Daily Archives: June 25, 2013

Week 8


Welcome to Week 8! Here’s what we’ve got coming up for this week.

  • Reading: Dede, Seismic shift in epistemology; Siemens’ Connectivism
  • Blog post + two comments
  • Group Blog Leader/Curator: Group 1-Jordan; Group 3-Karen

As always, if you have any questions, let me know. Have a good week!

Week 7 Group 3 Learning Networks

Richardson and Mancabelli define learning networks as “the rich set of connections each of us can make to people, in both our online and offline worlds, who can help us with our learning pursuits..” and we all agree. Learning is social, and Karen suggest that the question to ask is – how can we find more formal uses for our informal learning solutions. Rachel noted R&M’s distinction between social networks, viz people we know and interact with (e.g. on Facebook), and that of learning networks (e.g. Twitter) where connections are made with people we don’t already know – strangers we connect with for the key purpose of learning.

On the use of audio and video media to support learning, Eunsung sees an upward trend as these learning objects reflect experiences in authentic situations, compared to text-based learning which is less engaging/alive. Compared to traditional classes she finds that online courses with Web 2.0 affordances and different A/V media provide more peer and instructor interactions which satisfies her learning needs. Similarly, both Karen and Shelby agree that connecting personal learning experiences with relevant media makes learning much more meaningful, hence memorable and powerful. Shelby added that these resources can be used as instructional aids to reteach students who don’t understand the material or who missed a class. They can be used as inspiration, vocabulary building, as a “hook” to a lesson, for comprehension, student projects, etc. Shelby believes that videos can foster student creativity above what text media could.

According to Richardson & Mancabelli, for students to participate fully in the networked spaces (PLNs) they will need new skills and literacies for this 21st century learning environments. Of the six new literacies listed, Eunsung felt that  #3 “designing and sharing information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes” is the most challenging as this skill requires one to have broad/global perspectives and more effort to develop for multiple goals. A case in point, the high quality MOOC courses which are mostly offered by American universities, would require that participants from different cultures learn to assimilate and share ideas, to navigate the LMS technologies, and that the course design serves multiple learning styles for different learning scenarios.

Shelby finds #4 “managing, analyzing, and synthesizing multiple streams of simultaneous information” to be the most challenging as combining various streams of information into one thoughtful and organized whole is a difficult task. She feels that what is learned through this course would help tremendously in mitigating that challenge. “Learning is extremely social as we read, filter, create, and share with one another on an ongoing basis” – Shelby noted that the operative word is filter.

Both Karen and Rachel identified #6 “attending to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex [PLN] environments” as the most challenging. Karen feels strongly that we have to be proactive about anonymity and the problems that a perceived lack of accountability can mean on personal interactions with a global audience.  She argues that if we are going to build PLNs, then there has to be a responsibility of honesty and respect throughout the network. Clearly there needs to be a cultural shift, and we need to be willing to ask hard questions about assumptions that we take for granted. Cyber wellness is an issue that  Singapore schools are addressing. Karen finds the term ‘cyber wellness’ a valuable addition to the concepts of information literacy.

Overall, we appreciate the quality resources provided for this week’s topic on learning networks and the insights gained. From the readings and videos, Shelby found these to be most worthwhile:

  • Understanding the Power of PLNs. Richardson & Mancabelli highlight two  game-changing conditions. With internet access… (1) we now have two billion potential teachers and (2) the sum of human knowledge will be at our fingertips.
  • “Right now, we can be intellectually close to people who are three thousand miles away, while in the same respect, we may be far away from those sitting right next to us”
  • Teaching with Technology Podcast: The Kindergarten Achievement Gap, Creating Video Clips (under Media category), Educating Parents about Digital Communication, and Five Tips for a Class Web Site.


Group 1-Curator Post for Week 7 “Learning Networks”

This week’s topic of audio and video technologies brought some very interesting views and points to light. Our group drew various elements of importance from the assigned readings and included examples from our own personal lives that solidified these key findings.

First, Courtney stated what each member in our group felt which is “education is changing!” Courtney and I felt similar about the Richardson and Mancabelli article at first. She wrote that she, “…was a little frightened up until the article mentioned that we need to teach our students how to effectively learn online.” Courtney reminds us that teachers and knowledge are not scarce. We need to teach our students how to create their own education using these technologies. By using these technologies, we allow our students to make real world connections as exemplified in the Anthropology classroom. These students will build deeper connections to their learning which will by everlasting. Courtney also shared her own personal example of using podcasts in her classroom for lessons. Students can then access the information at their own pace and can listen to them over and over again until they are comfortable with the information. This is a great example that ties to this week’s lesson.

Cheryl stated that she learns best by watching others. She offers insight that when using audio/video, we help to “bring alive a subject.” When teaching a subject in this manner, it becomes a “powerful tool to expand the base of knowledge and increase rate of knowledge gain.” She also suggests that these tools help to facilitate motivation within the interaction they provide and that this type of motivation will eventually foster a heightened motivation to learn.

Jordan believes that the integration of audio/video provides depth and authenticity to content. He believes that it helps to make knowledge “stick” with the learner due to the increase in interaction. Jordan referenced Richardson and Mancabelli when discussing the idea that, “…it is more about how much information you can access in your personal learning network, rather than how much information you have in your brain at any one time.” He realizes that when students are following interest based learning then they will seek the resources they need to learn. He provided his own example of this when describing his interest and need to learn Spanish in his new location (Miami). He shared about the resources he is now using on the internet to help him communicate and learn Spanish for his everyday life.

In my own personal reflections, I echoed much of what my other group members have stated. I believe that when students are self-initiating their learning through an interest, they will work to seek answers to less commonly asked questions; questions that will inspire deeper thinking, a heightened engagement in learning, and a wider collaborative base when researching a similar topic. The biggest advantage that I see when using audio/video in the learning environment is an increase in the motivation of learners.

Collectively, two members of our group felt that the measure of literacy about “managing, analyzing, and synthesizing multiple streams of simultaneous information” was the most challenging. Jordan discussed the idea of needing to stay focused when learning a certain subject instead of becoming distracted by the social networks or web activities that are so ever-present. Cheryl believes that this is challenging due to the lack of hardware or software for student use. I believed that “building relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally” would be the most challenging because of the importance of teaching our students who you can trust as a reliable source.

Overall, each member provided some great reflections and insights into the topic of audio/video technologies and learning networks.

Submitted by: Marie

Week 7 overview of group 2

This week there was an interesting mix of points and perceptions from group two.

Erika talked about “going public” as an important final step in the learning process which is often overlooked and underrated. She points out that it is important that students have the opportunity to share what and how they’ve learned publicly and be able to reflect on the learning process. There was a lot of talk about understanding the implications and importance of technology.

Melissa echoed a lot of Erika’s thoughts when she talked about changing our thought processes. How change is inherent in this new system, and anyone not willing to change is going to be in trouble. This is where access to and openness for professional development will be crucial. 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.

Justin talked about “authentic learning” and how we need more authentic learning experiences. He used World Simulation Project as an example since its’ ultimate goal is to allow students to get real world experiences. He also talked about how important change is and how inseparable technology skills are to that change going forward.

In my blog post, I completely agreed with Justin’s viewpoint on authentic learning and looking at we can most effectively immerse our students in the content that they are learning. How do we keep the learning process alive, agile and interactive for students?

All in all, a great group of posts from a great group in general.