This is my portfolio presentation learning essay. It’s about my learning and portfolio work related to my vocational teacher education @Edulab, educational product design and teacher studies @OAMK. The whole task includes a presentation, discussion and a written essay. I had my presentation online and I showed a bitstrip during my presentation.
1. My background
I worked for Nokia in a research and development function in user interface software localisation for over 13 years. I had grown used to an international, multicultural working environment where online tools, learning and creating shared knowledge through the use of different digital collaboration tools with people around the globe was a daily routine, the normal state of things.
Presenting a project plan for a team of colleagues abroad or sharing knowledge about the way-of-working in our team to new colleagues on another site using online tools was not something I called “teaching” but those were the kinds of things I got to do in my everyday work, closest to teaching. I had also trained new colleagues on other
Nokia-sites and sub-contractors abroad to work for the company, often people from different cultures.
When our unit in Oulu was closed I needed to find a new career. I wanted to learn something new. That’s when I started learning to teach.
2. Development in my pedagogical thinking
My thinking around the vocational pedagogy has developed further through the practical teaching training. Both the online and the lab-model learning environment at OAMK, combined with theory has helped me understand new interactive and guidance techniques.
Blended learning and flipping the classroom are instructional methods that I think work very well for our time.
I have also developed my thinking in how different learners can be taken into account when designing learning situations.
I understand the need to follow the curriculum but being able to personalise learning and I have a better understanding of how students often have a preference for different learning styles.
Creating variation by using different methods of instruction can make the learning experience more engaging, valuable and meaningful for the student.
3. Most significant learning outcome?
I have seen how the lab-model learning environment at EduLab promotes innovation, research & development skills as well as skills in entrepreneurship.
The educational product development lab fosters a culture of learning that A) resembles working life and B) supports and aids students in learning both theoretical and practical skills in entrepreneurship, innovation and product development.
Students representing 28 different nationalities worked at EduLab to create, innovate and learn together.
In my teaching practise period I learnt how skills in collaboration can be taught in cross-disciplinary, multicultural teams in a lab-model-learning environment through mentoring, coaching and tutoring as well as modeling.
4. Understanding the profession
The role of the 21st century teacher is a role of a facilitator who can improve students performance and help accomplish their goals.
Teachers need to be connected and have working life connections. The profession requires constant updating of knowledge. It’s important to stay up-to-date in the subject you are teaching, the latest teaching methods and learning environments because they develop constantly.
5. My teaching philosophy
As a teacher and facilitator I like to promote a student and learner centered, collaborative learning environment where students learn from each other, ask questions and dare to share. I hope to be able to inspire to find and solve problems, encourage critical thinking, learn deciding relevancy and challenging things.
Connecting students to experts through videos, social media, video conferencing and using technology for online collaboration are great ways to inspire and connect with students if social interaction and the need for authentic face-to-face meetings is not forgotten.
I am an ambassador for promoting connected learning in educational institutions in the digital age but also of lab-model learning environments, where students gain important innovation and entrepreneurship skills needed in working life.
Learning to teach is sometimes hard. Of course learning never stops, but every step on the way is a reward.
Here’s my Animoto video of what the studies were like.