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Jun 21 2019 - 09:06 AM
Abdul Malik Muftau's Rhizr for HUDK 4011 – (Fall 2018) - Networked Learning Feed


Link of my bio in vialogues


Reflection Paper

File : Malik_NET_18.docx

9.14.18 Assignments

Distance Learning and the Future of Education

Distance learning from the lens of the author gives a very deep insight on how effective it is to make learning accessible every time of the day. When learning is made always available it gives individuals the flexibility to structure the pace at which they can learn especially during their adult life. Learning is a huge commitment and it is very easy for people to commit to something they see to be very structural. Without a doubt this essay made me reflect on how distance education can shape the way education could reach it's ultimate goal. I wonder how distance learning can be effectively used in technical schools to teach beyond our traditional approach. The essay also draws my attention to how cost effective online learning can be. If less infrastructure in terms of buildings are required for online classes and many people are resulting to distance learning then it will be a good way for school authorities to optimize the use of technology at the expense of other buildings and structures they would have needed. Distance learning brings learning to our doorsteps but it sets us up to meet the entire world with a single click.

Digital Natives

The internet shapes how we stay connected in this global age of technology. This is an interesting article because it delves into the issue of how connectivity of the internet may or may not necessarily mean people are connected in real life. Lack of internet service seems to have a lot of unintended consequences on some groups across the entire country. Since most of the information we need today is on the internet, being out of the loop seems to cause a lot of problems for students, teachers and other people who might not be connected to the national grid in terms of technology. I found it interesting how the article talked about young people being depicted to be the most technology savvy when indeed that does not translate into knowing how to surf the internet the most effective way. I believe schools should start focusing more on teaching students about how the internet works and how to make the best out of the content that can be found on the internet. It is important for us as consumers of the internet to see the internet beyond the lens of just social media. Inequality in the level at which technology is used is certainly in existence but it should be a way to start up a process to teach people from several backgrounds about how to make all generations knowledgeable about the technology era. 

The Information Society

The article makes a very interesting point about connectivity of the internet and how that brings the world closer no matter how distant you might be. I am intrigued by the point made in the article about how much innovation and knowledge can drive an entire economic movement. This is interesting to me because it makes me realize how no matter the ease technology brings us we are still tasked with seeking more knowledge to be able to make good use of the new forms of technology. The information society as termed in the article shows us how the world of information technology works. From the banking sector to all other encounters we have daily it seems to me that the information we seek continues to be easily accessible. 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

This gave me a big insight on how technology is used to run the affairs of several sectors around the world. In companies that manufacture cars for example it is interesting how machines are being invented to produce new machines. Even though we claim robots are replacing humans in jobs for many sectors of the economy, it is also interesting how these robots are programmed to reach the intended goal. My curiosity on this subject falls heavily on how the new industrial revolution will influence education. It is clear that teachers have a major role to play but I also think it will be more effective to train teachers on the use of the new forms of technology that is being created and implemented in schools. While the demand for new technology keeps soaring high I believe it should not replace other modes of instruction that teachers have used and succeeded with in all levels of our educational sector. The new industry should build more tools that will speed up the process of learning and innovation.

9.21.18 Assignments

Networked Learning

The author makes a great point about children and how their environment helps their learning process. Without a doubt facilities like playgrounds create a social avenue for kids to interact with their peers. It is also interesting how the concept of the transfer of knowledge remains a key element in this article. Documentation also seems to be a major factor for the development of networked learning through local communities. I believe documentation serves as a stepping stone for future research and policy decisions for several types of learning. The article makes a point about scenarios where the expectations of the students are totally different from the goals of programs that are designed in schools. I think school programs in general should be able to meet the needs of students even beyond their graduation. When we begin to see teaching as a way to transform lives of students I believe we can begin to make changes to our programs.

The New Science of Learning

This article explains how important it is for learners to be seen as people who walk into a classroom with prior knowledge. Building on the prior knowledge that learners have gives different perspectives on concepts that are being taught in the classroom. The article also made a good point about how research into learning science has shown that learning environments play a huge role in learning outcomes. I have been involved in learning events that required me to help create a conducive environment for teaching and learning. When learners are able to immerse themselves into the environment that they're learning in, it makes them more aware of the subject they're being taught and it brings out the best outcome. When we begin to move from our traditional classrooms it will force us to try new learning and teaching methods. 


The concept of connectivism is fascinating in the sense that it defines learning as a broad element. It emphasizes how important it is for people to learning from others as well as the environment they find themselves. Even though this concept acknowledges that there are forms of individual learning but when learning is put on a larger scale it is more beneficial. I really liked the point this article made about how the field of education has been slow to react to the needs of technology. I believe the power of technology can help improve our education system. If children are able to operate new forms of technology it might be helpful for teachers to start using these kinds of technology as modes of instruction. The forms of technology can actually be used to create nice physical environments for learning as well as digital environments. I think if we build our curricular in schools to match the advancement in technology, our school system will begin to evolve at the same pace as technology.

9.28.2018 Assignment

Massive Open Online Courses and Higher Education

Online learning is gradually becoming popular accross the globe. I was fascinated by how much MOOCs have evolved over the years. The article explains that all the speculations that people made prior to the evolution of MOOCs has been proven wrong. Online learning platforms have risen in demand and there is always a dire need to keep supplying these platforms. The article also raises a good point about how online learning platforms are slowly moving away from their openness and free access. The new business and technology era is making it difficult for MOOCs to be made available with no fees. This is because there is a need to use the money generated from online course fees to improve the digital spaces to enhance effective learning  experiences. However, I worry that the increasing cost of MOOCs might make it inconvenient for higher education institutions in developing countries. When certain parts of the world have less resources to connect to the global education grid, it might lead to less connectivity between students and their global peers. In order for MOOCs to work around several countries of the world, governments of developing countries will have to help schools with funding because I believe the benefits of making education online easily accessible outweighs the money and time that would have been spent on other infrastructural buildings.  

A Pedagogy of Abundance

This research article makes a lot of good points about the future of online learning as well as the future of learning in general. The article also talks about the power vested in a learner to do more individually connect that work into a group discussion and in order to improve learning outcomes. The big question asked by the author is whether learners have the capability to hold the responsibility of learning intensively by being creative and dynamic. The resilience discussed  the article is also interesting to me because I think with the quick changes in technology learners and facilitators have to meet the demands of advancement in technology. As to whether MOOCs and online learning platforms will replace traditional instruction is a broad question. There is the possibility that online learning can replace a significant amount of teachers but we should also note that some learners will always be more effective when being taught the traditional way. I was also fascinated by Folke's point about having an inherent form of resilience. I believe if one has inner resilience it serves as an inner motivation for them to accept change in the world of educational technology. This help people to find ways to adapt to the digital age of learning instead of making every little excuse to avoid change.  

Evaluating the use of Metaphor in Online Learning Environments

Metaphors are indeed powerful tools that can be used to enhance good learning experience. The article makes a great analogy of how metaphors are used in different formats to suit the needs of several online platforms. I was particularly amazed by how some of the approaches used by online learning platforms. One example that stood out to me was the online platform that incorporated the concepts of a traditional classroom. They had specific details of a typical classroom like blackboards as a way to create a visual of an online class. Contrary to popular believe that digital forms of technology will work for every student, the article makes a good point about how the design of a MOOC might not help an autistic student or any student with some sort of cognitive disfunction. This makes me think of the fact that in as much as education keeps improving with technology it is also our obligation to make sure we use technology in a way that accommodates learners with disabilities. This finding is interesting because it makes us treat online learning with the same standards we have in our traditional classroom setting. I believe this will make us consider rethinking the way we design online learning. 

9.7.18 Assignments

The Project Method

The author laid a lot of emphasis on the reasons why we embark on projects in the field of education as well as other fields. It is clear that the moment you set future ambitions for a project you tend to lose the intent behind the project in question. This could be simply because the moment you begin to think too far ahead you lose focus on what needs to be done and the purpose for which you are embarking on the project. Kilpatrick makes a good analogy with someone behind forced to do a project and someone who actually wants to do the project. Without a doubt an individual who is given the opportunity to think through the purpose of a project and why the end product of the project matters will certainly use much effort and expertise. Our inner urge to seek purpose in almost everything we do tends to shape how we execute learning projects. I believe if educators assist students in defining what the purpose of projects are it will encourage students to use their expertise in order to achieve something worthwhile.

Chasing Innovation

The concept of innovation is widespread in this paper. This gives a broad spectrum to analyze how the rhizomatic approach can be used to achieve the goals of learning. For life long learners I believe the concept of slowly developing never ending ideas is a good recipe for innovation of all kinds. In several industries the rhizomatic approach seems to be working very well. In order to make informed decisions in generating ideas, design is a good method to achieve this goal. Design based learning is highly emphasized by the author. The design approach intersects with the concept of building ideas that inspire future ideas and decision making. When learning becomes design based it simply means we can refer to previous ideas generated to make informed decisions on projects and products. The more collaborative effort we invest in our design based learning the more likely we are to achieve something worthwhile.

Design Thinking

Our traditional education system makes it difficult for us to incorporate the concept of Design as part of our ways to evolve in education. The shift to a new era of technological and scientific advancement makes it necessary for educators and students to be more creative in their approach to teaching and learning. Even though the Design element of education/teaching is often neglected, it is pointed out by the author that humanities and sciences (which seem to get more recognition) end up bringing us to the concept of design as it pertains to technology. The concept of design is interesting because it ensures that it's processes are set on the principle that the products generated from design activities are seen to be satisfactory approach rather than spending a lot of time discussing the problem

Assignment 10.18.18

Learning in Libraries

Learning has gradually evolved into a broader concept than it used to be. With the advancement in science and technology it seems learning is possible in every corner of the world. This has caused institutions of learning to make adjustments on how best to serve it's patrons. The library, as described by the author was typically viewed as the building that kept books for people who wanted to read or conduct some sort of research. This has not changed but in fact the work of the library has grown to incorporate other aspects of education and technology. I was fascinated by this article because I have a personal interest in how libraries and work spaces are changing. I grew up in an education system that was created to suit the budget of a developing country. The government was only focused on making sure that educational institutions had the basic resources needed for teaching to occur. However, the missing link was the resource for learning to occur. Libraries in my native country were not strategically built to accommodate learning needs. This made it inconvenient for students to even think of using the library to conductive some forms of research. In contrast I have had the opportunity to see how libraries have evolved in other places. The Gottesman Library is a typical example of what an ideal library should look like. The library makes room for collaboration and innovation of students from several academic areas. The combination of 

The E-library and Learning

The digital library seems to have all the convenience that a library is supposed to embody. I was mainly interested in the social aspect of the library as described in the article. A digital library is structured in such a way that students can retrieve information that they need for academic purposes. While doing this, it also builds a network for students around the world. With the growth in educational technology, e-libraries illustrate how education can be made accessible and more convenient. I think the use of e-libraries for some schools will be a bit challenging. In some schools there are limited resources for teachers to teach their students. In this case teachers are challenged with the task of prioritizing what to teach students based on what is available. For a school that has students from less privileged backgrounds it might be a bit daunting on them to access e-libraries. If a student goes home to no computer that most likely there will be no way the student can access a virtual library for academic purposes. However I think the concept of a virtual library is a step in the right direction because with the growth in technology and  online education learners will benefit immensely. 

The National Digital Public Library

The National Digital Public library has a lot of ideas that will drive change in learning from libraries. The concept of having one digital library that will put together historical materials as well as other relevant academic, economic and social materials is simply a dream come true for a lot of students and researchers. It is interesting how in planning for the National Digital Library the planners took into consideration what happened to Google when the company tried to archive all books and make them available online. I am sure there will be challenges for the digital library as well.  I am not quite sure whether a private entity taking charge of this might be better than the government. The national digital library will certainly be a rich source of data and materials for students and researchers in general. I think the biggest success of the National Digital Public Library is how archives are used to make it's collection bigger and better. 

Understanding Information Seeking

Information seeking in digital libraries is a theme in this article. The development of communication and technology seems to be the driving factor for digital libraries. As mentioned by the article there are passive and active ways through which students and researchers get their information. The online presence of individuals is key to the way they access information digitally. This makes me think about students and schools that have access to limited or no resources. Without online presence it will be a burden for such schools to embrace the concept of a digital library. As seen in the example given in the article, the government of China supported digital libraries immensely since they established their initiative to develop digital libraries. I think other countries can adopt this style. Digital libraries will make access easier since most students get their information online. Schools might have to train teachers and students on how to access the digital library because not everyone might be proficient with the use of technology. 

Virtual Libraries in Online Learning

The article sheds more light on how much online learning and the use of digital libraries have evolved. Libraries are typically known to be in a typical four cornered building with books on shelves and stacks. However, online learners are beginning to cherish the introduction of virtual libraries. It makes online learners feel as though they can access every material on the web or online. The article made some interesting points about how access is granted to learners and how they are protected. I think it is important for virtual libraries to make efforts to ensure that the information of learners are not compromised. The article also mentioned several limitations that virtual libraries come with. I was fascinated to learn that virtual libraries also have the inter library loan system. I think this will help in ensuring that students realize they are part of a network. Having this option will promote networked learning. I think virtual libraries can have a huge impact on how we think about online learning. The limitations of virtual learning also reemphasizes how technology is not the solution to every problem in education.

11.08.18 Assignment

Backstage with the Knowledge Boys and Girls

This article sheds light on the no guidance approach that OOCL are taking. It is an approach that gives autonomy to students in an online course. I liked how the Cabbies in London have found a way to gradually find a network for fellow learners to share ideas in order to benefit others. This immediately reminded me of the discussion we had with Dr. Asunka from West Africa, Ghana. He Emphasized that students usually find their own way of collaborating with the peers through Whatsapp and other social media messaging platforms. I think it is good for students to set up their own collaborative methods. However, I think there should still be a level of supervision from instructors just to ensure that students are working towards the right direction. Even though I think peer to peer feedback is very helpful but it should not go unsupervised. I liked how the article points out that institutions should let students create online groups or social groups within an online course in order to take that burden off educators.

Media as a Catalyst

It is clear that some parents refuse to embrace how much technology is gradually changing learning. For some parents there is still hope that their children will learn from the internet and not just engage in entertainment through playing games. As the article points out parents are generally struck by how much children can do with an electronic device but their main problem remains how they can regulate the information accessed by their children. I think this could be achieved if parents learn more about applications that assist children in learning. The mentality about learning for some people still goes back to the traditional classroom method. However, I think the technology that children are obsessed with is a great tool for them to learn more in an interactive and fun way. To make children more eager to learn I believe there can be some rewards attached to how well they use technology in order to motivate them. 

Monster High as a Virtual Dollhouse

The virtual game scenarios for children are very interesting to analyze. The article points out how girls play certain games to mirror the kind of games they would play in real-life. I wonder if these games could be made gender neutral so that boys and girls could play any game of their choice. However it is fascinating that some children actually see a lot more behind the virtual world and actually treat these media platforms just as they would have behaved in real life. These dollhouses and virtual games can also spark collaborative learning opportunities for these young children. There could be ways for children to share their games or work with their friends. Since these platforms are online it could be a good way for parents to network with other parents and for children to learn from their friends. In the traditional school setting it is not always easy for children to get this opportunity to share their learning and playful experiences but since technology can enable us share work with others I think this will foster group based learning from an early stage.

Perceptions of School Children of Using Social Media for Learning

This research made some interesting findings about how social media among students in a secondary school in the UK was beneficial. Students generally use social media to network but it is interesting that the age of technology is gradually changing and students are finding ways to collaborate with each other in order to get their school work done. However, I am a bit concerned that some of the groups that students form on social media could be private groups or closed groups. If an instructor does not have access to such groups how can students receive feedback on their discussions in order to produce good homework assignments? I believe teachers can work with students to get notifications on when students encounter a problem during their discussions. This way the social media platforms will be an extension of the classroom where discussions and collaboration will occur. Educational institutions and school authorities can also set in place measures for applications and informal platforms to be developed for online classes. This way students will have easy access to help from instructors while engaging with their peers informally. 

Social Media and Challenges

The article makes an interesting point about the co creation of knowledge by students and teachers. It is very rare in our traditional setting of education to see students bringing prior knowledge to the classroom. When students bring prior knowledge to the classroom it will help in ensuring effective learning outcomes. It is also important for teachers because they will be able to rethink their ways of teaching. Social media turns out to be the most used platform for co creation as the article explains. Social media serves as a global networking platform for learners. However, I wonder if learners could find a way to prevent distractions from other activities on social media while using the same platform to collaborate with their peers. For online communities that students form, I think an issue they could encounter is lack of feedback from an instructor or someone who supervises discussions and educational dialogues that will take place on such social media platforms. This might be a way for students to be as innovative as possible but it also takes away the element of guidance instructors come with. 

The Internet of Toys

The article talked about a study which was conducted to see how children interact with online playing platforms. Video games were mentioned in the article as ways through which children have fun online to engage themselves. I wonder if parents will become comfortable with their children using video games as a tool for learning. There are several theory which explain to us that children are more likely to mimic certain actions which they observe. Certain adventurous video games involve shooting and violence. My fear is that children might begin to see these acts of violence to be normal and that might lead them to delinquency in the future. On the one hand, there are also benefits that can derived from the video games that children play. There are games that require more than one player and this is how children can begin to learn collaborative learning with their peers. The study focused on playing using toys and I think this is a good way for kids to play. When children begin to associate real life ideas with the virtual toys they play with I think it will help in their development. The data aspect that the article spoke about was interesting to me because collecting data could be challenging. Some parents might not want their children to be part of a study. At the same time rich data can enable us to make recommendations for children learning by playing. 

10.26.2018 Assignments

Exposure to Ideology (Facebook Science)

This article shed more light on how facebook uses the filter method to help individuals read news or access information on their social media platforms. It is interesting to me that it seems these methods used by facebook mainly helps users to see and read about news that they are most likely interested in. I think the danger with this is that it limits the scope of information that can reach certain people. If people do not see the different perspectives of new articles I believe that will affect how they view current affairs in the news. I think it is fine for different views on current affairs to be made accessible to all users regardless of the pages they follow or the kind of content they share. The more exposed we are to news articles from different viewpoints the better our understanding of affairs and that will shape how we can agree to disagree with others based on factual evidence. The bigger issue with making all perspectives of news accessible is the chaos that could generate. I wonder if there is a way to ensure that certain comments or vulgar languages that may arise can be blocked or censored.

Introduction and the Great Disruption

I was amazed as to the power that firms like Facebook, Google and Amazon hold. In the digital world that we live in, it is essential for these companies to be vetted just as they would if they were not in the digital world. I am concerned about the future of privacy for users of these platforms. Even though facebook has been under scrutiny for misuse of data recently I still think facebook has less accountability when it comes to how people's views, likes and the content they share are used to drive traffic to advertisements. The article made an interesting point about artists and how they are not compensated enough for the content they generate. The internet makes it easier for artists to share their content but on social media and other platforms it seems there is absolutely no way for artists to have control on who has their content and what revenue their content generates. I was also wondering if there could be some policies that will ensure that corporations pay media outlets and artists for using their contents to generate profits. It seems there is some sort of monopoly when it comes to firms like Amazon and Facebook. This can lead to problems in the future. When there is a monopoly for news for example, we will not be able to see different view points in order for us to make informed decisions on the direction we want the country to follow socially, economically and politically. 

Social Spheres of Online Hate

I found this article very fascinating because it highlights the effects of social media on our social lives. The social identity theory explained how some people find a comfort zone by being affiliated with a group that share a common ideology. It is very easy to create a group but in the past being able to mobilize a group was the main issue. However, with the growth in technology it has become easy to establish an online presence. This has turned out to be a problem because hate groups have slowly established their presence online and they seem to find supporters easier then they would have in the past. This makes me wonder if there could be policies that facebook and other social media platforms set in place to ensure that such groups are monitored for any suspicious activity. On the one hand this could be problematic because of data usage laws and privacy acts. Does this mean we can override the issue of privacy when security is at stake? I think there has to be a national discussion on what content should be monitored and the difference between a group's opinion and hate.

10.05.2018 Assignment

The Virtual University

This article gives an overview of how the zeal for seeking knowledge is expected to keep growing. This has caused many institutions to start rethinking the future of learning and how to make learning more accessible to people at the various levels of education. The article makes a point about how research proves hybrid learning to be a very effective learning approach. For my undergraduate studies I took some hybrid classes which turned out to be good. Even though I had to combine distant learning with a traditional classroom instruction I still felt there was a collaborative space for me to find solutions to the problems I encountered in the course. Unlike some online classes, the hybrid approach gave me the option to seek face to face help with the professor when we met in the classroom. I think hybrid classes serve the dual purpose of self directed learning and face to face feedback. The article also mentioned that online education platforms are beginning to use social media to share content and classroom materials. With the level at which students are using social media I think it is a good idea to use that as a tool for learning. I think teachers can also use social media jargons and playful memes to teach students in a different format. 

Competency Based Learning

The article focuses on the concept of mastery as a way of measuring the standard of students. This process also serves as a way for determining the promotion of students to higher classes. While some teachers are confident that the competency based learning approach works well at the lower level of education, others also question whether this approach can be applied to high education institutions. I am intrigued by this approach because it fosters self directed learning. If students go at their own pace I believe it will be a motivation for them to work according to their own capabilities without them worrying about grades. If mastery remains the main focus of this educational approach it will help students identify what their purpose of learning is. Math classes usually have commutative exams and I think the best way to deal with such exams is through mastery. Mastery ensures that a student can recall the basic concepts of what they learned in the past in order to solve similar or other questions. I remember when my English teacher in high school made the entire class master words. The words we mastered stuck with us and those words help us in comprehension as well as composition. I also liked the way questions were phrased for students to answer. When practical scenarios are used I think it stays as memories for students for a long period. 

Virtual Schools and Accountability

In this reading, I was surprised by the level of accountability that applies to online education platforms as compared to traditional classrooms and schools. The article points out how students in some virtual education platforms received poor grades but still didn't affect the school in any way. The advancement in technology has improved education and this makes us constantly consider whether online education will gradually replace our traditional mode of education. However, if we are not holding online education platforms accountable for delivering the best form of education then we risk having a generation with most of our students not meeting the standards of learning that will equip them with skills to thrive in a work environment after they graduate. The world is a global platform for education and I believe this means we should re-evaluate the process of accountability for students and teachers. The article mentions the marketing strategy used by most online classes to sustain their institutions. It seems the good grades that students produce online do not necessarily matter in their recruitment process. These institutions focus more on how to appeal to the "at risk" students by emphasizing the flexibility of their courses and how convenient it is for all students.  

Reflection on Key Issues

The article emphasizes how effective education has gradually become with the use of technology and creation of virtual learning spaces. Learning spaces play a huge role in how students immerse themselves in learning by collaboration and innovation. The article makes a good comparison of virtual schools with traditional classroom based learning. The example of virtual platforms being able to fill classes faster is an interesting one because it highlights how global education has become. The article also emphasizes how graphics, sound and animation can help make classes look more appealing to students and more immersive as well. A typical example of this is how Rhizrs help us design our own portfolios for this class. We have the option to add texts, embed videos and change cover photos to give our learning environment a more immersive look. When virtual learning spaces are well crafted it makes learning a fun activity. 

The Changing Landscape

Some of the challenges of embracing virtual education mentioned in this article makes me ponder on the future of online education. The article cite's technology as a factor which could be both a challenge and an advantage. According to the author technology in itself cannot change students' ability to learn. I agree with the author in the sense that technology itself keeps evolving which means students have to constantly adapt to the changes in technology. Some schools do not have technology at all and this is a bigger challenge for such schools. For some schools in less privileged neighborhoods online learning is just a plan which cannot be executed due to lack of infrastructure. An advantage emphasized in the article is the convenience of online education. Even though most online platforms give students an opportunity to learn at their own pace at any point in time, I think that could also be a disadvantage to students who may need face to face interaction with tutors about specific issues they might have with course materials. I think one of the biggest challenges for institutions with less resources is having limited options. Such institutions struggle on whether to find ways of improving their traditional instructional method or find ways of shifting to a more virtual form of education.

Creating the First Virtual Univesity

Western Governors University

Without a doubt education has some form of politics involved in the administration of schools. I was particularly stunned by the level of politics mentioned by the article about the initial operations of Western Governors University. As mentioned by the article teachers and school administrators gradually became more focused on the spotlight and the media hype about the work of the school. When this happens less attention will be given to how effective learning should be for students. For Governors and other politicians the ultimate goal is for them to gain the recognition of being the masterminds of the academic institutions. However, I think the success of the students will eventually speak for the good policies of the school. If students gain a good education and they end up with good careers there could be research to point out the fact that policies set up by authorities were actually working. I also think it is too much of a burden for teachers if they have to create a conducive environment for learning and also get involved in politics to sell the schools on a political platform. I think teachers should be left to do their work of teachers and politicians should give teachers the capability to do what works best for the classroom and the virtual learning platform. 

11.02.18 Assignment

The Adaptive Learning Landscape

This article explained several factors that contribute to adaptive learning. The part institutions as mentioned the article play a huge role in how learning is administered. I liked the part about the article which emphasized the need for learning to be more individualized rather than structured to meet the demands of an entire institution. I think this will be helpful for most students because teachers will be able to make changes to their instructional methods. There might be an issue that teachers could run into. Students usually come from different socio economic backgrounds and this often translates into the amount of assistance they can get from their parents when they get home. The bigger issue is the fact that some students might not have the right resources in terms of technology to do assignments that would have helped them comprehend what instructors teach them. Regardless of the adaptive methods that instructors follow in order to individualize their lesson plan it will be difficult to achieve effective learning outcomes because we cannot assume that all students have the same amount of resources.  

Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries

In this article I was particularly amazed by how self regulated learning was discussed. The article pointed out how self regulated learning can be either an advantage or a detriment. The article points out that when a student is left to decide what to learn there is a possibility that the student might either choose something that will be too complicated or something that will cause boredom. There was also the point about the willingness to do something playing a vital role in what an individual learns. I think that brings back the concept of having a "purpose" as we have discussed at nauseam in class. I think when students have the zeal to learn something they are more likely to put much effort in understanding the concepts within their areas of study. I also liked Boulay's point about how "motivationally appropriate" learning spaces can help improve effective learning outcomes. This further explained that when students learn with technology it helps them connect with their emotions. I think learning spaces that use technology help students to understand that learning is progressive and very dynamic. When students begin to understand that learning is dynamic, then it will help learners to adjust to new spaces that might use different methods of teaching. For us as a class, we might not be used to the Learning Theater mode of instruction but that does not stop us from embracing it and perhaps enjoying how immersive and up to date it is. 

11.16.2018 Assignment

Administrators’ professional learning via Twitter

Twitter is slightly different from other social media platforms in the sense that it allows easy broadcast of information worldwide among users. The article makes an interesting point about how educators are finding twitter to be an effective tool for sharing ideas. I think there will be a long thread of comments and rich pedagogical information that will be shared with educators who will have different teaching experiences from different parts of the world. However, I am a bit concerned about the news articles and others pieces of information that will be shared via twitter. There are some news articles and videos that might be full of false information and it might be difficult for educators to track this. However, I think it will be great for educators to use this platform for gaining peer review on some potential works and research they are doing. This will require teachers to learn how to use twitter and this is a good way for teachers to engage with their students also because there is a high chance that the students already use twitter for social interactions. Imagine having a class where an instructor will ask students to comment on an article posted on twitter. This will certainly a good starting point for students in the classroom.

Entrepreneurial learning through online social networking in high-tech startups

This article makes some good points about the advantages of professional social networking platforms. I was fascinated by how startups can share ideas and potentially obtain some knowledge about how to make their startups a success. I think this experience is equally attainable if these professional platforms organize workshops from time to time. Some researchers make the claim that prior knowledge is always important. In the case of an entrepreneur prior knowledge is important but I do not think it is the most important aspect. In order for an entrepreneur to be successful I think being innovative is a very vital tool. When innovation is fused with the use of technology I think startups will be able to see their best potential. With the rise in technology I believe that creates room for more innovation. The feedback that entrepreneurs get from their peers is also a very useful opportunity for them to improve on their work. The good part of this is that there is a chance to obtain feedback from professionals in the area of interest for the entrepreneurs.

Mentored open online communities (MooCs) as a third space for teaching and learning in higher education

The big debate about whether online education is helping our schools or making things worse is one thing that stood out to me in this article. Some people disagree with the concept of education being effective online. With the growth in technology there is a need for people to make efforts to embrace that learning has to be innovative and that is what will transform education. Blended learning is also an interesting form of educational instruction. I took a similar class as an undergraduate student and I liked the hybrid approach more than the online class I took. For students who take hybrid classes, there is an opportunity for them to ask questions and get help in-person whenever they encounter problems during the virtual form of the class. For example, our HUDK class follows a similar format because we are able to interact with our peers online via vialogue discussions. The vialogue discussions may sometimes extend beyond the online learning environment and lead to a big talking point during in-person class discussions. I think hybrid classes give us a broader view of what the traditional form of education looks like in comparison to our online educational methods of instruction. 

Personal Learning Environments, social media, and self-regulated learning

For some people social media and education seem to be two distinct words but I think it is about time we consider learning to be an act that could be done in any given space provided there is motivation, purpose and the right curriculum that a student needs to follow. The article emphasizes the new form of learning that students are beginning to embrace. When a level of autonomy is attached to learning it makes it easier for learners to set a pace of their own to meet their learning objectives. Self directed learning is very important in this new generation. Young people are beginning to coin new  and efficient ways to teach themselves. On Youtube for example, students are able to learn a craft such as paper cutting and pumpkin carving. In informal online videos and settings, students are able to learn what they would have learned in person within a shorter time. This means that we need to begin to rethink our use of social media and technology in our quest to create great learning experiences. The space in which learning occurs is very important and I believe this is what differentiates the learner's experience from a simple interaction to a more immersive experience.

Teachers’s self-initiated professional learning through Personal Learning Networks

Personal learning networks are very helpful when it comes to instructors being able to use their network to teach themselves about a topic of their interest. For some teachers there are social media platforms that I think they can use to learn something new. Twitter is a typical example of such avenues that teachers can use to learn. It will be interesting if teachers can create a portfolio of what they learn and post it on their social media profile.I think this will help other people in their network to be able to access this information in order to work on similar projects. Digital literacy is a huge topic that revolves on the evolution of education. The advancement of technology makes it important for us to ensure that students have the technical ability to access technology in order or them to improve learning outcomes. It will be a challenge for students in developing countries but I think it will be good start with the basic theories of technology before working on getting the right technology for students in such countries. 

The Social Impact of Personal Learning Environments

The concept of learning at one's own pace is fascinating because we are used to the conventional form of instruction where there is guidance from a teacher on what to learn and how to approach certain concepts of the subject. I think personalized learning is a good approach because it makes use of the pool of talent that students have. Rather than assuming that students absorb everything they are being taught it is important to also think about how students can bring a lot to the classroom. Prior knowledge of students can help teachers in building a curriculum that will be centered around the interests and experiences of students. I am also wondering whether prior knowledge of students might distract them from the focal point being made by the instructor. Depending on the background of a student the student might focus too much on a certain topic and not really pay attention to other important topics in the class. I think it is also important for teachers to record feedback from students about their progress and how they think certain improvements or assistance could be acquired from instructors. Self paced learning will help a lot but I still feel the instructional aspect of learning will always be a more collaborative way of knowledge sharing. 

Project 4

Individual Task for Project 4

Week 1- Collect data on previous LT events over the past year. 

                - Select events that we can highlight for our project  

                - Find documentation and photos from events that can be linked to our calendar through widgets. 

Week 2- Review literature on workspaces 

                   Find the most suitable articles for our comprehensive plan 

                   Research on social interaction

                    Research on how social media relates to pedagogy 

                    Finding connections between social interaction and structure of learning spaces. 

10.12.18 Assignment

E-Learning Culture at Workplace

This article gives a general overview of how technology can be used for learning purposes at the workplace. Worksite B did not incorporate E learning platforms as part of their professional development process for employees. Using technology as a form of learning is indeed a way of ensuring effective learning outcomes. I think work spaces that do not use technology as much might be developing at a slower rate than their counterparts who use technology. When employees are use technology as a tool for learning it fosters self directed learning. I wonder if work environments that do not require the use of technology can also incorporate e-learning as a form of learning and professional development. If the goal of these learning experiences is to ensure that employees build a network with their peers I think it will help foster a more global network with their external partners. I was wondering if the e-learning platforms selected by these companies are strategically selected to fit the background and culture of their workplaces.

Multiple Modes in Corporate Learning

The article sheds light on how many companies are gradually beginning to engage their workers in social learning. I was fascinated by the article's point about providers rebuilding their curriculum to meet the demands of companies and the needs of their employees. I believe this will make both the providers and the companies more dynamic. Companies will be able to reevaluate the culture of learning in their workspaces to set standards for their employees. Technology forms an integral part of today's learning in workspaces. This will ensure that employees are learning new tools in order to gain the skills needed for the global world of technology. An issue that might hinder companies from taking this approach can be lack of resources to fund workshops and training opportunities. The article pointed out that most companies are treating face to face professional development as a last result. They see virtual platforms as more flexible and convenient ways for employees to get their training. I think virtual platforms are actually better because that will force employers to use technology. By using technology for training I think employees and employers will begin to shift their focus on how to advance their culture and processes at the workplace to embody the principles of teamwork, self directed learning and networked learning.

The Road not Taken

The article shows the distinction between corporate e-learning and virtual learning at the university level. Employees are expected to be collaborative learners through social interaction. However, I think the form of virtual learning approach used by companies to teach employees is not the most efficient. If online learning is made very interactive with instructors and options for peer evaluation I believe that will help a lot of companies in developing networked learners. For companies that have branches worldwide, it might be beneficial to have employers take trainings together in order to obtain the goal of peer to peer feedback. This will enable the companies to ensure that employees are collaborating well with their co workers. Without a doubt this will develop a strong work place culture full of collaborators. I agree that behaviorism is deeply grounded as an element of online training while virtual learning is not. However, there are some online platforms that focus solely on the concept of rewards and punishment. An example of this is an online remedial class my friend had to take. The goal of this online course was to get points for online assignments and eventually pass the final exam online. Students who failed to do periodic online assignments were penalized by point deduction. Students who failed the final exam would have to retake the remedial class. Such classes make me think of how behaviorism can be seen in both corporate training and online learning in schools. 
|By: Jenny Shen|653 Reads