March 20, 2015

Morphology and Morfo! – Guest Post from Anthony Peters
This guest post from Anthony Peters (@apeters522) first appeared on Daily Genius.
Typically, concepts like nouns and parts of speech are thought of as terrible, tedious, and troublesome concepts that can lead to learners to becoming tired, terrified and perhaps – in the extreme cases – tearful! With that in mind, learners at Parklands College in Cape Town brought Morfo into the mix. Not only did they make some wonderful creations and have lots of fun, but they also compounded the linguistic knowledge of the lesson. After previously completing a work on eight variations of noun (e.g. proper, compound, concrete, abstract), the learners were tasked with developing a digital avatar of themselves.
Image Credit: Anthony Peters
Image Credit: Anthony Peters
The instructions were first given by Mr Digi-Me (a somewhat “colourful” digital version of a Parklands English Educator – aka me!) in order to exemplify what they had to do – record themselves saying a sentence and animate their avatars with the Morfo app. The learners had to include at least two different types of the nouns that were learnt this week in their recorded sentences. Then, they had to move around the class and identify the various nouns used by their peers’ digital selves!
Morfo Avatars
Image Credit: Anthony Peters
The tasks involved with this lesson followed an old model pioneered by a cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner in the 1950s who coined the term, Scaffolding which is still used today within Psychology and PGCE teacher courses at the tertiary level. This lesson exemplifies that the old can be harmoniously blended with the new in order to facilitate a very enriching learning environment for students.

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