The nature of a 2-in1 device means that it can be used as a tablet or as a full laptop. This is highly enabling for younger students who can then detach their keyboards and move around the classroom with their device to film or take photographs.
The Learning Tools found natively in a variety of Microsoft software applications, also provide students with disability or learning difficulties the opportunity to take ownership over their own learning. Roblyer and Doering (2014) describe these tools as assistive technology, which are technology tools that offer increased opportunities for learning, productivity and independence (p. 434). In her research study, McKnight (2017, p. 5) reported significant gains in students’ reading and writing when using the Immersive Reader and Dictation in Microsoft’s Learning Tools. The capability of the tools to provide equity through access, support student choice and personalised learning was also highlighted (p. 6).
McKnight, K. (2017). Leveling the playing field with Microsoft Learning Tools. Washington, DC: RTI, Centre for Evaluation and Study of Education Equity. Retrieved December 16, 2018, from http://edudownloads.azureedge.net/msdownloads/Learning_Tools_research_study_BSD.pdf
Oviatt, S. (2012). Computer interfaces and the impact on learning. Redmond, USA. Retrieved December 19, 2018, from http://download.microsoft.com/download/0/1/2/012FC5FD-750F-4BDE-96EA-83BC0199EC51/Microsoft_Computer_interfaces_and_their_impact_on_learning_widescreen.pdf
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching. Harlow, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.
Student-centred learning is largely associated with constructivism (Tagney, 2014, p. 276). Constructivist theories of learning suggest that learners are active participants and create their own knowledge by connecting new information with their existing knowledge, experiences and ideas (Harris, Spina, Ehrich, & Smeed, 2013). This counters what are considered direct models of teaching, where knowledge is transmitted, and students are passive recipients.
While I, like many teachers, love the concept of constructivism, the realities of implementing a genuinely constructivist approach in the classroom has its challenges. Curriculum and reporting requirements, assessment techniques, classroom environments and common pedagogical approaches still support direct models of instruction. Contrast to beliefs, the addition of technology tools does not automatically change this.
I do think the reality is that classroom approaches cannot be a binary option of one or another. Instead we need to merge the best aspects of both approaches and make decisions based on the needs of each individual situation. So many technology tools lend themselves to and enable more constructivist approaches and so it can be a gateway to enabling student-centred learning. When planning to integrate or used technology in learning, I think teachers need to consider what role the tool is playing in the learning. Thinking of constructivist models when planning can help teachers leverage these tools to their full potential. For me, it often comes back to using technology to enable the 4 C's:
Harris, J., Spina, N., Ehrich, L. C., & Smeed, J. (2013). Literature Review: Student centred schools make the difference. Melbourne: Australian Institute for Teaching ad School Leadership. Retrieved 12 18, 2018, from https://www.aitsl.edu.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/literature-review---student-centred-schools-make-the-differenceba338e91b1e86477b58fff00006709da.pdf?sfvrsn=fadbea3c_0
Tagney, S. (2014). Student-centred learning: a humanist perspective. Teaching in Higher Education, 19 (3), 266-275.
In this Blog post I share about two software tools I have had significant experience with. Both offer great ways for students to reflect on learning and for teachers to give feedback.
Flipgrid promotes the platform in claiming that it gives every student voice in the classroom (see video below), making learning social and adding a personal element to online discussions (Green & Green, 2018). It taps into social media culture and feels similar to how you might use Snapchat, Instagram or similar platforms, which is naturally appealing to students.
The platform is a great tool for facilitating reflective learning and formative assessment. Children can upload videos from their device, which also makes it a great tool for collecting summative assessment items. Some examples of our use this year include:
"Flipgrid acts as a compliment and an alternative avenue for reflections and synthesizing thoughts. In addition, it helps students begin to hone their public speaking skills without having to stand in front of the entire class. Flipgrid is low stakes, as students are able to practice with the technology and provides a platform for reserved students to have a voice in the overall conversation of the class."
Green, T., & Green, J. (2018). Flipgrid: Adding Voice and Video to Online Discussions. TechTrends, 62(1), 128-130.
Madden, J. (2018). Feeding Forward. School Reform: Case Studies in Teaching Improvement, 192.
McClure, C., & McAndrews, L. (2016). Going native to reach the digital natives: New technologies for the classroom.
Hello, thanks for stopping by! I am Laura Bain and this is my reflective blog for ESC515. This is my 4th subject in my Masters of Education, in which I am specialising in Information and Communication Technologies. Very excited by the coursework for this subject and looking forward to reading what everyone's thoughts are along the way. Thanks for taking the time to visit and reading my entries.