Helena Prieto’s Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Self-paced vs group paced – Freedom of time Fevereiro 7, 2010

Filed under: ppel — helenaprieto @ 5:25 pm
Tags: , ,

Freedom of time – a personal insight

When I first thought about enrolling in school again, I had a very vivid notion that it would take a considerable amount of time and that it would not be easy to coordinate everything – my professional life and  my family life – As I’m a teacher in a highschool, my timetable is always changing and the subjects I’m teaching are very demanding in preparation time because I’ve got to do a lot of research to prepare the lessons. Lately I’ve been teaching some interesting subjects but they are not my speciality. The internet has been a wonderful source of information, but still that information has to be transformed and worked on and all that is time consuming. Furthermore, we have to attend meetings of all kinds, most of which we only know in short notice. On top of all my timetable is not very organized. Lessons are scattered throughout the day and night. To coordinate all this takes an extra effort and every year is different and I’ve got to adjust my rhythms and organize the time accordingly.

Having all this in mind, I thought the best choice was an online course. One that allowed flexibility of time, pace and could also be a challenge.

When I came across this course, I thought to myself that it could be a good thing and I enrolled.

I had already had an experience in distant learning when I took a 50 hour course in Using dictionaries in language teaching. Though this was a different experience. The model of the course was not online and it required that I took an exam at the Open University in Lisbon. But that was OK.

I could study and revise for the exam in my own time, and exchange ideas and  talk with another colleague at school. In fact we were both in the same situation – couldn’t enroll in face to face courses because we didn’t have time, we were both teaching in the night shift and most of the formation course are at night too. So, we decided to try this course. It was a nice experience and worked well. We worked own our own and when we met we discussed our doubts. And we both did ok in the final exam.

I think freedom of time and space along with pace are a plus in distance learning.

It worked very well for me.

Still when this course started it was a surprise and a challenge. we could work in groups, had the information we needed at our fingertips ( so to say), or could search for it on our own or in a guided manner. It was very motivating and a bigger challenge. But much more rewarding because we could discuss it with other colleagues and share our thoughts and doubts. I’ve learnt a lot about using CMCs to communicate and work online in groups. 

Asynchronous communication allows freedom of time and pace because it makes it flexible. All the time I could spare and make I invested in solving the tasks and learning about the technology parts which are integrated. This flexibility was very important to me. I think this is a great advantage in distance learning as compared to f2f learning models.

 

Self paced learning versus group paced learning Novembro 16, 2009

Filed under: ppel — helenaprieto @ 12:17 pm
Tags: , ,

Self paced learning means that students are individually in control of their time and rhythm of work and learning. However, self paced learning doesn’t mean independent isolated work but rather the individual contribution to the whole and tacitly assuming that commitment. These features can be very motivating and engaging.
Being in control also brings an added responsibility into the students learning process because they feel implicitly that success – individually or in groups – depends on each one performing his part. However, self paced learning allows for more freedom of time and pace as well as access to the common knowledge or learning pool to which everyone can contribute and use for his own benefit. Knowledge is in the individuals, in the learning communities, and in is stored in non human appliances. Asynchronous communication tools foster self paced learning because it allows for more freedom of time, pace and access. This asynchronous communication tools also allow individuals to work in groups and establish connections between the group members. They support and encourage online learning communities and in my opinion can be as effective as synchronous communication tools and in cases where we need to deal with a lot of information and think about it , they are even more effective.
Group-based learning can be more time demanding because students have to meet talk and discuss working strategies and procedures and agree on them, and use more collaborative tools to make a common product. Group paced learning is not so flexible in time or pace and sometimes in space since everyone must be tuned in.
Individuals are more interdependent, so they have to be able to adjust their time and pace to the time and pace of others, especially if they are using synchronous communication tools or learning platforms such as Second Life.
Also larger groups aren’t as effective as smaller ones, because smaller groups tend to be more cohesive and productive. It’s easier to work in and manage smaller groups.
Group paced learning is more time consuming because groups must negotiate and agree with the methods of work, the communication tools to use (which may not be known to everyone!) and the final product to make. This need for consensus generates a totally different work dynamics in group paced learning. However it can be more motivating and rewarding, because ideally, there is more support from other more able group members.
It’s also more challenging because different work methods and perspectives are discussed. As ideas and learning strategies are discussed, analytical, argumentative and leadership skills are developed.

 

Freedom of content Novembro 13, 2009

Filed under: ppel — helenaprieto @ 6:48 pm
Tags: ,

My experience and points of view
All the curricular units I’ve done have a programme that was develloped through individual and group work. Both methods of work allowed us great freedom in choosing which themes and work lines we wanted to develop, thus fostering flexibility in content.
As students we were also more or less free to choose the tools we thought were more suitable to develop group work and that was a challenge and a responsibility added.
This methodology  also allow us opportunities for individual projects for future developments.

 

Freedom of medium

Filed under: ppel — helenaprieto @ 6:38 pm
Tags: ,

My experience and point of view
To allow us access to information teachers used a wide range of mediums.The most used was the moodle and through it we used sloodle in second life, we had access to videos, sites on the net with papers and other interesting reference material. We’ve also used many different web2.0 tools such as youtube, flicker, google docs ,blogs, wikis among others to produce our assignments whether in group or individually.

Using all this technology to support our learning, involves in my case developing many technological skills, which I was more or less able to do , so far, with the help of my coursemates. I feel more at ease with the technology now and I found that I can learn quickly on my own and I’m not so afraid of doing things by trial and error.

I’m also more aware of the technological impact and importance in the way people learn and have access to information, especially young people. Most of my students ( ages that go from 14 to 40 years old) are using CMCs to communicate , search and produce their school assignments. However, the younger ones are much more techno savy and they deal with everything technological very easily and feel comfortable with it. They are also able to do many things at the same time and doing it well.

Personally I think it is great to have all these mediums available, especially the free ones!!! because they foster knowledge and learning and allow for different learning styles.

They also have an impact on how knowledge is build and passed on. Nowadays,access to different media enriches our learning ability because the information is more real and up-to-date. We can see things in a video posted just a few minutes ago , talk to people who are interested in the same things as we are but live far away, discuss ideas in group using synchronous or asynchronous communication tools. And the good thing about all this is that we don’t need to be professionals at it. most web2.0 tools are user friendly and accessible to virtually everyone, just through a computer and a net connection.

Even f2f learning and teaching is getting more and more technological.

 

Freedom of pace, space and access

Filed under: ppel — helenaprieto @ 6:36 pm
Tags: ,

Freedom of pace, space and access – My experience and points of view

That fact that we can have access to the course curricular units online from virtually everywhere makes this course very appealing. All I have to do is to pick up my computer and mobile net and take them with me. On weekends, and holidays when I visit my parents I often take them with me and every time I’ve got I do a little research, read, talk to my friends on the google chat or do some other course activity.

I did most of the final work for Distance Learning Models at my parent’s beach house in August. I took great pleasure in doing it and while I was doing it I realized that it was an extraordinary good thing to have a mobile net link. Access to information is crucial along with  flexibility of access in space. This little gadget has made freedom of space possible. Mobile phones are also interesting and useful tools to allow freedom of space and access to information. they have become powerful allies to work and study.

However, I sometimes print the essays to read and take them with me. I have to say that I still prefer to read in paper format than in digital format. But I have to point out that access to digital information is another plus in distance learning. The fact that we can have easy access to digital information makes it more flexible, easier that the old models of access to information through libraries or book banks. We can send information and receive it more easily and faster than before, so we can work faster and more efficiently and without having to physically go to the place.

 

Freedom of time

Filed under: ppel — helenaprieto @ 6:32 pm
Tags: ,

When I first thought about enrolling in school again, I had a very vivide notion that it would take a considerable amount of time and that it would not be easy to coordenate everything – my professional life and my family life – As I’m a teacher in a highschool, my timetable is always changing and the subjects I’m teaching are very demanding in preparation time because i’ve got to do a lot of research to prepare the lessons. Latelly I’ve been teaching some interesting subjects but they are not my speciality. The internet has been a wonderful source of information, but still that information has to be transformed and worked on and all that is time consuming. Furthermore, we have to attend meetings of all kinds, most of which we only know in short notice. On top of all my timetable is not very organized. Lessons are scattered throughout the day and night. To coordinate all this takes an extra effort and every year is different and i’ve got to adjust my rhythms and organize the time accordingly.

Having all this in mind, I thought the best choice was an online course. One that allowed flexibility of time, pace and could also be a challenge.

When I came across this course, I thought to myself that it could be a good thing and I enrolled.

I had already had an experience in distant learning when I took a 50 hour course in Using dictionaries in language teaching. Though this was a different experience. The model of the course was not online and it required that I took an exam at the Open University in Lisbon. But that was OK.

I could study and revise for the exame in my own time, and exchange ideias and talk with another colleague at school. In fact we were both in the same situation – couldn’t enroll in face to face courses because we didn’t have time, we were both teaching in the night shift and most of the formation course are at night too. So, we decided to try this course. It was a nice exerience and worked well. We worked own our ownand when we met we discussed our doubts. And we both did ok in the final exam.

I think freedom of time and space along with pace are a plus in distance learning.

It worked very well for me.

Still when this course started it was a surprise and a challenge. we could work in groups, had the information we needed at our fingertips ( so to say), or could search for it on our own or in a guided manner. It was very motivating and a bigger challenge. But much more rewarding because we could discuss it with other colleagues and share our thoughts and doubts. I’ve learnt a lot about using CMCs to communicate and work online in groups.

Assynchronous communication allows freedom of time and pace because it makes it flexible. All the time I could spare and make I invested in solving the tasks and learning about the technology parts which are integrated. This flexibility was very important to me. I think this is a great advantage in distance learning as compared to f2f learning models.

 

Learning objects – review Novembro 12, 2009

Filed under: ppel — helenaprieto @ 6:18 pm
Tags: , ,

Learning objects are products made with the help of internet tools and they aim to present a learning content. There are many types of learning objects we can produce. User friendly software applications enable us to be creative and present content in a more appealing and motivating way. Some learning objects can also be created in a collaborative form. I’ve choosen two learning objects:
Marco Freitas and Maria de Lurdes’ learning object:

Pedro Teixeira’s learning object:

Marco Freitas and Maria de Lurdes’ learning object aims to present the advantages and gains in fostering cooperative freedom in learning communities placing particular emphasis on transparency in cooperative learning. They argue in favour of the pedagogical value of transparency as a plus to achieve a high and rewarding level of coopeartive work/learning gains both in social and individual levels, since affinity ( another key word in this presentation) also promotes additional and valuable sources of information which can be very rich and motivating.

Learning partners, cooperative learning catalogues, cooperative learner profile, cooperative assessment , cooperative evaluation and quality barometres and personal tools are instrumental and play a crucial role in supporting and promoting affinity. I Really enjoyed this video and the way the authors organized their presentation. there is a unifying theme – transparency in cooperative learning – and a very well structured and balanced presentation.

This learning object develops the theme and presents it in a kind of lesson format where voice and written information complete each other very well.

The written information helps visualizing and focus attention on the key points and makes it more appealing and easy to follow . I’ve noted one or two things that might be improved though: one is to include the name of the authors in the oral presentation and also the name of the author of the theory of cooperative freedom. the second one is a break in the flow or rhythm of speech. there is an unfinished sentence that sounds a bit strange when introducing the slide referring to cooperative learning catalogues.

Altogehter it is a very nicelly done learning object. In fact it is more than a learning object it is a lesson.

Pedro Teixeira’s learning object is also a video through which key aspects of the theory of cooperative freedom are pinpointed.

The words, phrases and whole sentences sellected are emphasized because they apear isolated from their original context. The pictures to match are well chosen and illustrative. They add rhythm to the presentation and help the viewer to focus attention on these key ideas/concepts.

It’s a very “minimal” and clean way of presenting the theory using advertising techniques. I think this video works very well and serves the intentions of the author.

I would change the back ground colours though. Too electric