Reflection – Week 9 – Teaching & Learning Experience for CS7036
Our team consisted of Sue, Karol Quinn, Colm O’Callaghan and myself (Caroline Wall) who’s group is otherwise known as Menthos, (after the Greek God), although we have spelt it differently. We carried out the technology learning experience on 7th November at 7pm. We had two groups (one with four participants and one with five) all from the Maynooth, Co. Kildare Scouts, with special thanks to our team member Karol Quinn for organising these 9 fantastic, enthusiastic and very well-mannered young adults.
We had carefully designed the clues which contained 4 QR Codes per group, with a cryptic clue and/or a URL to guide them to the next task and carefully chose both routes as parts of a social justice challenge. Each team had a smart phone preinstalled with a scanner application in order to carry out the task. They were asked to get film, or photographic footage of each clue they unravelled along their journey. The clues were to find in Dublin city centre places, people and structures standing for social justice.
For me the learning experience was immense. Although I was anxious that the technology might not work correctly, what the team didn’t envisage was the amount of time the tasks would take, and the start time of the day they carried out the tasks in (i.e. 7pm). Each group got 2 of 4 tasks completed and all arrived back to base (Trinity College) after 8pm.
We had planned the routes and codes meticulously but never actually practised before the live event. If we had carried out a trial practice it would have been more evident that the groups would simply not have enough time to complete all tasks. Reflecting back over the event, timing (on two counts) was our greatest downfall. It was dark (7pm) when the groups set out and due to their train connection home we could only give them maximum time of 75 minutes. I feel the level pitched was too high for the ages of each group which were between 15-17 years of age, many of whom are unfamiliar with Dublin city centre.
Upon reflecting of working as part of a team, we now see the value that team work has to offer as a great way of sharing knowledge and pooling of peoples different backgrounds to produce a wealth of skills, knowledge and competencies. Looking at programmes like ‘The Apprentice’ it is very easy to say what the teams could have or should have done differently. It was only when I had become part of a team that I could see how complex things can get as there are now 4 opinions instead of one. Kayes (2006) suggests that when people work in teams ‘proximal learning’ occurs resulting in the team achieving a greater performance on their own. Team work encourages learners to make decisions about the learning process, to value the quality of team work that overall encourages the individual to become independent, autonomous and responsible for their own learning needs. Taking part in this team and project has led me to see these people in a whole different perspective of whom I now have the upmost respect for.