Friday, 5 July 2013

Collaboration and BYOD - How is that possible?



BYOD is not only about technology and devices. Implementation of ICT successfully in a learning environment requires understanding of the pedagogical thinking in collaboration, communication and the online skills and ethics required for digital citizenship.  Using collaboration within BYOD application we are exploring a blended approach between formal and informal learning: crossing the boundaries between home and school and blurring the lines between social and formal settings.

“Collaborative learning” deriving from both Piaget [constructivism] and Vygotsky [social constructivism] combine the social and construction element of the learning process, making use of integrated technologies capable of supporting both.” (Laurillard, D. 2008). 

The focus of ICT in education has been evolving over a relatively short amount of  time but more recently attention is now being given to the learner rather than the technology. Personalising learning experiences magnifies prior knowledge, strengths, and backgrounds that stimulate discussion, creating a powerful learning environment for engaging in the learning process. Shared experiences support a deeper development of understandings and creativity in problem solving. For collaboration to be effective elements of trust, risk taking, a culture of respect and trust where owned beliefs and understandings can be challenged then negotiated to create a best fit for all, need to be applied by all participants. These are  valuable life skills that are not always recognised in face to face discussions, where the loudest or most confident is heard. Online platforms for collaboration allow for all voices to be heard at any time.

For change to occur we need to consider how are children are educating themselves and adjust accordingly. It requires teachers to take risks, face ongoing challenges, be dedicated and have a real commitment to bring about a sustainable change for the future.
Teachers in New Zealand are provided with a laptop or device for  professional use. The Ministry has made a commitment to allow for equity for all teachers, so are teachers committing themselves yet to explore the full extent technologies offer education to create equity for learning. 
“Schools should explore not only how ICT can supplement traditional ways of teaching but also how it can open up new and different ways of learning” (Effective Pedagogy - The New Zealand Curriculum, 2007, para. 9).

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