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September 2012

International experts look to the future of education this week with the release of the Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2012-2017 report. The report, which includes contributions from Rafael A. Calvo, identifies the technologies to watch, their potential impact and the challenges to be faced in the next five years expressly in a STEM+ context.

STEMreport.jpg In an effort that ran from July through September of this year 46 experts, including Calvo, considered hundreds of relevant articles, news, blog posts, research, and project examples as part of the preparation to ultimately pinpoint the most notable emerging technology topics, trends, and challenges for STEM+ education over the next five years.

The Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2012-2017 is the result, a collaborative effort seeking to inform educational leaders about significant developments in technologies supporting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. These fields of study are referred to by the acronym STEM, and the addition of the “+” incorporates communication and digital media technologies in the traditional four areas of study.

In addition to the breakdown of technologies, the report identifies the ten trends they believe will impact most in the next 5 years and the top ten challenges to be faced. The report is available for download from the NMC publications library. The report, and the work and tools that produced it, can also be viewed at the Horizon.STEM wiki page.

RC.jpgCongratulations to Associate Professor Rafael Calvo, of our STL management team, who has received a national award for outstanding teaching for his work on scholarly approaches that influence and enrich engineering students' experience of academic writing.

Rafael, who is the Director of the Learning and Affect Technologies Engineering group (LATTE), was awarded for his commitment to helping engineering students gain invaluable writing skills through the creation of innovative online tools. That tool, iWrite, has now been made available to academics outside of engineering.

Rafael was one of seven academics, from six different faculties, among the 152 winners nationally of the 2012 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. The citations are awarded annually by the federal government's Office for Learning and Teaching to recognise quality teaching practice and contributions towards student learning.

"Our best teachers succeed because they are driven by the passion and academic rigour to make a difference," said University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence.

The presentations for New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory will be held from 3 to 5pm on Tuesday 25 September at the Webster Theatre, the University of Sydney.

For further of this story, and for more information on all the Sydney winners, visit the University of Sydney news site.

ascilite just announced its 2012 Webinar series program. This year it has a range of presentations on various research approaches in eLearning. Peter Goodyear and I will be co-presenting the last Webinar "ICT-enhanced social and educational research methods", Thursday, 11 October 2012, 1pm NSW time.

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I'll be giving a keynote on "Connected Learning" at the Highspeed broadband and higher education forum, University of Melbourne, Thursday 27th September.

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A brief reminder about the call for papers for the BJET Special Issue on e-Research for Education that Peter Reimann and I are co-editing. Feel free to email us your questions.

Call for Papers for Special Issue "e-Research for Education: Applied, methodological and critical perspectives", The British Journal of Educational Technologies

This special issue aims to provide a comprehensive review of the emerging domain of ICT- enhanced research methods in educational research. It seeks contributions in the following broad categories: 1) methodological papers (e.g., learning analytics, collaborative video analysis, digital ethnography); 2) applied case studies of frontier e-research project; 3) conceptual explorations of eResearch implications. Guest editors:

The National Academies Press has published a noteworthy report that could inspire those who think about neurons, networks and neighbourhoods

“From Neurons to Neighborhoods: An Update: Workshop Summary" is based on the original study "From Neurons to Neighborhoods: Early Childhood Development", which was released in October of 2000. Available from The National Academies Press at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13119

I think STL's research contributes to building the “Network” which can connect “Neurons” and “Neighbourhoods” and which is currently missing.


A few selected quotes

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On September 19th the STL network present a CoCo-CHAI-LATTE seminar by Professor David Lowe titled "Remote Laboratories: logistical enhancement of pedagogic innovation?"

Lowe.jpgLaboratory experimentation is a central element of learning across the SET disciplines, but has seen little innovation in either use of technology or the underlying pedagogy. The convergence of ubiquitous networking and increasingly rich instrumentation and transducers provides an opportunity for significant innovation with regard to remote access to physical laboratory apparatus. This seminar will discuss the opportunities this creates. Operationally, students have greater flexibility and institutions have the opportunity to share access to a richer pool of apparatus. Pedagogically, there are opportunities to enrich the laboratory experience through aspects such as embedding the laboratory into real-world contexts, augmenting the experience with additional information, and providing richer control over the nature of the experimentation.

A number of research projects will be described ranging from adaptive personalised lab quides, though augmented reality interfaces, into contextualisation in virtual worlds.

  • When:11.00am - 12.00pm
  • Where: Room 124, School of Information Technologies, Building J12
  • This seminar will be available live online.

Professor David Lowe is Associate Dean (Education) and Professor of Software Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Sydney. He is also the CEO of The LabShare Institute, a not-for-profit organisation focused on sharing of teaching laboratory infrastructure through the use of remote access technologies.

For more information see the full seminar listing on the University of Sydney events' calendar.

OECD has published quite interesting report based on an international survey of teacher practices: Teaching Practices and Pedagogical Innovations Evidence from TALIS

Summary
"Fortunately, teaching practices help shape the learning experiences and increase motivation and achievement for students. In addition, it has been revealed that when teachers collaborate well together they also tend to work better with students. This new informative publication clearly identifies and arranges profiles in relation to two connected areas of professional teacher practices: classroom teaching practices and participation in professional learning communities."


Some highlights from findings about Australia

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Exploring Mars with roving robotics may become a virtual reality for remote and rural students as part of a program underpinning the National Broadband Network (NBN)-Enabled Education and Skills Services Program, announced yesterday by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).

Congratulations to Professor Salah Sukkarieh, the Australian Centre for Field Robotics's Director of Research and Innovation.

Full story

Join us on Wednesday the 12th of September when CoCo research students, Shahadat Hossain Khan and Gilbert Importante, present.

rf_discuss.jpgShahadat Hossain Khan is a PhD student doing research in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in TAFE. He will outline his study on “Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) teachers’ conceptions of and approaches to ICT in professional education”.

Gilbert Importante is researching ICT and community development. He will present “Entanglements in techno-human ecosystems: Implications for sustainable community development”.

This seminar will be also available live online at http://webconf.ucc.usyd.edu.au/seminar-room1.

  • When: 11.00am - 12.30pm
  • Where: Education Building (A35) Room 230
  • Cost: Free

More information at the Sydney events' homepage.

As featured in the Australian, in a school in the US, students are tested each week in maths and reading, and, depending on their grade level, in science and social studies too. In addition they also have an "interim assessment" every six weeks, with tests on the all the material covered in the previous weeks and in the earlier part of the term. By the end of the school year, the tests are long and cover a vast range of material. The tests arm the teachers with information about what the students are learning or struggling with, and allow them to plan intervention when students fall behind, and share techniques that work. They call it data-driven teaching.

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1209RMITPG.jpg

I'm giving a public lecture at RMIT (360 Swanston Street, Melbourne), Wednesday 5th September, 6.00-7.30. The lecture is part of the RMIT series on Transforming the Future, and I'll be speaking on the following topic: "Learning in a networked world: how do we invent the future of learning?". Come and say hello!




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Kate Thompson, David Ashe, Martin Parisio and I played host to a group of 17 school students aged between 12 and 17, and 13 school teachers and environmental educators on Friday 10th August, as part of the South Creek Project.  

The day was a facilitated design experience, hosted by the Laureate Program and Greening Australia. The aim of the project is to deliver an innovative fieldwork and multimedia framework for engaging students in water and land management. Through the process it is hoped that the students will develop skills in web design and development, research techniques, and links into the wider community.

The students had already participated in planning sessions, a site visit and a day of hands-on site restoration at the Creek. The day at CoCo was an opportunity for them to actively flesh out their ideas, propose possible formats, identify constraints and generate consensus upon which a brief for the multimedia designer could be written.

From my perspective it was a fascinating experience to see the Laureate program’s new Design Studio in action, to watch as the mix of people, space and tools transitioned from stiff, staccato interaction - to fluid collaboration within a matter of hours. The untangling of which feeds into new research into learning by design, and we look forward to sharing our thoughts as we make sense of them.


On Wednesday many people attended our farewell lunch for Nino and Sanghee - We were treated to foods from around the world. Nino has recently submitted his PhD thesis and will be returning home to Indonesia. We will miss Nino and wish him all the best. Sanghee has been visiting CoCo from the Department of Medical Education at the School of Medicine in Kyungpook National University, in Daegu Korea. Sanghee has offered valuable insight into e-learning and problem based learning in medical education over the past few months. We wish her all the best.

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Research by the University's Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation (CRLI).
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