Amy Perrey's Blog


September 22nd Class – Media Response -Part 1
September 23, 2009, 3:59 am
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We got to watch and listen to a new presenter tonight Dr. Richard Schwier, who talked about learning communities. I loved that he gave opportunities to discuss questions that were posted. The answers just flew by so I will have to take a look at the recorded program and see all the answers to the questions. I would like to reflect on some of the topics he discussed.

1. Becoming your own Media – WOW! I just never thought of it like that, you pick what you want to read and want you don’t want to read. It just made me think about the classroom, we have to give the students different options and opportunities. We have something that we need to teach them but do they all really need to do the same activity? If we give them more opportunities them will they be more engaged?

2. “Engagment  matters more than Interaction” – if you are engaged your learning and wanting more. I don’t think that you necessarily need to talk to be engaged. As one that doesn’t do a lot of talking in class, I feel that I am still engaged to what is going on. Your learning for yourself. This class has a lot going on and I feel like I’m just keeping up with the Jones. I also learn a lot  of different things in the class that I need to go and try. I try something and I’m learning it…I will then blog about it! 🙂

3. Trust – I feel that I trust everyone because we are all taking this class to learn something that we are all interested in. Why would we not trust each other? I assume that we all want to help each and the students we are teaching to become better at what we do. If I look at trust in the sense of my students in the classroom, then I would want to create a completely safe enviroment for them and I most likely would not trust all social networking because I’m looking out for my students. I can make my own calls but when it comes to safety of others I guess I’m not all that trustworthy. That is why I’m in this class and going to learn from more experienced classmates as to how to make sure my students can go into trusting learning environments.

4. Educators need to connect with students. Well do I really need to say anymore!

5. Ken Burn Filter – who knew? Not me! I want to read more up on this guy and I did take away that he looked at historical events in ways that we wouldn’t. We all need to do this everyday. (I just thought he was the guy that invented the imovie application.)

As I look back at the notes I took on class- I realized that Alec question also had me thinking during class. I  have included in my reflection about the Media Response.

Non Formal and Formal environments – non formal can give you more options, choices and opportunities. It can empower the students. Where as Formal environments, such as in a class where you are forced to post on blogs are you really learning. When you can pick the ones you want to explore you can then become engaged. That is what is so nice about this class. Non Formal environments are a place where people can come together to discuss what they like. So a question I had was, shouldn’t schools become more non-formal? How do we do this within our classrooms? I think sometime people forget how we learn when we are small. We learned through playing doing things we enjoyed. So we need to find what student are passionate about and give them time to find it and discuss it. Shouldn’t we give them time to create their own blogs and find a learning community that allows them to learn with other who have the same passion? Shouldn’t we be giving them time to do this in class? If we do,  how do we create safe environments for these learners? I think we have to start here in this class and find similar educators with classrooms that want to participate and join up other students for learning. This class gives us the perfect opportunity to talk to one another from around the world to see what they are doing in the classroom. We can communicate and get examples and try new things. This will help the students in all our classes. I think that we have to set time for students to learn this way, it is the way the world is working around us and how we all learn. If we as educators are learning in these environments we should be taking it back to the classroom. I don’t know where we can fit it in, I think we have to work it into all subject areas and really make sure are students are safe. I would like to post more on this later as I think about it.

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5 Comments so far
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I totally agree that student engagement and interaction of students is directly connected to the trust a student has in their learning environment. How do we engage a student that is not trusting of the in class environment and engage them in the online environment? How do we build and support this level of connectivism needed?

Comment by Cameron

I can honestly say that I have no ideas how we can build and support this. I think we have to teach the students about safe learning on line. I did this with my class of grade 6 and 7’s and we got into some great discussions about what is safe and what wasn’t. I think we have to talk about it with students and give them a chance. I guess we a have to apply or teaching classroom methods to students on line. I would love to hear about what other teachers do.

Comment by perrey

You bring up some very interesting points about finding space and time for kids to really explore in depth topics they are genuinely interested in and then helping them create safe and supportive learning communities that help them develop deep understandings about that topic. This notion is at the core of inquiry-based learning, which is HOT right now in education… and the implications this philosophy has for social media and the melding of formal and informal learning spaces is exciting and entirely possible.
What schools find challenging and threatening about this is that they can’t control what those topics are, nor can they control the resources and teachers you end up using to support your learning. As well, the reality of this kind of deep knowing and continued cycles of learning, questioning, reflecting and asking more questions means that it can’t be contained in nifty time lines convenient for schools. These kinds of explorations take months, years…a life time. We would do our students a favour by making some space and time for this kind of work daily, all year and each year through out their K-12 experience. it would be something to see how a topic of interest develops and eventually becomes inter-connected with other subject areas at much deeper levels of knowing than what we could possibly plan and conceive as teachers. The power of that experience is learning where to look, who to ask, what to ask, and how to show your learning to others. It is not at all about the actual material at all and likely, that too would change as you branch out into related areas of interest.

I don’t know about you, but I would LOVE to be at the fore front of this kind of learning and teaching space. It would be very exciting to see where it would go and who would come along for the ride!

Comment by tchcruiser

Hi Delise thanks for posting a comment. I would as well love to be at the fore front of this kind of learning and teaching space. I can see that this class will give us the tools to know where to look and who to talk to about related topics and experience in teaching in formal and informal learning space.

Comment by perrey

I am jsut re-reading my post and noticing that some of the ideas are related to the article for this week’s presentation around connectivism:
■Many learners will move into a variety of different, possibly unrelated fields over the course of their lifetime.
■Learning is a continual process, lasting for a lifetime. Learning and work related activities are no longer separate. In many situations, they are the same.
■Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed).
■Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known
■Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
■Ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill.
■Decision-making is itself a learning process. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. While there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision
-Personal knowledge is comprised of a network, which feeds into organizations and institutions, which in turn feed back into the network, and then continue to provide learning to individual.
-Realizing that complete knowledge cannot exist in the mind of one person requires a different approach to creating an overview of the situation. Diverse teams of varying viewpoints are a critical structure for completely exploring ideas

The ideas from this article connect closely with the inquiry process – and in order to nurture it and explore ideas completely and in novel and innovative ways, we need to allow students to dip in and out of both formal and informal learning spaces and make as many points of connection as possible so they can increase their chances of discovering new insights.

limiting their exposure and connection to purely what we provide them is not going to benefit them or provide them with the skills needed to be powerful thinkers and learners in a digital age.

Ok- I think I am done 🙂

Comment by tchcruiser




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