- You watched the video on iN2015, read the resources on Second Life and experienced it, and visited the COTF. What sort of impressions, fears, or possibilities crossed your mind?
If the future is what we have seen in the video on iN2015 and the COTF, then I totally cannot wait for the future to arrive! Lol.
I’m a person who loves efficiency and efficacy in everyday life, and am always searching for ways to optimise or enhance the way I do things. Both the video and the COTF show the future to be one that is open to multiple possibilities in terms of learning, such as learning about physics through computer gaming or accessing traffic information on the windshield of one’s car.
By the way, the latter is something I really hope becomes a reality; I was just talking to my friend about it when we were stuck in a traffic jam the other day. My point was that jams were mainly caused by a lack of information about alternatives; if we had information about which roads were blocked and what alternative roads we could to, jams would slowly become things of the past.
Perhaps this would be a good analogy about education too? As long as people realise that they have alternatives to traditional classroom teaching, information or educational ‘jams’, where teachers feel that they aren’t able to get through to their students, will also be alleviated.
- What is learning like in the COTF? What might learning be like in Singapore in 2015?
Learning in the COTF is really fun! We were able to use UMPCs (I hope I got the term right) to ‘access’ various forms of information and ‘connect’ to students and professors from around the world. It also showed us how we’d be able to create a greater interactive learning platform for students and teachers, as part of the quest to engage ‘Digital Natives’ through new styles of learning.
A digression here, but I’d like to pose this question to anyone who happens to read this post: do you think of yourself as a Digital Native or a Digital Immigrant? For non-QED522 folk, some background information available here.
After reading the article, I realised that I may very likely be a Digital Native myself. I grew up using computers – I can remember using QBASIC, Windows 3.1, etc. – and was also a big technology buff – the GP essays I used to do well in were always about technology (a fact that I should have capitalised on but failed to do so… Grrr.) So I guess I’m quite lucky because I was able to straddle both ends of the ‘divide’ – I’m still clued in on how to use traditional or ‘old-school’ methods of teaching/learning, but I’m also able to utilise the tools of the present and the future.
In any case, I hope to be able to use my knowledge and my position as someone in the middle to reach out to students in the future. I think this is a good segue into the second portion of the question, which is: what might learning in Singapore be like in 2015?
I don’t doubt that we’d have embraced newer forms of technology, but whether we’d be able to go the whole hog and have our environment structured in the way the environment seems to be structured in the iN2015 video still remains to be determined.
Nevertheless, I’m sure learning in Singapore in 2015 will still retain some of that spirit as embodied in the video: independent study through leverage on new technologies, greater interaction between learners and even between learners and teachers (for as Prenskey put it, very aptly I must say, “As a result of their experiences Digital Natives crave interactivity — an immediate response to their each and every action”), etc.
- How is NIE preparing you for such environments? How might you prepare yourself as a teacher?
At the moment, it very much feels like QED522 is the only way in which NIE has been preparing us for such environments. As Dr Tan and Vincent noted, other teachers in other modules still aren’t on the boat yet. Some of my friends who are in other QED522 tutorial groups aren’t even aware about educational gaming; when I tell them that we get to experience the Wii in class, they are utterly flabbergasted.
So I guess NIE could do more in preparing us for such environments. Nevertheless, I’ve never liked being ‘spoonfed’. I’m not saying that I don’t like going for classes, but I don’t believe in taking what the teacher has said in class as the be-all and end-all. Instead, I’d rather take what the teacher has said in class as the point of departure for my own learning.
In this spirit, I believe that if we were to find ourselves in this current situation, then we’d also have to depend on our own ingenuity to make things happen. Hence, one of the ways in which we might prepare ourselves for future learning environments would simply be to roll up our sleeves and get down and dirty with it – experience the technologies ourselves.
On that note, I’d like to proudly say that I’ve just downloaded Second Life and have obtained an account for myself. If you see an avatar called Laremy Braveheart running around sans clothing, remember to say hi. I’d like to expound on why my avatar is naked, but duty calls; I have to be off now in order that I can better prepare myself as a teacher for the future. Heh heh heh… 🙂