“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesisers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.”
– E. O. Wilson
Collaborative learning is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together. Unlike independent learning, learners engaged in collaborative learning capitalise on one another’s resources and skills which now extends to the use of digital technology and all of the resources of the internet. One could say that the traditional collaborative approach would have been learners asking one another for information, evaluating one another’s thoughts, checking one another’s work, etc. now even independent learning has an element of of the collaborative approach through the use of video conference platforms and other digital resources at the disposal of the learner.
Lesson goals and objectives
In this lesson you will learn:
How to use reflection to simply learn more about own practice
How implement digital technology to support the reflective approach
How to engage with digital technology to improve learning outcome
Reflective teaching is a regular process where practitioners think over their teaching practices, analysing how something was taught and how the practice might be improved for better learning outcomes, commonly why it’s being done and how well learners are learning. Teachers use reflection as a way to simply learn more about their own practice, improve a particular practice, group or individual learning, for example, or to focus on a problem learners are having. The use of digital technology supports the reflective approach. Teachers are able to use online forums to reflect upon each other’s teaching immediately as technology and internet have become an inseparable part of their daily lives. Moreover, social media sites make it possible for learners and teachers to build professional communities that can model and practice teaching as inquiry. Much research points to the fact that unless teachers begin instilling technology into the curriculum, the gap between the needs of learners and the ability of teachers to create meaningful learning opportunities will steadily increase.
Q: Why is the reflective approach an essential teacher tool?
A: The reflective approach is the process where teachers think over their teaching practices, analysing how something was delivered and how the practice might be improved for better learning outcomes. Reflection is an essential teacher tool in their armoury. As a practitioner, there should be constant reflection to determine what is currently being done, why it’s being done and how well learners are learning. You should use reflection as a way to simply learn more about your own practice, especially when using new digital technology as part of your digital learning and teaching methodology, to improve certain practices or to focus on a problem learners are having.
Q: What was it about the teaching activities or the way the content was presented that engaged the learners
A: Generally speaking, most people—including yourself—have experienced a potentially exciting subject delivered in a way that almost put you to sleep. On the other hand, you may also have had exposure to a subject that you expected to be boring but was brought to life in a new and dynamic way by means of digital technology. The learner’s experience is influenced by the teacher and the learning design. The design can be informed by a range of theories, colleagues, and even past experiences—all of which should be under constant review, through reflection.
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