Using Drupal to create a PLE,N for British Council ... - Nick Turner

architectgroundhogInternet and Web Development

Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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EDUC7003

Blended Learning



Using Drupal to create a Personal Learning
Environment/Network for British Council
teacher development


Nick Turner 2010

1

Contents

1


My teaching context

2


Knowledge acquisition and Learning

3


Learning Environments, Networks and ePortfolios

4


Development of Ideas

5


Implementation and Roadmap

6


Evaluation

CONTENTS

2

TEACHING CONTEXT

3

The British
Council


More than 100
countries


More
than 1000
teachers


Increasingly homogenised and
regionalised in projects and
resources


CEF mapping


Cambridge Exams



My employer for 6 years, (in 5
teaching centre and 4 countries)

TEACHING CONTEXT

4

Development and recruitment process

Expanded recently to include:




Teaching Skills (
eg
. Classroom Management, Subject Knowledge)



Development Pathways (
eg
. Senior Teacher, Conference Presenter)



LDP (Learning Development Plan process )

Previously:




Behavioural Competencies


(
eg

Customer Service Orientation, Flexibility)



PMPD (Professional Management/Personal


Development process)

TEACHING CONTEXT

5

Competencies and Pathways listed in Appendix
i

Internal ‘Learning Development Plan (LDP)’



TEACHING CONTEXT

6

The LDP asks teachers to think about:

AIMS

What professional goals they have for this period? And why?

PROCESS

How they will achieve them? (Including timelines)

RESOURCES

What resources they will need? (Including who they will need to
collaborate/consult with)

IMPACT

What will the impact be for them, their students and their
colleagues/Teaching Centre?

EVALUATION

How they will know they have achieved their goals?

7

Learning

Development Plan Process

1.
Identify aims:


Assess own Competency levels


Review criteria for job roles if looking to change


Read Development Pathway’s guidance


Reflect on current practice


2.
Complete a Word Document template to record aims, processes,
resources, impact and evaluation.


3.
Agree and sign off on document with Line Manager


4.
Mid
-
Year: Meet Line Manager to review and update document


5.
End of year: Meet Line Manager to complete reflection on development

TEACHING CONTEXT



Be self identified and directed


Identify and use multiple resources


Encourage collaboration and team
-
working


Develop a narrative of self
-
reflection


TEACHING CONTEXT

Process intended to:


Currently no facility within British Council to facilitate this


8

KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION AND LEARNING

9

How we learn


Constructivist
approaches


Collaborative approaches


Problem solving approaches




These are based on ideas of


Cognitive constructivism (Piaget)

(How students make sense of material, interaction with internal schema)


Social constructivism (
Vygotsky
)


(ZPD, socially constructed, scaffolding and collaboration with peers)

Felix (2002)


‘Knowledge is created individually but mediated socially’ (Felix 2005, 87)

KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING

10

Lifelong learning

11

KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING

3
rd

Millennium thinking, emphasis on students acquiring meta
-
cognitive
skills and knowledge, shaping relevant negotiated curricula, being
involved in collaborative, lifelong, global learning with the help of real
-
life
tutors and informants, a social constructivist approach presents itself as
the natural pedagogical paradigm” (Felix 2005 96)


The idea of learning and the learner has moved beyond that of just
attending and being assessed by formal institutions.




Lifelong learning





Informal Learning



Part time learning



Formative Assessment



Different Institutions



Transferring resources and knowledge






Blended Learning




Different ‘blends’
-

Tools / location / mode / focus


Oliver
and
Trigwell

(
2005)



Should be about flexibility and Learner choice


Collis
and
Moonen

(2002
)



Personalisation, Self
-
paced learning


Littlejohn
& Pegler (2007
)


Other drivers



Cost / Quality / Widening engagement / Learner expectation


Littlejohn & Pegler (2007)



Political / Globalisation


Clegg, Hudson & Steel (2003)





12

KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING

New technology and tools

13

KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING

Read/Write

Web


Easy creation
tools


Contribute as
well as
consume


Collaborate

Semantic

Web


Data not
anonymous


Aggregation


Web tops


Search

Mobile

Web


Smart Phone


Always on


Huge storage

Social

Web


Sharing


Commenting


Contributing

Affordances of Technology

14

KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING

Van
Lier

2000, 246) Affordances


“a particular property of the
environment that is relevant ... to an active, perceiving organism in
that environment”


E
-
Learning “The use of new multi
-
media technologies and the internet
to improve the quality of learning by facilitating access to resources
and services, as well as remote exchange and collaboration” (Alonso et
al. 2005, 218)

LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS,

NETWORKS AND
ePORTFOLIOS

15

Relationships between a PLE, a PLN and an eP

ENVIRONMENTS AND NETWORKS

ePortfolios

Collections of self
-
selected
artifacts

for display or assessment

Personal Learning Network

Connections to people, may
share ownership or creation of
artifacts








Artifacts

Digital content, hosted
anywhere, standalone or linked.

Personal

Learning
Environment

A conceptualised ecosystem comprising
artifacts
, people,
connections, communication tools and public/private spaces,
optionally administered from a centralised dashboard.



16

Example PLE/PLN tools

Moodle

Elgg

Joomla

Mahara

Blogger

Pages

Buzz

Calendar

Gmail

Wave

Picasa

Google mash
-
ups

Open Source

Facebook Connect

ENVIRONMENTS AND NETWORKS



iGoogle



Diaspora



Netvibes

netFlakes

Web portals


17

(
Mashups
: Barratt ,
Modritscher

& Wild 2009,

Issues and questions


Can a PLE also be an e
-
P?


Who controls the learning space?


Who owns the created artefacts?


Should a PLE be for institutional approval / assessment?


Do they support life long learning?


A
re resources transferrable?


If assessed, is it summative or formative?


Should it be a single piece of software or use Web 2.0 tools?


ENVIRONMENTS AND NETWORKS

18

Gibson and Barratt (2002) argue using a mixture of generic tools
and
customised systems brings the added benefits of both.

PLE/N

Blog

Forum

Chat

Wiki

RSS

Artifacts

Linking

Most examples of
PLE/N include a
variety of tools to
facilitate socio
-
constructivist
knowledge creation
and mediation

ENVIRONMENTS AND NETWORKS

19

“The only thing most
people seem to agree
on is that it’s not a
software application.
Instead it was more of
a new approach to
using technologies for
learning” (
Attwell

2007, 1)


DEVELOPMENT OF IDEAS

20

The potential for a Learning Environment


Self
-
identified learning aims and processes


Constructivist and collaborative engagement of teachers across
national and regional borders


The flexibility afforded by blending tools comprising various types of
synchronous and asynchronous communication,



I feel that an online learning environment can be used to support
collaboration and learning and lead to creation of knowledge about
teaching.



21

DEVELOPMENT OF IDEAS

Harmelon

(2008, 36) believes that PLE is mediating mechanism between
learners, particularly geographically distributed learners


Which Platform to use

DEVELOPMENT OF IDEAS

22

Schwartz, Clark,
Cossarin

&
Rudoplh

(Cost, Clarity, Complexity,
Control, Cross Platform, Features


Why not use the internet tools, Facebook etc if they are available?


Modritscher

& Wild (2009) believes that the use of a Learner
Interactive Scripting Language should be ultimate final aim of
autonomy!


Severance, Hardin & Whyte (2008) believe that learners need to
concentrate on the learning, not the technology
.


Drupal


Stand alone (can be installed on BC servers)


It is extremely editable (though a headache to do so!)


All of the tools listed before can be made available


It allows a space to share institutional and personal resources, creation
and linking of content and group collaboration with various types of
interaction and communication tools.


DEVELOPMENT OF IDEAS

23

How
Drupal

deals with the issues


Drupal is a semi
-
walled garden, but this PLE/N would hold
proprietary information BC would rather keep secure. It can be
set
-
up to access feeds from Delicious / Blogger etc so teachers
who want to can use these external tools instead


Being walled it does not directly support lifelong learning, and
resources may not be transferable, although the specific
competencies etc are anyway, mostly internal markers.



Many teachers may not be aware of or habitually use wikis, blogs,
syndication etc and would need considerable initial and
continuing support.


DEVELOPMENT OF IDEAS

24

IMPLEMENTATION

25

www.nojo.co.uk/MA/PLE


Username : Ibtisam

Password : Ibtisam

Process of implementation

26

A gap between current practices and the requirements for using a PLE/N




Teacher’s skills



Habits of collaboration



Time involved in using new systems (cf. FABS financial system)


“more likely to be successful if it is a grassroots approach rather than a
top
-
down approach” (Lorenzo &
Ittelson

2005, 5).


Gathercoat

(
Gathercoat

et al, 2002) believe the transition should be
smooth and gradual, and may need changes to thinking from the
institution as much as the learners.


Bax

(2002) Normalisation

Ibtisam



Mid
-
thirties,
Moroccon

national



CELTA qualified with three year’s experience



Teaches part time, mostly Young Learners,



Comfortable with Word but CALL / ICT is quite new to her


How would Ibtisam feel about having to use this PLE/N?


What benefit would she see from the process / environment?


What training and support would she need?


IMPLEMENTATION

27

Implementation Stages

IMPLEMENTATION

28

1. Moving current


process into the PLE

2. Using the individual’s


tools in the PLE

3. Developing the


networking tools of


the PLE


Writing LDP


Resources and
questions


Personal Blog


Artifact

storage


Creating
groups


Wikis and
Communication
tools

Implementation
-

Stage 1

Complete the Learning
Plan in Microsoft Word

Complete the Learning
Plan in the PLE

Access resources and
documents on hard drive

Access resources and
documents in the PLE

Ask questions in the staff
room or via email

Also ask questions
through PLE forums

Current Process

New Process

Moving current processes into the PLE

IMPLEMENTATION

29

PLE/N Home Page

Content Menu

Resources Menu


Content Area

IMPLEMENTATION

30

Stage 1
-

Learning Development Plan



Ibtisam’s

Learning Development Plan

IMPLEMENTATION

31

Stage 1
-

Access Resource Areas


Classroom Management competency resources


IMPLEMENTATION

32

Stage 1
-

Access Forums

Resources Menu



Forums about Classroom Management

IMPLEMENTATION

33

Implementation
-

Stage 2

Use of PLE to record activity and reflect
on development in personal blog

New Process

Use of PLE to store, create or
link to digital artefacts

Using the individual’s tools in the PLE

IMPLEMENTATION

34

Stage 2
-

Reflective Blog





Ibtisam’s

Blog

IMPLEMENTATION

35

Stage 2
-

Workspace for
artifacts






Workspace
artifacts

IMPLEMENTATION

36

Implementation
-

Stage 3

New Process

Creating groups in the PLE to work with
others

Developing the networking tools of the PLE

IMPLEMENTATION

37

Constructing collaborative knowledge using
wikis and communication tools

Finding other people in the network who
share the shame interests or goals

Stage 3
-

Finding shared interests



People and interests search

IMPLEMENTATION

38

Stage 3
-

Creating a group



Create or join Groups

IMPLEMENTATION

39

Stage 3
-

Group workspace



Workspace feed, wiki, chat room

IMPLEMENTATION

40

41

EVALUATION

Burden & Atkinson (2008) say that the ‘Holy Grail’ is identifying
affordances of the technology. They mention connectivity, collaboration
and knowledge sharing, content creation, aggregation and modification.


Collis and
Moonen

(2002) list the factors of successful flexible learning
as involving the institution, the implementation, the pedagogy and the
technology.


Brown &
Voltz

(2008) believe that e
-
learning is an enhancement to
learning, not a replacement.

Evaluation

42

The British Council needs



LDP contains ideas of self
-
directed, constructivist & collaborative learning


need for flexible access to learning following homogenisation and
regionalisation.


Global server space with centralised technical team

Tools



Affordance
of PLE, N to provide resources, networks, collaboration,
reflection and information creation

Implementation



Staged roll
-
out taking into account teachers’

skills and phobias.

43

Testing



Difficult to test



Line Manager is keen for me to take this forward.



BC is keen on developing Blending Learning


Time Scale



LDP plan has took 4 years from piloting to global role
-
out.



Limited implementation in small number of countries or a region


Participants



Mangers and teachers will need training an time to adjust



Need trained moderators and regular contributions by ‘early adopters’.

Future

BIBLIOGRAPHY

44

45


Clegg, Hudson & Steel ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes: Globalisation and e
-
learning in Higher Education' (2003)



Littlejohn & Pegler ‘What is blended e
-
learning' (2007)



Collis and
Moonen

‘Flexible Learning in a digital world'(2002)





Oliver and
Trigwell

‘Can Blended Learning be redeemed' (2005)



Felix ‘The web as a vehicle for constructivist approaches in language teaching’
(2002)



Mason, Pegler, Weller ‘E
-
portfolios: an assessment tool for online courses’
(2004)



Barrett ‘Electronic Portfolios as digital stories of Deep Learning’ (2004)

46

BIBLIOGRAPHY

APPENDICES

47

Appendix
i







48

Teaching Competencies

Classroom management

Course and Lesson Planning

Subject Knowledge

Understanding your learners

Learning Technologies

Behavioural Competencies

Customer Service Orientation

Flexibility

Team
-
working

Pathways

Teaching

Action Research

Materials Developer

Teacher Training Preparation

Senior Teacher Preparation

Line Manager Training

APPENDICES

49

APPENDICES