About Kelly

Program Coordinator and Professor Bachelor of Interior Design Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning Toronto, ON http://www.humber.ca/program/bachelor-interior-design

5141 Course reflection bits and bites

Like most of the TRU courses this past year, this course combined reflection with practice. It challenged me to consider why I do the things I do as an educator and how I can be a better facilitator as the opportunities to move towards hybrid and online delivery inch closer to my program.

 

Aha!

I will still reflect and consider how I transition from a f2f career that has only had opportunities for enhancing classroom delivery with a stockpiling resources in our LMS – HOWEVER, the lightbulb has certainly been switched on for me seeing all the ways we can still enhance meaningful learning via open resources on the web, something I just had not had exposure to.

 

Specifically, the 5141 course gave me the opportunity to plot out my teaching philosophy, which, coupled with my teaching style and best practices can, when successfully designed, all amalgamate together to form an effective online course. In turn, EDDL 5141 gave me a second opportunity to discover and explore a variety of effective facilitation strategies.

Successfully motivate students to become engaged and they will take charge of their own learning. I have more appreciation for the need for clarity in instructions – as we all have commented at different times, ambiguous instructions add frustration and diminish meaning. I want to avoid frustration as it definitely diminishes motivation – it makes me question the materials I left for the person who filled in for me this past fall…..

I was limited by travel and technology to some extent this last course. It makes me appreciate even more the need to equalize the opportunity to be connected in order for distributed learning to really work – so many thngs are taken for granted – we have the best internet connection in Uganda at my school and still – we could not think of integrating YouTube into our learning material.

 

My Progressive philosophical approach encourages a democratic learning environment that is student centered with teacher as facilitator. I have a clearer understanding of how I need to continue to develop my role and tools to strengthen that role.

Instead of a presentation, I am including links to two documents that I created in a format that is helpful for my next phase of this personal and professional growth.

A revamped KWL chart where I have added reflective context (for example: what I thought I knew).

My ‘connections’ table helps me synthesize the theory with the ideas.

Thanks everyone for the many ideas, connections and resources!

 

Assignment 2 – A Student Activity

I have added the Student Activity to the Weebly website which I created for Assignments 1 and 3 which you may have already seen. Find my SVEC (Salaama Vocational Education Centre) Kindness Revolution website here.

If for some reason that link does not work, please use this URL http://862277725696153651.weebly.com/

Look for the tab called “Student Activity”.

My objective in the use of media for this student activity is primarily related to encouraging students to explore the resources available to them – whether loaned hardware or web 2.0 tools or technical assistance from faculty or tutorials.

I was really inspired by the introduction of digital story telling on our course blog which stated: To be literate now means to be a consumer, and creator and publisher of information.

I believe that provides the framework for the pedagogical approach of my activity. Students plan based on a consumer use of their end product – planning a teaching activity relates to this because students can relate to being consumers of learning materials. Encouraging creativity facilitates innovation and individual expression. Publishing information promotes collegiality and lifelong learning – all of which support the underlying concept of sharing knowledge with others for a better life.

Jason Ohler’s assessment development guidelines are helpful in setting the criteria for the project development by the students:

  • Set clear goals.
  • Assess everything (in other words – don’t look at just the final product – look at the process products, the preparation, the resources, the engagement, the enjoyment)
  • Assess the process.
  • Include self-assessment and peer review.

References:

Ohler, J., Digital Storytelling, Retrieved March 21, 2014 from http://www.jasonohler.com/storytelling/assessment.cfm

EDDL 5131 Course Blog weekly materials: http://courses.olblogs.tru.ca/eddl5131-jan14/week-5-digital-story-telling/

 

 

Multimedia Lessons and Media Exemplars Collection – take 2 (first post is lost – not sure how or where)

Something odd happened with my first attempt to post this in the last hour – and I apologize if it randomly appears later. I previewed the post and then my only option was ‘submit for approval?’ I had not seen that option before and now it does not appear in my catalogue of posts even as a draft so……take 2.

One of my goals for these courses was to create learning materials for both my Canadian design students and my Ugandan vocational students. For this assignment I decided to focus on some activities I did in Uganda last week.

I do believe the intent of the last three assignments is to link them together and I created these two as such.By creating online materials such as this, I hope to engage students in online dialogues after we launch projects f2f on site and when I have to return to Canada to my ‘real’ job!

Find the Kindness Revolution website I created for my gang at SVEC here. Just in case my link does not work, paste this URL into your browser:  http://862277725696153651.weebly.com/

I used Weebly to build and host the site. The focus of the lessons is ‘kindness’ – it fits within the thread of topics we explore during weekly Friday assembly which is a joint project between the Student Guild and the faculty. Themes range from entrepreneurship, leadership and health promotion to square foot gardening.

I created an introductory recording using Audacity – you will find it as ‘a message from the kindness coordinator’ – me.

I created a movie using Microsoft Windows Movie Maker, combining images from my activities on site with a track purchased from iTunes which I edited to shorten to suit the quantity of images . This visual and audio clip be a fun reflection of one activity connecting the theme of kindness to our school vision of sustainability; tree planting. This activity was done during my trip over two weeks ago, but will also reinforce other topics of discussion such as leadership, team work, leading by example.

I also created a slideshow with captions leading students through an activity which supports peer mentoring and also provides support for students who are occasionally challenged following the discussions in English.

Also included are links to external websites, a YouTube video many of you will recall (the movie trailer from Pay It Forward) and both a poster I created and an image from the web are included as idea generators and theme reinforcement. The poster is a pdf file for any students who missed the original assembly and hard copy which also supports future distance delivery of the workshop.

Over the next week, I will add a student multi-media assignment to this same website.

Week 8 Facilitation Plan

Here is a link to my Facilitation Plan which connects to our Group Focus of Designing Personal Learning Environments.

Our group navigated its way through a fair amount of confusion in the activities which we knew were intended to move us towards the Week 8 activity and ultimately the final project. As I reread our thread of communication it is a bit humorous as we all tried to convince each other and ourselves we were on the right track.  Thanks to my peers for their patience while I was off the continent. I think what we have ended up doing for the individual plans provides solid possibilities for our upcoming group work. Each of our individual facilitation plans aligns to the overarching framework of a professional development course for educators on Personal Learning Environments and various tools and platforms which support them.

The individual topics we have each chosen are effective for teachers of almost any level, and specifically for post-secondary instructors like myself.  I personally chose Facebook for two reasons; one being the ongoing debate over blocking social media sites or integrating them. Second, being the quote from Sheri Nussbaum-Beach from our week 2 course readings which states:

 ‘If you can be replaced by a computer then you probably should be! The truth is that technology will never replace teachers, however teachers who know how to use technology effectively to help their students connect and collaborate together online will replace those who do not’ (Nussbaum-Beach, 2018).

When I researched more about personal learning environments (hereafter PLE) to support my interest in its connection to the theory of existentialism, I noted a definition on a blog which emphasized the connection to staying relevant and development of a PLE (Morrison, 2013). In my mind, blocking social media is the same kind of thinking that once supported the idea of banning smart phones from our classrooms. Engagement = connection = relevance.

Amongst our group, if our individual plans added up to a complete course, I imagine that Geoff would provide the context of setting up a Personal Learning Environment; Kristy would lead a week that supports creation of a Google Site to host that PLE, Emily would introduce Twitter as a potential tool and I would introduce Facebook in the same way. It is assumed that most people know of or use Facebook, however, it may only be personal use or entertainment and in this learning context it is a way to engage students using a tool which has mass appeal and access.

The connection to my KWL table became less clear as I developed my facilitation plan because at that time I wanted to focus on becoming more comfortable with Web 2.0 applications and I do not consider Facebook as a Web2.0 tool per se, but a platform for disseminating news and views catalogued on a social media site such as Facebook. However, I did not realize the extent of the resources and tools for educators which have been integrated into Facebook and the substantial following Facebook for Education has.

When creating my KLW table, I had considered my approach to online education most aligned to Hootstein’s 4 Shoes, however, my facilitation plan emerged more in tandem with Salmon’s 5 Stage Process and you will see that in the design of the plan itself. I also connected a few shoes to the way the week’s outcomes and activities lead to the creation of a Facebook page and reflection on that.

I think there is a fear of introducing social media into the classroom in face to face situations – how can one possibly compete with the magnetic draw of events and celebrity missives and friend’s posts? I remind myself of a statement I included in my writing about my educational philosophy:   ‘ . . . technologies [should be] perceived as neutral tools and are simply devices that extend our capacities’ (Kanuka, 2004, p. 96).  If I advise my students of this simple truth, then I too should believe it about my own use of technology and tools, and not see social media as competition in my classroom, but an ally.

When discussing social determinism, Kanuka also stressed ‘[e]ducators holding this view are concerned about the ways that social and technological uses shape the form and content of the learning experiences’(p.97). I see Facebook as a society driven technology. It quenches our thirst for the newsworthy and I want students to have that same thirst for learning.

 

References

Hootstein, E., (June 1, 2002).  Wearing four pairs of shoes: The roles of e-learning facilitators.  Learning Circuits.   Retrieved March 9, 2014 from http://www.astd.org/Publications/Newsletters/Learning-Circuits/Learning-Circuits-Archives/2002/Wearing-Four-Pairs-of-Shoes.

Kanuka, Heather (2004).  The Theory and Practice of Online Learning, Chapter 4.  Athabasca University.  Retrieved January 25, 2014 from http://www.aupress.ca/books/120146/ebook/04_Anderson_2008-Theory_and_Practice_of_Online_Learning.pdf.

Morrison, D., How to Create a Personal Learning Environment. Retrieved March 9, 2014, from http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/how-to-create-a-personal-learning-environment-to-stay-relevant-in-2013/

Nussbaum-Beach, S., Letter to my Colleagues. Retrieved March 10, 2014 from http://www.21stcenturycollaborative.com/2008/06/letter-to-my-colleagues/

 

 

Hello from Uganda

Jambo everyone – I am on the way home from ten days back to work at our school in Uganda. I am so sorry to have been offline but with the start of the rainy season came the start of internet and power interruptions. I look forward to catching up in the next couple days. I did update my ‘bit’ on our Group’s Google Doc.

Kelly

Week 5 Activity 2 Record some audio

How Many Words are Too Many Words




The context for my recording is a Professional Practice course in which industry experts come in to listen to students present their design ideas using PowerPoint slides containing the essential components of their design proposal. I used Audacity and then exported to an .mp3 file. I was pleased that my laptop microphone was good quality. I did try with a headset microphone but it has more distortion.

Week 4 Activity 3

After really giving SumoPaint a few tries (actually many tries because I am stubborn), both importing a starting graphic and also drawing from scratch, I decided this ain’t the hill I want to die on and to nip the obsession with trying to conquer SumoPaint in the bud. I could only create simply illustrations which would not exactly wow my tech savvy designers.

For this type of flow chart, it made sense to use the shapes available on Microsoft Word and then edit the graphics, create a series of slides in Powerpoint and then make .pdf slides to upload into Slideshare.

Here is a link to the Layered Graphic on SlideShare: The Design Process

or via the link below:

 http://www.slideshare.net/KGforTRU/the-design-process-31259539

My embedded link did not work (thanks Michael and Debbie for alerting me!)