TEL Crises and response

 John Traxler (JT), Richard Hall (RH), Helen Beetham (HB), Debbie Holley (DH) and the TEL/Crises Group

 Introductions and brief history

 JT. Economic and resourse crises. Environment and demographic, accountability, social-technical problems, Dehumanisation. To what extent has TEL been complicent in the crises or been a solution to it?

 Positions on the Crises

 JT. 2 headlines – Use of mobile technologies centered around two issues 1. Domestic HE drive to increase mass production of education and thus using comuters to create Fordist production line. So creating a conservative mode of production and moving to a post-fordist society. Secondly the global south is just a new market for the corportations and mass scale education. Which will lead to the domination of US corporations and a downgrading of learner centered learning

RH. Political secular crisis of capitalism –  it’s a structual issue – massive increase in youth unemployment and student debt. So we see a downgrading of what good economic growth is. We have lost our ability to think about academic labour. We need a political critique of the system. How do we use technology to liberate knowledge in a situation of deep crises? There are many alternatives to the market based solutions.

 Q. How do we enable staff and students to have critique about what they are learning? RH – the issue has been lost. We need to support students who are challenging the status quo. So we need to support local autonomous centres and are not working in partnership with universities but have their own democratic structures, like DS106.

 Possible responses

 HB. Where are those spaces? She remains quite optimistic. Critical digital literacy is a usfull response to the challenges. Students will create their own responses in different spaces. Students as producers of digital media and applications, such as facebook can create a digital awareness and critique of what institutions are doing. “University solutions are not cool.” Furthermore there are multiple digital technical literacies. Students are also questioning what actually is ‘technology’. So how do we move towards a critical pedagogy of the digital?

DH. Debbie stated with the question of how do we increase student engagenment in the context of the commercialisation of HE. We need to offer students alternative spaces to the ‘Costa Coffee’ institutions. Where are the future widening participation students likely to come from? What can we offer these fee paying students? We need to provide informal spaces for collaboration to create independence and learning. Such as physical space or ‘Mediated space’ (which is constructive space), and the 3rd space i.e. a potentiality space (in hyper Space).

 General debate contributions

 Questions. How do people create their own (emancipatory)  intellectual capital? DH a big question ….you need the academy to create a diploma for employability instead of simply exams. HB Big science and open resources (OER’s) are a site of massive struggle.

 Our Grand Challenge and forward plan

 Q1. At the margins there may be opportunities we are missing – Speaker gave an example from Bakino Faso and the issue of validation.

Q2, DS106 is a distinct type of course that would not work in all subjects because of the specific learning activities. Also no one ever mentions the role of Trade Unions to create this alternative learning space.

 HB. Our grand Challenge for Europe. Hoe can TEL contribute to challenging inequlities of educational participation and outcome? 

1. Access extended by TEL but does equal success without other cultural capital

2. TEL has introduced new inequalities of education

3. Open digital landscape favours global institutions

4&5 plus two others.

See the blog for furthers responses, such as:

Open education

Digital capital/capability

informal, local contextual and marginal learning cultures

Disenfranchised young people (18-24

Design research, produce model design approaches that take account of cultural, social and geological differences.

 JT. Mentioned the blog and encouraged the audience to look at the wider issues discussed.

 HB. Enraced the new culture of hibricity of education.

 RH. Don’t ignore the margins. How do we find the alternative cracks and make them larger.

Session 2 Global learning Issues

David from JISC – Education is Broken, something must be done.

 As long as there has been education its been broken…..

This is not their story but this is the story of journalists, commentators and bloggers….There has not been a long history of education learning journalism This changed in 2011 when George Semmonds started wrting about MOOCS. Campus Tsunami and ‘come the Revolution’ in May2012 in the NY Times. Nither mentioned the words ‘open’ or ‘MOOCS’. So he looked for the earliest articles published on MOOCS. Again there was hardly any mention of the word ‘open’. Henry Giroux mentions that everywhere in society is moving away from the market except for education. All the writing about MOOCS  fits into the market discourse. MOOOcS are a ‘daguerreotype’! Audrey Walker “ we need to get better at who is asking these stories. We need to ask why?”

Jobar and Ahmed – Unversity of Huddersfield

Intro – Attitudes of teaching staff in the UK and Kuwait (spends 6.2 to 8 % of GDP on education, which is a relatively high figure)

Challenges – UK wide body of research, longitudial studies, sound body of research, relative mature adoption of TEL, attitudes to staff and students was included. Kuwait – very little research, no long term studies, new adoption or very little adoption

Methodology Mixed method Questionnaires and interviews. Very little secondary data in Kuwait

Findings – Kuwait – Few institutions have a strategy, lack of budget for resources, conflicting views and changes are very bureaucratic, contrast between public institutions and ‘cultural issues’ (traditions,). Lack of technical support and infrastructute. UK – there is a big contrast, Reasons for not using TEL; lack of time, benefit and skills, most institutions have TEL ‘embedded. Funding from external sources is competively sought and seen as a ‘blessing’, Tel is strategically supported.


Barriers in Kuwait relate to strategy and lack of infrastructure whereas the barriers in the UK are to do with lack of time and pedagogoical benefits which is entirely related to the maturity of the educational systems.

 China is harvesting you iTunes U – Teressa Bird

 ….and other findings from researching how students engage with OER’s

 Uni of Leicester launched its iTunes U this year. Many students from China responded from their iTunes U questionnaires. 2013 is the time for OER’s and one way to research out for new students is distance learning. OER’s is a ‘soft’ marketing strategy for the university. Took 3 years to Launch iTunes U. – able to access stats from the site. Students are going on the web to look for learning resources and this influences the decision of which uni they would like to apply to. Netease is a Chinese company taking ‘western’ OER’s rebranding them as there own!

Session 3 -Tablets and partnerships

 Tablets in Primary Schools – Overview of world wide research – Frank Thissen, Stuttgart University

Does it make sense to give iPads to 6 year olds?

 Method: Questionnaires, interviews and Observations of both staff and students.

 In Germany, June 2011 iPad given to children without any instructions. Very clear they knew how to use them (6years and above).

 They have been used in a variety of subjects. Most popular apps were those to do with photos and videos.

Worldwide studies: done in Scotland, Australia, Finland, Austria, USA. Most schools are using iPads. – Few exceptions.

 Results are mostly the same. No usability problems! Children had no problems using them. Several schools are getting rid of their computer rooms. Wireless network is crucial. Tablets are highly Motivating ( maybe cos students can work on their on). Role in the classroom is changing, educators and learners learning together, teacher’s role is changing they become a facilitator, Self directed learning is increased and learning was extended to the home. Better resuts are hard to measure, this is a complicated issue. Also it has to be a personal device but the most important thing is the pedagogy ie how do we integrate the tablet into the learning experience.

 InStePP – pioneering parnerships for digital literacy development.

Richard Francis Oxford Brookes University

 Jisc Funded project.

Recruited ‘ePioneers’. Who were students to work with lecturers on one or more individual elearning projects (Commissons). Although there was a high drop out rate of these epioneers. Students kept a log and them mapped against the ILM who in turn got a certificate.

Session 4 – Mobiles

Heidi Prost – Using Mobile technologies to develop research skills

 Sheffield Hallam University

The problem. Research in AHPs lags behind other professionals. Access to Blackboard is restricted when the learners are working on placements (usually in hospitals). To increase innovative thinking we need to be more innovative. So that we can connect with the students in the workplace. Developed a task based app to develop entrepreneurialism. Take them from research idea to a proposal. 1. elevated pitch – video (works in off-line mode). 2. The literate in the field. 3. Method/study design 4. Gaining a stakeholder input. 5. learning from failure.

Piloted the project. Tested the app. Key benefits: allows collection of evidence and track their own progress can get immediate feedback from their mentor.

This year app is now being used with dissertation programmes.

 To get the app go to


 Username; user028

Password; pass1234

Location; alt-c

 Sarah Cornelius – Expectations and reality the implementation of mobile devices in schools

 Aberdeen University

 One case study – using iPod touches. Collaborative project. Primary and secondary schools…Different implementation models. 4 different types of case studies.

 Focus on one case study – 260 students were issued with a second hand iPod in a primary school. School was built in 1980’s causes some problems with wifi.

 Preliminary findings: staff views – Questionnaires, interviews and observations. Expectations of staff

  1. expected benefits. Access to resources – eg. pupils have choices between calculator or iPod, paper dictionary or app, supported interactive learning, eg using the ‘notes function’ spelling recording work etc, ‘Today’s Meet’but NOT sharing work with peers and parents.
  2. Extending learning  – Games, Quick finishers – choosing time
  3. Not realised. Sharing and show casing (restrictions of internet). Assessment very difficult
  4. Continuing challenges. Finding meaningful ways to use the devises, Teachers wanted help to use them to their full potential. TIME is a major issue for training. Technical challenges (Syncing the iPods)
  5. Resolved challenges – devices distracting pupils – there was no evidence for this…probably due to good management in the schools….coupled with a responsible use policy.

 Lessons learnt: 

  • Devises provide choices resources for learning
  • Distraction is not an issue
  • Teachers need sustained and quick support
  • Teachers need opportunities to explore meaningful learning activities with the students.