Category Archives: Seminars

Thinking of an activity

Mood: chillin chilling
Now Playing: Martin Weller’s presentation

Well, here I’m at the TEL conference and I’m trying to think up some activity for distance and on-line learning but I can’t figure out what … I have no activity whatsoever to think about …. right now looking at Martin Weller’s presentation on edupunk but that certainly ain’t giving me any ideas. My brain is dead when it comes to these things – I’m hoping that I would suddenly hit on something.

I think I have to hit on something I like – and we all know what I really like at the moment – and it is the DS – now if I only can think of an activity surrounding the DS which has a lot of web 2.0 stuff in it and which makes it fun. I mean the DS has the cool wi-fi thing in which you can do pictochat and play games with people … that’s quite fun. Using the opera browser is quite fun as well …

Just saw that Martin Weller put some stuff on slideshare etc … I wonder if the opera browser on the DS actually does slide share? Because it is not very good with the flash thing …

How about an OU game? Now what kind of OU game can you do on a DS that is fun and requires a bit of wi-fi? Well, we got the DSTT cards in which we can create an OU game … now what game? It’s got to be a sharing game in which people connect up to the wi-fi … but what makes it different from a PDA – I think it is the game sharing ….

Huh? Still have no idea what game! A game where people look around and talk to each other as they find out about the OU courses (boring!)- it got to be some learning goal or something … how about we shoot some people and by doing so we get some points for our course ….

ok … something with a DS … no idea … creating a story – creative story making …. collaboration via the DS using the wi-fi, but with the use of objects … or having a discussion. Something with having more objects being used as part of creating a story, but a pictorial movie? Pictorial discussion … But what is so different from a PDA? We need to use it as a game … critical reading? Can’t figure a collaborative game with the DS … I mean the cool thing about the collaborative Zelda game is that you do a sudden death game – how can you translate the killing into a learning environment!

I think the cool thing about a DS is a microphone and a earphones … what about using that … oh well got to make something up now …. because got 5 mins to go ….

So, quickly going to describe activity:

A DS game is created where students connect with their DS via the wi-fi internet and connect to each other … through this game they connect up and talk to each other through picto-chat for discussing something … battery almost dead

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BSRLM Conference

Mood:  special
Now Playing: Ghost (Bananarama)
Topic: Seminars
Well, I went to the Cambridge seminar on Tuesday – which was fun getting the students’ feedback – I think the things I’ve gained from that has mostly been in the preparation of the materials and doing some preliminary qualitative analysis. Fatin suggested that I probably could let students who did the black-box software do it again sometime later on the glass-box to see if there were any effects … hmm … interesting – don’t think I’ll have any time for that in this PhD but something to think about for future research perhaps?

I also went to the BSRLM conference on Saturday – I was hoping to get more feedback from it – unfortunately my audience was really low (I think perhaps because the people who were interesting in my talk were mostly Cambridge students who had already seen it and I was clashing with a workshop of Geogebra). I was hoping to get some feedback on my videos.  One person (Nicole) suggested I might looks at Hoyles and Noss concept of situated cognition … and I’ve been doing some browsing on the concept and it might be useful but not sure how it actually fits in with the data I have … well as I understood it situated abstraction is where students make sense of what is given to them in the situation in which they’re. Noss (2002) in his paper of mathematical epistemologies that students in these abstracted situations should be able to transfer their knowledge and not be wholly confined to the situation as suggested by Resnick (1991).

Hopefully, I’ve looked at this correctly and I’ve interpreted it correctly. What was interesting when I was reading Noss’s work and all other stuff on situated abstraction I was trying to figure where students were sense-making based on the software – and based on the bits of video data I’ve browsed through I can’t say whether there was actually any abstraction based on the software perhaps in the open-box in the choice of the the variables in which students chose any variable wildly … however, what did strike me is this notion of moving from the situated abstract and applying it in a different situation. So, I went and did an ANOVA (or rather a comparison of means) to check whether students were doing badly when they had to do the abstract problem in comparison to the real life problems.

Of course I found no difference in the 20 students (I removed the 2 outliers)! However, the means suggest that students who were doing the abstract problem (interpretive and constructive) last were students who were doing worse at it – I do have to check whether the problems that students were doing last in general – that students were doing bad in it. Because students who were doing problem 1 last also did very badly for both the interpretive and the constructive. I’m not sure whether that student’s energies peter off to the last and weren’t able to think … looking at problem 2 – students also did bad when it was the last question but only for the constructive problem … did students reach their cognitive limits? Was the time they were taking a strain on them – or were students generally couldn’t handle the abstract problems? (I don’t think it is the latter – I have a feeling students just do badly for the last problem!). So, much for my brief stint in checking out situative abstraction – but it still might come in useful so would keep it in mind.

Interestingly, at the BSRLM spoke about someone (I think it was on Schonfeld) who said that if students cannot work out a problem in less than 7 mins they think it is impossible – so, I need to check this out more carefully

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Filed under Main Study, PhD, Presentations, Seminars

PME Conference

Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: PME president talking 🙂
Topic: Seminars

I’m at the PME conference at the moment and so far it is going well … although the lunches could be better :D. My presentation is this afternoon … hopefully it will go well but not sure … bit nervous about getting hard questions and I’m not certain if I’ve practiced enough. Well … right now in the PME AGM but going to slip out soon and go practice my presentation soon. And I’m only doing this to fulfil my obligation of writing in my blog 🙂 … because forgot to do it before I left

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Kaleidoscope conference

Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Loote Koi Man Ka Nagar (Abhimaar)
Topic: Seminars
Well, went to the Kaleidoscope conference in Cambridge with Gill on Friday. It was quite good, although I think the attendance was less this year. I was mainly in the maths/technology stream – well I didn’t go anywhere else because the rest of the papers didn’t interest me in the slightest.

But the papers were pretty good and interested … and Patricia George was there, and it was good listening to what she has found and done, as I listened to her the first time when I was in Lancaster, and it is good to see how her research has progressed and how her ideas has been firmed up. So, that was encouraging.

There were still a couple of papers on teaching maths to trainee teachers, which I’ve always found a bit boring – not that the papers are boring but the topic doesn’t interest me as much.

I think in all, whilst it wasn’t a terribly important academic conference, I think in terms of meeting people and interacting it has been good. I met Zsolt again and yet again we’ve promised to write something together!!

Also, Gill and I were able to boast about our great postgraduate conditions at the OU :D. Also, how our supervisors support us as

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CAL paper writing

Mood:  cool
Now Playing: Radha Kaise Na Jale (Lagaan)
Topic: Thesis writing
(Technically not thesis writing)

Well I’m back again from vacation and I’m hurriedly trying to put together my paper for the Computers and education journal and it seems to be taking forever, because I don’t know how to write a methodology paper it was so much easier writing the PME paper since that was more a typical research report paper. Anyway, slugging away at it – waiting to see if Jonathan is going to be writing anything to contribute to the paper. Hopefully he checked his email

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Filed under PhD, Presentations, Seminars, Writing

CAL conference

Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: Tujh Pe Gagan Se (Chalte Chalte)
Topic: Seminars
Well, I’m back from Dublin after the CAL conference. Dublin was great – the CAL conference was OK. Well, not so great for me because there weren’t a lot of seminars on my area. There were quite a lot on development (which I found myself going to) and on mobile technologies. My presentation went alright – I presented on remote observation – so was still along the theme of the conference. One person from the conference has asked me for a copy of my presentation – so I think that bodes well and have spoken to Ann (from Computing) about it as well … and I think she might just be interested in doing that.

Our poster (the research blogging) was well received – people were interested. At the moment, trying to hurriedly put together a conference abstract for CADGME – but mightn’t get any comments from James since I was supposed to send it this morning and he is oft to a conference this afternoon.

Oh well … got Gill to give it a read … so, even so would have gotten some comments

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Filed under PhD, Presentations, Seminars

Back at the OU/ PME paper/ pilot study analysis

Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: La Bamba (Los Lobos)
Topic: Data Analysis
I’m back at the OU trying to get into the swing of things. I still have no clue about my main research study … and I need to firm that up quickly, because think I need to get that started by March.

Whilst I was on holiday I did some analysis of the videos since I was writing a PME paper – not sure how well that went but got it in. I listened to all the audios for the students when they were doing the practice question since I thought perhaps that is where the initial interaction with the software is occurring and the learning. First of all found for two of the participants (J and Cl) who had some mathematics background and had both started with the grey-box both looked to see how the expected values was being calculated. The rest of them didn’t look at grey-box very long.

I think for the people who didn’t know any of the maths, they only started to tried to understand how to calculate the expected value when they were doing the white-box (eg. R, Ch, G, Cl). I’m not too sure if there were much understanding such as conceptual but rather more procedural. I think this might be reflected in most of them not getting the conceptual problems right except Ch. Not sure if that is the configuration of the (BB, GB or WB) or something that is intrinsic to him although R also questioned about understanding expected value and had similar configuration (BB, WB and GB). Think my data is too little to make any good conclusions

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Filed under Data Analysis, PhD, Pilot Study, Presentations, Seminars, Writing