Activity 2: Manifesto

I seem to like following statements
 Online can be the privileged mode. Distance is a positive principle, not a deficit.
 Text has been troubled: many modes matter in representing academic knowledge.
 Aesthetics matter: interface design shapes learning.
 Massiveness is more than learning at scale: it also brings complexity and diversity.
 Assessment is an act of interpretation, not just measurement.
 Automation need not impoverish education:

I think online education is a privileged mode as it brings people from different cultures and countries together and thus it provides diversity of views because everybody writes from his/her own experiences. This leads to better reconstructions of one’s thoughts and ideas. In face-to-face typical classroom, most of students are most likely from one place or city (at least at high school level), so there is not much diversity in opinions of contributors but if people from far-off places could interact and learn from one another’s experiences then it becomes mechanism of fine tuning our best practices.

Traditional learning from books is not the only format for learning. Now there are millions of videos available online which can teach a whole chapter of a book in 10 minutes and thus have reduced cost(in terms of time) of learning. Moreover, ADC(alternative delivery channels ) provides diversity to students to learn according to their learning styles. For those, who find it easy to learn from books, can read books and others who benefit more from videos can surf online to find appropriate videos for their learning.

In the past, mostly instructional contents were planned to serve function of teaching and learning but now greater demand for better design has led to better format of instructional contents. Studies shows that same contents presented in different design have different impact on learner and their retention also varies. So it is very important to have better format of instructional contents to make learning and teaching process less extraneous.

Massiveness leads to big-data phenomenon by providing large data sample. Collection of data, finding patterns in data and analysis leads to predictions with less error rate. So people participating in MOOCs can learn from experiences of thousands of other people and can draw conclusion by integrating with their previous knowledge. Moreover, inputs and opinions based on experience of thousands of people are helping to infer better conclusion. Previously, results of analysis of data collected from small sample were used to understand and predict behavior of masses but now it is other way around. Now data is being collected from massive input and being used to predict behavior of one instance.

Technology in education should enhance and bring improvements by providing better instructional design. It should not impoverish education. I think wise use of technology in education does bring more education opportunities to this field. However, automation in summative assessment in the form of multiple choice questions or true false does not truly reflect how well students have learned.

Introduction

My name is Muhammad Usman Farooq, I have been teaching BC high school science curriculum for over 10 years now. Although my expertise is in Chemistry and Biology, but my interest in technology-for-education drives me to explore more into e-learning. So I taught myself html, css, ajax and php programming about five years ago. So, since 2013, I also started teaching ICT 11 and ICT12 courses. Over the years, I have explored many web-based application to share resources with students effectively.

I learned about moodle, WordPress , weebly and wikispaces but I found that all of them were either very demanding on server resources or were having too many irrelevant features. Moreover, I am in China and I have to make sure that uninterrupted service of the website for my students. Irrelevant feature, heavy load on server and interruptions in some services were very discouraging. Part of problem could be that that those systems were not developed by teachers. So I developed my own system (http://usmanscience.com) which later on was adopted by our school. Now many teachers are using this system in my school. I also have privilege of leading two workshops on the effective use of technology in education.
I look forward to exploring into multimedia in the classroom. At present I often used videos but it will be rewarding to learn to use multimedia resources efficiently.
Here is link to my linkedin profile
Here is my website
urusman|at|qq|dot|com