An opportunity to share research in a friendly environment.
Writing for publication is a challenging process for any new tutor joining universities. Learn about the features of a good presentation and what your audience is looking for. How to transfer this to the development of a publication as well as general advice for early career researchers.
In November 1969 the Sunderland Echo pronounced “County Hall enters the space race”. We are often assured that computers at this time were in their infancy. But there is evidence that Higher Education worked with schools to introduce computing years earlier. A later article in the same month reported that a local school (in Sunderland) had a Computer Club and that Computing was on the curriculum within the school in the sixth form and had regular visits to the Polytechnic Computers and this research has revealed evidence of pupils having at least visited computers in the early 1960s. Although such links may have been rare, the introduction of computing into the curriculum came about alongside support for the subject by Higher Education. Most of the articles I have read suggest that computing links between HE and school happened in later decades but the evidence I have found refutes this.
The aim of the research is to consider the parallels and differences between the early introduction of computing into schools and the changes of 2014.
Over the years the movement away from computing and towards IT was less related to higher education.
The catalyst to curriculum reform in 2014 which reintroduced computing into the school curriculum may appear to be led by government but there was strong influence from Higher Education Computing Departments. Again, support was provided by Universities to schools in developing the subject for their pupils. The presentation will discuss the parallels between the introduction of computing into the curriculum as a STEM subject both in the early years of Computing and in the more recent changes of 2014.
Will this ‘new’ curriculum really help to develop a greater quantity of computing graduates in future years in the manner envisaged or are there lessons which could be learned from the past?
The past few decades have included a parallel process of destruction and construction in the life of our global family. Iconic examples include the Holocaust and the Internet; one aimed to disconnect the human family by eliminating an entire part of its membership, the other made connecting each person to the other possible. Leading voices echo similar realities. For instance, the UNHCR reports the highest number of refugees fleeing conflict, while Harvard’s Steven Pinker argues we live in the most violence-free era in history. Generation Alpha lives at the heart of this parallel process. This means they have the opportunity, information and tools to choose a life that contributes to the constructive process or the destructive process. This research argues that education is the primary factor that can enable Generation Alpha to engage in the former. While many factors contribute to the overall development of each person, the curricula they are educated with, is the strongest enabling factor, including in EdTech. A growing body of materials and resources provide for education and training of children, including middle childhood, when most children transition from a perspective that is dominated by self to one that also includes, and defines the basis of relating through universal human rights and responsibilities, to ‘the other’, be it in families, communities or societies at large. This is particularly evident in the burgeoning field of EdTech, where learning spaces may no longer be confined to the kids on the block, but the kids in other continents. This shift in reach and diversity calls for a much richer curriculum, one that enables the learner to develop inherent characteristics that enable each to engage in lifelong constructive processes through ideas, expressions and actions that foster the best life for one’s self and society.
This paper brings together two ideas I have explored over recent years. The first is the changing nature of liberties offered to the young by an increasingly technological environment. The paper asks if both the negative and positive behaviours exercised online are expressions of the natural, often benign, characteristics that have always marked our youth but have migrated to a digital landscape where they have new significance because the young have lost liberty to explore the real world on their own terms? https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/day-remember-laurence-boulter/ The other is a need for teachers, as a profession, to join pupils in a feral landscape where they can provide the same guidance and care teachers do in the non-digital world. Should social networking not only be on the curriculum, but actively enabled by schools? https://www.nexus-education.com/learning-in-a-digital-landscape/
Research, recently carried out by Cengage, a global education and technology company, has investigated some of the most prescient issues that higher education institutions and content providers can work together to address. More specifically the Student Voices research has explored the learning challenges higher education students most commonly encounter and their use and attitude towards digital learning resources.
The Student Voices research was carried out by independent market research company, Shift Learning. Students across the UK, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and South Africa were surveyed, resulting in 772 respondents.
For first year students the most commonly cited challenge was ‘independent learning’ (38%), whilst by the third year it was ‘interpreting data’. Taken more broadly, modules they find most challenging vary by subject. Business and Economics related students, for example, often find certain modules challenging due to the mathematical/statistical aspects.
The research also finds that 79% of students state that digital resources are an essential part of their course. The majority stated that they are always looking to try out something new, suggesting that students are open to new digital options. Those digital resources and tools offering online reading and practice questions are used the most frequently. These are conducive to enabling independent learning and is in line with the higher number of students who suggest that independent learning is a challenge.
More generally, respondents feel that their course experience could be improved through more one-to-one guidance, more support on assignments and the provision of more digital resources, including more information on where to find them and how to use them.
Jason Bennett, Digital Solutions Marketing Manager at Cengage, will talk through these findings and discuss the wider questions they raise in terms of how digital resources can enrich the curriculum, provide more equal learning opportunities and improve the wider student experience.
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