You are here, on a Saturday morning, in February... Everyone at this conference is an educator, and everyone is here to learn You want to share your passion for learning with your students You want to help your students develop their own ideas & passions, for learning, for making, and for changing their world.That’s why I’m here. I’m another learner, who’s also an educator.I’d like to share a story about my how I have used social networking with my students, to help them to develop that connection/passion, and a few things I learned that may be useful for other educators working with students in this way.
We have to begin with the tension I presented in my last sentence... you want to help students discover THEIR OWN passion, connectionTheir Own = student-centred learning (self-directed) However, Learning & Assessment are often Standardized, Static & StaleMany of us who are committed to creating student-centred learning KNOW what it looks like...
Right side of slide are opportunities for AUTHENTIC LEARNING... require students to complete complex, real-world tasks over a period of time, in collaboration with others facilitate self-directed and independent learning encourage confidence & cultivate skills such as judgement & flexibility (a challenge for most learners!)Authentic learning is often “messy”, as is real-life!
Student-centred learning Constructivism = student constructs knowledge based on experiences & social interactionsConnectivism = learning & knowledge rest in diversity of opinions; learning is a process of connecting the nodes/info sources
So let’s do it, right?!
5 main challenges... which I’d like to touch on briefly.
Awareness – begins with questioning “what’s wrong with the traditional ways?”learning about alternatives, what others are doing, what works well/failed?This is where our own PLNs come in!
There is seeing, and then there is deciding to change. These changes are not simple, they require a great deal of thought, learning, trial & error... Commitment to change is required.
The next two challenges differ at 2nd / 3rd level... so I won’t go into much detail.First is access to technology – to devices, mobile or otherwise, and internet/wireless
Next is authority to make changes. In 2nd level, with the state exams, this may be much more difficult than at 3rd level, but there are challenges in both sectors. Do you, as an educator, have the authority (or support from authority) to transition to student-led learning?
And finally... Design. THIS is CRITICAL.There are those who say that with the advent of technology, the role of the teacher will be diminished, or replaced altogether. But it is here that I would argue the role of the teacher/educator is paramount.Who are your students?What stage are they at?... technology, maturity, anxiety, etc.What authentic learning activities can you develop with your students, what structures can you put in place, to meet their needs, to challenge them, to light that fire?DESIGN is key! e.g. objectives? format? open/closed? individual/collaborative? tool choice?This is where the role of the teacher is paramount! Knowing your students, meeting them where they are, creating appropriate structures and supports to enable them to create their own learning.
This is where my own story comes in. I want to create opportunities for authentic learning with my own students, they are 2nd year BSc IT students. Here’s what I did, what I tried, what worked, what didn’t work so well, what the students thought, what I learned.
Also explore digital literacies: privacy, digital identity, digital footprint, curation, social media, social networking, etc.Social media & social networking an important aspect of this, i.e. instead of writing a paper on privacy, digital identity, etc. Students use social networks & discuss these topics online, and then reflect on research & the process.
DI = the persona you present across all digital communities (including social networks). It is often said that we leave our "digital footprint" behind as we share and interact online. Elements of our DI include information that we create ourselves -- as well as information about us which is posted by others.Proactively choose/create your digital identityProtect your digital identityOur online presence... an act of identity construction, “self authoring”
Digital identity on Twitter – statisticsDigital identity different! Google+ had a real-name policy... this has since been changed, but the trend has been set.
What *is* privacy?Is it closing the door? Is it closing the door to whom we wish, when we wish?The nature of digital artefacts is that it is very, very difficult to ensure the privacy of ANYthing online!Mark Zuckerberg, asserts that sharing or "public" is the new social norm. Jeff Jarvis, author of Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live, acknowledges that fear accompanies the adoption of any new technology and notes that "we will make a lot of mistakes as we develop social norms around how to treat information online". Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together, maintains that democracy requires that we retain a zone of privacy around the individual.danahboyd writes about being aware of an "invisible audience" -- defines 4 key characterisics of information (about us) which exist online. Persistent: recorded & archivedReplicable: can be duplicatedScalable: potential visibility is greatSearchable: accessible through searchPrivacy on Twitter – it doesn’t existPrivacy on Google+ ... set up circles... But they are leaky! Private posts can be shared Circles can be invited others (and others can do this!)
Connecting with others... Co-construction of knowledge (e.g. connectivism)
Authenticity: Who am I?FB – T – G+ and offline... Friends, family, students, strangers, etc. Helen Keegan has written of the “tyranny of authenticity”When we encourage students to manage their DI, we adopt a rhetoric of openness & authenticity.Transition from ‘me’ to ‘professional.me’ not unproblematic!Web *IS* a place for play & experimentation... pseudonyms, avatars, different IDs in different placesWe *ALL* do this to a certain extent!We must allow our students to do the same.
Authentic learning is messy! There are no digital natives – students have a wide range of feelings about online privacy, many very sophisticated!Social networking w/ students is challenging (for all), must anticipate wide range of student responses...[-] won’t participate, did not like the activity[+] embrace, aha!, favourite class Currently researching Kegan’s stages of adult development to help to understand this further.Conclusions! Sensitivity to students’ emerging online identities Transition from ‘me’ to ‘professional.me’ Web is a place for play & experimentation... expect and encourage “play” with DIs This will entail pseudonyms, avatars, inappropriate photos, etc. We all do this It will be messy.... final word to students.
Digital identity, privacy & authenticity - #CESI12
Meaningful learning occurs with knowledge
construction, not reproduction; conversation, not reception; articulation, not repetition; collaboration, not competition; & reflection, not prescription. Jonassen, et al (2003) Learning to solve problems with technology: a constructivist perspective.
#studentvoice “I was wary about
joining a circle of people that I did not know. On Facebook I always make sure that what I post or what I am tagged in will not be seen by people who I do not want to see it.” “I learned a lot more about writing to the public. Before this I would have been less likely to express my views to a group of people online whereas now I would not have a problem in doing so.”
#studentvoice “I did not like
adding the LIT students because I have never met them.” “By posting publicly it opened up our world to other academics or people who are just interested in the topic we are posting about. I don’t think anyone would have thought that the author of one of the works we were researching would get involved.”
#studentvoice “It gave me a
chance to see everyone's opinions on these topics and give my own, a lot more interesting and refreshing than other assignments in our course.” “Changes my view of social networks just being used for mindless chatter. They can actually be useful for research and feedback if used correctly.”
#studentvoice “I would recommend Google+
especially in universities because I had access to all this great reading in relation to technology that people had found, that I would probably never find on my own or read in a book in a library!” “I did not find our assignments involving Google+ useful or interesting. If I wanted to learn about digital literacy, privacy, etc, I would do my own research on these topics and come to my own conclusions.”
Although as this was an
assignment I felt like your posts were not only being graded by your lecturer but everyone in the circle too. Some people offered their opinion only to just get the assignment done and not to really engage in any conversation on the topic.
#studentvoice “As this was an
assignment I felt like your posts were not only being graded by your lecturer but everyone in the circle, too.” “Some people offered their opinion only to just get the assignment done and not to really engage in any conversation on the topic.”
#studentvoice “Through Google+ we were
able to break down the geographical barrier between us and Clonmel in order to share ideas, thoughts and opinions with students we’ve never met before on a wide range of topical issues like privacy, digital literacy and social media.”
#studentvoice “I enjoyed the whole
collaboration with LIT, I found it interesting and enjoyable researching and reading all the various topics being discussed and thought the whole idea was good, although everything got a bit messy.”