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Keynote: Rainey - Cyberlearning – advancing innovations in education Daphne Rainey

Keynote by Daphine Rainey at AECT Conference, 29th October

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Gráinne Conole
29 October 2009

Programme director at NSF

Focus on cyberlearning and how this is being developed in NSF programmes

Technology, education and policy in 40 minutes…

  • NSF division of u/g education
  • What’s in the cyberlearning climate?
  • Students and technology
  • Brief look at technologies in schools
  • New tools @NSF
  • Take the educational challenge

Programs to advance u/g STEM education through improved..

  • Bridges between secondary and HE
  • 2-yr technological education
  • Pedagogy
  • Research experiences
  • Interdisciplinary STEM courses
  • Lab improvements
  • Scholarship programs for STEM education
  • Mentoring for students traditionally under-represented in STEM

What’s in the technological climate?

  • 80 years of technology in education
  • Cycle: emerging technologies and educational audiences
  • 1923 – new visualisation technologies
  • 1940/50s - technology specialists
  • 1960 – technology to improve STEM education
  • 1980s - new computer technologies
  • 1990 - technology specialists
  • 2000s – technology and STEM education for 21st Century Learners

Defining optimal technology use

...use of technology as a catalyst for changing schools in ways that better support the acquisition of higher order skills by all students

Technology use is integrated into activities that are a core part of the classroom curriculum

Technology supports student performance of an authentic task

Technology treated as a tool to help accomplish complex tasks

Means, B., Blando, J., Olson, K., Middleton, T., Morocco, C.C., Remz A.R. and Zorfass, J. 1993 Using technology to support education reform. Washington, D: US Government Printing Office

What happens when the audience has more technological SAVVY than the educator?

Glimpses of a changed environment

2008 Project tomorrow speak up stakeholder survey

Students, schools and learning – its is widely accepted by students that arrival at school means powering down for a few hours. After school they resume their technology infused lives and leverage a wide range of emerging technologies to fine tune their skills in communicating, collaborating, creating and contributing

Technology had enabled students to be not only uber communicators but also to develop strong teamwork skills and to view the process of content development as a key part of the new learning process

Capturing technologically savvy millenials

Edutopia – George Lucas Educational Foundation

Digital Generation project

Who are these students?

Self directed learning

Untethered to traditional education

Expert at personal data etc

Self paced

How do we support them?

From project tomorrow – creating digital textooks – can personalise, ability to personalise their book with electronic highlights or notes, self-evaluate, access to real data, links to powerpoints or class lectures, games or animations and simulations, links to videoconferences or podcasts from subject experts

These kids don’t phone, they text – 160 characters

Administrators and teachers perceptions


  • Company/district introduction of new technology
  • Does it help with student performance or standards
  • How to assess teachers and students
  • Hidden cost of adoption
  • District internet use policy


  • Administrator or district introduces new hardware or software
  • Student software introductions
  • Student assessment
  • Professional support?
  • Assessment – student and teacher – on new technology
  • District internet use policy

NSF cyber programs - innovation and transformation

  • NSDL National STEM Education and Distributed Learning (Started 1999) Aims to get high quality resources available to all
  • OCI Office of Cyberstrcture Cyberinfrastructure emerged as a term ca. 2003. Goal is to provide as many communities accces to high performace computing and network as much as possible and support education and reseach in those areas
  • CDI (Cyberanable learning and Discovery Program started 2007 Looking at complex scientific data and exploring new concepts. Aims to explore radically new concepts, approaches and tools at the intersection of computing and bioldgy. 5 themes - knowledge extraction, interacting elements, computational experimentation, virtual environments and educationa research and studetns in computational discovery

Cyberlearning Initiative report out last year - what is cyberlearning?  58 page report, "imperative that NSF establish a coherent approach to cyberlearning to enable the transformational promise of technology for improving educational opportunity"

Integrative technology that can be used transformatively in learning, for example use of interactive GIS maps, technology augmentation to the learning process. enables things that wouldn't be possible otherwise


  • Extend strategic partnerships, including public-private partnerships

But a climate check on education...

How are we leaving behind?

  • Only 71% of 9th grader graduate from high school
  • 2000 schools produce 50% of nations dropouts
  • Lack of student engagemne is key predictor of dropping out
  • Unemployment and poverty

So innovation and transformative education in a climate of the face of a national crisis

Persistent challenges in u/g education - disconnect in student preparedness, need to engage students early, forge strong links betewwn K-12 and universities, institutions/faculty/teachers need to know their studnets, increase faculty access to and support iin using new pedagogy, incorporating new technologies, address student demographics (Latino population fastest growing, least likely to go to college)

Advancing educational partnerships

  • Maths Science Partnership - MSP program 2002. Supports partnerships between K-12 and others For example Stark Country Maths Science Partnership
  • Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) 2003.Preparing professionals and IT works in the US CITERA Comprehesnive IT Education in Rural Areas

Defining optimal technology use - Are we there yet?

Going back to Means et al (1993) In some cases we are there=, in others not

Cyber challlenge

  • Evaluation of technology - use and integration
  • Understand modern learners
  • Repsond to needs of educators
  • Develop a population with the capacity to recognise and solve complext problmes

Kyla Calvert Jul 30 2009 columbia/

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