Application Form Teaching Fellowship Award Scheme 2010 2011 Signed forms to be returned to

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Application Form

Teaching Fellowship Award Scheme 2010 - 2011

Signed forms to be returned to:

Françoise Metay

Teaching and Learning Directorate

Room 107, 3 Endsleigh Place

Plymouth Campus

Deadline: Monday 22nd March 2010, 12pm (Please note that no applications can be accepted after this time.)

Title of proposed project:

Connecting across borders: exploring the potential of handheld technologies to connect student teachers overseas
Name(s) of Applicants for Teaching Fellowship:

Dr Verity Campbell-Barr

Valerie Huggins

Dr Steve Wheeler
Project leader contact details: Valerie Huggins

Faculty/School: Faculty of Education, SEYPES

Ext: 85355 Fax:N/A


Other staff supporting project (but not applying for teaching fellowship)

Proposal (maximum two sides)

How does the proposed project

  • enhance the quality of learning and teaching at an individual and subject level?

Faculty of Education students have opportunities for a number of international experiences including a one week study tour of The Gambia, two week kindergarten placements in Germany or the Czech Republic and teaching practice placements in Finland, Denmark and America. The 3 year Erasmus-funded Atlantis project has provided opportunities for some BEd ICT specialists to cooperate on small scale international research projects in Ireland, Germany and Poland. These have been shown to make a significant positive impact upon the personal and professional development of the small number of participants, enhancing students’ awareness of globalisation issues and cultural diversity. However, the majority of students are excluded due to family commitments or financial constraints.

Through these international experiences, staff within the Faculty are building up a range of connections and working relationships with colleagues in other countries, many of whom also work with student teachers and Early Years practitioners in ITE. This project aims to utilise these links to enhance the quality not only of teaching and learning within the Faculty of Education in Plymouth, but also in partnership within other institutions.

At present, there are occasionally informal opportunities for the rest of the student body to access this learning vicariously, usually through discussion in sessions within some modules. Through this project we aim to expand and develop these opportunities more strategically. Our project sets out to enhance the learning experience of the BAECS and BEdECS students through conducting a pilot project following the Atlantis Project model, where intensive international collaborative research has resulted in joint publications and presentations at international conferences.

  • contribute to the achievement of the Faculty and University Teaching & Learning Strategies?

  • K5 as it promotes an international approach, is grounded in the students international experiences and will build on links with other universities internationally (also K10)

  • K2 as it has a learner centred approach in a diversity of locations

  • K9 as it extends and enhances the range of technologies used by students and staff

  • K3 as it consolidates and enhances existing work based experiences

  • K4 as it integrates pedagogic research with improving the quality of the learning and teaching through elearning

  • K8 as it enables a wider range of students to access the learning from international experiences

  • develop materials or ideas that can be applied by other colleagues to enhance learning and teaching more widely?

This project will investigate the feasibility of creating student-generated digital resources and their usefulness in promoting deeper understanding of the international perspective of Early Years provision across the Early Childhood Studies modules.

It is hoped that

  • other faculties will be interested in this idea as well as other UK Universities, e.g. University of Winchester which also support teachers and students on study trips to the Gambia; University of Cumbria (link: external examiner for BEd Early Childhood Studies); Open University (link: external examiner for BAECS)

  • ITE faculties in Finland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany and USA, where we have existing links through placements and exchanges, will want their students to contribute and share web-based resources

  • organisations such as Global Links – supported by the British Council – will be interested in using these web-based resources with teachers in UK schools who are considering setting up links with a school in another country. We have existing links with the Plymouth LA coordinator of this scheme.

  • VSO may be interested in being involved as we have a link with a volunteer based in The Gambia Teacher Training College in Brikama

  • result in outcomes that can be used for academic publications or conference presentations?

Our initial gathering of data from the Early Childhood Studies students who went on the study trip to the Gambia in February 2010 will be presented at the VC’s conference in July 2010. We plan to present at this conference again in 2011, and at other conferences such as the Plymouth e-Learning Conference, ALT-C and other learning technology conferences in 2011. We also intend co-authoring a suite of papers for publication in journals such as Interactive Learning Environments, ALT-J and Learning, Media and Technology.
Please include details about aims, context, methods, outcomes and dissemination and an approximate timetable for the project.

Our aims are:

  • To diversify the opportunities to learn from international experiences

  • To strengthen links between colleagues and students working in overseas partner institutions through a collaborative small scale project

  • To create student-generated resources for use on BA Early Childhood Studies/BEd Early Childhood Studies/PGCEEY that encapsulate an aspect of Early Years practice or provision in a particular context, e.g. Plymouth, Plzen (CZ), through the use of digital resources such as video diaries and text based blogs;

  • To compare students’ understanding of international perspectives as they access the materials, employing feedback questionnaires

  • Rigorously evaluate the resources, identifying areas of strength and areas for development


Current research (e.g. Wheeler, 2009a; Hramiak, 2009; Lee, 2009; Hui-Chun et al, 2009) is clearly showing the potential of using video diaries and blogs to enhance the quality of reflection upon experiences (Qian & Scott, 2007), as well as to disseminate and share the experiences of a small number of students with a wider range of people (Wheeler, 2009b).

The project will commence in May 2010 and will be completed by July 2011:


The project will develop a blog and resources portal where a growing repository of student work gathered while on placement abroad can be showcased and where viewers can discuss, comment on and add to the already available content. It will involve the use of handheld technologies (e.g. Flipcameras) to record and share learning experiences, through video diaries, audio and text blogs (e.g. Wordpress), while students are on placement abroad. This project is a pilot to gauge the feasibility of this and will focus on the study trips to The Gambia in December 2010 and February 2011. Students will be encouraged to focus on particular topics in their reflections, for example early years provision, outdoor learning, pattern of a child’s day, games and pastimes. These extracts can then be tagged and filtered to present international perspectives through the eyes of student teachers and early years practitioners and can be shared with students across the BAECS and BEd programmes. Students in our linked universities will be invited to participate in the same format at the next stage of the project.

A process study will be conducted alongside the project to consider both the practical implementation of the project and the learning experiences of the students involved. To achieve this, an independent member of the Faculty of Education (someone who is not involved in the study trips implementing the use of handheld technologies, video diaries, blogs etc) will undertake:
May 2010: Focus groups discussions with students and staff who accessed an international experience during the academic years 2008/09 and 2009/10. Identify how they recorded reflections of their learning and disseminated it to the wider student body.

May 2010: Focus groups with the BEdICT students and staff who accessed the Atlantis project to identify key features that could inform the pilot project

October/November: Conduct on-line survey with students who have opted to go to The Gambia in December 2010 and seek volunteers to engage in making video diaries and text based blogs before, during and after the study trip

December/January 2011: Conduct on-line survey with students who have opted to go to The Gambia in February 2011 and seek volunteers to engage in making video diaries and text based blogs before, during and after the study trip

March 2011 Conduct a focus group with the participants on their return to identify benefits/drawbacks of the use of handheld technology and the portal site

April 2011 Conduct a focus group of the staff involved to evaluate the students’ responses to benefits/drawbacks and consider the staff perspective of the project’s implementation.

The methods at the start of the project will capture staff and students’ hopes and fears around the use of digital technologies and their learning aspirations and goals. The methods during the implementation of the project will focus on the process of implementing the project and the methods at the end of the modules will capture staff and students’ experiences of using digital technologies and their learning experiences. A key element of the process evaluation will be to identify areas of strength and areas for development for future digital technology projects.

We anticipate significant added value for students in the form of enhanced learning experience through critical reflection and deeper engagement in learning. They will gain fundamental ideas and concepts around cultural and international perspectives. They will undertake this project in a group as self-directed study, making them more autonomous learners as well as developing team work skills. There will be no assessment linked to the modules, but the project will encourage self- analysis, reflection and group critique.

Feasibility will be established and clear areas for future development identified.

Students on placements abroad will have access to a resources portal to upload video diaries and blogs and to share experiences with others

Significant added value for staff in the use of innovative technologies.
Personal and professional development intentions

The project itself will be a personal learning development for the team, as we learn how to set up and support the students as they create the resources. Some of the fund will be used for attendance at a conference to disseminate our ideas to a wider audience.

Outline costings

Brief description

Amount required


Set up website - 2 days

Design survey and post up surveys – 1 ½ day

Conduct focus groups – 2 days

Analyse survey data – 1 day

Analyse focus groups – I day

Writing 2 days

Total 9.5 days @ £375 per day

Transcription of data (3x1 hour x £1 per minute)




Training and professional

development costs

Attendance at conferences (3x £400)


Other costs

Total Funding requested £5002

Applicants for Teaching Fellowships, please confirm that you have attached

□ a short curriculum vitae highlighting your learning and teaching track record (max. 2 sides A4)

If there is more than one applicant for a Teaching Fellowship each member of the group should provide this information. Yes, email attachment with this proposal

□ a letter of commitment and support from your line manager. Yes, email dated 19th March form Will McBurnie

If successful, we intend to publish this form internally. We may also want to use the information provided for publicity purposes. Pleas tick this box if you do not want this information to be included in such activities. □

Application deadline: Monday, 22nd March 2010, 12pm


Hramiak, A. (2009) ‘Trainee teachers’ use of blogs as private reflections for professional development’, Learning, Media and Technology, 34:3, 259-269.

Hui-Chun Chu, Gwo-Jen Hwang, Chin-Chung Tsai & Nian-Shing Chen (2009) ‘An innovative approach to promoting information exchanges and sharing in a Web 2.0 based learning environment ‘, Interactive Learning Environments, 17: 4, 311-323

Lee, L. (2009) ‘Promoting intercultural exchanges with blogs and podcasting: a study of Spanish-American telecollaboration,’ Computer Assisted Language Learning, 22:5, 425-443.

Qian, H. and Scott, C.R. (2007) ‘Anonymity and self-disclosure on weblogs’, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12, 1428-1451.

Wheeler, S. (2009a) ‘Learning Space Mashups: Combining Web 2.0 Tools to Create Collaborative and Reflective Learning Spaces’. Future Internet. 1 (1), 3-13.

Wheeler, S. (2009b) ‘'E's of Access: e-Learning and widening participation in education’. In Gibson, S. and Haynes, J. (Eds)(2009) Perspectives on Participation and Inclusion: Engaging Education. London: Continuum.

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