picture source: http://www.globalkap.com/blog/ blog post from 5 March 2014
This week I had the opportunity to use Google Plus as a discussion board and Google Docs as a collaboration tool. Having used connection tools on the internet for 30 years (NASA and Cal Tech had a primitive chat tool), I may come to this assignment with a jaded view. I prefer synchronous collaboration and communication. There is no time delay. My patients was tested. I like that there was only one copy of the document we were working on. The comment tool in Google Docs was very useful. I'm not so sure about using Google plus as a discussion board. The layout of the pages made it difficult to see the order of the posts and it didn't seem to organize them well. I will have to do further investigation to know for sure.
I will continue to use online collaboration tools as I plan to teach online courses and work from multiple locations across the country. I like the picture I chose because it reminds me that the power of online collaboration is in multiple people working on the same document or problem. Everyone on the team seeing everyone's work and thought process.
I believe that there is no turning back now. Online collaboration is here to stay.
Participating in the conversations in my Using Social Media in Online Learning Course have started a transformation in me. After my experience with Georgia Teaching Fellows last year I felt defeated and began to dought my calling to teach. The interactions with my teacher and classmates have re-kindled a passion in me. I was unaware that the sense of community in an online course could be equal to that of a traditional class. Using Google Docs to collaborate on document creation has saved time and built partnerships. It is a valuable tool to create classrooms across time and distance, making the world just a little bit smaller. Collaboration shrinks the planet and frees up time!
I can't help thinking I'm in a time warp! Having spent most of my career teaching mature learners (post secondary), We always must take into account what the learner already knows and help them map on the new information. With kids we assume they don't have alot of life experiences. Young learners do indeed have life experiences just not as many as an adult. The small number does not stop them from using those experiences to make sense of the world. So when I think of the Guide on the Side or the Sage on the stage, I can't help thinking that engagement will always help retension regardless of the age of the learner.
I had the opportunity to attend designer David Jakes' presentation at the Chicago Education Festival last weekend. As an engineer I can appreciate the concept of form following function. Constructivism in the classroom is a real life example of form following function. In a traditional classroom setting with a teacher up front imparting knowledge to students (Sage on the stage), rows of seats facing forward works. All eyes up front, it is difficult to interact or collaborate with other learners. The constructivist classroom is centered around the learner. The seats and work surfaces would be on wheels for easy reconfiguration. Sometimes the learning stations would be arranged for small group discussion, sometimes for whole group sharing (circle or U shaped). When individual or paired work was required for a project or experiment, the seating could be quickly altered. I witnessed an invention called the Node Chair during theChicago Education Festival. A case study from the University of Michigan showed that this chair on wheels increased the very skills contructivism promotes, collaboration, learners co-creating, teacher moving freely around the room to ask questions that guide students in the experiment or exercise. As I investigate constructivism it occurred to me that I was naturally participating. I took concepts I already knew, engineering, and mapped the new information (constructivism in the classroom) onto what I already knew. I looked for more info to confirm or dispel my conclusions and then shared with peers to get their input and feedback. I love when a plan comes together!
Hi, I'm Lois and teaching is my final career. It is a privilege to help students to close the achievement gap. Too many learners, young and old alike, need new skills and new ways of learning to meet the demands and challenges of the information age.