In reading some people’s blogs including; Niels’s, Carolin’s and many others I was motivated to look for more details about the blogs. I was so much interested with the way they organize and update their blogs and sought to explore more to learn what is all about blogging. Thus I went to this site: http://www.edublog.net/files/papers/weblogs%20in%20education.pdf You can have a look on it and see how a blog can be a good learning tool in education.
My reflection on the three lectures, can be expressed as follows;
Flexibility in learning
In reference to my work and some friends blogs I managed to go through I could easily realize the fact that disadvantages of flexibility in learning especially to the institution and the instructors were overweighing advantages. On the side of the learners, advantages and disadvantages are almost in equal weight. But they still have many challenges in adopting it without a guide of the teacher. Collis and Moonen (2001) call for increased flexibility in learning, but they also admit the fact that flexible learning is a complex domain and can be experienced in many different ways. Collins and Moonen (2001), suggest four key points; Institution, implementation, pedagogy and technology that can make flexibility in learning possible. Yet they conclude their discussion with the statement; “Flexible learning is a complex phenomenon even when expressed in terms of the four key components”. What can be done then? Should we be 100% flexible? Should we grant 100% freedom to learners? There are still many other questions concerning flexibility especially when it comes to practical implementation of it. On my opinion, it’s very important to set the degree of flexibility. There should not be flexibility to everything.
It’s through reading others’ blogs, I came to learn that, and there are a lot of pedagogical approaches that can be adapted by a teacher in the process of teaching. I had knowledge about collaborative learning, problem based learning, inquiry learning, competency based learning and workplace learning. When I read my friends blogs, I got some additional pedagogical approaches such as: Project-based learning (from Carolin), task oriented learning (from Leonie) etc. On how they are supported by CMS, I can see that majority of the members including myself have extensively discussed this with a great focus on the use of discussion boards, forums, messenger, chart box, emails, blackboards, weblogs etc. these tools are found to be supportive in almost all kinds of learning approaches. Thus to any kind of pedagogical approach that would have been sought reasonable by the teacher, these tools can easily accommodate them in CMS. I think this is the most explored topic compared to flexibility. Pedagogical approach lecture; provides a direct description of sort of pedagogies available and the way to use. How best are used is the choice of the teachers in relation to the topic he want to cover.
According to JISC (2009), ‘technology-enhanced learning’ is currently gaining favour since it emphasises how technology adds value to learning. It also describe the effective practice in a technology-rich context which is concerned with employing a range of pedagogical skills to bring about the best possible learning for the widest variety of learners. This requires specialist skills and knowledge but in a digital age must also include the ability to ‘design, plan and orchestrate learning activities which involve the use of technology as part of a learning session or programme.
Technology-enhanced learning is considered important in a variety of ways: It provides a rapid feedback on formative assessments, it makes learning more active by means of interactive technologies and multimedia resources, cultivate learning by discovery in virtual worlds and facilitate development of skills for living and working in a digital ages. Some technologies that can be adopted for enhanced learning include; Nintendo, iPod, Camera, Wikipedia, GPS, Online game etc. These plus many other technologies that can be used by the teacher in the process of teaching and learning also have advantages and disadvantages to both teachers and students. There are some technological tools which put a great demand on the side of the teacher or students. For example a teacher may need to have a good knowledge of how he/she can use the online game in teaching a certain topic or how can a camera facilitate learning in a certain settings.
In reflecting all the three lectures covered so far, I realize that there is no method that exhausts everything. Every approach; flexibility, pedagogy, technology has got both advantages and disadvantages. Thus a teacher needs to be conversant with the choice of any of those approaches to execute a best piece of knowledge to the learners