How to harness the amazing ideas of others !

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Derek Sivers’ you tube video ‘Obvious to you. Amazing to others’ shared on the NGL Diigo really struck a chord with me. After all,  who hasn’t been surprised when someone else has found their idea useful, even we when thought it wasn’t really new or innovative at all?

I have even experienced this as a student of this NGL course, where I have been pleasantly surprised that peers have found some of my blog posts useful…even when I thought my ideas were just run-of-the-mill.

Anyway, in role as a teacher, one of the key questions I need to explore is how this idea can apply to the students in my organisation?

I can certainly see that one of the principles of NGL – connectivitism –  could help to surface some of the knowledge of my students.

After all, connectivism is about forming connections for learning and not simply trying to ‘acquire’ or ‘transmit’ knowledge (Downes, 2011). It’s about sharing your ideas to benefit the whole. This is because, as Steven Downes so nicely put it, “what you’re doing when you share is to create material that other people can learn from. Your sharing creates more content ….People appreciate that, you will probably appreciate the content other people …share with you.” (Downes, 2011).

Even though in my work environment, we need our students to ‘acquire’ some knowledge about the new procedures we want to implement in our organisation, by enabling discussion to occur around these procedures, we could open the doors to new and better ideas. In fact, as some of our procedure documents are still being developed, we could make them available on an online collaborative site, like SharePoint, for our students to comment on and critique prior to finalisation. With the input from our staff members (the students) who are working on the ground, their subject matter expertise would be invaluable, and would help gain their buy in as we transition to new practices.

Now that’s an idea!

References

Downes, S. (2011). “Connectivism” and Connective Knowledge. Retrieved August 05, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/connectivism-and-connecti_b_804653.html

Insightful post from globalconnectionusq

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Andrew Downey shared an insightful post on his blog globalconnectionusq about some of the limitations of NGL. He mentions that it seems “that everyone is very positive about NGL but no one is discussing some negative aspects of it.” I certainly have been largely extolling the virtues of this learning method in my posts, due to my excitement at having a new bunch of techno tools to play with. Although I have touched on the challenges of workplace web-security as a limitation to working in the online space, I had not considered some of the other aspects Andrew draws our attention to in his post:

“Equity and Accessibility to Technology-could be a large issue for students who may live in rural or low socioeconomic areas or simply have logistical problems accessing it.

Computer Literacy-Both students and facilitators must possess a minimum level of computer knowledge in order to function successfully in an online environment

The Students-While an online method of education can be a highly effective alternative medium of education for the mature, self-disciplined student, it is an inappropriate learning environment for more dependent learners and can cause issues with appropriate use of the technology

The Facilitator-Lack of essential online qualities and may struggle to teach and grasp the concepts of the technology”

In fact, Equity and Accessibility in particular is challenging for me as a teacher, as my students are dispersed across the country and do not all have access to the best technology. This will be something I will need to consider at greater length as I look to design a fitting NGL activity in my context. Each of the other limitations he has discussed have also provided me with some useful food for thought. Thanks Andrew for thinking critically about this topic and sharing your ideas.

CLEM Model Continued – The YouTube Model and an example in the school context

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So far I have looked at the existing online Communities and Literature around my selected learning activity – to learn a new Irish tune by ear. Exploration of these aspects of the CLEM model has helped to explain why “watching” YouTube videos assisted me with learning a new tune. This post will look at the remaining components of the CLEM ModelExample and Model in relation to my learning task and how this has helped to explain the benefits of “creating” my own learning video to share with others.

  1. Example & 4. Model

The Model (type of ICT) that I have chosen to use for my learning activity is YouTube. This model enables learners to view other people’s videos and also create their own Channel (an online space) where they share and organise their own videos. In regards to the technical aspects of this Model – I found it quite easy to create a my own YouTube Channel (you can view it here) however found it a little more challenging to personalise the Channel to meet my needs and organise my videos – although I am confident I will work it out with time, I’m sure it just takes a bit of practice. I did not come across any serious technical issues which prevented me from using this platform – no doubt this is part of the reason it is currently the most popular online video sharing platform on the web (Buzzetto-More, 2014).

To help me better understand how this Model could be used in learning, M Quennerstedt’s article “PE on YouTube – investigating participation in physical education practice” provided a useful Example. The article showed that effective learning (in the school context) can occur through social media and that YouTube is a useful platform as it caters to the range of learning styles and preferences and allows for diversity in participating in learning (e.g. flexibility in watching, selecting, creating and presenting videos). Quennerstedt also looked at how students and teachers shape content (i.e. making public how they learn or how they create resources) and demonstrated how this can reveal new aspects of learning that may not otherwise be apparent – something that is beneficial for not only students, but also teachers and researchers. The article also discussed the benefit of YouTube as a tool for archiving learning activities and resources to enable them to be accessed and used by a wide audience not just in the present but well into the future.

In the article, Quennerstedt also outlines some of the technical and ethical issues for teachers using this platform platform for learning E.g. The difficulties with protecting the the privacy of students and their work on this public forum. It was recommended that teachers do not download their students’ videos to their home computer, so that it remains the student’s decision when they would like to remove their work from the public domain. This is something I will need to keep in mind in my role as a teacher and is also something for me to consider as a student of the NGL course – the permanency of the material I post on the web while participating in online communities.

References

Quennerstedt, M. (2013). PE on YouTube – investigating participation in physical education practice. Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 18(1), 42-59.

Buzzetto-More, N. A. (2014). An Examination of Undergraduate Student’s Perceptions and Predilections of the Use of YouTube in the Teaching and Learning Process. Interdisciplinary Journal Of E-Learning & Learning Objects, 1017-32.

CLEM & Communities for learning Irish Music & my new YouTube Channel

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In the week 4 readings, our course convenor David Jones introduced the group to the CLEM approach to learning and teaching. CLEM refers to Community, Literature, Examples and Model. In my position ‘as a learner’ trying to pick up a new Irish tune, these four components are intended to help me think more deeply about this process of learning. I will outline my thoughts, experiences and understanding against each of these components in the following posts, starting with….

  1. Community.

I have spent the last couple of weeks scouring the online world (part of my ‘seek’ stage, as outlined in my personal knowledge management routine) using range of tools and strategies to identify useful learning communities that I could be part of to assist with meeting my learning goal.

I will discuss broadly three types of communities that I have discovered:

  1. The twitter/Blog communities – broad range of individuals and groups providing links and information on happenings in the Irish music world, as well as details about where to find a teacher or session in your location e.g.

I have started following a bunch of these (for example: here, here and here), however have found that while these communities are fairly active, with lots of general information on Irish music and regular updates, it has not been particularly useful for me trying to learn to play certain Irish tunes online.

  1. The Session online forum – This online community has a range of useful features to support a learner of Irish tunes, including – swathes of sheet music, recordings, and discussions on all a broad range of topics. I signed up for the site and have been loving the discussion board. So many of the questions I had about learning music by ear and on fiddle technique have already been asked by other learners, and I have found the responses my other members of the community to have been really valuable. I was also able to listen to some basic midi files of a range of different versions of ‘In the Tap Room’ to give me some ideas of different variations I could play. A great resource!clarejoinsthesession
  2. You Tube – By far the best online community I have discovered for learning Irish music is You Tube. I just typed in name of the tune I wanted to play into the search and was able to easily find a range of videos of people playing the tune, from beginners through to accomplished players, and recordings of the great players of our time. I subscribed to a number of different channels of Irish musicians and this has been, by far, the most useful resource. I have been listening to the videos over and over, and watching the player’s technique, and then using this knowledge to try and play the tune.

In line with the idea of ‘sharing’ my knowledge and making my learning experience public – as I have discussed in previous posts – I have decided to create my own YouTube channel, to start documenting my learning of the tune ‘In the Tap Room’. Check out my new videos here.

my you tube channel

More to come on this soon…