This week I reflected that in a more learner-centered kind of learning, teachers have to foster learner autonomy. After reading the suggested articles, I think keeping students’ diaries for reflecting on their own learning, not only about what they learned, but how they learned it, is something teachers can do to help them manage their learning more effectively.
I commented in the discussion forum that I always provide my students with the necessary readings in advance for them to read before the lesson. That way, they already know a great deal when they come to class and have the ability to refashion that knowledge with the teacher’s, classmates’, and their own contributions.
I learned that concept is called “flipped instruction” that is being revisited with regards to technology. The flipped classroom is a technique that definitely works well for me. In my teaching context at university, giving materials for students to obtain information prior to coming to class allows me to use the classroom space for problem solving and critical thinking activities.
This, together with the need to continually evolve as a teacher, is what makes me feel the use of one blog for the class is a good way to make information available and to access an endless number of resources.
With a class blog, not only will students feel motivated to learn outside of the regular classroom through a variety of activities but also they will develop their ability for independent learning, feeling that their response to the different tasks is an important aspect of the learning process, thus building confidence and promoting more autonomous learning.
The one-computer classroom
After reading about strategies for the one-computer classroom, I created a sample activity with the following objective: "Given a timeline with the years of colonial settlements in America, Cultural Studies students will be able to identify the nationality of the different settlers while they watch a video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1Im20BAtaQ&feature=player_embedded#!."
Projecting the computer screen onto a larger screen that the entire class can see, I will do the activity after having checked students’ previous knowledge. They will identify the nationalities of settlers, adding them to the timeline given. They will work with a partner while watching the video once, and then there will be a comprehension check with the whole class.
Using this dynamic and creative technological tool in a one-computer classroom, I am sure students will be more prone to learn about American colonial settlements than if they just have to get the information from books.
I will work with Alex in the peer reading of our project drafts. I am working on it.