Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Final Reflection for 6711

When looking back at my Week 1 Application, it was hard to believe that I wrote that piece in this course.  Just six weeks ago I had a much more narrow-minded approach to student learning.  While my Personal Theory on Learning has not over gone a radical alteration since that time, it has definitely become more detailed and included more strategies.

It is still my belief that particularly in Physical Educaton that practice and repetition are the foundation by which content becomes instilled in the mind of a learner.  Learning also occurs when the learner makes an emotional connection with the content (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).  In addition to these prior beliefs, though, the importance of a social component can not be ignored.

Throughout this course, concepts such as social constructionism and Connectivism were introduced and stressed the importance of cooperative learning.  Cooperative Learning is a cornerstone in Physical Education because of the many activities and games that are practiced using partners or teams.  While this is quite beneficial, technology allows for further collaboration.

The ability to incorporate video, either through a collaborative suite or a Virtual Field Trip is a great tool to have at my disposal.  Virtual Field Trips are a great way to provide more accurate and detailed information to the student then ever could be achieved within the confines of the classroom.  At first, I struggled to grasp what VFT could fit for Phys. Ed., but once I realized that exercise workout routines, yoga workouts and other expert-led lessons were possible, I could grasp a wealth of potential trips to plan.

In addition to incorporating more video into my lessons, another immediate adjustment to be made has to do with incorporating of VoiceThread.  I really liked this interface and felt that having students collaborate on videos would be an ideal homework for my content area.  This leads into my long-term adjustments that have come from this course.  Homework has always been tricky for me to implement because so much of what is taught needs activity.  The VoiceThread allows for collaboration and a better understand of how to perform the activities themselves and therefore sometime that I want to maintain for a long time going forward.  By utilizing web video, students can stay active in class but collaborate on concepts when activity is not possible.

The other technological tool that I would like to instill in my FitnessGram and Weight Training units is a spreadsheet.  The data that is available from these units is massive and if I can focus on getting this information back to the student, it can benefit them.  Additionally, if I can uncover the areas where students are lacking, it will help me better construct my lessons to improve on such areas.  Just the other day I found out that FitnessGram has a smart phone Application, and I plan on looking in to how I can utilize that.

In Physical Education, having the students get enjoyment out of an active environment is the best way that they will maintain a healthy lifestyle, but by incorporating the technology discovered in this course, I can further aid these students for memory, cooperation and fitness.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program two: Brain research and learning [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from http://laureate.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=5700267&CPURL=laureate.ecollege.com&Survey=1&47=2594577&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=0&bhcp=1

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

Cooperative Learning is not just a function by where students must work together to meet a goal, its true intent is that the collaboration will foster deeper learning (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn,, & Malenoski, 2007, p. 139).  The focus becomes cooperating in an effort to excel (Pitler et al., 2007, p. 143), by where students can work cohesively on something that otherwise could not be accomplished as efficiently independently (Orey, 2001).  If done correctly, it forces the student to better think through what they are learning (Orey, 2001).

Through group work, formulated using a variety of grouping methods, cooperative learning builds on the social component along with knowledge.  Items such as positive interdependence, promotive interaction, group processing and individual accountability are strengthened through this technique (Pitler et al., 2007, p. 140).  Motivation will also be fostered from the accountability, which can in turn increase self-efficacy (Orey, 2001).

As is the case in many arenas, new technology provides for exciting new pathways for knowledge to expand and venture off to.  Incorporating multimedia naturally aids cooperative learning (Pitler et al., 2007, p. 141).  It gives students the ability to consult and review professionals (p. 144), use tools such as a WebQuest to dive deeper into an issue without taking as much time to research (p. 145), or building a website together (p. 147). 

As long as clear expectations, rolls and responsibilities are established, the teachers roll in cooperative learning is needed only as a monitor, assistant or as reinforcement (Orey, 2001). There are some potential issues that we must be on the lookout for such poor attendance, vast differences in learning ability and students not taking accountability in their task. (Orey, 2001).  These potential roadblocks could severely hamper a group’s effort, especially on an activity that spreads across multiple class periods.  Personally, when in a team games unit, attendance can definitely effect the flow of the class.

Aside from possible pitfalls cooperative learning is extremely beneficial when working near full power (Orey, 2001). 


Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Main_Page

Pitler H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Childhood Obesity VoiceThread