Experience at iXperium

Our kids are growing up on a digital playground and no one is on recess duty. That is why it is crucial as a teacher to be as advanced in the digital world as her students.  A way wherein we as a coach can develop is at the iXperium. This is a classroom with the newest digital tools which students whom are studying to become educators practice their way around it. Many experienced lecturers come to join workshops in order to learn more of this digital playground. This way they know how to use it effectively in their own classroom. After experiencing the iXperium at HAN university of Applied Sciences, I discovered multiple SAMR tools that can enhance the TPACK ability of each teacher. In this blog I am going to share with you the tools I have seen and which ones I want to implement in my own future classes.

At the beginning of this workshop, the instructor asked us what TPACK is and how it relates to the digital enhancement of education. We answered by saying that TPACK is a method wherein a teacher can use her/his pedagogical and technical competence in relation to the knowledge taught to the students. It stimulates you to think of a way wherein these three components are used in a balanced triangle. So let’s bring in an example to make it clearer. We are going to teach a grammatical lesson wherein we use Kahoot to practice the tenses. The technological part is the fact that we use Kahoot. This enhances the participation of the learners by making them use their smartphones or tables to quiz. The knowledge that is focused on is grammar – tenses. The pedagogical part is implemented by letting the learners make their own Kahoot in small groups. This way all three ingredients are balanced and ready to support you through a successful lesson. It is fairly easy to use, but it does take some time to brainstorm on how to balance the ingredients.

Following this, we got introduced to multiple SAMR tools that can redefine our way of teaching. First of all let’s begin with a device that we as teachers can use during the introduction phase.  PowToon helps us with that. It gives you the opportunity to make the videos that you have been looking up on YouTube. It makes animated summaries and is a fun way to start a class. If you want to stimulate learners to become more autonomous you can use the pedagogical aspect of TPACK to make them use a PowToon in order to practice for an exam.  Another very interesting introduction device is the app; ‘Green Screen’ which you can use to make your own short film. The background can be changed through the computer which creates a setting for your film that can be intertwined with the subject of the lesson. Using a Green Screen can come off as a big project. But experience in the iXperium showed me that it is anything but hard work. A video can be finished in 30-45 minutes.

After the introduction phase, most teachers start to give input on the subject at hand. To make it easier for yourself and for the students that lose concentration after a long lecture, it is wise to use an assistive tool that provides for functional improvement by augmentation. How do we do that? By making a part of the instruction digital. Buncee is a tool that can redefine your way of teaching by flipping the classroom. If you do not want to redefine your lesson structure entirely it can also help you during the instruction phase. By using Buncee we can make our lessons more interactive. For example; asking the learners to summarize the instruction on their smartphones or tablets. The summaries are uploaded on a wall which can help you measure how well each student has understood the input, with no effort at all.  Therefore Buncee enhances your insight of the knowledge of all learners in the classroom.

Now that we have an introduction and instruction tool, we can move on to a post activity device. This kind of exercise is essential for learners, because it provides practical moments wherein the students move the input from their short term memory to the long term by rehearsing. A good model is Videolicious. It is an app that creates short videos of 1 minute in a quick and easy way. Even learners at primary school would know how to use it. As well as the ease of its use, it can help you create a stepping stone to another skill. For example: The teacher uses the pedagogical aspect to make the learners create a short video in small groups on a book that they had to read. The knowledge is implemented in this activity by directing the learners with guidelines on how to make a book presentation. When the students have finished their video, they will have learned how to make a book summary digitally rather that the traditional way.

In conclusion, there are many tools that we as educators can use to help support the learners. The digital tools I will be trying to implement are the Green Screen app and PowToon site, because these devices had the best response of the audience and can be used in a relatively easy way in relation to the target learners I teach at this moment.

These days information over the whole world is at arms length of each child. This happens the moment when they start up their computer, tablets or smartphones. Nowadays we cannot forbid them to leave their phones at home, because it has become a vital part of our lives. We as educators need to guide them through the unavoidable technological world. We can achieve this by showing them the tools and skills that can help them use this technology for their own development.

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