Podcasting in Higher Education

So Catherine and I decided that it would be great to put together a podcast episode, recording our conversation about the article – about Podcasting in higher education. We would discuss and analyze the study and take a look at it considering various models of diffusion of technology.

We also thought it would be fun to try this out to get a sense of what the instructors in the study we looked at may have experienced when creating their own podcasts for their University.

It’s not overly edited, so the audio recording of our conversation is pretty true to life…real and raw. Don’t expect any academy award level acting here (we will accept any nominations though… ).

We also included some show notes here on the blog with some of the more detailed info just in case you wanted to take a closer look.

For our classmates…we sent out a link (in UOIT blackboard) to a special enhanced audio version that included some fun visuals 🙂 Check it out.

Or…Here’s the straight audio version.

Hope you enjoy it. We definitely enjoyed putting it together.

Podcast in Education: Episode 1 – Show notes

  • Welcome Listeners
  • Intro Colin & Catherine – M.Ed students @ UOIT
  • Article for discussion:
    • Podcasting in Higher Education: What are the Implications for Teaching and Learning? by Steven Lonn & Stephanie D. Teasley from Internet in Higher Education 12 (2009) 88–92
    • Article looked and how Podcasts were used at the University of Michigan
    • University Stats – Approx 26000 undergraduates, 15000 graduate, 5700 faculty
    • Looked at the level and ease of use of podcasts in this context & how they were being used. They did this through surveys of students and course instructors.
  • Considering Everett Rogers’ model of stages of adoption
    • Student and instructor stages of adoption
    • Uses of Podcasts
    • Difficulties and fears
  • Considering Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s model SAMR
    • Substitution vs. Augmentation, Modification & Redefinition
  • Expanding uses of Podcasts
    • Flipped Environment
    • Supplementary vs. Replacement
    • Interactive Format
  • Podcasting at UOIT
    • thoughts and suggestions
  • Continue the conversation…

References

Fredricksen, C. (August 28, 2012). College Students Adopt Mobile across the Board. Retrieved from http://www.emarketer.com/newsroom/index.php/college-students-adopt-mobile-board/

Hippasus.com (2013). Ruben R. Puentedura’s Weblog. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/ [Accessed: 3 Apr 2013].

Lonn, S. & Teasley, S. (2009). Podcasting in higher education: what are the implications for teaching and learning? Internet and Higher Education, 12, 88–92. Retrieved from http://journals2.scholarsportal.info.uproxy.library.dc-uoit.ca/tmp/3853939157002555632.pdf

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.

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Freeze + Transition

Kurt Lewin’s three stages of his Change Model creates a very visual and practical metaphor for change. In the school board that I work for, we are adopting an online course selection tool for for the yearly course selection process for students and parents. I would consider ourselves currently in the middle transition stage of Lewin’s model.

Previously, schools had their students all completed paper scan sheets that would then be read by the scanner and interpreted into course selection information. There was definitely many motivating factors that ‘pushed’ us out of this ‘freeze’ stage as the scan sheets were not a very efficient, environmental or elegant solution to the transferring of this information. Although we used this method for several years, and people were for comfortable with it, at least superficially, there were always many of us that questioned whether there was a better method that the school board could afford.

For the past three years, we have been using an online tool that allows students and parents to read about, and select courses online. I was fortunate to be part of the pilot implementation.  There have been, and continue to be bumps but overall, it has been a good transition stage. It has been a multi-phased transition/roll-out and there have been many people who have been resistant and others that have embraced the new tool (and every level of acceptance in between.) 

If I could extend the metaphor a bit further (maybe too far :), I’d consider that we are in a slushy in between stage. The online tool is being embraced and has most people have shifted their perspective, with this being something that we all know as part of our process now and for the foreseeable future. But the acceptance and use of the online course selection tool is not at a point where we are at a point of stability. Some people are still reluctant users. The freeze has not happened yet, but it has started in many schools and with many students and parents.

Where do I fit in? Considering myself in Roger’s Model, an early adopter.

In our class, we have been looking at and unpacking various theories and tools for considering the diffusion of technology. I think that it is a valuable exercise to see where I fit in when looking at the various groups of adopters and stages of adoption.

In Rogers’ (1983) Theory of diffusion of innovation, he identifies five main groups of adopters–Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards. I think that both personally and professionally, I would generally consider myself part of the Early Adopter and Early Majority group. Interestingly, I consider myself in the same groups professionally and personally and my reasons are quite similar as well. In both cases, I am quick to adopt technology because I am willing to see if the adoption will improve my current situations or processes. I am able to see the various use cases where the use of technology will make things more effective or efficient. I am also naturally curious and interested in technology in general and that interest and curiosity also drives my speed of adoption. It would be wrong of me not to acknowledge that there is definitely a “cool factor” that comes into play as well. However, I think one significant difference between my motivations professionally and personally is that in a professional setting, I am more focused on the usefulness and effectiveness a technology can bring to the workspace. Personally, my interest and curiosity is more intrinsic. I am interested in adopting new technologies just to see how they work and how they integrate with other technologies and processes in my personal life.

In both cases, some of the factors that slow down my adoption are definitely time and money. With limited amounts of both, the level of risk that I am willing to assume to try to adopt something new is lower. I become more cautious. this may seem obvious, but the more a new technology cost, financially and in amount of time to learn to integrate it, the more I confident I will need to be that there is significant benefit to its adoption. This specific levels of risk and cost/benefit are likely different in my personal life and my professional life because of the factors that I mentioned earlier.

Many of my friends and family are early adopters of technology and because of this my exposure to emerging or newer technologies is frequent. With conversations with my friends and family often around these new technologies and the current trends, along with their adopting of new technology trends, my observability and trialability of new technologies are quite high. This definitely contributes to my earlier adoption of technology. As Rogers (1983) described, these are both characteristics that influence an individual’s adoption of technology.

I think that as a target level, I would like to consistently be among the early adopters because I hope to be able to have influence on the adoption trends in technology specifically in my work in education. Rogers (1983) identifies the early adopters as the opinion leaders and those that can impact the direction of adoption most strongly. In education, there are many competing technologies such as a variety of content management systems (WebCT, moodle, blackboard) and online meeting platforms (Webex, Adobe connect, Google hangouts). I would like, as an early adopter and user of technology in an educational setting to have an impact on which technologies become more widely used and adopted among my co-workers and the education field.

As a small example, in my current role at work, I have been using social media as a tool to communicate and generate conversation around relevant school-related topics, such as student groups, community outreach, student events and opportunities. As there become more and more platforms competing in the social media space, it can become increasing confusing for people to decide what to you and for what. I would ideally like to be an early adopter of emerging technologies in these spaces to be an opinion leader and help shape the direction of adoption of these technologies in my workplace and in education.

In order for me to progress towards consistently becoming an early adopter, it is valuable to consider the factors and forces that slow this process down and some barriers that stand in the way. A force field analysis of the motivators and inhibitors will help me to get a better sense on the process and how I can move forward. In order to do this, let’s first consider the driving forces and motivators.

The first driving force is my own desire to provide leadership in this area. I believe that adoption of technology in education is generally in the best learning interest of the students and that is something that I value.

A second driving force is the support or push that my leadership team and administration for this adoption. It is their belief as well that this adoption is good for students.

Thirdly, I believe that there is also a pressure from the students and community to stay relevant to the environment that we are currently in, where technology is a shaping agent in how people interact with each other. If this is true, in order to continue to interact in a meaningful way, we will need to continue to adopt new technologies as they become bigger parts of everyday life for people that we are trying to connect with.

When considering some of the restraining forces and inhibitors that are working against my progress to consistently being an early adopter.

The first restraining force is the limited time that is dedicated to the adoption of new technologies and the effectiveness of their implementation.

The second restraining force is the limited financial resources used to support and promote these adoptions.

The third restraining force is the attitude held by many of my co-workers where they are resistance to change. In my work setting, it becomes difficult to move ahead with the adoptions and integrations of new technologies in isolation. When collaborating with colleagues that are resistant to change, their attitudes becomes an inhibitor.

I would consider that my current situation is at equilibrium (Accel-team, 2013) as we have been in the same place with respects to technology adoption in our educational setting for the past few years. However, in order to move forward, my administration, although already quite supportive, will need to increase their support and dedicate additional time and money to help early adopters such as myself to start to become early adopters and influencers. I think that many of the other pieces are in place, with staff like myself willing to take on leadership in this area. The progress over the past eight years overall have been significant, but we have reached a equilibrium in the past few years and need to again start moving forward.

References

Accel-Team (2013). Force Field Analysis. Retrieved from http://www.accel-team.com/techniques/force_field_analysis.html

Rogers, Everett M. (1983). Diffusion of Innovations. New York: Free Press. ISBN 978-0-02-926650-2

TPCK model – the intersection of three knowledges

I think it would be a good mental exercise to consider applying some of the ideas of the TPCK model, discussed in our class last week to situations i encounter at work. My classmates did an excellent job introducing many of us to this model that considers the intersection of 3 types of knowledge: Technical knowledge, Pedagogical knowledge and Content knowledge.

The first thought I had when looking at this model was the old stereotype that high school teachers have lots of knowledge in subject area (content knowledge), but are not really able to teach (little pedagogical knowledge) and primary school teachers are great teachers (lots of pedagogical knowledge) without a strong handle on subject areas (content knowledge). Now before everyone starts leaving me nasty comments, I’m not saying that I agree with this old stereotype at all. It does bring up the idea that we may not all have deep knowledge and understanding in all areas, though. I think that deeply skilled teaching with technology does often happen at the intersection of these 2 areas along with the third area of technical knowledge. (http://tpack.org/)

Our school has been introducing iPads into our classrooms and it is interesting to see how the dynamics are during the professional development sessions focused on implementing them in the classroom.

There were Apple representatives at these sessions that were the technical experts with the technical knowledge. They were giving instructions on the use of the iPad to teachers that ranged widely in their depth of knowledge in the three areas. These wide ranges in knowledge would lead to some teachers jumping ahead or getting frustrated because they didn’t see how the Apple reps instructions were applicable to the classroom. Others would feel that, the iPads were great fun, but teaching without iPads the way that they have been teaching their subjects has worked for so long, there was no good reason to change it now.

Eventually as teachers began to get a clearer idea of how to use the iPads and the specific software, many of them started to get excited. From there, there were more specific questions about the use in the classrooms and about troubleshooting unique teaching scenarios.

This eventually lead to a stronger use of iPads in the classroom as an effective tool to enhance the learning of the students in the specific subjects.

It really speaks to the need for collaboration in order to lean on each other’s strengths to be able to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding in all three areas, and more effectively implement the technology in the classroom.

10 Things to do about Resistance

On LearnForward.org, they posted an article written by Karel Halloway that took a practical look at CBAM’s stages of concern. The article goes over the stages of concern identified in CBAM, but continues on to look at addressing individual concerns, breaking down the suggestions by stage, from stage 0-Awareness concerns to stage 6-refocusing concerns

As well, this article identifies 10 things to do to address resistance. Here is a quick look at the list.

  • Acknowledge change as a process
  • Empower stakeholders
  • Encourage stakeholders
  • Set concrete goals
  • Be sensitive
  • Model process skills
  • Develop strategies for dealing with emotions
  • Manage conflict
  • Communicate
  • Monitor process dynamics

Many of the suggestions may seem like common sense, but is it useful that Halloway compiled and organized these strategies to address resistance to adoption of change. I am not sure that it is necessary to follow each step in sequentially, if you are encountering some resistance in your implementation process in your workplace, some of these key points may be helpful. The full article is available to read here.

 

Reference

K. Halloway (2003), A Measure of Concern: Research-based program aids innovation by addressing teacher concerns, Retrieved from http://www.learningforward.org/docs/tools-for-learning-schools/tools2-03.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Kick it up a notch with CBAM!!

I am taking an initial look at the Concern-based Adoption Model by Hall and Hord. It is described as a conceptual framework that describes, explains and predicts probable teacher behaviours throughout the change process in a school or educational institution. (SEDL, 2013).

The three main diagnostic dimensions of CBAM are:

  • Stages of Concern – Seven different stages of feelings and perceptions that educators experience when they are implementing a new program or practice
  • Levels of Use – Eight behavioural profiles that describe a different set of actions and behaviours that educators engage in as they become more familiar with and more skilled in using an innovation or adopting a change
  • Innovation Configurations – Different ways an innovation may be implemented, shown along a continuum from ideal implementation or practice to least desirable practice

These three dimensions are clearly explained in three videos available from the SEDL website (2013) linked below. If you would like to get a my in depth, detailed understanding of the these diagnostics dimensions, please take a moment to click over and review the videos.

At my current workplace, I can definitely see many opportunities where this framework could be applied and used to have a clearer sense of how our adoption of technology in our education system is progressing and possibly take more positive steps to continue moving forward.

I can see that this model could be applied to our understanding of the adoption of SMARTboards in our secondary school. SMARTboards have been made available at my school for many years now. The adoption and use of them in educational setting definitely range. We have educators that would likely fall into stage “0” where truthfully they do not recognize any concerns that SMARTboards would address at all, all the way  to stage “5” where educators are using them collaboratively with other classes within the building and outside the building as well. (National Academy of Science, 2005)

Just from my own personal anecdotal observation, I am fairly confident that the same could be said about educators at my school and their levels of use of the technology, in this case the SMARTboard.

I think the understanding and measuring of where my school’s educators would fall in these various stages and levels would be very useful in continuing to move our staff towards more effective use of SMARTboards.

I think the most interesting part for me would be to take a close look at the third dimension of inovation configuration and see how educators in both in our school and in others have decided to use the technology in their settings. It is alway quite amazing to me the many ways they do. One interesting example that comes to mind is where one of our math teacher uses the SMARTboard along with a webcam to collaborate with another school, to have students interact with live statistics that are relevant to them right in their classroom. I am sure that this is only one of many creative and effective ways to implement the SMARTboard

References

National Academy of Science (2005) The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM): A Model for Change in Individuals. Retrieved from http://www.nas.edu/rise/backg4a.htm

Stages of Concern, a dimension of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M6eQC1_8Cg

Levels of Use, a dimension of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PttbIrk2qEw

Innovation Configurations, a dimension of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPjp-LPFS6s

SEDL (2013) Concern-Based Adoption Model: CBAM. Retrieved from http://www.sedl.org/cbam/

Adapted from Hord, S. M., Rutherford, William L., Huling-Austin, Leslie and Hall, G. E. (1987) with additional modifications by Noel LeJeune. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM): A Model for Change in Individuals. Retrieved from http://www.mdecgateway.org/olms/data/resource/3712/CBAM.pdf

Implementation Dip applied to learning Chopstick skills

So…the implementation dip applied to my chopstick skills.

I’ve never really considered my chopstick skills from this perspective, but I definitely needed to experience an implementation dip in order to eventually exceed my existing chopstick skill level. There are technical limitations to my original methods that would not allow me to get any better. For example, my chopsticks were too close together to get a good angle on the slippery peas. This is something that the traditional method addresses. I guess that’s why it’s the way that most people use them. It is more effective.

This is a good example of needing to get worse before getting better. because I had become so comfortable (and pretty good) with using my original method, In order for me to learn a new method of using chopsticks, I would need to learn skills that were new and difficult. I would definitely be less capably at least initially. But without this practice with the new method, I would never get better at it.

My abilities needed to dip as I implemented the “new” traditional method, before I eventually became more skilled at it, eventually exceeding my previous level of ability with my non-traditional method.

Lesson learned. Mom and dad know best. 🙂