June 2015 archive

Critical Reflection

Modeled after some of John Hattie’s work on teacher clarity, my school has played around with different forms of lesson objectives/reflections. One of our more current models was structured around the following questions:


What are we learning today?

How are we learning this?

How do I know that I’ve learned it?


When sitting down to write this final reflection for INF530, this immediately came to mind. I may modify them slightly, but they definitely suit the purpose.


What did I learn throughout the course?


Concepts and Practices for a Digital Age has been exactly what I’ve been looking for. It’s allowed me to wander through current topics within education that I find of great interest and immerse myself within them. So here are some things that I’ve mulled over:


  • I’m at odds with Prensky and his concept of digital natives and in addition, John Plafrey and Urs Gasser continuation in their work Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives. The millennial generation and those that follow still struggle with technology and the skills of their digital immigrant teachers often eclipse those of the natives. I do have genuine concern for the participation gap identified in Plafrey and Gasser’s work. Educators must work to alleviate this disparity.


  • Connectivisim. A theory that explains learning in the 21st century. The discussion I had with Christopher Jones, I led me to want to explore connectivism in a secondary education as a solution to some of the problems he was facing in the tertiary setting.


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This course has sparked a keen interest in this theory and while I don’t wholeheartedly agree with the theory in its purest form, I do think that it should be adopted to some extent in the secondary setting. Many benefits for this included increased digital literacy and critical thinking skills.


Other Learnings?

  • Gamification. The need to continue to adopt. I agree with Tina Barseghian’s Why Video Games Power Up Learning, but I’d also add improves digital literacy skills.
  • Mimi Ito’s vision of connected learning.
    • Kids today need to How to recruit mentors
    • No longer educational bottlenecks. Places where we must go to source information. There’s no library, school that has all the answers. Learning can happen anywhere.
    • The need to continue to push creativity in schools. Sir Ken Robinson highlights this in his reference to the survey of what executives are looking for in the next generation.. Creativity
    • (Word count impeding this section!!!!)


How are we learning this?

  • Judy’s phrase “global participatory culture of learning” has resonated we me this course. I’ve included a WordItOut to showcase some of the ways I’ve learned.

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How do I know I’ve learned something?


I’ll end with a connectivist musing… My ability to know how to access this knowledge is more important than actually having command of it at this moment (Of which I assure you Judy et al. that I do!) That being said, it’s clear that there is a gifted group of education specialists within this cohort and I’ve been able to follow many of you on Twitter and your Thinkspace blogs. Siemens says  “when knowledge, however, is needed, but not known, the ability to plug into sources to meet the requirements becomes a vital skill”(Siemens, 2004, para 30). I’m looking forward to drawing on this cohort and continuing to learn with you as a part of my PLN.