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johnaltieri 's List: Education Revolution

    • In a collaborative learning environment, group mates discuss ideas, create and modify products, and become actively engaged with each other and the instructional content. Collaborative learning is said to promote higher level cognitive skills, critical thinking, metacognitive strategies, and problem-solving.

      "The students are responsible for one another's learning as well as their own. Thus, the success of one student helps other students to be successful." (Gokhale, 1995)

      Online collaborative tools provide a central locale for these types of interactions. The servers on which they stand act as saving folders, so that work is never lost. Tracking work is easier. Editing is more efficient. Work does not have to be recopied due to editing marks, poor handwriting, etc. Time does not have to be devoted to physical time together as the work can be done either asynchronously or synchronously. The online format offers a shield for introverted students to work behind while becoming more active in the learning. The largest benefit comes from the inherently motivating features new technology has to offer students. Because they are excited about the new medium, they are more engaged and committed to task at hand.

      Some additional, specific benefits of the utilization of web-based applications for collaborative learning include:

      *Saves time. Students can work either together or independently, either way contributing to the success of their group overall.
      *Develops oral and written communication and social interaction skills.
      *Allows for interactions with students outside their class, school, city, state and even country.
      *Prepares young students for upper grades and the technology tools they will be encountering there.
      *Allows for students who are unable to attend school to keep up with their peers.
      *Share ideas.
      *Increases student motivation.
      *Encourages different perspectives views.
      *Aids in metacognitive and evaluative thinking skill development.
      *Develops higher level, critical-thinking skills thanks to use of problem-solving approaches.
      *Encourages student responsibility for learning.
      *Establishes a sense of learning community.
      *Creates a more positive attitude about learning.
      *Promotes innovation in teaching and classroom techniques.
      *Enhances self management skills.
      *Develops skill building and practice. Common skills which often require a great deal of practice can be developed through these tools, and made less tedious through these collaborative learning activities in and out of class.
      *Develops social skills.
  • Oct 19, 09

    What does Twitter do? Watch this and ask, what focus could this have for me or my students? How would this bring us together?

    • Ekachai started teaching Marquette's first undergraduate class in social media this semester. She requires students to use the tool for a month. When guest speakers come to class, some students are responsible for publishing the speaker's thoughts on Twitter during the presentation - called "live tweeting."
    • The exercise helps students develop key skills: listening, information-gathering, multitasking and succinct writing. Twitter allows only 140 characters per tweet.

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    • Work out what you want to get out of Twitter. If you don’t do this, then Twitter will be a waste of time.
    • Use the Twitter Search to find instances of that word, and use the Profile Search to find people with interests that match or complement the reason why you are on Twitter. Without a purpose you will find Twitter confusing and worthless.

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    • I feel that Twitter provides agency, or the ability for a user to become empowered in choosing their own path to an answer through the system (Dewberry, in class, 2009). By learning the methods, functions and culture of the system, I gain a framework by which to begin to use it, but due to the seemingly endless flexibility of the system, I can begin to develop new ways of using the system that were not originally envisioned (Conan, 2009).
    • Pedagogical innovations, as expressed in constructivism (in its many, many shades), do not provide the full force required to pull away from irrelevant ideologies that seek to warp learning to reflect needs of a different age. This failure to overcome ideologies is due to an inability, to date, of educators to rethink the learning model. Reformers have largely worked within, rather than on, the system of education. Working within the system has resulted in status-quo preservation, even when reformists felt they were being radical. Illich failed to account for how educational institutions are integrated into society. Freire spoke with a humanity and hope that was largely overlooked by a comfortable developed world incapable of seeing the structure and impact of its system. To create and nurture change, a message must not only be true for an era, but it must also resonate with the needs, passions, interests, realities, and hopes of the audience to whom the message is directed. As a result, pedagogy has not influenced learning broadly. It has lifted the spirits and motivations of small camps of educators for brief periods. But it has not altered learning in a way that transforms the system of education.
    • Finding a cure for stale ideologies


      Instead of working within the system of teaching and learning, let’s turn our attention to changing the system itself by suggesting responses to the ideologies discussed previously:


      1. The learning needed can be defined
       2. Control is needed to achieve required learning
       3. Students at similar stages need similar learning
       4. Coherence and structure needed for learning

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    • 1) Digital citizenship (publics & participation v. consumers & audiences)


      This defines a participation focus for the public sphere – information and social spaces for the purposes of active citizenship and civic, public and social purposes (publics, commons, communities, participants).

    • 2) Digital character (purposeful social intelligences)


      This defines much needed social dispositions such as empathy, compassion and respect for difference and diversity (culture, race, class, gender, sexual identity, belief and cognitive styles).

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      • What Can You   Do To Minimize The Chances Of An On-line Exploiter Victimizing   Your Child?

        • Communicate, and talk   to your child about sexual victimization and potential   on-line danger.  
        • Spend time with your   children on-line. Have them teach you about their   favorite on-line destinations.  
        • Keep the computer in   a common room in the house, not in your child's bedroom.   It is much more difficult for a computer-sex offender   to communicate with a child when the computer screen   is visible to a parent or another member of the household.  
        • Utilize parental controls   provided by your service provider and/or blocking   software. While electronic chat can be a great place   for children to make new friends and discuss various   topics of interest, it is also prowled by computer-sex   offenders. Use of chat rooms, in particular, should   be heavily monitored. While parents should utilize   these mechanisms, they should not totally rely on   them.  
        • Always maintain access   to your child's on-line account and randomly check   his/her e-mail. Be aware that your child could be   contacted through the U.S. Mail. Be up front with   your child about your access and reasons why.  
        • Teach your child the   responsible use of the resources on-line. There is   much more to the on-line experience than chat rooms.  
        • Find out what computer   safeguards are utilized by your child's school, the   public library, and at the homes of your child's friends.   These are all places, outside your normal supervision,   where your child could encounter an on-line predator.  
        • Understand, even if   your child was a willing participant in any form of   sexual exploitation, that he/she is not at fault and   is the victim. The offender always bears the complete   responsibility for his or her actions.  
        • Instruct your children:  
            • to never arrange   a face-to-face meeting with someone they met   on- line;  
            • to never upload   (post) pictures of themselves onto the Internet   or on-line service to people they do not personally   know;  
            • to never give   out identifying information such as their name,   home address, school name, or telephone number;  
            • to never download   pictures from an unknown source, as there is   a good chance there could be sexually explicit   images;  
            • to never respond   to messages or bulletin board postings that   are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, or harassing;  
            • that whatever   they are told on-line may or may not be true.
    • Nancy Willard of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use talked about the current state of Internet safety education, telling the group that much of today’s school-based messages continue to reinforce the discredited notion that kids are in serious danger from adult predators. Willard pointed out that sexual exploitation resulting from contact by someone a young person knows only through the Internet is extremely rare, especially compared to the far more likely peer-to-peer problems such as cyberbullying.
    • Mike Donlin of Seattle Public Schools described his district’s cyberbullying program that trains students on techniques to protect themselves and their fellow students from bullying and harassment.  Consistent with other experts, Donlin said that online bullying is typically associated with offline bullying.  Problems that start in school often migrate online and it’s not uncommon for the bullies and victims to know each other in the real world.


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      Friday, February 27, 2009

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          *Social* media literacy: The new Internet safety   

      In talks and sound bytes over the past year, I've been saying that - for the vast majority of online youth - digital citizenship is the new Internet safety. And indeed digital citizenship is HUGE, for the very reason that behaving aggressively online more than doubles the risk of being victimized (see "Good citizens in virtual worlds, too")
    • But on the participatory Web of social producing and creative networking we also need social media literacy.

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