In this session
, Stephen presented his paper along with two other papers about online learning and teaching environments. Stephen did a great job in this presentation, and participants were especially interested in the cultural factors Stephen brought into the discussion of online learning environment (e.g. creating a competitive climate/task in online learning environment helps to engage Ghanaian students in online learning)
Stephen has blogged about this session earlier
. Here are some other points I learned from this session:
Cavanaugh and Dawson introduced a set of wonderful online Professional Development (PD) modules
for science educators. Aside from the multimedia materials and hand-on activities, I like one of their major ideas behind the design of these PD modules: bringing the voice of local practicing scientists into the resources. Through multimedia documentation, teachers are able to learn how local scientists conduct their projects and experience their passion.
In addition, they chose wiki as the platform for these PD modules because it is easier for teachers to navigate these resources. Also, they pointed out that practice questions (e.g. multiple-choice) of content knowledge are also important resources because they meet science educators' practical needs: ensuring students understand the content introduced in these modules.
After this session, I attended another session about participatory media in social studies. I was late to this session, and did not learn much from it. However, I did remember one interesting question from this session: “What are the effects of news sites and search engine use of algorithms that favor popularity over quality or diversity on users?”
It seems to me that a new search engine with different algorithms that favor quality or diversity has great potential in the near future, though I have no knowledge about whether that is technically doable.