DEC Scan Journal : Volume 33 Issue 3
2014 Volume 33, Issue 3 37 Contents Editorial Currents Teaching & learning Research Curriculum support Share this Resource reviews knowledge building was the main requirement of the learning activity and the strongest activities required students to connect information and ideas from two or more academic disciplines, for example, integrating learning from both science and literature. Year 7 Science learning activity: plant cell analogy Students were asked to work in small groups and use the web 2.0 tool Prezi to create an analogy of a plant cell through comparison with an organisation. Prior to commencing the activity, a class discussion was held as to which organisations may have the appropriate components to their structure which would support the analogy of a plant cell. Groups then worked together to decide what organisation they would base their analogy upon. They then had to choose between five and seven of their major components of a plant cell to specifically compare through Prezi. After completing the group Prezi, the group presented their analogy to the class through a visual presentation and gave peer feedback to other groups. This learning activity was coded as a 4 on knowledge building because its main requirement was knowledge building, requiring students to synthesis information about plant cells and compare that information to an organisation’s structure. The activity was also considered cross-disciplinary, as it required knowledge of geography, specifically how organisations are structured in modern society. ITL dimension: use of ICT Information and communication technologies (ICT) are becoming increasingly common in the classroom, but ICT is often used to support practice on basic skills rather than to build knowledge. ICT includes computers and related electronic devices such as smart phones, personal digital assistants, camcorders, graphing calculators, and electronic whiteboards This dimension examines how students use ICT, whether or not the use of ICT helps students build knowledge, and whether or not students could build the same knowledge without using ICT. To score highly on this dimension, students were required to use ICT in the learning activity to build knowledge in the given discipline. Year 9 Science learning activity: podcast on contraception Students were asked to design and provide relevant and accurate information about different forms of contraception as a part of the topic, The human body. Students conducted individual research on different forms of contraception, using internet sources provided by the teacher. Small groups were then formed to collaboratively write a script for a two minute podcast on one form of contraception, using Microsoft OneNote, suitable for an audience of Year 9 students. Podcasts were then recorded using the program Audacity and edited by the group. Finished podcasts were collated and a full set of podcasts given to each student, who rated the podcasts according to the task criteria using the Two stars and a wish method. This learning activity was coded as a 4 on use of ICT because students used ICT to support knowledge building. They were asked to research multiple current sources of information about contraception and then as a group, synthesise the information to provide up-to-date information about one form of contraception. The product they produced would not have been possible without the use of ICT to support their investigation of current sources of information andtheuseofaweb2.0 tool to produce podcasts, which were then shared with all members of the class for peer assessment purposes through the shared learning platform of Microsoft OneNote. Where to next? Close examination of the case study school highlights some of the key practices that support the development of 21st century learning skills in teachers and students. Of particular interest was the extent to which collaborative practice and feedback underpinned many learning activities in the school. One of the key benefits of the study for participating schools was the experience of coding learning activities, as it was found that when teacher coders analysed and scored learning activities across the ITL dimensions, Information and communication technologies (ICT) are becoming increasingly common in the classroom, but ICT is often used to support practice on basic skills rather than to build knowledge.
Volume 33 Issue 4
Volume 33 Issue 2