Saturday, July 4, 2009

PL 41/09: Work in progress

Filed under: education, LATINA — plinius @ 12:16 am

nrkYesterday the students at the LATINA course presented the educational triggers and digital stories they made earlier this week.

The presentation was lively and well attended. We had invited students from the other summer school courses, as well as interested staff from Oslo University College, to watch this demonstration of work in progress. For the Norwegians, in particular, seeing our ordinary routines and objects – shoes, teaching, plastic cards – from new perspectives was enlightening as well as very funny. We hope you’ll take a look.

We are also encouraged when we see that an increasing number of teachers – and learners – turn to new and more active forms of learning.

Learning by production is more effective, relevant and fun than learning by repetition and reproduction. But it demands – of course – more attention, energy and effort than the old “transfer of information” approach. Students must work harder while teachers must spend more time in designing the learning processes involved.

coloBroadcasting support

The change from passive to active learning involves many institutions. On July 3, the Norwegian broadcasting company (NRK) announced a new service aimed at schools. I have translated some snippets:

Through a series of videos from NRKs archives, students, parents and teachers will find materials that are relevant to the curriculum.

The clips are searchable and linked to the learning goals in the curriculum and the electronic data base Grep [which contains digital learning objects].

So you can easily find relevant learning resources.

NRK places great emphasis on the websites as an easy tool to use in classrooms. We start by focusing on Norwegian and social studies, but later on we will include several other subjects. The clips can only be seen and heard, but not downloaded and stored on users’ computers.

Digital stories

The news were greeted positively – but teachers want more than passive viewing possibilities:

The next step must be to make them downloadable, so that students can use them in the production of various presentations, discussion and projects. Schools that are active in this area often do not know  what they are allowed to use according to copyright law, etc. NRK here could have made this much easier for schools by providing full access for school users to all their material, without having to think about difficult legal issues.

Now I know that NRK beta [an experimental development unit] is aware of this, but it should certainly communicated to NRK School project.

Working methods in Norwegian and social studies has thankfully come to a point where passive listening or looking at journalistic products is simply not enough. Learning to a greater and greater extent consists of providing many different sources and connecting them together. It is this linking and construction of new relationships that makes learning happen.

Easy access to a historical video library would be a huge help in connection with one of the really interesting methods in this area: digital storytelling.

Passive reading

The Norwegian national library will face the same demand. It has started a massive project – Bokhylla = The book shelf – to digitize all Norwegian books ever published.

Now  more than ten thousand books are available – but only for screen reading. This type of access may be useful for some academic purposes, but it will severely restrict the use of the texts for teaching and learning in schools and universities:

passive listening or looking … is simply not enough.


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