As discussed in previous blogs, there are many different types of digital technology that can be used to enhance learning within education. However, there are three specific digital tools that will be focused on to evaluate them and compare them again st each other. These will be Kahoot, Moodle, and Facebook.
This specific digital tool is used by teachers as an assessment method, which previously explained, is called a digital assessment design (see digital assessment design blog to read more about it).
Kahoot is beneficial for learners of all ages with it being a great group learning resource where own smart devices can be used (Bharti, 2014, online). This tool is very fun and exciting for students due to the time limit element, and the point scoring involved. It is effective in assessing pupils learning for most ages, as it encourages students to concentrate due to wanting to gain the most points and be at the top of leader board. Students concentrating will hopefully lead to answering correctly, showing they have learnt something new. However, there could potentially be some problems with this aspect due to the time limit given. Some students may feel pressure and stress with choosing an answer in the time given, as they feel they need to rush in which they do not read the question or answers given properly, therefore may choose the wrong answer. This would more than likely only occur with a younger age as they more bothered about winning, than answering correctly. Where as students in high school or further education would benefit from this tool more, as they would be more aware of the situation and rules of the game. They would also find this fun and exciting, just like the younger ages, as myself and university group all enjoyed this when our tutor used it with us.
It was intriguing to create one of these quizzes myself to gain an insight into how easy the tool is from a teacher’s perspective who creates them. Putting the quiz together was very easy and straight forward, as it took you through the process step by step- adding a question one at a time, and then giving four answers with the correct one embedded. You can also use a quiz that has previously been made, if there is one that relates to what you have taught, which also saves you time in making one from scratch. This tool is very beneficial for the teacher, as it is a powerful tool for formative assessment (Lipp, 2015, online), to assess their class in terms of what they know and need to improve on due to being able to view the users answers. Here is evidence of using the tool, Kahoot to create my own quiz.
Adding questions to the quiz:
Once the quiz is created, you can always go back, edit the questions or add more, which is useful for teachers to use again in the future once they have built upon the topic and students have learnt more:
With Kahoot, using it in education leads to it linking to a certain science that teachers will encounter, which is neuroscience. This has been fully explained and related to education in another blog, named Theories supporting the digital pedagogy. How Kahoot uses this, is through being a stimuli that engages children in the quiz whilst they are actually learning through revising by the questions being asked, and the teacher assessing them. If the teacher identifies this as an effective assessing tool as the pupils are stimulated by it, which ultimately increases achievement, then they are more likely to use this again in their class. If this game, which is the stimuli, is repeated then it will help bond pupil’s neurons, which helps their memory to recall the information being delivered in the quiz (Karam, 2012).
Kahoot would also use the learning theory of behaviourism in the sense of positive reinforcement. As there is a competition element with the leader board, pupils try their hardest so they win, in which if they do win they will be at the top of the leader board. As other pupils can see this it makes them feel proud and good of what they have achieved, therefore it makes them perform like this again in the future when the game is used, which overall helps to increase the achievement. Therefore the leader board would be the stimuli that is reinforced after the behaviour, to make the behaviour more likely to occur again (Cherry, 2017, online)
Moving onto the next tool that will be evaluate- Moodle, which is an authoring tool used as Open Source Learning Management System (see authoring tools blog posts to read more about it).
As a current student using Moodle for my degree course, it is easy to identify the strengths and weaknesses of this digital tool. Having access to Moodle as a student is very useful in being able to go back and revisit a certain topic that you may need to recap/revise on to deepen your understanding of this topic. Teachers upload documents and files that are relevant to the subject to help you in broadening your subject knowledge. This is effective for students because if they know materials and resources are on their Moodle page, they are more likely to do extended reading and work whilst at home. They know they do not have to go and find these themselves as they are given to them, which is easier and time saving. There are options for discussion forums, file downloads, instant messages, assignment submissions and online quizzes for both teachers and students to use on Moodle (Lewis, 2015, online), which is useful having all these in place.It is effective for students to use due to the fact that lessons and PowerPoints used in the classroom can be uploaded, therefore if there is any circumstances that you cannot attend, this will still be available for them view, so that they are not put a disadvantage of learning this specific subject area.
From a a teachers view on Moodle, and testing the page out in creating a page for students, it is not as easy as it seems when using the tool as a student. It is difficult to create a course on Moodle from scratch as teacher who is new to it, as everything has to be inputted, and the help from the site is not very explicit- it has to be found by yourself. However, once the tool has been explored and experimented for a while, the ways to use and create thing within the course becomes clearer and easier for the teacher. Once the course on Moodle is created, it is simple and straight forward for the audience to use, however getting there can sometimes be difficult for the teacher. Here is evidence of using Moodle to create a page from a teachers view:
Reviewing the two tools so far, they are obviously very different from each other in terms of their usage by students. Both Kahoot, and Moodle can be reached by a wide range of ages and would be effective to sue by them all if they are shown how to use them. However, Moodle is more aimed at the older age category, recommending it to those of further and higher education for them access resources and materials when not in lesson as timetables tend to be shorter than that of primary and secondary schools. Kahoot is a lot more easier to use than Moodle, as the process is broken down for you. Moodle is merged into one page where you choose to edit which part you would like within the same page, where as Kahoot takes you from one page to another. This makes it easier to follow as it flows better and takes you through, rather than having to find the information and help yourself, like with Moodle.
Linking Moodle to a science that has been explained previously, this would encounter the cognitive science, and the learning theory of cognitivism. Moodle can be used for flipped learning, where the introduction to a subject is on Moodle for pupils to access before the lesson. This is where cognitive science comes into it, as they assimilate new information that is uploaded on Moodle, into already existing schemes that have similar material (Grassetti & Brookby, 2016, p. 69). Making links to existing knowledge helps to understand the new information before entering the lesson.
Within another blog, social media has been explored and how these can benefit students in terms of their education. One of the ways social media can be used, is the tool of Facebook. Individual pages and groups can be made within Facebook, with the admin (the teacher in this case) only adding the users of the class/school to be able to see the information posted on there. This is an effective tool in making communication between other students and teachers a lot more easier and quicker as they do not have to meet in person to ask a quick question (Surakka, 2012, p. 10). Questions can be posted on there if someone needs any help, in which all of the class will be reached, allowing either another student to answer if they know, otherwise the teacher will be available to do so. It also allows discussions to be had, where students may struggle with a certain topic or aspect, other students can talk amongst themselves on this to get different views and opinions, instead of the teacher giving the answer all the time.
Resources used or created within a lesson can be posted onto the Facebook group for students to view in the future for example. for revision tools, which is effective as they can straight to this and learn instead of having to search somewhere for it which would be time consuming. This is also beneficial for students who miss a lesson, for them to access what has been used or completed in class, by going onto the group page and retrieving this. This is just as effective as using Moodle for the same reason, as both of these digital tools can be used for this. Here is an example of using a Facebook group where you can post, discuss and add pictures for other members of the group to see:
A disadvantage that teachers may face with having a Facebook group for their class, is that they may take advantage of this and not use the group for the teachers main purpose. Students may abuse this and use it at their own pleasure and not for the subject. It is seen as a distraction as students may ignore the value it brings to help with homework or revision and spend the time using Facebook for other reasons (Smith, 2016, online). This leads to learning outside the classroom not occurring as it should, as they are distracted with the other uses of Facebook, and would rather use these than the class group. As Facebook is also like an instant messenger, this is effective in reaching other users in answering questions, however some students may use to talk to other students inappropriately. It may encourage cyber-bullying that the students are unaware they are doing with saying what they want to someone that they do not like, as they would not say this to their face. This puts all students at risk, as potentially any of the users are open to doing this.
Evaluating Facebook, it is similar to Moodle in the way it can be used and how, with materials and resources posted on their for students to use at different times. Facebook would be the easier tool to use to access this, as once logged into the group/page, the resources are their in one feed to view, where as with Moodle there can be several pages in which students have to go through to find the specific resource they would like to view. Comparing Facebook to Kahoot, they are both straight forward in how to use them with buttons in tool bars to organise the information, and take you to other pages. Moodle is the hardest of the three to use because it is set out differently which is more difficult due to the amount of pages you can incorporate, however once this has been explored and used frequently students do get used to the layout and format, making it easy to use like the other tools.
For Facebook and Moodle, there is one main disadvantage that can be encountered for teachers. Not all students are financially able to afford digital tools and technologies at home, therefore cannot access the tools like Facebook and Moodle when at home. This instantly places them below the other students in relation to extended learning as they simply will not be able to do this, therefore they are only able to learn when in the classroom. Their achievement is then put at risk as the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding does not exist. This problem would not occur with Kahoot as this is used in the classroom to assess the students at the same time, therefore digital technology will be provided by the school, in order for this to work. All students with then get the chance to use digital tools if Kahoot is used in class, unlike Facebook and Moodle which is usually used for access outside of the classroom.
As Facebook is similar to Moodle, as they both allow students to access materials through them, Facebook also can use the theory of cognitive science. This is because a Facebook group can allow revision tools to be posted for students to access whenever they like, where they can view this information, whether it is new to them or not, to learn and memorise e.g. for exams. This is helping and testing their memory which is the main part of cognitivism, as cognitive science works out how the brain functions in terms of the humans memory and processing information.
So in summary, there are many digital tools out there for teachers to use in their lessons, with three being the ones evaluated. All have their benefits and advantages for both teachers and students, with a few having some disadvantages that may be faced when in use. Overall any digital tool used in education, is known to enhance learning and development therefore should be used more often within schools.
Bharti, P., 2014. EdTechReview: How Kahoot Can Help Teachers to Engage Students. [Online]Available at: http://edtechreview.in/news/1490-how-kahoot-can-help-teachers-to-engage-students %5BAccessed 02 04 2018].
Cherry, K., 2017. VeryWellMind: Positive Reinforcement and Operant Conditioning. [Online]Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-positive-reinforcement-2795412 [Accessed 27 03 2018].
Grassetti, M. & Brookby, S., 2016. Advancing Next-Generation Teacher Education through Digital Tools and Applications. USA: IGI Global.
Karam, D. W., 2012. Neuroscience: a Medical Student’s Guide. North America: Trafford Publishing.
Lewis, N., 2015. My LMS Tips. [Online]
Available at: http://www.mylmstips.com/top-4-benefits-of-using-moodle-for-your-school-why-it-works-as-a-platform-for-student-teacher-interaction-2/ [Accessed 02 04 2018].
Lipp, G., 2015. Learning Innovation: Kahoot! as Formative Assessment. [Online]
Available at: https://learninginnovation.duke.edu/blog/2015/07/kahoot-as-formative-assessment/ %5BAccessed 02 04 2018].
Smith, B., 2016. Study Moose. [Online] Available at: https://studymoose.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-using-facebook-by-students-essay# %5BAccessed 02 04 2018].
Surakka, J., 2012. ePub – Proceedings of the 4th European Conference on on Intellectual Capital: ECIC 2012. Finland: Academic Conferences Limited.