Archive for the ‘changing environment’ Category

Technology is not a panacea

April 20th, 2015 by Graham Attwell

As regular readers will know, one of teh major projects we are involved in is the Learning layers project, focused on technology support for informal learning in the construction and health sectors. As part of this we are involved in ongoing scoping, concerning both the introduction of new technologies and the changes in work practices and organisation that this entails.

Probably the biggest news in construction is the introduction of Building Information Modelling (BIM) defined by Wikipedia as “a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places”. BIM has been seen as almost revolutionising the construction industry and offering considerable savings in the coordination and execution of construction projects, improved logistics, waste saving and the long term management of buildings. The adoption of BIM is mandatory in the European Union for public construction contracts, although different European member states have different adoption timetables. Two of the countries in the forefront of adoption are Norway and The UK. In this respect a survey and report from the UK’s National Building Specification released last week produced surprising findings.

According to :

The survey, of over 900 respondents from across the construction industry carried out by RIBA Enterprises offshoot NBS, shows that the proportion of firms saying they use the modelling technology has dropped from 54% last year to 48%.

The report concludes that “there remain a significant number of practices who do not see the advantages of BIM, and so chose not to adopt, or who are currently unable to adopt BIM, because of time, cost, or expertise.”

The reported fall contrasts with the rapid rise in BIM usage when the survey was last conducted. The drop in this year’s survey is particularly surprising, given the 2016 deadline for all central government funded projects to use Level 2 of BIM.

Of course 900 is a relatively small respondent base, given the number of construction firms. But it seems likely those responding are more likely to have an interest in BIM and are more likely to represent larger companies. Therefore the results beg some thinking about. it appears one of the biggest challenges is skills shortages. But such skills shortages come at a time when construction is struggling to come out of recession. Probably a bigger issue is the introduction of complex software and process management systems without adequate training for staff and without time for consideration of the necessary reorganisation of work process to cope with such change. There is also an issue as to the cost of adapting such systems, particularly in an industry dominated by Small and Medium (more small than medium) enterprises. Finally I am unconvinced that the top down imposition of such systems is the right way to go in instigating and sustaining innovation and change. Research of previous disruptive changes due to technology introduction (for instance in the motor car manufacturing industry) suggest that such ‘innovation; can lead to a short term fall in productivity. Whilst in a boom this might be absorbed, it is difficult to see how this can happen in the aftermath of the crisis.

The survey may lead to some rethinking about how BIM is introduced. But bringing in such disruptive change without properly analysing and taking measures around education and training and changing work organisations carries a very high risk of failure. the industry in countries like Germany who have hung back in the time scale for adoption, but with better traditions of continuing professional development, will be taking note.

Changes in Learning and Development

May 21st, 2014 by Graham Attwell

This is an interesting video. Donald H Taylor explains how Learning and Development Departments need to change their attitude to risk in order to keep pace with the rest of the business in today’s modern world. He describes 4 quadrants in which L&D departments fit: Learning Leadership, Unacknowledged Prophet, Comfortable Extinction and The Training Ghetto and explains how and why all L&D departments should join the quadrant of Learning Leadership. However I am not convinced that the major problem is that Learning and Development departments are failing to keep up with changing organisations. In my experience all too often it is the organisations themselves who are holding back change. And don’t forget that most Small and Medium Enterprises, who it could be argued are the prime drivers of change do not have a Learning and Development Department (interesting in that regard that Donald cites Pinterest with 12 employees as an example of a fast changing organisation).

Where do you go to for your research?

May 20th, 2013 by Graham Attwell

I remember back in the mid 1990s, when I was first employed as a researcher at the University of Bremen, I used to travel every three months to Surrey university, whi9ch at the time had the easiest university library to reach from Bremen.I would run a series of searches on their computerised reference system, collect together a pile of journals and then buy a photocopying card to frantically copy all the articles i might need for the next couple of months. Fortunately this was in the days before airlines restricted baggage weight, so i could copy all I could carry.

Time have changed.  Most researchers I know rely on online sources these days. Despite attempts by some publishers to prevent open access, many authors place a pre-publication copy of their work online anyway. This is merely anecdotal. But  a new survey (pdf downland) by the UK Jisc covers a range of areas from how academics discover and stay abreast of research, to their teaching of undergraduates, how they choose research topics and publication channels, to their views on learned societies and university libraries, and their collections.

The survey comes up with some interesting findings. According to Jisc the “Overarching themes are an increasing reliance on the Internet for their research and publishing activities and the strong role that openness is playing in their work.” They go on to say key findings include:

  • Access limitations – While 86% of respondents report relying on their college or university library collections and subscriptions, 49% indicated that they would often like to use journal articles that are not in those collections.
  • Use of open resources – If researchers can’t find the resources or information they need through their university library, 90% of respondents often or occasionally look online for a freely available version.
  • The Internet as starting point – 40% of researchers surveyed said that when beginning a project they start by searching the Internet for relevant materials, with only 2% visiting the physical library as a first port of call.
  • Following one’s peers – The findings suggest that the majority of researchers track the work of colleagues and leading researchers as a way of keeping up to date with developments in their field.
  • Emergence of e-publications – The findings show that e-journals have largely replaced physical usage for research, but that contrasting views exist on replacement of print by e-publications, where print still holds importance within the Humanities and Social Sciences and for in-depth reading in general.

But these are just the headlines. it is well worth delving into the full report, based on over 3000 respondents.

Researchers were asked “Typically, when you are conducting academic research, which of these five starting points do you use to begin locating information for your research?”

Although there were variation between researchers form different disciplines (as noted above) some 40 per cent replied general purpose search engine on the internet or world wide web. About 25 per cent use a specific electronic research resource/computer database, up to 20 per cent their online library catalogue, 18 or so per cent a national or international catalogue or database, while less than 10 per cent physically visit their library.

That is a massive change in a relatively short time period. I will try to read the report thoroughl;y in the next few days and work out what it all means!

Cornerstones of an Innovation Frameowrk

April 2nd, 2013 by Graham Attwell

Another one from the archives. I think Jen and me wrote this in 2001 but it still seems relevant today, especially in an age when it seems inn0vation is the universal panacea..

“Whilst in organisation learning literature in the late 1990s innovation was seen as the interplay between implicit and explicit knowledge within organisations, in a literature review into innovation Attwell and Hughes looked at the importance of external as well as internal factors in innovation. In particular they differentiated between stimulus catalyst and Imperative.

  Stimulus Catalyst Imperative

Internal to Organisation


e.g. a new manager who is ‘environmentally conscious’



e.g. falling balance sheet, falling markets, increasing materials waste


e.g. company  going bankrupt or workers strike because of working conditions


External to organisation


e.g. a rival business opening next door


e.g. growing public awareness  of environmental issues


e.g. change in primary legislation on environmental issues










Stimulus: a specific and particular action or event which provokes a specific and particular response. Typically one off or isolated events which precipitate change.

Catalyst: the presence of a factor or factors ‘in the background’ which speedup the rate of change. Typically these factors will be present over a period of time rather than being ‘one-off’ events

Imperative: the ‘must-do’ situation – an event or series of events that make change inevitable and usually urgent with identifiable negative consequences in the event of failure to change.

Much innovation in the construction industry appears to be driven by an imperative around environmental standards for building with in other cases innovation being driven by the catalyst of new materials and construction methods.

Attwell and Hughes advanced the following ideas as ‘boundary conditions’ or as cornerstones of a theoretical framework around innovation:

  • That innovation is a complex social phenomenon (and is not technologically determined);
  • That innovation takes place within spatial forms and areas – including regions, supply chains, internal organisation units and networks;
  • That innovation is developed in the interrelationships between enterprises and the environment, including suppliers, customers and other ‘knowledge development’ and business support agencies and organisations;
  •  That innovation is dependent on the interrelations between work organisation, workforce competence and technologies;
  • That there are many and complex motivators for innovation and change that may stem from economic, social and environmental factors;
  • That organisational competence and innovation are facilitated by the interplay between the development and use of tacit and codified knowledge and between abstract knowledge and practice;
  • That tacit knowledge is bounded and develops in communities of practice – which cannot be organisational prescribed;
  • That change for innovation is conceptually driven and may take an incremental form;
  • That organisational competence is central to innovation and change;
  • That developmental expertise is central to organisational competence for innovation.

Innovation is not only dependent on workforce competence and organisational competence but gives rise for new needs in competence and learning.”

The changing world of work

October 31st, 2012 by Graham Attwell

As explained in my previous post, last week I visited the Hub Westminster in central London. The Hub is located on the first floor of New Zealand house, the New Zealand embassy near Piccadily.

The hub website explains

We believe there is no shortage of good ideas to solve the issues of our time. But there is an acute lack of collaboration and support structures to help make them happen. The HUB was founded to address this need.

We set out to create spaces that combine the best of a trusted community, innovation lab, business incubator and the comforts of home. Spaces with all the tools and trimmings needed to grow and develop innovative ventures for the world. But above all, spaces for meaningful encounters, exchange and inspiration, full of diverse people doing amazing things.

The idea has been spreading like wildfire and resulted in the emergence of a global movement. To date, there are 25+ open HUBs and many more in the making, from London to San Francisco, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Sao Paulo and Milan.

Not withstanding the hype, the Hub was impressive. It consists of a large open working space, with different small work areas, and different meeting areas. there must have been some 60 or 70 people there last Friday. some spaces seemed to be for particular teams, others were hot desking areas.

True, the tech area is very different to more traditional industrial and craft sectors. But it illustrated to me how work is changing. And although European Commission policy recognises the centrality of small enterprises for future employment and economic growth, I think they have been slower to think through the implications of this in social and education policy terms.

Probably the biggest problem for micro and small businesses remains access to capital. and for micro businesses without fixed assets, and with a business plan that is yet to show profits, banks may be even more unwilling to lend that to start ups in more traditional areas of the economy.

Equally such start up businesses are heavily reliant of skills and knowledge. yet the traditional education and training systems seem slow to adapt to new and growing areas of the economy and to the needs for higher level continuing learning than traditional qualifications structures provide.

If SMEs are to play such a key role they are going to need state support. The present EU policy seems to be based on reducing legislation and providing targeted help. Yet the ‘system for targeted help may be to inflexible and slow to meet real needs on the ground. I am also unconvinced that merely exempting SMEs from employment legislation is the right answer. Germany has some of the toughest employment legislation in Europe, yet has a record of thriving SMEs.

One of the issues may be the level of decision making and the forms that decision making takes. More transparency and social involvement in decision making processes could improve the quality of support for SMEs. equally there is a need for more localised economic planning. This, in turn, means better access to data and ideas for those responsible for such planning.

I am not arguing against private sector initiatives to support SMEs and job creation. But I would argue that the public sector has a key role to play and that we need more democratic and open processes if that support is to be effective.

Similarly, we need to re-look at social systems to see how they can be adapted to changing patterns fo work including access to food and recreation systems, transport, nursery provision and education and training.



No ‘Team GB’ for education!

September 30th, 2012 by Jenny Hughes

The Wales Government has announced its plans to implement the recommendations of a report it commissioned earlier this year “Find it, make it, use it, share it: learning in Digital Wales.”  We are quite excited that Wales is one of the pioneers in developing a whole-country strategy for the promotion of digital technologies in school classrooms – including advocating the widespread use of mobile devices, a shift to a PLE rather than MLE focus and the use of social software for learning.  There are one or two things we disagree with, such as the heavy emphasis on a ‘national’ collection of resources, but the rest of the report is exciting, forward thinking and realistic.  There is a serious commitment to mass staff development at all levels – surely the biggest barrier to take up of new technologies in the classroom – including defining a set of digital competences for teachers. This report also recommends that these competences (personal AND pedagogic) be compulsory in ITT courses.

The other section of the report which will cause major ripples is the chunk entitled “External conditions for success” which seem to us to identify all of the brick walls which teachers come up against and suggests that they should be dismantled. I am going to quote the report in full because it is music to the ears of most of us involved with e-learning in schools.

Universal take-up of digital opportunities assumes that:

  • all learning providers, and indeed all classrooms, can connect to the internet at sufficient speeds to enable efficient use of digital resources
  • interface equipment – whiteboards, PCs, tablets, mobile devices, etc. – are available widely enough within learning providers to give quick and easy access to resources. ‘Bring your own device’ solutions may be appropriate here
  • learners and teachers are not prevented from using resources by general restrictions imposed by local authorities or learning providers on certain types of hardware (e.g. smart phones), software (e.g. ‘apps’) or web resources (e.g. Facebook, YouTube or Twitter)
  • learners and their parents/carers have adequate access at home (and increasingly on mobile devices) to ensure that technology-enhanced learning in the classroom can be replicated and deepened outside the learning provider. 

LEAs, take note!!

The main vehicle for turning the report into reality will be an organisation called the ‘Hwb’ (no, not a funny way of spelling Hub, ‘hwb’ means to promote, push or inspire). Its remit will be to lead, promote and support the use of digital resources and technologies by learners and teachers across Wales and create and develop a national digital collection for learning and teaching in English and Welsh.  Both Pontydysgu and the Taccle2 project in Wales are committed to doing what we can to support the Hwb and will make sure that all our resources and experience in the field are freely available.

The driving force behind it all is Leighton Andrews, the Minister for Education in Wales – with whose politics I usually disagree – but I am very happy to admit that he has come up trumps with this one!  He is knowledgable, committed and comes across as a genuinely enthusiastic technophile with an understanding of what education could look like in the future and a clear vision of how, in Wales, we are going to get there.  (“Just like Michael Gove!”, I hear my English colleagues say….).  I must admit, that even as a card-carrying member of a different party (byddwch chi’n dyfalu!), devolution has been all good in terms of education and we have had two excellent Ministers.   Look at the image on the top of this post and you may understand why we are looking forward to an increasing divergence and autonomy.  Team GB? No thanks!




The future of higher education

June 16th, 2012 by Graham Attwell
View more PowerPoint from gsiemens

Interesting presentation by George Siemens. George says: “Educators are not driving the change bus. Leadership in traditional universities has been grossly negligent in preparing the academy for the economic and technological reality it now faces. ….. Universities have not been paying attention. As a result, they have not developed systemic capacity to function in a digital networked age.”

It is well worth reading the blog accompanying this presentation where George explains his ideas.

Rich and immersive learning environments

June 15th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Earlier this week I was at an international project meeting in Pontypridd in Wales. As is common with such meetings, and indeed many training events, it was held in a hotel. The hotel meeting room was perfectly adequate with plenty of space and natural light. Indeed I would not have given it two minutes thought normally. I have been in many much worse venues.

However only three days earlier I had been lucky to visit a Welsh medium primary school in Pontypridd. And the contrast was stunning. The school is housed in an old building and perhaps lacks many of the design features we would wish for in a school today (it is notable that windows were positioned high up in the room to stop children looking out during lessons!). Yet as an environment for learning the classroom I went into wads stunning. Every wall was covered in different themed displays with much of the work being by the children themselves. The tables were covered, seemingly at random – although I am sure it was not, with different tactile learning materials. There were different spaces and corners for different activities. Games littered the floor.

I couldn’t help comparing this primary school with the learning environment we had developed for our meeting. And for that matter, with the sterility of many online learning environments. Why if primary school teachers (and teaching assistants) are able to produce such rich learning environments, do we have such learning-poor environments for grown ups? Why can’t we develop such creative spaces for learning in universities, in workplaces and in public spaces? Is it a question of teacher training? Is it a question of curriculum? Or is it a societal attitude towards learning?

I’d be interested in your comments

Beyond blended learning- towards a fluid discourse of educational conversations

April 25th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Steve Wheeler has written an interesting bog post, which deserves unpacking and discussing.

Steve says:

Blended learning (in the established, traditional sense) means a mix of learning activities that involved students learning both in the classroom, and at a distance from the classroom, usually mediated through technology. I am claiming that this type of blended learning – in concept at least – is now outmoded because the boundaries between local and remote have now been substantially blurred.

I think I would largely agree with him although I am not so sure it is due to the blurring of the boundary between local and remote. Reading older papers on technology enhanced learning, there was great emphasis placed on the divide between synchronous and asynchronous communication and how to provide a proper ‘mix’ of technologies facilatating such modes. Today we flip between different modes without thinking about it. Take Skype – if I text someone they may reply straight away or may reply the next day. I may have a series of short episodic conversations with a colleague throughout the day. I may switch from text to audio or video for parts of these conversations. They may be one to one or we may invite others to participants for particular parts of the conversation. Instead of a divide between synchronous or asynchronous communication, tools now support multi modal communication and multi modal learning.

Steve goes on to say:

The new blend is to blur formal and informal learning

Of this I am less convinced. I am in a few problems here because I have often written myself about informal learning. But in truth I am unconvinced of the value of the concept. Indeed there is little agreement even on what the terms formal, informal and non-formal learning mean. If you are interested in this debate there is an excellent literature review by Colley, Hodkinson and Malcom who explore different definitions and uses of the terms. I have tended to use the idea of informal learning in two ways – to refer to learning which takes place outside the formal education system or to learning which takes place in the absence of formal teaching. The problem with the first use of the term is that it refers only to what it is not, rather than to what it is. And in the case of the second, it tends to ignore the influence of what Vykotsly called a More Knowledgeable Other. The More Knowledgeable Other is anyone who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner, particularly in regards to a specific task, concept or process – a friend, a peer, a colleague, who can support the scaffolding of  learning. Technology is playing a significant role in blurring boundaries here. If I read Steve Wheeler’s article, think about it and write my own ideas then surely I am learning, and in this case Steve is playing the part of the More Knowledgeable Other in guiding my thinking. Recently one of my computers was overheating. I searched for and found a web site telling me at what temperature the Northbridge chip should be running (it was running much hotter). I then found a YouTube video showing me how to take my computer apart and clean the filters. Is this formal or informal learning? Do I have scaffolding and guidance in my learning? I would suggest I do.

Even more problematic is Steve’s idea of “informal technology”. I think this may just be careless use of terminology. Of course technologies are not informal or formal. However what is certainly true is that most young people today own various technology based devices, which can be used or as John Cook calls it “appropriated” for learning. And as we move towards near ubiquitous connectivity, at least in richer countries, then these devices provide constant access to all kinds of learning – including contact to those with more knowledge than we have. It is interesting to note that most of this learning takes place in the absence of purpose built education technology, rather we appropriate applications designed for business or enterprise use or for entertainment, for learning.

I think more useful than setting a dichotomy between the formal and the informal is to explore the different relationships and contexts in which learning takes place. Last year Jenny Hughes and I made a slidecast called Critical Literacies, Pragmatics and Education as part of a Critical Literacies course being run by Rita Kop and Stephen Downes as part of their ongoing research project on Personal Learning Environments.

In this we referred to the relationships in which learning take place. These include the relationships between learners and teachers, between the learners themselves and between the learners and the wider community.

We went on to look at context. Obviously this includes place or physical context, which could be described as the learning domain. This might be a school or college, the workplace or at home. Important here is the distance between the different domains. Sometimes this distance will be short (say in the case of an apprenticeship involving workplace and school based study), but sometimes there may be a quite broad seperation between the different domains.

A second context is the social, cultural and political environment in which earning takes place. A third – and to my mind critical – context is the idea of what is legitimate learning – what is learnt and how it is learnt. Obviously this involves the idea of control.

Especially important is the context of how we recognise achievement – how outcomes are defined, what value is placed on learning, by whom and how.

We also raised the idea of discourses – the sum total of the conversations around education. In the past, we suggested, education has tended to be a top down discourse with prescribed and structured strategies  for learning. This is changing and now leaners may be more likely to start from practice without a predetermined strategy for learning.

Thus relations and context or learning are becoming fluid and are contently changing. Technology is playing a major role in these changing relationships and contexts. Such a fluid discourse inevitably leads to conflict with an educational structure based on top down educational discourses.

Cyfrowi tubylcy i gra w szkołę

May 28th, 2010 by Ilona Buchem

Czy nauczyciele w Polsce są dobrze przygotowani na pokolenie cyfrowych tubylców? Opdowiedzi na to pytanie szukałam w rozmowie z Lechosławem Hojnackim – nauczycielem i konsultantem, zajmującym się implementacją nowoczesnych technologii informacyjnych w procesie kształcenia dorosłych, przede wszystkim nauczycieli.

IB: Ten kto zajrzy na Pana stronę internetową odkryje szybko, że jest Pan aktywny na wielu serwisach internetowych. Czym się Pan aktualnie zajmuje zawodowo?

LH: W tej chwili pracuję jako wykładowca w  Kolegium Nauczycielskim w Bielsku-Białej. To taki niszowy w Polsce system kształcenia nauczycieli na poziomie trzyletnich studiów zawodowych, zbliżony bardziej do szkoły (niewielka liczba studentów, sporo praktyk) niż uniwersytetu. Jednocześnie pracuję jako konsultant w Regionalnym Ośrodku Metodyczno-Edukacyjnym “Metis” w Katowicach i zajmuję się implementacją tzw. nowych technologii w procesie dydaktycznym.

IB: Ma Pan więc szerokie spojrzenie na zastosowanie TIK (technologii informacyjno – komunikacyjnej) w edukacji. Czy szkolenia nauczycieli w Polsce obejmują standardowo  tematy e-pedagogiczne? W jakim zakresie szkoleni są nauczyciele w temacie e-learningu 2.0? Jak to wygląda w przypadku czynnych nauczycieli,  a jak w przypadku studentów-adeptów?

LH: Czynni nauczyciele w pewnych okresie swojego rozwoju zawodowego muszą się wylegitymować dowodami opanowania TIK. Na poziomie awansu zawodowego na nauczyciela mianowanego są to “umiejętności wykorzystywania w pracy technologii informacyjnej i komunikacyjnej;” natomiast na poziomie nauczyciela dyplomowanego (najwyższym) – „podejmowanie działań mających na celu doskonalenie warsztatu i metod pracy, w tym doskonalenie umiejętności stosowania technologii informacyjnej i komunikacyjnej”. Od nauczyciela stażysty i kontraktowego (najniższe) nie wymaga się w tym zakresie niczego. Nie ma jednak sztywnych reguł, co to znaczy “wylegitymować się” i duża część nauczycieli korzysta w tym celu ze szkoleń prowadzonych przez ośrodki doskonalenia nauczycieli lub inne instytucje, w ramach projektów unijnych. W praktyce posiadanie pewnej liczby zaświadczeń o ukończeniu szkoleń, ocenianych częściej w kategorii liczby godzin niż treści i poziomu – jest wystarczającym dowodem posiadania stosownych umiejętności. Członkowie komisji oceniają tylko dostarczone dokumenty określające umiejętności związane z TIK w warsztacie dydaktycznym i czynią to przez pryzmat własnej wiedzy i świadomości.

Są to najczęściej spotykane źródła systemowej motywacji zewnętrznej dla nauczycieli. Jak widać nie ma tu miejsca na rozróżnienia dotyczące stosowania konkretnych metod, konkretnych typów serwisów, sposobów komunikowania się, w tym e-learningu 2.0. Ponadto, idąc dalej tropem systemowych uregulowań, komisje powoływane dla oceniania dokonań nauczycieli na kolejne stopnie awansu zawodowego nie tylko nie mają wytycznych, ale nawet możliwości kompetentnego oceniania metodycznych aspektów TIK – nie muszą mieć w swoim składzie ekspertów w tej dziedzinie.

Są też uwarunkowania hamujące rozwój e-learningu 2.0 w szkołach:

1. Organy nadzoru pedagogicznego (kuratorzy oświaty)  otrzymali wytyczne, aby czynnie zapobiegać ujemnym zjawiskom takim jak cyfrowa agresja i inne niebezpieczeństwa ze strony Internetu, dlatego dyrektorzy szkół (notabene w Polsce posiadający bardzo mały w stosunku do wielu krajów rozwiniętych zakres samodzielności) często uznają –  bardzo racjonalnie – że większym zagrożeniem dla ich interesów służbowych jest nadmiar kontaktu uczniów z Siecią, niż wielostronne jego obwarowania, a w praktyce – ograniczenia.

2. Chyba większość polskich szkół dysponuje pracowniami otrzymanymi z, nazwijmy to, centralnego przydziału. Zdecydowana ich większość jest oparta na Windows oraz serwerach SBS o specyficznej konfiguracji. Konfiguracja ta opiera się na tzw. “filtrach treści niepożądanych” oraz kontrolowaniu i analizowaniu całego ruchu sieciowego przez serwer, który w efekcie, w standardowej konfiguracji blokuje nie tylko niepożądane strony, słowa i złośliwe skrypty, ale także wiele pożądanych stron, nieszkodliwych słów oraz bardzo potrzebnych skryptów. W praktyce w wielu szkołach używa się w związku z powyższym komputerów, na których nie da się uruchomić np. większości serwisów z epoki Web 2.0, ponieważ poprawnie działają tylko stare, statyczne strony nie zawierające żadnych skryptów (np. osadzonych filmików, edytorów online etc.). Takie pracownie skutecznie chronią szkołę przed Web 2.0. W związku z czynnikami opisanymi w punkcie 1. oraz z braku stosownych umiejętności, a często i świadomości, ta bardzo zła z punktu widzenia nowoczesnego korzystania z Sieci konfiguracja nie jest modyfikowana.

IB: Wnioskuję z tego, że sieć społeczna jest przez szerokie grono ludzi traktowana jako zagrożenie?

LH: To niestety powszechna postawa. Czasem artykułowana dość wprost np. w kategoriach zagrożeń, agresji, groźby uzależnienia lub jako bezwartościowy strumień śmieciowej informacji. Czasem świadomie lub częściej nieświadomie ta postawa ukrywana pod poglądami typu “nic nie zastąpi książki”, “skoro ONI używają ciągle Sieci to ktoś wreszcie musi ich nauczyć obywać się bez niej lub posługiwać się innymi narzędziami”, “a jak nie będzie komputera, kalkulatora, a jak braknie prądu, to będzie katastrofa”.

IB: Muszę przyznać, że w Niemczech sytuacja wygląda jednak lepiej, ponieważ osiągnieto poziom, na którym przeważa już pragmatyczne pytanie „jak?“, np. „Jak możemy wporowadzić elementy sieci społecznej w szkołach?“. A jakie sa pozostałe wyzwania związane z kształceniem nauczycieli w tematyce e-learningu 2.0? Jakie strategie pedagogiczno-dydaktyczne sprawdzają się w praktyce? W jaki sposób wprowadza Pan nauczycieli w świat sieci społecznych?

LH: Dziś wyraźnie widać, gdzie wiekowo przebiega granica między typowymi cyfrowcami, a bardziej tradycyjnie ukształtowanym pokoleniem uczniów. Nauczyciele szkół podstawowych zapoznani z faktami, zestawieniami, wynikami badań, naturą ważniejszych zjawisk – dość gremialnie dają się łatwo przekonać, iż jest to problem, z którym muszą się zmierzyć, bo po prostu otrzymują obraz sytuacji dobrze wyjaśniający obserwowane przez nich u uczniów zjawisk społecznych wywołanych  Web 2.0. Dla odmiany statystycznie zdecydowanie najtrudniej jest pracować z nauczycielami szkół ponadgimnazjalnych. W tej grupie nauczycieli najczęściej spotykam się z odmową, obrazą nawet. Nie widzą jeszcze konieczności zmiany metod pracy, populacja ich uczniów jeszcze nie jest w pełni cyfrowymi tubylcami i jeszcze da się próbować pracować po staremu. To smutne zjawisko, bo rozsądek wskazuje, że młodzież licealna byłaby najwdzięczniejszą grupą uczniów do metod i form pracy epoki Web 2.0.

Czynnych nauczycieli zatem staram się na początku przekonać, że ich “klienci” zmienili się i będą się zmieniać dalej, w związku z czym oni muszą starać się podążać za zmianami (uwaga) wbrew ustrojowi organizacyjnemu szkoły, który rzeczywiście niesłychanie utrudnia postęp (uwaga: także w aspektach przeze mnie wcześniej tu nie wymienionych). Staram się także zaczynać od najprostszych technologicznie rozwiązań, które dają maksimum efektu przy minimalnych umiejętnościach, ale jakoś przynależnych do Web 2.0. Na przykład na początek wprowadzamam bloga na Bloggerze jako tablicę ogłoszeniową. Zaczynam więc od przekazu jednokierunkowe, ale z łatwością podejmowania dalszych kroków.

Studentów traktuję zgoła inaczej, ponieważ tu jestem w stanie ustalić bardziej drastyczne reguły. Niezależnie od treści programowych, specjalności, roku i trybu studiów, wprowadzam jako obowiązującą metodę grupowy projekt oparty (przynajmniej  technicznie) na serwisach Web 2.0. Treści merytoryczne stawiam na drugim planie za zasadami współpracy, samozarządzania, angażowania ekspertów z zewnątrz, publikowania efektów, autoprezentacji w Sieci itd. Moje podejście wynika z tego, że zdecydowana większość studentów po raz pierwszy w życiu spotyka się z faktyczną metodą konstruktywistycznego projektu grupowego dopiero po maturze! Wielu z nich wykazuje także zasadnicze braki w podstawowych umiejętnościach komunikacyjnych związanych z TIK, wbrew kilkuletniemu cyklowi nauki tego przedmiotu w poprzednich etapach kształcenia.

IB: Tak ten deficyt mają też studenci w Niemczech. Wynika to często z tego, że większości nauczycieli/wykładowców brakuje po prostu doświadczenia i umiejętności w wirtualnej współpracy, kooperacyjnych technikach, samoorganizacji na poziomie grupowym. A czy Pana zdaniem szersze kompetencje, lepsze zrozumienie mają uczniowie lub studenci? Kto rozumie zalety wirtualnej pracy grupowej i potrafi pracować/uczyć się w zdecentralizowanych, nieuporządkowanych hierarchicznie, wirtualnych grupach?

LH: TAK, dzieci i młodzież żyją w Sieci bardziej i głębiej, niż sami to widzą, bo dla nich Sieć jest  przezroczysta. To zjawisko jest podobne w swojej naturze do szczerej deklaracji uczniów, że nie PISZĄ tylko esemesują, czatują. Oni nie nazywają tego pisaniem, traktują tak, jak my rozmowę. Natomiast dość powszechnie oddzielają tego rodzaju aktywności od szkoły, nie tylko ze względu na uwarunkowania, o których mówiłem wyżej lub takie jak powszechny zakaz używania komórek w szkole. To zjawisko tzw. “gry w szkołę” oznacza, że obie strony procesu (nauczyciel i uczeń) w szkole  używają reguł, których nie traktują jako przekładalne na świat zewnętrzny. Ani nauczyciele nie mają motywacji do uczenia np. komunikowania się w Sieci, ani uczniowie tego od nich nie oczekują.

IB: Wspomniał Pan, że dzieci i młodzież nie piszą tylko esemesują i czatują. Na pewno często spotyka się Pan z pytaniem, czy takie praktyki nie zagrażają podstawowym kompetencjom pisania i czytania? Jak odpowiada Pan na takie pytania?

LH: Jeżeli uznać, że taki rodzaj kompetencji, do którego przyzwyczaiły nas doświadczenia poprzednich pokoleń i nasze własne, to kompetencje prawdziwe, jedynie słuszne, stosowalne w przyszłości, albo nawet tylko “potencjalnie akceptowalne dla większości populacji cyfrowców”, to oczywiście czaty i esemesy stanowią zagrożenie.  Przy całym moim osobistym przywiązaniu do sztuki pisania i czytania oraz wielkiej literatury (proszę zauważyć, odruchowo zacząłem odpowiedź od zasygnalizowania, że stoję po tej samej stronie barykady, co inni imigranci cyfrowi), widzę wyraźną analogię do skądinąd bardzo słusznego twierdzenia, że rozwój motoryzacji zagraża zdrowym nawykom długich spacerów oraz kompetencjom jazdy konnej. Sam jeżdżę konno dobrze i od zawsze. Jednak na codzień poruszam się samochodem, a koń jest tylko moim hobby, ukłonem w stronę tradycji, zdrowym spędzaniem wolnego czasu i gimnastyką. To samo spotyka dziś tradycyjne formy przekazu tekstowego.

IB: I na tym moglibyśmy już właściwie zakończyć naszą rozmowę, ale zadam jeszcze jedno pytanie: Czy udało się już Panu zarazić swoim entuzjazmem dla nowych technologii wielu nauczycieli?

LH: Uchodzę za skutecznie zarażającego. Jeżeli ktoś mnie personalnie do czegoś wynajmuje, to znacznie częsciej do zarażania, inicjowania, uświadamiania niż np. do późniejszego systematycznego szkolenia. Niestety ciągle szkoła w Polsce obfituje w czynniki zrażające bardziej niż zarażające, ale w ciągu ostatnich dwóch lat widzę bardzo wyraźną zmianę nastawienia nauczycieli – na lepsze.

Jakie są Wasze/Państwa doświadczenia i opinie na temat wprowadzania e-learningu 2.0 w szkołach? Dziękujemy za komentarze!

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    Sounds of the Bazaar LIVE from the Online EDUCA Berlin 2014

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    Online Educa Berlin

    Are you going to Online Educa Berlin 2014. As usual we will be there, with Sounds of the Bazaar, our internet radio station, broadcasting live from the Marlene bar on Thursday 4 and Friday 5 December. And as always, we are looking for people who would like to come on the programme. Tell us about your research or your project. tell us about cool new ideas and apps for learning. Or just come and blow off steam about something you feel strongly about. If you would like to pre-book a slot on the radio email graham10 [at] mac [dot] com telling us what you would like to talk about.


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