Patrons and Pedagogy: A Look at the Theory of Connectivism

Moreno, Mary

ET

Guder, C. G. (2010). Patrons and Pedagogy: A Look at the Theory of Connectivism. Public Services Quarterly, 6(1), 36-42.

http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=48041905&site=ehost-live&scope=site  

Summary:

In this article the author discusses the theory of connectivism as related to education theory already used in libraries. First the author describes the basic principles of connectivism, including “currency, relevancy [sic], critical thinking, and networked information.” In connectivism, the user controls the learning network. The author argues that libraries have already been providing a user controlled experience through collections and computer access. Libraries can build on this tradition by embracing and adding new technologies. In addition, librarians can play a role by teaching students about new technologies. Librarians can also teach students how and where to access information in new networks. In his conclusion, the author states that “Technology can be viewed as a tool for learning or it can be viewed as the place where learning takes place. Libraries do not have to come down on either side…“. This quote sums up what we can do and promote in the library.

Evaluation:

The article is from 2010, and therefore is a little dated. However, I feel like just as we hope the skills students learn today transfer to the technologies of tomorrow, this theory can encompass all that has happened in the past 8 years. For instance, social media is no longer new, but librarians are still working to ensure students know the best ways to use it. I also liked the author’s discussion of helping students know where to look for information. This is a traditional library skill, but with more options for learning and more to learn, knowing how to find relevant information becomes a key skill for success. I agree with the author; connectivism is a theory that has a lot to offer for libraries.

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A Digital Teaching Platform to Further and Assess Use of Evidence-based Practices

A Digital Teaching Platform to Further and Assess Use of Evidence-based Practices

Elias, Jenann

CA
Bondie, R. (2015). A Digital Teaching Platform to Further and Assess Use of
Evidence-based Practices. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 34(1), 23-29.

The author, Rhonda Bondie, presents a solution to the challenge of assessing candidate teachers who are learning online. This solution is called Project REACH, which is a free online digital teaching platform.


The platform is learner centered which allows for collaboration, and support is available at any time, 24 by 7.


This paper seems more of an instruction sheet on using this platform. The learning path for teacher candidate steps are:

  1. Learn Evidence-based practice (EBP). The website includes resources for 67 EBP’s. A teacher candidate uses resources developed by others to “develop knowledge about specific EBPs and guides for classroom implementation.”
  2. Plan instruction, using learning and collaborate tools on the website. Invite other Project REACH users to collaborate on instructional plans. This includes:
    1. Unpack curriculum standards
    2. Develop multiple assessments
    3. Design differential lesson plans
    4. Apply Universal Design for Learning
    5. A field-test report
    6. Analysis of student work
  3. Reflect on impact. Field test. Upload and annotate student work. Track student progress.
  4. Share accomplishments. Earn “badges”. Learn, share, and add badges throughout career.
The website is: www.projectreachonline.org and much of the article I read includes screen captures and “how-to” instructions.

Mining Data

Harman, Sheila
IL
Zeide, E. (2016). 19 Times Data Analysis Empowered Students and Schools: Which Students Succeed and Why?.
Schools have always held a wide range of data about our children and families: Name, address, names of parents or guardians, date of birth, grades, attendance, disciplinary records, eligibility for lunch programs, special needs and the like are all necessary for basic administration and instruction. Teachers and school officials use this information for lots of reasons, including to assess how well students are progressing. This article makes the case that this data, and all the info generated is super useful. She notes that the tools are at our fingertips and it is up to us to use the info to guide our most needy students. and monitor educator biases. Online tools give students access to vast libraries of resources and allow them to collaborate with classmates or even peers around the world. Some of these online tools also give teachers and parents the ability to access and evaluate student work.

Rating:  This is a clearly written review of some powerful, albeit private, data that is used for the improving student performance. She shows graphs and examples

Learning to teach through video

Jones, Erik

ET

Leeder, K. (2009, Oct. 14). Learning to teach through video. Retrieved from: http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2009/learning-to-teach-through-video/

Summary 

Knowing how to use more modern methods of teaching is essential for the growing digital world that we find ourselves a part of. This article does a good job at discussing how teaching though various media platforms allows for a wider diversity of lessons in addition to a larger online audience through video based websites like YouTube. The author goes into the pedagogical theories of instruction and learning which is necessary to understand the framework that a tool such as video can be useful and beneficial to both instructors and learners. The principles for multimedia learning are great takeaways for readers as they serve to set the boundaries and limitations that should be adhered to when lesson planners use this form of instruction to teach students.

Evaluation

Not having much experience with web tools and teaching, I really found this article to be incredibly informative and useful. I had an assignment for another course in which I used a screencast to teach viewers how to use the Disc Cleanup and Defragment tool that comes pre-installed on their computers. It was an eye-opening experience for me that opened up a lot of different avenues for getting lessons, ideas or messages to more people using more modern tech tools. I also enjoy this blog and follow a lot of the articles they post as it is frequented by fellow librarians and assistant librarians.

Team Learning and Collaboration Between Online and Blended Learner Groups

Stefani Tovar

Lim, D. H., & Yoon, S. W. (2008). Team learning and collaboration between online and blended learner groups. Performance Improvement Quarterly21(3), 59.

This article examines online and blended learning models to determine which, if any, offers a more collaborative platform of instruction.

While its approach may vary, the study focuses on blended learning, which offers a combination of online, in-person meetings on a campus or other site (i.e. museum, park, etc), as well as opportunities for live instruction with professors. Highlights of the findings showed a significant difference between these two approaches. Among them were higher student performance and collaboration opportunities among the blended learners.  A possible cause of these findings were linked to the effectiveness of the professor and their ability to facilitate meaningful work.  Also the perception of social belonging was significant in both groups, favoring the blended learning approach.

I found this article of personal interest because of the nature of the MLIS program at SJSU.  I think that these findings are supported by my own experiences thus far in the program.  The engagement of the instructor, the motivation of the students and delivery of instruction fluctuate in quality from course to course, affecting the meaningful learning and collaborative opportunities available to students.  I don’t believe the findings are startling, but they help support that regardless of the medium, teacher quality is a central theme.
Douthit, Chris


CA


Ferdig, R. & Pytash, K. (2014). There’s a badge for that. Tech & Learning, 34(8), 24-30.                    http://www.techlearning.com/features/0039/theres-a-badge-for-that/54727


Summary: “There’s a badge for that” is an overview of the concept of badges and how they could impact teachers’ realities in terms of their own training and how they evaluate students.  Ferdig and Pytash define badges as “digital recognition for accomplishing a skill or acquiring knowledge after completing an activity (e.g., a course, module, or project)” (Ferdig & Pytash, 2014, p. 24).  Badges have come into vogue because of massive open courses, which often don’t produce credits but need a way to recognize student achievement.   The authors state that badges are good for educators in terms of professional development, teacher education, and as part of teachers’ own assessment of students.  The article culminates with further explanation of how to develop badges of one’s own.  

Evaluation: The idea of using badges of for professional development makes a lot of sense because these environments are fluid in their participation–some teachers take one kind, while others focus on a different kind.  Badges would make assessment and recognition easier within a school and for district accounting.   In the classroom, badges seem to be a very equitable and egalitarian alternative to grades, which are often limiting and do not motivate greatness in students.   Badges could take pressure off students while also developing in them a sense of cooperation and accomplishment, especially in terms of education that is increasingly self-driven.