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Let's start with teacher autonomy: Multiliteracies and Lifelong Learning


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Presentation given by Vance Stevens April 7, 2008 at the Learner Autonomy SIG preconference event at the IATEFL Conference in Exeter 2008

Published in: Technology, Education

Let's start with teacher autonomy: Multiliteracies and Lifelong Learning

  1. 1. Let’s start with autonomous teachers: Multiliteracies and the inculcation of strategies for lifelong learning Vance Stevens Learner Autonomy SIG Pre-conference event IATEFL Conference, Exeter April 7, 2008 – Updated April 9, 2008
  2. 2. From Leni Dam’s talk <ul><li>“…teachers will hardly be prepared or able to administer autonomous learning processes in their students if their own learning is not geared to the same principles.” - Edelrhof, 1984:189 (Referenced in Leni Dam's talk at this symposium) </li></ul>Edelhoff, C. (1984). Purposes and needs for teacher training” in van Ek and J. Trim (eds.) Across the threshold: readings from the modern languages projects of the Council of Europe. Oxford: Pergamon.
  3. 3. Multiliteracies: New Landscapes for Learning <ul><li>Notions of multiliteracies (Stevens, 2006) emerging to characterize competencies required for effectively coping and communicating in the 21st century, Stevens, Vance. (2006). Revisiting multiliteracies in collaborative learning environments, TESL-EJ,.: . </li></ul><ul><li>“ Digital immigrant” teachers not keeping up (from Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon 9 , 5. ) </li></ul><ul><li>Still conceptualize technology as working along the lines of an expert system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Might work in some cases for short-term learning goals but not as a strategy towards attaining competencies directed at lifelong learning. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now that Internet is for the fortunate few 'always on' the greatest potentials for technology in learning are rapidly shifting to connectionist/connectivist models . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Connectivism <ul><li>George Siemens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proponent of the theory of connectivism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The “pipe” is more important than its content Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: Learning as network-creation. . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge resides at nodes in network </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining connections is primary to accessing it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Essential elements to accessing knowledge in the 21 st or read-write century </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggregation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Folksonomies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tagging </li></ul></ul></ul>David Weinberger explains it here:
  5. 5. Classification Taxonomies vs. Folksonomies
  6. 6. Construction of Knowledge per Downes at WiAOC 2007 <ul><li>Expert systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cartesian, algorithmic, socratic dialog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Except for discrete leaning tasks, such models have not produced any credible expert system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is because knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is not derived linearly in IF/THEN junctures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>but is pattern-driven </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Connectionist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Model of learning appropriate to ed tech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total Knowledge = sum of that which exists in a distributed learning network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>knowing derives from developing competencies for accessing nodes where knowledge resides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ineffable nature </li></ul></ul>“ I have great difficulty expressing what I’m doing outside the classroom” Elizabeth Ann in discussion following Leni’s talk
  7. 7. Ineffability <ul><li>Expert model intuitively understood by those brought up on western scientific logic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>such logic does not readily suggest nor accept network solutions . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To Cartesian-logical minds, network solutions might appear counter-intuitive until experienced . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. how Wikipedia works unregulated 'bottom up' to create an encyclopedia that is in many ways superior to the traditional 'top down' authoritatively published ones Illustration: Jon Udell’s Heavy Metal Umlaut Screencast: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ryerson University student, Toronto, charged with 150 counts of plagiarism , one for each peer in his Facebook study group. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social networking tools have had startling impacts on constructivist learning when applied appropriately in educational contexts. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Their benefit to learning, says Downes, is beyond articulation or description, but is rather, ineffable . </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Stephen Downes - WiAOC 2007 <ul><li>Teaching is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Modeling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrating </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learning is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From Personal Learning the Web 2.0 Way </li></ul><ul><li>Slides: </li></ul><ul><li>Audio Part 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Audio Part 2: </li></ul>
  9. 9. Paradigm Shift <ul><li>New Learners: Some of Marc Prensky’s mantras Referenced at: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital immigrants vs. digital natives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enrage me or engage me </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cater to learners accustomed to Twitch Speed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenge for teachers whose use of technology has lagged behind latest developments, is </li></ul><ul><ul><li>being able to switch mindsets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>away from the expectation that computers should provide solutions to problems in education in algorithmic ways </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To connectivist models taking advantage of social networking </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Ten aspects of paradigm shift <ul><li>Pedagogy : Didactic --> constructivist and conversational </li></ul><ul><li>Modeling : Do as I say --> AND as I do </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing : Copyrighted --> creative commons </li></ul><ul><li>Trepidation : Will they find out? --> ok to say I don’t know </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy : Print literacy --> multiliteracies </li></ul><ul><li>Heuristics : Client server -->peer to peer </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer : Informal technology F.U.N. --> applied to professional practice </li></ul><ul><li>Directionality : Push --> pull </li></ul><ul><li>Ownership : Proprietary --> open source </li></ul><ul><li>Classification : Taxonomies --> folksonomies </li></ul>Here, I first suggested multiple aspects of paradigm shift required
  11. 11. Relating this to Learner Autonomy <ul><li>Teachers need to both </li></ul><ul><ul><li>teach (model and demonstrate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learn (practice and reflect) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To do these things they must </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LEARN from their peers who model and demonstrate and encourage them to reflect and practice, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In turn MODEL the outcomes they expect with students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There is evidence that when teachers do not model connectivist methods then their learners express or display discomfort with them. See: </li></ul>
  12. 12. Blogging: a model application <ul><li>Blogging inculcates all 4 principles. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>by nature a tool for reflection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bloggers practice principles of social networking by connecting through comments and trackbacks with other bloggers and readers of blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In order for teachers to teach blogging they really need to be bloggers themselves. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Or at the very least, be model readers of blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be aware of what is going on in their niche of the blogosphere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Know how to extract information from the blogosphere by using tools such as Google blog search and Technorati </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Connectivist models in teacher professional development <ul><li>WiAOC 2005, 2007 For demonstration and modeling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proceeds 2006, 2008 For reflection, to influence practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>K-12 Online 2006, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>George Siemens 2 conferences Future of Learning, Connectivism </li></ul><ul><li>IATEFL – Aberdeen, Exeter </li></ul><ul><li>Educon2.0 </li></ul>
  14. 14. Some model communities that help develop teacher autonomy <ul><li>Webheads Join the YahooGroup here: </li></ul><ul><li>Wordbridges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EdTechTalk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers Teaching Teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Writingmatrix </li></ul>
  15. 15. Some Web 2.0 tools promoting autonomy via connectivism <ul><li>VoiceThread </li></ul><ul><li>Ustream </li></ul><ul><li>Slideshare </li></ul><ul><li>Authorstream </li></ul><ul><li>Gabcast </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>WiZiQ </li></ul><ul><li>Skype </li></ul><ul><li>Chinswing </li></ul><ul><li>Yakpack </li></ul>This list was started at the TESOL 2008 conference in New York and suggestions were taken from the audience to flesh out the list. URL’s should be pretty easy to find. Do you have any to add?
  16. 16. In Conclusion <ul><li>Teachers who practice autonomy in their own professional development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>formulate heuristics for harvesting knowledge within their personal learning spaces, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>thus stand a better chance of inculcating the desired behaviors in their students, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>thus increasing the likelihood of producing potentially autonomous and lifelong learners. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A percolative process. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In order to teach (to model and demonstrate) one must constantly learn and re-learn, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>this means that one must practice the behaviors one models (how else to model them?) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>and reflect on the ramifications of those behaviors, </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Thank you … This presentation derives from: Stevens, Vance. (2007). The Multiliterate Autonomous Learner: Teacher Attitudes and the Inculcation of Strategies for Lifelong Learning, in Independence , Winter 2007 (Issue 42) pp 27-29. . Today’s handout soon to be at http :// Vance Stevens , IATEFL 2008 Exeter, UK
  18. 18. Further notes For my friends at IATEFL I hope you enjoyed the talk. I recorded the session but found out at the end that no recording was made. However, I’m due to give this again in Abu Dhabi on April 12 and I’ll try and get a definitive recording then. Also I’m thinking to make the slideshare from that presentation a definitiive mashup of my TESOL and IATEFL presentations, so you might check back here after that date and see if there is an even better talking version of this slide show posted at Meanwhile, I’ll be interacting with some of you at . Cheers from UAE! Find me on my blog at