annietothill

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2011 at 1:17 am

I am referring to Kay’s blog Hegemony – The elephant in the room of social process via kayhammond68 by kayhammond68 on 5/18/11

Kay I think you raise a valid consideration. I would apply all the pedagogical theory that I have experienced success with and has valid application with my group of adult learners in an interactive workshop environment as I would in a Web 2.0 environment.

My approach to establishing a learning community on the Web would include a warm up where participants first team up to interview one another privately, sharing ideas and information about themselves, their learning expectations, ideas on a code of practice, what makes learning easy or difficult for them, what skills they bring with them and what technical support they may need. They would agree on what information should be shared with the rest of the group and then each would introduce their partner to the rest of the group. I would also partner up with someone, particularly to ensure everyone has a partner at first. This initial task would help to settle people into the environment, familiarise themselves with the technology. If participants were struggling initially I would respond to this earlier rather than later. Once the teams did their introductions we would all have some indications of peoples background, their expectations etc and be able to negotiate where possible what will work to ensure the whole group can participate fully in this learning environment. 

This is my current approach to help facilitate a collective interactive learning environment now and I would not abandon it just because the tools change.

Please add your ideas on project “return elephants to their natural habitat”





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  1. So many good ideas in this post Annie. I would also like to have an idea of the expectations and skills present in the group. A support buddy would also be great, especially in unfamiliar territory. In our class there is double unfamiliarity in terms of technology and academic conventions. When I was studying concepts of the living curriculum, one of the big things was acknowledging what students bring to the class in prior knowledge. If we know what we bring, that helps know who to go to for help, especially if they have made it clear early on that they welcome questions.

    There are many students for whom this initial phase is essential to effective group work. This is even more so in certain cultures. There is a great little book called The Zen of Groups by Hunter, Bailey & Taylor (1992). This talks about group development and one of the things it says is that making sure everyone gets a chance to speak helps people feel confident and gives them a sense of beloning. It also mentioned the buddy system to encourage participation.

    Great post!

  2. Nice reflections Annie. I’d like to encourage you to try and make explicit links between your experience and supporting or critiquing literature – i.e. what theorists agree/disagree with your views. This takes the reflective process to a level that makes experience more transferable between different contexts. For example: how may Laurillard’s (2001) “Conversational Framework” support your view of student-lecturer interactions? Laurillard (2007) has also applied her framework to mlearning.

    Laurillard, D. (2001). Rethinking University Teaching: a framework for the effective use of educational technology (Second ed.). London: Routledge.

    Laurillard, D. (2007). Pedagogcal forms of mobile learning: framing research questions. In N. Pachler (Ed.), Mobile learning: towards a research agenda (pp. 33-54). London: WLE Centre, Institute of Education.
    http://www.wlecentre.ac.uk/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=126&Itemid=50

    • Replying to Thom’s comments of 22.5.11.
      Keeping within the spirit of using social learning technologies to make teaching and learning more accessible I did check out the referenced material I could quickly down load.

      The first being: Laurillard, D. (2007). Pedagogcal forms of mobile learning: framing research questions. In N. Pachler (Ed.), Mobile learning: towards a research agenda (pp. 33-54). London: WLE Centre, Institute of Education.
      http://www.wlecentre.ac.uk/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=126&Itemid=50

      I noted in the conclusion Mobile Learning; towards a research agenda on page 46 the raising of a key question regarding whether or not learners give more focus to the technology or the learning domain or environment. I would also raise the question as to whether teachers give more focus to the technology or the learning domain or environment and even content.
      My approach to any project in the future would be to first respond to how can the Web 2.0 environment overcome barriers to and enhance opportunities for teaching, learning and organising.

      http://www.videojournalist.nl/voicesofafrica_web.wmv
      This video is a fantastic example of making information accessible. There is some focus on the technology, however for me, the balance between this and the story content was appropriate because not only did I learn about the horrific conditions these people live in but i learnt about the organisation facilitating these stories getting out, the risk of detainment or arrest for journalists such as Evans Wafula (hope he is still alive and well and continuing his good work) the technology has helped to overcome and I was immediately inspired to think about how this strategy of making short films captured by mobile reporters (at risk) with their phones.

      The adults I teach never fail to remind me about the learning value they get out of stories from their peers.

      We may soon see 2 minute videos showing how an EPMU delegate successfully convinces their employer to allow access to the workplace of their union official who is waiting outside. Claiming the rights under international labour laws of the freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively initially falling on deaf ears. Then backed up by pointing out that production will not be affected with the official addressing members over three scheduled meal breaks in their lunch room or the alternative of having every member attend a 2 hour stop work meeting in 2 weeks time which would affect production.

      More effective than reading pages of (legal speak) analysis on the new legislation around the rights of access for unions.

  3. Also a buddy system is helpful for the not so confident (introverted) class members, so they don’t feel silly asking questions, especially when dealing with new tools.

    Great post Annie, nice to see that collaboration can happen with class mates via blog posts! 🙂

    • Also for some (more humble) cultures it is not appropriate to talk confidently about their skills and knowledge with a large group, however their buddy could do that for them.

  4. Here’s a couple more examples of social ’empowerment’ via mobile technologies you might be interested in Annie:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/worldfilmcollective

    And a couple of NZ educational examples:


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