#EduFacForum: Building Capacity for Innovation

The Education Faculty of Education Forum in Toronto has given me an ideal opportunity to curate the set of initiatives that have started to take shape in this first year of my appointment at the University of Ottawa around the idea of “building capacity for innovation”. Around the poster, I have had several productive conversations with colleagues from around the province on the ways they are working to construct. Here’s the poster. Credit to Dany at Reproduction & Design in Chelsea, QC for the graphic design.

Thanks to my colleagues Tracy Crowe and Paul McGuire for their collaborations.

Building Capacity for Innovation @UOttawa (download.pdf)

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A First eBook Publication

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Students in EDU5287: Emerging Technologies and Learning have worked tirelessly this semester to create an ebook! It has been a learning process for all of us — but the results are finally available to share. The book is a collection of chapters, each published by a student in the course. Topics are incredibly diverse, but bring together interdisciplinary perspectives on technologies and the ways that educators in schools, universities, businesses, medical schools, and community health care centres leverage a range of technological solutions to support learning.

The book is free and is Creative Commons licensed (Attribution, NonCommercial, Share Alike).

You can access it by clicking on the Buy Now button.

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

I will document in a separate post the how-to process, in case folks are interested in using Lulu.com to publish work with their own students.

Thanks for downloading and sharing our first eBook!

Teachers Teaching Teachers @UOttawaEdu

The final week of the teacher education program is upon us at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Education — and it is punctuated by a two-day series of professional learning seminars for teacher education candidates. I’ll be presenting to a group of students today on online inquiry. My presentation brings together some of my current thinking and understanding on this issue. The presentation starts by framing the importance of online inquiry for today’s learners. It provides a few facts to frame our thinking about the complexities of the digital literacies landscapes our learners must navigate. It offers some research on the strategies that expert online readers and researchers use as they construct an integrated understanding of a topic using multiple information sources. It provides some information on teaching methods that have been shown to support, at least in part, the development of fundamental online inquiry strategies.

Most importantly, I hope the session prompts students to generate their questions about digital literacies, and gets them thinking critically about how to support digital literacies learning through their own teaching practices.

Here is the link to the presentation: http://bit.ly/onlineinquiry

Using Social Media for Patient Advocacy and Learning: A conversation with Rebecca Hogue

I spent some time speaking with Rebecca Hogue @rjhogue this morning about the e-patient advocacy work she does on her blog http://bcbecky.com

Rebecca is a Doctoral Student at the University of Ottawa and her dissertation will document and analyze the impact of her blog on readers. It’s important, inspiring work that sits at the intersections of several areas of study including, but probably not limited to, literacy, technology, health, community, culture, relationships, learning. And so, I asked Rebecca if she might have 30 minutes or so to share some of her thoughts about the role of social media to support learning for students in my #EDU5287 Class called Emerging Technologies and Learning. 

Interestingly, several students in my class are health care professionals themselves. I hope the conversation is especially supportive of their learning. I hope it helps to expand conceptions of social media and the ways that they might leverage patient blogs to teach, and to inform their clinical practices.

Key points from Rebecca’s talk include:

  • Patient blogs can give clinical professionals access to the ways that patients think about their disease. Rebecca described the example of one physician who reads patient blogs to gain access to the ways that non-specialists describe what is happening to their bodies, or in their bodies. This has helped the physician to understand and interpret patients’ words and, importantly, to diagnose patients.
  • Access to other patients’ treatment plans has empowered Rebecca to attend medical team meetings with a conversation starter. She values the special disciplinary knowledge that her medical care team brings to the conversations, of course, but she has found it helpful to present information informed, in part, by others’ experiences so that she feels all possibilities are explored before decisions are taken for her particular treatment plan.
  • Rebecca offered many insights about how to use social media to tell her story without revealing information that is too sensitive, or might give any insight into the identities of her physicians. This is an important one for all educators to think about. Rebecca has a website called http://shouldiblog.org/  for anyone considering blogging their lived experiences with Cancer. It is of value to anyone starting a blog, in my view. The issues she explores on the site are germane to K-12 teachers, counselors, and health care professionals too.
  • Evidence of impact in Rebecca’s work often comes in the form of comments that people share. “You helped me to understand my sister’s experiences” or even just “thank you” give Rebecca some perspective on how her social media work is supporting her readers.

Here’s the conversation. Students in #EDU5287 will see this in Module 5 that focuses on uses of social media to support learning. Rebecca summarized the talk at her blog too.

For friends in the digital literacies community, what questions does Rebecca’s work raise for you?


Using Speech Recognition Add On to Save on Transcription Time

Using Speech Recognition Add On to Save on Transcription Time

I will be starting data collection for a new research study this week, and as I try to work out the nuts and bolts of my data management workflows, I discovered that I might save time on transcription by using the Speech Recognition Add On in Google Docs. The big upside here is that Speech Recognition is free and available to everyone on my research team.

Here is what I am going to try:

  1. Record conversations using iPhone Voice Memo App (be sure there is enough memory on phone BEFORE I go to the interview!)
  2. Share the audio recording to my Google Drive from my phone. Because I have synchronized my Google Drive with my phone, this is a one-touch solution. Very streamlined.
  3. When I am ready to transcribe, I can then download the audio recording to my laptop.
  4. Open a New Google Document.
  5. Open the Speech Recognition Add On.
  6. Start Speech Recognition Add On.
  7. Play Audio File.
  8. Watch the transcription happen automatically — or do other things 🙂
  9. Clean up the transcription (which will take a little time, but not as much time as it would take to transcribe from scratch).

Here is a quick screencast that demonstrates the workflow. I had already recorded the audio file on my phone, uploaded it and then downloaded to my laptop.

I will provide an update on how it goes with actual data. Certainly, conversation will make the speech-to-text more complicated. However, given that transcription is (a) mind-numbing and (b) a barrier to timely sharing of research findings, I think it is well worth a try.

Literacy Research Association Conference 2015

This morning, I will be sharing part of my dissertation research at the Literacy Research Association conference in Carlsbad, California.

The symposium is entitled:
Students Constructing Meaning from Multiple Internet Texts: Processes, Pedagogies and Potential.

I’m really happy to be presenting work alongside two other scholars whose work I admire, Michael Manderino and Michael DeSchryver.

Here is what I am presenting today — paper and slideshow.

Full Text of Paper here.

My slides are here.


PowerPoint of Hagerman (2015) Presentation



Curating a collection of professional conversations for Pre-service Teachers

Curating a collection of professional conversations for Pre-service Teachers

I am privileged to teach pre-service teachers in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa.

This semester, I’ve been teaching a course focused on fundamental concepts, frameworks and practices for unit and lesson design. It’s called PED 3141 (we use #PED3141 to share resources on Twitter). Because I am new to UOttawa and to this course, I wasn’t sure how things were going to go. It quickly became obvious to me that my pre-service teachers, in the first months of their professional program, would benefit from access to a range of perspectives on how to design learning experiences for diverse learners from people who do this work every day — teachers. I have therefore started what I hope will grow into a vibrant and incredibly useful collection of short conversations with practicing teachers. The conversations will focus on particular topics or issues that new teachers are learning to think about (and that experienced teachers continue to think about!)

I recorded the first two conversations this month. They both focus on differentiation of instruction to meet all students’ needs in the complex ecologies of our classrooms.

The first one is with Angela F, an Ontario Certified Teacher working in a school board west of Toronto.

The second one is with Jennifer A.. She is a Certified Teacher and Professional Coach with expertise in special education. She works in a school district in the greater Los Angeles region of California.

Thank you Angela and Jennifer for your insights and for sharing your knowledge with pre-service colleagues.

Combattre les trolls et la bête aux mille têtes: Words that shape thinking about digital literacies and learning

Combattre les trolls et la bête aux mille têtes: Words that shape thinking about digital literacies and learning

DigiGirlI see the world around me with different eyes, and hear it with different ears. I’ve been away from home for a while. Now, I am back. And I notice things.

About a month ago over coffee, I visited HabiloMédias.ca. I hadn’t ever read the French version of the site prior to that day and it has quickly become one of my favourite resources for Canadian perspectives on digital and media literacies. If you don’t know it or its English counterpart MediaSmarts.ca, it is a treasure trove of information and resources for educators.

At top right that morning two featured blog roll headlines caught my eye:

These headlines were juxtaposed with a rolling image gallery of children reading, children on devices, children and teachers together. Trolls, beasts, children — all within my visual field. Suddenly, I felt nervous. I had just checked my girls — they were still sleeping soundly in their beds. But really. I felt nervous.

I think this struck me as especially significant because, since returning to work in Canada, I’ve sensed this inexplicable uneasiness about the digital world and teachers’ relationship with it. With good reason, I have heard in my circles much talk about safety, about cyberbullying prevention, about privacy and what not to do online. Moreover, through student feedback, I’m learning about a range of needs and perspectives on technology and its use in schools. For example, students have written:

“The integration of online components can be useful to some however, the creation of completely online assignments is not conductive to my own learning. Pen and paper is what makes things easier and assignments that I can see the use of for the future.”


“You promote the use of technology in classrooms, but not all future teachers will have the same interest as you, and this takes away from learning about Curriculum Planning. For example, I don’t want to be on Twitter, nor will I be required to be on Twitter as a teacher, yet it is a requirement for this class. Same for the personal web site. I will not be required to have a web site as a teacher.”

These comments show me that learning with or through digital technologies cannot be assumed, even for those who, ostensibly, have had access to a range of digital devices for most of their lives. The comments also show me that as a community of educators, we lack clarity around the expectations that we have for teachers and their use of technologies in their instruction. I appreciate these students’ perspectives a great deal — but I wonder whether, or to what extent their background experiences with (and without) digital tools might have been shaped by a general reticence or lack of focus on the strategic integration of technologies for learning in the province’s public schools?

In 2011, the Ontario College of Teachers published this Advisory on Social Media Use. Although the article does offer ideas for how to use social media productively and safely, a teacher already feeling nervous about the “risks” of social media might interpret the advisory as council against its use. As the article says, “Nobody wants to jeopardize their students’ well-being or compromise their own professionalism” and with sub-headings like “Criminal, civil and disciplinary proceedings” and “Know the dangers” leading the eye through the article’s recommendations, it wouldn’t be surprising to me if  many teachers say to themselves, “You know, the safest way to do no harm is to just avoid the social media space altogether.” These folks aren’t wrong. They’re concerned. They’re responsible. They’re professional.

And yet — with my eyes and ears that see and hear in different ways because I’ve worked, lived and studied outside of Canada’s borders for ten years, I also know that the world presents new, digital contexts that our students will need to know how to navigate effectively if they are to live, learn and thrive in a globally networked society. I ask, how are we preparing children to live and learn in a digital world that, for all of its perils, also offers promise never before possible?

Without minimizing the importance of safety, I see value in listening to other voices. I see value in listening to colleagues who can show us how to use technologies thoughtfully, strategically and in ways that enable and empower our students and communities. I ask us to let those voices sing as loudly as the ones that might suggest, even subtly, to avoid the digital world.

I strongly feel that children’s best defence against the threats of the Internet is, actually, more guided experience with the Internet.  Children should build a vast repertoire of background knowledge so that when they graduate, the Internet is known, understood, and maybe even seems banal for its predictability. When they graduate, children should have developed a sophisticated set of problem-solving skills that will enable them to safely and effectively address every situation they encounter online.

By way of comparison, driving a car on Highway 401 is dangerous too. But, how do 16 year-olds learn to navigate its complex and ever-changing perils safely?  I think it’s important to remember that kids learn to drive on the 401 by driving on the 401 — with a couple of years of adult supervision  before they do it on their own.

Everyone wants to keep kids safe from the truly stomach-churning stuff that we all know can and has happened because of the ways that we are all so incredibly and immediately connected through digital technologies. The best defence, in my view, is to actively teach the digital literacies that will prepare our children to be safe in our globally networked world. 

Today, I will drive the 401 — with my children in the backseat — in order to get to Ontario’s ed tech conference, BIT15 Conference in Niagara Falls. There, I hope to hear the informed voices, new ideas, perspectives that might inspire new paths toward complex, strategic, digital integration. I hope to hear people thinking about how to empower flexible, critical, capable thinkers and learners in a digital age.

As I hear these perspectives, I will share them in this space. 

As I drive the 401 this afternoon, I know I will be thankful that I’ve driven it a thousand times before and safely managed to deal with a rather long list of challenges. I have missed exits dozens of times but always managed to find my way. I’ve been broken down on the side of the road (with my baby in her carseat) and called roadside assistance for help. I have nearly fallen asleep at the wheel, but because I knew where the rest stations were, I held on until I got to the next one where I could safely nap for a bit. I have avoided accidents by leaving ample space in front of me, experienced stop-and-go rush-hour, merged when there were transport trucks everywhere, crawled along in rain and snow. 

In my haste to find, listen to and share inpsired perspectives at BIT15, I hope I don’t get pulled over for speeding. Of course, this too has happened before, so I will know what to do…

SAMR for Ontario Teachers: Should it be the Preferred Model for Tech Integration?

Lately, my colleague Leigh Graves Wolf and I have been thinking about the ways that the SAMR model, developed by Rueben Puentedura, has been used to frame technology integration practices for teachers in K-12 schools. As I prepared a lesson for my teacher education students on technology integration, I started reading more into the foundations of the SAMR model and the claims that have been made about the impact of technologies used in ways that align with its definitions.

As I reviewed the OSAPAC website (the organization that reviews and purchases licenses for software applications for use in Ontario’s public schools) I was a little bit surprised to find that SAMR received privileged focus. SAMR appears in the rolling gallery of images on the site. Also, OSAPAC has provided access to lesson plans that show teachers how to use diverse digital tools in ways that align with the four categories of the model — Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. The plans demonstrate a range of uses for a range of technologies and are surely incredibly useful to teachers.

All of this said, I wrote this note on a comment form at the OSAPAC website and hope that it might lead to a rich dialogue about the ways that the province is supporting teachers’ professional development as technology integrators.

Short version: I think that SAMR is a very useful framework. However, a few critical indicators suggest to me that we need to learn more about its’ value as a model for technology integration in schools.

Dear OSAPAC Members,

I’m a new member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa with specialisations in educational technology and digital literacies. I am very curious about the rationale you used as a committee to promote the SAMR model as a province-wide approach to technology integration. I have certainly seen SAMR grow to become an incredibly popular model for describing the ways that teachers can use technologies. On face value, it makes a great deal of sense and it gives teachers very useful language for their technology integration choices. However, I would encourage you to consider the research foundations for Puentedura’s work and the ways that SAMR puts technology at the center of the conversation. To my knowledge, Puentedura’s analysis of the impact of methods that could be considered more “transformative” is speculative. I’m not saying he’s wrong — but I am saying that we need to apply very critical lenses to the claims he makes about approaches to technology integration and their impact on student learning outcomes.

For example, in an often cited presentation that he provides at his blog (see slide 20) (http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/archives/2014/12/12/TechnologyInEducation_AnIntegratedApproach.pdf) Puentedura shows how a set of 20 studies in a meta-analysis by Pearson, Ferdig, Blomeyer and Moran (2005) could be mapped onto his SAMR model — and how the effect sizes of studies that used methods that seemed to be “modifications” or “redefinitions” were larger.

There are, potentially, a few problems with this. First, he is applying his definitions, post hoc, to methods of technology integration in studies that may or may not have actually used methods that align with his definitions. Secondly, he doesn’t provide any statistical analysis of the effect size differences — on the graph, the differences look large — but he doesn’t show if the effect sizes, by category, differ from one another statistically. If you look at the spread of effect sizes in the “Redefinition” category, it looks like there is a very big difference — but really, there is just one study that has an effect size close to 3 (which is huge) and the others are really not that much higher than the effect sizes in the other three categories.

When we look at data like these, we have to resist the temptation to focus on the outliers and really look at how most of the data are actually really close in terms of their effect sizes. This interpretation, by the way, has not appeared in any peer reviewed journal articles that I know of. A brief Google Scholar search turns up lots of references to Puentedura’s blog and to the writings of others about the model — but I don’t see any evidence of studies that demonstrate why we should tell teachers that this framework should be privileged above others, as they come to think about the complexities of their technology integration choices. Food for thought. I’d be happy to discuss further. I’m genuinely interested in the rationale you have used to promote this framework for the province’s teachers. Interestingly, the creator of the video you share (SAMR in 120 seconds) is by Candace Marcotte who is a close friend and former student. I love Candace’s work — but if you called her directly, I’m sure she might also say that SAMR is just one framework among many that teachers should think about as they learn to integrate technologies in thoughtful, strategic ways.


P.S. Two other Frameworks for consideration:
Mishra & Koehler’s Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)
Kolb’s Triple-E Model

La Chaire de Recherches WIGUP: Canada

Le lancement officiel de la Chaire de recherches WIGUP: Canada aura lieu demain matin au pavillon des diplômés Alex Trebek à l’Université d’Ottawa. Je suis la titulaire de la chaire, qui veut dire que j’aurai l’honneur de gérer 5 ans de recherches avec nos partenaires, le Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario et WIGUP Corporation. Pour ceux et celles qui s’y intéressent, j’affiche ici mes diapos et la parole que je vais offrir demain matin.

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La parole

[Merci Raymond et Marie-Ève pour vos introductions. Je me sens très chanceuse de faire partie de la Faculté d’éducation et j’apprécie énormément votre appui.]

Mesdames et messieurs — je vous remercie d’être venus. Je vous remercie surtout de votre intérêt dans notre partenariat qui est motivé par le désir, comme vous venez d’entendre de mes collègues, de préparer les élèves à réussir dans un monde variable, un monde complexe, un monde dans lequel nos interactions personnelles, professionnelles, intellectuelles, sont de plus en plus déterminées, formées, façonnées par les technologies.

Je suis la titulaire de la chaire WIGUP mais je fais partie d’une équipe.

Mes partenaires ont fait le travail de créer les contextes — intellectuels, académiques, professionnels et technologiques — qui, par conception, existent à fournir aux élèves, les meilleures expériences éducatives. Je remercie le CEPEO et WIGUP d’avoir créé la terre fertile dans laquelle nos recherches vont s’épanouir.

En considérant les buts collectifs, mon rôle dans le projet sera de gérer cinq ans de recherches ciblées sur les méthodes pédagogiques qui peuvent soutenir, chez les élèves, le développement d’un cadre de compétences essentielles qui les rendront capables de répondre aux défis que ne nous ne pouvons même pas imaginer aujourd’hui.

Mais quelles sont ces compétences?

Plusieurs équipes autour du monde ont développé des modèles de compétences qui permettront à nos enfants de réussir dans l’ère numérique. J’aime bien celui-ci, développé par HabiloMédias car ce modèle démontre une trajectoire d’apprentissage qui va de l’utilisation à la compréhension et à la création. En haut, on cite 3 compétences prioritaires — l’innovation avec les ICT et en TIC, l’action sociale constructive, et la pensée critique et créative.

Dans l’ensemble et selon une synthèse des recherches, il semble que les élèves qui seront prêt.e.s à réussir dans un monde variable et numérique, pourront…

  • comprendre et créer les divers textes de divers modalités;
  • répondre de manière créative aux défis complexes;
  • collaborer;
  • innover;
  • s’investir dans l’action sociale.

Alors, ce sont les 5 capacités que nous voulons développer chez tous nos élèves – et qui vont motiver les méthodes de recherches.

Il est important de dire que notre partenariat répond à un besoin urgent dans ce domaine de recherches éducatives. Nous avons beaucoup d’études qui décrivent les compétences requises par les étudiants – maintenant, nous avons besoin des études qui documentent, à la fois, les pratiques pédagogiques qui soutiennent le développement de ces capacités fondamentales, et l’impact de ces pratiques sur l’apprentissage. Surtout, il nous faut des études à long terme.

Avec ce projet, nous espérons offrir aux enseignant.e.s une description des trajectoires d’apprentissage des élèves dans ces 5 domaines clés – et créer
un modèle fiable d’enseignement disons “numérique” auquel les enseignants autour du monde pourront se référer quand ils se serviront de la plateforme sociale WIGUP.

Ici, vous pouvez voir le plan de recherches.

Nous ferons une expérimentation formative qui nous permettra à chaque étape de changer les méthodes d’enseignement selon ce qu’on apprend. Les enseignant.e.s du CEPEO seront très importants tout au long du processus – leurs observations et conseils professionnels seront clés.

Vous pouvez voir que la première étape comprendra les observations, les consultations et la création d’un cadre de pratiques gagnantes qui semblent avoir le potentiel de développer les compétences ciblées.

Dans la deuxième étape, on va piloter le modèle pour qu’on puisse apprendre des succès et des défauts.

En automne 2016, après avoir raffiné le modèle, nous serons prêts à lancer l’étude de 4 ans dans laquelle nous espérons suivre les mêmes élèves ainsi que les élèves semblables, mais qui ne reçoivent pas l’intervention WIGUP. Cette comparaison nous permettra de mieux comprendre l’impact du modèle développé.

Les questions auxquelles nous répondrons à chaque étape du projet sont inclues dans la pochette distribuée.

Finalement, je voudrais remercier mes partenaires de nouveau. C’est une responsabilité que je prends très au sérieux. J’apprécie énormément le soutien que vous offrez pour que nous puissions apprendre ensemble.