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Research Reviews

DERN provides a weekly review of important educational ICT research with links to research about schools, training and higher education. Research reviews focus on issues and trends that impact on the use of ICT in education.


Connected education

Posted on 18 Mar 2011 with 0 comments
Broadband

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Computers have been used in general education in schools, training and universities since the 1980s when the first of the personal computers became available for consumers. Then in the 1990s the connected environment of the Internet became wide-spread with the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW) developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau at CERN. Lee and Cailliau envisaged a WWW that accommodated multimedia (Gillies & Cailliau, 2000). That multimedia WWW is now a reality with interactive (eg social, personal, enterprise, community) web networking. However, education and training reports, as far back as 2007, in Australia, have suggested that the use of the WWW has been hampered by a lack of adequate broadband infrastructure (AICTEC, 2007, p. 5). In fact, AICTEC has been concerned about adequate bandwidth since its inception in 2001

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Flexibility and interaction

Posted on 10 Mar 2011 with 0 comments
21st century skills Innovation Pedagogy

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Educators are constantly seeking ways to further engage students, improve learning outcomes and reduce unnecessary disruptions and costs as part of the teaching-learning process. Although there has been considerable information in the literature, for many years, about how to use various devices in education for the above purposes, the difficulty remains that device centred research tends to overlook the educational and learning impacts. The research review this week treads a fine line between educational research and device-based inquiry. Sixty-six people including staff (22) and students (44) at Melbourne University have been undertaking a pilot project called the Step Forward iPad Pilot Project to trial the use of iPads across a range of subjects. The report Step Forward iPad Pilot Project – 14 January 2010 outlines a number of project expectations which include increased educational learning outcomes and 'improved competence at accessing and using information and resources for more independent learning' (p. 5).

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Beyond textbooks

Posted on 04 Mar 2011 with 0 comments
Innovation Teacher capacity

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The OECD has invested in a number of interesting reports about the use of digital technologies. DERN reported on the Inspired by Technology, Driven by Pedagogy: A systemic approach to technology-based school innovations in December 2010. This week's research review highlights the publication Beyond Textbooks: Digital Learning Resources as Systemic Innovation in the Nordic Countries (2009) which is equally as important when considering system-wide policy innovation.

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Transformative education policy

Posted on 25 Feb 2011 with 0 comments
Innovation Learning environment

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In amongst the many journal articles, research documents and papers about the use of digital technologies in education, from time to time a real gem surfaces. This research post is just that. DERN is able to make available, with the generous permission of Intel Corporation, a very astute and succinct global research document on transformative education policy which has a focus on the use of ICT in education. The paper by Dr Robert Kozma, on education policy comes in two parts. The first, Education Policy: ICT and Transformative Education Policy is a general paper outlining the characteristics of transformative education policy and the role of ICT in that process. What is really impressive is that Kozma's model is based on the notion that, 'Transformative policies address the systemic nature of education' (p.3) because old education models do not work.

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Home-school connection

Posted on 03 Feb 2011 with 0 comments
Learning environment

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The proliferation of digital devices has lead to many changes in the social, cultural and economic life of students and their parents. A recently published summary of a doctoral research thesis on the topic of Digital Technology In- and Out-of-School: A Comparative Study of the Nature and Levels of Student Use and Engagement very articulately raises some issues relevant for teachers and students. The study highlights the digital divide and concludes that 'attempts to overcome the digital divide will need to focus clearly on the role of parents' (p. 9). The study Digital Technology In- and Out-of-School goes further and points out that 'teacher's capabilities and professional development in the use of ICT are areas for concern' (p. 9).

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ICT literacy assessment

Posted on 27 Jan 2011 with 0 comments
Digital literacy Equity

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The goals of education in Australia were agreed by the national and State Education Ministers in 2008, in a document called the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. The Melbourne Declaration stated that ‘In the digital age young people need to be highly skilled in the use of ICT’ (p. 5). As part of the Australian National Assessment Program student use of ICT progress in years 6 and 10 has been measured along with literacy, numeracy and citizenship. The ICT Literacy assessments began in 2005, with a second assessment in 2008 and a third is planned for 2011. A comparison of the results from the 2005 and 2008 assessments has been published by Dr John Ainley from the Australian Council for Educational Research and is titled What can Australian students do with computers?.


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Learning spaces

Posted on 21 Jan 2011 with 0 comments
Learning environment Pedagogy

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As the 2011 academic year starts, educational leaders in schools, training colleges and universities will be planning for student classes and programs. The spaces in which students learn on campus are very often traditional classrooms or lecture theatres built for didactic teaching. In a recently published freely available and succinct OECD paper Technology-enabled active learning environments: an appraisal, Fisher suggests that wireless broadband internet access and mobile communication devices can provide ‘remarkable opportunities for 21st century learning models’ (p. 1). In Technology-enabled active learning environments: an appraisal, Fisher uses the concept of the ‘third space’ which ‘supports social forms of student interaction’ (p. 1). What this recognises is that students can learn on-campus and off-campus online using a matrix of synchronous/asynchronous and virtual/physical technologies. For example, face-to-face teaching can be complemented by video conferences, text messages and cyberlinks as well as web services and virtual studios. Technology enhanced learning environments (TEAL) encompass the use of ICTs and visual educational technologies.

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Networking anywhere

Posted on 13 Jan 2011 with 0 comments
Interactive personal networking Mobile learning

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The first post for 2011 may well be an indicator of things to come. The ubiquity of mobile/cell phones throughout the world is really quite amazing and an indicator of the desire to be connected and to communicate. The Pew Research Center in Washington released a fascinating piece of research in mid-December 2010, with the title Global Publics Embrace Social Networking. The research, based on a survey of respondents from 22 countries, provides a sobering global view of the use of mobile/cell phones. The results suggest two major trends. The first is that mobile/cell phone ownership is growing rapidly and globally. Secondly, mobile/cell phones are being used for social networking, especially by young people, that is, younger than 30 years of age. Although the second finding does vary between countries and would appear to be dependent on the local cultural context and economic conditions, the increasing trends of mobile/cell phone ownership and social networking use are inescapable.

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Copyright

Posted on 09 Dec 2010 with 0 comments
Copyright Open scholarship

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The DERN post this week is different from the usual review of an open access high quality research publication into the use of digital technologies in education. Recently, I was doing some work on copyright in the digital age and was very pleasantly surprised at how far education and training in Australia had advanced in supporting digital copyright. Take for instance the very useful website Smart Copying which has some practical information and advice about using digital materials for education and training purposes. Smart Copying provides sound advice for teachers and learners about copying text, audio, film and video, graphics and animation, performances, computer programs, format shifting and more. There are also links to other copyright open access licences such Creative Commons Australia which is now operating on the Creative Commons International Australia 3.0 licence.


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Learning at home

Posted on 25 Nov 2010 with 0 comments
Engagement and performance Internet use

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The recent report Communications report Australia in the digital economy: The shift to the online environment published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reveals that ‘At June 2010, 77 per cent of the population aged 14 years and over had access to the internet at home, 40 per cent at work and 15 per cent at locations other than home or work. Sixty-six per cent of persons aged 14 years and over had a home broadband service, up from 53 per cent at June 2009’ (p. 2) and correspondingly, ‘The proportion of the population not using the internet on a weekly basis declined to 22 per cent in June 2010 from 33 per cent in June 2005.

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In the spotlight

Featured category: 21st century skills

NMC Horizon Report > 2018 Higher Education Edition

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