missmillerslearningjourney

My ideas, thoughts, and experiences

Month: January 2020

Module #6 Reflection

What?

Siemens, G., Gašević, D., & Dawson, S. (2015). Preparing for the Digital University: A Review of the History and Current State of Distance, Blended, and Online Learning. Retrieved from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website: Pages 199-230 http://linkresearchlab.org/PreparingDigitalUniversity.pdf

  • Focus on: Future Technology Infrastructures for Learning
    • exploration of future technology infrastructures are required in order to help higher education prepare for next generation learning opportunities
    • this paper explores four factors that influence future technologies: who has control, how well are the technologies integrated with other tool-sets and the experiences of learners, who has ownership of the data and the technology, what is the nature of learning structure in terms of centralization and decentralization
    • knowledge has become an easily accessible commodity, resulting in greater emphasis on learning opportunities
    • the technologies selected by teachers will determine the quality of learning, the scope of teaching practices, and ultimately, how well learners are equipped for both employment and engagement in democratic and equitable models of modern global society (just like any other choice of material in a classroom)

Selwyn, N., Hillman, T., Eynon, R., Ferreira, G., Knox, J., Macgilchrist, F., & Sancho-Gil, J. M. (2019). What’s next for Ed-Tech? Critical hopes and concerns for the 2020s. Learning, Media and Technology, 1–6. http://ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/login?url=https://doi.org/10/ggc9w2

  • It is clear that digital technologies are a significant factor in the ways in which our day-to-day lives are different from 20 years ago
  • Therefore, will probably be a significant factor in how the future is shaped
  • Education is still struggling with the same problems (even before the computer was introduced) – deficiencies in resourcing, inequalities of opportunity, poor quality teaching, curriculum and school organization (likely to continue to plague the education system)
  • 6 substantial challenges that the authors expect critical educational technology scholarship to meets as the new decade progresses
    • new forms of digital in/exclusion – individuals who are well resourced and have strong educational backgrounds are most likely to benefit the most from digital education
      • tried to aid this by improving tech in school and homes (this focuses on responsibility for their position in society on themselves, and this response treats technology as an inherently ‘good’ thing
    • platform economies in an age of artificial intelligence
      • people are hungry for data as a result
    • ‘Divisions of learning’ across humans and machines
      • machines now seem capable of learning our habits and influencing our choices in unprecedented way
    • IT industry actors as a leading educational force
      • should major tech corporations continue to exercise ‘soft power’ in influencing and shaping education decision-making, while all the time profiting from the decisions being made?
    • Reimaging forms of EdTech suitable for an age of climate change
      • digital technologies have been excessively consumed and discarded over the past 20 years in the name of ‘innovation’
    • Finding alternatives: solidary economies, convivial technology, respectful design

Downes, S. (2019). A Look at the Future of Open Educational Resources. International Journal of Open Educational Resources, 1(2). Retrieved from https://www.ijoer.org/a-look-at-the-future-of-open-educational-resources/

  • This article explores the impact of four major types of technoloogy on our understanding of OER – cloud infrastructure, open data, artificial intelligence, and decentralized networks
  • A web page today is not just somewhere to find information, but a dynamic resource – connected to live data generated by cloud services
  • New models of open educational resources  will be more like tools that students use in order to create their own learning content – learning happens through the use of the content (not the consumption of the content)
  • licensing issues fade into the background? – learning resources distributed through decentralized networks
  • creators of OER will need to reflect and be cognizant of the learning environment (and experiences within that environment) that they are creating – will require practice and application on new learning design

So what?

  • Where is the most significant and influential learning happening in our societies? – this is a very interesting question (depends on the context and purpose)
  • Is there much movement into critical EdTech research?

Now what?

  • (From our breakout session) How do you develop OpenEd/MOOC spaces and balance the online platform and connection/interaction between students engaged in the program?
  • I always come back to this question – who is going to make the change? (where does the push come for the move away from colonizing technology – consumers?) *if that’s the case, what is their incentive to change?

Module #5 Reflection

What?

Funes, M., & Mackness, J. (2018). When inclusion excludes: A counter narrative of open online education. Learning, Media and Technology, 43(2), 119–138. http://ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/login?url=https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2018.1444638

  • Key questions:
    • Is participation in open education social media environments inclusive?
    • Does open online education succeed in breaking up exclusionary structures?
  • This article states that the outlook on open education is one of aspiration and not based in reality
    • Pasquale (2016) suggests two potential approaches for dislodging mainstream ideology
      • critique cumulative research and challenge the premises of the mainstream narrative to cast ‘suspicion’ on its givens (confirm own theories with research and disregard relevant dis-confirming literature)
      • move outside of the mainstream ideology by offering a counter-narrative

Knox, J. (2019). What Does the ‘Postdigital’ Mean for Education? Three Critical Perspectives on the Digital, with Implications for Educational Research and Practice. Postdigital Science and Education. http://ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/login?url=https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-019-00045-y

  • Intention of this paper is to highlight the need for educational practice and research to pay more attention to the ways digital technologies are shaping the core of education
  • Three different perspectives on shifting relationships with digital technology, with specific relevance for educational concerns
    • economic rationales underpinning educational technology, focusing on the platform and assumed benefits of sharing (digital as capital)
    • role of the digital in educational policy
    • increasing attention paid to issues of labour and the exploitation of natural resources required to produce digital technologies

Caines, A., & Glass, E. (2019, Fall). Education before Regulation: Empowering Students to Question Their Data Privacy. EDUCAUSE Review, 54(4). Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2019/10/education-before-regulation-empowering-students-to-question-their-data-privacy

  • privacy violations have whittled away consumers trust when it comes to data online
  • in order to better understand how your data is collected and the potential risks of this collection, consider these questions:
    • What types of personal data do you think are collected through your use of digital tools for educational activities?
    • What value does your personal data have for different contexts and entities?
    • Who owns your personal data, who can sell it, and who can use it?
    • Do you have concerns about how your personal data can be used? If so, what are they?
    • Are there aspects of your identity or life that you feel would put you in a place of special vulnerability if certain data were known about you or used against you?

So What?

  • How is the counter-narrative going to help improve the flaws in open education?
  • The concern about how technology is changing the ‘humanness’ of the world = postdigital
    • There is no moving away from technology right now, it is infiltrating every part of our lives, so what is the point?
    • seems very altruistic and not based in reality

Now What?

  • Conversation came up in class about how even as adults we are unaware of how much personal information is shared online
  • We are not getting away from technology…so what are ways in which we can equip students to be more aware of what they are sharing and where?
  • Are people really aware/scared enough about sharing their information? (lots of companies, school districts, and universities do not have restrictions on what/how information is shared online by their employees)

Module #4 Reflection

What?

OPEN SCHOLARSHIP

Veletsianos, G., & Shaw, A. (2018). Scholars in an increasingly open and digital world: Imagined audiences and their impact on scholars’ online participation. Learning, Media and Technology, 43(1), 17–30. http://ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/login?url=https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2017.1305966

  • More and more scholars are using social media for a variety of teaching, learning, and professional activities (e.g. share and disseminate research finding through their own blogs or on dedicated sites like ResearchGate, LinkedIn for professional branding, or use of Twitter to cultivate networks to connect, support, and share resources)
    • only a few post secondary institutions have clear and accessible social media policies in regards to engagement and sharing online
  • Being acutely aware of ones audience is an essential aspect of communicating effectively online
    • rely on limited cues
  • When engaging on social media for professional purposes, recognition of blurred personal and professional boundaries
  • ALL academics engaging online reflected on these: SHARING, FILTERING, and PROJECTING
  • Study adds to increasing evidence that scholars online participation is intentional and thoughtful

OPEN DATA

Atenas, J., Havemann, L., & Priego, E. (2015). Open Data as Open Educational Resources: Towards Transversal Skills and Global Citizenship. Open Praxis, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.7.4.233

  • Open Data is the name given to datasets which have been generated by international oganizations, governments, NGO’s and academic researchers, and made freely available online and openly-licensed
  • These datasets can be used by educators as OER to support different teaching and learning activities
    • good for developing critical analysis of data sets

MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSES (MOOCS)

Rohs, M., & Ganz, M. (2015). MOOCs and the Claim of Education for All: A Disillusion by Empirical Data. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(6). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/2033/3527

OPEN ACCESS RESEARCH

Couture, M. (2017, July 12). Academic Publishing at a Crossroads. University Affairs. Retrieved from http://www.universityaffairs.ca/opinion/in-my-opinion/academic-publishing-crossroads/

  • There are 5 publishing giants that now publish the majority of academic papers – in excess of US$10billion
  • Librarians are hard pressed by finding cuts and subscriptions cost increases well above the inflation rate – but still need to meet demands of researchers

So What?

  • Teaching students about developing their online portfolio
  • How does the imagined audience impact what and how you interact online?
  • Developing of academic capital by engaging with a variety of people and providing insight on a topic over a period of time (George Curous talked about this in our summer course) – how to create a presence online
  • OpenData makes learning more relevant to students (information is real and not ‘made up’ for the purpose of doing the work)
  • Why would publishers move to open access when it is a profitable business right now? Pressure from users?
  • Librarians are big supporters of open access

Now What?

  • If we had not had the opportunity to see each other and connect over the summer, would our interactions in this course be different? Would there be as much discussion and conversation synchronously and asynchronously?
  • How can we use Open Data in the elementary context? Is there relevant, accessible, and easily understandable data out there for kids? How do we know it is valid and reliable?
  • Using OpenData to develop global citizenship – compare and contrast data from different areas and have conversations about the reason

Module #3 Reflection – Open Educational Practices and Learning Design

“Learning is Hanging Out” by cogdogblog is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This week’s readings are about open educational practices and learning design for online education.  I have used a ‘What?-So What?-Now What?’ critical reflection framework to guide my thinking on the topic based on the assigned readings, annotations on those readings, and class discussion.

What? 

When it comes to educational philosophies, there are many theories that help teachers determine their thoughts and beliefs about students needs, abilities, and the way they learn best. These approaches have always been discussed in terms of traditional classroom teaching. However, as times are changing, it is important to review pedagogical approaches and schools of thought when planning and teaching in a digital world.

To teach online you have to have the same skills as a classroom teacher – it is the same. This comment riled up the conversation in our large group discussion like never before. Initially I had the same perspective and thought that a good online educator had to have the same skills as a classroom teacher. However, through conversation, I learned that it takes those skills and more. Leanne and some of her other U-Connect colleagues shared that there is so much that they have to think about as online educators that classroom teachers just intuitively do when face-to-face with students (e.g. formative assessment, classroom management, time spent on task, access to technology, testing, pacing, and accessibility of units of study.

The role of an online educator is changing and it has now become a facilitator, content expert, manager, pedagogical expert, socialite, technical guru, and quality assesor (Shé Ní, Farrell, Brunton,  Costello, Donlon, Trevaskis, & Eccles, 2019). Shé Ní et al. (2019) completed research that clearly noted the competencies that characterize effective online teaching. See chart below.

Conole et al. (2004) thoughtfully mapped out key learning theories, their main characteristics, and how they might be effective in the context of online learning. Two of the most interesting approaches were activity-based and experiential learning.  Activity-based theory is a recent realization that the development of content alone does not lead to more effective learning and that there is a need to structure and foster learning environments to enable communities to develop. By using the web as a networking tool, learners have more diverse access to different forms of expertise, experiences, and collaborative groups. An experiential learning approach in online education could be the use asynchronous communication. This offers a new form of discourse which is not bound by time, allows opportunities for people in a variety of places equal access, and offers increased opportunity for reflective thought before participation.

However, over the past ten years, researchers have found a lack of application of models and theories by educators in the field of online learning (Conole et al., 2004). They speculate that is due to overwhelming array of perspectives. Which I totally agree with. Even through my experience in my undergrad education courses, there were so many different philosophies and approaches to teaching and learning. And we just noted which ones were similar to our own beliefs of children. But on a day to day level, it is not something that I think about and/or reference when planning my teaching. So I can understand how it would be the same for teachers teaching online.

But I also understand the importance of understanding and applying a few of the approaches in an online teaching environment because there is often a lack of structure everywhere else (e.g. communication, grading, communication, etc.). Through the research, it has been found that toolkits are and effective way of having teachers consider and plan with theoretical concerns in mind.

“By mapping and aligning learning theories, it will be possible to outline the features of theories in a way that scaffolds users’ engagement with these ideas; in addition, representation of this process using the model provides an opportunity to make the relationship between theory and practice more explicit” (Conole et al., 2004, p. 22).

Another approach to designing programs for online learning is presented by Dabbagh in 2005.  She presents a theory-based design framework for e-learning that focuses on the  interaction between pedagogical models, instructional strategies, and learning technologies (Dabbagh, 2005).

This frameworks reminds me of the TPACK framework that is released in 2006 by Mishra and Koehler. Both models take into account the physical technology, instructional strategies, and peoples personal pedagogical constructs in order to build effective and sustainable practices.

Learning design has also emerged in the last 20 years as a new methodology to help educators make more pedagogically informed design decisions that make appropriate use of digital technologies. There are a variety of learning theories that can be used to promote different pedagogical approaches. Each emphasize different ways to foster communication, collaboration, and reflection as well as different types of blended learning approaches (e.g. experiential learning, embodied learning, multiliteracies, and gamification) (Conole, 2018).  Digital technologies can be used to implement these approaches, however they require new approaches to design. Learning Activity Management Systems (LAMS) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) are tools for designing, managing, and delivering online learning activities and content.

So What? 

My number one question that comes out of these readings is – what does mapping pedagogy for e-learning look like in elementary schools? I would assume that at a district level, the superintendents reflect on their personal pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning as well as research based on what is best for children. And then based on their (and their team’s values) they push out information and opportunities to their employees. However, I have a harder time when it comes to individual schools. Each educator is going to have a different pedagogical approach. I have been thinking about different frameworks to share and discuss pedagogical approaches with our school staff in order to develop a school-wide technology plan. And I think that by discussing pedagogical approaches, it will ensure for more buy in, and therefore, a more sustainable plan.

Through readings and class discussions, we have come to the agreement that teaching online is, in fact, different than classroom teaching. However, why are we not educating our online teachers in a different way? The U-Connect teachers have had the same education that classroom teachers have had. And the only additional training they have received on LMS’s has been through their own district or school-based professional development. Who is teaching these new approaches to design? Is it part of the undergrad programs within the education department now? And how are we teaching teachers that are already in the field? These are all questions that I still have around online education. If we want the community to see it as a valid alternative to a classroom environment, then we need to ensure that teachers feel competent and confident. And this means putting the time and money into changing some post secondary programs to include more education on e-learning. The community will buy in when they see the the movement is supported by the education system as a whole.

Shé Ní et al. (2019) has provided a framework that notes the most effective way of delivering professional development to online educators. See graphic below.

Another conversation that came up in class discussion was on the topic of Learning Management Systems (LMS’s).  LMS’s are platforms that are used by teachers to organize, manage, and share content for online courses. There are only a few out there that are widely used by educational institutions (e.g. Blackboard, Moodle, etc.). They seem pretty static and have been relatively unchanged over the past five years. Some questions that came up and do not really have a definite answer are:

  • Who is providing input on LMS? Are we getting parent/student feedback in order to update systems?
  • How often are systems updated to integrate new technology?
  • How are LMS’s using artificial intelligence to support students and provide more detailed information to teachers teaching online? (e.g. tracking eye movements, etc.)

Now What?

Now, how does this affect me? I am a grade two teacher and Vice-Principal at my school site. Throughout these readings, I thought about how I, as a leader, could start mapping out a technology plan using a pedagogical framework as support. I hope to start by having a conversation based on the ISTE standards and which ones they agree that they are doing well and which ones are important and need more time being spent on it. I am hoping that that will start to give me an idea where peoples pedagogical approaches are within the context of educational technology.


References:

Conole, G., Dyke, M., Oliver, M., & Seale, J. (2004). Mapping pedagogy and tools for effective learning design. Computers & Education, 43(1–2), 17–33. http://ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/login?url=https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2003.12.018

Conole, G. (2018). Learning Design and Open Education. International Journal of Open Educational Resources. Retrieved from https://www.ijoer.org/learning-design-and-open-education_doi-10-18278-ijoer-1-1-6/

Dabbagh, N. (2005). Pedagogical Models for E-Learning: A Theory-Based Design Framework. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 1(1), 25–44. http://ezproxy.library.uvic.ca/login?url=http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.475.4593&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Mishra, P. & Koehler, M.J. (2006). Technological Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108 (6), 1017-1054. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.523.3855&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Shé Ní, C., Farrell, O., Brunton, J.,  Costello, E., Donlon, E., Trevaskis, S., & Eccles, S. (2019). Teaching online is different: Critical perspectives from the literature. Retrieved from Dublin City University website: https://openteach.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Teaching-online-is-different.pdf

Module #2 Reflection

What?

Below are summary notes of concepts and topics covered in each article. Following that is how it is important to the field of Educational Technology and me as a teacher and administrator in BC.

Friesen, N. (2009). Open Educational Resources: New Possibilities for Change and Sustainability. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(5). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v10i5.664

  • results of an informal survey about collections of online educational resources (specifically longevity and attributes associated)
  • some downfalls from old open educational resources  in regards to lack of sustainability
    • none prioritized open content through creative commons licensing
    • not limited to specific subject area (too broad)
    • started between 2001 and 2003
    • lack of ongoing funding
  • Therefore, these things need to be in place for a new platform to have more hope for long term usage

Conole, G., & Brown, M. (2018). Reflecting on the Impact of the Open Education Movement. Journal of Learning for Development – JL4D, 5(3). Retrieved from
http://jl4d.org/index.php/ejl4d/article/view/314

  • Critiques the rise and impact of the Open Education movement (primarily in higher education) – in terms of impact on learning it focuses on three aspects: open educational resources, e-textbooks, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) in regards to learning, teaching and research
  • Describes three frameworks that help structure the implementation – 7 C’s of Learning Design, the SAMR model, and the ICAP framework
  • Open Education definition: “resources, tools, and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide” (Open Education Consortium, n.d.) *evolving term that covers a range of philosophies and practices aiming at widening access to learning
    • Not a new concept, but new tools due to new digital technologies (especially social media)
    • They aren’t all good – depends on how they are used
  • Benefits of Open Education (from the OpenEdOz project, 2016)
    • economies of scale through collaborative co-production of learning resources
    • opportunities to raise the quality of learning at decreased time and financial cost
    • enable provision of learning materials that are richer and more appropriate to the contexts and styles of learning of an increasingly diverse student community
    • opportunities to provide learning to disadvantaged communities in remote and rural locations
    • promote greater collaboration between universities in fostering peer review and collegial development of learning materials
    • when used appropriately, they facilitate greater levels of transparency into the teaching process
  • in order to effectively implement digital technologies to support open learning, teachers need to adopt new approaches to learning design (7 C’s, SAMR, ICAP)
  • 7 C’s of Learning Design (see visual from article below)

  • ICAP Framework (Interactive, Constructive, Active, and Passive) *defines cognitive engagement activities
    • this hypothesis predicts that as students become more engaged with the learning materials, from passive to active to constructive to interactive, their learning will increase
  • SAMR Model (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition)
    • framework for designers to create optimal learning experiences
    • learning activities that fall within the substitution and augmentation classifications are said to ENHANCE learning, while learning activities that fall within the modification and redefinition classifications are said to TRANSFORM learning

So what?

  • SUSTAINABILITY – 6 of the sites listed in the resources are no longer available
  • Online educational coursework is available through MIT, but you cannot get a degree unless you pay to be a part of the program (This is becoming more prevalent – eg. MOOC’s through UBC)
  • Tracy had a great comment of Hypothesis – “Why limit myself to a collection when I can google what I need and source from there?”
  • Use of site with collections of online material for teaching (TeachersPayTeachers) – there is so much out there already, there is no need to reinvent the wheel unless you have to
  • How to make MOOC’s accessible to all yet differentiated for different types of learners (what does mass produced really mean?)
  • E-Textboks allow learners to access their learning resources from anywhere
  • E-texts also help to decrease students environmental impact (no need to print and reprint texts based on updated information)
  • Makes learning accessible to a wider demographic
  • lack of understanding in the post secondary world about how to recognize learning through OER and MOOC’s

Now what?

  • Hard for some teachers to move away from textbooks and online (especially with the ‘new’ curriculum – not a lot of resources provided) *teachers have to work harder to collate and develop their resources *easy for them to move through the chapters (but this limits access and students understanding of concepts)
  • How are we getting devices into the hands of less privileged demographics in order to level the playing field of access to education?
  • Class discussion about the digital component of high school courses in Ontario
    • good for students to start developing the skills and strategies to independently move through course content online
    • is there a conversation about balance of digital vs. classroom teaching and learning (how much time are students spending online per day – inside and outside of the classroom?) *some of the teachers at my school right now are struggling with this issue*