Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Activity Nine- Technologies

Technology… I must say I have had my fair share of it this year! This year my job at Uni required me to do a course that involved making a VLOG (Video-Log) to explore developing a digital ethnographic account of a piece of research that I had conducted. It was a really interesting paper- but I had to quickly get comfortable with I-Movie software and also a Flip camera which I hadn’t used before.  I found this experience really rewarding as it reminded me what it’s like to not only learn about a subject area, but also to master new technology which became increasingly important as my assessment was tied to the ‘production’ of my  ideas through this trend technology.

The experience also made me think about the course I teach at OP, and how I could integrate technology into a learning activity. 

I would like to introduce trend technology to an existing activity where we use discussion forums currently.  Basically I ask students to reflect on learning that we do as a class, and then apply this learning to their OT placement setting. When they do this they have to reflect on what they can observe and how this relates to what they have learnt in class and through our Moodle packages. Students’ ideas are expressed individually in a discussion forum but last year we had some ‘back n forth’ discussion which I would like to encourage more. 

I would like to offer the opportunity for students to post ideas in other ways such as via recordings- either audio (could also include picutres) or via videos uploaded to YouTube.

In brief the key learnings would be:
  • To apply key concepts discussed each week in class and through Moodle resources and relate these  to the placement that students are on.
  • Reflections can be made in writing on the discussion board, or via audio recordings uploaded to Moodle, or via Vlogs uploaded to Youtube- with links detailed in the discussion forum
Recordings can be made via students’ own equipment such as their personal phones or cameras, but the OT department has gear that can be booked including audio devices and Ipads that students can access.

The main reason to have a flexible approach in this activity is to encourage students to have a go at taking a key concept and seeing how this relates to ‘reality’ of what they are observing at an OT placement. It’s also a great way for students to learn from each other, for example if a student is struggling with a concept, they can have a look at another student’s posts to see what they are observing and reflecting about. 

Finally by offering students the opportunity to reflect in a medium that they feel most comfortable with this should mean that better learning can be achieved. Some students are worried about what they ‘write’ in a discussion forum but are more comfortable ‘telling’ their story, and vice versa. At the end of the day it’s not how the information is shared, but what experiences students are communicating about with the class as a whole.

The information online is also a great reference tool as each discussion forum’s topic relates to an assessment that students have to complete at the end of the course.

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