Monday, June 8, 2015

Terhi Hinkkanen: Blended learning experiment

My teaching subject is home economics and the most important way of learning is by doing and working. That’s the way we bring theory into life.
Blended learning however brings extra into teaching and makes it more interesting.
In home ec we’ve got 16 pupils who are divided into 4 small groups. In the first session of this blended learning I got interested in Nanda wan Deer Stapp’s... (the dutch lady) presentation about having a group assignment. We were already using edmodo for homework but now I got the idea of a group test. Actually one pupil had asked for it and now I had the courage to try it.
I did this experiment with our IT-oriented class 7b. Pupils got the opportunity to create small groups as they wished. I gave out four different sets of test questions in edmodo for each member of each group. When one had done their own assignment they could help and complete others’ answers. It was great to see how helpful the kids were in their small groups. Everybody was willing to help and hopefully they learned a lot more than by doing by themselves.
That was my teaching experiment in blended learning. It didn’t work out perfectly so I’m willing to try it again. Problems were eg some kids didn’t have their computers with them or the battery was dead and so on. Also it was a bit difficult to have test answers in different places. Some replied in edmodo and some sent a Word document. On all of these minor things I want to concentrate and do better next time.
I got interested in GAFE because it sounded great to have the files in order and readable everywhere. Being able to edit files without searching the latest one from a memory stick felt like a good idea.
Another thing I wanted to try were electric notebooks. Unfortunately it took too long for me to get started. After the teacher students came to school I wasn’t able to start using them as much as I would’ve wanted. Next semester I have to get my act together already in August.
The group for this experiment I chose our IT class since they had the equipment from school. Part of the teaching was online for example the home assignment.
My teacher student Sanni was willing to try edmodo as a part of her teaching for the first time. She did a great job and used edmodo and GAFE for pupil’s study diary and assignments during the lessons. There were some problems in returning the assignments. At this point the electric notebook would’ve worked better.

As a conclusion blended learning has given me a lot and I’m looking forward to learning more next semester.

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