Key Takeaways: Biology Learning Day 2021

The focus of this year's Biology Learning Day (BLD) is 'Applying e-Pedagogy Principles in the Design of Blended Learning Experiences'. This comes as no surprise as e-learning, home-based learning (HBL) and blended learning (BL) have been the catchphrases of the last year.


BLD itself is now fully online using the Zoom platform. Online learning has become so ubiquitous, even for teachers. But how can this form of learning be made effective? That is the focus of today's learning.


What is Blended Learning (BL)?


Blended learning is a multifaceted, seamless learning experience across a combination of locations, times, technologies and social settings. Home-based learning (HBL) is just a part of blended learning and should not be equated with true BL. BL encompasses all types of learning that can fall anywhere on the following continuums:



The ultimate goal would be to have seamless transitions between each mode of learning, with students and teachers having the flexibility to adjust the learning environment as needed.


Pierce Secondary School: Project Grow Local


The team designed an authentic, real-world learning experience in the context of the pandemic and the Singapore Food Story. The lessons explored the concepts of urban farming, plant growth and photosynthesis. The project was run over two terms concurrently with the teaching of the topic Nutrition in Plants. It leveraged on the Sky Garden cultivated on the roof of the school. These are the other features of the lesson:

  • Asynchronous SLS lesson on urban farms in Singapore

  • Design and build a prototype for vertical farming

  • Design considerations: efficiency, integration, capacity, cost-effectiveness and size

  • Emphasis on using recycled materials to encourage sustainability

  • Digital artefact and physical prototype were expected

  • Prototype testing: Redox of immobilized chloroplasts extracted from the plants

 

Overall, it was an engaging session and it sparked a few ideas in my head for the term ahead. Blended Learning is definitely the new norm. Coupled with the impending Personalised Digital Learning Programme (PDLP), there is a much richer learning environment on the horizon.




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