Pedagogical beliefs and ICT Integration

PEDAGOGY.

Peda… pedag… pedagog-WHAT?!!! You may be someone who has never seen the word pedagogy before and wondering what is it and why is it important in schools?

According to Dictionary.cambridge.org, pedagogy is process of teaching. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction. So it comes from greek words παιδαγωγέω (paidagōgeō); in which παῖς (país, genitive παιδός, paidos) means “child” and άγω (ágō) means “lead”; so it literally means “to lead the child”.

Now pedagogy is never the same for everyone nor is it suppose to remain constant. The way that a teacher teaches changes as society evolves, especially as techonology advances into the digital age.

Teachers can’t remain using blackboards and chalk when there are interactive whiteboards, learning objects and smart phones around! Teachers need to evolve with these advancements and integrate ICT with their teaching.

Today in class we did a ‘speed dating activity’ to learn about pedagogical beliefs and ICT integration and the following points are what i leant:

  • Important points
    • We have technology in classrooms but the use of ICT is low – due to teacher’s pedagogical beliefs
    • We cannot expect teacher to change their teaching pedagogy to include technology without first considering their beliefs
      • If we want to increase teachers use of technology, we must first consider teacher’s current classroom practices
  • Three strategies for changing beliefs in technologies are:
    • Personal experiences
    • Vicarious experiences
    • Social cultural experiences
  • It is important to not only give teachers new technology but introduce how technology can already support their immediate needs (eg using videos to introduce the topic) – this will increase teacher confidence in using technology and over time use technology more
    • Take little steps in using technology so that teachers can integrate it more in the classroom
  • Students do not benefit from the technology alone
    • Students benefit more from teachers who know how to use the technology
    • President’s panel on educational technology 1997 p 47 “as schools continue to acquire more and better hardware and software, the benefit to students increasingly will depend on the skill with which some three million teachers are able to use these new tools”

I strongly believe in these of ICT in the classroom and that it should be integrating into all learning activities and in every learning area from math to science to languages and literature.

Critical review:

I believe that i am at an advantage because I grew up using technology and surfing the World Wide Web and during pract I have had the opportunity to use ICT in all area of the curriculum. Even though my classroom did not have an interactive whiteboard, there was once in the library or other classrooms that we were free to use. I would make my own presentations or there are literally millions online.

because it is visual and allows for student interaction, it was able to clearly present information in a student friendly way. If i did not have the experience of using an interactive whiteboard while on pract, I would be hesitant to use it when i go out into th workforce because i was not given the knowledge on how to use it or the ability to practice the skills necessary to use it confidently in th classroom.

I believe that all teachers, whether they have been teaching for 1 month to 20 years should be taught the skills necessary to properly use and integrate ICT in all areas of the classroom. The hardest thing about find resources on the internet is that it is so daunting to actually look for the resource and trial if it is good or not. the DET or school in general should organise the resources into the KLA or at the very least inform teachers where to find quality resources. Furthermore, if teachers decide to create their own presentations, there should be someone on hand or templates for teachers to use.

Teachers should also be given support and training to use the resource effectively and if the resource should break down (as technology tends to do), help should be readily accessible. A teacher does not need to rely on technology to make a good lesson but it is where education is heading towards. Sometimes, you need that little bit of extra to make an ordinary lesson extraordinary.

reference:

– P. A. Ertmer (2005); Article: “Teacher pedagogical beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration” pg 25-35.

– Brown, M. (2005). Article: “The growth of enterprise pedagogy: How ICT policy is infected by neo-liberalism” pg 16-20.

Dictionary.cambridge.org

 

image: katecarruthers.com

joedale.typad.com

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Schools today: Constructivism – how students best learn

So the other day i met up with a friend of mine from high school who just graduated from a bachelor in Business and I was telling her that my ideal classroom would be based on social constructivism, she replied with “social constructivism? that sounds like you are getting your kids to build a house together!” 

and she is kind of right. to some extent anyways! Social constructivism is a theory of teaching and acquiring knowledge where students work in groups to collaboratively ‘construct’ their knowledge and understandings. It based on the work of Lev Vygotsky and is very student centered and looks at the culture of the society where the student lives in and his or her past experiences. It scaffolds and leads the students from the known (prior understandings) to the unknown (new information). A constructivist classroom uses real life problems and utilises a student’s prior knowledge and assessment is integrated throughout the lessons.

Teachers act as facilitator or guides (not as the sole instructors or experts as in traditional classrooms) and it is the teachers role to guide the students, prompting them to consistently reflect and assess any new information.

the table below has some of the differences between  traditional classrooms and a constructivist classroom:  (click on the image to enlarge)

the podcast below also gives a description of constructivism and how it aids students depth of knowledge and more than just that, because a constructivist classroom is student centred, it is also a fun and engaging classroom for the students. Just a note, skip the first five minutes of the podcast as the presenter just recapping previous podcasts!

click on the link for podcast http://www.thepsychfiles.com/2009/01/episode-85-how-to-make-learning-fun-again-constructivism-and-democratic-schools-part-2/

critical reflection:

Long gone are the days where students were taught to route learn, today, in our ever changing wrold, students need to be taught how to think adn how to problem solve adn collaborate with others. If you ‘spoonfeed’ students and give them the facts, they may memorise it, but they dont actual reflect on it, analyse and critise it nor are they able to apply it in a range of context. We need to be teaching students to achieve in this modern world. More over, I believe that when a student comes into the classroom, he or she is not an empty vessel for teachers to fill with information. Rather a student comes in with a wealth of experiences and understandings and as a teacher, we must build on that.

Liek wise with ICT..  ICT is developing rapidly adn we need to teach students to be the thinkers adn creators of tomorrow. This means taht we have to get students to problem solve using computers, to be creative adn to invent and to think ‘outside of the box’.  We need to use real life stituations and allow students to explore the realms of information online and allow students to interact with others around the world through cyberspace.

Social constructivsm suits all types of learner, particularly those who learn by doing (kinesthetic learners) and interpersonal learners. more importantly, a constructivist classroom is one where students are encourage to explore and push the boundaries of what is known to them as they are supported and encouraged by thier teacher.

reference:

Matsumura, L.C., Slater, S.C., & Crosson, A. (2008). Classroom climate, rigorous instruction and curriculum, and students’ interactions in urban middle schools. The Elementary School Journal, 108(4), 294-312

Image: taspd.edublogs.org

bee16.net

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Schools today: ICT current trends – INTERACTIVE WHITE BOARDS

When you go into almost every school today, the main difference that you will notice, even if you compare it to  a classroom from 10 years ago is how ICT has integrated into teacher pedagogy and that the chalkboard is now practically non-existent! so what has replaced a classroom staple with? an interactive whiteboard!

so if you haven’t been in a classroom in a primary school classroom in the last five-ten years or you don’t know a young child in school, then you probably don’t have an idea what an interactive whiteboard (or IWB) is… here are a couple of points:

  • IWB is a large interactive display that is connected to a teacher’s laptop and a projector. What is displayed on the computer is projected on to the whiteboard and the students are able to navigate through the pages, links, presentations and games through the use of a stylus pen or their own fingers
  • it’s usually mounted on the wall at the students height so that the learning is driven by the students and they are able to engage and interact it
  • it is connected to the internet this is important because the students in the class can be a part of a wider global classroom, interact with students from around the world and learn from each other
  • information is readily available and at the fingertips of the students and teachers – so for example, if students were earning about art history, it would almost geographically impossible for primary school students in Australia to visit the Louvre in Paris or go to Outer space. But with an interactive whiteboard, these places can be brought into the classroom. It is more dynamic than a looking at pictures in a textbook and therefore will lead into more in depth learning.

the best thing about interactive whiteboards is that fact that it is so engaging and allows the students to be involved in their learning

it is also very fun! you can use learning objects and games for educational purposes and for enjoyment!

I love the PBS site and you can you the games on your interactive whiteboard.

Click on the link for an example of a learning object! this one helps students relate words to the object that the letters are representing! http://pbskids.org/wordworld/characters/game_dlp.html

 

Critical review:

I love using interactive whiteboards in my lessons as I was lucky enough to be in a school last year that had some in the classroom. I was able to design games and interactive lessons and play videos for also every class that I taught and the kids really enjoyed these lessons. They were able to remember what they learnt because they were not just sitting there listening, they were involved and learnt from each other as well.

But to rely solely on the IWB is not enough. You as a teacher have to be able to teacher properly because just by having a presentation on the whiteboard does not cement into rich student learning. The student need opportunities to practice their skills at a real life level and at their pace that suits them and their needs. Also Interactive whiteboards are break down or not work as you have planned so an expert teacher always need to be flexible and prepared.

IWB are quite expensive and so teacher must instruct their students how to properly use them and take care of them. Lastly, teachers need to be taught how to use it to its full potential otherwise it will just gather dust on the wall.

reference: pbskids.org

image:

anseo.net

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School of the future

So i found this idea that a 17 year old kid wants to do for schools in America called ‘The iSchool initiative’ and it is based on the idea that learning is becomming mobile.

I believe that this is where learning will be leading towards in the future!

my only critism is that i think that an iTouch is too small for alot of tasks.

Yes it can fit in your pocket BUT its hard to read large quantities of text.

my usggestion is a tablet computer, like an iPAD!

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Mobile Learning

Mobile learning is where I believe education is heading towards. As the name suggests, mobile learning is learning on the go, it is not learning in a fixed place such as a classroom, but rather the idea that learning and the gaining of knowledge can happen anywhere, particularly due to the advancement of technologies such as wifi internet, tablet computers and smart phones such as the iPhone. As these technologies continue to develop and become more powerful, so does the power of mobile learning therefore it is important for teachers today to embrace these new technologies adn use them in the classroom rather than deterring it. Educators must understand that learning no longer takes place in the confines of the four walls of the classroom but through devices such as an iPad or a smart phone, it can happen anywhere such as on bus on the way to school!

Mobile learning uses a number of devices that are becoming more prevalent and affordable in society today include those in the photo below 

 

Computers are becoming smaller adn more portable and the power of a computer and the world wide web is now at a student’s fingertips. This means that they can now access information adn communicate with others within seconds in a device that can fit in their bags or even their pockets! I believe that these technologies have revoltuionised teaching and learningin the following ways:

  • Applications, otherwises known as Apps – in class we watched a sesame street youtube clip where in they sing a song entitled ‘There is an App for that’ and if you look on Apple’s App Store you will find that this is actually true! Although there are a number of apps that are used to pass time with games such as ‘angry birds’, there are a number of educational apps for pretty much every topic and key learning area. Fropm graphic calculators, schedules ant time tables, a interactive periodic table of elements and even ones to help you learn another language! These specific applications help make learning interactive, engaging  and it is user friendly.
  • Portable – this means learning can happen anywhere at anytime! On the bus, at home, in schools, in the park.
  • Cost effective – although the cost of a tablet computer or an iTouch can seem expensive, when you compare it to the cost of buying books, paper, photocopiers, pens, graphic calculators, ect, in the long run the cost of an iPad and a couple of dollars for apps means that it is actually cheaper! Furthermore, the more that people use and invest in these technologies, it will bring the cost of these mobile devices down. It can also be arged that if learning was completely digital then it would have a positive impact on the environment as it eliminates the need for multiple printing adn photocopy, hard copies of books and so forth.
  • it can meet individual learning needs – in the classroom there are a wide array of learning needs and i believe that technology has the means to meet these needs to that these students are able to particilate with the rest of the class. For example, if you were only using printed texts, you would not be able to change the font size or color to suit the needs of visually impaired students but using e-books can change that. Furthermore, by recording podcasts of the lessons into ‘bite sized’ chunks means that students can listen to the information multiple times and apps such as proloquotogo help students who are unable to communicate through traditional means as they have a disability such as cerebal palsy or severe autism.
  • It is instant – information can be transmitted and received within seconds and students could communicate with eachother or with the teacher through e-mail or chat or even twitter! Some students may be shy to ask questions so mobile devices help over come this barrier. It also means that students can learn collobratively with one another.
  • Learning is problem based AND research based and the students themselves are central to learning. Thus learning is intrinsic as the student motivates themselves to deeper understanding. It allows for real worl application adn for simulation (students are able to take part in simulated activites)

 

Critical Reflection:

 

On reflecting on mobile learning, i believe that these technologies are beneficial to learning and allows students to develop into life long learners. To gain knowledge is not something that only happens when a person is enrolled in school, but a person can continue to learn no matter where they are. There is a app for eaverything from playing guitar to reading classic novels and one could partake in these actvieis anywhere in the world.

            This being said, I still believe in the importance of a teacher adn the classroom adn proper teaching pedagogy. If a student had these devices but was not taught how to properly use it then it would be a waste and the student would probably not use the technology to its full potential. A teacher still needs to be able to teach the students how to best use the device to aid in their understanding of themselves adn the world around them.

More and more students have smart phones and will be bringing them into the classroom and too many teachers today try to ban its use; however i believe that it can actually aide learning (as shown in the points above)  as it suits every learning style (from kinaesthetic learns to visual learners) and fosters creativity as the students are not bound to anything and prepares students for further technological advancements in the future.

 

Reference:

Learning Consortium Perspectives. 2008. From  http://masieweb.com/p7/MobileLearningUpdate.pdf. Retrieved may 19, 2011.

Images

http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/AreYouReadyforMobileLearning/157455

http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/508/blackboards-to-blackberries-mobile-learning-buzzes-across-schools-and-universities

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great image about digital natives and mobile learning!

So, while researching about digital natives and mobile learning, i stumbled upon this FANTASTIC image that just makes everything so much more clearer! (you have to click the link below!)

and i am a visual learner so it just helped me understand the issue and its importance for the future generation that i will be teaching!

So, i tried to upload the photo BUT becasue it is such a large image, it ended up being timy in this post!

so just click on the link: http://voxy.com/blog/2011/02/are-we-wired-for-mobile-learning/?view=infographic

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Digital Natives Debate

the topic of this blog will be about the digital native and the digital immigrant debate.

digital immigrant and digital native? does this mean that there is a new country out in cyberspace?!

well, not exactly, digital native is what Marc Prensky (2001) calls someone who was born into the digital world. This means that they grew up using electronics, computers and is able to access the world-wide web with ease. In fact, Prensky states that the way that digital natives think has physically changed and how they process information is ‘fundamentally different from their predecessors’ (p1). So Digital natives are used to the ‘right here, right now” that they like to receive information instantly and are able to multitask. They enjoy learning through hands on activities and thrive on instant rewards. For these learners, it more important for them that it is fun rather than meticulous memorization.

because of this, teachers have to adapt their style of teaching to suit their students. For many teachers who have been teaching for decades, this may be a rather hard job, as the strategies and techniques that they have learnt during their teacher training is no longer valid. For a number of these teachers, they are not able to integrate researching online or interactive online games efficiently into their teaching. Furthermore, they themselves may not have the expertise in ICT to be able to this. But Prenskly makes a valid point that because the students of today are so different, teachers needs to evolve with these changes. Below is a mind map that i made which summarises Prensky’s article:

 c

 

 

 critical review:

  • i believe that prensky makes some valuable points in his article and through my pract, i have definitely seen that the students that have grown up using with access to computers are so much more at ease using it. They don’t really have to learn too how much how to use it, they kind of just explore and are able to figure it out themselves. They do love using images, sounds, videos to aid in their learning and they do want instant information and instant rewards. I can see it as well when talking to my mother who is a digital immigrant, she finds it so hard to multi task or find information on-line. This means that she wastes a lot of time doing tasks or finding information. By adapting to the way digital natives learn, as a teacher you can direct your class to spend more ‘on task’ time doing in depth learning.
  • i do have several criticisms about Prensky’s article. Although he has a number of valid points, not every single student who comes into your classroom would have had the wealth of experience with ICT as they may have different family cultural values or may come from a lower socio-economic background and thus are at a disadvantage if a teacher only teachers to suit digital natives. Furthermore, there can be some benefits with traditional pedagogy, such as perseverance and intrinsic motivation for learning. What is important is how the teacher teaches and an expert teacher will teach to suit the needs of his or her classroom, including teaching to suit the learning styles of digital natives and those who may have had less experience with modern technology.

reference:

image: http://systemickids.blogspot.com/2011/05/digital-natives.html

Reference: Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6. Retrieved April 10, 2011, from http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/file/view/PRENSKY+-+DIGITAL+NATIVES

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