Week 8 Connectivism, Social Media, and Participatory Learning

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

February 27, 2012  Connectivism, Social Media, and Participatory Learning

Articles I read:

Nicholas Carr (2008, July/August). Is Google Making Us Stupid? Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved on June 25, 2010, from http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200807/google

Brown, J. S., & Adler, R. P. (2008, January/February). Minds on fire: Open education, the long tail, and learning 2.0. EDUCAUSE Review, 43(1), 16-32. Retrieved on June 25, 2010, from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Review/


Mimi Ito (2010, June). Opening Plenary at the New Media Consortium 2010 in Anaheim, CA. Learning with Social Media: The Positive Potential of Peer Pressure and Messing Around Online; Gardner Campbell reflective blog on keynote: http://www.gardnercampbell.net/blog1/?p=1258; Video of keynote: http://archive.nmc.org/2010-summer-conference/keynotes

John Seely Brown (2010, June). Closing Keynote at the New Media Consortium 2010 in Anaheim, CA. A Culture of Learning. Gardner Campbell’s reflective blog post: http://www.gardnercampbell.net/blog1/?p=1278; Video of keynote: http://archive.nmc.org/2010-summer-conference/keynotes

Brown, J. S. (2006, December 1). Relearning learning—Applying the long tail to learning. Presentation at MIT iCampus, Video available from MITWorld: http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/419/

Gail Casey and Terry Evans, Deakin University, Australia (2011, November). Designing for learning: Online social networks as a classroom environment. International Review of Research on Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL), 12(7). http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1011/2021 (see also entire special issue on Emergent Learning, Connections, Designs for Learning: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/issue/view/49)

UNESCO (2011, March). Social media for learning by means of ICT, IITE Policy Brief. http://iite.unesco.org/pics/publications/en/files/3214685.pdf

source:  http://mashable.com/2010/06/11/social-media-dating-comic/

This week’s theme, social learning, may be my favorite so far.  I want to learn more about the gains students make while working together.  Traditional education requires students to work in solitude and receive feedback from just one teacher.  Social learning allows students to work together and give each other feedback.  Immediate feedback is incredibly important and if students don’t get it in a timely manner then I think this is one reason why misunderstandings occur.  Students can discuss their understanding of new concepts and teach each other.

When I was a first grade teacher, many of the students liked to tattle on the students who were “cheating.”  When I talked to the “cheater” he/she felt guilty and I felt bad for them.  I wanted the students to work together and share the answers.  I wanted them to be excited about learning and about being smart.  I allowed them to work together for some work but I knew that they may not get this freedom in the next class so they did not work together very often.  I had to tell 6 year olds not to help each other.  If I saw them “cheating,” I would quickly look away and hope that no one would notice.  I was glad that they wanted to find the answer and do well on the test!  Sometimes I would even give them hints.  For example, if they forgot the special sound for the spelling test I would say, “You might look on the chalkboard if you forget the sound.” The students would say, “You’re cheating!”  But I don’t think I was.  I wanted them to locate the sound on the chalkboard and make the connection.  I did not want to punish them for forgetting the answer.

I like John Dewey’s concept, “productive inquiry,” the process of seeking the knowledge when it is needed in order to carry out a particular situated task.  It makes sense for learners to get hands on experience while they are learning a new skill.  It may not always be possible for learners to learn in the field; however, efforts should be made so that they can when possible.

This image explains the importance of professional learning communities (PLC).  In my old school, some of the teachers were annoyed that we were required to get together weekly to share and discuss, but I loved it because it allowed me to ask questions and share what I was doing in my classroom.

I don’t really like the idea of K12 schools using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter in class.  I think similar, educational sites should be created and used instead.  Maybe they are already exist?  I have heard of variations of YouTube for educational uses so I wouldn’t be surprised if social media for children is out there.  I don’t think it is a good idea for teachers and students to communicate using social media tools outside of school either.  It seems inappropriate.

The article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?,” is the one article I cannot get off my mind.  The writer claims that he is no longer able to absorb dense reading materials.  He now skims nearly everything he reads.  He blames this on Google.

This article is similar to the other articles that said our brains are getting rewired from surfing the Internet.  I don’t believe that the Internet or Google or anything else is causing people to have ADD tendencies.  I admit that I am obsessed with technology and I might even get the shakes if you took my phone and laptop away for a day but I don’t think my brain is rewired. I still enjoy reading good books (although grad school doesn’t afford me the time to read books for pleasure).  I still experience “flow” when I read and I don’t get distracted by Facebook or email.

I also don’t find anything wrong with skimming webpages.  When I read the newspaper (pre-Internet), I skimmed it.  I didn’t need to read each and every article.  When I went to the library and checked out a bag full of books, sometimes I skimmed the books.  If they weren’t interesting, I did not want to waste my time reading them cover-to-cover.  If they were interesting, I read every single word.

The Google argument seems like the same argument that occurs every time a new technology comes out:  It’s going to rot your brain!  TV didn’t turn me into a couch potato or rot my brain.  Actually, I rarely watch TV.  I would much rather read than watch TV.  (But then again I’m a nerd 😉 )  Maybe MTV ruined the rest of my generation.  If you don’t believe it, check my Facebook page.

This also makes me think about how the Web 2.0 has changed how students write.  Is using a word processor and spell check going to make them stupid?  Is it necessary for them to know how to spell if they continue to use computers and word processors?  Does it matter that they aren’t learning how to write in cursive anymore?  Will texting affect their spelling skillz?  Wut do u think?

It was a bit unsettling to read the part about how the clock has changed the way people eat, sleep and work.  I’ve never thought about technology making such an impact on how we function.  I wonder how we would behave differently if we didn’t consider hours, days, months and years.  Hey, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting old!

I believe that having information at our fingertips will improve our efficiency; I cannot imagine that Google is going to…ooh something shiny…what was I saying?

Therefore, I agree with Fredrick Winslow Taylor.  He dreamed of “creating a utopia of perfect efficiency” using his theory of systems. I agree with him  probably because I am a perfectionist and I am always looking for the right answer and the right way to do things.  OMG, I just realized that this is probably the reason I was drawn to IST…systematic way of doing things…whoa.

l love Google’s mission to  “understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want.” Thank you, it is about time.  I don’t mind that they are reading my email and then posting advertisements that are relevant to what I said in the email.  It was a bit strange at first but I like that they want to please me.  I have the sense and self-control not to react to every ad that I see.  Thank you Google, for considering my needs, even if you do seem like “Big Brother.”  Just don’t start posting advertisements for perfectionist anonymous support groups because I like the way I am 😉

It’s too bad I wasn’t born sooner because I think I would have enjoyed 2001:  A Space Odyssey.  It was made in 1968.  I watched the trailer.  It looks like a good movie but a little too outdated.  Maybe they will remake it someday.  As I said before, I can’t wait until Siri’s artificial intelligence improves.  Right now she laughs at my requests most of the time.  I hope she is nothing like HAL is in the movie.  Scary.

The last social media issue I read about was on “social hacking.”  The people that don’t filter what they say online are the same people that don’t filter what they say in public.  So really there shouldn’t be concern for this.  The people with common sense know that what they say is going to be forever documented and impossible to take back.  My rule of thumb is, “whatever I write could be read by my mother.”

Adobe Premiere Elements Cool Trick #8:


English Words that are German Words:

wanderlust– strong longing for or impulse towards

nachtmusik– serenade

gestalt– a structure, configuration, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts

autobahn–  a German, Swiss, or Austrian expressway

schloss– castle

lederhosen– leather shorts often with suspenders

echt– true, genuine

tschuss!  goodbye!

source: http://www.myspellit.com/lang_german.html


3 comments on “Week 8 Connectivism, Social Media, and Participatory Learning

  1. I admire your energy and I agree with your observations. I am an “old school” constructivist. I think it comes with being an IU student since 1987. Reading about your experience with your first graders really made me think about the challenges I face with my adult trainees. In individualist cultures “collective inquiry” is seen as “cheating.” Yet in collectivist cultures, the inquiry is ironically far less collective and yet viewed as “helping.” In many collectivist cultures, the overall perceived success of the group (ie collective face saving) is foregrounded above the learning potential of the interaction. I am wondering if your “look away” strategy is also an effective means for managing this situation.

  2. Curt Bonk says:

    I can just see you lugging that bag of books. And then searching for the ripe ones to read and reflect on or mark up. I remember doing some of that myself. Today, we can “lug” them around in our Kindles, Nooks, and iPads. Still waiting on my iPad. And no TV for me either. We are two people cut from the same cloth (i.e., American Slang & Idioms – CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP1s05H74Pk).

    Sophisticated skimming skills? Or squirrel skills–hoarding stuff for later needs? As I said in my previous post, I learned to skim in 2nd grade. It serves me very well now. How do we teach such skills to kids? Should we? Will parents and community leaders protest? Will they protest you acceptance of supposed forms of “cheating?”

    I also agree with you about time. Let’s be efficient and not waste mine. I only have so much of it. That is why I do not like committee meetings. And why I too love Wikipedia when I travel and YouTube when I teach and so on. But Taylorism? Perhaps you should have been an administrator (or perhaps not) or an accountant.

    You make a great point that it would be worthwhile to know the social networking tools that are appropriate for K-12 kids and teachers. I find myself so hardpressed to know all the regular new and emerging technologies that it is hard to save space to learn all the other ones like for those with special needs, those for elderly care, those for atheletes and actors, etc. Perhaps that is why we have experts.

    Interesting post Kim…your favorite week. As Kelly said, you have much energy here. However, there is a bit of jumping around from topic-to-topic, That indicates that you have even more you want to say here on this week. Perhaps you recommend two weeks on this topic. Love the cartoon (again).


  3. forr685 says:

    I, too, am usually a proponent of social learning—especially the aspect of getting feedback from your cohorts. But, sometimes, it has put me at a disadvantage too. I remember one time collecting feedback for a technical writing project from other team members. I made the changes based on the comments I got, and guess what happened. The instructor, who graded the final version, knocked off points for some of the changes I made according to my classmates’ opinions. If social learning is being implemented, then the appropriate grading system should also be implemented.

    I love the idea of professional learning communities and having mentors who give their input to relative newbies. In my career as a technical writer, I have benefitted from the wisdom passed on to me by other senior writers who have walked the same path before me. And, it’s not for naught. Typically, I am more aware of the latest technology trends in the field, which I then share with them.

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