In this 3rd week's first activity, we were asked to think about our practice when designing a learning activity. Those are my thoughts:
This is how it usually works for me:
Which part/s of the design do you usually think about first when you begin a new learning design? Do you start with – the learners, the technology, learning approach, previous designs, resource constraints, time constraints, institutional strategy, or ... ?
When I think about a new learning design, I usuallly begin by thinking about the students. Since I work with teenagers and youngsters my worries are about what might interest them and gather their attention. Of course, I have to combine a lot of other aspects like available resources and technology and my own limitations.
Where do your ideas originate? From colleagues, from conferences or events, from student data or feedback, from personal experience, from case studies, or ...?
My ideas usually appear to me when I’m driving home :). Then I record them in my cell phone so I won’t forget them. They’re usually related to everyday situations. I like to provide learning designs which relate to students’ lives, something they know, or have seen or heard something about, but are not aware. It usually works quite well, since they get quite surprised when they discover they already knew that, they just hadn’t thought about it. This way I believe they get more engaged.
Sometimes, I get my ideas from things I see on the news or on the Internet, or elsewhere. Very often I pick somebody else’s idea and transform it to meet my needs.
What often happens, though, is that I’ve this great idea and then I spent a lot of time trying to find some tool to use for a particular task and I can’t find it or it is not for free. Then I have to find a different way to do what I’ve planned, but I always end up succeeding and doing it one way or the other. The outcome sometimes is a bit different from what I’ve imagined mas it serves the same purpose.
What difficulties do you encounter when trying to describe your design ideas to colleagues or to yourself?
I usually don’t have much difficulty in explaining my idea. When it comes out differently than planned, I usually have a good reason for it. As my resources aren’t so many I easily find it easy to explain what I mean, although I usually talk about this with people who are at the same technological level I am, or above. Unfortunately, in Portugal there are still many many teachers which are way beyond on ICT, specially the older ones. Anyway, when I imagine something more complex, I usually ask for help from my colleagues and I’ve learned quite a lot by asking and seeking help, that’s for sure!