Session 3: Case Studies

To start off the third session, we had a quick catch-up from Session 2. We asked questions such as ‘Are theoretical frameworks useful?’ and ‘Are they more use to researchers than practitioners?’ and then addressed the question that was asked in the post from session 2.

We then introduced how we were going to do today’s session. We borrowed ideas from Sugata Mitra’s SOLEs, but instead of addressing a ‘large question’, we asked students to work on case studies.

We gave them an option of 5 different ones, but would also be happy for them to work on a different case study they knew about. The instructions that students were given are also on the Case Studies page on this blog.

The session worked very similar to a SOLE; some people worked in groups, others initially worked by themselves and then were integrated into groups. There was also some cross-fertilisation between groups.

After an hour of working on these case studies and creating SWOT analyses, each group gave a presentation of their case study that was followed by a discussion of the entire group.

These three case studies were covered during the session

By addressing these case studies, we went into the discussion of whether virtual schools would disappear, as well as the homeschooling debate, and whether the use of computers leads to learners spending time on fiddling around with software rather than researching the topic.

We also had more detailed discussions on whether virtual schools or online tutorials can replace teachers or schools as a whole, addressing some of the following questions:

  • Can homeschooling through technology support students who are being bullied in school?
  • Who contributes to these tutorials and is this representative to the listeners?
  • Who funds these tutorials and how does that affect the content and sustainability of the endeavour?
  • Are all of these programmes as universally accessible as they claim to be?

Next week there will not be a session, so we have a little bit more work for you to do than normally.

We ask you to upload the case study you worked on in class today to the blog as a new ‘page’ as described in Case Studies. Please make sure that you give enough information so that someone who wasn’t in the lesson today would also understand what case you looked at, an explanation of it, as well as a SWOT analysis.

We ask you to contribute one case study each (different to the ones you worked on in session 3) to the blog. This will give us a range of pedagogies, software, hardware, or anything else to explore and analyse to highlight issues and opportunities for technology enhanced learning. These can, and should, inform the design that will be done as a group as the final assessment for the module.

As always, there is a question for you to think about answer in the comments of this post. What is the greatest challenge that educators face when using technology to enhance learning? This can be addressed by exploring whether technology can be a barrier to group work, and whether technology may sometimes be a barrier to working in groups? Is the tangibility of paper, pens, and other materials are conducive to group work and aid in staying on task?


7 Comments Add yours

  1. osamaalarabi says:

    There are many challenges that educators face when using technology to enhance group learning. First of all, it depends on the learning enviroment within thier institute and teacher knowledg and awareness of the technology used in them. Then, it comes to how comfortable each indvidual in that group with using the technology. Finally, What curricula is the best to which technology platform or digital delivery method.

    Thinking out of the box for a moment, keeping the right balance in delivring information using both technology and non technological materials could be the greatest challenge facing educators.


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  2. ursubaba says:

    Challenge or Challenges? I think the challenges are numerous. They are not just one single challenge and each is great challenge on its own. In Nigeria for example the challenges that educators are likely to face are:
    1. erratic power supply which results into technology redundancy;
    2. high cost of maintenance of technological facilities;
    3. corruption which leads to embezzlement of funds meant to procure technological facilities;
    4. fuel scarcity;
    5. insecurity challenges that leads to burglary cases of technological equipment and lots more.
    However, the greatest challenge to educators in Nigeria when it comes to technology use in my own opinion is erratic power supply.


  3. Fatma otain says:

    In this session I learned about many new good examples of using technology in education such as Florida Virtual School, Sway, Storify and etc.
    I largely agree and see very valid points in my colleagues’ comments. However, in my view there is one important challenge that should be highlighted that is the technological awareness and expectation gap between the new young generation of students and their teachers.
    As we know, large number of new generation opened their eyes on virtual gaming and online communication such exposure; creates a generation with wired brains significantly different from their teachers. Therefore, I think the new generation of students require a new generation of teachers who can adapt with the current technology and cop with technology related changes in communication and education. For example, what was attractive me such as PowerPoint, they may find it boring and old fashion.


  4. frendiechan says:

    In The Times national daily newspaper this Monday 26th Oct, there was an article entitled “Technology bringing chaos to the classroom” which showed examples of a number of schools where students were using their superior online knowledge to play tricks on teachers to disrupted the lessons. A common trick is for children to blackout the monitor screen, or to flip the pictures teachers using upside down. More seriously, last year eleven children were expelled from schools in California for hacking into teachers’ computers and changing their grades. This is a new challenge that teachers have to face when using technology in the classrooms with children who are far more computer literate than their teachers.


  5. leerobinson84 says:

    I’ve just found this article on the BBC website that seems to suggest that online or virtual schools such as the Florida Virtual School are not as effective as traditional schools…


  6. Ling Bi says:

    While technology booming gives much benefit to the education, it on the other hand also leaves us some problems. Generally speaking, one outstanding characteristic of these modern educational techniques is its diverse in not only the knowledge resources themselves, but also the way that the teachers can present the knowledge.

    Despite its uncountable benefits, we also face a big problem: these gorgeous techniques sometime attract student’s attention, from the real content and knowledge in class, to the devices/software themselves. As most teaching software has its unique impressive graphical interface, students, especially at primary level, may be shocked about how wonderful the software is. For example, when introducing some physics experiment to the class using, let’s say, some simulation software, some students may only remember the funniest part of this video instead of the information/theory behind the video. As a result, the knowledge actually is not well introduced. Another good example is the Google Glass. Research has shown that using Google Glass in class can help student get their knowledge easier in class, but it in turn also distract the students, as they may keep reading the words on Glass rather than listening their teachers.

    In my opinion, one possible solution is to change the strategy that the teachers give the lecture. Instead of talking about the topics one by one throughout the whole class, technology-based lectures require frequent summarizing/questioning to attract students’ attention back to the knowledge/blackboard. Of course, how to organize the structure and sequence of the content becomes more crucial and challenging as well. Anyway, there is no conclusion on whether a tool is good or bad. Instead, it depends on how remarkable the tool user is.


    1. frendiechan says:

      I agree. The teaching methods are crucial.


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