Are you a KNOWLEDGE CHANNEL kid?

My answer would be NO but SORT of. I said “sort of since I also grew up watching cartoons (Batibot, Sesame Street, Super Friends and Scooby Doo, anyone?) and live action black-and-white shows such as Spider Man and Incredible Hulk. Back then, there are few educational shows and only a handful of TVs in the neighborhood. IN contrast, my kids would say, “We are YouTube kids!” and we’re using a smart TV or an android phone and a slow-to-moderate connection to the internet.  See how times have changed for this new generation?

Going back, aside from looking into the 21st century skills, 4Cs and all, one particular study shared to us was on the effect of Knowledge Channel (KC) videos on the achievement of students. From Luzon and Mindanao, students were grouped into three learning environments: passive, active and lecture. (Let us not use the word TRADITIONAL, okay?) The passive groups were shown KC videos with no intervention, active classes were shown the same videos with teachers facilitating and processing, while students in the lecture groups were given the same lessons on the videos but did not watch any KC videos. As expected, students in the active groups with a very large effect became significantly better in performance than those in the other groups.

Reflecting on the data and findings shown, one might wonder about how mentors in this century are teaching the millenials. In a week, do we allow our students to watch clips then process what were shown? Or are we guilty of letting our students JUST watch videos, clips or films BY THEMSELVES only if we are in a meeting or have to be away from our class?

Studies have shown (e.g. Harwood & McMahon, Seels et al., and Zhang, Zhou, Briggs & Nunamaker) that videos were effective to support, rather than to replace, the classroom teacher. Interest, motivation, attitudes can be improved with the help of educational shows. Interactivity of the said shows is a key factor. Are the students made to either just passively watch or are they given time to answer, reflect and discuss? If some reinforcements (such as feedback and activities) can be done right away, then the greater is the chance for better comprehension and retention of what were learned.

But then again, there are problems faced daily by a teacher wishing to integrate videos in his/her strategies, especially for non-KC-supported schools. One is the availability of TELEVISION or projector. Who will buy the needed basic gadget: the teacher, the school, or the parents? Another would be the availability of educational videos suited to the topics. Although a lot would argue that the net offers a lot of downloadable clips; just have the patience and technical know-how to save, edit and play these clips. Techie teachers can even record their own videos. But aside from the needed resources, the bulk of EXTRA works on the shoulder of many educators hinders them to have the much needed TIME to do such things. Juggling a teacher’s time with family, church or community duties, school responsibilities and personal space requires some MAGIC and careful planning. But the key word always is PRIORITIZE. What should be done first, then next and next and next, until the last task can be done. Teachers, nevertheless, have to always bear in mind that the education of a child largely depends on what kind of learning environment we expose them to.

“Or are we guilty of letting our students JUST watch videos, clips or films BY THEMSELVES…”

So the next time that we use videos in our class, reflect on how best to enhance students’ learning by maximizing whatever available materials we have, Knowledge Channel TV or any of its counterparts.

Knowledge Channel Official Site: http://www.konline.ph

Research article link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283338019_Effects_of_Knowledge_Channel_Videos_on_the_Achievement_of_Students_in_Various_Learning_Environments

easy. easier. easiest… with Ma’am Celine

Who would have thought that giving assignments in mathematics can be done using the internet at the comfort of your home? Or that the popular Microsoft Word can do a lot of things to ease up the travails of a researcher?

These and more were shared by Dr. Celine Sarmiento through her dissertation “Online Homework in Statistics: Strengthening Engagement Towards Improved Performance“. Most of us share the same sentiments that whenever we give assignments, students tend to compare to, or worst blindly copy, the works of their peers. Aside from that, some students do not appreciate the values of doing a take-home task, that is, it is supposed to reinforce the lessons learned in the classroom and to further explore the possibilities of self-learning and increase intrinsic motivation to study more.

Welcome to MyOpenMath.com! This site allows the teacher to post assignments using different types of items (e.g. multiple choice types, open-ended questions, graphing activities, etc.). Each student can log in to their individual accounts and would be given different set of questions, unique from his or her classmates. Also, immediate feedback is given allowing a learner to work through a given item again and again and again until a correct answer can be given during a predetermined number of days. Results are recorded in an online database and the teacher need not worry about missing someone’s homework. Now, that’s how technology makes a mentor’s life EASY! How to do it was elaborated by Ma’am Celine together with the results of her study, mostly, significantly favorable.

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A hands-on training was also done showing us the actual use of STYLES on the Home tab of MS Word (e.g. Heading 1, Heading 2, Normal). It is one thing to use Word in constructing letters or test papers but it is of another level when Word is used purposively to write a disseration or a research article. With this training, the format for all chapters, sub-headings and body will be consistent all throughtout the paper. Also, there is no need to encode the parts of the paper with the page numbers manually when making the table of contents. WORD will do it for YOU!

“…technology, when utilized to its maximum potential, can make an educator’s or a researcher’s job EASIER…”

There’s more… When citations are to be used while encoding a research paper, insert right away the proper author/s, book or article title, year of publication and other needed info. Word will list all the references you used in APA, MLA, Chicago or IEEE formats! Again, there’s no need to manually type the references and there will be no worry that a certain author was not included in the list. With just a few clicks, WORD will generate the reference list for YOU!

Learning all of these in class made me reflect about how technology, when utilized to its maximum potential, can make an educator’s or a researcher’s job EASIER… and with lots of practice, tasks can be done in the EASIEST way.

Thanks Ma’am Celine and may your tribe increase!

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JUST the way you ARE…

Coming from a wedding in Bacolod City this week, I am inspired by a Bruno Mars‘ hit to continue loving someone, friends, parents, kids or spouse, just the way he/she is. Many romantics would agree that this is what we expect from our partners: to be loved no matter how flawed we might be.

But come to think about it fellow educators in terms of integrating technology. Have we come to a point where we stopped learning and just use the same versions of our teaching aids developed a decade ago? Do we still LOVE using the overhead projector, phased out we’ve forgotten when, rather than adapt to what are current and updated available tools? Do we prefer our students to write their essays in a “formal theme” rather than posting them on blogs, wikis or similar platforms?

If our answer is YES, then the SAMR Model might be the perfect guide for us. For newbies, this model was developed by Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura and follows a transition for technological adoption in education which most educators follow when first introducing technology to their students. S is for SUBSTITUTION  in which technology acts as a direct tool to substitute traditional tools and activities but with no functional change such as writing an essay about patterns in nature using a word processor or presenting the solution of a problem using a presentation software.  A is AUGMENTATION is similar to the previous stage but with a functional improvement such as using the spell- and grammar-check functions of the software to improve the essays and presentations. M, which is MODIFICATION, comes in when technology allows for significant task redesign. For instance, essays can be written using Google docs fostering student collaboration and immediate feedback while slides can contain a combination of audio, video and text for a more powerful presentation. R or REDEFINITION allows technology for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable. Traditional educational tasks and goals are now completely replaced through the incorporation of technology in the classroom. For instance, teachers and students alike can have access to all essays and slides in real time through online learning systems with the ability to give quick response and constructive assessment. Apps, blogs and Web sites can be developed as platforms for this stage.

“… this (SAMR) model … follows a transition for technological adoption in education which most educators follow when first introducing technology to their students.”

To purposefully use the SAMR model, teachers have to see to it that all students are authentically, and actively engaged in the learning process all of the time, including the use of technology. Also, teachers should be actively aware of what all students are doing, and interacting with students as they work; responding to any technical challenge they may face. Also, learning activities are “remixed” and designed in ways that would not be possible to accomplish without technology. Focus is on the creating, evaluating, and analyzing process and products. Finally, as 21st century students, they are expected to work inter-dependently, clearly focused on achieving joint expectations, taking the initiative to innovate on assignment.

To create tasks that move from enhancement (SA) to transformation (MR), teachers should be technologically capacitated to efficiently use the new alternative digital resources, platforms and tools in the teaching-learning process. It would be useful to ask questions such as “What benefits will my students and I gain from using technology?”, “Am I comfortable in using the technological tools?” and “What appropriate pedagogy would best be applied for the students to learn?” With these in mind, remember that students have to be granted also access to technology so that they can analyze and evaluate their own work, and their classmates’, as well as other information and sources online.

At this point, a lot of teachers may be overwhelmed by what the model wants us to do. But the key word here is GRADUALLY. Slowly rewrite lesson plans and curriculum, based around technology’s inclusion and integration in the classroom. Develop new ideas that are applicable one at a time by contextualizing and improvising previously-made activities. Focus on how the students could interact, initiate and actively engaged as classroom tasks are technologically redefined. Getting to the REDEFINITION stage doesn’t have to be very rigorous and overwhelming.

In closing, Dr. Puentedura has this to say: “For teachers just starting out with educational technology, the task at hand can sometimes seem daunting. Even though tools such as the SAMR model can help, the plethora of choices available can prove paralyzing, frequently resulting in ongoing substitutive uses of the technology that block, rather than enable, more ambitious transformative goals.”

References:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/ruben-puentedura-on-applying-the-samr-model

https://trailblazersoftecheducation.wikispaces.com/Ruben+Puentedura

Also, you may want to watch these YouTube videos:

Embracing Technology in this Digital Age

ADMIT IT. Aside from our wallets or coin purse, we usually go out with our cellphones with us. Seldom in our day that we don’t check our Facebook page or FB messenger for the latest news or updates from our friends and the world around us. This is the digital age! We are living in it, we are part of it; whether we like it or else…

WHAT IF… all teachers carry the technology with them inside their own classrooms? Will it make a difference on how their students learn? Probably yes, probably not. The answer still lies on the “teachers” having to do techie thingies in preparing and delivering their lessons. But with this premise, technology has to be accepted first.

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) by Fred Davis had two basic assumptions on this matter: perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. IF teachers can work more quickly, increase their job performance and productivity, and easily mentor students using technology, then they will adopt the use computers, projectors and gadgets in their classes. But added to this, the technology at their disposal SHOULD be easy to learn, use and remember, easy to become skillful at, controllable, and clear and understandable. However, Davis concludes that there is no absolute measure to assess ease of use or usefulness but user perceptions of any constraints may vary with time and experience for any given application.

“Technology has to be accepted first…”

From my previous post, one reader commented that it has to be “to teach with tech“. Every teacher has to learn how to use computers not just to accomplish tons of paper works like forms and records but to actually use them in their respective classrooms. But then again, as the TAM points out, if technology is too difficult to learn and its benefits are not observable, then others would still refuse it. Anyway, they have survived before…

Embracing technology then is a matter of personal decision. The choice is OURS to make.

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to TEACH or to TECH…

     Nowadays, teachers in all levels are expected to deliver their lessons using technology. Computers, projectors or digital televisions are utilized to aid students in learning concepts presented to them visually, verbally or both. Slide presentations, smart notebooks, and movie clips are just some avenues to do this.
     There is no doubt as to what technology can positively provide in education especially to the millenials of this generation. A simple online search engine, which is just a few clicks away, comes very handy and serves as a gateway whenever information is needed in an instant. When a topic in mathematics, for instance, becomes too difficult to comprehend, learners tend to watch YouTube videos offering simple explanations coupled with animated graphics. If a concept in science cannot be explained well since students are directed to imagine nonexistent figures in their heads, they retreat into looking for any available images from the internet.
     With these scenarios in mind, teachers can turn to alternative ways to mentor their students beyond the classroom’s four walls. Podcasting is one mode where a multimedia file can be uploaded and played on laptops or mobile phones. Blogging can also be used as a platform to supplement what were discussed in class through photos, videos, or just simply texts. And there are these social networking sites, Facebook as the most popular candidate, or learning management systems such as edmodo where a group or page can be formed as additional avenues for additional discussion and collaboration.
     Having these available tools, one particular question is being raised by teachers: “Should we allow technology to do most of the teaching rather than us?” It is indeed a question to ponder.

Continue reading “to TEACH or to TECH…”

First and foremost…

… this BLOG is not about my life nor my family. It is not about what my hobbies are or what I do from time to time. Neither is it all about my philosophy or my beliefs. Nope. This blogs contains my reflections, musings as some may call, about what technology is and how can it be integrated in teaching, particularly in mathematics and science.

Each week at De La Salle University is an opportunity for me to understand and explore different technology tools that will enhance students’ capability and capacity to learn. Integrating technology to classroom planning, instruction and assessment are given emphasis. Thus, a hands-on experience is required. The target is to be TECHNOLOGICALLY PROFICIENT at the end of the journey. With this in mind, I say:

Welcome TO my BLOG!