A gastronomical paradise and home to hundreds of colourful festivals- Malaysia is a beautiful, naturally blessed, diverse country. It has developed itself enormously in the past 50 years. Interestingly, the biggest roundabout in the world is located at Putrajaya in Malaysia.
It was a period of anxiety.
Some or my kids were doing well with the restriction but the others were not happy about it. When I was in my lecture, I received messages from them asking me why I blocked this and that, not being fair to them, and causing them difficulties.
As parents, I had the inclination to treat their complaints with belittlement. “I know what is good and what is not, you should just follow” kind of attitude sometimes got me. But I kept reminding myself that my original intention was to shape them. I cannot do this if I am harsh, plus ironically permissive. I have to remain gentle, but firm.
In my home country, I avoid giving my kids smart phones and constantly discussed with them to reduce peer pressure. After moving to Finland, I decided to give them smart phones believing that the way they’re using them can be shaped with proper discussion and supportive monitoring app. As a student of the learning sciences and technology, I am not blindly experimenting them with my kids, but what makes the difference is my own progress from a complete novice to an expert-to-be.
With knowledge, and meaningful education my kids currently experience, I think that learning to use technology for both education and entertainment can be nurtured.
This semester, we are using the Claned as our learning platform, specifically to test the collaborative learning features on it. In ‘Designing Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL)’ course, articles are shared on Claned, we can read and highlights the text, seen by other collaborators when switched on, commenting and many other features that make reading a journal article more interactive and engaging.
SIG27 was a unique experience for me especially when I reflect it as a part of the process in transforming a novice to an expert. On top of all the introductory and core courses we had this Autumn semester, SIG27 also exposed me not only to the theories, researches and current trends in the field of learning sciences, but also to experience constructively in a very coherent way how a student and research-to-be should have, cognitively, emotionally, socially and perhaps spiritually too.
One of the introductory courses assigned to us, the new LET students, Autumn 2016 is the Introduction to Learning and Educational Technology (INTRO). The course is divided into two sections, one on the theoretical aspect of learning, conducted by Hany Hachem, and the practical aspect of educational technology (the workshop), conducted by Jari Laru.
Our lecturer asked these simple questions in one of our learning sessions:
Why activate prior knowledge?
Why is learning a hard work?
Answering these questions is essential for teachers to design a good learning activity.
In Khalifah Model School (Secondary), when we transformed the school system from teacher-centered essentialism to student-centered progressivism, we believed that this transformation will help to save our students from being victimised by public education that concentrates a lot on low order thinking skills, mainly memorising and understanding. The transformation involved a lot of different approaches in teaching. In the new setting, students are supposed to take charge of their own learning, with teachers changing their role from being the ‘expert’ in content to the expert in designing a learning activity.
“Okay kids, see you in the evening!” I stepped out from our apartment heading to the university.
It’s the first day I left my wife and kids at our new home in Finland, while attending my morning classes at Linnanmaa campus, one class at 8:15 in the morning on the Introduction to Learning and Educational Technology, and another one at 10:15, our class on Survival Finnish Language. There will be around two hours break before another meeting with my Demola Oulu project at 2pm in the City Centre.
Learning, Education and Technology (LET) program is built on three major themes and they are (i) collaborative learning (ii) self regulated learning, and (iii) learning of expertise. During this first one month of the program, we had several sessions to make ourselves familiar with collaborative learning. Hany Hachem helped us a lot introducing the concept. Instead of explaining them in lectures, he designed the sessions into many different types of collaboration which we do them ourselves, and reflect them each time the session ended.