Saturday, February 8, 2014

Making the Case for Online Teaching & Learning?

As I work with colleagues on developing an Online PhD program, and think to my ongoing research and writing, I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast findings across Project Tomorrow, the ECAR Annual Survey, PEW Internet Data and Device Acquisition Trends in 2013.
I have taken the JOURNAL's 10 Technology trends from Project Tomorrow 2013 -representing 400,000 surveys from 9,000 schools and 2,700 districts nationally with [students, teachers, parents, administrators and this year community members] - and put them alongside infographic visuals from the The Annual ECAR Student and IT Study - a collaboration with 251 institutions with 112,000 undergraduate student responses about their technology experiences around their 4 themes of 1. Mobile Device Ownership and Use; 2. Technology Value and Use; 3. Connectivity and Engagement; 4. Learning Environments

1. Personal Access to Mobile Devices 
- 89% HS and 50% Gr3-5 have access internet connected smartphones
- 50% HS Tablets.
- 60%HS Laptops
-1/3 students have school access [laptops, tablets]
2. Internet Connectivity @Home
- 64% primary devices 3G or 4G enabled, 
- 23% Internet enabled TV or Wii console 
3. Use of Video for Classwork and Homework 
- 46% teachers use
- 1/3 students access OL video on their own to help with HMK [Khan Academy effect]
- 23% students access teacher created videos
4. Mobile Devices for Schoolwork 
- research, ed games, peer collaboration, reminders/alerts, photos, polling, texting

5. Using Different Tools for Different Tasks 
- video, social media, cell phones [communications] e-readers. tablets=2 or 3rd choice and finding the right tool for the right class
6. Paying Attention to the Digital Footprint 
- being more aware of content posted and creating positive digital profile
7. An increased Interest in Online Learning 
- desire to have more control over learning & belief online teacher provides more support
8. Gaming is Growing, and the Gender Gap is Closed 
- using gaming technology to learn difficult concepts and explore career opportunities
9. Social Media in Schools 
- disconnect in terms of value of social media between students & administrators
10. What Devices Belong in 'The Ultimate School?'
- students rank laptops [56%], digital readers [51%], tablets [48%]. Still evolving - 62% want to BYOD

Though ECAR does not address this specifically, it does loon at the the category Learning Environment [seen in the visual to the left] in the US, Canada and Other Countries. It is interesting to note that students increasingly prefer a blended learning modality, but that these are also more highly reflected in Other Countries [perhaps because they embrace technology more? or that, as in the case of MOOCs and OL courses, they value being able to take courses from institutions that they might not otherwise have access to?]

Additional student perceptions addressed in the
ECAR Key Findings [full listing here 2013 report] include:

  • Students recognize the value of technology but still need guidance when it comes to better using it for academics.
  • Students prefer blended learning environments while beginning to experiment with MOOCs.
  • Students are ready to use their mobile devices more for academics, and they look to institutions and instructors for opportunities and encouragement to do so.

Students value their privacy, and using technology to connect with them has its limits.

ECAR Recommendations

  • Students expect their instructors—not others—to train them to effectively use the technology required for coursework (e.g., use of the CMS, hardware, and software—including specialty software and common productivity software). Instructors need support, encouragement, and possibly incentives to do so.
  • Educate your students about MOOCs; most students are unaware of them. Institutions have a fleeting opportunity to contextualize MOOCs for students in a way that will mesh with the institution’s own MOOC strategy.
  • Create (or update) a strategy for incorporating mobile device use into the classroom. Address the IT infrastructure barriers (such as a lack of convenient charging outlets and/or charging stations and insufficient network access) that keep students from using their devices effectively while on campus.
  • Approach learner analytics purposefully and thoughtfully by adhering to information privacy principles. Collect data for a stated and transparent purpose in order to build students’ confidence in learner analytics activities.

10 Major Technology Trends the JOURNAL By Chris Riedel 02/03/14

Trends in Device Acquisitions
National: PEW
- Technology Adoption
91% Americans own cellphone 57% adults cell internet users doubled since 2009
- Teens and Technology Pew Research Center survey that explored technology use among 802 youth ages 12-17 and their parents. Key findings include:
78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.
23% of teens have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population.
95% of teens use the internet.
93% of teens have a computer or have access to one at home. Seven in ten (71%) teens with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is one they share with other family members.nationally representative phone survey of 802 parents and their 802 teens ages 12-17. It was conducted between July 26 and September 30, 2012.

- ABI Research's latest data on the Internet of Everything (IoE) shows that there are more than 10 billion wirelessly connected devices in the market today; with over 30 billion devices expected by 2020.
- Gartner Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled 455.6 million units in the third quarter of 2013, an increase of 5.7 percent from the same period last year, according to Gartner, Inc. Sales of smartphones accounted for 55 percent of overall mobile phone sales in the third quarter of 2013, and reached their highest share to date. worldwide

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