In “Understanding the Power of the PLNS,” Pam hits it right on the spot. Education is completely changing, or at least the way the students we are teaching are learning differently than before. Students today can take notes without paper! Crazy! I also loved that the article pointed out that mobile technology provides a huge opportunity (and challenge! Yes!) to our classrooms. When we think about online learning, I think all teachers get scared when they hear the idea that “teachers and knowledge” are not scarce anymore. I was little frightened up until the article mentioned that we need to teach our students how to effectively learn online. And I love the line, “education is something that we create for ourselves.” As teachers, we must teach students how to create an education for themselves – helping them solve any problem they encounter using the technology at their finger tips.
The three conversations for parents article was not what I had expected. These are three great things that parents need to discuss with their kids… and not just parents, teachers too. We need to start developing these thoughts early – hoping to teach children that they aren’t invisible (on invincible) online.
Procedural learning is being taught in the podcast about screen recordings. I use these in my classroom all of the time, especially with my ONLINE class. Students often ask the same questions over and over when it comes to creating something online. I find it easier to simply record myself giving the directions, allowing advanced students to move along and slower students the ability to watch/rewatch me teach the lesson. Formal learning would have been to teach them step-by-step in front of me. But this works informally allowing students to work at their own paces!
And the Anthropology students…. I need to seek out this professor. Talk about teaching empathy and compassion in real world situations to students, this is the crème de la crème. And the World Situation uses real life examples for students to engage themselves in learning. This simulation said it took 75-100 minutes, but the learning that goes on through student inquisition is everlasting. I may try and copy this in some way with my Sociology students when we discuss social stratification/classes around the world!
In viewing the sites suggested as well as others, it is obvious that collaboration and the use of multimedia have become much more important than simple text sites. To successfully reach many learning styles, the use of images, video, games, and audio, aids in the ability to understand and learn. These mixed media sites also enable students to create their own content or remix what is already available in a way that is valuable to them. The use of simulations, like the one in the World Simulation, immerses students in the content, instead of simply reading about it.
In the Richardson & Mancabelli text, the six literacies described were thought provoking, but for me the most challenging was the sixth one relating to attending to the ethical responsibilities involved. We see instances of cyber-bullying all the time, which is one aspect of this. But, also, being fully literate in this new society requires growing up with this technology and learning to use it effectively. The digital divide cannot be corrected by simply giving someone an iPad. To fully succeed in this new society, a student needs to be able to perform all of the other literacies described, and that is not quickly accomplished for someone who has grown up without using an online device regularly and in an educational environment. In reading the descriptions of the various literacies, I thought that change is inherent in this new system, so anyone not willing to change is going to be in trouble. This is where access to and openness for professional development will be crucial.
Obviously, as a parent of two tweens, I was very interested in the article by Boyd, Three Conversations for Parents: Navigating Networked Publics. From my own experience, I would make a couple of additional recommendations for both parents and for K-12 educators. I think before children are left on their own in an online environment, there should be many years of baby steps. This includes showing them and talking with them about what you post online and why. My kids have seen my Facebook account and they will even make suggestions for pictures to post or comments to make. This starts a great conversation about what is appropriate and what isn’t. They have also heard me discuss with my husband when something posted online has hurt my feelings, and this helps to build empathy, as was discussed in the article. We teach our children through our own actions and words, so this modeling behavior can help them correctly navigate the online waters on their own in the future.
I found a number of great resources at the Teaching with Technology Podcast site. There were a number of podcasts that I can use to enhance my teaching including How to Create Interactive Goggle Maps and Podcasting for Beginners. After listening, I had fun playing with the tools described and plan on sharing some of the available podcasts with my peers.
Welcome to Week 7! Here’s what we’ve got coming up for this week.
Project – Tech Tool Review
Reading – Richardson & Mancabelli; danah boyd
Blog post – e.g., Reactions to RM’s definition of Learning Networks or New Literacies (see also Angel>Week 7 Lesson page for other possible ideas)
We will do the Technology Tool Review in our course wiki. As you will see after logging in, it has both an individual and collaborative component. Essentially for the individual phase, you find five tools that you think would be most helpful towards supporting teaching and learning processes in your classroom or learning environment, and for the collaborative phase, you work with your blogging team to select two of the most promising tools among all of those identified by your group members.