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Finally, this module has come to an end. This is very sad because I really enjoyed learning this module. I would say this is a very special module compare to the other modules. The main reason that I chose this module as my first choice was because I hate exams and would rather spend more time on doing assignments at home. I always find exams are difficult and they are only like tests of memory. Students who spend more time on memorising those scientific terms, theories and history would get better grades. Why do we need to remember those things that we can easily find in a book, or even on the internet? That is why I think this module is brilliant. We have shown in our works that we have understood everything we need and we have the works to look back on for when we need to. They are written in a way that we understand and we do not need to memorise all of them. 

Second, this module allows us to choose whatever topics in education of science to learn. We can get rid of some boring topics and focus on what interested us within the area. This is brilliant!

Last, as we all know there are a lot of benefits in peer learning, by reading and commenting on our fellow classmates’ blogs, we can learn more than traditional classroom setting.

Overall, I think this module is awesome and I have learnt a lot in the past 3 months. I am just getting more interested in educational psychology!

The Synthesis

Many researchers have described educational psychology as a procedure or practice of coaching, training, and erudition. In accomplishing this, teachers ought to have basic knowledge on individual desires and requirements of each and every learner. To ensure effective learning methods, there must be knowledge, understanding, and availability of mechanisms and instruments geared towards edification and better results in the learning process (Smith, 2007). An example of such mechanisms and equipments includes the use of technology in learning. Since the evolution of computers, technology has been incorporated in the process o f learning. According to Lewis and Bremmer (2005), studies done in the past have elucidated the fact that almost every household in the US owns an electronic device. In these studies, teenagers were proved to spend approximately a quarter of their day engrossed in either of the electronic devices such as mobile phones or computers.

In light of the importance of technology in learning, video games have been introduced in the learning process. This is attributed to the fact that video games have the ability to elevate enthusiasm and drive in learning. In playing video games, learners are challenged to complete various tasks and this depends on skill level of the player. Learners with high levels of skills are known to be more enthusiastic and hence perform better in tests (Guithrie, Victoria and Patrick, 2011). Computer games are known to be additive. Therefore, learners will tend to play a single game over and over again. This helps the player to gain more experience and consequently perform better in the game. These ideas can be extrapolated further in the classroom as through playing video games, learners are able to elevate their levels of motivation and self-belief. In addition, learners have gained various beneficial skills and abilities through playing video games. For instance, video game competitions involve a group of individuals playing together. This is teamwork and hence learners comprehend the importance of teamwork in learning. Learners are also able to develop their cognitive skills through playing video or computer games. Examples of these cognitive skills include decision making and analytical skills (Taylor, 2005).

Learners acquire knowledge through seeing and practising. Teachers have realised this fact and have adopted appropriate teaching and learning techniques that help learners grasp issues more effectively. As a result, the use of video games has been incorporated in the classroom as it has been proved to educe and bring forth attention, concentration, and curiosity in the learning process (Dale, 2008).

Other than the incorporation of video games in the process of learning, teachers have embraced the importance of social media in learning. Due to the ever advancing and changing technology, both learners and teachers have been able to socialise and interact through the social media. Some of the most widely used social media sites by the youths include facebook and twitter. According to Seaman and Tinti-Kane (2013), In the process of socialising, learners and teachers have been able to exchange ideas at the click of a button. In the modern world, almost every student in learning institutions especially in colleges and universities own a phone or laptop. Through these gadgets, they are able to communicate with each other through online chatting.

By accessing students’ updates in the social media, teachers, parents, and guardians are able to gauge the level of understanding of students in a particular field. In doing so, they have a chance to offer guidance to these learners. Recent studies have shown that a large percentage of learners have at various instances or occasions learnt new information or facts from other learners through the social media. Learners and teachers as well are involved in creating social groups on facebook and twitter through which academic related discussions are held. One advantage of the social media in learning is the fact that an individual is offered a chance to learn at the comfort of his/her home. Some learners may also find it difficult to concentrate in class. Such students may not necessarily be left out in learning as lecture notes and other relevant information can be uploaded through social media for all to see (Seaman and Tinti-Kane, 2013). When learners are advised and encouraged by their teachers to regularly update their feelings on particular subjects or topics on the social media, teachers can use this data to identify areas of weaknesses and take action expeditiously.

In relation to educational psychology, social media is considered a mechanism that enhances learning. However, the social media may be used to share irrelevant information and hence lead to a lot of time wastage. In some instances, the use of social media may distract learners and teachers. The use of social media and the internet in general have also contributed to cheating in learning. This is attributed to the fact that learners are able to easily access other people’s ideas via the internet and incorporate them in their academic projects or exams as their own (Wankel, Marovich and Stanaityte, 2011). This has led to many incidences of plagiarism and many learners have been penalised for it. Some learners do not bother paraphrasing other people’s ideas and this leads to laziness.

 

References

Dale, Y. (2008). Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective. Indianapolis: Pearson Education Publishing.

Guithrie, L., Victoria, M. & Patrick, P. (2011). Understanding and Applying Cognitive Development Theory: New Directions for Student Services. Pittsburgh: John Wiley & Sons.

Lewis, C. & Bremner, G. (2005). Development psychology: Perceptual and Cognitive Development. New York: SAGE Publications.

Seaman, J & Tinti-Kane, H. (2013). Social Media for Teaching and Learning. Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson Learning Solutions. Retrieved from http://www.pearsonlearningsolutions.com/higher-education/social-media-survey.php

Smith, H. A. (2007). Teaching Adolescents: Educational Psychology As A Science Of Signs. Toronto: University Of Toronto Press.

Taylor, M. L. (2005). Introducing cognitive development. London: Psychology Press.

Wankel, C., Marovich, M., & Stanaityte, J. (Eds.). (2011). Teaching arts and science with the new social media (Vol. 3). Emerald Group Publishing.

Contemporary techniques in learning psychology

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In the modern world, both students and teachers have embraced the use of modern techniques in learning. This blog entry focuses on issues of modern techniques in learning psychology. The conventional techniques have therefore been ignored as learners have preferred technological methods particularly the use of computers, internet, and other gadgets such as tablets and sophisticated phones. The minds of the modern learners necessitate reorganization of the inflexible and unyielding tactics associated with the traditional way of learning and adopt sinuous techniques. The adoption of these techniques have necessitated for novel ways of comprehending learning. One of the major problems associated with the use of technology in learning is the fact that most instructors lack the necessary skills on the basis of modern technology appropriate for teaching these learners. According to Lytras et-al (2010), “The greatest issue is stems from the fact that some teachers are no longer literacy experts when it comes to digital media and web 2.0. These changes entail the professional retraining of those teachers not yet familiar with the ITC’s; If educators want to have their students motivated to learn, they have to keep up with the latest technologies” (p. 86).

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Modern technologies in learning have contributed to the development of various internet-based systems that are beneficial in education psychology. These systems ensures the involvement of learners, encourages novelty as well as advancements. Some of the internet and local connection networks incorporated in the learning process motivates and encourages both the learners and teachers to connect and form internet based relations that enable them to exchange ideas and boost their skills and abilities. For instance, such internet based systems and local network connections enable individuals to compete in games, and also allow them to exchange learning related ideas and information (Feldman, 2009).

Research has shown that digital relations through certain computer systems engender a number of morals and principles. According to Harris (2008), these include the relation factor, achievement factor, and satisfaction. Relation factor denotes the fact that these computer systems enabling learners to play games online and as well compete in other internet-based activities ensures the formation of relationships and associations among the individuals involved. The achievement factor indicates that learners are able to obtain or get hold of a variety of skills and abilities through these competitions. Through these relationships and associations, learners are able to develop psychologically.

Social Media Logotype Background

To comprehend the aspects of modern techniques in learning, it is of significance to elucidate the issue of social networking. The digital revolution has enabled learners to connect through the numerous social networks available in the internet. Learners have been able to share academic information through the internet particularly through e-mails, blogs, twitter, and facebook (Wankel, Marovich & Stanaityte, 2011). All these have been made possible by the current developments in technology. Therefore, learners form or create discussion teams through social sites where they exchange ideas. However, the use of computers and learning through the internet has contributed to cheating in learning. Due to the fact that learners are able to access information easily through the internet, some of them just copy and paste the ideas of other people hence leading to plagiarism. When learners are given assignments or projects by their instructors, they can easily access similar assignments and projects in the internet. Some don’t bother paraphrasing and citing references appropriately (Taylor, 2005). In a nutshell, though modern techniques in learning psychology have many benefits such as encouraging motivation and acquisition of skills and abilities, it also has a lot of disadvantages.

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References

Feldman, R. S. (2009). Essentials of Understanding psychology. New York, USA: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Harris, M. (2008). Exploring development psychology: Understanding theory and methods. London, UK: Sage Publications Limited.

Lytras, M. D., De Pablos, P. O., Avison, D., Sipior, J., Jin, Q., ;Leal, W., Uden, L., Thomas, M., Cervai, S., & Horner, D. (2010). Technology Enhanced Learning: Quality of Teaching and Educational Reform. Berlin, Germany: Springer.

Taylor, M. L. (2005). Introducing cognitive development. London, UK: Psychology Press.

Wankel, C., Marovich, M., & Stanaityte, J. (2011). Teaching arts and science with the new social media. Bingley, England: Emerald Group Publishing.

Social Media in Education

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Social media is a system that has been associated by the young generations for some time; there are websites which have been established as to facilitate communications across the globe. Currently, social networks like ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’ and ‘Instagram’ are ranked as the most popular social networks because they have the highest number of subscribers. Social media has been mostly associated with the young generation (Wankel, et al 2011) and in situations has become the worldwide trend in relation to transfer of information. As much as social networks are considered for fun related purposes and simple casual interaction the educative part that they can provide has been undermined.

Current research (Seaman, 2013) shows that the use of social media in higher education from 2012 to 2013 has increased 21.3%. It also indicates that 41% of faculty in higher education use social media in the classroom and are having more interest in the ability to leverage social tools to facilitate engagement with course material and to encourage the learning process. Approximately 60% educators believe that the interactive nature of e-learning and other mobile technologies make a better learning environment for students. However 56% of them agree that the same online and mobile technologies may have a negative effect on learning, such as distractions. In spite of the possibility of distractions, nearly 80% of them say that the use of e-learning and mobile technologies has increased the communication between student and teacher.

As an example, there are Facebook groups for most of the modules which allow students to share useful information about the course and discuss particular topics within Psychology (peer-to-peer has never been so great!). Meanwhile, some of the lecturers share information and discuss with students through Twitter (teacher-student interaction made easy). In addition, this module shows the success of social media within education as we are using social media (blog) to share, discuss and learn about the science of education, aren’t we?

Social Media Logotype Background

Nowadays, students in many occasions are known to share their lives in the social media; this from a perspective can be very useful to personalities like teachers and parents. By parents being able to access the accounts or the ‘pages’ of these students they can indulge in the life of the student and advise them accordingly (Gaston, 2013). A student may update his account on his thoughts of a certain subject this can be useful to teachers as they can get to know the weakness of their students and find out the way to help them.

Social media from a learning perspective involves the use of words which are shared from interaction with various people across the globe (Walker, 2007). Although some might argue that using social media may limit ones vocabulary level, I believe this could be used as a way to increase the vocabulary levels of students (especially to non-native English speakers like me, I have learnt quite a lot of vocabulary from the social media). By putting to use the various educative pages in the websites, the vocabulary level of students is set to improve.

The basic idea of utilization of the websites is the use of fun to instill educative values in the people who utilize the social media. This can be done not by force but ensuring that there are ways that students can utilize educative pages, the educative values will improve.

The level by which educative pages are utilized in social media is still much undermined; this may be due to ignorance or lack of the knowledge of the pages. The principals can be accountable in ensuring that there is improvement in schools, this can be done by constantly monitoring the updates as to be able to identify the weakness or the strength of the students.

There are always two sides to a coin. If we use social media wisely, it can be beneficial to education, vice versa. What are your thoughts?

 

References

Gaston, P. L. (2013). Higher Education Accreditation: How It’s Changing, why it Must. Stylus Publishing, LLC.

Wankel, C., Marovich, M., & Stanaityte, J. (Eds.). (2011). Teaching arts and science with the new social media (Vol. 3). Emerald Group Publishing.

Walker, R. (2007). Music education: Cultural values, social change and innovation. Charles C Thomas Publisher.

Seaman, J & Tinti-Kane, H. Social Media for Teaching and Learning. (2013). Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson Learning Solutions.
Available at http://www.pearsonlearningsolutions.com/higher-education/social-media-survey.php

Science of Education: Student – Teacher

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In my previous blog entries, I got a clear understanding of the benefits of blogs and how they are applied to psychological principles in education. Education in psychology is a learning process for both teachers and students. It is a two-way traffic, as a teacher needs to understand his students in order to be able to impact knowledge to them. It is the responsibility of teachers to understand the needs, desires and beliefs of their students (Clayton, 2011). This understanding can only be achieved when a teacher interacts and scrutinizes the students’ language and their behavior. This assists a teacher to understand how the mind of his students work and rectify any false beliefs they might have.

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It is not possible for a teacher to understand how the mind of each student functions thus making it impossible to attain a goal of this kind (Feldman, 2009). This is because every child has a different mind made by his childhood experiences. Therefore, a teacher needs to individually attend to each student to understand how his or her knowledge is formed which is very impossible in a large classroom.

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Some researchers believe that it is possible to understand the mind of people as a group rather than individuals. For instances, there are students who have troubled persona or satisfied personal life but when they come to school their aim is to achieve education (Harris, 2008). In this scenario, all students have a common aim of receiving education as they work together as a team. Collective learning is achieved when students share and read assignments in classroom. Therefore, teachers need to move away from the convectional way of imparting knowledge and concentrate on the technique of reading assignments in the classroom. This will allow each party to understand how the minds of others function.

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References

Clayton, S. (2011). Conservation Psychology: Understanding and promoting human care for nature. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Feldman, R. S. (2009). Essential of understanding psychology. New York: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Harris, M. (2008). Exploring developmental psychology: Understanding theory and methods. London: SAGE Publications Limited.

Science of Education

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Education in psychology is a learning process not only for the students but for teachers as well. According to Harris (2008), a teacher must know his pupil in order to impart knowledge to them. Harris (2008) elucidates the ‘theory of mind’ and how it could be useful in knowing people around one’s entourage. The theory of mind is the ability to understand the needs, desires, intentions, knowledge and beliefs of other people. This understanding can be made by actively interacting with people and carefully scrutinizing their natural language, body language and behavior. This for example would enable a teacher to know how the mind of his students functions. It would be much easier for him to rectify any false beliefs that exist in their mind.

Clayton (2011) believes that it is not possible for the teacher to know the minds of all of its students. It is impossible to accomplish a goal of this nature. Every person has a different mind mainly made of the experience they share and attain at each level of childhood. In order to understand how their knowledge if formed, a teacher would need to give individual attention to each one of them which is not possible in a fairly medium or large class room.

However, Harris (2008) and Feldman (2009) believe that it is possible to understand people collectively and regard them as a group rather than individuals. Students for examples might have a troubled or a very satisfied personal life at home but in institutions they come with an aim to receive education. All of them have a common aim and they would learn with the help of each other. Students will always think differently and have different opinions about subjects and that is what will make the leaning process more effective. Collective leaning can come in the form of reading assignments in class rooms or where ever large numbers of students are available. Sharing assignments and interacting more often is the right way to go.

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Harris (2008) and Feldman (2009) believe that teachers will have to move away from their conventional techniques of imparting education to children. The number of assignments could be reduced but it is more important to read them out in class so that the teacher and students understand how the mind of others functions around them. This would be much more beneficial than just going on the internet and completing assignments that would not be remembered for long unless revised for the rest of the life. Learning through the assignments of others would present more view points and it would be better for learning.

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References

Clayton, S. (2011). Conservation Psychology: Understanding and promoting human care for nature. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Feldman, R. S. (2009). Essential of understanding psychology. New York: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Harris, M. (2008). Exploring developmental psychology: Understanding theory and methods. London: SAGE Publications Limited.

Principles of Psychology as they apply to Learning and Education

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One can describe educational psychology as a process of teaching and learning. However, most educational psychologists focus on studying ways for improving teaching and learning. Educational psychology covers topics that span individual differences, human development, learning, measurements and motivation. Psychology in education is driven by theory and data. Therefore, educational psychology focuses on the application of psychological methods during the study of motivation, development, learning, assessment and instructions (Smith, 2007). The discipline also focuses on issues that influence the relationship between learning and teaching. This blog entry aims to explore the principles of psychology as they apply to education and learning.

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The first principle of psychology in education and learning is the need to comprehend the meaning of education and teaching. It is vital to have a basis for making decisions concerning teaching and learning.

The second principle is the belief that education requires the teacher or educator to have knowledge about the student. The teacher must also have the ability to understand the characteristics, needs and differences of the students (Anderson & Faust, 1973).

The third principle is the function of instructions in learning and education. The participants in an educational system need to concentrate on the instructional strategies that are effective. This principle also requires participants to identify the best environments for learning.

The fourth principle is the comprehension of the assessment strategies (Peterson, Clark & Dickson, 2002). The principle requires educationists to have instruments and tools that will provide techniques that will determine the outcome of an education.

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Conclusion

Psychology in education is driven by theory and data. Therefore, educational psychology focuses on the application of psychological methods during the study of motivation, development, learning, assessment and instructions. There are several principles of psychology as they apply to learning and education.  These principles support the way an education system supports and meets the needs of students. Additionally, they provide platforms for solving challenges that face modern educational systems.

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References

Anderson, R. C., & Faust, G. W. (1973). Educational Psychology: The Science of Instruction and Learning. New York [U.A.]: Harper & Row.

Peterson, P., Clark, C., & Dickson, W. (2002). Educational Psychology as a Foundation in Teacher Education: Reforming an Old Notion. Teachers College Record.

Smith, H. A. (2007). Teaching Adolescents: Educational Psychology As A Science Of Signs. Toronto: University Of Toronto Press.

Benefits of Video Games in Learning

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Further to last week’s blog entry, after developing a comprehensive understanding on the science of learning, I am going to look further into documented benefits of video games during learning processes.

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Relevant research findings from a social background show that every household in America has at least a television, a video gaming device or audio devices. According to Bremner and Lewis (2005), the same research show that individuals between the ages of 13-24 spend at least six hours every day using the media equipments mentioned within the preceding sentence. In this context, it is evident that visual and audio equipment generates substantial interest among the youth population. One benefit attributed to video games is the ability to elicit motivation and empowering feelings among students. Motivation and empowerment generates interest that enables students to continue doing a similar thing in a repetitive manner. In the process, repetitiveness corresponds to the four-cycle stages of experimental learning. On the other hand, empowerment generates interest and fosters confidence. Bremner and Lewis (2005) say that confidence and interest features as the most appropriate factors that can facilitate learning. With respect to a classroom setting, video games can lead to the development of confidence and motivation among students.

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Another educational benefit of video games is the fact that most games are challenging. Technical design of video games aims at creating challenges where scores achieved corresponds to the player’s skills. Those players with advanced skills are more likely to score highly than players with limited skills. In addition, typical video games have a problem that players strive to solve. Dale (2008) agrees that players can usually achieve solutions to the underlying problems in many ways. Still on the design of video games, progress through various game scenes presents impossible challenges. In an event that these students tackle the seemingly impossible situations within the game, they will end up feeling empowered and heroes. Within an actual learning environment in a classroom, games will enable students to appreciate challenges of academic problems. In the process, they will strive to strive to demonstrate their ability to handle seemingly impossible problems. According to Smith (2004), this will facilitate learning since the frequency of playing games is directly proportional to the ability to conceptualize learning outcomes.

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References

Dale, Y. (2008). Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective. Indianapolis: Pearson Education Publishing.

Lewis, C. & Bremner, G. (2005). Development psychology: Perceptual and Cognitive Development. New York: SAGE Publications.

Smith, N. (2004). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. Glasgow: Palgrave Macmillan Publishing.

Video Games in Learning?

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Within the academic sector, teachers usually try to device mechanisms through which they can improve engagement in classroom settings. Iskander (2008) says that prior to evolution of technological tools like computers and audio devices, teachers administered knowledge and information through board writings. In contemporary times, technological innovations facilitated the development of computer, which plays a significant role in implementing teaching programs in learning institutions. In a large classroom setting, computers usually require supplementary devices like projectors and audio devices. Development of appropriate software like PowerPoint enables tutors and students to view information in the text or visual forms. According to Guithrie, Patrick and Victoria (2011), psychology of learning suggest that the visual presentation of information on a white board does to elicit the required level of attention among the student population. Therefore, specific studies suggest that other technological techniques which attract student’s attention could facilitate learning. In this regard, video games feature as the most appropriate element that can elicit desired interest and attention among learners.

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In order to appreciate and understand the role of video games in learning, it would be appropriate to understand the psychological nature of cognitive enhancement. According to Guithrie et al, (2011), numerous learning theories will serve the purpose of validating advantages of interactive tools in the classroom. One such theory involves the aspect of sensory stimulation. Research on cognitive development indicates that individuals can only learn after developing an elevated sense of sensory arousal. In this case, arousal entails manipulation of human senses of hearing and sight. In addition, sensory stimulation comes with corresponding emotional feelings that reinforce acquisition of appropriate learning attitudes. Additional information proves that approximately 70% of knowledge held by students comes from seeing. On the other hand, the sense of hearing accounts for 15% of the total information known by an average student within a learning facility. The sense of touch, smell and task only accounts for a cumulative total of 15%. This means that learning is directly proportional to sensory stimulation. Having acknowledges these facts about cognitive development; the next step entails selection of appropriate tools meant to facilitate sensory stimulation. In this case, visual and audio media devices features as the most appropriate techniques of eliciting desired stimulation on the sight and hearing senses.

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Apart from the learning theory of sensory stimulation, cognitive studies suggest that experiment and empirical practices facilitate learning activities. In this context, studies shows that students learn the most through practical processes as opposed to lectures in classroom settings. A famous psychologist named Kolb proposed that experimental learning comprise of four procedural phases. In the first phase, students start learning whenever they concentrate on an experiment. Sciences, especially chemistry involves reactions giving changes in color and volumes. In this case, students learn to actively concentrate on doing the experiment in order to get expected results. Taylor (2005) says that the second phase involves reflective observation. Upon obtaining expected results, students will engage in an active analysis meant to explain the outcome. The third phase involves general conceptualization of analysis findings develop in the preceding stage. Students develop interests internalizing understanding from the previous outcomes. According to Taylor (2005), the last step in experimental learning refers to active empirical undertakings. Within this phase, learners will strive to simulate further experiments in an effort to obtain customized or improved outcomes. Therefore, in the context of video games, students will strive to play additional scenes in order to increase their score.

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References

Guithrie, L., Victoria, M. & Patrick, P. (2011). Understanding and Applying Cognitive Development Theory: New Directions for Student Services. Pittsburgh: John Wiley & Sons.

Iskander, M. (2008). Innovative Techniques in Instruction Technology: E-learning, E-assessment and Education. Birmingham. Springer Publishers.

Taylor, M. L. (2005). Introducing cognitive development. London: Psychology Press.

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