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ICT - Tool or Object?. Tay Lee Yong – Beacon Primary School A/P Lim Cher Ping – Edith Cowan University, Australia Abu Naeem & Tan Pau Cheng – River Valley Primary School. Overview/Background.

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ICT - Tool or Object?

Tay Lee Yong – Beacon Primary School

A/P Lim Cher Ping – Edith Cowan University, Australia

Abu Naeem & Tan Pau Cheng – River Valley Primary School


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Overview/Background

  • Re-engagement of academically at-risk students with a 3D Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE) in an after-school programme

  • Game-like Elements such as avatars, 3D environment, reward system, and digital artefacts

  • Improvement of academic performance


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What is Quest Atlantis (QA)?


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What is Quest Atlantis (QA)?


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What is Quest Atlantis (QA)?


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What is Quest Atlantis (QA)?


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Why QA after-school programme

Evidences from research studies

  • After-school programme can be effectively used to engage students in school related work

  • Students are attracted to video games

  • QA processes certain game-like elements

  • Learning environments that are nurturing and supportive develop students’ sense of confidence and self-determination


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Implementation of the QA programme

  • After-school Programme (after-school hours)

  • Part of the school’s remediation programme

  • Weakest students of the Primary 5 cohort (14 students – both boys and girls)

  • Basic deliverable is to improve students’ academic performance


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Outcomes of the QA after-school programme

  • Students more engaged in their learning and especially in the learning of ICT related skills

  • No significant difference in academic performance

  • Programme started off with irregular attendance (74%, 84%, 85%, 89% from Term I to Term IV)

  • Attendance improve gradually over the weeks and attracted other Primary 5 students

  • Role of ICT has to go beyond the role of a mediating tool

  • Cultural-Historical Activity Theoretical (CHAT) framework adopted for the analysis of this programme


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Cultural-Historical Activity Theory

  • Object-orientedness - All human activities are directed toward their objects

  • Internalization-externalization - With mental processes versus external behavior and inter-psychological versus intra-psychological

  • Mediation - Given the interaction between people and their environments, the principle of tool mediation plays a central role in Activity Theory

  • Development - Activity Theory proposes that human interaction with reality should be analyzed in the context of development


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Motivation of Students for the after-school programme

  • Attendance rate of students improved gradually over the year-long after-school programme

  • Teacher as the authority figure to enforce the rules during the initial phase of programme

  • Students were not automatically motivated and attracted to the after-school programme as well as the QAMUVE


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Disturbances

  • Tools:

  • Computers & other Technological Peripherals

  • QA MUVE

  • Outcome:

  • Attendance at the QA after-school programme

  • Non-attendance at the QA after-school program

Object:

To attend or not to attend the after-school programme

Subject:

Students

  • Rules:

  • Selected students to attend the QA after-school programme

  • Behave according to the expectations of the teachers, parents, and the school to complete quests that were assigned

Division of Labour:

  • Community:

  • Teachers

  • Parents

  • School

  • Peers


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Engagement of Students on Quests

  • Students not automatically attracted to Quests

  • Of the 19 Quests assigned by the teachers, students attempted an average of 9.6 Quests, and an acceptance rate of 4.6 Quests.

  • Students engaged with the 3D environment (avatars), lumins, cols, and digital artefacts, etc.

  • Students also engaged with their favourite Internet sites.



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Disturbances

  • Tools:

  • Computers & other Technological Peripherals

  • QA MUVE

Object:

To attempt or not to attempt the quests

  • Outcome:

  • Engagement in non-academic related online fun & games

  • Engagement in academic related quests

Subject:

Students

  • Rules:

  • Rules & expectations of the school to attend the after-school programme

  • Rules & expectations of the after-school programme teachers to do quests

  • Community:

  • Teachers

  • Parents

  • School

  • Peers

Division of Labour:


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Disturbances

  • Tools:

  • Computers & other Technological Peripherals

  • QA MUVE

  • Outcome:

  • Access favourite Internet sites & explore QA’s 3D Space

  • Submission of quests to earn lumins & cols to change their avatars, luminate, and exchange for digital artefacts within the QA MUVE

Object:

QA 3D space, collection lumins, cols, & digital artefacts

Subject:

Students

Division of Labour

Community

Rules


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Main Findings / Learning Points

  • Importance of the Teacher

  • Motivation of the Students towards the QA programme

  • Importance of Social Mediators (Engestrom, 1999)

  • Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation (Lepper & Henderlong, 2000)

  • Is QA a tool or an object? (Engestrom & Escalante, 1996)

  • Engagement is paramount to learning success (Herrington, Oliver, & Reeves, 2003)

  • Elements that enhance Students’ learning attitude (Lim, 2004)


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Issues

  • MUVE – costly?

    • Engaging elements – challenge, curiosity, control, fantasy, competition, cooperation, recognition (Malone & Lepper, 1987)

  • Games or Game-like Learning Environment is Schools?

    • Iterative approach (action research approach)

  • ICT – a tool or an object?


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What’s next?

  • RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Programme)

    • After-school programme for students with social-behavioural problems

    • Useful as a tool to engage the students

  • English ENABLE programme

    • Enhance students’ engagement in writing tasks

    • Integration of ICT into the teaching and learning


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Thank You!

Tay Lee Yong – Beacon Primary School [email protected]; [email protected]

A/P Lim Cher Ping – Edith Cowan University, Australia

[email protected]

Abu Naeem & Tan Pau Cheng – River Valley Primary School

[email protected], [email protected]


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