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Online Global Collaborative Educators and Pedagogical Change (Paper table 4)

[Listen and learn : Research paper]

Monday, June 27, 2:30–3:30 pm
CCC 109, Table 4

favoritesJulie Lindsay  
Learn about the experiences of educators who are implementing online global collaboration and explore approaches that may be influencing pedagogical change.

Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, PC, Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Technology infrastructure
Topic: Emergent technologies
ISTE Standards: Teachers : Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments
Administrators : Excellence in professional practice
Coaches : Content knowledge and professional growth
Additional detail: ISTE Professional Learning Network pick, Global Collaboration strand session


Proposal summary

Framework

Summary of the theoretical framework
 The theoretical framework for this proposed research is informed in part by constructivism and constructivist pedagogy that supports collaborative learning. Constructivism (Piaget, 1929) informs the construction of knowledge while constructionism is when learners construct a meaningful product in the real world (Papert, 1986). Collaborative learning combines constructionism with social learning and is sometimes referred to as ‘social constructivism’ (Laurillard, 2009). Social learning also aligns with the theory and practice of connectivism (Siemens, 2006) where the end-user constructs knowledge through contribution and involvement within the network, and collaborativism where knowledge is constructed with the facilitation of social and cultural tools (de Sousa, 2014). According to Laurillard (2012) the combination of social learning and constructionism needs to be clarified to inform pedagogical design in order to clearly show what makes collaborative learning unique and valuable.
 The Taxonomy of Global Connection, developed by (Lindsay & Davis, 2012) shares a stepped approach to help educators plan online global collaboration. It is informed in part by the revised Blooms Taxonomy of Educational Objectives that classifies educational goals, objectives and standards and shares how a learning pathway progresses (Krathwohl, 2002), and in part by practical and lived experiences in online global collaboration of the researcher. The learning in the lower levels enables building of skills in the higher levels, which is a constructivist application. Starting with Level 1: Intra-connection (within your own class) and culminating in Level 5: Student to student (with student management) educators can design appropriate online local and global experiences for their students. It is proposed this taxonomy will be used in this research to determine current educator levels of online global collaboration (See Appendix C).
 Online collaborative construction environments (Laurillard, 2012) that foster student interaction rely on the teacher understanding pedagogic design for collaborative learning and how best to use the technology to support it. A ‘Conversational Framework’ for thinking about the design of learning and teaching developed by Laurillard (2009) includes instructionism, social learning, constructionism and collaborative learning with educators, students and peers. It is proposed this model be used as a starting point for the research with a view to building the global overlay of connected and collaborative learning beyond the immediate class, and beyond the hierarchy of an educator as main designer of content.
Research focus question
How might online global collaboration influence educators’ pedagogical approaches?
Sub-questions:
1. What are the experiences of educators who implement online global collaboration?
2. How do educators’ beliefs about the use of educational technology influence their engagement in online global collaboration?
3. To what extent are new pedagogies emerging and how are these adding value to online global collaboration?

Online global collaboration
 Online global collaboration, as distinct from online collaborative learning communities or technology integration, is where global partnerships are made for the purpose of working and learning together on specific goals and co-creating new knowledge. Key factors are the use of online technologies, key design features of the collaboration as well as changes made in teaching and learning structures for all collaborative partners involved (Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2005). Social learning theory informs that learning is a social activity that is most effective when personally meaningful products are created by engaged learners (Etienne Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002).
 Recent research has analysed the work of educators who include global projects and global education into their class and/or curriculum (Leppisaari & Lee, 2012; Oran, 2011; Smirnova & Ivushkina, 2013; Wells, 2007). Additionally, research includes the use of social media and Web 2.0 to make global connections (Arteaga, 2012; Greenhow & Robelia, 2009; Oran, 2011) and learning through the use of social media (Casey & Evans, 2011). These examples share what is possible and highlight those who are already embracing online technologies to connect within and beyond the classroom.
 Research on educators engaged in telecollaborative projects through the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN, http://iearn.org) (Oran, 2011) showed that they framed a conceptualization of global education around their own experiences and values and around students’ needs and experiences. Although educators lacked formal preparation for global learning they integrated global education into their classrooms because of their personal commitment to it, and in spite of a lack of formal curriculum. Through online global collaboration at the undergraduate level Smirnova and Ivushkina (2013) often found cultural stereotypes were broken and that learning took many forms, including language skills, use of technology and collaborative learning. The study by Leppisaari and Lee (2012) of elementary level students connecting between two countries showed how the use of technology for collaboration can be strengthened in meaningful ways and identified pedagogic models based more on what did not work. They observed that challenges to online global collaboration included varying conditions that exist in respective schools, systems and countries; cultural differences impacting communication styles; interruptions in the timeline affecting completion of agreed outcomes and the attitudes and habits individual educators have that can make collaboration a success or not.
New pedagogical approaches
 Emerging practices with technology that support collaboration such as sharing, dialogue, and participation, are not new but the emergence of Web 2.0 and designed collaborative learning structures can now organise the learning around the user as a node in the network, rather than around the educator. New conceptual frameworks include networked learning, personal learning environments (Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Hodgson & McConnell, 2012) and finding a balance between structure and learning autonomy as students take more control of the learning process (Drexler, 2010). Pedagogical models relate to the abstract concepts about the learning and teaching process (Collis & Moonen, 2006) and underlie an instructional approach where the focus is on becoming a member of a community of practice and includes contextuality, social constructivism, cooperative learning, belonging, participating, and communicating (p. 52). For the networked society McLoughlin and Lee (2008) share the three p’s of pedagogy: personalisation, participation and productivity that include learner agency, communication and collaboration, and contribution to knowledge as well as learner-created content. 
 As the Internet became more prevalent in classrooms, Garrison and Anderson (2003) wrote about context and process being attended to in order to achieve quality education asking how networks and interactive pedagogies positively address the quality of the learning experience. Spires, Wiebe, Young, Hollebrands and Lee (2009) suggested in the new learning ecology educators make a pedagogical shift to accommodate learning that is continuous, changing, and values the individual nature of each learner. The pedagogical framework developed by Laurillard (2009) ‘Computer-supported collaborative learning’ has tested whether the design of the collaborative environment is sufficiently rich to support effective learning. Effective pedagogic design is difficult for online collaborative authoring and discussion environments that are intended to produce shared output because of different expectations and subsequent differing roles of students and educators therefore technology is an enabler only if the learning is carefully designed (Laurillard, 2012). The works of Callaghan and Bower (2012) and Casey and Evans (2011) reveal factors affecting behaviour and learning in social networking sites and focus on pedagogical implications and in doing so challenge traditional modes of teaching and learning.
 Fullan, Langworthy and Barber (2014) discuss ‘new pedagogies’ arising from the new learning partnership between and among students and educators when using digital technologies for deeper learning across the globe. Pedagogical capacity, an educator’s repertoire of teaching strategies and partnerships for learning, has and will continue to change as technology becomes more pervasive to include content delivery and consumption as well as collaboration and creation of new knowledge and a focus on the process of learning (Fullan et al., 2014).
Pedagogical change
 The proposed research has a focus on the pedagogical change that is taking place to accommodate new learning modes as well as educator development of skills and attitudes to facilitate online global collaborative learning experiences. This relates to how participatory and socio-technical practices leading to online global collaboration and adoption of innovative pedagogies support a paradigm shift in teaching and learning (Facer, 2011). According to McLoughlin and Lee (2010), pedagogical change requires knowledge of appropriate teaching methods and awareness of the learner experience while using Web 2.0 technologies and social media. A wiki can be pedagogically ineffective if it does no more than replicate a publishing environment (Laurillard, 2012). Users of the wiki need to read beyond their own pages not inhibited from changing what others have written, contribute beyond set school hours, and ultimately feel ownership of the product (Wheeler, Yeomans & Wheeler, 2008).
 The wave of technologies in schools including new relationships between humans and technology over the past 20 years (Facer, 2011) has supported pedagogical change in learning including the capacity to allow for sharing ideas and learning from and with a worldwide community and a more participatory experience with customizable outcomes by the participants (Davidson & Goldberg, 2009). Arteaga (2012) researched outlier educators who used collaboration to formulate a digital pedagogy and concluded that what is needed is educator professional learning that adopts social interactive practices in conjunction with reorganisation of learning spaces (physical and virtual) to accommodate new modes of knowledge flow, as well as opportunities for learner connection, recombination and re-creation. Arteaga also found social media based outlier pedagogies “make learning relevant and obsolete teaching focused on finite knowledge acquisition” (Arteaga, 2012, p. 178), and that “[h]istorically, educational research has supported learning that develops independent thinkers, creative, intrinsic motivated learners. The outlier teaching pedagogy builds on that knowledge, adding collaborative global communal learning that is unconstrained by geographical location” (p. 177).
 Research has shown educators are not changing in the expected constructivist direction through the use of ICT (Fullan et al., 2014; Orlando, 2013; Somekh, 2008). The advent of new technologies in the classroom has not necessarily changed pedagogy. Sustainability of innovation by educators using technology relies on their enthusiasm and skill and external factors in place, such as a supportive community (Owston, 2007). Findings show a dispositional shift can accompany a very brief and limited ICT-based learning experience embedded within existing programs (Smith, Moyer & Schugar, 2011). The use of ICT for teaching and learning, according to Somekh (2008), depends on the “interlocking cultural, social and organisational contexts in which they work” (p. 450) and that “ICTs, when used in ways that make use of their affordances, are a powerful driver for change” (p. 458).
 Research related to educators as agents of change, qualities of and conditions for implementing online global collaborative projects using ICT, and pedagogical beliefs (An & Reigeluth, 2011; Ertmer et al., 2012; Kim, Kim, Lee, Spector & DeMeester, 2013; Laurillard, 2009; Owston, 2007; Somekh, 2008; Zhao, Pugh, Sheldon & Byers, 2002) showed that barriers to technology integration not only include hardware and software issues but teacher beliefs and attitudes. Duke, Harper and Johnston (2013) questioned the catalyst for changing educators’ practice to more constructivist or connectivist approaches, while Ertmer (2005) examined whether increased and prolonged technology use prompts a change in practice, and pedagogical beliefs.
 A multiple case study research design employed by Ertmer et al. (2012) examined similarities and differences among pedagogical beliefs and technology practices of educators using emerging technologies. Results suggest knowledge and skills as well as attitudes and beliefs (described as second-order barriers) not hardware, software and networking issues (known as first-order barriers) are the gatekeepers to better use of technology for learning. Greenhow et al. (2009) found similar barriers and enablers to learning using Web 2.0 technologies.

Methods

Summary of the theoretical framework
 The theoretical framework for this proposed research is informed in part by constructivism and constructivist pedagogy that supports collaborative learning. Constructivism (Piaget, 1929) informs the construction of knowledge while constructionism is when learners construct a meaningful product in the real world (Papert, 1986). Collaborative learning combines constructionism with social learning and is sometimes referred to as ‘social constructivism’ (Laurillard, 2009). Social learning also aligns with the theory and practice of connectivism (Siemens, 2006) where the end-user constructs knowledge through contribution and involvement within the network, and collaborativism where knowledge is constructed with the facilitation of social and cultural tools (de Sousa, 2014). According to Laurillard (2012) the combination of social learning and constructionism needs to be clarified to inform pedagogical design in order to clearly show what makes collaborative learning unique and valuable.
 The Taxonomy of Global Connection, developed by (Lindsay & Davis, 2012) shares a stepped approach to help educators plan online global collaboration. It is informed in part by the revised Blooms Taxonomy of Educational Objectives that classifies educational goals, objectives and standards and shares how a learning pathway progresses (Krathwohl, 2002), and in part by practical and lived experiences in online global collaboration of the researcher. The learning in the lower levels enables building of skills in the higher levels, which is a constructivist application. Starting with Level 1: Intra-connection (within your own class) and culminating in Level 5: Student to student (with student management) educators can design appropriate online local and global experiences for their students. It is proposed this taxonomy will be used in this research to determine current educator levels of online global collaboration (See Appendix C).
 Online collaborative construction environments (Laurillard, 2012) that foster student interaction rely on the teacher understanding pedagogic design for collaborative learning and how best to use the technology to support it. A ‘Conversational Framework’ for thinking about the design of learning and teaching developed by Laurillard (2009) includes instructionism, social learning, constructionism and collaborative learning with educators, students and peers. It is proposed this model be used as a starting point for the research with a view to building the global overlay of connected and collaborative learning beyond the immediate class, and beyond the hierarchy of an educator as main designer of content.
Research focus question
How might online global collaboration influence educators’ pedagogical approaches?
Sub-questions:
1. What are the experiences of educators who implement online global collaboration?
2. How do educators’ beliefs about the use of educational technology influence their engagement in online global collaboration?
3. To what extent are new pedagogies emerging and how are these adding value to online global collaboration?

Online global collaboration
 Online global collaboration, as distinct from online collaborative learning communities or technology integration, is where global partnerships are made for the purpose of working and learning together on specific goals and co-creating new knowledge. Key factors are the use of online technologies, key design features of the collaboration as well as changes made in teaching and learning structures for all collaborative partners involved (Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2005). Social learning theory informs that learning is a social activity that is most effective when personally meaningful products are created by engaged learners (Etienne Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002).
 Recent research has analysed the work of educators who include global projects and global education into their class and/or curriculum (Leppisaari & Lee, 2012; Oran, 2011; Smirnova & Ivushkina, 2013; Wells, 2007). Additionally, research includes the use of social media and Web 2.0 to make global connections (Arteaga, 2012; Greenhow & Robelia, 2009; Oran, 2011) and learning through the use of social media (Casey & Evans, 2011). These examples share what is possible and highlight those who are already embracing online technologies to connect within and beyond the classroom.
 Research on educators engaged in telecollaborative projects through the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN, http://iearn.org) (Oran, 2011) showed that they framed a conceptualization of global education around their own experiences and values and around students’ needs and experiences. Although educators lacked formal preparation for global learning they integrated global education into their classrooms because of their personal commitment to it, and in spite of a lack of formal curriculum. Through online global collaboration at the undergraduate level Smirnova and Ivushkina (2013) often found cultural stereotypes were broken and that learning took many forms, including language skills, use of technology and collaborative learning. The study by Leppisaari and Lee (2012) of elementary level students connecting between two countries showed how the use of technology for collaboration can be strengthened in meaningful ways and identified pedagogic models based more on what did not work. They observed that challenges to online global collaboration included varying conditions that exist in respective schools, systems and countries; cultural differences impacting communication styles; interruptions in the timeline affecting completion of agreed outcomes and the attitudes and habits individual educators have that can make collaboration a success or not.
New pedagogical approaches
 Emerging practices with technology that support collaboration such as sharing, dialogue, and participation, are not new but the emergence of Web 2.0 and designed collaborative learning structures can now organise the learning around the user as a node in the network, rather than around the educator. New conceptual frameworks include networked learning, personal learning environments (Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Hodgson & McConnell, 2012) and finding a balance between structure and learning autonomy as students take more control of the learning process (Drexler, 2010). Pedagogical models relate to the abstract concepts about the learning and teaching process (Collis & Moonen, 2006) and underlie an instructional approach where the focus is on becoming a member of a community of practice and includes contextuality, social constructivism, cooperative learning, belonging, participating, and communicating (p. 52). For the networked society McLoughlin and Lee (2008) share the three p’s of pedagogy: personalisation, participation and productivity that include learner agency, communication and collaboration, and contribution to knowledge as well as learner-created content. 
 As the Internet became more prevalent in classrooms, Garrison and Anderson (2003) wrote about context and process being attended to in order to achieve quality education asking how networks and interactive pedagogies positively address the quality of the learning experience. Spires, Wiebe, Young, Hollebrands and Lee (2009) suggested in the new learning ecology educators make a pedagogical shift to accommodate learning that is continuous, changing, and values the individual nature of each learner. The pedagogical framework developed by Laurillard (2009) ‘Computer-supported collaborative learning’ has tested whether the design of the collaborative environment is sufficiently rich to support effective learning. Effective pedagogic design is difficult for online collaborative authoring and discussion environments that are intended to produce shared output because of different expectations and subsequent differing roles of students and educators therefore technology is an enabler only if the learning is carefully designed (Laurillard, 2012). The works of Callaghan and Bower (2012) and Casey and Evans (2011) reveal factors affecting behaviour and learning in social networking sites and focus on pedagogical implications and in doing so challenge traditional modes of teaching and learning.
 Fullan, Langworthy and Barber (2014) discuss ‘new pedagogies’ arising from the new learning partnership between and among students and educators when using digital technologies for deeper learning across the globe. Pedagogical capacity, an educator’s repertoire of teaching strategies and partnerships for learning, has and will continue to change as technology becomes more pervasive to include content delivery and consumption as well as collaboration and creation of new knowledge and a focus on the process of learning (Fullan et al., 2014).
Pedagogical change
 The proposed research has a focus on the pedagogical change that is taking place to accommodate new learning modes as well as educator development of skills and attitudes to facilitate online global collaborative learning experiences. This relates to how participatory and socio-technical practices leading to online global collaboration and adoption of innovative pedagogies support a paradigm shift in teaching and learning (Facer, 2011). According to McLoughlin and Lee (2010), pedagogical change requires knowledge of appropriate teaching methods and awareness of the learner experience while using Web 2.0 technologies and social media. A wiki can be pedagogically ineffective if it does no more than replicate a publishing environment (Laurillard, 2012). Users of the wiki need to read beyond their own pages not inhibited from changing what others have written, contribute beyond set school hours, and ultimately feel ownership of the product (Wheeler, Yeomans & Wheeler, 2008).
 The wave of technologies in schools including new relationships between humans and technology over the past 20 years (Facer, 2011) has supported pedagogical change in learning including the capacity to allow for sharing ideas and learning from and with a worldwide community and a more participatory experience with customizable outcomes by the participants (Davidson & Goldberg, 2009). Arteaga (2012) researched outlier educators who used collaboration to formulate a digital pedagogy and concluded that what is needed is educator professional learning that adopts social interactive practices in conjunction with reorganisation of learning spaces (physical and virtual) to accommodate new modes of knowledge flow, as well as opportunities for learner connection, recombination and re-creation. Arteaga also found social media based outlier pedagogies “make learning relevant and obsolete teaching focused on finite knowledge acquisition” (Arteaga, 2012, p. 178), and that “[h]istorically, educational research has supported learning that develops independent thinkers, creative, intrinsic motivated learners. The outlier teaching pedagogy builds on that knowledge, adding collaborative global communal learning that is unconstrained by geographical location” (p. 177).
 Research has shown educators are not changing in the expected constructivist direction through the use of ICT (Fullan et al., 2014; Orlando, 2013; Somekh, 2008). The advent of new technologies in the classroom has not necessarily changed pedagogy. Sustainability of innovation by educators using technology relies on their enthusiasm and skill and external factors in place, such as a supportive community (Owston, 2007). Findings show a dispositional shift can accompany a very brief and limited ICT-based learning experience embedded within existing programs (Smith, Moyer & Schugar, 2011). The use of ICT for teaching and learning, according to Somekh (2008), depends on the “interlocking cultural, social and organisational contexts in which they work” (p. 450) and that “ICTs, when used in ways that make use of their affordances, are a powerful driver for change” (p. 458).
 Research related to educators as agents of change, qualities of and conditions for implementing online global collaborative projects using ICT, and pedagogical beliefs (An & Reigeluth, 2011; Ertmer et al., 2012; Kim, Kim, Lee, Spector & DeMeester, 2013; Laurillard, 2009; Owston, 2007; Somekh, 2008; Zhao, Pugh, Sheldon & Byers, 2002) showed that barriers to technology integration not only include hardware and software issues but teacher beliefs and attitudes. Duke, Harper and Johnston (2013) questioned the catalyst for changing educators’ practice to more constructivist or connectivist approaches, while Ertmer (2005) examined whether increased and prolonged technology use prompts a change in practice, and pedagogical beliefs.
 A multiple case study research design employed by Ertmer et al. (2012) examined similarities and differences among pedagogical beliefs and technology practices of educators using emerging technologies. Results suggest knowledge and skills as well as attitudes and beliefs (described as second-order barriers) not hardware, software and networking issues (known as first-order barriers) are the gatekeepers to better use of technology for learning. Greenhow et al. (2009) found similar barriers and enablers to learning using Web 2.0 technologies.

Results

Outcomes and Significance 
 This research is important to determine why and how educators are changing or evolving pedagogy, redesigning their curriculum and refocusing their classroom practice to include online global collaborative learning. This applies to the impact on learning when the classroom becomes 'many' students and 'many' teachers and how a valid model of collaboration using online technologies to be used across all disciplines can be created. The aim is to better understand online global collaborative practices and the subsequent impact on educator pedagogical change.
 It is apparent little research has been done on the attitudes, beliefs and practices of educators who are reshaping their classroom experiences (real and virtual) and adopting new pedagogies for online global collaboration and co-creation with global partners. The literature on collaborative learning and on using technology to connect learners does not include a focus on the educator making pedagogical meaning of their online global collaborative experience. Narratives from educators found in the research already, in conjunction with experiences the researcher has had in recent years are showing a gap in academic knowledge to do with the influence online global collaboration is having on educator pedagogical change.

Importance

It is expected this research will benefit the wider education community as it targets effective educator belief and practice to support connected and collaborative learning for global learning while using online technologies. It is expected it will also show effective constructivist use of online technologies, which may contribute to improved practice policy. This research will also amplify practical approaches to intercultural understanding and support Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability (as detailed in the Australian curriculum for example) and provide an access pathway to allow more teachers to understand how to use technology for those objectives.

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Presenters

favorites Julie Lindsay, Flat Connections