My Learning Journey in ICTs for Learning Design

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Photo courtesy of Flickr. Retreived 11th April 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Assignment 2- Reflective synopsis

EDED20491- ICTs for learning design Assignment 2 - Emma Plumb s0193584

Over the last two months I have surprised myself at how quickly I have learnt about amazing “new” technologies in this course, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Learning Design. My learning has been student centred, based on two theories, which are The Learning Engagement Theory (Kearsley and Shneiderman, 1999) and Active Learning. This posting is a reflection on how I would use these theories and ICTs in my pedagogical strategies. I have linked these to my previous blog postings, where more detail is provided.

With the emergence of ICTs, over the last twenty to thirty years, we are now living in the knowledge economy, where people need skills beyond education (Houghton & Sheehan, 2000). Firms and companies are looking for employees who have emotional/social intelligence as well as academic skills (Abraham, 2006). With this in mind, I will teach accordingly, as it is important for students seeking employment to be able to learn skills over time rather than having a huge amount of knowledge in one particular area. Therefore, I will be informing students they need to keep abreast of changes as the learners of today are more than likely going to have more than one job during their lifetime. As Sir Ken Robinson highlights, in his video, all students need to be given the opportunity to succeed, no matter where their learning preferences lie. For these reasons, as a teacher I will need to provide students with the opportunity to engage in Problem Based Learning (PBL) which is active learning where the learner takes ownership of their learning and they engage in higher order thinking skills.

My learning journey in school and university, some twenty plus years ago, was very teacher centred and I had very little opportunity to fully engage in subjects and receive the full benefit of the learning experience. Most of my classes were spent sitting at a desk with my teacher talking and using chalk to write on a blackboard. Today we have all sorts of wonderful technologies to help the learning experience enabling the focus to be student centred learning. An example of this has been with the use of Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) in classrooms. Children will tend to jump at the opportunity to use them, becoming totally engaged in the lesson. Behaviour is a problem in schools where students are not engaged, whereas many schools today that regularly use IWBs, like Parkhurst State School, have very few behaviour issues. Last week, in my first teaching lesson, I incorporated ICTs by using an avatar, powerpoint presentation and an animation from YouTube and I noticed the behaviour was significantly better than the previous lesson where I was an observer and no ICTs were used. Here, I catered for a range of different learning styles by using audio-visual technologies and the class also participated in a kinaesthetic activity. My personality type and the way I learn, may affect my teaching style so I need to be constantly mindful of this when implementing my pedagogical strategies.

Students in classrooms today need to have a sense of belonging by having their needs met before they are able to be motivated to learn (Kunc 1992). I will need to consider my learners needs as they may not be full-filled which can have a profound effect on their learning ability. I have already seen examples of this in my EPL site, where children are abused in one way shape or form, or have parents who do not encourage them. Trying to boost these students’ self-esteem is very challenging for teachers and requires constant reassurance. The use of blogs, wikis, e.portfolios and avatars would all be beneficial for these students as a platform to express themselves and communicate with others.

Discussion forums have been vital to my learning in this course where my colleagues and I have created a Community of Practice. I hope some of us will keep in contact through a common medium, for example the Moodle discussion forums and blogs, and continue to support each other and share information in the future. I will be encouraging students to use blogs, e.portfolios and wikis so they can share information and ideas at any time of day or night. However, ICTs are not always accessible to everyone but this can be overcome by allowing students to learn from one another as shown in Sugata Mitra’s “Hole in the Wall” project. Incorporating ICTs into our pedagogical strategies can be very beneficial as most are accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Students can use the internet and email for their study at home, university or other destination, enabling them to decide when and where they will learn. Recently I established a Delicious account, after Sally, a fellow GDLT student, told me to consider it. I now have my favourite websites at my fingertips no matter when or where I am working online.

This course has taught me how using technology can be linked to:
• The immediacy of learning, for example a google search in school by teacher or student using an IWB, will engage and interest all students.
• Authentic tasks and how important they are for student learning by engaging in activities learners are interested in. I can incorporate various KLA’s in an authentic task, for example using angles, time and distances in mathematics and then participating in a physics experiment creating rockets and calculating its maximum height.
• Engage previously unengaged students as demonstrated in the “Voices from the Cape” video.
• More student-centred learning and higher order thinking

As well as those technologies listed above I feel INCOMPTECH, WIKIpedia, Picnik, Flickr would be useful for secondary school students as a way of researching, interpreting. manipulation and collating information for their final product.

Skills, students require for the 21st century, are those which result in higher order thinking, creativity and reflecting. The importance of incorporating ICTs into our pedagogical framework is highlighted in the curriculum documents in every state. I will need to design authentic learning experiences so students are engaged in their learning and thinking beyond the classroom. By doing this, the learning experience has a purpose and therefore students will find it enjoyable and engage in interactive learning throughout their life.

Abraham, A. (2006) The need for the integration of emotional intelligence skills. Wollongong, NSW Faculty of Commerce papers.

Active Learning Online

Houghton, J. and Sheehan, P. (2000) A Primer on the Knowledge Economy, Victoria University. Retrieved from CQUniversity e-course, EDED20491 ICTs for learning design,

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved from 14 March, 2010 from

Kunc, K. (1992) The Need to Belong: Rediscovering Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs.

Siemens, G. (2004) Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age Retrieved 15 March, 210 from

Sir Ken Robinson TED Talk (2006, Feb) [Video file]. Retrieved March 15, 2010 from

Links to comments made on fellow GDLT student blogs:

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