January 2010 Archives
In the spirit of design...
click and move the map around... or go to full screen for a full view...
According to Pea, learning can be viewed as much more than "problem solving" and more broadly in terms of each of the desires. This can take the form of activities of play that create and find as much problems they "solve". Similarly, the design of new technologies can support human activities by serving as experimental platforms in the evolution of intelligence - by opening up new possibilities for distributed intelligence. Pea's research optimism constructs learners as inventors of distributed-intelligence-as-tool, rather than receivers of intelligence as substance- ready not only to adapt to change but to contribute substantially to it (p. 82.)
Technology should be designed to enhance the exchange of intelligence. By designing better devices or applications we have a greater impact on the sharing and creation of intelligence via our interactions with the technologies we have created. Pea argues that we cannot only emphasize the effects of working with technology because that is similar to emphasizing the effects of working with tools like pencils or measurement scales. If we are comfortable teaching students how to exploit those tools (pencils, measuring tapes etc.), then why the uneasiness with electronic tools?
The NMC and ELI 2010 Horizon Report is illustrative and supports Pea's article. The issues makes it clear that there are and there will be technologies designed to further our abilities in certain areas, such as accessibility to learning materials through the use of electronic books and other. These technologies can be seen as tools for distributing intelligence (gesture-based computing, visual analysis tools, augmented reality) or to aid in access to distributed intelligence (mobile computing, open content, electronic books). The overall impact of the Horizon Report is to inform and challenge us to strive for and investigate what technologies are available and how we can use them to enhance the learning experience for the individuals we educate.
In his book, Design for the Real World, designer and educator Victor Papanek (1985), exclaims that we are all designers and that designing is integral to all human activity because it is "the conscious effort to impose meaningful order." That meaningful order however is very much caught up in the tools, materials and the process that we use. As an example, he offers up the case of early Swedish settlers who when they began building in Delaware, "had at their disposal trees and axes. The material was a round tree trunk, the tool an axe, and the process a simple kerf cut into the log. The inevitable result of this combination of tools, materials, and process is a log cabin." This definition of design therefore further supports Roy Pea's view of distributive intelligence which emphasizes that educators should attempt to make use of their environment in designing learning and creating activities that promotes the acquisition of intelligence and therefore knowledge.
Both Pea and the Horizon Report have valuable points talking about utilization and integration of technology design in education. This is evident here at Penn State, where we have designed technologies that are enabling us to provide education to the global market. We can discuss any variety of subjects with students from around the world. This also speaks to Pea's discussion on how the technologies we design have the ability to transform the world in which we live. By interacting on a global level, we have new opportunities for understanding others, exchanging ideas, and enhancing our knowledge to better improve our environments. As human understanding of the world becomes more complex, we'll need more and more tools to off-load intelligence in order to deal with the complexity.
Pea's article focuses on the notion of
the renunciation of intelligence as singularly contributed by the
individual agent and as a merely accomplished, but rather constructed
by people in action and socially constructed. He states that "through
collaborative efforts towards shared objectives or by dialogues and
challenges brought about in persons' different perspectives.(P.48)" , which supports that "distributed intelligence" is a kind of socially collaborative, constructed knowledge . In addition, Pea
mentions that environments in which "humans lives are thick with
invented artifacts that are in constant use for structuring activity,
for saving mental work and avoiding error",
yet the invention, development and integration of these "artifacts"
have forced us to adapt and engage in new learning situations that open
the range of understanding and knowledge building, both individually
and in collaboration. Relating this to the education system today, we
need to invest in assessing the collaborative effort of achieving
shared understanding and building knowledge in collaboration.
Pea's argument align's with John Dewey's (an author of democracy and education) notion that all human experience is social and involves contact and communication. He states that living and interacting within social environments that encompass the present body of knowledge (which is the focus of the educational system). Furthermore, Dewey explains that people live in a social world that is shaped by human experiences, and these combined experiences construct knowledge.
When incorporating "distributed intelligence" into practice in the design aspect, there are two points to keep in mind:
1. Collaborative/ Interactive: A good design is not simply one-way knowledge given, but rather getting learner involved in contributing to distributed intelligence. Learners can exploit various means to achieve tasks. The collaboration and interaction exist not only among human beings, but also with the environment, tools, and even the designers.
2. Desire Affordance: Pea states that "the interpretation, relevance, and meaning of resources available for activity are shaped by the desires with which people come to situations (P.55)" We can see creativity emerging from situated interpretations of resources in the environment based on desires.
Both of two points support Pea's advices to get to distributed intelligence: Augment intelligence with computing, inscriptional system, guided participation and situated cognition.
This can be related to the "Horizon Report", which focuses on how technologies in education aid in the knowledge construction process within the social framework. We know that technologies help to facilitate distributed intelligence through: collaboration without boundary; knowledge anywhere and anytime; and efficiency in satidfying desires.
If we use
these technologies and tools and establish shared goals in building a
collaborative knowledge base, students and teachers both engage in a
valuable learning experience employing these resources, adapting to
them and drawing on them to CREATE more knowledge in a cyclical
process. Taking into consideration these new social environments, these
technologies can take learning to a whole new level.
Certainly, there are some challeges and critiques that we need to notice. For example, how do teachers identify themselves in a classroom? Should teachers be required to learn about these things in order to better meet their students' expectations? Is there larger generation gap between parents and kids because parents are not familiar with the modern communication ways? If open content is used as a powerful tool to inform a greater number of individuals, what is the motivation for individuals to register as students? How do we differentiate between individuals who have completed the course "officially" and those who have studied the open content? Just think about it!
Taking into consideration our readings for this week, we decided to revisit our definitions...
Wesch is the keynote speaker at this year's TLT Symposium ... have you registered?
Here are the wordles from your first set of definitions.
A group of people with some relationship using artifacts (props?) to collaborate, participate, communicate; Working together toward a certain goal (academic, social, task, outcome); often based on common interest
Representation of oneself to others; includes social interaction and context;
not fixed - when in different communities or discourses, different identity is presented;
Possible that recognition as part of discourse attributes characteristics to an identity
-Identities are multiple and fluid in nature.
Community is a social construct in which a member automatically receives an assigned identity and acts upon the assigned role and where other people within the community recognize the person's taking on the role. We say "automatically" is because there is an expectation placed on community members. Part of the reason one is able to enter the community is because of the identity they were able to assume.
Identity is set of characteristics that one expresses when they become part of a community. Identity is constructed through the information that one presents to others (through words and actions) about themselves. At the same time identity is also constructed by how others perceive us or the information they obtain about us.
- Video Discussion
- Reading Conversations
Let's watch this 10 minute video ... take note this has quite a bit of explicit language in it. There is a reason for this.
Some talking points:
- What's being disruptive in the video above?
- How did you view the production of your own videos as an educational task?
- Did you prepare or think about the task differently than a traditional written assignment?
- What is it about the youtube medium that deserves different types of thinking?
From McLuhan (The Medium is the Massage, 128) ... "The main cause for disappointment in and for criticism of television is the failure on the part of its critics view it as a totally new technology which demands different sensory responses. These critics insist on regarding television as merely a degraded form of print technology."
consider that in the context of our course conversation and do a little editing ...
"The main cause for disappointment in and for criticism of [youtube] is the failure on the part of its critics view it as a totally new technology which demands different sensory responses. These critics insist on regarding [youtube] as merely a degraded form of [television]."
Do you find this as out of control as we do?
We'd like you to revisit your videos and within the context of what we've discussed and see how you might reconsider your design. Given the upcoming synthesis week, we'd like you to create a compelling and appropriate video that communicates part of your team's message. That will accompany your overall synthesis presentation.
Looking at Google Reader
In teams you will craft the beginning of definitions of the two of our key themes, community & identity. These should reference specific pieces from the content associated with the class (readings, podcasts, blog posts, etc). Work in your team's google doc and do a final posting at the end of the allotted time.
Questions to Consider
- What is your emergent definitions of community & identity?
- How does Gee characterize community & identity?
- What is the relationship between the Discourses that Gee discusses and the Mindsets that Lankshear and Knoble describe?
The point of this historical perspective is to remind us that the last decade has seen transformations of a kind notable even from the long perspective of the record of human history. Our Information Age has been the most extensive and rapid in human history, structurally altering traditional economic and political arrangements on a global level and, at the same time, restructuring communication, interaction, publication, and authorship in all currently available media. Is it any wonder that many of us are wondering what will happen next -- or asking how best to prepare ourselves for what comes next?
Really worth a read and a few thoughts from the class.
Once upon a time on Facebook, participants had to be a vetted member of a community to even have an account. Privacy was a deeply held value and many turned to Facebook because of the ways in which it protected them from making public mistakes. This was especially core to youth participation. Parents respected Facebook's attitudes towards privacy and, in a shocking moment of agreement, teens did too.
If you don't know danah boyd, you should. She looks at teen behavior in social networks. Her work is very smart and really insightful. This piece looks at Facebook's new privacy policies and how they've been changed recently. Dr. boyd (she spells her name with lower case letters) was a keynote speaker at last year's TLT Symposium ... it was a killer talk and can be seen here.
The word "technology" always gives me the impression of something fancy, cool, innovative and creative; and things make my life much easier and efficient. Otherwise, the word "studying" makes me bored and unstimulating. As technology liberates women from hard chores of traditional lives, I think disruptive technology in education is a magical thing which relieves the boredom of studying. Disruptive technologies are completely new tools that change how things are done. That is, disruptive technology changes the learning process into being fun, entertaining, actively interactive. Disruptive technology: technology + learning -> fun, exciting, stimulating Since I don't like the traditional classroom instruction which is static and depends on the printed material, I am looking forward to lots of potential disruptive technology might have in education, which enables the dynamic and active learning.
The word "technology" always gives me the impression of something fancy, cool, innovative and creative; and things make my life much easier and efficient. Otherwise, the word "studying" makes me bored and unstimulating.
As technology liberates women from hard chores of traditional lives, I think disruptive technology in education is a magical thing which relieves the boredom of studying. Disruptive technologies are completely new tools that change how things are done. That is, disruptive technology changes the learning process into being fun, entertaining, actively interactive.
Disruptive technology: technology + learning -> fun, exciting, stimulating
Since I don't like the traditional classroom instruction which is static and depends on the printed material, I am looking forward to lots of potential disruptive technology might have in education, which enables the dynamic and active learning.
Perhaps I am reading too much into the concept of disruptive technologies, but for me the concept is similar in that disruptive technology stirs up educators and asks them to re-evaluate their view of technology and the role that it plays in learning. It is taking technologies that some may see as a form of escapism and weaving it into the learning experience. This will create lifelong learners who no longer see learning as an activity that one has to make time for, but rather as something that is part of everyday.
The idea of Technology as a Rabble Rouser for Learning is that it can shake educators and learners alike and forces them to think and ask the 'what if questions'. The idea of taking that which is seen as everyday and not part of learning, something that is outside the purview of traditional learning, and that which educational gatekeepers cannot always control and call it learning, is terrifying for some.
Our team(#4) worked individually so I'm excited to see what other members have done.
This week as we reflect about language and identity, the readings provide food for thought as to how technology as the medium can provide the opportunity for students to reflect their identities and shape different types of conversations that lead to building and sharing understanding.
Students take on many identities on any given day; child, sibling, student, athlete, etc. In all of these situations, a student may transition from their "core identity" to various marginal "identities". In a traditional classroom, however, there are scheduled instances where students are able to express only some of these identities, be it in Gym class, or during a special language arts projects or in the computer classroom. The language use in each situation shapes how identities are expressed. The reciprocal relationship between language and context dictates how identities will be presented and at the same time will define the context. For example, the discourse of the classroom used to be one in which the teacher held a very authoritative role; standing at the front of the room lecturing students and engaging them in "skill and drill" style lesson plans. Students would stifle spontaneity by raising their hand and speaking only when called on. As curriculum changes and new methods and teaching and learning approaches emerge, this dynamic is slowly shifting. With the integration of instructional technologies, students are able to merge social networking forums in an instructional setting, integrating informal and more comfortable spaces of self expression into the formal venues of learning, lessening the threatening atmosphere that may stifle their true self expression.
For instructors, the use of disruptive technologies in the classroom maybe innovative yet uncomfortable, especially if they themselves were exposed to traditional methods of learning. But in the process, instructors become learners. As they discover and familiarize themselves with the language that students use in these cyber arenas of social networking they are exposed to their students various identity facets. Another thing to keep in mind with "language" and "identity" are the disparities that occur among differing cultures. Verbal and non-verbal cues can have drastically different meanings from one culture to the next. The internet has the power to eliminate or serve as a buffer for all those non verbal cues that may lead the conversation elsewhere. However, this filter may also hinder the clarity of identity as the audience may miss inflection and body language that can dictate meaning. This leads to the seven building tasks discussed by Gee. We continually and actively build and rebuild our worlds not just through language but through language used in tandem with actions, interactions, non-linguistic symbol systems, objects, tools, technologies and distinctive ways of thinking, feeling and believing. Connecting to the discussion on Discourse versus discourse, Discourse here includes socially situated identity (whos) and activities (whats). From Gee (p. 27) " If you put language, action, interaction, values, beliefs, symbols, objects, tools and places together in such a way that others recognize you as a particular type of who (identity) engaged in a particular type of what (activity), here-and-now, then you have pulled off a Discourse."
In the past, traditional teacher's identity is as a giver, knowledge-producer, lecturer; student's, of course, is as receiver, knowledge-consumer, and listener. Nowadays, with disruptive technology applied in class with sociocultural environment, teacher needs to have awareness that their identity has to shift to a facilitator, collaborator, or even a learner. For example, when teacher decides to give a lecture with Internet, s/he needs to know s/he is not a central-controller anymore, the learning environment will be flexible and coordinated. Students will have their own "private space", from which they could get information via different mediums, such as Wiki, Google, Twitter, etc. The more understanding of the change of the learning process, value, beliefs, tools, etc., the more clear identity a teacher/student would have. Given this situation, both teacher and students know who they are engaged in what activity. It will facilitate effective and efficient learning.
We also find interesting the notion of how identities do not exist frozen in time, but that they require the context of the activity and other peoples' interpretations before they are truly defined. With this new context of formal merged with informal, the development of disruptive technology leads us to return to an older concept of identity: that of actions and relationships. It may be a new context and a new set of actions, but as both instructors and students adapt to these environments and interactions, our identities are expressed through both language and action.
The McLuhan and Fiore reading, published in 1967, predicted much of our current realities dealing with technology, the media and instruction. They illustrate their message of accessibility of information to the masses in the way they present their book. It has a collages, visuals, art and text displayed in so many different ways as to reach diverse audiences. It is translating language into forms that can be understood by many...challenging the rational linear models of language. Even referring to education then, it reflects the sad reality of today's educational system: "today's television child....is bewildered when he enters the nineteenth century environment that still characterizes the educational establishment where information is scarce but ordered and structured by fragmented, classified patterns, subjects and schedules. It is naturally and environment much like any factory set up with its inventories and assembly lines." Sound familiar? NCLB?
As McLuhan and Fiore explain the medium is the message and how media touches every part of our existence and "leaves no part of us unaffected, unaltered" we need to look at our cultural and social evolution as informed by the media. And of course what is media but the translation and diffusion of language, information. Their book intends to challenge the status quo of westernized linear and perscriptivist manner of defining what is rational and logic by challenging the ongoing principle that logic and rationality depend on sequential flow of connected concepts (as presented through conventional forms of language expression such as writing and speaking). Yet the media brings forth a new form of language expression through multi-sensory devices that expand our perception of the world.
Technology today is taking this to the next level it allows accessibility to the masses to use multi-sensory platforms of self expression. Language is translated into sound, text, art, clothing, food and it becomes a fast paced sometimes illogical "flow of concepts". This colorful diffusion of the many messages allows our multiple identities to come through in various realms. A new world order of shared information, opinions and art is today's legacy. It is getting increasingly difficult to ignore, and as such our individual identities are now much more intertwined.
In his "An Introduction to Discourse Analysis, theory and method," James Paul Gee describes identity as something fluid, a building task of language that changes depending on the words that humans use. Those words are used to get recognized as having a certain identity or role in a particular situation, which, as Gee states, demonstrates that individuals have a certain amount of agency over their identities. He points out that people "... have to enact (an) identity at the right time and place to make it work" (1999, p.11). Identity, for Gee, can transcend language to include categorizing discourses. His theory of "big D" Discourse is introduced as a means of appropriating certain (and sometimes multiple) identities. Discourse is a combination of "characteristic ways of thinking, acting, interacting, valuing, feeling, and believing" (1999, p.21). The Discourses within which we navigate, according to Gee, affect our relationships and interactions.
Gee's distinction between socially situated identities and core identity (1999, p. 34) is a key point. When most people think of identity, they think of some relatively static sense of self. This is similar to Gee's definition of core identity, which is the continuous and relatively fixed sense of self that underlies our multiple identities. Socially situated identities, then, are the multiple identities that we form based on different practices and contexts (Discourses). These types of identities are ones that we may not be consciously aware that we are employing, but that are essential for interacting within particular contexts with particular groups of people. For example, these socially situated identities explain well that foreign and second language learners feel their identities changing when they speak foreign and second languages because each language requires different socially appropriate behaviors and attitudes which are fit into the culture of the language they are speaking.
Critical to the field of education, Gee, when discussing how our own Discourse map/grid is the limit of our understanding, states that "it is the fundamental job of education to give people bigger and better Discourse maps, ones that reflect the working of Discourses throughout society, the world, and history in relationship to each other and to the learner" (1999, p. 32). Wow! The question is, how do we as teachers do that? The use of technology seems imperative to this undertaking in that it allows students to connect with others throughout the world and perhaps become part of new Discourses. Through advances in technology students in a classroom are no longer limited to sharing their Discourses with the peers around them. Classrooms that are enabled with the World Wide Web allow students to reach out and interact with students on the other side of the world and provide a link to share and expand their discourse map in different ways than they would be able to do if the technology was not present. For example, students in an a classroom in the United States could interact with students in another classroom in Japan and share their different characteristic ways of thinking and how they react to certain things with one another which, in a world without the technology, would not be possible unless one of the classrooms flew around the world to the other. Also key for teachers is to be cognizant of the fact that our students have multiple identities and that we need to recognize and work with those different identities in the classroom.
Discourse study, while important in establishing the origins of identity, leaves a few questions unanswered. One question, which Gee begins to attend to in the reading, is of the validity of identity. How "real" is an identity when by merely mimicking the Discourse associated with that identity, someone can be considered a "real Indian" or a "real" California gang member?
Another potential problem with Discourse theory is the nebulous origins from which specific Discourse labels arise. Gee states: "Discourses in a society emerge or die" (1999, p. 31). It is clear that Discourses are constantly evolving and that new Discourses arise, but from where do our understandings of Discourses originate? From which authority? Who establishes what language, behaviors, or values make someone a "real Indian"? Where do the definitions of certain identities come from? It seems that a certain amount of hegemony is embedded in Discourse recognition, but Gee makes it seem as if recognition work is a phenomenon that organically happens.
Media permeates every aspect of peoples' lives. In today's media-saturated world, an identitiy formation cannot be influenced merely by a single factor like family or a small community. The media is bound to infiltrate into the ongoing process of identity construction. With the development of technology, a great deal of resources have become available to people with the multiple examples of identity that can be found in the mass media. Some people might have difficulty of finding certain expectations presented by media and whether what is an acceptable identity or not. Media constantly gives open spaces for identity to be changed and reshaped not only positively, but negatively. To end this thought we pulled a quote from McLuhan & Fiore (1967), "All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered. ... Any understanding of social and cultural change is impossible without a knowledge of the way media work as environments"
I think of a disruptive technology is something that changes the way people interact. This includes changing how people create knowledge and organize themselves into groups.
McLuhan said the medium is the message. The Web 2.0 (for lack of a better term) world has brought with it a message that is egalitarian when it comes to knowledge creation. The authority of the book, tv news show, and newspaper are undermined by the fact that anyone can now create and distribute. The meaning of authorship changes as now anyone can copy, remix, re-edit, add, subtract.
Each conversation online enforces the non-authoritarian view. This is the message of the medium. No matter what is being said, this same message is coming across. I practically live online. I just this week have realized that I really bought into the medium's message without realizing where the message was coming from, exactly. I was hearing the message constantly without realizing it. How much did it affect my thinking without me knowing it? I paid attention to the content being transmitted by the web, without realizing consciously the message it was repeatedly sending me. This is not to say that I believe I have been brainwashed anymore than someone who does not buy into this worldview has been brainwashed by reading books. In both cases, there may be a little brainwashing going on.
To reveal identities of communicators, we analyze Discourses and the key to Discourse is recognition. Discourses involve putting "language, action, interaction, values, beliefs, symbols, objects, tools and places together in such as way that others recognize you as a particular type of who (identity) engaged in a particular type of what (activity)." The society within which a tool is being used to communicate may also prescribe certain values to that tool and by association, the users of that tool. Gee states that Discourses often involve "props" and a communication tool itself may be considered a prop. Those props are part of what makes that Discourse. For example, part of "being a geek" might involve using certain communication tools, such as Twitter. This can be a two-way street, in that one who identifies himself as a geek might use Twitter in order to reaffirm his"geekiness," while at the same time his use of the tool makes it a "tool for geeks." The tool shapes the Discourse and vice versa. Within each Discourse that a person belongs to, there are common identities, beliefs, and ways of thinking, feeling, and being that are recognizable as both appropriate and defining of membership to other members of the Discourse. It is because of this that members of a Discourse can recognize others as either "insiders" or "outsiders." Additionally, being an effective and recognizable member of a Discourse suggests that the Discourse is reflected in the identities of its members. In other words, to be in a Discourse, your view of your own identity must see you as a member of that Discourse.
However, based on the tool that is used to conduct the exchange of these language, interactions, etc., it is possible that the identity of the communicator could be interpreted differently. Depending on the tool, one or more elements that comprise discourse could be hidden, displayed or altered (whether a function of choice or limitation/feature of the tool) so as to present the communicator's identity in a new or different way or cause the communicator to be recognized differently.
Gee also states that tensions can exist when one is a member of multiple Discourses. It may be difficult for an individual to resolve these differences, and indeed the tension one introduces into hi or her life by engaging in multiple Discourses can be considered an aspect of that person's identity. Discourses continually evolve, and couldn't do so without being somewhat permeable to new ideas, which is inevitable given that its members invariably have complex identities and belong to other Discourses. Thus there is an important interplay between individual identity shaping Discourse and Discourse shaping individual identity.
In McLuhan & Fiore's "Medium is the message," they claimed that all media have characteristics that engage the viewer in different way. The same message can be interpreted differently when it is demonstrated through a book, a film, a newspaper and so on. It has effect on one's understanding and each one's understanding builds a common sense in a society. Thus, it would be important to choose appropriate medium to convey message you want to convey. This is why they had one idea repeatedly in the article that they believed that we should get out of outdated psychological mental responses to the current media to catch up the trend since current media functioned differently. Current media also radically changed our relationship to the world because of the messages we can receive from different media. Media is the message and thus can be viewed as prop/tool in Gee's Discourse and we can see media is part of Discourse. We can connect this idea to Gee's article to illustrate how media shape identities of us.
Team 3 collaboratively reviewed Twitter. In our YouTube video we examined some of the pros and cons of Twitter, in addition to potential uses it may have in education. We look forward to reading your comments!
What is a disruptive technology? How do technologies become disruptive when they're marketed to help people and not disrupt them? What causes technology to become disruptive? These are just some of the questions that I have been asking myself for the past couple months now in my endeavors to figure out why some students in classrooms view technology as disruptive while other view it as helpful?
I think one of the main components of disruptive technology is how the technology is used by the user and the different features the technology allows the user to interact with. Let's consider the common computer. Most computers come standard factory-direct with games pre-installed on them. In many schools students are required to take a computer education course before they are allowed to graduate. One could imagine that at times during the course when the student is in front of the computer the student probably becomes bored and decides to open up a game and start playing with it to end his or her boredom. In my eyes this type of action is fine provided the student has completed all assigned work in the class and is no longer required to participate or pay attention to the teacher in class. It's when the student plays the same game while the teacher is giving a lecture or while the student should be working on an assignment the technology becomes disruptive.
I believe that technologies become disruptive when they are used in a manner that they should not be used or are used in a manner where the technology becomes an inconvenience for the person using it to where the person starts wasting time over the technology. To correct these two problems I believe we can better instruct the users of the technology on how to use the technology and the purpose of the technology. Some of you may be saying that's easier said than done. I agree with you. However, I believe the easy part will be to correct people on how to use the technology so that it doesn't become disruptive by wasting time but the hard part will be to install the purpose of the technology into the same people. Students are going to play games no matter what. Perhaps the only efficient way to prevent the technology from being disruptive is to control the technology, something I believe is not accomplished very well in our ever expanding technological field.
When I mention to people that I am taking a class on Disruptive Technologies, their immediate reaction is typically "Oh, you mean things like Facebook, instant messaging, and Twitter that distract students in classrooms". I feel like I need to clarify that a disruptive technology is not necessarily a distractive technology. That is to say, my understanding of disruptive is not that it disrupts a student's ability to learn, but rather that it disrupts expectations of the "right" way of presenting, processing, or working with information and knowledge. Similar to the disruptive innovations discussed in the article I first read, many of the disruptive technologies that can be used for learning entered a space where there was nothing similar, or where limitations of cost and access prohibited more established products from being successful. The technologies then migrate to education, where traditional tools and methods exist, but are able to disrupt the accepted way of educating because of widespread adoption in non-educational settings. However, in addition to the market definition of disruptive, which means that the technology enters a space where competition does not exist and then moves into existing markets, I think disruptive technology for learning doesn't necessarily always enter a market that's untapped. Rather, it disrupts the current way of thinking about how information is delivered and knowledge is built.
I think what determines whether or not a technology should be labeled as disruptive depends on how one uses it. If an instructor can see the benefits of the tools and provide structured assignments that utilize the tool in ways that benefit the class and the students' learning experience then a more appropriate name would be effective technology. If however, an instructor required students to use a piece of technology without providing any guidelines for the students, it then has the potential to disrupt the learning process. Furthermore, if a professor only uses a portion of the technology, students will spend their time exploring or playing with the tool to figure out what all it can do. Again disrupting the students' ability to learn. So to sum things up I think it's unfair to label all technology as disruptive. Many technologies have the ability to encourage learning with students. However, when technology is used improperly or if students are not provided with adequate guidance with a tool, it can be detrimental to a student's education. When this happens, the label disruptive technology can then be applied.
Well, maybe if we were to look at disruptive from another angle.... as it disrupts the traditional models of "doing"; that, yes, it is "out of order" with what has been established or is generally accepted. Is this such a bad thing? I think not. Sometimes it is good to challenge the status quo. It might be an uncomfortable process, but change usually is. Personally, I think that anything that disrupts an established practice, idea or philosophy leads to questions, pondering, debating and critical thinking. It can also lead to an open dialogue where there is an opportunity for diverse voices to be heard. In the particular case of disruptive technologies with regards to education, there is no doubt that for teachers and instructors especially it might be uncomfortable to get use to the idea of allowing these types of "artifacts" and "mediums" that can cause "disruption" from the daily deposit of information. But when they learn to look at these technologies as innovative resources, the attitudes change and both students and teachers become co-collaborators and co creators of knowldge. There is no longer that dynamic of students as repositories of knowedge, but there is now a reciproicty that leads to building of knowledge and understanding.
With relating the following term "technologies", I inferred the meaning as something "new" and "innovative".
New kinds of technology have been changing our life at home, works, hospitals, schools and so on. At schools, in particular, learning materials are not limited in printed textbooks any more; teachers came to choose and use various types of materials with the help of technology. This can be called the beginning of disruptiveness.
From my experience, the year when I came here as a doctoral student, I was interested in the use of multimedia in L2 learning. Films and sitcoms were the only one that I've known as a new, effective way of L2 learning. But soon, my interest came to move to another area which looks more updated- new literacies! With the notion of sociocultural theory, I became aware of the importance of close relationship between interaction among others in a certain community and L2 learning and technology makes the interaction easy and effective. This made me think the way of teaching in a different way than before.
Even though I strongly believe that disruptive technologies could have positive effect on L2 learning in classroom, I'm still not familiar with the use of the technologies such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook. However, this is what I have to face as a teacher and also as a learner.
When I think about disruptive technologies, I think about them in two different ways. First, I think of them from the perspective of a teacher and then from the perspective of a student.
From my perspective as a teacher, disruptive technologies mean just what the term sounds like- technologies that disrupt the classroom. At one time the idea of disruption had a negative connotation for me, in that it seemed like something that would distract students and take away from their focus in the classroom, keeping them from learning what I want them to learn in the way that I want them to learn it. That is, of course, an antiquated (but not uncommon) way to think as a teacher. Fortunately, both my understanding of the nature of teaching and my practice have evolved over time. I have also developed a different understanding of the term 'disruptive', one that is more similar to the one stated in the Camplese and McDonald article (2010), where disruptive innovations are defined as those which "significantly alter current patterns of social functioning" (p. 1). Using that definition, I understand disruptive technologies to be those technologies, both software and hardware, which help me, as a teacher, to disrupt students' current ways of thinking and help them to develop relationships and ideas that change the way that they interact with the world around them, including the information that I present to them in the classroom. It is sometimes (ok, always) hard for teachers to give up full control of their classrooms, but if we want to bring about change in our students' lives, then we really do need to disrupt the status quo of the educational system.
From my perspective as a student, disruptive technologies are things that take me out of my comfort zone (sometimes WAY out of it) and push me to experience and think about things in new ways. In my role as student, disruptive technologies are uncomfortable (actually, they are in my role as teacher, as well). The idea of recording my voice and image and putting it "out there" for anyone to see is foreign and more than a little bit unnerving. The idea of putting all of my assignments in a place where everyone can read them also feels somewhat awkward. I realize, though, that using these technologies is allowing me to look at material in ways that I never have before. It is also helping me to broaden my perspectives and it is increasing my willingness to step outside the box that students are traditionally expected to remain within. In fact, I am experiencing what I want my own students to be able to experience through my use of disruptive technologies in the classroom. And how liberating of an experience it is!
For example, when tracking back to about 10 years, there were only BBCall, which we could only know someone's calling but could not talk in real time. Some years later, with communication technology progress, we can not only talk but also surf the Net, use GPS, listen to music, or even watch a movie with a cellphone. Another example is about school learning environment: I remember when I was a senior high student, there were only 2 technological setting in the classroom- radio and television. They were used for listening and watching once or twice a week for textbook-based programs. Nowadays almost each classroom has at least one computer and Internet. The function is extended to information searching, assignment handing in and real-time feedback. The identity or relationship has changed among teacher and students or students themselves.
To me, "Disruptive Technology" means an unavoidable change, for both the whole environment and individual identity. With high-technologies, it makes our position in the society (or in the classroom) shiftable. As a teacher/ learner, we should notice these change and find out an effective and efficient teaching/ learning way to catch the time trend.
I'm Mark Baker, a first-year student in the Educational Psychology program here at Penn State. I'm currently living in a slightly dilapidated second-story apartment in "historic downtown Bellefonte" along with my wife Nikki, our ten-month old daughter Evelyn, and a slough of rats, ladybugs, and beetles. Notwithstanding the unwanted tenants, I'm loving it here; it actually reminds me of home in many ways. I'm originally from a small town in Montana (though we would call it a city over there) and so the rural nature of central Pennsylvania is pretty much what I'm used to. My wife, however, hails from Washington D.C. and so I think she gets bored sometimes (especially being stuck in Bellefonte without a car). Our daughter keeps us on our toes as she continues to learn to walk, talk, and generally amaze the heck out of her parents.
As a first-year student, I am not really sure what my academic interests are yet. Broadly speaking, I enjoy learning and teaching (I taught for Kaplan for two years). I'm working on some research now in the areas of written argumentation and persuasion, and also teacher efficacy in multicultural classrooms. In my undergraduate education, I did some research into learning strategies, such as speed reading, concept maps, and mnemonic devices. I'm also interested in statistics, psychometrics, and standardized tests. It will be interesting for me to learn about how disruptive technologies can be used to assess learning, not just facilitate it. And then there's a vague, rather fuzzy interest called "technology." Now I'm not really a techno-buff, unlike the majority of our class (or so it seems to me). At this point in the course I am realizing I am still stuck in Web 1.0 and frankly I don't really know how to use this one-button Web 2.0 yet. I don't own any smart phones or even a laptop. Our home in Bellefonte has no internet connection. Yet I believe that educators and educational researchers should have at least a working knowledge of how to use the technology that students are increasingly demanding within the classroom. That's one reason I'm here (as well as to relay that knowledge to the rest of my department), and honestly I think this will be a challenge for me as someone who really isn't used to being connected to anyone outside of my family and a handful of close friends, let alone the whole world.
Another challenge I'm already beginning to see is one of a shift in basic philosophical worldview. As a student in psychology, "learning" has been defined for me as an individual increase in knowledge. And that's the liberal, cognitive viewpoint. It is a whole other paradigm to view learning as a social construction, a conversation, a relationship. I'd never heard of Vygotsky before last semester. I guess he was always overshadowed by the more popular (at least in psychology) Russian Pavlov. Even in ed psych we mostly study individual differences, individual learning patterns, etc. It is a drastic step to discuss community. Nevertheless, I am excited to be taking that step.
Lastly, just a couple of fun facts about me are that I play the trombone (quite well, I think), I am an amateur magician, and I speak Spanish fluently (I lived in Bolivia for two years). I look forward to getting to know all of you in the next few months!
Though I think the use of technology is beneficial to teaching and learning, I have doubts on how people use them, especially instructors. I was a teacher in Taiwan and required to use technology in the classroom. Based on my personal observation, technology use offers fun, authentic materials, convenience of distributing class materials, etc. Of course, there are absolutely excellent advantages but I do not see much radical changes. I am curious that whether we have not pay attention to other important issues when integrating technology in learning and teaching. Besides, we also face problems and challenges when having technologies and understanding them, rather than giving up, is probably the best way to diminish the disadvantages.
As my personal interests, I enjoy reading, listening to music, sleeping, and watching TV and movies. In addition to those that can be done alone, hanging out with family (though I cannot have this now) and friends are equally important to me.
What disruptive technology means to me....
As I was going through the readings, I started to think about the class title and what it meant. What makes technology "disruptive" and who does it "disrupt"? I came to the conclusion that disruptive technology is only disruptive to those who don't understand it, can't use it, and are affraid of it. One arguement that I hear all the time is that bringing technology into the classroom creates a distraction for students. I think this is complete bologna. When I was in middle/high school I didn't have any technology in the classroom and I still managed to find plenty of things to distract me: looking out the window, doodling, and day dreaming. Instead of passing notes to one another in the classroom, students are sending text messages or IM's. Technology didn't suddenly create distraction in the classroom, it just changed the type of distraction.
I'm still not sold on the notion that technology is "disruptive"; at least not from the viewpoint of the students. Students know and use such technologies in their daily routines; to me, it is more disruptive to strip the students of these technologies. If anything, I think technology is disruptive to the educators and administrators, who may not understand or be comfortable using them.
We are spending a great deal of time in this class learning to become familiar with technology and finding productive ways to incorporate them into the classroom. What are the chances that we are going to be working in a school district that is going to have the funding to support technology use in the classroom? If resources are available, will we have the freedom we need to use these tools? A friend of mine teaches in West Virginia and informed me that the school's network blocks sites like youtube and other social networking sites. How do we handle those students in our classroom whose socioeconomic status doens't afford them the access to such technologies? Technology can be used to give shy or non-english speaking students a voice and engage students, but it can also further single out those disadvantaged students. So I guess the use of technology can be disruptive to those students as well...
My name is Yu-Ting Kao. While it's really fine to call me Yu-Ting, I probably respond faster to my nickname, Freeman, though. I'm from Taiwan. This is my 1 yr. in C & I as a Ph.D. student. Since I am uncertain what do "interests" refer, I'm gonna assume they meant research interest. I'm interested in new literacies and how they affect/impact on ESL learners, and this is why I'm taking this class. I think it's important to have an opener attitude to all resources to enlarge education potential. Instead of repelling/doubting technology with ignorance, I'd like to obtain some new lens to view the phenomanon.
As for my relationship with technology use, I would say I'm amazed by how far it has been gone and how even farther it's gonna get going. I'm more or less open to learn new things and am still adjusting to how different people view them now. Technology affects teaching and learning a lot. On the surface level, the presentation of class activities becomes varied and somehow gears toward with more entertainment. Further, it arouses several issues of whether it's an addition or a minus to nowadays education. I'm really interested in knowing more about the debate.
I'm really clumsy at introducing myself, so I guess this is what I can offer so far. Thanks for reading till here.
Just to be clear, the items below are in addition to the weekly team writing -- this week with a focus on identity -- and the individual blog post that answers, "what does disruptive technology mean to you?"
This week, as we are out of town, we are asking you to do some independent work as a team. You can meet during class time or not, as you choose. There will be two reading assignments for this week, which focuses on identity. The first is Gee's piece about discourse analysis. The second is a art/cultural philosophy reading created by Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore. It is a summation of McLuhan's core ideas in condensed and graphically novel form. It is particularly interesting in that it was written 40+ years ago and yet you will find much of what he says very contemporary.
In addition to the readings, we are also asking you to do a little exploration into emerging technologies. One of the better resources on the web for educators to tap into is Educause. Actually both of us will be at the annual Educause Learning Initiative meeting this week in Austin, TX. They produce an excellent series called, "7 Things You Should Know About ..." It is essentially a series of short white papers that answer seven simple questions about a given technology. On lots of levels it the first place we stop when researching a new technology in a teaching or learning context. Find the seven things series by visiting the Educause site (http://www.educause.edu/7Things).
With that in mind, we'd like you to look at a few of the ones they have there that perk your interests either as an individual or in your team. Once you've organized your thoughts a bit about it we'd like you to create and share a short YouTube video that lets us know the following:
- What technologies did you review?
- Are there novel ways you could see those technologies being put to use in education?
- Are there technologies you couldn't find at the Educause site that you'd like to learn more about?
If you don't have a YouTube account, just create one and record your video. If you don't have a webcam, all the machines in our classroom have one ... otherwise, most of the campus labs have webcams available. Once your video is recorded on YouTube, you'll use the Embed Code to create a new entry at the course site with your video in it. To embed a video follow these directions:
- Log into http://blogs.psu.edu and create a New Entry at the course blog.
- Switch from "Rich Text" to "Convert Line Breaks" in the Format drop down menu
- Write and format the text for the body of your entry. (Note: The easiest approach is to describe the video first, then insert it.)
- Look for the Embed code on the YouTube page and cut and paste it into the text body of the new entry. (The embed code begins as "
Your entry format field should look like this before adding your embed code:
We've now gotten all but one of you in a custom Twitter list that you can use to keep track of what is happening with all of us. I used the Twitter List feature to add all of you ... I noticed at least one of you has protected Tweets. Protected Tweets can keep lists from working perfectly, so I'd like to encourage you to potentially open your Twitter updates up while you are in the class. The list is located at:
Also, we need to decide on a hashtag for the semester. A hashtag lets people easily mark a tweet to be about a specific event. A lot of times you'll see tweets that have "something" after it ... that #something is a hashtag. For our course we will use #ci597 as our hashtag. So find the list, start posting, and don't forget the hashtag!
This is quite an interesting and (for its time) graphically innovative book. It is an attempt to capture the core of McLuhan's ideas and, I believe also to push the envelope on what it means to publish serious academic writing as an artform in and of itself. Try to think of it in terms of the way it reflect current sentiments about identity, community, design and our relationship to technology even though at the time of its publishing there was (essentially) no such thing as a personal computer.
Update: You can find the reading here.
I have been told that my interests are diverse, but I don't really see it that way. I believe strongly in the power of the freedom of information. Hence, a number of my research projects in the English department have focused on eighteenth-century periodicals, which I believe were as revolutionary in their time as the Internet is in ours.
I'm excited to take part in our discussions of disruptive technologies. Although I'm not an enrolled member of CI 597, I do hope to be a part of the course community.
How Has The Internet Changed The Way You Think?
My name is Seunghee Jin but I'd like to go by Sydney. I am from South Korea and the first year doctral studnet in Curriculum and Instruction (Language, Culture and Society). I'm interested in developing efficient ways of learning English as a foreign or a second language with the ultimate aim of helping learners in Korea. At the moment, i am interested in cultural education for ESL learners through multimedia.
The reason I am taking this class is that I believe technology can be an effective tool for learning. I can see lots of potential for the use of technology in learning and teaching foreign / second language. I would like to know what technology is currently out there in educational field and its application.
Since I would like to approach my research interest with the use of multimedia technology, I feel comfortable with the use of technology and try to learn the newest trends and approaches.
I hope I could learn a lot from this class!
I am taking this class because I am intrigued by the idea of taking what is viewed as a distraction and turning it around for learning purposes. I must confess that I have a somewhat bias towards technology because I do not think that all technologies should be used as tools for learning. I think those of us enthusiastic about technology tend to look at ways to incorporate every new tool into learning. I am not convinced that this is always a good idea.
I feel that I am comfortable with various uses of technology as I currently teach an course for world campus and have also taught at other institutions. My graduate degree is in Multimedia technologies and have used various learning and design tools.
Does technology interest me? Definitely!!
I think we have just begun to unearth the potential for the use of technology in teaching and learning. There is still an over emphasis on improving teaching by infusing technology. Little exist on improving learning with technology by using technology in such a way as to look at what technology world can offer that a regular classroom experience cannot. It is similar to the earlier adaptation of distance learning, where an online class simple involved taking text from a F2F class and posting them on line.
I am excited about the influence that technology is having on teaching and learning, and looking forward to a time that there are entire pedagogies dedicated simple to learning with technologies instead of adapting old models.
Certainly, there are concerns that need to be considered: how to assess student participation and understanding; how to overcome the distractibility factor; and how to assess that the use of technology is productively contributing to the enhancement of knowledge. The advantages to incorporating interactive technology into the classroom, however, seem to outweigh any "risks" that may be involved. Time and space are no longer constraining factors; learning is a continuous process and students can benefit from being able to share these "ah-ha" moments with one another in real-time rather than waiting for the next class gathering where they are likely to forget details or the idea in its entirety. Students may also feel freer to express their thoughts and opinions through a medium where they have more time to formulate their ideas and to put thought into the message they want to get across. While some students may be able to think fast on their feet in class and speak articulately, others may feel less confident in their abilities; such as international students and those students whose primary language is not English. Adding new forms of technology as mediums for these, and all, students to express themselves will serve to boost their self-efficacy and give them the added confidence they may need in order to participate in all forms of classroom discussion.
According to Scribner and Cole (1981, 226), "social practice" refers to "socially developed and patterned ways of using technology and knowledge to accomplish tasks" and "literacies" refers to "socially organized practices that make use of a symbol system and a technology for producing and disseminating it" (quoted in Lankshear and Knobel, 4). Community provides the context that is necessary for meaning. Without an understanding of this context one can not possess the literacy needed to extract the meaning encoded in an interaction. For example, even though I know how to type and edit a web form, that doesn't mean I can be an effective editor of a Wikipedia page. I may know what Lankshear and Knobel call the "technical stuff" (7), but not the "ethos stuff" (7). The community of Wikipedia editors developed the practices and habits that govern the process of producing content for the online encyclopedia. Without understanding the patterns of interaction of the Wikipedia community (the "ethos stuff"), can one know how to make meaning out of the content there? Can one know how to read a two-dimensional (text on one axis, revisions from many authors on another) wikipedia entry without understanding the community that produced it?
Knowledge is socially constructed (i.e. by a community). Disruptive technologies are labeled as such because they significantly alter the patterns of social functioning (Christensen, Horn, and Johnson, quoted by Camplese and McDonald, 1). Disruptive technologies change the internal functioning of communities. This is why they are potentially so important to teaching and learning. Camplese and McDonald assert that "dialogic interactions are the central activity in quality teaching" (2). The disruptive tools that have been invented and adopted over the last ten years are designed to facilitate dialogic interactions. One example is blogs. Many blogs are dialogic works, making frequent reference to and building upon the ideas presented in other blogs. In addition, it appears that so many of these bloggers are doing so outside of any kind of formal education experience. It is as if formal education has to catch up and integrate the learning practices that are already being adopted outside of the classroom. Are these bloggers constructing their own learning experiences from the technologies that are available based on their own interests?
In addition to the notion of Primary and Secondary Discourses (as described by Gee quoted by Lankshear and Knobel 3), there may be two other main categories one could use to describe communities that students engage in. The first is a forced community, one that is identified by the students' traditional learning environment, like high school. The students in a high school science class made of their peers, are forced to interact because of the school community of which they are a member. This differs greatly from an interest community, based on groups that they choose to associate with, their friends, people who enjoy similar interests in music, fashion, technology, etc. When students reach the collegiate level they receive the ability to construct their own course schedules, that's when we begin to see students bridging the gap between a forced community and an interest one. What effect does it have on student's perceptions of education when they create their own educational experiences based on interaction with interest communities?
"Web 2.0" technologies have enabled people with similar interests to connect and form communities based on interest. The fact that people now have user IDs in multiple technological environments that provide different types of interactions with different communities of people has increased the fractionalization of identity (Camplese and McDonald, 2). This fractionalization of identity and interactions with different communities would allow for the greater generation of knowledge with regard to any wide variety of topics. The ability to interact with other social groups is typically less accepted in face to face environments. This statement recognizes that many more communities become available to a person in a technological environment. Disruptive technologies have the ability to move us beyond traditional socially constructed barriers while providing countless new social groups for interaction, resulting in a greater exchange of information and learning opportunities for students.
The idea of community is naturally embedded in the
sociocultural approach put forth in the Lankshear and Knobel (2007)
chapter. A sociocultural perspective requires that social, political,
cultural and historical practices be taken into account. Existing and
participating in a community means that we are familiar with each of
these elements and that we understand how to live and work within the
framework set up by those practices.
The notion of community is further developed in
the chapter through the discussion of primary and secondary
Discourses. We learn our primary Discourse (how to do and be) from the
people around us and as a result we become part of a group of "people
like us"- our community. We can then become members of other
communities (our secondary Discourses) based on our interests and
affiliations, and we develop literacies in each of those areas.
Lankshear and Knobel believe that thinking about literacies in terms of
Discourse shows the rich relationship between those literacies and
community, or "ways of being together in the world" (Gee, as cited in
Lankshear & Knobel 2007, p. 4).
A key idea in both readings seems to be that
technology is changing the ways in which we engage with our communities
and, in fact, changing the communities themselves. Technological
advances are providing a basis for our relationships (our communities)
to change and expand. Authority in the traditional sense is being
replaced by collaboration and cooperation because everyone is able to
contribute new ideas. Also, norms are less rigid and are not monitored
and controlled by some "expert". Traditionally rigid institutions like
schools need to figure out how to use these advances and how to allow
students to develop and work with their own communities of practice,
both physical and virtual. The traditional ideology of the teacher as
Enlightened One and student as empty vessel no longer holds. The fact
that communities of learning exist beyond and outside of the classroom
challenges and furthers the more progressive ideas of student-centered
learning: it simply never ceases.
The figure below shows three contributing factors in a cycle by which communities and technology influence each other (Wenger et al., 2005, p. 3). More technologies have been incorporated into the communities and their use has become more varied and inventive. This helps illustrate how communities of practice and technologies shape each other.
Hi everyone! My name is Dolly and I'm addicted to...oh wait...wrong group...
I'm originally from the Pocono's (Northeastern PA). It was a beautiful area until the tourists started showing up. I attended East Stroudsburg University for my undergrad degree which was in Biology and Environmental Studies. From there I worked for the PA Fish and Boat Commission as a seasonal worker doing exciting things such as: watching 100's of hours of grainy black and white surveillance video of fish making their way through a fish ladder so as to ID them; electro-shocking streams and lakes; manually spawning American Shad; and fixing every piece of equipment that broke, which happened to be every piece of equipment we used. After that I moved on to working for a private environmental consulting firm that specialized in managing the clean-up of superfund sites. I worked on The Palmerton Project...in Palmerton PA...a lovely area that was completely devoid of trees and all things living, except for people of course but they had cancer, due to contaminants from a zinc smelting plant. All the townsfolk thought that my cohorts and I worked for the government and that we were involved in some grand conspiracy to close the plant, kill the economy, and drive all the residents out of town. It made for a pleasant working experience. I started to question why I ever decided to major in biology and decided to go back to school. I completed my associated degree in Applied Science at Lehigh Valley College - now closed - and went on to work for two years as a neuromuscular therapist at a massage therapy clinic that specialized in pain management. Things were going great...then my husband accepted a job offer at an environmental consulting firm here in State College. Throughout most of my adult life I have been told that I should be a teacher; and for most of my adult life I ignored that idea...until now. I had some sort of revelation one day, while trying very hard to ignore a demanding customer that was talking at me, that I needed something more, something was missing and I needed to find it. I did some soul searching...and here I am!
Technology and I have not been on the friendliest of terms over the years but we are slowly learning to tolerate one another. I am hoping to gain a better understanding of new forms of technology and how to efficiently use them so that I can finally become one of the cool kids by the time I am middle-aged...err...I mean I want to be the best teacher I can be by giving my students whatever tools they may need to get the most out of their education. Kids these days seem to be wired for technology and are comfortable using it...so why not let them use the tools they are comfortable with to get the job done. Unplugging today's students in the classroom would be like taking away my calculator and giving me an abacus to balance my checkbook. I sure I would be able to do it but it would take me a loooong time and come with a lot of frustration. Society, technology, and education need to evolve together...
My name is Li-Huai Chang (You can also call my Judy). I am from Taiwan and now a graduate student for master degree in Instructional Design program. I like travelling, reading, listening to music and sometimes watching TV.
Nowadays there are more and more interfaces for communication. Teaching and learning does not take place in the classroom. I would like to know how technology influence teaching and learning, or even our daily life, I am more interested to know how to design and manipulate a web-based course, how to apply technology in teaching materials and how it helps learners study, what is the strength and weakness of high-tech teaching and learning, I would be happy to know the experience of implementing this in K-12 class. Is there anything to notice?
I think I am just in basic level of technology. I am ok with blog posting, youtube uploading, etc. But I am weak in managing a website. What I learned last semester includes photoshop, video producing, webdesign and database. But I don't think I am quite familiar with them all.
I am interested in technology, but honestly, I have no background of it, so it is a challenging for me to understand it.
I think everything has its pros and cons. For me, technology makes teaching and learning unlimited in place and time. Information or knowledge isn't only one-way delivery (teacher to students); it is interactive. Besides, the variety and real-time response motivate students participation; some fancy effect will be more attractive too. As for weakness, there will be more uncertain or unexpected error with machines or internet. People probably will be less willing to talk face to face. The resourse may be unreliable or copied everywhere. I heard someone doubted where teacher's position is in E age.
I guess both traditional and technological teaching have their own advantges which can't be replaced by each other. We, no matter as teachers or learners, should take good use of their advantages in our teaching and learning.
Knobel and Lankshear describe literacies as participatory, collaborative and distributed. In order for those descriptors to apply, the learner needs to interact with other people, in some form of community. In addition, both articles have an emphasis on relationship. Knobel and Lankshear quote Tunbridge's argument that the value of information is in its dispersion, and subsequently propose that it is relationship that makes the dispersion and subsequent potential for further development of ideas possible. The idea of relationship is further developed throughout the article, citing its relevance to remixing, creation of collective intelligence, content generation and participation.
Knobel and Lankshear define new literacies as literacies that afford new technical capabilities, such as a web-based tool for instantly sharing media, as well as engage us in a new ethos, as in the previous example where new concepts of privacy and immediacy must be considered. When these new technologies and their subsequent social impact come in to play in a community, the collective intelligence accepts or discards aspects of that new technology based on its existing values, needs, and willingness to change. Another example Knobel and Lankshear mention is the shift away from expert-dominated literacies, which can be seen in a website like Wikipedia. In this case, the community decides that it is collectively more of an expert than any single expert. We are interested in the concept that the community functions not only to provide a context for ideas and their evolution, but also to actively define it's own internal dynamic. The process of interaction and information dispersion, knowledge is built through discussion and negotiation. Knowledge is built and shared in this particular community. Thus there is no authority that is in charge of knowledge dispense. Instead, the community becomes more collective and less expert-dominated. New tools bring new literacy because it is not only in a top-down model that learning communities can be built.
It seems that the relationship between information dispersion and community may be a two-way street. In order to disseminate information, one may be best served by having a community with which to share the information. And on the flip side, a community can be built around a concept, theory, point of view, common situation, etc, as in the community built in the Disruptive Technology class described in the McDonald and Camplese article.
So far I am seeing lots of great introductions that are giving me insight into who we have in our class. What I'm eager to see is how you can start to react to each other via comments. Trust me in that you'll start to really appreciate comments on your own posts so I'd like to ask you to think about how you can be proactive in making that happen.
One thing you should notice is how your posts look a bit messed up if you are copying and pasting from Word. Our advice is to just type your posts here in the blog ... we'd like you to get into the habit of writing in this space and opening something like Word sort of defeats the purpose. Something to consider using is the One Button Post bookmarklet in your browser.
A big tip we can offer is that you change the Publishing Status to Unpublished and click Save often. That way if you take a long time between starting to write and publishing you won't lose your work. Another strategy I use is that I always copy all the text I've just written before I try to publish it. At any rate, you should at least start to write in this space where appropriate and see how it works for you. This is what the Unpublished option looks like ...
Hi everyone! My name is Aaron Bilby. I am a second year masters student in the Curriculum and Instruction department with an emphasis in secondary science education. I am originally from Plains, PA (a little town just above Wilkes-Barre). One of my main interest areas in education centers around computers in the classroom. More specifically I'm interested in how students use computers in a classroom to learn and how the computers can be used to motivate students to learn or distract students from learning. I'm also very interested in how the teacher can use interactive web tools such as Twitter and Facebook to enhance learning in a classroom where many students nowadays are coming to class with laptops in hand.
I signed up for this class after a friend in another class suggested it to me. After talking to a faculty member of the C&I department and listening to what the course offers, I decided to take this class because I would like to gain a better understanding of the different technologies being used in classrooms and how they can possibly be disruptive to students.
I have always been a major fan of technology. When I lived back home my family would refer to me as the family "tech" and I often found myself fixing problems on my mother's or father's computer in addition to taking calls from other family members about technological issues from time to time. I feel very comfortable using technology since I have been around an evolving technological field for much of my life. I believe that technology will continue to shape the classroom and provide a better communication device between the students and the teacher instead of having the student raise their hand to ask a question. I believe technology in classrooms will allow students to be more upfront with asking questions that they may have been otherwise shy to ask verbally in front of their peers. However, in the back of my mind I'm constantly asking myself each time I see a new technological device deployed in a classroom how the device may serve to distract the students from learning? I believe that technology is a good thing in a classroom and may make learning more efficient, but too much technology may cause more harm than good in the classroom.
My name is Nicole Olcese and I am originally from Pittsburgh (Go Steelers! anyone?). I move around a lot, but have lived mostly on the east coast: Syracuse, NY; Chapel Hill, NC; Fort Myers, FL; Brooklyn, NY; Carbondale, PA, and now State College. Before returning to the realm of academia full-time, I was an English/writing teacher for middle, secondary, and college students. I've worked at schools in New York City and Pennsylvania.
Something interesting about me is that I am a (very) novice belly dancer. My other interests include cooking, snowboarding, and my dog, Dood. I also love music. My husband, Jason, is a musician, so I guess I would also say that I'm a singer-songwriter groupie. I also used to write concert reviews for a newspaper in North Carolina.
am taking this class because I am interested in studying technology in the
English classroom and in teacher education. One area that I'd like to research
is technology funding programs (implementation, professional development
associated with, etc). I've worked at schools that have been recipients of
grants from the Gates Foundation and Classrooms for the Future. I am also
interested in pedagogical implications of digital technology. Lately, I've
focused on social networking tools for classroom use. I submitted a proposal
for this year's SITE conference on social networking and teacher education,
focusing on the Ning platform.
I am taking this class because I am interested in studying technology in the English classroom and in teacher education. One area that I'd like to research is technology funding programs (implementation, professional development associated with, etc). I've worked at schools that have been recipients of grants from the Gates Foundation and Classrooms for the Future. I am also interested in pedagogical implications of digital technology. Lately, I've focused on social networking tools for classroom use. I submitted a proposal for this year's SITE conference on social networking and teacher education, focusing on the Ning platform.
am fairly comfortable using technology and have always used available digital
technologies in my curricula. As an English teacher and former print
journalist, I am still diametrically opposed to the Kindle. That might change
in the near future, but I haven't been able to kick the feeling of a "real" book
spine in my hand. That
said, I think it is important for educators to embrace technology in the
classroom for our 21st century learners. I see it as a major
motivator and enabler of imagination. Some of the best units I ever taught resulted in projects like iMovies and podcasts. Some of the best classroom communities I've seen grow have been through wikis or blogs. I had the opportunity to see Will
Richardson give a talk where he described the importance of technology in the
classroom. He said that if we don't try to incorporate into our classrooms the
technologies that our students have access to in the "outside world", we stand
the chance of losing them altogether.
I agree, but think technology should be used to enhance a curriculum in a
meaningful way. There are some times when a real life class discussion works
just as well.
I am fairly comfortable using technology and have always used available digital technologies in my curricula. As an English teacher and former print journalist, I am still diametrically opposed to the Kindle. That might change in the near future, but I haven't been able to kick the feeling of a "real" book spine in my hand. That said, I think it is important for educators to embrace technology in the classroom for our 21st century learners. I see it as a major motivator and enabler of imagination. Some of the best units I ever taught resulted in projects like iMovies and podcasts. Some of the best classroom communities I've seen grow have been through wikis or blogs. I had the opportunity to see Will Richardson give a talk where he described the importance of technology in the classroom. He said that if we don't try to incorporate into our classrooms the technologies that our students have access to in the "outside world", we stand the chance of losing them altogether. I agree, but think technology should be used to enhance a curriculum in a meaningful way. There are some times when a real life class discussion works just as well.
My name is Stephanie Cardona and I am a second year doc student in the Educational Leadership Program. I am originally from Puerto Rico where up until recently I was a faculty member in the English Department at the University of Puerto Rico. I am very excited to take this class as my current research interests relate to how leadership and curriculum in schools need to forgo a transformation as technology is becoming an integral part of education.
In Puerto Rico, I used to teach literature courses and ESL composition courses. I loved incorporating technology in to my lectures and asked students to use it as well. They would help develop their own course materials to integrate culturally relevant content to the readings which were mostly British or American pieces of writing. Their projects were amazing. We learned so much and had fun creating them.
It was amazing to see how technology helped synthesize and summarize my lectures. It would eliminate note taking since I would email them my power point presentations so class time was spent with them paying attention to what was being said and discussed, instead of hindering the interaction with endless note taking. They would also use their camera phones to take pictures of interesting stuff that happened in the class or of their peers presentations.
On that note, facebook....
I am a facebook junkie, as I have integrated it as part of my writing process. I find it one of my favorite spaces to take a break and catch up with my friends, old students and colleagues. Facebook was also a great tool where I would see my students discuss my assignments outside of class...in English!!! (their first language is Spanish). We still keep in touch from time to time and they'll always speak English to me. It's like learning never stops.
Facebook also allows me to be this "persona" that is true to myself. At the university, I feel like I have to be this stuffy grad student, all serious and professional. At work, same thing. But on facebook, people from school and work can see the other side of me, a lighter more carefree Stephanie and I don't have to look at their faces while they judge me! :)
um, what else about me.... ?
I have a six year old daughter whom at the moment seems to be possessed by Disney princess syndrome, so I am trying to de-princess her. I took her to go see The Princess and the Frog the other day. I was very hopeful throughout the movie, but it turns out some of the annoying princessy elements are still very much embedded in the film, so I was a bit disappointed when she told me that her favorite part was when the princess kissed the frog and they lived happily ever after (grrr). Now I go for cartoon network Sponge Bob marathons and the History channel.
For fun I enjoy music, the gym (well, not so much fun, but relieves stress) red wine and hanging out with my partner in crime, Zac, who also happens to share my views on the importance of developing relevant instructional material. We get into very deep arguments while watching American Idol and Jersey Shore.
I look forward to getting to know more about you all as the semester progresses and also hope to discover how identity plays out through our online social interactions as well as in our class meetings.
The easiest way to get to the blog dashboard is to use the link under the "Important Stuff" hading in the side bar called, "Login to the Course Blog." The video below will show that.
I'm interested in finding effective ways of teaching and learning English for ESL/EFL learners (in particular, for those of shy learners) by using virtual environment through social networking such as online gaming, online forums, and social networking tools.
On online settings, one can present, hide, and change their identity or even have multi-identities. By using these features, learners might be motivated to actively participate in class and my ultimate goal is to make an ideal curriculum which can help those learnerspromote their English proficiency with various kinds of social networking tools under online environment.However, I'm not that familiar with "disruptive technologies" and I have to get comfortable with using those to develop my research interest. That's why I take this class.
..Anything interesting about me.. Let me see.. ohhh, I'm a big fan of World of Warcraft! (My husband introduced me the game and now we're so into it!) You'll be surprised when you see my level 80 warlock and paladin :)
Hi, my name is Megan Kohler. I'm from a little town in eastern PA known as Catawissa. Very few people have ever heard of it so most of the time I just tell people I'm from Bloomsburg, which is a town that is about 20 minutes away. Most people know where Bloomsburg is.
My interests include the performance arts, education, learning design, and interpersonal communications. My undergrad degree was a double major in theater and communication studies, and I work for a touring company doing educational theater to pay my way through college.
I'm taking this class because I want to be challenged. I want to rethink how we use technology in online courses and how we can use it to make the online learning environment more interesting and engaging for students.
I think probably the most interesting things about me, are my love for traveling, hiking, and photography. My husband and I are actually planning a trip to Italy next fall and have plans to vacation in Napa Valley the following year.
I wouldn't exactly call myself a tech savvy person, but I'm not afraid to explore new technologies either. Although, I have to admit that I usually end up getting myself somehow stuck and then I have to ask one of the really tech savvy guys in our office to help me out.
In all honestly I used to hate technology. I remember sitting in a required computer class being forced to program a "game" that was basically a multiple-choice question and we had to program it to identify if the answer was correct or incorrect. The teacher didn't really know what they were doing and couldn't help us but graded us really harshly - it was terrible!! Since then technology has come a long way and has started to woo me back. :)
I think technology has the ability to impact our students in ways that make learning something that students want to do. With all the technology that is available to us today, we have so many opportunities to change traditional learning. I think many students have become so focused on getting an "A" that they loose sight of actually learning. If we can utilize technologies that they are interested in, we could meet them on a level that appeals to them and help them become interested in engaging.
I live in Bellefonte, PA and work for Penn State where I manage of a group of software developers for Education Technology Services. As a long-time internet hipster wannabe, I have always been interested in how the new modes of communication effect society, culture, and learning. I have a BA from PSU in Media Studies and have spent the last ten years working in instructional technology units at Penn State. I spent seven years working at the World Campus before joining the staff at ETS. The primary focus of my team is taking existing social web applications and customizing them to increase their utility as teaching and learning tools. This involves integrating pre-existing software with Penn State information systems as well as adding or modifying features. Some example of the projects my team is involved with are Blogs at Penn State, iTunes U, educational gaming, facebook applications, ePortfolios at Penn State, and Adobe Connect. In my position I also evaluate new technology and work with faculty to envision the opportunities to improve teaching and learning that these new technologies provide.
I am interested in pursuing a master's degree related to education and technology, but I have not yet applied to a specific program. I watched as this course unfolded on the open web last time it was offered in 2008, and I did not want to miss an opportunity to participate directly this time around. I am confident that my experience with this course will be of great value as I continue my work for the University.
Communication technology affects how we work, play, and even how we organize society. It affects how we think, which in turn affects how we learn. Everyone using the Internet is learning. At the simplest, they are requesting and receiving information through the network. In more and more cases they are also forming communities and practicing creativity, discourse, and critical thought. Is it important that a formal education provides the skills needed to effectively participate in online communities, practice creativity online, and craft one's digital identity? Are all these skills essential to cultivating a practice of lifelong learning? My intuition tells me yes. If the way we communicate is changing, then how can the practice of teaching not have to change with it?
On the person side, my wife and I are therapeutic foster parents, we have six pets, and I am generally a big dork. When I am not being a manager, coder, or blogger for Penn State, I am coding or blogging for myself, having a good meal at Otto's, taking pictures, or breathing.
I am looking forward to digging in to the course with all of you.
Hi everyone. My name is Tracy Thompson. I'm originally from Malvern, PA (suburb of Philadelphia), but have spent the last 9 years living in Virginia, outside of Washington, DC. I moved to State College in August to pursue a Master's Degree in Instructional Systems Design. My experience prior to returning to school was as a management consultant for a global consulting firm, working primarily on Supply Chain and Program Management system implementations for Federal Government clients. I spent 6 months of the year before I left that job working in South Africa for a humanitarian aid agency, working through their supply chain processes and defining what process improvements and technology could help them. The idea behind that assignment was that the business and technology skills I used in my job could be transferred to other contexts. The things I liked best about my job were problem solving, using technology to make people's lives/jobs better or easier, teaching people how to use the systems we implemented, and in general working with people. So, here I am in grad school, figuring out how what I know and like to do apply to learning.
Regarding technology, I would say I'm pretty comfortable
with it. I'm not afraid to play with new
technology, and it's an integral part of my everyday life. That said, I wouldn't say that I'm on the "bleeding"
edge of technology adoption. I tend to
see how a new technology is being used, and learn a bit about it before I jump
Technology definitely interests me. I think it's fascinating to see how people are using technology in ways I never would've imagined. In a learning environment, I'm excited about the potential impacts of technology. In my one semester of classes, we used blogs, google docs, twitter-like chatrooms, YouTube and other technologies. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that's an anomaly in the overall higher ed space. Unfortunate especially because the audience education is trying to reach is living in a world where technology exists and is used regularly. I have heard critiques of schools saying that they're not "authentic" learning environments because the skills learned in school need to be applied outside of school. If educational institutions don't embrace the use of technology, both for teachers and students, the divide between the learning environment and the "real world" where the impact of learning is supposed to be manifest will continue to grow. What I'm interested in learning is how to step back and look at new (and existing) technologies with a different perspective to see how they can impact engagement, learning, and application.
My name is Michelle Pasterick. I am originally from south of Harrisburg, but now live in Julian, about 25 minutes from State College. I am a second-semester doctoral student in C & I and my focus and work is in World Languages Education. I am extremely interested in the relationship between language and culture and whether and/or how culture is or is not addressed in the foreign language classroom. I am also interested in the reasons why culture is or is not addressed and how foreign language teacher education programs impact teachers' understanding of culture and their choice to address culture or not, as well as the manner in which they choose to do so.
I am taking this class because I have always made it a point to use technology in my classrooms and I would like to know more about what is out there and how to use it even more effectively. I would also like to be able to use it in order to set an example for my undergraduate students so that they can see how much value there is in using technology for language and culture education.
Something interesting about me is that I have been in every single state on the east coast.
I would say that I am generally very comfortable with technology and that I learn best by just jumping in and trying out new things.
Technology is very much of interest to me. It provides so many affordances (saves time and allows for instantaneous communication, staying connected, getting information quickly, etc.) and the opportunities it can provide in the classroom, when used appropriately and effectively, seem to be limitless.
I see technology influencing my teaching in that I can focus specifically on how it can be used in the foreign language classroom (getting information about other cultures, doing listening practice, watching videos in the target language, practicing vocabulary and grammar, etc.). I can also use it as a tool to make my classes more interesting and engaging for the students and to help them learn how to think outside of conventional teaching tools and methods. As a learner, technology can influence the way that I do research and it can make class even more interesting and engaging for me as well. I am the kind of student who does well in the "traditional" classroom, and I am looking forward to seeing how I do when I step further outside of that box than I ever have before.
Learning is becoming an urgent topic. Nations worry about the learning of their citizens, companies about the learning of their workers, schools about the learning of their students. But it is not always easy to think about how to foster learning in innovative ways. This book presents a framework for doing that, with a social theory of learning that is ground-breaking yet accessible, with profound implications not only for research, but also for all those who have to foster learning as part of their responsibilites at work, at home, at school.
Find the reading here.
Gee, J. P. (1999). An introduction to discourse analysis theory and method (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
While this is a book about discourse analysis it is really about social interactions (both spoken and written) and how they shape our world. Read this in light of identity and its relationship to community. Gee frames his thinking in terms of Discourses. For your purposes think about not only the discourse as the content of the communication, but like Marshall McLuhan, think about the medium as message. What does discourse when using a different tool do to the identity of the communicators? How does the tool shape the discourse and vice versa?
Find the readings here.
We'd like you to read a piece by Roy Pea about Distributed Cognition / Intelligence. This is a seminal piece that has clear implications for what it means to increasingly off-load our cognition into our environment, either onto other people, artifacts or technology.
The readings can be found here.
Pea, R. D. (1993). Practices of distributed intelligences and design for education. In G. Solomon (Ed.), Distributed cognitions: Psychological and educational considerations (pp. 47-87). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
One questions that you should consider, and likely post some thoughts about: Are the implications of distributed intelligence different with Web 2.0 technologies? If so, why? If not, why not?
The development of a virtual community takes time ... we have an entire semester, but we'd like to get it started immediately. Even though this is a face to face course, one of our goals is for us all to connect well beyond the walls of the classroom. To that end, one of the first things we need you to do is to post a personal introduction to this course site.
To do this, you must do the following:
- Go to http://blogs.psu.edu and click the log in link on the right side of the page
- Once in your dashboard use the pull down menu at the top of the page to select this blog, it will be titled, "Disruptive Technologies in Teaching and Learning."
- Use the "Create >> Entry" link at the top of the page and start writing your post.
- Use the category, "Personal Introduction" when posting.
- When finished, click "Save" and be sure the publish status is set to "Publish"
- If you do not have personal webspace you will need to immediately complete the online quiz
- If you do not see this site in your dashboard, send both Cole and Scott and email containing your PSU Userid immediately and one of us will get you added.
This serves two important purposes for us ... one is so we can meet each of you and learn a little about you and it gets you all in the space and posting right away. All we are asking you to do is create a quick post that adresses the following:
- Your name
- Where you're from
- What are your interests
- Why you are taking this class
- Anything interesting about you
- How would you describe your overall comfort level with the use of technology?
- Does technology interest you?
- Talk a little about how you see technology influencing teaching and learning.
Thanks for taking the time to participate in the class blog. Both Scott and Cole value the different perspectives and new knowledge that can come from an open, civil dialogue. By enabling comments and group posting, we hope to encourage constructive conversations regarding the specific topics on this site. If you have something to add, please feel free to use this forum and let your voice be heard by your fellow classmates and visitors.
Please know that, given the reality of spam and the potential of "a few bad apples," we are reviewing all first time comments before posting. Subsequent comments will usually go through directly.
To make sure that your comment is given the thumbs up and not deleted, simply use common sense, play fair and be civil. A few quick reminders:
- No off-topic comments.
- No personal attacks - hostile, derogatory or deliberately insulting comments directed toward a specific individual are never okay.
- No comments intended to induce an angry response or disrupt the flow of discussion.
- Remember to think of this space as an extension of our classroom -- only say things here you would in the "real" world.
Cole and Scott reserve the right to change these guidelines as the course evolves. We also welcome you to add any thoughts to these guidelines in the comments below.