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The future of education: design, literacies and digital technologies

Grainne Conole
October 26, 2018

The future of education: design, literacies and digital technologies

Digital technologies enable teachers and learners to interact with rich multimedia resources and a variety of ways to communicate and collaborate. They have the potential to support innovative pedagogical approaches and to offer learners an engaging and motivational learning environment. Free resources and courses are challenging traditional educational offerings. Furthermore we are preparing learners for an uncertain future, to do jobs that don’t even exist today. Therefore it is important that we enable them to develop higher order competencies (such as critical thinking and problem solving) rather than focusing on knowledge recall. The talk will critique today’s digital landscape and postulate on the future of education. It will argue that we need new approaches to design and effective use of learning analytics to harness the potential of digital technologies, and to enable learners to become lifelong learners. It will draw on a recent report on the future of education for Open Universities Australia, as well as an EU-commissioned report on best practices in the use of digital technologies and the future of education in Europe.

Grainne Conole

October 26, 2018


  1. The future of education: design, literacies and digital technologies 26th

    October 2018 University College of Northern Denmark, Aalborg Technological literacy and future educations Gráinne Conole, Dublin City University
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  8. −Opportunity to get a university qualification at little cost −Target

    unemployed, self- employed, or returners −Focus on up-skilling
  9. 2019 Conference Dublin

  10. Tales from the Irish e-learning landscape −Policy perspectives −Continuing Professional

    Development −Learner agency and the learner voice −Tools and methodologies − MOOCs in Ireland − Learning Design − Learning Management Systems − E-Portfolios − Assessment −Futures − Open Education − Emergent digital literacies − New technologies
  11. EENEE report −Education outcomes enhanced by the use of digital

    technologies: what are the conditions for success? −How does digital technologies enhanced teaching and learning? −What are the enablers for successful digital technology use? −What are the implications for policy and transformative curriculum reforms? With Mark Brown and Miroslav Beblavy
  12. Outline • Foregrounding literature • Theoretical lens • Changing nature

    of the digital society • Affordances of digital technology • Effective pedagogy for innovation • Continuous Professional Learning • Barriers • Principles and recommendations • Final reflections
  13. OECD 2015 −ICT has revolutionised virtually every aspect of our

    life and work −Students unable to navigate through a complex digital landscape will no longer be able to participate fully in the economic, social and cultural life around them −Challenges: information overload, plagiarism, online risks −Students need to become critical consumers of Internet services and electronic media and make informed choices
  14. −Study of 41 classrooms −Questions whether digital technology has transformed

    teaching and learning −More incremental change and cross-pollination than top-down policy mandates
  15. Theoretical lens −Potential to enhanced and transform −Quality and effectiveness

    of pedagogy and outcomes depends on teachers −New technologies arising all the time −Limited change or progress −Traditional modes of instruction and assessment dominate −Many factors mediate success
  16. Today’s digital society −Today’s digital society is complex and dynamic

    −Changing nature of work − 65% of jobs of the future don’t exist now − From knowledge recall to critical thinking… −Millennial generation − Different needs and expectations − IWWIWWIWI − Development of academic literacy skills − Adaptive and lifelong learners − Mixed of formal and OER/MOOCs − New forms of accreditation − Changing role of teachers and learners
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  18. Affordances of digital technologies − Phases: cultural, symbolic, communication, networked,

    cyber-infrastructure (Pea, 2008) − Affordances differ according to the technology, context and use − Internet most disruptive technology of last 50 years − Technologies can: − Enable more interaction and communication − Help with retention − Be engaging and motivational − Extend the classroom − Provide timely and targeted feedback − Personalise the learning experience − BUT: technology is not a single entity; no single all-encompassing answer can be provided to the question of impact on educational outcomes https://bit.ly/2O4lngx
  19. Digital learning ecology −Classroom expanded and evolved as virtual place

    sits alongside physical −A variety of different complementary learning opportunities −Further evidence of blurring of boundaries Brown, 2015
  20. Effective pedagogy for innovation Teaching-centred Learning-centred Learning of facts and

    declarative knowledge Memorising information Teacher is central A focus on passing exams Drilling of right questions and routines Learning to pass exams Focus on information presentation to passive learning Technology as a media channel Learning from resources and technology Learning of conceptual knowledge Working with information Activity is central to learning Applying knowledge, theoretical thinking and demonstrating generic skills Problem-solving, design, project work and inquiries Learning how to learn Focus on how learning occurs within an activity Technology as intellectual partner in learning Learning with resources and technology Churchill (2017) Sfard (1998): acquisition vs. participation
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  22. The parameters of effective design Effective instruction depends on understanding

    of the complex interplay among learners’ prior knowledge, experiences, motivations, interests, and language and cognitive skills; educators’ own experiences and cultural influences; and the cultural, social, cognitive, and emotional characteristics of the learning environment (National Academy of Sciences, 2018)
  23. Brown 2008 A pedagogical compass −UNESCO Pillars of learning −

    Learning to be − Learning to do − Learning to know − Learning to live together −‘Pedagogical compass’ needs to swing between all four −Needle is not always pointing towards more traditional ‘learning by listening’ −Also the compass should not be stuck in any particular direction, as effective pedagogy requires a variety or combination of approaches
  24. Barriers Second order −Conflicts and tensions internal to teachers and

    the places they work − Teacher confidence − Teacher beliefs and attitudes − Resistance to change − Reluctance to adopt new technologies First order −Constraints and limitations external to teachers − Funding and resource − Infrastructure − Access and time − Leadership
  25. The future of education

  26. Continuing Professional Learning −Central role of the teacher −CPL −Enable

    teachers to develop innovative learning interventions −Make effective use of digital technologies −Formats −Specialised and tailored workshops −Peer support and mentoring −Examples of good practice −Share and discuss practice −Resources, OER and MOOCs
  27. Problem Learning Design New approaches to design that are pedagogically

    based and make effective use of technologies Learning Analytics Analysis of VLE data to better understand how learners are learning and to improve learning and teaching Solution Teachers Lack the digital literacies needed to harness potential of digital technologies Learners Lack academic digital literacies and need to develop strategies for learning
  28. Learning Design Frameworks −Frameworks for guiding the use of technology/media/materials

    −SAMR, SECTIONS, COACT −Workshop approaches aimed mainly at promoting general good practice. i.e. social constructivist assumptions −7Cs, 8LEM, ABC −Approaches based on specific theory of learner engagement −ICAP Conole, Forthcoming
  29. The 7Cs of Learning Design Conceptualise Vision Communicate Create Consider

    Collaborate Activities Combine Synthesis Consolidate Implementation https://bit.ly/2mOnqgt
  30. Learning Analytics Summative (teachers) −See what learners are doing −Identify

    learners who are struggling −Find concepts that learners find difficult −Provide targeted support Formative (learners) −See patterns of their learning −Receive advice on better learning strategies −Compare learning against classmates −Set/review learning goals http://bit.ly/2ukJRwb
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  33. Beware of the rhetoric −65% of future jobs don’t exists

    – debunked −Overly positivist accounts, not taking account of the nuances −Lack of credibility, not build on empirical evidence −Millennial generation – discredited −Uncritical adoption of popular teaching and learning ‘catchisms’ – claims and counterclaims
  34. Key principles and recommendations −Digital learning ecology is complex −

    More research needed to understand the complexity −Influence of affordances − Understand affordances & how they support pedagogy −No single metaphor for 21st Century learning − Support for learning needs to match learner needs and the context of learning −Assessment needs to support deep learning − Needs to be purposeful & support active, authentic and meaningful learning
  35. Key principles and recommendations −Teachers’ mindsets mediate technology implementation −Targeted

    and authentic CPL −Impact of leadership and institutional cultures −Need to align with factors for successful update of digital technologies −Refocus from education in change to education for change
  36. Final reflections Change isn’t just one thing, just one time,

    just one big revelation. Change occurs in stages, and phases, which each add depth, colour, character, and create a multidimensional, multifaceted you
  37. Go raibh maith agaibh! Thank you

  38. A world top young university Email: [email protected] Blog: e4innovation.com Twitter: