Thursday, 12 April 2012

Assessment Activity - Week 2: De Bono's Six Thinking Hats

 De Bono's Six Thinking Hats

  Mobile Phones - should they be used in the classroom?

The engagement activity this week was to using de Bono's six thinking hats to facilitate in reflecting on the topic "mobile phones - should they be used in the classroom?".
 Mobile Phones Wiki Activity

When considering the four learning theories of behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism and connectivism, I fell that this activity was mainly based in the Constructivist approach along with some Connectivism. Through the use of the wiki for collaborative style learning and response both Constructivism and Connectivism are being applied in order to engage the learner and improve their level of thinking and learning. The use of the appropriately scaffolded wiki which house the de Bono's size thinking hats framework for us to reflect within was also designed within the Constructivism approach.

The Constructivist approach to pull information, ideas, existing prior knowledge, and facts together building the knowledge bank and constructing learning and understanding. The connectivist approach is applied through connecting people, and knowledge with the use of the wiki (technology).

Through the use of both of the theories class combined Reflections were compiled in the wiki quickly and with relative ease and students were able to utilise the information collaboratively in order to learn as much as possible. My experience with this process of collaboratively providing responses to the Mobile phones question under the framework of de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats in the Wiki was extremely positive. When I first saw the question (Mobile Phone Wiki) I wasn’t sure how to answer it, as there are for and against arguments to allowing the use of mobile phones into the classroom. However being able to consider this question from the different perspectives supported my learning process and by using the collaborative application of a wiki I was able to understand the question and how to answer the question by considering comments posted by my peers.

Once I got into this activity and started “putting on” the different hats and looking at the question from that specific perspective I felt the freedom of considering point of view and side to the argument that I probably would have disregarded had I not used this Thinking Tool. As humans we are creatures of habit, and we tend to be set in our ways and our opinions, and resist. I know that automatically my first thoughts were negative when reading the question about whether there is a place for mobile phones in the classroom. I automatically thought of the legal, safety and ethical problems that might be caused by allowing students to use their phones freely in the classroom, you see my experience has been that it is rude to use your mobile phone in the classroom or when at a meeting, etc. and not to mention the risk of increased cyber bullying and the other behaviour management issues involved. It wasn’t until I was given the freedom to relinquish myself from these mental programs and start to consider the question from many different perspectives that I was able to truly understand what the question was asking.

It didn’t matter what we were discussing it was the fact that we were discussing in a public forum (wiki) collaboratively and from different viewpoints combining our programs from religion, culture, parents, school life and other experiences and factors that shape our views of the world. At the end of this task I had actually changed my initial feelings and beliefs surrounding the use of mobile phones in the classroom and I was onside with this idea, because I was given the opportunity to consider different perspectives in a passive environment. I have been thinking of ways that I can implement what I am learning into my pedagogy in the classroom.

The tools that I have found to be the most helpful with my learning have been the use of graphic organises such as the Know, Want, Learn (KWL) diagram or the use of the learning tool – De Bono’s 6 thinking hats to help structure my thinking and learning. I also think using a resource such as a wiki for example the students to complete their homework, so a Homework Wiki, is a great application of this as student can check what they had learnt in class that day through the comments of their peers in a collaborative framework. This resource however would have its limitations as it would be difficult to see those students who actually do not really understand but are just mirroring the comments of their peers. So this would be used periodically for homework or a response to an interesting mulch-faceted question.

 (Image taken from Visual Communications :