INF532 Assessment 3 – reflective statement

Currently I am not working in teaching, so have been unable to directly apply the studies to a teaching situation. Last year I had a one-year appointment as teacher librarian at a NSW Department of Education K-6 primary school so have some knowledge of a library environment. Although current circumstances restrict my being able to implement tools and strategies learnt in the course, I have applied them as I would in the future as a full time teacher librarian.

The main enlightening idea from INF532 is that knowledge is created in social context (Innovative Learning, 2009). The internet is expanding at a rapid rate and web 2.0 tools allow for greater facilitation of the social context through user to user interaction (Silver, 2019a) . It is through these tools and module readings that learning has occurred, with ideas clarified through interaction with others. Before this, the predominant belief was that students learnt best from face-to-face teaching.

INF532 has proved challenging in so many ways. Overcoming fear of being ‘open’ and putting opinions and presence in digital spaces with strangers, worrying about criticism and privacy.

Concepts not thought of before starting this course, such as digital networking, how it works, why it is important and how knowledge can be created, shared and leveraged through it have been explored. An understanding of how networks  operate (Silver, 2019b) and the importance of nodes on networking including strong and weak ties (Oddone, 2016) has been gained.  Networking has been able to be used to establish a personal learning network (PLN) through the social networking service (SNS) Twitter. When the author first began using Twitter they were apprehensive and lurked around for a while (Silver, 2019c). Eventually connections began with others by commenting on their Tweet to say ‘thanks’. The authors PLN  currently follows 70 people and has 9 followers, which although small, has a diversity of people from Australia and overseas, including 2 people from INF532, an educational author, consulting company and educator Kathleen Morris. Knowledge shared on the PLN has assisted in creating content, for example theTweet below was a result of a Tweet from @Tonyvincent, which had value added and retweeted by the author.

There has been a growth in knowledge of content curation and the value of it to find, capture and add value to information to share with others (Silver, 2019d). The use of networking through connecting with other’s blogs has resulted in an increased awareness of digital networking tools, for example Twitterdeck on Karen Attkinson’s blog post  on Twitter (Attkinson, 2019). Twitterdeck was then able to be implemented to organise content and information flow.

Web 2.0 tools that allow for constructive collaboration have been experimented with. These include blogging, Twitter, discussion forums and the course Padlet. Reflections on case studies  (Silver, 2019e) have enabled the realisation of how Web 2.0 tools can enable authentic learning experiences for students which connect with the learning, each other and the wider community.

The concept of flipping learning has also been inspiring. Despite having heard of this concept the finer details of it’s history and examples of other educators use of it were unexplored. Through sharing his experiences on his blog (Burns, 2018) I have gained a better appreciation of the concept and how it can be created and applied to teaching practises. I would like to try flipped learning in a library (Silver, 2019f).

Digital tools have been learnt and used to create new content, such as the digital artefact ‘Using Twitter for beginners to create a personal learning network’ (Silver, 2019g) which was created using the tools of Powtoon and Screencastify. These tools could also be used in future teaching and learning experiences. Although, more tools were investigated and trialled they were not blogged about (such as Voki, Pearl trees and Spiderscribe). This is an area that needs improvement in the future.

Collaboration with the world occurs through Twitter, the creation of the digital artefact was designed to increase knowledge networking and as such was sent out via my Twitter PLN. To further expand as a global connected educator more exploration of how to connect with other educators is required, such as those listed by Lindsay (2019, slide 73).

Overall, INF532 has taught me where to look for information and how important it is to work collaboratively to create new knowledge and build upon it and share it through various mediums for all to learn. With this knowledge I can confidently reach out to more people in my growth as a connected educator.

 

 

References:

Atkinson, K. (2019, May 20). Let the tweeting begin [blog post]. Retrieved from https://karenatkinson.weebly.com/ed-tech-blog/let-the-tweeting-begin

Burns, M. (2019, January 22). Flipping my primary classroom [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://flippingmyprimaryclassroom.blogspot.com/

Digitalang (2012, February 21). How to build your PLN (Personal Learning Network). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A667plNCzwA&feature=youtu.be

De Saulles, M. (2012). New models of information production. In Information 2.0: new models of information production, distribution and consumption. Facet Publishing.

Lindsay, J. (2019). Global vision, global learning – Becoming an education change-maker [slideshow]. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/julielindsay/global-vision-global-learning-becoming-an-education-changemaker

Oddone, K. (2016, September 5). Networks, networking and network literacy – Part 1 [Blogpost]. Retrieved from https://www.linkinglearning.com.au/what-is-network-literacy-and-is-it-important/

Silver, T. (2019a, March 20). New models of information production [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/03/20/new-models-of-information-production/

Silver, T. (2019b, May 20). Networks [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/05/20/networks/

Silver, T. (2019c, May 21). An exploration into Twitter [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/05/21/an-exploration-into-twitter/

Silver, T. (2019d, May 21). Curators – seeing the big picture [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/05/21/curators-seeing-the-big-picture/

Silver, T. (2019e, May 21). Supporting the connected learner with Skype [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/05/21/supporting-the-connected-learner-with-skype/

Silver, T. (2019f, May 22). Flipped learning [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/05/22/flipped-learning/

Silver, T. (2019g, May 22). Making my digital artefact [blog post]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/learningawaits/2019/05/24/making-my-digital-artefact/

 

 

 

 

 

Networks

“The Water Basin Project network map” by Choconancy1 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A knowledge of networking and networks is becoming increasingly important in our society and for education.

But what is a network? A network is a group of people joined together – today mostly by digital means (Oddone, 2017). Oddone also outlines four defining features of networks. They are:

  1. ‘Nodes – points on the network
  2. Relations – the lines in the network, connecting in one specific interaction
  3. Ties – also connectors, but reflecting the totality of relations between nodes
  4. The network itself – how the nodes, relations and ties combine to interact as networks’.

You can read more on Oddone’s post here. 

As technology becomes more readily available and information increases it is important that we know how to use networks to find information. Before beginning this course I had an understanding of networks in the traditional sense but no formal understanding of how they worked with technology. McClure (1994) and Rhinegold (2011) present two views on network literacy but they both believe it is imperative for people to understand networks and how they work in order to make the most of opportunities in their personal and professional lives. McLure defined network literacy as a set of knowledge and skills needed to have the ability to identify, access and use information from an electronic network.

Rhinegold explains that the way the internet coding protocols (ICP) were established at the creation of the net changed the way data could be sent. There is now no centralised control, although government, laws and markets influence the structure. This lack of centralised structure makes the internet available to anybody who knows ICP – it is the ‘end-to-end’ principle. Whereas McLure’s views were on information retrieval from the network Rhinegold uses many theories, including Reed’s Law to demonstrate how networks now function with the advancement of technology and the introduction of web 2.0. Now networks are based around groups and these groups interact with each other to share information and knowledge regardless of time or distance barriers.

As I progress through my learning, it becomes increasingly clear how important networks are to learning about new resources, practises and opportunities.

Network learning is also becoming increasingly important in our education systems. Network learning is ICT used to promote connections for learning. Schools are seeing an increased need to use ICT skills for teaching and learning, however, the way in which ICT is used in learning and assessments is different to how they would be used in the workplace. A lot of student’s skills are assessed in isolation without being able to use ICT knowledge and skills as they would in the workplace. Student’s are also often tested individually, rather than a mix of both individual and collaborative work as they would be expected to achieve in the workplace (Wilson, Scalise & Gochyyev, 2015).

The lack of integration between the way employers expect employees to utilise technology and collaborative skills and the way the education system teaches and assesses these skills leaves a widening gap. This leads to the question – are students taught to integrate ICT and networks into their lives in a way that will be beneficial to their future? Does the education system need to change the way it implements and assesses? How does a teacher achieve this in an institution steeped in traditional systems?

 

References:

McClure, C. R. (1994). Network literacy: A role for libraries? Information Technology and Libraries, 13(2), 115-125. Retrieved from Proquest Ebook Central.

Oddone, K. (2016, September 5). Networks, networking and network literacy – Part 1 [Blogpost]. Retrieved from https://www.linkinglearning.com.au/what-is-network-literacy-and-is-it-important/

Rheingold, H. (2011, February 13). Network literacy part 1 [online video]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/g6UKWozzVRM

Rheingold, H. (2011, February 13). Network literacy part 2 [online video]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/g6UKWozzVRM

Wilson, M., Scalise, K., & Gochyyev, P. (2015). Rethinking ICT literacy: From computer skills to social network settings. Thinking Skills and Creativity,  18, 65-80.