Communication and Collaboration Tools: Day 1

Remember we are not meeting face to face today. No one will be in the lab, so you are welcome to use the space if you need a lab.

Part One: Supporting Student Content Learning

Chapter 1 talked about meaningful learning with technology. What does that mean? What does it mean to you? to your subject? What’s the difference between structural and procedural knowledge? Using the ideas below for designing opportunities to learn meaningfully with technology  – which of these 5 “guidelines” do you feel you don’t see enough of here at UGA? Which do you see followed frequently? Which matters most to you?

On page 16 and 17 in your book, the authors say:

Meaningful learning will result when technologies engage learners in:

  • knowledge construction, not reproduction
  • conversation, not reception
  • articulation, not repetition
  • collaboration, not competition; and
  • reflection, not prescription

Go ahead and complete this form to see how we feel as a class. You can view the class results here.

Part Two: Communication and Collaboration

NETS ‘Communication and Collaboration’ Standard

Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
c. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

This is what is expected of 21st century learners. How can a teacher do this and still make sure students understand shapes, the causes of the Civil War, parts of speech, and the phases of the moon? And don’t forget – they are supposed to differentiate, be culturally responsive, make sure materials are accessible to all students and a host of other expectations. Oh – and the learning should be engaging to students. Can technology help or hinder the process of communication and collaboration in K12 learning environments?

There are many tools available to support communication and collaboration. We’ll spend the next few days looking at some of them. Choose a few of these to explore:

Commercial Project

On Monday, I’m going to ask you (and possibly your group if you choose to work with others) to make a commercial about a Web 2.0 tool, where you highlight how this might be used by your audience to support communication and collaboration. Let’s look at an example video to see how this might play out. (Note: these Pearltree videos were produced with a “significantly” larger budget and “expert” production team. I’m not expecting your video to be this polished, so don’t worry.

Go ahead and explore some of the tools above and complete this form (9:0510:10) when you decide on a tool you’d like to create a commercial for. See which tools your classmates have selected (9:0510:10). If you want to take a moment to email someone you’d like to collaborate with, you can do that before completing the form.

Looking Ahead to Monday

  • Talk with others in the class who are learning the same tool as you. What did they discover? What are they planning to highlight in their commercial?  Is this person someone you’d like to partner up with for this project?
  • Plan what you are going to include in your commercial.  You’re selling a product and teaching us a little about it – more like an infomercial.  Here’s an example from a past student.

For Monday:

1. Select one of the tools listed above (or one you have found independently) that you would like to explore. Let me know which tool you choose by completing the appropriate form above (either 9:05 or 10:10). Please do not select a tool if 3 other classmates have selected it. View what tools have already been chosen with the links above.
2. Spend some time exploring the tool and think about how you would explain this tool to someone else.
3. Start thinking about how you will create a commercial about your tool. What are its features? Why would a teacher, parent, administrator, resource teacher, and/or student use it?
4. Download Jing to your home computer BEFORE Monday. Then, watch the short video tutorial.

For Wednesday:

You all read the Horizon Report (pp. 4-7: “key trends”, “significant challenges”, and “technologies to watch”).  You should have a blog posting for today with your reactions to the reading. Go ahead and read 2 classmate’s blog postings and leave them a comment. Remember what we talked about in terms of a substantive comment.

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