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Teacher education: Harnessing the affordances of ICT and abandoning tool-oriented outcomes

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Title: Teacher education: Harnessing the affordances of ICT and abandoning tool-oriented outcomes


1
Teacher education Harnessing the affordances of
ICT and abandoning tool-oriented outcomes
  • Duan van der Westhuizen
  • Faculty of Education
  • University of Johannesburg

2
We tend to be stuck in patterned behaviour
Our actions are fundamentalist perpetuating past
practice
3
What does this mean?
  • Most ICT curricula in Teacher Education considers
    the ICT tools as the object
  • Consider the Activity System

Tool
Subject
Object
4
Therefore
  • Course outlines read like MS Office Manuals
  • The Computer System
  • Word Processor
  • Spreadsheet
  • Etc
  • Typically, the work is contextualised by
    providing examples from teaching
  • Students are expected to create typical artefacts
    that a teacher will use
  • A large portion of the assessment related to
    these are for technical skills
  • In some cases, external tools are used
  • Helderberg Systems
  • ICDL

5
ICDL
It certifies that the holder has the knowledge
and skill needed to use the most common
applications practically and productively.
ICDL BENEFITS Raises the level of IT knowledge
and competency of all computer users Improve
productivity at work Reduces IT support cost
Enable employers to invest more efficiently in
IT Improve individual's job prospects and job
mobility
6
So in the past .
Outcomes were formulated along technology
outcomes Curricula looked like a MS-Office
Manual Application in a teaching context was
slotted in
7
Guilty as charged!
8
Our basis - our design
  • ICT is the mediating tool (not the object)
  • Dont teach about, or even with SEVEN roles of
    the Teacher (N S)
  • What are the affordances that we want to exploit?
  • Connection (experts, peers)
  • Collaboration
  • Creation of content
  • Upload (not download Web 2.0)
  • Non-sequential (rejection of step by step)
  • Complexity problems are ill defined
  • Theoretically
  • Social contructivism (rejection of instructivism)
  • Boundary expansion and crossing (not knowledge
    transfer)
  • Authenticism
  • Learning Activity Design (not Instructional
    Design)
  • Learning to be (Bruner)

9
21st Century Teaching and Learning
  • Learning to be Students learn not only about
    something but rather learn to be
  • Learning is the enculturation into the practice
    of the discipline or profession, through
    participation in authentic tasks
  • Learning to speak digitally Multimedia literacy
    is part of learning to be and fosters
    pattern-making, skill development, nonlinear
    thinking, navigation in incongruent spaces and
    complex story-telling
  • Learning to network Social networking is a lived
    experience of most students as they organize
    themselves into communities
  • Learning to share and to collaborate Download-rip-
    and-burn approaches to music sharing speaks to
    how students think of plagiarism)

10
21st Learning Information
  • Possessing information does not imply that
    learning has occurred, learning takes place when
    students act on content, when they shape and form
    it. Content is the clay of knowledge
    construction
  • Information is not knowledge
  • Merely providing information is not teaching

11
Learning Activity Design gt Change
  • Learning to be (a teacher)
  • Educational practices should lead to individual
    change
  • Complex changes that are
  • A break with the past
  • Operate outside existing paradigms
  • Are emergent and unbounded
  • Complex
  • Nonlinear
  • Require new skills to implement
  • Are neither problem- nor solution orientated
  • Are implemented by stakeholders
  • Individual change to be followed by
    organisational change

12
Design
  • Tasks authentic, real (Learning to be)
  • Content not taught explicitly just-in-time
  • Emphasis on group work
  • Assigned (skills distribution)
  • Self appointed groups (2 4)
  • Tasks (Group)
  • Group derive rules, task allocation, search
    strategies
  • Searching, compiling and assessing information
  • Constructing (templates, design principles,
    rules, models, etc.)
  • Tasks (Individual)
  • Apply, complete
  • Adding value
  • Reflection
  • Group construct rubrics
  • Group/Individual Assess peer artefacts
  • Rubric to assess the rubric/identify flaws in
    assessment instruments
  • Modification of artefacts

13
Assessment
  • Use complex rubrics
  • Peers rate contribution effort factor
  • Advantage group mark is shared, only marked
    once
  • Individual effort needs to show value-add

14
What we found
  • Student reaction
  • I dont like this way at all
  • I did most of the work
  • This is a cool way to learn
  • I learnt so much from my friends
  • I would have liked to choose my own group
  • It was scary in the beginning, but then I liked
    it
  • I would have liked the lecturer to teach more
  • I enjoyed working with others, got to know them
    on a different level
  • I think I could have learnt more

15
What we found
  • Student artefacts still largely reflect
    instructivist thinking
  • It is about adapting content, re-packaging
    content, reducing it
  • Learning activities and assessment mostly on
    lower level of Blooms taxonomy (recall)
  • There is little evidence of designing learning or
    assessment that requires collaboration or
    reflection on own processes of learning

16
Possible causes
  • Legacy of instructivist schooling
  • The modelling in the module is not adequate
    exemplar of constructivist teaching
  • Group work leads to surface learning
  • Students still see the technology as the object
    of the learning
  • Students fail to see how the affordances of the
    technology supports learning, they view the
    technology as agent for content production

17
So .
  • We think that . For teacher education . we
    need to look at educational technology in terms
    of Activity Theory and I argue that all
    technology should be used as a tool to mediate
    learning and never as the object of activity

18
Change in the making
  • National and Provincial audits
  • Teacher Education Programmes
  • Teacher Practice in the school classroom
  • Establishing a national research agenda
  • Using appropriate Research Design Methodologies
  • DBR
  • No more smile sheet evaluation
  • Examine the question ICT Capable

19
Recent research into research
  • Seven leading universities
  • Sample studies were identified through library
    keyword searches
  • Samples were either taken off the shelves or
    obtained digitally
  • Research template was applied to 103 studies
  • Template captured summaries of
  • Research question
  • Supporting theories
  • Research paradigms
  • Findings (conclusions)

20
Current research
  • This study has shown that, on the whole, most of
    the work is poor in theory and that the studies
    are thus also poor scholarly outputs.
  • A link is established between methodologically
    and conceptually coherent studies with depth of
    analysis and the role of theory.
  • Technicist approaches lead to technicist results.

21
Afterward
  • Technology will increasingly become a catalyst
    for change in the future
  • Teachers should be the pathfinders in finding
    meaningful and appropriate ways to use technology
    to support learning.
  • We question the assumptions that propel the
    deployment of computers into institutions of
    learning.
  • We ask questions about how technology can support
    the values of democracy, community and
    citizenship.
  • The theoretical thinness, together with the
    methodological inadequateness will not lead to
    better understanding of the effect of computers
    in the classroom.
  • That would only happen if a far more robust
    research agenda is proposed

22
Thank you!! Duan van der Westhuizen duanvdw_at_u
j.ac.za
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