Understanding the context that your blended learning approach will take place and also understanding what tools will suit the context were two of the main action points I took from this weeks course.
The most useful part of the first section for me was the explanation of teaching pedagogy theories – constructivism, social constructivism and problem based learning. It made total sense and the approaches were clarified further with an example of a suitable digital tool for each theory in case study examples. I am not from a teaching background and despite trying to read up on the subject, this was the first time I really understood it.
As highlighted in the course, the use of digital technologies to support education is increasingly an expectation (and maybe one where some areas are lacking?). I thought the use of digital tools to introduce a topic and then use more traditional methods to solidify that learning was an achievable approach. The digital tools can then also be used to assess learning and progression.
My one misgiving is that many of the technological approaches used, especially the nearpod and google classroom examples are exactly what can be achieved using existing technology like Moodle. This is a VLE well established in the College but underused – however, nearly every example of managing the learners progression by using digital tools can be curated and structured on Moodle. You don’t always need a shiny new app when the platform is already there to be utilised. Moodle has it’s own app too and can be used on multiple platforms. Maybe the design of it is more what puts people off?
The digital literacy skills audit section was a useful exercise and one that we could do with learners at the start of course – in conjunction with their literacy and numeracy skills audits. It is very similar to the audit that JISC are developing to enable better DL support and practice in FE colleges. There were also great links to training materials – the JISC series are an invaluable tool for FE and the educator guide to social media is very useful in the planning phase of any digital tool use. i found that I was confident in most areas, but I do need more help to understand how to best support learners with additional educational needs.
I also took the time to find out who else in the College is taking this course and hope to set up a community of practice where we can share developments and ideas.
Onwards to week 3!