Saturday, August 2, 2014

ULearn14 Abstract

One of the requirements of being a CORE Education eFellow, is that you have to present the outcome of your Inquiry at ULearn.  eFellows will be presenting under the 'Peer-reviewed Research Strand'.

Here is my submitted abstract:
Modern learning pedagogy & technologies in a NE/Yr 1 classroom

Short Abstract:
In this presentation I will challenge the traditional method of teaching that is organised around timetables, by sharing what I have learned through my inquiry on how to bring modern learning pedagogy and technologies into a junior school, stand alone classroom.  I believe this kind of teaching and learning enhances opportunities for students and teachers to learn and create together.

I became interested in the possibilities of a modern learning environment in a NE/Year 1 classroom after a conference I attended in 2013 which was on mapping a new landscape in learning.  I went away with my head spinning, but the question for me remained: “Where and how do I start?” Through my networks and discussions with other teachers I found that many were asking the same questions. We wanted to change our classrooms and practice, but didn't know where to begin. Early on in my inquiry I realised that I didn't want to focus on the physical aspect of a modern learning environment, but rather the pedagogy and technologies that facilitate personalised learning.  My inquiry then became about how I could support my NE/Yr 1 students to carry out their own learning in purposeful and meaningful ways, so that I can then share this with others. Some of my questions were:

a. What is important to my students and their learning?
b. How can I implement a more personalised learning approach?
c. How can I encourage students to be more responsible for their own learning?
d. What are others teachers and schools doing?

To explore these questions I visited schools and talked with junior school teachers, who are already using modern learning pedagogy & technologies in their practice. We talked about their journey, their ideas, how they got started, and how students are responding to this. In this presentation I will share some of my findings and discuss:

- The difference between individual learning and personalised learning;
- The foundations that are necessary for personalised learning;
- How being a teacher on your own is no barrier to creating a modern learning environment;
- Ideas for how to get started.

I am not an expert in this at all and [still] do not have all the answers, but I hope that with this presentation, I will be able to clarify some of the questions many junior school teachers might have.

You are also welcome to join in the conversation on the VLN page I've created around NE & Year 1 Modern Learning Environments.

Will I see or meet you at ULearn14?

~ A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." - Lou Holtz ~


  1. Great post Marnel! Those questions are absolutely relevant to me as well. Thank you :) Looking forward to your presentation!

  2. Thank you Alex! Looking forward to seeing you at ULearn14