Guide Moving Toward a Digital Education Tapestry

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Sometimes, learners need small chunks of content to ensure quick progress.

Ana Teresa Barboza (Peru)

Other times, they need to stop, take a break, and dive into something totally new. Your organization should offer both of these options.


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Average employees move through a learning curve from month to month, from day to day. The curve is steep when starting a new job, but it flattens off over time. Research clearly shows that when transitioning jobs or taking on a new role, people require lots of formal training, but once they become experts, they want references, support, and quick answers to expert questions.

The Future of Learning

Another best practice is to acknowledge that corporate education does not just happen online. While learners want access to content and courses online, they also want to meet with peers , learn from experts, and take developmental assignments to gain exposure. All four of these learning methods are important, and you should make sure they are all available in your company. What this means is that face-to-face learning , university-like classes , and on-the-job training must be part of a successful solution. In a highly successful financial service company, a Digital Academy was implemented and staffed by in-house experts in each field i.

By last summer, the company had already deployed over 1m internet of things chips globally. Last year, Eir joined forces with Irish IoT player Asavie to build an IoT Connect platform that can be used by small and large companies, from healthcare to transport and manufacturing, to connect machines to the internet and gather real-time intelligent data. It also has offices in Gdansk Technology Park, Poland. The company currently has people focused on next-generation software, and involved in a global consulting hub.

Since establishing in Ireland in , Intel is one of the top employers in the country. Movidius designs low-power processor chips for computer vision and deep learning. The company also works to support IoT, managing data centres built to house the data created by connected devices and structures. Following a merger with Irish security systems company Tyco, the US-headquartered Johnson Controls operates out of an additional location in Cork. The acquisition will lay the foundation for the next wave of technological change driven by 5G and IoT.

The company, which also has offices in San Francisco and Shenzhen in China, devises the design and manufacture of connected devices. Founded in Dublin back in , S3 has focused its business on two areas: the design and supply chain management of advanced semiconductors, as well as cloud and data analytics services for the health sector.

Of particular interest to S3 is the design of semiconductors for satellite communications and the field of industrial IoT. Irish IoT company Taoglas designs and manufactures antennas that enable M2M connectivity for wireless devices.

Paperless Assessment in Early Years: apps and ideas to consider.

Other investments in Taiwan, Germany and France give the company an international footprint. Now, Taoglas is reaching for the stars. The company received funding from the European Space Agency last month, which will be put towards its telecoms research. Among three participants, a number of asynchronous interactions took place in discussion forums within the ECN.

For example, Figure 3 captures Meenoo turning to her online peers for support as she prepared to teach The Great Gatsby Fitzgerald, for the first time. Figure 3. A screenshot of an opening message in an asynchronous discussion forum on the English Companion Ning. With a couple of weeks until she would begin teaching the book, Meenoo could afford the wait-time required of traditionally asynchronous tools like a discussion forum. Within 24 hours, Meenoo received responses from four teachers. Responses ranged from tips for locating Gatsby -related content elsewhere on the ECN, various assignment descriptions and handouts, and testimonials about the value of pairing the novel with a film to extend an exploration of the American Dream.

Responses continued to trickle in over the next several days, including those featuring hyperlinks to online resources beyond the confines of the ECN, recommendations for exploring the novel via Socratic seminars, and reports from teachers about students presenting the novel as a play.

Leveraging the asynchronous possibilities of the discussion forum, Meenoo was able to capitalize on the strengths of asynchronous interactions noted by scholars e. As with discussion forums within social network sites, blogs and microblogs tend to foster asynchronous interactions.

Lockheed Martin’s Digital Tapestry

Participants consistently wrote a blog post or tweet at one point in time, any number of their peers online read the post or tweet and, as moved or as time allowed, others responded to the post or tweet, adding another link to the dialogic chain. Though perhaps delayed, asynchronous responses like those Meenoo received resound with dialogicality. Although asynchronous interactions were typical for participating teachers, the flexibility to organize and carry out synchronous interactions is a noteworthy contextual feature upon which each participant drew.

As with many synchronous interactions that occur face to face e. Structurally, the discussion forum Gary established for English teacher Glenda Funk to lead is no different than the forum Meenoo created spontaneously to generate ideas about teaching The Great Gatsby. However, the Webstitute had been planned in advance.

By advertising the date and time of each session on the ECN Figure 4 and broadcasting those details via Twitter and email, Gary positioned Glenda to facilitate a synchronous interaction as teachers explored the common ground between select titles of young adult literature and the works of William Shakespeare.

Reflections by Misty Major

This synchronicity simulated the experience of face-to-face interactions with others at a professional conference. Figure 4. Figure 5. A screenshot of an excerpt from a synchronous exchange in a discussion forum featured in the ECN Summer Webstitute. In each case, dialogicality was evident regardless; meaning emerged, as each post brought two or more voices into contact.

Meeting virtually each Monday at 7 PM EST , engchat is a synchronous Twitter chat session that draws individuals with a shared interest in the teaching of English. Over the course of an hour, people sharing an affinity for the teaching of English interact simultaneously as they explore a scheduled topic related to teaching, learning, and literacy. From separate locations, teachers may exchange ideas, share resources, and explore English-language-arts-related topics in real time.

Meenoo supplemented engchat, the Twitter chat, with the engchat blog. Acting as a curator of sorts, Meenoo organized and featured blog posts authored by guest moderators of upcoming engchat sessions. With no immediate response required or expected, the guest posts were asynchronous, working like anticipation guides for forthcoming chat sessions. Guest posts added an element of structure to the synchronous engchat sessions, as they provided a frame within which participating teachers might consider the topics of forthcoming sessions Figure 6.

Figure 6.


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  • A screenshot of an excerpt from a guest post on the engchat blog. The dialogicality of guest posts on the engchat blog became evident as ideas presented in those posts and responses to those ideas surfaced in corresponding Twitter chats. Though perhaps delayed, what was understood in the asynchronous blog posts often found response in the synchronous sessions of engchat, the Twitter chat. The surround view of context is complemented by the weaving view Cole, ; Lindfors, As the surround view focuses on the resources available where interactions are situated, the weaving view sees context being actively constructed as individuals draw upon the experiences and understandings they bring to an event and tap the resources available to them i.

    Context is complex and fluid. Cutting across cases, I present in this section the weave features, those contextual features that, whether brought in from outside the online environment or shared with others online, informed engagement for the teachers featured in this study: a classroom teaching experiences, b connections among teachers online, and c a touch of levity.

    Classroom Teaching Experiences.

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    For each of the participants in this study, the weaving of classroom teaching experiences into the contexts of their interactions online appeared routine. With the majority of his blog posts tied to his practice as a middle-school writing instructor, Brian leveraged the multimodal affordances of the site to open virtual windows into his classroom as he embedded mentor texts, images of classroom exhibits, and videos of authors and poets discussing with middle-school students the craft of writing.

    The contextual thread of classroom teaching experiences is also evident in the interactions with others the selected teachers wove via Twitter. Across cases, the teachers in this study often drew upon their classroom experiences as they tweeted, commonly sparking exchanges with their online peers. So random. By the word library was she referring to a public library? A classroom library? In the first discussion thread, teachers noted the books that students like to keep for themselves, turning the thread into an exchange of titles that are popular with students.

    Though many of those titles are well known, the exchange may have given some teachers new ideas regarding books that might appeal to students in their respective classrooms. One teacher offered a title that has gone missing from her library on multiple occasions, Breathing Underwater Flinn, , but she then turned her attention to solving the problem of missing classroom library books.

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    What do you do? Affirming that they share a classroom-library-management problem, the humanities teacher inquired as to how Sarah tracks books in her classroom library. I teach it in my Y. Lit class. I have a check out book to keep track of who has what. The class student librarians maintain the cleanup of the spreadsheet. Is there a computer in the room where they do this? Do they originally sign out books on paper? Student librarians have login codes. Can print slips. Sarah and the humanities teacher continued their exchange, addressing the elementary teacher by name in each response:.

    Sarah : [elementaryteacher] [humanitiesteacher] I really like this idea, but I only have one computer in my classroom mine. They enter in the 13 isbn on the desktop. Maybe certain kids could maintain the comp? Kids had a hard time finding their sign-in. Identifying a shared problem, Sarah and the humanities teacher exchanged methods of library management in an effort to resolve the issue.

    Together, and with the support of a third party, they considered multiple methods, including a pencil-and-paper checkout system, a student-run Google spreadsheet checkout system, and free applications designed specifically for classroom libraries. Together they mulled the pros and cons of each method based on the affordances and limitations of their unique teaching contexts. Ultimately, though the humanities teacher seemed to get no further in improving upon her checkout system, Sarah ended the exchange weighing the idea of tweaking her current pencil-and-paper checkout system by assigning to each student a page in the binder to improve the ease and efficiency of signing out books.

    Connections Among Teachers Online. The connections teachers in this study formed with others through interactions in online environments appeared to offer another contextual feature that shaped their participation. Generally, participants seemed to draw upon supportive, collegial relationships formed through extensive interactions with others online, giving themselves people to whom they could turn with questions and concerns, personal or professional.

    In the first of the semistructured interviews, Gary explained the value he had found in the connections he made through repeated interactions with other teachers online and how those bonds were forged.