Technology in the 21st century is about an evolution not a revolution. My reflections on my e-learning experience are more of a celebration, of the technologies that I have learnt and engaged with since starting this journey have been truly amazing. As a future Learning Manager it has increased my from a 'toolbox' to a 'garden shed', and am excited about introducing some new tools to my students during their lessons. During this course I was introduced to new collaborative tools and resources for learning that will enhance the learning experiences for my students whilst engaging them.
As a Learning Manager I am a life long learner, and by exploring, analysing and using the latest technologies I am modelling behaviours for my students. The use of digital collaborative tools is increasing, so it is essential as Learning Managers that we learn how to use them effectively. Today's technology allows students to participate in learning experiences that involve active cognitive processes, for example creating, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making and evaluating (Kearsley, & Shneiderman, 1999)all which allow knowledge and skills to be acquires and integrated effectively. All the technologies can be intergrated into general classroom lessons rather than stand alone subjects and can benefit all students including the educationally disadvantaged students.
When a Learning Manager is designing an e-Learning task, the pedagogical approaches need to be evaluated. An ideal pedagogy is one that allows Learning Managers to effectively create educational materials whilst providing the most engaging educational experiences for students.
Here are some Pedagogical approaches or perspectives that can be applied to e-learning;
* Instuctional Design - the traditional pedagogy of instruction which is curriculum focused, and is developed by an educating group or a single teacher.
* Social-Constructivism (Vygotsky, 1978)- this pedagogy is applicable for discussion forums, blogs, wiki and on-line collaborative activities. It is a collaborative approach that opens educational content creation to a wider group including the students themselves.
* Connectivisim (Siemens, 2005) - students collaborating and networking though technologies such as msn, skype, blogs,podcasts and rss feeds. "Personal knowledge is comprised of a network, which feeds into organisations and institutions, which in turn feed back into the network, continually providing learning to individuals."(Siemens, 2005)
* Productive Pedagogies (2002)- learning and engaging in intellectually challenging and relevant curriculum utilising all the technologies.
* Engagement (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999) - students actively engaged with animations, simulations, blogs, skype and other interactive communication tools.
* Cognitition (Blooms Taxonomy, 2009) -focuses on the cognitive processes involved in learning as well as how the brain works, students remember, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate and create during their e-learning experience.
*Multiple Intelligences (Gardner, 1999)- engaging all the intelligences. Visual, auditory, kinesthetic, musical, intrapersonal, interpersonal and linguitic learners
*Contextual perspective- environmental and social aspects which can stimulate learning. Interaction with other people, collaborative discovery and the importance of peer support through the use of communication technologies, skype, msn, blogs etc.
Whilst all the technologies that I have recently investigated are interesting, I would not be embracing all of them in my classroom. Some of the technologies are time consuming and currently impossible in the classroom that I am in. The students are engaged with technology, the teachers (most) are embracing it, now all we need is the schools to fund it. Even though it is challenging incorporating these technologies presently I have found group rotations an effective way for all students to have a go. Following is a list of technologies that I am using currently in my classroom of 2 computers to 30 year 7 students;
* Interactive games
* Digital cameras.
* Manipulating photos, using basic paint.
* Youtube and teachertube
* Wikipedia searches
* Research report weekly on a technology, eg bing vs google.
In the near future I hope I will get an opportunity to use these technologies in the classroom. As I am a Learning Manager of the future I better prepare myself for the classroom of the future. The folowing are some examples of how I would include them to enhance all the learning experiences;
* Digital Portfolios- Students could display their past work, reports and relevant information. This could be accessed by the student, parents, Learning Managers and could also be used when the student transfers to a new school, informing the new teacher of the students strengths, abilities and progress.
* RSS feed- would allow the student and Learning Manager to subscribe and keep up to date on information.
* Vodcasts - Students would be able to access learning experiences anywhere at anytime.
* IWB - Learning Managers could model the instruction clearly for the students and the information is saved and can be printed out. I personally can't wait for this one.
As Learning Managers we must prepare our students for lives of creativity, citzenship and social responsibilty as well as success in the workplace. Interactive instruction in any subject can offer an engaging way to learn this new skill. We must expand our knowledge and embrace these new technologies, especially knowing that the students must be engaged in the curriculum in order for effective learning to occur (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). Life long learning is equally the most important skill that we can teach our students, I am both determined and excited about learning more technologies and sharing them with my students.
Atherton, T. (2009) Learning and teaching; Bloom's taxonomy. Retieved 21 July 2009 from, http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/bloomtax.htm
Gardner, H (2001). Gardner’s multiple intelligences. Retrieved July 24, 2009 from http://www.kurwongbss.eq.edu.au/thinking/MI%20Smarts.htm
Kearsley, G.,& Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement theory: a framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved 1 August 2009 from, http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm
Queensland department of Education. (2007) Productive pedagogies: classroom reflection manual. Retieved 21 July 2009 from, http://education.qld.gov.au/public_media/reportscurriculum-framework/productive-pedagogies
Siemens, G. (2004) A learning theory for the digital age. Retieved 23 July, 2009 from, http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism
Vygotsky (1978) Social development theory: Vygotsky. Retrieved 15 July 2009 from, http://www.learning-theories.com/vygotskys-social-learning-theory.html