I start with that video because he gives the perspective of a student in what I assume to be a traditional-style classroom, the type we are all trying to move away from. What would his experience have been in his teacher had been Helen Crump, and gave him the opportunity to not only create a PLN, but to also embed it across disciplines, something she discusses in her intro video? This is a concept that multiple sources for this week hit on. Dean Shareski in his video talks about the enhancement of the learning and teaching process when students and teachers are interacting globally and learning from diverse sources. One quote that stuck out to me there was this: “If learning shouldn’t be confined to the 4 walls of your classroom, then neither should teaching.” Alec Couros also touched on this in his presentation when he pointed out the need to provide access for all, which means a move toward students, especially if we share with each other. His point that we may find ideas from other profs that we can use in our own classrooms is one I feel like we have in the POTCERT class.
I was also struck by Martin Weller’s idea of distributed academic identity, and what that means for modern academics. The question of whether blog posts are scholarly activities, and if so how can they be recognized, is an interesting one, and I think there is an immediate nature to blog posts. Certainly, they represent a new type of academic writing. As Weller says, “Scholars no longer need a television series to engage the public. The academic publishing system is being thrown into question as we look at open-access approaches and different means of conducting peer review. And so on. There is hardly an area of scholarly practice that remains unaffected.” Shareski also makes the point that social bookmarking can be system of educational voyeurism, allowing sharing as means to drop the time investment of your lesson plans, etc. This enhances students’ and educators’ experiences globally.
Much of what Couros talked about I felt resonated with what we have been doing in this POT class, especially his points about taking our knowledge and message into our own hands; and placing our posts in a variety of places. He also reminded us of the significance of informal learning: kids with computers can do videos and other things on computers as a means to access informal learning, getting comfortable with tools, etc. This access to devices and content shows the importance of openness where content can be from anyone. As Couros says, “We get a chance to mediate our reality.” As for the Antoine Dodson remix, it is a reminder sound bytes that people think are humorous get spread, generally with lack of respect to original person or issue. What is interesting is how it can parlay into the person’s 15 minutes of fame (the internet makes 15 minutes of fame more easy to achieve). This is a different media landscape than we lived in previously. Networks redefine what we know about friends and communities, citizenship and identity as well, allowing us to learn new things from people that we would never have been connected to before, or “individuals alone connecting.”
Campbell’s Personal Cyberinfrastructure conception was fascinating for me. In the video, inherent possibilities of technology today that needs to be harnessed for the benefit of education. He also reminds us of limitations of the LMS, and his idea to make students system administrators to prepare them for life was brilliant. I agreed with his point that creative representation of the intelligibility and the search for it should be the goal for education. In his article, the idea of allowing students to have a domain name under a web server assigned by the institution to curate own digital learning info and processes built on this point from the video. These 2 quotes stood out most for me “In short, students would build a personal cyberinfrastructure, one they would continue to modify and extend throughout their college career — and beyond.” “Like Doug Engelbart’s bootstrappers in the Augmentation Research Center, these students would study the design and function of their digital environments, share their findings, and develop the tools for even richer and more effective metacognition, all within a medium that provides the most flexible and extensible environment for creativity and expression that human beings have ever built.” This should be our goal with education in the 21st century.
As Ko and Rosen point out, all of this means we, as professors, need to stay on top of the game in the ever-changing landscape of technology and enhanced education. We need to build our PLNs, and maintain them, so that we can share and help each other enhance and grow the learning environment and experience for our students. If we want them to grow PLNS, we need to model that behavior. I leave you with a longer video than the first, but one that deals with open learning from a cognitive standpoint.