Workshop: Social networking for learning and assessment As any teacher knows, youth today are well attuned to social networking. However, if, when, and how can this networking serve learning purposes? And how could you determine if these networks were working to your educational purpose? This workshop begins with a grounding in the education and assessment theories and the necessary technologies that could extend classroom learning through e-based social networks. Application areas will be presented and begun during the workshop timeframe.
Participants will then complete their study by developing a social network for their particular needs, submitting their work for review through an online forum within one month after the workshop ends. Participants who are interested in enrolling in one graduate credit at Empire State College may blend this workshop with other educational criteria specified during the workshop. This option should be discussed with the presenter or firstname.lastname@example.org (regular ESC tuition is applied.)
FROM ALL COLLEGE 2016 Whether you are in a problem-solving email round-robin or teaching within a blended learning course, you are actively and socially networked. Can cognitive, design, and assessment theories help you work within these environments more productively? Bring your cell phones along too for this active learning session and begin to develop and enhance your own networks.
You are doing it all the time — when you are participating in email problem-solving with the student or colleague or when you are developing a blended learning instructional experience. You “sense” when things are working, and when they are not working as well. But are there cognitive and design theories that can help you actually structure such environments so they can work more productively? With the increase in interactions and collaboration brought about by the threading of technology-based communications into our environments, it is important to start creating and valuing these environments in proactive ways. Please join me for an opportunity to learn how such environments are proliferating and to find out if any learning, communication, and assessment practices could help you frame and optimize these growing social networks. This will be an active session, allowing you to start studying the networked learning opportunities in your environment, be it a classroom or an office. Bring your cell phones too so we can have some fun as well.
Before delving into ways that you can create a social network for learning purposes, first consider a social network within the which you operate. It could be anything from an email listserv at your school to a family Facebook page. Take a moment and write down your ideas about these questions. Reflect with the colleagues in the classroom on what keeps this social relationship moving and productive from your perspective? Why do you stay involved?
Since the class may come from different backgrounds in terms of schools in which they are involved and since the class might serve a variety of functions from teacher to administrator to staff, it's worth considering how social networking is emerging today. Time in the past, people had to be together to communicate. Then we got phones and newspapers. We now have ways to share information across time and geography. With the ability to store our "intelligence" beyond what could be done in print, were now finding that we can dial into networks of information continuously, as long as her Internet connection stays up. What we are doing is communicating — in this situation were thinking about ways to use this for teaching and learning, but were not doing this as a new function of humanity. And although some of these terms may seem to be more related to higher education and online instruction, even K-12 environments are starting to use social media means for homework projects, homework help, and for projects could extend beyond the classroom.
Let's think about the elements of good and robust socially networked learning environment. You're probably here because you're interested in designing such a network into a class, committee, or system in which you're involved. There is a logic and a philosophy and the psychology that can encompass the elements that you want to integrate into your thinking and planning about a social network. People learn and grow by communication. Vygotsky back in the 1960s articulated thinking about the role of the More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) as someone who could help someone in their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). As technologies and stored information in text, audio, and video formats have become so much more available, the MKO has come to be called even appropriate instructional media. At the basis of any social network is some form of communication, most likely were knowledge is being spread from one individual to the other. Clearly if you want to have a learning social network, they will definitely be knowledge spread, hopefully, from somebody with more insight or authority to someone else who needs to learn this. Now in a class or course teaching setting, the instructor sets up a learning environment based upon goals and objectives established either by the instructor or by the discipline itself that he or she represents. Using the concept of "backwards designs" where the instructor considers what a graduate should know and understand and then backs the tasks and assignments into it, you have what is hopefully a productive scenario. To use the socially network tools to construct a learning environment, the network author or spark-person needs to understand what elements of learning, knowledge, motivation, images or video, links or "challenges" will be needed to generate the type of interest necessary to sustain the involvement in the social network. One some of those factors are determined, then the network developer must still find a way to scaffold in an awareness of this network. And, since were looking at deliberative we creating such a network, they'll be important questions about how long the network should survive (is it just for course — could it be something that would last longer?) Or is it something that you hope will continue on independently or with some nudging in the future. You want to be considering that process to as you move forward. But bottom line you still need to have an assessment even if it is a social media. If you're using this so that it can be part of a learning process, you want to find out if it's working even if you're not providing a specific grade. What would be the evidence that you would expect that would demonstrate that this network is working for you towards the goals you've desired? And could you be open to lateral learning or different types of learning that might emanate from this environment? These are some of the design considerations you need to have as you move forward into thinking about a network that might work for you.
So within your groups during this workshop, step back and think about the external elements that would have to be part of any Social Network that would be of interest to you. The very first question is: what is the problem or activity that you would hope to focus upon? (Some suggestions are in a later slide) Once you've found the problem that either has to be part of what you want your group to learn or solve, then you have to ask yourself what I know about these participants? If you are working with a group of adults similar to yourself, you might be able to draw some conclusions about how comfortable they are working with different social networks from your own experience. But if you're dealing with a big gap in age or interest — maybe your middle-aged teacher dealing with teenage students — you really want to think about the audience that you hope to motivate to participate. What you need to know about them — what media do they use? How are you going to find that out, if you don't already know? Work that into your plan. And then the other piece that will be coming back too often in this workshop and later course, should you participate, will be how are you going to have any sense of whether this network is working for you? Society, particularly that of education, often expects that when the new technology comes out the technology itself will magically solve the problem. Many in early discussion board hung out there on the web when people learn how to post them. You don't want to have the social network of one. So, before we go further, jot down some of your ideas as to what you would expect to give you evidence that your network is working? Is it the number of hits that your network is getting? Or is it the number of postings of pictures, links, videos? And what quality do you want and expect if you were going to think of this as a meaningful interaction?
Review some of these examples of groups for which you might have an interest. Are you considering developing a network for any of these possible types of groups? Or do you need to generate some more categories?
Add this section to the paper for the course
After taking the workshop, it is possible to get one graduate credit from Empire State College by successfully completing the online assignment and submitting it within the four weeks specified (between September 7 and October 12, 2016) as emailed assignments (week 1 and week 4) and as an actual social network to which the instructor is invited after week 3. The requirements of each week are explained in the slide above.
Socially Networked Learning
By Dr. Eileen O’Connor
Consider a social network that you use
What brings you to it?
Why do you stay?
Does it continue without
WHAT ARE THE FACTORS INFLUENCING THE
RISE IN SOCIAL NETWORKING AND MEDIA?
•DISTRIBUTED ORGANIZATIONS - GEOGRAPHIC / TIME
•CONTINUOUS LEARNING (ONLINE – 24/7)
•A STORED “INTELLIGENCE”
•WE HAVE BEEN DOING IT “FOREVER” – WE NOW CAN
ADD DIMENSIONS OF TIME & GEOGRAPHY
Even K12 can use
DESIGNING FOR SOCIALLY NETWORKED
LEARNING – AND DETERMINING ITS EFFECTIVENESS
• Vygotsky - MKO
• D-cog networks
• Piaget (disequilibrium)
• Backwards design
• Is it working?
• Specific outcome?
• Novel outcome?
What do you need
to learn about the
How will you
know if its
How can SNL make
your life today
Will it be open or
What do you want to motivate? Why?
• K-12: And after school homework club? A citizen science local habitat
study? Numeric survey data for the math class?
• Higher-education: A patient care idea section for a nursing class? A
literature sharing and review network for an English course? Location
for idea sharing on training clients in an IT department?
• Social/organizational: Meeting ideas shared by the Summer Picnic
Committee? Videos and images uploaded from various peaks of the
What do you want to motivate? Why? What
are the learning /communication issues?
/ lack of
• Community of
to be used?
• Do they use
• What is
• Why come –
won’t do it
• What needs?
• Who assesses
• Short-term to
• Ongoing and
•HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK IS WORKING
•LISTEN TO THE “EVIDENCE” – WHAT IS EMERGING?
•HOW CAN YOU REWARD / EVALUATE WHAT TRANSPIRES?
Developing & Assessing Socially-Networked
Learning (SNL)Extend for 1 graduate credit at ESC tuition rates :
• (W1) Identify the area to socially-network and the problem, scenario, or
activity (the “content”) to be initiated within
• Locate academic or social research on the importance of the content & on any
media sharing of the content — 4 pg double space paper with citations & reference
• (W2 – 3) Frame & develop your SNL around the four design components
(communication, learning, process & assessment)
• Delineate technology, initial/seed postings, method of inviting, method of
evaluating or rewarding – create & invite the instructor
• (W 4) Share and explain
• Develop summary report integrating & explaining the overall SNL created; integrate
screen captures & links; 4 to 5 pg single space with images & appropriate headings
— could be shared with someone to explain your SNL