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jeudi 9 août 2018 / Catégories: Mathématiques

Education of tomorrow: digital technologies at the support of student-centred learning

by Bingen Anne-Elisabeth

This work consists of innovating education with the support of digital
technologies. In the USA, schools have already experienced various forms of
multimedia throughout the 20th century, with however poor evidence that
technology led to sustainable educational improvement. Recent digital
technologies, which have only been affordable and available to the public on a
large scale since quite recently, outperform the old ones and allow a more
efficient and individualised use of various multimedia. The aim of this project
is to test a Blended Learning environment, i.e. a formal education programme,
where a student learns partly through online learning, with some elements of
self-control, such as time, place and pace. I wished to collect evidence that
such a model favours student-centred learning, providing students with
meaningful feedback and promoting their autonomy. I implemented my
project in the mathematic course in a grade 7 technique class in the Lycée
technique d’Esch-sur-Alzette, where each student was equipped with a
personal tablet device (iPad). I implemented a Blended Learning course on
the entire algebra chapter on fractions, over a period of 7 weeks. During this
period, students worked at their own pace, individually, in pairs or in groups
with the support of the multimedia material accessible through their iPad
tablets, including videos, interactive exercises and online tests, which I
prepared beforehand. While students were responsible for their own learning
progress, the teacher was available for assistance.
The results were very encouraging: all students benefitted from the method;
stronger students could go beyond the required level of knowledge and could
deepen their understanding through helping others, while weaker students
could benefit from a more available teacher and from collaborating with peers.
Although there is no significant evidence that Blended Learning has led to
improving students’ grades, probably due to the short implementation phase
of the project, it has led to a positive increase of their level of commitment
and autonomy. Overall students have appreciated working with the iPads and
preferred it to the traditional classroom. I therefore see a huge potential for
this teaching concept in the future. Due to the high level of preparation
required for such lessons, implementing Blended Learning on an everyday
basis is only realistic if supported by enhanced collaboration between teachers.

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