Tag Archives: 504

Week 6, Unit 5 reading and discussion on theory

This week we continued our development and knowledge of learning theory as we read the following articles.

Seeley, et al on Situated Cognition

J Kolodner on the Learning Sciences

C Hoadly on Community of PracticeCHAP12HOADLEY

Video from MIT on Anthropology

As we watched and read, we were asked to think about the following questions:

1. What are anthropology and ethnography? Why did cognitivist educational researchers begin to find it necessary to incorporate elements from these studies into their studies (and to make cognitive science “scruffy”)?

2. In “The Learning Sciences: Past, Present, and Future,” Janet Kolodner tells a kind of “story” about the emergence of the “Learning Sciences” as a field. What does her account indicate about the way fields and research agendas change and re-form?

3. What is a community of practice and why is it important to teaching and learning?

4. What do Seely Brown, Collins & Duguid define as being “indexical” language, and why might it be so important in teaching and learning?

Here is my initial response:

As I read the articles and watched the videos, certain ideas jumped out at me.

First, I see that learning theories evolve and emerge, and both anthropology and ethnography  have had some influence as both are concerned with the study of people in terms of culture and society.  In particular, anthropology studies how groups of people apply knowledge to solve human problems. (http://www.aaanet.org/about/whatisanthropology.cfm)

In terms of developing learning theory, culture plays an impact on constructivist learning theory, and newer ideas including situated learning and communities of practice.

As I read the article by Kolodner, I couldn’t help but think, the evolution of Learning Science is a microcosm for a community of practice.  The emergence and growth of the field and journal , mirrors how a community of practice works together.  One thing I found interesting is the distinction between learning sciences (LS) and Instructional design systems (ISD).  I see the two as complementary.  The role of ISD is to integrate sound theory from LS that has been tested , and shown to be an effective tool for learning.

Lastly, the article by Seeley, et al was fascinating to me.  They set forth that learning is situated and culturally dependent.  I see a  lot of overlap w/ constructivism as constructivism asserts that “learning is subjective…it is constructed through discovery, interactions …with others, society.’ (Larson & Lockee p 77).    It is how people use the knowledge in context rather than the knowledge by itself that makes for true learning.  I thought there were some excellent examples of how learning is situated from the acquisition of language to developing math skills.  I like that emphasis is on the process (something I always tell my physics classes), and that there is more than one way to solve a problem.

 

Advertisements

Ed Tech 504 Jigsaw Summary of article

In this week of class, we formed small groups, read an article, and wrote a 500 word summary of the article.  We then commented on each others’ summaries, and answered any questions that came up regarding our summary.  The ensuing discussions on the Moodle board, I thought, really enhanced everyone’s summaries.

Condensing the summary into 500 words was no easy task.   The article discussed the science of learning (the study of how people learn), and the science of instruction (the study of how material is presented including strategies and tools to facilitate learning).  The author argues that the best instructional tools need to founded on the science of learning, and must be tested in order to determine if they are successful.  The author tested several strategies, and developed a list of the ten principles for multimedia learning.  The list is intended to help instructors help their student select important ideas, organize the ideas, and ultimately integrate the ideas into their knowledge.

Here is the link to the article we reviewed. Mayer_2009 (1)

Below is our summary of the article.

Applying the science of learning: Evidence-based principles for the design of multimedia instruction

This article shows the reciprocity between the disciplines of the science of learning and the science of instruction working together to determine the best instructional practices based on research from both disciplines.  Mayer uses the science of learning to identify and test instructional strategies to inform the science of instruction.

Science of learning is the process a learner goes through as they create change in their knowledge by selecting what needs to be learned, organizing the information in a way to help make meaning, and integrating the information with prior knowledge to create meaning. Science of instruction is the presentation of material to facilitate learning.  Multimedia learning is any learning that involves both words (spoken or written) and pictures (static or dynamic). Learners have two channels to process verbal and visual information, each channel has a finite capacity at any given moment in time.  The author demonstrates that in order for instruction to be meaningful the strategies must be tested in a controlled experiment to determine if the strategy suggested by the science of learning is effective in increasing learner knowledge.  After testing several strategies, the author developed the ten principles of multimedia learning.

Within these ten principles, Mayer developed five principles specific to reducing extraneous processing.  The first two principles, coherence and signaling, address the need to stay focused on the main goal by reducing or avoiding extraneous information and highlighting the essential information. Redundancy is most easily summarized by, “…people learn better from animation and narration than from animation, narration, and on-screen text.” The spatial contiguity principle states that people learn better when corresponding images and text are in close proximity to each other. The final principle to reduce extraneous processing is the temporal contiguity principle; it states that people learn better when corresponding narration and animation occur simultaneously rather than successively (2008, p. 763).

In addition to the above mentioned principles, Mayer also discusses three principles for managing essential processing.  Segmenting, pretraining, and modality encompass the ideas of breaking the information into small chunks, providing background information before the learning, and presenting information as spoken text instead of printed text (2008, p. 765).

When extraneous processing has been reduced and essential processing has been managed effectively, learners must be enticed to engage in generative processing. Based on cognitive learning theory, Mayer developed and tested the effectiveness of the multimedia principle, which demonstrates that people learn better from words and pictures, than words alone.  Last, the personalization principleindicates that a conversational style of instruction because a sense of partnership has been established  (Mayer, 2008). Throughout the article,  the effectiveness of conducting applied research on cognitive theories of learning is demonstrated to resulted in sound instructional theories. Mayer refers to this as  “conducting basic research on applied issues” (2008, p. 767). These instructional theories can be used to design instruction, which can be used to further test and develop theories of learning, thus defining a reciprocal nature between the science of learning and the science of instruction.

 Mayer, R.E. (2008). Applying the science of learning: Evidence-based principles for the design of multimedia instruction. American Psychologist, (63) 8, 760-769.http://edtech.mrooms.org/pluginfile.php/91214/mod_resource/content/0/Mayer_2009.pdf

 Written by: Cheryl Brown, Caroline Cooney, and Beth Swaby

Some comments from our Instructor include:

“The science of learning is NOT the process…, but rather the study of learning” (the process of).  Also, our instruction thought the summary would have been better if we tied the summary to one of the “big three” learning theories, behaviorism, cognitivism, or constructivism.”  Lastly, he felt that some of the sentences could have been clearer.

Here is our updated summary (not for a better grade, but for the sake of making the summary clearer.)

Applying the science of learning: Evidence-based principles for the design of multimedia instruction

This article shows the reciprocity between the disciplines of the science of learning and the science of instruction working together to determine the best instructional practices based on research from both disciplines.  Mayer uses the science of learning to identify and test instructional strategies to inform the science of instruction.

The science of learning is the study of learning which includes how people learn.  According to Mayer, the process of learning includes selecting what needs to be learned, organizing the information in a way to help make meaning, and integrating the information with prior knowledge to create meaning.  Science of instruction is the presentation of material to facilitate learning.  Multimedia learning is any learning that involves both words (spoken or written) and pictures (static or dynamic).  Learners have two channels to process verbal and visual information, each channel has a finite capacity at any given moment in time.  The author demonstrates that in order for instruction to be meaningful the strategies must be tested in a controlled experiment to determine if the strategy suggested by the science of learning is effective in increasing learner knowledge.  After testing several strategies, the author developed the ten principles of multimedia learning.

Within these ten principles, Mayer developed five principles specific to reducing extraneous processing.  The first two principles, coherence and signaling, address the need to stay focused on the main goal by reducing or avoiding extraneous information and highlighting the essential information. Redundancy is most easily summarized by, “…people learn better from animation and narration than from animation, narration, and on-screen text.” The spatial contiguity principle states that people learn better when corresponding images and text are in close proximity to each other. The final principle to reduce extraneous processing is the temporal contiguity principle; it states that people learn better when corresponding narration and animation occur simultaneously rather than successively (2008, p. 763).

In addition to the above mentioned principles, Mayer also discusses three principles for managing essential processing.  Segmenting, pretraining, and modality encompass the ideas of breaking the information into small chunks, providing background information before the learning, and presenting information as spoken text instead of printed text (2008, p. 765).

When extraneous processing has been reduced and essential processing has been managed effectively, learners must be enticed to engage in generative processing. Based on cognitive learning theory, Mayer developed and tested the effectiveness of the multimedia principle, which demonstrates that people learn better from words and pictures, than words alone.  Last, the personalization principle indicates that a conversational style of instruction is best because a sense of partnership has been established (Mayer, 2008). Throughout the article,  the effectiveness of conducting applied research on cognitive theories of learning is demonstrated to result in sound instructional theories. Mayer refers to this as  “conducting basic research on applied issues” (2008, p. 767). These instructional theories can be used to design instruction, which can be used to further test and develop theories of learning, thus defining a reciprocal nature between the science of learning and the science of instruction.

Ed Tech 504 Week 2 Defining Ed Tech

Picture of caroline cooney
Ed Tech Definition~ Cooney

by caroline cooney – Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:05 PM

I expect this first pass at a definition to change with the input of my peers.

I remember in my second year (2008-2009) of teaching, our principal kept talking about utilizing and teaching 21st century skills and knowledge.  Based on those discussions, and before taking any classes at Boise State, my definition of Ed Tech was the use of computers/technology in school to access education, and build a working knowledge of the topic being studied.  My principal really started me thinking, and it was through his encouragement that I decided to pursue the MET.  As a result, my initial ideas have evolved.

“Ed Tech is the use of technology including, but not limited to computers, smart phones, tablets, computers, smartboards, graphing calculators, etc to both access the curriculum, and create knowledge by working with peers and instructor to build knowledge by using the technology to read, interact with learning materials and people and create educational items to show evidence of learning.  Educational Technology not only includes the use of technology for learning, but also the systematic study of how using technology can enhance learning, as well as the process of designing instruction systematically with technology.”

It is important to note that the technology itself changes over time, but the discipline works with the changes to help create meaningful learning.

Revised Definition based on feedback…

Picture of caroline cooney
Re: Ed Tech Definition~ Cooney

by caroline cooney – Friday, June 20, 2014, 2:40 PM

My updated definition…

Educational Technology is the systematic use of technology as it pertains to planning for and implementing of curriculum, and the ongoing study of how to use technology as it relates to education.

Much more concise, this time.  I am trying convey that it is the use and planning as well as study of how it pertains to learning.

 

Ed Tech 504 Week 1, Introductions and Initial posts to readings

This first week was spent getting to know our peers, and reading about (and watching a quick video) on the History of Ed Tech.

Here are my initial posts.

Picture of caroline cooney
Caroline Cooney- Introduction
by caroline cooney – Thursday, June 5, 2014, 4:33 PM

My name is Caroline Cooney, and I am just finishing my 7th year teaching high school physics, earth science, and physical science.  Prior to teaching, I worked in other fields.  In terms of the MET program, this is my 4th class in the program.  I am taking it slowly, one course per spring semester and one per summer semester.  One of my goals of the program is to help my students take more responsibility for their learning by using technology to help drive instruction, communication, and collaboration.

I have not taken any theory specific courses, although I did take Ed Tech 503 last semester, and we learned about some theories as part of the Instructional Design Process.

I live in Mansfield, Massachusetts with my husband and three sons, and teach in Mansfield Massachusetts.  I have  a great commute, less than 1.5 miles each way!  Living and working in the same town is great, although my three teenaged boys might feel differently, (although I think they secretly like having me at the high school!).  My oldest son graduates from high school this Sunday (June 8th!), my middle son is a junior, and my youngest son joins us at the high school (grade 9) in September.

When I am not working, planning, or grading, I can be found at many local school events, including plays and cheering on the hometown teams, especially, soccer, cross country, and track (my boys do both).  In my free time, I enjoy running, and I train as part of a triathlon team called “Gals for Cal” that raises money for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  Triathlon season is just beginning here in the Northeast, so I use my summers to train.

It was nice to see some familiar names on the course list.  I look forward to meeting some new people, and working with all of you this summer.

Picture of caroline cooney
Cooney~ Week One Readings & Ted Talk thoughts
by caroline cooney – Friday, June 13, 2014, 5:03 PM

First, I have to say, Happy Friday to all!  We have seven more school days here in Mansfield, MA, but who is counting?  Oh, that’s right, I am! Summer is right around the corner!

After reading the two articles and viewing the Ted Talk, several thoughts come to mind.

First, the article by Larry Cuban, “Teacher and Machines” and the Ted Talk reinforced each other.  In fact the video quotes the Cuban article. What struck me from these is that the struggle to introduce technology into schools is not new.  Each generation or time period has had something that was going to revolutionize education.  Each has had an impact, but no one thing has completely changed the face of education. Although, I think that every classroom in America at one point had a chalkboard, it is not the chalkboard that changed education, but what teachers and students did with the chalkboard to push forward education.

I found the long list of technology interesting ( I don’t think that I even really thought of some of these as technology in the classroom until the article and video pointed them out.): paper, slate & chalk, textbooks, ballpoint pens, radio. television, computers.  There are still others, such as calculators.  I still remember when my sister (who is nine years older) came home from college (I was in fourth grade) & spoke about the student in her physics class that had a calculator (he spent hundreds of dollars on it)!  She was still using her trusty slide rule.  Fast forward about eight or nine years to when I was in high school, our physics teacher showed us how to use a slide rule, but we all used calculators!

I am a big believer in using technology in the classroom, whatever it is, but we must keep in mind it is a tool to help our students learn. Technology  is a means to an end (student learning), rather than the end.

Another thing that I found interesting was how much time some schools spent watching the TV programs designed for school.  I know that when I show a movie or video in my classroom, many students think that is  break time.  I like to use videos, but only if I know the students will pay attention.  As the Tedtalk said, dark room is disaster in high school.

 

The article by Ertmer and Newby was a good primer for me, as I am not that well versed in Educational Theories.  I see the three theories as building upon each other (although the ideas behind them are quite different). I can see the validity of how the constructivist approach is for more advanced learning.  Although I can also see it in play in some of the really simple things that we do, but we develop a deeper understanding as we use and apply ideas.  For example, teaching, I know my topics, but every time I teach a unit, I develop a richer understanding based on interactions with students and content.

Currently, in my teaching I see a lot of cognitivist in terms the learner is an active participant, the emphasis on promoting mental processes (p 58) makes me think of problem solving in physics.  I tell the students all the time, “I would rather see the process w/ a math error, rather than the correct answer w/o the process!”  I can also see bits of constructivism as students apply the knowledge to solve new or different problems. One area that I find difficult is finding authentic activities.  For example, today we calculated how much work and power we generated walking and running up the stairs (a very common high school physics lab).  It is not necessarily “real world”, but it definitely is a hands on way to demonstrate & help students construct their understanding of the topics.  Another interesting point was that in the constructivist model “objectives are not pre-specified” (p 166).  The reality in a high school class is that there are pre-set objectives and a variety of tools and strategies (some may fit into more than one theory) will help the student master the content.

 

One last thought I had as I was reading the the Ertmer/Newby article is that the basis for behaviorist theory “ learning is accomplished when a proper response is demonstrated following a stimulus” (p. 55) reminded me of the high stakes standardized tests.  Of course some of the questions require higher order thinking, but just the response to stimulus just made me think of tests (in general, all tests!).