Tzveta’s activities from week 5

The learning theories I identify most with are the Cognitive Dissonance from Festinger, Social Development Theory from Vygotsky and Constructivism Theory from Bruner. The three theories are related and the share common aspects. However they have their differences. They are in cognitive and constructive approach for learning. Since I’m not teaching, I’m going to identify myself with the teaching practices I’d like to use.

Cognitive Dissonance (Festinger)

This theory states that people need to have consistency among their beliefs, ideas, etc. If they don’t have them, they need to reduce this dissonance by different ways. First, reduce the importance of the dissonant beliefs. Second, add more consonant beliefs that outweigh the dissonant beliefs. And third, change the dissonant beliefs so that they are no longer inconsistent. The last one is the most important for learning. The first two don’t make sense for learning because if students don’t change their ideas, they are not learning. So the last way of reducing the dissonance is changing their ideas. That means if the learners have a conflict between the reality and their thought they have to adapt their thinking to the reality and therefore change their beliefs. This is a constant action when learning throughout our life. So in schools what we can do is identify wrong or incomplete ideas of our students and arouse situations where they can see it’s inconsistent with the reality. In this way, they work on meaningful activities to modify their ideas. For example, they they think that that water, ice and steam are different things, but we can use an activity where they manipulate these three elements and realize by themselves that they are the same.

Social Development Theory (Vygotsky)

The social interaction is one of the main aspects of Vygotsky’s theory. First if takes and external role and later is internal. The second aspect of his theory is the zone of proximal development (ZPD). That is people are in the point of “what I can do”, and the next step is “what I can do with help” and the last one is “what I can’t do”. The goal for learning is the middle stage. It will then become the first stage and it’s a circle. This stage can be reached with the help of adults and the social interaction is very important in order to achieve it. This theory totally encourages interaction among students and group working. So in the school it’s better to have the students working together rather than independently. They can help each other and go further in their learning. The teacher also helps them by giving hints and directions.

Constructivism Theory (Bruner)

The main of its theory is that the learning process is active and it is based on the current knowledge of the learners. They interact with the information and transform their knowledge, they are active learners. The role of the teacher is to encourage the students to actively discover new principles. The teacher has to provide the right information so they work on it. The education is designed as a spiral where when they reach new knowledge, what they learn next is built on this current knowledge. So the teacher has to identify the current knowledge of the students, and to provide activities that connect with this knowledge and they can learn something new as well. Student can do experiments in the classroom since they get directions from their teacher and then, they discover something new being an active learner.

Tzveta’s Copyright

After reading the posts I realise that many of the resources you may want to use for your teaching could be limited. I like the idea of Creative Commons, and I think in the future we’ll have more resources available with this license because more people would be participating. And I consider it’s beneficial for everybody. Using Creative Commons materials is an alternative for you teaching in the classroom and for online courses as well. You may have some restrictions, but I don’t think this is going to be a problem for your teaching.

The limits for using material with copyright for educational purpose I think are too strict. If you are teaching an online course, it’s very easy for the teacher to provide useful links for the students. So, that means if the materials have copyright, you are not allow to share them? If it’s a closed group of students, where the course is not available for the rest of the audience, I think there should be more freedom as long as you are using the contents with educational purposes.

I think the fact you can ask for permits to use a copyrighted work may be useful for teachers. If you consider this is relevant for your students, they should be able to have access to it.

In my opinion, sometimes can result very complicated to determine if some materials are legal or not to use. There are different laws and some of them difficult to interpret.

Week 5: Activity 3 – Moodle

I’ve checked all the possible resources you can add to the site. I think it’s going to be very useful since you can use many kinds of materials. I wanted to try to upload a sample of each cattegory, but unfortunately this week I don’t have access to my computer, I only have my laptop where I just have the photos of my last trip. And that’s what I used to experiment. Maybe later I can try to download some files from internet and add them. I’d like to know how they look when they’re on the site.

Apart from the resources, I’ve been experimenting with some of the activities available on the site. I’ve made a quiz trying different answer options, a glossary and went through the other ones.

Week 5: Activity 2

As I posted in my assignment 1, I’m not teaching and I mentioned a hypothetical school. I’ll be doing the same in this activity.

The two applications I’m going to describe are Pinnacle Studio and Power Point. And they are both used for the English lessons.

First of all, Pinnacle Studio, we need the computer with speakers or earplugs, a camera, which would have been used previously, and a projector in order to watch the final video. Technology is used by the students in small groups, and I help them since this software it’s not very easy to use. They have to edit a number of videos that were previously recorded when performing a play. They can add music and subtitles, cut and add some effects. Students use this program in order to get a better recording and final product since it will be more entertaining than just a simple recording. When watching the final video, students will learn from their peers and all the editing will help the younger ones to understand it better. It helps to develop the several ISTE standards:

Creativity and innovation“:

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

“Communication and collaboration”:

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

Students will be the ones to produce the final work and later on they will be showing it to the whole school, however if they need my help for some aspects, they can ask me. I will be guiding them and giving them some tips through the whole activity. Students become more involved in the performance because they are the ones that are working with it and they will be responsible for the final result and they will do their best as they have to show it to the rest of the school. This activity combines the technological, pedagogical and content knowledge.

Secondly, they’ll be using Power Point in order to create a presentation about a tradition, celebration, festival or some cultural aspect of an English speaking country they choose. Students need to have a computer with internet connection, speakers, an internet browser, Photoshop, VLC player and Winamp. Students are going to be using the Power Point to make a presentation about a cultural aspect of a country they choose. They’ll have access to internet in order to make a research about the topic using websites such as Wikipedia or any other source of information. They can use youtube as well so as to find videos related to the same topic, which they can include in the presentation. If it’s a musical festival, for example, using a video or an audio is very useful. After they finish it, they are going to show it in front of their peers so everybody can learn from their work, they will be acting as the teachers. The ISTE standards included in this activity are:

“Creativity and innovation”:

  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
“Communication and collaboration”:
  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

“Research and information fluency”:

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry. 
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.

“Critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making”:

  • Plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.

“Digital citizenship”:

  • Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
Students will work in small groups, about 3-4 people so we can have enough topics, about 6-7 different presentations. Otherwise, if the groups are too big, we’ll just have few cultural topics. They will be responsible in a way that they have to do a good job with their presentations, it has to be understandable and meaningful, as well as interesting so the rest of the students can learn from them. I’m going to suggest them which topic to choose or which country to choose from. Once they pick up a topic they like I’ll explain to each group what to focus on and guide them a little bit on their research. Students will be using technology to learn about a cultural aspect by doing the research on their own, later on they’ll have to create a presentation about what they’ve learnt and transmit it to their peers. By doing all this process, it help them to learn it better rather than if they just read it or I tell them. Students who are weaker can get the benefit from other students in their groups and learn from them. This activity fits in the technological pedagogical content knowledge.