January 2008 Archives

Key areas for strategic planning

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At our meeting on 1.29.08, we crafted a series of key areas around which we can solicit input/feedback and develop the planning team report. This is a rough draft. Your assistance is needed I terms of wordsmithing and more clearly articulating the areas/goals.

As you read through these points, also consider that the question of where the science of learning fits into our work was raised more than once. Should we craft another area, such as building a program of study, or articulate a mechanism for integrating the expertise of learning sciences faculty across the areas identified below (particularly assessment)?

Area 1 – Become a national leader in the application of technology for educating effective school professionals (e.g., teachers, administrators, counselors) for 21st century learning environments.
We acknowledge that the College of Education is well on its way to achieving this goal. Faculty in Mathematics and Science Education have been nationally recognized for their efforts to enhance subject matter learning using cutting edge applications of technology. Secondary English and Elementary Education are implementing the EDUCATE initiative in Fall 2008, which is aimed at integrating powerful tools for ubiquitous computing into teacher preparation settings. Central to this work is the development of electronic teaching portfolios and video analysis of teaching practices. Mention other groups within the College here… Clearly the College is well positioned to meet the goal of becoming a national leader in this area. Success hinges on our ability to make progress in the areas identified below and to access the necessary resources.

Area 2 - Build capacity among faculty, including field supervisors, to use technology in support of research, teaching, and learning.
While ETC provides a number of technical services for faculty, staff and students, we are proposing an IDEA Studio in which faculty can come together around pedagogical and/or research problems to receive support in the form of professional development, access to specialized tools, etc. The Studio would be staffed by a director and project team, including a designer and/or programmer, who are skilled at communicating and responding to the needs of faculty. The Studio could be housed in 201 Chambers, and create a comfortable, lounge-like atmosphere in which faculty would be welcome to stop in and sample cutting edge tools or speak with a project consultant. The IDEA Studio would expand current efforts associated with the EDUCATE initiative to engage faculty in professional development opportunities designed to connect them with technology tools that support their work.

Area 3 - Leverage powerful technologies for facilitating communication among colleagues around both research-based and pedagogical problems of practice.
There is an increasing need to be able to engage colleagues from around the state, the country, and the world in face-to-face, real time communication about research and instructional experiences. External grants applications are often enhanced by inter-institutional research and teaching collaborations. Great potential is recognized in the ability to connect preservice teachers working in urban settings with those in suburban and rural contexts. Also, more robust interactions with teachers and university faculty from countries, such as England and Sweden, where some of our teacher education students complete their student teaching are desirable. The emergence of tools, such as Adobe Connect, iChat AV, Polycom and Skype, have provided ways to connect colleagues across great distances and diverse settings to engage in meaningful conversations and inquiries. This area/goal is aimed at developing expertise within the College about how best to use these tools to facilitate communication among geographically dispersed groups. Maybe we should add something specific about the Penn State system here…

Area 4 – Develop expertise in using technology to engage in meaningful assessment of learners, courses, and programs.

Realizing even a modest level of success in any/all of the aforementioned areas relies heavily on having access to the necessary resources, space, and expertise. If we are to achieve the goal of becoming a national leader in using technology to prepare the next generation of highly qualified school professionals, then our classroom spaces must be transformed to reflect key aspects of 21st Century learning environments. This will require an infusion of technology tools, such as projection devices, real-time data collection devices, and SmartBoards, as well as upgrades to wireless access and internet connection rates throughout the College of Education. Likewise, the success of the capacity-building goal hinges on acquiring appropriate personnel, space, and tools. College connections with ITS and vendors could assist in leveraging tools and expertise to enhance this area.

Documents to review

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Current strategic plan (2004-50 thru 2007-08) – technology section

Horizon Report
Time-to-Adoption: One Year or Less
Social Computing
Personal Broadcasting
Time-to-Adoption: Two to Three Years
The Phones in Their Pockets
Educational Gaming
Time-to-Adoption: Four to Five Years
Augmented Reality and Enhanced Visualization
Context-Aware Environments and Devices

P21 Framework
Partnership for 21st Century Learning Framework

Open meeting with faculty, staff, and students

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College of Education Colleagues,

As part of the College of Education strategic planning process, the Ubiquitous Computing, Telecommunications and the Science of Learning Study Team invites you to attend an open meeting of faculty, staff and students.

Wednesday, February 13th
2-3:30 PM
221 Chambers Building

We are looking forward to your input in the planning process.

Kathy Heid
Chris Hoadley
Scott McDonald
Orrin Murray
Brian Smith
Carla Zembal-Saul

Sent on January 24th, 2008.

1.24.08 Meeting Notes

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In attendance: Carla, Kathy, Chris, Orrin

Content area learning was not mentioned in the possible list of topics to address. Maybe it should be considered central to our recommendations. KH

Supporting meaningful subject matter learning with technology.
Supporting teacher education – preservice and practicing teachers – with technology.

We need to attend to professional development of school personnel v. merely the preparation. Reference to “student facing technologies.” CH

We discussed the steering committee’s attention to Learning Sciences (the Science of Learning) embedded within our committee title and the committee charge.

The educational problem we are attempting to address/solve ⇒ The changing technological landscape in K-16 education. How do we equip school professionals to deal with what learners bring to the table?

swot.jpgThings to consider through the SWOT process (see attached image):
Being known for “unquestionable” expertise in preparing professionals for using technology in powerful ways. The state might recognize that and bring us into the conversation about policy decisions.

Inventing new technologies v. adopting emerging/existing technologies. We have the expertise in house to do this. CH

What is our “special sauce”? An inquiry stance toward practice? Engaging in continuous improvement of practice in an evidence-based way. Beyond “life long learners.” OM/CZS

Meta-Note ⇒ Most of our conversation is focused on teacher ed. Do we need to be inclusive of other professionals, such as counselors, administrators, etc.? Adult ed? CH/CZS

Technology-supported communities of practice. Collaboration, communication, around problems of practice (which could include research communities and/or connecting university folks with school-based professionals and with those preparing to enter the field). CZS/KH

UB communication through technology. Bring the classrooms here. Bring researchers together, counselors, etc.  KH

Expertise in this area could be useful within the university system and could unite the 24 campuses (in theory) CH/CZS

Connecting communities could make best use of social computing tools, broadcasting/podcasting, gaming and augmented reality. CZS

Committee background

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Taken from the College of Education Strategic Planning Framework.

Ubiquitous Computing, Telecommunications, and the Science of Learning
Lead Member of the Leadership Team:  Carla Zembal-Saul
Other Invited Members of the Leadership Team:  Kathy Heid, Orrin Murray, Scott McDonald, Chris Hoadley, and Brian Smith

Possible overarching themes for Strategic planning:
•    Teaching and Learning for the Improvement of Life for All Learners in a Changing World
•    Building Effective Pathways to Learning for All in a Changing World
•    Building Effective and Universal Pathways to Learning in a Changing World

Committee Background:

The College has already embarked upon an ambitious effort to infuse modern computing and telecommunication technology into its teacher preparation programs thanks to the EDUCATE initiative.  We have also been attentive to the links we can and should build between our programs in Educational Psychology, Instructional Systems, and Curriculum and Instruction around a Learning Sciences or Science of Learning theme.  Several recent and pending faculty hires have been made with this kind of goal in mind.  We are also mindful of opportunities for collaboration around these themes with other units at Penn State, perhaps most obviously in the College of Information Sciences and Technology.

Suggested Areas to Consider:

•    Teaching and Learning in a Multi-Media, Multi-Literacy, Technology Rich Millennium
•    Applying Principles of Learning to Emerging Technologies
•    Cognitive Psychology
•    Modern Instructional Design
•    Possible anthropological dimensions
•    Users change the technology . . . Technology changes the users . . .
•    Pre-service professional preparation (teachers and others . . . )
•    Applications to Outreach and Continuing Education
•    Information Management
•    Safety and Security Issues
•    Longer term implications
•    Applications in Rural Areas
•    How can/will we measure progress and results?
•    Connections to the 7 Challenges in the Framework to Foster Diversity

Collaborative Considerations:

•    Links with the STEM Education Study Team
•    Links with the Literacy and the Arts in Education Study Team
•    Links with the Teacher Education Study Team

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