Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Avatars and Learning Styles
An avatar enables users to express themselves using their own or computer generated voice by means of a talking character. Your avatar can be developed with personal or fabricated attributes using a variety of identities, characters, animals and much more.(Voki). There are many avatar programs available, for the purposes of this assessment I have used Voki.
Felder and Spurlin (2005) state that students have different strengths and preferences in the ways they gain and process information. This is known as 'Learning Styles'. One of the many challenges in education today is the ability to cater to an individuals learning style. Providing an environment that allows students the opportunities to learn in a manner to which they are comfortable, is difficult, but may provide a foundation where intended outcomes can be achieved.
The implementation of avatars in conjunction with other mediums such as narrative writing could be an excellent tool to encourage the engagement of students from all learning styles. This would allow an individuals strengths to be utilised in one or many areas of the learning process.
Springwood State school incorporated the use of avatars into literacy lessons. The year two students created their own books which were bound and utilised in the library. The students then developed their own avatars to record a virtual report of their book. These avatars where then downloaded onto their digital portfolios. Visit Springwood State School web site to view how Springwood Primary used these avatars.
By providing an interesting twist to the process of learning, students engage in the challenges of creating their own avatars and adding their own personal attributes. The applications and possibilities of this technology is endless, and I personally can not wait to introduce this strategy into my future classrooms.
Felder, R., Spurlin, J., 2005. (citing computer references. Retrieved July 30, 2009, from
Sunday, July 26, 2009
It is amazing how a concept so simple can feed information from your favourite blogs/websites and collate it in a manageable web page. The conjunction of these two programs provide opportunities to view the latest blog posts, edits and comments from a central area, and eliminates wasted time trolling and searching the blogs. Time is precious.
The applications of this software in class related activities is integral to the successful use of blogs as a collaborative and individual learning tool in the classroom. Google reader allows the teacher to receive posted information from students' blogs. This is an important tool required to manage, monitor and interact with the students and their tasks.
The acquisition and building of knowledge through the use of non-human appliances (Siemens, G., 2005) relies heavily of the right people connected in the right context. A student or individual feeds personal knowledge into the social network where others can read, reflect and learn. Google reader allows the fluid transition of knowledge in a social network and eliminates the process of searching through unwanted information.
Siemens, G. (2004). Citing computer references. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivesm.htm
The creation of a blog was challenging and at the same time extremely rewarding. There is nothing quite like accomplishing a task which was presumed out of your reach.
For the purposes of E-Learning the blogs are used as a form of personal assessment, however I have found them an important collaborative learning space. 'Blogging' not only gives space to write the important details of my learning journey, but allows the opportunity to extend my learning by reading and commenting on other blogs. This profoundly increases the ability to retain information and my journey is engaging, interesting and rewarding.
Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999), discuss the idea that collaborative learning should be based on tasks which are meaningful and have an authentic focus. These tasks can be based on the principles of relate-create-donate. The use of Blogs as a collaborative tool within the classroom promotes the use of the engagement theory, effective collaboration, interaction between students and teacher, engagement through technology, and opportunities to reach learning outcomes with an authentic focus.
Seeing the blog in action has reinforced the prospects of using this technology in the classroom for various KLA's and strands. Blogs are an excellent tool for reflective journals, creative writing, scheduled assessment activities, extended class interactions and much more.
Kearsley, G., Shneiderman, B., (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Siemens, G. (2004). Citing computer references. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from
Debono, E. (2004). Citing computer references. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from
Monday, July 13, 2009
At the moment, however, I am feeling a sense of achievement and excitement that I have conquered the first of many hills and obsticles to come during my trek to the summit of the E-Learning journey. There are no guarantees of absolute success, but only a guarantee that I will gain previously unattainable knowledge which will undeniably be beneficial in my present and future learning journeys.
Unfortunately there is the possibility that I will never access or see this blog again so lets all cross our fingers that I have been successful and there will be tears of joy and not frustration when I try to relog on.
I am enjoying reading the blogs created by fellow students and am slightly relieved to see that I am not the only self proclaimed technologically illiterate person trying to achieve the impossible.
Catch you all soon and look forward to ready more of your blogs.