As I am not a teacher, I wondered how I would teach if I were offered a teacher job? With this question in mind, I finally revisit and carry on learning the Future Teacher 3.0 Talks (resources) over the Christmas break. The rich resource indeed provides a handy guideline for me to refer to if I’d like to learn ‘how to teach’. [It’s recorded, it’s accessible and I hope it’s available even after the project ends.]
First, I like the storytelling style which brought my focus into the session topic through an interesting story (e.g., Harold Houdini’s escape in session 2 and the singer’s Tarboosh in session 3). This is well linked back to session 1 (8/23) – ‘Elements of brain-based learning’ and proved the ‘Emotional’ element works.
Second, each session was well organised with similar pattern: introduction, pedagogic topic with research evidences, engaging view sharing, presentation, engaging activities, review, reflection, and reminder at the end. I can see all elements introduced in session 1 (8/23) have been applied in the session activities. It provided a consistent and coherent learning environment that reduces participants’ confusion and supports effective learning.
Third, it invited some practitioners to present their work and practice in the session (e.g., Using social media in Chemistry teaching from Glenn Hurst in session 8, a summative podcast project designed by David Beer in Session 11). This is a great way of sharing good practice and let participants to see how other educators have used technologies in their specific teaching area. With practitioners to answer questions, it stimulated deeper discussions and allowed connections to be built between people who are interested in the similar teaching activity/idea.
Fourth, participants were encouraged to share their work and contribute to the topic. This brought new views and discussions. For example, in session 4, Teresa MacKinnon was invited to explain terms of ‘information sharing’, ‘collaboration’, and ‘co-creation’, which pointed out the most demanding action is not only sharing information and working together, but more about sharing understanding and creating together.
Last but not least, the sessions own are excellent examples of how technologies can be used in online teaching to engage learners and simulate active learning. For example, Xerte is used to create the website and to present session content; Zoom is used to deliver the online sessions; Textwall and Padlet are used to collect/share/present participants’ views/resources; Tricider is used to for participants to share and vote views; and many more (e.g., mindmeister for creating mind maps, Audio Feedback Toolkit for creating audio feedback). I noticed that Zoom has a same problem to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, which people who join the session cannot see the resources(links) that have been shared before they join the session. The moderator needs to keep checking if newer participants follow and re-post the resources again and again. (To show resources in one place of a session without re-posting has been one of the highly required features in Blackboard Collaborate community.) I also remembered recently a University student told me that a lecturer took the assumption that all students have smart phones and asked them to use TurningPoint to answer questions without providing alternative options such as the website URL if accessing via a laptop. This made students who do not have a smart phone feel helpless. Clearly, the “The ironies of text” in session 5 and the session 9 Inclusive Practice are essential guidelines for us to avoid such problems.
There are many useful tools/resources for me to explore. I am unable to cover everything I learnt here. I listed some new tools that I had a quick look when they were mentioned the session.
- Zeetings A cloud-based presentation platform that allows users to combine their PowerPoints and PDFs with video, web content, notes, images and polls. Seems this is a powerful tool. I will try this one soon.
- Ipadio A podcast tool that allows record, upload and share audio to the web easily.
- poodll It is a set of tools for language teachers to build dynamic courses. I cannot tell how useful it is for non-language teachers yet.
- Hypothes.is The application aims to collect comments about statements made in any web-accessible content, and filter and rank those comments to assess each statement’s credibility. Very useful for peer review.
- coggle.it This is a collaborative online mind-mapping tool.
- SMOG Calculator It is a handy tool that helps you to check the readability level of your own documents or texts from a website.
I am sure I will revisit the site for time to time to check the case presentations, learning design checklist (session 1 16-20/23) and tools/resources/research that people have recommended.