Traditionally technology in my class has been more used to aid with presentation rather than production. So following from a joint planning session with my students where their suggestion for assessment was producing a brochure or a diagram to demonstrate their learning, I introduced my students to Popplet as an alternative platform to show learning Bonk and Khoo (2014). What I wanted to ensure was that students could feedback on their experience so we would jointly decide whether Popplet was a technological tool that we wanted to further adopt or stop using depending on how user friendly and useful it was considered as being by students (Goodyear & Ellis, 2010). After all, effective implementation is detrimental to success in e-learning (Nichols, 2008).
The end product produced by the students was of high quality, indicative of engagement, interest and fun as shown in the photos below:
Image 1 Photos of student completed Popplets
This experience taught me a valuable lesson as a teacher who is perpetually trying to unlock the doors to learning as in Honeycutt’s keyhole analogy (2013), and through gathering feedback from students, some examples of which are shown below, also provided opportunity to view the experience from my students’ perspectives (Gibbs & Poskitt, 2010), as well as inform future instructional design work within my context (Goodyear & Ellis, 2010).
Image 2 Student feedback around use of Popplet as a tool for learning
The experience also showed the value of structure over autonomy, in that with providing my young students with a platform to explore and use, rather than allowing them to just settle for first options, certainly lead to the production of work that was indicative of reflection and effective learning performance (Van Loon, Ros, & Martens, 2012).
Bonk, C.J., & Khoo, E.L. (2014). Online motivation from four perspectives. Adding some TEC-VARIETY: 100+ activities for motiving and retaining learners online. Bloomington, Indiana, USA: Open World Books.
Gibbs, R. & Poskitt, J. (2010). Student Engagement in the Middle Years of Schooling (Years 7-10): A Literature Review. Wellington, NZ: Ministry of Education.
Goodyear, P. & Ellis, R. A. (2010). Expanding conceptions of study, context and educational design. In R. Sharpe, H. Beetham, & S. de Freitas (Eds.) . Rethinking learning for a digital age: how learners are shaping their own experiences (pp. 100-113). New York : Routledge.
Honeycutt, K. (2013, March 29). Trends, Tools and Tactics for 21st Century Learning [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UK-97nnhXI
Nichols, M. (2008). E-learning in Context. Retrieved from https://akoaotearoa.ac.nz/download/ng/file/group-661/n877-1—e-learning-in-context.pdf
Van Loon, A., Ros, A., & Martens, R. (2012). Motivated learning with digital learning tasks: what about autonomy and structure? Educational Technology Research and Development, 60(6), 1015-1032.