INF537: Reflection

As I reflect back on the INF537 journey, and in turn my journey through my masters of education (knowledge networks and digital innovation) I wonder where the time has gone.

person using black iPad
Image by NordWood Themes from Unsplash

At the beginning of this subject we were asked to engage with many varied forms of communication including twitter, padlet, flipgrid, thinkspace blogging and the more traditional discussion forum. As I engaged in these means of communication, I grappled with key aspects which had been presented throughout the course and indeed finally within this subject.

My final research piece highlights the role of digital wellbeing for our students  and the work of the PERMA model and OECD Better Life in framing wellbeing. We have been asked to broaden our own digital footprint as students within this cohort for the greater good of our peers. Throughout this time, I reflected on aspects of my own screen time and ability to switch off when a notification came through from the INF537 feed. I felt compelled by the plight of my students, whose parents often come to me worried about late night messages on devices. 

Through our guest colloquium series I posted a number of blogs; Rocket Shoes, Dr Lyn Hay, and Julie Lindsay amongst others which you can read by visiting my INF537 tag. These blogs formed a collection of thoughts which developed over the course of the subject. In the blog after Julie Lindsay’s guest colloquium we were posed the question “Why do we as educational professionals find it hard to collaborate?”

Excerpt from A Ryall, 2019 Blog Guest Colloquium Julie Lindsay

My collaboration within this subject has ebbed and flowed, at times when I have felt my load was too heavy I have pulled back from discussion with other peers. However, as I reflect on this question now I see more than my original thoughts around Twitter as a platform. As an educator, at times, I lack confidence within my ideas to share them with a wider audience. Similar to that of a teenage, I often lack clear judgement as to whether my ideas would be valued in the digital space.

My research project allowed me to explore a topic which I am passionate about, whether we are teaching our students to be ‘digital wellbeing’s?’ At times throughout the process I felt I lacked clarity with undertaking a large research project, however as I came to put my thoughts on paper and read and reread the process became clearer. While I’m still not entirely sure a path in research if for me, it allowed me to identify key areas of need within our current schooling system. Through my first subject in this course I was asked to begin blogging. I included elements in the blog about my context and what I already knew about the digital age. I also include the term ‘Digital Natives’ from Prensky (2001) which seems pertinent as I included the term again in my final report with a vastly different view.

Blog A.Ryall 2018

In the same blog, I outlined my aims for the course. It gain a clear link about how to create personalised learning journeys however what I have walked away with is far greater. I have a greater understanding of teachers and educators as digital connected citizens and the part we play in preparing students for the future. I can discuss key references in the field of digital citizenship, game based learning and digital repositories. The most important aspect gained, is a rich understanding of how digital innovation and knowledge networks are rapidly changing and for the benefit of our students we need to be lifelong learners.

I am now not sure where my learning journey is headed, by I am sure the bright path ahead will lead the way.

Angela

pathway between trees

Photo by Patrick Fore from Unsplash

References:

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the horizon, 9 (5), 1-6.

Seligman, M. (2018). PERMA and the building blocks of well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 13(4), 333-335.

OECD. (2019). Favourable well-being scores. OECD Economic Surveys: Australia 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.1787/eco_surveys-aus-2018-

 

Guest Colloquium – Dr Ross Todd

Concerns around the future of education: How do we move forward? How do we cater for students who are born into a cyborg nation?

  • Break down of boundaries between human and machine
  • Technology is playing a critical role in challenging the ideas and notions that shape our very beings
  • How do we engage with technology with a focus on the ‘human’ being and foster the wellbeing of human kind.

Superconnected (2016)

  • How do we move to the future with the problematic break down about how we think about our life?
  • “Digital life is simply real life”
  • We talk about digital natives and digital citizens as though they are seperate – what are the problems around the use of those terms?

Human Agency is the key to digital futures

How do we use technology to disrupt our thinking?

Personal Agency – the human side of education

  • Role of encouraging and nurturing

 

Guest Colloquium – Rocket Shoes

Last week we had the privilege of having a guess colloquium with the owners of Rocket Shoes. The colloquium focused on a range of topics from owner IP to how block chain with change the way we view student work and their rights over the work. Some of my takeaways from the colloquium are as follows:

Platform Agnostic & Cloud Agnostic – Kieran Nolan discussed how within his school they are both platform and cloud agnostic meaning students can chose the best device and platform for the task they are completing. It did raise questions for me how teachers would deal with finding great applications across multiple platforms and teaching across a range of platforms.

Block Chain Agnostic – this discussion was my first interaction with block chain and developing my knowledge. The picture below was used to highlight the difference between what we currently use as part of web 2.0 and what the switch would be to web 3.0 and block chain technology.

Future Focused – A large part of the presentation was discussing Kieran’s work in his current setting. The picture below is a screen shot from the presentation discussing how work will look in 2028. It is constantly refreshing to consider that people within the education sector are thinking forward to what the future should and can look like.

 

Dr Lyn Hay Colloquium

Dr Lyn Hay presented at the second colloquium meeting of INF537. She is responsible for leading u!magine at Charles Sturt University and has been instrumental in putting in placing the universities Incubation and Innovation policy.

The main contents of Dr Lyn’s presentation was focussing on the connection and contribution of edtech startups and schools. Dr Lyn highlighted the mutual benefits of connecting with edtech startups including:

  • apps / platforms being designed to suit your schools needs;
  • it allows students and colleagues access to technology which could be mainstream within the coming years; and
  • they want educators as part of their pitch as an authentic audience.

Some useful information and links for some current trials are listed below:

Feedback Fruits

  • www.feedbackfruits.com 
  • Plugs into your LMS 
  • Greatest impact but big disruption 
  • Mainly targeting universities at this point 
  • Workflow videos that show what it looks like from both sides (academics and students)
  • Different plugins for LMS 

RocketShoes

  • www.rocketshoes.io 
  • Presenting next week
  • Block Chain Technology 
  • Controls how digital assets are managed and used

Scribo

MoxieReader

  • www.moxiereader.com 
  • Inspiring Independent Readers and engage
  • Social networking attached 
  • Targeting schools but also parents 

TALI 

  • www.talihealth.com 
  • NDIS funding 
  • Supports kids with ADHD 
  • 5 week program that helps train kids to develop core attention skills

 

The presentation was a useful insight in some of the innovative ways schools can be connecting with the entrepreneurs within our country and create real life authentic connections. Additionally it was beneficial to hear that many of the edtech startups want to get advice from schools to build their knowledge and understanding of the teaching and learning environment as well as current pedagogical issues.

INF537 – Colloquium 1

Julie Lindsay

In the first colloquium for INF537 it was a good insight into how a colloquium works. Julie discussed her work and what had led her to the position she is currently in.

QUESTION – Would your school be able to access padlet?

My school would be able to access padlet as we are BYOD from stage 2. As an educator I can see the benefits of using padlet to connect around the world and with other educators in rich discussions.

QUESTION – Why do educational professionals find it hard to collaborate?

This question was posed by the peer leaders which I thought was an interesting question. As a prominent user of twitter with many global connections I find it interesting that some educators don’t access the incredible global collaboration network. However I can see how or more so why some educators may find it hard:

  • From some stand points some educators still think they have to have all the answers – this makes collaboration hard
  • Barriers to collaboration world wide due to the timezones different cultures
  • As Julie suggested, if one doesn’t want to none are allowed to

Key Terms

Positivism – based on statistics / either right or wrong sometimes known as quantitative

Post-positivism – based more on thoughts otherwise known as qualitative

ETL523 – Reflection

Before this subject if you asked my about the term digital learning environment I probably would have provided an answer using my prior knowledge of the words. My definition would have stemmed from the belief that a digital learning environment is a space where students can learn online, perhaps merely referring to ‘Google Classroom’ or the like. Perhaps if you had asked me about the term digital citizenship I would have thought of students being aware of what they did online. I might have also made mention to social media and young people and how that impacts on our role of influence as teachers.

Early in the semester I posted the below comment into the discussion forum.

A Ryall Discussion Forum CSU

It highlights a discussion with peers around digital citizenship and some early thinking. Within the modules of the subject digital citizenship was defined as “The quality of habits, actions, and consumption patterns that impact the ecology of digital content and communities” (Heick, 2018). This definition, although at the beginning of the modules, highlighted the vastness of digital citizenship especially in outlining the consumption patterns of our students. When we think about how many hours young people may spend on digital devices consumption patterns become of extreme importance. How can we provide tools and support to assist students on this journey? From this point, my understanding began to shift to a much wider, broader definition of digital citizenship which encompassed more areas of the digital world.

Throughout this unit I have had the opportunity to work with a range of peers in group work assignments but also through the discussion forum. This networking has extended my knowledge of digital learning environments as I have heard other professionals ideas and thoughts. Below is an excerpt from a conversation during the group assessment. Through the sharing of knowledge and resources with peers we came to know the topic in more depth. Additionally, the creation of our digital citizenship module in particular my section on ethical creation brought about a further wondering around copyright for students. This wondering led me to the DQ Institute which provided resources.

Screenshot – Sharing Resources Microsoft Teams Group Chat

In my role as classroom teacher I continue to learn from those around me. I aim to foster an understanding of loving to learn within my students and working through this course enabled me to model this. Furthermore, the role of the digital learning environment and the environmental scan assessment allowed me to critically reflect on my current professional context. Through this critically reflection I was able to discuss things that are currently working well but also aspects which could be improved into the future.

As I reflect on my final assessment I am reminded of the final reflection task within the modules which discusses if you could highlight five aspects of policy to your current setting what would you highlight? My breadth of knowledge around this, particularly acceptable use policy, has improved immensely. I can now discuss how various schools around the world are largely in front of the school I did my environmental scan on and discuss steps School A could possibly take to implement effective policy. This discussion, however, leads to a wider reflection on school policy in general in relation to digital learning environments, in particular, are we doing enough?

Digital Citizenship is not a buzzword. It is not something that we can teach our students in the early years and set and forget for years to come. It is not even something that can be taught at the beginning of high school and be expected to last them until year 8. Digital Citizenship is an ongoing discussion about how we can best support our young people to become capable digital citizens. It encompasses so many varied avenues including their digital footprint, ethical consumption and creation and social media. As educators we have a duty of care to our students to support them on their learning journey and to ensure we are best equipped to support them.

References

Crowley, L. (2019, April 9). Microsoft Teams [Conversation Threat]. Retrieved from https://teams.microsoft.com/_?tenantId=0b7024f5-8310-467c-b30e-420dcf890212#/conversations/unknown?threadId=19:b35dc8fef9e7482dbca82b82a60b3db8@thread.skype&ctx=channel 

Heick, T. (2018, December 17). The definition of digital citizenship [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/the-definition-of-digital-citzenship/

Ryall, A. (2019, March 23). ETL523 Discussion Forum [Forum Post]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/conference?toggle_mode=read&action=list_forums&course_id=_39980_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&mode=view  

 

OLJ: Reflective Statement

Throughout the subject of INF506 social media for professionals we have contributed to and discussed the changing face of social media. The subject has highlighted various aspects of social media as well as highlighting the need for more knowledge around the ethics associated with current platforms.

How, or if, your views on social networking have changed.

In my original Online Learning Journal I defined social media as “From my current understanding to date, social networking is the use of an internet platform to connect with other users. It can be used both on a professional and personal basis to connect with likeminded individuals” (Ryall, 2019). Throughout the semester of INF506 I have come to a greater understanding of social media used within various contexts. This involved a great variety of information from OLJ 1 where social media was discussed through photographic changes in young adolescents to my latest OLJ 17 where I was able to discuss my insights for the future and how social media may shape our students lives. Throughout the process my views on social media have expanded. While I understood to a small extent how social media could play a part in professional lives the articles presented in the modules discussed this to a greater extend. If I was required to redefine social media as I come to the conclusion of this subject it would be a vast and broad definition as I reflect on the various enablers and barriers as well as the potential for huge positive impact. The definition would encompass some of the work of individuals whom I’ve reflected on through my online learning journals as well as our work throughout the modules.

Which tools and platforms you have engaged with over the session and their relevance to you as an information professional.

Through engaging in Facebook as our forum throughout the semester I have found a greater intent behind the words I post. Ensuring that you are accurately portraying your message is important in developing a positive digital footprint. This was discussed in Who Are you Online(Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2017). While I kept actively using twitter as my professional dialogue with peers I found interest in the module 5 on social media policy. The article What could possibly go wrong? (2018) provided insights into possible issues with social media for business. As I delved deeper within the module I began to question how this could implicate schools and professionals choosing to host a professional social media presence.

Throughout the course of this semester three main events were published in the news around teachers and social media:

All three news events were caused by the use of social media spreading information. As I reflect on the platforms I use to share information both private and public I began wondering whether teachers have enough knowledge around digital citizenship themselves to keep themselves safe? Within Module 5, acceptable and ethical use of social media was listed as an issue resulting from social media (Gerts, 2019) and I discussed this in greater length in my Social Networking Proposal. While I continue to hold a social media account for both social and professional use I am somewhat more aware of my posting. This includes a more in depth understanding of how what I am posting could be misconstrued and analysing the ethical and copyright issues that could be at play.

The features of the social media platform, Facebook, that I found beneficial as opposed to the CSU subject forum were notifications and more grouped discussion threads. Being able to log into Facebook and view a notification reminder to contribute to an ongoing conversation allowed for the conversation to be more authentic. Additionally the discussion threads grouped by Carole into a specific conversation allowed you to be able to search the feed for important or applicable information to your own learning journey. The other feature I found that met the needs of users within the subject on Facebook was the ability to communicate current happenings within the news on the facebook feed. This included polls on when online meetings should be held and up to date information on changes with assessment. The final feature that was beneficial was the simple copy and post on Facebook which allowed for current media events to be discussed within the group.

Your understanding of issues often encountered in the online environment

Hebblewhite (2017) discusses some of the issues encountered within online environments. These stem from reputational harm, legal liability, confidential information and defamation (Hebblewhite, 2017). These issues are not new issues and have been effecting business’ for a long time however the immediacy of the online environments brings these issues to prominence. Hebblewhite’s article (2017) continues on to discuss how the use of a social media policy can prevent some of these actions and highlights how the law in Australia is still catching up.

George Washington University has produced a document which demonstrates an active policy developed to assist with these issues. Through having an established policy thought out and developed individuals understand the risks associated and how to overcome them. In a socially networked world it is important for employees of all descriptions to understand their companies social media policy. Within my first assignment I discussed the risks associated with social media however failed to discuss some risks associated with copyright, privacy and security. While the good and the bad can be seen in every situation, Elmaghraby & Losavio (2014) discuss that in relation to social media the good currently outweighs the bad.

While these issues are encountered within the online environment I am yet to encounter them as an individual. Being mindful of posting cultural and ethically appropriate materials can reduce the risk of encountering issues as an individual and this was highlighted throughout the course content.

The process of constructing and contributing to your OLJ

Throughout INF506 I have had to construct an online learning journal. This has been a reflection of tasks throughout the modules and has provided a place to reflect on tasks and course content.

OLJ 1  – Social Media and Society

OLJ 2 – Reflections on the Impact of Change

OLJ 3  – Twitter Feeds

OLJ 4 – PLN Adoption

OLJ 5 – Managing your Digital Identify

OLJ 6 – Thoughts for The Future

Through the variety of posts, I have developed a deeper understanding of social media for information professionals. To deepen this knowledge the Online Learning Journal could have offered a peer comment system to allow for a discussion around your thoughts and view points. While this was used in the Facebook Forum have a continuous conversation within each persons personal learning journal could have allowed for richer discussion.

Contributing to my Online Learning Journey has allowed a detailed journal of my journal. From my initial posts where I merely was recounting the information of others and failing to make cross links to other articles and discussions I had read to this final reflective entry where I have formed connections and links within my learning and within my OLJ. The process of contributing every week has meant the reflection process has been spread out. This has allowed me to really delve into my understanding of various concepts across the semester.

The experience of conducting research and completing assessment 3 and how that task contributed to your understanding of working in a social environment

Due to ethical issues surrounding assessment 3, the assessment was changed to reflect a social media proposal. While my initial discussions around assessment three would have proved interesting to dive into the change to the assessments proved beneficial. Through the task I unpacked issues associated with social media while also discussing how social media could benefit not-for-profit organisations.

The practical application of assessment 2 allowed for a real life exploration of some of the impacts of social media. Through this practical approach I came across two amazing organisations; Do Something which is an American based organisation that uses online action to promote offline action and The Lighthouse Foundation who have successfully supported young people within Australia to break the cycle of homelessness.

 

As I reflect on the entire unit the most beneficial part of the subject for myself was the interaction with peers and others through the Facebook forum. It allowed not only for immediate discussion around social events that were currently populating the news but further a genuine discussion from a vast range of professional backgrounds. By continuing the conversation around social media and building professional knowledge, I am able to share more knowledge with my peers and the students whom I teach.

 

References

Australian Communications and Media Authority. (2017). Who are you online? Retrieved from https://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/Library/researchacma/Research-reports/digital-footprints-short-report-landing

Elmaghraby, A. S., & Losavio, M. M. (2014). Cyber security challenges in Smart Cities: Safety, security and privacy. Journal of advanced research5(4), 491-497.

Gerts, C. (2019). The Role Of Social Media Policies. In Social Networking for Information Professionals [INF506 Modules: Topic 5]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: https://interact2.csu.edu .au/webapps/portal /execute/tabs/tabAction?tab_tab_group_id=_24_1

George Washington University Libraries. (2018). Social media research ethical and privacy guidelines. Retrieved from https://gwu-libraries.github.io/sfm-ui/resources/social_media_research_ethical_and_privacy_guidelines.pdf

Hebblewhite, N. (2017). Implementing an effective social media policyGovernance Directions, 69(3), 167-169.

Ryall, A. (2019) Online Learning Journal: Assessment 1. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/angelaryall/2019/03/10/olj-assessment-item-1/ 

Di Gangi, P. M., Johnston, A. C., Worrell, J. L., & Thompson, S. C. (2018). What could possibly go wrong? A multi-panel Delphi study of organizational social media risk. Information Systems Frontiers, 20(5), 1097-1116. doi: 10.1007/s10796-016-9714-2

 

OLJ Task 17: Thoughts for the Future

Choose one of the resources above and write a 400 word analysis that addresses the following issues:

Schaefer, M. (2018). The future of social media marketing. Retrieved from https://businessesgrow.com/2018/03/05/future-of-social-media-marketing/

  1. What is the potential for the future of an organisation you are familiar with.
  2. What impact might the future have on us as information professionals.

I chose to reflect on the The Future of Social Media Marketing article as it highlights a range of issues which are pertinent to schools facing rapid changes (Schaefer, M. 2018).  The article has chosen ten top things or aspects of marketing that they think will change in the coming years.

Number 5: The Skills Gap

In number 5 Schaefer (2018) discusses the skills gap over the coming years within the marketing industry.

“In my estimation, here are the top three skills that will be required of marketers in the coming years:

  1. Data and analytics (Great marketing starts with data, not Facebook posts!)
  2. Digital advertising (the days of organic reach are over)
  3. An ability to quickly assess changes in the marketing world and adjust and adapt” (Schaefer, 2018).

Within the education system this can translate to adaptability and the ability to solve problems. In an article on Teaching and Assessing General Capabilities Scoular and Heard (2018) discuss the often unbound tasks and open ended nature of work within 21st century classrooms. When discussing marketing and social media how can we prepare students to be literacy and numeracy competent while also teaching skills and capabilities required for the changing world? The answer lies within the Australian General Capabilities.

Number 9 & 10 – Artificial Intelligence and Smart Speakers

I found it interesting that one of the first lines within the article was “AI is going to touch everything we do” (Schaefer, 2018). The article goes on to discuss three ways in which AI may effect future careers. If you search “AI” in google the three articles below will appear as top stories.

Google Search Results “AI” 20th May 2019

How does this effect the world we live in? How does this effect our students lives?  What changes with this technology?

When reflecting back on OLJ 14 where I discussed what is private and what is public it is an interesting aspect to discuss how artificial intelligence will effect public and private. If Samsung is able to fabricate a video of you based on a public profile picture what could be the implications if this technology is placed in the wrong hands?

The Future

The future is unknown but any indication from Schaefer and other articles online will tell you that changes will be rapid. Artificial Intelligence will form part of our everyday life as we ask Siri or Alexa to do jobs for us. Discussing how this impacts on schools and education sectors is the first step in deciding what needs to change to adapt to the changing world.

References

Scoular, C & Heard, J. (2018). Teaching and Assessing General Capabilities. Retrieved from https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/teaching-and-assessing-general-capabilities 

Schaefer, M. (2018). The future of social media marketing. Retrieved from https://businessesgrow.com/2018/03/05/future-of-social-media-marketing/

ETL523 – Assessment Reflection

As part of our work during ETL523 we were required to put together a learning module to support the teaching of digital citizenship. As I reflect on the group work task that we often ask of our students, I have a deeper understanding of what we are asking of our students when we use the word group workWe are asking them to collaborate, communicate, problem solve and trust in each other. A large responsibility for adults let alone students.

As a team, we collaborated in many various aspects of our learning module. As I joined slightly late to what was an established group, they had already set up the use of Microsoft Teams, a tool I had not previously used.  Not only does this tool allow you to communicate through a chat feature it allows inbuilt documents that you can work on simultaneously. Initially we set up Zoom meetings which allowed us to chat “face to face” however with time differences around the world the chat feature in Microsoft Teams was our main method of communication. As a group we decided on the use of Wix for our learning module and soon encountered the problem that it would not let more than one editor on the tool at once. We continued to discuss this and soon learnt that we could share and divide our time on the module to allow for successful collaboration.

Problem Solving throughout the learning module was also a key component. With Claire located in the UAE, Noni and Lena in Brisbane without DST and myself based in Sydney, time differences were the first issue we needed to solve. However with clear communication about available times the problem was soon not really a problem at all. Additionally aspects of the learning module that I was unsure of, such as adding pop up boxes with definitions, all of the group was always there to add a helping hand.

Throughout the process I gained an understanding into how different people work. While regular communication is essential, it proved difficult at times due to a range of factors. Having a sense of trust within the group is imperative which is made easier when everyone is pulling their weight. When compared to my current learning environment, it is easy to understand how our students would lack this trust with people they haven’t built a connection with or know well. This is the same for adults so why should we expect any different from our students?

When reflecting on how the skills associated with the task and how these can be implemented into the classroom I think norms around collaboration are key. As I teach stage two students, 8 – 10 year olds, merely stating that you need to collaborate does not have a large impact. Through unpacking key understandings around communication, roles and responsibilities and what group work looks like students will develop a greater understanding. This can be modelled through teacher talk but also teachers modelling with other teachers how collaboration happens in our daily lives.