April 26

3.1 Reflections – Open, Social and Participatory Media

  • How would curriculum change if our priority approach was on critical, creative, and collaborative thinking?

Student and teachers would be collaborating, creating and publishing teaching and learning solutions – together.


Students and teachers of all ages are inundated with information. At home on TV (Free and Pay), radio, the Web, and text – physical and virtual. Within educational institutions the same inundation of information occurs, in the same ways. We are ‘information overloaded’! There is just so much information, we have learnt to ‘skim’ our perceived important ‘bits’. Students have seen this method of information research and have been satisfied with this low-skilled level of competencies.

Speaking frankly, I do understand the ‘time poor’ nature of our curriculum as well. I really am in need of ‘more time’ just for this M.Ed. After all, skimming is a technique taught to cover large chunks of information. Just wish I could find more time to do ‘less skimming’. Any one else having these ‘time problems’?


  • What does the reality of the modern age of information– this age of Google –suggest that we “teach”?

21st Century skills through a ‘participatory culture’. The building of our students individual Digital Learning Environments through a constructivist curriculum.


  • Can we simply “update” things as we go, or is it time for rethinking of our collective practice?

It is time for both – simply updating as we go, and rethinking our collective practices – ‘together’.

Whilst I, as a knowledgeable computing teacher, am endeavouring to utilise 21st Century teaching and learning skills into my curriculum, I must acknowledge that this is a start only on my part. I am yet to master ideas of virtual worlds, blogging and importantly collaborating, creating and publishing in educational settings. My students in general and least of all my educational institution are not ready for the large scale network effects of 21st Century teaching and learning. Saying that, my students through my experiences are ‘more ready and willing to give 21st Century skills a go’ than my educational institution – student exemplar: http://etam.stankey.com.

April 26

Module 3: Knowledge Networks-Connected Communities, Open Access and , Connected Learning



Howard Rheingold, a writer, teacher and talker through the video ‘Network Awareness, an episode with Howard Rheingold‘ discusses how he came up with the term ‘Virtual Community’.

As a ‘user’ of the tools within a ‘Virtual Community’ I am mediating with others’ in my professional networks. Academics through this course, as well as students through my classes. Interestingly, these are a continuum of human communication. This brings to mind for me, now, the need  for humans to learn communication methodologies and control since the beginning of time. How to communicate and control their own communications, along with the best tools for the purpose.

5 Elements of Web Literacy

Mindfulness is the Fundamental Element of the 5 Literacies (Attention, Craft Attention, Participation, Collaboration, Network Awareness), as written in Howard’s ‘Net Smart’ book.

Network Structure

Howard recognises that the person who understand ‘Network Structure’, made up of (Social Networks, Network Society, Internet Structure), will be better off in the world today.

Is Modern Science a Social Network?

In response to this question, Howard identifies that Einstein’s innovations and inventions of observation and thoughts were not in isolation, but through the entire Scientific community.

Which Networks are Most Likely to Create Innovation?

Howard states the most important finding of the Generation of Knowledge to be “the diversity of the network is more important than the size, or of the individual expertise of the members”.

Is there are risk to the diversity of the network?

Controls are the conflicts and risks to diversity.

Whilst some people are unaware the Internet is more than Facebook, large scale corporations such as Google, Amazon and Apple are trying to define the Internet as their brand.

The entertainment industry is trying to use government rules and regulations to control the Internet.

3.1 Open, social and participatory media.



O’Connell, J. (2014). INF530 Concepts and Practices in a Digital Age [Module 3: Knowledge networks – Connected communities, open access, and connected learning].
Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://digital.csu.edu.au/inf530/module-3-knowledge-networks-connected-communities-open-access-and-connected-learning/

Rheingold, H. (2014). NETWORK AWARENESS, and episode with Howard Rheingold. [Video]. Retrieved from http://vimeo.com/86182564

March 20

Why and How you Should Create a PLN?

Dear Reflective Journal,

I already knew that a network of friends allow us to communicate, collaborate and discuss educational ideas and concepts. The course thus far, along with the article “Why and How you Should Create a PLN?” has really allowed me to ‘think of social media (Web 2.0)’ as a “system for lifelong learning” Edudemic (2013). Actually using a Google Doc in class recently really ‘engaged’ a Year 9 class. Definitely involves the use of free online resources, resources that the students themselves use everyday (and get in trouble for in our school)!

Not only has my PLN really taken off through the study from this course, I have been able to a) discuss my reflections with my ‘in-school buddy teacher’; and, b) have shared my NSW DEC BlogEd with four of my teacher colleagues – at their request.

My PLN is only just beginning! I suppose this is where my ‘workflow’ comes in. I have had to ask myself “What Workflow”. Well, so far I’ve been able to manage my own learning reflections through my CSU Blog. Nothing really knew yet, as I utilise blogging with my classes anyway as our central cloud classroom. I have however, commenced compiling, sort of like a repository of resources into my Reflective Blog, Web 2.0 tools that I want to remember and know more about, and eventually use successfully.

Web 2.0 that I have known about but not used, partly because it has been easy to say, yeah, yeah, include Diigo, Twitter (never used and still mind boggled), Evernote (can’t believe it, awesome), Google circles (wow is all I can think of), Twine (only just found out, thank you to the someone [can’t remember who sorry] who posted the Diigo bookmark).

Wow, yes, my head is swimming, but loving it. The one thing I must say that I found from my year 9 class with Google Doc collaboration, is that the ‘shift from behaviour to Web 2.0 tools and direction is now foremost’.

Looking forward to home time now, not to be away from my students, but too ‘read and do’ more. So much!

personal learning networks for educators





March 16

Module 2: Reflections

Module flow and the information environment

Way back in 1964 Arthur C. Clarke predicted virtual worlds.

Reading about working shoulder to shoulder with student avatars brings to mind my online learning spaces as explained in my Blog Task 1. The need to inspire collaboration and cooperation through online worlds where students feel safe – they can say and do with relative anonymity.

Students in my class, Holly and Thomas, interact from the class room and at home via their virtual space and avatars. They demonstrate online collaboration whilst maintaining their anonymity in my class.