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Monthly Archives: April 2016

CDSM Education Insights

Essential to the Learning Experience: Digital Competence in Teachers

CDSM believe that developing the digital competence of teachers is vital to support the raising of standards and attainment levels in schools.

CDSM designs digital tools for teachers. Tools that enable teachers to create and assign high quality e-learning and assessment resources for students. So it stands to reason that developing the digital competency of teachers is something that CDSM supports tremendously.

Good teachers have always used their skills, imagination and ingenuity to deliver their commitment to children and young people. To deliver the richest of learning experiences. This is one of those eternal truths, sacrosanct and enshrined in public sector UK education.

Good teachers adapt to environmental, political, socio-economic and technological phenomena. They seek to understand, assess and realise the resulting output of such change to enhance their practice, design and shape the curricula they deliver and ultimately sharpen their learners ways of seeing and understanding the world.

Teaching digital competence to young learners

Education in the 21st century is dynamic, demanding and standards-driven. Our good teachers continue to have the very best ambitions and commitment to their students. Today, for those ambitions to translate into high quality contemporary teaching and learning practice, we have to ensure that our schools’ digital capability is about infrastructure, access and their teaching and learning staff’s digital competency.

So CDSM innovates, design and supports digital tools that serve teaching and learning communities.  So that schools can have a cost effective capability to develop and assign quality digital learning and assessment resources. A capability that is able to respond immediately to the changing world we all live and participate in.

Digital Tools

Teachers are the most important agents of change in developing our young people and children because they are instrumental and expert in the design and development of:

  • Challenging and effective curricula
  • Metacognitive skills
  • Specialist subject knowledge
  • Delivering effective teaching and learning strategies

Our digital tools are designed to support, develop, and in competent hands, enhance these important educational activities. It is our digitally competent teaching communities that make our schools effective 21st Century learning organisations.

This blog is the first of several looking at why and how CDSM’s tools effectively support teaching and learning in 21st century learning organisations.

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Authored by Dan Sivak, Managing Director, CDSM Interactive Solutions

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Interactive Digital Content Designed to Develop Capability – Part 2

Like in most other walks of life there is a pecking order in terms of dominant content forms. There are it seems more popular, more preferred, forms of content. User-generated video, animation, and audio (podcast) are used to stimulate ‘gazillions’ of learning experiences every day.

Each form has its genres, and sub-genres building on learners’ pre-existing experience and knowledge of said form. Like any type of established cuisine, each form has its range of intrinsic ingredients that once blended and processed by expert hands will result in a rewarding experience.

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Digital instructional designers that are expert and literate in specific forms of multimedia will be able to enrichen the end-user’s digital learning experiences. Similarly, learners who want to learn by doing, demonstrate a new skill acquired or simply give voice to their opinions in a socially collaborative learning context can do so by other means than simply writing or typing their contribution. This generates really interesting dynamics for collaboration. For collectively working to understand something, to discuss and discover together and then to collaboratively create a response that highlights or exemplifies the very thing that the group has been learning about. The multimedia tools and the creative process involved to make such a sophisticated learner response possible are often collaborative by their very nature. So a number of outcomes are possible from such approaches:

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For example, if using film (audio and video):

The concept or skill that is demonstrated on film is more iconic, more realistic than that of any other type of representation. More ‘realistic’ than a teacher’s verbal description at the front of the classroom or an artist’s impression in a flat 2D graphic in a traditional digital learning object.

The technical form (film) enables the learner to repeat the experience repeatedly. The learner can rewind to view and listen to the content as many times as is required.

As a learning response:

The form (film) enables learners to work together to create a video response that demonstrates they have the skill or understand the concept

The form (film) requires learners develops or at the very least appreciates other valuable important skills for example, scripting, acting, lighting, direction, sound, editing etc.

The execution of the form (film) and its genre will ensure an intrinsic experience of the new concept or skill the learners are being exposed to

At CDSM we seek to understand the mechanics of each interactive content form to enable us to utilise it effectively to create high quality learning and development content for client organisations and their targeted learning audiences.

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Authored by Dan Sivak, Managing Director, CDSM Interactive Solutions

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Interactive Digital Content Designed to Develop Capability – Part 1

The old adage ‘content is king’ still rings true in 2016.  7 out of 10 digital learning experiences are driven by well-designed interactive digital content. However the traditional e-learning object is ‘not the only game in town’ any longer. Since 2012 we have seen the emergence of the MOOC (massive online open course), a structured learning environment. A more distributed, less rigid learning form than that of the traditional e-learning object.

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The MOOC is the theoretical chalk to the traditional learning objects cheese. It is the ‘poster-boy’ of the social learning movement (social constructivism) opposed to the traditional learning object that typically reflects the teaching and training principles of the behaviourist school of teaching and learning.

Yet despite their theoretical differences both the MOOC, and the traditional learning object utilises multimedia content, as an intrinsic approach to developing learners’ knowledge and understanding. Interactive content is the glue that binds the constituent elements of a digital experience together.

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However, digital content has changed significantly over the last 10 years. This is because the creation and distribution of interactive content no longer rests solely in the hands of the professional film-maker, the animator and sound engineer. User-generated content has transformed our attitudes and ideas around ownership, quality and price. Interactive content, that is ‘good enough’ can be curated, created and distributed by teachers and learners alike. As described above, teachers and trainers use interactive multimedia to create stimulus resource to initiate the learning and development process.

And those same technologies and techniques are used by learners to build and shape their thoughts and responses to their learning. ‘Flipping the classroom’ as it has become known, is a radical departure for many traditional learning environments but it is happening and is resulting in fascinating learning output and outcomes. YouTube, Vimeo, Captivate, Camtasia, ‘household’ brand names have all enabled teachers and learners alike to access, curate and generate content easily and simply.

Keep an eye out for part 2 of this blog post, where we will explore social collaborative learning and the different outcomes of learner response to interactive digital content.

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Authored by Dan Sivak, Managing Director, CDSM Interactive Solutions

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