Some thoughts on eLearning and online learning environments Donal O’ Mahony Portmarnock Community School Dublin City University
The DCU vision… Learning as relational, as dialogic Using ICT in a creative way
The key players... The Department of Education and Skills The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment The National Centre for Technology in Education The State Examinations Commission
The ICT framework The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment
National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE) – support teachers – eLearning roadmap – plan – draw down money!
The State Examinations Commission ICT competencies are tested in LC Music LC Design and Communication Graphics LC Applied Modules LC Vocational Programme
Traditionallally ICT was placed in Computer Rooms, ECDL, MS Office skills, project based, some programming, maths and science teachers and some “...you are doing something with computers” type teachers
Moving on It is now to be integrated in every classroom, in every teachers practice All about enhancing teaching and learning
A presumption Broadband Data-projector / screen / blind Reasonably modern computer / laptop Small pair of loud-speakers In every classroom Perhaps a wireless keyboard and mouse – for student use Maybe an eBeam – a scaled down Interactive Whiteboard
From Pre-prepared teacher presentations Usually PowerPoint To eBooks from the publishers Scoilnet and its content, World-Book, Irish Times digital archive, OS Maps etc
To Resources from in-services e.g. Project maths, Cork Multi-Text project, Skoool.ie, Teachnet.ie, iTunes University, YouTube, RTE/TG4 Player, BBC learning, History.com..........
Much of this digital-content is “free” and readily available to the teacher The minimum use of the equipment Take some time Teacher will gain in confidence
A move away from content.....or away from how we traditionally teach content
Using the communicative aspects of ICT for teaching and learning Using Social Software for teaching and learning Dialogue Collaboration
Virtual Space Social geographers are looking at how people are living online Interaction with friends Generation of online identity Constant feedback Using Web 2.0 technologies, social-media, free and easy to use e.g. Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, Increasingly on all our phones
Virtual space What does it mean to be Irish in 2007?
That I was able to encourage Critical Thinking – able to establish cognitive presence online That Moodle enhanced the teaching and learning of Leaving Certificate History
Online technology to assist teaching and learning Learning Platform Virtual Learning Environment Technology Mediated Learning Environment
Developed by Martin Dougiamas Moodle is built on the principles of Constructivism
Constructivism Active involvement in learning and knowledge construction Understanding that there can be many perspectives to knowledge Embedding learning in realistic settings Offering the students a voice in, and ownership of, the learning process Placing learning within social experience Offering the opportunity of multiple modes of representation Encouraging self awareness of how students come to know and understand (Cunningham, Duffy and Knuth 1993).
Teacher example An English Class My History Class
Open Source Hugely popular from primary schools to universities Huge community of practice / support through its website - moodle.org
Technical – the back end You could host it yourself (“free”) or engage (pay) a Moodle Partner to host it for you Enovation Solutions are the official Moodle Partner in Ireland Lets Host, Hosting 365, Blacknight for smaller installations
Portmarnock: We gave the back end of Moodle to Enovation Solutions I received further Administration Training Enovation trained ten teachers Small focussed plan: that these ten teachers carry out one significant piece of work with one of their classes over the coming academic year.
Portmarnock Need a motivated teacher to drive the Moodle project! Not necessarily the ICT coordinator Slow steady steps – maintain the database of students yourself at first Think about teaching and learning Moodle Mondays
Student access Primarily at home In a computer room In the school library Viewed in the classroom
Fun time! What about copyright? My notes...online! Safety and responsibility Training – teachers and students Password privacy Data-protection Do I check Moodle at night? Weekends? Parents expectations! It won’t work My broadband is broken The cat ate my laptop Software not up to date Inappropriate content - An expensive dumping ground for content Technology avoiders Technology advocates Etc etc
Other benefits! Can bring your work with you to another school Popular in Ireland Prepares a student for college Moodle Two – a nicer look Lots of support Reasonably intuitive Great for subject planning
Introducing Moodle ...will motivate some teachers “no going back” ...will start a debate on teaching and learning – the debate may be very important ...will encourage new ways of imagining content ...will help the teacher understand the hyperlinked world ...is relevant to the world
Other routes Other online environments e.g. Fronter, Drupal and Studywiz Blogging – school, class, teacher Podcasting – Podbean to iTunes Digital video Digital animation A school You-Tube Channel Programming - Scratch Encourage digital creativity
Moodle Users Group – Secondary Portmarnock Community School Thursday 10th March at 5PM for one hour