Area #01 Operational Issues

a.[ An understanding of the constraints and benefits of different technology ]

Individual computers appeared in the 70s but ready took off in the 80s thanks to the development of the Graphical User Interfaces (GUI is commonly called UI nowadays) when I just became a teenager. Thus, I feel privileged to be one of the earliest witness and adopter of the digital revolution, including its successes and many failures. Over the last twelve years, I strived to better connect academia and private sector in order to enhance student’s employability and to bridge some disconnection between codified knowledge and know-how knowledge. One of the most recent and effective tactic has been to focus on mobile technologies as a convenor for learning and teaching and as a catalyst for collaboration and professional development.

One of the key and pertinent evidence of my understanding of the constraints and benefits of different technology lies in the list of the tools that I am currently using: [ HERE ] and  [ THERE ]. In specific relation to learning and teaching, please check the list of academic publications from 2012 on ResearchGate. To summarise our research investigation, Dr Thomas Cochrane, Centre for Learning And Teaching, and myself are analysing and questioning a few design-based framework for mobile learning that are based upon a social constructivist pedagogy that enables learner-generated content and learner-generated contexts.

My motto since 2011 is “Being mobile” in both ways: literally and technologically. It has been a great learning and teaching journey for me: I have learnt to better manage and utilise the mobile eco-system which allows me to be more productive and efficient anywhere at anytime basically. This is extremely important for me because I am involved in collaborations across the globe and dealing with a few significant time differences. As a result, I feel confident to provide a good model for students, and for them to realise that, beyond the traditional and local classroom, they can experience new discoveries through multiple channels thanks to their mobile, which they carry constantly. Said differently, I am a strong believer and practitioner of Blended Learning, a mixed between face-to-face (F2F) and online interaction, with a slightly stronger emphasis on F2F with undergraduate students and the other way around with postgraduate students.


b.[ Technical knowledge and ability in the use of learning technology ]

Before being a lecturer, I worked in the Design industry for nearly 10 years and started very earlier to use web-based tools to create or managed outputs such as website, interactive banners, for instance, to communicate with collaborators and clients and to mentor some of the staff or providers. When I moved to academia, more than 10 years ago, I refined my knowledge and pragmatic experiences with both online and off-line digital systems. Please check some of the most recent examples of used tools in Area #04-Communication. Note: In order to make the reading of this portfolio easier, I haven’t included tools that I regularly used such as MoodleAdobe Connect, Blackboard, Turnitin, for instance and to name the most common ones.

It is hard to display evidence of 20+ years of use of work and industry or academic colleagues, however, please check the non-exhaustive list of tools and platform here: Connect… as well as the following [ FOLDER ] highlighting some evidence of my adoption and exercise of a vast range of learning technologies. Another good example is a join-project co-designed and co-lead with Dr Thomas Cochrane: the Mobile Augmented Reality Mobile Workshop (MARMW), which was a week-long workshop for lecturer’s professional development exploring geolocation of mobile video and the application to various learning contexts. Another evidence can be find in my willingness to keep currency through completing specific workshops such as Supervising Masters & Honours Students and Mentoring Supervisors, to name a few. Lastly, you might like to consult my skills endorsement on Linkedin or just refer to this screenshot.

Within my last 25 years of work, I realised that there are some key elements such as affordances of the technology, viability, sustainability, scalability, interoperability and value for money which are core to my principles and values. To be more precise, some of the above cited learning management system (LMS) are too top-down driven to me: the lecturer being at the top and the student at the bottom. This is why, as much as I can, I prefer to use a combination of various tools and content focus systems which empower participants: at the moment, the most relevant one for my undergraduate and postgraduate students is G+ Communities where they can be Moderator, active actors of the learning framework rather than just an end-user. My approach implies regular updates of my knowledge and my practices which could be tiring sometimes, however since the 21st Century is evolving fast, and products and companies are changing more and more rapidly as they are emerging, disappearing, merging sometimes, I feel invigorated to stay current and agile with technologies.


c.[ Supporting the deployment of learning technologies ]

Amongst the various projects and engagement with learning technologies, four of the main and distinctive latest pedagogic support that I initiated and led are:
i. the design and coordination of workshops for a wide range of participants and purposes, most of the recent workshop focussed on Mobile Video Production in terms of film but also as documentary and moving image support for research or communication.
ii. the creation of MOBile Community Of Practice (MOBCOP), since 2012, at the School of Art & Design, Auckland University of Technology, which consists in a programme of mentorship with colleagues, technical mobile support and collegial exchanges about students, curriculum and research.
iii. the co-creation, with Dr Thomas Cochrane and Karol Wilczynska, of the Mobile Social Media minor .The set of the four “15 points credits” papers explores the potential of mobile social media to act as catalysts of pedagogical change in tertiary education. The minor is underpinned by a Design-Based Research methodology (Herrington and Herrington et al., 2009) that aims to generate transferable principles for international collaboration enabled by mobile social media.
iv. the foundation and management of the COLAB-MINA lab, since 2015, at COLAB, Auckland University of Technology, which aims at fostering mobile implementation within any University, Schools or programmes across eclectic disciplines and enhancing mobile research and publications.
Both communities of practice (MOBCOP & COLAB-MINA) are focussing on the integration of mobile relevance in eclectic creative environments in education, from the classroom to publications via workshops or industry-based projects.

A few of the workshops above cited are listed [ HERE ]. In terms of the Mobile Social Media evidence, I just would like to use the two below student’s testimonial:

This class was great, I enjoyed learning about the power of social mobile media and it has opened up so many opportunities to me that I didn’t know existed. The importance of a good online profile was something that had not really occurred to me prior however i am now grateful that i have a good basis to share future work.
– Alexandra.

Generally, I found that this elective has actually changed my perceptions about apps – and really made me think about how apps are really in essence just tools or mediums that can be applied for any creative task. It’s also got me a lot more aware generally about my online presence and how I am seen in such a digital environment – which is important because as a designer/illustrator – where my work is visual – it’s important how I present myself and my work online especially because the online environment is pretty much where most people interact now. It’s been eye-opening to say the least.
– Kwok Yi.

About MOBCOP and COLAB-MINA, please refer to either the publications listed on ResearchGate, either to the above website link.

Overall, although I constantly use, promote and keep currency with learning technologies, I also appreciated to be part to the design of some systems. I have to admit that ICT is not my favorite background because of its back-end aspect, I like better the front-end possibilities and interconnections. Also, I feel proud of being one of the few successful recipient of several Learning and Teaching Fellowship and one of the core Centre for Learning And Teaching (CfLAT) Research Fellow since 2012 (for more details, please check my Linkedin profile) which involves new system and procedure development in order to improve student experience as well as delivery modes. Therefore, I intend to continue my advocacy role across all the different forms of training or professional development as well as developing further strategies and policies for a more comprehensive and ethical use of learning technologies.

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(CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

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