Week 2: Partners in Learning

Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” Albert  Einstien (1879-1955)

Diving into deeper learning
Video by: Diving into deeper learning | Marc Chun | TEDxDenverTeachers, Mar 24, 2013

I hear and read a lot that nowadays teachers preparing students for the world that they do not know; that transferable skills are very important since they are applying for any jobs; that we should not focus on grades – rather on student voice and solving real problems.

My school did this shift more than 10 years ago. It took time to train teachers and create the curriculum. “Through both the curriculum and our teaching, the elementary school at AAS aims to develop the intellectual, emotional, and physical potential of each child, in a secure and stimulating environment, directly supporting the school’s mission.” (ES, AAS)

Key Features of the Elementary School Curriculum
Produced and Created in: Venngage

What are “new pedagogies”?

  • Learning partnership between a teacher and students
  • Learning engagements are based on real-life problem-solving and connected to students’ interests
  • Digital tools and resources are integrated into the learning process 
  • Evaluating students’ progress together and choosing learning strategies based on that analysis 

How does it look like in my WL class?

Learning a language is an active learning process. Students inquire about the knowledge and skills they can implement in real-life situations after leaving school. First, the students have the opportunity to implement their skills and knowledge on the safe environment in the framework of the classroom:

  • Get acquainted 
  • Read the menu and make the order
  • Listen to the forecast and decide what to wear

Through situated learning, students are able to learn and practice skills in a meaningful language learning environment. 

 Secondly, students can choose how to practice their knowledge and skills; each ES student has an iPad provided by our school. The school has subscriptions to different language platforms that make the learning experience fun and engaging. 

 

 

Technology Integration, Course 4 Week 1

Knowledge about certain ways of thinking about, and working with technology, tools, and resources; and working with technology can apply to all technology tools and resources. This includes understanding information technology broadly enough to apply it productively at work and in everyday life, being able to recognize when information technology can assist or impede the achievement of a goal, and being able continually to adapt to changes in information technology.” (Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for integrating technology in teachers’ knowledge. )

In the last few years, I had a question – if I, a World Language teacher, should be expected to teach technology. Nowadays, reality gave me the answer – YES! During Distance Learning, the use of technology became so necessary. Teachers and students are learning together how to use different apps for language learning, a new feature of Google products (Google Slides, Google Sites,  Google Forms, Google Drawings). 

The beginning of my learning path was based on the SAMR model. It was created by Ruben R. Puentedura and consists of four technological levels of use (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition).

This model was created to support teachers with the visualization of complex concepts. First, we (I and my students)were using Word document instead of paper and pencils to create presentations (levels 1 and 2). Now we (I and the other Russian language teachers) are creating Google Slides for one theme but different levels with various learning engagements. The use of technology improves our collaborative planning, allows sharing our own expertise on a subject, saves our planning time, and, as a result, we have solid teaching materials.

The SAMR model demonstrates the progression a teacher can take while he/she goes through the process of learning about technology and teaching students with the help of technology. I can see how technology becomes an essential part of a WL class naturally.

Now I can see myself as part of another framework – TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge). This model explains the equal importance of the three main elements (Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge, and Technological Knowledge).

As educators, we have mastered our pedagogy and content knowledge before we come to a  classroom. However, technology knowledge is not at the same level as the other two. That is why I started to take different PD in order to improve my technology knowledge and skills and be able to make decisions about what technology to use in the classroom. 

 

Now I have a list of educational technology that I can use to accomplish different goals. Quizlet can be used to introduce and practice new vocabulary or some grammar concepts. Kahoot can be used as a learning engagement or formative assessment. Fripgrid can be used for developing and evaluating interpersonal and interpretive skills. Google forms can be used for self-reflection. Seesaw is a student portfolio. Book Creator can be used for developing and evaluating presentational writing skills and  PuppetPals – presentational speaking skills. And I am sure there are many more educational technologies.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Both of these models present an idea of how to improve the learning environment with the help of technology.  The difference is that TRACK highlights the importance of pedagogy, technology, and content; and SAMR focuses on technology integration into a classroom.

When I was reading resources for this week, I was thinking about my competence in using technology. I found the simple and clear visual explanation about four stages that a teacher takes to build confidence in technology use. I think I am at the Mastery stage and ready to go to the Impact stage.

Anderson, M. (2013, May 28). Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge. Retrieved November 08, 2020, from https://ictevangelist.com/technological-pedagogical-and-content-knowledge/

The Anglo-American School of Moscow’s technology vision is the following:

My teaching practices are based on AAS’s vision for learning. We have different levels in a WL classroom to differentiate and meet individual students’ needs. The students have their learning goals and plan of action. The students know the learning objectives and can demonstrate their achievements using different tools. We use a variety of online learning platforms to develop and assess the students’ knowledge and skills.