The day had a packed agenda and meant that I heard from two amazing speakers: Dr David Kellerman and Dr Bron Stuckey. Both of these academics have been working closely with Microsoft on some pretty amazing projects. I have heard Bron Speak before, many times on the subject of Gaming and education and as always I took something away from her session that I will be able to use to supplement EDUC9404 in the coming semester.
Bron Stuckey – Mini Melbourne and her new research into tech adoption and Virtual Reality.
Currently, in EDUC9404, we explore TPACK, SAMR and the Triple E Framework from Liz Kolb. Dr Stuckey has been working with the Victorian government on a number of projects whilst researching the impact that virtual worlds (such as Minecraft EDU) can have on student outcomes.
Planning for virtuality
It was great to see how her research has lead her to create a process for “planning for virtuality”
What struck me about this was that it acts as a pathway between TPACK (with cosiderations for the affordances of the the technology chosen (T), the learning Goals (C) and the teaching strategies use (P) and the Triple E framework. What also excited me was the last section required us to consider the impact that the learning design was having and to plan for measuring that impact.
This approach will have a high chance of helping my preservice teachers to Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students (2.6) The questions and approaches in the framework will also serve to support them to connect the technology integration theories together in a very practical way.
Mini Melbourne in Minecraft EDU
In order to explore this method of questioning, we worked with the Minecraft Mini Melbourne world. It was obviously very impressive to see the level of detail in this replica of central Melbourne in Minecraft – very inspiring! What was more fun though was the activity we completed where we worked through the steps to see if we could come up with a lesson ideas for Minecraft that would tick most of the boxes.
Attached is a word document that outlines what was planned between myself and fellow MIE Expert Michael Cocks.
In this document, Michael and I attempted to connect the new learning world with the history curriculum for year 9. Michael offered his very strong understanding of Australian History and, I hope I was able to support with my understanding of the Minecraft Platform and my tech integration knowledge. Together, we apply knowledge of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area to develop engaging teaching activities using effective teaching strategies to integrate ICT into learning and teaching programs to make selected content relevant and meaningful.
The outline we have provided here also shows how we considered the affordance of the technology and the potential for the need to select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking. In this activity, we have created opportunities for differentiation and have structured the activity in such a way that it acts as a scaffold that walks students through a process that expands and deepens their understanding and knowledge as they go.
By carefully selecting tools that Minecraft affords students, we have also identified resources that will help students to develop their understanding much more than they might without it. The use of these tools also provides an opportunity to develop both an informal and formal assessment strategy that would demonstrate the impact of the task on the students outcomes.
We agreed that we would include a metacognitive assessment in which students begin the whole process by recording what they currently know about the subject. They will be asked to repeat this process of reflection at various points throughout the exercise and the photographs and annotations they take throughout will act as a record of their progress. They will also offer an opportunity for students to reflect on HOW they have developed these new skills.
Teams in Higher Education – Dr David Kellerman
This session began with Dr Kellerman sharing what he had been doing with Teams at the University of New South Wales. He initially brought it in to help him to re-connect the 16,000 students he has inside his engineering courses. He suggested that current LMS systems ( such as Moodle and Canvas) have created a situation where collaboration has been replaced with being alone and online. No need to attend lectures face to face as you can watch recordings. This is exactly the experience we have at Flinders and listening to how he uses One Note and Teams to combat that was very inspiring and re-affirmed the work I did last year with teams and EDUC9404. I definitely saw an increase in interactions between students as a result of using Teams.
What was even more impressive though was the work that he has done in creating a bot that helps answer questions for students using AI. The ways in which he has chosen to scan in exam papers and split them by question so that AI can pick out key ideas and reduce marking. Human interaction only being needed when a student gets a question wrong and actually needs feedback. He proposed that this meant that lecturers were freed up to do more meaningful and detailed marking where it was needed.
Hi work was very inspiring. His ability to see Azure and it’s cloud services as a tool to develop learning opportunities for students was beyond impressive and I can see why Microsoft have been keen to work with him.
Here are some of the things that I feel I could adopt from what I saw:
- Create a group in AD for my students and then create a group calendar. Add all workshops to this calendar so that students are reminded of their sessions
- He said that he did this because he treated his students like professionals, inviting them to the meeting and giving them the opportunity to be reminded of it or attend it online. I like this very much and see the value of demonstrating this tool in this way.
- I had already decided to create channel’s for each week inside my team. I liked that he had somehow managed to make the OneNote tab in each channel show the correct section of the main OneNote from the General channel. I’m not sure, yet, how this is done but would like to know.
- Organising files in this way will support students to find what they need and prevent confusion. It will be organised into coherent, well-sequenced learning and teaching programs.
- I need to action the IDS team to install the Moodle App and the @answers bot and experiment with what we can do with it.
- Again, adding the assignments and other compulsory elements of our LMS inside of teams make the content more coherence and organised. The Bot may provide data that can be used to identify interventions and modifying teaching practice. The data he showed was certainly very impressive and if I could access that, creating an automatic FAQ as we went it would certainly assist students.
Fellow MIE Expert Teach Meet – Sharing of Ideas
The afternoon was full of teachers sharing their expertese and knowledge. I shared the work I had been doing with Teams at Flinders and asked for assistance to see if anyone was able to answer my questions about dealing with apple iPads and the various apps that open separetly as well as the security settings that need to be run through.
The PowerPoint I presented is below:
This PowerPoint served to illustrate my ability to use effective teaching strategies to integrate ICT into learning and teaching programs to make selected content relevant and meaningful. You can see the structure through which I have laid our my learning activities and I discussed the reponses my students shared to being able to communicate quickly using chat and groups, video and images. This leading to make the learning environment far more relevant to their usual way of operating.
It also serves to share resources and ideas that can be employed by others to improve their own integration with ICT using Teams.
Using this PowerPoint, I also took some time to share the ways in which I have used the assignment features in Teams to create informal diagnostic tools around participation and completion of work. These tools were also used to give formative feedback and to inform my planning as went forward throughout the unit. The data from the Forms responses, especially the ones that were written, allowed me to analyse and evaluate student understanding of what we were studying so that I might identify interventions and modify my teaching practice.