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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Technology can Enhance Pedagogy

It can be ascertained that by reading Glover et al., (2005), technology can enhance the pedagogy, subject to teachers and students engaging with it and understanding its potential.  It is a pedagogical means to achieve teaching and learning goals. Their outcomes aligned with my experience using the interactive whiteboards. The interactive whiteboard allowed the teacher to portray the information through a variety of illustration enhancing deeper understanding and engagement (Kennewell and Beauchamp, 2003).

Examples of Augmented Learning achieved in my classroom that have enhancing deeper understanding and engagement. Many of these were achieved using social media such as Google Hangouts.
Virtual excursions around the Great Barrier Reef
Global games such as “ Travelling Buddies”
Class blogs & Twitter in the Classroom
Experts in the room
Global issues reporter
Mystery Locations
Not Perfect Hat Club
Blended Learning
Problem Based Learning

I am able to model discussion and letter writing activities, annotate and elaborate these for student’s view, they were then able to copy these and build on these text types with other topics.  Anything drawn or written on the interactive whiteboard could be saved, built on, adapted, produced and when needed repeated for deeper exploration.

I found through the integration of the interactive whiteboard, lessons became easier to incorporate and used a range of multimedia resources in lessons, such as written text, pictures, video, sound, diagrams and websites to enhance learning experiences. An example was during a HSIE lesson on the topic of cultures, the class was discussing significant cultural aspects of India. The planned lesson was to examine the role of Indian media in maintaining and highlighting traditional Indian culture. The interactive whiteboard allowed the embedding within the lesson Bollywood dancing via a YouTube video. This activity inspired many students to begin to engage with the lesson, beyond the material covered, choosing to participate in optional personal interest projects on India, one even empowered her parents to join in with some Bollywood dancing as she began to research the heritage of the dance.
These student directed projects were valuable learning opportunities where students pursued areas they found interesting.

This reaction is supported by Mercer et al., (2005) who suggested students’ responses became increasingly elaborative when supported with activities presented through interaction with the board. In contrast students would present minimal responses when offered minimal interaction and guidance (Kirschner, Sweller and Clark, 2005).

In utilising the interactive whiteboard purposefully, I found students would build on what others draw or write on the board as well as what they say. I then designed a short lesson sequences to try out the new ideas allowed students to attach significance to their learning experience and generate deeper levels of understanding. Mini lessons regarding angles within triangles were examples of this where students using diagrams and the interactive scaffolding were able to discover that all triangles have 180 degrees and quadrilateral and circles have 360 degrees. When the teacher purposefully creates the right conditions to support risk taking and changing of minds, rich new forms of dialogue and activity emerge – both at the board and away from it (Mercer, et al., 2010).

I was also able to scaffold student learning by reducing the complexity of the task by providing material support for the development of their ideas. Scaffolding the learning builds student confidence and ability to expand intellectual qualities and is similar to that presented in Mercer, et al, (2010) where one of the research participants used this resource to develop pupil–pupil dialogue by allowing them time to dissect the task and target key points. I found this strategy quite effective to stimulate some whole-class dialogue about both the target text.

I fervently believe teachers, as professionals are required to continually develop, taking opportunities to learn new skills and enhance their abilities. Teachers who commit themselves to lifelong learning and professional development benefit themselves and their students; timidity with new technology and advancements educational pedagogy as noted by both Glover et al., (2005) and Mercer et al., (2010) has been the way of many experience teachers, though I desire to be a teacher who engages popular culture through technology in my classroom.  Mercer et al., (2005) imply activities such as this help the teacher to engage children in classroom dialogue.

With varied activities students think in different contexts about concepts and thus have a better understanding as reflective learners. For these teaching goals to be successfully accomplished a supportive learning environment where students must feel comfortable to take intellectual risks and express their opinions are imperative (Mercer, et al., 2005). My ultimate goal as an instructor is essentially to create a rippling effect in the lives of my students. Not only do I want them to gain concrete knowledge, more importantly I desire for them to apply the knowledge they have gained into their own personal endeavours, in order to do this adequately, it is essential that their engagement with learning is significant and vast and the interactive whiteboard presents as a tool to assist in creating these conditions within the classroom.

Glover, D. and Miller, D. (2003) Players in the Management of Change: introducing interactive whiteboards into schools, Management in Education, 17, pp. 20-23.

Glover, D. Miller, D. Averis, D. and Door, V. (2005) The Interactive Whiteboard: a literature survey. Technology, Pedagogy and Education. Volume 14 Number 2, Pp. 155-170.

Kennewell, S. and Beauchamp, G. (2003) The influence of a technology-rich classroom environment on elementary teachers’ pedagogy and children’s learning, Young Children and Learning Technologies: Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology, 34, 65–70.

Kirschner P.A. Sweller. J. and Clark, R.E. (2006) "Why minimally guided instruction does not work: an analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching", Educational Psychologist 41:2 p75-86.

Mercer, N. Hennessy, S. and Warwick, P. (2010) Using interactive whiteboards to orchestrate classroom dialogue, Technology, Pedagogy and Education
Vol. 19, No. 2, July 2010, 195–209

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