Educational Metaphors - The Hiking Metaphor

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Metaphors are powerful tools that can guide both teaching and learning. This presentation walks through the 'hiking metaphor' and discusses why it might be applicable to mLearning.

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Educational Metaphors - The Hiking Metaphor

  1. 1. A METAPHOR FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING IN THE 21 ST CENTURY Joseph Sant Sheridan College EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Educational Metaphors. </li></ul><ul><li>The Hiking Metaphor </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Summary. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  3. 3. The Metaphor. <ul><li>A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else. </li></ul>EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  4. 4. Why ? <ul><li>Metaphors may create realities for us, especially social realities. A metaphor may thus be a guide for future action. Such actions will, of course, fit the metaphor. … In this sense metaphors can be self-fulfilling prophecies. </li></ul><ul><li>Lakoff and Johnson (1980) </li></ul>EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  5. 5. Common Educational Metaphors. <ul><li>Learning is a commodity. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is growth. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is a journey. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is a way of seeing. </li></ul><ul><li>and many, many more. </li></ul>EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  6. 6. Programming:Learning is a Journey Origin Destination Loop Intro If Advanced while for..next Program Overview If Intro Relational Operators Program Structure Arithmetic do..while Combining Ifs/Loops Variables Input/Output EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  7. 7. Learning is a Journey? <ul><li>The Good! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier to plan for instructors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier for students to understand sequence. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Bad! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited student control of learning..entire sequence is prescribed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems for mobile learning. </li></ul></ul>EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  8. 8. What About Mobile? <ul><li>A linear curriculum is more difficult to map onto a small screen. </li></ul><ul><li>Many mobile contexts are of short duration in distracted or interruptible environments. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to utilize these contexts if a course has a single linear path. Your next step, long or short, is prescribed. </li></ul></ul>EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  9. 9. EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010 An Alternative: Learning as Hiking
  10. 10. EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  11. 11. Plain of Six Glaciers Devil's Thumb/Beehive EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  12. 12. Traditional Design – Linear Topic List Hiking Alternative - Branched Topic List EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  13. 13. Hiking Alternative - Branching through a single topic EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  14. 14. Hiking Metaphor: Advantages . <ul><li>( mLearning ). Branching throughout curriculum increases probability of finding an element appropriate for a mobile context. </li></ul><ul><li>( mLearning ). 2D nature of curriculum topographies better utilizes restricted screen dimensions of mobile devices. </li></ul><ul><li>( eLearning ). Gives students greater control over their own learning. </li></ul><ul><li>( eLearning ). Lends itself to social networking.. students advising students on routes . </li></ul>EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  15. 15. Hiking Metaphor: Disadvantages . <ul><li>Harder to plan for an instructor. </li></ul><ul><li>Might need visual or automated aids to help students track progress and recommend next steps. </li></ul><ul><li>For multiple paths through same topic, requires more development (or more instructors). </li></ul>EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  16. 16. Evaluation: (Sharples et al. 2006) EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010 Is it significantly different from current theories of classroom, workplace or lifelong learning? Does it account for the mobility of learners? Does it cover both formal and informal learning? Does it theorize learning as a constructive and social process? Does it analyze learning as a personal and situated activity mediated by technology?
  17. 17. Summary <ul><li>The Hiking Metaphor is well-suited to the needs of mLearning . </li></ul><ul><li>Key advantages include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More efficient use of screen real estate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports greater granularity of curricula. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accommodates a variety of mobile contexts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows for more control over learning by the student. </li></ul></ul>EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010
  18. 18. Questions? EdMedia 2010- Toronto Canada, July 1, 2010

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