Monday, November 28, 2011

VOILA! We made it! (a reflection)

What an experience! Taking the course of  "Pedagogies for Flexible Learning Supporting by Technology" as one of my elective courses is such a blessing for me. New insights and perspectives have been revealed to me. The topics have been arranged in sequences leading to the final assignment. Flexible learning, Pedagogies, Technologies, and Implementation are some topics that can be found in this course. I experienced that all topics provided were very useful in doing our final assignment. Well, actually it is a kind of project if I would say.

Some interesting moments…

I remembered when the lecturer, Dr.Petra Fisser, came with a game in her introduction session. It was very simple game, yet an interesting one. The game was very inspiring; it makes me understand that teaching as a package of technology, pedagogy, and content is not easy. I think, sufficient knowledge with many considerations on these three areas (technology, pedagogy, and content) should be gained by the teachers. This will surely give an impact on the students’ learning outcome.

Another thing I found interesting is when two of my classmates and I were asked to play “Seek ‘n Spell” outside during the class session of playing with several cool tools for education. It was my first time playing with that application. I would say, “IT WAS COOL!!!” As an adult, I can imagine how exciting the students would be if they play and learn with that application.

Some personal opinions…

My group and I chose to design a TPACK-based Science lesson for elementary students. The TPACK model presented on my previous post as a common model discussed during the course is also used during the process of our final project. It is a model about combining three important aspects of teaching with technology: Technology, Pedagogy, and Content.  Indeed, it seems very simple, but in my opinion it is not.

The use of particular technology or pedagogy for particular content is started with a choosing activity. The teacher has to make a choice and even can also combine two choices to design TPACK-based lesson plan. This choosing activity involved many considerations since each choice has their own impact to the designed lesson. Inappropriate choice will lead to ineffective lesson and put the teacher or the students into trouble.

I felt that group discussion is the determined key of our work in designing. We discussed about what topic should be chosen for the project; it was about the content aspect. We discussed about how the information of the chosen topic should be delivered appropriately to the elementary students; it was pedagogy aspect. And for the technology aspect, we discussed about what technology can be used during the lesson or by the students. These discussions led us to some choices and narrowed us to a framework of our design. I found that those right choices really help us through the rest of our works. I can say that the right choices would end in the right design.

From some literatures I read for this course and other courses, I found that technology is not a new issue for educational field. When radio or television was invented, many promising prediction about the ability of technology to replace the conventional tools failed to materialize. It also happened when computer came up. Technology failed to revolutionize education because of the inappropriate approach. Instead of adapting technology to fit the needs of the learners, learners or teachers were forced to adapt to the demands of the innovative technology. In my opinion, technology-driven approach is an inappropriate approach for TPACK. It should be a learner-centered approach by focusing on what learners need.

My group has some experiences on this technology issue during the process of the final project. We really adopted some kind of technologies and adapted it to our needs. We used dropbox to accommodate the need of a place to put our work together. Also, we used a free online generator to generate the QR codes needed for the lesson and a smartphone to check them whether they are working or not. It is technology which served us!

Some words to spell out…

Voila…my group and I made it! We designed a lesson for fifth graders of elementary school. The topic chosen is about “Parts of Plant”, with Collaborative Inquiry Learning as the pedagogy chosen, and the smartphones as the technologies used for the lesson. I consider this design as one of my achievements that fits my previous background as a science teacher in an elementary school in my home country. Let me say something about this course: this course is kind of additional professional development of my ‘hidden’ profession. Though I am not an official teacher now, but my prior knowledge as a teacher gets an added value of TPACK during this course.

So far, in my master programme I experienced working with several groups with different people. Different people always come with different ideas and different ways to communicate their ideas. Eventually, these differences form such a different group. Therefore, I always adjust myself to work in such way that will benefit the group and myself. It is not easy, but I would say that working in group always be an interesting experience for me.

TPACK-based lesson…yes, we made it!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bertha, thank you for your reflection and for participating in my course! As it was previous times it is very nice to read your reflections, because you base them on you own personal experiences. I hope you can use your new experiences here in Twente in your future career!