Excitement brings success: New boost from online learning environment

SAMK is going through a digi leap. Teaching and learning increasingly involve digital services with multiple possibilities. Mari Linna and Annika Valo are breathtakingly excited about online studies.

19.10.2016 | By: Jonna Seppälä | Photo: Katri Väkiparta

Lähikuva, Mari Linna ja Annika Valo
Mari Linna & Annika Valo

Teaching and learning increasingly involve digital services with multiple possibilities. Digitality motivates students and there are plenty of positive challenges in the teacher’s work. One has to have an open-mind, a brave attitude and willingness to move forward in this kind of work.  The world is changing and also teaching and learning are changing.
Mari Linna and Annika Valo are breathtakingly excited about online studies. They have just returned from a week-long conference trip to Tallinn, Estonia. There they had a chance to present the pearl of SAMK's online pedagogy, the HILL concept as well as online pedagogy in language teaching to colleagues from around the world.

See also their presentation Flipped Online Language Teaching. How? Using the HILL Concept.

 

“HILL has a lot of possibilities. I get excited again and again about the possibility to make interaction possible and to facilitate students’ learning online” Annika Valo says.

“However, when we talk about online teaching, it is important to remember that this is only a device not an end itself. The most important thing is to think about what kind of skills we want our students to learn. After that we can choose the digital service or device in order to support the achievement of these goals” Mari Linna and Annika Valo conclude.

Challenges set by digital natives

Digitality is a big part of the present society and its use is increasing rapidly. It also provides more possibilities for arranging training.
“Studying or teaching cannot be separated from the rest of society. If we want to remain competitive, we have to provide the best possible teaching, which prepares the young for future challenges and the employment market” Mari Linna says.
In the future, it will be even more important to possess social skills, an ability to solve problems and make decisions, when the world moves more and more online. Online teaching supports the development of these skills and they are adopted as a side product of learning the content of the course. Digital skills will be a necessary part of professionalism in all fields.

 

Digital teaching involves courage, unbiased attitude and an ability to throw oneself into new things.  New digital skills are also important for teachers, even though one might feel a little restrained about digitality. People can stop believing in themselves and their abilities, when new development is needed and leaving one’s comfort zone becomes necessary. In addition to excitement a lot of time is needed to learn new things.

SAMK is starting Digi Mentor functions to make the digi leap easier, to encourage new forms of teaching and functions and to share good practices in online teaching. Also Valo and Linna are involved in these functions. Development of digi mentorship is part of a broader training programme which aims at improving the staff’s digital skills and which is carried out in cooperation with the teacher training department of Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences.

New era in language teaching

Annika Valo’s and Mari Linna’s pedagogy is based on flipped learning and on work in small groups. Before meeting online the students familiarize themselves with the topic with the help of videos and electronic material. Online meetings are often carried out in small groups where students practise oral language skills under the guidance of the teacher. Valo and Linna have developed their teaching together, which helps in maintaining interest although sometimes there are also setbacks.

Valo and Linna have developed their teaching together, which helps in maintaining interest although sometimes there are also setbacks.

“Students have said that they have sometimes learnt to know their fellow students even better than in traditional classroom teaching”, Annika Valo explains.

BYOD – Bring your own device

BYOD – Bring your own device is a concept which is becoming more common in enterprises and in educational institutions. Also SAMK students have to use their own terminal from the beginning of autumn term 2017. Teachers’ computers in the classrooms will also decrease and teachers are expected to use their own laptop.

Please find more information on BYOD in SAMK.

19.10.2016 | By: Jonna Seppälä | Photo: Katri Väkiparta

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