Some (late) notes on platforms and technologies

21/05/2013 in Course information

With apologies that this is late, which is entirely my fault, here’s Phil Tubman’s take on some of the discussions that took place last week on Platforms and Technologies.

Last week there was a lot to do. Participants were advised to dip into the activities that have most resonance with their practice or thinking.

Activity 5.0 is a chance to think about platforms and technologies in relation to Kolb’s experiential learning cycle. James Kerr did an analysis of Social Media tools, and concluded that SM tools can support activities in any quadrant of the experiential learning cycle. For example YouTube videos can be consumed, reflected on and created, so this fits into all areas. Stephen Brown also made a similar observation, but extended the idea to all technology, and did an analysis on use of clickers in classrooms:

clickers could be used by learners to record their emotions (click every time you feel angry/sad/amused/etc. while listening to/watching/reading/doing XYZ), so they are seemingly compatible with the diverger style, but if the results were collected together and displayed and the class were asked to reflect on them then wouldn’t that support the assimilator style?

commented that this is only available if the clicker providers allow this functionality, as most clicker systems are very closed in terms of the interactions that are possible – you can only answer a question when it is ‘sent’ to you, which limits the experiential learning potential.

The emergent theme is that it is usually not the tool that ‘places’ it in a quadrant, but the learning activity. Sancha talked about this in his reflection of the design process.

I do wonder if Kolb realised what impact online social interactions would have on his cycle, as the ‘thinking’ quadrants (reflect and do) seem to happen more in these social spaces.

Activity 5.1 asks participants to think about what ‘drives’ their takeup of technology, and how platforms and technologies support or detract from this. Alice Shepherd’s blog post took the templates provided from Hill et al, added a few more logistical dimensions, and noted that ad hoc arrangements sometimes drive technology choices:

During the ash cloud a few years ago, I was prompted by circumstance to learn about how to do screencasting because so many of my students were stranded overseas close to exam time and needed to attend a virtual class, asynchronously as they were in multiple time zones.  This emergency meant I started to use this technology and have returned to it many times since!  So, there is serendipity as well.

If you have further stories to share regarding virtual classroom technology or open source pedagogy, the forums are ready and waiting…


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