zondag 21 november 2010

my thoughts about the course

We just finished the course pedagogies for flexible learning supported by technology. I’m glad that I took this course because I learned a lot about TPACK and about designing a professional development program. As a final assignment we had to develop a professional development for teachers about TPACK.  I have up till now more been focusing on education for children then the education for teachers. In my later career it is very likely that I will be designing for teachers or other professionals so I thought that designing a lesson plan for teacher about TPACK was a very useful final project. When we got the assignment I wasn’t sure what I should be doing when designing something like a professional development program. You cant just, like with children, invent something fun and educational and just do it. With a professional development you have to think about so much more. Like the autonomy of the teacher and making something that they can really apply in there own classroom. The course had to be really practically and at the same time really connect with what the teachers already know.
            I also didn’t really know what should be included in a professional development course. I didn’t know if you have to show the teachers the complete reasoning behind the course or that you just give them the course with the objectives beside it. I still don’t quite know how much detail you must give the subject of the course but I think that it will depend on the situation. Another thing that was challenging for me was how much detail there should be in the program. Because ours was fictional I didn’t know to what extend we should have worked it out. We opted to give a overview of the program and just work out 1 day to show in greater detail what we meant.  
            The course in general I found interesting as I said before. I learned a lot about TPACK and working with it but (there is always a but) I think the focus is a lot on incorporating digital media in the classroom. Not that there is anything wrong with this but when I first started to learn about TPACK it was said that its not just about digital media but about all things that you use to teach with. Like a chalkboard or a book, but after mentioning this there is nothing done with this. It is often said that teachers haven’t reached TPACK yet but when you take into account that technology is everything that you can teach with then teachers are doing pretty well. I think that teachers haven’t reached TPACK yet with the digital media. This can be a real problem in education because the students are growing up in the digital age and have to learn about technology and how to work with it. So to summarize I like TPACK it gives a real clear framework for integrating technology in the classroom and I think that it is something that could be very useful in my career after Educational Design (whatever that may be).  I also like the fact that when I started the course I simple thought about flexible learning as distance education. Now I know better and really recognise what is flexible about the other courses that I take so I can see that im really applying the knowledge that I have learned here.

woensdag 27 oktober 2010

implementation and Blackboard

Well you can guess what I want to blog about this week. I want to blog a little bit about the implementation and TPACK. Last we had a lecture about this and it was really interesting. The biggest lesson that I learned was that one of the biggest conditions for the a good implementation process is drinking a lot of coffee with the middle manager. This is the person that is at the centre of it al and without him the implementation will fail.
On the university we have recently started to work with Blackboard. This is an online learning environment that replaced the TeleTop system. As a student we didn’t really get a lot of information about blackboard. Just an email informing us that we were going to use this and a short lesson about how it works. I think the university assumed that the students would pick it all up very quickly just by doing. The teachers on the other hand got a lot of support. You saw them practicing in the pc-rooms and they also got individual support. It was interesting that this individual support was given by students that never worked with is but were given a little course on how to use it. This made we wonder if in the future the implementation of ICT will be as difficult as it is now. People of my generation are very much used to using ICT and getting to know new programs. Will we remain this flexible or will we also stop exploring technology and stick to what we know because that is best?

zondag 24 oktober 2010

Technology in TPACK

I was browsing the internet one day and found the following clip: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/7527.flv. It is a video from the bbc about a new teacher training centre in Scotland that has lessons about playing outdoors in the forest. When I saw this I was wondering about this in relation with TPACK. For one thing I find it hard to place this in the TPACK model. It is a sort of an aid to learning so it could be placed under the technology part but it is also a means of learning so it could also be placed in my opinion as an pedagogy. If you have got some good ideas about this please help because I am really struggling with this.
Another thing that I found interesting about this video is that towards the end, it is said that they want to let children experience the real world and not just from a computer screen. I really see the point in this. I think children nowadays especially those who live in the city don’t go out in the woods to learn for examples about what kinds of trees there are. At least I cant remember ever going outdoors in elementary school. I assume that going outside falls under the technology part, because it is an aid to learning or an activity, which brings me to the next issue I wanted to discuss. In the TPACK model there is a great emphasis on technology. That with technology is not only meant a blog like this but also a blackboard is told when you start to use this model. This is however easily forgotten further on. You really start to think more about electronic devices and not about other tools that are available. I think maybe this is a little bit misleading about the model. Maybe a more broader term would have covered everything better like 'means' or 'activities'. But please give me your view on this, because maybe I understand the model all wrong.

maandag 18 oktober 2010

what I have learned so far....

In the last couple of weeks I have learned that its not just distance education when people are talking about flexible learning. Flexible learning is about much more than that. It is about all the different possibilities that teacher have when giving their lesson. This is also something that I see returning in TPACK it’s a flexible way of thinking about education. It gives teachers the possibility to explore their own teaching methods, content en technological possibilities.  The course has opened my eyes to all the possibilities that there are with the current technology. In a way it is funny that in another course that is also about integrating technology we  talk at how difficult it is do that and in this course we only see the fun side of it. I think that for me it is good that I have both courses because the 2 ways of looking at it make that you balance it and create your own view. I think that for teachers who are technological savvy and are creative can really benefit from TPACK and have a lot of fun with that. I don’t think on the other hand that is very easy to implement more use of  technology in schools. I think that that for example without a clear vision were the schools want s to go the technology will not implemented fully. So in my opinion there is more necessary than just TPACK but it is a good start.


In lasts weeks class we discussed the TPACK model and we asked to blog about this. So lets talk a little bit about TPACk. TPACK is a model that helps teacher with the integration of technology into their lessons. It shows the teachers what elements they need to consider when trying to integrate technology into their class.
The T in TPACK stands for Technological knowledge, The P for pedagogical knowledge and C for content knowledge. A teacher needs to consider all these 3 knowledge types and the overlap in them. This means that he needs to look at the technological-pedagogical knowledge, The technological-content knowledge and the pedagogical-content knowledge. And last but certainly not least he must look at the technological pedagogical content knowledge or TPACK when designing a lesson with technology.
With the technological knowledge  are meant things like the skills to work wit ICT and the ability to learn about technology.
With pedagogical knowledge things are meant like students prior knowledge, classroom management, student evaluation and classroom resources.
The content knowledge encompasses knowledge about facts, theories and procedures. Also things like explanatory frameworks fall under the content knowledge.
So with technological pedagogical knowledge is meant that teachers think about how there pedagogies change because of technology. Technological content knowledge makes teacher look at how the content changes because of technology and pedagogical content knowledge makes teachers look at how there content is represented in the instruction.
The TPACK model really tries to help to teacher and other developers to take into account all these elements so that a complete lesson is developed.
Personally I think that TPACK is good model it gives the teacher the tools it needs to work with. But (there is almost always a but) teacher do need to learn how to work with the TPACK model, because as logical as it seems it is quite hard to work with the first time. I do think that with a little bit of explaining and help designing a lesson or two the teacher can work with TPACK on his own.
There are some limitations with working with the TPACK model. A teacher never knows if that what he is designing works. It will be a complete lesson but if it is a effective lesson that is another question. That is something that will only show after the lesson is given. So in the design process the effectiveness is completely judged by the teacher experience and intuition. So the conclusion for is that it is good model and that it will really help teacher but that people do need to take into account that TPACK doesn’t do everything.

the TPACK model:

from: http://www.frankwatching.com/archive/2010/03/04/onderwijs-2-0-heeft-docent-2-0-nodig/

dinsdag 5 oktober 2010

5 pedagogies supported by blackboard

Here is a piece about the different pedagogies and how they can be used in different digital supportive environments link for instance Blackboard. First of all it might be handy to describe what a pedagogy is, because in ma last piece about pedagogies I didn’t describe a pedagogy but a learning theory. So just to make it clear for myself a pedagogy can be described as a teaching method. Pedagogies are the principles and methods of the instruction. There are many other definitions but this is one that was given to me in class and I think it’s very clear.

Okay the first pedagogy I wanted to discuss is constructivist learning. In constructivist learning it is thought that students generate meaning from the interaction between their experience and their ideas. The idea is that the child develops problem solving skills and conceptual skills. A lesson according to the constructivist learning should have the following set up:
1. Select Problem
2. Provide Related Case
3. Provide Information
4. Provide Cognitive Tools
5. Provide Conversation Tools
6. Provide Social Support
The problem in this learning theory should be ill-defined or ill structured.  For a blackboard environment the problem should be engaging and should address the whole problem space. There should be some related cases or examples that are worked out so students can understand the reasoning that is being used.  Information should be given just in time and needs to readily accessible. For the coginitive tools there should be some information that helps to scaffold the required skills.  These tools can be about problem-representation, knowledge modeling, performance support and information gathering.  The fifth step relates to forming ideas and experience. For this it is important that there is something on blackboard like a discussion forum were students can meet to build their knowledge. The last step is to provide social/ contextual support for the learning environment. This could be done by making a notice on blackboard that students can come to the teacher for more information or that they can ask questions to some other expert for example that could be online in Blackboard for a coulpe of hours a week.

Nine events of instruction
The second one are the nine events of instruction by Gagne (1977). This is a pedagogy that can be traced back to the behaviorist theory where a subject is provide with a stimuli and eventually gives the correct response through reinforcement.  The focus is on what is the end result of for example a training. The steps that have to be taken for the 9 events of instruction are:  
1. Gain Attention
2. Inform Learner of Objective(s)
3. Recall Prior Knowledge
4. Present Stimulus Materials
5. Provide Learning Guidance
6. Elicit Performance
7. Provide Feedback
8. Assess Performance
9. Enhance Retention and Transfer  
For a blackboard envirinonment this could be arranged it in the following way. You can raise the attention of the students by presenting an interesting case that relates to their prior knowledge. You can put the goals that need to be achieved on there so that the students know what to do. These can be the goals of the assignment but also which competencies the student must have learned at the end of the course. Because the problem relates to their prior knowledge you can add a page with information that they already must know and that they can use. In an other page you can put the information that students can use to solve the case. Learner guidance can be provided through for example opening a discussion page were the teacher can answer the questions from students. To elicit performance sub tasks can be set that students need to perform and feedback can be given to them by the teacher. The assessment should be done by the teacher but on the blackboard environment a list could be posted on which grounds the end result is judged. For the retention and transfer a final lecture could be planned by the teacher on blackboard  in which the goals and objectives that are on blackboard can be discussed.

Problem based learing
Problem based learning is a pedagogy that states that student learn bycreating their own knowledge.
A lesson can be set up by giving the students an ill defined and illstructered problem that they have to solve.  This problem should be tailored to students level which means that it shouldn’t be easy but also not to difficult. This problem can be posted on Blackboard. To solve this problem students should collaborate in groups so that the can share their knowledge. In blackboard this can be facilitated by giving students their own working space were they can post there own documents. IN this enveirronment they work by self-directed learning and so they should discover for themselves as agroup which domains need to be explored. What knowledge they already have and what the should learn to solve the problem. With all this knowledge they construct mental new mental models and solve the problem. The teacher as a role as a coach and could make appointments for coaching sessions so he knows how far the students have progressed.

Learning from a webquest
The fourth pedagogy that I wanted to discuss is learning through a webquest. Before this I had never thought that a webquest was pedagogy so I thought it was interesting. A webquest as the following order of doing things in a lesson
1. The Introduction orients students and captures their interest
2. The Task describes the activity’s end product
3. The Process explains strategies students should use to complete the task
4. The Resources are the Web sites students use to complete the task
5. The Evaluation measures the results of the activity
6. The Conclusion sums up the activity and encourages students to reflect on its process and results
Off course you have special webquest websites were you can find all kinds of webquests but it is also possible to adapt a blackboard environment to this.  You again start with a good introduction and then describe the goals that need to be attained. In another blackboard page you can describe the strategies that students need to use and which model there is for completing the task. Websites can be given to students so they know were to look, but if teacher want to make it harder they can also just give a few key words and students can go look for the information themselves. After an anwerhas been submitted a model answer could be posted by the teacher so they can compare their own answer to the model answer and reflect on this.

And finally I want to discuss guided experimental learning. This is a theory by clark is designed because he assumes that learning accurse best when I a context of a goal that is relevant, meaningful and interesting to students. He also states that it is best to learn within the context in which the skill used (so outside the learning environment). A lesson set-up for this would look like this:
1. Goals
2. Reasons and Activation
3. Demonstration
4. Application
5. Integration
6. Assessment
In blackboard the goals should be set very clearly so students know what they should know at the end of the lesson or course. It also should be stated why it is important to learn this. This comes from step 2: reasons an activation. This can be done in a larger framework of all the lessons so students see why this is important. The demonstration part is probably more suited for inside a lesson then instead of on blackboard. So the students really understand what can be learned. The demonstration can direct students to relevant information and provide can make a good framework for the context. This can also be accompanied by job-aids that summarize steps and discussion steps. These steps can also be put on blackboard as a reminder to students. After this the application phase starts and students need to show that they have knew knowledge and skills by solving problems. The integration phase can be done by letting the student show their skills, reflect on them let them create something in which they show their new skills. Blackboard could accommodate this by giving the students the opportunity to sign on for any one of these activities.  The teacher can then assess the knowledge by judging the works that are made. A list of things that are judged on can be posted on blackboard.

Okay this is my very long list about pedagogies and how they can be used with electronic programs like Blackboard.