During the past 3 modules we pushed our way through the world of connectivism. Through this new learning theory of Siemens and Downes, it became clear that knowledge is stored in a network. Learning is the creation of new connections in that network. In today’s “networked” society, such a theory is therefore of paramount importance to our young people to prepare for later life. Abandoning a school system that prepares a society dating back to the Industrial Revolution, is imperative. This drastic reform would have to go hand in hand with the current technological revolution. The online tools are available such that they can assist our daily connected lives. A variety of media such as text message, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterst,… that students use to get in touch with their friends, certainly contain the necessary potential to integrate into education. Using these social networks to convey information, but also using other (social) tools that can provide a support function, is the challenge for the education of the 21st century. Therefore, for my thesis, I would like to build a “Personal Learning Network”. Using web 2.0 tools into the learning process.
I would like to start from the theory of connectivism, because I am convinced that this learning theory offers the necessary support and insights to integrate web 2.0 tools smoothly. Given my current work situation as a teacher of computer science and geography, I especially want to create practical worked examples in my fields of force, although cross-curricular projects will also occur throughout the school year. I would like to start off with a Facebook group in each class to have a central place where information can be exchanged simultaneously and is already part of the current social network of students. Continuing with a Google account to work with an email client, a social calendar and an office suite that encourages collaboration. Gradually, and based on assignments and learning content, more tools will be linked to the PLN.
Researching necessary web 2.0 tools:
- Teaching students how to use these tools.
- Offering concrete assignments, supported by the web (subject specific and interdisciplinary).
- Supporting the accompanying teachers who will be working with me.
- Web 2.0 tools generate an intrinsic motivation to the students.
- It promotes creativity.
- It promotes cooperation.
- It can create extra work for the pupil. I will have to ensure that assignments are not complementary of the ”normal” work, but offer an alternative.
- I will be very network / internet dependent in school. Using technological capabilities depends on the potential access it.
- Access to certain social media or computer hardware could be restricted or even denied, due to parental agreements.
- Freedom of electronic learning environments that use a certain method to the existing and widely used social media to the students.
- Choosing from different tools to work on an assignment.
- A deeper integration of ICT in lessons. Not only technologically, but also effective didactic integration!
- The attitude of colleagues and/or parents towards social media.
- Any restrictions to evaluation. It may be necessary to export an assignment out of the existing PLN, to ensure a legal way of assessment.
- Lack of time! I mostly teach 1-hour courses, the efficient use of available time will be a challenge.
Here’s a link to my keynote (in Dutch).