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Re: [Fle3-users] Why is it good to use FLE?

From: Teemu Leinonen
Subject: Re: [Fle3-users] Why is it good to use FLE?
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2003 16:26:44 +0300
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Dear César,

Thank you for your interesting insights and questions. I'll try to answer them behalf of the Fle3 research and design team.

César Hernández Rosete wrote:
We reach the conclusion that one doesn't need FLE to work in collaborative
learning, rather FLE would be useful for on-line learning, for the following

1.We don't have PC's in the classroom.

Fle3 can be used just with a single PC. Each user may login to the system with their own user name and password and work with the Fle3, rotating the use of the computer. Student can also first write down their thoughts in to paper notebook and then write them from there to Fle3 when it is their turn to use the computer.

Of course you can use Fle3 for on-line learning, as well. Actually we think that strict separation of off line and on line learning is pretty artificial. Some things are better to do off-line and some on-line. Also same tools can be used both in class room and in on-line learning. We think Fle3 is a such tool.

2. of having PC's it is quicker to speak that to write.

The reason to use computers (and Fle3) in collaborative learning is related to the idea that cognitive load may be divided between a human beings and external thinking tools (paper, book, computers etc.). So within Fle3 (or other computer tools) also notebook (paper) and pen or white board and pen can be used as a thinking tools.

The point is that we write down things. By writing down our questions, thoughts, opinion and ideas we make them visible, explicit and manageable. Written thoughts are such that we can get back to them, evaluate them and develop them further.

So, in collaborative learning we can of course use just paper and pen to write down our problems, own explanations, scientific explanations, etc. In a class room we can even share them all by sticking them to the wall or white board. After working this way, let's say two months and writing more than 300 notes, we most likely will face information management problems. Who wrote what note and when? On what topic was this note related to? etc.?

On the one hand, when we just speak out our thoughts we often do not get any record what was said, when and by whom. For this reason in a well organized meeting (whatever business or collaborative learning meeting) someone is always taking the minutes of the meeting. In an collaborative learning a lot of work is done not only in a meetings, but in a library and in a small groups. The findings of this working is easy to share for others with Fle3.

Also we know that in a class room there is always only one speaking on time whereas when writing we can all write same time. In several studies we have noticed that the use of Fle3 in a class room have made the participation of the pupils more equal. When speaking is often dominated by some pupils in the class room, Fle3 offers equal oportunity for everybody to participate to the collaborative learning.

Fle3 also guides students to the inquiry learning that starts from problem setting, continues by presenting own explanations, searching for scientific explanations and making summaries. In a way the knowledge type sets reminds students what kind of notes they should produce to advance the knowledge building process.

Why  do you  defend the fact so much that FLE is not a LMS?.

We have not designed and developed Fle3 for "managing" learning. We have designed Fle3 to support learning. Most of the LMS are really focusing more on "management" than on "learning". Whereas we have our focus strictly on "learning".

In most of the LMS the learning is the subject and the management is the object. This often leads to very simplistic conception of learning, where learning is equal to memorizing. In this case learning takes place simply by reading, listing and taking quizzes. This is not what Fle3 is made for.

Best regards,

        - Teemu

Teemu Leinonen
Office: + 358 9 756 30 296
GSM: +358 50 351 6796
Media Lab, UIAH Helsinki
Future Learning Environment 3

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