Thursday, 10 March 2016

Research and Soapbox

This morning I am in at Epsom Campus at the Faculty of Education, observing Dawn Garbett teaching her 614 course to fledgling science teachers. My job this morning is to observe in the "video camera" style - recording what I see, hear, notice and think during her lesson. 

My particular focus is on pedagogical underpinnings, on and off task behaviour with devices, proficiency with devices, when students are most and least engaged, and anything that interests me. 

This is part of a research project aimed to help all of us in the research group reflect on and improve our practice, particularly around the use of devices in class. 

The main digital tool utilised in Dawn's very practical, excellent, investigatory (which chips are the crunchiest, which are the oiliest, design an investigation, GO!) lesson was; a site that I will investigate further later today as it has the fascinating feature of a confusion-meter for people to anonymously confess their confusion online! also has quiz, poll and discussion features, although the thread on the discussion board doesn't appear to allow people to respond to others' comments, unlike a blog or Google+, or numerous other tools. 

As I sit here and make "critical friend" comments on my notes of Dawn's lesson I wonder how I can be more purposeful in my selection and use of tools, and the benefits they provide for my students.


  1. Sounds intriguing Nicola - were these your students in the lesson? I am very curious to learn more about the pedagogical underpinnings of the lesson. I would say that you have the 'hook' firmly covered if the learners all get to eat chips as part of it!


    1. Hi Dorothy - no, they're Dawn's students, training to be science teachers at the University of Auckland. The investigation caused a whole lot of thinking from the future teachers; how could crunchiness be defined? (Loudest sound when the chip snaps? But the two types of chips are different thickness! Maybe we should stack them to equal heights and see how much weight they can take... hmmm..)