This course is different from your typical graduate course. We approach this course as a grand experiment and look forward to watching it evolve and grow over the semester. Our goal is to create an interesting and challenging blend of academic rigor within the context of applied technology. We will look at technologies that could be viewed as disruptive to typical classroom practices, but we will investigate them to uncover the emergent opportunities for discovering pedagogy. In other words, we will not only kick the tires, but we will strip the whole vehicle down, understand how it fits together, and rebuild it with a new ability to see its potential.
This is a face to face course that will take advantage of all sorts of digital tools and online spaces. One of our goals is to press you into uncomfortable waters where you will need to be an active participant in order to thrive. Our best students are ones who are willing to take risks and make mistakes with us along the way. We strive to create more than a classroom experience -- we work to create a learning community.
The last thing we feel important to mention is that while this syllabus only shows details for the first three weeks, the course is fully designed. We like to adapt the order things are exposed, assigned, and discussed based on the natural progression of our work together. We also appreciate the ability to make on the fly changes to the design based on your work, thoughts, and feedback -- so please be a very active participant in the overall design of the course.
This course is co-taught by friends and colleagues, Dr. Scott McDonald and Cole Camplese. This is the third time we are teaching this course and have made quite a few changes to the overall structure, but the core tenants remain. Meet Scott and Cole.
This is not a complete list of the readings as we will add additional readings based on how the course progresses. As readings are added, we will list them in the week by week overviews, in the "Class Today" blog post for each day we meet, and in the list below.
- Etienne Wenger, Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity
- Camplese & McDonald, Phi Delta Kappan Edge
- McLuhan & Fiore, The Medium is the Massage
- Gee (1999), An introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method (Ch.2 & 3)
- Lankshear & Knobel (2007), "Sampling 'the New' in New Literacies"
- Pea (1993) "Practices of distributed intelligence and designs for education"
- David Weinberger, The Cluetrain Manifesto
- David Weinberger, Small Pieces Loosely Joined
- Everett Rogers, Diffusion of Innovation
- danah boyd, White Flight
- The Design of Everyday Things, Donald Norman
- Disrupting Class, Clayton Christensen
Team Video Assignment
One of your first tasks as a team will be to produce a video that focuses on a technology of your choice. We would like you to pick a technology that you feel is disruptive and make a case for why it is in a video format. You will post this video to YouTube and you will be asked to view the other team's video before coming to class on Week 3. We will have access to the Media Commons outside of the classroom in the Knowledge Commons, so you should have lots of support and resources to accomplish this assignment. This will count for 20 points of your grade.
Weekly Readings, Synthesis Posts, and Comments
You will do much of the work in this course as part of a team. One of your team's weekly assignments will be to post responses / reflections on the readings that you are doing. These responses will focus around the three themes of the course: Community, Identity, and Design -- culminating with a synthesis of the themes. Each week your team will focus energy on one of the themes. We will cycle through the themes three times during the semester and at the end of each cycle you will attempt to connect the three themes in a synthesis posting.
The idea is for you to start to build up a strong theoretical foundation for the way technology should be used in teaching and learning and the implications of the affordances of various technologies. You will also be asked to post comments to the responses/reflections of the other team in the class.
When you are satisfied with your team's weekly writing, ask one member of the team to post the reflection to the course blog by no later than 5 PM on Sunday prior to the following week's class. Between Sunday at 5 PM and Monday at 5 PM you are required as individuals to leave a comment on the other team's post for the week. This means as a team you will make one reflective post per week and as individuals you will leave one comment on the other team's post.
We will provide you with several platforms to perform this work in. You are asked to utilize these technologies:
- We will create shared folders in Google Docs for you to easily share work. Google Docs provide online and collaborative tools -- word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, and forms. Any document placed in this online folder (or as Google calls them, Collections) will be instantly editable by the members of your team.
- There is a private group in Yammer that Cole and Scott will add you to. Yammer is an enterprise social networking service that Penn State is currently piloting. Yammer is being used by many of the Fortune 500 companies as a place for employees to engage in work related sharing that is simple like Facebook. Yammer has private and public messaging, collaborative document editing, and other features that will allow us to work together as a class and in your smaller teams. We will learn about how Yammer works to support us together.
- You will be added to this blog space as an author so you can easily create new posts and comments.
During the first several weeks of the course Cole and Scott will harvest the top posts (measured through a complex algorithm related to interestingness) and will facilitate a discussion in class.
There will be 12 weekly team posts, each worth 20 points for a total of 240 points. There will be a total of 12 comments made by each individual at 10 points each for 120 total points.
We have turned the lemons of not being able to meet in the Krause Innovation Studio until March into the lemonade of considering space as part of our investigations of technology, teaching and learning. During the course of the semester, we will be asking you to attend various learning spaces on campus to better understand the affordances of these spaces related to teaching and learning. We are loosely calling this activity "Occupy Learning" and we will aim to deliver thoughtful reactions to these spaces throughout the semester.
Over time we will ask you to do small reports on each of the assigned spaces, by organizing digital images, audio, and video into blog posts. One of our goals is to present all these reviews on a google map of campus. We will begin this task in week four. Each report will be presented in class to spark discussion.
Each team will complete 4 reports worth 50 points each for a total of 200 points.
At the culmination of the first two thematic cycles (weekly writings on community, identity, and design) we will ask each team to prepare an artifact that will be shared with the class:
A synthesis presentation that will guide us through your team's thoughts and reflections. In the presentations any forms of technology can be used to expand upon your post. It is really up to you and we actually expect some creativity to engage the class and get beyond death by powerpoint. This should include a reconsideration of your current definitions of the core concepts: community, identity and design.
At the culmination of block three, we will be asking you to prepare and present an overall course level synthesis that is fully enriched with the technologies you have investigated. These presentations should be an hour in length and thought of as activities designed to engage the class and drive high levels of conversation and discussion.
The first two synthesis presentations are 50 points each for a total of 100 points. The final synthesis presentation is worth 100 points.
This is an area where we will continue to explore and expand as you begin to move into additional teaching and learning spaces throughout the semester. What that means is that we will measure your overall participation in very broad terms -- contributions to blog posts, comments in class, tweets, bookmarks added, and more will be taken into account as a measure of your overall participation in the class.
We have allocated an additional 100 points to this aspect of the course and it is has proven to be the tipping point for students in the past.
- 1 Team Video Assignment @ 20 Points = 20 Points
- 4 Team Occupy Learning Reports @ 50 points = 200 Points
- 12 Weekly Writing Assignments @ 20 Points = 240 Points
- 12 Individual Comments @ 10 Points = 120 Points
- 2 Synthesis Presentations @ 50 Points = 100 Points
- 1 Final Synthesis Presentation @ 100 Points = 100 Points
- Various Class Participation @ 100 Points = 100 Points
Total Points in Course: 780
Weekly Schedule (Subject to Lots and Lots of Change!)
Week 1: 1/10/2012
- Introductions and course background
- Syllabus review
- "Enabling the New Classroom Conversation" (Presentation and Discussion)
- Meet our technology: Diigo, Twitter, Google Docs, Setting up Yammer, and the Blogs at Penn State
- Fill out the account form. If you do not have accounts at all the listed services please get them prior to filling out the form. It is best to use the same username across these services where possible.
Out of Class Assignments
Week 2: 1/17/2012 (Focus on Community)
- Discussion of the readings.
- Team-based work on your first definition of community
- Introduction to Disruption (Presentation and Discussion)
- YouTube activity: Exploring Technology
Out of Class Assignments
Week 3 (Focus on Design)
In addition to the weekly readings and team post, we want you to start working on the rubrics that we will begin to use to asses the weekly team-based posts and the associated comments. We are also interested in you creating a model post that we will use as a framework for the coming Occupy Learning artifacts. During what would be class time, each team will produce:
- A rubric for the team writings and comments
- A model Occupy Learning outcome using the KC classroom as the model. Plan to interview both of us, others in and around our classroom space, and perhaps each other. A goal is to make each of these multimedia in form, so be prepared to take pictures, shoot video, record audio, etc to illustrate what the room is really like. Think critically about what both the positive and negative aspects of the space are. Talk about potential areas for improvements. Think about the learning space itself. (keeping in mind that future will not be the rooms we will be working in). Also, make sure your team asks about what kinds of instruction the classroom supports.
Out of Class
- Readings are Pea and Rogers (Chapters 1 & 2). Both readings are found on the Yammer site.
- Team post with a focus on design. - Each team should have one.
- Rubric for team based posts - Each team should have one.
- Sample Occupy web frameworks. - Each team should have one. This should illustrate a vision for how these artifacts should be shared.
We need to look over the rubrics you developed for the course assignments, as well as the initial models for Occupy Learning. These will be critical as we move forward in the class. We also have a lot to discuss with Pea, Rogers, Mcluhan and Fiore, and Gee all being read since the last time we talked. We have completed blogs on community, identity and design, and this week you have to think about synthesis. It is a big week and we are excited to be back.
- A rubric for the team writings and comments: Each team will have time to present and discuss their rubrics. We will then ask you to cart one agreed upon final rubric that will be used.
- Each team will have time to present their videos. We will take time to react to them in general.
- Watch Town Hall on Instructional Space Intro
- Occupy Learning assignments
Five Worst Classrooms on Campus (Onward State)
Five Best Classrooms on Campus (Onward State)
Out of Class
- Readings are Wenger (pages 3-41) and danah boyd. Both readings are found on the Yammer site.
- Team post with a focus on synthesis. This means how you see the three themes of community, identity and design being connected.- Each team should have one.
- First Occupy assignment - Each team should have one.
Today is the first rotation through the Occupy Learning assignment, so we'll spend some time reviewing those entries. It is also the first time both teams stepped out onto the edge with their weekly posts in a different format ... let's work to unpack what you each decided to do and what this means for our ability to collectively make meaning from the posts.
- Present your first Occupy Learning artifacts.
- Lessig thoughts
- Get in groups ... outside the room and discuss Wenger and the weekly posts
- Come back and share your posts and overall thoughts
Out of Class
- Focus on Identity this week.
- The next round of Occupy Learning kicks off with two new classroom assignments. Team Dragon will occupy 8 Mueller and Team Tiger will occupy 202 Chambers.
- Read Wenger 103-163 & two chapters from Classroom for the Future
Today we are going to explore the web as a learning space and as a platform to extend the walls of the classroom. To that end we are going to do some relatively different kinds of things today. We'll open with a reflection of your Occupy Learning posts that we will record and share openly ... we'd like to design an assignment for the open web and invitation for others to join the Occupy Learning movement (yeah, I just called it a movement). Speaking of it as a movement, how would we construct this so that it does emerge as a social movement? Should we "brand" the rooms we've occupied with codes that allow people to instantly be taken to the posts? Should we have t-shirts? Perhaps that should be an explicit expectation of the larger assignment?
We'll then introduce you to the Cluetrain Manifesto and ask you to read the introduction and 95 theses. In your teams you will pull out the three that resonate most with your teams and post them along with a reflection of the web as a learning space. You'll want to frame that around the things we've been reading. You'll then come back and share your posts.
- Reflection on Occupy Learning
- Design an open assignment inviting the web to participate in Occupy Learning
- Read the Cluetrain Manifesto introduction and the 95 theses
- Post a reflection of the three theses that matter most to your team relating them to the themes of the course
- Present posts and open discussion
For Next Week
- Read Wenger pages 164-187
- Chapter 11, by Jim Slotta from, "Classrooms of the Future" ... posted in Yammer
Occupy Assignments for Two Weeks Out
- Team Dragon will occupy 8 Mueller
- Team Tiger will occupy 202 Chambers
We'll start with a simple check in on where you are with your next two Occupy Learning assignments. Also, are we prepared to publicize our #occupylearning assignment to the Internet? From there, we'll switch gears and do the following:
Break off into your teams and craft a reaction to the following guiding question and post it to the class blog:
- What does it mean to be an intellectual mash-up artist?
We'll react to your posts and then take a break ...
When we get back we will switch up the physical arrangement of the room ... Cole and Scott will occupy the back of the room. Letting you drive a discussion using the following as guiding questions:
- Do learning spaces have an identity?
- Is there a "core" identity that we have that is somehow community independent? How easy is it to change your identity?
- Brokering is something that makes us valuable from one community to another. We are all brokers to some degree. Is one of the ways we recognize boundaries (and communities) by their reaction (interaction) to/with us around the same information (boundary objects)?
- If we (as teacher) ask students to participate in ways that are in conflict with their "core" identity in order to become part of a community of practice is that ethical?
- Often Wenger's notions of communties of practice are interpreted as a theory that indicates some kind of reform of classrooms as they are not "authentic" communities of practice. If not, then what are they?
- [Related to the above are the issues with the apprenticeship model - teachers are not practitioners of the field they are teaching to their students, we may want students to have learnings and experiences that are in areas that they will not be direct participating members in so that they can make other civically important decisions (not all school needs to be something that students will "use" directly).]
Out of Class
- Next week is spring break -- no class
- Finish the Occupy Learning posts
- Read Wenger pages 188 - 229
- Read Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things -- available in Yammer.
- Post your team synthesis posts
Spring Break ... No Class!