Katarina Aleksic - Learning Diary


What teaching strategy do you use most commonly

As a Computer Science Teacher, I'm always looking for good topics in order to make my classes meaningful. In my opinion, along with learning to code or to use ICT in safe and useful way, students can dive into many interesting areas and explore new things without feeling pressured or being in a pursuit for a reward in a form of subject mark.  

What do YOU do most of the time in the classroom?

In my classroom, I'm a guide on a side. I trust my students. Trust is the key word for open minded learning. Products are not always high quality ones, but learning is all about improvement, isn't it?

What do the students do most of the time?

Students are working in pairs, collaborating. I am big fan of peer assessment, so the students are often in a position to do it.

Do you feel your current approach could be easily complemented with a PBL approach?

Yes, I do. This LD is initially made during the #MENTEPcourse, but I find that following content explains how I teach in PBL manner :)

LA : Be Great, Go Slate!

Be great, go SLATE! is Project Based Learning approach conceived as a research and part of the primary school students’ Computer Science course in which students were in a position to learn a great deal by explaining their ideas to others and by participating in activities in which they can learn from their peers. PBL has been designed for 12 year-old students who study Computer Science in primary school with the aims to present the cultural heritage and Belgrade architecture to the pupils and introduce them to the historic development of women’s rights in Serbian society, and all this through the use of slate devices and achievement of digital literacy.

1) What was the added value of using technology for this teaching/learning task? What did it enable me/my students to effectively do?

The role of ICT in Be great, go SLATE! was truly meaningful. The online collaboration with the expert could not be possible without ICT. Students were in a position to ask questions, to take expert’s advice, to reshape their work at any moment.

The teacher was a learner as well. A plenty of new information, the historical and sociological facts that were unknown to the teacher, made this project even more engaging. On the other hand, the architect learned a lot about slate devices and their possibilities.

2) Did I effectively integrate the technology into my lesson plan, linking it clearly to the learning objectives and syllabus?

According to SAMR model, Be great, go SLATE! is a project on redefinition level. According to a revised Bloom’s taxonomy, this project is on a creation level. According to Bloom’s digital taxonomy, this project is on a sharing level.

3) Was the technology used to its full potential, and did I and my students have the sufficient digital skills to benefit from it? If not, why not, and how might I make sure this is the case in the future?

Yes and Yes! Be Great, Go Slate Blog

4) Did the technology support learner choice and personalized learning? Did students use the technology to manage their own learning, by choosing the appropriate resources or tools to support their work?

Project activities were designed to be open - to put students in a position to choose topics, apps or tools, to decide about who they want to work with, to organize their own work, to make decisions about information found on the Internet, to design a digital product, to create the best presentation and share it with peers, to learn how to learn.

5) Did the way I use the technology allow the learner to be a co-designer of their learning, and not only a consumer but also a producer?

Yes, on a large scale.

6) Did my use of the technology allow my students to go beyond learning traditional subject-based competences and develop more transversal 21st century skills such as collaborative problem solving?

Students learned a great deal by explaining their ideas to others and by participating in the activities in which they could learn from their peers. By presenting the project findings on slate devices, students were in a situation to show, explain and discuss the project findings outside the classroom. That enhanced learning and it included the emotional support that learners offered to each other.

7) Did I allow enough time for students to work with the technology, and what could I have done to make the activity run more smoothly?

Students worked on project activities for two months. It was enough time for best results and personal satisfaction of each student.

PLB plans for 2016/17.

Driving question: How can we use our mobile application coding skills to empower Students in our School to learn better STEM subjects?

I work in socially deprived urban area, in a not so well equipped School. My intention is to rise up awareness that our local problems can be overcome by putting our knowledge and skills in action. I want my 8th grade Students (14 year old) to analyse the problems in learning STEM subjects and create digital products (mobile apps) that will help to improve knowledge acquisition in STEM area for themselves and all other School Students.

Learning Design can be seen on https://v.gd/bJ9YW1

Comment Stream

2 years ago

That is fantastic! Go ahead!🎆

a year ago

Thank you so much for your words! I'm a Primary teacher and I teach English, my oldest students ate 9 this year, so one of the main obstacles I found when I plan a session or unit is my students don't have skills enough to carry out a reseach or write a document on the computer. Moreover they only spend an hour per week on the computer room. Knowing how your students manage with computing is amazing!