Learning with technology: exposing expert knowledge through rich media and interactivity

cartoonI was talking at a school governors’ conference last week and decided to introduce the concept of the Learning Acts as a way to explore how technology can best be used to support learning within schools (and beyond). I have blogged about the 19 Learning Acts[1] that have been observed to occur when students are learning with digital media.

The governors I spoke to found the idea of the Learning Acts extremely helpful and I thought therefore it would be worth thinking about some of them in more detail here.

 

 

The firsrowlandson_-_chemical_lecturest Learning Act I’m going to consider is Exposition. This act can be thought of as a learner’s private interaction with the author or speaker who is presenting a narrative account of knowledge. The expert’s Knowledge is thereby “exposed” to the learner. A lecture or a television programme, are examples of Exposition and these can be very effective.

 

However, in order for Exposition to be most productive for learners it should be used with expertise that can be transmitted in a structured narrative form.

sal-khan-khan-academy

blueplanet_cmyklrgThe success of Exposition in support of learning lies in the depth of the private interactions that are elicited from the (otherwise passive) learner. Technology can offer an excellent means to support such depth of interaction through the use of material that is vivid or representationally rich. The learner will need to use or develop the knowledge construction skills to enable them to process the information presented by experts and to construct their own understanding: their own narrative.

Of course the real art of teaching through the Learning Acts is in the way the different acts are blended together and again technology can help. For example, we could blend Browsing, Ludic and Simulation Learning Acts into an activity or a lesson and use well designed Interactive Video to support students. Interactive Video is an increasingly popular presentation format with powerful examples available on-line, for example the Channel 4 video at the link below.

Watch out for discussions of more Learning Acts in future blog posts.

 

Interactive Video Example

2BillionMile

 

[1] Manches, A., Phillips, B., Crook, C., Chowcat, I., & Sharples, M. (2010). CAPITAL-Curriculum and Pedagogy in Technology Assisted Learning.

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