Innovating Pedagogy 2013

innovatingPeadagogy2013This second report written by a small group of academics in the Institute of Educational Technology and the Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology at The Open University proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education. The list includes many of the same technologies identified in similar lists and trends elsewhere (inlcuding CORE's ten trends), which of itself is indicative of the fact that we ought to be at least mindful of what these things are and the potential impact they may have on what we do as educators. 

Like their 2012 list, the emphasis is on the tertiary space, but with lots to inform what is happening and likely to happen in the school sector. 

Interesting to me is the fact that this list contains some of the same elements as the previous list, but doesn't really illustrate the connection between the two – to illustrate the 'trending' that is occurring, and how the ecology of education is being impacted by the technologies identified. The question this raises for me is…

"Does the fact that some of the things appear to have 'dropped off' the list in subsequent years mean that that:

  1. the prediction was wrong and didn't eventuate? 
  2. that the prediction did come to fruition and is now a part of the mainstream? or
  3. that the prediction has perhaps 'morphed' into one of the emerging themes identified?"

Compare the two lists here….

2012 2013
  1. Personal inquiry learning 
  2. Seamless learning 
  3. MOOCs
  4. Assessment for learning 
  5. New pedagogy for e-books 
  6. Publisher-led short courses 
  7. Badges to accredit learning
  8. Rebirth of academic publishing 
  9. Learning analytics
  10. Rhizomatic learning
  1. Badges to accredit learning
  2. Citizen inquiry
  3. Crowd Learning
  4. Digital scholarship
  5. Geo-learning
  6. Learning analytics
  7. Learning from gaming
  8. Maker culture
  9. MOOCs
  10. Seamless learning

It's easy enough to come up with lists, but understanding how these sorts of predictions eventuate is the real issue here, and where the real focus of attention needs to be (IMHO). Technological innovation (e.g. in NZ) has a history of failed attempts, false starts, and unforeseen consequences, alongside the 'disruptive' technologies that get to feature in the headlines.

In education it's easy enough to get caught up in the latest fad or fashion, but to understand deeply where these things may be taking us, and the potential impact on our work in the classroom and the pedagogies associated with that requires lots of ongoing communication, sharing and exploration of ideas. I'm grateful to the people at the OU for this contribution to the conversation, and challenge educators now to participate in the ongoing conversations that demonstrate the accuracy of these predictions…

  • where/how are you using or seeing these things used effectively?
  • in what ways are they actually shaping your pedagogical practice?
  • what are the actual drivers involved? The institution? The technology? The learners?
  • what are the barriers and emerging frustrations you see?
  • what are the opportunities and unexpected outcomes you observe?

Lots of food for thought… let's get the conversations going!

The PDF version of the report can be downloaded here


3 thoughts on “Innovating Pedagogy 2013

  1. Hi Derek

    To follow up on a few of the comments you make above – I do believe that e-learning has a "newest fad" label to it, and even though you have pointed out on many occassions that it is the learning that is important not the technology, I cannot but feel overwhelmed sometimes by the tool offerings available. While we hear about wonderful innovations in education through the use of technology, I am wondering why teachers, with little access to technology and little knowledge of how it works, still inspire students and get the best out of them. One of the best teachers in our school is a technophobe. She does use the "COWS" for research, etc, and does get her students to update the LMS with bits and pieces every now and then, but by and large not that much use of technology. Yet if you ask students who they think is one of our best teachers, this teacher's name always comes up. Another issue I come across is why teachers need to change when their students are doing so well in NCEA. I know a maths teacher that only uses computers because he needs to use excel, that's it, yet his results for Level 1 to 3 mathematics are great.

    Having been involved with "e-learning" over the past few years, I believe that many of the tools are fads – take interactive whiteboards for instance. They are simply a modern version of the whiteboard without a real change to pedagogy. Another example is data projectors – some teachers think that because they use a "data projector" they are involved with "e-learning" or are more digitally able. This is not true. My concern is that the trends and predictions are technology focused not learning or student focused, and can be quite off-putting for teachers because the technological landscape changes so quickly. What trends are we seeing in learning or pedagogy?  These are the key questions that should be answered in my opinion along with how the technologies can assist teachers in applying best practice.  You have shared many examples of this on numerous occasions – more recently the concept of a Modern Learning Environment (MLE) as opposed to a Managed one (which MLE used to stand for). Not long ago we had the Managed Learning Environment reference group which was technology focused and we were all wondering which LMS we should be using. The concept of a Modern Learning Environment was so refreshing as we were not throwing the baby out with the bath water. The technology is simply the enabler. As you said back at a Navcon conference in 2002 – Poor pedagogy plus ICT = expensive poor pedagogy. This is why I find I am no longer interested in the latest "tool or fad" and find the use of the word "e-learning" unhelpful. What I am concerned with is how to best help my students learn in a way that is not just about passing a test or jumping through hoops. I find this a challenge every day and still have a long way to go on this journey. I still love using technology where I can, but have found being back in a classroom very humbling and "grounding" as I look to expert classroom practitioners, with far less ICT exposure than me, for guidance and wisdom

  2. Hi Derek, The report is intended to focus on innovative pedagogies, introducing them to a wider audience. Our original intention was to include different pedagogies each year, but this year we felt that some, such as MOOCs and badges, had developed sufficienty over the year  to merit a new entry.

    To respond to Conor, the report focuses on the pedagogies that are enabled by technology. We have left it to other reports to focus on new technologies – we do not focus on these, but on the new possibilities that are opened up for teaching and learning.

    1. Hi Rebecca – great to have you comment on this, appreciate the time taken. I love the work your team is doing here – very important to focus on the area of pedagogy as you’re doing. As you note here, the emergence of MOOCs and badges is a good example of an emerging state. They represent more than simply a new pedagogy, but a trending towards something that is (or may be) a new pedagogy, or representation of it. MOOCs in and of themselves aren’t a new pedagogy, but may indeed be the catalyst for new pedagogical practice, or alternatively, may be a manifestation of a pedagogical practice whose time has come. Either way, the pedagogy behind them is to do with characteristics of non-linear and non-hierarchical learning architecture, distributed expertise, learner agency and choice etc. Let’s keep these conversations going – looking forward to seeing more of what your team comes up with. Derek

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