woensdag 5 oktober 2011

TPACK Master course: combining PK and TK

Today the second lecture of the course "Pedagogies for Flexible Learning supported by Technology" took place. Today's topic: Pedagogies.

We started with a problem: I told the students that my course originally had 13 students from very different backgrounds (7 different countries and languages, some with work experience, some completed a study that was not related to Educational Design, they all had different learning styles and interests), but there is only 1 course, my course. And in this course the final assignment was to write a report. The question I asked the students: "What would be the best pedagogical approach?". The students formed 6 groups of 3 and each group did some desktop research into a specific pedagogical approach: traditional learning, problem-based learning, workplace learning, collaborative learning, inquiry learning, and project-based learning. Based on the characteristics of these approaches the groups made a description of the assignment “write a report” and they presented their ideas to the others. It became clear that there are overlapping characteristics and ideas between the different pedagogical approaches and that it is very important to try to fit your pedagogical approach with the kind of students that you are dealing with (and maybe make some combinations of approaches).

The next question was of course how you can support the different pedagogical approaches with technology. We could have done that by looking into literature or websites or by brainstorming about possibilities (like I did last year with my students), but this time we had an other great opportunity...

Professor Gerald Knezek is currently visiting our department and he is one of the members of the research team of the simSchool project. Simschool is "a classroom simulation that supports the rapid accumulation of a teacher's experience in analyzing student differences, adapting instruction to individual learner needs, gathering data about the impacts of instruction, and seeing the results of their teaching". Our department is one of the partners in a worldwide network of institutions of higher education that have the opportunity to gain experience with simSchool. Gerald gave the students some background information about simSchool and after that they could explore the environment.

This week the students will blog about their experiences, so at this moment I will not go in to more detail about simSchool or about what my students did with it.. You will be able to read all about this on their own blogs within a week! And of course you are very welcome to take a look at the simSchool website!

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