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As a student, participation in NGL is useful to me

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As a student, participation in Networked Global Learning (NGL) is useful to me as its principles can be incorporated into my practice as a Librarian. I see it expanding the boundaries of my knowledge and networks to include other discipline specific resources. However, as a result of experiences within EDU8117, I see that the implementation of its concepts needs care in order to reap its benefits.

As a professional, I see that NGL and connectivism can positively affect my practice. According to Siemens (2005), as a “knowledge worker”, I operate in a world of chaos that constantly shifts. We  librarians not only struggle to keep pace with the changing technological preferences of students (Tewell, 2016) but with determining which new teaching software to use (Prensky, 2007). The chaos is increased by the pressure to function as researchers, web designers and teachers that liaise with lecturers to provide internet based information literacy instruction (Barton, 2006). Participating in EDU8117 however, allows me to formally understand that I operate within a network of nodes or information resources. These are either human or inanimate repositories of knowledge that I identify in order to gain information which I then apply to perform tasks (Siemens, 2005). As a result, these nodes become job enablers. Further EDU8117’s content will eventually help manage stress levels as it  reinforces the concept of not needing to know everything, but needing to know where information lies (Kligyte, 2009; Siemens, 2005).  Thus these concepts are valuable to my role as librarian.

However, implementing NGL requires care. In order to work, the networks supporting NGL need to become “living entities”. As a student in EDU8117, the created network was tenuous because the asynchronous learning methods used adversely affected communication and our physical presence. This has also been reported by Patterson, Carrillo, and Salinas (2012). The group met asynchronously and thus some students, myself included, felt the isolation experienced with this teaching format (Reese, 2015). Also unlike EDU8117’s USQ forum, our blogs, did not promote easy communication.  For example, as also noted by McInnerney and Roberts (2004) our forums allowed us to portray ourselves, and categorize conversations by topic and problem solve. Conversely many noted that our blogs were difficult to set up, and I also found them hard to navigate: the presence of linked headings on the side of webpages was variable, as were links inviting us to post comments. As Mitchell mentioned in his post titled “Considering Digital Literacy in a Networked Learning Environment”, issues could be explained by White and Le Cornu (2011) and the fact that we were digital visitors to blog sites, as opposed to digital residents who actively used USQ forums for study and were fine with showing an online self in that space (McInnerney & Roberts, 2004). Thus, communication and technological issues meant that the network was prevented from becoming a dynamic entity.

As a result of the above, care with implementing NGL into my practice as a librarian should also involve balancing pedagogy which focuses on collaboration with technical scaffolding (Gillett-Swan, 2017). As a student I felt that we would have been better supported in our collaborative tasks had we been provided with an initial lesson that showed us how to set up and use blogs beforehand. Such scaffolding would have supported Mishra and Koehler’s (2009, p. 64) TPACK framework which if extrapolated implies that if teachers impart their Technology Knowledge to students, then students in turn become computer literate enough to participate and produce material by communicating, processing and problem solving with each other in an online setting (McLoughlin & Lee, 2008). These factors as a result are component parts to NGL (Downes, 2011; McLoughlin & Lee, 2008) and hence important enough to consider when I conduct classes. Their importance is magnified considering a lack of technological skill has been listed as a contributor to non-completion of classes by students (Willging & Johnson, 2009).

Implementing NGL into my practice as a librarian also requires encouraging peers and future students to evolve past a group to a network that genuinely supports “an important function” (Goodyear, 2014, p. 34). This is something that is still occurring in EDU8117, most probably due to issues of liminality and integration, and, this was useful to experience as a student. For example, as Kligyte (2009, p. 541) mentioned, NGL “receives the most extreme reactions from the participants; either absolute enthusiasm or complete rejection”. At the start, I fell into the latter category, and am only now accepting its place in my role as Librarian. I intensely questioned NGL’s relevance to me and it was only with the help of my lecturer that I began to see its worth. Thus delays in seeing its application to librarianship resulted in my only adopting the persona of the enrolled student, who limited herself to set tasks (Dron & Anderson, 2014, p. 76) as opposed to a node in a network who was brave enough to post thoughts outside of the suggested confines of the lesson plans. Other students in the group showed better levels of confidence in this respect suggesting heightened ease with mastery exercises as they “appl[ied] the tools and skills learned in self-directed ways” (Brennan, n.d.). Thus, though they lack expertise, they help the group display elements of higher level learning communities by producing knowledge that is refereed (Riel & Polin, 2004). Hence they help the group exhibit a key quality of a network which is to be a “channel of knowledge diffusion” (Dron & Anderson, 2014, p. 76)

In conclusion, participation in NGL is useful to me as a student as I see its applications to my role as a  librarian. However, implementing it requires care as effective communication between human nodes requires that they are fluent with technology so they can create and disseminate knowledge. It also requires a network that is genuinely interested in a topic and is therefore not afraid to produce knowledge that is validated and useful.

References:

Barton, J. (2006). Digital librarians: boundary riders on the storm. Library Review, 55(2), 85-90. doi: 10.1108/00242530610649585.

Brennan, K. (n.d.). In connectivism, no one can hear you scream: A guide to understanding the MOOC novice.  Retrieved September 7, 2017 from http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/hybridped/in-connectivism-no-one-can-hear-you-scream-a-guide-to-understanding-the-mooc-novice/

Downes, S. (2011, May 25, 2011). ‘Connectivism’ and connective knowledge [Web log post] Retrieved.   from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/connectivism-and-connecti_b_804653.html

Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2014). A typology of social forms for learning Teaching Crowds : Learning and Social Media. (pp. 71-91). EDMONTON:  Athabasca University Press.

Gillett-Swan, J. (2017). The challenges of online learning: Supporting and engaging the isolated learner. Journal of Learning Design, 10(1), 20-30. doi: 10.5204/jld.v9i3.293.

Goodyear, P. (2014). Productive learning networks: The evolution of research and practice. In L. Carvalho & P. Goodyear (Eds.), The Architecture of Productive Learning Networks (pp. 23–47). London: Routledge. Retrieved from https://lor.usq.edu.au/usq/file/66bc5ec7-de45-434c-be66-c7d0325e40f9/1/The%20Evolution%20of%20Research%20and%20Practice.pdf

Kligyte, G. (2009). Threshold concept: A lens for examining networked learning. Paper presented at the Poster ASCILITE Conference 2009, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/auckland09/procs/kligyte-poster.pdf

Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2009). What Is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues In Technology And Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70. Retrieved from  http://www.citejournal.org/volume-9/issue-1-09/general/what-is-technological-pedagogicalcontent-knowledge/.

McInnerney, J. M., & Roberts, T. S. (2004). Online learning: Social interaction and the creation of a sense of community. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 7(3), 73-81. Retrieved from  http://www.ifets.info/journals/7_3/8.pdf.

McLoughlin, C., & Lee, M. J. W. (2008). The three p’s of pedagogy for the networked society: Personalization, participation, and productivity. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(1), 10-27. Retrieved from  https://netgl.wordpress.com/.

Patterson, L. M., Carrillo, P. B., & Salinas, R. S. (2012). Lessons from a global learning virtual classroom. Journal of Studies in International Education, 16(2), 182-197. doi: 10.1177/1028315311398665.

Prensky, M. (2007). How to teach with technology: Keeping both teachers and students comfortable in an era of exponential change In Emerging Technologies for Learning (Vol. 2, pp. 39-47). Coventry, UK: British Education Communications and Technology Association Retrieved from  www.becta.org.uk. Retrieved from www.becta.org.uk

Reese, S. A. (2015). Online learning environments in higher education: Connectivism vs. dissociation. Education and Information Technologies, 20(3), 579-588. doi: 10.1007/s10639-013-9303-7.

Riel, M., & Polin, L. (2004). Online learning communities: Common ground and critical dfferences in designing technical environments. In S. A. Barab, R. Klinge, & J. H. Gray (Eds.). Designing for virtual communties in the service of learning. (pp. 16-51). Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved from  http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm.

Tewell, E. (2016). Toward the resistant reading of information: Google, resistant spectatorship, and critical information literacy. Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 16(2), 289. Retrieved from  http://muse.jhu.edu.ezproxy.usq.edu.au/article/613843.

White, D., & Le Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). Retrieved from  http://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049.

Willging, P. A., & Johnson, S. D. (2009). Factors that influence students’ decision to dropout of online courses. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(3), 115. Retrieved from  https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ862360.

 

 

As a learner, participation in NGL was useful to me

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As a learner, participation in NGL was useful to me in that previous learning behaviours were made more explicit and I was encouraged to trial new learning behaviours. My learning goal was to learn how to teach my nephews aged two and five to code in the near future. As Van Jones (# Yes We Code, 2015) mentioned the technology sector (in the US) will have 1 million jobs available in eight years. As such I felt that introducing them to coding skills at a young age would be beneficial, especially as parents today regard coding as the “new literacy” (American Library Association, 2016).

In practice my plan for my networked learning journey, expanded to include the Seek Sense Share framework (Jones, 2017a) and Socol’s (2009) Toolbelt Theory, in addition to the CLEM model (Jones, 2017b). I sought information by using the CLEM model to scope environments and literature that dealt with teaching kids to code. Through Google, I found the community included people who ran blog sites, Facebook groups, the Khan Academy and Scratch, and those who answered questions on Reddit and uploaded YouTube infomercials. I also evaluated those within my knowledge network and identified Lauren, as a potential node. For my learning purposes the best communities were found on Facebook, Reddit and Scratch – not EDU8117. This was because I suspected that questions posted to the former communities would be responded to more quickly by people who shared my same interest. This can be explained by Muther (2013) and Thompson (2015) who claim that highly connected people have high expectations for instant information gratification. I noticed for example that responses to forum posts among EDU 8117 cohorts took up to a week to answer. However, responses to questions posted from people in Scratch gained multiple views and answers within a day (please see Figure 1). Consequently as a result of this evaluation, these people and websites became a part of my tool belt as did knowledge gained from commencing a few Code Academy classes.

Scratch

Figure 1: Help with Scripts (Gained from Scratch, 2017)

In starting to learn about my topic I also evaluated the content found in websites, and settled on four websites, the Educational AppStore, Hour of Code, Hour of Code – Disney and the Scratch websites. However, further exploration made me conclude that constructivist learning was required to supplement the TPACK model I originally settled on where regarding my nephews. I also concluded that even my oldest nephew was still too young to learn coding. For small children, programming content needs to be scaffolded on other basic skills, as advocated for by teachers (Sentance & Csizmadia, 2017). A quick analysis showed that basic instruction in coding, even if non computer based, required an attention span of 10 minutes, the ability to carry out sequential instructions and the maturity to understand concepts such as loops in order to be effective. In the UK, lessons in coding are started at the age of five. In Australia, this begins at eight (Vivian, Falkner, & Szabo, 2014). Further, analysis showed that young children who are able to use iPads, need to have also mastered basic reading skills to manipulate drag and drop coding programs. This is confirmed by many teachers who state a lack of literacy “is a stumbling block when trying to introduce variables and functions etc” (Sentance & Csizmadia, 2017, p. 482).

Also, an analysis of EDU8117 student behaviours during this course bears mentioning. Only one student asked for help with their learning task. Futher only one other student, myself, offered solutions to her question. As a result, this behaviour could reflect the fact that our individual learning tasks were not meaningful enough for us to participate in (McLoughlin and Lee). This is understandable considering that the practice of NGL in a class situation was probably limited by the normal demands of reading course material (Willging & Johnson, 2009) and having to attend to family and work commitments. However, the situation changed when discussing NGL. A number of posts were placed on blog sites with futher comments offered, thus indicating that meaningful student centred learning was occuring (Curtin University of Technology, 2017). Thus, it appears that students began to demonstrate mature learning behaviours as seen by their willingness to focus on interesting aspects of the course, think and independently further their learning (Vivian et. al, 2014).

So as a result of these experiences, even though I have not learned to code yet, NGL has formalised my information gathering processes which are ultimately required for problem solving. NGL’s reliance on seeking, defining and accessing knowledge networks results in connectivist learning. This formalisation lead to stepping out of comfort zones to seek and evaluate new products. As a person who is learning a task on behalf of someone else however, I find that the knowledge gained needs to be fused with pedagogical frameworks in order for success to occur. I further understand that effective networks can only exist when the content being addressed is meaningful to all concerned.

References:

# Yes We Code. (2015). Van Jones on teaching 100,000 low-income kids to code. Retrieved from https://www.yeswecode.org/van_jones_on_teaching_100_000_low_income_kids_to_code

(2016, December 8). Libraries ready to code. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFBZz9_TVXc&feature=youtu.be

Curtin University of Technology. (2017). Student centred learning.  Retrieved September 5, 2017 from https://clt.curtin.edu.au/teaching_learning_practice/student_centred/student_centred.cfm

Jones, D. (2017a). Week 2 – Conceptions of network learning. Retrieved  from https://netgl.wordpress.com/study-schedule-2/week-2-conceptions-of-network-learning/

Jones, D. (2017b). Week 4 – CLEM and community. Retrieved from https://netgl.wordpress.com/study-schedule-2/week-4-clem-and-community/

Muther, C. (2013, February 2). Instant gratification is making us perpetually impatient. Boston Globe. Retrieved from https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/style/2013/02/01/the-growing-culture-impatience-where-instant-gratification-makes-crave-more-instant-gratification/q8tWDNGeJB2mm45fQxtTQP/story.html

Scratch. (2017). Help with Scripts. Retrieved September 14, 2017 from https://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/7/

Sentance, S., & Csizmadia, A. (2017). Computing in the curriculum: Challenges and strategies from a teacher’s perspective. Education and Information Technologies, 22(2), 469. doi: 10.1007/s10639-016-9482-0.

Socol, I. D. (July 20 2017). The toolbelt [Powerpoint presentation]. Michigan State University, Retrieved July 23, 2017 from https://www.slideshare.net/irasocol/toolbelt-theory

Thompson, P. (2015). How digital native learners describe themselves. Education and Information Technologies, 20(3), 467-484. doi: 10.1007/s10639-013-9295-3.

Vivian, R., Falkner, K., & Szabo, C. (2014). Can everybody learn to code? Computer science community perceptions about learning the fundamentals of programming. In Proceedings of the 14th Koli Calling International Conference on computing education research, Koli, Finland. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277022413_Can_everybody_learn_to_code_Computer_science_community_perceptions_about_learning_the_fundamentals_of_programming

Willging, P. A., & Johnson, S. D. (2009). Factors that influence students’ decision to dropout of online courses. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 13(3), 115. Retrieved from  https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ862360.

 

How NGL can inform my role as teacher

dai-ke-32162NGL can enhance learning and create transformational changes in my role as a teacher. Assuming I was an academic lecturer, one transformational change I would adopt is to jointly create curricula with companies to encourage NGL in students via internships in business and community organisations. Such partnerships encourage impact and standardisation on a national scale, can affect employment by international companies (Mellow, Scott, & Woolis, 2010, pp. 311-312) and, by default heightens the bar for student learning. For this to work however, the concept of networked learning would need to be explicitly promoted in the placement so that NGL’s value is made relevant. Thus the internships would be student centred and involve curricula that support meaningful experiences which stimulate reflection and collaboration in group settings (Curtin University of Technology, 2017).

In an NGL setting, the above experiences would involve opportunities for student centred learning (Harkema & Schout, 2008), networked problem solving, participation and productivity (McLoughlin & Lee, 2008). The benefits for students are many. Internships lend themselves to constructivist and connectivist learning, as knowledge, skills and real life experience are gained in safe environments (Fleming & Haigh, 2017 pp. 202, 206; Harkema & Schout, 2008, pp. 516-517). Additionally, networks comprising knowledge ecologies (Chatti, 2012) can be made, and all these improve future employability prospects of students (Fleming & Haigh, 2017). The cost however is the time spent by the mentor and placement supervisor in devising meaningful and challenging learning activities. Additionally benefits may be limited if expectations between the mentor and student don’t match (Beck & Halim, 2008, p. 152; Vélez & Giner, 2015). However, these can be reduced if the curriculum’s learning outcomes for NGL are explicitly stated, linked to previously learned material and their usefulness highlighted during the placement.

The need to explicitly link NGL’s concepts to prior learning is based on my experiences in EDU8117. Though the techniques associated with NGL were clearly stated, I experienced extreme difficulty forming connections with my prior knowledge as a librarian. Motivation to succeed (and fail) had me engaging in powerful bouts of reflection on my own and with two others. To me NGL was troublesome and had no place in student learning as I felt that undergraduate students would be too busy learning discipline content to focus on creating lifelong networks. However, Kligyte’s (2009) application of Threshold Concepts to this area rang true. The transformative change occurred when I recognised that library concepts of information, computer and digital literacy were the building blocks of network creation, thereby integrating two fields that “previously did not seem to be related” at all Kligyte (2009, p. 541). Thus linking previous knowledge to new concepts finally resulted in a more meaningful learning experience – and this is a requirement for successful learning (Risner & Kumar, 2016). Thus the relevance of NGL in internships needs to be highlighted in order for students to see its benefits.

The second transformational change I’d adopt is the embedding of NGL’s components of network creation and access, and information, computer and in particular, digital literacies, into courses. This is due to experiences gained in EDU8117. The first two literacies which deal with the ability to find information, access and manage it, (Fraillon, Ainley, Schulz, Friedman, & Gebhardt, 2013, p. 17) are comparable to the idea that students identify information nodes and access them via making connections (Downes, 2011). Digital literacy on the other hand, relies on the first two literacies to recreate and repurpose information (Downes, 2011; Mohammadyari & Singh, 2015).

So, as students all of us possessed information and computer literacies, however, half had problems managing the digital literacy component of NGL as we had difficulties responding to blog posts. The inability to communicate resulted in students feeling frustrated and isolated. Thus, as teacher, I’d integrate the TPACK framework, specifically its Technological Knowledge aspect to scaffold any learning requiring internet technologies (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). This was also recommended by Lauren in her response to Mitchell’s post titled “Considering Digital Literacy in a Networked Learning Environment”. The benefits of adopting this framework are many. Instruction in digital literacies leads to improved self-efficacy, peer engagement and interaction with the technology involved (Prior, Mazanov, Meacheam, Heaslip, & Hanson, 2016). Thus, supporting students in this manner encourages them to become digital residents as opposed to digital natives (White & Le Cornu, 2011). However, even when usage problems were solved, further interactions through blog comments were poor. McLoughlin and Lee (2008, p. 11) and Kop, Fournier, and Mak (2011, pp. 1, 8) explain this by suggesting our use of blogs as social media communication tools is ultimately dependant on how useful they’re perceived to be. Hence initial failures, could have easily resulted in poor impressions of blog technologies and eventual reduced usage (Prior et al., 2016). Consequently as a teacher, I would ensure my students were supported in all three literacies, and in particular digital literacies when implementing NGL into their learning.

There are a number of challenges in implementing digital literacies and networked learning with students. The first is the figuring out what technology to use, with the cost being the time associated with evaluating its suitability (Arnold, Smith, & Trayner, 2012). However,  the benefit is that once the technology is learned, users gain a skill which improves prior capabilities (Thompson, 2012, p. 160) and that further, this interaction allows content to “circulate in the (network’s) conduits”  (Thompson, 2012, p. 161) Another challenge is determining how to teach with the chosen tool (Arnold et al., 2012). A negative impact with using online methods is that teachers find themselves being accessible to students 24/7, report reduced time to think without interruptions and feelings of guilt if they don’t respond to comments immediately (Boon & Sinclair, 2012, pp. 282-283). For students a limitation of embedding NGL in this manner is that classes which aren’t properly structured will have students experiencing greater cognitive load, which if too great sets them up for poor self efficacy and failure (Brennan, n.d.).

In conclusion, NGL can result in some advanced transformative changes through its incorporation into internships and the reliance of key literacies in its practice. These however require careful consideration as internship experiences require the set-up of networks and must explicitly state NGL outcomes for meaningful learning by students. The latter on the other hand needs to be introduced so as to support communication and hence network acquisition by students.

References:

Arnold, P., Smith, J. D., & Trayner, B. (2012). The challenge of introducing “one more tool”: A community of practice perspective on networked learning. In L. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, V. Hodgson, & D. McConnell (Eds.). Exploring the Theory, Pedagogy and Practice of Networked Learning. (pp. 123-139). New York, NY:  Springer New York.

Beck, J. E., & Halim, H. (2008). Undergraduate internships in accounting: What and how do Singapore interns learn from experience? Accounting Education, 17(2), 151-172. doi: 10.1080/09639280701220277.

Boon, S., & Sinclair, C. (2012). Life behind the screen: Taking the academic online. In L. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, V. Hodgson, & D. McConnell (Eds.). Exploring the Theory, Pedagogy and Practice of Networked Learning. (pp. 273-287). New York, NY:  Springer New York.

Brennan, K. (n.d.). In connectivism, no one can hear you scream: A guide to understanding the MOOC novice.  Retrieved September 7, 2017 from http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/hybridped/in-connectivism-no-one-can-hear-you-scream-a-guide-to-understanding-the-mooc-novice/

Chatti, M. A. (2012). Knowledge management: a personal knowledge network perspective. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16(5), 829-844. doi: 10.1108/13673271211262835.

Curtin University of Technology. (2017). Student centred learning.  Retrieved September 5, 2017 from https://clt.curtin.edu.au/teaching_learning_practice/student_centred/student_centred.cfm

Downes, S. (2011, May 25, 2011). ‘Connectivism’ and connective knowledge [Web log post] Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/connectivism-and-connecti_b_804653.html

Fleming, J., & Haigh, N. J. (2017). Examining and challenging the intentions of work-integrated learning. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 7(2), 198-210. doi: 10.1108/heswbl-01-2017-0003.

Fraillon, J., Ainley, J., Schulz, W., Friedman, T., & Gebhardt, E. (2013). Preparing for life in a digital age: The IEA international computer and information literacy study international report. Springer.  doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-14222-7. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-3-319-14222-7.pdf

Harkema, S. J. M., & Schout, H. (2008). Incorporating student-centred learning in innovation and entrepreneurship education. European Journal of Education, 43(4), 513-526. Retrieved from  http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.usq.edu.au/stable/25481878.

Kligyte, G. (2009). Threshold concept: A lens for examining networked learning. Paper presented at the Poster ASCILITE Conference 2009, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/auckland09/procs/kligyte-poster.pdf

Kop, R., Fournier, H., & Mak, J. S. F. (2011). A pedagogy of abundance or a pedagogy to support human beings? Participant support on massive open online courses. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 12(7), 74. doi: 10.19173/irrodl.v12i7.1041.

McLoughlin, C., & Lee, M. J. W. (2008). The three p’s of pedagogy for the networked society: Personalization, participation, and productivity. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(1), 10-27. Retrieved from  https://netgl.wordpress.com/.

Mellow, G. O., Scott, R. A., & Woolis, D. D. (2010). Teetering between eras: higher education in a global, knowledge networked world. On the Horizon, 18(4), 308-319. doi: 10.1108/10748121011082617.

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9620.2006.00684.x.

Mohammadyari, S., & Singh, H. (2015). Understanding the effect of e-learning on individual performance: The role of digital literacy. Computers & Education, 82(no issue number), 11-25. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.10.025.

Prior, D. D., Mazanov, J., Meacheam, D., Heaslip, G., & Hanson, J. (2016). Attitude, digital literacy and self efficacy: Flow-on effects for online learning behavior. The Internet and Higher Education, 29, 91-97. doi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2016.01.001.

Risner, M., & Kumar, S. (2016). Graduate student perceptions of a globally networked course. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 8(3), 287-301. doi: 10.1108/jarhe-01-2015-0009.

Thompson, T. L. (2012). Who’s taming who? Tensions between people and technologies in cyberspace communities. In L. Dirckinck-Holmfeld, V. Hodgson, & D. McConnell (Eds.). Exploring the Theory, Pedagogy and Practice of Networked Learning. (pp. 157-172). New York, NY:  Springer New York.

Vélez, G. S., & Giner, G. R. (2015). Effects of business internships on students, employers, and higher education institutions: A systematic review. Journal of Employment Counseling, 52(3), 121-130. doi: 10.1002/joec.12010.

White, D., & Le Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). Retrieved from  http://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049.

 

 

8th Blog Post: What does it mean to be critical about the use of technology in learning and teaching?

Glasses.png

According to Selwyn (2015) being critical about the use of technology in the learning and teaching space means identifying new concepts and practices, and understanding their effects on students and staff. These effects include an analysis of the costs and gains and also whether they actually fix the problems they were supposed to. He also suggests that being critical requires the belief that practices can always be improved upon especially if one applies critical reflection on those practices. However, I would moderate Selwyn’s (2015) opinions by stating Jones (2015) position: that better pedagogies can only occur if we don’t abandon old models and practices willy nilly, but instead by understanding them “in detail”, so that we can fine tune it by getting rid of what works and developing what does so that teachers can apply variations of it, for all students to benefit from.

To do this we need to monitor students’ use of technology, their actions in general as both reflect their emotions. According to Brennan (n.d.) and his analysis of MOOCs, connectivist theory does not lend itself to scaffolding as it assumes we’re already “digitally literate nodes”. He says that peer support will alleviate issues for example with technology, however, there needs to be instructor input to avoid the student failing all together. This issue with online learning has also been noted in general for example Croxton (2014) and McInnerney and Roberts (2004). Also NGL doesn’t allow for many experiences with mastery due to its reliance on connectivist theories Brennan (n.d.). This course has tried to do negate this through expectations set by the rubric, however, I think it may have fallen a bit with getting us to explore a learning task by ourselves. Had it created a different set task for all of us to engage in, it may have resulted in increased participation and communication which would have resulted in more meaningful and student centred learning (Curtin University of Technology, 2017; McLoughlin & Lee, 2008).

 

References

Brennan, K. (n.d.). In connectivism, no one can hear you scream: A guide to understanding the MOOC novice.  Retrieved September 7, 2017 from http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/hybridped/in-connectivism-no-one-can-hear-you-scream-a-guide-to-understanding-the-mooc-novice/

Croxton, R. A. (2014). The role of interactivity in student satisfaction and persistence in online learning. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(2), 314. Retrieved from  https://usq.summon.serialssolutions.com/#!/search?bookMark=ePnHCXMw42JgAfZbU5lAx5SaAvOSqZEFB7RkBG3CNONkCAEGgEJQfk6qQn6aAnjcC7SEH3RTgkJmnkIw5EhHhWCkxf0KwE61AmhFOMjnwLAAqYOcxKkAPYU0nZtB2c01xNlDF1agxkPjojge2KYxMbMA1u2gyWViVAEAnnU9Tg.

Curtin University of Technology. (2017). Student centred learning.  Retrieved September 5, 2017 from https://clt.curtin.edu.au/teaching_learning_practice/student_centred/student_centred.cfm

Jones, D. (2015). All models are wrong, but some are useful and its application to e-learning.  Retrieved September 7, 2017 from http://djon.es/blog/2015/08/28/all-models-are-wrong-but-some-are-useful-and-its-application-to-e-learning/

McInnerney, J. M., & Roberts, T. S. (2004). Online learning: Social interaction and the creation of a sense of community. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 7(3), 73-81. Retrieved from  http://www.ifets.info/journals/7_3/8.pdf.

McLoughlin, C., & Lee, M. J. W. (2008). The three p’s of pedagogy for the networked society: Personalization, participation, and productivity. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(1), 10-27. Retrieved from  https://netgl.wordpress.com/.

Selwyn, N. (2015). Technology and education – why it’s crucial to be critical. In S. Bulfin, N. Johnson, & C. Bigum (Eds.). ritical  perspectives on technology and education New York:  Palgrave Macmillan.

7th blog post: Are we a network or a group, and what is our learning community type?

Gatesfoundation

Picture credit: Smith, M. (2012). 20120131-NodeXL-Twitter- gatesfoundation network graph. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

This is a question I began wrestling with about four weeks ago, I began to form some ideas, and they really haven’t changed. Recently, Nikki alerted me to the fact that others (herself, Mitch and Keturah) were starting to talk about this, so I’m offering my two cents.

Are we a group? Yes. According to Dron and Anderson (2014, p. 76), we have characteristics that define us as a group:

  • We are all listable – we know each other by name, and the USQ forum lists us.
  • There are definite “lines of authority and roles”, for example, there is Chris, who’s our lecturer, and then there are us students.
  • Our rubric structures define our behaviour through the tasks we’ve been assigned, the number of posts we write, their length and links created.

As a result of the above, especially considering the requirements asked of us and learning goals which are part of this class, we would be a task based group (Riel & Polin, 2004, p. 38).

Are we a net? In some respects we are in that we acknowledge we’re all professionals, have expertise and knowledge in our areas and have like-minded peers that we can potentially rely on. Thus, we are nodes. However, I have mixed feelings towards us being called a network when it comes to NGL. McLoughlin and Lee (2008, p. 14) suggests that a feature of a networked society is that “learning is a process of making connections between specialized nodes or information sources”. I humbly question if we are specialised in this area – even though we back up our ideas with articles, and thus contribute to each other’s learning. That said I would agree that in addition to being a task-based learning community, we operate within an evolving knowledge-based community. I say “evolving” as Riel and Polin (2004, p. 38) state that such communities have experts participating in them (which we’re not), but there is a focus on knowledge production which is made explicit through our blog posts. Hence we may one day become experts.

References:

Dron, J., & Anderson, T. (2014). A typology of social forms for learning Teaching Crowds : Learning and Social Media. (pp. 71-91). EDMONTON:  Athabasca University Press.

McLoughlin, C., & Lee, M. J. W. (2008). The three p’s of pedagogy for the networked society: Personalization, participation, and productivity. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(1), 10-27. Retrieved from  https://netgl.wordpress.com/.

Riel, M., & Polin, L. (2004). Online learning communities: Common ground and critical dfferences in designing technical environments. In S. A. Barab, R. Klinge, & J. H. Gray (Eds.). Designing for virtual communties in the service of learning. (pp. 16-51). Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press.

 

6th blog post: Blog post as Learner: The SAMR Model and answers to questions from Week 6

SAMR model

The SAMR Model by Dr Puentedura (common sense media, n.d.)

Like Nikki’s example, my example of SAMR will involve research, but specifically on student use of reference management software. SAMR was created by Dr. Puentedura as a way for teachers to understand how they used technology in classrooms. (A video explaining the above model is found here.) It is a way for teachers to gain whether technology enhances learning (through substitution or augmentation) or transforms learning (through modification and redefinition) to encourage creative and evaluative thinking in students (common sense media, n.d.). Examples of SAMR  in action are provided by Dr Puentedura in the video below.

Puentadura

How to apply the SAMR model with Ruben Puentedura (Common Sense Education, 2016)

My own example follows below:

The situation: When I entered university information gathering occurred through handwritten notes or through photocopy machines and highlighter pens. Notes and journal articles were organised in ring binders according to theme.

S – Substitution now occurs by downloading the pdfs onto my computer, and use of EndNote’s highlighting tool, its research notes field (to remind me of of pertinent points) and folders called “Sets” to allow me to thematically organise my pdfs.

A – In Augmentation, Puentadura states that “technology acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement” (common sense media, n.d.). EndNote augments my note taking skills by allowing me to make annotatations in the research notes field, to find key words contained in pdfs in the EndNote Library and also, to search for each instance of a word within a pdf.

M – With Modification, the “technology allows for significant task redesign” (common sense media, n.d.). In this instance EndNote users are able to share their libraries, online and on networked computing sites.

R – With Redefinition – technology allows for “the creation of entirely new tasks that were previously inconceivable” (common sense media, n.d.). This occurs in the research space with new 2.0 Data Management technologies, for example Mendeley. This software like EndNote allows for reference management and citations. However, now references can be suggested to you and tagged. Further, it doubles as a researcher social network site. It helps find researchers with common interests, allows them to follow each other and collaborate on projects through public or private groups (Mendeley, 2014).

Questions

What would be the role of the educator? How would we teach?

Mellow, Scott and Woolis (2010) state that higher education will become increasing globalised, technology will result in teachers being commonly found outside of universities, and that increasingly businesses will dictate the way education is provided. Thus as Downs and Siemans suggest, it becomes important for educators to instil in students an understanding of where information resides and to encourage making connections by establishing Personal Knowledge Networks (Chatti, 2012).

In doing this, we would teach students digital literacy concepts, thus enabling them to access, critically evaluate information, create and then pass on new learning through a process of remixing and building upon older knowledge (Visser, 2012). As teachers, this would be accomplished by scaffolding students’ computer and internet literacies and their information literacies. In an era of NGL, teachers would incorporate use of computers, the internet and databases in daily practice and assessment to encourage students to identify nodes of information and make connections by accessing and evaluating them for their usefulness, and then by retrieving it. Of course storing information and finalling create and share new information is the end goal (Mellow et al., 2010).

What would be the role of the learner?

In response to teaching, the role of the learner is to become acquainted with the literacies offered, understand where nodes of information are located and reuse, create and share new information. However, more globally, Prior et al, (2015) states the role of the learner is to become self-efficient and in turn an independent and self-directed learner – he however, does mention that success in learning concepts depends upon the student’s enjoyment of the content taught. This wouId have impact what Nikki mentioned in her blog, that ultimately a student’s real success would be measured by what he/she “learns and uses beyond a course” and that this is “determined by the user him/herself”

How would wayfinding, self-directedness occur?

Nikki suggests the learner should be self-directed in exploring ideas, learning initiatives and making connections. However, I suggest self directness depends on the abilities of the student. This in turn is affected by their perceptions of their self-efficacy, which is affected by positive attitudes toward the course, and their ability to handle the technology involved (Mellow et al., 2010). I’ve come to realise I’m struggling with this course, not only because I wanted more scaffolding with technology throughout the whole program, but because I’m still trying to figure out the difference between a student and learner. Additionally, two weeks ago, I was still not sold on the usefulness of NGL for any student other than post graduates and working staff. Thus, if it wasn’t for Chris, I really wouldn’t have looked deeper and realised that the component parts of digital literacy taught across all universities are in fact the basics of NGL. Thus as I reluctantly admit to currently undergoing a transformational change (by accepting that NGL could provide tools to deal with immense changes yet to come) it is only because of Chris, and his ability to provide guidance and insight, that I am (still) slowly coming to the conclusion that NGL is something other than an utter waste of time. To round this off, using connectivist jargon, the course by utilising this blog, its readings (knowledge) and its teacher as an aggregation point (as defined by Downes, p. 2011) assists students who need structure. Indeed even more able students need this start point in order to have their initial thoughts directed into something more meaningful to them.

How would curriculum be created? Shared?

(Mellow et al., 2010, p. 314) suggest that the diffusion of knowledge outside of universities will mean that curricula will be “emergent and socially derived by dialogue among faculty, students and experts in the field”. Further, they suggest that NGOs that are closely associated with set fields such as education and philanthropy will have more input in setting educational standards (Mellow et al., 2010, p. 311)

How would research be conducted?

I think research would be conducted in an atmosphere of more collaboration. Siemens (2005) focus on information nodes and the requirement of people to make connections is exactly how researchers, especially early career researchers, try for more successful grant applications – early career researchers commonly collaborate with “research giants” to get grants and improve their visibility. Further, networks for collaboration and learning are now being seen through work-related networking sites like Linked-In, ResearchGate, Adacademia.edu. They are also being seen through second generation reference management software like Mendeley, which also have social networking sites within them.

What would be the role of the university in society?

The role of universities in networked global societies I feel is still developing. Mellow et al. (2010) suggest the dispersion of knowledge between companies and universities will result in cloud based colleges. Indeed, this opinion appears to be supported by Siemens (2008, p. 12) as he believes universities will extend “teaching and learning to the network, rather than retaining it under a classroom model”. However, this thinking may be counteracted by for-profit universities who offer cut price courses (which are still profitable to investors) which are content only and do not extend current knowledge boundaries through research and hence networks (Mellow et al., 2010).

What would education “look like”? How would we mark? Accredit?

Based on the information thus far, education would still involve a transfer of content knowledge to students, plus scaffolding of that knowledge through a reliance on digital literacies. It would involve activities with meaningful real world applications which could rely on technology that assists students to experience new situations (for example with augmented realities), technologies that assist students to access data, or to record and analyse data for problem solving activities (for example with the River City and EcoMobile curriculum projects, (Voogt, Erstad, Dede, & Mishra, 2013).

As teachers we may mark students on their ability to demonstrate 21st century competencies. This includes subject knowledge plus the ability to collaborate, create, communicate, employ digital literacy skills, problem solve, critically think and be creative (Voogt et al., 2013, p. 404). Though it is directed at teachers in primary and high schools, the “Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills” initiative suggests breaking assessment into component parts such as ICT vs information literacies (Voogt et al., 2013, p. 405). Still others suggest testing the competencies mentioned above in the environment that the learning is situation in, for example virtual environments (Voogt et al., 2013, p. 408)

Accreditation in a NGL would foreseeably occur through NGOs, philanthropic organisations and universities determining what standards need to be in place for students to successfully operate outside of institutions of learning (Mellow et al., 2010; Siemens, 2008)

Weekly questions posted to USQ Forum

The key this week is to explore the cultural social and historical context you are in and come from and aspire to?

What are the cultural differences between your immediate networks and what are the cultures that sit within your networks?

As you read this (i.e. Siemen’s 2008) consider how the assumptions, changes, models and future possibilities apply (or don’t) to your teaching context? What resonates? What confronts? What seems interesting? What might participatory pedagogies look like in your context? 

A combined answer:

I come from a science background, which has a culture of institutional expertise; the theories behind it are centuries old e.g. Darwin’s theory of evolution; theories and findings are backed by countless experiments and rely on expensive machines. The theory and information provided by these machines require discipline specific knowledge and analytical capabilities. The current culture I find myself in is Library Science. Historically and culturally, the field has supported Empirical Learning and strives to build on a culture of evidence based practice. So reading about Siemen’s (2008) Knowledge Fluidity and knowledge being created by “amateur knowledge producers” is confronting. We experience this daily by teaching students how to access credible resources.

Something interesting in Siemen’s (2008) article is the concept of competition. I have no problems with the concepts of Open Universities and Corporate Universities. The former allows better access to accredited universities for students who are disadvantaged for various reasons like distance or finances (Mellow et al., 2010); the latter sparks interest as they really aren’t accredited but they further the functioning of the parent company. Apple and Disney Universities for example offer courses that assist people to fulfil specific roles within them. As such though, perhaps they ought to be called colleges as most aren’t accredited. In fact my general opinion is that any university other than a traditional university (i.e. defined as one that expands current boundaries of knowledge through research) ought to be called a college.

Culturally, I would like to see myself being part of an extended network of  professionals with enough practical knowledge behind them to be considered an expert in their field… I also see myself in a network supported by technological conduits, especially the limitless dimensions of learning mentioned by Siemen (2008) i.e. the “long term trends influencing information creation, interaction and technological change” and … “c) the  multi-faceted dimension-less nature of learning”.  As a result, I see networks being facilitated by holograms provided through Microsoft and, by traditional email, web conferencing like Zoom. I think the nature of the systematic change afforded by Hololens technology will mean that the internet of things will finally make a transformational entry into our homes and become common place. Thus speaking to cousins or liaising with people in different countries will occur not only in real time, but in “real space”, with physical images of their bodies in front of us. Thus as JISC mentioned, changed spaces will result in changed practice.

References:

Chatti, M. A. (2012). Knowledge management: a personal knowledge network perspective. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16(5), 829-844. doi: 10.1108/13673271211262835.

common sense media. (n.d.). Introduction to the SAMR Model.  Retrieved August 19, 2017 from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/introduction-to-the-samr-model

Downes, S. (May 25, 2011). ‘Connectivism’ and connective knowledge [Web log post] Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/connectivism-and-connecti_b_804653.html

Mellow, G. O., Scott, R. A., & Woolis, D. D. (2010). Teetering between eras: higher education in a global, knowledge networked world. On the Horizon, 18(4), 308-319. doi: 10.1108/10748121011082617.

Mendeley. (2014, April 3). Getting started with Mendeley [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv6_HuCYExM

Siemens, G. (2008). New structures and spaces of learning: The systemic impact of connective knowledge, connectivism, and networked learning.  Retrieved August 15, 2017 from http://elearnspace.org/Articles/systemic_impact.htm

Visser, M. (2012). Digital literacy definition. ALA Connect, Retrieved August 29, 2017 from http://connect.ala.org/node/181197

Voogt, J., Erstad, O., Dede, C., & Mishra, P. (2013). Challenges to learning and schooling in the digital networked world of the 21st century. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(5), 403-413. doi: 10.1111/jcal.12029.

5th blog post: Week 4 CLEM and Community

Pls note references and links to be cleaned up soon.

Activity: What have you chosen to learn “as learner”?

The activity I have chosen to learn about is teaching kids to code. There seem to be many communities on this practice around the world. Many seem to be based in the US, others exist in Australia, the UK. These individuals and companies host their sites online. My engagement with these communities has been superficial. I have only scoured the sites for programs that offered free coding lessons. I haven’t yet engaged with these communities by posting responses to blogs. I get help by Googling for answers to my questions, selecting likely sites and reading their content for ideas.

What have you found already in terms of the four components of the CLEM framework?

Community

I have concluded that many of the communities around this topic are Knowledge Based Learning Communities whose membership comprises of parents, educators, concerned community leaders and product providers such as Tynker.com . The key theme that bonds these people together are the recognition 1) that coding is and will be continue to be extremely important n the future,  2) that children need to become a part of this trend if they wish to succeed, 3) the information technology sector (IT) will continue to provide well paying jobs and 4) the IT sector is currently dominated by men of Asian and white descent and that this imbalance needs to be rectified not only for gender equality purposes but as a means of breaking the poverty cycle.

Van Jones summarizes the above points beautifully in an interview on behalf of his organisation “Yes We Code” – an organisation that aims to teach 100 000 low income kids how to code.

Van Jones

Some of his excerpts include:

  1. “the technology sector [will] be a million workers short in eight years”
  2. “aptitude tests show one out of five kids of any color have an inherent aptitude for the kind of problem solving that is required to be a computer programmer”.

He also suggests that current labelling practices need to change: A conversation with Prince (the singer) was also included:

“Every time you see a black kid wearing a hoodie, you say: there’s a thug. If you see a white kid wearing hoodie, you say: there’s Mark Zuckerberg,” … “I said, ‘that’s because of racism. And Prince said, ‘maybe so, or maybe you civil rights guys haven’t created enough Mark Zuckerbergs.'” Pasted from <https://www.yeswecode.org/van_jones_on_teaching_100_000_low_income_kids_to_code>

The most obvious aspect of these communities is that their product in this case, their ideas, continue. As a result, free and payable products are continually promoted and or developed. The information provided is explicit as opposed to tacit and while it isn’t intellectual, the information provided is experiential. For example, some blogs focus on the parents’ experiences and challenges of getting children to stay focussed with coding Mendez (https://www.atlassian.com/blog/software-teams/why-teach-my-kids-to-code).

Literature:

There’s a lot of literature available on this topic. This includes scholarly, technical, company based and material created from a parental framework. Scholarly material such as journal articles and books are available through databases (provided through academic libraries) and online through Google, Google Scholar and vendors such as Amazon. Other material is available online through blogs, company websites and YouTube.

Examples:

There are a number of examples available.
Company examples include:

https://www.tynker.com/blog/

http://www.educationalappstore.com/blog/5-apps-teaching-children-coding-skills/

The problem with these is that though they give hints, they essentially sell products, so as a network example, I’d say recommend evaluating the product and the information before buying. Scratch https://scratch.mit.edu/ is of course another product – but happily it is free.

School examples:

https://blog.schoolofcode.co.uk/how-kids-and-parents-had-fun-coding-together-a6078a3f0330

https://www.codingkids.com.au/blog/2017/7/6/demo-day-at-corinda-state-school

These seem to showcase events, but the upside is that they can motivate parents to become a more interested and involved parent as they provide lovely pictures of their students and use highly positive words e.g. “great” and “had fun”

Educational websites:

http://www.edudemic.com/the-three-best-free-coding-websites-for-kids/

These are useful as they provide indepth information about where to find resources.

Blogs by people who are genuinely interested in educating parents on hot topics e.g.:
http://www.kars4kids.org/blog/coding-for-kids-the-benefits-are-greater-than-you-know/

https://www.generationcode.com/blogs/news

http://saturdaykids.com/blog/

These are useful as they provide the names of quality coding programs and sometimes highlight their best features.

Model or Schema being used:

The plan is to employ and use the TPCK framework (Mishra and Koehler, 2006). I see all this information as being new.

  1. As I’m a learner, I need to introduce myself to coding concepts. Thus I see myself operating within the Content Knowledge aspect of the framework.
  2. I am also learning how to actively code. Hence the Technological-Content aspect of the framework comes into play.
  3. Eventually, I will be an Aunt who’ll (hopefully) introduce coding to my nephews. This will expand to a Pedagogical-Content aspect as I’ll have enough knowledge to teach them how to code. Also, I will be operating at the very heart of the framework, where the technological-pedagogical-content intersects as not only will I be teaching the content, but will be demonstrating how to use code-learning software and encouraging its use in a fun way.

 

What were the different types of community that Riel and Polin talked about? How might these apply in your context “as student” and “as teacher”? How might this conceptualisation of communities change your practice “as teacher”?

Regarding the Riel and Polin article. As a student within EDU 8117 I find myself lodged somewhere within a Practice and Knowledge Based Learning Community as we don’t know each other, yet have a strong identity with our own professions and interest in digital learning. For me I can easily see that my leaders will have skills in areas I’m interested in, namely education and IT. Learning is both tacit and focused on producing knowledge between all of us.  We participate by constantly producing work and learning from each other by reading each other’s posts, clicking our links and adding posts to each others’ blogs – thus we evolve (Riel and Polin, 2007, pg 40). These are all very useful to me as a student. I assume as a teacher, I will eventually use the information gained from these interactions to apply it in my career as a librarian.

The conceptualisation of communities will change my practice as a teacher by making me more comfortable with actually applying the Seek, Sense, Share Model.  I feel that participation in this course will permit me to take the time to seek out information in general and sense it – by forming opinions and finding the time to evaluate the information. Maybe one day I’ll end up sharing the information by means other than email, maybe by tweeting?, responding to blog posts?, uploading to slideshare?, posting research to ResearchGate or Academia.edu, but not by creating a blog as I don’t have the time at the moment.

References:

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9620.2006.00684.x.

Riel, M., & Polin, L. Online learning communities: Common ground and critical dfferences in designing technical environments (pp. 16-51).

 

4th blog post: Week 3

pan-xiaozhen-272654 (1)

What might the next 10 years hold if technological change keeps accelerating? (Unfortunately this is only an excerpt as I had such negative feelings about not being taught to code in this subject that Chris allowed me to post Week 3’s answers to him in private. This summarises the bulk of my feelings though. Hope you can use it.)

The next 10 years will hold a plethora of learning tools which will be developed by people with IT skills who don’t design products with educational theories in mind. As a result, busy teachers will:

  1. Spend extra time searching for appropriate products which allow the creation of content without having to code (unless they have some ability to code and can therefore tweek a product into something they can work with)
  2. Lose their creativity by being forced to use products that don’t quite meet their needs (if they can’t code)
  3. Spend time waiting for IT support staff to create learning objects for themselves
  4. Lose their independence with creating content
  5. Eventually be passed over for jobs to younger graduates who today are currently being taught to code in schools. (BTW, in no way is the picture used intended to denigrate someone (especially a child) of a different culture – it was merely intended as a thought provoking picture of our current (yet future) competition – and the skills they’ll gain will be scary.)

As a Librarian in an education setting, my role is that of a teacher when it comes to supporting information needs of students. I know all four points above have relevance to my role – there’s a lot of literature and opinion pieces by similarly like-minded individuals on the web.
Here is just some of the stuff we can do when we adopt coding (or not):

coding flowchart

Flowchart taken from (Putnam, 2013)

Further learning to code is extremely important to all of us (not only Librarians) in terms of job security. In the video below, parents and Librarians recognise coding as a “new literacy”, that the future will rely on our ability to code and that parents use public libraries as one source of learning this information to enable children to “better themselves and their families”.  So again, as the next generation of “old foggies” we need to take time out of our lives to learn to code, if we wish to be both marketable and valued. Are we on this bandwagon yet? For me, the answer is “no”, and something for my continuing professional development.

3rd Blog Post – Week 2

  1. Contribution to the skills: Please see map at:

https://join.groupmap.com/268-138-887

2. Blockages to doing the task: Blockages to completing this task included not knowing where to get group mapping software and being afraid to set it up. Luckily Lauren solved this for us, and so my new network came through for me!  I see this course will be connectivist in nature, and as a result, also realise the expectations placed upon me i.e. that Lee, Eustace, Hay and Fellows (2005, as cited by McLoughlin and Lee, 2005) expects us as students to contribute more to our combined knowledge gain as my own skills develop.

Another blockage experienced was my own small skill set. What I know, I know well. However, I am awed at others’ skill sets and for a time I wondered how I’d ever find the time to further develop  myself.  Then I realised I only needed to spend about 30 mins each day trying to learn HTML and eventually the skills I need to target would improve. Anyway I intend to take this group mapping exercise as a mind broadening experience, and follow Socol’s (2008) TEST procedure:

  1. Task: To learn as much as I can from this course
  2. Environment: To understand that I now have a group of like-minded individuals who are all supportive of each other
  3. Skills: I have a willingness to contribute and assist others to develop their skills. I have an open mind and a reasonable amount of intelligence too.
  4.  Tools:  My toolbelt is myself, other students, a computer, the internet and course material. On the concept of we students as tools, Gross (2016, p. 6) implies, networked learning occurs if we see ourselves as nodes, that we recognise and access when and who we need to get information from in order to learn and accomplish tasks.

I also admit to struggling a bit to understand all the aspects of this course. On reflection, I believe I’m experiencing  liminality. I’m find myself going back and forth between the assessment and week 2 pages (Kligyte, 2009) to understand what is expected of us. This is slowly changing as I read through this course’s expectations.

3. Our individual learning potential if we could harness this network would be impressive. In this era, there’s a huge emphasis on having HTML skills. Lauren certainly brings this to the course. If I have difficulties, with coding, perhaps I could approach her?  Nikki has a lot of skill with copyright. I have gained her insight for my work many times, and have been both grumpy yet thankful for the insight she’s given me (Nikki knows I say this with love as it’s never fun being the middleman where copyright is involved :-)) .  Chris, our lecturer will be the guide on the side, who I can approach for clarification on ideas and questions.

4a) My impact will be assistance with EndNote and researching if asked for. I also hope to positively impact you all by uploading my answers/insights on my and your blog sites so you can have material to work from in a timely manner.

4b) Regarding your impact on me: I’m so happy to have Lauren on board as her skills, especially her HTML 5 skills, are motivating me to improve mine. Nikki’s influence on me reminds me of the need to work within Australian copyright law. Her influence, along with her team members has motivated me to improve my knowledge of it, so that working within copyright law isn’t so annoying.

Answers to other questions found on the Week 2 page:

My PKM style

Future Plan As A Learner: As a learner, right now, the variety of tools I use are minimal yet personalised to me. However, due to Gross’ (2016, p. 6) belief in smart environments, and the requirement of being able to use technology to access and harness Personal Knowledge Networks, I should start increasing my online knowledge of apps, digital tools and networking sites available to adults who are interested in improving coding skills for children. With this in mind, I could:

  1. Add Feedly to my repertoire – it seems an interesting way to monitor websites that help children code.
  2. Use diigo for the above purpose as well.
  3. Monitor  Powtoon, Articulate 360 and Code Academy and Lynda.com for sites that allow older children to code and create. I’m not very familiar with what these tools do, but I do know I  have the skills to learn them.
  4. Monitor and eventually join sites that focus on parental groups devoted to coding for children.

Here is a YouTube video showing some of Feedly’s characteristics and how to use it:

Feedly

I just created my own Feedly account a few minutes ago. Do check it out if you have time. It needs populating though.

References:

Gros, B. (2016). The design of smart educational environments. Smart Learning Environments, 3(1), 1-11. doi: 10.1186/s40561-016-0039-x.

Kligyte, G. (2009, January 10). Threshold concept: A lens for examining networked learning. Paper presented at the Poster ASCILITE Conference 2009, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/auckland09/procs/kligyte-poster.pdf

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