The journey of our EDUC 294 course has been both challenging and invaluably informative. And to conclude this journey, we were up for another fitting challenge; a lesson study that would allow us to put what we learned into practice.
In developing our lesson study, the first step was to agree on one specific subject to cover. This was not particularly easy considering that the individuals in our group came from different teaching practices (English, Mathematics, Physics, Computers). To start, we agreed on a Science topic to cover since we have two members (out of five) on this discipline and allow us to have greater support on the lesson study. Personally, I thought a Science topic really would be a great ground to cover to its already wide base of tech materials that we can use.
For the specifics of the study, we aimed to develop conceptual understanding of science concepts through computer mediated activities. As per Teacher Joni (a Physics educator), this would be a great issue too cover considering the difficulty of conducting science experiments in actual classroom settings. In actual classrooms, not only are experiment materials limited, but working on real equipment/materials may poses hazards to students. Working on actual experiments may also bring about non-ideal environments/factors that may hinder the results and understanding of the activities. And our group believed that with a computer aided simulations for these experiments, we may be able to present ideal and controlled activities with little to no hazard to the participants.
Sir Joni was kind enough to offer his class in Batangas State University Integrated School as the participants in our conducted study. His fourth-year class was a great choice since their classroom was already equipped with sufficient computer/equipment resources that we used. We finalized our specific lesson to be about specific heat so as to follow the schools lesson curriculum. To present the concept, we decided on a lecture on specific heat followed by an online simulation of the topic (http://employees.oneonta.edu/viningwj/sims/specific_heat_s.html).
Probably the main setback of conducting the study was the venue and time of the study itself. Since all of us were already practicing teaching on different areas of Luzon (me coming from Quezon Province), we were limited to conduct the study on Saturday; on which the school and the students kindly agreed to accommodate us.
As for the day of the lesson itself, the study was a breeze thanks to the masterful teaching skills of Sir Joni and the cooperation of the class itself. At the end of the study, we really felt that we were able to accomplish our goals and was able to impart the lesson (and method) that we wish to convey. If anything, we actually wished we had more time since we felt that the students were enjoying the simulation activities we prepared for them. And in this environment where the students acquire and enjoy learning, is what we believe what the modern classroom should be like.