Topic 2: History and Context of K-12 Open Learning

The focus of this week’s topic is the historical and theoretical trends in k-12 open learning. The movement towards open educational practices is aligned with a societal shift from small geographical communities to an interconnected global community based on collaboration. As the world and society change, the education system changes with it, moving from  the traditional, instructivist “one size fits all” approach to an open approach where barriers are dismantled and  every learner has choice for the “time, place, medium and content”(Roberts, p.530) of their education, becoming contributors to global funds of knowledge. 

Learning theories guide educational practices, helping teachers to choose strategies and tools based on current research. Theories have evolved over the last 100 years; from Behavourism to Cognitivism to Constructivism, moving from an understanding of humans as passive consumers of knowledge to active producers and contributors of universal content.

Retrieved from https://hamizahmohdisa.blogspot.com/2019/10/3-major-learning-theories-behaviorism.html?m=0

Check out my last blog post for a video on learning theories and this website that provides examples of ways each learning theory can be applied to lesson design. 

Open Educational Practice (OEP) is not a theory but a method (Roberts, 529) to improve the quality and access to education for all. OEP is built on the foundational aspects of Dewey  and Vygotsky’s theories,that learning should be based on real world experiences through creativity and collaboration.  Butcher and Wilson-Strydom (2008) identified 8 principles of open-learning;

  1. Learner centeredness
  2. Lifelong learning
  3. Flexibility in learning
  4. Removal of barriers to access
  5. Recognition of prior learning experiences and current competencies
  6. Learner support
  7. Expectation of success
  8. Cost-effectiveness

OEP requires Open Educational Resources (OER), according to Wiley (2014) to be considered an OER it should include the 5R’s of Openness

  1. Reuse- the right to use the content in a wide range of ways
  2. Revise- the right to adapt, modify, adjust or alter the content
  3. Remix – the right to the original or revised content with other open content to create something new
  4. Redistribute- the right to share copies of the original content as well as revisions or remixes
  5. Retain – the right to make, won and control copies of the content

OER are found in the public domain or are attached to a Creative Commons license designation. Here are some links to OER’s within the public domain;

Open learning practices have the potential to change the way we teach and learn. When combined with public education OEP removes barriers for all learners, bridging the gap between formal and informal learning environments and experiences.

Check out Dr.Roberts Topic 2 post as well as these Google slides on this weeks topic

Also… here is a documentary some of you may find interesting on the paradigm shift in teaching and learning towards a collaborative model.

References:

Barbour, M & Labonte, R. (2018) An Overview of eLearning Organizations and Practices in Canada. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 600-616). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Butcher,N.,&WilsonStrydom,M(2008).Technologyandopenlearning:Thepotentialofopeneducationresourcesfor K-12 education. (pp. 725-745). Boston, MA: Springer US. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-73315-9_42

Roberts, V. , Blomgren, C. Ishmael, K. & Graham, L. (2018) Open Educational Practices in K-12 Online and Blended Learning Environments. In R. Ferdig & K.Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 527–544). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Wiley, D. (2014). The access compromise and the 5th R. Weblog. March 5 2014. Retrieved fromhttp://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3221

Featured

Topic 1: Privacy, Social Presence and Human Centered Learning

In this weeks reading by Regan and Jesse on the ethical challenges of Edtech, the author’s 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 considered and 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, below is a short explanation (watch the whole video for a great overview of the 4 essential learning theories).

As Dikkers (2018) points out, learning environments have expanded beyond the traditional face-to-face model to a blended 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” and incorporating a Constructivist framework into learning design 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 – ways students share their 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 referenced when designing an online learning environment.

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

Dr. Roberts also suggests designing for Human Centered Learning, learning that:

  • Emphasize positive communications and relationship development
  • Co-design well-being supports with the individuals and communities affected by them
  • Broaden definitions of success to reflect a holistic view of human development
  • Broaden learner supports to include more individuals, roles and organizations
  • Restructure education to encourage connection, cross-curricular integration and meaning
  • Broaden curricula to address honest historical truths

While doing a bit of research to deepen my own 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 

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.

Creative Commons

We spent our last class learning about copyright and creative commons. If your like me you have probably heard the word copyright or seen the little symbol but are unclear about what it all means. While doing a bit of my own research I came across this site that breaks it down and makes it easier to understand. Here’s the basics….

So what the heck is copyright anyway? Copyright provides legal protection for original work that you create in a “tangible medium of expression” (picture, painting, written work, data file etc.). As soon as you have created it, it has instant legal protection.

Once you have written it you can either keep it all to yourself or you can give it away. If you decide you want to give it away there are many many ways to do that and they all fall into two categories: licences and assignments.

The first way to give your copyright away is as an assignment. You can think of an assignment as selling your copyright. Whoever purchases it can do what they want with it.

The other way to give away your copyright is through a licence. A licence means you are lending the rights to someone, you decide how they use it and for how long.

This is where Creative Commons comes in…. it is a licence that is applied to work protected by copyright. Essentially a way to easily share copyrighted work.

Creative Commons symbol

Creative Commons, a non-profit organization allows people to licence their copyrighted work to anyone who is willing to follow the licencing terms.

How do you use Creative Commons (CC)?
Follow this link and search for media, pictures and more that you can share, use and/or remix. Creative Commons licencing uses four basic restrictions or rules that need to be followed when using copyrighted work from the commons. These four restrictions each have symbols that will come up when you search CC for a copyrighted work to use. The four symbols/restrictions are:

Attribution: This requires people who use your work to let all other people who see it that it is yours and not theirs. No cutting out your name. All Creative Commons licences carry the attribution requirement.

CC Attribution symbol

Non Commercial: This means they are not using your work commercially which means “no private monetary value” gained.

CC Non Commercial symbol

No Derivatives: People can use your work as long as its not modified.

CC No Derivatives symbol

Share Alike: Allows other people to modify your work as long as they allow others to use and share the work they created from your work.

CC Share Alike symbol

Here is a link to a Wikipedia page on best practices for attribution that can help you properly attribute pictures you may use on your own blog.

Here is an example of attribution which follows this sequence – where you found it/ username of person/ licence type

flickr@USDAgov – CCBY2.0

Audio/ Video Editing Workshop with Rich

We had another workshop with Rich McCue today in EDCI 336, this time we focused on Video editing using iMovie, audio editing using garageband and screen capture using Screencastify. We learned how to import a video, then trim and cut it, and transition between parts. We also learned how to add credits and publish it. Using rockband we imported a song and then learned to trim, cut, delete and fade between audio segments. Audacity is another option that can be used on windows as well as Mac. This was my first time working with audio/video editing tools and I found it a bit overwhelming, but like all things I just need to spend some time practicing. Here is a link to Rich’s page with a step by step guide to working with the platforms above.

These tools along with screen capture could also be used by students to demonstrate their understanding of a topic, or, teachers could use these tools to make an online tutorial like Khan Academy and CrashCourse for their students that they can play after a lesson as a refresher. Technology can positively support a teachers role in the classroom so becoming techno-literate is a must for a 21st century teacher.

Here is a couple of ways your students can use video and audio editing software to enhance student learning.

It is important to think about equity when it comes to devices and the internet being used in your classroom. Using an app like iMovie restricts access to a students project. If they do not have access to a Mac device outside of school they would not be able to work or play using the skills they learned at school with iMovie. Tools like wevideo that are cloud-based and free provide access to students outside of school. Kids that may not have access to devices or internet due to financial circumstances would still be able to access their projects at the local library.

All in all though I think that it was great experience to practice using audio/video editing software. As education and technology mesh in a 21st century classroom, being techno-literate is a crucial skill all teachers will need to posses in order to be able to keep up with the next generation. After only 4 Edtech classes it is becoming ever more evident that technology has the potential to be a catalyst for learning, it allows student to express their creativity, show their learning and build understanding.

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….

Related image


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.