Using Media in the Classroom
This is an article I wrote recently on using media in the classroom.
PIDP 3240 Instructional Strategies – Reflective Writing
There is considerable debate about the use of media in the classroom and I find the topic very interesting. There are many opinions on the matter so what this essay will try to do is to explore some of those debates and think about my use of media in the classroom. I wrote about this in some detail for Assignment #3 so I will try and discuss this from my perspective and the tools that I currently use and what I would like to incorporate in the future because I believe very much in the use of media in the classroom to improve the learning experience and improve engagement from the students.
I want to look closer at the tools I currently use and explore new tools or others I have found while doing the PIDP. Taking the PDIP made me look closer at my current practices in terms of pedagogy and social media and also introduced me to some new technology that I have used in my classes. With the recent Covid 19 issue we moved all our classes online since March and the students were very positive about the experience as we teach D2L using Zoom.
I am very technical and have mastered all of the technologies we use at CNAQ such as Zoom, Kahoot, Socratic and Screen O Matic to name a few as well as Powtoon that I learned about doing my PIDP. I have taken numerous courses on Mobile Learning and Social Media. I have taken courses on D2L which is our learning platform and the key focus of our classroom both face to face and online and is my number one media platform because it is so detailed and I am going to focus on it in my use of media in the classroom.
As I said our learning system that we use at CNAQ is Desire to Learn or D2L and we have been using it for 12 years sporadically but seriously for six years with all faculty using it. What is so great about D2L is that it integrates with our Peoplesoft registration system and refreshes daily and has Zoom built into it for ease of use. Another benefit is that we have one system College wide and we do not have to complicate the process like other educational institutes by using multiple platforms like Microsoft Teams and Google.
D2L (Brightspace) is a global software company with offices in the United States, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Europe, and Brazil. It is the developer of the Brightspace learning management system, which is a cloud-based software used by schools, higher education, and businesses for online and blended classroom learning. D2L is also the developer of Open Courses, a Massive Open Online Course platform.2 D2L was founded in 1999 by President and CEO John Baker M.S.C. in his third year of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Today the company has over 800 employees. The technology is now used by over 1200 schools, colleges, universities, and businesses around the world.3
What is so nice about it is that DS2L is easy to use for the students and instructors and you can easily add media to the platform such as links or web site, video etc.
Looking at Desire to Learn or Brightspace’s website they talk about some of the things their platform can do such as:
Allow learners to learn on their terms, proceed through content at their own pace, and access learning from any device.
Easily deliver personalized feedback to keep learners motivated, on track, and engaged.
Guide a learner’s mastery of subject matter and core competencies.
Encourage collaboration and community by making it easy for learners to connect, participate in forums and discussions, and view each other’s profiles.
Use portfolios to reflect on learning, showcase growth, and celebrate achievements.
Identify and track high-risk learners and let Brightspace proactively alert you when to step in and offer help.1
There is lots of research on the use of media in the classroom for teaching and learning
Research suggests that people learn abstract, new, and novel concepts more easily when they are presented in both verbal and visual form (Salomon, 1979). Other empirical research shows that visual media make concepts more accessible to a person than text media and help with later recall (Cowen, 1984). In Willingham’s (2009) research he asks a simple question to make his point, “Why do students remember everything that’s on television and forget what we lecture?” — because visual media helps students retain concepts and ideas.4
D2L are exploring other areas of interest to me such as gaming and this is an example from their website.
As sitting practice examinations can significantly boost the chance of good results in the final examination, Kaplan Financial created a system that rewards learners with five points for completing a mock examination and a further one point for passing this practice paper.
“By making the leaderboard available for all learners on a given course, we can galvanize learners to engage in a spot of healthy competition to spur their learning,” says Stuart Pedley-Smith”.3
As well as awarding learners for completing revision tasks, the badging system in MyKaplan rewards learners for exhibiting positive behaviors by giving them a digital certificate and leaderboard points to recognize their effort and determination.
“In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in the number of learners who take longer breaks before completing the next level of qualification or re-sitting failed papers,” continues Pedley-Smith. “Our initial research indicates that waiting too long between exams could have a negative impact on their likelihood of passing. So, we decided to award a badge to candidates who book their exams early or who do not reschedule their exam dates—encouraging learners to stay committed to their studies.”3
With 71 percent of learners reporting that gamification has a positive impact on their learning experience, it is clear that Kaplan Financial is succeeding in making studying more engaging and enriching.3
I enjoy the experience of D2L and I continue to improve my skills like using it for Quizzes now with Rubrics and feedback and Discussion Groups but there is lots to learn and D2L continues to improve. They talk about their focus on their website:
”Built by educators for educators, Brightspace will make you more productive and save you time while improving your students learning experiences”.1
Brightspace makes it easy for me to complete common tasks such as:
Giving feedback on assignments.
Automatically releasing new content or courses.
Creating and using rubrics.
Posting announcements and assignments in an activity feed.
Dragging content directly into a course.1
It really does automate the boring tasks and improve organization and engagement and I don’t know how I could live without it.
Some areas that I wish to explore in the future include with D2L include
Some of the other features of D2L that I have been exploring are agents and badges like the Kaplan System. Agents let students move on after they have completed a lesson unit. Badges let you add gamification and reward users who can advance at their own pace through the lessons.
Other tools that I use include Socratic, Powtoon, Screen o Matic and Kahoot. Socratic is great for Quizzes in class. Powtoon is a fun program to make short videos and I have used it a few times. Screen O Matic is great for creating videos outside of the Zoom ones I use and is handy for creating lessons and reviewing materials by capturing voice and what is on the screen. It is easy to use and upload to D2L although I am working to master the video editor upgrade I purchased. Kahoot are doing exciting things as well although I am not sure if they have integrated with D2L yet. Kahoot is a great gamification tool that is easy to use and make learning entertaining and allows the students to test their knowledge through True and False and Multiple Choice by using their phones. They are working on integration as well although just for Microsoft Teams at the moment. I am sure they will be working with D2L in the future as which would be great.
With many educators and students around the world relying on Microsoft Teams to engage in learning remotely, we’re happy to announce our powerful new integration with this platform to make it even easier to connect across distance!7
Taking the PIDP program has enabled me to learn more about many areas of teaching and has been very beneficial to me as I improve what I do in the classroom to engage learners. I will continue to use media in the classroom and work to stay ahead of the curve as technology evolves and increases the ways I can deliver material to my students.
1. Desire to Learn D2L Website https://www.d2l.com/en-mea/higher-education/#2-put-learners-first
2. Desire to Learn – retrieved from Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D2L
3. Desire to Learn Kaplan Uses Gamification – Retrieved from D2L website https://www.d2l.com/en-mea/customers/kaplan-financial/
4. Why use Media to enhance teaching and learning – Website retrieved from https://serc.carleton.edu/econ/media/why.html
5. 22 Ways to use social media in the classroom – Website retrieved from https://www.theedadvocate.org/22-ways-use-social-media-classroom/
6. 25 Lesson Ideas to use social media in the classroom – Website retrieved from https://www.bookwidgets.com/blog/2018/03/25-lesson-ideas-to-use-social-media-in-the-classroom
7. Kahoot email June 5th 2020
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