Well, what a learning journey I have been on!
Over the past few weeks, I have investigated and experimented with the provided courseware for Managing E-Learning to successfully create a documentation of my experiences about a wide range of e-learning tools.
My journey explores how I can embed a variety of web 2 technologies into the classroom for a cohort of digital natives (Prensky, 2001) aligning them with various learning theories and frameworks such as Kearsley & Shneiderman’s, Engagement Theory (1999) to ensure the most engaging and meaningful learning experiences. I feel this is a vital course for pre service learning managers. As we need to up skill ourselves to incorporate this native language within our regular teaching delivery techniques, for students of the twenty first century to be engaged not enraged (Prensky, 2005).
Before I started this course I would call myself a digital immigrant (Prensky, 2001), although I am only nineteen years old I was never one to keep up with this fast paced technology driven world we live in. I have been taught most things scarily by my twelve year old brother who is an amazing techno savvy person, who has the capability to do many things in the future with these skills. I can now say that after learning these wonderful e-learning tools I feel not so behind, but quite capable of teaching these wonderful technologies within my own classroom. After reflecting on the various e-learning tools, I have concluded that as a future learning manager I would use the following within my classroom to enhance student learning:
- Blogs: Promote literacy skills such as reading and writing and support collaboration amongst students, they can be used as an assessable piece of work for students beginning in upper primary to reflect on their learning journey. Like I have done within this blog.
- RSS: Is an excellent tool for students and learning managers to constantly track information and keep updated with networks.
- E- Portfolio / Mahara: This is a wonderful site that students particularly in senior school can utilise, as it allows them to upload and create a resume or professional portfolio. Which could be very beneficial if applying for a job application or university degree in the future.
- Voki Avatars: Can be utilised as great hooks to a new unit or lesson. They also can be helpful for ESL students struggling with speech pronunciation.
- Google Earth: Is a wonderful technology that students can use across a variety of KLA’s such as Geography, Maths, Science, History and many more making learning experiences exciting and real.
- WebQuest: WebQuests are generally based upon an inquiry approach, where students work through a scaffolded framework to solve a problem or present a solution in an authentic context. They are fun engaging and useful for real life topics such as pollution. This tool can be time consuming to create but is an excellent tool to accompany a unit of work.
- File storage / MediaFire: Is a wonderful site that allows users to upload and store numerous files safely to the Internet. It is a great resource for learning managers as it provides easy access to stored documents such as unit plans, resources and many other pieces of work. It can be incorporated within the classroom by allowing students to upload assessment task to the site and produces a URL that they can give to the learning manager to retrieve and mark the assessment. Another great paper saving program.
Throughout completion of this task I have been able to post comments on my peers blogs complying with the principles of netiquette in communication, about useful teaching ideas and resources such as Amanda has provided. I have been able to discuss problems or questions to an online forum that responds ever so quickly and have been able to enjoy creating a variety of resources when exploring these e-learning tools.
Pitler (2007) argues that technology provides the opportunity for teachers to differentiate instruction and change their classrooms into dynamic learning environments providing students the opportunity to develop higher order and creative thinking skills to become lifelong learners. This statement by Pitler (2007) summarises how I feel after completing this step in my learning journey. I now have extended my knowledge and skills about technology and can now create exciting, engaging and authentic learning experiences utilising web 2 technologies for my students and myself to become lifelong learners.
“It is today we must create the world of the future" (Roosevelt, n.d).
Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 18, 2009, fromhttp://home.sprynet.com/%7Egkearsley/engage.htm
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M. & Malenoski, K (2007) Using technology with classroom instruction that works, McRel; Colorado.
Prensky. (2001). Digital Natives Digital Immigrants. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
Prensky, .(2005). Engage me or Enrage me - what today’s learners demand. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0553.pdf
Rossevelt, E. (n.d). General Philosophy: Leading and learning for the 21st Century. Retrieved August 20, 2009 from http://www.leading-learning.co.nz/famous-quotes.html