Significant potential exists for analytics to guide learners, educators, administrators, and funders in making learning-related decisions. Learning analytics represent the application of “big data” and analytics in education. This proposal expresses the importance of a planned and integrated approach to developing insightful and easy-to-use learning analytics tools.
Conference Theme: "The Impact of Innovation: Technology and You"
Technology is all around us. Long gone are the days when we could just walk into a classroom with a handful of papers and a piece of chalk. Even if we are in an environment that is lacking resources, our students with mobile phones, internet café, and social networking, are exposed to technology daily. And new uses of technology are being introduced daily. These new uses show how innovation and creativity go hand-in-hand. We invite language educators, administrators, policy makers, and others to join us at ECTC 2013 as we examine technology’s impact upon our classrooms, share what innovations we are currently implementing, and look to the future imagining the role technology will play in education.
ECTC 2013 will attract a diverse group of teachers, researchers, practitioners and scholars who are engaged in the singular goal of meeting students' educational needs, as students can learn about crucial issues and become familiar with web-based learning and other information technology tools. The use of technology in the classroom represents a significant departure from traditional teaching methods, conducting research, assessing student performance and assurance of learning. Moreover, it creates a user friendly and economically viable environment conducive to learning in any corner in the world where access to technology exists.
In this paper we describe two activities proposed by the Italian team that well illustrate the spirit of this project. Though different in aspects concerning the length of the activities, the content knowledge addressed, the kind of tasks proposed and the ICT tools used, the examples we describe share several qualities. In both cases students were asked to create a particular product according to their interests and experiences and directed to a public outside the classroom, and therefore real. In both cases they were also requested to use creativity and they were totally free to conduct the activity, leading them to feel protagonists and responsible for their own outcomes. Both activities can be easily adapted to different educational situations, because their strength depends on the underlying ideas more than on the products developed.
The innovation of these examples is not the methodology nor the technology applied, but rather the way they are used. These examples suggest that working in inventive ways may actually be effective and not difficult nor expensive to implement. To this end, teachers need to use creativity in their pedagogical planning and learn to look at ordinary tools with different eyes.