Monday, December 26, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
- When we see/hear/etc something that we haven't seen before, then we have learnt that this thing exists.
- When we see multiple actions or things simultaneously then we have learnt of a relationship.
- When we are able to perform an action then we have learnt a skill.
- Learning as a quantitative increase in knowledge. Learning is acquiring information or ‘knowing a lot’.
- Learning as memorising. Learning is storing information that can be reproduced.
- Learning as acquiring facts, skills, and methods that can be retained and used as necessary.
- Learning as making sense or abstracting meaning. Learning involves relating parts of the subject matter to each other and to the real world.
- Learning as interpreting and understanding reality in a different way. Learning involves comprehending the world by reinterpreting knowledge. (quoted in Ramsden 1992: 26)
Monday, October 03, 2011
All this, of course, is about the physical environment that is changing. There is the social environment that needs to be looked at as well but I don't know where to begin on that side. Mostly because I don't fully understand it yet.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Oftentimes people point to research conducted in a university context to ask why teachers aren't implementing social media services into their teaching practice. The simple answer is schools are different to universities, our clientele is different. The clientele of a university is it's students - the clientele of a school is society in general and parents in particular. Before we try and convince teachers to grasp change in education, it is always necessary to convince parents that it is safe to do so.
Ten years ago I was teaching students how to use email using Hotmail. Within a very short time Hotmail and other web based email was blocked by the school system I work in, and it took a number of years before an email service was provided to each student. Why was email blocked and then released under strict control? Because of the fear of students sending inappropriate messages to each other. YouTube is blocked. Why? Same reason, only its video not messages.
No doubt, in a few years time all manner of social media services will be available to students under strict, filtered conditions. In the meantime teachers will be unable to fully implement Personal Learning Networks for their students.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
In the above statement, Mrbrenlea has taken a general principle and applied it to a specific group - children. But would he apply the same principle say, to a 35 year old grad student? Probably not. Each person has different learning needs at different stages of thier lives.
I don't think teaching is a profession that can use conclusions from ideas across the whole profession. Mostly because, as a profession, we deal with all ages. And teaching is a bit like parenting - at first the baby is given very little freedom but they are allowed to experiment with the environment under very controlled circumstances. Over time the child is given more freedom to explore, until finally adulthood arrives and the child is making decisions for him or her self. But parenting is more than controlling the immediate environment (content) of the child, it is also about preparing them for what lays ahead (connectivism). We teach them skills like resilience, even though we would never let them come to fatal harm. We teach them about sex, but we would never want them to act on that knowledge immediately.
But we also teach them how to talk, read, jump, run, swim, all sorts of things that they may not be interested in. And they learn it. Not necessarily because they want to but because small children will learn what they are taught. But as they get older we use more sophisticated methods to teach them what they don't want to know and we also stop trying to control everything they learn.
So to with Connectivism. We can teach children how it is done within a controlled environment when young and slowly loosen the contol as they get older. Where are the key points along the way for increasing Connectivism? This is where the debate should be happening. Not on whether one or the other method should be used.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Feeling excited about it at this stage but already starting to feel a little apprehensive about it all as well because there is already so much to take in - particularly how I'm going to go about creating and using a cohesive set of tools to collate and organise the information(learning).
Last night I went off, as I usually do, following links as I pleased and ended up where I usually do, in a headspace that was struggling to make sense of what I'd seen and read. So now I am going to try and document my cyber travels.
At this stage of the course we are in Orientation, which means we are finding our way around the idea of a MOOC. As a first step I bookmarked an article using Diigo. I am not the most reliable bookmarker, I never have been, so it will be interesting to see how long I keep that up!
The article, How to participate in an open online course, did just that, with an outline of what not to expect and some tips for getting started. Here are a couple of responses:
Step 1. Somewhat define your goals. What is success for you? - In this course I will be happy if have put together a modest portfolio of resources and contacts that are organised in a way that is easily retrievable.
Step 2. Declare/define yourself. Where can people find you? Twitter? Your blog? Give enough information so people can connect with you. An image never hurts. - Obviously, I will use this blog. But I will also use Twitter and probably Google+.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Everywhere a teacher looks there are phones, cameras, tablets, personal listening devices and the like. What the students are saying, hearing or seeing on those devices is anyone's guess, and its frightening for a teacher to think that a student could be looking at or saying something inappropriate while under their tutelage. Worse still, they could be learning something other than what the teacher is, at that moment, teaching. The ability to control the learning process is slipping from the teacher's grasp and we're either petrified or oblivious.
But we needn't be. There is a way through this and its all to do with withitness and an understanding that the packaging of knowledge has changed.
Since the beginning of mass education teachers have needed to be alert to signs in the classroom that students were not doing as they should. An experienced teacher knows when a student is off-task. Remember the old movie scene where the teacher rips the book out of the student's hands to reveal the comic he was reading? Or the teacher seeing the note being passed around but waits till recess to ask for the note? Even if the student eats the note, consequences were applied - detention. All we need to do is learn the new signs and use our presence, as we have always done, to get the student back on task.
The changing packaging of knowledge
The packaging of knowledge has been changing since the invention of art. It can be supposed that in the beginning, all knowledge was passed on orally, from elder to the younger. Art then gave the artist the ability to pass on knowledge through paintings, without having to be there. Then came symbols, writing, the printing press, audio and visual recording, electronic broadcasting and finally the Internet. At each step of the way the method of accessing the knowledge has needed a teacher to either unpack the knowledge or to develop the unpacking skills in the student.
In the past, teachers upacked the knowledge by, first of all, stuffing all the knowledge into their own brains and then handing it out in small, bite sized pieces. But now those bite sized peices are just a finger flick away. Students don't even have to know how to read to receive this knowledge; video and audio recordings are released in their thousands (or millions) every day about a myriad of topics.
There is no need for the teacher to store the information like before, the content is out there and its flowing in and out of the classrooms at an increasing rate. But the content still needs unpacking. In fact, it probably needs more unpacking than ever before. This is the new skill that we teachers need to teach students - how to access and make sense of the knowledge out there and how to manipulate it in a way that brings benefit to the student.