Perspectives from social and virtue epistemology, (ed.) Kotzee, B. (2013); ‘Lessons from inferentialism for statistics education’ with Arthur Bakker, in Mathematical Thinking and Learning (2011) and ‘Abstract Rationality in Education: from Vygotsky to Brandom’ in Knowledge, Expertise and the Professions, (eds.) Young, M. and Muller, J. (2014).

Trinity Access 21 (TA21): a large scale project in educational transformation

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01 February 2016 14:00 - 15:00
Seminar Room B

Speaker: Professor Brendan Tangney, Trinity College Dublin

Conveners: Dr Rebecca Eynon and Dr Niall Winters, Learning and New Technologies Research Group

TA21 is the umbrella title for a suite of co-ordinated, design based research projects, which are addressing a number of overlapping pressures on Irish second level education.

Firstly progression to 3rd level education, and all the benefits which flow from it, is still largely the preserve of the well off. There are a myriad of complex reasons for this to do with culture and teaching practices in schools but the deficit in “social capital” in areas of disadvantage remains a major obstacle to be overcome in efforts to address the imbalance. The policy shift towards 21st century teaching & learning, as typified by the European Commission’s Improving Competences for the 21st Century (EU Commission 2008) which is manifesting in a reform of the Junior Cycle (ages 12-16) in Irish Schools , requires a re-examination of current approaches to teaching & learning if students are to develop the key skills which lie at the core of 21C approaches. Finally the potential of ICT to enhance teaching & learning remains largely untapped in school systems, such as the Irish one, which rely predominantly on a transmission model of teaching & learning.

This talk will give an overview of different strands of the TA21 project including: 3 practices, derived from the USA NGO “College for Every Student”, in the areas of student mentoring, developing leadership skills and career planning; Bridge21, a model of team based technology mediated learning for use in the classroom; an approach to teacher professional development and an overarching longitudinal research study to track progression of 1,000 students and 250 teachers over the lifetime of the project.

Brendan Tangney is an Associate Professor in Computer Science in  Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.  He is co-director of Trinity’s Centre for Research in IT in Education (a joint initiative between the School of Education and  the School of Computer Science & Statistics) and has held visiting positions in the Universities of Sydney and Kyoto.  He is academic director of Trinity’s Bridge21 project and is a  member of the Editorial Boards of  Computers & Education and the AACE Journal of Computers in Mathematics &  Science Teaching.

IFSTAL: Multi-university post-graduate teaching and learning

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20 January 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room E

Speakers: Dr John Ingram, IFSTAL Programme Leader and Food Systems Programme Leader, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford and Dr Rebecca White, Oxford IFSTAL Education Coordinator, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Conveners: Dr Niall Winters and Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group

The ‘Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning Programme’ (IFSTAL) is a multi-university, interactive training programme designed to improve post-graduate level knowledge and understanding of the food system. IFSTAL brings together expertise and experience of faculty and students from five leading higher education institutions. Its approach presents an opportunity for collaborative academic pedagogical research in multi- institutions teaching.

IFSTAL’s goal is to create a cohort of Masters and PhD graduates equipped to address food systems challenges by framing their specialist understanding gained through their degrees within the broader social, economic and environmental contexts.

To this end, IFSTAL offers students interdisciplinary learning based on (i) a core lecture series and exposure to cutting edge ‘food systems’ thinking; (ii) access to a network of faculty and fellow students across institutions; (iii) opportunities to participate in activities/workshops; and (iv) contact with experts from the workplace. A VLE (https://vle.ifstal.ac.uk/) is central to student engagement and interaction.

IFSTAL is voluntary, and does not impinge on student contact time. It is not assessed but sits alongside and supports postgraduate learning and research.

Over 300 students across the five institutions are already participating in IFSTAL.

Technology and education : a role to play in achieving universal health coverage?

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02 December 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract: Primary care physicians and healthcare professionals can play a key leadership and coordination role within the healthcare team. To maintain competence and effectively treat their patients, doctors need to continuously learn about new and developing areas of their field. Globalisation has resulted in countries facing new health issues, and for many low and middle income countries this creates a double burden of existing communicable disease alongside growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases. It is therefore essential that primary care physicians, who are the first port of call for most patients and the ‘gatekeeper’ to the rest of the health system are trained sufficiently. Primary care physicians and healthcare professionals can play a key leadership and coordination role within the healthcare team. To maintain competence and effectively treat their patients, doctors need to continuously learn about new and developing areas of their field. Globalisation has resulted in countries facing new health issues, and for many low and middle income countries this creates a double burden of existing communicable disease alongside growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases. It is therefore essential that primary care physicians, who are the first port of call for most patients and the ‘gatekeeper’ to the rest of the health system are trained sufficiently. How can technology be used to accelerate and more effectively educate and train, support and ultimately increase the number of primary care physicians? What can we learn from what is already in place? And importantly, what impact does technology have on the role of primary care training and education with the aim of achieving Universal Health Coverage?  

It’s like a doctor! The role of mobile and social media for rural community health workers

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18 November 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group

Abstract: In his talk Christoph Pimmer will provide insights into an 8 month field study that he has conducted in rural Malawi. To understand the ways in which community health workers in rural areas have appropriated basic smartphones as job aids, communication and learning tools, he has carried out site visits, interviews and focus groups. In addition, Christoph will also report findings from an intervention in which social mobile media have been used for the supervision, training and peer communication of groups of health workers in the same context. Finally, the talk will link the project’s findings to the use of social and mobile media by health professionals from a more global perspective.

About the speaker: Christoph Pimmer is currently a visiting researcher at the UCL Institute of Education. In Switzerland he works as senior researcher and lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHNW. Christoph’s interests are centred on the role of digital media for learning and knowledge processes. Most of his academic work has concentrated on the use of mobile and social media with a particular focus on public and global health. His research on learning technologies has been funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), EU-lifelong learning and various other national funding bodies in Switzerland.

'Online all the time' ... Teachers' work in the digital age (Public seminar)

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02 November 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract: This seminar explores the ways in which digital technologies are now implicated in teachers’ work and labour. Drawing upon in-depth ethnographic studies of three Australian high schools, Neil will detail the ways in which teachers’ work is now enacted along digital lines – often in notably intensified, standardized and evidenced ways. However, these research findings also raise questions regarding the extent to which these digitizations can be said to constitute wholly ‘new’ labour conditions – pointing to continuities and disjunctures between teachers’ work with and without digital technology. As such, Neil will also consider the differentiated experiences of these conditions across teaching workforces. We conclude by considering how more equitable and/or empowering working conditions might be achievable through alternate uses of digital technology. About the speaker: Professor Neil Selwyn is a professor in the Faculty of Education, Monash University. His research and teaching focuses on the place of digital media in everyday life, and the sociology of technology (non)use in educational settings. Neil has written extensively on a number of issues, including digital exclusion, education technology policymaking and the student experience of technology-based learning. He has carried out funded research on digital technology, society and education for the Australian Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), British Academy, the BBC, Nuffield Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, Gates Foundation, Microsoft Partners in Learning, Becta, Australian Government Office of Learning & Teaching, Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, Centre for Distance Education, the Welsh Office, National Assembly of Wales and various local authorities in the UK. Neil is co-editor of the journal ‘Learning, Media and Technology' (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cjem20/current), and a regular keynote speaker at international conferences. Neil is a core member of the ‘Learning with New Media' (http://newmediaresearch.educ.monash.edu.au/lnm/) research group within Monash.

Creating opportunity for digital participation: integrating computer science in the primary curriculum

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27 May 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract: Focusing on design thinking and integrated curriculum design, this research talk will describe an investigation of how to integrate computer science and online literacies into primary classroom settings. Primary computer science is one way to invite learners as digital participants. The study described here will demonstrate how one school is changing curriculum to encourage digital participation. Theories about participatory digital practices, constructionism, and empowering/emancipatory education offer teachers a foothold for curricular innovation. However, new theories about how to engage learners (and teachers) in meaningful and meaning-making digital practices continue to develop as teachers take up and use these theories in the contexts of schools and learning. About the speaker: Caitlin McMunn Dooley, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at Georgia State University in the US. Her research focuses on digital literacies, early literacy development, and teacher development.

Sentient schools: educational institutions as software-supported big data platforms and sensing environments

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25 February 2015 17:00 -
Seminar Roon G/H

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract: Along with imaginings of the future of the ‘smart city,’ an urban environment highly mediated and augmented by information and communication technologies, the idea of the ‘smart school’ is emerging as part of re-imaginings of the future of education. Various organizations and actors have begun to produce materials envisaging education as a smart, sensor-enabled, software-mediated, data-driven, and computationally-programmable social institution. This presentation will argue that smart schools are emerging ‘fabricated spaces’ being formed out of a mixture of technological fantasies and related technical developments. Such spaces are to be managed and governed through processes written in computer code and proceduralized in algorithms. By interrogating these fantasies of smart, sentient schools, it is possible to discern how particular educational futures are being fashioned, and how schools and students are to be governed. Drawing on a variety of materials, the presentation will survey the key features of emerging smart schools: ⎯ the seemingly ‘sentient’ infrastructures that underpin them
⎯ the constant flows of data smart schools depend on
⎯ students as nodes in ‘learning networks’ whose behaviours can be nudged and tweaked through network effects
⎯ sensor devices, including activity monitors, RFID tags and ID cards, to track and monitor student activities and movements
⎯ students as ‘computational operatives’ who must ‘learn to code’ in order to become ‘smart citizens’ in the digital governance of the smart city
⎯ techniques of dataveillance that enable student data to be used to anticipate their behaviours and pre-empt their futures Significantly, these features are characteristic of a new technocratic way of conceptualizing educational practices and spaces—related to an emerging style of ‘political computational thinking’—and of emerging modes of both ‘real-time’ and ‘future-tense’ digital education governance. About the Speaker Dr Ben Williamson is a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Stirling. His research focuses on digital technologies and educational governance, with particular interests in the participation of think tanks, policy labs and third sector organizations in education policy, and in the emergence of new forms of technologically-mediated ‘digital education governance.’ This presentation will draw on the ESRC funded Code Acts in Education project that Ben is currently leading (http://codeactsineducation.wordpress.com/about/).

Mobile learning in global health training: What about social justice? (Public Seminar)

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16 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract: Niall will discuss emerging findings from the ESRC/DFID-funded project "mCHW: a mobile learning intervention for community health workers” (http://www.mchw.org). The talk will present the background to the project and position his research at the intersection of education, health, technology and social justice. Niall will present his joint research with Anne Geniets on the framing of global health training with technology from a social justice perspective (Winters & Geniets, in submission). Critiquing ICT for development, he will set out to show how the design, development and implementation of training projects are radically altered when centred on a preferential option for the poor. He will  then discuss the social justice framing in the context of the mCHW project’s empirical work in Kenya, drawing out three key implications: (1) Designing and evaluation applications for the needs of the poor; (2) Redefining the nature of ‘appropriate technologies’ and (3) Implementing pragmatic solidarity, which means developing common cause with those in need in a very practical and realistic manner.    

Expanding the possible: people and technologies

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04 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract:  Within this presentation Rosamund will draw on sociocultural theory in order to argue that human action is mediated by social, institutional and cultural factors, which include the technologies that have been invented by humans in order to transform our abilities to achieve and perform.  She will argue that if digital technologies are available resources, then it is important that young people learn how to convert these resources into what Sen calls capabilities, that is, opportunities that can be realised in action.  She will suggest that one of the roles of schools is to teach young people to convert digital resources into capabilities, and argue that teachers are constrained from doing this by the school system. About the Speaker:  Rosamund Sutherland  is Professor of Education at the University of Bristol and was formerly Head of the Graduate School of Education. Her research has been concerned with teaching and learning in schools with a particular emphasis on mathematics education and the role of digital technologies in learning. In 2013 she published Education and Social Justice in a Digital Age, in which she challenges policy and practice by presenting a coherent argument about the ways in which the school system should change in order to address issues of education and social justice.    

Integrating learning and supervision of Community Health Volunteers in Kenya to improve health of communities through mobile phone technology

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29 January 2015 16:00 - 17:30
Seminar Room D

Convener: Dr Niall Winters and Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract:  This talk will explore from a Kenyan perspective the process and the challenges of developing and implementing a mobile health learning intervention – the mCHW project (http://www.mchw.org) - in two marginalized communities in Kenya. Since the launch of the Kenyan Government’s Community Strategy in 2006, Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) have become a pillar to the provision of primary health services such as health education in Kenya. CHVs’ practices range from treating common ailments and injuries to making referrals and raising awareness in the community about health issues. Continuous training and support through supervision of these first-line providers of health is paramount to improving the quality of care provided, and integration of these elements especially for marginalised groups is critical. The overarching aim of the mCHW project is to understand the role of mobile interventions in the training and supervision of CHVs working with marginalised communities in Kenya with a special focus on child development - a training priority identified by the CHVs in both communities. Unlike many mobile learning tools, the mCHW project’s REFER mobile app that uses the MDAT (Malawi Development Assessment Tool) protocol to support referral decision making by CHVs was collaboratively designed by CHVs and their supervisors to assess and refer developmentally challenged under-5 children for specialised care. In the talk, we will present the process of developing and implementing this mobile learning tool to integrate learning and supervision of the CHVs in both communities, and will illustrate how the intervention has resulted in changes of practice.

Effectiveness of iPad technology in supporting early learning: Critical evidence base

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21 January 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Roon G

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract
: In this talk Nicola will describe an exciting programme of research that is exploring the use of innovative mobile technology to support the acquisition of basic skills (numeracy, literacy, English) by primary school children in Malawi and the UK. Nicola is carrying out this work in partnership with the charities onebillion (https://onebillion.org.uk/) and Voluntary Service Overseas. It addresses the ‘grand challenges’ concerning education and disadvantage, notably those outlined in the 2015 Millennium Development goals for Malawi. It will describe the innovative mobile technology interventions developed by onebillion and will discuss the evaluation studies designed and conducted to assess their effectiveness. The focus will be particularly on vulnerable children and how these interventions can support their particular learning needs. The results of these studies provide the critical evidence base that is required prior to scale up. Nicola will conclude by considering the implications of this research for practitioners and policy makers. About the Speaker: Dr Nicola Pitchford is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at The University of Nottingham, UK. Her research expertise lies in the field of developmental neuropsychology, more specifically how the cognitive processes that underpin scholastic progression develop over childhood. Nicola works at the interface of theory and practice. She collaborates with academics from different disciplines (e.g. psychology, medicine, education) and works with practitioners and professionals from a diverse range of fields (e.g. neurologists, neonatologists, oncologists, nurses, educators, companies, charities, non-government organisations, and government officials). Nicola’s most recent research is exploring the use of innovative mobile technology to support the acquisition of basic skills (numeracy, literacy, English) by primary school children in Malawi and the UK. This exciting programme of work is being carried out in partnership with the charities onebillion (https://onebillion.org.uk/) and Voluntary Service Overseas. The evaluation studies she has designed and conducted, both in Malawi and the UK, have led to global interest following BBC coverage, as her research formed the subject of a BBC Click documentary that was also released on BBC Worldwide News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29063614). Nicola is also Guest Editor for open access scientific journal, Frontiers in Psychology, which is currently publishing a collection of papers reporting on “Using technology to revolutionise learning: Assessment, intervention, evaluation and historical perspectives” (http://journal.frontiersin.org/ResearchTopic/2611). http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/psychology/people/nicola.pitchford

Size matters and matters of size: understanding massive online teaching

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30 October 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Isis Training Room, IT Services, 13 Banbury Road

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract:  Nitin Parmar leads transformation in technology enhanced practice at the University of Bath where he is based within the e-Learning team in the Learning & Teaching Enhancement Office. This presentation will describe the positive impact of team-based curriculum development within the context of MOOC development for the FutureLearn platform. Nitin will explore the differing nature of collaborative working practices, the mix of educational development orientations which were used, the importance of context and the disciplinary differences and cultures which enabled momentum within cross-institutional project working. Through the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data collected from the MOOC learners, Nitin will also critically reflect upon the role of the lead educator within MOOCs and discuss how the differing approaches to course development can encourage learner engagement.

How professionals learn: patterns of self-regulation

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28 October 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group

Exploring cardinality by constructing infinite processes

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21 October 2014 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room G

Convener:Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group (Joint Seminar with the Mathematics Research Group) Abstract I will present the design and implementation of computer programming activities aimed at introducing young students (9–13 years old) to the idea of infinity, and in particular, to the cardinality of infinite sets. I will focus on a subset of the work in which students explored concepts of cardinality of infinite sets by interpreting and constructing ToonTalk computer programs. Our hypothesis is that via carefully designed computational explorations within an appropriately constructed medium, infinity can be approached in a learnable way that does not sacrifice the rigour necessary for mathematical understanding of the concept,and at the same time contributes to introducing the real spirit of mathematics to the school setting. Time permitting I will also present similar work on exploring the convergence of infinite series. Based upon the paper Ken Kahn, Evgenia Sendova, Ana Isabel Sacristan, and Richard Noss, Young Students Exploring Cardinality by Constructing Infinite Processes, Technology, Knowledge and Learning Journal, May 2011 About the speaker Ken Kahn is a senior researcher at the University of Oxford IT Services leading the Modelling4All project that combines ideas of accessible modelling within a web 2.0 community. He is the designer and developer of ToonTalk, a programming system for children that provides concrete analogues of advanced computational abstractions with a video game look and feel. He piloted a One Laptop per Child project in West Papua.

The class: connections and disconnections in the digital age (Public Seminar)

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19 May 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Dr Chris Davies, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract Much interest concentrates on the recent development and use of such educational technologies as the tablet computer, smart board and school information management system. Pedagogic, policy and public debates have seized upon the plethora of new digital devices and contents to speculate about changes far wider than the mere import of technologies into the classroom, including transformations in the nature of learning and literacy, the relation between students and teacher, and the positioning of curricular knowledge and pedagogic practices in the wider community. Since a host of digital devices and networks have now also entered students’ homes, further questions arise about whether ‘connected learning’ can enhance and diversify the learning pathways open to young people. This paper will reflect on these wider debates through the lens of a recent ethnographic study of a year 9 class – researched at school and at home over an academic year. In our project, The Class, we have been particularly interested in asking how young people perceive and respond to the demands made of them by school and family. How do they conceive of the place and purpose of learning, and the value of home or community? Do digitally mediated activities and networks enable or impede young people’s connected learning or opportunities in society?  And what difference does or could the digital make to extending or deepening or otherwise underpinning such connections? Our portrait of young people’s lives is in many senses a heartening one – for the class is generally sensible, thoughtful and optimistic, doing reasonably well at school, largely happy at home and having fun with friends. But as critical scholars, we are led to ask whether, in the long run, their adherence to predictable structures and comfortable pleasures is, inadvertently, sacrificing the longer-term advantages of more radical changes that could undermine the straitjacket of social class reproduction, reconfigure pedagogic possibilities and open up more diverse pathways to opportunity. Positioning our study within the wider analysis of social change, we can only be pessimistic in the face of continued lack of sustained social mobility or democratic educational reform, along with evidence of increasing labour market uncertainty and commodification of both public institutions and the private practices of the daily life. What we came to see in our fieldwork as the everyday yet apparently minor experiences of missed opportunities and broken pathways could, on this larger view, be interpreted as the routine reproduction of the boundaries between home and school. The promise of ‘connection’ – as in widespread notions of connected learning, connected communities, a connected world – is still too little instantiated in practice to be a reality for the class. Not only are the widespread anxieties about risks of inappropriate or uncontrolled connection too dominant, but also, there are strong institutional and commercial interests at stake in reproducing traditional conceptions of both school and home. The language of connection may be celebrated on all sides, but connection opens the door to unpredictable new pathways, and too much is at stake to allow this. Sonia Livingstone is a full professor in the Department of Media and communications at LSE. She teaches master's courses in media and communications theory, methods, and audiences, and supervises doctoral students researching questions of audience, publics and users in the changing media landscape. She is author or editor of eighteen books and many academic articles and chapters. She has been visiting professor at the Universities of Bergen, Copenhagen, Harvard, Illinois, Milan, Paris II, and Stockholm, and is on the editorial board of several leading journals. She is past President of the International Communication Association, ICA. Sonia was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2014 'for services to children and child internet safety.' Taking a comparative, critical and contextualised approach, Sonia's research asks why and how the changing conditions of mediation are reshaping everyday practices and possibilities for action, identity and communication rights. Her empirical work examines the opportunities and risks afforded by digital and online technologies, including for children and young people at home and school, for developments in media and digital literacies, and for audiences, publics and the public sphere more generally.

Constructing the consuming child: discourse, policy and public knowledge (Public Seminar)

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12 May 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract Over the past ten years, there has been a growing climate of anxiety surrounding children’s involvement in consumer culture, and their relationships with media. Research and public debate has increasingly focused on the risks to children, and policy-makers have sought to guarantee children’s safety and protection in various ways. In this presentation, David Buckingham will offer some critical observations on these debates, from the perspective of both an observer and a participant. He will look at debates about advertising and childhood obesity, internet safety, and the commercialization and sexualisation of childhood. He will argue that academic researchers need to take a more critical stance in these debates, questioning the terms in which they are framed, rather than merely becoming agents of so-called ‘evidence-based’ policymaking. David Buckingham is a Professor of Media and Communications at Loughborough University. His research focuses on children’s and young people’s interactions with electronic media, and on media education. He has directed more than 25 externally-funded research projects on these issues, and been a consultant for bodies such as UNESCO, the United Nations, Ofcom, and the UK government. His most recent books are The Civic Web: Young People, the Internet and Civic Participation (2013) and Youth Cultures in the Age of Global Media (2014).

ICT for development

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13 March 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Part of the Breaking Boundaries seminar series: Interdisciplinary perspectives on using technology for learning and participation in society Convened by DPhil students in the Learning and New Technologies Research Group This seminar will examine the notion that technologies can contribute to development initiatives in developing countries and explore the challenges associated with such approaches.

Broadening access

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20 February 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Oxford Internet Institute

Part of the Breaking Boundaries seminar series: Interdisciplinary perspectives on using technology for learning and participation in society Convened by DPhil students in the Learning and New Technologies Research Group This seminar will focus on the use of ICTs for increasing access to educational opportunities for people who have been traditionally excluded from them, paying particular attention to so-called Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs).

Technology, brains and learning

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19 February 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Conveners: Dr Chris Davies and Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract Opinions often seem polarised about how technology may be impacting on children’s development: it may either provide a threat or an opportunity. Current research indicates technology can have both positive and negative influences on children’s learning, and much depends on how the technology is being used. This lecture will consider the role that technology has had, from prehistory to the present day, in shaping our brains. It will consider how video games are revealing themselves as a new “special” environmental influence on brain plasticity, and the insights from neuroscience that are providing some clues about the mechanisms involved. It will be argued that the same neural and cognitive processes underlie both the more negative and the more positive potential of video games, and that we need to understand more about these processes to ensure they benefit, rather than disrupt, our children’s education and development. Recent research to investigate the neural mechanisms of gaming will be reviewed, and attempts to apply such understanding in the classroom will be presented and discussed.

Digital communities

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30 January 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Part of the Breaking Boundaries seminar series: Interdisciplinary perspectives on using technology for learning and participation in society Convened by DPhil students in the Learning and New Technologies Research Group This seminar will address the community perspectives on digital inclusion, and the role of online communities and social networks in promoting participation in political, social and educational interest groups.

Mobile learning facilitated ICT teacher development : making technology work for women and poverty reduction

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17 January 2014 16:00 - 17:30
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Chris Davies, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract In this seminar, Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka will present findings from a research project investigating the use of mobile technologies for a variety of interrelated purposes: to support teachers in South Africa to establish collaborative networks and communities of practice, especially with regards to developing their wider uses of ICTs through the formation of peer networks, as well as supporting the learning of school students in relation to their own studies. This action research project was specifically concerned to explore ways of using technologies in South Africa to help alleviate the harmful effects of poverty in the long term, through enhancing educational opportunity. Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka will also cover in her presentation the larger issue of making technology work for women and development using examples of the work done by UN Women. About the speaker Dr Mlambo-Ngcuka is currently United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, and has had a distinguished career as an educator and politician.  (See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/about-us/directorate/executive-director/ed-bio#sthash.UpYi2it7.dpuf)  

Networked learning: Is it a good way to think about new technologies and education?

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13 November 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Conveners: Dr Chris Davies and Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract The term networked learning has no single origin but it is generally accepted to have arisen alongside the Internet and the first wave of interest in how information and communication technologies were interacting with educational processes. Perhaps the best known definition of networked learning is the one that originated with a research centre at Lancaster University: networked learning is “learning in which information and communication technology (ICT) is used to promote connections: between one learner and other learners; between learners and tutors; between a learning community and its learning resources” Goodyear et al 2004. This was not the first use of this definition which was developed prior to and during a JISC funded research project which ran from 1999-2000 ‘Networked Learning in Higher Education’ (http://csalt.lancs.ac.uk/jisc/ ). The definition is also foundational to the international conference series which has run bi-annually since 1998 (http://www.networkedlearningconference.org.uk/ ). The term is not unique to this tradition and the idea of MOOCs (now cMOOCs) arises from Canadian academics who have their own distinct tradition using the term networked learning (http://www.slideshare.net/Downes/networked-learning-7058698 ) I have had a relationship with the term networked learning since the late 1990s and I worked on the Lancaster based project which generated the definition above. In this talk I want to explore why this term and this definition have had such persistence, even though they have never had the dominance of terms such as e-learning or Technology Enhance Learning (TEL). I also want to set out some of the different ways the term can be understood and the way in which networked learning can comfortably contain some of the tensions that arise when conducting research in this field. My own view is that networked learning still provides a useful framework for research concerning new technologies, education and learning. However I also want to argue that the term needs further elaboration and a more developed canon of work if it is to become more generally accepted. I will illustrate this by discussing whether, and if possible to what degree, networked learning can draw on other network theories. In particular notions of a network society, mathematical analysis of networks (e.g. scale free networks) and social network analysis. I will also explore the degree to which networked learning is embedded in the cultural turn in the social sciences, and discursive and dialogic understandings of learning, and whether these origins can be taken forward into a more material  or socio-material understanding of the place of technology in education and learning. About the speaker Chris Jones is a Professor of Research in Educational Technology at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). Previously, Chris was a Reader in the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University and prior to that a research lecturer in the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University. Chris’ teaching has been largely at postgraduate level and most of it has been conducted online and at a distance. His research focuses on the application of the metaphor of networks to the understanding of learning in higher education. Chris was the principal investigator for a UK Research Council funded project “The Net Generation encountering e-learning at university” and he has published over 70 journal articles, book chapters and refereed conference papers connected to his research. He is the joint editor of two books in the area of advanced learning technology - Networked Learning: Perspectives and Issues published by Springer in 2002 and Analysing Networked Learning Practices in Higher Education and Continuing Professional Development.  Sense Publishers, BV in 2009.

Learning and new mobile technology

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24 October 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Conveners: Dr Chris Davies and Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract The idea of learning with mobile devices in its current form is about a decade old. The first research workshop was held in 2002 in Birmingham. Recent events and trends suggest however that the nature of mobile learning and the future of the mobile learning research community might both be under threat. In the earlier half of the decade, sophisticated mobile technology was scarce, fragile, expensive and difficult, and was the prerogative of institutions, and the global economy seemed buoyant and robust. This meant that mobile learning was positioned at the vanguard of e-learning research and necessarily bought into the rhetoric, vocabulary, mechanics and funding of innovation, leading to an ecosystem of projects and pilots, and ideas about early adopters, opinion-formers and critical mass within institution settings. It grew out of the aspirations and frustrations of e-learning and built on the same foundational disciplines of computing, education and psychology but produced evidence and output that had little to say outside the realms of small-scale fixed term subsidised projects and pilots run by enthusiasts with stable consistent hardware platforms. In the second half of the decade, mobile technology became universal, robust, cheap, diverse and easy, and suddenly the global economy seemed fragile and weak. For institutions, change, if it now happens, is forced outside-in, no longer promoted top-down and mobile technology became so familiar that policy makers and practitioners could be excused for thinking that learning with mobiles was now common-sense and that research and researchers were no longer necessary.  The foundational disciplines should now perhaps include sociology rather than psychology and mobile technologies challenge, disrupt and by-pass the processes and institutions of formal learning and knowing rather than merely enhancing and reinforcing them. About two years ago, the USA discovered or in its own eyes, invented the idea of learning with mobiles but an idea now flavoured with its own history and preferences, not the theoretically informed, informal and contextual learning of Western Europe but content, drill, training, games and then apps. iTunes and its smaller clones have extended but distorted learning with mobiles but also provided examples of sustainable business models, sometimes captured in education - there's an app for it. Over the last year, agencies such as WEF, UNESCO and USAID have started to see mobile devices as a viable delivery mechanism for their various educational missions. This development has however come with imperatives to sustain and scale. These might seem benign but makes assumptions that pedagogy and culture will scale up as easily as technology and infrastructure. The idea of mobile learning is now more likely sustainable and mainstream but less recognisable. This analysis is important not only because of its relevance to technology and learning locally within educational institutions at a critical epoch but also for its implications for the ideas of agency, authority and control within and outside the educational system as a whole. The seminar will attempt to explain and justify this analysis and address the challenge of defining new research directions and new research to support in this changed environment. 

Technological fluency: towards a situated version of technological literacy

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05 June 2013 17:00 - 18:00
Seminar Room G/H

Convened by Dr Rebecca Eynon and Dr Chris Davies, Learning and New Technologies Research Group In this talk I shall begin calling for a theory of technology as situated and practiced.  This approach call for a deeper understanding of the notion of 'technological literacy' (a notion which imply that a fixed curriculum may be learned in order to obtain the proper 'literacy' of technology). Technology-in-use connects with situated learning, sense making and a theory of learning that include call for the processes of 'coming to know' (Edwards 2005) about technologies and their effects in practiced places.  Drawing on research in the Technucation-project (http://technucation.dk/) I shall present of new model of technological literacy termed 'technological fluency' which enhances awareness of the situated character of technology-in-use.

The co-evolution of digital technologies and education

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22 May 2013 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Convened by Dr Chris Davies and Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group

Decoding learning: the proof, promise and potential of digital education

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27 February 2013 15:00 - 16:30
Seminar Room B

Conveners: Dr Chris Davies and Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Professor Crook will talk about the recently published, high profile study from Nesta that he took part in, run by Rosemary Luckin: "Decoding Learning: The Proof, Promise and Potential of Digital Education". Download the report

Literacy in the Digital University: developing a research agenda

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05 December 2012 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Conveners: Dr Rebecca Eynon and Dr Chris Davies, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract This talk considers the outcomes from an ESRC-funded seminar series, held between October 2009 and April 2011. The series brought together researchers and practitioners involved in four research projects that were focused, in different ways, on literacy, tertiary education, and digital communication (LIDU 2010). The seminars set out to develop an agenda for new research, drawing on the range of conceptual, methodological, pedagogical, and political approaches brought to the discussions by participants from the different projects. But bringing these disparate people and approaches together was one thing -- ensuring coherent outcomes was quite another! In this talk I will review some of the problems we ran into, and the lessons we learned, trying to find common ground amongst linguists, social theorists, and learning technologists, talking about texts, practices and technologies. I will  describe how we eventually overcame most of these problems, and identified three major themes around which to propose future literacy-oriented research: ‘digital scholarship’, ‘post-human pedagogies’, and ‘the borderless university’. These themes are further explicated in an edited book called ‘Literacy in the Digital University’ to be published by Routledge in 2013, which I will plug shamelessly during the talk. Literacy in the Digital University (LIDU) Homepage http://www.open.ac.uk/researchprojects/lidu Literacy in the Digital University (LIDU) blog http://literacyinthedigitaluniversity.blogspot.com

Campus envy’ and being ‘at’ University: the geographies of education on the internet

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06 November 2012 14:00 - 15:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group Abstract This talk will focus on what it means to be ‘at’ University, for distance students who are never ‘in’ the University in the sense of being materially present. It will share the findings of a recent research project with distance students at the University of Edinburgh, where we are working toward an expansion of our distance education provision. Our research gave some surprising insights into what the ‘space’ of the university means to students who never physically attend. I will discuss some of the themes that emerged, including how ‘homecoming’ and a sentimental connection with the material campus remain important to students at a distance, what it means to be ‘nomadic’ as a student, and what it means to experience ‘campus envy’. Using insights from ‘mobilities’ theory, I will argue against the tendency within higher education to assume a sendentarist view, treating bounded, campus space as the norm, and distance and ‘placelessness’ as a deviation. I will suggest that this fails to take account of the complex and creative ways in which distance students make University space. About the speaker Dr Sian Bayne is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, and Associate Dean (digital scholarship) in the College of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Edinburgh. Her research is focused on the many ways in which the digital changes and challenges education, with a focus on distance and higher education. More at: http://www.malts.ed.ac.uk/staff/sian/index.htm

Losing momentum? Current challenges in learning and technology

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14 June 2012 -
Seminar Room A

The Learning and New Technologies Research Group at the University of Oxford Department of Education is holding a one-day conference for doctoral students. The developed world has passed through a period of intense excitement and expectation about the transformative potential for learning of new technologies, such as Web 2.0 and mobile learning, but have these promises led where expected? During this day we will explore more nuanced realities about new technologies and learning current in various settings and contexts. Keynote speakers include Neil Selwyn (Department of Culture, Communications and Media at the Institute of Education, London), Martin Oliver (Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, London) and Avril Loveless (Education Research Centre, University of Brighton). The conference is an opportunity to network, and to hear from other doctoral students working in a similar area. Visit www.losingmomentum.org for further information and to book your place!

An evaluation of Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom (iTEC)

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16 May 2012 14:30 - 16:00
Seminar Room G/H

Conveners: Dr Rebecca Eynon and Dr Chris Davies Learning and New Technologies Research Group. Abstract Innovative Technologies for an Engaging Classroom (iTEC) is a 4-year pan-European FP7-funded project. The project is developing innovative educational scenarios and technological tools for supporting teaching and learning. These are being piloted in secondary schools (and a few primary schools) in more than 1000+ classrooms from 17 different countries over 5 cycles. In Cycle 1 (September 2011 – January 2012) participating teachers were offered a choice of two educational scenarios together with a prototype widget called TeamUp. Data collection included a survey of teacher perceptions and case studies involving lesson observations and interviews with teachers, learners, head teachers and ICT co-ordinators. In addition we asked case study teachers to produce multimedia stories documenting their experiences. I will present quantitative and qualitative findings in relation to benefits of the educational scenarios and prototype as tools to stimulate innovation in the classroom, taking into account cultural differences across the participating countries. In addition, I will focus on some of the methodological issues faced to date and how they have been addressed. About the speaker Cathy Lewin is a Senior Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University and Director of the CREATE research group, in the Education and Social Research Institute. Her research interests concern young people and ICT, in relation to both formal and informal learning. She has over 15 years experience of evaluation of technological innovations in primary and secondary schools, much of which has had a major impact on UK educational policies.

Technology and the social (but not collaborative) experience of learning

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07 March 2012 16:00 - 17:30
Seminar Room G/H

Conveners: Dr Chris Davies and Dr Rebecca Eynon Learning and New Technology Research Group Abstract The 'social turn' within Psychology and Educational Studies has led to much interest in learning that is collaborative. This talk will consider the value of acknowledging a residue of the social that exists outside of the circumstances of collaboration. Three examples that reflect the author's own recent research will be considered: the social character of new library learning areas, the social quality of lecturing and the teachers voice on the modern 'learning platform'. About the speaker: Charles Crook is Reader in Education at the University of Nottingham and Director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute. He is a developmental psychologist with interests in how new technologies re-mediate the experience of learning.

Future Proofing or Future Building? Education and the problem of the next 100 years...

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22 November 2011 14:00 - 15:30
Seminar Room E

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon Abstract This seminar will discuss the tricky relationship between education and ideas of 'the future', explore a range of emerging ideas about the technological, demographic and economic trajectories of the next 50 years, and ask how schools might be reimagined as resources for resilience and democracy in order to build better futures for their communities. About the speaker Keri Facer is Professor of Education specialising in digital cultures, social justice and educational change at Manchester Metropolitan University and is director of the CREATE research centre. For the last four years, Keri’s research focus has been in the area of educational futures. Between 2007-2009 Keri led a strategic foresight project for the Department for Children Schools and families. Called 'Beyond Current Horizons', the project was designed to enhance the capacity of UK education to understand and respond to potential developments in science, technology and society over the next 15-20 years. Keri’s most recent publication is Learning Futures: Education, Technology and Social Change (Routledge), which makes the case for rethinking the role of schooling in the context of demographic, technological, environmental and economic change. From 2001 to 2008, Keri was Research Director at Futurelab, the UK's independent R&D lab for education (see www.Futurelab.org.uk). She started her research career at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, where her research included roles on the ScreenPlay Project; the DFES Evaluation of the National Grid for Learning; and the ESRC TLRP funded InterActive Education Project. Keri has acted as referee or advisor to a diverse range of organisations including the the Baltic Arts Centre, The Royal Society, the BBC, The Times Ed, the RSA, BECTA, TDA, QCA and others

Facework on Facebook as a new literacy practice

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09 November 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon Learning and New Technology Research Group Abstract In this presentation I talk about ongoing research focusing on the language and literacy practices of groups of UK teenaged friends using Facebook. Drawing on interviews as well as extracts from Facebook ‘walls’, the paper explores teenagers' text-making practices, in particular looking at how they present themselves and do friendship work. Interactions were traced across the domains of home, school/college and Facebook; ways in which meanings were made across these spaces showed how individuals and groups were able to enact a consistent 'line' (Goffmann 1958) through multiple modes. Predictably, while traditional friendship practices were enacted through these young peole's online activities, nevertheless new ways of presenting themselves and of ‘doing friendship’ could be seen emerging through new social literacy practices. Julia Davies is a senior lecturer at The University of Sheffield in The School of Education. She co-directs The Centre for the Study of New Literacies and directs the EdD in Literacy and Language. She devised, set up and directed a fully online MA in New Literacies. She is co-editor of the Literacy journal. Julia’s research focuses on New Literacies, especially online social networking; she is looking at how language and literacy practices are being affected by new technologies and at how people learn together online. Amongst her publications she co-authored with Guy Merchant, 'Web 2.0 for Schools: Learning and Social Participation’ (2009).

Transformation, technology and professional development in H.E.

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08 June 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon Learning and New Technology Research Group. This presentation reports on some results from a research project conducted over the last few years into online teaching in both the UK and US. How do communities of practice develop in teams of teachers, managers/planners, and technologists who are working in online teaching? How do these communities then learn about the technologies which form the digital habitat (see Wenger, White and Smith 2009) within which they must work? Technologies may be responsive to the changed understandings which emerge from professional development, and thus evolve as the community does, but they may instead be directive, and thus directly and indirectly impose visions of correct practice, which have been determined from outside that community. The project found various different approaches to learning and technology transformation among its five principal case studies, and the presentation will discuss them all, to show that there are many different ways to manage PD and technology in HE, beyond the standard 'campus-wide VLE' approach. Andrew Whitworth has been Programme Director for the MA: Digital Technologies, Communication and Education at the University of Manchester since 2005, a degree which helps teachers and educators from any setting develop professionally in a technology- and media-saturated environment. He is the author of "Information Obesity" (Chandos, 2009) and many academic papers on the subjects of information literacy, professional development and e-learning technologies.

Museums and make-believe: reclaiming the illusory within heritage

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25 May 2011 17:00 -
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Dr Chris Davies and Dr Rebecca Eynon Abstract Museums are trusted. Museums‘ academic credentials, ethical frameworks, social responsibility and empirical evidence, create a matrix of authenticity, out of which they are rarely located. They remain largely (in curatorial and visitor expectation) a bastion of the authentic and the genuine. To be ‘museum‘, is to be accurate, fair and evidenced. Museums do not mislead or lie. Museum culture can therefore be quick to baulk at that which would appear to dilute or undermine these principles. Digitality, notably, endures as problematic for the museum. Its spaces seem virtual and insubstantial, its objects surrogates and facsimiles, its content editable and fluid, its comment spurious and performative. And yet, another perspective on the museum reveals a history and a culture of practice predicated on speculation, artifice and illusion. This is the culture in which an exhibition simulates a removed or imagined space, where a visitor suspends disbelief, and where replicas hold value. This is the museum culture of illustrative demonstration, and of poetic interpretation. These are the traditions of the theatrical, the metaphorical, the theoretical and the fictional that have been just as vital to the identity and role of the museum. This session will consider these cultures of immersion, imitation, illustration and irony (inside and outside of digital heritage) and how they are reconciled within and instrumental to the discourse of trust. About the speaker Dr. Ross Parry is Academic Director and Senior Lecturer in the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester - the largest postgraduate training provider in this field in the world. He has recently led the development of Leicester’s innovative new distance learning Masters degree in ‘Digital Heritage’. He was also one of the team of nine academics whose submission to the national Research Assessment Exercise (2008) produced the highest proportion of world-leading research in any subject in any UK university. Ross is the chair of the Museums Computer Group – the national curators group that has shared best practice in the museum computing in the UK for over 25 years. Since 2004 Ross has co-convened the annual 'UK Museums on the Web' (UKMW) conference. He is a trustee of the Jodi Mattes Trust, and from 2008-2010 was chair of judges for the national Jodi Awards - recognising excellence within the heritage sector in the use of digital media for improving the experiences of disabled visitors. In 2005 he was made a HIRF Innovations Fellow for his work on developing in-gallery digital media, and in 2007 was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to meeting the training needs of the cultural heritage sector. In 2009 Ross was made a Tate Research Fellow. His research is concerned with the proximity of digital media to the management of information and the construction of knowledge - primarily (but not exclusively) in a museum and cultural heritage context. He is the author of the book 'Recoding the Museum: digital heritage and technologies of change' (Routledge 2007), the first major history of museum computing, and his edited volume ‘Museums in a Digital Age’ was published in 2010. Ross has just completed an AHRC research networking grant working with BT on a project called ‘LIVE!Museum’ to explore digital labelling and live in-gallery content, as well as an AHRC collaborative research training award working with three other university partners building online skills resources for researchers in digital heritage. He has just started (as Co-I) a multidisciplinary three-year project (with partners including the University of Oxford, the Yale Center for British Art and English Heritage), funded by the ‘Science and Heritage’ scheme, to use digital scanning techniques from the area of space science to unlock (and share with a range of communities of interest) a late medieval art historical mystery.

Multimodal representation, technology and learning

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11 May 2011 17:00 -
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Dr Chris Davies and Dr Rebecca Eynon Abstract In this presentation I will ask what real difference can the use of new technology make for education? I approach this question by focusing on the roles of representation in shaping the communicative environment in which learning will happen. I explore the relationship between the semiotic resources that new technologies make available (image, sound, movement, etc) on the one hand and three key areas of schooling knowledge, learning and pedagogy, and literacy. Through an analysis of teaching and learning with digital technologies I ask: • How do the new technologies reshape knowledge as curriculum? • How does the use of new technologies in the classroom reshape learning and pedagogy? • As writing moves from page to screen, what is the impact on students' situated literacy practices and learning? I will demonstrate that modes of representation, technology and curriculum knowledge are fundamentally connected, and describe how these connections shape teacher and students roles in the classroom in the context of new technologies. About the speaker Carey Jewitt is Professor of Learning and Technology at the London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University of London. She is Director of the ‘Multimodal Methods for Researching Digital Data and Environments’ NCRM Node, funded by the ESRC which is focused on developing and providing specialist research methods. She contributed to the ESRC Research Development Initiative on Ethnography, Communication and Linguistics and is currently involved in several research projects on the role of digital technologies in teaching and learning, and multimodal theory and methods including the use of GIS in school science, technology supported assessment, an international study of technology in education, and the evaluation of the government’s Home Access Scheme. Carey’s recent publications include The Routledge Handbook of Multimodal Analysis (2010) and Technology, Literacy and Learning: A multimodal approach (Routledge, 2008). She is currently writing Visual Research Methods (Sage, forthcoming) and editing The Sage Handbook of Researching Digital Technologies, with Sara Price.

Using mobile devices to support learning in informal and semiformal settings

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09 March 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Conveners: Chris Davies and Rebecca Eynon Abstract Mobile technologies can support learning across different contexts including semiformal contexts (e.g. learning in museums or on field trips), or more informal settings such as at home and out and about with friends and families. They can be a powerful resource for the informal learner because their personal nature enables them to be used by the learner in whichever context she or he is in. In informal and semiformal contexts the learner tends to have more control over their learning goals and motivation (usually intrinsic) is often high (Falk & Dierking, 2000; Jones et. al., 2006, National Research Council, 2009. One motivating aspect of more informal inquiries is that they are likely to be personally relevant in terms of topics of interest and capitalise on learners’ location as learners decide what, where, when and whether to learn. In the first part of the talk I will discuss the arguments for the importance of non formal inquiry science learning and talk about related work on technology supported informal and non formal learning in different settings such as science clubs, field trips and museums. I will draw mainly on examples of using mobiles to support inquiry science learning, but if I have time I may also discuss other non science examples (e.g. language learning). I will then discuss two case studies of inquiry learning in contrasting settings. The first is work by Gill Clough (Open University), who investigated how adult informal learners used mobile devices (usually smartphones) to learn about landscape through Geocaching activities. The second case study discusses the use of Web based software running on netbooks to support science inquiry learning by 14-15 year olds in a semiformal context: work carried as part of the ESRC/EPSRC funded Personal Inquiry project I will compare and contrast the case studies in terms of the dimensions of learner control, location of learning, and the different support mechanisms for inquiry learning and the implications of these for other areas of learning using mobile devices. References Falk, J. H and Dierking, L. D. (2000) Learning From Museums: Visitor Experiences And The Making Of Meaning, Altamira Press. Jones, A., Issroff., K., Scanlon, E., (with McAndrew, P. and Clough, G), ‘Affective factors in learning with mobile devices’, in Sharples, M. (Ed.) (2006) Big Issues in Mobile Learning: Report of a workshop by the Kaleidoscope Network of Excellence Mobile Learning Initiative. National Research Council. (2009). Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits. Committee on Learning Science in Informal Environments. Philip Bell, Bruce Lewenstein, Andrew W. Shouse, and Michael A. Feder, Editors. Board on Science Education, Center for Education. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Onscreen and on-paper assessment: how do they measure up?

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03 March 2011 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Conveners: Chris Davies and Rebecca Eynon Abstract My talk discusses the comparability of computer-based assessments compared to paper-based versions. The research centres around controlled comparative trials of paper and on-screen assessments. Comparability is conceptualised in terms of exploring the reliability, validity and scoring equivalence of these assessments in paper and computer-based modes. Reliability and equivalence is usually considered using quantitative analysis: Classical test theory, Cronbach’s alpha and Rasch latent trait modelling. Validity is usually considered through qualitative analysis, using questionnaire and interview data obtained from the students and teachers, focusing on the comparative authenticity and fitness for purpose in assessments in different modes. The outcomes of research studies will be shared, demonstrating differing issues dependent on the subject area, and the intended constructs. I will show items in the assessments that resulted in significant differences in performance, and we can consider whether differences in performance are the result of construct irrelevant or relevant factors. The recommendations focus on three main areas; that in order for on-screen assessments to be used in schools and utilise their considerable potential, the equivalence issue needs to be removed, the construct irrelevant factors need to be clearly identified and minimised and the construct relevant factors need to be enhanced. About the speaker Rose Clesham worked in schools as a teacher and senior manager for 17 years. During that time she also worked as an examiner and moderator as well as a teacher trainer and a School Ofsted Inspector. She joined the Regulatory Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) in 2000, as Principal Officer for Assessment, producing national curriculum tests and a range of diagnostic and formative assessment materials. She also acted as the England representative for the International 2006 PISA assessments. She gained a Doctorate in Educational Assessment in 2010, and a Masters Degree in Assessment from Cambridge University in 2000. Since moving to Edexcel, she is now the Head of Assessment Design. This entails overseeing the development of valid assessment models and materials across the range of subjects, including general and vocational qualifications. Issues surrounding the reliability and validity of assessments are central to this work. One of her interests is in the emerging development of e-assessment.

A journey of teaching and learning with wikis

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02 February 2011 14:00 - 15:30
Seminar Room G/H

Abstract The speaker has applied 4 kinds of wikis (Twiki, wikibook, Mediawiki, Pbworks) in the past 4 years in 6 different courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He will share how he has structured the online learning and teaching environment using the wiki variants and the rationales behind. Besides, he will report findings from studies conducted behind these courses regarding students' perception on whether these wikis can be regarded as knowledge management enabling tools, whether the use of the tools has enhanced the level of collaboration among the students in the co-construction of their group project work, whether the tools could assist students achieve a higher quality standard in their group project. The author will also present a comparison of these 4 wikis and their effect on different student groups. About the speaker Dr. Samuel Kai Wah Chu is an Assistant Professor (Division of Information & Technology Studies) and the Deputy Director (Centre for Information Technology in Education) in the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. He has published widely in the areas of information literacy and information seeking, Web 2.0 for teaching and learning, inquiry-based learning, and knowledge management. Dr Chu is the Asia Regional Editor for Journal of Information & Knowledge Management and is an editorial advisory board member for Online Information Review. He is also the author of a series of children story books published by Pearson Longman Hong Kong, including My Pet Hamsters and The Chocolate Boy. Dr Chu holds a number of research grants including a 3 million Hong Kong dollar (USD$381,270) Quality Education Fund and is a recipient of his Faculty’s Early Career Research Output Award.

Professional e-learning: an experiment in reflection

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08 December 2010 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Abstract: The Institute for Learning (IfL) is the professional body for teachers, trainers and tutors in the FE and Skills sector. Our members commit to recording and sharing their continuing professional development on an annual basis and the IfL have developed an online personalised learning space (REfLECT) for this purpose. The experience and research that has been involved in the development of REfLECT and the specific and very challenging issues related to CPD and e-learning in the FE sector will be examined in this seminar. About the speakers: Jean Kelly joined the Institute for Learning (IfL) as Director of Professional Development in January 2007. Jean's interest in teaching and professional development is based on over 30 years' experience as a qualified teacher and manager in schools, university and further education. She has extensive experience in initial teacher education and was head of department at a large FE college. She used her experience as a teacher trainer and manager of professional development to design, develop and advise on national CPD programmes with the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA) and the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL). She was responsible for the design of the first Subject Learning Coaches programme in 2004 and has ‘trained the trainers’ for this and other programmes for leaders of teachers. Jean’s role at the IfL is to lead on support for members in their professional development and progress towards the professional status of QTLS or ATLS. Michelle Jennings joined the Institute for Learning (IfL) in October 2008. Michelle has extensive experience in education as a tutor, manager and teacher trainer in FE and HE where she designed and developed online PGCE modules, e-learning strategies and technology focussed staff development programmes She worked as a Development Adviser in the e-learning and technology team at the Learning and Skills Development Agency ( LSDA) where she was responsible for managing a number of national initiatives. These included the eCPD framework, e-learning teacher training transformation project and she also contributed to the Diploma, Skills for Life and MoleNET programmes. Michelle’s current role at the IfL is to lead on technology focussed research projects, REfLECT and other developments that support our members to become 21st professionals.

Sailing against the trade winds? How online distance learning could help maintain the character of higher education in stormy seas.

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24 November 2010 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Abstract Earlier this year Technology Assisted Lifelong Learning was commissioned to undertake a study of online learning for the HEFCE Online Learning Task Force. Our research showed that the vast majority of online distance learning provided at higher education level is in postgraduate ‘professional’ courses which in these Return-On-Investment times offer an attractive income stream from employers and employees alike. Increasing activity in this area could lead us to believe that we are in danger of generating a parallel ‘training 2.0’ HE sector but the reality is far more complex. Using evidence published in the study, this presentation will explore how the emergent culture of the web is encouraging online students to expect a form of engagement that many in the HE sector have been advocating for years. It will discuss how this is challenging the role of the academic and what strategies institutions are taking to meet the demand for discursive, activity based pedagogies. The presentation will also discuss the need for non-STEM disciplines to move online to maintain a balanced representation of the character of our university system in the mêlée of course offerings from around the globe. About the speaker David White has worked in the overlapping space between education, technology and media for over 16 years. He co-manages Technology-Assisted Lifelong Learning (TALL), an elearning research and development group at the University of Oxford. At TALL he is responsible for the production and delivery of a wide range of online distance courses. The courses include philosophy, art, literature, economics, history and even nanotechnology. Students aged from 18 to 85 (so far) have enrolled on the courses, from all over the world, so David needs a good insight into individuals’ and groups approaches to the web. David released some of the first data on ‘web 2.0’ platforms which contained the type of diagrams that have ‘social’, ‘studying’ and ‘professional’ nestling alongside each other to highlight out how these boundaries are blurring. He has also researched the wild frontiers of Virtual Worlds and Massively Multiplayer Online games in the context of teaching and learning. Recently he has been closely involved in the work of the HEFCE Online Learning Task Force, which has been set-up with the aims of maintaining and developing the position of UK higher education as a world leader in online learning.

The challenges to educational technology research

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17 November 2010 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Speaker: Dr Martin Oliver Reader, Faculty of Culture and Pedagogy, Institute of Education. Mayes described educational technology research as being like the film, 'Groundhog Day', with "cycles of high expectation [...] followed by proportionate disappointment", and "a cyclical failure to learn from the past". Fifteen years on, this experience still rings true. Is this pattern inevitable and inescapable? This paper outlines a series of challenges faced by work in this area. Together, they go some way towards explaining this pattern, and identifying what will need to change if we are to break out of this. These include the strategic challenge of maintaining research themes across cycles of new technology; the methodological challenge of studying things people have forgotten they are using; the epistemological challenge of reconceptualising the relationship between technology, users and effects; the practical challenge of knowing our learners; and the political challenge of securing funding for anything other than instrumental, applied, cutting edge work. About the speaker Martin Oliver is a Reader in the Faculty of Culture and Pedagogy at the Institute of Education. His research interests include the impact of new technology on roles and practices within Higher Education (including how this changes what students learn and do), evaluating ICT use and the development of theory and methodologies in the field of e-learning. He edited ALT-J: research in learning technology from 2001-2008, is currently an editor for Learning, Media and Technology and serves on the editorial boards of Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning and Innovations in Education & Teaching International. Martin has also guest edited special issues of Educational Technology and Society (twice), Quality Assurance in Education and Reflecting Education. Martin recently stepped down as programme leader for the MA in ICT in Education in order to take up a secondment to the Higher Education Academy, where he is involved in the development of their Research Observatory, covering work on e-Learning.

Making sense of schools and schooling in the digital age

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20 October 2010 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Speaker: Dr Neil Selwyn Senior Lecturer in Information Technology, London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education Neil Selwyn is sociologist working at the London Knowledge Lab. His research and teaching focuses on the place of digital media in everyday life, and the sociology of technology (non)use in educational settings. He has written extensively on a number of issues, including digital exclusion, education technology policymaking and the student experience of technology-based learning. He has carried out funded research on information technology, society and education for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the BBC, Nuffield Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, Becta, Centre for Distance Education, the Welsh Office, National Assembly of Wales and various local authorities.