Rogers, P.C., Graham, C.R., & Mayes, C. (2007). Cultural
competence and instructional design: Exploration research into the delivery of
online instruction cross-culturally. Education
Technology Research 55 197-217
The growing of online education motivates the authors to integrate
cultural issues into online education research because they found out the
Western culture may dominate online education which may influence learning for
those from other cultural backgrounds. They investigated the relationship
between culture and online education through the role of instructional designer
and found there were few researches on exploring the lived experiences of
instructional designers. They formed the following research questions:
(1) Are they aware of the differences between
themselves and the cultural groupfor
whom they are designing instruction?
(2) If so:
(a) How did they become aware of these
(b) What importance do these differences
assume in their thinking?
(c) How does understanding cultural
differences affect instructional designpractice?
They conducted a grounded theory study because there is no
appropriate existing theoretical framework for this complex multi-faceted
issue. They adopted snowball-sampling technique to find their cases and
attained 12 cases/participants.
In their study, instructional designer have awareness of cultural
differences but they are a limited awareness. Being aware ofsigniﬁcant
differences betweencultures does not
mean that we are aware of what all of those differences are or ofall the ways in which they inﬂuence learning.Several elements
were identified to be connected to issue of awareness, including General
cultural and social expectation,
and learning expectations,Language and
symbols, and Technological
infrastructure and familiarity. The second research question, how we increase
awareness of culture differences was investigated through the opposite, what the
barriers are? Barriers they proposed include IDT focus on content development, lack
of evaluation in real-world practice, and organizational structures and the
role of instructional designers. They concluded impacts of cultural awareness
on instructional design practice through the following dimensions in response
to the problem of the barriers:
(a) Separating deeper principles from
particular application: though culture might inﬂuences initialreceptivity to various forms of once learners
getused to new forms
they can ﬁnd them very helpful, such as collaborative learning. Instructional
designers, thus, should think deeply about the principles and separate them
from the application one already knows. It is possible to find ways of
utilizing these principles across contexts.
(b) Identifyinggaps where bridges are needed: through immersion in the culture,integrating learner feedback in learner analysis,
and in formative evaluation
(c) Allowing for more ﬂexibility in the
(d) Educating otherstakeholders (e.g., the client and subject
Wang, Chun-Min & Reeves, (2007).Thomas. The Meaning of Culture in Online
Education. Chapter 1, The Meaning of Culturein Online Education:Implications for
Design (pp. 1-17)
This chapter first explains why
study culture is important in online education and state the problem to conduct
a research on this topic. Culture issues are important in online education is
owing to its global access. The ultimate problem of this kind of research is
the definition of culture. The authors list several classical studies revealing
the definition of culture and changes of research orientation through time.
They tend to explain culture in terms of analyzing culture through different
dimensions, including Geert Hofstede's
five nationalculture dimensions
and Edward Hall's high- and low- context cultures. They also found there
is few studies investigating cultural issues in online learning and expect
there will be more studies because of the urgent need that online education is
getting more widely accepted. Several culture issues in online education were
presented. For example, language differentials, reasoning patter differentials,
technical infrastructure differentials, and learning styles differentials. Then
this chapter discusses the pedagogical concerns of online education in a
diverse culture context. Online
education requires different pedagogies from traditional classrooms and thus
investigations on pedagogies in different culture context are necessary. The
authors focus on instructional design considerations and hope instructional
designers and online education instructors to be sensitive and more
research-based studies will be conducted.
Based on the authors literature
review work, they proposed guidelines
for buildingculturally- sensitive
online learning environments for instructors, students, and designers through
several empirical studies. Common principles among the three are to be flexible
and hold multiple perspectives among the members of the online classrooms. However,
there is a lack of holistic viewpoints in these studies even if they adopted
the model of multiple cultural dimensions. As a consequence, the authors
indicated the need to conducts studies that have thicker connection between
cultural contexts and applications. In other words, to develop a theoretical
framework of how new construction of knowledge occurs in this complex context.
They also suggest having studies done across nations and adopting perspective
from other disciplines may help.
Here is the video from Team 3's synthesis presentation. The class watched the Phantom Menace Review in class towards the beginning of the semester. This just seemed like a good way to sum up the course.
Then we are going to ask you to explore education theory through the lens of soviet-era yugoslavian mixed-mode experimental documentary film. We will be asking you to write your reflections as (surprise twist!) individuals, without talking in groups or with the class at large.
Next up, is a short film we made. We will see if it generates any discussion. (embed coming soon)
For the fourth act, we will break into groups and discuss the following:
Education, in its deepest sense and at whatever age it takes place, concerns the opening of identities - exploring new ways of being that lie beyond our current state. Whereas training aims to create an inbound trajectory targeted at competence in a specific practice, education must strive to open new dimensions for the negotiation of the self. It places students on an outbound trajectory toward a broad field of possible identities. Education is not merely formative - it is transformative. (Wenger, 263)
Given this - how has your sense of self and identity been changed by your primary education? secondary ed? undergrad education? By your graduate education? By this class? has the trajectory of your identity been informed by community memberships? How did the various education experiences listed above "open new dimensions for the negotiation of the self"? In other words, were these educational experiences designed? by whom? how did the design ""open new dimensions for the negotiation of the self"?
We will conclude with a discussion of the results of the survey taken in the beginning of class.
We the students of McDonald Camplese High School have a dream. Our dream is for a community in which we have agency over our own learning and opportunity to focus on social relationships and collaboration. We want free time, later start times and more choice over our classes. We dislike overcrowding in classes and halls, and long and boring class periods. We expect that school will prepare us for our future and we want school to be more meaningful, more fun and a more engaging place- a place we want to go each day.
Divide up into your teams. Your task for
the next thirty minutes is to reflect on the discussion that we just had.
yourselves these questions:
If you had the opportunity to redesign education-
design your own school, what would be the most important issues you would need
to consider in order to achieve a sense of community and ofstudent belongingness? How would the themes
that we have consistently touched upon in our course discussions, identity,
community and design, play a part in your considerations?
Each team will have a role, Team 1 will be the
students, Team 3 will be the teachers and Team 4 will play the role of
administrators. Now, you shouldlook at
this activityas an opportunity to
redesign the current system, feel free to also move away from traditional
language. For example, students can be labeled as "Learners", teachers as
"Guides" and administrators could be "Organizers".
In each of your teams,
develop a Vision or Mission,
taking into consideration both your role and the issues that are most important
and pertinent to your members. You will have 30 minutes for this activity. At
the end, present your school vision. For next week, we will merge all of them
together and post on the blog our unified vision for this "NewSchool".
Consider the following questions for
discussion in your groups:
1.How could the
design of the school/classroom lead to a more engaging environment?
2.What types of
technology can help create a greater sense of belonging within, and
perhaps outside of, the classroom?
3.Does a sense of belonging increase
Should a price tag be placed on education?
Individual Team discussion questions:
Team 1 (students/ learners)- When do
you feel more belongingness at school? Which learning environment makes you feel more
comfortable and productive?
Team 3 (teachers/guides) - Will you consider technologies as part of
your community building and student belongingness objectives? How can technologies be integrated to facilitate links
to communities and tie them to school lessons?
Team 4 (administrators/organizers)-How
can you facilitate student belonging...transitioning to society/community?
Would you create, adopt standards that include technology?What would be a common definition of
"productivity" ?Should there be more
relevant andmeaningfulmeasures of learning goals and costs?
Rethink learning, assessment and teaching
To create a school environment that helps students feel part of not only the
school community, but as important members of larger society. (Help them become
engaged, active members of a national and global community)
kinds of technologies might be used to this end? (blogs, wikis allow parents,
adult experts to contribute to students' learning)
would your added measures affect/contribute to learning?
Barnes, S. B. (1999).
Education and Technology: A Cultural Faustian Bargain. Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society, 19 (1), 11-16.
This article was written before computers were as widely
used as they are now.It was more
interesting to read about the cultural aspect of this article.The author discusses many of the
positive and negatives of computer use in schools.She also goes into a discussion about McLuhan and whether or
not the "medium is the message" as McLuhan writes.Barnes also talks about what it means to be computer
literate.The definition has
changed as the technology and I believe this is a conversation that we are still
When speaking to the cultural implications of computer use,
Barnes mentions that by just providing access to the information does not mean
it will be used or understood by all.We need to still be concerned with teaching basic literacy skills and
not become too focused on teaching computer skills.
Group 2 will be presenting tomorrow the theme of how we as teachers, students, and administrators can work to nurture a sense of belonging within a school community, across schools within a local community, and across the world within our global community. We will spend some time discussing alternative schools, so following are some <short> links you can go to to learn more about some of the more popular alternative education programs.
Mathison, c.,Wachowiak, S., Feldman, L. (2007). School in the Park: Bridging Formal and Informal Learning Environments. Childhood Education, 83(4), 206-210.
This article discusses a unique program in San Diego called School in the Park (SITP) which blends rigorous academic standards (formal learning) with experiential curricula (informal learning). Student in this program studied at the park's museums (and the San Diego Zoo) with museum educators. This learning context fosters students' active engagement in authentic, multi-sensory, purposeful exploration and study (Mathison et al., 2007). The authors explains that the SITP learning environment reflects several key interrelated principle of brain-based learning which focuses on our understanding of how human beings construct knowledge.
1) Where there is meaning, there is learning
2) There is no learning without emotion
3) Movement facilitates learning
4) Making multiple connections between new information and prior knowledge enhances memory.
(Caine & Caine, 1994)
The authors argues that teachers are responsible for teaching students what they need to know, but more focused attention on the processes of learning might open new avenues of pedagogical possibilities and these avenues may be paved with Web-based technologies that bring museum exhibits from around the world to the classroom. It signifies this blending of formal and informal learning environments, whether actual or virtual, presents students with the most fertile of fields in which to learn.
Yiannoutsou, N, Papadimitriou, I., Komis, V., & Avouris, N. (2009)."Playing with"
museum exhibits: designing educational games mediated by mobile technology.
In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Interaction Design and
Children, Como, Italy, (pp. 230-233). ACM.
The authors assert that "mobile technology can support the play with the exhibits of a museum - instead of just viewing them in the more traditional way - and in this context the spectrum of children interaction with the exhibits can be broadened and enriched" (p.230). They focus on the use of mobile technologies in museum settings to enhance the educational design and increase interaction between children and museum exhibits. They classify the use of mobile technologies for educational purposes in museums into three categories: 1) meant "to deliver information to the visitor", 2) meant to "enrich the interaction between the user and the exhibits", and 3) "designed around a specific educational scenario where visitors are challenged to act a role and complete carefully designed pedagogical tasks" (p.1).
The authors focus on design principles important to the incorporation of mobile technology in museum spaces. They cite a consideration for the following elements: a) Design in respect to the organization, b) Design for unobtrusive presence, c) Design for engaging the users, d) design for enriching the spectrum of interaction between the museum and the user, and e) Design for collaboration.
Two concrete examples of successful use of mobile devices (in both cases, PDAs) are cited. Both are activity games: Donation and Museum Scrabble. Donation is a group activity where children collaborate in collection and manipulation of facts/info about the exhibits. Children were "asked to discover a specific exhibit in order to help an imaginary art benefactor to donate an artifact to the Museum" (p. 231). Museum Scrabble involves links between exhibits that must be established by museum-goers.
Sharples, Mike., Taylor, Josie.,
Vavoula, Giasemi. (2005) Tablet Technology for informal collaboration in higher
education. Learning Sciences Research Institute
This paper discusses how students in
higher education handled a trial of Tablet PCs. Students in this study were
told to browse through the Tablet PC and use the PC as a method to explore
informal aspects of their learning, especially within the realm of
collaborative project work.
Seventeen students were selected for
this study from a third year engineering course. As part of the course, the
students are required to complete a class project in teams of six or seven
students. The project requires a great deal of collaboration. One student in
each group was provided a Tablet PC to aid their group in collaborative efforts
on the class project with other groups.
Upon beginning the study, the
principal investigators started to receive some complaints from the students
with the Tablet PC units in regards to the design of the unit. Students
complained that the battery life was too short and the performance of the PC
was too slow. Several students even tried to use the PC in outdoor settings but
soon found out that the brightness of the screen was a major issue in working
with outdoor lighting conditions.
With all the design inconveniences
one would think this project would be a failure. At the end of the project only
seven of the 17 original students stopped using their PCs. The remaining
10 students continued to use their PCs through the end of the project.
Investigators found that the PCs greatly enhanced the collaborative activities
of the students outside of the classroom on their projects with some students
even setting up a community-based file sharing system.
Investigators found out that none of
the students used the concept-mapping tool in the Tablet PC. Upon further
investigation, the investigators found out from the students that the
concept-map was poorly designed and needed some work to make things on the
application more clear.
Seth J.S., Byron L.Z., &Robert S.W. Broadening the Study of the Self: Integrating the Study of Personal Identity and Cultural Identity. Social and Personality Psychology Compass (2-2), 635-651.
This article claims the need of integrative and simultaneous research of personal identity and of cultural identity.
personal identity focuses on the set of goals, values, and beliefs that an individual has developed and/or internalized. Thus, personal identity represents the answer to the question 'Who am I?'. On the other hand, cultural identity represents values internalized from cultural groups to which the person belongs and therefore represents an answer to the question 'who am I as a member of my group, and relation to other groups?'. However, the author claims to study personal identity and cultural identity together in that both of them highlight the importance of values.
According to him, as people define themselves personally, they will also have to define themselves culturally and therefore individuals with stronger or more developed personal identities may have more strongly developed ethnic identities.
The article suggests further recommendations for integrating the studies on two kinds of identity in terms of definitional clarity of terms, refining the measurement of the identities, and its applicability to to diverse populations.
Allan Collins comes to Penn State April 19th, 11:15am -12:30pm In room 113 IST building (Cybortorium)
at the URL below to view the talk live. http://live.ist.psu.edu/live/Viewer/?peid=31c2e2ba98ac45538c7705e9d341401d
The digital revolution has hit education, but are schools tapping into the learning potential of today's technologically sophisticated generation?
Allan Collins and Richard Halverson in their new book "Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology : The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America" argue that to keep pace with a globalized technological culture, we must rethink how we educate the next generation.
They offer a vision for the future of education that goes well beyond the walls of the classroom to include online social networks, distance learning with "anytime, anywhere" access, digital home schooling models, video- game learning environments, and more.
Collins is Professor Emeritus of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He is a member of the National Academy of Education, and a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the Cognitive Science Society, the American Educational Research Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Sponsored by: The Learning Sciences Group Affiliated with the colleges of Education, IST, and Department of Psychology
article draws on research conducted at the Hunt Museum in Limerick,
Ireland regarding the integration of computing technology into
children's museum experiences. Children (and others) often perceive
museums as somber and boring spaces and museum officials are looking for
ways to change this perception using technology. Several types of
technologies, including sensors and RFID systems, were integrated into
the Re-tracing the Past exhibit and research was done to see the
effects of the technologies on children's learning experiences. Based
on their (generally positive) findings, the authors recommend 12
guidelines for designing novel computing to enhance children's learning
experiences in museums and five guidelines for the design process itself
(pp. 240 - 241).
Hsi, S. & Fait, H. (2005). RFID enhances visitors' museum experience at the Exploratorium. Communications of the ACM (48)9, 60 - 65.
article discusses the use of RFID (radio frequency identification)
technologies in museum settings, specifically their use at the
Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA. The system at the Exploratorium is
called the eXspot and it allows visitors to capture information about
exhibits that they visit, capture souvenir photos that they take at the
museum, and access these photos along with online content related to
exhibits they have visited on personalized web pages. RFID technologies
enhance visitors' experiences and are also appealing to museums because
of their relatively low cost and the potential for improving visitors'
learning experiences. Research has documented that visitors typically
remain at exhibits for only 30 seconds and museums are hoping that
experiences enhanced by RFID will dramatically increase this statistic.
Teams 3 & 4 - Please go into the google spreadsheet below and sign up to bring something for class next week (4/20). We decided to just go with general categories of Sweet, Salty and Drinks. That way you don't have to specify exactly what you're going to bring.
We actually would like to do some focus group interviews with you about the course . Here is what we would like to do ... for the first half of class (minus some housekeeping in the beginning), we will have you rotate out to be interviewed by Patricia in your teams.
While you are not being interviewed you can use the time to work on your final synthesis. Cole and I will be there to answer questions or provide guidance if you need it. Let us know if you have any questions, and you are free not to participate in the interviews if you would prefer not to.
Second Half of Class
Once we get through that we'll take a break and then turn class over to Team 4 to lead.
In brief, this article examines the strategy of moving Self and Peer Assessment (SAPA) for a class of 1000 students from a f2f reporting method to an online environment. It examines the efficiency, accuracy, and faster return for the results.
For our team synthesis we will be looking at and reflecting on current trends in education and alongside the discourses for our course, we will reflect on the impact that technologies have had in school design. For one of our resources I have looked at the TSSA ( Technology Standards for School Administrators) presented by Western Michigan University alongside with the International Society for Technology and Education. These standards were developed as a guide for administrators in their role for implementing technologies in schools. They present this as a collaborative effort to bring school leaders, teachers, school community, students and higher education faculty together for a consensus on what should be the "effective" use of technology.
The purpose of using this resource is to look at these standards and consider their purpose (both creation and usefulness). The link to the document is below.
When looking at these standards we considered the following queries: What is the role administrators play in the "effective" implementation of technologies? Does consensus help determine what is "effective"? How is the induction of technologies aid or hinder school reform?
Considering the role of technology and school leadership, we follow the usual practice of establishing standards in order to prescribe a consonant approach to schooling because it seems like the adequate road to efficiency. Considering school leadership roles as "managerial" and tying this to technology, it seems like a practical marriage. When looking at these standards, contemplate the following contentions.... Why standards? Are the traditional roles of school leaders evolving along with technological innovations in school practices? Should they? How are standards important in developing a consistent vision of education, community and society?
Sage, guide or ghost? The effect of instructor intervention on student participation in online discussion forums
Margaret Mazzoliniand Sarah Maddison
Received 13 May 2002;
accepted 18 September 2002. ;
Available online 22 January 2003.
This article takes a quantitative look at the potential causality of teachers' active 'prompts' to students' participation in an online interactive technological device. This article is interesting because it indicates teachers' involvement to students' participation isn't necessary a "plus" to the result teachers are looking for. It also brings up some interesting issues revolving about online discussion forum
"When I was trained to teach, I was trained to come up with a 45-minute lecture. ... But the essential thing was me giving you information," said McKnight. "They don't need that anymore. Students can find the information. Get them on Google, they can find it faster than I can give it out. ... They need to know how to think and how to create."
Piece in this past Sunday's Centre Daily Time about Philipsburg-Osceola School District dealing with new teaching methods. They have been dismissing students early on Wednesdays so teachers can focus on professional development. The description in the article sounds like the time is being used for the teachers to talk about their teaching with each other - very community of practice theory. The article sounds also highlights the familiar argument between those that think teaching styles need to change and those that don't.
One of the themes of my team's synthesis is the effect of technology on cross-cultural communication. Our hypothesis is that some of the technologies we have discussed in this class, such as the various social networking tools, can break down the boundaries between cultures and facilitate a mutual exchange of ideas that might not be possible if people of those two cultures had met for the first time face-to-face. Last week Scott challenged us to differentiate between culture and community, which we decided had some elements in common and several unique qualities. In the article I'm reviewing here, which outlines a framework for using technologies to help students learn about different cultures, the authors consider five perspectives on culture: culture as elemental (aspects of culture we're born into and grow up with); culture as relative (they do this, and we do this); culture as group membership (this touches on its relationship to community); culture as contested ("clash of cultures", "culture shock" p.109); and culture as individual (variable and multiple)". These are all summarized on page 112.
The paper outlines a series of studies designed to facilitate communication between students on different continents, and attempts to draw out a pedagogical framework by comparing and contrasting each of these studies. The technologies examined in each study are fairly mundane for this class - email, chat, discussion boards - but they do highlight several qualities of communication, such as synchronous vs. asynchronous, that had a direct effect on how students interacted. In one of the studies, students from Australia and Brazil talked about their cultures via email, which allowed students on each side time to construct their thoughts, and also to consider the cultural norms that governed how their counterparts responded. For instance, it was much more natural for Australians to reveal personal details about themselves (age, gender, family background, etc.) than the Brazilians. You can read the full paper if you want, but essentially it looks at details of how this interaction changed between the aforementioned technologies.
In terms of our group synthesis, I think there's some important lessons here that transfer to our understanding of community, identity, and design. There's quite a bit of information about things like resistance caused by cultural differences, the rules governing cultures that need to be respected by those that wish to have access to that culture, the risks to students when they are able to communicate so easily with people very different than them. I think these will factor into how we apply tools like social networking to issues of community and identity.
This article takes a look at the interaction of a culturally
diverse group of students working together on a group project at a university
in Australia. The article starts by mentioning that previous research has
shown that there is minimal interaction between different cultural groups in
universities. They also mention some previous research studies that have
shown the benefits that may come from multicultural interaction in group
work. The authors tried to address four questions with their study:
(1) How students' attitudes towards multicultural group work
change over the course of their undergraduate studies.
(2) The relationship between students' prior multicultural
experience and their attitudes towards multicultural group work.
(3) The extent to which students' expressed attitudes
towards multicultural group work determine whether they self-select into a
mixed or not-mixed group.
(4) How their attitudes change over the course of their
participation in a specific group project, and particularly whether their participation
in a mixed or non-mixed group has a bearing on the changes that are observed.
The study used a complicated scale to evaluate the
participants' responses. I am not sure if I fully understand what the
data means but the detail that went into it seems sound. The study
followed the students' feelings toward working with culturally diverse groups
as they went through their undergraduate education. In the summary of
their results the author indicate, "...our findings provide support for the view that
universities should take measures to promote culturally mixed group assignment
work in order to achieve the educational and social goals of
Whether it is a tape recorder, computer, mp3 player or iPad, the introduction of any technology tools into education will always involve answering the question, "Does using technology in schools raise student achievement?"
In Technology and Achievement: The Bottom Line, Harold Wenglinsky discussed the studies he conducted using National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) database, on whether or not technology does raise student's achievement.
Some of the key findings were:
Middle school students benefit when their teachers include computers into their teaching that in a manner that promotes higher-order thinking in specific content areas. High school students need to be able to deepen their thinking and enhance their work products through technology-driven processes that are the same in such diverse subjects as English, history, trigonometry, and physics.
More time doing school work on computers at home, led to higher scores on the NAEP assessment. However, those who spent more time on computers in school were likely to achieve a lower score on the NAEP. The finding seems to indicate that teachers can make better use of computers by having students complete such assignments at home rather than at school.
High school students should not plan their lessons around the computer, rather plan their lesson ordinarily and assume that students are going to involve the use of computers in a variety of ways because students exist in a technology-rich work environment where the use of technology is constant.
To boost student achievement, computers should not be placed at the centre; rather schools should make sure that students have "generic technology skills" which they will need to be able to apply in utilizing computers for learning across the curriculum.
Issues of assessments/evaluation/measurements have always been integral to the field of education. The rapid deployment of technologies however is challenging the field of assessment partially because some see computers and other technologies as tools where as others see them as learning environments in their own right - the same way a classroom is a learning environment. Resolving such distinctions may help inform approach to evaluation of achievements and measurements of effectiveness.
Reference: Wenglinsky, H. (2006) Technology and Achievement: The Bottom Line. Learning in the Digital Age December 2005/January 2006, Volume 63, Number 4, Pages 29-32. Retrieved from -http://www.hccsc.k12.in.us/technology/tip/Teachers%27%20Academy/The%20Bottom%20Line.pdf
There are three questions framing this synthesis: 1. Is the sense of belonging important in an educational setting? 2. Do students experience themselves as members of a community? 3. How do schools influence students' sense of community?
From the psychological perspective, students who experience acceptance feel more highly motivated and engaged in learning and more committed to school, which are closely linked to students performance and quality of learning. In addition, the sense of acceptance also affects the quality of relationships with others.
The research also tells us that conditions in the classroom and school influence students' feelings about themselves and their personal identity. McMillan and Chavis (1986) or Furman (1998) identify the sense of belongingness as the essence of community.
Organizational practices and policies also affect the development of students' sense of community. In general, interpersonal, instructional, and organizational strategies that support positive interaction among students and other members of the school community should enhance students' sense of community.
I'm 21, I can say with a lot of confidence that the 'books' that come to define my generation will be impossible to print. This is great.
This post relates to our class discussion last week on the interface conventions in the ibooks app - ebooks as a transitionary form between physical books and something new. I guess time will tell if the author is right or not.
Stevens, R. & Martell, S. T. (2003). Leaving a trace: Digital meta-exhibits for supporting visitors to represent and exchange their ideas about museum exhibits. Journal of Museum Education 28(2), 25-31.
Based on socio-cultural theory, the article discusses how museums can incorporate digital tools to include visitor feedback and impressions of exhibits and objects within a museum. The article is helpful to our Group 1 endeavor because it provides a discussion of the nonformal educational setting of a museum, which we are interested in, and how that setting can deviate from the traditional transmission model instructional approach to engage visitors in meaning making and learning.
Authors cite lack of infrastructure as one reason why museum (and formal schooling) environments perpetuate the transmission model of teaching. Elements like the "expert docent tour and the authoritative writings on wall and in catalogs" are examples of the existing infrastructure in place in museums that resists the progressive education constructivist models. The authors ask, "But what infrastructure do museums have to support an alternative image, one that allows for meanings made by visitors to be expressed, exchanged, reflected upon, and revised?" (p. 5).
The article talks extensively about the Traces Project, which began in 1994, and enables visitors to leave digital representations, or traces, of their interactions with museum objects. They can use already digitized images OR videotape themselves interacting with certain exhibits or objects. They then overlay their voice and/or gestures, and submit their trace to a threaded discussion format for other visitors to see. The benefits of this system are introduced by the authors as: allowing for conversation among visitors (where, according to socio-cultural theory, learning tends to happen), enabling visitors to interact in different ways with the things they are seeing as a way of making meaning, and providing visitors with a voice in a previously authoritarian environment.
In describing the theoretical impact of the Traces system, the authors reference Star and Greisemer (1989) who define the term boundary objects - a term we've become familiar with in light of Wenger's work. To Star and Greisemer, "Boundary objects are 'those scientific objects which both inhabit several intersecting social worlds and satisfy the informational requirements of each" (p. 16). This is relevant to the Traces Project because the traces themselves can be seen as boundary objects that reach out to the diverse worlds museumgoers represent.While it is clear that the authors are promoting the use of traces in museums, they attend to certain problematics that can be attributed to the systems as well - for example, if someone were to present a "wrong" interpretation of how a tornado system they just interacted with works. In the end, they make a valid argument for the use of systems like the Traces Project as a way of changing the museum going experience.
Sefton-Green, Julian. (2006) Youth, Technology, and Media Cultures. Review of Research in Education 2006 30: 279-306
This piece looks at the changing nature of research questions related to youth and media culture from approximately the last twenty years. In this time there is a shift from media being viewed as a force that acts upon a child's mind (usually in a negative sense) to being something that the child interacts with. Now media is approached as if "the relationship between individuals and social phenomena can be analyzed in the same way as pedagogy (i.e., as an interactive, iterative process rather than a simple, crude, "effect")." (283)
The author asks, ff interactions with media are now being characterized as part of learning, then how do we define formal or informal modes of learning? and is this even important? (298). "Research on media learning seems to find limited opportunities to negotiate with the regimes of more formal and narrowly defined schooling." (299). "The focus of the debate needs to turn away from what counts as learning towards who is doing the counting, when, how often, and so forth." (299)
Moss, Pamela A., Girard, Brian J., Haniford, Laura C. (2006) Validity in Educational Assessment. Review of Research in Education, 30: 109-162
This piece reviewed various theories related to assessment. One validity theory looks at assessment as something that should be tested like any scientific hypothesis to determine whether empirical evidence exists that a given assessment actually measures what it was designed to measure (115). What I wonder is how often educators actually do this? If not then isn't the test simply an end in itself, without any relation to the real world. Reminds me of education as simulation and simulacra in the Jean Baudrillard sense. One thing I wonder is that if we can gather evidence of learning to tell if assessment methods were valid, why bother with the assessment method in the first place? I guess it would be too costly? I currently do not know the methodology of assessing the assessment. Something for me to look in to.
The piece also looks at the role of participation and identity in learning (126 - 128). Participatory learning requires the formation of an identity related to someone that is willing to do what it takes to learn in school and to be a resource to other students (127). The authors look at one case study where the teacher collects evidence of both their ability to solve problems and their evolving identities and participation. Both assessments are needed in order to inform the direction of the day to day practice of teaching (128).
Bentley, Joanne P.H., Tinney, Mari Vawn, and Chia, Bing Howe. (2005). Intercultural Internet-Based Learning: Know Your Audience and What It Values. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(2). 117-127.
This article addresses the need for understanding of different cultures and the way they approach learning, specifically related to internet based learning. The authors propose 8 differentials that impact learners perception of quality in an online learning experience. The differentials include: (a) language, (b) educational culture, (c) technical infrastructure, (d) primary audience, (e) learning styles, (f) reasoning patterns, (g) cultural context, and (h) social context.
Some key points related to our discussion of culture, identity, and learning:
Many American training products use models that do not fit the varying teaching and learning styles of other cultures (Dunn & Griggs, 1995).
Thinking patterns in the form of reasoning, and approaches to problem solving are valued differently from culture to culture.
Many high-context international learners (typically from group-oriented cultures such as the Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Latin American, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, French, and Vietnamese) have difficulty using online courses prepared in the United States, because of both their limited ability in English and their conflicting learning preferences, which do not easily accommodate to using materials prepared by and for low-context culture users (those from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and most of Western Europe, including Scandinavia).
Differences in thinking patterns can lead to misunderstandings in intercultural communication and in education, because these affect students in how they interact with course content, in assumptions designers make in designing the course content, and in expectations about what courses offer and how to successfully complete them.
High-context learners require more social context in order to read the meaning of the communication and how to respond appropriately.
Zimmerman, H.T., Kanter, D.E., Ellenbogen, K., Lyons, L., Zuiker, S.J., Satwicz, T., Martell, S.T., Brown, M., Hsi, S., Smith, B.K., Phipps, M., Jordan, R., Weible, J., Gamrat, C., Loh, B., Ma, J. Technologies and Tools to Support Informal Science.
This paper asks a couple simple, yet key questions of the role of tools and technologies in supporting informal science learning. The questions asked in this paper are:
- How can learning technologies, tools, spaces, and places be designed to support learners within and across environments?
- How do these studies of learning technologies provide insight into how to support learners, not only within settings but also across environments?
- How can these learning technologies support field-level collaboration across institutional lines of practitioner, researcher, and evaluator?
In order to answer these questions, the authors of this paper looked at the role of tools that are used to support the learning processes in informal spaces including but not limited to, access to, and distribution of, information, feedback and reflection, and social interaction.
Through a session funded by NSF titled Building Capacity and Collaboration at the Intersection of the Learning Sciences and Informal Science Education, researchers came up with eight different exemplars to answer the above questions. The exemplars that they came up with are as follows:
1. Using the demand for data in a project-based science curriculum to bridge high school biology classrooms and an informal science center.
2. Rain Table: Visualization technology using complex datasets that allows learners to control and follow water flow across the Earth's surface.
3. Mobile devices transforming the museum experience: Opportunistic user interfaces to exhibits.
4. Cyber-stretching: The Taiga biome around kids' worlds.
5. Understanding the pieces of knowledge in informal learning environments.
6. Using digital photography on an Internet portal to extend and enrich outdoors learning experiences.
7. Innovate Tools and Student Perceptions of Technology: Owl Tracking and GIS Mapping with Fifth and Sixth Graders
8. Take a Stand: Creating an immersive social experience with people tracking, 3D game technology, and interactive storyteling.
Merchant, G. (2006). Identity, Social
Networks and Online Communication. E-Learning.
literature on digital culture, identity in online communication has
attracted considerable attention by focusing on the fact that there is
something about changing patterns and practices of interaction through new
media that raises important questions about social identity. Merchant
argues that this interest is concerned with two considerations: one related to
the affordances of the technology itself, and the other based on an account of
the wider social conditions in which new technology is embedded.
explanation derives from an acknowledgement of the impact of the recent and
rapid increase in alternatives to face-to-face communication. With the new
technology that makes people communicate with those who are geographically
remote, online environments became a place that enable us to interact in
different ways than previously imaginable and also provide a context for new
kinds of identity performance or have helped to create a new kind of person.
latter explanation derives from a broader view of the contemporary social
context. Wide-reaching changes in the society, which have had both
global and local impact, produced the necessity and the desire to create and
maintain new kinds of social networks. The changes required the development of
particular communicative tools and new possibilities for constructing and
performing social identities have emerged.
By exploring the shift in social organization from location-based communities to globalized networks, the author suggests that we develop a richer view of the varied contexts and audiences for identity performance.
Xiao, Lu., & Carroll, J. (2007). Fostering an informal learning community of computer technologies at school. Behaviour & Information Technology, 26(1). 23-36.
This article describes an online course design project in which a group of students designed an online health course for their middle school and teachers played the roles of facilitators and learners. During the project process, the students learned to use the open source courseware Moodle and designed the course website. The authors point out that learning progressions from informal learning activities can be classified into four categories (Foster, 1997).
wPersonal progression where participants gain greater confidence and self-esteem, thus increasing self-efficiency, achieving better understanding of subjects, changing career plans, and improving literacy;
wSocial progression where participants create a wider social network and increase community participation;
wEconomic progression where participants get better jobs and better pay; and
wEducational progression where participants continue learning in a more systematic and intentional way (p. 34).
This online course design project led to significant self-development outcomes such as greater "autonomy, improved personal and social skills, and significantly increased self-confidence and self-esteem" (p. 34).
School is formal learning community where "the learning in question will be much more restricted and externally defined than an informal learning community" (p. 26). The implication of designing a community website supports an informal learning community in terms of bridging school and non-school life by encouraging students to engage in authentic activities. This article suggests that fostering an informal learning community of computer technologies at school as "a supplemental method of formal computer education to address the shift in educational context and as a place offering opportunities for students to work on real-life projects and solve real-life problems" (p. 34).
Resnick, M., & Cooke, S. (2009). Origins and guiding principles of the Computer
Clubhouse. In Y. B. Kafai, K. A. Peppler & R. N. Chapman (Eds.), The Computer Clubhouse: Constructionism and
Creativity in Youth Communities (pp. 17 - 25). New York: Teachers College Press.
Our team is researching the topic
of technology in informal/non-formal education settings and this article
discusses a particular program that is based specifically on the use of
technology.The program, called
Computer Clubhouse, was started over 15 years ago in response to youth's
interest in a hands-on program that had taken place at the Computer Museum in
Boston. In the article the authors discuss the principles that were used to
found the program and which still heavily influence it today. These principles
speak directly to our course topics of community, identity, and design.
The first principle is to support learning through design
experiences.The authors believe
that "too many educational initiatives try to transmit or deliver information
to learners" (p. 18) so this principle, based on constructionism, seeks to
allow learning to be a creative process, where learners are creating something
that is meaningful to themselves or others around them.The authors include the creative design
spiral (see below) to illustrate the process that Clubhouse members use when
working on projects.
The second principle of the Clubhouse is to help members build on their
own interests.As the authors
state, "helping youth develop their interests is not just a matter of letting
them do what they want... they need support to make [their] fantasies come true"
(p. 20).Under this
principle, technology (specifically the computer) is used in many different
domains, allowing students to try out a variety of things like music, art, math
and science. Students are encouraged to develop their own identities through
exposure to a wide variety of activities.
The third principle is to cultivate an emergent community of
learners.The typical computer lab
closely resembles the first of the two pictures that we (Team 1) posted in
class on Tuesday.Computer
Clubhouse spaces are designed to have the feel of a creative design studio and
to facilitate students (and students and mentors) working together.Communities emerge over time based on
common interests and students are able to "float" in and out of communities at
any time as their interests develop/change.The communities include mentors from diverse cultural and
academic/professional backgrounds, which allows students to be exposed to
people who are working on things that they care about.This may be something that these students
do not get to experience outside of the Clubhouse environment.
The final principle of the Clubhouse is to create an environment of
respect and trust.None of the
other principles can be put into practice without this type of environment.Students need a place where they feel
safe to try new things and where they will not be criticized for their ideas or
The Clubhouse provides a good
model for a successful informal/non-formal education program that integrates
technology.In my opinion, it also
provides a good model that formal education should try to embrace.I often wonder why some
schools/teachers tend to see things like respect for students and their
interests and the development of community as less than important in the traditional school setting.If these principles were applied in "regular" school
settings, perhaps more students would be successful and see school in a
2 Main goals: By 2020, 1)
raise the proportion of college graduates from 39% to 60%. 2) Get all
students, regardless of race, income, or neighborhood, to graduate from
We need to rethink 3 things: learning, assessment, and teaching.
There is a drive to rethink learning as connections and collaborations
(much as Wenger believes, or Siemens). There should be core
competencies, but students should get tailored learning experiences
according to their interests. Students should be connected to parents,
experts, others via technology. Assessment should be non-intrusive,
formative, and real-time. Teachers should use technology to improve
their own practice, by learning from others.
Rethink assumptions: 1)
Why should education be seat-based or time-based? Why not organize
around competency rather than rigid semesters/years? Why not do other
schedules instead of "you have to be in your seat at 7:30 until 10"? 2)
Why group students together by age? Why not by competency? 3) Why group
students into separate academic classes? Why not combine math and
reading together? 4) Why are classes all the same size?
Goals put forth by the
administration (that I think are relevant to our class): 1. Revise, create, and
adopt standards and learning objectives...that reflect 21st century
expertise and the power of technology to improve learning. 2. Design, develop, and
adopt technology-based content, resources, and online learning
communities that create opportunities for educators to collaborate for
more effective teaching. 3. Develop and adopt a
common definition of productivity in education and more relevant and
meaningful measures of learning outcomes and costs. 4. Rethink basic
assumptions in our education system that inhibit leveraging technology
to improve learning. 5. Design, implement, and evaluate technology-powered programs
that ensure our students progress through K-16 and emerge prepared for
the workplace and citizenship.
Sorry for the late posting. I just experienced a
frustrating technology meltdown and realized how important it is to back up the
system whenever you can. If you haven't done it, do it now.
I used ProQuest from the library to start a massive
survey about the articles that are related to student participation and its
assessment. Even though my original idea was to gain some insights for
teachers' assessment, the focus of students' assessment in this article seems
to me as important as that of the teachers. So, here you are...
Trees, A. R. & Jackson, M. H. (2007, March). The
learning environment in clicker classrooms: student processes of learning and
involvement in large university-level courses using student response systems. Learning, Media and Technology 32 (1), 21-40.
Online (In-Text) Abstract:
explore what social and educational infrastructure is needed to support
classroom use of student response systems (Roschelle et al., 2004), this study investigated the ways in which student
characteristics and course design choices were related to students' assessments
of the contribution of clicker use to their learning and involvement in the
classroom. Survey responses of over 1500 undergraduates enrolled in seven large
enrollment 'clicker courses' offered by three university departments are
analyzed. A number of factors contribute to students' positive perception of
clickers: a desire to be involved and engaged, a view that traditional lecture
styles are not best, valuing of feedback, class standing, previous experience
with lecture courses, anticipated course performance, and amount of clicker use
in the classroom. These results underscore the importance of considering social
and communication elements of the classroom when adopting student response
Instead of viewing large classroom in higher education
as an undesirable classroom management, the researchers force readers
(educators) to admit the inevitableness of large classes. I ponder on this a
lot. As an education research, should I critically think about improvement based on the status quo or to change the status quo? Is it
impossible/difficult/inappropriate to change it? The article also recognizes
the difficulties for both teachers' engaging students and students' involvement
in class. Clickers, according to the article, is a very simple and effective
tool to allow both teachers and students to have certain access to the
interactivity of the courses. With
little attempt to claim that Clickers or similar technology response systems
are effective in engaging students fully, the data within show the potential of
it. People might hold some doubts to its use of multiple choice questions as
the measurement, but this seems to be a good starting point to involve more
students in class engagement.
Economies of Identity: Cultural Studies and a Curriculum of Making Place
Robert J Helfenbein Jr, Journal of Curricular Theorizing; Summer 2006; 22, 2; ProQuest Education Journals pg. 87
This article outlines the results of a study focusing on students use of an after-school computer lab in an urban area, and touches on ideas of power and place-making, or how these students interacted with and adapted this space to do what they needed to do, as well as how that space impacted the formation of their own identity. This might seem like a strange choice of articles, but I feel that much of the ideas the authors discuss are to some degree applicable to both physical spaces and virtual spaces.
The authors used "critical geography" to analyze and make meaning of the qualitative data they collected. Critical geography concerns the interrelationships of space, place, and identity. They differentiate space and place as the former being a physical concept and place meaning "the localized community":
"Space constructed through discursive, interpretive, lived, and imagined practices becomes place." (p.93)
Like Wenger, they highlight the importance of borders, and the fact that borders are permeable and mutable, constantly being negotiated, and not guaranteed to exist from moment to moment.
Much of the discussion is related to the negotiation of identity with the context of these spaces/places. Like McLuhan and Fiore, they point out that the medium, or characteristics of a space, can affect the message being transmitted through the space - it is important to remember that a message isn't directly transmitted from one brain to another. Thus it is important to remember that the design of spaces directly impacts the lives and the learning of students.
"social structures can no more be understood without some conception of the spatial than can the spatial be analyzed without inclusion of the social" (p.93)
Critical geography is also concerned with culture, and how places relate to and support the norms of a culture or multiple cultures, and even how in some cases (especially in the population being studied here) students are just as engaged in culture-making as they are place-making during their time in this computer lab. These last concepts best tie into what my team is exploring now.
Introducing Identity is the first chapter in a book called Youth,
Identity, and Digital Media, published as part of a MacArthur foundation series
on Digital Media and Learning.In this
chapter, David Buckingham introduces the idea of identity, and briefly
describes how identity will be addressed in subsequent chapters, as well as how
the theories and approaches to studying identity can be tied in with digital
Buckingham initially discusses the ambiguity of the term
identity, something that was a recurring topic in our group discussions.He presents the idea that definitions of
identity are strained between the thought that identity is something fixed,
unique to each individual, and consistent (as in the case of a national identity
card), and the paradoxical understanding that identity implies a relationship
with a broader social group (nation, culture, gender, etc)."One
one level, I am the product of my unique personal biography.Yet who I am (or who I think I am) varies
according to who I am with, the social situations in which I find myself, and
the motivations I may have at the time, although I am by no means entirely free
to choose how I am defined. " (p 1)Our
group is considering identity,possibly
through the lens of cultural differences, so this quote caught my
attention.I'm still considering how it
applies in inter-cultural situations, but I liked the idea that I think I am
someone,which may be different than who
I actually am to others, and I define myself by what I do and with whom, but am
still not free to entirely choose how I am defined.
Buckingham goes on to introduce the five key approaches to
thinking about identity, which are subsequently addressed in full chapters of
the book.The first two approaches are
specific to youth: Identity Formation and Youth Culture.The first is a psychological look at
identity, while the second is a sociological view.Identity formation includes references to
work from Erik Erikson (1968) and James Marcia, who viewed adolescence as a
period of "identity crisis," a time in which a person considers potential life
choices and make an investment in certain decisions.Marcia details statuses of identity, which
represent different positions throughout the process.Erikson considers adolescence as a "psychosocial
moratorium" in which young people can experiment with different potential
identities.Buckingham states that
digital media can help to exemplify this process - allowing students a variety
of forums in which they can put forth or create different identities.The sociological perspective focuses more on
the culture of youth, and the process of socialization.Buckingham refers to research by Steven
Miles and Andy Bennett, which "suggests that contemporary youth cultures are
increasingly diverse and fragmented, and that they are best seen not as a
matter of self-contained 'subcultures' but in a more fluid way, as 'scenes' or 'lifestyles'
to which young people may be only temporarily attached."
The third section is about social identity - individual and
group, something that came up in our group discussions about "core identity"
and "socially-situated identity".The
article begins an interesting discussion about whether there is an individual identity
and a group identity.In reference to
Erving Goffman's work from the 1950's, Buckingham challenges his idea that the personal
identity is somehow more "truthful" than the social identity.This discussion is of interest to me, and I
will likely find and read the chapter dedicated to this idea.
The fourth approach to identity is politics - social power.There is a field of study specific to
identity politics.The idea is that
questions of identity are inevitably tied up with the issue of social
status.Identity politics calls for "recognition
of aspects of identity that have previously been denied, marginalized, or
stigmatized" (p7).The interesting part
of this section to me is that identity politics is interested in identity
because of a difference, not in spite of that difference.Buckingham notes that this is dangerous,
because the claim to authenticity is based on opposition with another
identity.It also risks fixing identity
based on historical origins or characteristics, and ignoring diversity.As related to digital media, it's possible
that online environments help to alleviate identity politics.However, I just heard recently that in some
gaming environments, there are effectively racist behaviors, not based on the
player's actual identity, but on that which is selected to be a characteristic
of the game avatar.
The final approach is identity in social theory.Buckingham introduces Anthony Giddens'
argument that identity is changing in "late modern" societies.Giddens claims that the beliefs and practices
historically associated with formation of identity are not as strong in
society, and thus individuals are making independent choices about appearance,
life destinations, and relationships - choices which have not always been
available in the past.Giddens sees
identity as fluid and malleable, rather than fixed.Buckingham then introduces additional
(sometimes contrasting) arguments.Foucault discusses a shift in social power from being held by sovereign authorities
to being held in social relationships - individuals regulate themselves and
others, rather than being regulated by an outside entity.
After introducing the remaining chapters of the book,
Buckingham addresses some broad points about how we understand digital technology,
youth, and learning.First, he addresses
technology determinism, discussing both the idea that technology emerges from a
neutral process of scientific research and development.It is seen as an autonomous force independent
of human society and acts upon it from the outside.The opposing viewpoint is that technology is
shaped entirely by existing social relations.Technology is simply a matter of what people make of it, with no
inherent qualities or values.The next
section is about rethinking the digital generation -the author warns of adopting either extreme
when discussing youth, or the digital generation - one extreme being that
technology is threatening or destroying childhood, social interaction, and
causing addiction, obesity, antisocial behavior, stunted imaginations, etc, and
the other extreme being that technology is a force of liberation, creating a
generation that is more open, creative, democratic, and innovative than any
other.The final section of the
chapter discusses digital media and places of learning, addressing points that
technology is or is not capable of creating authentic learning
Buckingham, David. "Introducing Identity." Youth, Identity, and Digital Media. Edited by David Buckingham. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA. The MIT Press, 2008. 1-24.
Hall, R. (2009). Towards a Fusion of Formal and Informal Learning Environments: the Impact of the Read/Write Web. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 7(1), 29-40.
This article argues that the read/write web should be used proactively by educators to enable learners to fuse "their situated, informal and formal educational spaces, and thereby enhance the production of educational output" (p. 30). As we know, since the impact of read/write web, or web 2.0 on learner engagement within higher education is a central focus of current e-learning research, the implications of the read/write web is reconsidered in the light of "extending environments for situated, informal education, and of addressing the blurring of the boundaries between personal, social spaces and formal learning contexts" (p. 29). The author states that these tools/technology enable spaces for learners "to extend their own formal learning into more informal places though the fusion of web-based tools into a task-oriented personal learning environment within educational contexts" (p.29). That is, by utilizing these tools/technologies, learners can create new spaces and contexts for enriching formal education through informal activities, where learners are empowered to make decisions about the tools that support their personal approaches to learning. In addition, importantly, the article says that learners are able to develop further "control over their learning experiences" and move towards their own "subject-based mastery" (p. 39), positively extending participation and the development of critical literacy.
Carter, Prudence (2006). Straddling boundaries:
Identity culture and school. Sociology of
Education 79, 304-328
Race, ethnicity, culture, and identity play a
role to all students. This study investigated what these four factors to do
with participants' perception on school, education, and identity of their own.
Four research questions are asked: How do low-income African American and
Latino youths negotiate the boundaries between school andpeer group contexts? Do variable forms of
negotiation exist? If so, what are they, and how dothey manifest? The researcher classified
participants into three groups: the cultural mainstreamers, the cultural
straddlers, and the noncompliant believers based on their perspective in their
behaviors to themselves and their peers regarding language, dress, music,
friendship, political attitudes and so forth.
The cultural mainstreamers incorporate themselves in schools and beyond.
Cultural straddlers move between mainstream worlds and their peers.
Noncompliant believers criticize mainstream worlds and maintain their specific
cultural styles. The findings found four insights of the relationship of
identity and schooling. First, though participants share similar socioeconomic
background very in their attitudes and behaviors toward acting white
phenomenon. Second, participants who are labeled as acting white vary in
achievement levels. Third, resistance to acting white has a broader meaning
than it ascribed in the literature. Resistance to acting white is mainly about
adhering to culture styles that are not perceived to achievement and social
mobility. Fourth, high achieving minority students may be more likely to be
exposed to styles that are deemed white. Cultural straddlers seem to be able to
traverse the boundaries among multiple cultural environments and build their multidimensional
Ogbu, John U. "Understanding Cultural Diversity and
Learning." Educational Researcher
21.8 (1992). American Educational
Research Association. Web. 30 Mar. 2010.
Our group has
decided to take a look at cultural issues in the formation of identity.This article, written by John Ogbu,
talks about the relationships that exist between minority cultures and the
American mainstream culture. Minorities with different cultural frame to the American
mainstream culture have greater difficulty crossing cultural boundaries at
school to learn.
One point in the
article stood out to me regarding communities.Ogbu says that "What the children bring to school-their communities'
cultural models or understandings of "social realities" and the
educational strategies that they, their families, and their communities use or
do not use in seeking education are as important as within-school factors."I believe this is an important part of
schools in the United States that is overlooked sometimes.The design of our curriculum does not
always address cultural and community differences, making it difficult for some
students to identify with their school and perform well.
Russo, A., Watkins, J., and Groundwater-Smith, S. (2009). The impact of social media on informal learning in museums. Educational Media International. (46)2, 153-166.
for young people is embedding itself in social behaviour. As a result the
knowledge economy is becoming more diffuse" (p.5).
In this article, the authors discuss how digital and social networking technologies can be used in informal/nonformal educational settings, like museums, to increase visitor participation and agency. They argue that just as formal educational institutions need to move away from the traditional, transmission models of learning, so should the more informal education venues. By understanding how people (they target young people - students in K-12) learn with technology, museums should incorporate more opportunities for participatory design and collaborative practices and that "Existing transmission models of learning may not take into account the ability to share resources for the purpose of reflection" (p.4). They emphasize the fact that with wikis, blogs, and other social media comes a new form of knowledge sharing that both formal and informal sites of learning must utilize. "Social media technologies have broadened learning options, shifting the focus from individual/institutional custodianship to participatory relationships where those involved in the learning process are seeking and sharing new knowledge" (p. 4). In this way, the authors argue, power structures and visitor agency are shifted.
The authors maintain that museums can successfully incorporate social media to enhance the understanding and learning of visitors. They cite Brooklyn Museum as an exemplary site for this framework because of their avid use of Myspace and Flickr to encourage visitor messaging and photo uploading in an unstructured way. Through this, the authors maintain that audience participation is valued. "Social media have the potential to encourage participation in a sector of learning which has historically been uni-directional; shifting from knowledge transmission to audience engagement and participation" (p. 8). They go on to analyze participation and social media, citing benefits like incentive, content sharing, and personalization.
The article I read is "Evolution of the Mind: A Case for Design Literacy," by Chris Pacione from the School of Design Carnegie Mellon University. Pacione argues that the conclusion of the first decade in the 21st century will take with it the information age; what will result from the "new mind shift" will be the design age.
In the design age, which has also been described as the "conceptual age", "creative age" and "innovative culture, " design will no longer belong to professional designers (e.g., industrial, graphic, interface, fashion), but will be in the hands of the masses, the same way that mathematics is in the hands of all and not only mathematicians.
Pacione argues that the communal ownership of mathematics led to a "math literate" population, in which individuals are able to perform calculations needed to solve everyday problems at home or work. This shared knowledge did not however detract from mathematicians who have the skills to compute quadratics equation and other complex calculations. Similarly, a "design literate" population will posses "skills in inquiry, evaluation, ideation, sketching, and prototyping;" where individuals do not need to have expert knowledge "graphic or industrial designer might employ, such as typography, color theory, or CAD, but basic skills that are well within the full range of everyone's cognitive and kinesthetic capabilities and serve our everyday needs" (pg.9).
Discussion: Conversation on design and who is a designer will become more common as creation technologies become more, available, affordable, and easier to use. In that regard, anyone can be a designer because anyone can create.
The proliferation of technology has created a more enlightened, "design literate" consumer; one who is more evaluative and will not simply accept everything and anything created by "the experts". The benefit of a design literate population as described by Pacione, should create customers or consumers who are able to better articulate the needs and desires that they would like to be met by whatever is being design and there by resulting in a much more mutually beneficial partnership.
One of the question I am still left with is, are the consumer/customers of education design literate?
Reference: Pacione, C. (2010). Evolution of the mind: a case for design literacy, Interactions Magazine, Volume 17, Issue 2, - March/April 2010
I have been searching and browsing through various databases on the PSU library's website looking for articles to start rounding out my experience with this class. I have a slew of pdfs and citations saved. Not sure how I am going to move through these. Before I get to writing about the specific articles, I thought I'd post a little bit about the process. I have come to view scholarly publishing as a slow web. Articles exist situated in a web formed by bibliographies, and tend to be somewhat dialogic with other pieces they reference. Instead of URLs you can click on, you get citations which you have to search for and content may or may not be available without physically traveling to a library. I find I don't have the tools yet to determine which pieces are of a higher quality than others. On the web, I approach content with some skepticism, but I can quickly search to find many opinions and use the to formulate my own approach. It is much harder to do this with the slow web. Perhaps as I am newcomer to this world, I still don't have the skill to tell the difference between a academic nigerian scammer email and an academic wikipedia article. I am fascinated by this alternate, hidden world of information and dialogue and I hope to spend years to come exploring it.
Here is the piece I chose to read to this week:
Väljataga, T., & Fiedler, S. (2009). Supporting students to self-direct intentional learning projects with social media. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (3), 58-69.
This article describes a course similar to this disruptive technologies course in that it is based around participation in social media and has a content related to education. The course described in the article seemed to have more of a bent towards distance learning and purely technology-mediated interactions. I am curious if formal self-directed learning experiences can act as a scaffold to move students into the entirely self-motivated, self-managed informal education that can happen on the internet.
Merchant, G. (2009). Web 2.0, new literacies, and the idea of learning through participation. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, Volume 8, Number 3, pp. 107-122
The author, among other things, uses flickr as a specific example of community learning around a shared practice, in this case images. This is interesting to my because I observed many interactions in flickr centered around informal learning and teaching. I think there is something interesting happening there that may deserve to be understood in greater detail.
Still, both these pieces are very specific to certain tools and limited experiences. I'd like to find a way to tie all this together with the broader questions of "what is knowledge?", "what is learning?"
In the first paper, the author considers "community" as a feeling of warmth and joy, which gives rise to thoughts of mutuality, camaraderie, and trust. A school community is an assemblage of the people intimately attached to each other, including teachers, administrators, students, and students' families. He pulled into diffirent definitions of school community, such as Frank Belcastro's calling upon the PTA to serve as a broker of community-building efforts in the school; or Samuel Peng's drawing the public library into school community orbit, etc. On the basis of three constructs: a) the school as a community b) the school in the community and c) the school and the community, the author pulls into different researchers' lens and considers the school as a) a community, b) an entity within larger sets of communities, and c) inclusive of smaller communities within itself.
The second paper is based on school reform because of the awareness of changing students' learning community to a wider globalization one. The paper address the qualities of a learning organization and educational leaders' tasks, changing the goals of the organization and promoting school as a learning community so that learning could become a lifelong endeavor and is rewarded for all participants. The autuor uses many references to develop his vision. One is from Wenger (1999) that workers function most effectively as communities of practice, which focuses on the environment that fasters learning and change by each member of the community, operating in an open and interdependent work environment (p.115). In addition, Hiatt-Michael proposes four essential elements for a learning community and describes in detail with two examples: a servant leader, a shared moral purpose, a sense of trust and respect among all members and an open environment for collaborative decision-making. Also he categorizes the ways to create a learning community into three phases via some detailed examples: a) encompassing moral purpose of the organization, b) creating an open work environment and c) evaluation of efforts. Finally he states that decentralization is a key to a school becoming a learning community, which must be a win-win situation for all involved.
Is the experience of belongingness important for students in an educational setting?
How do schools influence students' sense of community?
Do students currently experience school as a community?
When I was reading Wenger, I had to keep reminding myself that I was to apply what I reading to students and the educational system. I had a hard time equating a community of practice to the school community. Why is this? Did anyone else find this to be a problem? I had absolutely no problem relating the readings to my own experiences as a member in a work community, but as a member of the school community...what? What does that mean? Maybe it's just me. I don't ever remember thinking of myself as being part of a community while I was moving through my K-12 education.
This paper really spoke to me in the sense that it focused on community through the lens of a student. "...one of the most fundamental reforms needed in secondary or high school education is to make schools into better communities of caring and support for young people." Treat students like human beings? What? Why should we care about their comfort in school? Aren't they there to learn? These thoughts can be attributed to "an institutionalized set of beliefs about schooling." The culture of school, and the practices within, lend themselves to nurturing the individual and promoting competition, rather than collaboration and community building. Dewey stated that the quality of education is "realized in the degree in which individuals form a group." When teachers and students collaborate in an educational community, learning occurs.
Focusing on individualism and creating competition among students can create an environment where there is an immense amount of pressure of a student to do well. With the wide range of student skills and abilities that can be present in a single classroom, how can this practice be beneficial for everyone? Doesn't this practice further divide the students in a class instead of building a community? Imagine if you were one of the "below average", or even an average student, and you were in classes with advanced students and made to feel as though you need to be competitive with them. How would this affect your self-efficacy and subsequently your performance as a student? The counter argument is that students' need for belongingness is, or should be, adequately covered in the home and social environment; that it is not the responsibility of the school to make the students feel all warm and fuzzy. So then why are we so surprised when our students are disengaged in the classroom? Taking them out of their "normal" environment and throwing them into this school environment is like blindfolding them, spinning them around, and expecting them to be able to hit a moving target with a stick; except it's not as fun and there is no candy reward.
This paper was structured as a literature review of studies done on the subject of students and feeling a sense of community in an educational study. Here's the conclusion they came to: "belongingness is an extremely important concept...it has a far reaching impact on human motivation and behavior." Really? It seems silly to me that we needed a study to tell us this; it seems like such a basic concept to me. So, why do we need studies like this to tell us what we already know? A part of me feels that articles like this are not really geared toward teachers. I think these papers are written in the hopes that those in charge, whoever they may be, will see this and start to rethink the way the educational system is designed, or that teachers may read this and become inspired to try to make a change. One of the many things that nags me about the educational system is the fact that students are driven to be so competitive with one another and are singled out by their individual achievements and talents. When does this happen in the work environment? Aren't we expected to be a "people person" when we apply for a job and work with other members in that community of practice? So why do we not design schools to be managed this way? I think about these things and I keep coming back to the same answers...assessments, standardized testing, meeting AYP...uuuggggghhh!! Why?!?! Realistically, where do we start if we want to make change? Who are these all powerful people in charge? Teachers? Administrators? Society?
I know that I raised a lot of questions in this "summary", but these are all things are are bugging me and I would like to hear what other people think. Maybe there is someone out there that can clear all this up for me; after all I have never taught in a classroom before so maybe I'm missing something. Besides, who really wants to read a loooong boring summary of a paper? I'd rather have a discussion about the issues raised within the paper.
Bull, G., Thompson, A., Searson, M., Garofalo, J., Park, J., Young, C., Lee, J., (2008) Connecting informal and formal learning: Experiences in the age of participatory media. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education 8(2)
This article explains how new media devices such as YouTube, Wikipedia, blogs and social networks have "boomed" with users over the past couple years. The majority of users on many of these new media outlets are teenagers. New media is constantly being created by school students outside of the schools but has to be developed within the school. Several reasons why creative expression media has yet to be developed inside of the schools are as follows:
-School content must address specific learning objectives.
- Many learning objectives are subject to time constraints.
- Addition of technology can increase the complexity of classroom management.
- Schools are heavily invested in print technologies and often constrain the use of Internet access in ways that limit the access to online media tools.
- Teachers have limited models for effective integration of media in their teaching.
- Only limited research is available to guide best practice.
One of the main reasons why new media technology has not been introduced into school is because of the added complexity of the technology along with the time constraints in the classroom. Since the technology is new and requires practice to learn, finding time for the practice to learn how to use the new technology may be hard to find. One possible solution to this problem is informal learning.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) defines informal learning as "learning and engagement that occurs outside formal school settings." Informal learning is shaped around the identity of the learner where the learner is able to pick the settings that he or she wants to learn in that conform to their identity. The informal learning can occur in youth club settings, museums, or online communities where multiple identities can be merged into one.
One of the best ways to link informal learning to formal settings in school is to have educators design pedagogies that "bridge" the in-school and out-of-school learning experiences. However, when designing these pedagogies one must keep in mind that learning objectives must be maintained and met.
Kosmitzki, C. (1996). The Reaffirmation of Cultural Identity in Cross-Cultural Encounters. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 22, No. 3, 238-248.
This article focuses on the importance of cultural identity for individuals which might be challenged and potentially modified in the context of intercultural contact.
Based on the assumption that social groups represent the crucial link between social environment and individual identity, the author presupposes
that changes in the larger cultural environment would have profound consequences for cultural groups.
To examine whether intergroup contact facilitates cultural identification with the "native cultural group", or whether cultural contact facilitates identification with the "nonnative cultural group", bicultural group and monocultural group of German and English were participated in the study.
The results show that intercultural contact did not seem to facilitate the acquisition of perception and identity of the nonnative culture. Rather, bicultural individuals tended to reaffirm their original cultural identity regardless of their nationality.
Measuring Assessment: A method for
investigating undergraduate assessment
A.C. Crook Centre for
the Development of Teaching and Learning The University of Reading,
J.R. Park School of Agriculture, Policy and Development The
University of Reading, UK
Measuring Assessment: A method for investigating undergraduate
assessment, the authors focused on the assessment strategies
implemented in undergrad courses. The authors wanted to investigate how
students were being assessed, what types of assessments were used, and
the quality of the feedback they received on those assessments. Two
groups of students were asked to keep an electronic assessment diary in
they logged various bits of information including the type of
assessment, when it was due, if it was team based or an individual
assignment, and what percent it was worth in relation to the overall
final grade for the course. The findings conveyed that the instructors
chose 'conservative' assessment methods for their courses which mainly
focused on writing assignments, presentations, and exams.
TRUST IN TEACHERS: A MOTIVATING ELEMENT TO LEARNING
Michael W. Corrigan* Marshall University
Paul E. Chapman** West Virginia University
This article discerns data collection methods that inform the creation of an interesting instrument and scale. This is a possible component to respond to the 'need' to measure participation in coursework.
Romi, S. & Schmida, M.
(2009). Non-formal education: a major educational force in the postmodern
era. Cambridge Journal of Education 39(2),
257 - 273.
In this article the authors attempt to define and
operationalize the term non-formal education(NFE) more clearly than they believe has been done in the past.Citing authors such as Dewey and
Kahane, they define NFE as an educational-pedagogical activity that takes place
outside of school, free of the structural and formal conditions usually present
in school, and in which people participate by choice.According to the authors, the main differences between NFE
and formal education are more flexibility, greater freedom of space and time,
and the use of "'quality norms' rather than 'regulatory and punitive approaches'"
(p. 269) in NFE.The authors also
discuss the impact of NFE on participants' identities, stating that, "NFE aims,
to a great extent, to help adolescents cope with their struggle toward forming
their personal identity" (p. 266) and that NFE "enables group members to assume
different roles, and even different identities, according to changing
conditions" (p. 267).Finally, the
authors discuss the use of technology in NFE.They believe that technology can support NFE through the
formation of computerized learning environments, providing learners with
success that may not be attainable in traditional formal settings.Technology can also support NFE through
the application of distance education, specifically in areas where formal
education may be lacking.