Week 2 Reflection: Essential question: What do you see as the promise of Open Learning as an emerging technology/pedagogy/philosophy?

Emerging Technologies EDET 693

Week 2 Reflection

by Aleta May

In this reflection, I have gone through the microblog, Twitter, to read the questions the hosts from my class posted for discussion. The answers that classmates gave gave me a much broader view of what open education resources (OER) and the idea of how Open Learning applies to classrooms in Alaska today. Also, I got a better understanding of where we as educators need to go from here. There was discussion that included all grade levels; from primary up. Another issue that struck me in this discussion was how someone had the same concern I had about student identity on the social media with regards to foster kids. When someone came by to look at our school’s day-to-day flow, then quickly tried to get my “borrowed” first graders to pose for a picture on his iPhone, I stopped him for this very reason. Some of our students have been temporarily placed in homes within our village or may be in the village to remain out of view of a parent who has a restraining order on them. Sure enough, there were not parent signatures gathered on waivers for students prior to this person coming by. Although I apparently created an embarrassing situation for the site administrator, I’m glad I stopped that, and that incident happened while I was enrolled in an Ethics for Technology class. My point is that security for our students is a much bigger issue than we may realize in the glamour of the “picture taking or filming.” By going through each question and the answers, I had an opportunity to really think about what had been discussed more deeply.

By reading some of the posts from WordPress, macroblogging, I understood from the flow of short essays how OERs involve many components, as does utilizing Open Learning choices such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) or resources like Khan Academy for math that fall somewhere between. After reading Brian’s blog, my attention became very focused on how I too have used what I would call a subscription, closed, massive program to help me create a blended learning environment that was consistent and individualized; such as DreamBox math and Lexia Core 5 Reading. Sara’s post had video clips, and one in particular reminded me of the high school I attended in Anchorage when it first opened its doors—with staircases going from floor to floor and each floor color coded according to vocational or subject area. I spent a lot of time on the blue floor, taking business classes. This is an awesome memory for me.

As I wrote my own short essay on my WordPress Blog, I thought about the many aspects of OERs, including Creative Commons (CC) licenses at different levels. It is difficult not to consider both sides of the issue of sharing resources—the one writing and the one using. I think that sharing resources online is better than sharing in a single school building, because when a teacher shares, they are more likely to connect with others who are willing to share as well. A similar place for this type of sharing is on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) where valuable resources are uploaded on this site in a very cost effective manner: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com

This week I gained understanding through reading assigned text, focusing that reading by adding to it with my own text, blogging on WordPress, and carefully going over the Twitter Session script from this week. One goal I have worked on is adding YouTube links or pictures to my blogs to make them more attractive/inviting for readers to visit my blog site.

Twitter Session Transcriptions from co-hosts Sara Lucas @lucassara12    and   Jessica Marks @edtech133

Sara L. Q. 1: How would you define open learning in education?

Sarah       A. 1: learning independently or with a group using open education resources.

Laura        A 1: open learning is where education is available for free to anyone who wants to use it, like Khan Academy

Genevieve A1: Constructivism

Tricia         A1: Open Learning—Available to everyone

Kayla         A1: self-directed, independent, interest guided learning using open education resources

Sara L.        A1: for me I think of the open aspect. Anyone can access and use it

Jessica       A1: Going off of what Kayla said, self directed and independent leads to critical thinking, and savvy use of technology

Kayla       A1: totally constructivist in nature! also this emerging idea of connectivism too!

 

Sara L.     Q2: Why is open learning important in this day and age? What are the pitfalls of not embracing it?

Sarah        A2: information changes so quickly that textbooks are outdated as soon as they are printed; and open learning allows students and teachers to adapt to the constant changing of info; plus it fits so well with constructivism which is gaining a lot of traction right now

Kayla       A2: I think it helps students to connect their out of school lives with their in school lives . . . helping them to see relevance; it also sets our students up to be successful and learn how to connect with others and ideas across the world

Laura       A2: anyone can access it, students can be directed to more self paced and interest based; another advantage-anyone can learn outside of school. Duolingo-free language learning it, AMAZING

Jessica     A2: we are a global society, what happens on the other side of the world effects us here. I agree SL. They are going to encounter it. Best teach them how.

Genevieve A2: Technology, innovation, collaboration. All these things make open learning relevant

Sara L.         A2: I definitely think connection is huge, and we need to teach kids how to interact with the outside world

Jessica Marks Q3: What are some barriers to the adoption of open learning in education?

Kayla         A3: We need to update/design new policies to reflect this emerging practice; limited research on use in the K12 setting

Lee             A3: ownership is a big one I think

Sarah         A3: lack of technology available at school or lack of Internet at home

Laura         A3: disadva-I get worried that all this tech takes away from one-2-one contact. a mixture of collab in real world class very import   Sara L. A3: This is so true and exactly what I was going to comment

Genevieve   A3: Not knowing how to use, fear in failure

Jessica         A3: I know for myself, I would not need pd. I would be uncomfortable with it until taught well; Teachers feeling like they have no control over the content their students are accessing

Tricia           A3: Being able to ensure parents that their kids are safe on the Internet

Laura           A3: issues with assessment if no teacher tracking tool is available

Sara Lucas Q4: What are the cognitive benefits of this pedagogy of open learning?

Sarah           A4: it teaches students how to learn instead of just content knowledge and creates lifelong learners

Kayla           A4: students engage in more critical thinking—they are building their knowledge; there are different literacy skills needed to engage in this kind of learning. skills they will use outside of school. Tricia– I see. That makes a lot of sense; 21st Century Skills

Jessica          A4: there is a possibility, if done correctly, of collaboration

Tricia           A4: Since students can learn whatever they want, they are more engaged in the topic and ideally, gain more in-depth knowledge.

Laura           A4: benefits=anything you want to learn at your fingertips, also teaches typing and tech in order to find info, online collab

Tricia           A4: Collaboration with whom?

Jessica Q5: Why is blended learning the “easier to grasp” open learning technique in the K-12 setting?

Lee adds to question: does open learning mean no tchr involvement?

Laura       A5: I know parents that think open learning sounds like a free for all, blended learning is a safer word, at least for now w/my sch

Lee: so more teacher centered than ss centered?

Sara L.     A5: Correct! The teacher chooses more of the material. In open the student chooses their path more freely

Jessica Marks Q6: How does educational policy need to be changed to help facilitate a shift to open learning?

Sarah       A6: policy needs to better support a constructivist pedagogy. Less emphasis on test, test, test, more on how students learn

Jessica      A6: Policy would have to change from the district level, to the school, to the classroom

Lee         A6: teachers must be freed to create curriculum

Lee         A6: but so much professional learning takes place on twitter – open means any expert can walk in and participate

Sara L. Q7: Do you think open learning could be used in your classes? If so, how?

Sarah       A7: Yes! I’m going to try google classroom next year and I think that will be a good start getting students to collaborate; I would love to have students do chem chats on Twitter, too

Laura       A7: For sure! I have used Khan Academy for my older students, even for practice for SAT I would like to work a few more in

Tricia         A7: As a new foster parent, I’m pretty paranoid of my children’s identity being broadcast on the Internet. They are also my ss.

Sara L.       A7: I’ve thought about having students post projects for peer feedback

Kayla         A7: can we start simple with the Primary st? Maybe something with pen pals across the country/world and online resource Lee could partner with others using a walled garden like edublohs

Tricia         A7: I’m trying to determine how to deal with Internet use @ school. How to protect their identity & stay within the law

Sara L. This is something we will definitely have to be careful of as educators. Use anonymous usernames

Jessica Q8: Rate from 1-I have the idea to 10-I already use it or want to use it now. How do you feel about using open learning?

Lee: yes we have to think about it in degrees. . .from oer to open creation of content; getting on Twitter is an all the way out solution. There are many degrees before that. With young kids – mystery skype –distance speakers – watching content video for experiential supplement – lots of degrees; so its just constructivism on steroids, (or a microprocessor) really; though without a doubt tech brings many more dimensions to open learning

Sara L. Q. 1: How would you define open learning in education?

Sara L.     Q2: Why is open learning important in this day and age? What are the pitfalls of not embracing it?

Jessica Marks Q3: What are some barriers to the adoption of open learning in education?

Sara Lucas Q4: What are the cognitive benefits of this pedagogy of open learning?

Jessica Q5: Why is blended learning the “easier to grasp” open learning technique in the K-12 setting?

Jessica Marks Q6: How does educational policy need to be changed to help facilitate a shift to open learning?

Sara L. Q7: Do you think open learning could be used in your classes? If so, how?

Jessica Q8: Rate from 1-I have the idea to 10-I already use it or want to use it now. How do you feel about using open learning?

Following are my replies to some very awesome blog posts for week two:

Sara,

From video one, these comments stood out for me:

Open Education Game Changer: user created content that’s happening outside the usual channels. Being able to teach students where their needs are. Open education allows teachers to take a class that is already made, and change it to meet their own needs. Connect students where they are and where they are going. As a teacher you are part of a network of teachers.

From the second video, I wanted to be in a building like that! I read in an article about some rooms having glass walls. Maybe some areas need this; I think the psychology class activities may need auditory privacy from other learning environments. There are big open areas—so students will need to focus by having a teacher keep the students on specific tasks. Teachers and students keep the noise at a minimum by doing a lot of their talking over the Internet.

I do have experience with open areas as a kid. This became very popular and I attended an elementary school that had very large open spaces. We need to be careful with design, and plan well. For example, one of the first things many teachers did was to close the thin wall dividers. In the village school where I teach, one classroom is between two rooms where they clearly hear the activities going on in the rooms on either side—and this has not worked well with our current ways of teaching.

One thing I think we really need in school design is well-planned ways to recharge electronic equipment without having to use carts all the time. Also, the seating arrangements need to be flexible, so floor outlets and portable / stackable student furniture is so important. Students with tables and chairs for desks can rearrange into a variety of collaborative arrangements as the project demands. Awesome science labs with experimental areas that include solarium style areas for growing plants—natural biology—aligned with stand-up style computer tables for groups to create charts, graphs, organizers online about what they are learning would be a great design as well. If we plan for well-equipped rooms, it is easier for teachers to be portable, so quiet areas may be shared.

Hi Genevieve,

It is so true that students need to “try out” their learning in order to keep them engaged and motivated. I have never been able to teach without clarifying the district’s curriculum by supplementing it with ways to try out or relate to what they are learning–you made a good point about the curriculum being only part of the way we teach our students.

Aleta

Kayla,

Connecting information and connecting ideas from open learning sources and collaborating with others to construct group projects are ways of motivating students to delve deeper into learning.   That is a good point about how we need to offer students choice and that learning needs to be relevant. I think it is so true that if students do not see how their learning in school connects to outside the school, we are really missing the point of education. Wow, it is amazing how even in second grade, students are expected to participate in shared research; according to the Alaska State standards. Retelling and describing key ideas will come naturally as students talk to each other in shared research. This prepares them to teach other groups in the class.

I think your ideas for second grade applications to open learning clear up how it is certainly possible to start young. Using guest speakers through Skype or video clips is perfect—especially when I consider how difficult it can be to schedule people to come in and talk to a class. I think the Skype idea would be especially good so kids can ask questions immediately. But with a video clip of someone local, students could write questions in groups and mail them in to the presenter.

Aleta

Brian,

How true that it is such a challenge to teach a diverse group of students with limited materials to do so. There is not enough time in the day for teachers to continually create these on our own, and open education resources (OER) are resources we can share. I like the Gutenberg Project, but I did notice that many of the free resources available resources were limited to older materials. I think there are copyright permissions for teachers to use up to a certain percentage of more modern children’s literature to teach with for nonprofit.

I work with special needs students, so I too look for OERs to help students stay engaged to practice basic skills—such as gaming in math. I was able to utilize this strategy last semester with a response to intervention math group as they worked to comprehend concepts related to fractions.

Aleta

 

One thought on “Week 2 Reflection: Essential question: What do you see as the promise of Open Learning as an emerging technology/pedagogy/philosophy?

  1. daysha2016

    I think it is very important that you bring up student safety as a concern. My principle was really big on having all of us teachers create photo galleries for our webpages. I never added any photos because I had a couple of students who needed to be protected due to restraining orders.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s