IGNITE SUMMIT Day 1

A bunch of energetic teachers came together to learn more about teaching and learning in an exciting new school, Sampoerna Academy.

Questions: What were some of the A-HA moments for you on Day 1?

Personally I was excited to observe and learn more about the individual teachers; their passion, talent and eagerness to make a dent in the world of education.

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Summary: Role of Technology in the Classroom

Introduction

As an educator, it is hard not to get excited about the recent advancement of technology. With excitement abound, it easy to forget that the process of teaching and learning is rather a complex matter and the infusion of ICT is not the silver bullet that most expect it to be. The recent fiasco of iPad procurement in California worth nearly 1.3 billion dollars to put a device in the hands of each student recently was cancelled and now being investigated by the authorities. Critics argued that it was too expensive in a time of dramatic budget cuts. Some also worried that the rollout had been rushed, that the software wasn’t finished and had glitches, and that the district’s infrastructure, training and security procedures were insufficient for this kind of effort (NPR.org, 2015). Nevertheless, I believe ICT has an important role in the classroom in enhancing instruction and producing deeper learning but it needs careful consideration, planning and training.

Framework

As technology increasingly plays a central role in all our lives, inadvertently educators are more interested by the question of how technology can be used to transform education and enhance student learning (Hew & Brush, 2007). There are three broad areas that one  must familiarise with if intending to implement ICT in the classroom; these areas are the knowledge dimension, cognitive dimension and the different pedagogical approaches.  These correlates with the TPACK framework (Baran, Thompson, Mishra, Koehler & Shin, 2009) that emphasises the importance of Content, Pedagogical and Technological Knowledge. The knowledge dimension here refers to the teachers deep knowledge of the subject being taught. Technological knowledge is generally poses a great challenge for most teachers. For one, a teacher needs to know technologicy related to their subject matter and  dedicate time to keep up. In addition to the knowledge dimension, the revised Bloom taxonomy (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001) includes the cognitive process dimension. This particular taxonomy provides a unique two-dimensional framework for evaluating and classifying learning by knowledge type and cognitive process. Such a framework can help researchers and educators to obtain a better understanding about the intended learning, as well as the instructional activities (Su, Osisek, & Starnes, 2004). Finally one must be familiar with the various pedagogical approaches such as transmissive, dialogic, constructionist and co-constructive instruction. Now a particular teacher may possess varying skills in the different domains, but to reach the competency needed to design lessons using ICT, the three knowledge domains need to synergise. This is no easy task for even the most experienced teacher. Therefore central to success of ICT in the classroom is dependent upon knowledge and implemention of a framework such as the one proposed above.

Conclusion

Does the use of technology produce positive impact? I am inclined to say yes based on my own experience and successes. Yet it must be emphasised that just because some form of technology is being used in the classroom, it does not mean the learning outcomes are necessarily achieved. In fact, one may achieve the same or better outcomes without it. The positive effects are not necessarily attributed to the technologies per se but to how the technologies are used. Like any other tool, pedagogy and instructional strategy should be developed and practiced, along with the use of technology (Hew & Wing, 2012).

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Reference

Anderson, L.,  Krathwohl, D. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York:Longman.

Hew, K. F.,  Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: Current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research.

Educational Technology Research and Development, 55, 223–252.

Hew, K.,  Wing S. C. ‘Use Of Web 2.0 Technologies In K-12 And Higher Education: The Search For Evidence-Based Practice’. Educational Research Review 9 (2012): 47-64.

NPR.org,. ‘The LA School Ipad Scandal: What You Need To Know’. N.p., 2014. Web. 30 May 2015.

Schmidt, D., Baran, E., Thompson, A., Mishra, P., Koehler, M., & Shin, T. (2009). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). Journal Of Research On Technology In Education, 42(2), 123-149.

Su, W. M., Osisek, P., & Starnes, B. (2004). Applying the revised Bloom’s taxonomy to a medical-surgical nursing lesson. Nurse Educator, 3, 116–120.

Classroom Management Practice

Classroom Management basically entails in ensuring student engagement in learning.

1. Supporting Activities for ICT Tools

I would provide a step by step handout that will assist the student in using Google Earth even after the demonstrations as students may have different ability level in engaging with ICT.

2. Role of Teacher

As students work on their task, based on their preference and choices, I will be their ‘guide on the side’ providing assistance when needed. In this way I can move from one small group to another.

3. Role of Student Helpers

I have used student experts before and I intend to use them in my lesson plan. Identifying them beforehand and introducing them as student helpers will inform students to whom they can turn  when they need assistance. It is always good to have the school IT staff on the standby just in case I myself encounter a problem that requires their intervention. 

4. Technical Support for Teachers

This again depends on the technical ability and confidence of the teacher. Personally I feel I am able to conduct an ICT class on my own but I also know when I do need help and have staff available to assist me when needed.

5. Establishment of Rules and Procedures

This is extremely important, because when these are not clearly articulated, it can affect the process of teaching and learning. I will make expectations very clear so that students can work safely, securely and most importantly, in a productive manner in completing their work. 

Assessment Strategies

In these series of short lessons, it will be important to know as a teacher are the students meeting the learning outcomes intended as they interact with technology and the task presented to them. One idea I have is to use the social feature of Google Drive to to communicate first hand with students as they work through their task; the assessment would be formative in nature. Another assessment type I intend to use is self assessment, in which students are able to monitor their learning and formulate questions they may have in order to further their understanding.

Lesson Planning: Advice

One of the first things I realised as a teacher is that good lesson planning takes time and experience. It will get better and as a teacher you get better over time in planning and execution. Secondly, I find collaborative lesson planning are important as putting many heads and different perspectives into a plan only makes it better. Thirdly, one needs to be always prepared to make changes and adapt as the lesson progresses because when you have 20 different individuals in a class, things are never guaranteed to go according to plan. Lastly, always have a backup plan when you are planning to use technology in the classroom. You never know what can go wrong, and they do go wrong.

Learning Theories and Assignment

The author starts out by asking this question?

“How do we ensure that pedagogy exploits the technology, and not vice versa?” Technology should not be used to enhance conventional learning designs. Rather in needs to create a much more effective and innovative learning designs. To this effort, a sound use of pedagogy is of utmost importance. In my lesson, the design would employ all three pedagogical principles; instructionism, constructionism and collaborative learning.

“The argument put forward in this paper is to use what we know about what it takes to learn, and build this into a pedagogical framework with which to challenge digital technologies to deliver a genuinely enhanced learning experience.” Applying technology because it is pervasive and available does not make learning better, rather it needs to be designed with a sound  pedagogical framework.

A Teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge and wisdom in the pupils.