So now we’ll focus on that theory-part and I’ll teach you some things about self-regulated learning, collaborative learning and learning of expertise. I think that self-regulated learning caused most headaches for me from these themes but then I realized that it includes all the strategies what you have to achieve your goal. It includes all the planning process, setting subgoals and bigger goals, motivation and emotions, evaluation… I think that this picture will summarize quite well the idea of SRL. In fact I have used this for motivator when I have to read entrance examinations for university. 😀 And it turns out to work pretty well as you can see!
This is also a good motivator if you have some big goals to achieve:
According to Jonna Malmberg, self-regulated learner is capable of taking charge of his/her own learning and recognizes own strengths and weaknesses in various learning situations. So it can be said that SRL is a lifelong process that you develop and refine over time. That’s why teaching self-regulated skills is important during the school years: it will benefit you throughout your life, always from childhood to adulthood and working life.
I think that collaborative learning has already played a key role in my blog but let’s discuss it a bit more. Essi’s lecture for social interaction and group dynamics in collaborative learning was reallyreally good and interesting! It was fun to reflect those facts to the real life, for example for our student organisation. Anyway, one of my main interest is organisational psychology.
All members of the group have their own background and they look at the world different perspectives. So you can imagine how challenging it can be to formulate completely new group. However, in ideal situation group forming is going smoothly, relationships just click and tasks are performed in co-operation.
One really important thing in successful operation of the group is leadership. I found this interesting article about 15 Ways To Identify Bad Leaders. There are many important facts, for example spot 5: “Show me a leader with poor communication skills and I’ll show you someone who will be short-lived in their position. Great leaders can communicate effectively across mediums, constituencies, and environments. They are active listeners, fluid thinkers, and know when to dial it up, down, or off.” and spot 6: “An over abundance of ego, pride, and arrogance are not positive leadership traits. Real leaders take the blame and give the credit – not the other way around.”
And finally learning of expertise. My excellent and wise group members drew this picture of Nooa-Pertti who is a novice in football and an expert in playing guitar:
I think that expertlike learner and self-regulated learner are very closely related to each other. Expertlike learner knows his/her strengths and weaknesses, has self-regulated skills and a lot of different kind of knowledge what he/she can adapt into different context. Expertlike learner is also curious and creative and always ready to solve new problems. It’s good to remember that expertise is domain specific like you can see in the Nooa-Pertti’s situation.
Vuopala, E. (2014.) Social interaction and group dynamics in collaborative learning. Hakupäivä 13.12.2014, http://www.slideshare.net/LEToulu/theory-collaborative-learning-10112014.
Malmberg, J. (2013.) Learning theory and pedagogical use of technology: self-regulated learning. Hakupäivä 13.12.2014, http://www.slideshare.net/LEToulu/theory-srl-2013jonna-malmberg.
Myatt, M. (2012.) 15 Ways To Identify Bad Leaders. Forbes. Hakupäivä 13.12.2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/10/18/15-ways-to-identify-bad-leaders/.
Now it’s time to dive deeper to LET-studies and focus on learning theory and pedagogical use of technology. This course consists of three points of view: self-regulated learning, collaborative learning and learning of expertise. This may sound scary but once again, it has been proven that learning can be fun! For example during this course we have participated to the educational video challenge which was the hackathon-style competition: we made an educational video in 24hours. Also there was some interesting criteria…our video must include teacher & student, trainer & trainee or mentor & mentee. Also video must include one of these: a hammer, a feather or water. It was a very international competition because besides our multicultural LET-group and students from Oulu University of Applied Sciences, there were also participants in Germany and Austria.
A little extra excitement provided the fact that I met my group in that same morning when we had to start making our video. 😀 But luckily our group turned out to be really nice! It consisted of two “experts” (me and Daniel) and technical support was provided by Niko who studied in the Oulu University of Applied Sciences. During that day I played piano, danced ballet on the stage (without any skills :D) and ate moomin candies on the floor… So, everyone can imagine how brilliant video we have!
The main task in this course is to write a science book. Our book is focused on self-regulated learning, collaborative learning and learning of expertise from the learners’ perspective and once again we have a really nice small group! Because all the members of our group happened to be Finnish, we named our group as Lörnörs. In the next post we’ll take a look at SRL, collaboration and learning of expertise more specifically.
Now it’s time for the last article of this INTRO-course. But don’t worry, you won’t get rid of me because my LET-studies will continue all over the year! 😉 First I want to present our tremendous digital story for technology-enhanced learning. Let the video speak for itself:
Wonder why for some strange reason the small groups where I’m in will happen to have the craziest ideas… 😀 Our digital story pays attention comprehensively to the themes of the course including new curriculum and future skills, the importance of collaboration, computer-supported and active learning, teacher’s role, motivation and both student’s and teacher’s point of view towards technology-enhanced learning and changes in teaching and learning.
SUMMA SUMMARUM – The main points what I’ve learned in this course
- Collaborative learning: Shared knowledge, experts and benefits of jigsaws
- Technology-enhanced learning: New curriculum and future skills, efficient use of educational technologies and creativity through all school subjects, learning happens everywhere and all the time
- Learning environments and teacher’s role: Technological set-up for a lecture, encouraging learning environment, and teacher’s role as an instructor and strategist who guides students to the right direction
- High quality learning: Deep-understanding, active learning, preconception and background knowledge, metacognition and self-regulated learning -> Effectiveness, efficiency and enjoyability of learning
-> Good instructors, efficient use of technology, good tasks and all of these things said above allow together good learning interactions, effective learning and good results. Like the video says, purpose is to educate and prepare young people for the future!
I have to add also this bullet:
- All the new apps in ICT-workshops: learning by doing
The next course is called Learning theory and pedagogical use of ICT and I’m really looking forward to it! It’s more theory-related than this previous course and my aims for this course are to learn more about self-regulated and collaborative learning and learning of expertise. Of course one of my aim is to improve my English skills more in practice. Also I found these LET-studies very useful because I have been chosen for the exchange student to the next autumn, guess where I’m going?
I think that I’ve learned so many new things that I’m not sure where to start.. For example I’ve never thought that some day I can code something but here’s the proof: http://studio.code.org/sh/41483564. The idea of the game is to avoid that crazy puppy lover (yep, that’s me :D) using the arrow keys. It’s quite challenging!
But this was only a little icebreaker because today’s topic is serious! I warmly recommend everyone to read this article. It was really eye-opening and especially for those who are still suspicious towards the idea that it’s time for new curriculum. The article tells about a teacher who spends two days as a student. She’s amazed what she found even though she has taught 14 years! First, she was shocked because students sit all day and move almost never: teachers don’t always remember that because they move a lot. Wiggins writes: “High school students are sitting passively and listening during approximately 90 percent of their classes”. Have you ever really thought about that? Because of the structure of the lectures students also can’t talk much: Most of the students sit, listen and absorb information. Passively. Almost all day long.
Before the third jigsaw we read an article about Nurturing creative thinking. It says that education at all levels should aim to promote manifold thinking (including creative, critical, caring and reflective). The mission of the school is to educate and prepare individuals for the future – both society and persons will benefit if we have as many wide-ranging thinkers as possible. Teachers should be mentors of learning and creativity: even the most detailed and traditional curricula doesn’t tell how to teach so you still have considerable freedom to plan your classes.
Talking about changes in teaching, in one of our lecture Heikki Kontturi told us about the UBIKO project. It’s research based development project aiming to renew the school and to understand what kind of school promotes inspired and skillful learners. It sounds like very topical project and I found it very positive that the research drew attention both to the pupils and teachers and their experiences.
In our lectures we have also discussed about innovating pedagogy and how learning and teaching are changing. The four main things are:
- Seemless learning
MOOCs means massive open online courses which are web-based and available for everyone. Even the world’s best universities arrange those courses! I really like the idea that you can study and educate yourself in your own time in spite of where you are. Of course it means that you have to have some self-discipline but if you study the things that you’re really interested in, you’re already motivated. Like Essi said, MOOC is quite challenging way to study: you need to be i.a. self directive and committed and it works for people who can cope with the challenge but not necessarily for those who need support. I definitely want to test these kind of courses sometimes!
Seemless learning‘s idea is briefly: keep up the flow! It’s based strongly on the mobile technology and portable devices. The main thing is that learning can happen everywhere: not only in schools. It includes all the activities on your everyday life because you have access to your material and learning apps all the time. So, when you’re at school you can start doing some task in your mobile phone or tablet and continue it smartly at home.
Crowdlearning trust the wisdom of the crowd. You as a learner are responsible for your own learning and you have an ownership to your own knowledge. I think that the main idea of the crowdlearning is that you can learn from everybody, no matter if it’s a teacher or some guy sitting next to you on the bus. For example in the schools learners become teachers and teachers become learners. You can take an advance to the knowledge of others: one good example of this is Wikipedia. It’s a collection of different kind of expertise from different kinds of people all over the world. But it brings also problems: if everyone can bring there their own knowledge, you can’t be sure what is right information. That’s also one of the reasons why it’s topical to teach critical thinking at schools. The other interesting example of crowdlearning is iSpot where you can for example upload a photo of some animal you don’t know and get help with identification for other people.
And my favorite subject today: Gamification. In both gaming and learning you have clear goals and strategies how you achieve those goals. We can actually use games as a tool to improve our students motivation: If someone hates mathematics the task of the game can be so attractive and fun that it may change student’s attitude towards this school subject. In that way it helps his learning process. At ICT-workshops we have familiarize with many useful apps which can improve learning at schools and on your free time. One of these apps is Aurasma which is really cool!! To find out more, I suggest you to scan the following QR-code. 😉
One of the good example of gamification is SecondLife which is like The Sims where you have your own world and you can create your own character. In addition you can also participate courses etc. I familiarized it about a year ago when I accidentally found a video of second life for nursing students. The idea of that particular course was to learn how to behave aseptically at the hospital. First I was shocked: how on earth can nurse students ever learn to interaction between the patient and themselves if they’re just playing games? Previously I’ve also studied as a nurse and in our studies we practice with fellow students, dolls and at the interships. When I pondered this for a moment I became to the conclusion that maybe it’s a good thing that students can practice different kinds of situations beforehand. Maybe this way they will remember how to do the right things when they run into real world’s problems. This kind of teaching is also economical and it can work if students also have suitable amount face-to-face interaction with real people.
It seems like the world is changing better little by little. Luckily we can educate for each other and learn from everybody, like crowdlearning style. 😉 Now it’s time to continue my packing process, happily moving in to the new apartment looks always like this:
Today I was shocked: it was snowing already! Winter is coming… We have been very hard-working guys, because yesterday we sat at the university up to five and work with our digital story. It’s well worth to wait! 😉 In the following picture you can see our nerd corner with all the devices as a little piece of evidence for our long day:
At this point of the course I can tell that I like so much this active learning and collaboration what we do in this course! I think that this active-part is also very important, actually even requirement, in this kind of technology-oriented course: how could you learn to use all these devices and web-tools without it? I have to also mention that I’ve learned to use Ipad but still I prefer Android-tablet because it works a bit differently..
Talking about collaboration, I could tell you a little bit what I’ve learned about CSCL which means Computer Supported Collaborative Learning. Research is interested in how collaboration can be supported by technology, either virtually or face-to-face and it focus on interaction between learners and function of the group. CSCL also investigates how technology can promote sharing of knowledge and expertise among learners – so, this kind of research is important because knowing these factors allows more productive interaction.
And speaking of collaboration, we had so much fun in jigsaw-lesson 3! Lara gave us a task to create a new educational environment and our group worked so well that I think that it was collaboration as its best! After brainstorming we had so many ideas but we decided to choose the idea of season-based learning. So, check out the latest news from University of Oulu! 😉
I have to share also this link (it presents 20 important things in your childhood):
No more panic at the supermarket! You don’t have to be hungry anymore! Irene and I made a great video at today’s ICT-workshop. Enjoy! 😉