Some areas of improvement for #edc3100

It’s over a month since my last post. Start of semester will do that to you. 350+ students having EDC3100, ICT and Pedagogy inflicted upon them always makes for a busy time. No more so with the first assignment due in a couple of days. In a slight turn up for the books, rather than complain about the holes in the various institutional systems and processes make this worse, it’s time to save a couple of observations for future consideration.

The following is written as if it is the fault or limitations of students that are the problem here. It’s not intended that way. The course contributes, as does many other factors.

Knowing how to solve a problem

A feature/problem with the course is it doesn’t focus on teaching specific ICTs. Students are expected to use Diigo, WordPress and perhaps Twitter as part of their learning and beyond pointing to some online resources there is limited instruction in using these tools. There are a couple of screencasts showing some common tasks and explaining how it fits in the course.

But there will be problems, and it appears that a fair number of students aren’t very good at recognising the need to employ the tech cheat sheet, let alone use it.

Activities early on need to help develop this.

Accept resources at face value

Students are shown Scootle and love it. Especially the integration with the Australian Curriculum. Select your content descriptor, look at the elaboration and click on the Scootle link to see a list of resources that match. Learning design made easy!?

But many don’t see (or haven’t explicitly mentioned where I can see) some of the reservations I have about these repositories and the quality of the information in them.

Enabling them to be more evaluative of the quality of the resources would seem to be a good idea.

Aren’t focusing on learning yet

The first assignment is asking them to come up with the three reasons for using ICTs to enhance student learning. So far, many of the reasons are of the general “enable 21st century learning” fluffy-bunny type observation, rather than because of specific ways in which the use of ICTs will improve the learning experience/outcome.

Given the material and experiences they have this early in the course, that’s not surprising. Fluffy bunnies is about all they’ve seen. Not sure it gets significantly better throughout the course. Need to work on that.

Not showing off the new knowledge society

One of the objectives of EDC3100 is

Examine, discuss and reflect on core ideas about the knowledge generation and knowledge economy and the implications of these for curriculum and pedagogy

As part of this we show the obligatory “the world has changed because of ICTs” type videos, but then we proceed to return to largely traditional learning and teaching practices. The course has moved on a bit, but I’m not sure it’s enough. Especially in terms of assessment.

One of the students did pick up on this point in one of her blog posts. Of course, I didn’t save that post.

Need to do better at this.

4 thoughts on “Some areas of improvement for #edc3100

  1. I hear what you are saying. I have found an article on new knowledge society I will see if I have time to incorporate it into my assignment and take out my ‘fluffy bunny’. I had not though about the knowledge society for my assignment.

    1. “Fluffy bunny” is a bad word to use. But this is meant to be Q&D reflection. As I mentioned the over emphasis on “fluffy bunny” reasons is mostly because the course hasn’t done a good job of working in the other type. Need to work on that. I’m sure more content in the first two weeks is exactly what the course needs. ;)

  2. Hi David,
    As I try to become a member of the “knowledge generation” I would have thought that if you have led us to an ICT as discussed in your paragraph “Knowing how to solve a problem” it would then be up to us to take the time to find out how it works and then to examine, discuss and reflect on how best it will fit into our curriculum and pedagogy.
    It is difficult to break the chains that hold us to traditional teaching and training practices and if we don’t know what ICTs are out there then we won’t know how they could be used in our training and pedagogy.
    I now have numerous ICTs to investigate further and look forward to incorporating them into my training in the future.

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