Thursday, June 23, 2011

iPADS & Convergence Culture

iPADS are now an important learning tool within the 21st Century school environment. Schools need to view creative media as one of the key "learning corner stones" of the contemporary classroom.

Classrooms should enable students to express their cultural situation, their stories and knowledge expressions whilst employing creative technologies such as iPADs.

This need is well stated  by  Henry Jenkins re: "Convergence Culture". If you don't know Henry Jenkins play this video;




A relatively new animation media app for the iPADS enables students to self express in an immediate and rewarding manner. The app looks fun and engaging. The app is called Blush Undivided Video. Check out the app via YouTube



There is a change in who develops the content. It is important that students are engaged in creativity via "content creation". Rich media content development should not be the sole domain of the teacher. iPAD apps and the convergent culture are helping to redefine the role of the teacher. The sage on the stage should cease and the meddler in the middle should emerge.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Constructivist Learning and Moodle


Moodle is built on the constructivist theory of learning and in general this aspect of Moodle is ignored. It is easy to overlook the theory and focus on Moodle as an object or a tool. Designing “how to” Moodle courses are easy to manufacture, easy to measure and easy to assess but they are deficient in the development of a constructivist learning environment. It is important that online courses are not “content dumps” with little application to learning processes other than read and remember.
The following slide “Future of eLearning Moodle Moot 2011” offers some insights to enabling a constructivist learning environment
Future of eLearning Moodle Moot 2011
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 Ignoring the theory of constructivism and focussing on the tools, places the "what you can do" over the "how to apply". In the end ignoring the constructivist theory, which is the platform of Moodle, diminishes the possibilities of a learning environment. Ignorance is dangerous as poor learning environments effect learning. This is a concern as many teachers who wish to move into eLearning place the learning of Moodle tools over the theories of digital pedagogy.

The “How to” approach to Moodle Tools results in a learning environment that sits within the lower realms of the revised Blooms digital taxonomy. More information concerning the Blooms digital taxonomy and Moodle can be accessed via http://goo.gl/s403

Constructivist learning theory explained:


It is important that educators focus on the design of a constructivist learning environment as the first step into eLearning rather than focus learning on the Moodle tools as the first step into eLearning.

Dr Seymour Papert
"Eight Big Ideas Behind the Constructionist Learning Lab" by Dr. Seymour Papert is a good starting point when designing of a constructivist Moodle learning environment. I have employed the outlining points of Papert's 8 Big Ideas and applied them to creating a Moodle learning environment. This mashup is as follows;
  • Learn Moodle tools whilst creating the desired learning environment.
  • Use the Moodle technology as the building material and constructivism as the architectural design.
  • Learning is hard fun so is designing an online course.
  • It is important to apply learning to learn principles when employing Moodle to create an online course.
  • Anything worth learning takes time and the application of constructivist theory to an online course is well worth the time.
  • You can’t get it right without getting it wrong. Take a risk when applying Moodle tools and reflect on the risk.
  • Change your learning style to how we expect students to learn. Take on the learning expectations and practices of the 21st Century.
Eight Big Ideas Behind the Constructionist Learning Lab by Dr. Seymour Papert can be accessed via http://stager.org/articles/8bigideas.pdf

Seymour Papert on Learning how to Learn