Scientists, Teachers and Teacher Educators Work Together to Combat the Spread of Infection

At the same time that the Coronavirus outbreak had just begun in China, the Society for Applied Microbiology was publishing an article called ‘A Germ’s Journey’ documenting how scientists , teachers and teacher educators worked together, sharing their knowledge freely world wide, to create a MESHguide knowledge map/research summary (www.meshguide.org) for teachers - to promote personal hygiene and cleanliness and stressing the importance of careful handwashing.

Conclusion

This Action Research intervention examined using online tools to enable learners to exchange ideas and data, with the aim to increase engagement and motivation for each learner. 

 

Conclusion

The teacher‘s focus is on the pedagogical use of the technology to facilitate the learning and engagement on an environmental issue.

The technology enabled intercultural dialogue and exchange that enabled more authentic learning of a real-world problem as pupils heard first hand of the impact of pollution on the Okavango delta (global level) and their own waterways (their canals and rivers in their city - local level).

 

Making Claims

Whatever the teacher discovered in this one cycle of Action Research could be applied to other intercultural projects that also wanted to exploit online collaboration across countries/schools and classes, to enhance the learning of a topic. 

 

Making Claims

The aim was to see if the technology enhanced pupil engagement in the topic and motivated them to complete the tasks in their online groups. Also, did it aid their learning of the curriculum content on the environment and enhance intercultural understanding of climate change in other countries. 

Data Analysis

The teacher chose to collect two types of data. The first set was observations of each lesson and watching the children use the teams platform, and see how they engaged with the different functions in their groups.

The second set of data was from the summative survey of pupils where she asked a set of questions that got each pupil to evaluate their use of the online platform. 

The teacher could check one set of data (her observation notes, from the series of lessons with the technology) against the data set of the pupils' use of the technology, from the pupil survey. 

Data Analysis

At the end of the six week project, Shima wrote an online pupil questionnaire, which collated the data and presented this in a graphical format. Shima could identify which aspects of the technology were engaging for the pupils and were effective in helping them to collaborate and finish the presentation and report. 

Shima reflected on the first cycle of Action Research and evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of this approach to teaching the topic via using an online platform. What were the benefits to using the technology and what were the affordances of the technology?

Cycles of Action and Data Collection

The teacher reflected on the first trial of using the technology to teach this topic. She was able to assess their final reports and presentations to see if they understood the topic and had gained intercultural insights into the local nuances of the environmental threats.

She also collected and analysed data from the pupil questionnaire about which aspects of the technology the children found engaging and helped their learning.

Cycle 1 

Cycles of Action and Data Collection

This is a six week project, in which the pupils work across each country and meet each week to share what they have found out about their local environmental issue. This data can be gathered via secondary sources (of environmental reports/news items) and primary data gathered through local experts/community members - by asking what the ‘threats and challenges’ are to the local environment.

Pedagogical Focus

During the first cycle, the teacher wanted to make the lessons more engaging for pupils through using technology to communicate with other children, in another country - to bring the issues to life. 

Reflecting on this process, she could gather information on what worked well from her observations during the lessons each week, alongside looking at what aspects/functions of the technology on the online platform had been used. 

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