PAP194 : Teacher-As-Designer: Creating Online Space for Use in Elementary School

Redesign Pedagogy Conference 2013

Date : 4th June (2nd day)

Time :14.15 p.m.

Venue: NIE5-01-TR507

Presenter : Sze Yee, Fadilah

In the increasingly connected world, educators can no longer view their view their brick-and-mortar classrooms as the one and only learning space. They can extend students’ learning beyond the physical classroom by creating online space. This paper analyzed how two teacher-researchers of Singapore’s elementary school used online space in Grade 1 and Grade 4 classrooms to supplement their classroom teaching over 1 year. Such online space, made possible by free and readily available by Web 2.0 and open source applications, was meant to complement the physical learning space as such space can allow for other learning activities, which were otherwise not possible in the typical classroom setting. In this paper, an exploratory case study approach is adopted to seek insights on how we created and implemented the online space in elementary classroom. We created the online spaces for our form classes (Grade 1 and 4) and they used the online space regularly during 1 year. Data was collected from multiple sources to develop converging lines of inquiry. These data sources included classroom observations, online survey for students, postings on online space and our reflections. Students were reported to enjoy learning in the online space. Based on their comments and observations, such positive experience can be attributed due to interaction with both teachers and students in online space, personalized online classroom experience and game-based web resources. Through the design of their own learning space, we became reflective practitioners and choose to use technology meaningfully to complement our lessons. This process enabled us to deepen our technological pedagogical content knowledge as we had to carefully study the relationship between technology, pedagogy and content. We had been creating online space for the past 5 years and the online space was designed such that they suit the needs of the students. For example, the Grade 1 online space is used primary as an information portal as the students were still young while Grade 4 students were allowed to post in their class’s online space. In this paper, we had also proposed some pointers that could guide the teachers in designing their online space.

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Online spaces created for the past 5 years

http://mslitava.org/14bcps/  (2008)

http://mslitava.org/28bcps (2009)

http://iwant2study.org/28bcps  (2010)

https://sites.google.com/site/class21beacon/  (2010)

http://kidblog.org/Class21Beacon/ (2010)

http://iwant2study.org/43bcps  (2011)

https://sites.google.com/site/class21beacon/ (2011)

http://kidblog.org/Class21Beacon/ (2011)

http://myclass.sg/13bcps (2012)

PAP057 : Primary School Energy Comes Alive with Customized Open Source Simulation

Redesign Pedagogy Conference 2013

Date : 4th June (2nd day)

Time :10.30 a.m.

Venue : NIE7-01-TR701

Presenter : Sze Yee, Loo Kang

Simulations have always been popular among science educators. This is probably because of the huge potential of enabling learner-centred pedagogies such as inquiry learning if the simulations are well designed with engaging activities with the phenomena represented in multiple representations. However, our literature review suggests science simulations are usually designed for post-elementary students. To address the paucity on the elementary school science simulations, we customized and implemented energy simulation in this study. We modified Michael Gallis’s High School Energy Roller Coaster Simulation (http://www.compadre.org/osp/items/detail.cfm?ID=8228) created using the Easy Java Simulations(EJS) authoring toolkit. We released our Singapore Roller Coaster Simulation (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/24511248/JaveEJS/ejs_RollerCoasterV4.jar) back to the Open Source Physics, as we are strong believers of the Open Educational Resource (OER) movement. Our exploratory case study approach aims to provide useful insights on the design and use of simulations. Examples of design ideas in the modified simulation include explicit numerical and situated display of highest and lowest points, consistent colour scheme for energy relationship, additional inquiry-enabled controls for variables (like starting height). Using Mayer‘s Evidence-Based Principles for Multimedia Design (i.e., coherence, signalling and spatial contiguity), the simulation was customized to reduce the cognitive load and maximize the working memory. As for the lesson implementation, learning activities were also supported by videos (Engage), the customized simulation (Explore) and Google Forms (Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate). A total of thirty-five Primary 4 and 5 students took part in this study over two 2.5 hour sessions. The research was guided by : How did the modified simulation enhance learning about energy? Data from multiple data sources (i.e., simulation, lesson observations, students’ artifacts, survey and focus group discussion) were collected. The simulation was well received by the students (“I like the fact that we can experiment with the stimulation by ourselves.”). With teachers’ facilitation, the students could grasp the energy concepts on their own using the simulation. Most were able to articulate that the maximum kinetic energy occurs at the lowest point and for the object to have maximum kinetic energy, “starting height and velocity had to be very high”.