I have started putting the first face-to-face meeting together. This will happen in January 10. Hopefully, I will have the ok from my mpilots soon so that we can get started.
Putting the workshop together was quite challenging, since I discovered that there are loads of things that need to be covered. Is it too much? I think it is manageable but we will need around 3 hours. So, it should be light, fun and hands-on and effective.
I decided to use a powerpoint but spiced up with images and colours. Additional aids and resources will be used as well. I don’t like flat classrooms where learning is offered passively and in which you can’t really measue if learning is happening and to what extend. Learning should be exciting, engaging and fun too. It should increase motivation and the appetite for more learning. This is my goal. If I get the pilots on board of this plane then we will fly together.
So, what I have planned so far for the first workshop.
I fell that I have to introduce the project, the research questions and what my expectations are. Sharing these will help to identify and record expectations by participating students. Then find a match. What will happen and when, how we are going to work, what we have to do, for how long and how we are going to evaluate the pilot. Yes, I am using ‘we’ because I feel that this is a collaborative project and I really would like the pilots to have a voice and participate actively throughout.
We need to explore the tools we are going to use and actually trial them. This will be very important. I would like everybody going away from this meeting and feeling comfortable and confident in using them. No, we are not going to buy new tools, we are going to use tools we already have and tools that are freely available. Yes, this is a non-funded pilot. Actually, I think the fact that it is not funded will hopefully increase sustainability. But we will find out!
The focus of this pilot, which is recording audio reflections on teaching practice, has to be analysed. We ask our students to be reflective and many times we don’t actually explain what reflection is, what it involves and how to do it. We assume they know or will find out. Even if they don’t know, will they learn from their mistakes? Yes, we all learn a lot from our mistakes and these made by others but if I persue this string of thought any further at this moment in time, I feel that we should actually let our students discover for themselves what reflection really can be. Back though to my initial thought. If we don’t give them some hints, the basic characteristics of reflection, how can our students get better at it? How will they know if they are on the right track? Yes, of course, there is formative feedback during the process and this will also be happening throughout the pilot but it will be more in the shape of peer feedback. So, I am going to introduce participating students to reflection during that meeting in a very practical way, in a way it will hopefully make sense to them.
After completing all the above, yes, the pilots will go away and actually complete a task in their own time which does involve using the tools explored during the workshop, on their own. The task is linked to the project and if there are any issues, support will be provided not just for completing this task but all the tasks during the project as well. I would like them to know that the support will be there when needed.
We now have a platform for the project at http://mpilots.wordpress.com – note: this is the old one, see later post for the new space.
What else? I have now come up with a proper name for the project (tried to use Blender to create a 3D logo but am having some difficulties at the moment… unfortunately) A bit too late for a prope name? MoRe as in Mobile Reflection. Sounds good, I like it anyway, it is memorable, and says exactly what it is on the tin. Lets hope that it will go well and we will all learn loads from it ;o)