Saturday, March 13, 2010

Notes from IDEA10 Conference

IDEA10 Conference (Melbourne, 11/12 March, 2010)

Katrina Reynen (DEECD Innovation, Vic)

No longer acceptable to have 2 lessons plan – 1 for technology; 1 without

teachers still focusing on blockers that prevent them adopting technology

digital education is about bringing people into classroom – not about Blackboard, LMSs, etc

teachers have not yet made the pedagogical shift

consultants report that teachers learn from each other (more than other occupations?)

employability skills = skills you need to succeed in work, AND be happy in life!!! eg collaboration, teamwork, etc

“be the connectors” (the conduits!)

Dr Larry Fruth (SIF Association) [SIF = systems interoperability framework]

Emerging Technologies to Address the Information Generation

“the global need to address 'global citizenship'

the teachers are the digital divide (or at least the purveyors of it!); kids use the Internet when they get home, not at school


technologies promote converesations about teaching that didn't occur before!

Gordon White – Shared Service (ACT) in response to Larry:

interested in getting each student a unique personal identifier (eg an ID number)

SESSION: What Technology do Teachers Want?

CHAIR: Dennis McNamara

Panellist 1: Andrew Douch (Wanganui Park Secondary College)

5 questions to ask when evaluating new tech?

1) does it save time? Or is it quick/

2) does it enable me to do anything I couldn't do before?

3) Can I just pick it up and use now?

4) Desire path (students go where they want to go) eg phones and Facebook are things students want to do anyway

5) ?

Which tools answer these 5 questions?

referred to kids being part of a learning community, but should that be 'network

Pannellist #2: Dr Shirley Reushle (USQ)

sees herself as both 'technologist' and teacher

does what teachers want reflect what students want?

teachers come with “diverse values and beliefs”

Teachers want tech that

• supports and enhance learing

• make job easier

• easy to use (intuitive?)

• stretch imagination

teachers want:

• time

• safe places to practice (sandpits)

• JIT learning

Panellist #3: Harriet Wakelam (eWorks)

“there is a casual disrespect for content” (quoting Frank Furedi)

despite new technolgies fundamental needs of students don't change

the job of technologies and systems people is done when everything is done and it works seamlessly in the background

Question: if you use web 2.0 how can you keep copies of stuff outside the web?

Are eportfolios the answer? As long as they all talk to each other (ie interoperability)

how do we convince the media and wider society of the value of an open approach?

“a good teacher leaves their ego at the door” (Shirley); “teachers need to loosen up a bit”

education is being democratised (Douch) cf From Blogs to Bombs; the nub of the problem: the locked down/centralised/controlled systems v individualised/personal/decentralised/democratised nature of much of today's web

There is no privay anymore (source of quote?) - we need now to deal with the new public nature of private lives.


Can what teachers want be built?

Michael Kirby-Lewis (UNSW)

UNSW has moved from single LMS focus with a 3-4 yr cycle; now multiple technologies and continuous adoption/evaluation; focus now on the pedagogical needs rather than the tool

You are never going to keep people happy with one solution (therefore should TAFESA keep Janison and Moodle???)

David Appleby (Westone)

Moodle in WA has been adopted by school teachers (Janison was resisted) because they don't need the whole course up at once, they want full control over their content- ability to edit and contextualise. (This is Moodle's greatest strength.)

How come Moodle has been successful?

* OS, uncontrolled, non-system approach
* OU (UK) spent several millions of dollars on it!!! ????

CHAIR: Dr Nigel Ward

Rodney Spark (eWorks)

estandards: “realising the full potential of elearning”

estandards has aided the development of LORN stuff, Toolboxes, accessibility (still content based), mobile content

estandards in training doc: This is a diff kind of standard – having some agreement about a commonly used tools – not interoperability type standards.

Bruce Rigby (DEEC Vic)

Ultranet - a student centred electronic learning environment that supports high quality learning and teaching, connects students, teachers and parents and enables efficient knowledge transfer. It will establish a schools environment for the future that improves the educational outcomes of all Victorians.

James Dalziel (Macquarie)

ALTC Exchange

looking at how research data can be stored/categorised/tagged/described so it can be found quickly

Moodle has community around it – thousands of tech people are part of it; passionate community of teeachers contributing to an iterative process.

James' Concerns:

1) Connection with Web 2.0 and LMS/SSO will probably not happen

2) broad uptake of LORs still not there

3) lots of duplication of big bucks infrastructure projects


1) have nationally hosted cloud of apps that teachers can try on demand

2) open content and CC – increased use of

Greg Black (formerly now Education Services Australia)

data shows that a very small percentage of teachers are actually using technolgies in a way that makes a difference

SESSION: IF IT IS BUILT WILL WE PLAY? (Chaired by Jerry Leeson)

Olivia O'Neill (Brighton Secondary School, SA)

* Brighton has wireless across the school!!
* moved from low risk behavour to high risk
* have eliminated IT Coordinator position
* have adopted 24/7 laptops for kids ($350/yr)
* have used Alan Noble (Mr Google Australia) create an LMS called Gee Whizz; incoporates curriculum, content, student management

Colin Warner (Glenn Waverley Secondary School)

use ICT to transform teaching and learning practice

video shown full of shots of students in front of computers – this will not help those who oppose this approach

“connectivity into the home” - ????

'3 strike rule' – if a teacher experiences 3 tech failures they're gone forever


Panel Chair: Stuart Tait (Learning Fed)

Paula Bray (Powerhouse Museum)

* Use of Flickr; everything CC licensed; users create mash-ups; re-use (and notify the museum)- great example of the benefits of sharing/giving/OER approaches/CC licensing
* have learnt that one size does not fit all!! as applied to licensing and copyright!!

Liam Wyatt (Wikipedia)
Handing out Paints

* “if you handed out paints on the street there'd be a lot more painters'! And then if you ban painting then you'll have lift off!
* Use wikipedia as a starting point for your research, not an endpoint
* everything on wikipedia is royalty free

QUESTION: we have heard about the huge success of Moodle (OS), Wikipedia OS)l iTunes Ed Store (free), Flickr (free). Why bother with systems, interoperability, standards, when free or OS stuff is already out there and in use.


SESSION: International Perspectives on Interoperability

Chair: Greg Black

includes things like import/export portability of UGC

Dr Rob Abel (IMS Global Consortium)

Lowering the barriers for the Next Gen of Teaching and learning – Now

* in terms of LMSs we are at the bottom of the evolutionary tree
* new IMS base assumption – the cloud is basic infrastructure
* new approaches (Common Cartrideg, LTI, etc) enables importing oof content into LMS, and other applications like Facebook – as long as the platform supports LTI
* we need the 'app store of education; or the iTunes of ed?

Peter Croger (Croger Associates)

Why is interoperability important?

* Interoperability is about the ability to work together; it's about connecting and sharing
* tensions that need to be balanced (good slide – need to chase it)
* Amazon, Apple, Google etc are not interested in working with ed directly – they go direct to customer. So 'standards work' is operating in a world divorced from the really big players


(facilitated by Prof Philip Candy, USQ)

- the 'tree of learning'; an accout of the history of learning; Erasmus was in a sense the father of pedagogy (“On the Method of the Study”)

– the oldest Tweeter is 104

* pic of japanese school bus (pcs on board) [check this slide!]
* this is an Age of Transition
* predicts a renaissance for voice – iTunes, voiceboards, podcasts

Evan Arthur: “the Internet is a standard”

SESSION: Reflections on Technology Impact

Preety Agarwal (Learning Fed)

Scootle – repository for school resources

James Dalziel – LAMS

* world's leading learning design system; 80+ countries
* offers list of pedagogical approaches and advice on how you might use them in practice (a 'Pedagogical Planner')

Peter Higgs (Tasmanian Polytechnic)

Sagrada Familia (Barcelona); began in 1883 and is still being built; open source (ie publicly funded) < > parallel with the standards movement


Chair: Nick Nicholas

Dr John Ainley (ACER)

thinks students and teachers will adopt the CoP model for mutual learning and support (would be nice if this is true)

Allison Miller

VET: 3000 RTOs, 200 of which are TAFEs that deliver 80% of the training

myapp (UK): students have access to data shared betw training org and govt

Heather Watson (Learning Fed)

* driver: whole new cohort of students with diff expectations
* all of the new national curriculum will have potential to be delivered digitally

Is the infrastructure in place now to share this kind of information?

Heather: infrastructure exists to share resources (ie inputs), but not outputs? She says if teachers want good resources in a hurry that they do go to LORs......

Standards people do the work so we don't have to.

Things have to be designed so things can be changed at a moment's notice; so flexible standards! ( a contradiction in terms?)


Evan Arthur (DEEWR)


we are an enormously long way from 'being there'; ie daily and ongoing effective use of ICT in classrooms

the complexity of what we are trying to do

Work has to happen on standards because

1) ed is a collective activity (philosophical)

2) the only way we can achieve 'scale' (practical)

Rodney Sparks

2 themes:

1) evolution – things in state of constant change; towards what? How do we accommodate tech that doesn't exist yet?

2) Sharing – web 2.0 exploits human desire to share

Friday, March 05, 2010

Storytelling with Jon Bennett

Jon Bennett – Storytelling with Jon Bennett
Sugar, Fri Feb 19th

More a sit down than a stand up comic, Jon Bennett declares that he has no jokes and that he will indeed just tell stories. True stories. Like that wonderful SBS program, Front Up, this show is testament to the fact that all our lives are full of stories that are worth telling, and that can make us laugh and cry. The knack is in the choosing of the detail to share and the timing and weight of events, and Jon Bennett has this knack in spades. A refreshing change to see someone not needing to perform or create an act, but rather just rely on their authentic experience of life to entertain others. Delightful stuff.
Final word: charming and laid back.

Single Admissions

Lazy, Young and Talented - Single Admissions
Holden Street Theatres – The Studio, Sun Feb 28

I well remember the angst of the singles dating scene. Lazy, Young and Talented meet it head on. Not that they dwell on the angst. In fact these three young women have a lot of fun with it in a fast-moving dynamic piece of performance art. Playing themselves, mothers, aunties, competitors and casual acquaintances on the ‘slut bus’, they document the struggle of binge drinking, one night stands, looking for meaningful relationships, and the Facebook culture of false friends. Wonderful music and dance routines, and clever use of mobile clothes racks as windows and frames into a perplexing world. Loved the balance between the sad and the funny, the romantic and the raunchy. Great show.


Around the World on 80 Quid

Aindrias, Around the World on 80 Quid
The Stables, Mon Mar 1

Irish Aindiras tells the tale of how he exploits his swarthy complexion while travelling the world from Ireland to Italy to cruise ship to Romania to Bangkok, imbibing vast quantities of alcohol and drugs as he goes. This frequently lands him in strife, and while his fiddle does sometimes get him out of trouble it’s amusing to hear how being pigeon-holed as an Irish fiddle player continually lands him in Irish pubs. His stories are neatly linked by music from the places he’s visited, and despite the fast paced delivery he has time to involve his audience in his adventures. Arriving in Australia finally affords him the opportunity of detoxing so he we all leave with the politically correct message!

FINAL WORD: Entertaining

Click Tease: Log on, Get Off

Rebecca Meston, Click Tease: Log on, Get Off
Electric Light Hotel - Bartini, Wed Mar 3

This had to come – theatre that explores the boundaries between the online and offline self. The audience looks in voyeuristically, as if from the other side of a webcam, on the bedroom of Abbie, a cautious Gen Y woman played by Nikki Britton. Abbie creates Debbie89, her more vivacious online identity/avatar (played by Kate Skinner), to mediate racy interactions on Facebook et al. Amusing, beautifully crafted dialogues between her online and offline selves ultimately lead Abbie to an awkward face to face meeting with SlutboyJimmy (Ray Chong Nee), and the discovery that her real self is actually doing OK. Shut down the laptop, turn off your phone, and go and enjoy this entertaining and important new play.

FINAL WORD: Important

Tripping Switches

Transition Theatre, Tripping Switches
Metropolitan Hotel, Tue Mar 2

A series of briefly profiled characters are superbly played by an outstanding cast. A surprise and appropriate beginning for a play about privacy in public spaces finds us on a tram where a chance encounter of commuters establishes a narrative that is interrupted by digs at authority and interviews with the police under the intrusive light of mobile phones – symbolic of a world where we are all at once so connected and so distant from each other. When do you say hello to strangers? When do you give your name? Ask someone’s name? Should one give money to beggars? Bystanders drawn into the offbeat behavior of strangers reveal frailties lurking just beneath the veneer of their public personas. Poignant. Entertaining. Amusing. Wonderful theatre.

FINAL WORD: Outstanding

I Must Not Theatre,
Holden Street Theatres – The Studio, Mon Feb 22

This short powerful work combines dialogue, mime, dance and music to delve into the lives of teenagers who spend much of their time online because they find the offline world too hard. It presents a series of scenes and images that alarm, amuse, and instruct, while creating a dream-like and often cacophonous world of online chatter where everyone talks at once. There are moments full of depth and tension – facing the prospect of real-life eye contact for the first time, and a superbly choreographed avatar sequence. A more light-hearted dance routine gives new meaning to the ipod shuffle. It might take a second or third viewing to unravel all the threads of this complex show, but it’s a strong, compelling piece of theatre.

En Route

En Route, Adelaide CBD, Sun Feb 21

We don’t all have to be in the same time and place to share a similar experience. En Route participants are guided by SMS messages and clues in the physical environment in a treasure hunt like experience through city streets. As you listen to a wonderful selection of carefully chosen music you’ll find places you have never been (even if you’re local), and become immersed in a soundtrack that connects you to the places and people around you. Anyone who has ever questioned why people wander through life connected to an ipod should try En Route. This is a totally enthralling experience. You slowly become aware that you are part of the show – as both observer and participant. Cannot recommend this show highly enough.

Final Word: Brilliant

For more about En Route.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Is Feminism Dead for Gen Y?

Note on the audio: I meant to say, "On the other hand, the theatre shows I have been to have been outstanding."

Best of the Fest Late Show
The Gov, Fri Feb 26

There was a misogynistic theme running through this show. Peter Berner rose above it. Daniel Townes told how he’d been accused of it. Carey Marx tried to obscure it with a sort of clever defence of using offensive language that was still in the end just offensive. Lindsay Webb’s opening line was “I can see your vagina” to a woman seated at the front - though he is skilled at building a funny set around audience interaction. It was the late show and much of the crowd were boozed, so any reference to sex or vaginas brought guaranteed laughs. There were funny moments, but Berner aside, this show would be a huge hit at local footy clubs - a sad indictment. Still, the crowd laughed uproariously all the way through.....


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