Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Synopsis

Effective learning is influenced by many different factors in society and the learners themselves. It is the responsibility of the Learning Manager to actively engage all of their students using the resources that they have available to them in their learning environment. Technology is developing rapidly in the modern world with many new and exciting teaching and learning resources becoming available.

The 21st century encompasses a range of cultures within schools and thus for effective learning, Learning Managers must be aware of this learning diversity. There are also digital natives, who have grown up with technology, and digital immigrants who are introduced to the new technologies as there is a lot of netiquette they are unaware of. As well as this culture diversity there is also a difference between the ways in which students learn. Some of these include visual learners, kinesthetic learners, linguistic learners and audio learners. It becomes the responsibility of the Learning Manager to identify the learning styles of all of their learners so they are then able to plan a lesson which will actively engage them in their class. Cennamo and Kalk (2005) state that there are three general categories, behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism, to Learning Theory each with its own perspectives that ultimately influence the pedagogy of a Learning Manager. Each of these must be considered, however, by also engaging with Siemens (2005) he describes that “learning can reside outside of ourselves, it is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing,” that is our schema. As a Learning Manager it is important to have a constant update of ones’ schematic knowledge and the knowledge of technology that is growing around the world.

There is a lot we are yet to learn about technology, although advances in Information Communication Technology (ICTs) are occurring rapidly and as a result, contemporary learning design frameworks are emerging. Through growing up in a technological era, young learners are digital natives and at some stages in the learning process may know more than their Learning Manager. Learners are surrounded by a specific language and syntax around technology, from the beginning, thus the Learning Manager must learn to engage with them as Prensky describes “if you cannot engage young people in education then you will enrage them.”

Technology and the Internet are very powerful and fast resources, however they do contain risks about safety. Net alert is a guide for teachers on Internet safety and details different points of concern, such as exposure to inappropriate material, physical danger, harassment/bullying and privacy. The Walled Garden approach is another safety guide to protect students and is used readily in schools.

Not everyone has the same equality. Some students come from disadvantaged backgrounds or families, they may have a physical or linguistic disability or may have limited access to resources. The Queensland Government has developed multiple programs which make inclusive education possible. Learning Managers must engage all of their learners in the learning experience as Kearsly and Shneiderman (1998) illustrate that to “truly engage all of your learners in an ICT environment you must RELATE the problem to the real world, CREATE solutions and then DONATE the solutions back to the real world.” Therefore, all of the learners are engaged in what they are learning and develop the motivation to ultimately create a strong schema surrounding ICTs.

“Schools today need teachers who are ICT savvy,” thus upcoming Learning Managers need to learn how to integrate ICTs into their learning design process. There are many different ICTs now available, including Digital Pedagogies such as Wed Based Journals, Avatars, Powerpoint presentations and Interactive Whiteboards, Web Sites, photo editing and Digital Storytelling. Digital Pedagogies offer different ways of communicating to further advantage students while engaging them in the learning process. These include Web Based Journals, such as Blogs, which are used to share experiences with others. These encourage students to record their ‘own learning journey’ and share with others their achievements. Monitoring other blogs is also possible through an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) aggregator. WIKIs are another form of digital interaction or collaboration and provide opportunities to publish ideas individually or corroboratively. By building an individual blog or wiki students are actively engaging in the learning process, while also being able to reflect and post their own thoughts and ideas.

Learning Managers can gain from using this technology as it ‘allows you to save a wide variety of file types’ which they would then be able to access when needed. As an upcoming Learning Manager it would aid in developing a teaching portfolio and hopefully lead to opportunities in the future. Avatars are another resource used to deliver course material and thus aim at targeting all different learning styles. Cartoons, animals and people become the avatar to engage learners in the learning process and are simple and easy to create. By using humour as well as educational material, students become more interested in listening and become involved in the lesson and what is being taught.

This engagement can also be gained through the use of Powerpoint, a great presentation tool for teachers and students. Interactive Whiteboards are also another application teachers and students may use to communicate directly through a screen rather than keyboard and mouse. As most students are digital natives and teachers may be digital immigrants, students have the chance to become actively engaged as they assist their Learning Manager with technology thus showing ownership for their learning. By using ICTs, engagement may also aid behaviour management issues as all of the learners are involved in the learning process.

The web has an unlimited amount of educational material and technologies which can aid in teaching and learning processes. Websites such as YouTube, Google Earth, WIKIPedia and Slide Share are effective educational sites that may enhance teaching and learning efficiency and enable students to actively engage in the learning process. They are all covered under copyright agreements to ensure the information is accurate and reliable, then enabling it to be communicated correctly.

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of intelligent communication with historical and cultural knowledge and understandings. Digital Storytelling allows learners to access technologies in which they can bring their stories to life, being consistent with Kearsly and Shneiderman’s theory of engagement as they RELATE, CREATE and DONATE their ideas. This is also similar to Scenario-Based Learning as it proposes to RELATE the problem to a complex real world task, CREATE a solution valued in the real world and DONATE the solution into a real world context for feedback. ICTs can assist Scenario-Based Learning in that the scenario is delivered in an engaging way, such as using an avatar. By using ICTs students can share their products, find appropriate team resources and provide self and peer assessment as they are actively engaging in the learning experience.

Through the use of different technologies Learning Managers can actively engage their students in the learning journey, while also engaging all different types of learners. Learning Managers must “engage, enhance and extend learning in flexible and innovative ways, now and in the future” (Waterhouse, 2003) .


COMMENTS

A E Learning Adventure Google Earth by Laura
Trish's Learning Journey week 7 by Trish
Different Learning Styles and Personalities
Mazlow's Hierachy of Needs
Amy's learning journey week 7 by Amy


REFERENCES

Kearsley, G., Shneiderman, B. (1998) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning, Retrieved March 28, 2010, from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkrearsley/engage.htm

Gardener, H. (1993) Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic.

Cennamo, K., Kalk, D. (2005) Real World Instructional Design. Thomson Wadsworth, Belmont: CA.

Siemens, G. (2005) A Learning Theory for the digital Age. Retrieved April 7, 2010, from http://www.connectivism.ca/

Prensky, M (2001) digital Natives Digital Immigrants – A new way to look at ourselves and our kids. MCB University Press: Yale

Waterhouse, S. (2003) The power of e-learning the past, the present and the furture. Retrieved March 30, 2010, from http://www.shirleywaterhouse.com/book.htm

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Week 9...

RELATE, CREATE & DONATE! Scenario-Based learning is also consistent with this engagement theory and as a team members we will all be experiencing this type of learning. By using a ‘trigger’ the scenario establishes the context of the required task, provides the reason for students to engage, details the nature of the outcome to be produced and establishes the benefits of the outcome.
This is exactly RELATE, CREATE AND DONATE! As a Learning Manager I would like to use this type of learning in my learning design process to engage my students through Kearsly & Shniederman’s theory of engagement and also to focus on achieving learning outcomes in all of my students.

Week 8...

Digital Storytelling, what a brilliant idea! The possibilities are endless with this technology for students to create their own stories and then digitise them. Storytelling is something that everyone will have participated in at some stage in their life, whether it is in a classroom or around a campfire. This is one of the oldest forms of intelligent communication and although times have changed it continues to be apart of teaching with alterations to fit the modern world.
Digital Storytelling contains the key concept in Kearsly and Shniederman’s engagement theory of RELATE, CREATE and DONATE. As students can relate their story to the real world, then create their solutions and donate them back to this day and age.

Week 7...

There are a finite number of technologies used to enhance the effectiveness of teaching and learning as we are being shown. These are reliable and effective for educational use and aid in gaining active learning from all of your learners.

YouTube is a website that has become a global phenomenon with many different uses such as corporate, political, scientific and everyday use. With its enormous amount of educational content it becomes a brilliant resource for teachers and students. This is a site that I would like to use greatly in my experience as a Learning Manager as it is simple and has ready-made content, as well as similar sites like Teacher Tube.
Through Google Earth students are able to see different parts of the earth as uses longitude and latitude. This would be another great educational resource to actively engage learners in the learning experience as they could search for locations and their positions.
Through my schooling career I used WIKIPedia to find definitions, information, backgrounds on people and much more. It is a quick and easy reference for information and a great place for students to develop background knowledge in subject areas. As a Learning Manager I would conduct classes that involved looking up information on WIKIPedia with each student having a go at researching. I would also give students tasks that they could do at home, if the technology was available, and even teach family how to use the site. How else could this site be used in a learning environment?
Slide Share is a new program to me but it sounds similar to others I have used previously. As it allows you to upload a powerpoint presentation and open office files to a publicly viewable place, the presentation may be reused which would save a lot of time and effort. I feel that students would engage in activities that focused on an ICT such as this as they would enjoy creating their own presentation and viewing that of others.

Copyright is a problem that all Learning Managers are going to face and it is also prevalent in other lines of work. Each of these sites are covered under copyright agreements and are subject to their restrictions. As a Learning Manager you would need to ensure that your students are aware of copyright and what they can do to avoid getting penalised for breaching the restrictions.


Here is a YouTube video called 'The Wild Classroom' on Biodiversity and its definition. This could be used in my class to explain to students what Biodiversity is and what it involves. It is created by teenagers, hence it may be easier for younger students to engage with them and the information they are presenting.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Week 6...

This has been my favourite activity so far! How fun is it!? I love taking photos and editing them and have used Picnik previously to do this :-)

Flickr
To me, flickr is another way of networking students and teachers, as you are able to become friends with each other and view their photos. It also has the option of adding blogs to your site thus becoming another good communication tool. In my experience, children enjoy creative activites hence this technology would blossom in classrooms. As you are able to use the images off this site in other sites or projects, students would easily be able to add photos, graphics or images to their assessments, or in a teaching sense used in their educational information.
My flickr site is http://www.flickr.com/photos/s0154484/

Picnik
Picnik is so easy to use and would be a great activity website for students! It would enable active engagement in the lesson as they are creating their own photos and making changes they think are necessary. It would be great to have computers for all students and teach them, step by step, how to use this site while they are actively participating. It would also allow them to modify photos (size etc) or create slide shows of their photos. As so many people have facebook now it is also a great idea that they have linked sites to picnik so you are able to get your photos from anywhere.

Check out my photos!!
http://www.picnik.com/show/id/7656099275_4PHtt/t/picnik-show

Monday, April 12, 2010

Week 5...

PowerPoint is one of the many types of software I was taught to use in my schooling years. It is so simple and easy to operate and becomes a great presentation tool for teachers and students.
Here is a presentation I created on Counting to 10 for years 1-2.


I have never heard of Interactive Whiteboards before this, although I do think that they would be a great application for teachers and students to use in order to communicate. As a child, if you are taught through the use of technology, I believe it attracts an increased engagement and interest from students resulting in an increased learning outcomes. As students are digital natives, whereas some teachers may be digital immigrants, students would have the chance to actively become involved in assisting the teacher with the technology and show ownership for their learning. This new technology may also aid behaviour management issues, as all learners are involved in the learning process. I know as a student I enjoyed doing assignments and class works, with the use of PowerPoint, much more than just pen and paper.