Topic 4 Productive ways of using Internet

Implementing the digital technologies into the learning process and teaching students the productive ways of using digital technologies is of paramount importance in today’s world à For example, studies show that implementing robotics in classrooms helps students develop computational thinking (Chalmers, 2018), a skill which is crucial for future STEM careers and is useful in life in general.

The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework (Koehler et al., 2014) deals with how to implement the Internet and the digital technologies into the learning process most efficiently.

This provides an overarching way of thinking about not only teaching the digital skills but also about implementing digital technologies into the learning process of all school subjects, starting from a very young age.

The framework states that knowledge of content (i.e., the subject matter that is taught), pedagogy (i.e., the methods and processes of teaching and learning) and technology (i.e., understanding information technology enough to know how and when to best use it in classroom) is needed to effectively implement technology into the teaching process.

The implementation of the framework requires the successful interaction between content, pedagogy and technology: understanding how to represent concepts using technologies, understanding pedagogical techniques that use technologies in constructive ways to teach content, understanding how technology can help students learn difficult or less difficult concepts and so on.

The two following videos explain the TPACK framework in a simple way and offer a practical example of applying it in a classroom.

And this website provides a more in-depth overview of the framework:

On the following slide, there will be presented some more specific ways of productive ways of using the Internet that teachers can explore and apply along with their students.

Productive ways of using Internet

Robotics

Children nowadays have a completely different view of technology in comparison to the previous generation, a fact that leads to their indirect technical and technological training.

  • The constant evolution in several state-of-the-art technological fields such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and computer science in general, has led into the adoption of complex smart devices in everyday lives and in schools as well. The utilization of personal computers, smart phones, tablets and smart devices has led to the early adoption and accustomization of technology by children in early ages.
  • Robotics for kids (children/adolescents) in school education can offer a lot of benefits: creativity boost, as Robotics is practical oriented, an optimization of preparation for the future as far as technology evolution is concerned, a way to develop teamwork and to get trained in being efficient within a team, the building of communication skills, getting familiar with the programming language in electronic devices, a different education process (as AI can make the difference in the way that a teacher teaches subjects such as Literature, History Mathematics, Physics).
  • You can find useful information about the utility of robotics in school here: https://acerforeducation.acer.com/education-trends/steam/how-robotics-improves-education-at-school/ ; http://www.tektrain.gr/  

By communicating with parents, you can work together and ensure that children gain the most benefits from using the digital technology productively.

Research shows that parental involvement can free teachers to focus more on the task of teaching children.

  • Teachers

By having more contact with parents, teachers learn more about students’ needs and home environment, which is information they can apply toward better meeting those needs.

  • Parents

The same process works for parents, as the frequent communication with teachers can help them develop a holistic view of their kid (child/adolescent) and better realise their thoughts and needs.

Also, by communicating with teachers, parents can share with their kids the knowledge gained during school time and navigate deeper in several fields of science and art by using Internet. This process can be even more helpful in challenging times, such as the forced lockdowns by COVID-19 pandemic.

New skills development/ Already existing skills growth

  • Teachers and their students can develop new skills or help their already existing skills grow by taking courses online and/or watching targeted online content.
  • Apps that can e.g., solve mathematical problems and show solutions, which can help greatly in learning.

Applying the results of the creative ways of using Internet and of the ways of using Internet for playing/having fun in aspects of everyday life

Teachers can use the process that happens during the creative ways of using Internet to

  • Discuss further things and situations
  • Interact productively with their students (children/adolescent)
  • Help them systematise the benefits gained from this process.

Parents and teachers collaboration

is an award-winning non-profit organization from the US that “offers quizzes, questions, instructional videos, and articles on a range of academic subjects, including math, biology, chemistry, physics, history, economics, finance, grammar, preschool learning, and more”, completely free of charge. Here is an example of a video about a topic in high-school biology from their Youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KfHxF6Vhps&ab_channel=KhanAcademy

Link to their main page:

https://www.khanacademy.org/

is a Youtube channel that explains many mathematical concepts in a clear, interesting and visually attractive way. Video

The channel “Minutephysics” features short videos explaining concepts from physics and other sciences in an intuitive and engaging way. Video

The youtuber Nathaniel Drew tells his story about how to learn more effectively online. Video

A word of caution: do talk with your child about things they are learning and watching online. They should learn how to filter out the clutter and/or assess critically the content they are using. There are for example, reddittors and youtubers who are known for spreading false facts, “fake news” and even hate speech, so do watch out for that!

How to make smartphone use more productive Video

A word of caution: do talk with your child about things they are learning and watching online. They should learn how to filter out the clutter and/or assess critically the content they are using. There are for example, reddittors and youtubers who are known for spreading false facts, “fake news” and even hate speech, so do watch out for that!

Video games and studying can go hand in hand!

The youtuber Thomas Frank explains his view on how to balance video game playing and studying. Video

A word of caution: do talk with students about things they are learning and watching online. They should learn how to filter out the clutter and/or assess critically the content they are using. There are for example, reddittors and youtubers who are known for spreading false facts, “fake news” and even hate speech, so do watch out for that!

Write down some productive ways to use Internet with your students.

Describe why you think they are productive.

Hint!

Possible answers:

  1. Collaboration between parents and teachers
  2. Robotics 
  3. New skills development/Already existing skills growth
  4. Applying the results of the creative ways of using Internet and of the ways of using Internet for playing/having fun in aspects of everyday life
  5. The Techological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework that can not only be helpful in teaching STEM subjects but also in teaching humanities such as languages, art and history

Why: The answers are in Unit 3, D. Productive ways of using Internet, in the right column of the table of “Productive ways of using Internet” (“Brief description”).

Important note: There is no right/wrong answer. This is a free text activity.

Activities suggested for teachers, based on “Applying the results of the creative ways of using Internet and of the ways of using Internet for playing/having fun in aspects of everyday life” as a productive way of using Internet.

Reflect further on:

  • Aspects that have to do with art (creating, watching, learning new forms)
  • Aspects that have to do with other cultures (this will also help children/adolescents to be more acceptable with people and cultures that feel different to them)
  • What new they discovered on social media
  • The processes that go on when children/adolescents play videogames (what do they do within the game, what strategies they try to use and why, if they met other gamers online and how they interacted etc.).