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Sunday, 22 May 2016

What does a post-industrial class look like? Part 2

This post is the second part of a series that I have been working on to identify what does a post-industrial class look like? In my previous post, I looked at using video, collaborative discussion, grouping and student-centred learning.


Why a large display and one to one?
The large electronic display is used as it offers many benefits to a given lesson; these include demonstration and modelling as the teacher could showcase the application or video from the board (Moss, et al, 2007). It is easy to show the important features of particular web-based activities and have students interact with the material on their own devices. The board can accommodate different learning styles (Herrington & Harrington, 2006). Interactive boards can help tactile learners by touching and marking the board. Audio learners can have the class discussion and auditory multimedia, visual learners can see what is taking place as it develops at the board and it offers multimodal learning which can be tailored to the ability and stage of individual learners (McInerney & McInerney, 1998).

The ultimate goal is to give students the best opportunity to be engaged with each learning experience, by offering them consistency, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. This is primarily a constructivist approach to teaching (Mcleod & Reynolds, 2007) and as such, we appreciate that students build their own understanding of the world they live in.

The use of a large electronic display in my classroom is used to model and display student work I often have exemplars of high-quality work and together with the students work through the editing process.

Though a one to one program might look different from place to place, they have a few things in common: every student has a device for their own learning and no one form is perfect. In my classroom, we utilise the “bring your own” model. I believe students are well served by learning to use technology at school for learning as well as for communication and entertainment. The introduction one to one has presented a number of challenges but there are substantial benefits for the students’ learning that are being seen.

In addition to the large electronic display and one to one devices I have plenty of whiteboards, we have a large whiteboard stand up desk, individual student boards and one wallboard. These allow in an unplugged way students to demonstrate their working and understanding.

Why scaffold and model activities?
Scaffolding and modelling provides an example of the teacher’s expectations, whereby the most important steps and decisions are emphasised (Jonassen, 1998). Scaffolding the learning builds student confidence and ability to expand intellectual qualities through constant constructive feedback as part of learning processes (Beale, 2005). This occurs when the learner’s inner speech occurs on an automatic, unconscious level (Ellis, Larkin & Worthington, 1994).

Learning experience are scaffolded as a way of providing support, such as contextual support, support by asking 'leading questions', support by giving away parts of the solution and asking students to draw on their previous experience (Winnips, 1998). The activities offer the teacher the opportunity to illustrate and explain the different perspectives and arguments from this potentially precarious environmental subject, placing it in everyday situations using different approaches to the ways of learning (Bonwell & Eison, 2000).

The scaffolding process is designed to ensure that throughout a unit the students become more self-reliant and develop skills to become self-directed learners, an example of this is making the student aware of the process which led to the discovery (Coltman, Petyaeva & Anghileri, 2002).  In addition to improving learners’ cognitive abilities, scaffolding instruction in the context of classroom learning
  1. Delivers efficiency as the work is structured and focused. The distractions have been reduced allowing time on task and efficiency in completing the activity to be increased.
  2. Creates momentum through the structure provided by scaffolding. Students spend less time searching and more time on learning and discovering, resulting in quicker learning (McKenzie, 1999).
In this, the needs of individual students learning styles are catered for, increasing engagement and significance (DET NSW, 2003). By teachers knowing and utilising the student’s learning styles, they help develop coping strategies to compensate for the student’s weaknesses and capitalise on the student’s strengths. Scaffolding is an important instructional tool because it supports students’ learning. It helps students to understand that they can teach and learn from others and leads to collaboration.

Design Thinking
Design thinking is a way of approaching problem solving and challenges. It is about creating and designing new inventions, prototypes, and products by our students. Students are given real-world, relevant challenges to solve.  Each class works on a variety of issues and find solutions using the Design Thinking process. It is an element of education that is uniquely embedded into to computational thinking and technologies banner; however, has relevance to all other areas of the curriculum.

Conclusion
In a post-industrial class, students are required practice to actively construct knowledge, build connections, and mental schemata. Students are encouraged to develop a growth mindset and create high-quality artefacts. Learning in this type of socially constructed environment leads to students taking responsibility for their own learning and respecting their own and others’ thinking. It is an environment that creativity and divergent thinking are encouraged. Students are aware, failure is part of the learning process and that the pit of learning is something not to be scared of.

In my own situation, I have observed that silos that had previously separated classes start to be removed. With team teaching, open classrooms and collaborative planning. Students have flexible seating and are encouraged to critically think about multiple solutions to problems. The teacher’s role facilitates the learning; however, differentiated personalised learning, individualised coaching and at the shoulder teaching holds as much value as the teacher-centric up the front explicit teaching.

Part 1 can be found by following this link.


References

Beale, I. L. (2005). Scaffolding and integrated assessment in computer assisted learning for children with learning disabilities. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 21(2): 173-191.

Coltman, P., Petyaeva, D., & Anghileri, J. (2002). Scaffolding learning through meaningful tasks and adult interaction. Early Years, 22(1): 39-49

Ellis, E., Larkin, M., & Worthington, L. (1994). Executive summary of the research synthesis on effective teaching principles and the design of quality tools for educators. University of Alabama, AL. http://idea.uoregon.edu/~ncite/documents/techrep/tech06.html

Herrington, A. & Harrington, J., (2006). Authentic Learning Environments in Higher Education, Information Science: Melbourne.

Jonassen, D. H. (1998). Designing constructivist learning environments. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional theories and models (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

McInerney, D. & McInerney, V. (1998). Educational Psychology: Constructing Learning. Sydney: Prentice Hall.

McKenzie, J. (1999).  Scaffolding for Success. Beyond Technology, Questioning, Research and the Information Literate School Community. http://fno.org/dec99/scaffold.html

McLeod & Reynolds (2007). Quality Teaching for Quality Learning, South Melbourne : Thomson Social Science Press.

Moss, G., Jewitt, C., Levačić, R., Armstrong, V. Cardini, A and Castle, F (2007). The Interactive Whiteboards, Pedagogy and Pupil Performance Evaluation: an Evaluation of the Schools Whiteboard Expansion (SWE) Project: London Challenge, School of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies, Institute of Education, University of London.

DET NSW (2003) Quality Teaching in NSW public schools, discussion paper. New South Wales Department of Education, Sydney.


Winnips, J. C. (1998). Scaffolding the development of skills in the design process for educational media through hyperlinked units of learning material: report of activities performed in the first year of PH. D. research (Internal report). Enschede: University of Twente, Netherlands.
 
 
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