Week 2 Reflections

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Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF537, Other | Posted on July 27, 2015

The Week 2 readings had a focus on participatory learning using a mix of media. Some highlighted offline learning opportunities. For example Caine’s arcade was explored in (Cupaiuolo, 2014). Many of the other chapters in Participatory Learning (Ray, Jackson, & Cupaiuolo, 2014) looked at the many ways that the integration of learning in the digital has begun in different areas of life and not just formal schooling. It looked at how the use of participatory learning has engaged people in learning and into the community in a positive manner. This book acts as a reminder to consider the wider learning of our students.

Ross (2012) also asks the reader to consider how reflective writing can be incorporated into the digital format and be participatory with classmates and potentially the wider world. Reflective writing in the form of a blog was not an option not that long ago for many students. It allows them to take note of interesting things about their learning and begin to see how they have grown in their learning over time. I can see how I have grown in my reflective writing over the course of the MEd (KN&DI). I have drawn connections between subjects and learnt from other students’ ideas and thoughts on different topics and concepts. Some of this had included a variety of different resources and media types that I would not have considered before.  As part of my reflecting on my own learning, I can see how education has changed in the fifteen years that I have been a teacher and the resources that I can access to support my lessons and students. I remember having to find spend large amounts of time, creating web quests and the like, only to find that when I went to use them the following year that links were broken and resources were no longer available.

This course has made me more aware of the quality of resources that we do have available in the evolution of the internet. Resources like ABC Splash (Australian Broadcasting Corporation, n.d.) which Annabel Astbury discussed in our first colloquium are invaluable. Given the rich archival materials of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), having such a resource to draw upon with the links to the Australian Curriculum clearly indicated is a treasure trove of resources that students can dive into to support their learning in a wide range of areas. The fact that the ABC Splash site is not just providing video footage, is also helpful for learning. A number of students enjoy gaming as a part of their learning and so the variety of educational games that have been developed by ABC Splash is impressive. They also have noted that the use of these games has increased over time. The interactive sessions and competitions have also been very popular which allows students to participate and create their learning with others in the digital medium. Students need to have the opportunity to engage and create within their learning experiences to make it worthwhile to themselves and for the future

Learning as a lifestyle is going to be widely embraced. It’s critical to any economic transformation and our social rescue. (Chaplin, 2014, para 41)

As a teacher, I need to ensure that I continue to be a part of the evolution of the internet and it’s many and varied resources. I need to continue to transition from the learner and teacher that I was when I first started teaching.

We are transitioned into always transitioning (Cupaiuolo, 2014, para 32)

 

References:

 

Australian Broadcasting Corporation. (n.d.). ABC Splash Home. Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://splash.abc.net.au/home#!/home

Chaplin, H. (2014). Q&A: Mike Hawkins on YOUmedia and Engaging Teens as Creators, Critical Thinkers and Producers. In B. Ray, S. Jackson, & C. Cupaiuolo, Participatory learning (Kindle edition). MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative.

Cupaiuolo, C. (2014). “We Came to Play”: Lessons on Connected Learning and Creativity from Caine’s Arcade. In B. Ray, S. Jackson, & C. Cupaiuolo, Participatory learning (Kindle edition). MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative.

Ray, B., Jackson, S., & Cupaiuolo, C. (2014). Participatory Learning (Kindle edition). MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative.

Ross, J. (2012). The spectacle and the placeholder: Digital futures for reflective practices in higher education. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Networked Learning (pp. pp. 227–244). Retrieved from http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fss/organisations/netlc/past/nlc2012/abstracts/pdf/ross.pdf

 

The spectacle and the placeholder

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Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF537 | Posted on July 26, 2015

Notes from

Ross, J. (2012). The spectacle and the placeholder: Digital futures for reflective practices in higher education. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Networked Learning (pp. 227–244). Retrieved from http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fss/organisations/netlc/past/nlc2012/abstracts/pdf/ross.pdf

I like the concepts that Ross develops and expands on about the spectacle and placeholder in critical, reflective practices by students.

The spectacle acknowledges performance, audience, and surveillance, and suggests a playful and knowing orientation towards seeing and being seen. The placeholder gestures towards speed and partiality, and offers fragmentation, appropriation and creativity in the form of the remix. (Ross, 2012. p260)

The spectacle acknowledges performance, audience, and surveillance, and suggests a playful and knowing orientation towards seeing and being seen. The placeholder gestures towards speed and partiality, and offers fragmentation, appropriation and creativity in the form of the remix. The spectacle entails a shift in thinking about what reflection is for, and what it does, and the placeholder provides a way of actually producing reflection differently. The two concepts can work together to produce a new vision of online reflection. (Ross, 2012. p261)

I know that throughout my current MEd, I have been using both of these lenses for my reflection on my learning in the four subjects that I have studied, including in this subject. Many of my blog posts are in the placeholder arena. Whereas, there are compulsory points in each of my subjects where I have had to stop and clearly articulate my learning, combining the two concepts but with more of an emphasis on the spectacle reflection.  

Many of my blog posts are appear to be more of the placeholder 

taggable, searchable, reconfigurable fragment of content. The opposite of a narrative, the placeholder stands alone as an expression of a thought, idea or moment. (Ross, 2012. p262)

They are bits of information that I went “Ah ha. This is important about this reading/article/piece of information.” It allows me an easily accessible thought/concept that I may develop further in my learning in that subject or something that may be of use in one of the assignments for that subject. 

review this spectacle and draw their own connections and conclusions about what the content from the week has ‘revealed’ to them about their learning …

punctuated by sense-making exercises which – often playfully – attempt to impose order on the fragments of the week. …

Digital reflection using a model of speed and fragmentation brings the past into the present, where it can be taken up and made anew.(Ross, 2012. p264)

It allows me to remix information at a later time to show the connections I’ve drawn demonstrating these in the spectacle blog post reflections that have been required in my subjects.

 

 

Reference

Ross, J. (2012). The spectacle and the placeholder: Digital futures for reflective practices in higher education. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Networked Learning (pp. 227–244). Retrieved from http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/fss/organisations/netlc/past/nlc2012/abstracts/pdf/ross.pdf

The future of learning institutions in a digital age

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Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF537 | Posted on July 26, 2015

Some notes and thinking on

Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. (2009). The future of learning institutions in a digital age. The MIT Press.

A key term in thinking about these emergent shifts is participatory learning. Participatory learning includes the many ways that learners (of any age) use new technologies to participate in virtual communities where they share ideas, comment on one another’s projects, and plan, design, implement, advance, or simply discuss their practices, goals, and ideas together. (Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. 2009, p12)

The concept of participatory learning is very The Classroom or the World Wide Web? 13 different from “IT” (Instructional Technology). IT is usually a toolkit application that is predetermined and even institutionalized with little, if any, user discretion, choice, or leverage. IT tends to be top-down, designer determined, administratively driven, commercially fashioned. In participatory learning, outcomes are typically customizable by the participants. (Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. 2009, p12-13)

Participatory learning is happening now—not in the future, but now. Those coming into our educational system rely on participatory learning for information about virtually everything in their lives. (Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. 2009, p13)

So often schools still seem to be in the Instructional Technology mode. I know that I’m struggling with my current school a bit because I have been informed that there needs to be the same curriculum for all students studying English (with only slight adjustments for different novels). This has come down from the principal apparently according to the Head of English. I’ve only had 3 days at the school already to begin to process what’s required by the school for the classes I’m taking for 4 weeks. The lack of available online devices by students is also concerning me as they can’t interact with each other and even others in the wider community and world. The school has gone hard BYOD without supporting students and families who cannot afford a computing device for each student in their family. There are limited laptops available in trolleys for students to access to support their learning in the classroom (2 trolleys of about 15 laptops each for about 12 classrooms which can be quite busy at times with no apparent booking system for them).

I can’t help my students who want that participatory learning to happen at school or at least the connectivity of learning.

This puts education and educators in the position of bringing up the rearguard, of holding desperately to the fragments of an educational system which, in its form, content, and assessments, is deeply rooted in an antiquated mode of learning. … But how many have actually rethought the modes of organization, the structures of knowledge, and the relationships between and among groups of students, faculty, and others across campus or around the world? That larger challenge—to harness and focus the participatory learning methods in which our students are so accomplished—is only now beginning to be introduced and typically in relatively rare and isolated formats.  (Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. 2009, p14)

that learning institutions can be developed to do a better job of enlisting the imagination of youth and to use the specialized interests of young people for the purposes of placing in practice wise and rigorous forms of knowledge sharing. To accomplish this end will require that educators rethink their most cherished methodologies and assumptions.  (Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. 2009, p23)

Institutional education has tended to be authoritative, top-down, standardized, and predicated on individuated assessment measured on standard tests. Increasingly today, work regimes involve collaboration with colleagues in teams. Multitasking and overlapping but not discrete strengths and skills reinforce capacities to work around problems, work out solutions, and work together to complete projects. … In short, from learning that to learning how, from content to process. (Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. 2009, p27)

It’s hard to change this in some schools. Some schools that I have taught at have allowed and encouraged the connecting to the outside world; to collaborate with other classes and subjects; to help students transfer skills more easily from one setting to another; they fostered this and strongly encouraged this. Other schools have be quite set in their ways. My current school is still firm on the phones must be in students’ bags and not out in lesson (for the majority of teachers and subjects, those that don’t are subversive). It’s plastered on the wall notices that students must not have phones out in class. It was one of the first instructions I was given that students need to ensure that they are away. Yet I had students wanting to take photos of the notes on the board. (saved to the school’s learning management system as well)

Learning is shifting from issues of authoritativeness to issues of credibility. A major part of the future of learning is in developing methods, often communal, for distinguishing good knowledge sources from those that are questionable (Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. 2009, p27-28)

This is definitely a work in progress for understanding and developing in schools.

It has become obvious that from the point of view of participatory learning there is no finality (Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. 2009, p33)

This is definitely me! This is why I decided to start this Master of Education. I needed to find time to learn about using Web 3.0 and associated concepts in the classroom. I knew I couldn’t do the chalk/board & talk that I had grown up with and starting teaching with. It wasn’t engaging students; we weren’t learning or engaging together. 

Reference

Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. (2009). The future of learning institutions in a digital age. The MIT Press.

Week 2 ponderings

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Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF537 | Posted on July 23, 2015

This week has been an interesting week when trying to process the readings and first colloquium presentation.

I’ve been thrown a curve ball by being offered and accepting a short 4 week contract teaching English and ESL full-time filling in for an extended sick leave position. The circumstances when arriving at the school in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide were interesting. I was expecting to have some clear ideas about what was to be covered; this has been very broad and slightly confusing. I discovered that I was to teach 2 novels that I haven’t yet read. The students look to been more challenging than I have been used to in some classes. I was anticipating having ready or at least relatively easy access to laptops/computers. This has not been the case, to say the least. The school is appears not be to supplying devices to students for study purposes and BYOD is supposed to be happening. This is not occurring much at all. I’ve had to try to encourage students to use pen and paper (their own or supplied by me) to complete tasks. Some classes have been more successful than others  in attempting work. Students have been using the “no laptop means I can’t work” excuse so this has been a bit of a shock to my system. I’m used to most schools in the Adelaide region having reasonable access to some sort of computing device for students. I was expecting to be able to connect more with different resources online with students and to have students willing to submit assignments online for marking & feedback.

Before being offered my contract on Tuesday, I did try to read and prepare for for the colloquium presentation with Annabel Astbury. I did explore the ABC Splash website looking at the English and Geography resources particularly as they have been my two most recent lower secondary teaching areas. But I didn’t get a huge amount of time to explore the readings on participatory learning in any depth. I got as far as downloading Civics: Participating in a digital world book but haven’t found the time or brain power to start exploring it.

I did find the spectacle and the placeholder reading interesting. I did highlight a lot of points for my own reflection. I’ll be putting those up in another post, probably tomorrow.

 

Thinkings about Introduction Module

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Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF537 | Posted on July 15, 2015

Looking at the context of learning in 21st century.

Some quotes which sound useful/interesting

Selwyn, N. (2010). Looking beyond learning: notes towards the critical study of educational technology. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(1), 65–73. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2009.00338.x.

the academic study of educational technology
could be accused of having worked itself into an
analytic corner – well-able to discuss how educational
technologies could and should be used, but less competent
and confident in discussing how and why educational
technologies are actually being used. (p66)

the educational technology research
and writing of the 2010s and beyond would be enhanced
greatly if educational technology could be seen as more
than a predominantly technical issue of aligning mind
and machine. (p67)

Gaining a full sense of how and why educational
technologies are being used in the ways that
they are is therefore underpinned by understandings of
how these technologies are socially constructed, shaped
and negotiated by a range of actors and interests. (p69)

the practical significance
of an avowedly ‘state-of-the-art’perspective on technology
and education is often limited – tending to underplay
social influences and relations, and offering little
useful and insight into how present arrangements may
be improved or ameliorated (p69)

Selwyn, N. (2014). Education and ‘the digital’. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 35(1), 155-164. DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2013.856668.

It is perhaps best to remain circumspect – acknowledging that
digital technology is an integral element of the continuing politics of
contemporary education, for better and for worse. (p156)

future work is also
required that frames the use of digital technology against long-standing and
entrenched micro-level concerns of the everyday lived experiences of education.
There is plenty more work to done here, for example, in terms of how
digital practices in education are structured through gender, social class,
race/ethnicity, (dis)ability, age and geography (p164)

 

I found it interesting that there wasn’t more of analysis of why & how technologies were being used, that a lot of research was more focused on what should & could be cutting edge in schools. I liked the idea that there should be more of a social / economic focus in the research to work out why & how technology is being used. There is a digital divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ in schools for a number of reasons and it was interesting to note that Selwyn thinks that this has not really been studied and analysed in detail about this impact of education and technology. The final quote (Selwyn, 2014 p.164) summed it up for me.

INF537 Introduction

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Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF537 | Posted on July 15, 2015

Another session of  uni is about to start; the final one for this Masters to complete. Having had first session off, after doing a summer session, I’m out of the swing of studying again. It’s hard to get started again. INF537 Digital Futures Colloquium looks to continue the challenge of learning, both for me and for what I can take to my students. In some ways I’m looking forward to it but in others I’m not, mainly due to lack of paid work at this stage of the year and not knowing if I’ll have a regular school to base my thinking and connection making on. I’ve found so far in the MEd (KN&DI) that this has helped me understand the content and concepts that we’re exposed to.

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