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  • eLearning environments: developing pedagogic strategiesexperiences from four school based teacher education programmes, 1999 - 2006Tom Power,The Open University, U K.

  • Where does eLearning happen?Text(mostly not here)

    an eLearning environment?

    an eLearning environment?

    an eLearning environment?

  • eLearning programmes for teacher professional developmentthe Learning Schools Programme (LSP) (1999-2003)the Digital Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) (2001 onwards)TeachandLearn.net (T&L) (2004-2006)Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) (2007 - 2015)

  • APT technologiesAudience / Agents of ChangePurposesTools / Technologies

  • research: teachers wantedsmall units that can be quickly engaged withkey principles / key issues clear and concisedirect relevance / practical application explicitideas, activities and supporting resources all clearly related and presented in one place

    This presentation is an account of the experiences and lessons learned about authoring eLearning environments for teacher professional development.

    eLearning should not be thought of as something that happens primarily in the space between a computer and an individual. The locus of learning should be much wider than that. eLearning environments should enable teachers and learners to actively construct new knowledge through accommodating or adapting new learning experiences and previous understandings (Piaget); they should scaffold learning, and draw on the strengths of peer support (Vygotsky); they should support participation in professional practices, and the development of professional communities (Lave & Wenger); and they should foster the development of professional knowledge and professional identity in teachers (Banks, Leach and Moon).

    So eLearning must not be constructed as a pedagogy of transmission, merely about sending information and ideas to teachers, which they receive through access to an eLearning environment.

    An effective eLearning environment for teachers should support the development of professional practices, which must occur not just in interaction with the computer, but in the full range of activities and settings which constitute the professional life of the teacher. Although the computer interface provides access to information, communication, ideas and resources, most of the actual learning takes place when teachers explore what they have encountered through activities. These activities may be 'online activities', or the online environment may be used to provide resources and strategies to support activities which of themselves do not directly use ICT; some activities may be individual, but many will of necessity occur within the teachers communities of practice - with their colleagues, and with their pupils.

    Therefore, when I discuss the pedagogy of authoring eLearning environments, I am not thinking only of a teacher learning whilst at a computer, but rather how an e-Learning environment can be used to support a broad range of professional development activities and classroom practices.

    I will illustrate this briefly with a few quick examples from the DEEP project.For any teacher professional development programme, e- or otherwise, what really matters is how it affects the experience of teaching and learning.

    Here two teachers talk about how they used to be stuck only with what they knew, or what was in the very few books, and then how the eLearning environment enabled them to prepare for their teaching - to find out new things that helped them in the classroom...

    ... and the learners talk about how the teacher has used the eLearning environment and the laptop to engage them in new learning activities.Here a group of teachers are practising studying the local environment through science activities (in this instance, line transects) that were suggested to them in the eLearning materials of the DEEP project.

    The teachers are referring to an eBook (on their handheld pocket computers) for how to carry out the activity; they are using digital cameras to photograph the plant species, using spreadsheets and word processors to record their observations and data whilst in the field (or actually, whilst on the beach).

    Here a school principal is studying the environment in a different way - through poetry, using strategies and activities suggested to her through another DEEP eBook.

    In each example, the eLearning environment provided ideas, strategies and resources to enable to teachers to explore new ways of teaching and learning in their subject area. The teachers explored these ideas with the support of their colleagues, practising new techniques together, then adapting them to the specific contexts of their schools and pupils.

    I cant go back says the principal: such learning, developing the professional knowledge, skills, practices of a teacher, cannot be unlearned, because ultimately it changes the teachers personal construct of what it is to be a teacher, and their own professional identity as a teacher(Banks, Leach & Moon).

    So, having established a broad definition of eLearning, I am gong to consider experiences gained from four such programmes developed by the Open University and it's partners since 2000.

    Over one hundred and forty thousand UK teachers took part in the Learning Schools Programme, between 1999 - 2003 (this being 1/3 of the teaching workforce at that time).The programme covered primary & secondary teachers from the four nations of the UK and all NC subjects. One hundred local education authorities supported teachers on the programme. The programme used a variety of media, including print, video cassette, CDROM and online. LSP was part of a government funded initiative to help teachers use ICT to support teaching and learning within their subject.

    The Digital Education Enhancement Project (DEEP) began carrying out research into the potential of ICT for teacher professional development in the global south in 2001: working with teachers in schools serving disadvantaged communities in Egypt and South Africa; focussing upon primary literacy and science. The project used print, CDROM, online and ebook media.

    TeachandLearn.net was a subscription service supporting whole school continuing professional development, serving primary and secondary schools, covering all national curriculum subjects, and provided entirely online.

    Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA) is a consortium of HEI partners from nine African nations, the BBC world service trust and The Open University. TESSA will provide open educational resources for teacher professional development in a range of curriculum areas; when they are made available, these resources may be freely incorporated or adapted into teacher training courses offered by any institution, or may be used directly by teachers. TESSA resources will be entirely online.In the development of each of these programmes, the pedagogic design has always sought to use the most appropriate tools available to fulfil the pedagogic purposes of the programme, in the particular context in which the programme was operating. I am now retrospectively trying to draw out from this implicit practice an explicit framework for choosing the pedagogic tools, which I have begun to term APT technologies. * what is the nature of the audience (or agents of change) - e.g. how, when and where do they have access to what forms of ICT; what activities are they engaged in, and with whom; what opportunities are available to them; what challenges do they face... and so on.

    * what are the aspirations of the audience - what do they want to achieve; what is the purpose of the programme; how is it meant to change things; what processes will help the audience and the programme achieve their goals?

    * what tools (pedagogic resources, activities, frameworks, digital devices and technologies) best support the purposes and activities envisaged for the programme, within the specific context of its audience.

    We will look at the pedagogic design of each programme through this lens.

    This is the science homepage of the Learning Schools Programme (LSP).

    AudienceUK school teachers, all subjects, all age-ranges; all nations; English and Welsh Languages.Most teachers did not have access to computers at home, or directly in their classroom - access to resources usually had to be booked; most teachers had little or no experience of using the internet*; broadband was rolling out across UK schools during the lifetime of the programme, but the real experience of network connectivity within schools was usually much worse than it appeared on paper. Computers in schools were mainly used to teach computer studies, with little evidence of effective use for supporting teaching and learning across the curriculum; notable exceptions - data logging in science; CAD/CAM in design; Geometry in maths.

    PurposeTo help teachers develop effective practice in using ICT to support the planning, teaching and assessment of their subject, and in their own personal and professional development.

    ToolsGiven that most teachers had little by way of sustained access to ICT, and little familiarity in using it as a learning medium for their own study, substantial print resources were developed to provide most of the reading material of the course. Print resources also included the professional tasks which determined the activities teachers should carry out to develop their practice, and a study guide that explained the different resources provided and how to use them.

    Bandwidth limitations precluded the use of video over the internet for anything to be shown full screen or for longer clips, and many computers in schools could not support video, so AV resources for use at whole school / departmen