Friday, August 28, 2009

My Reflective Synopsis

My Reflective Synopsis.

Photo courtesy of:
June 12, 2009 2:58 PMby Martin Levins Workshop 2 - pictures

Throughout this course I have been engaging in and discovering 21st century technology (cited in Aldred, 2009). As a future learning manager, it will be impossible and unavoidable not to mention neglectful to ignore these ever evolving advances. My ability to connect with and excite my forthcoming student’s into lifelong learning, hinges on my ability to incorporate these newly learnt tools into my pedagogy.

Within this course I have been given ample opportunities to reflect upon and comment on these technologies; jointly on my own blog, forums, and other peer’s sites. My peers have been able to comment on my blog and vice versa.

Following are the blogs I have contributed to;

Kelly O'Shannessy
Claire's Blog

Please note that I have also commented on these tools within my blog postings.
Updated power point and slideshare combining voice...
Media Fire
Power point
Google Earth
Wiki Technology
My first avatar

When I initially commenced this course I was so excited. I knew that I had to go away for a two week period for a compulsory prac placement so I endeavoured to open up as many accounts possible before my departure. Having said that on my return I realised just how intense this course had become. It wasn’t for the fact that I didn’t enjoy, or that I felt frustrated at the material I was being bombarded with, nor because I was a digital immigrant (Prensky, 2001). It was simply because I felt that I wanted and needed to be able to explore this new technology accurately before I commented on how I would engage my students’ with it.

The principles of Gardeners Multiple Intelligence theory (nd) are; Individuals should be encouraged to use their preferred intelligences in learning. Instructional activities should appeal to different forms of intelligence. Assessment of learning should measure multiple forms of intelligence.

Technology of today has the potential to reach so many of my future learners. Its ability to adopt Gardeners theory (n.d.), will make my planning and profiling of students a creative, efficient and more enthusiastic environment for me and those of my pupils. The milieu of sites similar to Wikipedia, Wetpaint and Mahara would witness students’ ability to gauge their experiences and those of their peers in a potentially non threatening environment.

All stakeholders could also have permission through a monitored system, to engage and explore these sites to peruse the progress of these students. This is one element within the school environment where the use of technology would flourish and the capacity to break down the barriers of the current system of communication and pedagogy in learning facilities.

Am I a Digital immigrant or a Digital native (Prensky, 2001)? Well, I am definitely an immigrant. Prior to participation in this course I had only heard of power point, You tube, Wikipedia and podcasts. Thus far I had only ever used power point and You tube. Examining the extensive array of tools within this course has opened my mind up to so many possibilities of engaging my students. On my prac placement the overall sentiment from pupils I engaged with was one of frustration and complaints of boredom and sore hands from writing. This is largely due to the fact that students of today sense and process the information given to them, fundamentally different from current teaching practices (Prensky, 2001).

As a future Learning manager with the assistance of my students, the need to create Digital Native methodologies for all KLA’s, at all stages of their learning journey will be pivotal if I am to engage and not enrage these individuals (Prensky, 2001).

Equally important is the overall summary of Greg Kearsley and Ben Shneiderman’s Engagement theory which is; Relate, Create, Donate (Kearsley and Shneiderman, 1999). Learning activities need to take place collaboratively as projects which they are able to relate to the outside world around them ( Marshall, 2007). I can attest to the benefits of this type of learning, the majority of learning I have undertaken since leaving school has completely been related to my work environment, creating on the job tasks and working collaboratively with others to obtain the end results. Yes I have had projects that were individualistic in nature but it was the tasks which were team orientated that I learnt the most from, and in turn had the most satisfaction and enjoyment.

Of equal importance is Felder and Solomon’s Learning styles and Strategies concept. These styles of learners fall into the following categories of; active and reflective, sensing and intuitive, visual and verbal and sequential and global ( Felder and Solomon, 2009). I had previously undertaken this quiz and found myself to fall under the category of an ISFJ learner. With a scaffolded approach and the assistance and collaboration from teachers and peers, computer technology and the tools they employ would definitely envisage a learning environment which harnesses this type of theory. It is important to note here that Dales Cone theory (The Ablienne Christian University Adams Center for Teaching Excellence, 2000), closely follows in the footsteps of Felder and Solomon in relation to how best individuals’ retain the information which is placed before them. Ultimately though individuals must be aware of these strategies to gain their full potential.

If you have not noticed already by viewing my blog previously, the tools which I favoured mostly were that of Google Earth and a combination of power point, Slideshare and Voicethread. I thoroughly enjoyed these tools and can definitely visualise the use of them by myself and students in the very near future.

Moreover; Webquests to me, are the ultimate in creating higher order learning, and follow Olivers model of a learning design structure, which set over three stages are related to real global projects based around messy, ill-structured problem scenarios (Oliver, 1999, as cited in Aldred, 2009). Unfortunately time got the better of me in setting up my completed Webquest but I am hurriedly trying to finish this in the hope that I will have this completed for my subsequent assignment.

My one concern for all of this technology is obviously that of equity and diversity, although I was able to have use of a computer for the majority of this assessment task there were times when internet access was problematic. Tools which were a requirement to download were again successful for me apart from Skype. This was soon rectified, with access to these sessions available on request. However, there were other students at my campus who did have issues with some downloads with obvious disappointment on their part. As future learning managers we have to ensure we address these issues, especially for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, students with disabilities or impairments, Torres strait or indigenous and those from various cultural backgrounds who may have English as a second language (Spender & Stewart, 2002, as cited in Aldred, 2009).

On reflecting overall on my experience of this course content; I must say that, although overwhelmed at times with the intensity and magnitude, I am overjoyed with my ability to adapt relatively quickly with this technology and thoroughly content with my blogs end result. I might also add I was tickled pink when my technology savvy digital native, seventeen year old daughter asked me; if you can imagine, in helping her with her IT assignment. So concluding my reflection I will leave you by stating, ‘bring it on’!


The Ablienne Christian University Adams Center for Teaching Excellence, (2000).
How does active learning work? Active learning online. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

Aldred, S. (2009). Managing E-Learning course profile. Retrieved August 20, 2009,from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE11001 Managing E-Learning.

Gardner, H. (n.d.). Multiple Intelligences. Retrieved August 23, 2009, from

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999).
Engagement theory: A framework for
technology-based teaching and learning.
Retreived August 19, 2009, from

Marshall, M. (2007). Engagement Theory, WebCT, and academic writing in Australia, Vol. 3, Issue 2, pp. 109-115. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrived August 18, 2009, from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

Soloman, B. & Felder , R. (n.d.). Learning styles and strategies. Retrieved August 21, 2009, from

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