Learning about online Image Credits

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David’s recent post about attribution of images has been quite a steep learning curve for me. I am so used to linking images, memes, videos and music via social media platforms such as Facebook and twitter without any formal referencing and also seeing my peers do the same, that the idea of seeking proper licencing to use this media did not occur to me at all. This might also be because it is so easy to access, copy, paste, transfer and link media from across the web both quickly and easily.

After reading more about copyright and licencing on the Creative Commons website it did not take me long to realise how important it really is to give credit to other people for their work, just like I do in my work and uni studies.

In response, I have now gone back through my posts and edited or removed the images, to ensure that all material I have used in my blog is properly credited, to the best of my ability. It has taken quite a few hours to get a hang of it and make the changes, but it is well worth it.

I can certainly see that this will have some implications for my role as a teacher. If I plan on implementing a networked learning activity where my students may need or want to go online to source media to supplement their learning, I will need to make sure that I educate then on copyright licencing in the online space and encourage their use of the Creative Commons website.

 

 
On the topic of crediting and referencing, a quick look at Mari’s blog posts has got me thinking that I might need to make my references to the course readings a little more comprehensive. At the moment, I am just linking back to the Diigo or mendely site. Mari however has included the list of references down the bottom of each blog, which means that, even if you are not a member of the NGL course, the full reference for the articles are available to you – a very good idea.
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Growing my definition of networked learning

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When I enrolled in this course, I thought I knew what networked learning was all about – using online tools to enhance learning. Since completing the readings from week 2-3 (Goodyear, 2014; Dron and Anderson (2007); Anderson and Dron (2012); and the course notes (especially the references to Goodyear and Carvalho, 2014), I have come to realise that my definition of networked learning is rather narrow and outdated.

I have come to better understand that ‘networked learning’ is more than just encouraging our students to read and absorb material online to learn, but it is about interacting online with others and SHARING our learnings,  and that there are now more tools available to us than in previous decades, to support this learning process.

In terms of my role ‘as a learner’ in this course, I had initially thought that the process of learning how to play a new tune (See my learning objectives post here) could be achieved simply through watching you tube videos and reading articles online. It is now becoming clearer and clearer to me, that I should push myself beyond this, and look at what collaborative opportunities there are available where I can connect with others to learn, and where (outside my blog) I might be able to share my learnings with others (Dron & Anderson, 2007; Riel & Polin, 2004).

It is this Connectivist approach, which can enable enhanced learning where I, as a learner, and my students (if I can apply this in my teaching context), can achieve the highest levels of cognitive functioning (in relation to the Bloom’s revised Taxonomy) Anderson and Dron (2012).

NGL and Life Long Learning

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I was just reviewing GG’s Blog and came across a post where GG posted a  personal teaching philosophy mind map. The philosophy matched very closely with my approach to teaching and also my aims through this course. One aspect of GGs philosophy which I had not really considered in my own context however, was the idea of Life Long learning.

It made me realise that I have been very focused on trying to apply NGL to my workplace purely so that I can meet the immediate objectives of business area, which are: making sure our staff members can adequately perform the new procedures that are being implemented, and that they can then have the skills to coach and guide their fellow staff to and providers to undertake and comply with the new procedures as well.  (Sorry fellow students, that I can’t be much more specific about the learning activities, I am very restricted by the confidentiality requirements of my Organisation).

GG’s post reminded me that my learning and development strategy also needs to involve consideration of life long learning, and offering my students knowledge and skills which will be of value and benefit to them both inside and outside the organisation, now and well into the future. Something for me to consider for Assignment 2 where I start to plan a networked learning approach.

Edit: 17 August – Oops, I just revised my first ‘As teacher’ post and realised I did in fact allude to life long learning as one of my teaching objectives here, although I did not consider the idea in depth at all. I am surprised that this was part of my thinking in week one and that I had forgotten this 2 weeks later. As a student of NGL, this has shown me what an excellent idea blogging is for tracking my learning, and also how valuable it is to be able to reflect and edit/build on previous posts. It has also demonstrated to me what a ‘messy’ pathway my learning follows – a concept which has been identified by Bigum and Rowan (2013) “Learning new material, developing new skills or making new discoveries can be complicated, lengthy

and messy.” All the more reason then, to share my learning process, so others can benefit as well.

Big thumbs up from me for the NGL course!

Professional Learning Networks – an option for introducing NGL in my organisation

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Just came across an article by Miriam Clifford, about Professional Learning Networks which I think will be extremely useful for me in my teacher role.

 In her post, she references a recent Harvard study where scientists are considering “sharing discoveries is more efficient and honorable than patenting them”, an idea which Miriam sees as at the heart of the theory of connectivism and establishing professional learning networks.

Her article has got me thinking about the benefits of a PLN in my own organisation:

  • Facilitating learning through meaningful interactions
  • Improve classroom teaching
  • Help develop new projects
  • Act as a form of communal intelligence.

She then presents some strategies for constructing PLN and to use it effectively. One suggestion was to keep track of new technologies through the site Mashable, which I found really interesting. I have added a link to this site to the group Diigo, so that other students in the course can access it.

I see that setting up a professional learning network could actually work in our organisation. I feel like It would get a lot of support from management because it offers a way of keeping up-to-date with best practice and the new changes and ideas in our particular field. I hope to revisit this article again as part of my research for Assignment 2.

A confused student: Understanding through the Threshold Concept

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The short article by Kligyte “Threshold concept : A lens for examining networked learning Case study” provides a useful insight into the challenges that technology can pose and which can discourage people to adopt new technologies in the learning environment.

Kligyte presents five potential barriers for individuals trying to break into the online networked space. These are:

  • Troublesome – the idea that networked learning is too alien, incoherent or counter-initiative and thereby people are reluctant or discouraged to take it up. In my role as a teacher, this is certainly one of the challenges I face. Over the past couple of years I have heard staff (my students) in my organisation commenting that they prefer face to face training with hard copy training manuals, and aren’t overly enthusiastic about suggestions to move online let alone interact with social networking or the like. I’ve heard them say ‘it’s too complicated!”, “why bother changing to a new system[of learning], when we have one that works already”, and “I can’t type very well anyway, I’d be no good with that techno stuff”.
  • Discursive – this relates to the language barrier posed by networked learning. As a new user of social media and network learning tools, it wouldn’t take long to get lost in the online techno-jargon, especially with blogs . This is certainly something I need to keep in mind if I want to explore using blogs as a way to introduce networked learning into my learning context.
  • Irreversible – the idea that networked learning cannot be unlearned.This is very true for me as a student- once I have found an easier way to do something online, I find it hard to do it any other way. E.g. since learning how to research and find quality resources or articles online from across the world, I rarely bother with using hard copy textbooks from libraries anymore – too cumbersome!
  • Integrative – this refers to the connections among different aspects that networked learning reveals. I can certainly relate to this in my role as a teacher. In Week 2 we were asked to make links to a range of different figures on twitter and other sites, who can offer something towards our understanding of networked learning. Through this activity, I connected with a range of individuals like Selena Woodward, who were not necessarily in my field of Organisational learning, but I realised, could still offer perspectives on networked learning in other fields, which would be of value to me as a teacher, and also offer ideas which can be applied to this context. This activity revealed new connections for me!
  • Liminality – this revers to the nature of interactions with networked learning being a messy activity. This has been the biggest challenge for me as a student of the NGL course, and which I suspect is one of the issues among staff in my organisation (my students) which has prevented the effective use of networked learning. From my own experience, it is important to have enough time to practice interacting in the online space to use it comfortably, however we always seem to be under time constraints (especially in the organisation that I work in) which prevent us from being able to master the skills of networked learning as readily as we desire. As a result, I am trying not to cut corners in the early weeks of the NGL course and am making sure to give as much time to activities as I can, to enable me to find my own ‘unique pathway to transformative understanding of networked learning” (Kligyte, pg 541).