Oh ya! Am I excited about SIG Central and what that's all about. SO glad I jumped ahead and checked it out. This is gon' be awesome!
Blog post for week #4
My partner in this week’s blog activity shared some great ideas that once transitioned into Bloom’s Taxonomy and a true MUVE will be excellent and effective! Yum, I’m getting hungry already! My partner spoke of how her partner in last week’s Prezi activity used cooking to facilitate learning experiences for her 3rd grade students. I need to digress for one moment here and share that when I was a fulltime substitute teacher, all grades/all subjects in New York, 3rd grade was always my favorite gig! But now, back to blog at hand. My partner spoke in her MUVE wiki about how her favorite lesson among those she’d taught was one called “Jalapeno Bagels” which had to do with a “delightful story of two cultures coming together” and she shared how one of her students to whom the lesson was given, remembered it many years after and still favored jalapeno bagels. That story is inspiring! It reminds me that we can never really know how our work changes lives and how we should never, ever let ourselves forget that! We change lives every day! How fortunate are we that we can do that? I mean how many people can say that about their day gigs? But, again, I’ve digressed. I think my partner’s proclivity for using cooking to facilitate her student’s learning is strong and easily transferable to a MUVE setting. In Second Life for example, a virtual kitchen could be created and probably already exists. She stated that she would “teach measurement and volume.” I wonder if that could be converted into a discovery process where her students in their virtual Second Life kitchen could explore together to determine what the proper measurements and volumes should be for a given recipe. My partner could be present in the virtual kitchen herself and could offer feedback on student choices in real time. Students could further compare and contrast different ingredients to find just the right ones again with my partner giving feedback. So in short, my partner’s desire for a kitchen in her real life classroom could very effectively come to life in a MUVE setting. That said she referred in her A, B, C wiki that “students would create their own recipes and test them, constructivism at its best.” That feels more to me like constructivism because her students are building something, they’re creating an artifact; a cake or pie. Gees, I guess I’m in the mood for dessert! The constructivism would occur in the virtual kitchen when her students are discussing what measurements and volumes to use, not to mention which ingredients. ConstructiVism (Vygotsky, verbal). I also noticed my partner shared in her blog post that she believes “our job is to share knowledge.” I would encourage her to consider that perhaps our job is not to “share knowledge” but to facilitate learning. I became a much better educator when I took the burden of knowing everything off my shoulders. When I accepted that it was ok and actually powerful to be a learner along with my students, we became a true coalition of learners. Hmm, maybe that needs to be added to Professional Learning Community and Communities of Practice! I was better for it and so were my students! That setting also puts me and my students on the same level – nobody has an upper hand in learning. That reduces stress across the board and opens the door for a flood of positive and meaningful growth both within the subject matter and as human animals; as part of society.
Reflect about your experience this week with your partner on the Prezi activity. Deconstruct it through the lens of one of the Social Learning Theories we discussed. Get granular! What connections can you make between the theory and your experience? What more could you have done/tried/accomplished had you consciously applied all that the theory afforded before you began?
Well, it’s back to NYU and Drama for Special Ed Populations with Professor Granet. This week’s Prezi Collaborative project was a practical walk through the social learning theories but in particular, Constructionism, Constructivism and certainly Activity Theory and Reflection in real time! We were tasked with creating a product, a tangible product in the form of a Prezi presentation about how to use Prezi. What’s more we were asked to approach this in a meta cognitive way. At first I wasn’t clear about why we are making a Prezi in the grand scheme of things in this class. Now that I’ve begun the reflection process, I get it totally! Like Professor Granet at NYU, Professor Greene has put us in the place of our students! Brilliant stuff right there! Part of our expectations was to communicate with our partners as we progressed through the activity. In my case, Teresa and I communicated much! We spent considerable time charting this course, perhaps even too much. But in the end, I’m proud of our product and I’m proud of how Teresa and I collaborated so effectively. We were constructivist (v for verbal, v for Vygotsky!) in as much as we discussed, very deeply, our presentation before diving in. We also discussed much as we were working together to create the product. We discussed the perspective we’d take, we were able to bring to life a wonderful blend of what she had envisioned and what I had envisioned. It’s funny, in the moment of doing the project I was definitely feeling tension as most people would when confronting a new technology. That was a very big part of where I was at and it’s in fact behind the theme of our Prezi. I served as the poster child, the one doing the learning of Prezi because Teresa, being a tech TOSA, knew and had used Prezi in the past. But I also experienced a transformation, I am comfortable using Prezi. I think I want to convert some of my existing PowerPoint presentations into Prezi and I’m thinking about using Prezi to make some upcoming presentations that I know I’ll need to make. Thinking about it after the fact, reflecting on it, my own experience with tension and transformation was powerful! I get it – I gained insight into the experience of my learners when I ask them to embrace something new. All in all I believe I absolutely got the learning experience Dr. K had intended and I’ve come away with not only new knowledge about Prezi, but new insights into my learners and how they cope with the learning experiences I design for them. Mission accomplished Dr. K! As for what more I could have done/tried/accomplished had I consciously applied all that the theory afforded before I began, I honestly feel like had I approached this project in that way, it would have diminished my experience. I engaged with the expectation of the project in an honest way. Had I approached it with the theories in the forefront, I’d have focused on those and not experiencing what the theories profess. I’d have lost the experience from a student’s point of view which I believe would have lessened the impact of the activity and associated learning on my practice.
The A, B, & C’s of motivation and social learning theory - what do you think are the positive real world applications of the various components of Social Learning Theory for the 21st century teacher? Where are the connections to motivation?
I think the most positive real world application of the various components of Social Learning Theory for the 21st century teacher is that literally now the sky is the limit! The internet makes the entire world available to us and our net gen learners. This is their time! While the nature of the teaching we do now is radically changed from how it’s been, from how we were taught, we are able to give our students so much more, so much more meaningful learning experiences than we ever could have before. For example instead of just telling my students about Noh theatre, they can access videos of Noh performances, Noh theaters and actors. They can actually be in the orient of old taking part in a traditional Noh evening. They can research the answer to questions they’ve developed in their learning. They can share their learning experience with peers in real time. Ya Noh what I mean? Hehe. I also think that given that net gen learners seek to learn via hands on and through discovery, that we are now able to facilitate learning experiences that really cater to the nature of our leaners perhaps moreso than ever before. Instead of lecturing to them, or assigning reading from a tired old text book, we can send them to the internet and ask them to visually represent a concept, or perform something in a given style that interests them or create design choices for a show and actually create a design! It’s really very exciting when you think about it and how perfect for net gen students! In terms of motivating them, really the process in and of itself can be a significant motivating factor. Net gen learners aren’t missing the tired old text books, learning is becoming more dynamic and engaging AND they are more in control of their own learning than has ever happened before. That alone is a motivating factor, but when you combine that with being able to learn in cohorts, with their friends, even better! Net gen learners have a level up mentality. They need to understand where they are so they want feedback and they also know where they want to be and they’re motivated to get there. I loved when Dr. Brown spoke about his neighbor and his cohort of surfers. How they’d access the internet to look at new moves, then run down to the water to try them out! They get and give feedback from the other members of the cohort, then run down and try it again! What a great example of how 21st Century learning can work and how effective it can be!
Why is electronically mediated teaching/learning important for the desired skills and knowledge of the future?
I think the biggest part of the answer is that use of electronically mediated teaching/ learning reinforces skill sets that are becoming more and more prevalent in society. By embracing technology we are not only teaching them curriculum, we’re teaching how to function in today’s society and arming them to take on the future. I also think as learners evolve so must the ways we engage and facilitate learning experiences for them. As we just learned, learners today have very different skill sets, mind sets, capabilities, ways of looking at the world and abilities. We as educators need to embrace these traits so that we can reach them and help them learn and ultimately, grow. Furthermore, technology opens the door to a world of possibilities! Especially in this current era of distance learning and considering the learners we’re working with these days, we need to incorporate a vast amount of resources for use in our practice. Students nowadays don’t want to be lectured to, they want to discover, they want inquiry, design and project based learning. The want to be escorted through a learning experience not have information disseminated to them which they then need to regurgitate back to us come assessment time. That model was never strong and it’s especially not strong now!