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The impact of Blackboard on Teachers use of ICT at Kim Perkins & Tim Kitchen Baptist Girls Grammar School Melbourne, Victoria Australia In conjunction.

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Presentation on theme: "The impact of Blackboard on Teachers use of ICT at Kim Perkins & Tim Kitchen Baptist Girls Grammar School Melbourne, Victoria Australia In conjunction."— Presentation transcript:

1 The impact of Blackboard on Teachers use of ICT at Kim Perkins & Tim Kitchen Baptist Girls Grammar School Melbourne, Victoria Australia In conjunction with The University of Melbourne Faculty of Education Department of Science and Mathematics Education

2 2 Aim of this presentation Look at Strathconas use of Blackboard. Look at the results of some research conducted at Strathcona by Deakin University. Look at some of the international research into Virtual Learning Environments like Blackboard. Introduce a case study being undertaken at Strathcona through the University of Melbourne.

3 3 Short video presentation about Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School Melbourne, Victoria Australia

4 4 Early Childhood to Year 12 independent school Single sex school of approximately 750 students. One of the first to enable network access from home Establish as an ISP for the School community Non laptop Prior to 2001 all online learning was via HTML editors and not well utilised In 2001 Blackboard was implemented as Strathconas first all purpose Virtual Learning Environment.

5 5 Short video presentation about Strathconas use of Blackboard

6 6 Implementation of Blackboard at Strathcona 2001 – introduced & initial PD 2002 – all courses on, one unit online, continued PD 2003 – most units of work with online resources & PD 2004 – continued PD

7 7 Steps to Deployment 1.Review existing Intranet deployment 2.Evaluate content management systems - Blackboard WebCT 3.Deploy Blackboard 4.Train subject based mentors – train the trainers 5.Conduct whole staff PD sessions 6.Mandate deployment of subject based content for each year level for all classes 7.Continue staff PD sessions on regular intervals

8 8 Issues Publishing Content file types organization and structure of course content and layout Access Teacher access – need to provide desktop computers for all staff Student access – need to ensure sufficient workstations at School and access via the Internet from home

9 9 Perception and Acceptance Teachers – clear articulation of requirements and processes need to sell the advantages of online content various levels of support and persuasion Students – accessing content too hard – why dont you just give us the handouts!

10 10 Current situation Teachers – realize the advantages that can be offered by providing a range of content through Blackboard appreciate the flexibility for both students and staff have investigated a range of online materials and methods of presentation experimented with communications and collaboration tools

11 11 Students – appreciate the ability to access information from home as well as at school like the ability to communicate with teachers and collaborate with fellow students demand content rich online resources have readily utilized tools such as: the online grade book, group , discussion boards and group pages drive teachers to provide imaginative content that supports a variety of learning styles

12 12 The way forward develop and deploy online testing in Blackboard to support the school priority of sequential assessment develop a range of innovative multi-media resources to support and extend beyond text and image resources currently used further expand the use of communications and collaboration tools for student to student and student to teacher interaction

13 13 Case Study documenting and analysing the practices of six secondary teachers investigating whether the school policy of making the use of Blackboard compulsory, has been an influencing factor on ICT integration.

14 14 Main research question: What impact has the compulsory use of a virtual learning environment had on the teaching staff at Strathcona in relation to the integration of ICT in their teaching?

15 15 Trojan Mouse It appears that Blackboard has been a Trojan Mouse in terms of its impact on ICT integration. Before its implementation ICT integration appeared not to be taken seriously by a majority of the teaching staff. Today, the integration of ICT appears to be high on the agenda of many of the teaching staff. This study will try to gather evidence for or against this theory. A Trojan Mouse refers to a change that is introduced with far reaching effects that are not necessary originally intended (Fryer, 2003).

16 16 VLE – Virtual Learning Environment LMS – Learning Management System MLE – Managed Learning Environment Web based curriculum management platform Online education community Learning community and communications environment A collaborative learning community Networked Learning Environment Names given to systems such as Blackboard

17 17 BECTA (The British Educational Communications and Technologies Agency ) A REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH LITERATURE ON THE USE OF MANAGED LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN EDUCATION, AND A CONSIDERATION OF THE IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

18 18 Aim of BECTA report – to examine the evidence of where VLEs such as Blackboard are being used, and the potential benefits which are being claimed. It takes an international looks across both secondary and tertiary education sectors.

19 19 The BECTA study found that national agencies and ministries who instigated the compulsory implementation of VLEs were generally found to …expect VLEs to facilitate pedagogical change, enhancing interactivity and leading to a more learner-centered approach. However, surveys suggested that these expectations were rarely met, …teachers seemed to use VLEs more to communicate with each other and assign tasks to students than to directly support learners ' acquisition of knowledge and skills Students Interpretation of content and making the content reusable in the future was also found to be a concern (BECTA, 2004 p.25).

20 20 Potential Benefits of a VLE The evidence of benefits is still in its infancy however experiences of VLEs across both school and tertiary sectors appear to indicate that there is the potential for benefits in the following areas: Learning delivery Web based learning systems offer any time, anywhere access, a controlled environment, the ability to link to key intranet and internet resources, interfaces that are user friendly both for course creators and students (BECTA, 2004 p. 32).

21 21 Learning gains Sharing ideas via online conferencing can be a …powerful motivator for both disaffected students to help improve the quality of their work, and for less confident students, enabling them to participate in virtual discussion forums (BECTA, 2004 p. 32). Discussions forums have the potential to help the teacher guide individual students into higher levels of learning.

22 22 Home access Home access was found to be a strong benefit. A number of VLE developers stress the potential that their product offers for home access and out-of-hours use by pupils. Students can see and add to the work that they were doing at school when they are at home. Assignments can be completed at home, or work can be set specifically as homework to be completed on the system. Since time at home may be less constrained than in school, this could have distinct advantages (BECTA, 2004 p. 28). According to a British Government study (impaCT2) primary school children spent three times as long at home using ICT related skills than at school, and secondary students spent four times as long (DFES, 2001).

23 23 Home access The fact that parents could be granted access to a range of information about the school such as parent organisations, school announcements, holiday schedules, report cards, curriculum overviews, homework, due dates for assignments and testing dates was found by the study to be another distinct benefit of VLEs (BECTA, 2004 p. 28).

24 24 Minor subjects VLEs have the potential to allow schools to link together and run subjects that usually attract small numbers and would therefore not normally be offered. The subjects can be run as online courses with minimal face-to-face contact.

25 25 Emergency teacher cover If a teacher regularly maintains their course on the VLE with timely content, lesson notes and assessment then providing cover for them if they are absent becomes more effective.

26 26 Extra support Being able to access timely curriculum material online can also be a great benefit to students who are not able to attend school classes for an extended period due to illness. They also provide extra support for students who learn better in the comfort of their own home, rather then within the time and physical constraints of the classroom (BECTA, 2004 p. 35).

27 27 It is important to emphasis that to be an effective Virtual Learning Environment it is essential that the system has regular academic and student support. If teachers and students are not willing to use the system then it doesnt really matter how good the content or the technical features are, learning wont be enhanced. 'Only academic and student interaction can create a VLE from a VE. I think there is a danger that in the eagerness to adopt and implement VLEs, we will produce virtual environments rich in content and tools but lacking in learning… For me, the definition of whether a software is a VLE or not is how it is being used, not what it is technically capable of doing (Simpson, 2001).

28 28 The BECTA study found some common issues relating to the implementation of VLEs specifically for schools as opposed to tertiary institutions such as: a lack of time for staff training, a lack of staff time for course development, a lack of offline learning resources, such as books and library reference materials which increases the importance of allowing access to the Internet via a VLE, a lack of computer access for staff and students, a lack of flexibility in the delivery of teaching and learning. (BECTA, 2004 p. 33)

29 29 Content and function recommendations The BECTA study gave recommendations of the type of content that should be considered when using a VLE. All content must be relevant to the National (or in our case State) Curriculum. Teaching Staff must be able to add their own content. Non-teaching staff should be able to post information of general interest, eg about school events. Content should be filtered in accordance with the school's acceptable use policy (if there is one). Communications within the VLE should be via a school controlled address allocation for all student, parents and teachers.

30 30 Parents should be able to access the VLE to track their child's progress, and communicate with teachers. Access must be available from outside the school to enable full use to be made of the VLE by students and parents via the internet with standard browsers. Third party hosting is recommended to reduce the demand on the schools technical resources. A customisable home page for each student that provides access to the specific courses in which the student is undertaking but also allows for personal content such as links to favorite web sites, images, personal calendar etc. This will encourage regular use of the VLE, even if it is initially just for the personal content. The ability to change logos and styles and add and remove functions is also recommended. (BECTA, 2004 p. 31 & 32)

31 31 It is important to emphasis that to be an effective Virtual Learning Environment it is essential that the system has regular academic and student support. If teachers and students are not willing to use the system then it doesnt really matter how good the content or the technical features are, learning wont be enhanced. 'Only academic and student interaction can create a VLE from a VE. I think there is a danger that in the eagerness to adopt and implement VLEs, we will produce virtual environments rich in content and tools but lacking in learning… For me, the definition of whether a software is a VLE or not is how it is being used, not what it is technically capable of doing (Simpson, 2001).

32 32 Sources of data for Case Study Data sources in this case study will include: Stage 1 – document analysis of the Eastern Grammar computer laboratory booking sheets before and after Blackboard was made compulsory as well as any relevant policy documentation ; Stage 2 - a survey of secondary teaching staff; Stage 3 - interviews with these six teachers about the their use of the learning management and whether it has made a difference to their integration of ICT. Stay tuned for the results

33 33 Conclusion By the end of this study I hope to find out what impact the decision to make the use of Blackboard compulsory has had on the teachers at Eastern Grammar, especially in relation to their integration of ICT in their teaching practices. VLE such as Blackboard appear to be a step in the right direction in relation to preparing students for the wider world of communication technologies both in higher education and commerce. However, it is vital that as educators we emphasis the L for learning in VLE and not get carried away with the technology for technology sake.

34 34 The impact of Blackboard on Teachers use of ICT at Kim Perkins & Tim Kitchen Baptist Girls Grammar School Melbourne, Victoria Australia contact info Kim – Tim - Kim Perkins & Tim Kitchen


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