Reflecting on Online Learning

Now that my online unit has come to an end, it is probably a good time to evaluate how everything went, but more importantly, what I felt I have learned over the last 12 weeks.

My unit began with a required reading by Salmon about how to teach and learn online. My intial reaction to what I expected to learn this semester was a sort of chain reaction based on a lot of assumptions. Almost a year ago when I enrolled in the unit, my first reaction to seeing an online unit available as my elective was “Yes! I’m totally picking this one because I won’t have to go into uni omg I’m going to have soo much free time!” After spending about 6 months not even considering my second semester subjects, I returned to uni on the first day back of semester 2. I then realised that all this information had already been posted for this unit, and there was already a required reading and people were already having discussions about it. In a state of panic I began to read the 30-odd paged text, expecting to understand nothing, and I quickly became terrified of what was coming over the next 12 weeks. 

I was oddly calmed after reading the Salmon text, and I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I was practically told the stages in which my learning would occur for this unit. The following picture is a diagram of this scaffolded learning:

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I was absolutely at stage 1 when I began this unit, and was not too confident in how quickly I would progress through the stages. I think the best part about this unit was that we were able to progress and become more confident with the online interactions in our own time, but were also given the oppotunity to do so every week. I think that this definetly pushed me into certain stages. I’m not sure when was the exact moment I would have reached stage 5, but I have definetly found myself collaborating and learning within a community. I really enjoyed the chance to work with people from a different perspective to the typical classroom, and I really liked how the online learning we were experiencing was so relevant to the content of the actualy course, which focused on learning spaces. I think that online learning is something I had so many preconceived ideas about (many of which had written it off as a quick and easy subject in which you didn’t have to spend time travelling into uni for), and esentially all these ideas were wrong. I have had a really positive experience learning online, and this assignment in particular was something I am not only excited to be learning from, but am also quite proud of. I am glad to have had the opportunity to create something that has informed me of a completely different form of learning, and look forward to continuting on with my Personal Learning Network.

 

 

 

Reference:

Salmon, G. (2011). E-moderating: The key to Teaching and Learning Online (3rd ed.) (pp. 31-59). London: Routledge.

Rooftop Learning: Future Classroom Design

Rooftop Learning: Future Classroom Design

The link attached will take you to the learning space which I designed that looks at a learning environment from the future. The scenario I decided to consider when creating this learning space was as follows:

It’s 2063 and the population of Melbourne has risen to 10 million. Huge numbers of school-aged children live within the CBD, and have no access to rural and coastal victoria. Owing to the proliferation of high rise apartments, the local government has started to utilise the roof top spaces of these buildings as schools. You have been given a brief to design a classroom that brings rural and coastal Victoria to the city. The school is committed to environmental awareness owing to water restrictions and a depletion of natural resources.

I designed my learning space for a rooftop classroom taking a few things into consideration. The main point was to ensure that the classroom provided a number of sustainable resources for students which would help them better understand their environment. As they are learning from a “classroom in the sky”, it would be important for students to still have those resources that are unavailable to them at such a high altitude, such as grass and plants. The classroom I designed includes 2 rows of garden beds which would be the classes Veggie Patch. It is a great opportunity for students to create their own produce whilst learning about biological processes as well.

Another factor I thought was important for a rooftop classroom was not as important to the scenario, but something I just could not get out of my head. Housing 20 odd students in a high rise building seems like something that would potentially involve a lot of safety precations, and I definetly thought it was important to include an emergency evacuation stairwell in my floor plan.

Enjoy having a look at my future classroom!

Connecting 8 ways to a Lesson Plan

This weeks task was as follows…

Remembering that by introducing the 8 Ways to our practice as teacher we are aiming to align multiple pedagogies rather than decide that one is better than the other, your final task this week is to redraft a current lesson you teach in light of both the western and 8 Ways pedagogy.

Take a lesson or unit of work and redevelop it so that it reflects the alignment of the two pedagogies.

I decided to incorporate the 8 ways of learning into a lesson I constructed for my last teaching rounds. The objective of the lesson was (retaining what is valued in a lesson plan I am used to):

“The students will learn about the idea of global warming and carbon footprints and how they individually impact on the enviroment.”

I have explained how this fits in with both western and Indigenous learning below

Story sharing: sharing the stories of the community that the students are involved in to show the importance of what is being taught. The relevance of sustainability is something that everyone needs to know about. 
Learning maps: The activity includes a “footprint” which is used for the students to display their knowledge of what they use in their everyday life which is impacting on the enviroment.
Non-verbal: Using images for the students to describe they appliances/resources they are using which influence the enviroment
Symbols and images: Showing visuals of how the enviroment is influenced, such as reading a picture book or showing a video. In my lesson plan, I had planned to show a video called The Carbon Monster on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sglectkM0p4)

Land links: This lesson specifically shows how to improve sustainability and help the environment, which are things that are valued by all cultural groups in our society.
Non-linear: This lesson allows the students to think about the environment from their own perpsective. It gives students the chance to question how they personally impact on the world that they live in what it is that they can do to improve this. Students can colaborate together, by sharing similar ideas and comparing what others do (e.g. some students might take sustainable measures at home, such as a compost bin, which other students can then learn about from the perspective of their peers.

Deconstruct/Reconstruct: Showing the students examples of what impacts on the environment and discussing this with them before giving them the opportunity to consider it from their own perspective.

Community links: The entire lesson in itself is a reflection on how we can assist the community with maintaining our resources and the environment. It gives students the chance to better understand how they influence the things around them and allows them to consider from their own perspective how they can improve the environment. It is an important issue that everyone should think about, but this lesson is simply a way for students to tune in to what they might not actually know about sustainbility.

8 Aboriginal ways of learning

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The 8 Aboriginal ways of learning is a concept which embraces and incororates Aboriginal perspective into modern learning and teaching. They include the following

Story sharing: the idea of connecting through narratives that are shared, and using these narratives to create a sense of community. “We connect through the stories we share.”
Learning maps: visuals are used to map out learning processes to follow. “We picture our pathways of knowledge.”
Non-verbal: without using words learning is applied through seeing, thinking, acting. “We see, think, act, make and share without words.”
Symbols and images: use images to gain knowledge with art, land and objects. “We keep and share knowledge with art and objects.”

Land links: Context changes to local land/place and linked to learning. “We work with lessons from land and nature.”
Non-linear: Build different ideas and perspectives to gain deeper understanding. “We put different ideas together and create new knowledge.”
Deconstruct/Reconstruct: Working with wholes then breaking down into parts. “We work from wholes to parts, watching and then doing.”

Community links: Connecting with real-life community and learning from local views. “We bring new knowledge home to help our mob.”

(8 Aboriginal ways of learning factsheet, May 2012. Retrieved from http://intranet.ecu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/510073/8-Aboriginal-ways-of-learning-factsheet.pdf)

We respectfully acknowledge and pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their nations, who are  the traditional owners of the lands and seas wherever we gather in Australia. We continue to work together to build a respectful and reconciled country.

This was included in the title of this weeks online learning unit, and I thought it would be a good idea to include this on my blog, as this semester I have spent a lot of time learning about the history of Indigenous Australians. I think that what I took from my studies most of all was the idea of respecting tradtions and cultures of others, and it is important to learn about these. Australia has an extremely rich history, and that is not something I knew much about not so long ago. A lot of our history includes some really sad and distressing things; but that doesn’t mean that we should hide away from this history. It is important to learn about it, and I am grateful that I had been given the opporunity to be taught about these things, and the ways in which I can maintain this respect.

Future Learning Spaces

As a part of my third assessment task for my online unit, we have been instructed to spend the next 3 weeks planning an educational environment for the future by using problem-based learning. We are required toselect an educational scenario and design a learning space using Web 2.0 technology. The scenario that I found the most interesting was as follows:

It’s 2063 and the population of Melbourne has risen to 10 million. Huge numbers of school-aged children live within the CBD, and have no access to rural and coastal victoria. Owing to the proliferation of high rise apartments, the local government has started to utilise the roof top spaces of these buildings as schools. You have been given a brief to design a classroom that brings rural and coastal Victoria to the city. The school is committed to environmental awareness owing to water restrictions and a depletion of natural resources.

I am most interested by this scenario because it has caused me to consider a number of questions, such as

“How can you safely house a large classroom full of students (which I assume will be a larger number than today’s average classroom if Melbourne’s population has increaed to 10 million)? What are the safety precautions involved in designing a rooftop classroom?”

“How can you incorporate environmentally friendly tools within the classroom and how will they contribute to the student’s learning?”

I look forward to exploring questions such as these, and have decided to create my classroom using floorplanner.com, as I have used this program before and find it relatively easy to use. Whilst I’m all for trying things that I haven’t used before, I think that now would be a good time to stick to what I know.

Looking forward to designing my own rooftop classroom! Definetly going to make sure it has a good view haha!!