October 2016 archive

Evaluative Report

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(a) Evaluative statement

Information and knowledge are no longer only bound in books or broadcast by television and radio networks, they have been set free. The internet has forever changed the way information is distributed, consumed and shared (De Saulles, 2012). Where once information was scarce and the preserve of the elite, it is now plentiful and potentially available to anyone with the skills to manage and exploit it (Wesch, 2009).

The defining characteristics of New models of information production (Malbon, 2016) include access to free or low cost information from local and global sources, web 2.0 tools for the consumption and creation of information and knowledge and network capabilities for communication and collaboration. According to Wesch (2009), these new and emerging models exist because of technology and network infrastructure but the way they are appropriated and harnessed is a social revolution. New and emerging models of information production have disrupted existing systems (Wheeler, 2015) and present challenges and opportunities for educators and information professionals in areas such as digital literacy, digital citizenship and knowledge management. For equitable participation in society, educational institutions must teach students about networks, while also using these networks (Pegrum,2010). 

In addition to information and digital literacy, network literacy (Malbon, 2016) is essential for lifelong learning. Rheingold (2011) asserts that network literacy allows people to form groups, participate and innovate. Networks are not new. People have been gathering, participating in communities and sharing common interests long before mass computing came along. Networked publics, mediated by social media allow people to connect and construct communities without geography being an issue (boyd, 2014). As the internet was emerging McClure (1994) could foresee that new skills would be required to use electronic information effectively. McClure was concerned that individuals that were network illiterate would be disadvantaged and become second-class citizens. Sixteen years later and with the impact of the social networks, Pegrum (2010) also stated that without network literacy, individuals risk being excluded from society. Schools therefore have a role to play in teaching students how to navigate networks for informal and formal learning.

In a networked society, schools and the transfer of knowledge by teachers are just one node in a student’s network (Pegrum, 2010). Many young people, but certainly not all, have the ability to leverage digital media to pursue personal interests outside of school (Ito et.al., 2013). A Connected educator (Malbon, 2016), as reflected on in the blog post, realises that network learning is possible in the classroom too and takes advantage of blogs, wikis, collaborative tools, social networks and other digital tools for engagement and learning. Educators have to understand the tools and technology themselves before they can share their knowledge with their students (Nussbaum-Beach & Ritter Hall, 2011). Looking into the future (Malbon, 2016) outlines the trends that are beginning to impact schools and the need for educators to adapt. Connected learning is becoming possible with the increase in one-to-one computing, network infrastructure that includes wi-fi and cloud computing and the inclusion of twenty-first century skills in government curriculums. The difficulty in assessing so called “soft skills” (Scardamalia, Bransford, Kozma & Quellmalz, 2011) is a barrier that has to be overcome by innovative educators.

Becoming a connected educator involves taking ownership of one’s learning and being willing to share successes, failures and learning with others. The shift from isolation to connecting and sharing takes time and effort (Nussbaum-Beach & Ritter Hall, 2011). Self-directed learning and the development of a personal learning network (PLN) is crucial to adapting to a changing digital environment (Rajagopal, Joosten-ten Brinke, Van Bruggen & Sloep, 2012). Face-to-face networking can occur in person or can be mediated by technology. My first Teachmeet (Malbon, 2016) is an example of how networks can leverage technology to organise “in real life” events. Exploring and learning how to use web 2.0 tools such as Storify, Tweetdeck, LinkedIn (Malbon, 2016) is made easier by online tutorials and reviews. By playing with tools, strengths and weaknesses can be identified and application to one’s own situation or to the classroom determined (Wheeler, 2015). Once an educator is familiar with a variety of tools and new information seeking strategies, decisions can be made on appropriate pedagogical approaches.

The development of a PLN, use of web 2.0 tools and social networks can lead to information overload (Christozov & Toleva-Stoimenova, 2013). Strategies to filter and critically evaluate information are essential to manage and make sense of information (Jarche, 2010). Digital curation is an information life skill for educators and students (Valenza, 2012). The blog post Digital curation and Storify (Malbon, 2016) is both an example of digital curation and confirmation of its importance to lifelong learning. The 2016 ISTE Standards for Students acknowledge that students need to critically curate using digital tools to be effective knowledge constructors (International Society for Technology in Education, 2016). Consequently educators will need to model digital curation and teach students how to locate, select, analyse, organise and present information (Antonio & Tuffley, 2015).

Delivering learner-centred instruction that utilises blended learning is achievable in schools with good information technology infrastructure and one-to-one mobile device policies. Knowledge of instructional design can assist educators to produce artefacts, make use of distributed resources (Prensky, 2010) and take advantage of collaborative opportunities. A novice attempt at using instructional design to produce a short video for use in a blended classroom can be viewed in the blog post Knowledge networking artefact (Malbon, 2016). The willingness to experiment with tools, make mistakes, gain feedback and share the artefact with others resulted in a valuable resource for the creator and their PLN to use in a blended environment. Viewing and critiquing other people’s artefacts also helps in recognising instructional design elements and how they contribute to engagement and learning. Peer review such as Critique – What is a PLN (Malbon, 2016) also provides constructive feedback to the creator that can be taken into consideration for future artefacts.

The cultivation of skills for self-directed and lifelong learning are essential in an ever changing technological world and knowledge-based economy where “everything – and everyone – around us can be seen as resources for learning” (Thomas & Brown, 2011, p. 32). Learning, growing and exploring (Malbon, 2016) is supported and facilitated by our personalised networks.  

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(b) Reflective Statement

I am a teacher librarian and describe myself an information professional so I was quite confident when I began studying Knowledge networking for educators (INF532). Filtering, sifting, organising, analysing, categorising and presenting information and knowledge are skills I learned in my undergraduate degree twenty-three years ago and have continued to develop using my personal learning network (PLN).

In my blog post Network Literacy (Malbon, 2016) I reflected on how networks have changed during my adult life. As an undergraduate student I received no formal education or training using the internet because it was not available. I had to be a self-directed learner and learn about the internet informally using books, asking colleagues questions and by using it.

Fast forward to 2016 and I am learning about information production, distribution and transmission in a formal university setting, however this university online. I access my course material through a learning management system, I attend virtual meetings and I can use the library twenty-four hours a day. I openly and regularly discuss course content in an online forum and I use Twitter (@KMalbon) to connect and share resources with my peers using the hashtag #INF532. Collaboration with my assigned module summary group was made easy using the collaborative features of Google Docs and Google Hangouts allow me to have face-to-face conversations. With five subjects already completed and a digital toolkit established I felt that I was well on my way to being a connected educator.

A connected educator directs their own learning, connects and collaborates so they can grow professionally (Nussbaum-Beach & Ritter Hall, 2011). With technology and web 2.0 tools, educators are no longer restrained by geography and the need to meet face-to-face. Educators can connect synchronously and asynchronously using social networks and web 2.0 tools to communicate, collaborate, curate and create (Whitby, 2014). When writing my Connected Educator Reflection (Malbon, 2016) blog post I realised that my participation levels were not that high. I consumed information, shared interesting links and articles with colleagues and curated material for myself but I was hesitant to start conversations or be involved in collaborative projects.


flickr photo shared by kleem9 under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

Following on from two comments I made in forum 2.2 and 2.4 I set myself some goals to become more connected:

  • Comment on blog posts (Thinkspace and external) and reply to comments on my blog
  • Ask questions on Twitter and participate in a Twitter chat
  • Participate in a Teachmeet
  • Share my knowledge networking artefact through various social networks
  • Progress from aggregating resources for myself to curating resources and sharing with my PLN
  • Share what I have learned from INF532 with my colleagues at work

Using my already established Feedly account I followed and categorised INF532 student blog posts. I felt that I got to know my fellow students better by commenting on their blog posts. Some of the comments led to mini conversations taking place in the comments section such as these with Emma (Hinchcliffe, 2016) and Kelly (Hollis, 2016). I also commented on a blog post by Kaye Oddone (Oddone, 2016) on content curation that helped me to clarify the topic of my knowledge networking artefact. My initial comment led to a conversation between Kaye, myself and content curation guru Robin Good. I also made an effort to reply to most of the comments made on my blog posts like I have here on the post My First Teachmeet (Malbon, 2016). Commenting and replying to blog posts was so valuable to me during INF532. I was no longer just following people and passively consuming content, I was engaging. I was able to discuss, share knowledge, ask questions, provide feedback and get feedback.

Early in the session I nervously participated in my first Teachmeet and then reflected on it with the blog post, My First Teachmeet (Malbon, 2016). Teachmeets are a wonderful blend of face-to-face and online network learning. Organised by educators for educators, the aim of a Teachmeet is to share experiences with your peers (New South Wales Department of Education, 2016) using short face-to-face presentations and continuing conversations using a Twitter hashtag. I have found that Teachmeets allow me to direct my own learning, improve my professional practice and strengthen my personal learning network. I have signed myself up to present at  another Teachmeet Melbourne in November.

Retrieved from https://youtu.be/JW-ENj1h6LY

Twitter has been an essential tool in my PLN for a number of years but I was not using it to its full potential. I increased my participation level by asking questions, answering questions and having more conversations. Although most of my questions went unanswered, the reward I got when someone replied to them was thrilling. I tweeted my knowledge networking artefact directly to some curation experts and as shown in my blog post Knowledge Networking Artefact (Malbon, 2016) they replied and shared my artefact with their PLN. The sharing of my knowledge networking artefact to my PLN on Twitter and Facebook has resulted in my artefact being viewed on YouTube 169 times. 


Unfortunately my goal to participate in Twitter chats was not fully realised. I used TweetDeck to participate in the #INF532 Twitter chat and found it an exhilarating experience. Now that I have some more time available to me I will definitely be participating in some more Twitter chats. As explained in my blog post, TweetDeck (Malbon, 2016) is now part of my personal knowledge management strategy (Jarche, 2013) because after a little practice it makes following hashtags and participating in Twitter chats easier.

As a teacher librarian I have always been collegial and willing to share my experiences and resources with others through my PLN. I was already sharing through social networks and curation platforms but INF532 has given me the confidence to take the next step. I have discovered new tools and increased my participation level in my PLN so I am ready to model and provide leadership to my colleagues in knowledge networking, developing a PLN and becoming connected educators. I would also like help students cultivate their social networks and PLN for learning (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2011). In the blog post Looking into the future (Malbon, 2016) I noted trends such as online learning and students as creators that the library must support and resource. The instructional design knowledge I have acquired will be extremely beneficial in developing a digital library for students to access anytime and anywhere and in the design of blended learning experiences. I am a teacher librarian who is becoming a connected educator by being a networked, lifelong learner.

References

Antonio, A., & Tuffley, D. (2015). Promoting Information Literacy in Higher Education through Digital Curation. M/C Journal, 18(4). Retrieved from http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/view/987

boyd, d. (2014). It’s complicated: the social lives of networked teens. London: Yale University Press

Christozov, D., & Toleva-Stoimenova, S. (2013). Knowledge Diffusion via Social Networks: The 21st Century Challenge. International Journal of Digital Literacy and Digital Competence (IJDLDC), 2(4), 1-12. doi:10.4018/jdldc.2013040101

De Saulles, M. (2012). New models of information production. In Information 2.0 : new models of information production, distribution and consumption (pp. 13-35). London : Facet.

Hinchcliffe, E. (2016, September 21). Content curation and the digital age [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/thedigilearner/2016/09/21/content-curation-and-the-digital-age/#comments

Hollis, K. (2016, September, 25). Building a knowledge network [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/theindependentvariable/2016/09/25/building-a-knowledge-network/comment-page-1/#comment-25

International Society for Technology in Education. (2016). ISTE standards for students. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org

Ito, M., Gutierrez, K., Livingstone, S., Penuel, B., Rhodes, J., Salen, K., . . . Watkins, S. C. (2013). Connected learning: An agenda for research and design. Retrieved from Irvine, California: http://clrn.dmlhub.net/

Jarche, H. (2010). Network learning: Working smarter with PKM. Life in perpetual beta. Retrieved from http://jarche.com/2010/10/network-learning-working-smarter/

Malbon, K. (2016, July 17).  Discovering a philosophy of information in digital environments [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_14518_1&conf_id=_23625_1&forum_id=_60439_1&message_id=_818248_1&nav=discussion_board_entry

Malbon K. (2016, July 26). Connected educator reflection [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2016/07/26/connected-educator-relfection/

Malbon K. (2016, August 4). Network literacy [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2016/08/04/network-literacy/

Malbon K. (2016, August 25). Digital curation and Storify [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2016/08/25/digital-curation-and-storify/

Malbon K. (2016, September 14). Knowledge networking artefact [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2016/09/14/knowledge-networking-artefact/

Malbon K. (2016, September 21). Looking into the future [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2016/09/21/looking-into-the-future/

Malbon K. (2016, September 28). TweetDeck [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2016/09/29/tweetdeck/

Malbon K. (2016, October 3). Critique – what is a PLN?  [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2016/10/03/critique-what-is-a-pln/

Malbon K. (2016, October 5). Learning, growing and exploring [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2016/10/05/learning-growing-and-exploring/

Malbon K. (2016, October 5). LinkedIn [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2016/10/05/linkedin/

Malbon K. (2016, October 5). My first Teachmeet [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/karenmalbon/2016/09/28/my-first-teachmeet/

McClure, C. R. (1994). Network literacy: A role for libraries? Information Technology and Libraries, 13(2), 115-125.

New South Wales Department of Education. (2016). What is a Teachmeet? Retrived from https://education.nsw.gov.au/futures-learning/reimagining-professional-learning/strategies-for-collaborative-professional-learning/what-is-a-teachmeet

Nussbaum-Beach, S., & Ritter Hall, L. (2011). Classroom Strategies : The Connected Educator : Learning and Leading in a Digital Age (1). Bloomington, US: Solution Tree Press.

Oddone, K. (2016, August 3). Digital content curation: More important that ever! [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.linkinglearning.com.au/digital-content-curation-more-important-than-ever/

Pegrum, M. (2010). ‘I Link, Therefore I Am’: Network Literacy as a Core Digital Literacy. E-Learning and Digital Media, 7(4), 346-354. doi:10.2304/elea.2010.7.4.346

Prensky, M. (2010). Teaching digital natives: Partnering for real learning. London: Sage.

Rajagopal, K., Joosten-ten Brinke, D., Van Bruggen, J., & Sloep, P. (2011). Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them. First Monday, 17(1). doi:10.5210/fm.v17i1.3559

Rheingold, H. (2012). Introduction: Why you need digital know-how—Why we all need it. In Net smart: How to thrive online. Retrieved fromhttp://mitpress.mit.edu/sites/default/files/titles/content/9780262017459_sch_0001.pdf

Richardson, W., & Mancabelli, R. (2011). The power of networked learning. In Personal learning networks : using the power of connections to transform education (pp. 1-14). Moorabbin, Victoria: Solution Tree Press.

Scardamalia, M., Bransford, J., Kozma, B., & Quellmalz, E. (2012). New assessments and environments for knowledge building. In Assessment and teaching of 21st century skills (pp. 231-300). Netherlands: Springer Retrieved fromhttp://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/docDetail.action?docID=10505222

Wesch, M. (2009, January 7). From kowledgable to knowledge-able: learning in new media environments [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.academiccommons.org/2014/09/09/from-knowledgable-to-knowledge-able-learning-in-new-media-environments/

Valenza, J. K. (2012). Curation. School Library Monthly, 29(1).

Wheeler, S. (2015). Learning with ‘e’s: Educational theory and practice in the digital age. [Kindle edition].

Whitby, T. (2014, October 1). The connected educator: It begins with collaboration. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/connected-educator-begins-with-collaboration-tom-whitby

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Learning, growing and exploring

I have read the chapter Arc of Life Learning by Thomas & Brown (2011) a few times since starting this course. When I read it recently, it reminded me of the local photography club I belong to. It is a made up of a group of adults who share a common interest and meet regularly to listen, discuss, share, learn and teach each other about their passion. Most members of the club are motivated to participate and experiment (Thomas & Brown, 2011), just like those mentioned in the chapter because of their passion and desire to learn more.

The club also has virtual spaces for the communication, dissemination and sharing of information. A website includes club news, the history of the club, the calendar of events, competition rules images by members and curated resources on photography. Email is used to remind people of upcoming events, to summarise club meetings for those who were unable to attend and other organisational activities. Recently a members only Facebook group was established where members can continue conversations between meetings by asking each other questions and sharing images, resources and knowledge. Some members are learning how to use Facebook from their peers at the club so that they can participate.

Learning and the transfer of knowledge amongst members occurs through a fusion of resources (Thomas & Brown (2011):

  • expert presenters
  • club member presentations
  • workshops
  • photography competitions with judging/critique
  • excursions
  • video tutorials
  • books and magazines
  • informal conversations
wcc1

Image by Karen Malbon ©

Some members also participate in online photography groups and meetups that are organised online through social media networks such as Meetup, IgersMelbourne, Canon Collective and Facebook groups.

Members are creating something meaningful (Thomas & Brown (2011) and sharing their photography on Instagram, Flickr, 500PX or making photobooks and prints. Members of my local photography range in age, experience and formal education level attained but their passion keeps them “learning, growing, and exploring”  (Thomas & Brown (2011, p. 18).

References

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). Arc-of-Life learning. In A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change (pp. 17-33). Lexington, KY: CreateSpace.

 

 

Ning

I feel a bit guilty that I have not investigated Nings before. I have heard of them but never had a specific reason to be part of one. Ning is a platform for the creation of social networks or communities around a common interest. Ning has been been around for more than ten years.

 

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-1-43-47-pm

I am a member of The Global Teacher Librarian Network but I am a lurker and not a participant. The Ning contains special interest groups, a forum, Twitter feeds, videos, photos blog posts and more. Currently they are promoting The Library 2.016 Worldwide Virtual Conference on October 6. INF532 assignment 2 and the time zone will prevent me from following this conference live but I will be accessing the recordings in the coming weeks.

I can see enormous potential for becoming more involved in this network. I am adding this Ning to my personal learning network and will endeavour to participate and contribute to the global community. I have made a start by sharing my INF532 artefact to the video section.

screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-2-06-01-pm

 

LinkedIn

linkedin-400850_640

CC0 Public Domain – Pixabay

I signed up to LinkedIn last year and created a brief profile but did not use it or make any connections. Throughout this session I have been exploring LinkedIn as a possible tool to expand my personal learning network (PLN).

I now have 52 connections made up mostly of teacher librarians, librarians, CSU students and educators. I have fleshed out my profile a little bit but it still needs some more work. I looked at the profiles of my connections to get some ideas of what to include on my own profile.

I sent a LinkedIn message to fellow INF532 student and new LinkedIn connection Kathryn McGilvray and she kindly offered to have a chat to me about her experiences with LinkedIn using a Google Hangoutscreen-shot-2016-10-04-at-10-18-14-pmAlthough the hangout was to talk about LinkedIn we strayed to other topics and talked about our experiences studying online at CSU. It was wonderful to connect with another student and have a chat that was “face-to-face” but mediated by technology. Within Kathryn’s tertiary industry she finds different people on LinkedIn than Twitter. So far on LinkedIn I have connected mostly with people that I am already following on Twitter.

I have requested to join groups relating to school libraries and education but most of them are still pending weeks later. This indicates to me that LinkedIn may not be the preferred network for my sector. Teacher Librarians appear to be more active on Twitter. However it is early days for me and LinkedIn so I will persist and try and get into the habit of using it like I do with Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps in the near future these weak ties in my PLN (Pegrum, 2010) will prove useful and fruitful.

References

Pegrum, M. (2010). ‘I Link, Therefore I Am’: Network literacy as a core digital literacy. In E-Learning and Digital Media, 7(4), 346-354.

Critique – What is a PLN?

What is a PLN? by Kath Ellis

I chose to critique this artefact because the target audience is senior students, the same audience I chose for my artefact. Within my own artefact for senior students on digital curation, I referred very briefly to personal learning networks. I think that this artefact complements mine and could be paired with mine to give students a better understanding of PLNs and the tools that they can use to learn now and into the future. I was also intrigued by the animation tool utilised to create the knowledge networking artefact.

Retrieved from https://youtu.be/evlWD5qiRI8

What is a PLN? is a brief animated video constructed using Animatron and hosted on YouTube. Animation, text and narration complement each other and clearly convey what a PLN is, why students should cultivate one and practical suggestions on how to get started. The narrator begins by concisely explaining the different terminology that is used to describe a personal learning network and reinforces the terms with a simple animation. It is evident early in the video that senior students are the intended audience through the inclusion of “vox pops” of students being filmed and asked what they think a personal learning network is. This element engages the target audience and sets the scene for further exploration.

In designing the artefact, the attention span of the audience has been considered and the running time of just over three minutes is appropriate to introduce the topic and not overwhelm the audience.  A basic instructional design of tell, show, do and review is utilised. The narrator tells the audience what a PLN is, why developing PLN is important and how students can leverage tools to develop a PLN. Social networking logos appear and show familiar social tools that can be used for learning and to develop a PLN. By using familiar social tools as examples, the creator provides students with a non-threatening starting point. The narrator and accompanying visuals indicate, very briefly, how the tools could be used by students. The narrators’s call to action, extolling the benefits of PLNs, encourages students to go ahead and do it.

The video does stand alone, however the lack of interaction required by the viewer makes the learning experience rather passive. This passivity could easily be overcome by using the video as a stimulus for further discussion in the classroom and thus providing multiple opportunities for learner engagement. The video is well paced, clearly narrated, uncluttered and adequately answers the question in the title.