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Topic 1: Privacy and Social Presence Online

In this weeks reading by Regan and Jesse on the ethical challenges of Edtech, they raise 6 individual ethical concerns that are wrapped up in the term “privacy”. These concerns are;

  1. Information Privacy
  2. Anonymity
  3. Surveillance
  4. Autonomy
  5. Non-discrimination
  6. Ownership of Information

As Regan and Jesse point out, using a blanket term to encompass all concerns about online safety runs the risk of oversimplifying the issue. Much of the online world is invisible which means it can be all too easy to just click a box and assume that all the concerns lumped under “privacy” are being respected. The authors argue that each aspect of privacy needs to be examined separately and equally when bringing technology into the classroom because it isn’t only it’s effectiveness that matters but also the ethics surrounding it. By addressing each aspect of privacy with my students I will be guiding them towards a safe and positive online presence, a necessary 21st century skill.

Check out Commonsense.org for some great lesson plans to “practice safe habits and stay safe online”.

The second article Dickers (2018), Social Interaction in K-12 Online Learning examined the importance of “the social” in the meaning making process. The idea that learning is social comes from Lev Vygotsky’s Social Constructivism theory.

As Dikkers (2018) points out, learning environments have expanded beyond the traditional face-to-face model to a blended online model, and just like “brick and mortar” settings the social aspect “is foundational to online learning”. Recently, Covid 19 has made a completely online classroom environment the only option, making curating a “social presence” more relevant than ever .

Through research Whiteside and Dikkers (2015) proposed a Social Presence model to “influence and guide individuals meaning making process”. The 5 aspects are;

  1. Affective Association-How teachers and students show emotion online
  2. Community Cohesion – Seeing the class as a community
  3. Instructor Involvement – How teacher shows involvement in student learning
  4. Interaction Intensity – What ways and how often students interact
  5. Knowledge and Experience – wyas students share thier prior knowledge and experiences with course content

In Dr. Roberts blog post for this weeks topic, she references the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, which also has a social presence component. This framework can also be used to create a constructivist environment online.

Downloadable PDF from https://coi.athabascau.ca/coi-model/

While doing a bit of research to deepen my understanding of how to build an online environment using Constructivist principles, I came across the following video that explains two offshoots of Constructivism; Cooperative and Collaborative learning.

When designing curriculum it is always handy to have some strategies to build around. Check out Neil’s blog on 10 Cooperative Learning Strategies and Edtech tools to go with them. As well as Jessica Mckeown’s blog post Grow Beyond Group Work for some Collaborative strategies.

Garrett Dickers, A. (2018) Social Interaction in K-12 Online Learning. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 509-522 ). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Regan, P., & Jesse, J. (2019). Ethical challenges of edtech, big data and personalized learning: Twenty-first century student sorting and tracking. Ethics and Information Technology, 21(3), 167-179. DOI: 10.1007/s10676-018-9492-2 

Sketchnote and Twine Workshops

Our EDCI 336 class had another workshop with Rich McCue on Tuesday. This time Rich taught us about sketchnoting and the non-linear storytelling platform Twine.

Sketchnote is a form of note taking that uses visuals as well as words. The idea behind sketchnoting is that images tap into a part of your brain that would otherwise be disengaged during purely word for word note taking. A study completed by the University of Waterloo found that people were better able to recall information when it was combined with a symbol (word) and an image. Taking notes on a laptop, when combined with fluent keyboarding skills allows note-takers to document a lecture word for word, while taking notes with a pen and paper requires the note-taker to summarize the information. When summarizing information an image can be used as a memory hook that better enables the concept to be assigned to our long term memories.

Rich had us complete an Introduction to Sketchnoting Activity, where we started with basic drawings of nouns before moving on to images that represents concepts. Follow the activity above for some basic sketchnoting skills to produce your own sketchnote like mine below.

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Google images can be used as inspiration. Sketchnoting is fun, engages the whole mind and helps with concentration.

The 2nd part of Tuesdays class was spent working with an interactive, non-linear storyboard platform called Twine.

Twine is free and posts directly to HTML so you can create and publish virtually anywhere. It uses the basics of programming to build interactive stories which are very similar to a choose your own adventure game. Twine allows you to add sound and images to make your text based game even cooler! If you are interested in learning to code or develop your own game Twine is a great place to start. Check out the YouTube video below for a short Twin how-to.

Click here for Rich McCue’s Introduction to Twine that he developed to be shared!

Open and Networked Learning

I wasn’t able to make it to our class on Tuesday for the video conference with Verena Roberts on open and networked learning but I was still able to take part via Blue Jeans Network, a video, audio and web conferencing tool that works anywhere with any device. Blue Jeans was easy to use and I didn’t miss out on the amazing learning opportunity. What a great way to expand the learning community beyond four walls! An open education experience during #openedweek.

Flickr – Global Water Partnership-CC-BY-NC-SA2.0

Through the video call our class was able to take part in a conference in Edmonton (co-located session) led by Verena, here are her slides and Resources. Her talk made me think about what learning opportunities are available beyond physical experiences and the possibilities of networked learning that connect our students to the wider, possibly global community and how I can bring this concept into my own classroom. Her slides laid out indicators of open educational practice based on her own research:

  • Designing for sharing
  • Participatory learning
  • Learning networks
  • Safe learning spaces
  • Expanded learning environment

Open and networked learning makes Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) possible, an opportunity for students to connect to community opportunities outside of their classroom. In IBL students are not given the answers, the responsibility for finding the information is on the learner, which means that we have to ensure that our students have the proper digital literacy skills necessary to succeed. By starting early with guided inquiry we can help our students learn to not only follow their curiosity and build their digital literacy but to become independent learners.

#Inquirymindset

Our cohort had the opportunity on Tuesday to visit Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt’s class at George Jay Elementary. Rebecca is co-author of the book Inquiry Mindset, a guide to “harnessing the power of curiosity to foster students learning from their youngest years”. Since our visit to PSII I have been wondering what inquiry would look like in an elementary classroom so not only did I find this visit inspiring, it allowed me to gain a better understanding of how I might use inquiry in my classroom .

Rebeccabathursthunt.com

Rebecca gave a great presentation on #Inquirymindset , we learned about moving from guided to independent inquiry and the importance of curiosity in learning. Curiosity leads to questions which leads to discovery and learning. There are so many ways to inspire curiosity, what Rebecca calls a “provocation”. Her resources are jam packed with tools for guiding inquiry for all ages.

Rebecca gave us some provocations that may inspire questions in our students…..

A photo

Wikipedia Zairon – CCBYSA4.0

A Giphy

A book

There are many other provocations that may stimulate students curiosity, rekindle prior knowledge or tap into what they are passionate about. Rebecca suggested pairing these provocations with the questions below.

Rebecca was full of great advice, one thing she mentioned a couple of times that really stuck with me is that it may take a couple of years to fully embrace inquiry into our classroom and that is OK! Many thanks to Rebecca for not only having me in her class but providing me with some simple ways to support inquiry based learning in the elementary classroom.

Video Conference with Ian Landy

Tuesdays class was my first experience with a video conference call, we met with Ian Landy, Principal at Edgehill Elementary in Powell River. Next time I will make sure that I get there early so that I am not in the front row, I was a bit uncomfortable with being on the big screen and the camera moving to wherever the sound was coming from seemed to have a mind of its own.

Ian talked to us about technology as assessment in the form of e-portfolios, fresh grade , just one example of a digital portfolio/ assessment platform (currently being used in SD61) provides educators with a way to report student learning rather than reporting student achievement (what the old fashioned report cards did). It allows teachers to document, capture and communicate learning to parents and students in a secure way, student data is stored in Canada but does spend a few seconds in the US. Through this platform teachers can also share resources and provide their students with formative descriptive feedback. All this capturing and documenting sounds like teachers would spend a lot of time using devices to upload student content, Ian suggested adding archivist as a class job which I think is a great idea that teaches students how to upload to their own e-portfolios. One thing that is great about e-portfolios is that it gives the students the opportunity to document and share their own learning, providing a sense of responsibility. Ian suggested scaffolding independent use of e-portfolios starting at around grade 5 or 6.

Each student comes to class with their own experiences and worldview, no two students are exactly the same so why would we assess them in the same way? As Ian pointed out ” we can’t compare students… E-portfolios allow for personalized achievement”.

Edcamp

Today we spent the first couple of hours of our class having our own mini Edcamp session. Edcamp is an unconference where the topics/themes (education based) are chosen by the attendees. The topics are then narrowed down by up-voting the topics that interest you. Rather than having an expert come and talk, the sessions are curated through the collaboration and conversation of the attendees, this allows everyone involved to both share their own experiences and learn from their peers. Edcamp can also be used as a learning tool for teachers to use with their class. More information and resources can be found here.

I chose outdoor learning environments as my Edcamp topic. My group started out by telling each other about our own experiences or lack of experiences learning outdoors. We then relayed examples of outdoor learning environments we have seen. Here are some ideas….

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Image result for outdoor classroom
Image result for outdoor classroom

Through our group conversations it was evident that time spent learning outside was a memorable experience for all of us. We did not get much further than My group ended up getting off topic so I think that if I was going to have my own edcamp with my class I would structure it for them, maybe a list of questions so that if they get off topic they can refer to the questions and get back to purpose of the activity.