Becoming the teacher

Looking at the 8 key areas when designing a lesson for LfU I would choose the virtual world builder CoSpaces to perhaps teach a Math lesson on 3D grid coordinates that would combine elements of L.A. (perhaps metaphors) to promote interdisciplinary learning and authentic understanding.  Placing the construction of knowledge in the students hands I would first have them run through the simulation I created on google cardboard themselves, then follow a web based scaffolded lesson so they could gain understanding on how to build the lesson and enhance it for a younger grade.

 

First looking at fostering motivation and creating demand  “the learner must be motivated to learn the specific content or skills at hand based on a recognition of the usefulness of that content beyond the learning environment students.(Edelson, D.C. 2001) Students love to teach others the knowledge they have gained. There is no better way for a student to show an understanding of what they have learned than have them teach it to others.They must also level their content to “Develop curriculum materials to better accommodate the learning needs of diverse students”( Bodzin,  Anastasio & Kulo. 2014). They need to understand who their audience is and provide “a motivating entry point to set the stage for their investigations.”( Bodzin,  Anastasio & Kulo. 2014)

 

Secondly the program itself elicits curiosity. Specific subject content aside in Cospaces you build a virtual environment and then use blockly to code your 3D objects to interact with the user.  Students in my class would already be well versed in Scratch which also uses blockly. However this is a 3D environment, Scratch is 2D, and spacial awareness takes on a whole new meaning when you are coding in 3D.  It shows enough gaps in the student’s knowledge that they are motivated to try and fill those gaps to complete the puzzle which is built into the design process by the teacher and the students.

 

Collaboration or fostering knowledge construction is two process under the LfU model “(a)observation through first hand experience, and (b) reception through communication with others”(Edelson, D.C. 2001). Students are constructing the lessons to be tested by their peers then tested again with another class.  You are not only building a lesson environment in a virtual world but you move through that world using google cardboard, while hitting those content elements of Math and L.A. This leads to observation, where mistakes are made and students need to adapt and restructure their way of thinking based on the failure of their previous experience.  This is discovery and the opening of the mind to new concepts, the teacher is only a guide in this process so the student takes ownership of their own knowledge construction.  

 

The final two phases are reflection and application.  When the project is complete I ask, what did my students take away from teaching the lesson?  Reflection can be self and peer based, synchronous as the lesson is occurring or asynchronous in a forum such as Edmodo. Are the ideas portable, which “means the problems addressed in the activities should involve concepts and practices that are applicable to diverse locations and situations, allowing learners to extrapolate their derived understandings to problems other than those to which they were exposed.” ( Bodzin,  Anastasio & Kulo. 2014). Can they take what they have learned, either the content or the tools they were exposed to and use it in a different context? Can they apply their new knowledge in a transformative way in a new situation. Did they learn about learning?  

 

References

 

Bodzin, A. M., Anastasio, D., & Kulo, V. (2014). Designing Google Earth activities for learning Earth and environmental science. In Teaching science and investigating environmental issues with geospatial technology (pp. 213-232). Springer Netherlands.

 

Edelson, D.C. (2001). Learning-for-use: A framework for the design of technology-supported inquiry activities. Journal of Research in Science Teaching,38(3), 355-385

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