Constructing and Transforming Knowledge

As we are learning to be teachers we often think about how we learnt or the generations before us learnt at school. In the past, school was all about remembering things and as time has progressed we have realised that knowing stuff is great (especially for trivia) but not being able to use that knowledge makes that knowledge kind of pointless. Now we have to teach our students how to use the knowledge in a practical sense, we call that transforming knowledge. For example, I have a large knowledge base on the elements of music and can probably tell a lot about each element separately, even analyse a piece of music and pick it apart down to the skeleton. However, I struggle to use this knowledge to write a song of my own (this is a dilemma I am currently in).

It is still important to teach students the facts, concepts, and procedures as without these they would not be able to transform the knowledge as there is no knowledge to transform. We as teachers have to think deeply about what we teach and how we teach it. These two particular elements can mean the difference between a student being able to construct and transform knowledge or just construct knowledge and get no further. Using Bloom’s Taxonomy of Higher Order Thinking we can ensure students are able to do both.

 

ICT and Me

During this week we were asked to create a mind map on how we use ICTs. While I am not a fan of mind maps being able to use a program to create the mind map did make it a little more bearable. In general, I am definitely a fan of using ICT in the classroom, however, in my own learning, I prefer the more traditional paper and pen with a bit of ICT mainly just as visuals as I am a multimodal learner. I think this is due to the time I went to school; I’m not a dinosaur but I definitely prefer using pen and paper. I’ve tried using just my computer and always have reverted back to pen and paper.ICTs-and-Me

The RAT Framework

This week in the content we were introduced to a few new frameworks, one of these included the RAT Framework. This was quite interesting as it provided a new perspective on how to choose what ICTs to use and how to evaluate their value. The RAT Framework consists of 3 parts:

Replace

Amplify/Enhance

Transform

Technology can be used to replace, amplify or enhance, and transform traditional learning to make it more efficient and effective for both the students and the teachers.

The replacement level of the framework is simply using technology to replace something that could be done by hand but doesn’t enhance or transform the learning. For example, using a word processing application on a computer to replace writing. While it can make the writing down of words etc. more efficient it does not really enhance or transform their learning, just makes it more convenient.

Amplification is in relation to using technology to increase “efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity of instructional practices, student learning processes, or content goals.” The tasks in this level essentially stay the same however, the use of the technology extends our capabilities in effectiveness. For example, a teacher creates their worksheets digitally and gets their students to complete them digitally also. This is an example of amplification as there is more efficiency in receiving the worksheets and the worksheets being digital means that the teacher can alter them anytime and reuse them.

Transformation uses technology to reinvent aspects of instruction, learning, or curriculum in new and original ways. This level is using technology to get across an objective in a way that could not otherwise be done or as in depth without the use of technology. For example, using a program called StorySpace to write hypertext narratives even though it is not in the tradition curriculum. Instead of writing linear stories, students wrote intertextually; this would not have worked as well with a string of paper.

This framework will help me choose what ICTs I use in the classroom, especially on my next placement. While I am still unsure of where I am going or which teaching area I will have, both of my teaching areas (music and special education) benefit greatly from the use of ICT.

 

The past: What worked? What didn’t? Why?

As a third year pre-service teacher I have been given many opportunities to teach classes and put my ideas into action. From the first professional experience placement, I have been trying to use ICTs as part of my practice. On my first placement, my mentor was very “old school” she believed that the students worked best when writing. I asked her if I was able to try something different in her class and use some powerpoints and projected sheets to enhance and speed up their learning. Many of the students

On my first placement, my mentor was very “old school” she believed that the students worked best when writing. I asked her if I was able to try something different in her class and use some videos, powerpoints, and projected sheets to enhance and speed up their learning. Many of the students in this class struggled with writing and therefore asking them to write for 70 minutes was a big ask. The students responded very well to having their learning intention and key words on the powerpoint as well as watching a video that directly related to the content so they didn’t have to hear my boring voice all lesson, and then take turns completing a projected worksheet sheet on the board while others could contribute answers.

There have also been times on other placements where my plans to use ICT did not go as planned. Sometimes there were issues with the computers not working, or the students not understanding how to use it. These issues often led to a disrupted classroom and meant that the lesson had to be changed.

Through these experiences I have learnt that when using ICT we need to be prepared for changed and to be flexible.

Introduction

Hi!

My name is Tayla Black and I am currently studying a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) majoring in Special Education and Music. At the beginning of my degree, I was terrified going into Special Education, however, over my time studying I have learnt to really love it. I love it so much so that I work in a Special Education Unit in a local high school and want to head down that path to become a Secondary Special Education Teacher.

I hope that this course will help me find new ways to use ICT in the classroom. As working in Special Education there is a big push for ICT use.

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