Students' Experiences in Using Haiku Learning Platform to Promote Problem based Learning in a Blended Classroom in Kenya
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Haiku is an online networking application that can be used by teachers and students to learn, share, communicate and remain connected. In problem based learning, students are able to team together to explore significant tasks driven by challenging, open-ended problems with no one "right" answers. Students work as self-directed, active investigators and problem-solvers in small collaborative groups. They apply knowledge to new situations and are known to team together physically and explore tasks inside the classroom and also in the social networks. Usage of technology in the classroom is low among students with the exception of social networking technologies whose adoption is common place. This paper explores the experiences from a group of 15 PhD students taking a course in education who were using Haiku platform to prepare lesson plans in their course work in May/August 2016 semester. The students were to prepare lesson plans based on various models of lesson planning and use either SAMR or TPACK ICT integration models to demonstrate how to integrate technology in the class room. The students were then to share their experiences on the Haiku platform with their lecturer and other students. An oversight group of 10 other students offered constructive criticisms to every group of 5 students that participated. All the students found that they had a personal stake in the quality of work presented through the Haiku platform and that they were able to collaborate, critique and solve real life problems. This paper underscores the importance of Haiku learning platform as an appropriate environment that empowers students to nurture, foster and enable problem based learning.