ocTEL week 4 Effective learning resources
How can we take advantage of technological developments in order to create and source relevant learning resources for our students?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to search for but I’d just come out of a meeting about Visiting Students and Studying Abroad and how we can improve the student experience for these students. Two of the many areas we discussed were ‘Global Citizenship’ and ‘Employability’ and how the information and support can be delivered to enhance these aspects.
So I decided to search for useful resources in one of these areas to ‘identify appropriate digital resources, including text-based, multimedia and interactive, for particular learning contexts’ although I’m looking at it from a general HE perspective rather than a particular learning context.
The second resource was a recording of a lecture from the Royal Veterinary College. The content looked very interesting and the lecture itself would have been interactive using a voting system but the playback using Echo360 was very slow.
Open University – Open Learn
Search term ‘Global Citizenship’
The top result was a link to a module entitled Enacting European Citizenship (ENACT).
It is part of a Money & Management course and wasn’t a learning resource.
All of the other results on the first page were part of the same module.
So I searched on the sidebar under education and the results showed a module Teaching citizenship: Work and the economy. Presumably to access the learning resources you have to enrol onto the module.
Search term ‘Global Citizenship’
This search produced lots of results although not millions. I filtered the search to include only those in the last year. I watched two or three and they were very interesting. There were quite a few TEDx ones.
So the questions:
How easy was it to find a relevant resource? It was easy to find the resources and I think that they were relevant because I managed to find course specific, sector specific resources as well as general ones.
How could you incorporate this resource into your professional practice? For the purposes of finding a resource that could be used for Student information Points and Enhancing the Student Experience then they were suitable as a starting point and to create a general learning resource.
Which source did you find more useful (and why) – the ‘official’ resource bank or the open search? Both the official and the open search were useful. The official ones were very text / image based and straightforward but the Jorum ones were easy to find and relevant. The YouTube videos were more engaging but if may not match specific learning outcomes.
Are there any limitations to the use of your preferred resource for your learners (e.g. copyright licence; login requirements)? The Open Learn resource required a login which you would do if you knew that you definitely needed that resource and had been directed to it but when browsing it’s probably a barrier.
Would your own students agree that the resource you prefer is accessible? I think that most students would agree that the videos were accessible and the websites easy to navigate.
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Using my usual filtering system, read the introduction and went to the ‘if you only do one thing…’ section. There are five ‘stories’ about how technology has enhanced learning – the task is to look at two that interest you, decide which is most powerful and relevant to you.
The first one I looked at was
‘How Sugata Mitra designed a physical and social environment around computers so that young children would self-organise and teach themselves new skills through peer interaction and ‘emergent learning’ – watch Mitra’s 2010 keynote’
This is what I wrote on my blog at the time from the ALT conference 2010.
The key note speech after lunch by Sugata Mitra was fantastic. I have heard him speak before at the RSC Northern conference last year and it is really fascinating to see the videos of his ‘experiments’ with hole in then wall computers in India and other countries. It is interesting yet disconcerting to see and hear about his work in schools in Gateshead as it is close to home. It would be brilliant to instill that motivation and interest in all children and particularly in teenagers to strive to learn and for it to be cool to learn……..
I can’t remember why I was disconcerted at the time so decided to watch it again and see how I felt..
I think the reasons I had and have mixed feelings were because although it was different and extraordinary, it felt like an experiment. That the children will learn is to some extent predictable – they like finding out things, they are used to using computers, there was one each in the classroom in Gateshead. Once they’ve got the hang of the idea that this is a different context and they have freedom to do anything then they probably will – especially 10 year olds – they’re at the ideal age to absorb stuff.
But does this motivation and willingness continue with teenagers? Sometimes, depends what they want to know, depends what they need to know, depends on the environment.
But my main thought is – hey, just a minute, we would all like to teach and indeed learn in a free and exploratory environment where you could learn what you want and spend hours learning about what you love, to find out interesting stuff. With no rules, with ‘cheating’, with no time restraints but it’s not like that. It’s all very well advocating inspirational and disruptive methods but at the end of the day the current education system requires children to learn what is needed to gain the qualifications they need to be successful. So change the system, change the curriculum, take the pressure off teachers so that they can do their best and then let children have freedom to learn.
I meant to do more work on this this evening and spend time looking at the other videos and look at others comments – but no more time. That’s the problem – i could spend hours doing online learning stuff but work and life intervene – fortunately 🙂
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