Thursday, August 6, 2009
I recently had to explain to students the movements and directions of the Earth, Sun, and Moon in relation with each other. I used a lamp and different size balls to visually demonstrate this to the students. I backed up the information with a You Tube clip titled Physical Science 9.2a- The Earth, Moon and Sun Sysem. (access to an embeded code was denied so I have embedded another clip titled A day on Earth which would also be appropriate to use). The students knowledge learnt was reiterated but also extended. The clip was able to visually show a representation of the actual distance the Earth, Sun and Moon are in space in relation to each other. This aspect could not be achieved with my resources. Constructivist approaches to learning strive to create environments in which learners actively construct their own knowledge, rather than recapitulating the teacher's interpretation of the world. Learners cannot learn from only listening to the teacher since they don't share a set of common experience and interpretations(Jonassen, 2000). A You Tube clip is a valuable tool to add to a lesson to provide students with a deeper understanding of what is being taught. I have to teach a science lesson next week on gravity and I am currently searching for a u tube clip I could use to help students with the exact knowledge they need to receive in order to have a meaningful understanding of gravity in order to conduct an experiment. A delivery technology such as u tube can scaffold new forms of thinking and reasoning in a students zone of proximal development, the zone between learners' existing and potential capabilities. The Vygotskian perspective stresses the functional reorganisation of cognition with the use of symbolic technologies (Pea, 1985).
Thinking ahead to my gravity lesson I could follow Oliver's (1999) Learning design framework to design a lesson which involves a task, resources and supports. The task is to observe the effects of gravity of similar and different size objects. For the student to describe what they think may happen they need to have background knowledge on gravity, what it is and how mass effects the force of gravity. I can only achieve this by utilising resources such as U Tube clip and props. I would constantly employ learning supports which would involve instruction, demonstrations and instigation of class discussions. Following this framework I can vision my class achieving the intended learning outcome.