Week 15 post

Well, it’s the end of the semester and the course for us. From what I can tell from your posts and final projects, all of us have been engaged in personalized learning, haven’t we? The digital age has made it possible for us to do so. And, it doesn’t hurt to have an instructor who is a proponent of personalized learning either.

As the article “Web 2.0 and Classroom Research: What Path Should We Take Now?” states digital media is redefining the classroom (should we just call it “learning spaces”?) Parents probably need to give up checking students’ backpacks for their homework assignments, and check their mobile devices instead.

One of the points highlighted in the article that I particularly liked was that web 2.0 is bridging what we used to compartmentalize as formal and informal learning. As I was completing my project for R685 (the formal learning piece of it), I picked up a few things from youtube and when I had to troubleshoot the apps I had incorporated into the project, I used the apps’s discussion forum posts (informal learning). And, before you knew it, my project was taking shape.

Here’s a question—would MOOCs be considered formal or informal learning? Or, does that belong to a brand new category of semi-formal learning?
Another aspect of web 2.0 that this article talks about is that young people’s digital practices promises the formation of competencies that are absolutely vital to their futures, in an economic, social and cultural sense.” Last week, when I was “defending” my IST portfolio (actually it was a very pleasant conversation with the professors at IST), one of the questions I was asked was how did the online program prepare me for work in the field. And, I responded by saying that being in an online program and working with students with varied backgrounds and who live in different parts of the country was a useful training ground for me to work with geographically dispersed team members at work. I am more likely to consider the time zone differences and the difference in cultural, social, and educational backgrounds when I work with my fellow team mates in Ukraine now (which is what I’m doing right now).

Since we are 1/3rds the way into 2012, I couldn’t resist readiing the Tech Predictions for 2011 tidbits article—just to find out how correct CNN’s predictions were for the previous year. Thy are right on the money about instagram—Facebook bought it to avoid the stiff competition scenario. And working for a company in the online deals space ( I think they are going with the term f-commerce to describe themselves), I know this space is exploding! My company is barely able to keep up with their clients’ demands for new features in our app. Obviously we are onto something, because Amazon too has joined this bandwagon.

As I worked on my final project, I researched quite a bit on the latest digital media being incorporated into education. Although I didn’t incorporate any twitter-like apps in my project, I became very curious when someone narrated that their teacher communicates primarily with his students using twitter. So, I simply had to read about Sugato Chakravarty’s experience using twitter at Purdue.

I think the concerns underlined in the article Teaching with Twitter: Not for the Faint of Heart are not to be trifled with. No matter what and how, students ought to be taught to submit original work and not use the conveniences of Web 2.0 to cheat!

But, I love the fact that I can ask a “dumb” question anonymously without being sneered at. I can’t tell you the number of times I have not asked what was on my mind in high school—just because of the fear of being ridiculed by the teacher and/or fellow students.
I agreed with Chakravarty’s sentiment instructors have to be willing to be wrong. Goes back to that shift from instructor-led teaching to student-centered learning.

I KNOW personalized learning is here to stay—thanks to the online tools and apps we have at our disposal. And, I am glad because it means I will continue to build my skills and knowledge even after I’m done with R685 and my master’s program. I might not add a degree to my resume, but I’d still be learning. And, that’s what matters.

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One thought on “Week 15 post

  1. I’ve tried the anonymous twitter questions in my teaching before, but I find sometimes it produces mixed responses (if any responses at all). However, I am in the same boat you are – where was this technology when I was in school? I would have asked so many more questions!
    I do have an issue of twitter being the primary method of communication between teacher and student though – but it extends beyond twitter, and includes e-mail, postal correspondence, or any non-face to face correspondence. Call me old fashioned, but there is something to say about some face time (thought where do video conferencing technologies fit in then?).

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