In March 2013, I presented a paper entitled Uses of mobiles and learning platforms as a medium to develop and improve linguistic competencies in a foreign language course, at e-Society International Conference, in Lisbon, Portugal, evidently studying the learning platforms I has built. This year, I am revising that study and will contribute to the new volume of the International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Lifelong Learning by writing about the approaches to teaching and learning that defined the success of the platforms.
I am now a firm believer in the open source movement, and in how it possesses work principles that transform collaborators into a community dedicated to continuous creation of new materials. Interactive learning platforms, therefore, offer the opportunity to utilize its contexts for multiple purposes, considering simple tactics such as compare and contrast to high-yield teaching strategies, and higher-thinking levels of activities that promote critical thinking.
Moreover, the Internet itself offers unprecedented access to information and authentic contexts that can be easily incorporated into course materials and activities. The copious prospects and opportunities for creation and presentation of knowledge; the almost countless access to information; the ample liberty students possess to gain access to and navigate the range of materials available; in short, the enormous potential of online instruction tests and challenges knowledge-centered curriculum design because the acquisition of knowledge and learning are bred and generated in individual minds and do not exist outside them.
At present, curriculum design attitudes that welcome authentic resources, real-life interaction, usability of teachings, student-produced materials as a next step to bring action and reflection into learning, are the foundations of educational systems where not only are learners the center of the teaching-learning process, but where knowledge and learning are co-constructed through different activities and reflection on those experiences. For this reason, possessing a learning platform contributes to the integration, documentation and display of a wide range or approaches to teaching and learning. What is more, considering that meeting new and old needs is something that is easily achieved with technology, this environment is an optimal model for organizing and consolidating every distinctive effort that is part of what, wholesomely, can be called successful curriculum coverage and reliable teaching, as it is helping drive innovation in teaching and learning.
As I finalize the data analysis for my paper, and I have become aware of how my idea of teaching as a life style can also be expressed as ‘learning as a life style’ for the interaction and collaboration between my colleagues and I, as well as with my students has most definitely separated me from the idea of the teacher who relies on books and worksheets, and who is more interested in co-constructing learning experiences where I become informed of how students see their world, so that every effort that I make is somehow relevant for them.
Below is a video of one of my learning platforms, which are my subject of study to address e-approaches to teaching and learning: a new paradigm in curriculum delivery.