Educational Video Challenge 2014

This blog has been hibernating for quite a long time, so maybe it’s time to wake it up…

A few weeks ago (20.-21.11.) we participated in an interesting challenge and collaborated with OAMK students. Our project began on Thursday and had to be finished on Friday, so we had to make an educational video in 24 hours (challenge accepted!).

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In our group there were three LET-students and one media student from OAMK. The extraordinary thing was that we had to include a hammer, a feather or water in our video. At first we planned to use both hammer and feather, but after all only the feather ended up starring in our video (luckily some of the other groups borrowed our hammer so it wasn’t completely useless!)..

In the beginning of our video project we decided to take the fear of public speaking as our subject. Almost everyone has probably experienced some kind of stage fright in their life, so we wanted to show it can be beaten. After a couple of moments of planning, writing and drawing the script, we started to film. We managed to film all the scenes on Thursday, so we decided to do the editing part on Friday. Eventually, even though we started editing right after 8am on Friday, we ended up being in a hurry (how typical..).

Snapchat-3992566698441887805

The video project included both funny and stressful moments. Even though we had “only” 24 hours (whereas students from other countries, as far as I know, had 72 hours), it was nice to see what we can create in that amount of time. After all, it was a great experience!

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The final words of INTRO course (Portfolio assignment 5)

It feels like the first lecture of Intro course had been just yesterday. Oh, how the time flies! At first I want to say that I have really enjoyed this course! Mostly because it’s really different to my other courses and of course because all you fellow students are so great!

introc

The final workshop and using of SmartAmp..

I remember when I came to the first ICT workshop. Back then, I was both curious and a little bit suspicious: can I really handle this technology-related course? I was hesitant to use technology and English language. Now that the first course of LET studies is over, I’m glad I started these studies. 🙂

Our group’s digital story summarizes our thoughts on this intro course :

I think the video tells everything but there are a few things I still want to point out:
1) It was nice to get to use English in practice because we have only one obligatory English course in our studies. I feel that during this course my English skills got better or at least I’m not so scared to use it anymore.
2) Group working was really nice and different to the other courses!
3) I got to know many different technical programs and applications and learn how to use them in support of education. At the beginning of this course I was hesitant and maybe a bit negative about technology, but my attitude towards it has got more positive now!
4) It was great that we used so many different applications. For example, I could never have thought I will code a game some day. 😀 😀 also screencasting, using tablets, activating the blogs and making digital stories were cool.
5) My knowledge about let-related things, such as collaboration and technology-supported education, has deepened.
6) I like the structure of this course. It was logical and clear: every week we had ICT workshops, lecture and jigsaw.
7) It’s awesome to get to know you all other LET students!

So, in nutshell: This was a really useful, different and fun course and I’m eagerly waiting for the next LET courses! The next course seems to be theory-related, so my aim is to understand more about theories. On intro course I didn’t focus really much on theories and literature because I was so excited about all the different applications.. but my aims for the next course are: understand more deeply the learning- and education-related theories and still improve my English skills!

And….. finally.. I coded my own version of Flappy Bird last night, feel free to try it here: http://studio.code.org/sh/43469603
(I know, it’s quite challenging!! my high score is 7 points..)

Creative & Innovative Learning (Portfolio Assignment 4)

The word ‘creative’ always draws my attention. Wherever I hear about “creative education” or “creative learning” I got interested and want to know more. The word itself is nice and it’s cool to say I want to be creative, learn creatively and increase creativity in school. But what does it really mean?

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Drawing with my niece 🙂

For me, learning creatively means using arts, music, free writing and other ways to express oneself in support of learning. Creative learning includes also problem solving and thinking on one’s own. I think that when people can actively think and act themselves they learn better than when they are just forced to do something or when the problems are solved for them. I’m specially interested in how people can learn creatively and how it could be taken more into account in schools. I bet several researchs on this theme exist, for example Sylvain Moreno from York University has found out that there is a connection between music training and children’s verbal intelligence.

On the lecture (the 2nd October) we spoke about the future and how learning and teaching can change. Essi told us about the four future’s visions which are:
1. MOOCs
2. Seemless learning
3. Crowd learning
4. Gamification

MOOCs (massive open online courses) are available for everyone, some of them are free and some of them may cost something. I like the idea of MOOCs because (almost) everyone can take part in them and it doesn’t matter if you live far away from the lecturer. MOOCs offer collaboration in forms of peer support and group discussions – though it’s not always possible to organize them since there can be hundreds of participants in one course. Also evaluation and assessment from peers is often available. So, MOOCs are a good and motivational way to study interesting things on own time (although I still prefer face-to-face courses if possible!). I got interested and started to browse some courses on edx but then I thought I already have enough work with my current studies. 😀 maybe I’ll try MOOCs in the future!

Seemless learning is an interesting approach. It means that learning can happen everywhere – not only in school. I agree with that because obviously people learn outside of school too. For example hobbies, interacting with other people and simply living teach us a lot. Seemless learning, thus, combines formal and informal learning. Cool thing about seemless learning is that when you have a flow you don’t have to stop working even though the school day is over. Nowadays it’s possible because many people have their own devices (like mobile phones or tablets) where the works can be saved and continued afterwards. I really agree that when you have a flow you should use it!

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CC2.0 – woodleywonderworks

Crowd learning says that every person has an ownership to their own knowledge and that people can learn from everyone. Crowd learning means that we can gather the knowledges of many people and combine them into one huge database. For example Wikipedia and Forvo are examples that Essi mentioned on the lecture. Essi also said that maybe seemless learning and crowd learning can be thought as collaborative learning and I think so too. In my opinion, crowd learning is an advanced level of collaboration. On the lectures we can collaborate and discuss with each other but on Wikipedia and Forvo etc. the knowledge is published and expanded for everyone to see. Of course crowd learning emphasizes that learners are responsible for their own learning – we can’t believe in everything that’s written on, for example, Wikipedia. I like the idea of combining different knowledge and sharing it with others because it enhances everyone’s thinking and knowledge. And, with nowaday’s technology, crowd learning is easy to organise.

Then, finally, a few words about gamification. It’s a really interesting approach and I want to find out more of it! Gamification is not only fun and creative, but it really is an effective way of learning (that’s what was said in the lecture). I really like the idea that learning can be fun – I like to laugh, and if something can be fun yet effective, why not to make it so? In gamification there are clear goals and clear strategies which make the learning more logical and motivational for the students. On this intro course we actually had kind of gamification experience because we collected XP points on Jari’s ICT workshops. 😀 And, yes, it was fun and motivational! Gamification can be used as a part of traditional learning or totally new concepts of learning. Virtual worlds (like SecondLife) are examples of totally new and different learning environments.

I think it would be effective to use these four approaches as a part of education in the future. They are not going to take the place of traditional learning but maybe they could be used to enrich the original school system.mossywildernessFinally, I want to present our awesome group work! It’s made during the jigsaw session (3rd October) and our group wanted to point out that learning can really be fun and creative! You can see our great and maybe a little bit Fridayish invention above. It’s named “The Friday Incarnation of Mossy Wilderness (of Kallio)” and it’s a learning environment full of fun. The idea is that the learner can use all the things in support of studying and after studying he/she can play and even eat chocolate as a reward. Yay! That jigsaw session was one of the most funniest lessons ever in my school history. 😀

Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (Portfolio Assignment 3)

Now I am going to talk about (computer-supported) collaborative learning, also known as CSCL.

CC 2.0 – Steve Spinks

First, we need to realize there is a difference between the terms collaboration and co-operation. When people co-operate, they can share task between each other, do them individually and then, for example at the end of the lesson, combine all answers together. When people collaborate, they work together all the time and aim for the same goal. Collaboration is thus a good way to share thoughts and learn to respect others’ perspectives and ways of thinking.

On Thursdays (25th September) lecture we had group discussions about what learning and teaching will be in the future. There are many different ways of thinking (for example behavioristic and cognitive) in the history of CSCL and in our group we thought it would be ideal if there was some kind of combination of all these ways. Of course it would be awesome if the future’s learning environment was a perfect mixture of different ways of learning with both individual and collaborative tasks but it can be quite challenging too. 😀

As I said in the former post, individual is emphasized more and more in today’s world. A few decades ago a student was treated more as a “product” of some institute than as a unique individual. Nowadays this has completely changed: it’s usual that the teachers and parents think what is the best way to teach exactly this student and how exactly this student learns the best. For example, I have noticed collaborative learning is really effective, but it should be taken into account that not everyone thinks the same way. Enjoyable collaborative task for one student can be painful to other; the student can be for example shy and thus isn’t really eager to say his/her thoughts out loud. However, collaborative tasking should be taught in school because social skills will be needed also later in life. And, in my opinion, a person can get braver during collaboration and he/she can later express his/her thoughts easier (that’s what happened to me :))! But still, there are different ways of learning: someone enjoys working in a group whereas other likes to read a book alone. A few questions arise: has the increased individualism got too big a burden for teachers? Can one person think what’s the best way to teach every student in a classroom?

CC BY 2.0 - Jon Lim

CC BY 2.0 – Jon Lim

Computers and other technology stuff can effectively support collaborative learning. With technology it’s easy to collaborate even though the participants are not in the same place. There are many applications and programs, for example Skype, with which people can talk online and do their tasks. Different applications can also increase creativity in group work. With internet it’s also easy and fast to get feedback from peers. And, if someone gets sick and can’t take part in lecture, it’s usually possible to watch the lecture afterwards or even during the lecture through live stream.

In conclusion, technology can support collaborative learning and make it even more interesting, enjoyable and fun. Nevertheless, in my opinion it’s always better if people work face-to-face.. When people work at the same place, they can use different facial expressions and body language to support what they say. And when working face-to-face, it doesn’t matter if technology or internet access stops working! 🙂

High Quality Learning (Portfolio Assignment 2)

I’ve been having an enormous mental block so it took quite a long time to write this blog post. My head was just messed up with all the information and I couldn’t put my thoughts into clear and understandable words (maybe this is a kind reminder and note to self that I should write the posts right after the lectures and jigsaws!).

BUT! I found a solution! And it is….. brainstorming!

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My Tuesday evening – tea, brainstorming & blogging!

I just wrote all that came to my mind (even the dumb things like “I need to sleep or eat now”) on a Word document. Without caring how to spell or what to write. Just everything. Then I deleted everything not-so-important for this task (maybe 80% of the text, hehe). It really helped me order my thoughts. I warmly recommend brainstorming to everyone! It may work for you too!

So, now that my brains are free of unnecessary thoughts, I can tell you about my understanding about educational technology and learning after the 3rd week of the LET studies.On the third week we had discussions about high quality learning. On Thursday’s lecture we had a visitor, professor Paul Kirschner, who spoke inspirationally about learning. On Friday we had our first jigsaw-session. Everyone had read an article from a book called “How people learn”. Then we collaborated(!) and shared our thoughts in small groups. There are a few things I want to point out after the lecture & jigsaw:

  • Nowadays learning is more understood as “understanding deeply” than remembering the little details. The aim of studying is to learn how we can understand things and the links between them. A person should learn metacognitive skills too.
  • When planning the new curriculum, it should been taken into account that the goals and needs of education have changed and that the technology has developed.
  • Today’s teachers are more like advisors/friends than supervisors/authorities and they can also learn from students.
  • An ideal learning environment is a combination of knowledge-centered, assessment-centered, learner-centered and community-centered environment.
  • People can learn outside the school, too!

After the jigsaw-session there were some questions on my mind. For example: how can we create an ideal environment for learning? It can be quite challenging to make a perfect combination of everything but at least we can try!
Also, the individual learner is emphasized in today’s world. Maybe a teacher should know every student’s abilities and learning styles so that he/she could support him/her as well as possible. But is this too big a burden for one teacher?

To be continued on the next portfolio assignment…

Thoughts on educational technology (Portfolio assignment 1)

Last year, when I first started thinking about educational technology as a minor subject, I did not really know what it would be about. When someone suggested I could take educational technology as my minor, the term itself sounded very distant to me. I remember thinking that educational technology would be something un-understandable science stuff, something that I couldn’t handle.

I’m really delighted to see how completely wrong I was. So far, the lectures have been interesting, informative and not boring at all! Of course I am a little bit confused when we have to use lots of new sites and learning environments but I have noticed I can learn to use them by time.

The term ‘educational technology’ has started to take shape in my mind. I think major part of this subject is to learn how we can support learning and education with technology. I hope the next lectures and tasks will help me understand educational technology even better.

Also, during these studies I would like to improve my English skills and meet nice people! It’s very nice that we have so international group with people from all over the world. I think we all can learn so much when we collaborate with each other and hear different aspects and perspectives on things.

digitaalinen media opetuksessa ja oppimisessa -kurssilla heränneitä ajatuksia

Teknologian kehittymisen myötä sosiaalisen median käyttö on lisääntynyt. Nykyään profiili jollakin some-sivustolla, kuten Facebookissa tai Twitterissä, on ennemminkin sääntö kuin poikkeus. Usein uuden ihmisen tapaamisen yhteydessä kysytäänkin, tavoittaako tämän esimerkiksi Facebookista. Tämä on mielenkiintoista, sillä tuskinpa aiemmat sukupolvet ovat osanneet kuvitellakaan teknologian kehittyvän näin pitkälle, saati sitten sen että yhteydenpidon tuttaviin voi hoitaa netin kautta.

Voi sanoa, että lisääntyneen sosiaalisen median käytön myötä myös ihmisten elämä on muuttunut julkisemmaksi. Itsestään kerrotaan vaikka minkälaisia tietoja internetin ihmeellisessä maailmassa ja halutessaan muiden elämää pääsee seuraamaan joskus yllättävän tarkasti. Tuskinpa joskus 1900-luvun alussa monikaan tiesi, missä joku naapurin serkun kaveri oli töissä.

Alati lisääntyvään median käyttöön ja oman elämän jakamiseen liittyy myös käsite monilukutaito, joka tuli esille kurssin aikana. Monilukutaito sisältää muun muassa tekstien tai muiden tuoton tulkitsemisen ja tuottamisen taitoa ja sitä, että osaa hankkia tarvittavat tiedot oikein ja oikeista paikoista esimerkiksi tekijänoikeudet huomioon ottaen. Aiemmin olen kuullut puhuttavan vain medialukutaidosta, mutta ainakin minä käsitin että monilukutaito on laajempi käsite, johon myös medialukutaito sisältyy. Medialukutaito käsittää ehkä ennemminkin tekstin tulkitsemisen taidon, kun taas monilukutaitoon liittyy myös sen tuottamista, tiedon käyttämistä sekä teknologian käytön osaamista. Luultavasti siihen sisältyy myös taito arvioida sitä, millaisia asioita internetissä (esim. juuri somessa) kannattaa jakaa.

Monilukutaito on erittäin tärkeää nykypäivänä, ja mielestäni sitä pitäisi opettaa jo alakoulusta asti. Oppilaiden olisi hyvä oppia tuottamaan ja tulkitsemaan tekstejä oikein. On hyvä, ettei kaikkea internetissä lukevaa uskota. Myös tekijänoikeuksiin liittyvät seikat tulisi mielestäni opettaa jo ala-asteella. Ainakaan meidän oppitunneilla niitä ei hirveästi alakoulussa opiskeltu, sillä yleensä saimme melkeinpä kopioida wikipedia-artikkelit sanasta sanaan, ehkä hieman sanojen paikkaa vaihdellen. En tiedä, miten on nykyään, mutta mielestäni jo nuorimmille koululaisille pitäisi opettaa, ettei kaikkea netissä olevaa tekstiä saa tai kannata kopioida tai edes uskoa. Tekijänoikeuksiakaan emme hirveästi ala- tai edes yläkoulussa käsitelleet, mikä on melko harmillista. On edelleen joissakin tapauksissa hankalaa tietää, saako materiaalia käyttää ja kuinka, vaikka suurin piirtein tekijänoikeusasiat jo ovatkin hallussa.

Luentopäiväkirja 2

Luettuani toisten blogiartikkeleita huomasin sekä samanlaisia että eriäviä mielipiteitä omien ajatusteni kanssa. Monessa kirjoituksessa tunnuttiin mietiskelevän, kuinka teknologiaa voisi käyttää hyväksi opetuksessa. Lisäksi esiin tulivat joidenkin opettajien huono teknologiaosaaminen ja erilaiset resurssit teknologian käyttöön eri koulujen välillä.

Blogimaailman ihmeet -blogin Hilma sanoo kirjoituksessaan Luentopäiväkirja 1: Teknologia koulumaailmassa, että hänellä on ollut jo lukioaikoina käytössään muun muassa Edmodo ja Wiki space -ohjelmistot opiskelun tukena. Lisäksi hän on saanut opiskelussaan käyttää tablettia ja yhdellä kurssilla on ollut käytössä Iclass-palvelukin, jonka avulla pystyy katsomaan tunteja jälkikäteen netistä esimerkiksi sairastuessa. Tästä käy hyvin ilmi se, etteivät teknologian käytön puitteet ole samat joka koulussa. Esimerkiksi minä en ole saanut kouluaikanani koskea tablettiin ennen viime viikon tvt-kurssin harjoituskertaa, ja Edmodo ja Wikikin ovat olleet täysin pimennossa ennen tätä kurssia. Lukiossakin oikeastaan erikoisin käyttämämme aparaatti oli dokumenttikamera, mikä tuntuu nyt niin kovin kivikautiselta. Olisikin hyvä, jos kaikki koulut pystyisivät tarjoamaan samanlaiset valmiudet teknologian käyttöön opetuksessa ja oppimisessa. Tällöin teknologiaosaamisessa ei olisi niin suuria eroja myöhemmin yliopisto-opiskelussa ja työelämässä.

Toinen toistuva teema kirjoituksissa oli opettajien osittain huono teknologiaosaaminen. Monet kirjoittivat, että opiskelijoiden täytyy usein auttaa opettajia teknisten välineiden kanssa. Luokanopettajaopinnot-blogin Emilia puhuu myös tästä kirjoituksessaan Luentopäiväkirja 1. Hän uskoo, että teknologian käytön vähäisyys johtuu opettajien neuvottomuudesta laitteiden käytön suhteen. Lisäksi hän toteaa, että opettajilla on vaikeuksia yhdistää teknologiaa opetukseen. Tästä olen samaa mieltä. Opettajille ei ehkä anneta tarpeeksi ohjeita teknologian käyttöön, jolloin heille itselleen jää liian suuri vastuu sen liittämisestä opetukseen. Tällöin opettajat saattavat pitäytyä tutuissa ja turvallisissa opetusmetodeissa, joihin ei välttämättä teknologiaa juurikaan sisälly.

Vaikka aiemmassa kirjoituksessani tuli varmasti ilmi, että minua hieman pelottaa teknologian huimalla vauhdilla etenevä kehitys, on etenkin tietotekniikasta paljon hyötyäkin. Hyödyllisestä tietotekniikan käytöstä hyvä esimerkki on etäopetus. Ivanttin-blogin Iida mainitsee kirjoituksessaan Luentopäiväkirja, että esimerkiksi maahanmuuttajien kieliopinnoissa etäopetus on kätevä keino, jos opettaja ei asu samassa kaupungissa tai edes maassa. Olen samaa mieltä. Etäopetus mahdollistaa opetuksen, vaikka kaikki asianomaiset eivät pystyisi olemaan fyysisesti läsnä samassa paikassa.

Vaikka minua edelleen kauhistuttaa teknologian supernopea kehitys, alan kuitenkin vähitellen lämmetä sen käyttöön opetuksessa. Kuten opeopintojaoulussa-blogin hpoikela tekstissään Luentomuistiinpanot TVT toteaa, on erittäin tärkeää opettaa oppilaille etenkin medialukutaitoa ja tekijänoikeuksiin liittyviä asioita. Muistan itsekin, kun ala-asteella huoletta kopioimme tekstiä ja kuvia ryhmätöihimme netistä, eikä silloin muistaakseni sanottu sen olevan edes väärin. Sitten ihmeteltiin yläasteella, kun ei saanut enää suoraan kopioida. Mielestäni medialukutaitoa ja tekijänoikeusasioita voisi opettaa jo ala-asteella. Pitäydyn silti aiemmassa postauksessa mainitsemassani kannassa, ettei niitä teknisiä härpäkkeitä tarvitse suurissa määrin antaa alle kouluikäisille.