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Week 2 - Social Task (Oct 10-16, 2011)

Look at the four quotes below.  Which quote best represents your opinion on the importance of web 2.0 and social media in education?  Please support your answer and comment on at least two other posts from your colleagues.  


Task Discussion

  • Harry B   Oct. 17, 2011, 12:13 a.m.

    I would have to say the Bill Gates comment is the best for me, as I see the teacher as being the most important.  I say this because you still here the teacher plays a secondary role, but I see this as starting the proess of faciltator, and yes, in this case the teacher is trying not to be the main priority, and et learning be.

    I see it like this, you need to have a mature, intelligent, and creative enough teacher to be able to loose the reins of their class and be willing to learn off the students as well.  Many teachers take this as a put-down, but truly the teacher with his/her attitude has the ability to stand back and let students take more control, serve as observer, as well as take those reins back again whenit is necessary.  

    The teacher certainly is the most important aspect as he/she can impact the memories you will, do, or won't have about your educational experience!

  • Jeff Stutzman   Oct. 16, 2011, 4:47 p.m.

    While I agree with parts of all four quotes, if I had to choose the one that most fits my current philosophy it would be the one in the upper right hand corner. "Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century."  Here are my reasons:

    1. With the overwhelming amount of information currently available to anyone with an internet connection, the ability to "learn" what's new and cull through the junk is vital for anyone wanting to be successful in future careers.

    2. Because so much of the information that used to need to be memorized is now automated and so quickly available, the necessary skills now involve the ability to APPLY that information and use that information to CREATE new products, ideas, etc. A prime example of this is the idea of Works Cited page--a debate currently being battled in my English Department.  Several teachers believe (and we still have questions on our freshman final exam) that students need to memorize the proper structure of MLA formatting for Works Cited page. With websites such as citationmachine and easybib, I see no purpose in having students memorize something that a computer program can easily do. 

    *Instead, we should be teaching our students how to find that information on the internet and HOW to LEARN as opposed to making them MEMORIZE something that will change in six months to a year which will make their "learning" obsolete.

    Basically, it comes down to this--students and adults NOW need to have skills which help them understand where and how to learn the necessary information that changes, sometimes on a weekly or monthly basis.

  • cinmil   Oct. 16, 2011, 3:17 p.m.

    I chose to support the quote on "Learning is what most adults do for a living in the 21st century."  The reason being is that learning is a great activity.  It expands your viewpoint.  It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life.  The act of learning can be a source of enjoyment, even if you discount the worldly benefits.

    Abraham Lincoln said, "I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday."  Our world is changing every day, whether for better or worse, we will continue to learn from our successes and failures until the end of time.

  • Nbhandari24   Oct. 16, 2011, 10:52 p.m.
    In Reply To:   cinmil   Oct. 16, 2011, 3:17 p.m.

    I agree - students must want to learn and enjoy what they are learning to gain substantive knowledge!

  • Alex   Oct. 15, 2011, 7:32 a.m.

    I aggree with the Bill Gates quote, in my teaching I use a range of technology and other tools to encourge and deepen the students learning. However, relationships between teachers, mentors and students is what makes students feel connected to their school or setting and therefore connected to the learning which is taking place. The teacher role models things such as learning, relationships and this then motivates the students to do the same.

  • Anna   Oct. 15, 2011, 8:47 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Alex   Oct. 15, 2011, 7:32 a.m.

    Thanks Alex. Can you talk a bit more about relationships with students. How are you intentional in the relationships you set with students? Classroom culture? How does that translate into the online space?

  • cinmil   Oct. 16, 2011, 3:36 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Anna   Oct. 15, 2011, 8:47 a.m.

    I'm intentional in the relationships with my online students by finding out how best they learn through a learning style assessment I ask them to take in order to better adjust my curriculum to fit there particular strength in learning.  Yet, at the same time challenge them to question what they are learning and how they can apply it to their future needs or in developing a solution to today's societal issues, as a couple of examples, through discussion forums.  As far as an online classroom culture, I ask the students to help me develop and/or update the rules for how they can actively and successfully participate with each other through a journal process.  The online classroom rules are posted in each of the courses I teach through their syllabus.  I also use a variety of ways for students to introduce themselves to me through voicethread, voki, glogster, and animoto assignments and they are able to see their other online classmates introductions as well.  So far, my online students seem to enjoy learning as much about me as I enjoy learning about them.  I also make sure I comment on everything they do in my courses to encourage and/or deepen their understanding and thinking during the learning process.

  • Nbhandari24   Oct. 16, 2011, 10:55 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Alex   Oct. 15, 2011, 7:32 a.m.

    Alex you have a great point - I also think that teachers need to balance how much they moderate vs. what they let their students run with. Having that "teaching presence" in a community of inquiry is vital but dominating the environment with one's presence can push learners to take a back seat too.

  • Alex   Oct. 17, 2011, 7:51 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Anna   Oct. 15, 2011, 8:47 a.m.

    Hi Anna,

    Relationships are key to my teaching, I start every year getting to know my students, treating them all as equals, giving ownership of their learning and guiding them forward. I base a lot of my teaching on values and experiences and always share with my students my life experiences. I like to help my students understand that learning in not based within the four walls of a classroom and there are many different ways to learn and gain the skills which they are expected to learn. For example I currently take my students outside for gardening they are always questing how is this learning, were not doing maths and English etc. I then explain that "reading and understand how to plant seeds is English and maths, planning the garden beds is maths, understanding the process of the plants growing is science, and the list just goes on" my students can then see the relevance and real world application of their learning. My students online presence and their use of online space is very much the same, they feel that online is a safe space where they are able to express their self’s in a way that they are not usually able to (all my students have disabilities and find social interaction very difficult) we use programs such as Scootle which is a Australian Curric developed series of online learning tools which include a chat/social component which my students love). I could go on and on, but will stop here, let me know if you want more discussion on this topic as it certainly in my passion :)


  • Hanna   Oct. 14, 2011, 10:52 a.m.

    I think that the quote by Perelman, "Learning is what most adults will do for a living in the 21st century." best supports the need for social media and web 2.0 skills.

    This quote encompasses what we are doing right now by taking this class. The 21st century is going to be constantly changing which means that we will need to be continually learning about these changes and applying them to our lives. Social media and web 2.0 tools will be the avenue for this learning and will support adults in the 21st century.

  • Anna   Oct. 15, 2011, 4:37 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Hanna   Oct. 14, 2011, 10:52 a.m.

    You wrote, "Social media and web 2.0 tools will be the avenue for this learning and will support adults in the 21st century." How specifically should social media/web 2.0 be used to support this learning? How can we as adults help students use sm tools to learn not only facts/figures, but to think "deeply" and do "deeply"? Thanks Hanna.

  • Harry B   Oct. 17, 2011, 12:26 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Anna   Oct. 15, 2011, 4:37 a.m.

    I think the thing many people will be to be aware that technology is a vehicle of the future, yes, but without practical applicabiity to the world outside of the  school walls, the info falls useless.  Socail media technology should be used in coordination with everyday social events to cement the technqiues into memory and use not temporarily, but to be permanent.  I believe teachers need to find that balance and use SM tools to apply in the social influences in and out of the country.

  • Hanna   Oct. 17, 2011, 4:10 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Anna   Oct. 15, 2011, 4:37 a.m.

    I think that social media and web 2.0 will support learning by providing a vast amount of updated information, new opportunities for collaboration, and new ways to show how one is learning. For example, job trainings, professional development, and conversation can take place via these tools. However, we do need to learn how to apply what we learn from these tools to the real world and to real world relationships. I think that we can help students use these tools by first properly teaching them the benefits and the use, so that they have motivation and are comfortable. Then to deeper their understanding, we need to ask students higher level questions that push them into deeper thought of what they are experiencing online and what they are experiencing in their life. We need to show them how to think critically and creatively when using these tools.

  • Tony Allan   Oct. 9, 2011, 1:20 p.m.

    They all capture my attention so using a process of elimination I will try to determine which best represents my thought at this moment:

    Grigori’s idea would be wonderful for someone who makes a living through education (like me), however while he might be a life long academic devoted to the cause of self betterment I must say many of my students are only in class because they want the qualification, or they like the social aspects of college life before they get married, or some other external reason.  Learning for a living may come later in life when they feel they need to learn. 

    I agree with Bill Gates but part of the reason I am here is because I can teach or develop teaching better if I know what tools can do and learn a lot more on how to use them. 

    Nizar comes from one of the oldest cities in the world with beauty and sophistication reflecting a time long past.   Many Damascanites would not have access to the net, and I suspect the cape of civilisation he speaks of has more to do with heart and personal values than Web 2.0. 

    It is with some regret that I agree with the bottle wisdom of Oprah Winfrey.  Although maybe Web 2.0 gives us a new way to stand, now I want to know how to best get on my feet.

  • Anna   Oct. 15, 2011, 4:28 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Tony Allan   Oct. 9, 2011, 1:20 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about all of the quotes. Do you view a distiction between "learning for a living" and "life long learning"? I think knowledge comes in many forms academic, social, practical, etc. While students may just "want the qualification" I suspect each one of them has a passion for something (e.g., cars, fashion, travel, family, religion) that if tapped into would make them want to learn more about it. The great question for us as educators is how do we tap into that? Perhaps using a coaching model helps? See NPR talk on this here (Re: teaching vs. coaching model).

  • Harry B   Oct. 17, 2011, 12:21 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Tony Allan   Oct. 9, 2011, 1:20 p.m.

    For some reason, when I see Oprah Winfrey's quote, I think of those teachers that are threatened byt technology and cling on to simple concepts that they have always knownm versus the teachers that embrace the changes, despite knowing the challenges are huge and changing, to refresh their approach to the profession.  I appreciate the ability for true educators to switch practices and techniques to match a 21st Century without any hesitation.  Yes, the familiar is usually the most comfortable, but it seems standing outside of your comfort zone, especially as an educator, will only make transitions nt new strageis useful.

  • tbraught   Oct. 3, 2011, 10:11 p.m.

    I believe in Bill Gates' statement.  A teacher (or mentor) is a very instrumental in how a student learns and the depth of the learning.  A teacher can accept an obvious answer or have the student go beyond the obvious answer to for deeper understanding.  It depends upon the teacher's expectation. To skillfully use a technological tool, the student needs to be taught how to use the tool and when it is appropiate to solve the given problem or explanation.  

    I also believe Grigory is pariatlly correct.  There will be more jobs where adults will be learning as a living, but we will still need the skill laborers.  Retraining will constantly be needed so adults will need to constantly be learning to survive.

  • Tony Allan   Oct. 9, 2011, 1:44 p.m.
    In Reply To:   tbraught   Oct. 3, 2011, 10:11 p.m.

    I agree with the importance of teaching and in an online environment I think the facilitation of learning requires a great bundle different and additional skills.  There is none of the non-verbal ques that provide teacher information about learner engagement.  International cultural differences, time zone differences, technology incompatibility and a swag of other challenges present themselves.  Then at the end learners will not have the same personal appreciation of who it was that helped them form their learning.  Understanding the new paradigm is all very interesting.  Oh and Thanks Chris, Anna and other organisers.

  • Anna   Oct. 15, 2011, 4:34 a.m.
    In Reply To:   tbraught   Oct. 3, 2011, 10:11 p.m.

    Thanks. I agree that teachers are critical for helping strudents learn deeply and also for helping students discover what they don't know or what's possible. Are there specific strategies/skills that you would pinpoint as necessary for educators to do this well?

    I am curious, what part of Grigory's quote is "incorrect" in your mind. Don't all professions require some form of life long learning? (see reply above to Tony's comment). 

    Thanks for responding to the discussions so early each week!