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My name is Janson Hews, I'm currently Education Manager
at The Powerhouse Museum. And I was motivated to study eLearning
because I wanted to see how it might apply to my work
practice in broader. One of my recent assignments was
a subject called eLearning Technologies. And as part of that assignment,
we had to develop a technology plan. So that was more or less an argument for
why we should integrate this particular technology to enhance learning
in your professional workplace. And what I did for that particular
assignment was develop up a technology plan for
the use of mobile video conferencing unit. Fast forward a couple of months
to my professional practice. I presented that similar
argument to executive staff and we're successful in acquiring a mobile,
and video conference unit. So with the video
conferencing programming, we'll have a range of ways in
which we broadcast that out. So that might be point to point, in which
case we're going to one particular school, or it might be In the vast majority
of the cases multiple points. So you'll have anywhere
between three to five to more schools participating in that, which
means you could effectively be reaching anywhere between 50 to
150 students real-time. With that comes a lot of moderation and a
lot of being able to jump between schools. And what is the best model there,
is when you get conversations happening between the schools, rather than just say,
from the museum to one particular school. That takes a bit of work,
but that's the best outcome. And so the way in which,
I've applied the learning there was being able to get an insight into,
what methodology and teaching practice is going to best
transfer, into that mode of technology. So we've got a lot of programs
that we run at the museum which educate [INAUDIBLE]
in the gallery spaces. So how can you take that same experience
and that same content that's already been developed and adapt it for
that online experience. For example,
we'll often do experiences such as a transport tour where we actually
explore the gallery space and augment that with a mix of video,
still image and live footage. And we try to replicate
as much as possible and stay true to the format in terms
of making it highly interactive. In terms of what the interactive
experience might be using video conferencing at museum, we will take
something like a science show which is very much a format that's
relying on interaction. So you have,
the educator delivering material, but so much of that relies on
the response from the audience and to resolve some of the questions and
open-ended questioning. So, what we do in the instance
of say a science show, is make sure that interactivity is put
at the center of the experience and, we'll often do things
like supply material and resources prior to the fact, prior to
the actual video conference workshop, so that teachers can prepare students,
give them a bit more contextual understanding of what that learning
experience is going to be like. Have the students think about what some of
the questions that they might have around some of the science concepts,
for example, or of the educator. And what we'll also do is have
follow up activities after the fact. So it's this sort of continuum of learning
that we look at for that experience. Because what I'm really conscious of is
that, while the video conferencing is great for that real time interaction and
that synchronous learning, what's the experience that leads
up to that and after the fact? because there's so much more learning
that goes on outside of that as well. The other thing that we do in
terms of the interactivity, is making sure that those
experiences at the student's end is, especially for younger audiences,
is something that's physical. So we try and engage the physical body as
much as possible, whether that be forming, responding to particular things or
getting them to get up and move about rather than them just
looking at a large static screen. In terms of the technologies that
we're using for video conferencing, at one end of the spectrum we're using
mobile video conferencing technology, where there's restrictions at
the museum for the actual kit and not being reliant on
the studio which we have. So the benefit there is that you can
go into the gallery, the experience is much more low tech but it's much more
realistic in terms of being out for the students being able to
see the specific context. The benefit as well is that on
that level of interactivity, we can have students more or
less direct where that goes. So if you open up the question,
then you can have students say, oh, can you show us over there? Can you take us over there? Which gives us the capacity to do it. Whereas, if you're in a studio setting,
the main control that you might have is around different camera angles or
different positions for cameras. So that allows us one way for
the audience, our learners to navigate some
of those learning experiences. In the majority of state schools, they
have video conferencing technology and depending on where they're
located they'll have that situated in either really good place or
a really difficult place. It becomes that little more difficult for
secondary because they'll often be one point which with time tabling
makes that little bit harder, but the majority of schools have the
technology at their disposal currently. What we're finding is that more and more schools are sourcing ways
of going outside of that and utilizing other technologies such as
Google Hangout, Adobe Connect for example. There's certain restrictions on state
schools in terms of how they might use that, but there is a lot of exciting
work that is being done for, say, Google Hangouts and the possible
partnerships that happen there. The benefit there, as well, is that
the reach becomes that much more global, because they're not closed systems. You're able to get
schools from Honolulu to Australia through to Denmark and
have that conversation online. The production on the other
ones are very onerous, you have to have someone that's
operating the tricast, and you have to have a staff member
that set the cameras up. And while the experience is really rich,
it can be quite laborious and sometimes take away from the magic
of exploring a gallery, for example. It's a mix of formal evaluation and also informal evaluation using drawing and
written responses. In terms of evaluation of some
of the more formal programs, we'll have our formal methods which will
be getting students to complete surveys, getting teachers to complete surveys. Other ways which have been really
useful in terms of getting insights from students in the bigger
concepts that they're learning, we use a lot of drawing for example,
especially for the younger audiences. So we might pose the question what did you
learn from your visit to the museum today? And we get the students to draw that,
so for example, if they're doing a transport tour there
may be a number of key characters and a number of key objects which
are featured in there, and we look to see how often those
kind of images are communicated. That's evaluating, assessing
students recall of some of those. But it's also some of the concepts that
we might communicate on one of those experiences and questions are able to
visualize that and communicate that. In terms of monitoring the delivery of
teaching from a teaching perspective I find documenting that process
throughout and reflecting on that and massive means of evaluating how effective,
your improvements of being. In terms of how it's effective,
that's your own personal use of it, in terms of how effective it is from
the students' perspective, I think ongoing feedback and listening that from
the students is really important. And you can kind of see where things
are sort of falling down in terms of that particular technology
is not being used or that particular approach
is not being taken up. And I think from the teacher's
perspective it's being really conscious of what's working and what's not. And the same kind of checking mechanisms
that you'd have face to face or in a classroom setting,
it does apply online. So, why aren't those
things being taken out, why aren't people delivering on some of
those things, and reflecting on that. In terms of tools online to
assist levels of learning, I think you've got the cold hard facts and the material is really important to
assess for that particular task. I think it's also important to see what
learning is happening outside of that and not being too restrictive in it. And I think being conscious of otherwise
in which that learning might manifest. So, in some instances it's
not purely the final mark, its the extent to which collaboration
happened, or the extent to which those students supported other students in their
learning, and building a bigger picture of what that online learning experiences
which isn't simply completing the task.

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