Digital learning symposium

The TLRI and the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research at the University of Waikato hosted a symposium on digital learning in June, attended by about 40 researchers and some teachers.
The aim was to showcase TLRI projects that focus on digital learning, and provide an opportunity for researchers to connect, learn from each other’s research and discuss future directions. Nine TLRI teams gave presentations on their projects, covering diverse areas such as media studies, literacy learning, flipped classrooms, engagement among engineering students, threshold concepts and modern learning environments.

The session was introduced by Associate Professor Garry Falloon of the University of Waikato, who discussed the pattern of “device-led hype” in the uptake of technology in schools. There was a tendency for decisions about technology to be made by word of mouth or whatever the latest hype was in the media, or for a sense of “up-to-datedness”.
“We are good adoptors, but not good questioners,” he said.
He saw the TLRI as a great vehicle for doing research alongside schools to explore the theoretical underpinnings of technology for learning. But the onus was on researchers to get the research findings out to schools in clear language, rather than targeting it at academic journals that were not accessible to teachers.

The presentations were divided into tertiary and school focused projects. They are described in a report on the University of Waikato website.