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“Technology enabled education, a catalyst for Positive change”

“Technology enabled education, a catalyst for Positive change”. …what research and experience tells us Jonathan Renaudon-Smith. Agenda. The pressure for change. What is the research is telling us? What strategies? Low cost computers?. The pressure for change. Video – Shift Happens

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“Technology enabled education, a catalyst for Positive change”

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  1. “Technology enabled education, a catalyst for Positive change” …what research and experience tells us Jonathan Renaudon-Smith

  2. Agenda • The pressure for change. • What is the research is telling us? • What strategies? • Low cost computers?

  3. The pressure for change Video – Shift Happens http://fleming.myzen.co.uk/ShiftHappens-UK.wmv

  4. Africa snapshot • 4% have internet access, paying more than anywhere else ($250-300/month for slowest speeds) • Congo and Sudan – 2 of the largest countries have almost no internet access at all • Uganda better but only 1 in 200 use email • Irregular power and lack of local content an issue • Reconditioned PCs suffer from high TCO • Green shoots – practical satellite educational content solutions and new low cost computers

  5. Middle East • Local leaders recognise the issues and are taking bold action (e.g. recently reported concerns with lack of school attendance and illiteracy levels). • His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced this week at the Knowledge Conference, the foundation of a Knowledge Complex with unparalleled levels of investment ($10b) • Rationale to devise strategies to raise standards in university education and call for action not words on building knowledge societies and world class education. • The Foundation will support teachers in exchanging and developing ideas on effective approaches. • Effort to generate content to and from Arabic will be another strategy.

  6. Scotland makes a move The Learning Hubs Project is a one-to-one learning initiative involving 58,000 pupils and 5,000 teachers.The aim of the project is to improve educational attainment & engagement by providing every teacher and school child (primary 6 and above) with a personal learning device or "learning hub" such as a laptop computer, PDA or Tablet. All evidence shows that one-to-one learning vastly improves pupil motivation, involvement and attitude, resulting in a more enjoyable and productive classroom environment. This project if implemented today would be the largest and most ambitious one to one mobile learning initiative in the World. Closing the chasm between the use of technology in school and ‘real life’ is but one objective. Others include: • Closing the digital divide between rich and poor, especially NEET (not in education, employment or training) • Successful learners • Effective contributors • Confident individuals • Responsible citizens www.learninghubs.co.uk

  7. Scotland cites… “Learners are more comfortable engaging in personal or private subject areas using a mobile device than doing so using traditional methods” (Becta) “All the experiments we have reported - and there are many others - point to the possibilities of deepening children’s engagement because they are involved more, and can be challenged more, in ways that they enjoy” (Becta) “With a background of more than 4 years of trialling, research and development, m-learning has helped thousands of learners from all walks of life to develop their skills, confidence and motivation to learn.” (www.m-learning.com )

  8. Eduvision – taking content to learners in new ways • Children and homes use e-slates – personal or public clusters (e.g. Ink MC) • World class content – books incl. images, animations and video clips downloaded via satellite to school server • Server goes wireless to e-slates all controlled by teachers • Downloaded content class-based or personalised – chapter/section level • e-reader includes interactive features: highlighting, bookmarking, comments, questions & answers etc • Downloading error reporting built in • Satellite or terrestrial connectivity can be used – satellite: Africa, Asia Middle East and S. America coverage • MIT have rated CTO in top 35 innovators under age 35

  9. What is the research is telling us? Highlights by Becta – the Gov. organisation charged with developing ICT in schools in the UK. Harnessing Technology Review 2007: progress and impact of technology in education • Pupil:PC ratios stand at 1:6 Primary and 1:4 Secondary – improvements at Secondary level due to laptop increase. • Doesn’t tell us HOW they are used, also hides the difference between teacher centric learning styles and learner centric styles. 2. Improvements in connectivity/broadband to all schools but teacher practice needs to develop more to gain full value. • Many schools using ‘edge caching boxes’ to improve performance when accessing content. • Curriculum Online Project – huge telephone directory of content – free and paid for. • Too much for many teachers to cope with – isn’t a repository of content – would suggest an e-Library is better approach with single log on to save confusion. 4. Laptops for Teachers – single most effective strategy. • Needs to be inclusive – much criticised for partial introduction

  10. Research #2 5.¾ of computers are sited in classrooms – which constrains use. • as indeed does the use of PC suites – who would build a room full of calculators for Maths?! • Rapid growth in interactive whiteboards is very marked, especially at secondary level, growth not at plateau yet. • the research to support this strategy is mixed. Some expert teacher-users report very good results – other boards stand idle or are used as expensive screens. Where pupils interact (e.g. voting tools etc – results are better). 7. Learning platform (VLE) use increasing and now schools have to give all pupils an account, paid for or open source (e.g. Moodle). • Main use is as repository for materials – not much sharing going on • Intranets remain popular. • e-maturity of institutions improving but slowly – based upon hard and attitudinal data (infrastructure & resources, co-ordination of ICT resources, engagement with learners). • OFSTED report much is still needed to embed ICT across the curriculum (only 2 depts in 6 at sec. level making good use).

  11. Research #3 11. ICT used mainly for whole-class activity rather than individuals or small groups. 75% of primary teachers and 80% of secondary rarely use to support collaborative working. In secondary use of ICT is limited for analysing, problems solving, collaboration and creativity – better in primary. • But learners are digital natives – they use it all the time out of school – this causes problems – are schools going to remain relevant as places of learning? – Policy solution: 12. Ministers focussed on equipping ALL homes as necessary to ensure that pupils have access outside of school – use personal learning devices for learners and help staff at least not to get in the way or be hostile to change! • personalise learning now – removes barriers be they $, a teacher, school, home or expectations etc. T or P centric approach to learning – which will win through??? Interesting early work now using more unstructured classes with teachers as ‘guide on the side’ not ‘sage on the stage’ complete with their whiteboard! How do we assess and accredit this – issues exist but it does give employers what they want.

  12. Quote Recent digital education conference in San Francisco, a child said: "Whenever I go into class, I have to power down." That roughly translates as: "What I do with digital technology outside school - at home, in my own free time - is on a completely different level to what I'm able to do at school. Outside school, I'm using much more advanced skills, doing many more interesting things, operating in a far more sophisticated way. School takes little notice of this and seems not to care."

  13. What strategies? • No direct link between spending and rising standards – they refuse to budge in UK, US and Australia. • Class size makes no difference at secondary level nor does teachers relative salary levels. • 3 things are important generally: • Hire the best teachers • Get the best out of them • Step in quickly when pupils fall behind • S. Korea, ‘the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers’. • Key is to raise the bar on entry to attract the best – (not always the brightest.) • Singapore screens candidates finely before training and accepts only the best into jobs. Once in you are almost guaranteed a job. Has to be hard to get in to. • Once in look after them well with ongoing training, mentoring etc. (‘How the best performing school systems come out on top. McKinsey & Co.)

  14. What Strategies with ICT? • Teacher laptops a must; • Teacher (initial and in-service) and leadership development; • Moves away from fixed suites of PC’s; • More personal learning opportunities – individual ownership is ideal or mobile clusters; • E-Library of approved and free world class content (with some aggregated purchasing) ; • Local content development including teacher and pupil generated (constructivist learning pedagogy) • Encourage local market for software, content, hardware and connectivity – do some Public Private Partnership’s with % outcome based payments; • Develop school test-beds to find and showcase emerging good practice – both technology and pedagogy – use regional school clusters to share knowledge between teachers.

  15. Low Cost Computers 4 out of 5 people in the world have never touched a computer Inclusive access is an issue for all nations

  16. ICT for the next 1 billion • How many products or initiatives do you know about in this space? • In fact there are X listed on infoDEV – ICT4D and counting • Just as well because it took the entire computer industry many years to equip the first billion; • The relatively affluent first billion space is saturated with competing devices and offerings, the race is now on for the 4/5ths – growing the Total Available Market (TAM); • Competition is there currently and ultimately helps the end user - all can live side by side - real production and distribution limiting factors here; • Convergence? Surely not one ideal device – diversity and choice - different tasks - different peoples – different pockets; • Leapfrog strategies in education possible.

  17. Challenges with normal laptops in schools • Still expensive for universal access; • Functionality exceeds typical requirements; • Prone to e.g. hard disk failures, virus infection etc with associated headaches of data recovery for the school; • Extra technical staff often needed to cope; • All causes TCO to spiral upwards; • Real TCO not always obvious e.g. training for unfamiliar systems/interfaces or to make repairs. • Various makes and models in school with different software, working today or not – can alienate teachers. • Even affluent schools looking for alternatives

  18. Total Cost of Ownership • Made up of five elements: • Initial cost • Software and licensing • Maintenance & upgrades • Training where systems unfamiliar • Replacement cost • The Ink MC potentially reduces all of them: • Low initial cost and dropping • Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) • Maintenance free – local swap outs not repairs • Training minimised as familiar software environment • Built to last – no more 3 year replacement cycles

  19. Change examples… • Better equity of access with low initial cost; • Schools can choose either 1:1 access or school based mobile clusters; • This gives true x-curricular opportunities – the tools are placed where they are most needed – no moving classes to PC suite; • No maintenance overhead or data recovery (where there is no hard disk in the device); • Some preset config. - increases teacher confidence; • Screen size of these devices supports extended working and is mostly mature technology.

  20. Educational content perspective • Browser based content from web, network or cluster cache (Firefox); • Local storage via usb/MP3 player devices; • Edu games option when combinations of machines are used; • Applications can be added via USB or SDRAM cards or e.g. ROM re-flashed remotely; • Free Web storage increasing.

  21. Currently low labour rates in Far East and India enjoyed by developed nations; Political commentators suggesting that China will lift prices – Push; Pull - Developing nations want knowledge economies and jobs – political pressure to re-distribute manufacturing or at least assembly; Indigenous content development and training; Recycling plastics from spent computers. Where will the jobs be?

  22. Uses rice husk filled recyclable and recycled plastic …carbon negative!

  23. e-Slate or UMPC with auto-sensing orientation ~ $250

  24. How is spec different? • No hard disk or moving parts to overheat or break down • Files saved to personal USB stick, network or web server • Fast boot up – instant off • 5-8+ hrs battery life • Draws power like a mobile phone – 12v car battery and solar power can be used • FOSS includes Open Office and other apps • Updating of software and drivers done over web • Wireless or normal LAN • 4 USB ports, 2 SDRAM slots • 8.6” SVGA display – large enough for extended working • Detachable from keyboard as ebook reader or UMPC • usb stick carries personal set up details e.g. language – so can be used and passed on with no issues – ‘public computer’ • Internal bumpers and screen laminated

  25. Benefits • Universal language support • Highly resistant to viruses & spy ware • Virtually maintenance free • No moving parts • No Hard Drive crashes • No Fan • Compatible with common file structures- Creates and save files without issues • No licenses • Affordable • Internet and multi-media capable • IP phone capable • Productivity tool – not generic PC replacement

  26. Educational Benefits • Public computer for use in mobile clusters or • Personal computer as a productivity tool which does over 90% of what learners use computers for ie word processing, spreadsheets, web based activity, email, discussions/community building. • No maintenance overhead – which saves institutions a big headache – any problems simply swap out – no data transfer. • Not an expensive security risk • Long battery life 5-8 hrs (no charging in lessons) • Low weight (2.6lbs) • Staff can rely on Ink MC working and all being standard configuration which helps them develop appropriate classroom pedagogy if necessary.

  27. To watch for… • System in Package (or System on a Chip) will reduce computer sizes dramatically. • Add to that the advances in flexible screen displays and gradual improvement in manufacturing costs of flexible displays … low cost?

  28. To watch for… . Thin film, flexible, low cost, solar panels (student bags, car dashboards, window sills, jackets?) out this year…

  29. “the future has arrived - it's just unevenly distributed” science fiction writer William Gibson Thank you Jonathan Renaudon-Smithjrenaudon-smith@ink-media.com

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