Learnmix intervening into current teaching and learning practices

As our ethnographic study showed that current teaching approaches leave very little room for students to be active creators, our next step was to make some “experiments” to change this practice.

In March we carried out our first intervention study with a purpose to intervene into current teaching and learning practices in a way that enables learners to become actively engaged constructors of their own experience and knowledge, which means learners take partial control and responsibility over instructional components; learners as active participants and as creators.

Our intervention was built around the following potential scenarios:

  • Flipped classroom (textbook used at home to acquire a new topic)
  • Inquiry-based learning (textbook used as a handbook in the inquiry process)
  • Project-based learning (textbook as one possible information source)
  • Problem-solving activity (textbook as a source of problems and information)
  • Game-based learning (creating a game scenario) (textbook as a source of inspiration)

Every participating teacher could select one of the scenarios and build his/her lesson accordingly. It must be noted here that this is not an ultimate list of scenarios, which allow more control and creativity for students. This is a selection of scenarios we want to concentrate on at this point of time and also test them out in the context of our redefined “e-textbook”. As the term e-textbook carries a certain, strongly rooted understanding, we have started to call our vision of future e-textbooks as Learnmix.

But coming back to our intervention study, we managed to visit and observe 12 lessons in the following schools:

  • Tallinn English College
  • Tallinn Secondary Science School
  • Gustav Adolf Gymnasium
  • Tartu Private School
  • Central Russian Gymnasium
  • Tallinn European School

For our data collection we used LessonNote app for making notes and video recorded all the lessons. Currently we are in the process of analysing the collected data and comparing it with our ethnographic study.

Thanks to all the teachers and students who agreed to take part in our intervention!

Learnmix project in the conference of “Turning point in education”

On April 10th we introduced the main ideas of our Learnmix project in the conference of “Turning point in education” organised by HITSA Innovation centre. Again and again we had to deal with questions regarding quality issues of the material developed by teachers and students. In the Learnmix project we see this aspect from a different perspective. It is not the purpose to assess every material which is designed by a teacher or a student, instead we should focus on developing students’ critical thinking and working further on other’s ideas. More information about the conference can be found here.

“Future classroom” conference retrospectively

The Tulevikuklass conference brought together more than 100 participants from different fields: teachers, school principals, HITSA people, researchers, publishers, IT companies. 4 demo lessons demonstrated that there are interesting scenarios, which change the roles of teachers and students, allow meaningful ways to use technology for learning and teaching, make lessons interesting and motivating.

The following panel- discussion was a good starting point for bringing together different stakeholders. The participants, despite of their fields, showed willingness and motivation to engage in school developments and improve education. The participants realised that in order to bring in innovation in schools we have to start dialogues between different stakeholders and work together. We hope that this event created a solid basis for further discussions and collaborations.

 

Learnmix in a math textbook research seminar

The Learnmix project was invited to a math textbook research seminar. On December 5th Terje was presenting the Learnmix project and its ideas to researchers of math textbooks. This two-day research seminar brought together researchers from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Island, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The main research focus of this group is on textbook content, level of difficulties, cultural differences, etc. However, the presentation “Going digital: reconceptualising textbooks” presented some forthcoming challenges in the midst of digital transformation in education in general and reconceptualising textbooks in particular. We would definitely keep an eye on their research to understand the importance of content in textbooks.

Thanks a lot for the invitation!

“A future classroom” conference

Tallinn University and Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications are going to organise a future classroom conference on October 28th at  Tallinn University premises, Uus-Sadama 5, room M218. The conference is titled as Technology, Innovation and Future Classrooms: The Role of ICT Enterprises in Educational Innovations. 

The main goal of the conference is to involve ICT enterprises, publishers, Ministry of Education, schools and universities in discussions about the meaning of learning and teaching in the digital era and its requirements for learning and teaching strategies, materials and outcomes.

The conference language is going to be  Estonian, however, there are two presentations in English, by researchers from Sweden and Denmark.

 

In the middle of school visits

As soon as schools got into their everyday schedule, Learnmix project team started with their school visits. The purpose is to continue visiting schools and different lessons to get an idea of how and what technology is used in classrooms. The collected information and knowledge will be used to develop a new concept of an e-textbook. We have visited already Kiili Gümnaasium (12th grade history lessons), Pelgulinna Gümnaasium (11th and 12th grade biology lessons), Tallinn Reaalkool (5th and 6th grade English lessons and 7th and 9th grade geography lessons). We are planning to visit also Inglise Kolledz, Lilleküla Gümnaasium and Tallinn Kesklinna Vene Gümnaasium. Looking forward to participate in some interesting lessons.

Presenting Learnmix project in a seminar “Digital heritage in digital books”

Last week, Mart Laanpere introduced Learnmix project in a Tallinn University’s seminar “Digital heritage in digital books”. The purpose of the seminar was to gather people from the university and outside to discuss about digital heritage and opportunities for learning. This was the first gathering for the series of seminars about digital heritage initiated by Baltic Film and Media School.