Blog Task 3: Visit three of the blogs of this subject cohort. Browse through the blogs and choose at least one post to leave a considered reflective comment about content, or ideas, or thinking that might have been stimulated by reading the post.
I’m slowly working my way through “Module 3: Knowledge Networks”. It’s slow going because I’m really really into it. I’m following links to links to other links and getting washed down a rabbit hole of information. What makes this information meaningful for me is that what I’m learning is shining a stark spotlight on my current practice. I was reasonably confident that I was designing learning experiences which hit on 21st Century skills and competencies. I peppered in what I thought was smart use of Web 2.0 software, a bit of blogging and wiki-learning. It turns out though, I’m probably just engaging students in “low level” learning experiences – a realisation both sweet and sour. I’ve not been utilising these tools to their potential – but now that I can see their potential, backed with the knowledge I’ve been acquiring through the modules and I’m excited about what learning experiences I can design and where my students will take their own learning for the upcoming term.
So with that in mind, I read Margaret Simkin’s recent Module 3.1 Reflection.
Margaret highlights that:
- Educators should “realize the importance of curriculum design consciously based around C21st skills and objectives”
The “consciously” part of this sentence struck me, and linked with some of the other interesting tidbits I ran into while exploring through the course content:
- The Conole reading, in particular the ‘Mapping of Web 2.0 tools to different pedagogical approaches’ section.
- An article I read on DML Central about Alan Levine – his title not an Instructional Technologist but a Pedagogical Technologist, reflecting his role as an “architect of open, connected learning systems that enable students to take power over and responsibility for (and joy in!) their own learning.”
- Another point Margaret emphasises, student’s “apparent facility with computers disguises some worrying problems” … “Digital literacies and information literacies do not go hand in hand”
- The useful ‘information fluency’ resources and frameworks, such as the ISTE Nets
- Joyce Valenza’s inspirational Ted Talk about the importance of transliteracy and the evolving learner.
- The Carrington reading which asks – are we teaching students to thrive in a fluid, wiki world, or actually in a world of stable ‘print’ knowledge (and then that wikis are a great place to start for scaffolding, modelling, into this participatory world)
- The OER resources, and the learning design tool CompendiumLD Margaret linked.
So, these and other core points have coalesced into certain personal understandings:
Connecting, participating, and openness is of central importance. But it’s not a skill students have innately – no matter how it may seem sometimes – therefore students need to be scaffolded, guided and modelled. Every student is different, so they will all need different levels scaffolding – knowing your students is key. Web 2.0 tools are an effective platform with which to enact these experiences of participating and connecting. Learning within these environments, coupled with a ‘conscious’ attention to the right learning activities, trigger the key skills, attributes and behaviours we know of as “information literacy”.
So I guess if you’re doing all that, you’re will on your way to becoming a “pedagogical technologist”!
Some questions at this stage though:
- In what ways can blends be formed between information literacy and traditional literacy? This is important as in NZ we are mandated to report on achievement towards literacy standards twice yearly.
- A further investigation into open and accessible planning
- How this fits in with a holistic, inquiry based approach to education (I’m sure it does very well, I just want to think about this a bit more)
- As Margaret says, how to “get others on board”.
Thank you to Margaret Simkin for stimulating many of these ideas!