Innovation through action learning
Beth Hobbs, Paula Williams, Louise Turnbull
This paper describes an organisational approach that is being undertaken by a vocational educational institution to engage teachers in the use of emerging technologies to enable them to implement innovative ways of teaching and learning that are more flexible and accessible for learners. The approach incorporates large scale innovative professional development opportunities for vocational teachers involving action learning project teams exploring the potential benefits of emerging technologies and trialling the use of these technologies with learners. The outcomes will impact on organisation wide decisions about the future direction of collaborative learning environments and technologies to support teaching and learning. These projects are part of a state-wide TAFE NSW dynamic research teaching and learning community, continuously collecting practitioners’ ideas, experiences and information then sharing, organising and evaluating them. Using action research methodology the projects focus on what the teachers’ experience, the outcomes for learners and the technical challenges embraced. This approach aims to collect meaningful applications of learning strategies using technologies that are effective, sustainable and scaleable.
Keywords: emerging technologies, teaching and learning strategies, teachers’ learning, learning communities, collaborative learning, social software, Web 2.0, action learning, action research