Then let’s try this fun experiment — What if we could use our devices and design a mobile App that allowed you to create more of these kinds of connections for the youth we work with … What would it do? … How is it awesome?!
With our shared ED677 goal too, I challenge you to really think about how your app would be used, by whom, and for what. How can it support the creation of more equitable connected learning opportunities for all learners?
Do some imagining and playing this week with this idea and share on your blog — you can be as practical or fantastical as you like. Share your App ideas and tell us about it while also reflecting on the implications for equity in connected learning and teaching. To challenge you further, don’t just tell us about it but trying sketching it out for us; you can do this using a presentation tool like powerpoint, something like Scratch, or just plain paper and pen and stickies that you photo or videotape. Think of what you are making as a prototype for your app and use that prototype to get feedback from others in the process.
After making, take it another step and add some reflection about your making and making process. How did you go about it? What did you learn? Where did you get stuck? How did you solve problems? Where did a focus on equity fit into the mix? What are the implications for learning and being connected?
Let’s start by hearing from the youth themselves at YR Media. Pick out something here to focus on. What are they saying? How are they saying it? What are they making in order to say it?
Next let’s unpack this idea of the “Maker Movement.” What do you know about it already? If you aren’t sure, what are your impressions?
Next I encourage you to watch Leah Buechley, mentioned in the Halverson and Sheridan article. Here she is considering all learners and in doing so brings a more critical eye to the popularized and branded “Maker” movement and talks through its key promises and equity challenges: Thinking about Making. What stands out to you here as you think about equity in your own context?
Let’s now tap into a bit of the history of making and learning: start with Seymour Papert — a mathematician, scientist and educator from MIT — who is known as the father of “constructionism.” Papert and Harel’s introduction Situating Constructionism from the 1991 book Constructionism gives a good overview. Here is a group of educators talking about these same ideas:
Finally, check out these stories about making across the grade levels:
Play is training for the unexpected.~ Bekoff, biologist
A child’s play is not simply a reproduction of what he has experienced, but a creative reworking of the impressions he has acquired. ~ Vygotsky, psychologist
Nice job with all the work this past week — I can see some powerful connections being made. I plan to do a little writing about it and will share a personal blog post with you all later this week.
In getting started this week, let’s take a moment and reflect on where you have been so far over the last three weeks. So far you have gotten a blog set-up, reviewed the basic texts about Connected Learning and explored its three core values — social, participatory, and equitable. You have created a few things, posted a few blogs, and curated content shared by others.
Read over your blog from the beginning and make notes to yourself (maybe keep an offline journal?) about things that stand out to you. Did you notice something you hadn’t noticed before? DId you do something you feel happy about? Are you still wondering where we are going with this? Is there something that is kind of troubling you but you aren’t sure yet? … Keep these notes for yourself as part of reflecting on what you are learning along the way.
In the week ahead, let’s play!
This week we will start to experiment with different ways of knowing and learning and to do that, we will kick off this week by playing! Yes, that’s right — take some time this week to play, and if someone asks what you are doing (or you ask yourself) you can blame me and ED677. 🙂
A key thing to do this week is play something. And then reflect on your play. All I ask is that you play something new-ish to you and/or add new playfulness to something you already do.
And then finally, if you dare, you can play “The Game”
The rules are simple: 1) When you think of The Game, you lose The Game. 2) When you lose The Game, you announce it to those around you.
As you play, whatever you play, jot down some notes to yourself about the experience: What do you notice about about your play? What ways do you approach it? What questions arise for you? What experiences do you draw upon? What was challenging? What was easy? What have you learned? What the implications for equity?
Okay, now let’s do some reading/watching together. Let’s hear from students and K-12 teachers about the role of play in learning:
In our playing we often make things — sometimes it’s a score, often it is a sense of satisfaction, and other times it is an artifact, a new connection, or maybe a new way of thinking about things.
Share with us what you made through your play. You can write a blog or try something different this time, like a “vblog” (ie. you can record your thoughts on video and post those to your blog instead of text), a screencast, a collage etc. Show us the ways you played and then tell us what playing leads you to think about and wonder about in relation to connected learning and equity.
Find 5/6/7 things — from each others blogs, the readings, and other work you are doing — that you think would support you or others in your life to play a bit more.
Just a reminder about our online gathering at 7:00pm ET on February 12th with Kathy Walsh. Kathy Walsh is a science teacher at Building 21 in Philadelphia and an alumna of Arcadia University (who also took ED677 in 2015). Please let me know if you can not join us.
Happy Monday! So great to see so many of you “in person” this past week via our online gathering. For those who couldn’t make it Tuesday, here is a link to the archive (we get started around 14:30) and the related google document.
Since it was a small group, I am thinking Tuesday at 7pm might not be the best time — I will send out a doodle poll via email this week to see what might be a better time for everyone. These are not required of an online course, of course, but I do think it’s helpful for us to actually see and talk to each other from time to time so I’ll aim to keep them going every two weeks during this semester.
Also, a response to your great blogs re: annotating … First, you all did a fabulous job. Second, I did get you started in a hard place … ie. an article which is really very crowded with annotations already. Here is a link to the #ed677 annotations; you can look at the most recent if you want to see this group’s thinking, specifically.
This week we will look at another article that already has annotations (although I think less) … and then in a few weeks, we will experiment in a private group with some annotations just of our own. I will also invite you to participate publicly in a few annotation events just getting started later this semester. Finally, if you are into online annotation, we will also try another tool call Now Comment just to see how it compares and what the implications might be.
The week ahead … Read/Watch
As we continue to get started and ground ourselves in the values of Connected Learning — social, equitable, participatory — we will dive this week into equity and what we mean when we talk about equitable learning. A key goal of this course is to support you in designing connected learning opportunities for learners (and/or teachers) that focus on issues of equity. But what do we mean by equity? And how do we get there?
We stand at the cusp of widespread adoption of new technologies that have the potential to both radically reduce or exacerbate existing forms of educational inequity. A concerted push for research, innovation, and joint action around a common purpose of deploying learning technologies in the service of equity could dramatically enhance our understanding of how new technologies can truly democratize education.
… anything that supports the full human talent development of every student, and all groups of students.
Read this related article, Smart Tech Use for Equity, from Teaching Tolerance to learn about their work and a summary of their findings.
Next, let’s read (and annotate!) an article by another WP colleague, Linda Christensen Linda is an editorial board member of Rethinking Schools and is the author of Reading, Writing, and Rising Up, and Teaching for Joy and Justice. This essay was published last year in Voices from the Middle and titled “Critical Literacy and Our Students Lives.”
I try to make my literacy work a sustained argument against inequality and injustice. I want my students to be able to “talk back” when they encounter anything that glorifies one race, one culture, one social class, one gender, one language over another: texts, museums, commercials, classes, rules that hide or disguise domination. A critical literacy means that students probe who benefits and who suffers, how did it come to be this way, what are the alternatives, and how can we make things more just?
Read Critical Literacy and Our Students Lives this week and experiment with the ways you approach this reading and annotation (hypothes.is is again with this article and many annotations already exist) . For example try to keep the annotations on as you are reading it for the first time — what’s that experience like? Where does it lead you? Read and/or make annotations in whatever way is most helpful to you and to others; if you do annotate, use the tag #ed677.
This article was made available for annotation via a 2017-18 collaboration with the National Writing Project & Marginal Syllabus called Writing Our Civic Futures. As part of that collaboration, we also interviewed Linda about her work; this discussion includes teacher Kevin Hodgson whom you met previously, and might be of interest before jumping into the article:
What insights are important here as you think about equity in learning? What questions get raised for you? What are some implications?
Finally, let’s turn to a widely circulated image on the web you might have run into meant to support distinguishing equity from equality .
New institutions and new practices, as they arise in a highly unequal and stratified society … will take on those inequalities unless they are actively combated.
This week’s make is meant to support us in imagining how we might get into this fight for equity. We will be using an alternative image/remix of the Equality/Equity graphic and following the questions of a related making project titled #The4thBox from the Center For Story-based Strategy and Interaction Institute for Social Change.
Read through the why and how of the #The4thBox and after doing some reflection about the key questions here, make a 4th image of your own. Use it to discuss the importance of not just telling a different version of the same story, but of actually changing the story (by challenging assumptions).
Questions from this project include:
What other story could be revealed in this setting?
What other “psychic break” could you make up?
What other underlying assumption here could you challenge?
Who built that wall in the first place and/or who took it away?
On their website they have paper cut-outs and a digital remix version. Feel free to add and use other materials and imagery.
I also encourage you to bring in resources from our last few weeks of class so far; for example, drawing from our previous readings, what would change if we took seriously the interests of the kids? How might, in the words of Dewey, the matter at hand be of “immediate and personal concern, even to the point of actual participation?” How do social interactions fit in here? Where are the kids own stories? How do social and network technologies support human potential, or not?
Below are a few resources that may support your thinking about equity in education in particular (feel free to suggest others too in your blog posts or Find 5s this week):
“Equity” in the The Glossary of Educational Reform
Share your #The4thBox creations and then reflect what you made and why you made it on your blog. If you aren’t comfortable doing that, I have also set up a discussion in Canvas as alternative sharing option — you can choose.
This week we are going to start our “Find 5” process – and we will continue to do this throughout the semester. Here’s how it works — each week we will each find at least 5 things online to share and reflect on that are about each other’s work and/or the larger field of Connected Learning. Create a post on your blog where you can share these 5 things with a short description of what you think is interesting about it.
What should you find? Try find things that:
Your fellow classmates have shared or posted that you think are interesting;
Ideas from our shared readings/watchings you think would be interesting to others too;
Resources, posts, etc. that you find online and that relate to the topics are are thinking about together (for example, this week maybe you can think about how can you connect to other educators working to build equity in their classrooms/learning spaces).
Have fun with this and maybe even challenge yourself as if it is a game … for example, if you can get this done by Friday, then find 5 things and call is your “Find 5 Friday” (or use #F5F as a hashtag). If it is Saturday though when you get this, then you can “Seek 6 Saturday” (#S6S). And if it’s Sunday, the “Search 7 Sunday” is perfect (#S7S).
Here is an example from Learning to Connect who participated in this course in 2018: Seek 6 Saturday #s6s. And a tech tip: When making links within your Find 5s, try to make hyperlinks instead of posting the messy/impossible-to-read link itself. Here’s a digital writing 101 tutorial how.
Note: If what you found is actually not public (ie. you found it in our Canvas discussions for example) please respect its privacy and respond to it privately/in Canvas and not via your Find 5s. Thank you.
Twitter Chat Option
According to their website, EduColor “seeks to elevate the voices of public school advocates of color on educational equity and justice. We are an inclusive cooperative of informed, inspired and motivated educators, parents, students, writers and activists who promote and embrace the centrality of substantive intersectional diversity.”
Educolor hosts a newsletter that you can join as well as a monthly twitter chat. This month’s chat is on January 31st if you are interested (please note that these are very active chats – if you are new you might decided to just follow along and note how people are doing this):
Save the date for the first #EduColor chat of 2019!
Our January chat is happening next week on Thursday, 1/31
at 7:30pm ET
For topic announcement make sure to follow @EduColorMVMT
If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the blogs of your course-mates. You can also find all the posts feeding into our shared class blog at http://seekingequityed677.org/spring2019/. Every week now you can return to the class blog to see all the posts together, in creation order, and you can also click through to each individual blog by following the right navigation links under Contributors. My posts will also feed into our shared blog and you can quickly find them by click on “Monday posts” in the top navigation menu.
Bookmark the class blog as well as bookmark and/or follow the blogs of your classmates; these are spaces and places we will continue to use as we learn alongside each other this semester.
Also a few notes about commenting while blogging since this will inevitably come up as we want to respond and learn together. There are various ways to comment as a blogger:
One way is, if the blog supports commenting, you can comment directly to a blog post. Not all blogs support commenting, however (Tumblr doesn’t unless you set it up, for example).
Another way is to comment is to write and post a response to another person’s blog *on your own blog* and then link back to the original blog you are referencing (ie. you could write “I appreciate the way that Christina is reflecting on a connected assessment process for ED677” and then link back to my blog post so that others can understand your reference).
A third way to comment via social media. Social media is also a way you can share your post in the first place.
For example, when I posted my blog post on twitter, I tagged my colleagues whose work influenced me as well as some hashtags that I know others use (ie. #connectedlearning and #ed677):
Kira Baker-Doyle (@KJBD) responded back with a comment via twitter. Nicole Mirra (@Nicole_Mirra). A few others retweeted it to share it with their own communities. And several more “liked” it giving me simple feedback that way.
Read/Watch + Annotate
During these first few weeks of ED677, we will focus on getting started while we dive into the key values of Connected Learning, ie. social, participatory, equity. This week I’m inviting you to explore what it means to be participatory by both reading about these ideas but also participating in something that may be very new to many of you in relation to your reading and watching online — an experiment in social reading and web annotation.
Learning from Youth
First, let’s think more from youth about what is meant by participatory culture as well as the complications and questions therein.
What can we learn from these youth fans and activists about civic engagement and democracy?
Learning with Colleagues
Let’s now switch gears to explore participating online as educators and learning with colleagues. Given the complications of online spaces, I want to invite you into one that I trust while at the same time inviting you to consider your own parameters and boundaries of your participation.
The invitation is to connect with other educators via an online project called Marginal Syllabus. This project convenes conversations with educators about issues of equity in teaching, learning, and education and uses an open source tool called Hypothes.is; read more about the project.
Two years ago, ED677 and the Marginal Syllabus shared a reading that I invite you to dive into this week as well; “The School and Social Progress,” a speech made by John Dewey in 1907. Assuming this is a new process for most of you, here are some suggestions for how to get started:
Start with the collection The School and Society, a series of lectures in the public domain by Dewey. Check out this Wikipedia page to get some background and find out more about the context in which he was writing.
After familiarizing yourself with the its context, click on this version of The School and Social Progress. Print out the text if you want and/or read it online. If you read it online, you can do so with or without comments (to turn off comments, click on/off the eyeball that shows up on the right side of your screen).
Make notes in the margins of your print-out, in a related notebook, using stickies … or however else you usually annotate and are most comfortable. Feel free to take your time reading this speech and don’t feel you need to comment on everything. You can use these prompts if helpful: What does this speech make you think about? What questions does this speech raise?
Then take a moment and think about our context today …
Reflect back on what you learned above about youth and their work as well as what you read this past week by the Connected Learning Alliance, Nicole Mirra, Mimi Ito and Justin Reich. What are some of the assumptions about changes in schools and our society today that they mention? What resonants to you and your experience? What raises questions?
Watch an animation made from a more modern speech by John Seely Brown called The Global One-Room Schoolhouse. This animation is based on a keynote in 2012 at the Digital Media and Learning Conference. Again, takes notes for yourself: What resonants to you and your experience? What raises questions?
Okay … ready? Now let’s annotate, online, together …
This week I’d like you to “make” another blog post based on a reflection of your participation in this Marginal Syllabus annotation. You can write a blog post, create a video, make a drawing, etc., to express your ideas and share your experience. What do you notice in this process? How might Marginal Syllabus support you, as an educator, in thinking about connected learning and equity? What questions are raised? What are implications?
You are welcome to share this make/reflection on your new public blog or, if you choose, share it via a discussion I set up in Canvas. This decision is up to you depending on your audience and purpose.
Next week we will start with the Find 5 Fridays; no need to worry about it this week. Instead, just start by find and reading each others blogs. And do you have any other social media information you’d like to us to also know about? Share it via a discussion item I created in Canvas.
Just to remind you that there is an online meeting for this class on Tuesday January 22 at 7:00pm ET. I know that not everyone can come and that is fine — I will record this gathering for those of you who missed it. We will use Bluejeans for this meeting and I will send you an invitation to attend.
I am Christina Cantrill and I work for the National Writing Project as Associate Director of National Programs. I am excited to work and learn with you this semester.
My background and experience is based on working alongside writing project educators exploring the implications of connected learning and literacy. You can connect to this work at Educator Innovator (feel free to sign up for our monthly newsletter).
I am looking forward to this chance to work with you and all and am keenly interested learning more about you. This first week we will take the time to introduce ourselves to each other, get familiar with the goal of this class, and get ourselves ready for the weeks ahead.
As we get started …
What does “connected learning” mean to you? Take a few moments to yourself and jot down some words that you think of when you read that phrase.
Note that there are no wrong answers to the question because whatever it means to you is probably exactly right — there are many ways to connect (both on and offline) and to learn through these connections.
Now take a moment and think about this — what does “equity” mean to you? Take another few moments to jot down these thoughts too.
Keep these notes for yourself somewhere and return to them throughout the semester. When you do you can ask yourself questions like this: What do you notice about your ideas about connected learning? About equity? What is changing? Staying the same? Why?
Although we will be using Arcadia’s Canvas LMS system, to a certain extent, I am primarily interested in us exploring and using a variety of tools that are on the Web (and the Open Web, whenever possible). I have set up this class blog for ED677 Spring 2018 (using WordPress) and encourage you to bookmark this and start there.
Please begin by pulling up the ED677 Syllabus for Spring 2019 and doing a close reading of it. I’d also like you to respond to it by making comments/annotations in the margins. Here are some questions to get you started: What excites you about this course? What raises questions?
(Note that the syllabus linked above is a Google Document. You can use the “commenting” tool to make comments and ask questions that the rest of us can see and respond to. You can also use the color highlighter to highlight parts you think are particularly interesting or exciting … or maybe even a little odd. And you can respond to each other. Please mark up this document with comments — I’d like to know what makes sense and what doesn’t before we get started.)
Our readings this week will give us some basic background information to some ideas and frameworks we will be using together through this semester.
I’d like you to familiarize yourselves with a framework or “an approach to learning” that we will reference called Connected Learning that emerged out of work of the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative in 2012. Review the Connected Learning Research Report and Agenda by Mimi Ito, et al, which will provide some background and context.
Next, read through this more recent collection by a colleague Nicole Mirra called Transitioning from Conventional to Connected Teaching: Small Moves and Radical Acts. In this collection she uses the frame of Connected Learning to think about the implications for connected teaching, drawing together examples by a range of educators (links in the right column) as well as designing her own shareable infographic that we will continue to use and reference.
Inspired by educators like Kevin, this course will encourage you to use a range of online tools and resources to support connecting to each other and to the wider world. As a key idea in this course is to explore the idea of social learning, we will be using the capacity of networked technologies to support us connecting with each other even at a distance. This will allow us to explore these practices together and develop our collective knowledge.
We will also explore what it means for each of us to maintain our own online space, even if only temporarily, so that we can practice doing this and reflect on the implications for teaching and learning. Establishing a blog is a simple way to get started and what I would recommend if you don’t have already. We will also be experimenting with using social media as well as social annotation tools like Hypothes.is and Now Comment.
Finally, we will connect all our links and spaces via the shared ED677 blog space. Once you create your blog and send me the URL, I can connect it to this shared blog. This will make our shared blog the “one-stop” shop for the weeks’ activities as well as finding the blogs of your classmates. (Note that if you already have a blog and would like to continue to use that one, that is fine — I just ask that you tag your relevant posts with #ED677).
The best way to familiarize yourself with blogging, as a genre and social tool — is to read and follow bloggers.
Check out this list of teachers who blog from KQED. Check out a few of these blogs and notice how these teachers use their blogs. What are they writing about? How have they designed it? What is the title they use and where does it come from? How do they identify themselves? What medium do they use in their posts?
To think more about your own sharing/writing, here is a blog post by blogger/educator Alan Levine about how to “blog like a champion.”
I would like us each to maintain our own blog to share writing and media with each other and the wider public throughout this semester. This week you should create that blog (or set up a blog you already have to work for this course). Once created, I would like you to connect all of our blogs to our ED677 Spring 2018 shared class blog.
You made (or set up your already existing) blog for ED677! Nicely done.
Now, let’s do some posting together. Here is a prompt to respond to by making something — you might want to write a blog post or you may respond using a another form of communication (drawing, video, etc.) that you post to your blog. This prompt will be shared with the rest of the class and, ideally, publicly on your blog. It is meant to introduce yourself as part of our ED677 Community.
Describe an interest that you had as a young person, whether or not that interest was recognized as learning in school. Write or make something about it that you can share with others … Tell us about what might have piqued this interest. How did you pursue that interest or what did it make you think about? What and who supported you as you dove deeper? In what ways were your interests connected to school, or not? What were the implications?
Post this to your personal blog if you are comfortable doing so; once you post, add a link to the discussion in Canvas that I started for this week so we know where to find your posting.
If you don’t want to post this to your personal blog, post it in the discussion forum directly. Note that although I’d like to support you all in doing more public writing (ie. posting to your blog) than class writing (ie. posting to our class Canvas). However, at the beginning, it’s important to decide what you want to be public and what is more private/only for the class.
Feel free to tinker with where you post things and why. Challenge yourself to be clear about the choices you are making and why you are making them. Jot some notes to yourself about your thinking; we will chat more about this when we meet online.
Speaking of meeting online, it would be lovely if we could do a come-if-you-can meeting once every two weeks by video chat just to support each other and check in. I am proposing we start Tuesday evening January 22 at 7pm.
All meetings will be recorded and recordings made available if you can’t come. However if you cannot make this meeting, but would like to, please email me right away and let me know. And if Tuesday evenings at 7pm *never* work for you throughout the semester, please let me know what evenings might so adjustments can be made. Email me directly at email@example.com.