Friday, 29 May 2015

50 ideas (for educators) in 500 words or less

Innovation and continual improvement
Goh Poh Sun (Sunday, September 25th, first draft at 1433hrs)

Where do ideas for continual improvement come from? Innovation? Inspiration?

One source is from daily, reflective practice. Cumulative, and sustained effort. With a focus on improvement. A dissatisfaction with some areas of current practice. A sense that there is room, and a possibility for better performance. And better outcomes. A commitment to explore, experiment and evaluate. To travel both physically and intellectually. An openness to new ideas and paradigms. The practice of recording, reflecting on practice, and sharing. Engagement with fellow practitioners. To disseminate and teach. To continually learn and improve. To maintain a sense of curiosity, of joy and wonder. To enjoy our teaching practice.

eLearning, and global eTeaching
Goh Poh Sun (Saturday, May 30th, 2015, first draft @ 0930hrs)

eLearning leverages on the the internet and the mobile web to connect individuals to ideas and information, and other people. The exponential rise in adoption of broadband, mobile and social technology has opened up unparalleled opportunities for educators, to use technology to support and enhance learning.

eLearning allows educators to broadcast content and information to a global audience, yet also "narrowcast", by personalising education and content for individual learners. This capacity to scale up access to information, at a time, place, and pace dependent on an individual learner's immediate learning requirements is unprecedented. It has never been easier for educators to create, access and curate digital educational content, and share this with a wide local, and global audience.

To take full advantage of these digital tools and platforms, and maximise their educational potential requires a combination of some formal training, both in educational technology, as well as very importantly in educational theory and principles of evidence based practice, combined with an active, experimental and scholarly mindset. The emphasis should always be on the "learning" in eLearning, with the purpose of technology to support and enhance learning. The focus should never be on the "e" in eLearning. A constant question for educators to always ask is "whether this technology adds value to current teaching and learning methods, and critically evaluate both what is gained, and what is potentially lost by the use or reliance on technology or eLearning methods.

One of the most effective methods is to combine traditional teaching and assessment strategies, with eLearning; by using a "blended" approach. Blended eLearning leverages on both the reach and accessibility of technology and engagement platforms; with the strengths of face to face student teacher and peer to peer interaction. The intent always is to strengthen student motivation and engagement with the educational material, and promote active learning, as well as "deep" (rather than superficial) learning.

In addition to helping students, technology can widen the educational reach of teachers, beyond the classroom. Apart from facilitating pre-class preparation (by "Flipping" the classroom), technology can facilitate and promote longitudinal learning; support and document student engagement with the material, as well as document student learning and achievement of learning objectives in a visible manner.

For administrators, and educational leaders, eLearning can promote a more consistent educational experience, accessible for peer review and evaluation for quality; and provide a method to document and evaluate teaching, and student learning.

The collected work in a museum, or digital collection, should be on display, for viewing, and reviewing

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