zondag 9 oktober 2011

Pedagogies and Technology

This week I'm going to write about pedagogies and technology. It is about different types of pedagogies and learning activities, I will illustrate this subject with a program called simSchool.
SimSchool is a program that can be used during teacher training for the elementary school, the program provides simulations of a classroom that you (as a teacher) have to run. You can create a classroom, filled with students (as many or little as you want) all with individual characters and learning styles. If you run the simulation you can choose from different learning activities. As the teacher you can give the whole class the same activity or you can give individual activities, but you have to take the different learning preferences of the students into account before giving an activity. Every student prefers other activities, as a teacher you will have to find a balance to meet every students preferences.
During the simulation you can give the students comments and ask question, these can help motivate, complement the student or it can put him back to work when the student is distracted. After the lesson you can see a graph of different factors that concerns the students actions to the lesson. For example if the student liked the lesson or if his academic level went up. This gives you a good picture of how you did as a teacher. 

To try this program I followed a description of a module that was written for a student. In this simulation there was just one student, named Everly, in the classroom. If you clicked on the class computer and then on Everly's picture, you could read about his personality and how he liked to learn. Everly is a student that likes to be stimulated and likes interaction, so activities where he can work in a group would be good for Everly.
The activities that are prescribed in the module are:
- Go over last week’s lessons
- Take notes during lecture
- Take an oral quiz
These are all individual activities, so I geuss Everly isn't going to be happy with this lesson. I described the lesson below:

Everly is distracted from the start and you can see that his academic level is dropping, meanwhile his happiness isn't chancing, but is clearly isn't a right activity for Everly. Then I move on to the next activity, taking notes during lecturing. Everly is paying more attention to this activity and his academics and happiness are rising. But the second that I start the oral quiz, Everly is distracted again and his academics are dropping again. Luckily his happiness stays the same.
In this graphic below the teacher effectiveness is shown, as you can see the effectiveness is 0%.

My prediction that the activities that were instructed in the module didn't match Everly's preferences were right, he didn't like the lesson. His learning outcomes were low and he wasn't motivated, therefior this lesson was ineffective.

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