Self-Curatorship as a Reflexive Learning Tool

This week I have been on a mission; making connections between two of the schools that I will be running my teaching and learning sessions in. It is intriguing to note that what works in conjunction with technology is the ethnographic approach to building relationships. The virtual world lends itself to a brilliant platform to collaborate and connect educators to engage and enhance the learning experiences for our students. If you add an altruist dimension to the sharing of content and technology with an underlying  robust foundation of pedagogy, then I believe the links forged are stronger.

Now that the team has grown from two educators to three, we are asking ourselves the pertinent question of what is the point of all of this learning; is the context and the content reaching our audience, the students of two culturally diverse classrooms (Mishra & Koehler, 2009). Since food, culture and language itself form a vibrant and integral part of language, I visited the Jellie Park Cultural festival, co-hosted by the refugee council and treated myself to a preview of the sounds and sights of the multicultural classroom I will be entering soon.

Dumplings

Afghani Dumplings

 If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more powerful is the multimodal experience, query Mishra and Koehler (2009) in their article ‘If you give a Kid a video camera…’. They mention that it is an even more powerful tool as teachers themselves make one minute videos of vocabulary resources to be use on iPods. Linking into my own journey of four sessions, with the 2 diverse classrooms, we will model the use of making videos from a pedagogical premise; situating it in the context of the mock restaurant setting. Designing menus using the vocabulary (on (Quizlet), advertisements (Animoto), Apps for recipes and a meal as a final presentation will be the progression of learning hosted on Wikispaces/Edmodo (VoiceThread Planning Journey), as the reflexive journey becomes embedded in each step.

John Potter (2011), writing about digital self-curatorship, says that we are provided with a tremendous opportunity to use participatory multiliteracies to redesign creative learning environments. Looking at ways of mapping the informal networks onto educational settings, he turns to diverse networked theories of learning; social capital and identity theory adding to the framework. As I explore digital media through the lens of self-curatorship, a pedagogically reflexive exercise both for my research and the mini project, I focus on both the ‘anchored and transient’ self as presented by the learner (Potter, 2011).

References:

Potter, J. (2010). Embodied Memory and Curatorship in Children’s Digital Video Production. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 9(1), 22-35.

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2009). Too Cool for School? No Way!.Learning & Leading With Technology, 36(7), 14-18.

The Creative and Innovative Meta cognitive Journey

IMG_2073Learning is a process, a journey and an adventure. It happens in a social setting and the more the cognitive muscle is flexed, the more versatile it becomes. Roblyer  & Doering (2014), while discussing the correlating of theory and practice, talk about integration as a vehicle of building mental models which can assist with the transfer of knowledge. As problems are solved in a highly visual format the models help to identify patterns and make meaning and process the information. When this happens in a social context and there is a cooperative approach to problem-solving, a richness of meaning is attributed to the solution (Johnson & Johnson 2005). In this complex learning arena, teachers are learners too! Their metacognitive processes and awareness of effective technological integration strategies provides a level of success that is beyond the confines and barriers of the classroom (Mishra & Koehler, 2006).

You will recognise the ‘meaningful project based’ approach in my own mini project as you explore the technology integration case study of Mia, as Roblyer and Doering (2004) highlight the three essential processes of rich technology integration; an analysis of the learning needs, planning for integration and a yet-to-follow post instruction analysis and revision. I have used VoiceThread to unpack my ‘TPACK’  and will also open this up for the students to collaboratively reflect on their own journey.

You can view and comment on the VoiceThread here;

The Metacognitive TPACK journey

Roblyer, M. D. & Doering, A.H. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th edition). Harlow, England : Pearson
Theory into practice – Foundations for effective technology integration
(Chapter 2)

EDEM630-Learning Reflection 4

The arena that Whitman functions is diverse in nature; it is isolated by the fact that is independently governed by a board. However, it is globally linked in to organisations and an international accrediting body, which allows it to function and contribute to the global 21st century workforce. It has a diverse demographic representation, which is indicative of the global educational institutions in the region and now more so in the Western world due to migration of the workforce for both developmental purposes.

The 14 different nationalities at the school are now experiencing an extremely heterogeneous Americanised educational, which needs to be assessed in the changing world of technology in the educational arena. The understanding therefore is that the technology is not driving the change but the capacity to learn has expanded therefore the need to provide a more robust and relevant learning environment to foster growth and development of the student to fit into the world, is not only required but imperative.

On reflection on the new emerging literature reviewed,  the need to incorporate the research into the school ecology was made evident. It is further highlighted by the framework, which shows the progression from a competency in acquiring the knowledge not merely on a superficial level but one of depth so that the student has the ability to utilise it to create and innovate independently of the school environ and become a lifelong learner. As Whitman grapples with these progressive steps, it is on this track of reviewing this from different levels; for an ecological perspective, in the classroom, in  Jordan and globally.

On a personal level, the growth of my journey and my research, has gone through many iteration; I have recognised the need for using models to tack and implement change . The maturity in thought that has emerged , however, must not be viewed from an ” I have arrived” perspective but rather from a viewpoint of stretching and making it more robust along my learning journey, which is for a lifetime.

EDEM630-The Matrix Explored (eLPF)

I am apologise if you were looking forward to an explanation of the Matrix and Neo’s journey; I am sorry to disappoint you. This article is more about my journey of discovery of the perfect matrix to adapt and adopt in the ecology of Whitman.

I arrived here in January and was intrigued by the way the school had morphed and changed into an intuition with some doors opening into the future and some into the past. My job, primarily, was to explore the 21st century learning steps it could take and help it adapt these to the specific ecology of Whitman. Right! Easier said than done! For we have discovered along this journey of digital learning in education, that nothing is that straightforward. Having now explored the eMM model, I have further realised that the progress and the processes of this change can be accomplished through many dimensions and at varied paces.

Pulling the research down into the schooling sector, which of course makes me tick, it is interesting to note, as Nicki(Davis) mentions, that there is an ecological approach to the adoption and adaption. In the presentation by Harrison, Thomas and Crook (2013), I was excited to recognise  Bagozzi and his ideas around self-regulation. The icing on the cake was however, the discovery that I had set out to structure the technology adoption plan some what around the three phase principle. In the Phase 1 Technology Report, I have just submitted to the Director and the school board; I have nudged my way into using some of thoughts and ideas that I am gleaning from the literature available. I can see my own maturity in thought emerging, as I review the report initially submitted, and perceive clearly,  the shift in approach towards the identification of barriers and the focus on perceptions and their impact on the use of technology in the classroom.

The other development and shift that has taken place, is the movement away from merely using ‘Technology Standards’ to establishing needs based steps towards adoption and custom picking tools that work for the school. I started with the NETS  which have morphed into an awesome Wiki, which I am intending to contribute to. Next, I discovered the standards expressed by grade level and I was so excited. However, these were static and were rejected by the team at more levels than one. In retrospect and the hindsight provided by the literature, it is evident that the perceptions around the adoption was related to ‘this is going to change my entire curriculum’; a step perceived as too difficult. So I took a step back and pondered and thought about how to approach the adoption of the technology form a systemic approach. Then, my glance fell upon the Technology Integration Matrix and I thought that I had struck gold. Nonetheless, there were lots more questions related to the Matrix and I still wasn’t quite sure about just saying, “This is a great Matrix, lets adopt it”.

Well, the University course could not have brought any more clarity, and I was so pleased to explore the Models of change and the research around it. Now with the preview into the e Maturity Models  and specifically the eLPF I am on seventh heaven. These are not mere words, I actually am very pleased with the research and conversations round it because, I suddenly feel so much at home and conversing  in a familiar language.

My rudimentary ‘Whitman Academy Educational Technology Plan at a Glance 2013‘  layout is  just beginning to roll out. In collaboration with a team of people, I have started to present the research and best practice, to make it seem more palatable and easy to adapt into a classroom setting in the present Whitman ecology. This is the primary step. The videoposts,(from the eLPF) provide the ability to reflect upon the learning and will be a brilliant resource. It is wonderful to be able assess the  school (E-Learning_Planning_Framework-_whole_school_level (adapted), in conjunction with the eMM assessment and the technology integration matrix. The quick snapshot view of the eLPF for the school can be elaborated upon and used alongside the plethora  of material and the case studies of journeys that other schools are on. The path from here can be a structured at a school and an individual level ,and assistance can be tailor-made to suit every classroom. I am definitely looking forward to the ‘next steps’.

Reference

Harrison, C., Tomás, C., & Crook, C. (2013), Becta Impact09 data reanalysed: E-maturity and ICT adoption in UK schools. Retrieved September 1, 2103 from http://www.slideshare.net/colinharrison83/earli-2013-harrison-tomas-and-crook