What Works Where? Workshop
Stage One: 1955 – 2007 MirandaNet research into more than fifty years of computers in learning.
(We would like to add references to other relevant MirandaNet papers about ICT CPD to this list. Please email .)
1955-1991: The birth of an e-community
Christina Preston’s father was the first data processing manager at Citibank in the fifties which is why she learnt to love and loathe computers at an early age…
- O brave new world: the birth of an e-community (Word 185KB)
MirandaNet Editor adds: in a similar vein you might like to look at an article I wrote on MirandaNet about my father's experiences with early computers: Vannevar Bush, Douglas Hartree, Jack Howlett (and did Watson of IBM really say that the world would only need five computers?)
1994 : Creative Telematics : A keynote paper for the Women in Computing
conference where I first met Bozena Mannova
This is a speech that traces the life story of Christina Preston, a late entrant to computing, transferred who from an English and Drama discipline. The speech describes the pattern of computers in her early life, some of the reasoning behind decisions about educational software, some of the results of research and some of about computing in the future from a female perspective.
- Creative Telematics (Word 65KB)
1999 : Building on-line professional development communities for schools,
professional associations or LEAs based on the MirandaNet experience
The first of a series of Routledge books where Norbert Pachler and Marilyn Leask gave MirandaNetters the opportunity to publish.
This chapter’s focus is on the professional development of teachers in information and communications technology (ICT) training. Although many schools now consider ICT training as important as numeracy and literacy, the reality is most teachers use it only occasionally. Although enthusiasm towards ICT is high, there is a lack of training focused on individual learning needs and interests for teachers in service.
The UK government commitment to the establishment of the National Grid for Learning presents the teaching profession with well considered and funded opportunities to adopt advanced technologies in the staff room and the class room. In implementing networks, the profession will have to make choices about the balance between traditional teaching modes and new learning potential. An informed professional debate on these issues is the only way in which the profession will move forward effectively.
This chapter looks at one successful model of a mature on-line professional development community, MirandaNet, developed as a way for teachers to communicate their ICT learning and teaching objectives, as well as gain greater access to ICT training and equipment.
- Restricted to members: Building on-line professional development communities (Word 85KB)
2000 Culture and Technology in the New Europe: Civic Discourse in Transformation
in Post-Communist Nations. Stamford, USA, Ablex Publishing Corp
Christina Preston, The Institute of Education, University of London
Bozena Mannova, Czech Technical University, Prague
Laura Lengel, Richmond American International University in London
Our first attempt to explain what was happening in the new Europe.
“The close links that develop within on-line communities often commence with face-to-face dialogue. As the MirandaNet community grew internationally after its start in the UK, technology experts in the Czech Republic were invited to participate as community members. The ‘East’/’West’ collaboration began when Christina Preston gave a conference presentation at “Women, Work and Computerization: Breaking Old Boundaries — Building New Forms” in Manchester, England (Preston, 1994). Bozena Mannova, from the Czech Technical University in Prague, attended invited Preston to speak to the Czech Technical University’s Electrical Engineering Faculty where Bozena was the only woman on the faculty of nearly seventy members. During the conversation, Preston asked Mannova in which hotel she was staying in order to arrange a meeting to discuss the presentation. Mannova replied that she was staying in the Holiday Inn Manchester, but she would prefer to meet at Preston’s hotel lounge……”
- Restricted to members: Collaboration through Technology Now and in the Future (Word 77KB)
2001 : Building new social structures: Can industry and education work
together? Global Changes in the Funding of Education
At the start of 2000, Communication and Information Technologies were contributing to the changing balance of economic strength between national governments and the multinational companies that are not constrained by boundaries. The separation between public policy and commercialism is breaking down.
In particular, national educational policies are more influenced by global and economic pressures than they have been in the past. For example, electronic technologies are expected to make as much difference to literacy and communications practices as the Gutenberg revolution made four centuries earlier.
The challenge to the culture of the teaching profession is world wide. How were we to tackle the challenges
- Restricted to members: Building new social structures (Word 61KB)
2000 Preston, C. M. Cox et al. Teachers as Innovators: an evaluation of what motivates teachers to use ICT. TTA, Compaq and Oracle
This small-scale study investigated how teachers can be helped to integrate ICT effectively into their teaching. We decided to use a sample of teachers who had overcome most barriers and were motivated to use ICT in their teaching on a regular basis to explore the factors that had led to their uptake and sustained use of ICT. In order to obtain such a sample, we sent 135 questionnaires to teachers and other educators who were members of three professional ICT in education associations, namely MirandaNet, National Association of Co-ordinators and Teachers of IT (ACITT), and TeacherNet, and their colleagues who were regular users of ICT including the Internet. These associations provide support for the practices and professional development of teachers using ICT.
- Download a PDF of the full summary (PDF 120KB)
2004 Preston, C. Learning to use ICT in Classrooms: teachers' and trainers' perspectives : an evaluation of the English NOF ICT teacher training programme 1999-2003. London, MirandaNet and the Teacher Training Agency
2007 Preston, C. and J. Cuthell. The Perspectives of Professional Educators on ICT CPD: Past, Present, Future. N. Pachler. London, Naace, MirandaNet Fellowship, WLE, Institute of Education, University of London
MirandaNet have produced a report, funded by the Institute of Education's Centre for Excellence in Work-based Learning (WLE), investigating teachers'. advisers' and teacher educators' professional development needs in ICT with 250 members of the IT specialist groups Naace, ITTE and MirandaNet.
- Download a summary: Expert ICT advisers considering their own ICT CPD experiences (Word 53KB)
- Download the full report: Education Professionals' perspectives on ICT CPD: Past, Present and Future (PDF 803KB)
- Visit the WLE Centre at the Institute of Education, London, where the report is published: www.wlecentre.ac.uk
The titles of a pair of papers follow where Niki Davis (US) and Christina Preston (UK) with Ismail Sahin (Turkey) have re-analysed the 2004 NOF statistics to develop a richer picture of what seems to work best in ICT CPD. These have both been accepted by the BJET journal and, therefore, I have only provided the summaries restricted to MirandaNet members only.
1. 2008 in press with the British Journal of Educational Research- BJET
Davis, N. E., C. Preston, et al. (submitted 2007). "Theoretical and evaluation frameworks to inform technology-related professional development for teachers, tested with evidence from a national study of ICT professional development for teachers."
Summary (restricted to MirandaNet members)
This paper re-examines the evidence from a national initiative to train all teachers in England to bring them up to the level of newly qualified teachers who are required to know when to use, and when not to use, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in their professional practice. Data gathered for the 2004 evaluation of the programme uncovers the complexity of such professional development. Multiple sources of evidence are provided on the effectiveness of contrasting approaches to ICT-related teacher training. This data was analysed including a national survey of 496 trainees, and experts’ reports on 16 of the 47 training providers was analysed using Guskey’s (2002) five levels of professional development evaluation: participants’ reactions; participants’ learning; organizational support and change; participants’ use of new knowledge and skills; and, students’ learning outcomes. This first analysis showed Guskey’s levels to be robust for ICT-related teacher training, including a significant correlation between the experts’ views and those of teachers who had undergone training. The evidence confirms the value of an ecological perspective (Davis, 2008, in press). The most effective training supports change with ICT in macro and micro ecologies, including the classroom, the school, and training provider’s region. ICT-related teacher training using an ‘information transfer’ approach is not appropriate, despite its success in commercial train. Email Christina Preston if you are interested in seeing a draft.
2. 2008 in press with the British Journal of Educational Research-
Davis, N., C. Preston, et al. (submitted 2007). "ICT teacher training impacts multiple ecologies: evidence from a national initiative."
Summary (restricted to MirandaNet members)
The design of continuing professional development to enable teachers to use ICT in teaching and learning is little researched, despite increasing demand for it in the twenty-first century. A national initiative for ICT teacher training in England provided the opportunity to contrast two training designs, only one of which was highly rated by teachers and educational ICT experts. The highly rated design adopted an ‘organic’ approach that provided training in schools, whereas the contrasted design efficiently deployed computer-based training materials facilitated by on-line access to trainers. Although both designs used on-line communities of practice, the better rated design deployed it for ICT trainers in training, rather than for teachers in training. The contrast of the two designs provides support for an ecological view of the diffusion of IT innovations in education (Davis, 2008, in press). The decentralized organic model of ICT teacher training supported the evolution of ecosystems of the classroom and the school, as well as the development of training for ICT teacher trainers. In contrast, the centralized model caused more disruption in these educational ecosystems. Recommendations include adoption of an ecological perspective when designing ICT teacher training.