Reflection for Week 3: Collaboration and Engagement

This week I learned a lot about how collaboration with teachers through a website could open doors that not only makes the technology coach available to them, it also creates a place for teachers to keep up with current technology news and make connections with other teachers. My daughter has just started teaching this year. She is taking off on technology ideas like this. Her next step is to record her lessons through her document camera as she lectures, and post it on the website for students and parents at home, as well as for the resource room support staff! All I did was tell her about the concept of flipped learning, so students could watch a recording if they missed a class and then doing the assignment associated with that. I think that as she shares ideas through her website, others will take off on these ideas and she will learn from them; back full circle to her mom who is continually learning in the area of technology. This is the heart of collaboration.

When I read Jon’s reply to Thomas, I was thinking about how Thomas’ definition of engagement sparked a lot of thinking in this particular discussion thread. I added a thought about how students could have discussions on blog posts may be a great alternative to face-to-face discussion for some students because it is less intimidating and does not require the same “taking turns” aspect. I think engagement could be measured even more authentically this way. It gets them to practice writing too.

What is coming to my mind now is the connection between engagement and taking an affective stance—emotion as stance (Goodwin, M., Cekaite, A. and Goodwin, C. (2012). Since the visual environment is excluded in a blog discussion, an initial emotional reaction to what the reader “heard” can be thought over before reacting. The same lack of body language from writing in a blog may make it more difficult to interpret meaning in the environment for discussion, but it may also allow the responder more time to reflect. Often, I have an initial response to what is said in a blog, only to realize that is not what was really communicated. Having that space to reread and reflect helps. Then I can respond with how I feel regarding the topic with a more pertinent response. Back to engagement; the premise is that I have permission to express my view through an affective response, which only proves that I am indeed engaged in the discussion. The teacher needs to stay involved with students, collaborate with them in whole group sessions, to keep the focus of affective response on personal perspective. I think students can learn by some of the issues they may have incurred on blogs with communication were due to cultural perspective.

I looked up the article that Jon posted that talks about getting silent students involved in active learning using clickers to show their engagement (Obenland, Munson, and Hutchinson, 2012). Since the learning style of many of the students in our school is very quiet, this would be a great tool for them. In the article, it further explains that students are encouraged to ask questions that arise from the questions asked to them. Students can expand answers to clickers using colored index cards that correspond to multiple choice letters.

References

Goodwin, M., Cekaite, A., and Goodwin, C. (2012). Emotion as stance. In M. Sorjonen and A. Perkyla, (Eds.), Emotion in interaction. Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 16-41. Retrieved on 9-21-14 from: http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/anthro/faculty/goodwin/emotionasstance2012.pdf

Obenland, C., Munson, A., & Hutchinson, J. (2012). Silent Students’ Participation in a Large Active Learning Science Classroom. Journal Of College Science Teaching, 42(2), 90-98.

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