Thursday, April 17, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
I've been thinking about how to improve the study tour, and learning, and subsequent benefits to TAFE NSW. The learning has been great, but often very intense, and focussed on one sector or another. I'm now spending some reflection time, to get some useful and relevant resources/information for everybody.
The United Kingdom in particular has recognised the importance of innovation as a driving force for economic growth, and that education is a pivotal part of this. Their focus is on university funding for innovation, but Colleges of Further Education also benefit as they often have dual programs. The efficacy of the model is unknown, but the conferences I attended and people I spoke with, are enthusiastic and have achieved outcomes in line with the policy.
The schools sector is also on the path to the integration of ICT and progressing with this.
All education sectors are essential to ensure innovation is supported, as it is a matter more of attitude and supported risk-taking, than lock step learning. In this, or vocational education and training sectors' use of Training Packages may be seen as inhibiting innovation, rather than supporting it, or the Training Packages can be used creatively (modelling the very thing to e taught).
We have the Workforce Capability Development Guarantee for TAFE NSW, another step in the right direction, to ensure teachers and other staff are skilled to innovate in our increasingly competititve (read global) world. Training, per se, and in the traditional sense, is not necessarily the answer.
Having a central "body" responsible for innovation - does this actually defeat the purpose or rather the driving rationale behind innovation? We have the Federal government, State Governments, the Innovation and Business Skills Australia, various professional bodies, research organisations - what is the best way forward with this?
Change is inextricably intertwined with the culture of the organisation.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
In terms of innovation for education, one of the people I met with, summed it up: "it's the way that tools are used that's really critical. Just as a great teacher can give a great (face to face) lesson with next to no tools, and a poor teacher can make a mess up ... so while new technologies might enable a good teacher to be really creative (& use them appropriately) so a poor teacher mayn't use them that well, and may use them inappropriately, thus alienating students."
Using technology for it's own sake won't work but enabling a culture of can do and supported risk-taking will. Stay tuned for the final results as I make my way home! Some of the outcomes you might be interested in looking at will include:
1. a Wiki (or any platform you would like to try out! - let me know) with resources about creativity in a practical sense
2. A similar resource for Innovation
3. A written report
4. A discussion forum later in 2008 relating to Innovation and Leadership in education
5. An online event in June 18/19 with the Australian Flexible Learning Framework, with guest speakers from the USA
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Another person from Wolvehampton, mentioned technology retreats, most importantly led by the Dean, which I think sounded great, and perhaps a little like SWSI's technology showcase.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Went through a number of beautiful villages, and Farnham and Farnboro (will check that!) stand out for incredibly helpful people. One man even told me what to see when I got to Bristol. Got something (an insect?) stuck in my eye, and many people were very kind in helping me with that.
The Higher Education Council for Funding in England aims to invest in the British higher education sector, to encourage research in identified strategic areas, as well as funding support for innovation in research into technology. It also has 74 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), an initiative with two main aims: to reward excellent teaching practice, and to further invest in that practice so that CETLs funding delivers substantial benefits to students, teachers and institutions.
On Sunday afternoon I was lucky enough to meet with Emma, who has been to most countries, as well as being involved very heavily in e-learning, after being a Geographer, teaching Special Education, and lecturing in Computing, as well as using technology in her own teaching and learning she is currently Faculty eLearning Co-ordinator. We had a great and ranging discussion about e-learning, and came up with some common themes and strategies we're using. Have a look at ExPERT one of the teaching and learning initiatives funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Friday, April 4, 2008
An email came about the EDNA Groups E-learning Resources and tools website. Have a look especailly at the "Ten web 2.0 things you can do in ten minutes to be a more successful e-learning professional" from Lisa Neal and Stephen Downes, and try one.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Another great day, meeting two people who may have the secret to change management in the ICT area! Stewart and John are both very modest about the success of the London Grid for Learning but the models they presented, and the anecdotal and other data re the success of introducing ICT into English schools, was very impressive.
Next I went to Greenwich University, pictured below on the Royal Naval College site. I was lucky enough to hear a few rehearsals by students of the Trinity Music College as well as see the Painted Hall - an amazing work of art, video below.
For information about innovation and leadershiop go to the Leaders in London website, and sign up for their newsletter, emailed to you.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Attended conference on distance learning at London University. Enphasis on access, partnerships and measuring impact.
Dr Samba Mboup University South Africa spoke about Africa. Some good pedagogy demonstrated in having breakout groups, very short presentations and excellent speakers, with a good grasp of powerpoint principles, e.g. 7 words x 7 lines and a good use of pictures.
Completion - the question was asked whether this matters. Yes, yes, yes especially when you look at the focus on international capability building and the prohibitive costs for students in developing countries.
Of course, the best times in the conference are those when you have a chance to speak with people, and a photo of some of the people who helped make this so enjoyable and a good learning experience.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
The 11th Annual Technology Counts is here, but only available to 7th April. It shows how each USA state lines up in terms of leading the teaching of technology. The report examines the K-12 community's response to the United States’ perceived failings in preparing young people to thrive in a high-tech global economy.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
A great session on retention of online learners, and I will summarise in this posting after I get an adaptor for the laptop. Also attended a session on Trends in Continuing Education, and again was struck by the similarities with TAFE NSW. The key issue was about needing to be innovative, provision of electronic learning, and funding.
Flew from New Orleans to Chicago, and then on to Londonon. It had taken an hour to check in, because American Airlines only had one person on, and there were about 100 people to check in, 2 hours before the flight. The man behind me rang American to complain, and I laughed. He and I were both searched in New Orleans Airport (coincidence :-).
The plane, quite separately, was 40 minutes late. The flight attendant was a scream, saying that if our flight turned into a cruise, we could locate our swimming aids under the seats :-) When the seatbelt sign went off after landing, he said "All rise".I compunded this by (yes I take full responsibility!) waiting for my bags, which of course were going straight to London - duh! One of the baggage assist people ran with me to the lift, explaining how I had to get a train, etc.
Chicago people were just wonderful - half the carriage on the train to the Terminal were saying, "you'll be fine, you've got 45 minutes before it leaves". Of course, the security/immigration lines were astronomical, so I let a TSA employee know that my boarding time was 5 minutes ago, and she was amazing. The man checking my passport was joking that we could all have a therepeutic cry :-) It was a very funny time, and things like this really make the travel part come alive. It was the fastest check in I have ever had, and everybody will know how good that was!
I had also said to my seat mate on the flight to Chicago that I have had a fabulously smooth trip so far, with every landing and public transport no effort (thank you to my travel agent! who I won't name as I don't think she can keep up with demand), touch wood.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Talking with Sally and Kate, who invited me out for lunch yesterday
- Meeting Judy, from Spokane, who gave me an autographed book that she had written. Her daughter had won a very special student award
- All the people at dinner, and here's a photo
- The band after dinner was truly amazing, and could rival the Endeavour Harmony Chorus (no, only joking)
- At the Inclusive Leadership workshop, a truly interactive and value added affair, with a great workshop leader/s. The gems from this were about going back to basics, and repeat some of the themes that have emerged about innovation and great leadership:
- Perceptlon is reality
- Take risks
- Needs to be an intentional effort: get to know people
- Need to take personal responsibility
This session engaged people and went back to basics. Basics is something we probably
all should review regularly. The other session which really stood out was the Technology Petting Zoo - this was one of those ideas where we have had the idea but this was the twist we might be looking for. Chas Freeman was the keynote speaker, and excellent too.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Have a look at the Critical Thinking Rubric. There is a blog for the UCEA conference, but it is only open to members. You can have a look at their website, at http://www.ucea.edu/
Some great sessions on Thursday - Donna Brazile stated with humor: you can go to the Zoo and not only see every species, but get the recipes for them as well. Spoke very well about the lack of government support for re-building New Orleans.
Need to jazz or spice up things to create a new vibe: exactly the Same as for innovation!! You need to stir the pot rather than put things off. Must be willing to engage and inform. Only in this way will things go forward.
The two people above looked at their successful continuing education programs that take generational differences into account and have been implemented at Tuskegee University and California Polytechnic State University.
Some other reflections:
TAFE needs to get to High school students much earlier than Y ear 10 .
One size does not fit all. Take into account the individual organisational factors. If there's a problem, move forward. It doesn't matter whose fault it is!
Two other gems from today, again from Gardner: Another word for blog is a publishing platform Blog is as ugly word! Unless we are having compelling experiences with online, you can't design compelling online experiences for your learners. And of course, I can't count, despite having been a bookie's clerk: Podcasting, wikis and blogging keeps a course alive, way beyond the actual course time. Experiences make the "containers" which are courses, much richer (just like travel where people make it all the more memorable).
It was also great to hear Phillip Long again, after he had been to Sydney in 2004 for the sydney Institute Net*Working 2004 e-learning conference. He mentioned Sloodle - a mix of Second Life and Moodle, so have a look for yourself. This will also be featured in the SWSI Wiki (click on 1. E-learning Wiki on the left hand side) Tip of the Week.
See the essence of New Orleans, and one of the few songs I can play: The Entertainer!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
But what amazed me around the city, and on the way from the airport, there are advertisments for every type of higher education institution. I can't say I noticed any in San Antonio, but that might have been the broken windscreen and mud spattered (think outback Australia) windscreen combining so that I couldn't see anything AT ALL!
Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
LaDonna Gaitlin Sang and spoke in this closing session and opened with a song: Everything is Beautiful. This was great, combining a sing along, as well as reminders about doing the most with your time. If you'd like to hear some of my singing, you can see here. Of course it's the Endeavour Harmony Chorus (scroll down the page to NSW and it starts at the 29th minute)!
LaDonna used the scale (somebody remind me what it is called!!!!) as a framework. See http://www.innovationondleadeship.pbwiki.com/ for further details
The points that resonated with me were Fa ilures can be turned into fertiliser: ANYTHING CAN BE REDEEMED - something I think is so important to support innovation and excellent leadership of teaching and learning.
One other thing for today: technology enables excellent teaching and learning to meet learner and client needs, so you need to select the most appropriate for the stakeholders and for the outcomes you hope to achieve, no matter what sphere these are in.
•Technologies do not determine business models but enable them.
The other really important point that needs to be emphasised is to La ugh
Friday, March 21, 2008
The day was highlighted by the great people I met: first at morning coffee, and met two of the women who run the Ranch night - just gorgeous, and so friendly. On the way to the ranch tonight, I sat with Rochelle, and her husband George sat with Marilyn. We had a great night, and of course the obligatory pictures (most of which Marilyn kindly took!) are dotted around this posting. Like the ISBE dinner last night it was very friendly and a great day. The photo on the right is of the hay ride, and you can see Verna in the black top. I met her on Tuesday (maybe Wednesday?), and she has been great, even when it was her birthday, she was sick and other stuff about her holiday (vacation).
I also got talking with people about the Human Resource Management Toolbox. If you'd like to preview any of the Australian Flexible Learning Framework Toolboxes, have a look at http://flexiblelearning.net.au/toolboxes. You can also see why e-learning is so important when it is about the best thing for learners: http://designing.flexiblelearning.net.au/learning_design/sequences/NSW/index.htm
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Well, the easy stuff first. I've got an iPod and recorder attachment - this has been great in getting recordings from people. I've got my PDA, so I can take notes during presentations and interviews and download them onto the Wiki, or upload them onto the Wiki. I've got a fabulous camera, which is probably my weakest link - even though I'm a visual person, I can't seem to get it out fast or often enough! I've got a laptop, kindly set up by Jonathon from Bankstown so that Internet connection has been a breeze, and kindly organised by Amelita!
It has taken me some time to make it easier to post to the Wiki and Blog - the photos take a long time for the Blog, much shorter time for the Wiki, and I think it would have been easier to upload all the photos every few days, and to one place only, like Flickr, and then link to them.
The Wiki and Blog have been time consuming, so now I'm trying to streamline, but as I commented to Jac in one of the posts below, it is like assessment. There is an inverse proportion of time in the short term and long term - the longer it takes initially, the shorter time later, as all assessors will know!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Business Etiquette was a session presented by Dr Robert Blair, and the key findings:
You only have one chance to make a good first impression
Perceptions are important but (and this is my question!) should they be based on appearances? In which case, I'll be needing to use my skills from the afternoon workshop!
The teaching in the Photoshop workshop was some of the best, most innovative ever experienced.
The keynote speaker was preceded by the oath of allegiance, national anthem and a very good introduction by the Texas representative. John Kasich "Stand for Something'
What people care about is whether you have integrity, honesty and ethics
We need to take personal responsibility
Raise the bar
Teamwork is essential
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
I spoke with two MBA students about what they were doing there, and asked them how they were taught to be innovative, and how they would apply it in their work. One person said they were working for volunteer organisations, so that they would be considered innovative as a business person automatically in that field. The other was going to work in Finance, and they pointed out that they were innovative already.
Can it work remotely or virtually with skilled facilitation, or is the maintenance of remote networks often be at the expense of the person leading it?
How important is F2 F when working in teams???
Sunday, March 16, 2008
ABN AMRO are the sponsors of the scholarship: have a look at their foray into Second Life, at http://www.computeridee.nl/img.db?1736707
See the Wiki for their initiative on having technology integrated for teaching and learning, at http://innovationandleadership.pbwiki.com/
Saturday, March 15, 2008
An interesting topic, and one that could easily be an initiative we should all take: about managing email. There is no dearth of guidelines around email, but a lot of educational institutions don't have specific guidelines. If I had to distil into five lines or less (like a good powerpoint):
1. Use good subject headings, and change when the subject changes
2. Only use for brief information, and to provide background for meetings - one screen is the maximum. One College Director I knows believes that two sentences are enough, and I agree.
3. If you are CC'd, you do not need to act, including writing a four page screed in reply
4. The only thing urgent to me is something to do with my family. If it is that urgent, call the person.
5. Don't ever write anything you don't want the world to know - that is what conversations are for!
I can't say I've always followed these rules either, so no commenting about my hypocrisy :-)
Michael Feiner, at http://www.feinerpoints.com/ltips.php, has a number of relevant and excellent points about leadership, but two stands out for me: "Demonstrating trust elicits trust." and "Debate, discussion, disagreement and dialogue are the lifeblood of vibrant and adaptive organizations." People are still scared of open and honest discussion - open and honest does not mean derogatory and destructive. Sure you get your trust thrown in your face sometimes, but for the most part, it works - try it!
How much information is there on innovation? Every time I read something, I think the author has hit the nail on the head. What I need to do now is to put together a model, not that there aren’t enough around! Terri Connellan, Flexible Learning Leader 2004 http://flexiblelearning.net.au/ put together this model re innovation in TAFE NSW, and I can’t think of a better place to start.
Met some more people – a woman from northern England, and four women in their PJ’s, from Wales. People’s exasperation was pretty unreal – one guy kept yelling at a fireman about whether the lifts would be working soon.
The lovely woman from Durram? England got her photographer son to take this photo of me – he’s good, isn’t he?
The drama was over at about 1.00, and finally got to sleep at about 6.00. Did some work this morning, and needing to re-organise the Wiki, so it is logical. Have moved hotels, and this one, which shall remain nameless, is pretty second rate, even though it costs more!
About to analyse some more resources for teaching innovation, and will post to the Wiki when I find out how much Internet access is here J.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
New York is a fantastic place - have walked for about 4 hours today, and the city is one of the most alive, dynamic, safe and friendly in the world. Speaking of safe, there is at least one police car on every corner, often more, or maybe I am ignorant of what that really means.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Next went to the World Financial Center - a beautiful new building, and in getting there, past the Twin Towers site over which there is some debate. I took some photos of the memorial wall but then saw signs to say no cameras, so won't be sharing that here.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
I'll upload my preliminary analysis onto the Wiki, after the Innovation workshop tomorrow: see http://conference-board.org for more details. The Grow and Innovation pre-conference workshop sounds very practical: Making Innovation Work, tomorrow afternoon at the Financial Center Marriott.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Thank you all for your best wishes with this tour, and I'll be updating here each day, as far as possible. New York temperatures are here, and everybody said buy a coat when you get there :-)
The World clock shows that Sydney is 16 hours in front of New York.
Aha, found my notes on the plane trip now: Evan Economy class has movies on deman. Has anybody seen Michael Clayton, the movie> food for thoguht around a number of questions: ethics, work-life balance, the impact of mental illness, loyalty, friendship.
Got to do a bit (almost exagerrated and said a lot!) of reading on the plane. Summaries and initial analysis will be available on the wiki, in the next 12 hours.
Also from the flight, a new acronym: BAG re an aisle guard who wouldn't let me in or out to stretch my legs, etc, etc! Something to remember when you're on a packed to the hilt 14 hour overnight flight: be nice to your fellow travellers.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
I have to admit to being a bit scared, becasue of all those Law and Order and SVU shows I watch!
Can I thank everybody who sent best wishes by email today and during the last few weeks - if you can comment here that would be great. Some very insightful comments especially about elearning, innovation and leadership too, which would be good to share.