This presentation, done by Catherine Cronin, explains the fundamentals of networked learning and the ecosystem that exists, “I don’t think education is about centralized instruction anymore; rather, it is the process [of] establishing oneself as a node in a broad network of distributed creativity.” It expands on these concepts to share what the truly networked teacher or learner looks like. Most interestingly, it describes the different aspects of ourselves that manifest themselves in different contexts. Performative self, quantified self, participatory self, asynchronous self, augmented self, surveiled self, branded self. Networked really is, as Lee Rainie (Pew) tells us, the new operating system.
The problem we often find on discussion boards is that participants answer the question, aimed directly to the facilitator. Often they don’t interact with each other. Faculty Focus (from Penn State) has a good article suggesting ideas like Role Playing, WebQuests, and Debates to keep the conversation flowing among peers. ” If you’re having trouble getting students to engage in the discussion forum, perhaps it’s time to rethink how you use this tool. “Think of it as a place to foster interaction between the students through a variety of means rather than just asking them questions, although that’s great too,” says Chris Laney, professor of history and geography at Berkshire Community College.”
This entire list is good, but one that is unexpected by most instructors is the need to be very explicit with all instruction, guidance, and expectations. The face to face experience always guides with “I don’t get it” looks – there are no visual cues online. That hurdle, which is number one on this list, tends to be the biggest surprise. From Faculty Focus.
Preparing in advance for technology integration is important, not just in terms of hardware/software and other toys. It starts with the selections we make, why we make them, and what their advantages will be. This short list has good suggestions. ”In schools, districts, and departments of education alike, a trend toward integrating technology into the education process is on the rise. One could argue that it always has been. But with the proliferation of Internet access in school buildings and the ubiquity of mobile computing devices, educators are taking note and beginning to consider new ways they can include these tools into their classroom instruction.”
It’s so powerful, when used properly. This checklist of 12 ways teachers are using social media in the classroom now adds some interesting ideas to ones we may already be using. ”The myth about social media in the classroom is that if you use it, kids will be Tweeting, Facebooking and Snapchatting while you’re trying to teach. We still have to focus on the task at hand. Don’t mistake social media for socializing. They’re different — just as kids talking as they work in groups or talking while hanging out are different.”
In this year’s New Media Consortium Horizon Report, emerging educational technologies are reviewed, with a potential timeline (“horizon”) for the adoption of each one. Reflecting on that, Times Higher Ed discusses the biggest challenges to the adoption of those technologies. This list sheds some light on the gap between what is, what will be, and the hurdles we’ll have to overcome to get there. ”NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition, we cover the six “significant challenges” it identifies as impeding the adoption of technology in higher education.”
At the beginning of a course, it’s usually easier to get discussion flowing. Later, it gets more difficult. This article from The Chronicle has some good ideas. ”If you teach a discussion-based course, you know that sooner or later, there comes a day when you notice that your students’ once-enthusiastic participation seems to have vanished.”