Tag Archives: connected learning

Good Bye PIDP 3240

I am writing this on the eve of submitting this blog to my Instuctor Brian Cassell for grading.   This is my 8th blog posting since my Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PDIP) 3240  “Media Enhanced Learning” course started at the beginning of March.  I set myself the goal of making one blog post per week along with the regular discussion forum postings and journal assignments that were part of the course curriculum.  I was also part of the Social Media component so blogging, Facebook and Twitter became part of my life.

As a “digital immigrant” coming into the digital age of the internet at the age of 48 and someone who’s “smart” phone is an old Blackberry (I just upgraded my old Playbook to a new Samsung Galaxy Note  8.0) this was fairly challenging.  Looking around I can see why the younger “digital natives” are glued to their wireless devices.  Pocket size cell phones can make videos and sound recordings, take photos and within minutes it goes out to a global audience.  Your 15 minutes of fame is just the right #hashtag, likes, hits or social media strategy away.

The most important thing that I learned in the social media component is that I had to develop a social media strategy in order to use the medium effectively.  I learned that people will follow people who provided good content, not just re-tweeting or sharing the latest cat meme.  Google does has its limits so I looked for sites like Scoop.it and Redditt where you can set up tag searches and find content posted by others with a similar interests.  Good content is curated content, ask any librarian.  With the vast amount of dubious content on the internet it is important to verify your sources before posting or reposting their content in order to maintain your own credibility.  This is something that has to be passed on to our students.

I used the keywords:

social media, technology,construction, apprenticeship,teaching and Canada 

as tags and set up the topic of Adult Education in general keying in on Apprenticeship Training in order to narrow my subject field further.  I am interested in teaching in this field upon graduation and I am also teaching some general interest welding and fabricating courses at the Vancouver Community Laboratory (CoLab).  In order to facilitate this I set up two RSS feeds from Google News.  This brings the content right to my blog and it is constantly being updated.  I also have accounts on Redditt and Scoop.it along with my Facebook and Twitter feeds in order to provide more sources for content for my blog.  I recently set up a Facebook page for the blog which I can use to regularly post content to and as I get into the habit, it will be easy to remember to sharing it with the VCC/SIE  Facebook page too.

I had a Twitter account that I never really used so I had to learn how it all worked.  I used to think it was place that people told the world what they had for breakfast.  I learned that #hashtags are useful for sorting through content and I will have to get into the habit of using them more often in my tweets,  which I will have to start providing on a regular, consistent basis.   At the same time realize that quality is better than quantity.

I found the Discussion Forums to be a useful place to share lots of interesting information with my classmates and learn a bit about their field of expertise and what their interests were.  The forum discussions are a fantastic learning resource with links to a vast amount of information on the discussion subjects.  I posted my contributions to the blog and I incorporated many of the Web 2.0 Tools and videos posted by my classmates into the resource section of my blog so they can be used for future reference.  Thanks to all my talented classmates for finding them for me.  I have also included some of the course materials I created for the PIDP 3100, 3210 and 3220 courses.  I look upon this blog as a research portal I can use as I complete the PID Program.

digital bloom pyramid author samantha penney cc

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Author: Samantha Penney

So what are my overall feelings as the course comes to an end?  Hopefully I will get to meet some of my classmates face to face as I continue my studies.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to access the ooVoo chats so I missed out on a crucial aspect of forming an online study community.  I don’t feel I made the same level of connection with my classmates as I have when I took classroom courses.  It is just part of being flesh and blood human beings we are part of nature and we need that personal connection.  A primevial part of me feels sorry for the people I see around me immersed in their digital devices.  How will they hear the predator that’s sneaking up to devour them?

Thanks Brian for facilitating the course and thanks to my classmates for providing such an immense amount of information on digital instruction and online learning.  I will continue to follow your blogs, your tweets and your Facebook posts.  I learned a lot about how technology is rapidly changing the delivery of education online from the brick and mortar institutions and how can this best serve our learners.  As an adult educators I realize that technology is just a tool I need to master in order to facilitate learning and understanding amongst my students.  This course is just a start.

A “Connected Learning” Experience

Today I had a perfect example of what is meant by “connected learning” in the age of the internet. I was on my computer working on PIDP 3240 Media Enhanced Learning a course I am taking in pursuit of my Provincial Instructors Diploma.  Part of the course consists of finding and evaluating Web 2.0 tools.  One such tool I found was Scoop.it a site that uses human curation, along with algorithms to sort and evaluate content into Scoops, pages that are organized according to tags that you provide.

I created an account and set up a topic called Adult Education using: teaching,adult,technology,social media,education, learning as my keywords.  One of the first articles of the 100 in the list was “Theory of Knowledge, Social Media and Connected Learning in High School” on the digital media and learning central site.  The article introduced me to the concept of connected learning.

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A Learning Approach Designed for the Demands and Opportunities of the Digital Age: Powerful, Relevant, Engaging

Logging into my account today I there was a Scoop from the connected learning research network.  I went to their publications page to see if there was anything I could use for my PIDP course and I came across “Re-Mediating Current Activity for the Future” by Kris. D. Gutierrez.  It must have been something about the title of the the mention of “growing poverty and inequity” in the short description but I decided to read the paper.  The paper was about American educator Mike Rose and his methodology that has come to be associated with cultural historical activity theory (CH/AT).  I became intrigued by Mike Rose and googled him to read more of his articles and papers.

The first thing I read was an article in American Scholar “Blue Collar Brilliance”.  As a blue collar worker myself the choice was obvious.  It was an autobiographical piece that described his mother who was a waitress and talked about the cognitive skills involved in her job.  He described other relatives who worked in blue collar jobs and how they used their intelligence as well as their psychomotor skills in doing their jobs.

MikeRoseTheMindAtWork

Staying with the American Scholar I next read “When the Light Goes On” in which Mike Rose describes his high school education, how a mix up had him in the vocational stream.  Later he was transferred to the academic stream where he languished in mediocracy until he was inspired by his senior year English teacher.  This reminded me of my own high school years where we streamed into arts/science, business or technical courses for four or for those going onto university five years.  In Grade nine at the age of 13 or 14 we were supposed to have some idea of what career we wanted to pursue.

Next I read  Sara Goldrick-Rab’s paper “Comments on Mike Rose’s Essay “Rethinking Remedial Education and the Academic-Vocational Divide” which prompted me to read Mike Rose himself “Rethinking Remedial Education and the Academic-Vocational Divide”.

So what did I get out of all this?  Was I just surfing the web or did I actually have a learning experience?  It made me consider something I have been witnessing for a long time in my industry that more and more of the cognitive work and planning is being taken out of the scope of blue collar workers at the point of production and is being managed by workers in the office.  This is dangerous because it creates a disconnect which I have seen lead to many errors being made and much productive capacity being lost.  It leads to a disengagement of the workers and lack of a team effort between white and blue collar workers in a company.

In my teaching practice I want to be able to not only teach my craft but to teach it in such a way that it engages my student’s imagination and inspires their intellectual appetites to learn more.  I don’t want to turn out automatons who can perform tasks with machine like precision as they will soon be replaced by machines.  Rather I want them to develop the critical thinking skills, to be life long learners and to have the ability to work as part of a team as these skills will always keep them on track and current in whatever career path they choose.

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