Design of Technology Supported Learning Environments
ETEC 510 entailed exploration of constructivist and sociocultural theories in relation to the design of technology supported learning (TSL) environments. The evaluation of theoretical frameworks in relation to various platforms and new media tools, fostered the ability to conceive of, propose and employ new hybrid approaches for blended and distance TSL environments.
Linking EdTech + Design Through Questioning & Uncertainty
ETEC 510 actually aligns with several nodes of the design process first questioning and then selection and prototyping. Questioning and uncertainty however present the most significant linkage to the design process. This is because once all relevant factors are taken into consideration and the preceding steps followed, “deep uncertainties are likely to follow” (Moggridge & Atkinson, 2007, p.734). Thus ETEC 510 involved inquiry and discussion into approaches for first-stage design that were necessary to address and push beyond the phase of uncertainty.
The stage that follows this involves the creation of prototypes or representations to test uncertainties or to communicate how an idea or approach has been selected and visualized (2007). Prototyping is a critical step in the vetting of successful concepts which may later become a final solution.
Creating a proposal and prototype remotely as a group of four was a challenge. The beauty of this collaboration was the enriched viewpoint offered when reviewing, questioning, identifying and meshing the relevant educational theories, tools, frameworks, and affordances together. Before the proposal assignment (figured in the next tab), our cohort ran through the critical examination of a wide range of formal and informal learning environments to hone our skills. This analysis included the design of games, collaborative environments, types of interactions, theory, relevant affordances, and the different kinds of spaces created.
Some issues sprang up with regards to technology supported learning (TSL) environments. Our group found the challenges of community and social contribution in TSL compelling, which lead to the investigation of a Digital Citizenship unit. Citizenship in any realm requires social engagement but is hard to foster primarily in-class or online. Thus this provided a worthy challenge for our group to question, test and employ our new expertise in creating a TSL proposal and prototype. We vetted possible theories and solutions before researching and proposing a blended Digital Citizenship unit and TSL website (figured in the prototype tab). The proposal demonstrates our combined approach and positions our solution in supporting theories. The resulting Project Based Learning Digital Citizenship curriculum also aligns with BC Ministry of Education cross-curricular goals while creating a scaffolded TSL community for digital citizenship that safely employs the tools, interactions, and practices of the topic area in a critical and informed manner.
Despite this project being outside of my normal area (K-12 rather than post-secondary), I enjoyed the opportunity to expand my focus. Regarding my career path and practice, the ability to question, conceive of, and prototype solutions in vastly different and directed areas of education will demonstrate my flexibility and adaptability. I am proud of and very thankful to my group members, Michelle Hoover, Brian Hotovy, and Grant Naylor.
The (draft) TSL Environment Proposal:
View full-size in a new window.
Cross, N. (2006). Designerly ways of knowing (pp. 1-13). Springer London.
Image source: Sebastiaan ter Burg. (2011). Hack de overheid. [Image file]. Retrieved from Flickr under CC by SA 2.0.