Peer learning is seen by social constructivist theorists as an effective means for students to gain deeper understanding of new concepts through informal and formal means. The interaction between peers allows students to enter the ‘zone of proximal development’ where a less able peer is able to enter a new area of potential development through problem solving with someone more able. (http://www.uq.edu.au/tediteach/flipped-classroom/peer-learning.html)
We are exposed to Lev Vygotsky’s constructivist theory in the first year of our undergrad education degree. I was always drawn to Vygotski’s theories due to how much I thought it still held relevance in our classrooms today. I am a strong believer in peer-learning, one of which I think is very important to our teaching pedagogies as well as the learning through EDC3100. The University of Queensland has an amazing page dedicated to Constructivist theory and active learning pedagogies which can be found HERE.
In saying this, I would like to post some of the views of my peers in EDC3100. After reading my fair share of blog pages, I have compiled a selected few below in which have helped me with my learning so far in education and ICTs.
- Alice’s Blog, ‘EDC ThirtyOneHundred Blog’
- Stephen’s Blog, ‘Blog’sploitation’
- Sara’s Blog, ‘Teaching with ICTs’
I follow these three blogs all for different reasons. Not only do I know a couple two of the bloggers personally and enjoy talking to them about ‘all things education’ on a regular basis, but I really value the knowledge and passion all three share within thier blogs making it almost impossible for educators (not just us pre-service teachers!) to not value their stances and opinions.
One short but interesting post by Stephen got me thinking about how I will embed ICTs into my teaching this coming prac. You can find this post HERE. In this post, Stephen discusses three very important points in that he reflects on when embedding ICTs into his up and coming prac. These three points that include, Lesson planning is crucial when using ICTs, Introducing ICT alone will not change the process of how I teach or how they learn and Students are more sophisticated in their use of technology than teachers and can be fountains of knowledge. The underpinning of these points not only had Stephen reflect on his up and coming prac and the implementation of ICT but also challenges me as a reader to also develop my personal pedagogy and strategies when doing the same.
I can conclude that my stance on ICTs and education is quite obvious in the way I teach already. Most of my lessons have at least one element of ICTs embedded at all times. I have not really thought about why I have also done this, I just have! I myself enjoy ICTs and find value in them within the classroom – especially when teaching the 21st century adolescent. I also feel that students are already required to know and to use ICTs in everyday life where they already have many skills (maybe even more than the classroom teacher, as expressed by Stephen). With this in mind, it would almost be seen as a disavantage if ICTs weren’t embedded and utilized by students. It is up to the modern 21st century teacher to integrate ICTs to the supposed ‘old hat’ pen and paper method (note: I said, integrate!). Although I am very pro ICT implementation it would also be a disadvantage to solely use just ICTs discrediting the importance also of pen and paper.
I would love to hear what you think about any of the points above! How do you implement ICTs in the classroom? How do your students respond and do you think they hold value or are just a nuisance?