Review of cohort videos:
Cheryl, Heather and Ben
Really liked the round-table format. Using the live-streaming synchronous method of interacting allowed for the “discussion” style of relaying information. I had lots of pausing to write all of my notes for the video. While I understood the topic of using info tech for assessments, I wasn’t clear about what Cheryl meant by the statement of “so much data and no one know what to do with it.” Was that about having raw test scores and assignment marks to analyze? Or having assessment tools and trying to see which ones are most effective in evaluating student understanding?
I agree that there is huge potential in game-play learning and that being a teacher who designs or informs a game-designer would be great for a career, but as you know, there’s a lot of “educational software” out there – some good, some not-so-good – and it is a tricky business. The most difficult part with game design is how to reach its audience: adolescents. Games have such a short shelf-life that literally it is a “here today, gone tomorrow” world of use. In the world of gaming, even the best, most popular game will be tossed aside in a year, so to have adolescents use a game after its popularity has run its course is very difficult. Typically, what an adult views as excellent does not translate well to children. As parents, we all have tried to steer our children towards very engaging, educationally sound games, only to have them play for ten minutes and never touch again. It may be that we have to stop chasing the elusive “entertaining and educational” activity, as it will always be just out of reach.
Stellar video and topic!
Faune, Leanne and Rochelle
Really enjoyed the playful aspect of the video. You clearly had a vision of what you were producing, and to involve so many colleagues! Very impressive. The extra touch of text at the bottom of the screen helped a lot – I think in hindsight, our group should have made use of that (or subtitles). The topic of tackling technology truly touched on teachers’ trepidation to tie together technology and ‘tudents. Too tough!
This does bring up the Clark-Kozma debate of whether media can influence learning. Certainly when handled properly, every teacher will tell you that media can influence learning. However we live in a world that is imperfect, and having all of the tools and resources we need to make the media effective is not always the reality.
Loved the use of props, both real and imagined!
Trevor and Emily
Very well explained, and with great examples to highlight your points! Wholeheartedly agree with Emily’s point about a leader’s role in fostering a teacher’s learning environments for technology integration, and the what, how and why it is being brought in. Talking about the respect that the leader must convey to the staff is key to buy-in. As Emily states, in any school there will be teachers with a wide range of experience with technology, from skilled to neophyte. A good leader must be able to navigate the interpersonal side of guiding the uninitiated without overwhelming them, and understanding that some teachers know a lot about the use of the technology. The right approach can make or break the influence of the leader.
Appreciative Inquiry – certainly Trevor is right about being positive as the core principle in adopting something new. This is not limited to technology, but to life in general, although with teachers and technology in the classroom, this is very important. Trevor does touch on the idea of the positive outlook to life in general being the most predictable part of the reading.
Tracey and Mackenzie
As I mentioned in Faune, et al’s section, I appreciated the text on the screen – I wish we had thought to do that more on ours. Really liked the visuals!
I think that Schrier’s 7 guiding questions are at the heart of any use of technology in the classroom. These are excellent questions for all activities that a teacher does, but become very important when it comes to games and technology in the classroom.
As for the Chen-Chung article, although I agree that creator-based learning gets students engaged, I fall back on Clark-Kozma: could it be done without the media? In my English 11 class, I have students make their own games with the theme of William Golding’s, Lord of the Flies as the background. Students must design the games under certain guiding criteria, and while most fall back on an existing game and altering it, some come up with a new twist that is entirely unique. This is primarily done without computers, although they can use computers as well to create the game. So yes, Minecraft is a great game to learn certain concepts, but is it just a computer-based version of using Lego?
Deirdre, Gary and Andrew
Very humbling to be given a shout-out in another group’s video! I applaud your costuming efforts! A question regarding Gary’s costume: on the one hand it looked like a suit bag fitted like a garbage bag rain jacket, but then it was so short that it couldn’t have been a suit bag. So what was it? Of course with Andrew doing the media class, I thought it might be a covering from a lighting softbox. Regardless, an elegant touch combined with the cinnamon buns.
Guided Discovery Principle sounds like Trevor Mackenzie read that article. I think of learning to ride a bike as the “not too much, not too little” aspect of guidance. Learner Control seems like online learning or the old correspondence course method. Collaboration Principle is a bit like what this Master’s cohort is doing right now for the videos – cognitively demanding, and effectively shared.
Sean, Jeremy and Clay
You all looked very cold! Clay was visibly shaking, although Jeremy had no coat on and seemed okay. I loved Jeremy’s vocal pace – I was able to type and keep up with most of what he was saying.
Split attention principle seems intuitive, except there was a contradictory part to it in that the next principle promoted the exact opposite method. The modality principle espoused a mixed mode presentation over a single mode, and split attention says to limit it to one mode.
As Clay states, cueing and split attention and modality all have occurred in education for centuries; we only just are identifying them as different ways to present multimedia.
Jerry and Rhyanon
Like the velociraptor in Deirdre, Gary and Andrew’s video, I was left wondering about Rhyanon on a yardstick and what looks like a Van De Graaff generator and Jerry eating some sort of cake: an in-joke or a random, “Why not put it in the video?”
Of course your topic was about a topical as you can get: this is your life. Flexible learning for both teachers and students is a very different way to teach and learn. At the end of the day, it can only work for certain types of students (and parents) who can make it work. The blended part also works with a certain type of student. As we are currently doing this master’s course in a type of blended environment (at least for the ones in Victoria) we can examine ourselves as a case study. To your point, this is post-secondary, and there are huge differences and implications when there are adults versus children studying and learning.
Joanna Nicole and Hayley
I really enjoyed the format of debate – it allowed for a clear separation of approaches which highlighted the validity of each. Of course you were very civil with each other though. I don’t know how Joanna decided who won each point; seemed like it was on a whim. 🙂
Digital equity is huge when we look at the public school system. On the one hand, as Hayley said, it levels the playing field more by allowing many people access to information. But at the same time, like the pigs say in Animal Farm, “some are more equal than others.” It doesn’t tkae much to see the disparity between students not only in types of phones they have, but in some cases, having one at all. This is a pretty basic indicator of socio-economic status, as Nicole pointed out. Technically, school is supposed to give all equal access and take away the disparities. Technically.
These were such excellent and informative videos. Heidi, Lawrence, Rene and I did not have the intellectual rigor that all of the other groups put in, but all of our discussion happened before we did our recording. When we sat down to talk about our articles, we made the case for each category, and then chose one, instead of each of us highlighting our four articles on camera. Obviously we were hoping to make up for it with the visual entertainment.