These past two weeks have been chock full of great stuff, and we're excited to lead the class in discussion! Following is an outline that we'll be using:
Wenger Article Debriefing (5 min)
This week we finished off Wenger's book. We read about (among other things) participation versus non-participation, modes of belonging, learning communities, and education. We've bulleted a few questions that we raised while reading and invite the class to add some more that we can discuss later today.
Why do students not participate?
Is non-participation different from refusal to participate?
Is non-participation necessarily a bad thing?
How can we "anchor imagination into a learning community" and harness students' engagement into the classroom?
Why do we do the things we do? What imaginative and alignment purposes guide our actions?
What is the trade-off between having multiple viewpoints involved in engagement and having a single alignment and purpose?
What is the relevance of schools in creating communities of learning?
Does participation require that someone respond to me?
The TLT Symposium (15 min in groups, 20 min as class)
"There is no
point going [to the TLT Symposium] unless the new perspectives we gain
in the process can find a realization in a new form of engagement upon
our return" (Wenger, p. 217).
We have just discussed the symposium as a class, but we want to discuss what we've learned this week from Wenger and "remix" that with what we've learned from the Symposium. Let's break into groups, talk about our experiences, and then come back together again as a class to discuss what we've learned.
Example: One of the TLT projects involved assigning medical students a project to film patients with chronic illnesses. How did this project enable those students to not only be formed by learning medical knowledge but to be transformed by learning how to engage with members of a community they would ordinarily not engage with? Did this project make them better future doctors? Why or why not?
Implications for CI 597 (20 min)
How has your being a member of this community classroom changed your identity? Your imagination? If you haven't changed, have you really learned anything?
Despite the fact that we are a community of learning, some students still feel disconnected from other students, from the class as a whole, and from the "multi-semester, ongoing conversation." Why is this?
We have been divided into teams. How has this impacted our community as a whole? Has it been a good thing? Bad? In what ways?
Let's talk a little bit about the first iteration of CI 597 and how we relate to it.
Who will continue to participate after the course "ends"? Just the techies? Theorists? How will the end of the semester affect our community?
How can we change our class to enhance learning (the creation of identity through engagement)?
We are really coming down the home stretch with only a few weeks left. Please make sure you are keeping up with the schedule as it is laid out on the Course Syllabus. We've arrived at the stage of the course where Scott and Cole will be peeling back and letting you dictate much of what goes on from here on out. We'll still have things we want to discuss, but the onus is now going to be placed on you to drive the intellectual work of the course.
We will drive the first half of class and then turn it over to team two.
We'd like to take a little time to debrief on the TLT Symposium. Then in your teams, take some time to discuss these questions and be ready to share your thoughts.
Did you get a sense that there was a clear TLT community based on your interactions with the people there? What sort of evidence can you state as to whether it is a community?
You've all been to traditional conferences, did the use of social media change the experience?
What are some takeaways as it relates to your own future learning environments?
Transition to the Final Synthesis Activity
Based on your own intellectual pursuits and within the broader context of this class we'd like you to stake out an intellectual project. The overall goals of this activity are to encourage your teams to come to a shared position and introduce us all to a wider selection of literature. Each of you will work individually to discover and annotate resources that will be used as a major component of your team's final synthesis presentation. You can present the final output for this in any form you would like (video, audio, text, digital story, etc), but it must be represented in some tangible artifact for the final synthesis.
Our goal is that this work be grounded in research, but move beyond the intellectual foundation we've provided through the readings we have assigned. Over the next several weeks, each of you must post at least one resource a week with annotations to support the citation.
It was on TechCrunch in late February that I first suggested that the enterprise software industry has to move forward and posted an article, "The Facebook Imperative." In 1999, I was obsessed with the question, "Why isn't all enterprise software like Amazon.com? And in 2010, the question evolved: "Why isn't all enterprise software like Facebook?" This week we will have the answer to that question in our hands with the iPad. It's a more productive, easier, and fun way to work and live. The iPad shows us the old world is no longer good enough. We'll need new software with a new UI.
I am curious as the iPad launch day approaches how all of us are feeling about the device? If you are interested we can talk a bit about it today in class. I think it will usher in a fundamentally different approach to computing for a whole host of reasons.
At the symposium, I was gonna post my thoughts/notes in Plurk but soon realized there would be no comments (then, kinda no meaning) after my first two postings. So, wisely, I switched to twitter and tweeted the following stuff. <--One evidence to show that I value community more than design.
Afterwards: Often teachers are encouraged to have a more interactive teaching so their students would be more willing to participate. I am for it. However (<--for me, this is the most powerful word in English), we and our students are more or less taught to manage learning in a more effective way. Unfortunately, to be effective in most cases means to gain higher score with the least possible efforts. Sadly, from my experiences, activities with more links to the success they need are more likely to engage students. If the evaluation of edcation remained, it would be hard for both teachers and students to think out of the box.
I was surprised that I could focus on the presentation of Google Earth and meanwhile commented on other's posting for a different topic. I should actually think about allowing students to conduct multi-tasks?
These two are a pack. I saw a lot of teachers expect technology to do all the trick. They often give up right away as long as they find the intigration of technology and the curriculum may be more troublesome/tiresome.
It's an idea to engage students by having a say in grading process. But I was trapped by the outcome(s) often...#tltsym#ci5976:28 AM Mar 27thvia web
Just noticed the time of these tweets are somehow messed up. I am sure no one would be conducting any kinds of presentation in these ungodly hours.
I have spent a lot of time over the past year thinking about how digital storytelling can be used as an instructional technique. At Media Commons we've taught quite a few digital storytelling workshops, and I've blogged about the topic. So I was excited to attend Kira Baker-Doyle's presentation "Digital Stories as Counter-Texts: Multimodal Critical Literacy in Practice". Kira is an Assistant Professor of Education at Penn State Berks. She is using digital storytelling with preservice teachers who are required to "critique a text, and then produce a counter-text using only digital media". In some cases teachers analyzed children's literature and then re-invisioned those stories, in a way attempting to improve on them based on their analysis.
Kira's approach is well-grounded in educational theory, and I think she is effectively using this technique to get her students thinking about issues they will face in teaching in a modern, media-rich and technology-rich classroom. Analysis requires students to consider various theoretical frameworks relating to new literacies, critical literacies, storytelling, Friere's theories on using literacy for empowerment, and various learning theories such as social learning and reader-response criticism. One area that particularly interested me was the idea of "transliteracy" or "the ability to read, write, and interact across a range of platforms, tools, and media", specifically in the context of Kira's application, the ability to consume and analyze textual stories and transform them into audio and moving images. I think that there's significant learning that can happen in that particular mental process as it requires a fairly deep understanding of the material; you need to really understand the meaning of the content to translate each idea into a different mode of representation, or, as Kira states, to understand and use different symbol systems to communicate an idea.
In reflecting on the experience, she mentioned a few points that were key to the success of the project, many of which I agree with based on my own experience. Students required quite a bit of scaffolding, such as modeling, and providing periodic feedback throughout the entire process of analysis and constructing their media piece. Group work was essentially as different students brought different skill-sets to the process. Students were also able to engage in theater and writing practice to give them grounding for their storytelling. A detailed rubric was also provided to students.
I hope to do a more detailed case study of this project for the Media Commons website over the Summer, as I think many instructors will be interested in the work being done here.
I attended the seminar on the use of the Penn State Blogging community in designing portfolios for pre-service teachers. Dr. Zembal-Saul started by explaining a bit about the history of portfolios and the affordances that the web offers. Essentially, teacher educators wanted to have a way to allow students to perform four tasks: 1) to select learning outcomes and compile evidence for them [develop curricula], 2) to develop a philosophy of teaching, 3) to reflect upon their own practice, and 4) to develop an ongoing conversation with others of the teaching profession. In the early days of the web, the College of Education used tools such as Dream Weaver to develop websites for the students to create and post their portfolios, but quickly found these platforms to be too cumbersome and difficult for the average person to easily use. The discovery of the Penn State blog was, as Dr. Zembal-Saul put it, "an Aha! moment." Now pre-service teachers had a space where they could record their learning, reflect upon it, and share it with the rest of the Penn State community, future employers, and the rest of the world.
Maria White, one of the first students to have used the blog ePortfolio system throughout her entire teaching program, spoke about her experiences with the system, walked us through her own portfolio, and answered questions. One thing I really thought was useful was that all of her course work for several different classes was included within this blog, divided into categories. Although she did not explicitly mention it, this would be a useful way to turn homework in to the right professor (through the use of an RSS feed gathering from only one particular category), while simultaneously providing a compendium of knowledge and experience gained throughout one's education. Although I am not a pre-service teacher and am not required to create an ePortfolio, after seeing this presentation, I am excited to create my own public record of my own learning experiences here at Penn State.
Physicians know far less than seasoned patients about the psychological and physical challenges of chronic illness. Brief outpatient visits and inpatient rotation is insufficient for learning about patient's lives, impediments, and innovations.
This is the impetus behind an innovative video project run by Dr. Dan Shapiro. Rarely have I seen an example of video used so effectively as a teaching tool. In this case, it was used not only to portray the lives of the patients to other students, but also to encourage participating students to think clearly and concisely about the information about their patients that was important to convey.
The parameters of the project were: 1. Throw yourselves into their lives 2. Study the illness 3. Learn about the impact of the illness on patient 4. Do at least 2 home visits; 1 medical visit; and 1 interview with someone else in the patient's life 5. Capture how patient adheres (or doesn't) to their regimen 6. Learn impediments to optimal functioning 7. Learn patient's innovative responses to illness 8. Be accurate
62 volunteer students were paired with 26 patients. The videos were supposed to be maximum length of 5 minutes, but over time, students negotiated the limit up to 10 minutes, believing that they had a story to tell that needed more than 5 minutes to be told.
Dr. Shapiro showed us two resultant videos from the project - one of an elderly man with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and one of a teenage boy with schizophrenia. The videos showed that the medical students had really tried to get to know their patients. They immersed themselves in the patients' lives, and created videos that emphasized the humanity of the patients, demonstrating their strength and innovation without minimizing the strain and distress brought on by chronic illness.
As a potential patient, or family member of a potential patient, I want EVERY medical student to have such an experience. Dr. Shapiro stated that Medical systems are designed for acute illness but are dealing with a majority patients with chronic illness. I'd love to see that system changed, but in the meantime, training new physicians to consider the humanity of their patients... the stories, struggles and strength of those patients, seems like a good first step.
This session was personally very interesting in that it suggested the educational usefulness of emerging web 2.0 technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, Podcasts, second life and Blogs which I am becoming interested in. Speakers discussed about how these social media technologies could elicit the participation and agency from visitors and patrons of museum and gallery.
As they mentioned during presentation, when it comes to museum and gallery, these places are regarded as participation and engagement is very limited. The sign of "Don't touch" and "Don't talk" that is easily found in the museum and gallery explains these places seem to very passive and static. Therefore, as considering distinct characteristic of these places, I think that the result of using these social media technologies in their presentation is especially meaningful and strongly indicates a range of exciting and meaningful possibilities for engaging and enhancing learners' participation in an educational setting.
In terms of increasing participation and engagement and extending the scope of their experience more than just physical time spent in these places, these social media technologies led to positive outcomes. In addition, given the consideration of price and time, it was very effective and invasive way of facilitating the participation and agency. Through this session, I could find growing potential of adopting these technologies into education in multiple contexts.
Well, now that I came up with a catchy title, I have your attention...right?
I saw, and heard, a lot of interesting things yesterday. Unfortunately, I did not see ONE sweatervest. Anyway...one question that I heard in every talk that I went to was "This sounds great but how are you assessing participation?" or some variation of this. It kind of started to nag me a bit and I have to blame that all on Scott and Cole. Before this class I was a typical student, feeling pressured to produce or say something, ANYTHING, so that my teachers would know that I knew something, or at least hope that it would appear that way. I did not want to lose my participation points!! They have to be the easiest points to earn in a class. Say something, even if it is wrong or does not make any sense, and you get a few points tossed at you; quantity seemed to reign over quality. I now have a different view on participation. If you are going to use old school participation to assess your students, you have to give points to ANY student who say ANYTHING in your class. If you award participation points based on quality rather than quantity, does that mean that you are punishing students because they are unable to learn/understand the content? Could that not be in turn seen as a failure on the part of the teacher? So if a student is going to lose, or not gain, participation points because they are not learning anything, the teacher should also be losing participation points. If learning happens through participation, and a student is showing evidence of learning, can it not then be assumed that they have participated in some way; whether through reading, listening, or googling outside of class? So if you follow along with this philosophy of learning, there would be no need to assess the participation of students since learning would be a sign of participation.
So this leads me into what I saw at the symposium. The first talk I went to was "First Year Students Blogging: Lessons Learned." Students were asked to blog and keep an online journal or sorts. Every student had their own blog space and, if I remember correctly, they were to comment on one anothers' posts as well. I was really interested in hearing how this had changed the class and the "learning" of the students, but there were a lot of questions being asked about logistical issues, and the talk was rushed at the end. (The symposium should have longer session times BTW) There were some "snags" in using the blogs for this class; some students just did not blog; others would blog but not "participate" in class (participation = speaking in this class); and students were not always tagging their blog posts so it was hard to keep track of who was leaving blog posts and responding to them since all of the students had their own blog sites. I think that the use of blogs in any class can only benefit the teachers and the students by extending the discussion outside of the classroom. There is an adjustment period for both the teachers and the students, they need to become familiar with the medium and all that it can offer. Getting students, especially first year students, to think outside the classroom is probably a big challenge. How do you get them use to the idea that learning is continuously occurring? Another theme that I heard at the symposium, was the idea of engaging students by making the information seem relavant to them and their lives. What are they going to need to know and use 10 years from now?
Switching gears a bit...the second session talk I went to was: "Evolution of Biology Instruction to Increase Student Success in a Large Class." This was interesting to me, not only because it was biology related and they mentioned snakes, but also because the idea of getting a large lecture-based class to be more engaging and interactive for the students. I was not impressed at first because they were talking about Angel and having students taking quizes online instead of on paper. An electronic test/quiz is no more engaging than a paper one. But then it started to get interesting. They discussed how they were able to link Angel to GoogleDocs, Kaltura, which I had never heard of before, and a few other various applications. They also have the students working in wikispaces and they are creating wikibooks of the course which will be available as OPEN CONTENT once completed. What an awesome idea! The students are more than just consumers, they are active participants in their education. They also need to know and understand the content in order to apply it and explain it to others, rather than just regurgitating the textbook definitions. Speaking of textbooks, the students are not required to buy a textbook which they will most likely never even open. All the information they need is available online. Open content and no textbooks??? Shhhhh, don't tell the publishers!
Overall, I think there was a lot of good discussion going on at the symposium about where the future of education is going. It was pretty inspiring to hear some of the talks, especially Dr Wesch's keynote speech.
2 of my fav quotes from the symposium:
"...your grandma can google you and find out you're not straight..."
"...for a high school student, wikipedia is like porn..."
YouTube is a wonderful resource and many of us use the website on a daily basis. Some of us use it to find information on how to do things. Others use it to waste time watching countless videos. YouTube is EVERYWHERE! Can YouTube be incorporated into ANGEL? YES!
"Bringing YouTube to ANGEL" was conducted by Fred Aebli from the College of Information, Sciences, and Technology. In this session he demonstrated to us how YouTube can be incorporated into ANGEL through several easy steps.
First, if you already haven't done so, create an account on YouTube (www.youtube.com)
Next, once you are on YouTube, you want to create a playlist. First you need to search for videos to add to your playlist, then add the videos you selected to your playlist, and then create a custom player at the following website (http://www.youtube.com/custom_player). Lastly, generate the makeup of your page by selecting one of the various color designs that YouTube has provided.
Next, you want to log on to ANGEL and create a new webpage in the class folder you plan to insert the playlist to. When you are in the editor for creating a new web page in ANGEL, it is important that you click on the HTML Editor before pasting the custom player code that YouTube provides to you once you have created your player. If you don't click on the HTML Editor button before you paste in the code from YouTube, the player will not work!
After you have pasted your code into the HTML Editor from YouTube, click done and your player will be created on ANGEL! Your students can now view any video material that you want them to view from YouTube right from the ANGEL course webpage. One of the nice advantages of having the YouTube custom player in ANGEL is that each time you update your video playlist on YouTube, the playlist will update automatically in ANGEL.
Instructors can even add hyperlinks to assessments under the video player in ANGEL where students can be instructed to complete an assessment after watching a certain video.
At the beginning of the presentation, Dr. Guertin introduced simply
several uses/projects of Google Earth supporting the idea the Google
Earth has been used in multiple disciplines. One of the example is the
Literature Trip. Dr. Guertin then presented statistical information
regarding the inadequate basic geography knowledge among adult Americans
and only small amount of people continue reading other than schoolwork.
These are motives that she started to integrate Google Earth in her
The project, QUEST, was presented in order to
demonstrate the basic features and advantages of integrating Google
Earth into class project. The presenters demonstrate a project that one
can show where the ancestors came from, where they moved
around. Related information about those places/locations are added. Not
only geographical information but also historical information are
linked. Several advantages were mentioned: 1) interactive and fun 2)
user friendly: so that students won't be too frustrated using it 3)
ownership and creativity 4) push to read: by addition information to
places 5) explore connections of earth's systems 6) explore many
disciplines at once
Dr. Guertin also mentioned that she gave
students rubrics about what should be included in their project, such as
proper citations and use of images.
The presentation gives me an
idea how to link different discipline with use of Google Earth. I see
the potential to link to other disciplines and I can think of examples to art class and anthropology class. Reminder of proper quotes and citations are important for students, useful instructional strategy. It seems to be a good alternative for class project and presentation. But I am also interested in knowing students reactions. Fun is mentioned as one of the advantages but I am not sure from who's perspective. So are other advantages mentioned. A potential follow-up research might be the effectiveness of integrating Google Earth in class.
One of the sessions that I attended today was titled "Immersing Students in Markets: Using Current Web Technologies to Design Multiplayer Role-Playing Simulations". Lead by Dr. Andrew Kleit, Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics, this session was based on an experimental market simulation that was conducted in Dr. Kleit's EBF 200, Introduction to Energy and Earth Sciences Economics class.
To provide some background on EBF 200, the class is designed to introduce students to the economics of environmental and resource issues facing society. The goal of the class is to develop skills in students so that they can think and behave like economists. EBF 200 allows students to participate in class as if they were buyers and sellers in the real economy through four different simulations: International-Trading, Double-Auction, Saving the Common Pool, and Emissions Trading.
The Double-Auction simulation requires students to act as buyers and sellers in the economy and the goal of the simulation is to see who can profit the most money. The simulation is conducted in class and is often accompanied by a lot of chaos with students shouting out prices and running around the classroom trying to buy or sell their goods. A new development that is underway is to move the simulation to an online environment using computers.
Instead of having 100 or so students running around a classroom trying to buy or sell product, students will interact with each other through a userinterface described here:
The website is designed so that students can log in to the page and start trading their product. However, in the first experimental run of the new trading interface many errors were found and the exercise had to be called off. When the errors are fixed, it's likely this interface will become the main trading interface for the class since students can trade at anytime on the interface and can be located in front of a computer at any location that has an internet connection. One of the major disadvantages of the new interface is that students will be lacking the social interaction that they currently have trading in the classroom. However, a quick solution to that problem is to connect the interface to Skype where students would be able to see each other face to face.
Rebecca and Michael presented the use of Sony Reader in a
higher education environment which started from the wonder whether students are
reading enough, whether they're reading deeply enough.
In the beginning of the presentation, they reviewed previous
researches on the use of Ebook readers; students' attitude toward the readers
will play huge role in whether the devices ultimately replace or ultimate
critical textbooks. But beyond students' responses, they claimed that
pedagogical and institutional factors also play a certain role in whether or
how to use E-readers in college class.
The project was introduced they studied which the University Libraries
and the English department collaborated. In the project, students were
interviewed about their experiences using Sony Reader in class and the Readers
they used were collected to see what artifacts and features they worked.
The results of the study showed some issues in terms of
pedagogy, university, industry, technology and literacy.
Here's the issues for Ebook Readers they made:
Pedagogy- course requirements, activity expectations, power
University- support systems, workflow structures, policies and
Literacy- interface claims, material practices, intellectual
I was surprised to hear that at the end of the presentation, one
of the speakers saying "I'll never use Sony Reader in class again" because of
its inconvenience such as too limiting navigation lines. He expects that iPad
has more potential as a learning tool in class.The session that Matt attended seems overlapped with the
session I attended and I felt the same way Matt did.The
speakers began the presentation by asking "can E-readers replace printed
textbook?" and my answer would be "Not yet".
Presented at TLT Symposium by Chris Long and student panel
Based on PHIL 200
Using technology is about relinquishing control and allowing students to take ownership of their own experience (ownership of meaning a la Wenger)
Similarities between this course and ours (ci597):
*Blog used for self-reflection
*Students were encouraged to tweet during class, but there was resistance
*Weekly podcasts were submitted to summarize the course material (similar to our weekly posts)
*Blogs allowed for discussion beyond what was possible within the time allotted for the class
*Enduring dialogue results when we strive together for understanding.
*The "conversation" that took place on the blog motivated the students to keep writing more and better
*The less the teacher commented on the blogs themselves, the better they seemed to work
*Assessment: If they didn't do the blogs, they weren't participating [This fits with our previous class discussion on participation and the assessment of participation.]
*When we teachers talk about community we have to recognize that we as faculty are part of that community.
Within the course they had to deal with an anonymous person who was posting inappropriately and attacking student posts on the blog. It turned out to be a learning experience for teacher and students, but was a real struggle for everyone. [How would we handle this situation if it came up in our class?]
Anonymity protects the person speaking the words, but threatens those of us who are hearing it (uncertainty, no physical referents, etc.).
This session focused on the use of the Penn State blogging platform to create student e-portfolios. The presenters discussed the benefits of using a blogging platform to create a student teacher's professional portfolio. One of the benefits discussed were the ability of the user to engage in reflective learning process over a long period of time. Another benefit mentioned was the ability to tag and recover past posts and comments. The platform archives all posts and tags and lets the user access information when they need it.
The e-Portfolio seems like a great way to track the development of a teaching philosophy over the course of a year and after. I am excited to create my own portfolio over the course of my student teaching next year. The user has the ability to take the portfolio with them after their time at Penn State and provide future employers access to it.
The portfolio turns into a personal webpage that represents your learning over time. It also allows others to comment and offer suggestions to you for the future. Seem like a great tool for practicing or future teachers to track their changes over time.
Sam Richards makes the lecture hall an exciting place. System of engaging lecture, with small discussion groups run by facilitator and reflections in blog posts. Uses http://www.polleverywhere.com/ - run some polling in your class. (How about that for radical simplicity).
1100 students surveyed about their experience with large lecture courses:
40% say large classes are as enriching as the small classes.
60% it is common to read directly from notes or slides.
40% say it is uncommon to be asked to express their views in a large lecture class.
5% say their instructor in heir large lecture class appear nervous or uncomfortable. (perhaps teachers teach in a way that makes themselves most comfortable)
80% could not disagree with the statement that their large lecture instructors "teach in a way that is boring and does not capture attention."
60% think that the faculty are savvy about using social media.
75% want faculty to use social tech in classes.
35% think faculty are, another 20% are on the fence about saying that we are.
7 out of 8 think they would learn more or expect to learn more if professors utilize social media ad web 2.0 technologies.
this session, Dana Carlisle Kletchka and Heather Hughes discuss how they use social media platforms in the Palmer Museum of Art and Edwin W. Zoller Gallery
at Penn State. Their goals in using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, podcasts,
blogs, and Second Life are to facilitate a greater sense of participation and
agency for visitors during museum visits. At a large university where
everything needs to be edited before it is dispersed, the social networking
platforms allow a type of freedom of communication that offers a quick way to
disperse information. It also provides insider info about the museum to become
accessible to the community.
Was the most active platform for museum visitors. Allows museum to include humor and less formal language - aspects that people aren't used to experiencing with museums. Offers free, instantaneous methods of advertising and updating community about upcoming events (important advantage for a non-profit). Problems cited include the barrage of advertisements and the fact that Facebook owns a user's content until they close it.
"Use twitter as breadcrumbs - tasting croutons or old, stale
breadcrumbs" - like Facebook, allowed for instant dispersion of information about museum and short, non invasive updates. Considerations include striking a balance between informing and annoying - whether to create an event for everything that goes on.
"People to decide what they want, when they want it, and how
they want it." Ipods available to the museum store - allows visitors to
gain insight into the workings of the museum including commentary on installations and organization of gallery.
Offers way to connect students with content AND each other. Seen as "another classroom" by the museum instructors.Where the museum itself makes it hard to connect to the build in environment, students and visitors can use the blogs to discuss and synthesize their experiences with the artworks and gallery offerings.
Allows visitors that may never get a chance to
geographically and physically visit the museum to experience it in an electronic
Summary Ideas: Social media platforms allow for the altering of boundaries between teachers and learners - multiple
and diverse voices are exchanged and heard and changes the socio-historical
framework of museums as don't touch, don't talk spaces. Creates a sense of
community and allows community to expand.
Future Implications/Questions: Will PSU officially begin managing the sites - "official" penn State? What are the implications of this? Presenters mentioned talking to
college editor to make sure the platforms follwed PSU protocol.
In this session, Professor Laura Guertin started from some statistics or surveys, which show that quite amount of people have no habit in reading beyond the school work or even going to a bookstore. In addition, there is also lack of basic geographic knowledge among 18- to 24- year-old Americans. Because of these, Professor Guertin started to do the research focused on the effective integration of innovative technologies to improve student learning in introductory-level geoscience courses.
By demonstrating QUEST, the presentation gives us a basic idea that how Google Earth utilizes satellite imagery for virtual tours across the globe and interconnects between people, places, and environments. The most two interesting parst to me is that it is interactive, two-way learning and it is user-friendly. For example, the project showed where the ancestors came from, where they moved around, which can give students a whole picture of not only locations but also history or other interesting fields. Students have right to extend their information, they are not only knowledge receivers, but also designers, (e.g., you can play around by changing background colors or styles, or you can embed audio/video, make an easy link to more related information, and you can even put your voice on it.) Because of the two advantages, it is easy to be applied it to any other discipline.
After the presentation, I am thinking about connecting language learning and geography in 7th-9th students. (But first of all, I need to make sure is there other language for using it because I don't think they have enough ability to read through all of it.) I hope it will be a good try to motivate them to learn by introducing this technological tool.
In his presentation, From
the 5th Grade to the 5th Discipline: Google Apps as a
Platform for the Learning Organization, Professor Richard Devon discusses the
advantages and disadvantages of using Google Apps in his class.He begins by stating that he began
integrating Google Apps into his class with no financial support, no previous
knowledge, and no colleagues who were able to assist him.Where and how should he start?
He began by asking his students."What is the World doing with this and how are they doing
Devon began working with Google Apps, he discovered that Google Apps is more
simplistic that most software suites or bundles. Thereby reducing the learning
curve required to actually use the tools.He indicates some of the apps need some adjusting, such as Google
Sites.An app that allows
individuals to create websites, was found to be very difficult when trying to
format certain elements on the pages.
Google Apps creates transparency between the students and
their instructor - if students complete their assignments its there, there is
no I forgot it at home.In
addition there is a log in record in some of the apps allowing the instructor
to see who and how often students were contributing to team activities.
The overall impression is that Professor Devon found Google
Apps to be reliable, accessible from anywhere, provides excellent opportunities
for collaboration, and its free to all users.He refers to it as a "A4 computing: Anyone, Anywhere,
I just attended Dan Shapiro's session on a video project for Medical Students. I don't know if I have seen a better case made or for the use of video projects for learning. Dan Shapiro is the chair of the humanities at The Penn State College of Medicine. I have never thought about med students taking humanities, and I am told Penn State was the first med school to adopt a humanities department.
Here is the gist of the video project:
Modern medical schools were designed to treat acute illnesses. With medicine getting better over the last century, we have defeated a lot of acute illnesses such as infection, but there is growing cases of chronic illnesses such as cancer. So, just like we hear in so many disciplines these days, the education system seems to have not caught up. Students and new doctors come to patients with the attitude that if a patient comes to me with X, then I just need to know to give them Y, and problem is solved. (Reminds me to the multiple choice mentality of standardized assessment that Wesch was arguing against in the keynote - If this is how the students were learning, this is the mental model they bring to the world). The problem is that doctors are being trained to cure, not to heal. Doctors are not prepared to help patients cope with living with an illness in their life.
Enter then the video project. Med students are required to make a five minute documentary about patients coping with a chronic illness. The students take eight months to collect the footage, being required to make at least three visits with the patients, but many make more. The students are given basic instructions on how to frame a shot, seek good audio and lighting, and basics on how to tell a story. They capture around 25 hours of footage that they must edit down to 5 minutes (although Shapiro has started to allow longer submissions, sometimes up to 10 minutes). In editing the footage and working with it, taking all the time to hone and edit, the students get a deep sense of what is on the film. It is this editing process where a lot of learning happens as the students to think critically and analyze the footage they have captured. Ultimately, the patients become the teachers, as seasoned patients know more about the realities of living with an illness than physicians do.
Two of these student videos were played in the session, and I have to say I was blown away by the quality of the productions. The use of sound, music, editing all worked together to tell a compelling story.
The students all rated the video project very high in the positive effect it had on their learning on all dimensions (Average rating above 4 out of 5 on almost all questions). In fact, the amount of students and patients participating has doubled in the last year even though it is not a requirement and the students get no credit that counts towards graduation.
This project makes the case that filmmaking can be a powerful medium for learning about a topic.
This session discussed the potential of using e-Readers in teaching and learning. A representative from Barnes and Noble spoke about the need to integrate new opportunities in reading technology to change the way students learn and instructors teach. The changing nature of the business side was also discussed. As a business the representatives mentioned a need to connect different sources of information to create a more collaborative environment.
Much of the focus on the future of e-readers seems to be on the design of the technology. How can a textbook be represented digitally so that it becomes useful to students and instructors? The solutions seem to be heading to an open format that will allow users to comment and discuss the text in an online community. The presenters discussed the need for the content to be easily manipulated and useable.
There was a mention of pilot programs that will be taking place at Penn State during the summer and fall semesters using e-reader technology. It will be interesting to see the results of these programs at next years symposium.
I was very surprised to hear the representatives say that "e-books are dead". This was surprising because I have never really experienced using e-readers myself and yet the technology in its current form is dead. This says much about the nature of the technology industry in which what you buy today is outdated when u leave the store. I am interested in seeing where e-readers will be included in K-12 education in the future because the potential in incredible.
Professor Baker-Doyle's talk presented a project she conducted with student teachers that participated in the PDS program at Penn State. Her main objective was for students to be able to evaluate and critique texts and use media to produce counter texts that could present alternative perspectives and voices that may have been incomplete, neglegted or misrepresented in the original texts.
She utilizes critical pedagogy in her strategies to teach her student teaches and at the same time engages student to understand critical pedagogy through the process of developing these counter texts.
One of her findings while carrying out this assignment was that while her students grasp of media use and technology was adequately achieved, the students had a very challenging time with the critiquing part of the assignment. They tended to focus on language use and writing style while evaluating the texts, rather than engaging in a social critique of the content. After some feedback from the instructor, students were able to better understand the concept of social critique and critical pedagogy.
Baker-Doyle 's objective for her students to be able to understand their own teaching philosophies and practices, understand and acknowldege their voice and be able to create material and incorparate it into classroom conversation (both current classroom as students and future classrooms as teachers). She effectively used critical pedagogy and presented its significance for students to be able to connect what is happening in the world and be able to connect to their classroom.
This session was particularly interesting for me as my theoretical views are very much aligned with critical pedagogy and my interest in developing materials lies closely related with the social critique evaluation of current texts.
I wonder if this conversation could also looking at texts for culturally responsive pedagogies (Ladson-Billings) , focusing not just on ethnic culture diversity but the technology and media use as part of the cultural relatedness for students. I think this was carried out implicitly in Baker- Doyle's assignment as the students incorporated media in the development of the counter texts, and thus in the process this cultural revolution becomes part of the experience and in itself can be construed as a critique of not just traditional text content, but design; and instead of being looked at separately they merge together as part of the critcal evaluation process and then creation)
Our team found a web site linked
from Etienne Wenger's website and there are interesting
representations for discussion. Our team picked up the above one demonstrating
locations of different tools showing the relationships of participation
vs. reification; synchronous vs. asynchronous; individual vs. group.
In terms of overall use of tools/technology to
support community, it might be interesting to consider whether tools
that fall on one or another end of the polarity continuum are
better/worse than others? And whether tools that provide more of the
items listed in the diagram are better? It's kind of the all-in-one vs.
best of breed type thing we talked about with the LMS a couple weeks
ago. i.e. Is it better to have one tool that does chat, blogging,
profile, photo sharing, and wiki, or is it better to use a tool that's
superb in one/two of those areas?
To the above questions, our team suggests that
there's an interesting question there about how we, as individuals, move
around in that graph in our efforts to participate, and negotiate and
reify our identity and our place in a community. For instance, there
are times where the kind of participation we need to engage in requires
synchronous communication, such as when a quick decision needs to be
made and acted on, and a record of that communication isn't necessarily
important. Other times we want a slower, more deliberate communication
that we can refer back to later. Sometimes we need to exert our own
individuality, and sometimes we're content to be part of the group
think. We navigate around these dimensions fluidly depending on our
needs. So, in terms of what technology is "better", I would suggest
that the key factor isn't whether it does everything at once vs.
specializes, but rather, how easily it allows us to navigate from one
mode of communication/participation to another. For example, RSS can be
seen as a connector that facilitates jumping around between the various
technologies on this graph, so we see the blog posts, the podcasts, the
microblog (Twitter) entries, and we delve into the environment that at
that moment allows us to leverage the information we need to get
Another similar thought from the diagram is that technologies
offer ways to participate in a community but also block other ways of
participation (non-participation). It leads to different kinds of
reification and then different meanings of negotiation. For example,
Youtube (video) and blogs (text) offer different types of reification
and when we negotiate through these two different technologies, we may
produce different meanings of practice. In
this diagram we can also see that within a community, meanings of
practice are produced collectively. Individual participation and mutual
engagement shape the meaning of practice and constitute a resource
The technologies for communities website had some interesting ideas.
One tool that was mentioned was the idea of Skype being used to help
community leaders and communities in general. The technology itself is
very useful because it can bring together people from all over the
world. It allows users to collaborate internationally with their peers
which will have a tremendous impact in education. The authors also talk
about the communities that develop using Skype. Over time users build
up list of contacts that can be separated into differtent groups based
off of your interaction within that group. It is interesting to think
about the ways in which these groups develop.
questions that came to mind through the reading and looking at this
What are the benefits/drawbacks of using a platform
like Skype to create a community? What are the potential impacts of
Skype within schools? Will schools utilize the ability to collaborate
with others across the world?
The use of Skype is not
limited for making a call anymore; it can be used as a learning tool
such as distance learning for esl learners and also as a way of
constructing a community and way of participation in the community. An
example here give by one of our team members. She took a course last
year, which provided a regular synchronous chat with students of another
university that had taken similar course with the one at Penn State.
Students of both schools shared thoughts and ideas on a specific topics
every week and had built a sense of community through the chat in spite
of the geographical distance. When it comes to a
matter of participation & non-participation, not all of the students
actively participated in during the chat. Some of the students were
observing the conversation and tried to make a full participation after
watching and copying what others talked. In this respect, our team
thinks Skype makes learners to say what they think and to think what
they are going to say in a rather comfortable circumstance. One of the
drawbacks could be a difficulty of turn-taking. If one is not good at
typing, s/he would miss turns to convey their thoughts and ideas.
Another point that could be related to community is
modes of belonging. Wenger discusses about identity formation in terms
of modes of belonging. A sense of belonging relates to individual
participation and institutional participation. The three modes of
belongings are engagement, imagination, and alignment. That latter two
are not confided to mutual engagement and indicates thinking of the
broader structure as the institution or the world. The latter two seem
to be more individual awareness and I doubt how the latter two also
affect the community as a whole. As our team's focus this, technology to
the community, I am wondering if these technologies could also be the
vehicles for imaginations and alignment. Some examples could be grabbed,
such as blogs could provides information for knowing people under
similar situation and with similar background (imagination). Then, how
about one technology that combine the three together? Do we have any
example for this?
Our group decided to post individual thoughts and a synthesis this week.
One thing that was interesting to me in the reading for this week was the idea of participation/non-participation. Our group has talked about this before, but this quote really stood out to me this time: "The mix of participation and non-participation that shapes our identities has to do with communities in which we become invested, but it also has to do with our ability to shape the meanings that define these communities." (p. 188). It is again this cyclical relationship between community and identity. My community shapes my identity and my identity shapes my community. At this point I wonder if it is ever possible (or even desirable) to separate the two. Does a change in my identity necessitate a change in my community? Does a change in my community necessitate a change in my identity? Hmm...
The discussion of learning communities was also really interesting to me. Because he believes that learning entails both a process and a place, Wenger seems to be saying that it is a process of becoming (transforming our identities) within a community of practice, which he says is a "privileged locus for the acquisition of knowledge" (p. 214). I am struggling a bit with what Wenger means by "privileged" here. Is he saying that communities of practice are the best (or at least better) places for learning? If so, I wonder if this is true (that COPs are privileged) given the fact that it is possible for me to learn things on my own. Does my learning improve or change in some way because I do it within a community of practice? Can I learn just as well outside of one? Obviously the process would be different, but would it (learning outside of a COP) be any less effective? This makes me think about our discussion of open education and students who do online courses or independent study classes. Is the quality of their learning different than the quality of learning of students who do so in a "traditional" classroom setting?
Finally, on p. 217 Wenger says that "our communities must have a place for us that does justice to the transformations of identity that reflection and excursions can produce." When I think about this in terms of teaching, it reminds me that as teachers we need to help our students reflect on their learning so that they can better understand themselves. We also need to help them step outside of themselves and take different perspectives (this is how I interpret excursion) so that they can better understand others. We need to provide communities in which our students are safe to "try on" the new identities that come about as the result of the learning that is taking place. Wenger says that learning transforms who we are (which I think is totally true- I am certainly not the same person that I was when I started my PhD program in August) and we need to be mindful that our students are actually changing as a result of what they are taking in. We are not simply filling empty vessels with knowledge; we are impacting, in one way or another, who our students are (or at least how they perceive themselves to be).
On page 211 Wenger states "Working with the economy of meaning can be a way to preserve the community by sharing ownership of meaning. For instance, involving everyone in a decision complicates the process of arriving at that decision and may bring into the open all kinds of disagreements. Yet this sharing of ownership of meaning may well result in a deeper commitment to the community". This quote really stuck out to me because I wonder how common is this example in the real world. How many of us like making decisions, especially tough ones? What about decisions made by school boards? Should they include everyone in the district community including the general public to offer input into the decision or should they make the decision behind closed doors? Granted by bringing in the "public" (and by "public" I really want to say community members but I don't want to offer any confusion here) one would expect more disagreement as stated above, but it would also strengthen the school board's position in the whole community.
Then on page 212 Wenger explains why we form communities. "We form communities not because we fall short of an ideal of individualism or freedom, but because identification is at the very core of the social nature of our identities and so we define even our individualism and our freedom in that context. On the other hand, communities give rise to economies of meaning not because we are evil, self-interested, or short-sighted, but because negotiability - and thus contestability - is at the very core of the social nature of our meanings and so we construct even our shared values in that contest."
With these two quotes I then move into the learning community which I feel ties these quotes together with (page 219) "A learning community confronts structural issues of identification and negotiability both internally and externally. A learning community is therefore fundamentally involved in social reconfiguration: its own internally as well as its position within broader configurations" (page 220).
In this last section of the book, Wenger attends to the definition of participation, specifically dealing with non-participation. It is clear that the idea of difference has a large affect on how community involvement helps form identity: "We not only produce our identities through practices we engage in, but we also define ourselves through practices we do not engage in" (p. 164). Communities as a whole emphasize our abilities to construct identity through "relations of belonging or not belonging." It is within difference that communities and identities are constructed. The idea of difference here remind me of the works of constructionists like Foucalt and the idea that meaning is relational, that we understand a word or concept not for what it is, but for what it is not. According to Stuart Hall, "If you couldn't differentiate between Red and Green, you couldn't use one to mean 'Stop' and the other to mean 'Go'" (Hall, Representation). We can also connect the concept to Gee. For example, I know I'm not a gang member because I belong to a Discourse of ...
Another area of Wenger's argument reminiscent of Foucault is his idea of power. Wenger views matters of power "in terms of the negotiation of meaning and the formation of identities - that is, as a property of social communities" (p. 189). My interpretation of Foucalt is that he understood the same negotiation of meaning was inherent in social practices. Though meaning, for Foucalt, came from small d discourse, which deemphasized the role of the participants (to use Wenger's term) in actively constructing that meaning. Wenger, in contrast, asserted that power was a social concept created by a community.
The concept that there are types of communities beyond communities of practice seems like a concrete connection to our discussion of the bad driver comes into play (p. 181). Just because a large number of people like the same television show does not make that group a community of practice, according to Wenger. With this in mind, does the term "bad driver" refer to a community of practice? Probably not. Does it refer to a different type of community? Perhaps. As Wenger says, "Belonging to such a community can contribute to the identities of those involved, even if it does not involve the joint development of a shared practice" (p. 182).
Maybe I missed this in the reading, but one question that I have in particular is how do Engagement, Imagination, and Alignment concretely differ from participation? Wenger referred to them as "modes of belonging" (p. 172) - how do they go beyond just different ways of participating?
The modes of belonging -engagement, imagination, and alignment- are the important ingredients of understanding how communities are constituted. When focusing on the mechanism of community formation, the various combination of these three ingredients explains the variety of community types. The changing relations between these three elements over time analyzes the transformations of these communities (p. 183).
I found it interesting that the modes of belonging- engagement, imagination, and alignment- are also important elements of learning. The three factors that explain the construction of communities also apply to the dynamics of learning. A community of practice can be a learning community enlightening the fact that a community provides the place for "the acquisition of knowledge" and "the creation of knowledge" (p. 214). Wenger mentions combining the modes of belonging, saying that the three elements anchor learning "in practice yet make it broad, creative and effective in the wider world" (p. 217). Such combinations allow "a learning community to move in various ways between participation and non-participation in order to create a richer context for learning" (p. 217). I think that community provides an opportunity of becoming members within a community by giving context for developing new understanding, negotiating between new meanings and identity, and transforming identity accordingly. It seems to me that multimembership provides more learning sources.
Many of the ideas about community mentioned in our responses above can be related to the current hot topic of the 2010 US Census. Here is a video in which non-participation is being encouraged:
*Does the rationale behind why this guy doesn't want to participate in the census mean that he isn't part of a community of political citizens?
*What does it do to a community when some members encourage others into willing non-participation?
*To what level are dissidents still members of the original community? Does their extreme non-participation shift their membership in some way?
On the opposite side, here is a video that is encouraging participation from a particular segment of the population (Thai)
*We wonder what impact this ad (and others like it for other communities) actually has on the members of the community. Does it really make them decide to participate if they had previously decided not to? Does it sway someone who might previously have been ambivalent?
*If a person chooses non-participation in this situation is he/she viewed as somehow hurting the community because his/her participation would (might?) bring some benefit to the community?
Learning Parties bring small groups of neighbours, friends, and families together with a knowledgeable, warm and articulate guide to practice the hands-on arts, preferably so that somebody benefits by getting to take home a solar water heater, or having their garden started for them, or getting to keep some freshly-made sauerkraut or kimchi.
Not that I think we should get together to do some gardening, but the notion of the learning party is really compelling. Sort of feels a lot like what we do each Tuesday in our class, but I wonder how it would look if we picked a different day, venue, and crowd to invite? Could we build a new vision of what it means to workshop?
For this year's TLT Symposium we'd like you to choose at least one session that you will attend and write about as it happens. We'd like you to try and discuss the session you are blogging as it relates to the themes of our course. Use the form below to let us know which session or sessions you'll be writing about. Please publish your post here to the course blog and tag it "psutlt".
What are the affordances of this device that specifically relate to learning? Which affordances do you feel would promote learning, and which would hinder it?
How would such a device encourage participation?
How does this device impact the identity of teachers? students?
Does this technology affect boundaries that exist for a reason? How would that impact the community of the classroom?
What did your group think about/discuss when determining whether you would adopt, not adopt, or wait-and-see about this device?
While this is an extreme example, how does the reaction your team (or others) had relate to the adoption of technology/diffusion of innovation for current existing technology in classrooms/learning environments?
Today is Team Synthesis day, so Scott and I will mostly be sitting back and interacting based on your designs. After your teams are finished presenting we'll want to have an open discussion related to the readings we completed the last couple of weeks.
Some Guiding Questions
Given the ideas presented in Small Pieces, what about Jon Mott's vision for bridging the gap between the LMS and the Personal Learning Environment jumped out at you?
Thinking of the technologies we are using in this class, can you envision an environment where the LMS/CMS is not the digital hub to the teaching and learning landscape in today's classrooms?
Now that you have an understanding of Wenger's notion of Identity, how does it contrast or align with Gee's?
Between now and the next time we meet we'd like you to finish reading Wenger.
For our team's synthesis discussion this week, we ask you to go to secondlife.com, create a free account and install the second life application on your computer before class tomorrow. Here is a short video available on the website to introduce you to the concept of second life. Have fun!
While the LMS has become central to the business of colleges and universities, it has also become a symbol of the higher learning status quo. Many students, teachers, instructional technologists, and administrators consider the LMS too inflexible and are turning to the web for tools that support their everyday communication, productivity, and collaboration needs. Blogs, wikis, social networking sites, microblogging tools, and other web-based applications are supplanting the teaching and learning tools previously found only inside the LMS.
Bad Design - Emergency Brake Release and Hood Release are same shape, general location; same motion to use. Can easily accidentally release the hood when trying to release the brake (have to get back out of the car and close the hood); Can also release the brake (i.e. on a hill) when trying to release the hood. Bad result either way.
Suggested change - make the shape of the handles different, or the motion required different (one pull, one turn). Or, put one of the handles in a different location.
-Tools carrying distributed intelligence - how does this relate to Norman?
Education -What does "good design" in education look like? -What
happens if teachers fall into the "late majority/laggards" category of
adopting innovations while students are "innovators/early adopters"?
-The idea of students as consumers- How can we use students' feedback
of what works for them to enhance class design? What happens if we are
more "innovation-oriented" than "client-oriented" in our classrooms?
-What are the connections between education and innovations? How does
education impact the diffusion of innovation? (refer to Brad's
response- How much is education about helping beneficial innovations diffuse by opening minds to change and experimentation?)
Additional questions to consider:
Instructional manuals: Items that are created to be used universally
still need instruction booklets and quick start guides. How often do
we go beyond the quick start guide and actually look at the instruction
manual? Do we just get the basics and then hope that we know enough to
do what we want/need to do?
we more likely to accept innovations that are communicated to us
through our established communities because of the homophily that
exists? Do we think that if it works for someone who is similar to
ourselves then it will work for us as well? How does the notion of "if
it works for someone else it may work for me" fit into our own identity?
So it looks like we'll be turning over much of the class to Team 1 today to lead us through a discussion of the readings and our overall reactions to them. It should be interesting and we expect you to speak up -- both in the face to face space and online. Scott and I will take a cut at the first half of class, take a break, and then turn it over to Team 1. Here are some of the things we will want to talk about:
Our thoughts related to their reaction to our course design ... we looked like radicals.
How should we be thinking about assessment as it relates to distributed contributions and the nature of participation?
What does it mean to do instructional design at a big place like Penn State and how do instructional decisions get made?
ANGEL and our Collective Thoughts on Design
Let's take some time and look at how we try to make good decisions at the University as it relates to some of our (potentially) most important tools.