E-Tivity 9.1

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e-tivity 8.2

Task:
Read Chapman, D and Nicolet, T (2003) Using the project approach to online course management at http://technologysource.org/article/using_the_project_approach_to_online_course_development/ and Van Rooij, S. W. (2010). Project management in instructional design: ADDIE is not enough. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(5), 852-864.

On your blog answer one or more of the following questions:

  1. What experience have you had personally in managing instructional design and development projects?
  2. What have you learnt that would have, or will, assist you in your management processes?

1. As I am a primary teacher and not teaching in the VET or Adult teaching area I generally plan units of work currently by myself as I deliver learning projects to students incorporating creative technological approaches in three separate schools.  One project that is growing is a unit connected to UNICEF and incorporates virtual world technology. This could probably be considered an example of a project design as I had to run it past my Principal, accommodate the EAL/D teacher, and allow for the teacher aide. It is a fantastic project that is morphing weekly as changes and tweaking occur. I think however, that it is successful because I initially planned well and therefore further rich experiences have been fostered.

Linking to Chapman and Nicolet (2003) I did use in its construction a template (Program Builder) for the unit plan, I am the project leader and record the lesson sequences/changes/adaptions in the registration column and date them ‘to track changes’. I constantly discuss and reflect with the EAL/D teacher and Aide as I believe this is critical to creating cohesiveness and clarity when running a project of this nature. There has to be ownership of all parties.

Click on the Youblisher e-books below to view unit and building criteria:
UNICEF School Design Project UNICEF School Project Building Criteria

2. I have learnt throughout this unit that good planning strategies are critical and you must always reflect/evaluate and modify. Project management skills, as stressed by van Rooij (2010), are also key in enabling the learner to complete a project successfully within a set time frame. I expect skills in this area will develop as I begin to work collaboratively with my colleagues to plan and implement learning endeavours for the future.
Reference:

Chapman, D and Nicolet, T (2003) Using the project approach to online course management at http://technologysource.org/article/using_the_project_approach_to_online_course_development/

van Rooij, S. W. (2010). Project management in instructional design: ADDIE is not enough. [Article]. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(5), 852-864. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.00982.x

E-tivity 8.1

flip shape_001Gyroscooter_001S2 Data Measurement Space and Geometry 2_001S2 Data Measurement Space and Geometry_001S2 Maths Build_001syllabus_001Tanagram tessalations_001You have been working your way through a number of different topics, exploring a variety of ICTs and designing your own resource or package. If you haven’t already now is a good time to evaluate your instructional design package. If you haven’t yet completed it or even started it you can do a formative evaluation of the idea of the stage you are at. For this e-tivity I invite you to look at the resource or package you are designing and evaluate it using Kirkpatrick’s training evaluation model as described by Dick (2007). Dick_2007(1).pdf

Task:
Evaluate your instructional design resource or package using Kirkpatrick’s training evaluation model. Your evaluation should help you to make modifications to your package. Post some of your evaluation to your blog and invite comments from your peers.

S2 Data Measurement Space and Geometry 3_001

My resource is a collection of virtual maths tasks relating to the Data, Measurement, Space and Geometry strands of the NSW Maths Syllabus to be completed in-world using Sim-on-a-Stick, a standalone virtual world on a USB.

Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Model of Evaluation:

Level 1: Reaction

Reactions to this resource would be gathered formatively through questioning and observation during and after the individual lessons. The nature of this resource is that it is quite open ended and the student can move from one task to another freely. They initially would complete a similar maths task/question with teacher instruction in the real-world to check understanding of the mathematical concepts as completing the same task in-world demands more problem solving and higher order thinking which can lead to frustration and disengagement with the resource.

Level 2: Learning

This resource is unique in that it asks for both understanding and conceptualising of mathematical concepts but also is developing skills with interaction of tools within a virtual world. The resource is developed with the underlying notion that the actual mathematical task is secondary to developing spatial awareness and problem solving skills with in a virtual world environment. I will delve into this further with my justification assignment.

I pre-tested two classes of year 3 students before building this resource and each task was created specifically from the data gained from the test results. I also added components as a result of informal discussions with the students.

Level 3: Behaviour

This would not be the one approach to teaching a specific maths concept obviously but rather a tool to enrich a maths program and engage the learner in a maths activity that would be challenging yet ‘fun’ .  Combining this and other maths strategies, ongoing diagnostic testing and yearly pre and post testing would confirm whether utilising virtual world technology to enhance maths instruction is a viable strategy. I would also be looking at repercussions in other areas of the curriculum that can be connected to its use.

Level 4: Results

Ultimately it is results that always drive instruction strategies. The objective must be clear as to what you want the student to learn and how you are going to get them there.  Constant reflection and re-evaluation of learning tools is critical and for some students this resource will probably be worthless. It is always necessary to differentiate as all students deserve the right to succeed in their learning.  Only formative and summative assessment will highlight the success or failure of this resource.

E-Tivity 7.2 Problem Solving

In “Designing for Problem Solving” Jonassen (2012) raises 4 issues surrounding problem-solving learning and proceeds to unpack the importance of addressing them. He suggests that “problem solving is the most natural, complex and meaningful kind of learning/thinking activity” (p. 71). In this e-tivity I invite you to consider your own teaching and whether it includes problem-solving learning and how it might be extended to include more and it what form.

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Read Jonassen (2012) Designing for problem solving  in R. & Dempsey, J. (2012)Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology. (3rd ed) New Jersey:Merrill

  1. Reflect on your own use of problem-solving learning?
  2. Do you learn best when presented with a problem?
  3. How can you redesign your teaching to include problem-solving?

I am a member of the OzMinecraft Educator group which is made up of about 35 teachers from Tasmania, Victoria and NSW. We meet most Monday evenings to share student projects, help each other with ideas and primarily to PROBLEM SOLVE! The above video filmed in a time lapse was of my small group and we were given the task of creating a living space for our group in 10 minutes. A lot of us are very new to Minecraft so this was a challenging task. We had to quickly share ideas, allocate jobs, and build! It was a lot of fun and we learned very quickly how to use the hot bar and inventory 🙂 By being exposed to this task and having the necessary prior skills I was able to work with my team, be motivated, foster new learning and complete the task successfully within the time limit. It was a safe environment where I knew I could access support if needed. This scenario highlights how a problem solving task can engage and develop higher order thinking and link to new learning. I really enjoy this type of  work task and as long as I have some prior knowledge and skills problem solving tasks really encourage and assist me to develop quick solutions to complex issues.

I don’t think I need to redesign my teaching to accommodate problem-solving as most primary school educators already have an automated button that consistently creates problem solving tasks for students in daily teaching. I think the key is , however, to ensure that most of the problems relate to real world scenarios. For me problem solving is key to developing deeper conceptual learning and critical for all young students development. They need to be able to problem solve especially as they endeavour to make sense of the world. If the learning task can be connected to a real world problem the learning will be meaningful, relevant and engaging for the student encouraging ownership of the learning task. That said, learning tasks must be scaffolded to foster the problem solving skills necessary to complete a set task successfully. If this isn’t the case students can easily become frustrated and disengage from the activity all together. Some problem solving tasks will also have very open ended solutions and  students need to be able to develop their problematic reasoning skills to allow for this. Jonassen (2012) highlights the complexity of designing tasks with these outcomes and suggest that curriculum designers be mindful of these dilemmas (p. 66). One students reality and interpretation of a task could be very different from another’s and from a critical realist perspective this can lead to difficulties in design and assessment ( Jonassen, 2012; Shipway, 2011).

Reference:

Jonassen, D. (2012). Designing for problem solving. In R. Reiser & J. Demsey (Eds.), Trends and issues in instructional design and technology (pp. 64-73). Boston: Pearson.

Shipway, B. (2011). A critical realist perspective of education. Milton Park, Abington: Routledge.

e-tivity 7.1 Web Quests

http://mrscienceut.net/CellWebquest.htm

I really like this web quest and would definitely adapt it for younger students. I love how the teacher uses an iconic Australian character and Aussie lingo to create a sense of fun and immersion whilst still having clear and explicit project expectations. All links work and are easy to navigate offering different levels of knowledge. This is a great example of a web quest for any primary teacher and a great find for me 🙂

I have created a virtual web quest for my students in years 2-6,  at Crossmaglen Public School. It was based around Australian history. Here is the blog post link – Our Australian Heritage

Virtual World Technology

Image

Spark:
Using virtual worlds as part of your instructional design can open up possibilities for flexible learning and shift the dynamics between student and teacher and student and resources. Groups of students who are studying at a distance (such as all of you in MNG00085) are able to come together in the one space and have a sense of presence through their avatar. Flexibility, however, can take many forms and is not always desired by the learner. I invite you to read a text about flexible learning, a case study example of virtual worlds.  By so doing you will be able to apply some theories to the motivation for providing flexible learning and using virtual worlds in your context.

On your blog answer the following questions:

  1. Reflect on a number of learning experiences that you have been involved in and the degree of flexibility which each involved. How did this influence the effectiveness of the learning context?
  2. In what ways could you use virtual worlds in your instructional context? Click here for an example

Early in 2011 I was given the opportunity to complete an university assignment using Second Life as Southern Cross University has a virtual presence there. It was extremely challenging and to be truthful many times I felt like quitting. I remember when I would go into the world and try and learn about the tools and then my tutor, Lisa, would suddenly appear and I would feel embarrassed as generally it was when I was trying to do something that had gone wrong. I think having the ‘physical’ presence of an avatar made it worse because she could ‘see’ me.  Either way, I persevered and as a result I now use virtual worlds for many learning projects with my primary students.

What then transpired was that many of my unit assessments were modified to include a virtual world component and therefore I was provided with an opportunity to develop deeper learning and success with unit outcomes. Maths, English, Science & Technology, Learning Technologies, HSIE and Pedagogical units have all have been linked to the use of virtual worlds within my pedagogy. I am not sure what direction my studies would have gone and what particular skills I would be leaving my degree with had I not been provided with the opportunity to use and develop skills and understanding  with this technology but am sure I wouldn’t have achieved the self confidence I now have. Having this flexibility certainly helped me connect with core understandings of each unit as I was so meaningfully engaged.

Flexible learning is described by  Collis and Moonen (2001) as learning that offers choice to the learner but still achieves stated outcomes. In some ways I would call this differentiation as choice allows the student to identify the component that will interest them and ultimately enable the best opportunity for success. When I read Table I. The lessons learned I readily identified with: Lesson 5. Watch the 4-Es: 

 An individual’s likelihood of voluntarily making use of a  particular type of technology for a learning-related purpose is a function
of four ‘E’s: the environmental context, the individual’s perception of educational effectiveness and of ease of use, and the individual’s sense of personal engagement with the technology. The environmental context and the level of personal engagement are most important (p. 219)

Even though in many cases having a virtual world component created more work for me my personal engagement with the technology and seeing the bigger picture and how I could really use this authentically in the classroom negated the extra effort required.

Reference:

Collis, B., & Moonen, J. (2001). Flexible learning: It’s not about the distance. Flexible learning in a digital world: Experiences and expectations (pp. 8-28). London: Kogan Page.

e-tivity 5.2

Spark:
As a teacher in the 21st century it is vital to consider educational technologies that are important to learners in the 21st century. Web 2.0 and social networking have become so ubiquitous that your ability to include them in your repertoire of instructional design tools opens up a myriad of possibilities for creating motivating, engaging and educational experiences for both you and your learners. In this e-tivity I invite you to skim read Siemens and Tittenberger (2009) Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning. Consider some of the aspects that most appeal to you and keep it handy for later reference. You will find the section on tools (p41) useful in thinking about a range of media to choose from. You will also note that Siemens discusses connectivism (p9) – a learning theory that you may not have encountered before.

On your blog answer one or more of the following questions:

  1. Which of the tools Siemens lists have you used before and  how might you  use them in your teaching?

Handbook of Emerging Technologies for Learning by George Siemens & Peter Tittenberger March, 2009
Image 1

This image sums up very simply what educators and students are faced with today having to use Web 2.0 tools in their curriculum. The amount of complex multi-modal deciphering can be overwhelming and it is important to ensure that any technology used in learning is incorporated meaningfully and not just ‘bling’. I remember my Learning Technologies Unit Assessor stating that the technology is only as good as the pedagogy.

Siemens and Tittenberger (2009) advise that the following steps be considered when incorporating technology authentically into a learning activity:
1. Evaluation of context
2. Determining depth of technology integration
3. Attributes of technologies planned for use and suitability to subject matter
4. Evaluating planned technologies against principles of learning

I have used and continue to use blogsCoffs Harbour Public School Blog

Video example from an English lesson: Crossmaglen Public School Blog

Adobe Connect Session: Here I am participating in an online presentation with other teachers in Sydney from my school in Crossmaglen.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Virtual World Technology: Here is an English unit I am currently running with a 5/6 class. They are using Sim-on-a-Stick (a stand alone virtual world on a usb) to recreate a chapter from the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Here is a kindergarten project using the popular game Minecraft: Tyalla P.S. Kindergarten Minecraft Project

References:
Siemens, G., & Tittenberger, P. (2009). Handbook of emerging technologies for learning. Retrieved 15 August, 2013, from http://elearnspace.org/Articles/HETL.pdf