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Michael Johnson

Teaching in Social and Technological Networks « Connectivism - 17 views

  • The model falls apart when we distribute content and extend the activities of the teacher to include multiple educator inputs and peer-driven learning.
  • Skype brings anyone, from anywhere, into a classroom. Students are not confined to interacting with only the ideas of a researcher or theorist. Instead, a student can interact directly with researchers through Twitter, blogs, Facebook, and listservs. The largely unitary voice of the traditional teacher is fragmented by the limitless conversation opportunities available in networks. When learners have control of the tools of conversation, they also control the conversations in which they choose to engage. Course content is similarly fragmented. The textbook is now augmented with YouTube videos, online articles, simulations, Second Life builds, virtual museums, Diigo content trails, StumpleUpon reflections, and so on.
  • Traditional courses provide a coherent view of a subject. This view is shaped by “learning outcomes” (or objectives). These outcomes drive the selection of content and the design of learning activities. Ideally, outcomes and content/curriculum/instruction are then aligned with the assessment. It’s all very logical: we teach what we say we are going to teach, and then we assess what we said we would teach. This cozy comfortable world of outcomes-instruction-assessment alignment exists only in education. In all other areas of life, ambiguity, uncertainty, and unkowns reign. Fragmentation of content and conversation is about to disrupt this well-ordered view of learning. Educators and universities are beginning to realize that they no longer have the control they once (thought they) did
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  • I’ve come to view teaching as a critical and needed activity in the chaotic and ambiguous information climate created by networks.
  • In networks, teachers are one node among many. Learners will, however, likely be somewhat selective of which nodes they follow and listen to. Most likely, a teacher will be one of the more prominent nodes in a learner’s network. Thoughts, ideas, or messages that the teacher amplifies will generally have a greater probability of being seen by course participants. The network of information is shaped by the actions of the teacher in drawing attention to signals (content elements) that are particularly important in a given subject area.
  • While “curator” carries the stigma of dusty museums, the metaphor is appropriate for teaching and learning. The curator, in a learning context, arranges key elements of a subject in such a manner that learners will “bump into” them throughout the course. Instead of explicitly stating “you must know this”, the curator includes critical course concepts in her dialogue with learners, her comments on blog posts, her in-class discussions, and in her personal reflections. As learners grow their own networks of understanding, frequent encounters with conceptual artifacts shared by the teacher will begin to resonate.
  • Today’s social web is no different – we find our way through active exploration. Designers can aid the wayfinding process through consistency of design and functionality across various tools, but ultimately, it is the responsibility of the individual to click/fail/recoup and continue. Fortunately, the experience of wayfinding is now augmented by social systems. Social structures are filters. As a learner grows (and prunes) her personal networks, she also develops an effective means to filter abundance. The network becomes a cognitive agent in this instance – helping the learner to make sense of complex subject areas by relying not only on her own reading and resource exploration, but by permitting her social network to filter resources and draw attention to important topics. In order for these networks to work effectively, learners must be conscious of the need for diversity and should include nodes that offer critical or antagonistic perspectives on all topic areas. Sensemaking in complex environments is a social process.
  • Aggregation should do the same – reveal the content and conversation structure of the course as it unfolds, rather than defining it in advance.
  • Filtering resources is an important educator role, but as noted already, effective filtering can be done through a combination of wayfinding, social sensemaking, and aggregation. But expertise still matters. Educators often have years or decades of experience in a field. As such, they are familiar with many of the concepts, pitfalls, confusions, and distractions that learners are likely to encounter. As should be evident by now, the educator is an important agent in networked learning. Instead of being the sole or dominant filter of information, he now shares this task with other methods and individuals.
  • Filtering can be done in explicit ways – such as selecting readings around course topics – or in less obvious ways – such as writing summary blog posts around topics. Learning is an eliminative process. By determining what doesn’t belong, a learner develops and focuses his understanding of a topic. The teacher assists in the process by providing one stream of filtered information. The student is then faced with making nuanced selections based on the multiple information streams he encounters
  • Stephen’s statements that resonated with many learners centers on modelling as a teaching practice: “To teach is to model and to demonstrate. To learn is to practice and to reflect.” (As far as I can tell, he first made the statement during OCC in 2007).
  • Modelling has its roots in apprenticeship. Learning is a multi-faceted process, involving cognitive, social, and emotional dimensions. Knowledge is similarly multi-faceted, involving declarative, procedural, and academic dimensions. It is unreasonable to expect a class environment to capture the richness of these dimensions. Apprenticeship learning models are among the most effective in attending to the full breadth of learning. Apprenticeship is concerned with more than cognition and knowledge (to know about) – it also addresses the process of becoming a carpenter, plumber, or physician.
  • Without an online identity, you can’t connect with others – to know and be known. I don’t think I’m overstating the importance of have a presence in order to participate in networks. To teach well in networks – to weave a narrative of coherence with learners – requires a point of presence. As a course progresses, the teacher provides summary comments, synthesizes discussions, provides critical perspectives, and directs learners to resources they may not have encountered before.
  • Persistent presence in the learning network is needed for the teacher to amplify, curate, aggregate, and filter content and to model critical thinking and cognitive attributes that reflect the needs of a discipline.
  • Teaching and learning in social and technological networks is similarly surprising – it’s hard to imagine that many of the tools we’re using are less than a decade old (the methods of learning in networks are not new, however. People have always learned in social networks).
  • We’re still early in many of these trends. Many questions remain unanswered about privacy, ethics in networks, and assessment.
  • We’re still early in many of these trends. Many questions remain unanswered about privacy, ethics in networks, and assessment.
  • The tools for controlling both content and conversation have shifted from the educator to the learner. We require a system that acknowledges this reality.
  • In order for these networks to work effectively, learners must be conscious of the need for diversity and should include nodes that offer critical or antagonistic perspectives on all topic areas. Sensemaking in complex environments is a social process.
  • In order for these networks to work effectively, learners must be conscious of the need for diversity and should include nodes that offer critical or antagonistic perspectives on all topic areas. Sensemaking in complex environments is a social process.
  • In order for these networks to work effectively, learners must be conscious of the need for diversity and should include nodes that offer critical or antagonistic perspectives on all topic areas. Sensemaking in complex environments is a social process.
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    Discusses the role of teachers in the learning  process through social networks: He gives seven roles 1. Amplifying, 2. Curating, 3. Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking, 4. Aggregating, 5. Filtering, 6. Modelling, 7. Persistent presence. He ends with this provocative thought: "My view is that change in education needs to be systemic and substantial. Education is concerned with content and conversations. The tools for controlling both content and conversation have shifted from the educator to the learner. We require a system that acknowledges this reality."
Michael Johnson

Learning with 'e's: Search results for identity - 18 views

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    The Social Web is transforming the way students interact with others, and is challenging traditional pedagogies, values and practices. An analysis of students' uses of social networking tools (e.g. Facebook, Myspace) and video/photo sharing sites (e.g. YouTube, Flickr) reveals the emergence of collective digital literacies. These include filtering content, new textual and visual literacies, managing multiple digital identities, representing self in cyberspace and engaging in new modes of interaction. In this presentation I will argue that identification through digitally mediated tools has become the new cultural capital - the set of invisible bonds that ties a community together. It is this 'social glue' - such mutual understandings and exchanges that occur on a daily basis within social media - that build the digital communities, and create new learning spaces, nurturing the habitus of a new 'digital tribe'.
Telannia Norfar

Jog The Web - 0 views

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    A tool to help show people multiple websites and way these websites are useful.
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    Great site to show students multiple sites to use and why.
Steve Fulton

backchan.nl -- Conferences - 14 views

  • backchan.nl is tool for involving audiences in presentations by letting them suggest questions and vote on each other's questions. backchan.nl is intended for conference or event organizers who want a new way to solicit questions from the audience and make better use of question and answer time.
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    One of the aspects of Backchan.nl that I'm excited about is the option to create multiple channels ahead of time. This will be a useful time-saver on the days when I have four consecutive classes and I want each class to have its own channel. Richard Byrne
Geoffrey Smith

Scriffon - 21 views

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    Scriffon is a simple service for writing and publishing online. Scriffon isn't a blogging platform, it's a writing platform. That means that you cannot edit the layout or navigation on the page on which your writing is published. Each writing that you publish is given it's own url. You can go back and edit your writing even after it has been published. If like, you can use multiple pen names under your Scriffon account name too.  Applications for Education Scriffon could be a good way for students to anonymously post their writings online and get feedback from others. For teachers or students who are reluctant to put their names on the web, using a pen name is a good way to publish without putting your real name online.
Clif Mims

EtherPad: Realtime Collaborative Text Editing - 2 views

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    "Web-based word processor that allows people to work together in really real-time. When multiple people edit the same document simultaneously, any changes are instantly reflected on everyone's screen. The result is a new and productive way to collaborate on text documents, useful for meeting notes, drafting sessions, education, team programming, and more."
Marcia Jensen

Edistorm - 0 views

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    "Add, discuss and organize ideas from multiple locations before, during and after (or instead of) your meetings. Build a storm using Edistorm Templates or leverage your existing business processes. Measure results with instant voting and reporting."
Christopher Pappas

What kind of support do Online graduate students need? - 0 views

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    What kind of support do Online graduate students need? - A must read article that online educators should read! Online learners face many challenges - from staying motivated and beating procrastination, to meeting multiple deadlines. And, as we know, e-learning students are already busy; preoccupied with many competing priorities. http://elearningindustry.com/subjects/general/item/424-online-graduate-students-support-education Thank you Dr. Liz Hardy!
robburnsefc

Maps101 -- Social Studies, Geography, History, Lesson Plans, Online Education, K-12, Maps101, Geography in the News - 1 views

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    Maps, Lesson plans, timelines, interactive maps and illustrations, National Geographic Videos for the K-12 classroom. Covers multiple subjects including Earth Science, History, geography, Spanish Languages. Free Trials Available.
Sarah Eeee

Wikipedia Comes of Age - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education - 0 views

shared by Sarah Eeee on 10 Jan 11 - No Cached
  • Not all information is created equal. The bottom layers (the most ubiquitous, whose sources are the most ephemeral, and with the least amount of validation) lead to layers with greater dependability, all the way to the highest layers, made up mostly of academic resources maintained and validated by academic publishers that use multiple peer reviews, trained editors, and scholarly reviewers.
  • Most of the nearly 2,500 students who responded said they consult Wikipedia, but when questioned more deeply, it became clear that they use it for, as one student put it, "pre-research."
  • Wikipedia is comprehensive, current, and far and away the most trustworthy Web resource of its kind. It is not the bottom layer of authority, nor the top, but in fact the highest layer without formal vetting.
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  • That such a high percentage of students in the study indicated they do not cite Wikipedia as a formal source, or admit to their professors they use it, confirms that they are very aware of the link it represents in the information-authority chain.
    • Sarah Eeee
       
      Optimistic view...what evidence does this author have that students don't plagarize from Wikipedia - i.e. use its information without citing it, or attributing the information found to a more acceptable source?
  • Today, when starting a serious research project, students are faced with an exponentially larger store of information than previous generations, and they need new tools to cut through the noise. Intuitively they are using Wikipedia as one of those tools, creating a new layer of information-filtering to help orient them in the early stages of serious research.
  • . One scholar issued a challenge: Wikipedia is where students are starting research, whether we like it or not, so we need to improve its music entries. That call to arms resonated, and music scholars worked hard to improve the quality of Wikipedia entries and make sure that bibliographies and citations pointed to the most reliable resources.
  • To go further, while I do agree that teaching information literacy is important, I do not agree with those who argue that the core challenge is to educate students and researchers about how to use Wikipedia. As we have seen, students intuitively understand much of that already.
  • The key challenge for the scholarly community, in which I include academic publishers such as Oxford University Press, is to work actively with Wikipedia to strengthen its role in "pre-research." We need to build stronger links from its entries to more advanced resources that have been created and maintained by the academy.
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    Concise and interesting opinion piece about the role of Wikipedia in research. The author argues that many students use Wikipedia for 'pre-research,' and that it serves a valuable and valid step towards finding the best evidence. Ultimately, this article calls for scholars to increase the links between peer-reviewed authoritative sources and Wikipedia articles.
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    Does a 'harm control' approach to research seem like the best option to you? What role do teachers at all levels of education have to play? Librarians?
Dennis OConnor

Education Week Teacher: High-Tech Teaching in a Low-Tech Classroom - 19 views

  • How can we best use limited resources to support learning and familiarize students with technology?
  • get creative with lesson structure
  • Take advantage of any time that your students have access to a computer lab with multiple computers.
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  • Relieve yourself from the pressure of knowing all the ins and outs of every tool. Instead, empower your students by challenging them to become experts who teach one another (and you!) how to use new programs.
  • "Pass it On" Buddy Method
  • Students assist one another in creating digital products that represent or reflect their new learning. It’s a great way to spread technological skills in a one-computer classroom.
  • Group Consensus Method
  • Small groups of students engage in dialogue on a particular topic, then a member uses a digital tool to report on the group's consensus.
  • Rotating Scribe Method
  • Each day, one student uses technology to record the lesson for other students.
  • Whole Class Method
  • Teachers in one-computer classrooms often invite large groups of students to gather around the computer. Here are a few suggestions for making the most of these activities
  • When we are faced with limited resources, it is tempting to throw up our hands and say, "I just don't have what I need to do this!" However, do not underestimate your ability to make it work.
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    Might help create a blended classroom, even when you have to share the blender.  Common sense advise for the real world of underequipped classrooms and stretched thin teachers.
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