Unlearn – Redefining Technology with Instruction (RTI) #samr #ipads

Miguel Guhlin recently presented a school leadership district meeting, where he shared the SAMR model and digital citizenship. He shares his presentation on Reinventing Technology with Instruction

The acronym “RTI” has come to mean something else in education, primarily, Response to Intervention. As wonderful a term this is, I thought it might be fun to flip the way we usually approach teaching, learning and technology in schools. Instead of focusing on “integrating technology into instruction”–which veteran technologists acknowledge has been a profound failure–the term “redefining technology with instruction” forces us to rethink how we use technology in terms of instruction. Perhaps, the difference is simply semantic, but oh so much fun to consider

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“But I’m a Busy Person. I Don’t Have Time for Technology!”

Ginger Lewman reflects back on this statement which she uttered in 2007.  Since then she started using social networks and says that her professional life is now completely different. She was using laptops in her classroom and had to learn from one of the 5th graders in making the most of using them, until she started using online networks and communities

All of a sudden, I was bringing tools and tech knowledge to my kids! Things they’d never heard of! It was me, not the 5th grader! How? I was spending HOURS in these networks, neglecting my family, lesson plans, and probably other things I didn’t even notice. But I did notice it was taking a lot of time. Looking back, I did it simply because Kevin told me to and he was the only support (beyond the 5th grader and the other kids’ parents) I was getting in building this school.

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The Fate of Community Colleges in an Online World

Lauren Landry reports on concerns voiced that if traditional education is going to be replaced then does this mean that community colleges will be chopped first. She does not believe that the xMOOCs will replace community college provision because she believes there are skills that cannot be taught online and learners may not get the support needed

They’re the students who may show up with learning disabilities, or who study when compelled but aren’t checking into the library on foursquare every day. They’re the students who could benefit from additional help, but need the in-person assistance and motivation of a community college staff to push them along and help them succeed.

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Consistent Policy in K-12 Online Education

SpahnSocialStudies on ResearchReportsEdu provides an open access link to a research paper by Bonnie Magnuson and Greg Spahn, two students from Bemidji State University about policy for online education

Each year, more and more K-12 students are enrolling in online courses to supplement, or at times, replace traditional coursework.  Even though the phrase used is “K-12″, most K-12 online providers offer courses only for secondary students.  By law, however, if a student is eligible to attend school, then online schools must accept them as well.  The expansion of online education requires further study of sound policy, implementation of such policy and the impact online education has on enrolled students.

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The Purpose of Personal Learning Networks

Sheilaspeaking reflects on her PLN – how she blogs and uses twitter, responding and adding comments. She find inspiration from thoughts of others, finding interaction and participation in open dialogues. She wonders about the significance of echo chambers online and what that means for PLNs:

I recognize and relate to the frequent concerns about echo chambers and the possible lack of diverse voices in networks, or shortcomings in how we interact with networks.  But I think it is important that we are sharing perspectives and raising voices in new ways, as well as connecting with those in decision-making roles that was not possible in the past.  Whether this is good, bad or pointless, it does mean something, if not many things.  Is participation in online forums and with social media allowing us to be included in what we have always wanted to be included in?

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Learning in Networks

Brian Harrison reports from #DENSI2012 on a discussion about networked learning. He believes that learning networks can enhance and develop collaboration amongst educators and show how learning amongst students as well as educators are connected. He mentions a taxonomy provided by Judith Warren Little which includes

Sharing: There is an exchange of learning that flows in two directions (think of sharing units, links or resources) but there is no expectation that the parties will actually use what has been shared. We are great collectors of ideas and resources but tend to stick with what we know and prefer. Sharing is important because it fosters a norm that sharing is a good thing for teachers and builds positive interdependence; a precondition for true collaborative learning. It is worth noting that this phase, and the next one, are non-hierarhcical and based upon the principle of mutual benefit.

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Visiolibriphobia: Fear of Facebook

Afshan Jafar on Inside Higher Ed reveals why he is currently not on Facebook and starts an interesting discussion. Whilst he sees many possibilities for extending professional networks he is concerned about some of the social connections and also the commodification of ourselves and our lives.

FB seems to have brought everyone together under the guise of one big happy “friendly” family: why would I want to shatter that illusion by not “friending” people? People who couldn’t have cared less about each other in high school and maybe even tormented each other, now devour every single update and picture posted by their “friends”: “Ate the best strawberries ever today!!!”, “Vacationing in Hawaii and Italy and Switzerland”, “Going into labor”, “Awesome party this weekend”, “Have a headache” (I wonder why?!) and so on. I have friends whose “friends” lists exceed 1,000 people! How many hours a day do they spend in front of this beast?

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5 steps to building social media presence from scratch

Lisa Nielsen shares her tried and trusted ideas for how educators can develop their presence using social media and networks, in a video interview. Her first tip:

Don’t be afraid of zero – We have to start somewhere and when it comes to social media, that means starting at zero. That’s okay. Take that first step and join the biggies like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Start a blog and don’t worry about not having any followers. You’ll start at zero, but it won’t be long before your connections reach the double and triple digits.

The other tips

My Heresy: The More Productive Digital Peer to Peer Writing Conference

The Used Books in Class blog reflects on peer-peer writing conferences, assignments and having to peer-write on demand. They mention that this does not work in face-face work context and outline strategies such as using blogs, wikis, Google docs

Digital platforms: wikis, blogs, and Google docs, allow me the means to provide peer to peer writing conferences by removing those awkward face to face conferences that I have found so unproductive in my high school classrooms. These digital platforms also let me organize students across class periods, and if I found a teacher in a cooperating school who wanted to peer conference, the digital platforms would allow my students to conference outside the classroom

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Ending the ‘tyranny of the lecture’

Dennis Pierce in eSchool News reports on the work Professor Eric Mazur who describes how he changed from his traditional physics lectures, recognising the value of peer-peer interaction.

Educators need to transfer information, he said, but students also need to do something with this information to make it stick—not simply parrot it back during a test, but actually assimilate it and take ownership of it, so they can apply this knowledge in a different context. If students can’t do that, he said, then they haven’t really learned anything.

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