N°9- Networked Learning


The theory that I would like to focus on in this post is constructivism. Driscoll states that Constructivism assumes that learners are not empty vessels to be filled with knowledge. Instead, learners are actively attempting to create meaning. Learners often select and pursue their own learning (Driscoll, 2000, p. 376). This is the theory we use in Art and Design. The student should take responsibility for their own learning and create meaning from this through analysis of the design process.

This theory needs to be taken into consideration when modern technology is introduced and how was can maintain this approach with the introduction of technology.

Can the students create meaning in doing their process digitally or can this only be done by hand?

Can a combination of the two create a balance that progresses the process whilst also creating a connection between the students?

This is where connectivism comes in. Connectivism is the integration of principles explored by chaos, network, and complexity and self-organization theories. Learning (defined as actionable knowledge) can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database), is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing Siemans (2004). This allows the students to potentially learn more through these connections. These are two theories that I would like to encompass in my teaching when introducing a TEL task.

N°7- Peer Meeting

To help us initiate our TEL task our tutor set us up with a study partner to discuss and get feedback for our task. I found this a great way to kickstart us in thinking about the task. It gave us accountability as we had to set up and meeting with our partner and it also allowed us to collaborate and get to know one another better. Previously before this meeting I had felt disconnected from everyone in the group as I had missed one lesson and did not interact with anyone in class. 

I was paired with Liz who was kind enough to initiate the meeting through email. We decided to meet at High Holborn and this is where Liz was based and I had a meeting there that week. Prior to the meeting we were sent an 3 step outline to help us outline our focus, investigation and sharing. See my response to this below. When I shared my outline with Liz she suggested that instead of doing an advanced project of creating a blog that I use the worklfow software created by the University. She advised me to book in a tutorial with Andrew to help me with this. I found meeting with Liz very helpful and this was a great way to encourage collaboration amongst the group and get us started in thinking about our project. 

Step 1: Focus

  • What do I see in my teaching practice or student learning that might present opportunities for digital engagement?

There is an opportunity for sharing resources using digital engagement either through moodle or other platforms

  • How do I understand what I see? Why is this an important aspect for me to consider?

Pattern cutting and 3D development is a very open subject. There is not right or wrong way of doing it so sharing resources and different techniques with each other would help to develop one’s mind and work further

  • What would I like to achieve?

To create a platform where pattern cutting techniques and resources can be shared

  • What could I try and why? What difference could this make to my learning and/or teaching experience?

This would increase my learning of integrating technology into learning. This can be done through videos (jointly with technicians), blog posts and online sessions which would make my teaching experience more modern and relevant to the time.

  • What do I need to find out more about?

I would need to learn how to create a platform and find ways of integrating this with moodle i.e. weekly breakdowns of course material. Furthermore I would need to learn how to create videos and demos.

Step 2: Investigate

  • How and where am I going to find answers?

By doing research, consulting other platforms and blogs

  • What will I do? Who do I need to involve?

I will need to involve the students and the technicians

  • What are the main steps?

To conduct research

Create the platform

Crate the content to upload to the platform

Engage the students to be involved

  • What time and resources do I need?

A computer with a camera

  • What help or support might I need?

Support with how to create a web session and how to create a video

Step 3: Share

  • How am I going to document what I do?

This can be documented through notes and a journal

  • How will I present my reflections / learning?

Learning’s and findings will be presented in a written format after feedback has been given

N°6- Tweet Chat

To understand how social media can be used for learning we were asked to participate in a tweet chat. The focus of the activity was not the platform itself but how social media can be used to enhance learning through sharing of practise as well as forming as connection with others. I believe that the idea of connecting via a social platform does work and was keen to see if I could make this connection using the Tweet Chat.

The Tweet Chat that I participated in was the Learning an Teaching in HE . This was a regular chat that takes place every Wednesday. This particular Wednesday was a discussion on Personal Pedagogies https://lthechat.com/2017/03/07/lthechat-78-personal-pedagogies/. I found this really engaging as I struggle with my own pedagogy so not only was I able to practise an aspect of TEL but I was also able to learn about how others in education foster their own pedagogies.

I of course was super keen and joined the chat 15 minutes early to avoid being late and missing anything. In hindsight I have realised that it is not necessary to be on time as you can pick up and join the conversation at any time. That is the great thing about chatting digitally. I found it was beneficial to introduce myself to the group. Without doing this I would have found it hard to form a connection and would have perhaps gotten lost amongst all of the other participants.

The opening question asked to us was “what is your own personal pedagogy”. I responded with the “I was working on mine.” I was relieved to find out that many people on the chat were also in the early stages of establishing their pedagogy. From the tweets it was evident that there was a diverse group of participants in various levels of teaching. Some were just starting out like me and others were at a senior level. This helped to keep the chat going and kept my interest for several minutes.

After a 15 minutes when the conversation moved to an academic and less casual approach was when I lost interest. You can see below the tweet photos of a few participants with the definitions of pedagogy. While I found these definitions helpful it made me lose the connection with the group clicking on them and reading such lengthy posts and then trying to go back to the chat and follow was very hard to do. For the chat to really be successful for me it needs to be kept informal and short, only using the 140 character restriction of Twitter. This restriction is what makes twitter beneficial for conducting a chat and longer image posts defeat the point of this. I did try to look at the Storify of the tweet chat when I had lost track of the conversation and left but the link did not work which was disappointing and shows that technology can fail.

N°5- Moocs

What is a Mooc? I had no idea until this was introduced in my Technology and learning session a few weeks ago. I quickly looked it up and learned that is it

“an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web.”

(“Massive Open Online Course”)

A free course that anyone can take online… imagine the possibilities for learning? I learned that the first MOOC emerged from a movement by Dave Cormier of the University of PEI. Considering I am from Canada and in education one would assume I would have heard of it. I was then intrigued, can this online platform of free education really work?

We were asked to investigate this by taking a Mooc ourselves. I decided to do something that was completely foreign to me, “Dog emotion and Cognition.” The reason being my dog walker had recently quit because of my unruly bulldog. So I set off to learn about her emotion and cognition and hopefully improve her behaviour as a result. The course was through a Coursea platform. I found the layout of this very easy to follow and user friendly. See image below:

On the left hand side were the individual lessons that you could click on and every week there was a quiz to complete to get to the next week. You received email reminders of the upcoming quizzes so you could stay on top of the lessons. The lessons were taught via an uploaded video. See below:

This for me was engaging enough to keep me interested. The tutor compared dogs with other animals and explained what cognition was. I however lost interest after two weeks. The reasons for this were mostly due to the lack of free resources available. The course was based on a book written by the tutor which I did not want to purchase and to test my own dogs cognition alongside the course material I would have had to purchase a app called “Dognition.” Whist they offered two free dognition activities, the rest needed to be purchased for 19 dollars, something I was not willing do when the course was advertised as free. I also lost interest due to the lack of community, none of the other students communicated with each other. Perhaps had we been able to discuss our own experience with the material present I would have stayed on to finishing the five weeks.

I would not say my Mooc experience is negative despite me not completing. The coursea platform has inspired me to look at creating something in a similar layout for resource sharing with my students. I have also really understood the importance of community amongst the students and would like to create a platform that can bring a sense a community through this resource sharing.