Getting to know you: Introducing Teresa Penedo

Contributed by Liz Renshaw

Teresa wearing a helmetI teach in two places – e-learning with adults and children’s dance and gymnastics.

My name is Teresa. I am MSc. in Human Movement, and live in Brazil.

2. Why did you decide to participate Change11?

I thank my friend Daisy Grisolia who told me about the course. I immediately accepted and was very happy.

3.What were a couple of highlights so far in Mooc?

I learn a lot in the Mooc each week. The CCK11 was shorter than the Change 11 Mooc.

4. How do you deal with the abundance of information on Mooc?

I am not afraid of the flow of information. I take what immediately catches my attention. I am happy in this tangle of information. I like the chaos because it represents numerous possibilities and freedom.

5. How are you going to build and sustain your Personal Learning Network?

I love blogs, and I intend to build a blogroll to continue reading.Teresa's students sitting round in a group

6. Do you see any disadvantages with any social networking tools?

I do not know any social networks that do not have friends! I like to experiment to see whether they are good or bad.

7. Did some presenters really resonated with you?

They all leave their share of knowledge. Some of the subjects were very new to me.

8. Anything else at all!

I love MOOCs.

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Comparing two publication channels – academic journals and blogs

by Frances Bell, CC3.0 Unported

Henry Jenkins by Tamaleaver CC by 2.0

Journals on shelves

Journals on Shelves by Bezanson CC by 2.0

 

I am going to throw out a few initial ideas about comparing academic journals and blogs as publication channels, as a kick off to a writing project I’ll be doing with Cristina Costa.

Let me start by saying that it is very difficult to generalise about either academic journals or blogs as channels since they are each in a state of flux, changing and interpreted differently  by different users and audiences. This post has been provoked by recent discussion on peer review and journals within my (albeit limited) network.  The issues that interest me are:

  • development of research and writing
  • the role of peer review and editing
  • dissemination of research

Obviously, I will be collaborating with Cristina and we will both improving our review of the literature to find what is already known on the subject.

development of research and writing

Blogs can play a role in the development of academic writing.  An author can try out ideas and get feedback.  I have tried this myself  (but can’t point to the posts as they are sadly lost) on a paper I wrote for Networked Learning 2010.  Also I recall a learning developer who posted successive drafts of an essay on their blog in response to readers’ feedback (would love the link to this if anyone has it). I think the intention of this was to reveal the sometimes messy journey of writing rather than to recommend this as a method of writing.

I see writing as a process with a product that emerges from privacy to publication with more eyes seeing and commenting along the way. A tweet may take only a minute to write but increasingly this text is wraparound/trigger to click a link to another text /multimedia artifact such as a blog post or video created over a much longer period.

There are different styles of blogging and plenty of tips on how to do it and writing for different audiences is very useful for an author’s toolkit.

Writing an article for a scholarly journal is likely to be a much more lengthy process with commenting and revisions emerging from the exchanges between authors, reviewers and editor(s) not all which are ‘public’ in the sense the article itself is.  The process for rejected articles is private with no publication endpoint. Journals with a commitment to the development of their authors will try to ensure that peer review is as much about development as about selection/ rejection.  I am interested in the role that blogging and other social media can play in writing development.

the role of peer review and editing

Journal peer review can be double blind (where neither reviewer nor authors are known to each other – though it is sometimes possible for them to guess each others’ identities); single blind where the reviewers know the authors’ identities but they remain anonymous to authors.  Usually peer review remains a relatively private exchange with comments and responses sent by email.  Different levels and types of openness are possible.  JIME, Journal of Interactive Media Education conducted very interesting dialogic review  and I am interested to research into evaluations of that and similar approaches.  I do know that reviewing can help writers develop, and that editing has had an impact on my reviewing and my writing.

I was also interested in Alan Cann’s experiment with open review but  think that much more work needs to be done to tease out more and less effective methods of using feedback to develop writing. I am not at all convinced by Doug Belshaw’s linkage of transparency to better in relation to peer review (see last sentence).

Sailing the Shift in 2012

Ships in harbour are safe, but that is not the what ships were built for. 
John Shedd

Throughout 2011, anyone who spends time online will have witnessed the increased focus on leadership in education, creative thinking, the spreading of Open Education Resources (e.g. MIT Open Course Ware ,  Open Culture, among many others) as well as the growing tide of free education, especially at post-secondary level. And of course, technology, technology, technology – in all its forms and areas of influence. Gaming in education is taken seriously as are other multimodular forms of presenting and engaging learners.

Which brings me to ask about the role of social media in education – is there a place for it? If so, why?

Let me begin by highlighting what I agree to be essential skills for today:

  • Sense-making. The ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed
  • Social intelligence. The ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions
  • Novel and adaptive thinking. Proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based
  • Cross-cultural competency. The ability to operate in different cultural settings
  • Computational thinking. The ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning
  • New-media literacy. The ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms and to leverage these media for persuasive communication
  • Transdisciplinarity. Literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines
  • Design mind-set. Ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes
  • Cognitive load management. The ability to discriminate and filter information for importance and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques
  • Virtual collaboration. The ability to work productively, drive engagement and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team
More than only for an unknown distant future, these are skills which learners today need to be comfortable and confident in. It is when they are at school/college that they can practice them in  a safe,  peer-level environment. From learning how to conduct efficient and effective online searches, being able to sift through the never-ending data available, to learning how to blog and use Twitter as a collaborative learning platform, educators have the responsibility to teach these skills, not only to motivate and engage learners, but to help prepare them for their futures.
painting of girl with blonde hair in pink dress, on grey stoneI have frequently been confronted with the time-consuming argument that not all learners need to learn about social media and that  “successful education” is really about passing exams.
Although I may understand this limited view of education (after all, it is an opinion among many other attitudes and approaches to education), it has certainly never been one that I share or practice. Not all skills may necessarily be labelled as “21st Century Learning Skills” – collaborative learning is how humans learn, after all. Throughout my life in classrooms and staffrooms, collaborating in teams, with partners, with the local community,  has always taken place. What is different today is how much broader and wider these collaborations can effectively occur. From the above list, sense-making, social intelligence and adapting to new ways of thinking are also not unique to “21st Century Learning”. They have always been required as they are inherent features of what it means to learn.

Seven reasons teachers should blog

by Steve Wheeler

I have written extensively on what makes a good blogpost and why it is so powerful. From personal experience blogging is one of the most beneficial professional development activities I have ever engaged with. I learn more from blogging than I do from almost any other activity I participate in. Here are 7 good reasons why teachers should blog:

1) Blogging causes you to reflect. Donald Schon suggested that reflection on, in and through practice were vital components of any professional practice. Teachers naturally think back on what has happened in their classroom, and often wonder what they could have done better. Blogging can help with this process, enabling teachers to keep an ongoing personal record of their actions, decisions, though processes, successes and failures, and issues they have to deal with.

2) Blogging can crystalise your thinking. In the act of writing, said Daniel Chandler, we are written. As we write, we invest a part of ourselves into the medium. The provisionality of the medium makes blogging conducive to drafting and redrafting. The act of composing and recomposing ideas can enable abstract thoughts to become more concrete. Your ideas are now on the screen in front of you; they can be stored, retrieved and reconstructed as your ideas become clearer. You don’t have to publish if you want to keep those thoughts private. Save them and come back to them later. The blog can act as a kind of mirror to show you what you are thinking. Sometimes we don’t really know what we are thinking until we actually write it down in a physical format.

3) Blogging can open up new audiences. You can become a teacher within an infinitely larger classroom, and as you blog on subjects you think are interesting, you will discover that there are plenty of other education professionals ‘out there’ who are also interested. People who are interested will eventually find your blog and visit it regularly to see if they can learn something new from you.

4) Blogging can create personal momentum. Once you have started blogging, and you realise that you can actually do it, you will probably want to develop your skills further. Blogging can be time consuming, but the rewards are ultimately worth it. In my own experience, I find myself breaking out of inertia to create some forward movement in my thinking especially when I blog about ‘edgy’ topics that may be emotive, controversial, challenging. The more you blog, the better you become at writing for your audience, managing your arguments, defending your position, thinking critically.

5) Blogging can give you valuable feedback. As you gain feedback from your readership, you gain a sense of peer review, sometimes challenging and refuting your ideas (tricky to handle, but be open minded and you will learn a lot from constructive criticism) or affirming what you already believe to be true (some feedback from readers adds further value to your blogpost, and it’s there for all to read). Affirmation of your own beliefs can be a powerful enabler for you as a professional practitioner.

6) Blogging can be creative. If you persist with blogging, you will discover that you develop new and creative ways to articulate what you want to say. As I write, I often search for alternative ways to express myself, and this can be through images, quotes, a retelling of old experiences through stories, videos, audio, or useful hyperlink to related web resources. You have many ways to convey your ideas, and you are simply limited to your own imagination. Try out new ways of communicating and take risks. Blogging is the platform that allows you to be creative.

7) Blogging can raise your game. Blogging is immediate. As soon as you press the Publish button, your ideas are on the web in front of a potential worldwide audience. Time and again I have heard from other teachers (and students) that they take much more care over grammatical construction, spelling and punctuation when they discover they have an audience.

Image source (edited)