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The rise of virtual classrooms #edtech

Over the last year we have seen a strong and steady growth in use of virtual classrooms even in a period (the first half of 2021) where COVID cases were low in Australia and universities were encouraging staff and students back onto campus for learning and teaching. Numbers of both small and large classes have increased in our virtual classroom software, as have recordings with a Terabyte of content being added in the first half of this year.  For the last 10 years,  as long as efficient lecture recording and convenient access has been around,  we have seen a decline in lecture attendance, usually after the first 1-3 weeks, as students catch up on lectures via the recording when it suits them. This has been a point of great concern and frustration for teachers who sometimes are teaching to a largely empty room. Why, even in a COVID normal state with low cases and a push for on campus delivery did the number of virtual classes grow in number and size?  There are some  hypothetical reaso
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How technology can support student vs teacher driven spaces #edtech #studentdriven

Success in learning is personal for every student, and to be successful students need a way to reach out, to ask questions, to engage with others in discussion, create content, setup meetings, conduct presentations, co-author work in groups and work in teams. Teachers need to do similar things in order to teach and while we have focused on providing technology to teachers to do these things we generall haven't handed control directly to students. It is on the shoulders of teachers to enable add forums, virtual rooms etc for students to learn, but this doesn't leave much of an opportunity for students to take control of their learning. Most of the technology rolled out for learning and teaching in my experience has been teacher driven. Take the following platforms for example which are typically found at universities and can  be described as TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) platforms: learning management system lecture capture system virtual classroom reading list tool exam de

What does 2021 hold for student #learningexperience at my university

"Handwriting Text E-Learning Loading. Concept meaning Forecasting the future event"   by  focusonmore.com  is licensed under  CC BY 2.0 This year we have a unique opportunity to capitalise on what was 2020 and all the impacts it had on learning and teaching.  Staff ICT literacy levels and confidence increased because they had to use digital tools for teaching, there was no choice. This situation was complicated, academics of all levels of ICT literacy had to adapt. Some staff had zero experience with digital tools and were using online tools for the first time, while others are always pushing boundaries and looking for alternative tools available from central support areas. As with staff, some students have very low ICT literacy, while others blaze ahead of the curve, using the tools like pros and needing much instruction. They just work it out. Shifting this cohort of students and staff to fully online was a massive undertaking and a huge shock for everyone.  Going into 2020

Make your #onlinelearning experience more personal with a #lightboard

In August 2019 the DVCA at UC wanted to invest in some light boards as he had seen the educational benefits at the previous university he worked for. I was tasked with putting in a comprehensive bid to an annual equipment fund and, if successful, follow the process through to implementation working with AV Services, and Library Services. As of March 2020 the Library houses UC's first ever Lighboard, and academic staff are putting it to good use. The Lightboard is a glass panel filled with light which stands between the teacher and the audience/camera. The teacher faces the camera (viewers) and writes on the glass using liquid chalk (for best results), the results glow on the glass, and a camera is used to record the session. The camera we use flips the image horizontally so the writing appears in the correct orientation without having to flip it in a post production process. The videos capture the face and hand movements/gestures of the teacher, as well as the hand written conten

An example of how #processimprovement and #technology choice helped a university #Library and its patrons.

In the time I have been working at the University of Canberra I have seen significant change across the institution. The environment the university operates in continues to though new challenges up from COVID to tougher government higher education policy. My role in all this has a lot to do with applying new technology and processes to help the university meet these challenges. One of the areas of campus my team supports from a technology perspective the Library Services. I manage a team that has supported the learning and library systems since 2015. It's a unique situation compared to structures at many universities, since Learning and Teaching teams don’t usually manage Library systems. This organisational structure was setup deliberately by senior managers who have since departed for one reason or another. Their goal was to realise an improved experience for students and teaching staff by bringing the library information systems and learning and teaching systems closer togethe

Good assessment design is hard, here are some resources that might help

Designing good assessment is an art and a science IMHO. Here are some great resources, as much for my record as they are useful for others. http://static.pdesas.org/content/documents/M1-Slide_22_DOK_Hess_Cognitive_Rigor.pdf https://www.teachthought.com/critical-thinking/14-brilliant-blooms-taxonomy-posters-for-teachers/ (nice) http://static.pdesas.org/content/documents/M1-Slide_19_DOK_Wheel_Slide.pdf https://www.edutopia.org/blog/levels-of-understanding-learning-fits-all-charity-stephens (multiple pathways to cater for student diversity)

Converting a tiered lecture theatre to a student centred flat floor space. this is #learningspacedesign

You don't necessarily realise, at the time, when you are working with someone truly great in your field. Danny Munnerley ( https://www.linkedin.com/in/munnerley ) was and is one of those people, he is well and truly a leader and innovator in education and my eyes were opened to many new ideas he had and approaches that he took. AR/VR, design thinking and learning space design were some of his passions in the time I worked with him in the early 2000's. One of the ideas he promoted was how learning space designs dictate how people will teach in a given space. For example, lecture theatres just through their design speak to the students and teachers about how teaching will occur in that space. Spaces lead people to teach in certain ways, they both encourage certain pedagogies and discourage others. We can use this to help shift teaching toward a more student centered pedgagogy and andragogy and also heutagogy (more on the differences:  https://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/a-prim