micro-reflection

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Community:
I feel like our learning community is just beginning to hit its stride. While it's always good to have a break after several months of intense work, it would be nice to be able to continue this momentum (as a community) into subsequent weeks and months. Similar to a Design Studio concept (e.g., Schon), what kinds of creative artifacts could we develop if we were to sustain this community? [or would we drive each other crazy?]

Identity:
Identity is dynamic, ... in flux, and mine was certainly impacted by the experiences in this course. While I occasionally blog and tweet, the class got pushed my thinking more intently about identity as its reflected on the web. How comfortable am I with sharing work I do for academic credit with anyone out there on the open Inter-webs? How does that corresponding level of comfort facilitate or impede my willingness to share? How do my perceptions of the expectations held by other readers/viewers influence the direction, scope and spirit of what I share? In part, I believe the fluidity of the web should allow for a place where "rough draft" thinking can take place -- e.g., get it out there and get some feedback from people and then use the community feedback to refine and iterate. But this is likely the ideal side of my identity.

Design:
How can we not be inspired by having classes in the new Library Commons or Krause Innovation Studio?

Dan 2.0

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(a clear copywrite violation)

Like many of my graduate experiences, this course was a challenge in relating to students much older than myself...a challenge in identifying with the group, perhaps. As a youngster, the biggest frustration that I had was that all of these "old" people seemed to be more tech saavy than myself. They had all the latest disruptive gadgets and they were using them in ways beyond my understanding....but this isn't just another course on technology...

The theoretical pieces that we read over the last fifteen weeks and the projects we have worked on together have changed the way I view human interaction, the education system and my responsibilities as a future educator. I am a little frightened to be a summer away from being thrown into an education system where identity, community, and design aren't on people's minds on a weekly basis. I am scared to be going back to high school. Am allowed to blog there? Will there be teachers that share my new way of thinking about what a learning space should look like? Will I be an outsider or a radical? The identity crisis will begin once again.

I think that all of our trajectories have been drastically changed with the experiences we have shared as a community this semester. I hope that we will all continue to keep in touch and support each other as we go our separate ways and attempt to disrupt our future communities of practice.

Team Dragon till I die,
Dan

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(I did this with my new iPhone)


DT by MJ

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Disruptive Technology? Although I was encouraged to take this class by a friend who was in the 2008 class, I quickly realized that the 2008, 2010, and 2012 versions of Disruptive Technology are all very different. And that makes a lot of sense given the constantly changing world of technology. So my friend, who said she came into the class not knowing how to do much more than plug in her computer, had a very different experience than I'm sure the 2010 group did and most certainly than our very special 2012 group of DTers have had. DT quickly became the class that I spent the most time and thought with from the very first week of the semester. I'm not sure if that was because I was never quite confident that I knew the direction in which we were going, or if it held a kind of fascination for me. I desperately wanted to understand what Wenger was saying and as I read, sometimes word by word, it was difficult for me to put together the pieces of his work. Although I still don't have a clear understanding, I did wake up one day about 3/4 of the way through the semester and realized that Wenger was beginning to make a bit more sense to me. I think that was because I started to make connections with things I was reading in other classes and in other scholarly conversations in which I occasionally took part. One thing I think I would have liked, is to have had more dialogue in class with Julie, Roi, Laura, Phil, Michele, Dan, Scott and Cole around the readings, who I know could have guided me to a better understanding. So although I feel like I have a strong background as a practitioner, I'm still learning and growing as a scholar.

And then there was Occupy Learning. I actually enjoyed this part of the class, which began to take center stage in our work. Maybe I missed my calling as a roving, investigative, campus reporter because I found it interesting to interview students and instructors about university learning spaces and then connect their thoughts with the actual physical space. I know that Occupy Learning is only in its beginning stage of development, but I think it holds great potential for making a difference in how learning spaces are designed and whose input is considered. I hope to read more about this movement long after DT is over for spring 2012.

As a retired educator, it takes effort to keep moving forward with technology and this class has continued to push me along. I'm always interested, I just often need the scaffolding. And my new DT colleagues have been the perfect group to keep my mind open. Many thanks to my fellow Tigers, Roi and Laura who have answered my many questions and have been patient with my obsession to have everything done 24 hours after it has been assigned. It will be a class to remember.

Laura's Reflection on Class (In Meme Form)

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ROI

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This class challenged me in a way that other classes have not. It challenged me to re-conceptualize my ideas about learning; it challenged me to keep track of eight screens, a laptop, and an pad at once; and it challenged my navigational prowess to find the right room on the right day. Specifically, this class challenged my reconceptualization of what technology is and how to teach and learn about and with technology. It's one of the first classes I've taken that's really does pushback on process-oriented technology (e.g. learning flash by "step-by-step" analysis) and focuses on creating a learning environment in which I'm free to use technology for my learning through working collaboratively on creating artifacts. The class was conceptual: it was about re-thinking, re-shaping, breaking boundaries, and pushing on limits. I liked that.

Although working with one group the entire semester posed its challenges, it really pushed us to establish our own culture, protocols, and ways of working. Good stuff. Through demonstration, Cole and Scott modeled what it means to be disruptive. In a sense, they were a disruptive technology in teaching and learning. That, to me, rings of authenticity.

What I'll miss:
1. Cole calling himself the honey badger
2. Feeling artistically inadequate around Laura
3. Seeing Scott and Cole walk in with matching outfits. Twinsies.
4. Feeling fashionably challenged around Dan.
5. Minuscule up-down levers on bright orange chairs
6. The soothing sound of Phil's voice
7. Writing poetry about Phil's fog-in-a-mountain-valley-like presence
8. Feeling hardwork-ably challenged around MJ
9. Seeing Michele's quippy rib-jabbing at Cole and Scott
10. Hearing Julie lay down the law. And the consequent contrarian quip from Dan.

As a parting gesture, I offer my rendition of Dan's 80s sweatshirt as a fashion-forward cutoff:

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DT It's all about Control

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Control: Who has it & who wants it. That's what it's all about.

Our lives are increasingly entangled with immediate ways of receiving and creating meaning. Our ways of coming to know about people, places, experiences, and valued aspects of life continue to evolve in the moment. However, rather than providing inspiration to foster flows of ideas and innovation, it seems that social and cultural experiences often drive fence building.

This semester we touched on a range of digital practices (Pinterest, blogging, Twitter, Yammer, etc.) and brought those practices into institutional contexts to evaluate learning spaces. Integrating these practices with digital audio and video recording allowed us to open pathways to give voice to student and faculty perceptions of learning in particular campus locations. By focusing on our perceptions of places integrated with voices of experience, technology disrupted the institutional conception of classroom space evaluation and design. However, whether the voice of the few will be able to scale the fences of institutional routine is yet to be seen.

Our educational systems favor predictable, safe routines. Questions remain: When will the social push for innovation or perhaps unfettered access to investigate, create, recreate, and distribute outpace the established control mechanisms? When will concern over access to the portal or the device give way to open access to explore ways to come to know and make meaning? How might shifting power to learners offer opportunities to create new questions and innovate new inquiry pathways?


We begin with idle chatter. Idle chit chat.

The class decides to start without Phil T.

Dan professes how much he misses Phil and begins to reminisce about memories he's had with Phil.

MISSING:
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Michelle nudges Daniel and snarls: "Sit up straight! Of slouching, you are the king."

Scott quips about the Michelle's Yoda-like phrasing.
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Talk resumes about Miley Cyrus, her current dating prospects, and the music that gets in our heads. Cole professes his adoration to the MC as well.

Brad is introduced, and his claim(s) to fame are presented. Brad credits Cole for his claims to fame. Scott points out that Brad only mentions Cole and proclaims that Brad is dead to him.

Phil appears like a cloud of fog in a mountain valley.

He sits like a bullfrog on a lilypad.

He smiles like a goose.

And the class feels whole again.

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Scott brings up the idea of creating cultural change for an environment and PSU that's relatively entrenched.

He describes the technological culture as the a "layer on the cake" (the larger cake being the entire educational culture of the school).

In what ways can Occupy Learning influence/impact/guide this cultural change?
What stories can we tell that connects student emotional reaction to design?
How can we get this "gut" response (from decision-makers?) that "we have a problem we need to fix."

Scott mentioned one way we might "get to this empathy; this emotional response" in reaction to the design of these learning spaces.

http://storycorps.org/record-your-story/

WHAT STORIES DO WE TELL?

Cole discusses an his idea about multiple modes of participation: In what ways can students contribute their stories within a mode of their choice?

Scott pitches an [app] that allows students to select {TEXT, Audio recording, Photos, videos} and contribute in their own ways.

Laura comments that it could be: "Rate my room" instead of "Rate my professor".

Julie brings up the idea that nobody asked that girl about her experience in the room without someone asking her. She argues that spaces need to be created for those questions to be asked -- perhaps she points to this idea that we need to address the question, "Why do we care?" (Roi wants to know?)

Comment Here?

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Scott wants to know: What's the social good for asking these questions of these students? What is the social problem?

How do we define the problem?

The rooms are not designed to do the teaching and learning...

MJ says: There are people that are interested in the topic... it just needs to be asked?

Cole asks if this needs to be curricular.

Scott talks about how to develop an artifact that also would pose challenges to/ask questions to the "powers that be"... how do we create institutional change? In what ways could we have a student generated artifact that directly informs those that make the decisions?

Phil discusses his thoughts about how the telephone booth could "create a buzz" regarding the information. Julie pitches a "Where's the booth?" stickers to be posted everywhere to direct to an app. Scott pitches an app that connects the phone to twitter, other networks.

Michelle asks how we might curate the information received at the phone booth.

We have a conversation where we question the definition of "awesome", the difference between "awesomeness" and about change.

Is Awesomeness Enough?

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[Atlantic Timeline]

Brad asks about our fomentation/ non-fomentation goals.

  • "Do we bang down the doors the halls of power?"

  • "Do we collect more data?"

  • "How far does the term 'occupy' go? Do you want to make students care?"

    What do we do?
    [*] How might we look at this from the ground-up instead of top-down. E.g., perhaps a professors/instructors don't "ask" for permission to make the change from the powers that be, they just "do it." They move to the Hub for class; they change by doing.
    [*] Do we just go out and do it/create a prototype. Do we learn and understand what our goals are by doing it?
    [*] Cole wants to make sure that we don't move away from collecting data around learning spaces.

  • c3 Lab

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    In the spirit of iteration, I've revised my design so that it moves more noticeably away from organizing learning spaces along traditional disciplinary lines and more towards an interdisciplinary orientation. So, instead of the three areas being represented as Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Physical and Natural Sciences, I've revised them into themes where each one represents a collaborative design among faculty and students. Each theme might be guided by a current issue (e.g., climate change) or something that is less time-sensitive such as the history of hacking in the U.S. Regardless of the thematic focus, the most important element would be the collaborative, co-generation and design of the learning experience, which would give students greater ownership of their learning experience.


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    Learning Space - Great Barrier Reef replica

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    The latest in informal science learning spaces meant to excite the public and increase awareness of climate change impacts on precious sea life. (Gives you a taste of just how cool a place like the great barrier reef really is and then tugs on your heart strings so that you help to take care of it.)

    Pool = 12,000 square feet of sea life (animals and coral)
    Total facility = 20,000 square feet
    Teams of professional divers and marine educators on staff
    Capacity = 75 people in the pool at a time
    Depth ranges from 4 feet to 100 feet
    Flotation devices provided when necessary
    Reasonable admission fee, including student memberships
    For a donation of $250M, it can be named after you!
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    Literature - Writing & Room to Play

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    Classroom Audience
    My 'ideal' classroom design is intended for a secondary English education classroom (either secondary students or preservice English educators). I decided to blend the target audiences because I believe preservice educators will be best served through learning in a space that they will need to manipulate as a part of lesson design. Air quality, ventilation, and temperature control are assumed.

    There are three orientations pictured below. The room contains portable furniture - the square seating is actually four individual tables moved together to create a larger surface. Just as one shoe will not fit all feet, one classroom design will not fit all secondary students or teachers - nor will one static design meet all learning needs for one class throughout a learning cycle.

    Physical Layout
    Wall Configuration & Landscape
    The room has three solid walls and one window wall that overlooks established greenery. Ideally, various flowering plants would be situated among deciduous trees and conifers. Consequently, regardless of the time of year, the view outdoors would reflect varied growth and color.

    Retractable room darkening shades with remote mechanism to accommodate comfort needs if sunny without eliminating greenery view or complete blackout for film or projector viewing.

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    Flooring, Lighting & Electrical
    Wall-to-wall, low pile carpet would accommodate electrical outlet receptacles throughout the space. Ample floor-based electrical would provide needed power and also facilitate room modifications according to the learning activities.

    Zone lighting with the ability to darken or illuminate near white boards/projection surface. General room lighting - dimmer/variable lighting available

    Roving Presenter
    Small profile, stable raised surface to accommodate 30 lbs weight minimum (laptop/tablet & materials)
    Portable - multi-directional wheels with locking capability; raised chair

    General Classroom Seating
    Individual tables as surfaces - easily combined for 2, 3, or 4 person groups
    Seats - individual with back support

    Technology
    Access to low profile laptops with 15" screen stored in concealed room storage (or supplied by students depending on enrollment conditions)
    Wifi
    Printer/scanner in room
    Accessible projector ports and zone projection to display on one or all boards
    Sound system with ceiling mounted speakers and variable volume adjustment.
    Whiteboards - 3 - one on each wall
    Tack strips mounted horizontally along the top of the board and beneath each whiteboard for group or student work display

    Learning Activities & Flexible Room Design
    These elements support a range of learning activities including small group, large group, individual, and mid-size group clusters. Seating can be changed on a daily basis or during class if the needs indicate a responsive environment.

    The portable seating, easily combined surfaces, and ready access to electrical, computers, wifi, and projection embeds flexibility into the design. This flexible format can be adapted to fit varied needs for learners and instructors.

    The ability to orient the large group or several small groups to whiteboards will facilitate collaborative work and use of visuals. The 'roving presenter' station can be easily moved to different zones to accommodate shifting presenters within the same class session while maintaining the chosen seating configuration for that day.

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    Designing Spaces

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    I accumulated several classroom designs from undergraduate students who want to become elementary school teachers. These artifacts represent design for both classroom libraries and for classroom space. Each of the designs was a collaborative design and was informed by some brief classroom design theory we read about in class and other learning theories. I'm particularly interested in understanding pre-service teacher conception of design (via the Roman, 2009) and the interplay between their previous conceptions of elementary school learning spaces from their past and their space experience at Penn State.

    This was the classroom design task:

    Design a classroom task

    Task Time: 30 - 40 minutes

    Using electronic resources [a googledoc, a collaborative prezi] or the butcher-block paper, markers, construction paper, and any other resource you find, design a visual representation of an elementary school classroom that facilitates the conditions for learning to occur. You might want to refer back to the Cambourne article to look at these conditions--immersion, demonstration, expectation, responsibility, employment, approximation, response, and engagement. Consider the information provided for you by S & S and our discussions from this morning.

    Consider (although no means required): Collaborative learning spaces, independent learning spaces, whole-group spaces, spaces for literacy, science, math, social studies, and the arts, bulletin boards, spaces for student work, spaces for technology.

    Don't think too much about practical limits. Furniture can be found and usually moved. Technology is available, even in lower-income districts. Think of a design for a classroom of roughly 20 - 25 students and imagine you have that number of individual student desks. All other furniture/technological resources are within your imagination [of course, try not to go too overboard].

    After you develop your artifact, post it to yammer via a picture or an electronic link.

    Give a description of your artifact and a few sentences of your thought process in its development. You should refer to classroom discussion, the animation, or the readings to inform your sentences.

    The following were a few products:

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    The Mendenhall Science Community

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    (Click on thumbnail for enlarged image)

    Features that I wanted to include
    1. Math (light blue), Reading and Writing (pink), and Laboratories (purple) tailored toward each of the three sciences, as well as, engineering (Students can also go to other wings of the space for courses in other disciplines).
    2. Areas of the space that include natural elements (green)
    3. Centralized collaborative areas for inter-disciplinary discussion, research, and presentation of work (white). This includes areas for experimentation, discussion, debate, and presentation.
    4. Buses for field trip experiences
    5. Outlets for application of sciences in a fun or real-world way (greenhouse, pottery for chemists, science toy buildings)
    6. Nutritional center run for students and by students (stems from a personal belief that every graduate should be competent in the kitchen).
    7. I wanted to symbolize the peripheral experience that goes on at the Mendenhall Science Community by having classrooms surrounding professional laboratories. These could either be places where professors do their research, or places where graduate students work. Undergraduate students have their own laboratory areas (light purple) but would also interact with these centralized laboratory areas.

    I will elaborate on the inspirations for this design in comment form.

    Millennials' Classroom Designs

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    Learning Space Design

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    This design is for a museum education annex. I'll explain more in class on Tuesday!

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    Thanks Dragons, et.al. for sharing your Rivers of Lives

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