Posts Tagged ‘networked learning’
The Presentation Slidedeck
Website of Mobile Learning Activities
Mobile Learning Reflections
One of the greatest gifts a teacher can give learners is the opportunity to tell their stories, and to establish venues to have those stories witnessed by others.
A Film by High School Student, Sam Fathallah
There is a movement among pockets of educators to make education a passion-based process of learning.
Instead of having all these preconceived ideas of what learners should doing, saying and producing, [educators] have to be open to what they find in each student. [Educators] have to discover – and help each student discover – their talents and interests and create a learning environment where they can use those gifts and passions. Passion-based learning in the 21st century: An interview with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
John Seely Brown noted how technology can ignite learners’ passions.
We must think about how technology, content, and knowledge of learning and teaching can be creatively combined to enhance education and ignite students’ passion, imagination, and desire to constantly learn about — and make sense of — the world around them. http://chronicle.com/article/How-to-Connect-Technology-and/24884/
Diane Rhoten stresses that learning should be interest-driven, that learners should create narratives that they find personally motivating, personally relevant, personally interesting using digital media tools to tell their stories.
Providing learners with the tools, skills, time, and venues to tell their stories creates a powerful strategy for tapping into learner passions. It also utilizes the tools and learning strategies they are using during their out-of-school time. This is stressed in a new ebook by ithemes media, Kids Creating Stuff Online: Inspiring the Innovators of the Future.
Let’s face it: everything is online, even our kids. The Internet is no longer something people figure out when they get old enough. Many kids are growing up with laptops and tablets. They have cell phones that can do more than most computers of the past. Kids need to take the opportunity to embrace the online world and create a positive digital footprint. Instead of freaking out— “Won’t someone think of the children?!”—we should see this as an opportunity. Kids and teens are interested in the Internet and the online world, so let’s make the most of it.
This isn’t a how-to post. It provides a rationale for educators to facilitate having their learners (all ages) create a video of something for which they have passion and create a venue for students sharing those videos with a global audience – Youtube, Blogs, wikis. The videos would become a type of Ted Talk. Karl Fisch facilitated this process with a group of high school students.
- Culminating Project: You will create your own TED talk based off our essential question “What Matters?”
- Theme: You will use “What Matters (to You)?” as your ‘essential question’ to explore for your own talk. Essentially, you will select a topic based on something that truly “matters” to them and craft video about that topic (6 minutes or less).
- Give a Talk: Each student will give their own TEDx Talk. These will be done on video, uploaded to YouTube, and then embedded on the class Google site to be seen by others. You will prepare with a ‘global’ audience in mind from day one. Remember “Spread an idea worth spreading.” https://sites.google.com/site/ahstedtalk/creating-a-ted-talk
Small Talks is a new website (under development) that provides educators with resources to assist students in researching, writing and recording their own lectures on subjects they’re passionate about. When they are ready they can be uploaded for others to see.
Here is an example learner talk:
In a related post about interest and passion-driven learning, The Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture for Tinkering and Maker Education, I discuss a learning cycle of tinkering and maker education where a final activity is learners sharing their passions and discoveries:
- Live or videotaped instructional videos, where students teach others the skills acquired.
- A pitch for a new invention or process: the learner presents ideas for a new invention with the audience providing recommendations and positive feedback.
In this standards driven world, educators might argue that they do not have the time to do such a project with students. I could easily identify the content-area standards addressed with this assignment – language arts, oral communication, visual arts, technology skills. The more important outcomes, in my perspective, of such a project are increased confidence, development of self-regulation skills, enhanced sense of personal identity, and increased feelings of significance – that they have been been seen and heard.
This is a post about connectedness and its importance for human growth and learning. Prior to this discussion, though, it is important to note that many educational institutions are silos of isolation (thanks to Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach for this term). Learners are often isolated from one another – told to pay attention to the teacher, not interact with one another during class time. Their connectedness often comes through recess, lunch, and secret texting to one another. Teachers and classes are often isolated from one another – remaining closed and isolated within the four walls of the classroom. Schools are often isolated from other educational and community organizations – “safe” within the confines of literal and figuratively self-built walls – done so under the auspices that learners must be kept inside and strangers kept from entering. These walls include firewalls that prevent the entering or exiting of social media and Internet content.
To continue to exist, a system must be able to import energy across its boundary or have a capacity to create new sources of energy. A system that is able to import and export energy is called an open system. One that cannot import energy is called a closed system. A closed system that cannot generate a sufficient amount of energy internally to replace what is lost to entropy will die.
The improvement of quality involves the design of an educational system that not only optimizes the relationship among the elements but also between the educational system and its environment. In general, this means designing a system that is more open, organic, pluralistic, and complex. Frank Betts http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov92/vol50/num03/How-Systems-Thinking-Applies-to-Education.aspx
Openness and connectedness has morphed into something qualitatively different due to the Internet, Web 2.0, and social media. In an interesting re-mix of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs in this age of social media, Pamela Rutledge proposed that connectedness is at the core of all other needs.
Needs are not hierarchical. Life is messier than that. Needs are, like most other things in nature, an interactive, dynamic system, but they are anchored in our ability to make social connections.
Social networks allow us to see, as never before, the interrelated nature of society and the palpable development of social capital from the emerging and intricate patterns of interpersonal relationships and collaboration. The strength of our networks and our bonds improve our agency and effectiveness in the environment. Our need for survival through connection plays out through every successful social technology.
- Collaboration and teamwork allow us control our environment
- Reciprocal and trusting relationships create effective collaboration
- Social comparison establishes organizational structure, leadership and order
- Social validation and social identity maintain emotional engagement and enhance attachment to our mates and our group
- Competence contributes to the survival of our group and our sense of security and safety http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/positively-media/201203/rethinking-maslows-hierarchy-implications-socially-connected-world
The Connected Learning Research Network introduced the Connected Learning initiative. It advocates for broadened access to learning that is socially embedded, interest-driven, and oriented toward educational, economic, or political opportunity.
This week (January 2013), the Connected Learning Research Network released a report entitled, Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design:
Connected learning taps the opportunities provided by digital media to more easily link home, school, community and peer contexts of learning; support peer and intergenerational connections based on shared interests; and create more connections with non-dominant youth, drawing from capacities of diverse communities.
Connected learning environments have the following characteristics:
- Equitable: Connected learning environments ideally embody values of equity, social belonging, and participation.
- Production-centered: Digital tools provide opportunities for producing and creating a wide variety of media, knowledge, and cultural content in experimental and active ways.
- Shared purpose: Social media and web-based communities provide unprecedented opportunities for cross-generational and cross-cultural learning and connection to unfold and thrive around common goals and interests.
- Openly networked: Online platforms and digital tools can make learning resources abundant, accessible, and visible across all learner settings. (See my related post: Information Abundance and Its Implications for Education.)
The benefits of connected learning cannot be overstated. Not only are learning objectives and content-area standards more likely to be achieved as students become more excited and engage in learning; but their social-emotional needs have a greater potential to be met. Schools are doing learners a disservice (verging on being unethical in my perspective) by putting up all of those walls that prevent connection.
The importance of play as part of a child’s development has been the focus of educational specialists and research for decades. Piaget and Montessori have emphasized that a child’s play is his or her work.
Play activities are essential to healthy development for children and adolescents. Research shows that 75% of brain development occurs after birth. The activities engaged in by children both stimulate and influence the pattern of the connections made between the nerve cells. This process influences the development of fine and gross motor skills, language, socialization, personal awareness, emotional well-being, creativity, problem solving and learning ability. The most important role that play can have is to help children to be active, make choices and practice actions to mastery. They should have experience with a wide variety of content (art, music, language, science, math, social relations) because each is important for the development of a complex and integrated brain. Play that links sensori-motor, cognitive, and social-emotional experiences provides an ideal setting from brain development. http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/play-work-of-children.shtml
Children are still playing in this age of technology but the type of play and results are evolving. Lego, with its introduction of the new Mindstorm, created an infographic that describes the changing pattern of kids and young peoples’ use of technology and how it is affecting their development. Of special note to educators is the section on the changing world of children at play.
To summarize, the key areas of the change nature of play as identified by Lego are:
- The future will see the creation of more diversified playful relationships due to the ease of creating an online persona and free networking sites like Tumblr and Youtube.
- Children will continue to demand more control over complex outputs. Children are creating computer games, movies, their own content.
- Visual instruction is the way of the future. Kids go to Youtube to learn. They create videos and complex stories via gaming platforms (Mindcraft, Scratch).
- The boundaries between digital and physical interaction will continue to blur. Kids are growing up with augmented reality toys and body-gesture systems.
- Customizing one’s toys and play will be an integral of child development. Creative expression via the DIY movement is rapidly growing.
- Children with share an increasingly amount of humanity with their toys and play. Technology enables children to create, navigate and perform their emotional lives.
The world is qualitatively different than when the educational system was conceptualized; than when educators were students in that system. Kids are growing up and developing in a world that is highly technologically-driven, information-rich, and connected. The Institute for the Future discuss this in their Magic of Kidstech report:
With touchscreens, simple programming languages, and other lowered barriers for human-computer interaction, kids are poised to gain a high level of technical proficiency. When you combine this access with the resources kids have—time, a highly plastic brain, and the freedom to experiment with new behaviors, interests, and ways of being—it is not hard to imagine a level of empowerment for kids never before seen in human history.
The Institute for the Future reinforces some of the ideas the Lego shared.
- Authorship, storytelling, fantasy, and role-playing will expand into new media. Growing up immersed in virtual worlds, social networks, and YouTube videos, children will develop a different set of expectations for evaluating human proximity and presence, as well as a comfortable confidence expressing their views.
- Play will be a more fluid material experience, blending the virtual and the physical. Kids will have many fun options to explore depth, sound, gesture, and images. By 2021, kids will expect their digital and physical objects to share more characteristics, including tangibility and connectivity.
- Toys show kids how to get emotional with technology. Smart toys are becoming, in essence, sociable robots, and children are expanding the kinds of relationships they have with them via touch, voice, and gesture. Sociable robots are drawing our children into caring for them, nurturing them, and creating more powerful and affective human-machine partnerships. (http://www.iftf.org/future-now/article-detail/the-future-of-kids-play-cross-dimensional-playgrounds/)
- Kids are global children. Reality for children today is not confined to their room, or house, or school—it is a global community of networked peers and endless virtual horizons. Creating and sharing videos with billions is a normal activity for many kids today, giving them a vastly different perspective on distances, times, and relationship with others than previous generations held.
- Kids are empowered and connected in ways not seen before. This “magic” that they wield with ease, and the expectations that are being inculcated now for technology, society, and even reality, will echo through time as these generations grow into key players in the economy and society. (http://www.iftf.org/our-work/people-technology/technology-horizons/the-magic-of-kidstech/)
How many educators are teaching in their classrooms the way kids are learning during their own playtime using their own technologies? How many state educational standards address how children are playing and learning in this amazing age of technology? Many teachers, schools, district are not giving kids a chance to play nor use technology in ways that come naturally to them.
What follows are some simple suggestions I have to facilitate play with technology in educational settings:
- Let learners bring in their devices (all types – mobile, gaming, robotics) for use in the classroom, to reinforce learning, and for show and tell.
- Use some educational monies to purchase “fun” technologies – gaming systems, Lego robotics, iPad apps.
- Give kids unstructured free time play using their and their peer’s devices. See Tinkering and Technological Imagination in Educational Technology.
- Ask learners to teach you and the class about a technology he or she is using at home.
- Give learners a choice how they want to demonstrate their content area learning – a video? a online game? a board game?
- Explore and integrate Maker Education as part of the curriculum.
- Encourage and provide the time and tools for students to share their learning with a global audience – e.g. Skyping with another classroom, blogging, Tweeting, creating videos and newscast.
This pretty much sums it up . . .
New technologies are going to help many kids play the part of the magician. They will enchant us with their creations and sleight of hand. They will also amaze us with their ability to escape from the technological chains we’re tying them up with as well. We live in a world of fast and accelerating change. Kids are in some ways ideally prepared to deal with change, and may have more to say and more power to influence the world than at any other time in history. That new empowerment will be the real magic kids bring to the world. (http://www.iftf.org/our-work/people-technology/technology-horizons/the-magic-of-kidstech/)
Early in my training as an educator, I was exposed to William Glasser’s conceptualization of basic human needs and their importance in creating a healthy educational setting. They are:
- Belonging – Fulfilled by loving, sharing, and cooperating with others
- Power – Fulfilled by achieving, accomplishing, and being recognized and respected
- Freedom – Fulfilled by making choices
- Fun – Fulfilled by laughing and playing
They resonated deeply and made sense to me. Instructional strategies and learning activities should build in ways for learners to get these needs met.
The needs of freedom and power are of special note to this essay/topic:
- Freedom – This is the need to choose how we live our lives, to express ourselves freely, and to be free from the control of others. Helping students, especially younger ones, satisfy this need does not mean giving them the freedom to do whatever they want to do. It is giving them the freedom to choose.
- Power – The need for power is the need to feel that we are in control of our own lives. When educators give their students the message that they need to learn in ways that the teachers ultimately demand, their need for power becomes frustrated. When students are given choices, their need for power is satisfied and they gain feelings that they are responsible enough to have control over their own learning and behavior.(http://www.socialskillsplace.com/archive/0410.newsletter.html)
What is learner agency?
Learner agency is “the capability of individual human beings to make choices and act on these choices in a way that makes a difference in their lives” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structure_and_agency). As related to the needs as identified by Glasser, elements of freedom, choosing how we want to live our lives, and power, choosing what and how to learn, address learner agency.
The notion of agency as contributing to cognitive processes involved in learning comes primarily from the Piagetian notion of constructivism where knowledge is seen as “constructed” through a process of taking actions in one’s environment and making adjustments to existing knowledge structures based on the outcome of those actions. The implication is that the most transformative learning experiences will be those that are directed by the learner’s own endeavors and curiosities. (Lindgren & McDaniel, 2012)
Schwartz and Okita developed the following table to compare and contrast high versus low agency learning environments.
Learner Agency and Emotional Intelligence
A direct connection can be found between self-directed learning, learner agency, and emotional intelligence. Learner agency leads to increased feelings of competence, self-control, and self-determinism; and higher emotional intelligence. Bandura (2001) highlights the role of agency in the self-regulation of learning: “The core features of agency enable people to play a part in their self-development, adaptation, and self-renewal with changing times” (p. 2) (in Lindgren & McDaniel, 2012).
Boyatzis (2002) connected self-directed learning and emotional intelligence, which he discussed extensively in his article Unleashing the Power of Self-Directed Learning. He specified some signposts of self-directed learning.
- Has the person engaged his/her passion and dreams?
- Can the person articulate both his/her strengths (those aspects he/she wants to preserve) and gaps or discrepancies between those aspects he/she wants to adapt or change?
- Does the person have his/her own personal learning agenda? Is it really his/her own? Can the elements of the plan fit into the structure of his/her life? Do the actions fit with his/her learning style and flexibility?
- Is the person experimenting and practicing new habits and actions? Is the person using their learning plan to learn more from their experiences?
- Has the person found settings in which to experiment and practice in which he/she feels psychologically safe?
- Is the person developing and utilizing his/her relationships as part of their learning process? Does he/she have coaches, mentors, friends, and others with whom they can discuss progress on their learning agenda?
- Is the person helping others engage in a self-directed learning process?
Learner Agency and Technology
Learner agency is feasible in educational settings, both formal and informal, given this Internet age of information abundance and ease of access, and the use of social networks for personal learning. The final piece of this discussion focuses on leveraging technology to enable, elicit, and encourage learner agency which in turn builds emotional intelligence.
Technology presents new opportunities for drawing out and leveraging student agency. One of the ways that technology accomplishes this is by personalizing the learning experience, allowing students to work at their own pace and being responsive and responsible to their own individual needs. (Corbett, Koedinger, & Anderson, 1997, in Lindgren, R., & McDaniel, R. (2012.). As Magni (1995) noted in her dissertation, if we combine the principles of learner-centered pedagogy, the methods of participatory design and the flexibility offered by the Internet, educators can use technology not as a prescriptive learning tool but as one that enables students and teachers to gather material, manipulate and alter resources to design environments that are suitable and appropriate for the learners.
Technology also has the potential to directly enhance emotional intelligence. Chia-Jung Lee (2011) described some ways:
- Digital tools can connect people’s feeling to enhance emotional learning. Digital tools can support students’ emotional connection to a content or other people. This helps students learn better.
- Technology can satisfy personal learning pace and style to support emotional learning. The flexibility of digital tools enables students to learn based on the way that they feel most comfortable [which is directly related to agency.]
- Digital tools can provide private spaces for students to explore difficult issues.
- Empathy can be enhanced through emotional learning by means of technology. For example, students may develop empathy by viewing videos of personal stories of others in need; others who are experiencing some form of distress or problems. http://teachteachtech.coe.uga.edu/index.php/2011/05/13/technology-integration-and-emotional-learning/
What follows are some general ideas for using technology to encourage self-directed learning, learner agency, self-regulation, and self-determinism.
- Create a database of student passions, interests, hobbies. Share the list with the students so they can connect with one another.
- Offer students a variety of different ways to learn content material – video, audio, online readings, games. Let them choose ways to learn it. Invite students to add to the resource archive.
- Ask students to curate a subtopic within the larger topic being covered based on their own interests. Offer a choice of online curation tools (e.g., Scoop.it, Pinterest, MentorMob, Diigo) for them to use.
- Encourage students to set personal goals for themselves for the class. Provide some online options (e.g. 8 Online Goal Progress Tracking Tools) or apps (15 Fantastic Apps to Track & Manage Your Goals; Goal setting Android Apps; ) to track progress.
- Ask students to find an expert in their area of interest via a social media and attempt to make contact via Twitter, Facebook, Skype, etc.
- Assist students in developing their own PLNs using social networking sites of their own choosing (Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr).
- Allow students to express what they learned in a way that works for them. A list of ideas can be found at A Technology-Enhanced Celebration of Learning.
- Ask students to publish and share their work with their own networked public.
- Implement a peer feedback process; where groups of peers develop their own grading criteria and use this criteria to review one another’s work.
- Ideas for others – please let me know.
Boyatzis, R.E. (2002). Unleashing the power of self-directed learning. In R. Sims (ed.), Changing the Way We Manage Change: The Consultants Speak. NY: Quorum Books. Retrieved from http://www.eiconsortium.org/reprints/self-directed_learning.html.
Chia-Jung Lee (2011). Technology Integration and Emotional Learning. Retrieved from http://teachteachtech.coe.uga.edu/index.php/2011/05/13/technology-integration-and-emotional-learning/
Lindgren, R., & McDaniel, R. (2012). Transforming Online Learning through Narrative and Student Agency. Educational Technology & Society, 15 (4), 344–355.
Magni, P. (1995). The design and development of a hypertext environment for adult learners of Italian. Doctoral Dissertation.
Schwartz, D. L, & Okita, S. The Productive Agency in Learning by Teaching.
The Social Skills Place. (2010). 4 Basic Psychological Needs That Motivate Behavior. Retrieved from http://www.socialskillsplace.com/archive/0410.newsletter.html.
During Fall, 2012, I taught a Boise State University EdTech graduate course in Social Networking Learning. I wrote about this course in Educators as Social Networked Learners.
I decided to write a separate post about their final assignment, creating a MOOC-Inspired course. The assignment description, some of the group MOOCs produced, the peer assessment, and some student reflections about the project follow:
MOOC Assignment Description
MOOCs were originally intended to provide for engagement and collaboration. The first MOOC made use of participatory-engagement tools:: a wiki, a learning management system, blogs, Twitter, and videoconferencing. And originally, the MOOC was based on:
- Aggregate, in which students engage with lectures from experts, daily content links provided through a course newsletter, and reading content on the Web.
- Remix, with students being encouraged to communicate with peers about content and what they are learning, through blogs, discussion boards, or online chat.
- Repurposing, as students construct or create knowledge.
- Feed-forward, with students encouraged to publish (and thus share their knowledge) in blogs or other “open” venues. http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/11/29/essay-challenges-posed-moocs-liberal-arts-colleges#ixzz2Dpa6iXuv
For your final project, your same group will be formulating, outlining, proposing your very own MOOCs. Creating your own MOOC for your final project will provide you with the opportunity to synthesize and apply the social networking skills and strategies you learned throughout the course. The term of MOOC is being used loosely for this project. MOOC, in terms of this assignment, is meant to provide a philosophical foundation and design framework rather than have a goal of creating a massive course. Hopefully, you will also leave with a “product” you can use in your work setting. The topic, format, tools, and assignments are up to you. You need to include:
- Course Description, Objectives, and Expectations
- Course description
- Rationale for using a MOOC (for using student-centric, decentralized and networked social learning platforms)
- Learning outcomes
- Performance and participation expectations
- Social Media Use Guidelines
- You will need to have a central hub to share information – WordPress, Google Sites, Wiki, Edmodo. (This will also be the site where you address all of the requirements of this project.
- Student and course content creation and sharing platforms (along with specific directions on set-up, purpose, and potential use for your course):
- Sharing work and discussions: Edmodo, Facebook
- Student work: blogs; wikis
- Photo and video sharing: Youtube, Flickr
- Synchronous meetings discussions: Google+, Webinar Platforms
- Social Bookmarking: Diigo, Delicious
- Information Sharing and Dissemination: Twitter
- Curation: Learnist, Pinterest, Storify, Scoopit
- Student Collaboration: Google Docs, Etherpad, Edmodo
- Student interaction: Develop a process for students to interact with and collaborate with one another.
- How you will have students form small study groups or cohorts for project creation, collaboration, and feedback
- How you will rotate facilitation of weekly discussions
- How the group will report their progress – e.g., weekly summary (see Storify)
- Apart from the course social networking platforms, participants should be encouraged to generate content spaces of their own, allowing them to both increase their Personal Learning Environment, as well as share their experiences with both the other MOOC participants as well as their own Personal Learning Network (http://moocguide.wikispaces.com/4.+Designing+a+MOOC+using+social+media+tools) This, obviously, needs to be discussed and presented to the students that is age-grade appropriate.
- Assessment Plan: this is your plan for assessing student performance and work. (You do not have to develop assessments for specific learning activities nor course requirements – this is just your plan)
- Statement about the assessment process (self and peer assessment, reflection)
- Peer review should be a part of the process
- Consider using badges for assessment (e.g. http://classbadges.com/about)
- How You Plan to Monitor Course Interactions, Make Announcements, and Summarize and Disseminate Student Contributions
- Course Tags and Hashtags
- You, the educator, need ways to collect all the information and RSS feeds that your students are producing. Netvibes works well for this or gRSShopper (developed by Stephen Downes, a MOOC guru) if you have a server and some basic sysadmin skills (or know somebody who does).
- Your process of disseminating announcements and aggregated student contributions on a regular basis.
- Sample Learning Activities
- List at least three learning activities for your course – make sure they address your learning outcomes and include many, if not all, of your course’s established social networks.
Example Group Projects
- Short Story Writing
Despite a passion for creative writing, many people refuse to identify themselves as writers. There are a number of misconceptions about writing including the idea that a true writer is one who is published by a publishing house. This course seeks to change that narrow view of writers. The writer is a person who finds joy or purpose in writing and endeavors to write often.
The hallmark of any writer is that they write and write often. Students will write often and collaborate with other writers in class to develop a 15 -20 page story that will be published online at the end of the course. This course will use social media and other technologies to help writers create a useful archive of resources and create a network of similar-minded writers. Students will leave the course with a story they publish to an online website and skills to continue writing. http://sswrite.weebly.com/index.html
Of special note, Andrea, Alyssa, Darla, and Christina’s MOOC included the following:
- Course Social Networking Technologies – http://sswrite.weebly.com/course-technology.html.
- Example Assignments (posted on their class Edmodo page):
- One of the biggest challenges that all writers face, is how to begin. What will you write about? You will be using your researching skills to brainstorm different literary genres. You may use any search engine you see fit. Then, once you’ve identified different genres of literature, start thinking about what makes a story fit into that particular genre. For instance, what elements make a story a horror story? To begin this activity, you will need to have your Diigo account set up and have joined the ELACADE. You will add 10 different bookmarks to Diigo, from your genre research. Once you have added your 10 resources for genre and characteristics of these genres onto Diigo, you will tweet them to our class hashtag #ELACADE. Once you have completed posting your resources to Diigo and tweeting them to our group, you will need to read through the research that your classmates have posted. Remember, that you are trying to identify the genre that you would like to use for your short story and get some ideas for plot. Tweet at least 10 other students in the class about their research. (*Include elements you found interesting or new ideas for your own story that you thought about after reading their research.) By the time you have finished this assignment, you should have a clear understanding of the genre of story you will be writing and what elements your short story should contain in order to fit into that genre. Students that complete this portion will receive the Brainstorming Badge.
- After completing the Twitter brainstorming activities, you will create a visualization board using Pinterest to help brainstorm setting and characterization. Visualization often aids writers in articulating written details about characters and setting. You should have set up a Pinterest account prior to beginning this activity. Review your brainstorming ideas and responses from your Twitter activity. Then, use Flickr or other internet resources to locate pictures to represent your setting and characterization ideas. “Pin” at least 25-30 images, websites, videos, or other media that helps you to visualize your storyline, characters and setting. Post a link to your Pin board in the Edmodo forum. Then, review and reply to the Visualization Pin boards of the members of your group. Students who complete this assignment will earn the Lessons Badge.
- Space: The MOOC
Of special note, Jon and Fabio’s course included the following:
- A Netvibes was set up to aggregate course resources, social networking sites, and student blogs – http://www.netvibes.com/spacemooc#Main_and_Group_MOOC_Resources
- Groups assignment based on interest: https://sites.google.com/site/spacemooc/extra-credit
- A sample assignment: For this activity, we will meet up in real time via twitter to view the night sky and compare the constellations in view over a period of time. Utilizing a Skymap App, you will share their view of the night sky with classmates to get an understanding of the movement of the constellations across the night sky, the impact of latitude on what is seen and the speed at which the view changes.
Some good Skymap apps are listed below:
- For Android Powered Devices
- For iOS Powered Devices
- SkyView (a great iOS app)
- Google Sky (PC and Mac)
After your group stargazing, please visit our Facebook Group Page and reflect on the experience. Your reflection should include your perceptions before and after learning about constellations. Also, please respond to at least two group members posts.
Peer Reviews of MOOC
Assignment Overview: You are being asked to provide feedback for one of the other group’s MOOCs via a audio-visual screencast. There are a number of Web-based tools that can be used to do this. Screencasts increase the social networking level of the teaching-learning process and helps to insure that the feedback is rich and that thorough critiques are provided. Here are some example screencasts from the course:
Final Course Reflections
The final task for the course was a reflection on the course, what worked, what didn’t work, what was learned, what will be used in the future. A few students discussed the MOOC as being a significant component of the course.
I believe that my favorite (while frustrating) assignment was the final MOOC project. While I always hope for the most detailed outlines and instructions for assignments, the freedom to create a social media and networking course on our own was challenging and exciting. I have always enjoyed how the final projects in our EdTech courses serve as a means to solidify our learning. The MOOC project was able to help me see how the previous assignments from the semester could be integrated and applied in a meaningful application of social networking. Our project on Healthy Living integrates a variety of social networking components that I am always afraid to try with my students. But now that I have had the practice of applying these tools in a practice setting, I am more likely to attempt to use them with my “real-life” students. http://cmoore23.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/hello-my-name-is-christina-and-i-was-a-lurker/
Now for the best part of this course and what I enjoyed the most – the MOOC. I didn’t know that these existed. I love this idea. I’m a lifelong learner. I learn to learn and I don’t care what it is as long as it interests me and stimulates my brain. MOOCs are awesome and I can’t wait to delve more into this fascinating area and possible even conduct a few. We can create communities of student centered self guided learning in which a teacher may not even necessarily be needed in the traditional sense. In this model the entire group would teach and learn from each other. I’d really love to take part in the one that I designed and others that I saw my peers start and design. I may not make an entire course into a MOOC, but I definitely will add aspects of MOOCs into my courses. http://edtech.cominotti.net/llog/2012/12/10/social-network-learning-course-reflection/
I developed a mission statement as an educator several decades ago. It is simply, “To provide students with the knowledge, skills, and passion to become lifelong learners.” I have never swayed from that mission, but as I say in my Twitter profile, “I don’t do education for a living, I live education as my doing . . . and technology has amplified my passion for doing so.” Technology makes possible 24/7, interested-driven learning. I teach online so I get the opportunity to learn everyday all day long due to the Internet and social networks. Students of all ages and settings should also be given the skills, tools, and time to engage in this type of self-directed, passion-based learning.
Higher education and high school teachers have stubbornly kept lectures as the primary mode of instruction. Most students in these venues report boredom as a result. I discuss this more in Who Would Choose a Lecture as Their Primary Mode of Learning. An opposing state of being passionate is being bored, a contradiction to my mission statement . . . and I believe that most educators would report that do not wish to elicit a state of boredom in their students. This is why I am confused that in these amazing times of the abundance of information, mobile devices, and free technologies, educators are not leveraging them in the classroom.
Where, when, how, and even what we are learning is changing. Teachers need to consider how to engage learners with content by connecting to their current interests as well as their technological habits and dependencies. http://learningthroughdigitalmedia.net/introduction-learning-through-digital-media
Reports continue to be disseminated about how young people are using technology. These devices, tools, and strategies can be integrated into existing lessons to enhance the learning activities and create more engagement, excitement, and possibly some passion among the students.
What follows are the results of some recent research and surveys about how young people are using technology along with suggestions how educators can
A nationally representative phone survey of 1,005 adults (ages 18+) was taken August 2-5, 2012. The sample contained 799 internet users, who were asked questions about their online activities. Based on the results of the survey, recommendations are made how these online activities can be leveraged in the classroom.
Have Students Show Their Learning Visually with Photos and/or Videos
Taking photos and videos are commonplace for many young people. Students can demonstrate their learning through some form of visual media. Using visual media in the classroom is congruent with brain research about the power of vision in learning (as per neuroscientist, John Medina) and supports research that visuals enhance learning.
Have Students Curate
As instructors, we are all information curators. How do you collect and share currently relevant content with your students? How do your students research and share information that they find with the rest of class? What tools do you use to manage or facilitate presentation of resources? Is it public? Can students access it at other times? In groups? Modern web tools make it easy for both students and instructors to contribute online discoveries to class conversations. Using free online content curation software, we can easily integrate new content in a variety of ways. http://iteachu.uaf.edu/grow-skills/filelink-management/content-curation-tools/
. . . and as Bill Ferriter notes:
While there are a ton of essential skills that today’s students need in order to succeed in tomorrow’s world, learning to efficiently manage — and to evaluate the reliability of — the information that they stumble across online HAS to land somewhere near the top of the “Muy Importante” list. http://teacherleaders.typepad.com/the_tempered_radical/2012/12/curating-a-content-collection-activity.html
- How can I use Content Curation in My Class?
- Teaching With Content Curation
- Students Becoming Curators of Information?
- Content Curation for Online Education
- Teaching Kids to Curate Content Collections
- How Educators Are Using Pinterest for Showcasing, Curation
Have Students Connect to Other Students, Teachers, and Experts Via Their Social Networks
By utilizing a technological channel that is popular with users, professors are increasing participation among students and seeing the results. Due to the real-time format of these outlets, students can contact peers, faculty and other authorities anywhere in the world, and usually elicit a prompt response. Despite its reputation, social media platforms allow professors to approach curricula in ways that are more creative and engaging to students. The College Bound Network has said of social learning, “Despite what you may have thought, technology doesn’t hinder learning—it fuels it.” http://www.business2community.com/trends-news/the-modern-student-the-rise-of-online-schools-social-media-and-institutionalized-understanding-0356321#tosmQAvUcXUAKmbU.99
- How teachers use social media in the classroom to beef up instruction
- Social Media Belongs in the Classroom
- 50 Reasons to Invite Facebook Into Your Classroom
- 100 Ways To Use Facebook In Your Classroom
- 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom
- 10 ways to help students develop a PLN…
Have Students Use Their Own Devices During Class Time
Two reports/infographics support this strategy:
There are limitless ways to use student devices during class time. I recommend to educators to take what they are already doing well in the classroom and brainstorm how these learning activities can be enhanced using their mobile devices.
We have come to a time when we need to accept the fact that the concept of 21st century skills is no longer a progressive phase to latch onto but a reality that we need to instill into our school systems. When students bring their own devices it literally transforms the conversations that take place in the classroom. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2012/08/are_schools_prepared_to_let_students_byod.html
For several semesters, I taught an undergraduate course on interpersonal relations. It was at a vocational-driven local college with most of the students being between the ages of 17 to 22 (some high school students) and a handful of students in their thirties and forties. I took learning activities I had developed and taught in the past and enhanced them with technology. Reflections about these activities can be read at:
- Cell Sharing: An Ice Breaker Using Mobile-Devices (BYOD)
- Communication Activities Using Mobile Devices
- The Equity Game: A Mobile Device-QR Code Driven Activity
- QR Coded Student Videos: Classifying Activity
For more resources, see my curated Scoop.it of articles and resources related to Mobile Devices with Bring Your Own Devices
Pockets of institutions, administrators, and educators are successfully integrating the tools and strategies discussed above into their setting. More blog posts, case studies, journal articles, and news pieces about these initiatives can give permission and suggestions to those who are willing but scared or a bit reluctant.