I did an internal presentation last week at the University on “Academics’ use of iPads @ UoH” which had an audience of 26 academic and support staff members. The presentation was via the Teaching and Learning Seminar Series (TALISS). This is an hour long session which is roughly about 30 mins presentation and 30 mins discussion of the presented topic.
The presentation PowerPoint slides are available on Slideshare (Pls see below at the end of this post) if you are interested in them. This blog post will focus on my current thinking on some of the emergent project findings based on the preliminary survey and interview analyses. I have selected a slide which I plan to unpack in this blog post and would welcome your thoughts and feedback on my current thoughts. I will discuss another slide in a future post.
I mentioned in a previous post that I am exploring how the SAMR model by Rueben Puentedura could help me understand the project findings. Puentedura theorises that technology users go through a hierarchical process in their use of new technologies. There is possibility of skipping a layer but this is dependent on the individual’s skill and confidence.
The four layers in the SAMR model are (1) Substitution (2) Augmentation (3) Modification and (4) Redefinition. The image below provides a brief description of each layer. The four layers are also clustered into two groups of technology usage – ‘Enhancement’ and ‘Transformation’.
Preliminary project findings reveal that majority of the iPad usage is in the ‘Enhancement’ group rather than ‘Transformation’ group. Most academics are using their iPads for substitutive and augmentative activities. This is not surprising because most users of any new technology will start using it from an enhancement usage level rather than at a transformational usage level. The use of any technology for transformational activities will start when the users become comfortable and confident enough to start push the boundaries via experimenting with the technology. Most people tend to start off with using a new technology to replace what they did with their current technology in order to assess if the new technology is worth the trouble of switching from the current technology to the new one.
I have started developing a hierarchical iPad user model and this is the first draft/iteration (below). I am interested in how academics move from being a ‘Non-user’ (of an iPad) to being a ‘Power user’. I have two other levels between ‘Non-user’ and ‘Power user’ which are ‘Basic user’ and ‘Intermediate user’. I am not sure about the terminology ‘Intermediate user’ at the moment. I am also still working out the definitions of these levels and hope that my analysis of the interview transcripts would help me clarify and modify them. I will welcome your thoughts on this draft iPad user model.
I believe one thing is essential if academic iPad users are to progress upwards on both the SAMR model and my draft iPad user model. This key thing is ‘support’ – both informal and formal. It is interesting based on preliminary interview analysis that academics relied mainly on informal support systems (peers and web)rather than formal institutional support systems (learning technologists and IT support) when they needed pedagogical support and app recommendation . The current formal institutional support system is more focused on technical support rather than pedagogical support.
The problem however with the current informal support system is that the spread or diffusion of good practices is localised or restricted to the small pockets within the schools in the institution. Good iPad ideas and practices aren’t permeating out of the schools thereby restricting the flow of such ideas and practices across the University hence there is a lot of frustration and reinvention of the wheel as academics struggle to maximise the use of their iPads for academic practices. I will explore one way of enabling good iPad ideas and practices to spread across the institution in a future post.
Tablet Image attribution in iPad user model Image:
Tablet designed by Matthew from The Noun Project http://thenounproject.com/noun/tablet/#icon-No2002