Is educational technology changing the way we learn?

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Interesting educational podcast of the Economist about the transformational potential of educational technology. This is an interview conducted by Anne McElvoy at the World Economic Forum.

Tablets 4 teaching & learning: where does ITCILO stand?

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Photo by Chandni Lanfranchi.

Tablets and mobile devices are the most recent addition to the long list of technological innovation believed to support and enhance the teaching and learning process.

The Commonwealth of Learning has just published the Tablets for Teaching and Learning: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis aiming at investigating the evidence supporting the use of mobile devices in educational contexts.

Results from 27 primary empirical research studies confirm previous findings about the average effect of contemporary technology on students’ achievement, the benefits that go beyond mere performance on tests, and the importance of pedagogy in the successful integration of technology in educational contexts. Moreover, the findings highlight the need for providing teachers with professional development to support their ability to integrate tablets’ technology effectively into their teaching and to create teaching and learning environments conducive for meaningful learning.

Since 2014 here at ITCILO we have been experimenting the use of tablet technology for learning. Initial findings and reflections have been collected in a comprehensive publication regarding Acceptance and Educational Benefits of Tablet Computers during Training for Adult Learners. Furthermore, these experiences have led to the creation of a training manual for trainers and facilitators interested in effectively using tablets during learning events for adults. The manual is available for FREE on the IOS e-Book STORE or as a non-interactive PDF.

 

Mobile Learning with Tablets: Free E-Book for Trainers

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Photo by Chandni Lanfranchi.

We have recently written a post about the Learning with Tablets pilot, the first large scale ITC-ILO Academy supported by tablet computers, which took place in October 2014. The reasons behind the integration of tablets into learning activities were mostly related to creating interactive experiences for learners and gradually moving towards a paperless strategy where tablets are going to be used throughout multiple activities at the Centre. If you want to know more, there is a paper about the impact evaluation conducted here.

One of the key insights from this experience is that technology integration into learning is not only about the availability of devices but rather about trainers and facilitators effectively using technology. Therefore, despite all technical evolutions, trainers are the most important factor for success when using and integrating technology inside and outside the classroom. However to effectively use it, trainers firstly need to get familiar with it and acquire key competences. Media literacy is today recognized almost universally as one of the key competences in the educational system. According to UNESCO publication on Media Literacy and New Humanism, it is a basic skill that includes the individual capacity to using any media competently, a skill that supports many others.

That is why we are sharing the Mobile Learning with Tablets, a guide for trainers and facilitators interested in designing learning activities enhanced by tablet computers. The guide is available as a FREE eBook on the iBooks store for IOS.

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You can also find it in PDF format on this ITCILO Community of Practice on Learning & Technology.

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Learnscapes. Towards new learning landscapes.

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The Centre is currently exploring new ways to combine design thinking, architecture and learning. This resulted in the ‘Learnscape’ project which gives you an interesting perspective on how to consider the importance of the physical environment for learning and training. The learning journey helped us to think outside the box of a typical classroom setting and made us aware that there is a fundamental need to introduce the important notion of a learning ecology. Feel free to download the publication and please share your views with us.

 

 

 

 

Visualization techniques for facilitating learning

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After a guest contribution of Nancy White on graphic facilitation we have a new guest post on the same topic from Leen De Kort:

People learn in different ways. Some of us like reading or feel the urge to rewrite important information; others seem to retain a lot of visual information. But whilst reading and writing are always present in learning and training, visual information generally isn’t. Yet there are reasons enough to start integrating visual aids more consistently.

Not only would we help ‘visual learners’ by doing so. We could all benefit from combining different senses to retain information. Not to forget that using visuals simply makes things less boring, and thereby motivates people to pay closer attention. Fortunately, due to the rise of technology, integrating visuals becomes easier than ever.

This year’s International Training of Trainers Forum focused on visualisation. Next to including sessions about visualisation techniques (graphic recording, digital storytelling and the use of apps), we also tried to be as visuals as possible in our own preparation and communication. Therefore different tools were used.

When preparing for the different sessions, we used visual templates to structure our session plans. Upon request, we shared the templates in an online community on Facebook (RosViz10)

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Learning at the edge of chaos

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Aid on the edge of chaos” , written by Ben Ramalingan  re-confirmed definitely the need of changing the paradigm when we think about aid in times of complexity. The book has inspired us to explore what ‘complexity adaptive thinking’ could mean in the context of learning and training.

Learning and knowledge sharing is not just about combining relevant subject matter expertise with appropriate learning methodologies and technologies. It’s more and more engaging in a process of transformational learning where new approaches with specific patterns, principles and flows bring inter-disciplinary perspectives together to address complex inter-related challenges.

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On October 6th and 7th a group of complexity experts will gather at the Centre to tackle this paradigm and come up with a roadmap that will guide us on how transformational learning can be embedded in the learning approach of the Centre, starting with a specific focus on gender and diversity issues.

While we are preparing this meeting we would be interested if you can share with us links, resources, insights on:

– Complexity adaptive thinking applied to learning and knowledge sharing
– Guidelines on how to integrate and use complex learning methods (future search, change lab, deep democracy, appreciative inquiry, social network analysis, …)

The focus group meeting will be prepared and documented on the following wiki “Transformational Learning” and we will integrate your contributions.

The Compass Cards are out there! Your direction for learning and training.

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A few months ago we launched a crowd-funding campaign to design and develop the compass cards based on our on-line toolkit. The idea was to develop a mobile card set of participatory knowledge sharing methodologies and technologies. The campaign did not reach its financial goal but crowd-sourced on a variety of interesting  and alternative ideas to transform this concept into reality. We are proud to present these compass cards here on our blog.  Below you will find an overview presentation of what the cards are all about.

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In case you are interested to obtain a set of compass cards fill in the following form. You will be contacted shortly after with additional instructions:

[contact-form subject=’compass cards order’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Address’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’How many compass card sets do you want? (50 EURO per box)’ type=’text’/][/contact-form]

Mobile Learning for young entrepreneurs

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The mobile learning story is continuously evolving at ITC-ILO and we are now ready to share the Mobile Learning Toolkit which will be used in the framework of the “Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB)” training package, currently activated in the Youth Entrepreneurship Facility in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The toolkit mainly considers low-end mobiles rather than smartphones and relies on text based communication such as SMS to support learning, as it has been more popular in previous African mobile projects. Inspired by the MyCoop Mobile Learning Toolkit launched in 2011, the SIYB toolkit includes custom-made scenarios of use, instructional videos, downloadable step-by-step guides and a list of additional resources.

With adding a mobile component, SIYB trainers will be able to choose out of 14 different mobile methodologies and among a list of free tools to be used in order to apply the methods..

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Compass, a navigational instrument for innovating learning and knowledge sharing

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Last week we launched our new and enhanced COMPASS Toolkit. The Compass toolkit uses the metaphor of a navigational instrument to guide you through a repository of 60 participatory learning, training and knowledge sharing methodologies. The Compass toolkit orients you in the way you design learning, training and knowledge sharing activities. It does so by identifying 7 learning and training objectives:

– Focus on learning
– Participate and network
– Access and build knowledge
– Assess, reflect evaluate
– Inspire and generate ideas
– Problem solve and plan
– Map ideas and relationships

Compass_Logo

By clicking on one of the learning and training objectives, you will be directed to more detailed sub-objectives. If you click on the sub-objective that matches your learning, training and knowledge sharing needs the best, you will find an overview of possible relevant methodologies. The Compass toolkit provides you with detailed instructional fiches of all the methodologies. You have the possibility to print or download the instructional fiches of the 60 methodologies so you can use and distribute them in your learning and training activities.

We aim the instructional fiches to be as practical as possible. Therefore we illustrated each methodology by a case study of the application of the methodology in the context of the Turin Centre. The instructional fiches further provide you with some additional tips and suggestions of how to adapt the methodology to your specific learning and training needs.
The Compass is brought to you with the support of the Innovation Fund project on “Enhancing the Knowledge Sharing Capacity of the Centre”. With this toolkit, we aim to support all units of the Centre to embed knowledge sharing in their training and capacity development approaches, as well as in their internal working processes.

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20 hours to learn something new?

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