2007年10月22日 星期一

Week 6: Oct. 1st: Neo Millennial and Web2.0 Learners-CITI Score Debate Panel

This week, we need to recommend one person to represent our group to debate on the CITI Panel. We need to discuss the most Controversial points, the most Interesting points, the Technology fact points, and the most Important points. After discussion and idea exchange through email, our group proudly recommends Sharon to be our debater for the “Planning for neomillennial styles” article. Actually, everyone did a great job.

This panel consisted of different perspectives on Neo Millennial and Web2.0. This include employers’ perspective on basic knowledge and applicable skills for new entrants to the 21st century U.S. workforce, simulations of implications for investments in technology and faculty, opinions from K-12 educators, and a general perspective of literacy in the 21st century. Each aspect has a focus and way of thinking.

One of these aspects was mentioned from Chris Dede. He has a website that includes video clips of his MUVE, River City. The URL for the site is as following:
The Introduction and Tour of River City clips describe River City and what students are expected to do in the simulation world.

I collected some controversial points and listed them below (words in italic type are my thoughts):
• Neomillennial learning styles – Are they really learning styles or are they merely “different strengths for learning”?
• On page 10 of my printout, Dede indicates that some of the shifts (technological and personal/professional development) are “controversial for many faculty because they involve ‘unlearning’ almost unconscious beliefs, assumptions, and values about the nature of teaching, learning, and the academy.”
• Dede states that situated learning is a “powerful pedagogy” that enables students to transfer their knowledge about one situation to another. In today’s No Child Left Behind system, though, is it possible for teachers to incorporate situated learning activities into the curriculum?
• Dede states that situated learning is used much less for instruction than behavioral or cognitive approaches that is because creating tacit, relatively unstructured learning in complex real-world settings is difficult. Though it seems that situated learning can contribute to more “transfer” than conventional instruction, situated learning is still a simulation ultimately, and it is not the real world. So could we successfully replicate contexts in the real world of behaviors in simulated environment? How could we compare these two things?

Important Points

• In immersive environments, students feel invested in the situation and motivated to solve the problem.
• Dede argues that “students were most effective in learning and problem-solving when they collectively sought, sieved, and synthesized experiences rather than individually locating and absorbing information from some single best source” (p. 6).
• Table 1 on page 8 outlines the benefits of learning styles enhanced by mediated immersion in distributed learning communities. Examples include fluency in multimedia and active learning, just to name a few.
• Faculty will increasingly need capabilities in: co-design, co-instruction, guide social constructivist and situated learning pedagogies, and assessment beyond tests and papers.
• On page 3, Dede states that situated learning is important in part because of the crucial issue of “transfer”. Learning in well-designed digital contexts can lead to the real world replication of behaviors successful in simulated environments.

By reviewing the questions raised in class, such as “Is this generation ready to work?”, “What do educators can do?”, and “The most important and controversial points are?”, I could conclude that teachers should provide enough commission to help students learn how to adapt in the real world. Besides, encouraging students to work with others and talk about things on their own is also important. It is worth to provide social tools and educational games, and design situated learning for students, though it is time consuming and may cost a lot. No child left behind is still the backbone of the age of Neo Millennial and Web2.0, so all of us as educators should try hard to incorporate technology in our classrooms because today’s children are accustomed to a high-tech world (i.e. Ipods and playstation). Last, Dr. Bonk’s lectures on next Generation, Millennial, and New Millennial students, learning style-R2D2 (Read, Reflect, Display and Do), etc. help us quickly review these issues. Among these issues, I particularly agree with the finding of next generation has characteristics that own rapid-fire information consumption capability, can’t concentrate on things, and that view their job environment as a place to grow. Interesting, I also found these characteristics on me.

2007年10月11日 星期四

Week 5: Sep. 24th New Learner Roles: Expectations, Issues, Dilemmas, and Resolutions

Today, we continue Bonk’s Bingo game. Dr. Bonk has lots of ideas and tactics to arouse learners’ interests. After five weeks o the fifth week in his class, I realized how various pedagogical tactics could be used in college classrooms. By playing the bingo game, we know a lot of online instructors and have gained some clues for future research. Among all of the instructors, I am interested in following areas from a few people:

After Bonk Bingo, we went to Computer Lab to explore students’ readiness checklists about how it would change with the Web2.0, and look for some resources or screening mechanisms. Someone’s checklist really impressed me because of his or her innovation in creating well-organized and logical synthesis. This brainstorm of ideas to New Web2.0 readiness checklist is also prepared for the next week topic- Neo Millennial and Web2.0 Learners.

Again, I did not notice of the 8th note on the Week 5 Agenda sheet. After I had the experiences of missing some indications on the sheet twice over, I knew I should pay more attention on those words now. I put my thinking about the digital learning skills of 21st century.

1. Sharing
2. Creativity
3. Risk taking
4. Curiosity
5. Exploring and grasping resources effectively
6. Decision making and accountability
7. Adaptability
8. Interactive communication
9. Interpersonal skill
10. Plan and management skill
11. Self-direction

Some of the above ideas were founded in the below source:
This URL is rich in information. After visiting this website, I realize that 21st digital learning skill- information literacy is indeed an issue we should care about and it has been cared about for a long time.

Also, I have some thoughts about information literacy based on the Tidbit Dr. Bonk provides us this week. I think that the trying to measure students’ "information literacy" by New ETS exam is valuable. Basically, next generation of students in digital learning age are tech-savvy, but they usually don’t know how to identify those information useful or useless. Nowadays, the focus on information literacy is "not so much that I have to learn everything there is to learn, but now I need to learn how to find what I need to know." However, just like what has been stated on the website, “while everyone agrees it's important to have, it also is difficult to measure.”

I’m interested in how did they measure in particular. As a foreigner who experienced the reform of TOEFL held by ETS, I know there must some excellent findings about the shortage of original Computer Based Test. Those who work for ETS try to design a new version of Internet Based Test with sort of changes in content such as the “speaking part” that try to solve the problem of international students’ inability to speak up. It also condenses the “grammar part” into listening, speaking, reading and writing parts. It does not only react the trends to take online technology into consideration but also mean that literacy does matter.
Before looking at the findings in information literacy, let’s see what seven core skills in that test are. They are defining, accessing, managing, integrating, evaluating, creating and communicating information. The result presents like what I think, students don’t know how to evaluate tons of resources and make their choices.
Sometimes they absorb information without thinking before. As a result, teaching students how to evaluate tend to be more important than before.


Week 4: Sep. 17th I-RISE Class Colloquium

Week 4: Sep. 17th I-RISE Class Colloquium

Since I cannot listen to the teacher and glance at the Week 4 Agenda at the same time, I did not notice the direction -“Anyone who is a trader must become the leader of that group”, so I stupidly said that I want trading. It is tough for me to present for 5 minutes in English especially when I am so nervous. But I appreciate my group partners’ support and their giving me ideas and confidence at that time. Thanks to my classmates for listening to my presentation even though it was without structure as well. Actually, in my mind, I would like to say: “no, give me a break. Please” However, I did not say that because I know it is a challenge that I need to take. If I want to change, I need to change now.

According to the one of the articles I read about-“What Do Online MBA Professors Have to Say About Online Teaching” and “Motivation & Incentives for Distance Faculty”, the content of “Incentives to Teach Online (I)”are organized and listed below:
1. Flexible contents- teachers can get ideas from different perspectives of cultures so that they can create great systems.
2. Flexible schedules- Teachers can provide more options to facilitate online learning. Information can be expanded, updated, and corrected quickly, and distributed immediately.
3. Flexible location- online teaching can happen in hotels, conferences, and different countries.
4. Greater flexibility in “Assessment”- online teaching provides more flexibility in evaluation using different methods like blogging, wikibook, on course discussion and googlegroup.
5. Intellectual challenge- online teaching provides the desire to improve the learning environment and uses different skills for teaching online, helping students learn more and getting to know students better.
6. An extrinsic incentive is monetary stipends- the more enrollments, the more money and control.
7. Possible research publication
8. Sense of empowerment
9. Wider and varied audience- to teach online: usability increases and recognition as a professor increases.
10. Self-motivated and self-satisfaction- online teaching enhances personal growth; online students were highly engaged and self-motivated in the learning process. “Put in another interviewee’s words, ‘their level of motivation helped keep my level of motivation high.”

All in all, I think that the most important factor in incentives is the flexibility of all dimensions. I also believe that the issue of incentives is most important to teach online. Other issues like “online instructor roles”, “training”, and “support” are also important issues in different articles. However, for teachers, the internal and external incentives provided by online teaching are vital, especially for those incentives that we don’t even feel about and find out.
When we find out those incentives in online teaching, we then can build a platform that can accumulate findings. Incentives are something like the stimuli we are talking about in the Behaviorism. It is natural that when we want to learn, we will be willing to learn. Similarly, if we want to teach, we will be willing to teach. After we teach, we will find more things that we don’t know and want to know, and that we should teach and want to teach; then accumulation happens. Incentives produce stimuli that generate accumulation, which affect human progress in online teaching.
What I found interesting is the charter given by Genevieve Bell, a cultural anthropologist at Intel. She stated that, “At Intel, my charter is pretty simple and straightforward: provide insights and inspire innovation.” I think insights and innovation are crucial in educated progress as well. To broaden and deepen the understanding and innovation of online learning – incentive is the key! When we find out more incentives, there will be more inspiration and possibilities in online teaching. So, we should care about how people learn and teach, how people want to learn and teach, about what matters to them; we strive to understand how technologies are used, understood, and imagined in online learning around the world. That is why issues of incentives play an important role in online teaching.

When Bonk’s presentation on online instructor roles began, I could finally take a deep breath and feel calm again. Speaking up is really a big challenge for me. I Hope that my failing spirits revived!