8 Aboriginal ways of learning that can enhance the way we teach in the 21st century!

8 Aboriginal ways of learning that can enhance the way we teach in the 21st century!

What are the 8 ways?
“This Aboriginal pedagogy framework is expressed as eight interconnected pedagogies involving narrative-driven learning, visualised learning processes, hands-on/reflective techniques, use of symbols/metaphors, land-based learning, indirect/synergistic logic, modelled/scaffolded genre mastery, and connectedness to community. But these can change in different settings.”

This can be broken down into these 8 methods:
1. We connect through the stories we share.
2. We picture our pathways of knowledge.
3. We see, think, act, make and share without words.
4. We keep and share knowledge with art and objects.
5. We work with lessons from land and nature.
6. We put different ideas together and create new knowledge.
7. We work from wholes to parts, watching and then doing.
8. We bring new knowledge home to help our mob.

So think about what are the different ways we can we change the way we teach to incorporate some of these ideas for learning and to extend our own?

(All information was taken from the site, click on the photo for the link to the 8ways wikispace)

How I Study- My Learning Spaces!

So this week I’ve been armed with my phone taking photos of whenever and wherever I’ve been studying. I spend the majority of my study time on my bed with my laptop with a dim light (I know it’s bad for my posture and eyes but hey, I’m comfortable!). When I am at uni or not home (and my bed is not accessible) I usually go to a library and sit properly on a table my laptop and everything laid out to study (I look like a very serious student). The more obvious learning spaces are places like a lecture hall and in classrooms where I spend most of my student life in.

More facts about my studying habits:

– I like to always have food to eat when I’m studying, ALWAYS!

– I listen to music depending on what type of homework I’m doing

– I like to use my phone to do some quick research for uni projects or even just to search up random facts

– I prefer to study later on at night as opposed to early in the day (not a morning person); I feel as though I my brain is more switched on at night

– I like to study with friends who will keep me focused!

And that’s how I study and have been studying for a long time now!

Link to photos:

http://www.photosnack.com/9EA67ECF8D6/p7h8ynmj  

Does group work still benefit us?

I view collaborative and cooperative learning spaces as very similar to one another. The collaborative learning space is where the work is divided up fairly and everyone must contribute by doing their part in order for the group to succeed. This creates a mutual dependence on one other as each members contribution is equally important to reach their mutual goal/s. Cooperative learning spaces are similar to collaborative in the sense that each member must have equal participation and contribution to the work and that there is a mutual reliance on one another to ensure that the end result of their work coherent and well-constructed. Both of these learning spaces allow the teacher to mark each individually fairly as tasks are structured carefully in a way that is clear for the teacher to see the contribution made by each individual in the group.

Group learning spaces are where individuals are put together in a group with one mutual goal but there is not necessarily a fair division of work between members. Group learning spaces are different to that of the collaborative and cooperative learning space as it is more loosely structured and relies on the members within the group to divide and allocate the workload, which in many cases, is distributed unfairly with one member left to do most of the work, as Spencer Keegen mentioned, in the YouTube video ‘Does Group Work, Work?’, “some take over and some take a free ride”. It is also harder for the teacher to monitor and assess each individual within the group as there is no clear outline of what each individual has done. Group work is not all bad though, if done correctly, it could produce a result that exceeds what a member would have accomplished if it was just an individual task. The level of success of group work depends on the members within the group. If everyone shares the same goal and the same determination to reach that goal, then it would be more likely that members of the group contribute fairly. This way, a teacher would not be marking members individually but as a group as the work produced would have been a clear product of an efficient group.

There are many pros and cons of each type of learning space and the success of either a collaborative, cooperative or group learning space is heavily dependent on the type of students that you are working with. It is about finding a balance between all three learning spaces to ensure that all individuals are able to benefit from the experience. For example, three ‘less motivated’ students are put together for group work then they may be less productive as they are unsure of what they are doing. In this case, these students might benefit more from a collaborative or cooperative type of learning space where the work is already divided and they are clear of what they are expected to do and they carry equal responsibility in the group.

Does technology belong in the classoom?

In the modern society that we know today, any form of technology is seen as an advancement in our lives, a way of keeping up-to-date with the world. Smart phones have become increasingly popular, especially with constant upgrades of the infamous Iphone which can be seen on almost every, if not every second person, you see walking down the street.

In schools, there has been a great advancement in the use and depedency on new technologies and multimodal resources. Ipads and tablets have been more widely used, especially in educational settings where students are switching their thick, heavy textbooks for the electronic version on their ipads which allows them to carry multiple textbooks at once. Schools are even providing classrooms with sets of iPads for students to access educational applications. Even the good old whiteboard/blackboard has been replaced with interactive whiteboards (also known as ‘smart boards’). During my placement, I have witnessed the benefits of having these technologies in the school context and how teachers have used them to enrich and enhance the method in which they deliver information to the students, using multimodal resources such as interactive books which come with extension games and activities to develop understanding in the topic areas. Even in the lessons I have taught, I have found that the students are more engaged in their learning when I use the interactive resources and are more likely to participate. Ipads in the classroom also allow for the students to practise and extend their knowledge in the form of an interactive game, for example a spelling or math application.

I have also seen the downside to the use of such technologies in the classroom, firstly, there will always be the problem with it malfunctioning which could possibly ruin a whole lesson that the teacher has set out (I have seen it happen). Secondly, the capacity for the teachers to utilise such technology requires them to have a thorough knowledge of how to use it and maximise the benefits of its use. I have been in classrooms where the teachers who do not recognise that these technologies could have on their teaching and have barely touched the smartboards and iPads. When they do, it is used only as a mere extension of their teaching and may be for the sole purpose of just simply using the technology. Thirdly, time must be taken away from the lesson to teach students how to correctly use the smartboard and applications on the iPad which may prove difficult to some students who are not exposed to technology at home.

I believe that technology used for teaching in the classroom is becoming increasingly popular and are beginning to understand the benefits of such technologies. However, it must all be used in the right context. An iPad or smartboard cannot and should not replace the role of a teacher, it should be only be used to extend and to broaden the learning experience for the students.

Communities of Practice

A community of practice is a group of people with a collective interest in a certain area, share a common goal and mutual experiences with one another and continually try to better themselves and improve on working towards their common goal.

An excursion can be transformed into a community of practice as both students and teachers share the common interest and goal, that is learning about a certain topic (domain), experience of having been to the excursion and leaving with the shared understanding of the events and the experience (community) and discussing what they gathered and learnt from the excursion and expanding their knowledge to achieve their common goal (the practice).

A blog? What’s that?

I view the word ‘blogging’ as a very colloquial term that people in our modern society throw around easily. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Blogspot, even Instagram, can be included in the long list of  generic websites that people use and refer to when they say they were ‘blogging all night’. Some blogs even come with their own slang verb which refers to blogging, for example for Twitter – “tweeting”, Instagram – “instagramming” and Facebook – “facebooking”. It can take on different meanings when viewed through different lenses and I personally don’t think that there is any ‘solid’ definition for the word blogging. If I had to define what a blog is, I would say that it is any online space that allows for an individual to post whatever they want, in whatever form they choose, whether it be text, photos or even videos and allow whoever they choose to view it, respond or comment on it, even rate it or ‘like’ it. It helps the people in the world, even people who have never met, connect to each other without physically meeting. An example of a blog is what you are reading at this very moment.

What is a PLN?

Web 2.0 is an innovative tool that is modernising the way teachers learn all around the world. It provides an opportunity for people to connect with each other socially, by sharing photos, videos, blog entries etc.

It can be described as a learning space as it provides a platform for teachers to share knowledge and resources and comment on each others posts to expand and elaborate on ideas. The learning space can be constantly updated with new posts and links so that the person posting and the followers are continually expanding and updating their knowledge and resource banks.