Category Archives: Uncategorized

Just a heads up…


Recent Update and project!

Good evening. I have created a wiki explaining Twitter and its possible uses, pros and cons in the classroom. Please check it out and leave feedback if you’d like!!

 

My wiki can be found here! Thanks!

 

Learn Progressively


Project FAQ

1. Project Title:
‘Twitter Revolution: Twitter in the World and, more specifically, the classroom…’

In the classroom?!

2.Project Description: This will be a Wiki, posted on Wikispaces, which will be explaining, showing, using details/examples on how Twitter is recently being used in the world and how it can be implemented in the classroom, and more importantly, the secondary English classroom.
3.Detailed Questions
Why isn’t Twitter used more often in classrooms?
What ways/How is Twitter already used in the classroom?
How is twitter currently being used by the world?
How can Twitter possibly be helpful to students?
Didn’t Twitter cause a revolution… or something?

Twitter Enthusiast art.

4.Main Focuses
This project will illustrate reasons, ideas, examples of Twitter being used in the classroom and around the world. It will provide pros, cons, benefits, lessons on the subject. It will be in Wiki form and displayed on the internet and other Social Media sites (including my Twitter) for others to see/enjoy/learn.
5.Purpose
This project will show new ways to learn in the classroom via social networking that the whole world can use. It will show examples of classrooms who already use it and it will show ideas for possible future plans.
6.PRODUCT (Results)
I will prove how Twitter can be an excellent and helpful tool within the classroom and for sharing current events around the world. Students can and will be able to use it in the classroom for fast information and resource sharing via Twitter.

Details

7. Project Stakeholders (who will be involved ie. professionals in the field?)

Teachers, Readers, Students will all be informed about it.

Example of timeline of twitter use in the classroom specifically.

8.Tasks/Activities to complete this project (3 or more)

1. Find more examples/links.

2. Search Classroom 2.0

3. Read educational blogs/journals on the topics.

4. Make Wiki.

5. Share Wiki with world!!


Teaching from the S.O.L.E.

S.O.L.E., of course, meaning “self organized learning environment.”

I watched an excellent T.E.D. Talk today, featuring an educational scientist named Sugata Mitra. He is responsible for many social-educational S.O.L.E. experiments around the world, as explained in the video. His findings were quite enlightening, as well as “heart warming.” As you see in the video above, he performed various experiments where he brought computers in to classrooms in different countries such as South Africa, India, Cambodia and Italy. What he was conduction ultimately lead to “child driven education.” His findings were that, when provided with enough time and effort, children taught themselves how to use a computer for social and education purposes. He gave the classrooms technology as a tool to further education. The computers allowed the students to gather information for questions, talk to their teachers via SKYPE. Basically, he was implementing “co-learning” in to the classrooms that wouldn’t normally have this opportunity. The students achieved educational objectives with the help of Mitra.

Sugata Mitra

He described in the video that one girl actually assumed the role of the teacher, while using the computer to teach her other students what they hadn’t already previously known. By implementing these S.O.L.E.’s, students in parts of the world were able to connect to other parts of the world via the internet.

This was a great documented experiment that literally made me happy. Seeing the students interact and learn was not only fun to watch but it was a great example of what “could be” in the future. These students lives are all changed because of this “tool” they were provided with, that many people (including myself) take for granted: a computer.

With these “tools”, classrooms environments can all be changed for the better. As you will see, if you view this great T.E.D. talk.

An example of a set up S.O.L.E.

What else do people take from this video? Are there any flaws that you recognize, or anything you extracted for yourself? Let me know. As always, thanks for reading.


Re-Examining Instructional Practice…

 

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

I read a great article today on the Education Week website. It was produced by a former teacher and consultant on 21st century teaching and learning, named Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. She made some great points, but basically it really shouldn’t have to be said. All the evidence is laid out in front of us…for us to change.

 

“Fortunately, teachers are beginning to resist the forces that encourage isolation and unproductive schoolhouse competition. Through virtual exchanges and the building of personal learning networks, teachers are increasingly drawing on external communities that promote connection and knowledge-sharing. Some of these virtual networks develop into powerful learning communities that connect the ideas of educators from around the world as they explore together and push traditional education boundaries.” (Nussbaum-Beach, 2009)

It’s interesting to look back and reflect on what this would have been like if I grew up with technological learning communities. I did not. The closest thing I had was the MLTI Laptop initiative, approved by past Maine Governor Angus King. That was great and I am glad it is still in effect.

Similar MLTI MacBooks students receive

 

With connecting endless ideas, especially with people from around the world, wouldn’t that provoke more questions from students? Wouldn’t the students also get a great chance to learn about multi-cultural diversity? It’s all at their fingertips. At the end of the article, Nussbaum-Beach says, “We have to awaken ourselves collaboratively, and the Web is just the tool we need to do it.” I think she is absolutely correct. There needs to be more professional educators “on board” or at least simply recognizing the benefits and risks of todays educational workplace. This article was great to me because Nussbaum-Beach illuminated the certain reasons why Instructional Practice is a dying breed and that change needs to happen. She was very convincing, using quotes from current teachers.

What do you think? How do you think the current system is working?


Connectivism: Theory or Solution?

Author and New Age Educational Theorist: George Siemens

Today I read Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age, an article by George Siemens. Siemens is a theorist for digital age/progressive learning. At the beginning of this article, he discussed the three broad most common learning theories that everyone learns in a basic psychology class: behaviorism, cognitism and constructivism. However, after he mentions this, he says, “These theories, however, were developed in a time when learning was not impacted through technology. Over the last twenty years, technology has reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn” (Siemens, 2004). As technology progresses, learning must progress as well, and it must adapt to the realization of the usage of new age digital learning tools that are at mankind’s fingertips.

Connectivism is an alternative theory to the learning theories that Siemens talks about after naming some flaws from the previous three common theories. Siemens boldly states, “Including technology and connection making as learning activities begins to move learning theories into a digital age. We can no longer personally experience and acquire learning that we need to act. We derive our competence from forming connections” (Siemens, 2004). This is the introduction to his proposed theory called “connectivism.” The principles of connectivism are as follows:

  • Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions.
  • Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
  • Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
  • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
  • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
  • Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
  • Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
  • Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision. (Siemens, 2004)

 

So...What IS Connectivism?

 

 

 

Siemens also says, “As knowledge continues to grow and evolve, access to what is needed is more important than what the learner currently possesses.” As time goes on, so will technological advances. Learning will and should progress in to the future, as days and years pass. Why shouldn’t there be a change? a new theory? a new learning revolution? New tools can and will be utilized by scholars of all ages from toddlers to the elderly as they are created. They are created to help us learn, so why not take the time to learn how to use them and learn how they can help US learn. In a digital era, the current state we’re in at this point in time, we need updated tools and material. The material is already in existence, so let’s use it, put it in the classrooms and make NEW positive change.


Dr. Asimov


I encourage anyone to watch this. This is part two of an interview with Dr. Isaac Asimov. It is unreal how “right on” Asimov is with his opinions and optimistic views are for learning in the future, as seen at the beginning of the video. Please note this interview was filmed in 1988. Asimov states, “You ask, you can find out, you can follow it up, you can do it in your own home, at your own speed, at your own direction, on your own time. then everyone will enjoy learning…now adays what people call ‘learning’, is forced on you…”(Asimov, 1988). Asimov talks about how the internet can spark learning interests because of the power of technology. He talks about social networking long before the famous Facebook or MySpace websites were in existence. Asimov was all about learning progressively. Are you? What does this video mean to you? Learning with technology can save schools and students’ interest in learning and knowledge. This video is very powerful in the sense of he is discussing what can and should happen for the future, over twenty years ago.