Versatility of teaching (VOC5)

Today’s AC-session had its emphasis placed on how to add some versatility into teaching. There were few interesting new theories introduced for this session (such as connectivism, MOOCs), and it seems that by harnessing modern technologies teachers can nowadays have totally different approaches to teaching itself as well as planning courses.

On this session, the groups were into three separate AC-rooms, and the topics were such as “how to classify various teaching methods, what teaching methods improve the versatility of teaching, what are the core skills of teaching” etc. For this session it felt, that every group had the opportunity to improvise their teaching methods in order to make it work well with the given topic. Our group had this “method game” -approach, where we did rough classification of teaching methods. Other group had a pre-task to watch video blog posting about bad and good teaching experiences, and to name few personal examples of such experiences. The groups managed well with their respective pre-tasks, although there wasn’t that much time to concentrate on at least one pre-task, as it was posted not that well in advance. Perhaps it was because of that this weeks’ lesson took place on Tuesday, not on Thursday as usual…

The popplet worked great for this session, and also other online tools such as quick poll of teachers’ most important characteristics, and videos which I like. It would be great if I could do those kind of animated videos by myself some day!

For me it seems, that the modern technologies makes many things faster and the improved accessibility of information has changed the nature of learning. It might result in decreased authority of teacher, since the students may have more up-to-date information of a certain subject matter than teacher, if the lecture material is somewhat outdated. This might happen in rapidly progressing field of study e.g. wireless technologies, or information security.

In regard of one task given to us during the session of “how would you teach different species of fish for two totally different groups” I feel that this “traditional” way might work best, such as photos showing the differences of the species, or even a video documentary if available.

Until next time

-Matti

First EduSci -virtual study session

On wednesday 19th of August we had our first Adobe Connect-session of the EduSci-course. Blair Stevenson organized the AC-session, and it was full of interesting surprises…

Our pre-task was to find two digital images depicting good and bad ways of lecturing, and I did it few days before the AC-session. After testing out the connections and microphones, we went through the course schedule and course material, etc… The course itself is being divided into five parts, and one part of the course comprises pair activity with Scottish teacher education student! Looking forward to it! After discussing about the course we were divided into three virtual rooms to present our pre-task images and to shortly describe what kind of ideas everyone had with their images. The session was a success, and it seems that the course will be great, but I’m also pretty sure that in order to successfully pass the course it means, that I have to be active with my personal work and also study the subject matter well…

First teaching session

Last Thursday was the day of our first “teaching” -virtual session, which was interesting – to say the least… 🙂

The teaching was organized to be done in groups, and the session itself was divided into four main topics as per each of the groups. At first, there were few technical issues with virtual rooms, but luckily they didn’t bother after a while. The topics of the teaching sessions were about “Learning, guidance and recognizing different learners” and mostly of how the learning can be guided as a teacher.

The topic itself is wide – quick search, with some general keywords of the topic, resulted in plethora of publications and papers. Therefore it seems that collecting somewhat basic knowledge of the subject matter seems to be a doable task.

The virtual room, that I was participating in, was the room “Rats” and the subtopic was about recognizing different styles of learning as well as concepts and terms. The teaching session was conducted by Maria and she did really good work! I prepared myself with the topic beforehand with the pre-material, but there were few misunderstandings on my behalf, and it made it difficult for me to discuss about the topic. Note to self: Step 1: prepare yourself for the discussion. Step 2: repeat step one until prepared.

Our groups’ teaching topic was about learning theories and most common views of learning. The material linked to the Edulab-Wordpress site helped massively in the beginning. Some relevant and interesting publications of the subtopic were also found by using the Google Scholar. Our team organized our session to be held as a debate -type of discussion, and the preliminary tasks for the participants were to familiarize themselves with the topic by using our spreadsheet-document, as well as submitting their debate arguments to the Google Forms -page, which Eeva did for us.

It seems that by handing out pre-material as well as giving some preliminary task (even little task, which needs at least some concentration) motivates people, and also myself as I was doing the preliminary tasks for other subtopics as well. Also the right usage of web-based tools makes the pre-tasks easy to conduct, as well as effortless to submit.

For reflective purposes some notes that I came up with after the session:

+ Videos are motivating, and they are easy to watch

+ Well-organized session and clear tasks makes it easier to guide

+ Pre-material should be concise, motivating, and easy to comprehend

+ Participants’ respective tasks should also be given well in advance

+ Learning methods vary, and some learners may feel that one method may be better for them than others. Way to good teaching may lie in the successful combination of teaching methods for motivating learners, that favor some method over other.

Of course there are always some technical issues, but altogether I feel that it was a success for the groups. In addition, it was the first online session for me after the summer so it was kind of hard for me to get to the right mindset… Better luck next time.