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Week 1 - Practical Task (Oct 3-9, 2011)

Based on what we’ve been discussing about deeper learning and social media take the following self assessment. → Click here to find the deeper learning self assessment. Share your response to the last question of the assessment below. We welcome you to comment on your colleagues’ responses.  

Task Discussion

  • cinmil   Oct. 9, 2011, 1:16 p.m.

    I need to work on the "Collaboration" part of this deeper learning circle with my students.  I'm pretty connected myself with various tools that I use to stay in touch with educators in my field in enhancing my learning experiences (blogs, wikis, LinkedIn, Classroom 2.0 PLN, and twitter).  However, I struggle somewhat in getting online students to see the importance of collaborating with their peers in a full virtual classroom setting.  I've used discussion forums, glogster activities, voicethread activities, and twitter, to name a few.  However, most of the students will respond to what I've asked them to respond to, but they won't take the time to respond to what their peers have said in those activities.  I think there are two reasons for this and that is I need to re-examine what I am asking them to respond to because it's not making them want to explore it further; and second, require it instead of making it optional.

  • Anna   Oct. 10, 2011, 4:40 a.m.
    In Reply To:   cinmil   Oct. 9, 2011, 1:16 p.m.

    I would love to learn more about the Voicethread activities you do. Perhaps you can share at some point in this course.

    I agree with your two reasons 100%. Working with adults (teachers and principals) in Ras al Khaimah I've come up against the same challenge. To address this, we assigned an online community manager (a teacher) to welcome and encourage more "organic" conversations, we've assigned homework that requires participants to respond to their peers and we've started assigning many more group projects that require participants to use social media tools to collaborate in order to get to their solution/final deliverable.

  • Jennifer Claro   Oct. 7, 2011, 7:04 p.m.

    Communications and collaboration: I’m weak in these two areas. To improve, I need to do more networking: go to more conferences, join more networks (I joined LinkedIn last week), publish more of my own work in order to get more exposure. I’m aware of all of these things, but like most of us, I’m limited by the amount of free time I have. All things in time…

    Thank you, your Deeper Learning & Social Media Circle is interesting and useful. I think it could help many educators reflect on their current practices and take some constructive steps forward.

  • Anna   Oct. 10, 2011, 4:44 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Jennifer Claro   Oct. 7, 2011, 7:04 p.m.

    Thanks Jennifer.

    The circle is actually based on the "Wheel of Life" activity we learned taking courses at the Coaches Training Institute. Each wedge in the "Wheel of Life" is a topic like health, academics, family, friends, etc. Looking at how the wedges change over time is a very useful activity for reflecting on personal and professional practice.

    Since you are interested in conferences, you may find the Global Education Collaborative and Upcoming Conference of interest:

  • Tony Allan   Oct. 5, 2011, 5:09 p.m.

    Learning how to learn (Using social media)

    Working for an organisation that does not promote life long learning (free education offered to get qualification no repeating or diversification at same level), I believe students will benefit most if students they leave with the capability and desire to learn installed in them.  With the use of technology and the capacity to socialise on line and the emerging trend of educational institutions recognising that ICT should be welcomed and included in the bank of educational tools and design; I believe the students will be enabled to continue to learn through their own proactivity if it is nurtured in their formative years.

  • Anna   Oct. 10, 2011, 4:49 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Tony Allan   Oct. 5, 2011, 5:09 p.m.

    Thanks Tony. What specifically will you do to help students learn how to learn with technology in your classroom?

  • Tony Allan   Oct. 14, 2011, 2:41 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Anna   Oct. 10, 2011, 4:49 a.m.

    Hi Anna

    I have recently been promoted/demoted into a centralised cirriculum and assessment unit.  So I no longer have direct access to students.  However we have just opened 4 new schools (schools not just Voc and all new to me) and we need to get teachers in all four schools teaching to the same standard not just the same thing.  I thought if they could advertise their best practice using a newspaper like blog (I think the idea originally came from you) teachers and students could see what students in other schools were achieving, Rules and protocols would need to be created.  The basic principle would be to publish weekly by the teachers the topic covered, the question(s) asked and an example of the best (good) students work.  Both students and teachers alike would be encouraged to post positive constructive comment on the students work.

    Fiirstly we need to get them all permanent schools locations, resources such as whiteboards and materials to teach.  A defined cirriculum and the students and teachers alike need access to computers.  Our organisation is in start up mode, which is a different place in a education systems lifecycle than I expect most educators would be experiencing.

    I have suggested the idea but not alot of support yet.

  • Hanna   Oct. 5, 2011, 3:36 p.m.

    I think that there are many areas from this wheel that I would like to focus on, but at the moment, I am going to pick Working in Collaboration. I feel that this is a skill that is essential to deeper learning and applicable throughout one's life in all settings. The online high school that I work at is set up so that students are able to access the entire course at the beginning of the term. Students work at there own pace, which is great; but it means that I have kids all over the place and at different points in the curriculum. I am trying to figure out how to incorporate more collaboration and think that social media might be the answer because it can be accessed at any time. For a class to get a 10/10 in working in collaboration, there would be multiple forms and opportunities throughout the course. Students would work together in person and online. They would utilize each other's strengths and help with weaknesses. They would take ownership of their learning and of the product.

  • Anna   Oct. 10, 2011, 4:52 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Hanna   Oct. 5, 2011, 3:36 p.m.

    I agree with you 100%. I did a review of online courses last year for high school students. The courses that were self paced all faced this challenge. I recommend you speak with Cindy Miller about this (see her comment above).

  • Anonym   Oct. 3, 2011, 9:59 a.m.

    I would have to agree that the learning how to learn component is something as an 8th grade teacher I often neglect to enfuse in my instruction. For me, I feel that it's somewhat hard to grasp the equilibirium of the hiearchy of student needs. As someone who is passionate about history I often neglect to ensure in my daily instruction that the studnets are contexualizing the information that I'm being caught up in as opposed to simply retaining the knowledge for the assessment. 

  • Anna   Oct. 10, 2011, 5 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Anonym   Oct. 3, 2011, 9:59 a.m.

    Thanks Wes. Are there concrete examples or recommendations you could share with the group on how you might infuse "learning how to learn" into content areas where standardized assessments are a reality that can't be ignored?

  • tbraught   Oct. 2, 2011, 12:12 a.m.

    Learning how to learn .... this is the greatest thing that I can give any student.  As I look at history, I do not think our society has changed in my 50 year life span than any other 50 years of history.  Very few employees work in the same job for the same company  for their lifetime.  I look at mine own teaching over th past 28 years.  It has changed.  I started in electronics/math.  I now teach Information Technology.  I started with an Apple IIe, now own a desktop and windows that run on a Win7 OS and a phone and tablet that runs on an Android OS.  If I stopped learning, I would be dead in my profession.  Learning to learn is very crucial.

  • Christopher Batchelder   Oct. 3, 2011, 8:21 a.m.
    In Reply To:   tbraught   Oct. 2, 2011, 12:12 a.m.

    So true. There is something very important about the learning process to being a fulfilled and productive human in society.  

    My question/reflection to you:

    What does it take to teach students the skill of  -  "learning how to learn"?  (and the answer to this could be a best selling book!!!)  

  • Alex   Sept. 27, 2011, 8:49 a.m.

    The wedge I would like t work on in Working in collaboration, the reason I would focus on this is becasue we are currently trying get a number of staff at my school to work in collaboration via web2.0 to reduce the number of hours are wasted meeting for the sake of meeting. While I feel that i actually work pretty well in this area it is also a imprtant part of my everyday job and I would like to make it 10/10. To do this I need to encourage my team members to use different collaboration tools and also role model to my peers workign collaborativly.

  • Christopher Batchelder   Oct. 3, 2011, 8:17 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Alex   Sept. 27, 2011, 8:49 a.m.

    Your comments are a great reminder that some of the most impactful uses of social media are not necessarily with students, but between teachers working together as colleagues.  

    Wasting hours is the negative that you want to avoid.  What is the positive that you want to create?  What would be the impact of creating this in your school? 

    What is the bigger vision - or how good could it be - if you were able to create a culture where staff actively collaborated online and then used their in-person meetings for more creative activities?  


  • Harry B   Sept. 27, 2011, 5:14 a.m.

    I believe I could definitely concentrate on the Learning how to Learn.  We spend so much time on the other areas, sometimes the students and myself never had time to pull back and reflect, and that is a HUGE part of all this implementaton of technology and the processes leading up to it.  

    I like the fact that we used Glogster to do projects and Oral History Projects, I like the fact we analyzed former AP essays and graded them and then researched other essays on NPR like "This I Believe" and saw patterns, I liked we incorporated the chat portion of more than any other, there are countless ways to infuse technology with students, BUT, it is vital to show them, or have them learn sneakily at first and the realization to set in, how to take notes, how to critically review something, how to analzye, how to compare, how to use technology for specific tasks and how to cope when it is not available.  

    The skill of pulling out information from context, weeking out the excerpts that apply to you, notes being made for later reference, being able to determine opinions from facts, researching effectively, tying concepts to personal and professional, are just the tip of the iceberg in talents that students need to master in order to compete in a global society.

  • Christopher Batchelder   Oct. 3, 2011, 8:28 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Harry B   Sept. 27, 2011, 5:14 a.m.

    It sounds like "learning how to learn" is tied in with reflection for you when you work with students. If every student (and every teacher) took time to reflect on what they were doing on a regular basis I think it would make a huge impact.    

    I think there is a way in which technology sometimes discourages reflection - maybe because it moves so fast and provides so much stimulus.  

    A great challenge would be to think about the question:  "How can I use technology to promote reflection or reflective practice?" 

  • Harry B   Oct. 3, 2011, 10:22 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Christopher Batchelder   Oct. 3, 2011, 8:28 a.m.

    And I think another way to reinforce this is to somehow use technology, or any strategy, and use this to put yourself in the audience's shoes and react to the project as an independent viewer  Is that possible?  Trying to do this would be much more objective in approaches to projects, but I also think a healthy balance of technology, as well as non technological approaches are a good way to meet the needs of a well rounded learner!