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Here is my blog for FET 5601. I will try to keep all of my Moodle postings here as well as keep a track of my study as I progress through this course.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Feedback on my Analysis

I received the feedback on my Project Outline for the JPEG Radio unit. Shirley has advised me to focus on a section so that I may better apply the ID analysis. Looking at my proposal I must agree that it is very large. It is my current teaching unit in Grade 3. I think that for this course I will focus on the Podcasting section. I will use this part as it clearly makes use of ICT and it involves all of the students to work collaboratively. I have been reading the Siemens (2005) article carefully and would like to share my thoughts.

How can I use Siemens’ approach in my context?

I have highlighted the quotes that resonate with my current teaching and learning:

“Learning is a process that can be created if only the instructional component is properly managed”

“Effective learning design is no longer a formulaic process. It’s a rich engagement of learners and their needs.”

Frand (2000) “We need to think in terms of transforming the educational experience so that it is meaningful to the information-age learner”.

Richard Restak (2003) discusses a core understanding of neuroscience: plasticity. “Plasticity refers to the brain’s capacity for change” (p. 7). Our brains are constantly changing, evolving, and reacting to transformations within our environment and the tools we use. New tools require more than adaptation on the part of the user; these tools rewire the brains of users.

“Designers no longer create only instruction sequences. They must create environments, networks, access to resources, and increase the capacity of learners to function and forage for their own knowledge.”

“Objectives are no longer the only starting point for learning design.” Wow! When I write my lesson plan for the week I must always take the objective as the starting point! I have struggled with that many times.

“In many types of learning, the task of the designer is to create the right environment for continued learning (i.e. design the ecology). Learners themselves will seek and acquire needed elements.” This rings true in the inquiry learning model.

Learner Centered – What does it mean?
Learner-centred design focuses on giving the learner the ability to decide what he/she feels is important and relevant. Yes! this is the kind of learner flexibility that I would like to give more focus to.

“Views of knowledge as comprising of “know what” (explicit) and “know how” (tacit) are being usurped with “know where”. “Know where” means developing the Capacity to know more, or what more can be learned. In my context this learning is described as “student initiated action”.

The four domains of learning as defined by Siemens (2005) are 
Accretion, Transmission, Acquisition and Emergence.
What I have found most interesting about these four are the following:
I have also included how I am able to do this in my current situation.

Accretion: Learning as a continual process
Designer’s Role: Create networks and learning environments
I am using blogs with both of my classes at school. The blog is used as a forum and a chance for students to publish their work. The students connect by being able to read each others work and comment on that work.

Transmission: Learning as courses
Designer’s Role: Create courses or workshops
This in my context would be the writing and updating of curriculum documents. There are set learning objectives that must be met for each grade level.

Acquisition: Learning as self-selected
Designer’s Role: Make resources available and accessible
I think that I enable this for my students to a certain extent by giving the students links to educational games online via the class blog and by allowing them to explore the use of widgets on their blogs. I give no formal assessment for the students work in these areas but I believe that there is a lot of learning happening there. Why do I believe this? It’s because it’s the games that keep the kids motivated to check out the class blog. They are always talking about those games amongst themselves too. There is a natural competitiveness that has grown in my class from the creative use of blog widgets to make their blogs dymnamic.

Emergence: Learning as cognition and reflection
Designer’s Role: Foster and encourage reflection
The role of reflection is clearly encouraged throughout the IBPYP. There are 8 student learner attributes (Caring, Open-minded, Balanced, Principled, Communicator, Risk-taker, Reflective and ) that must be encouraged throughout the teaching and learning process and these must be highlighted in student self assessment. I encourage my students to visit the blogs of other students and leave comments. We have also just recently started collaborating with the Grade 5 from Bethlehem College in New Zealand to further develop our skills of reflection. Our current activity is to make a slide show featuring our national anthem with pictures. This is to begin an exchange of cultural knowledge and promote international mindedness, which is a big theme in IB schools.


Frand, F. L., (2000). The Information-Age Mindset. Educause. Accessed on July 13/4/08

Restak, R. (2003). The new brain: How the Modern Age is Rewiring Your Brain. New York, NY, Rodale.

Siemens, G. (2005). Learning development cycle: Bridging learning design and modern knowledge needs. Accessed on 13/4/08