Part C of catching up on NGL

Time to continue catching up on all the interesting work of the participants of the NGL course.

Design-based research

Anne’s taken the challenge of finding out more about design-based research. The last assessment piece for the course requires the participants to develop a DBR proposal for how to change their own teaching through application of what they’ve learned in the course. Later in the semester there is a week that will look at DBR, Anne’s resources could be useful for that.

Further on, it does sound like Anne’s likely target for her “as teacher”

might centre around managing change as a means of increasing teacher uptake of online technology.

might resonate with a couple of other participants who are employed by universities to help academic staff enhance their L&T. Though I might perhaps be reading too much into this as it fits with one of my interests.

Wow, it appears that Anne’s student project has taken off.

Interesting also to see her diving into PKM and coming to a realisation

that it is about the dialogue not a perfect finished product

which is a nice complement to a post from yesterday

Do you need a sense of community?

Anne suggests that

it is clear that a sense of community must be developed between the participants if the true power and benefits of NGL are to be realised

I’d like to suggest an alternative. One which arises from my introverted nature and automatic negative reaction to the idea of the need for a common sense of community/identity etc. I do agree that there does need to be something. The problems Anne identifies are important, but it’s the nature of what might contribute a solution that I wonder about. I also am not suggesting that a sense of community won’t help address these problems, nor should be ignored entirely, but I do wonder if there is something more fundamental.

One of Anne’s problems is

People seem happy to draw from the collective, but are decidedly less likely to share. If collaboration is central to NGL, then why have I generally found this to be the case?

I wonder if it’s not the sense of community that’s missing, but rather that the members of those networks aren’t network literate/fluent. Rather than develop a sense of community, wouldn’t having members in the network be network fluent (e.g. they recognise the importance of giving as much as taking etc.) work as well?

Which links to Anne’s thoughts on how the course could be improved. i.e. strengthening the ties between the participants. Given I’ve established my way of looking at the world above, it wouldn’t be surprising that I wonder whether the solution is to encourage the participants to become more “network fluent”? In a conversation with Anne last week, I suggested that one of the flaws in the course so far has been my practice. Picking up on the Downes’ conception of a teacher’s role, I haven’t been “modeling and demonstrating” as much as I perhaps should have.

It’s all about the connections

Brendon’s post is nicely illustrating the importance of connections. He links to a video shared by Mari – another of the participants – where Mari is using the SAMR to reflect about the integration of IPads at her school. Good connection.

But what’s really nice is that in my other course we’ve just been talking about SAMR. I can now share this resource with the folk in that course, another connection. Also interesting that this connection is really only likely to be important to me. It’s not a connection that many other people could make. It makes sense in my network.

But then Brendon asks the hard question

How can we further stretch this concept and develop a more connected and reflective approach to learning?

Newb versus n00b

I do wonder if Brendon’s students know the difference between newb and noob? Wonder how they’d react if it was applied (appropriately) to their behaviour at school?

The big barrier

Anne also talks about the barrier I’m most concerned about to NGL principles in organisations

While I am excited by the possibilities, the harshness of reality soon grounds me. While government structures, higher learning and business still work in largely traditional models, as teachers we have little choice but to continue to prepare our students to be successful in those models.

Mendely – going private to share?

And sharing my own discovery, the course is using a Mendeley group to share references. However, it appears that the real value of a Mendeley group occurs when the group is private. I imagine this has something to do with sharing copies of papers.

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