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.

 

 

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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?

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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.