EDU625 Unit 1 Reflection

Key Issues and Concepts 

My personal philosophy and vision for teaching and learning aligns best with Jerome Bruner’s constructivist theory.  In his 1960 text, The Process of Education, Bruner claims “We begin with the hypothesis that any subject can be taught effectively in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development.” This claim supports Bruner’s belief that students build their own learning and can acquire knowledge at rates exponentially greater than their age may typically indicate. Knowledge is drawn and constructed from their own experiences and teachers are more facilitators to their growth. (Bruner, 1961)

I chose this theory based on my own experience as a teacher and as an individual lifelong learner.  The most meaningful and rich learning experiences I have created for students have all shared the common thread of me acting more as facilitator rather than an instructor that disseminates information to be memorized or regurgitated.  Similar to Socratic learning, students are offered leading questions that allow them to strategically solve problems using their own capacity to question, think and analyze information.  The instructor provides the framework for this learning and fosters an environment in which the student can reach their capacity at any age level across any discipline. 

Image

 

(picture used with permission from http://www.creativecommons.org)

My Experience in this Unit

Judicious and responsible use of social media can enhance student learning not just because it’s web-based but more importantly because it allow for collaboration and communication between students with the purpose of creating something that demonstrates understanding.  I believe for too long, schools have inadequately labeled social media as a distraction rather than an actual tool to engage students in learning.  If more resources, time and energy were spent on proactively teaching students how to use social media appropriately, I believe our students would be more informed and respectful of technology and their peers.  I do understand, however, that this can be abused and multi-tasking may be a deterrent to learning and absorbing information.  PBS video Digital Nation (2010) offers an intriguing look at how technology arguably serves more to distract rather than enhance learning for our students.  But in Korea, students in the second grade are taught to use their computers and the web responsibly.  Internet etiquette is taken seriously and ethics are incorporated into curriculum.  Why couldn’t this approach work everywhere in the United States and at a younger age?

As part of my investigation for this unit, I used Animoto to introduce myself to the class.  Having never used this tool before, I quickly learned how to embed pictures and videos into a concise yet informative product for the viewer.  I started off by using my iPad to film my introduction and then created 10 second clips to embed into the Animoto along with applicable pictures serving as connections between the clips.  Overall, I was happy to use a new tool and have already thought of ways to share it with my students and teachers I work with.  

Image

(picture used with permission from http://www.creativecommons.org)

Observations and Questions

I believe the structure of this class will be of more value to me because it will require me to actually investigate and use various tools.  Being able to share and reflect upon what my colleagues use too will only enhance my experience.  I learn and retain more when I actually ‘do’ rather than learn in a more passive environment.  Each tool I investigate also allows me to reflect on how it could be used in my work with students and teachers.  The only question I might have is if this ‘socrative’ approach could be implemented more throughout our program.

 

Conclusions

This unit has been extremely valuable and applicable to my field as an instructional technology specialist.  Allowing opportunities for investigation and reflection affords the learner the chance to actually ‘figure things out’ and to see how a tool could be used to enhance instruction and improve student learning.  Social media is one tool in particular that, if used appropriately and introduced early, could in my opinion foster an environment of collaboration and engagement for all students.

 

Resources

Project Based Learning that builds student ownership: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMCZvGesRz8

Socrative: Response system for student ENGAGEMENT: http://www.socrative.com/

  

Reference

Bruner, J. (1960). The Process of education. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 33.

Bruner, J. S. (1961). The Act of Discovery. Harvard Educational Review, 31, 21-32.

Constructivist theory (Jerome Bruner), (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/constructivist.html

PBS. (Producer) (2010). Frontline: Digital_nation [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s