Critical Reflection on INF537

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As I reflect on this final capstone subject in this highly challenging, varied and so highly relevant degree, I have a sense of professional growth and achievement. Digital Futures Colloquium has contributed to the affirmation, integration and synthesis of ideas from the three other subjects I studied. We have covered aspects of teaching practices for the digital age, designing spaces for learning, design thinking, makerspaces, knowledge networks, digital scholarship and participatory learning.

Two years ago when I began this course I stated that my aim was to be a teacher librarian who can lead a community of learners into a digital world, enjoying opportunities to collaborate, create and help learners use new digital media. I feel confident to do this now because I am a highly networked and digitally literate educator who learns autonomously as I interact with digital media. Being able to understand how digital literacy and scholarship works allows me to design learning experiences and spaces where a school community can develop these skills too. I have the future work skills to ensure that I can add value to the technology that we use as learners and educators.

It has been easy to see how I in my role as a teacher librarian can integrate my understandings of learning in a digital age into my everyday practice. I know that the school library program plays a major role in promoting current pedagogy, adoption of technology, leveraging technology, promoting participatory learning, digital scholarship and digital citizenship.

My digital scholarship skills increased through the practice of research, sharing and refining ideas, reading and responding to blog posts, e-books and websites. Many of the professional readings have been highly appropriate to share with my colleagues and have had a major influence on the ideas that shape my practice.

IFTF_FutureWorkSkillsSummary_01                        2015-K-12-Report-Topics-Graphic-1024x794

My final assessment, a case study addressed the question “Do students become more autonomous as learners when they independently publish digital artefacts online?” and it’s major themes and findings about digital literacy, future work skills and the development of an agile approach to working in a digital age, allowed me to take the first step in leading the school community to match the trends, challenges in the adoption of technology.

This case study provided an opportunity to practice digital scholarship skills with survey design, communication and analysis. Through the use of technology tools, I examined and created many examples of digital media.  I correlated the recommendations for digital learning with my data and could see a pattern of behaviours which could inform better practice. I was pleased that I could see a real pathway for changing the way technology can be adopted in my school community.

In the future the connections in my personal learning network will remain vitally important to ongoing professional growth. Through the digital colloquiums in this subject I have widened this network and seen how others are working in an agile and sharp manner to leverage technology in schools and other learning environments. Listening to the likes of Annabel Astbury and Cathie Howie were excellent opportunities to engage with other professionals who  work together with educators to facilitate the best learning possible in a digital age. A very appropriate collection of ideas that I intend to use to inform my practice was Judy O’Connell’s recent presentation “Developing Agile Approaches in a Digital Age”. This presentation puts the school library centre stage in this approach.

judy agile approach My fellow students and lecturers have been a great source of collaboration and participatory learning. We have continued to engage in the backchannel of Twitter to support our learning and also respond and share through the subject discussion forums. This participation is vital to online learning and results in more ideas, resources, knowledge networks and global connections resulting in digital innovation for learners.

INF532 Evaluative Report

a) An evaluative statement using the networked learning experiences documented on your Thinkspace blog as evidence of meeting the learning objectives of this subject

Educators need to understand the social nature of knowledge networks and the production of information to lead the members of their school communities on a process from being “knowledgeable to knowledge-able” (Wesch, 2010). Throughout this subject Knowledge Networking for Educators INF532 using my blog as a place of reflection, thought and creation I have come to understand more about the nature of information, social networks, information management, learning with digital tools and the value of a personal learning network.

In my first blog post for INF532 I wrote about being a student studying these new models of information (McQueen,2015 March 17) I wanted to attain more knowledge and skills about encouraging my learning community to create content, facilitating great learning (for all), preservation (& curation) of information and expand my Personal learning Network (PLN) and Personal Learning Environment (PLE). I have not been disappointed by the experiences that followed in this subject.

New models of information based on the technology tools of blogs, social media and global communication have had an exponential growth effect on content creation and seen the transformation of existing information formats. Blog posts now can be seen as credible sources of information for e.g. The Huffington Post (De Saulles, 2012). Blogs are going to form a major part of my future PLE in the future; using  the tool Feedly to follow blogs more effectively and strategically is a great starting point (McQueen, 2015 May 29).

Educators and our students are operating in a world where there is a new culture of learning. It’s a culture of learning where we can easily access unlimited resources and amazing technological tools, where learning can be ‘real’ in nearly every area of education and our lives (Thomas & Brown, 2011). This subject encourages educators to examine this culture and try to work out ways to cultivate it, helping others best learn and develop skills to continue learn in many contexts; digital, social and those that don’t even exist yet. I share many progressive thinking educators’ view that schools’ progression into this new culture of learning is being hindered and not supported by many aspects in our educational system (McQueen, 2015 March 21).

However as leaders in educational pedagogy we must take advantage of opportunities to show others how learning environments can be designed differently.  We need to take advantage of the diverse, collective nature of the new learning culture where others can learn from each other (Thomas & Brown, 2011) In Assessment item 2 for this subject I planned and designed a knowledge artefact to instruct my school teaching community about how a teaching team can benefit from developing an online community of practice (McQueen, 2015 March 22). The knowledge networking concepts that I addressed in the artefact were ‘communities of practice’ (Wenger, 2006), ‘participatory cultures’ (Rheingold, Participation Power, 2012), ‘networked learning’ (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2011)and ‘social media literacies’ (Rheingold, 2010). The process of creating this artefact was time consuming, but the persistence in learning to use new tools was worthwhile in the end. I took time during this process to research instructional design techniques that were relevant to adult learners’ needs (Moloney, 2010). The exegesis about this knowledge artefact summarised the purpose and impact of my artefact in supporting knowledge networking in my school’s community of teachers (McQueen, 2015 May 31).The opportunity to observe and critique another colleague’s knowledge artefact provided feedback and access to these artefacts for further use and also practice in the art of evaluating instructional design elements (McQueen, 2015 May 27).

INF532 has facilitated many opportunities to develop a suite of new media tools for information management, content creation, content curation, collaborative work.  I have tried out new tools like Listly (McQueen, 2015 May 29), Feedly (McQueen, 2015 March 21), Pixabay (McQueen 2015 May 31), and persevered with some of my existing tools like groups Diigo and Pinterest to use them more widely. My ever expanding use of Twitter though has been the most influential in developing my PLN.   The power of participation (Rheingold, Participation Power, 2012)was recently made evident when some recent new ideas on the planning of a new Library spaces were amplified via Twitter. Linking information with hashtags and connecting with influential others makes the sharing of good ideas easy. Facilitating these connections leads to the feeling of being a ‘connected educator’ or even leader (McQueen, 2015 May 29).

Pariser’s (2013) talk about “online filter bubbles” highlighted the importance of not only the way networks are influential and monitored in the internet but also the place of educators and especially teacher-librarians to be content curators. Using social curation tools like Pearltrees, Listly, and Pinterest are ways for connected educators to curate and share at the same time (McQueen, 2015 May 22).

Taking time to consider a better future direction in education, so we can support connected learners led to a closer investigation of flipped teaching (McQueen, 2015 May 29) .Amplifying learning using digital tools like Skype, Twitter and Google Hangouts is a simple but effective way of engaging learners and broadcasting their knowledge and created content (McQueen, 2015 May 29). Augmented reality is another new form of engaging connected learners which warrants further investigation (McQueen, 2015 May 28).

INF532 and the reflective blog I continued to contribute to, has provided the networked experiences which have collectively and creatively have made me a much more connected educator.

b) A reflective statement on your development as a connected educator as a result of studying INF532, and the implications for your role as a ‘connected leader’ within your school community, and/or at district/state/national level

To be a connected educator one must first understand what it means to be a learner within our (digital) connected work and also examine them as educator (Nussbaum-Beach & Hall, 2012).  As a result of studying INF532 I have developed an understanding of how knowledge networks form, can be facilitated and encouraged to flourish and also examine myself as a (connected) educator.

In the beginning of INF532 I reflected on my status as a connected educator (McQueen, 2015 April 6). Whilst engaging in Nussbaum-Beach & Hall’s (2012)reflection activity I identified a need for me collaborate with a wider group of people more often especially those teachers and students  at my own school, engage students in real-life and global situations and make learning environments richer in technology.  I have always been a learner leader in my academic groups, school and district community but I obviously needed to connect more; outside (not just in an academic manner) and within my school community. I can say that I have become more collaborative through content creation, sharing and connective with others over the last semester. Throughout INF532 I have learnt the rules of good and effective content curation (McQueen, 2015 May 23), the power in participation to build a PLN (McQueen, 2015 May 29) and how my pedagogy that I bring to my practice has progressively shifted.  I recently checked in with my social media literacy skills (Rheingold, Attention and 21st-century social media literacies, 2010) and found that yes they are interconnected and more refined (McQueen,2015 May 31).

A big learning curve and confidence boost as a connected educator happened when I uploaded my very own knowledge networking artefact to YouTube: How can a teaching team benefit from developing an online community of practice , shared it in Twitter and then bravely with my own school’s teaching community. The process of writing the exegesis and assessing others helped reinforce the important of using such artefacts to lead communities in building knowledge networks (McQueen, 2015, May 31 & 27).

The mindset that “we must take up the challenge on designing the future of education” (rather than dream or dread it) can lead to exciting prospects for the future of leaning (2Revolutions, 2012). The future design of schools and education requires a shift from hierarchical to networked learning to be able to be lifelong learners. Connected educators and leaders who understand these concepts are needed in schools to ensure that learning that happens in their schools is future proof (Schravemade, 2015). Establishing and setting purposes for these knowledge networks is an important part of this process too(McQueen, 2015 May 23).

In taking up this challenge, I will need to continue to try new tools and strategies, expand my PLN, create new content, share and curate content, and support connected learners. At the end of INF532 I shared some ideas for my future endeavours; they range from more complex curating, to public blogging and amplifying learning globally (McQueen, 2015 May 30).

The implications for my role as a connected leader will happen in my classrooms physical and digital), school, district and even globally. Teacher-Librarians play an important role because “they are intrinsically linked to effective and responsive information curation and dissemination in distributed environments within and beyond the school” (O’Connell, 2011) I feel a responsibly to lead the design for change in my local and global communities. I am lucky I have a supportive Principal who believes teacher librarians can be game changers. I have always felt that Libraries and their leaders and staff have opportunities to be the antidote to those aspects that our education systems have not got quite right. The study I have done so far in this degree and INF532 has provided me with a seat at the table to join in and lead conversations about new designs for learning in our schools.

I listened with interest to Greg Green, the Principal who ‘flipped’ his whole school. It didn’t happen overnight. He connected with a small group of like-minded educators who could see a more effective way of teachers and students working together to facilitate better learning.  They were a  group of innovative educators, they tried out new tools, shared their ideas and success; others caught on (November, 2011). Now Green and his team have redesigned the learning and their students have developed life-long learning skills. This is knowledge networking and designing better education practices at its best.

As a connected educator who now has skills in creating knowledge networks I can design better education practices too and in the process support and lead connected learners on any scale: local to global. I can lead them in the use and organisation of information, sharing of ideas, learning and the creation of knowledge.

Bibliography

2Revolutions. (2012, March). The Future of Learning. Retrieved May 2015, from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoSJ3_dZcm8

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

McQueen. (2015, May 22). ‘Beware of Online Filter Bubbles’: an important video to view. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/22/beware-of-online-filter-bubbles-an-important-video-to-view/

McQueen. (2015, May 29). A tool for gathering, organising and making the most of blog posts:Feedly. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/29/a-new-tool-for-gathering-organising-and-making-the-most-of-blog-posts-feedly/

McQueen, M. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/

McQueen, M. (2015, May 28). A case study: using augmented reality to amplify learning in the school library program. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/28/a-case-study-of-using-augmented-reality-to-amplify-learning-in-the-school-library-program/

McQueen, M. (2015, May 31). A check up on my 21st-Century social media literacy and participatory skills. Retrieved June 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/31/a-check-up-on-my-21st-century-social-media-literacy-and-participatory-skills/

McQueen, M. (2015, May 29). A flipped school!! Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/29/a-flipped-school/

McQueen, M. (2015, March 22). A knowledge building project. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/03/22/a-knowledge-building-project/

McQueen, M. (2015, March 21). A new culture of learning. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/03/21/a-new-culture-of-learning/

McQueen, M. (2015, May 27). An amplified learning idea to try out – connecting over books & reading. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/27/an-amplified-learning-idea-to-try-out-connecting-over-books-reading/

McQueen, M. (2015, March 15). Being a student -new models of information. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/03/17/being-a-student-new-models-of-information/

McQueen, M. (2015, May 27). Critique of Greg Miller’s artefact ‘using twitter to grow your PLN’. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog.

McQueen, M. (2015, May 30). It’s important to try new things…. Retrieved June 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/30/its-important-to-try-new-things/

McQueen, M. (2015, May 31). Knowledge networking artefact & exegesis. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/31/knowledge-networking-artefact/

McQueen, M. (2015, May 23). Knowledge networks: establishing and setting purposes. Retrieved June 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/23/knowledge-networks-establishing-and-setting-purposes/

McQueen, M. (2015, April 6). Reflections on “defining the connected educator”. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/04/06/reflections-on-defining-the-connected-educator/

McQueen, M. (2015, May 23). The ideal content curation practice. Retrieved June 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/23/the-ideal-content-curation-practice/

McQueen, M. (2015, May 29). The power in participation. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s reflective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/29/the-power-in-participation/

McQueen, M. (2015, May 29). Trying out a different digital curation tool – Listly. Retrieved May 2015, from Monique’s refective blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/29/trying-out-a-different-digital-curation-tool-listly/

McQueen, M. (2015, May 22). What pedagogical and content knowledge do you bring to your practice? Retrieved June 2015, from Monique’s Reflective Blog: http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/monique/2015/05/22/what-pedagogical-and-content-knowledge-do-you-bring-to-your-practice/

Moloney, K. (2010). There is no excuse for bad instructional design. Training and development in Australia, 22-23.

November, A. (2011). Learn from a school that has completely flipped out – An interview with Greg Green on flipped learning model. [podcast]. Retrieved May 2015, from November Learning Podcast Series: http://novemberlearning.com/an-interview-with-greg-green-on-flipped-learning-model/

Nussbaum-Beach, S., & Hall, L. (2012). Defining the connected educator. In S. Nussbaum-Beach, & L. Hall, The connected educator: Learning and leading in a digital age (pp. 3-24). Bloomington: Solution Tree Press.

O’Connell, J. (2011, October). Teacher librarians are important. Retrieved June 2015, from Hey jude living in an online world: http://judyoconnell.com/2011/10/27/teacher-librarians-are-important/

Pariser, E. (2013, March). Beware online “filter bubbles” – Eli Pariser. Retrieved May 2015, from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w48Ip-KPRs&feature=youtu.be

Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention and 21st-century social media literacies. Educase review, 14-24.

Rheingold, H. (2012). Participation Power. In H. Rheingold, Net smart: how to thrive online (pp. 111-139). USA: MIT Press.

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

Schravemade, K. (2015, May). From hierarchical to networked:ensuring lifeready and lifeworthy learning in the digital age. Retrieved May 2015, from katschravdigitalessayinf530: http://katschravdigitalessayinf530.weebly.com/

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

Wenger, E. (2006). Communities of practice a brief introduction. Retrieved April 2015, from http://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/06-Brief-introduction-to-communities-of-practice.pdf

Wesch, M. (2010, October). From knowledgeable to knowledge-able. Retrieved May 2015, from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeaAHv4UTI8&feature=youtu.be

Knowledge Networking Artefact & Exegesis

As an assessment task I created this knowledge networking artefact which is titled:

How does a teaching team benefit from developing an online community of practice?

youtube artefact Capture

 

Exegesis:

The knowledge networking artefact titled “How can our teaching team benefit from developing an online ‘community of practice’?” is an instructional text for the teaching team at my school about why, how and what we need to do to collaboratively build an online, networked ‘community of practice’. This community of practice will enable us learn collaboratively, share what we have learnt and form a knowledge network about the teaching pedagogies that frame the school’s Delivering Excellent Learning & Teaching strategy.

This artefact is important because the teaching team has the potential to reap many rewards individually and as a group from the collective knowledge they can create. They have not engaged in online learning as a whole group like this before and will benefit from leadership in developing this online space. A recent survey (Appendix A) of teachers’ knowledge about the key teaching pedagogies and the teachers’ attitude to online and social learning revealed a wide variety of existing knowledge, experience and attitudes.

The instructional design of this artefact was guided by an attempt to maximise “the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of instruction and other learning experiences” (Moloney, 2010). The current state and needs of the teaching community (learners), the definition of the end goal of instruction and the creation of an intervention to facilitate a transition (to a community of practice) were the three steps that were undertaken to develop the artefact.

The needs of the learners were surveyed and found to be highly varied.  The end goal of the instruction is to lead and help develop an online, networked community of practice and this artefact, followed by the facilitation of an online learning space on the school’s Moodle site will be the intervention.

As a school community we have been expected to engage in Brisbane Catholic Education’s (BCE) Delivering Excellent Learning and Teaching(DELT) Strategy (2014)which expects the teaching staff to understand the teaching pedagogies supported by Hattie(2014), Sharratt and Fullan’s (2012)work.

The inspiration to produce this artefact came from an experience in my own workplace where there is currently a need to engage in and discuss these professional readings but not to create more face- to-face meetings for teaching staff to attend. As the teacher-librarian in the school I have been encouraged to organise resources to support the DELT strategy. I thought that there was an opportunity to lead a knowledge network community to explore, create and develop a common language about the theory of action that will support the engagement in this strategy.

Although the focus audience for this video is the teaching community of my school, the plan I have for our networked community of practice may be used in other schools under Brisbane Catholic Education.

The video is divided into four sections covering the why, how, what (and what next) of developing the networked community of practice.

The content of the artefact includes aspects on communities of practice, knowledge networks, network and social literacy, participatory culture and collaborative learning tools. Combining all these aspects for a very focused task meant that I tried to keep the technical process simple. The script was condensed to drop the duration from nearly eight minutes to just over five minutes. There is a continual narration, five minutes of information is enough to describe the why, how and what of this knowledge network.

The digital tools of PowerPoint, Audacity and YouTube were combined to produce an audio-visual presentation with colourful and interesting images, a summary of main points and a comprehensive narration. Most images were collected via Pixabay because of the copyright free status of the images. Canva, the free online graphic design software was used to create the title slide to make it look different and therefore capture attention. Exciting, creative and colourful images, but I had to be careful with text colour and placement of the text due to the backgrounds I created.

The execution of the design required some new technical knowledge and skills. There are many ‘how to’ videos on YouTube; a particularly good instructional video named ‘How to Make Your 1st YouTube Video with PowerPoint’ proved to be a valuable resource.  This video gave advice on important aspects of instructional design including script writing, timing, types and amount of text, technology to use, recording tips and combining images and text. Detailed steps are given on how to add an audio file to the PowerPoint and upload the recording to YouTube as a video movie. The recording of the script using Audacity was the most difficult element of this technical exercise. This was due to the need to speak clearly, some background noise and the length of the text. Some music could have been added, but I was cautious not to complicate the video.

This artefact is set in an educational context where the teaching community ( as part of Brisbane Catholic Education) is working towards basing their practice around current proven teaching pedagogy that is being supported by the professional development programme ‘Visible Learning’ facilitated by Cognition Education. This programme is focused around John Hattie’s acclaimed research about maximising impact on learning (Hattie & Yates, 2014). It also draws upon principles of ‘Visible Learning and Visible teaching’.  The core of the ‘Visible Thinking and Learning’ concept is the importance of nurturing thinking in the everyday lives of learners (students and teachers) and make the thinking visible so a culture of thinking can be developed and strong learning communities established in organisations (Ritchhart, Church, & Morrison, 2011). Leaders in these educational organisations are being urged to take risks and encourage a willingness to reach outside the comfort zone of established practices (Ritchhart, Church, & Morrison, 2011). Lyn Sharratt and Michaels Fullan’s (2012) ideas in Putting FACES on the Data; what great leaders do! is influencing this educational context. Sharratt and Fullan (2012) emphasise the importance in developing a collective capacity which involves teachers in schools and between schools engaging in serious conversation about what good teaching looks like and how it is achieved. The networked ‘community of practice’ would help develop this collective capacity; this community can be the key to improving their performance (Wenger, 2006). This collective capacity will be dependent on networked (Richardson & Mancabelli, 2011) and peer to peer learning.

The physical context of this artefact involves a large growing secondary school college with a varied staff. The Principal and leadership are supportive and encourage innovative use of technology and sharing of ideas. Students and staff are able to be constantly connected because of the integration of digital learning using many mobile devices. Not all staff are taking advantage of the digital connections available. There is a need for them to become more effective connected educators. The need for a sense of community was important for our adult learners (Snyder, 2009).

A growth in digital learning spaces is also being observed in the educational context of our schools. We live in a world embedded in digital learning spaces. Our current digital context is increasingly a social context where social media plays a large role. There is a strong need for the development of social-media and network literacy in all learners; as described by Rheingold (2010) and Pegrum (2010).

The current digital context allows all people to be creative and share the information they have created. To be a connected and participative member of a community of practice is it desirable that members share their ideas and create new resources. There is potential in the social networking tools of this knowledge network to harness the power of participation (Rheingold, Participation Power, 2012).

In the future there are many opportunities for the teaching team to become more connected educators and expand their Personal Learning Networks.

The artefact was created to help cultivate a networked community of practice. The main points to communicate to the audience was why there was a need to do this; that is directly relate this to the focus audience and provide a motivation for them to engage. The second part was on how; that is to become a connected learner,  develop social and network literacy and engage in peer to peer learning, engage in a participatory culture. The section about what we plan to do gave a practical plan of implementation and the active manner that the teaching team will participate. The final note was an invitation for the participants to branch out publically and make connections out of our school teaching community.

The instructional design was guided by Karen Moloney’s (2010) tips to survey the learners, define the goal and create an intervention. As Moloney describes there is no excuse for bad instructional design with technology making things faster and cheaper. A survey was done via a simple email; the video was made with simple and mostly free technology and Moodle (a fantastic LMS) will be used to facilitate the knowledge network. Moloney also recommended taking into consideration learning styles with a blended learning design and using e-learning as a solution. The instructional-design also needed to support a sense of community. To do this these Design theory goals were incorporated; cultivating a learner-centred environment, leveraging of community synergy, respect individuality, diversity and experience, focus on a real-life problem and promote self-directed learning (Snyder, 2009).

The aim is to create a networked community of practice where all teaching team members feel included and participate. To cultivate this community it needs to be designed for evolution or to grow into the future, it should allow openings for dialogue, allow for all levels of participation, focus on value, mix familiarity with excitement and the unknown and create a rhythm or pattern of behaviour for the community (Wenger, Seven principles for cultivating communitites of practice, 2002).

The most important element of this community to be developed is the networked element of it and the shared goals and interests (to implement the BCE’s DELT strategy). Networking is a key element in professional careers to support individual’s growth and learning. The skills at the centre of networking include the ability to identify and understand other participant’s ideas and work in relation to one’s own. It is also important to assess the value of another person’s contribution or work. The participants’ positive attitude leading to a deliberate intention to form connections with others is also as well (Rajagopal, Joosten-ten Brinke, Van Bruggen, & B., 2012). These networking skills described in Rajagopal’s  (2012)Personal learning network model are similar to Rheingold’s (2010)interconnected 21st –Century Social Media Literacies; attention, participation, collaboration, network awareness and critical consumption. Rheingold stressed how these skills become interconnected in people with good social media skills and that it is these skills that will shape and influence the cognitive, social and cultural environments of the future. The technologies of LMS in schools are just the skeletons; the participants shape the content.

Encouraging participation and making it approachable for all of the teaching community was a priority in the design of this artefact. Guided and effective online participation can translate into real power. We can start a participatory culture with each individual act of participation building upon another to create architecture of a participatory culture (Rheingold, Participation Power, 2012). The teaching team will need to eventually start connecting with other outside educators and develop their own PLN to truly contribute to the world wide phenomenon of Knowledge Networks.

The knowledge networking artefact I created; “How can our teaching team benefit from developing an online ‘community of practice’?” was designed and constructed to begin a focused social learning environment for by teaching team to achieve the goals set by the Brisbane Catholic Educations Delivering Excellent Learning & Teaching strategy. In participating in this knowledge networking activity it is possible for the teachers to develop network and social media literacy, as well as the confidence to expand their PLN.

References

Brisbane Cathoic Education (2014). Brisbane Catholic Education Delivering Excellent Learning and Teaching 2014-2016 Strategy. Retrieved March 2015, from Brisbane Catholic Education KWeb: https://kweb.bne.catholic.edu.au/Documents/Delivering%20Excellent%20Learning%20and%20Teaching%20strategy%20book%20ONLINE%20VERSION.pdf

Hattie, J., & Yates, G. C. (2014). Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn. Routledge.

Moloney, K. (2010). There is no excuse for bad instructional design. Training and development in Australia, 22-23.

Pegrum, M. (2010). ‘I link therefore I am’: network literacy as a core digital literacy. E-learning and digital media, 346-354.

Rajagopal, K., Joosten-ten Brinke, D., Van Bruggen, J., & B., S. P. (2012). Understanding personal learning networks: their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them. First Monday, Volume 17, Number 1-2.

Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention and 21st-century social media literacies. Educase review, 14-24.

Rheingold, H. (2012). Participation Power. In H. Rheingold, Net smart: how to thrive online (pp. 111-139). USA: MIT Press.

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

Ritchhart, R., Church, M., & Morrison, K. (2011). Making thinking visible; How to promote engagement, understanding and independence fo all learners. San Francisco: Wiley.

Sharratt, L., & Fullan, M. (2012). Putting FACES on the data: what great leaders do! California: Corwin Press.

Snydner, M. M. (2009). Instructional – design theory to guide the creation of online learning communities for Adults. TechTrends, 48-56.

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

Wenger, E. (2002). Seven principles for cultivating communitites of practice. In E. Wenger, Cultivating communities of practice: a guide to managing knowledge (pp. 49-64).

Wenger, E. (2006). Communities of practice a brief introduction. Retrieved April 2015, from http://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/06-Brief-introduction-to-communities-of-practice.pdf

Limitations of online learning – Have we got it right yet?

group computer

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-learning

Schools, learning institutions and educators are consistently trying to build up innovative, engaging and collaborative online learning spaces. Are these spaces what we say they are and are students and teachers coming to the party with this strategy yet? Todhunter (2013) in his paper  about the limitations of online learning  puts forward the thesis that the framework of the terminology in online learning is inconsistent with the actual offerings available; he looks to stakeholders for clarity about what is on offer and happening out their in the wider picture.

Blended learning ; that is a combination of face to face time and online learning time is what is happening in many classrooms. School’s vary still in their uptake and variety of online learning technologies.My school leadership are still in the process of engaging the interested and influential teachers to try new types of curriculum and learning approaches, and identifying the best tools. We will then share evidence of this teaching approach and engage the other teaching staff (much like Greg Green’s strategy in his Flipped school).

A strong focus  in schools is on developing teacher quality and relationships with students. Many teachers still base their relationship building with students around face to face contact – it is important. Good quality and collaborative online learning can assist with engagement of learners and in turn have a positive effect on relationships . Todhunter (2013) names the lack of social interaction as one of the most severe barriers to online learning – I say more teachers need to learn about forming social knowledge networks and integrate true collaboration into their online learning environments. This knowledge can shape good teaching pedagogy and practice. It will also lead to the amplification of learning.

If ‘flexible learning’ is enabling learners  to to learn what, when and how they want (self-directed) it would be good to include this in teaching practice to help students develop a sense of ownership of their learning. Shifting the emphasis on specific needs for students by moving from mass instruction to student-directed instruction can assist in differentiation too.

So, in my workplace at the moment we need to work on the design and type of tools we use in online learning. Education for teachers about building knowledge networks through online tools will also help. There is a strong need for social interactions to build relationships between teachers and students , teachers and teachers, and between students. Blended instruction is the best way currently to do this, I believe.

 

November, A. (2011). Learn from a school that has completely flipped out – An interview with Greg Green on flipped learning model. [podcast]. November Learning Podcast Series. Retrieved from: http://novemberlearning.com/an-interview-with-greg-green-on-flipped-learning-model

Todhunter, B (2013) LOL — limitations of online learning — are we selling the open and distance education message short? Distance Education, 34(2), p.232-252

When is content curation most effective?

Is-Content-Marketing-the-hot-new-trend-infographic

Content Curation is most effective when the person is being both a strategist and curator. The person is informed, experienced and can be trusted. They need to have an intention to create a planned digital ecosystem.  In education content curation can be most effective when conducted by a teacher-librarian who knows their school community, curriculum and great tools to use. The teacher-librarian should have a strategy on how their clientele are going to access and use the curated content.

Another line of thought is that when practiced and encouraged a class of students and their teacher collaboratively curating content for a shared learning task could be effective in regards to the students owning  and directing their learning. This process needs to be lead by an educator with a strategy for the digital ecosystem too: even better if they are team-teaching with the school’s teacher-librarian.

 

INF532 students- a knowledge network

The knowledge network I wanted to comment on is the network that has formed via Twitter for the students participating in this subject. The network is usually facilitated by the #INF532. It’s interesting to watch the way participants choose tools to interact. About five years ago whilst completing my teacher-librarianship Masters the students used the universities discussion forums a lot. We still use them, especially when it is dictated but I think we are definitely using social media like Twitter more now to build these knowledge networks.

The tone or behaviours that I am observing, can be described as sharing, mutually motivating, reassuring, reaching out, friendly, with feedback, informal & sometimes more formal when an assessment requires it.

Dynamics and patterns are visible. Interactions often increase when an assessment is looming. A time of need becomes visible and  posts will reach a climax when the task is due.  Some students ask for help and many will respond. Everyone often shares their common experiences : there are often lengthy conversations of 4 or more responses.

This network can be levered when participants share outside the group or if someone’s follower  notices a tweet they want to share.

There is good support between the participants and innovative ideas are shared. Knowledge is built collaboratively that can benefit the whole group.

twitter conversation Capture

Knowledge Networks: establishing and setting purposes.

A ‘Knowledge Network’ can be defined as  “Resources and learning experiences shared among a network of non-profit organizations and colleagues who aim for continuous learning and building of expertise to improve outcomes and increase impact.”(scanpo, 2011)

Knowledge networks should be formed around a specific issue or general set of values. The form of a network should follow it’s function.The network needs to be facilitated by an identifiable co-coordinator. It is built  on relationships and interactions between members. New tools should be used to allow for innovative, collaborative and creative behaviours.

The purpose of the knowledge network needs to be made explicit , objective and justified. The purpose can be long-term, instrumental in achieving goals and /or fluid. When working well it can be part of the connective tissue of a society that allows for organisational innovation and change. Knowledge networks are able to manage knowledge, amplify knowledge, assist with advocacy, build communities, and make resources mobile. Through knowledge networks we want to motivate people who used to be the audience to now start participating.

Resources

Hearn, S., & Mendizabal, E. (2011). Not everything that connects is a network. ODI Background note

scanpo. (2011, July). Knowledge network guidelines. Retrieved May 2015, from scanpo:together for good sc association for non profit organisations: http://www.scanpo.org/building-the-knowledge-network/knowledge-network-guidelines/

Shirky, C. (2010). Means. In Cognitive surplus: Creativity and generosity in a connected age. (pp. 31-64) New York: Penguin Press.

What pedagogical and content knowledge do you bring to your practice?

The pedagogical and content knowledge I bring to my practice has evolved through my experiences as a Primary school teacher, study and practice as a teacher-librarian( in Primary and now a Secondary school) and currently through more extensive study in knowledge networks and digital innovation. I have strongly valued the way continued education has built up my pedagogical and content knowledge.

The main pedagogical and content knowledge I would draw on regularly is related to:

*social construction of knowledge

*the inquiry process

*Vygostky’s Zone of Proximal Development

*Knowledge building cycle

*evidence based practice

*reading strategies

*Hattie’s effect sizes

*Connectivism as a Digital Age Learning Theory

*Design Thinking

*Knowledge Networks construction and maintenance

*21st century literacies

Some of the References that have resonated with me are

Brown, T. (n.d.). Retrieved from Design Thinking – Thoughts by Tim Brown: http://designthinking.ideo.com

Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organisations. Harper Business.

D.School. (2012). Method:How Might We Qustions method. Retrieved 2014, from http://dschool.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/HMW-METHODCARD.pdf

Davies, A., Fidler, D., & Gorbis, M. (2011). Future Work Skills 2020. Phoenix: University of Phoenix Research Institute.

Hattie, J., & Yates, G. C. (2014). Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn. Routledge.

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation accerlation: transforming organisational thinking. Boston: Pearson.

O’Connell, J. (2014, June). Preparing for the Impact of Web 3.0. Retrieved June 2014, from SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/heyjudeonline/preparing-for-the-impact-of-web-30

Organisation, V. L. (2013). Feedback in schools by John Hattie. Retrieved October 2014, from Visible Learning Organisation: http://visible-learning.org/2013/10/john-hattie-article-about-feedback-in-schools/

Rheingold, H. (2010). Attention and 21st-century social media literacies. Educase review, 14-24.

Siemens, G. (2004, December 12). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved March 31st, 2014, from elearnspace: http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

Wenger, E. (2006). Communities of practice a brief introduction. Retrieved April 2015, from http://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/06-Brief-introduction-to-communities-of-practice.pdf

 

 

 

 

Learning theories and a personal approach to networked learning as a connected educator

After reading Siemens (2008), Hodgson, McConnell & Dirckinck-Holmfeld (2012) and Wenger (2012) I have identified numerous learning theories that I believe inform my understanding of networked learning pedagogy. These learning theories are social learning theories like Connectivism, social constructivist theory and the idea of a ‘community of practice’.

These theories emphasise the impact of networked structures in the internet linking people and computers in social networks. Siemens (2008) described how today’s technology facilitates the distribution of knowledge, while at the same time allowing us to “project ourselves outward digitally” (de Kerchove, 1997 ,p.38).I think it is important as a connected educator to do this, but it is often harder to project yourself out there than just observing (or lurking as some describe).

Hodgson, McConnell & Dirckinck-Holmfeld (2012) say that most connected educators or “networked learning practitioners” place a high value on

-co-operation and collaboration

-working as part of a group or community

-“discussion and dialogue”

-self-determination of self-motivation during the learning process

-valuing of differences

-trust and relationships

– the investment of one’s self in the networked learning process

– the role that technology plays in connecting.

I would agree that these factors play a major role in the way I act as a connected educator and help others learn about how they to connect and learn more.

Wenger’s (2012) concept of a ‘community of practice’ working together played a major role in the knowledge artefact I developed for the teaching community of my school to encourage them to learn from each other.

 

References

Hodgson, V., McConnell, D., & Dirckinck-Holmfeld, L. (2012). Chapter 17: The theory, practice and pedagogy of networked learning. In L. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, V. Hodgson & D. McConnell (Eds.), Exploring the theory, pedagogy and practice of networked learning (pp. 291-305). New York, NY, USA: Springer.

Siemens, G. (2008, September 28). A brief history of networked learning. Retrieved fromhttp://elearnspace.org/Articles/HistoryofNetworkLearning.rtf‎

Wenger, E. (2012). Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved from
http://wenger-trayner.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/06-Brief-introduction-to-communities-of-practice.pdf

Reflections on “Defining the connected educator”

Reflections on Nussbaum-Beach, S., & Hall, L. R. (2012). Defining the connected educator. In The connected educator: Learning and leading in a digital age (pp. 3-24). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.

Pg 13.

Moving from co-operation to collaboration

My online study over the last eight years has played a major role in being a collaborator. As a student learning together with other students I have learned to appreciate the value of collaboration and forming networks of knowledge.

I don’t think I have moved beyond co-operation to collaborating completely as I need to share more and engage in more online conversations outside of the online university spaces.  Trying to get students and other teachers in my school community to collaborate is still very much a work in progress.

For 21st century learners collaboration is expected now to move forward and become part of a learning or professional network. Their traditional learning experience can be expanded so much. The place of social media will be expanded and more complicated. I think 21st century learners will need to engage with these platforms.

Pg. 17

Multiliterate?

This reflection activity was definitely a bit of a wakeup call; I need to actively increase my ability to engage students in real-life and global situations and continue to promote reflection with collaborative tools.  I need to make my learning environments richer in technology. I intend to increase my use of Moodle in my teaching so this should help. I think I am a learner leader in my workplace and amongst colleagues, one of the main reasons though is because I age actively engaged in post-graduate learning. It was not surprising to me then that I got my highest score in the section about ‘engage in professional growth and modelling digital citizenship and responsibility. I didn’t score myself many 3’s ( and nothing above) so I clearly have some work to do.

Pg.21

The connected educator

My understanding of a connected educator is a professional who is a learner, leader and sharer in collaborative knowledge networks. They make purposeful decisions to engage with others online to learn more about educating people. They encourage others to do the same as well. A connected educator helps create powerful knowledge networks with other connected educators.

“A Day in the Life of a Connected Educator” includes many connections with knowledge networks. I think when we truly become connected educators; sharing becomes part of our nature and not an over-thought task. I still have to make a conscious effort to share – I do wonder often if I am sharing the right sort of material.