Envisaging a new future

So much of my thinking and reading keeps coming back to the way in which we design the tasks we as educators set to empower the learners for whom we share or take responsibility in our classrooms. I reflect back on our early module 1.5 where we listened to Nathaniel Bott: ” boredom and disengagement is too big a part of the modern classroom”

I also reflect on all the extra reading I did for module 3:

and the wonderful work of people like Graine Conole in relation to learning design (Conole, 2012) and I try to isolate the things that matter most to include in my digital essay on Digital Pedagogy! Even with  “affordances of the web” I am struggling with the restrictions of a word limit because teachers need to know all this NOW!

I have decided that the following references are critical to my task (and every time I think I need to stop finding new resources I damn well find more!). So this list is a starting point of material that is very useful for our subject (each of these titles really links our work as educators to our practice.

References

Bellanca, J., & Brandt, R. (Eds.). (2010). 21st Century Skills: rethinking How Students Learn. Bloomington, United States.

Brabazon, T., Dear, Z., Greene, G., & Purdy, A. (2009). Why the Google Generation Will Not Speak: The Invention of Digital Natives. Nebula, 163-181. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from http://www.iiav.nl/ezines/IAV_607294/IAV_607294_2010_3/BDGP.pdf

Chase, Z., & Laufenberg, D. (2011, April). Embracing the Squishiness of Digital Literacy. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 535-537. doi:10.1598/JAAL.54.7.7

Conole, G. (2012). Designing for Learning in an Open World. New York, United States of America: Springer.

Crockett, L., Jukes, I., & Churches, A. (2011). Literacy is Not Enough, 21st-Century Fluencies for the Digital Age. Corwin.

Cronin, J. G. (2010). Too Much Information: Why Facilitate Information and Media Literacy. International Journal Of Humanities & Arts Computing, 4 (1/2), 151-165. doi:10.3366/ijac.2011.0014

O’Connell, J., & Groom, D. (2010). Virtual Worlds: Learning in a Changing World. Camberwell, Victoria, Australia: ACER Press.

Reviewing the Trajectories of e-learning. (2014, January 15). Retrieved May 13, 2014, from e4innovation.com: E-Learning innovation; research, evaluation, practice and policy: http://e4innovation.com/?p=791

 

Digital Essay proposal

The Topic:

Digital Pedagogy

An Investigation into digital literacy and its significance for improving teaching and learning outcomes.

The tools and spaces to be used:

Weebly – a web building site will be the host for embedding a range of tools enabling the essay to be presented in a manner that can be read traditionally in a long-form style, or through a multimedia offering that would be a connected series of offerings on the various aspects of this topic. Each offering would equate to a paragraph within the long-form option.

Rationale:

Contemporary educators should embrace C21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn (Bellanca & Brandt, 2010), and the 21st Century Fluency Project (Crockett, Jukes, & Churches, 2011) in order to create the best learning outcomes for their students.

Information and Communication Technology skills and devices supporting them have been available long enough to be moving long the slope of enlightenment in Gartner’s Hype Cycle (Sharples, et al., 2013).  However, the spread of teaching practices considered in the light of the Revised Technology Adoption Life Cycle (Moore, 2002, p. 17) is increasing, and the chasm between Innovators, Early Adopters and Early Majority teachers and the rest of their peers shows no sign of being reduced. This ‘Great Divide’ is a critical pedagogical concern raised in http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/msimkin/2014/03/20/knowledge-searching-and-understanding-a-starting-point/ .

Today, access to quality free and open access resources to support Australian classrooms is easy. Such resources are a pressing reason to get more teachers on board with C21st skills. The work of Conole (Conole, 2012) highlights the importance of the design process for improved learning outcomes, and offers suggestions for how this can be achieved.

The worth of investing in redesigned curriculum to incorporate these skills will be outlined. Links will be prvided to examples, suggestions and evidence of improved learning to support the contention that digital pedagogy is vital, vibrant and able to be implemented now. Literacy is Not Enough (Crockett, Jukes, & Churches, 2011) highlights the dimensions added by utilising the power of interconnections afforded by the Internet for life long learning.

References

Will be based on such titles as:

Bellanca, J.,   & Brandt, R. (Eds.). (2010). 21st Century Skills: rethinking How   Students Learn. Bloomington, United States. Retrieved April 2014

Brabazon, T.,   Dear, Z., Greene, G., & Purdy, A. (2009). Why the Google Generation Will   Not Speak: The Invention of Digital Natives. Nebula, 163-181.   Retrieved April 16, 2014, from   http://www.iiav.nl/ezines/IAV_607294/IAV_607294_2010_3/BDGP.pdf

Conole, G.   (2012). Designing for Learning in an Open World. New York, United   States of America: Springer. Retrieved April 2014

Crockett, L.,   Jukes, I., & Churches, A. (2011). Literacy is Not Enough, 21st-Century   Fluencies for the Digital Age. Corwin. Retrieved from http://www.fluency21.com

M. (2014, January   5). Digital Literacy, Social Networking, Blogs, Wikis, Social Bookmarking.   Retrieved March 23, 2014, from M’s Multimedia Blog:   http://cbltmultimedia.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/digital-literacy-communities-of-practice-and-social-media/

Moore, G. A.   (2002). Crossing the Chasm; Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to   Mainstream Customers (Revised ed.). New York, United States: Harper   Collins. Retrieved May 2, 2014

Pang, A. (2008). Knowledge   Tools for the Future. Retrieved March 2014, 2014, from Institute For The   Future: http://www.iftf.org/our-work/people-technology/technology-horizons/knowledge-tools-of-the-future

Sharples, M.,   McAndrew, P., Weller, M., Ferguson, R., Fitzgerald, E., Histr, T., &   Gaved, M. (2013). Innovating Pedagogy Report 2013; Open University   Innovation Report 2. Retrieved March 15, 2014, from Open Access UK:   http://www.open.ac.uk/personalpages/mike.sharples/Reports/Innovating_Pedagogy_report_2013.pdf

Weinberger, D.   (2011). Too Big To Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That The Facts Aren’t   Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, And The Smartest Person In The Room Is The   Room. New York, New York, United States Of America: Basic Books.

 

 

 

Module 3.1 reflection

  • How would curriculum change if our priority approach was on critical, creative, and collaborative thinking?

Educators would realize the importance of curriculum design consciously based around C21st skills and objectives. Knowing something of Tara Brabazon’s work I was keen to read about the igeneration despite the reference to digital natives in the title, which may otherwise have put me off (Brabazon, Dear, Greene, & Purdy, 2009).  From this I liked these:

1. There are very few – too few – controlled studies of information seeking behaviour that is able to isolate age as a variable.

2. Speculation and ‘mis-information’ has been perpetrated about how young people behave in online environments.

3. All researchers – not only ‘young people’ are skim-reading research, reading abstracts rather than drilling deeper into the paper.

4. Young people are not ‘dumbing down.’ Society is ‘dumbing down.’

5. “The information literacy of young people, has not improved with the widening access to technology: in fact, their apparent facility with computers disguises some worrying problems.”

6. “Young scholars are using tools that require little skill: they appear satisfied with a very simple or basic form of searching.

7. “Digital literacies and information literacies do not go hand in hand” (Brabazon, Dear, Greene, & Purdy, 2009, p. 171).

  • What does the reality of the modern age of information– this age of Google –suggest that we “teach”?

Conole’s chapter excited me so much that I borrowed the book and read it very quickly. It is full of amazing suggestions for links (some of which are, unfortunately no longer active) to websites that guide curriculum design (Conole, 2012,  chapter 8). I am still working through the downloads but the idea of tapping into existing structures such as http://cloudworks.ac.uk/ or http://cosy.ds.unipi.gr/cadmos/index.php – (the email link they sent me on sign up didn’t work though 😦 ) or http://compendiumld.open.ac.uk/ is very appealing.

When I first started working as a qualified teacher-librarian SLAV had several CD based programs available to assist with cooperative teaching and learning, particularly planning research tasks, and these web based options seem to be similar to the principle but aimed at C21st skill development. I have also been exposed to assessing assignment design against C21st skills in my Microsoft 1:1 peer coaching course. For me, this is starting to bring my thoughts together in answer to “where to from here?” questions that I keep mulling over. I think my digital essay topic will probably be aiming to investigate some options in order to suggest pathways for reducing the digital divide and enabling reluctant educators to “have a go” in ways that may not be too threatening.

  • Can we simply “update” things as we go, or is it time for rethinking of our collective practice?

I do not believe that we can just update bits and pieces of curriculum as we go (although we do all have to start somewhere and that may be the only way). Just like the “backward by design” http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Backwards_design  principles that so many schools are embedding at present – we need to know the end point before we start “renovating” so that we end up with a workable, learning-centred and sustainable system.

References

Brabazon, T., Dear, Z., Greene, G., & Purdy, A. (2009). Why the Google Generation Will Not Speak: The Invention of Digital Natives. Nebula, 163-181. Retrieved April 16, 2014, from http://www.iiav.nl/ezines/IAV_607294/IAV_607294_2010_3/BDGP.pdf

Conole, G. (2012). Designing for Learning in an Open World. New York, United States of America: Springer. Retrieved April 2014

Heick, T. (2014). Are You Teaching Content Or Teaching Thought? Retrieved April 16, 2014, from te@chthought: http://www.teachthought.com/learning/teaching-content-or-teaching-thought/>

Ito, M. (2013). Connected Learning Every One, Every Where, Anytime.  Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from http://youtu.be/viHbdTC8a90

Zone of intervention – when to be sage in the classroom.

There are too many teachers who believe that their role is to direct learning from the front of the classroom and keep control over everything that occurs. (In my first Hamilton school (1980) there was a real “stage” at the front of each classroom,  and you taught from behind a big desk which sat on the stage between you and the blackboard – one of those new roller based ones that gave you almost endless space to deliver your words of wisdom – and well separated from the students, who were way down on the lower deck).  I hated it – and quickly created opportunities for students to be on the stage, at the board or for me to join them “down below”. Today, minus the board and the stage, this is what I still see in so many room as I move (occasionally) around the school.

Modern concepts of flipped classrooms focus on the sage role but place it outside the classroom, and leave class time for interaction around the information gained. This still leaves me uneasy.

The main reason I question the sage approach is that there are many things that my students know that I do not, and they are all individuals, not a homogenous body. If I assume the guru position, am I not locking them into the knowledge I have and not extending them beyond it?

The main reason I do assume the sage role at times is because, with 6 years of tertiary education and many, many years of teaching experience there must be things that I know that they can’t know, or fully understand without some intervention on my part. In both my History teaching, and my Teacher-librarian role, I tend to work along the lines of Ross Todd and Carol Kuhlthau’s zone of intervention: Google this to download a Ppt on guided inquiry which covers this topic – tldl.pbworks.com/f/Ross+Todd+Guided+Inquiry+Web+2.0.ppt 

Dr. Ross Todd
Dr. Ross Todd

Blog Post #2 Digital information ecology and knowledge networks:

 

In this information age in which we live, which is exciting, fast-paced and scary all at the same time a range of definitions need to be examined, elaborated on and finally agreed to by enough educators to be meaningful in terms of our profession and to impact on student learning outcomes.

Much of the terminology being developed comes from quite different areas, for example, ecology is usually a term used by Biologists. When it is applied to Information and Communication Technology those of us working in this sphere need to pause and consider what the implications are for us.

Educators and information professionals view the world through numerous lenses, unlike some professions where the focus can be more one dimensional. This image, of the historical Kingscote Lighthouse light, represents the varied ways educators have to adapt concepts and theories to their role in guiding student learning.

Photo M Simkin

 
Photo M Simkin

Digital Media and Learning is a phrase used by Gee (DMAL) (Gee, 2010). Gee argues that the “learning” aspect will not evolve until real coherence of terminology and practice develops through collaboration and the ‘accumulation of shared knowledge’. (Gee, 2010, p. 6) He acknowledges the importance of this as:

‘a truly important and yet tractable theme around which the area can organize. Does digital media and learning have such a theme? One candidate would be this: the ways in which digital tools have transformed the human mind and human society and will do so further in the future. This certainly seems a big and important theme. The question, then, becomes whether there are shared tools and perspectives we all can develop to study it and whether it is tractable, that is, whether deep study will lead to real results’. (Gee, 2010, p. 6)

While we are referring to terminology, here’s another example: Gee quotes ‘Ong’s classic 1982 book … started the discussion of the effects of digital media on traditional literacy and said it constituted a form of “secondary orality’ (Gee, 2010, p. 7). Orality resonates with the concept that digital story telling is so valuable for assisting students to make sense of their world. It ties in with the work of Stephen Heppell and his students, which can be seen here: http://www.heppell.net/bva/ (Heppell, n.d.)

Be Very Afraid

 

Beyond defining the terminology, there is benefit to educators perusing models and translating words to action in the classroom.

Digital Literacy Model
Digital Literacy Model

 

(Hague & Paton, 2010)

This diagram reminds teachers of why it is important for them to be present and active in their lessons (whether as sage on the stage, guide by the side, or as co-learner). Students cannot be expected to just know the implications of the qualifying words such as critical, effective, functional and utilised here. In order for projects such as Stephen Heppell’s to be quality educational end products, deep understanding of these 8 areas is necessary. Students may achieve that through effective collaboration and networking with each other, but having the teacher as co-learner is the most effective way of achieving this.

 

Summey (2013, p 15 cited in (M, 2014) provides a diagrammatic representation of these:

Cited in M's Blog

 
Cited in M’s Blog

References

Gee, J. (2010).   New Digital Media and Learning as an Emerging Area and “Worked   Examples” as One Way Forward. Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of   America. Retrieved March 22, 2014, from http://www.scribd.com/doc/18943052/New-Digital-Media-and-Learning-as-an-Emerging-Area-and-Worked-Examples-as-One-Way-Forward

Hague, C., &   Paton, S. (2010). Digital Literacy Handbook. Bristol, United Kingdom.   Retrieved March 23, 2014, from http://www.futurelab.org.uk/sites/default/files/Digital_Literacy_handbook_0.pdf

Heppell, S.   (n.d.). About BVA. Retrieved March 26, 2014, from Be Very Afraid: http://www.heppell.net/bva/

M. (2014, January   5). Digital Literacy, Social Networking, Blogs, Wikis, Social Bookmarking.   Retrieved March 23, 2014, from M’s Multimedia Blog: http://cbltmultimedia.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/digital-literacy-communities-of-practice-and-social-media/