Monday, November 26, 2012

Conducting and reporting on educational technology research for institutional impact

The Prentice School Educational Assistive Tech...
The Prentice School Educational Assistive Technology Classroom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This was an international initiative. The team consists of 2 mentors, who mentored the educationalists from 5 institutions across 3 countries. Harriet Ridolfo gave an overview of the team, and the experience that the members of the team brought to the group. Some of the people involved did not have 'acknowledged' time to conduct research, but this was something that they were doing as part of their roles.

The ARCS framework (Heller) was used as a design tool to evaluate and report on educational technology research. Several approaches were adopted different institutions and these were shared and considered as to whether they have been effective. Some of the approaches for 'drawing attention' included book clubs, announcements, road-shows, and general updates. Around 'demonstrating relevance', strategies included sharing examples, committee meetings, champions, and group sessions. Developing confidence included workshops, drop in sessions, and developing satisfaction, mini grants, innovation awards, and a professional development portfolio for promotion.

We need to target audiences for maximum effect. The researchers divided their audience into 3 categories: leaders, educators, and academics, which were related to implementation, support and users. Timing was a key point, which was emphasised.

I felt this was a positive example of a group working together, sharing practice and ideas from geographically disparate locations, and using a strong base of mentoring. These factors appear to be something of a theme in the conference so far, and maybe indicative that groups are using the affordances of technology to help with their own professional learning, rather than focussing on the technology itself.

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