I chose this as my first article for pick five since it explicitly describes the process to formally creating a shared purpose. I often find that when we examine how policies that enhance interpersonal connections (like shared purpose), it can be hard to formally enumerate policies. I think this article does a decent job describing the diversity and complexity of creating a shared commitment for learners.
I posted this group of articles about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) from the NYTimes. The idea behind this post is exploring how students in an online class, (but may not have ties such as a college matriculation or college major) can create social norms and create that shared commitment to a common purpose. I think that MOOCs may have had a slight comedown from their initial popularity from several years ago, however I do believe their effect to “democratize” education describes their lasting impact.
Another shout out to my classmate Kristin on this great find… I selected this article, because I think it encapsulates much of the struggle that occurs when administrators are trying to create strong policy such as common purpose. If it is just some formal piece of writing, it does not really help to create that strong sense of common purpose necessary for a classroom, let alone one focused on connected learning. The focus behind this article is to create that strong common purpose to drive a great learning environment.
I included this strategic plan from Arcadia University. This framework is meant to have a forward looking mindset to try and create a high benchmark of success to inspire and create positive change. Has it been successful? Does it create the outcomes that it hopes to accomplish? I would argue to my classmates that this is up to us to make that determination if Arcadia’s organizational attitude has had its desired outcomes.
Last but not least… this article describes the shared governance that US Higher Education struggles to maintain today. With the corporate mindset that the article describes it is difficult to maintain that collegiality or group mindset that higher education is known to maintain. However, instead of saying that this change is bad, knowing that this change to higher education shared purpose is important to incorporate to future policymakers since it describes how universities will need to interact in the future.
One of the ways that I describe my job is not necessarily fixing computers-but providing assistance to to people with computer problems. (In my case, it is helping teachers who have computer problems).
Perhaps the strongest motivating factor that propelled me into this career field has been my mother. She was a K12 educator in local Chester county school district. Before she retired, she always complained about technology (she legitimately described herself as a luddite). My mother always moaned that she felt coerced into using new educational technology. For me, I took this as a calling, to make sure that new teachers would not be placed in the same position as my mother. My purpose is to help create that plan, that connected network to enhance how technology can improve the network. My purpose is to help teachers make small moves in their classroom.
So with that in mind, I have created a haiku, describing the motivation for my job.
Small moves create A’s
Web does not make students smart
Teachers with a plan
I have done things a little differently this week… however, I took some inspiration from Christina’s focus this week on small moves. Serendipitously, after last week’s assignment where I developed a focus on an application focused on a virtualization application that is meant on universal access for higher education students, a weird opportunity presented itself. I have been sitting with my boss, and I have been empowered with researching how my new employer could use virtualization to improve software delivery for students. So in the name of making small moves to make my network stronger, I have tried to select six articles (and some white papers… ick) that I think nicely explain and expand upon the benefits virtualization offers. The theme behind all of the these articles is a simplicity of their explanation so as to make enable more readers become a part of my virtualization network.
- It can be very difficult for the non IT person (or normal as I like to call them… 😉 ) to understand the difference between cloud computing and virtualization. However, this practical article describes how when software is virtualized-and how it can improve the K-12 classroom.
- Another slight misconstrue from the virtualization that I am focusing on… this article describes how Google Cloud Computing can improve classroom outcomes. While talking about virtualization-this article also happens to describe the digital divide which is a huge inspiration for me, so I really appreciate this article.
- This is not necessarily an article, in fact it is a white paper (sales pitch) from Cisco extolling the virtues of virtualization in the classroom. However, since the purpose of the article is to entice new people, (and not drown them in technical specifics)-I find it has many positives for those uninformed on the topic.
- This article is more focused on the fiscal aspects of virtualization. Yet this is an important and crucial aspect that virtualization offers school districts. While not as inspirational as pedagogy, a positive is a positive…
- Another white paper, this white paper just offers more benefits again in an approachable manner…
- This research paper is not dependent upon a particular type of software to virtualize-this paper is focused on higher education virtualization. I chose it because it reflects my passion and my focus of why I focused my selection.
My idea for a mobile app is more of a generic paradigm than a specific application. In my ideal circumstance, my ideal application-would be an affordable, safe, reliable Virtual Machine application that can be installed on university student personal devices. A reliable VM that can host required class software can address much of the computer lab equipment issues and Bring Your Own Device issues that college students face when they use their device. The benefits behind this application could include a reduction of costs for university’s to purchase computer desktops as well as the frustration of student devices being unable to connect to a university wireless network. The scenario that I am envisioning would be a user friendly virtual application that would be easy for users to install and maintain on their own. Many virtual machine apps exist including VMWare and Oracle VM. However, depending on the configuration-many of these apps including expensive licensing costs and may not have always the simplest installation instructions.
However, I recognize that in the process describing this app, I might be highlighting one of the problems with my app design. As I have mentioned, I recognize that one of the limitations of my current connected network learning relationships include that it consists primarily of technologists who feel comfortable with more involved instruments. Also, in my description, I stipulated that my ideal vm app would be one that all users would feel comfortable with maintaining on their own and that would require little support from outside people (hopefully how people feel as comfortable like with Microsoft Office). My ideal application would be one that would transcend my own connected network.
I have interviewed three people to discuss my idea for a VM app to help improve the College Classroom. I interviewed a mentor from Arcadia University who helps to drive instructional technology at Arcadia University. My mentor mentioned that while Arcadia University does not necessarily engage in widespread use of Virtual Machines for students, certain Arcadia University recognize the future need for VMs used by students. Despite this recognition, Arcadia does not have any classes currently using VM in the classroom on their personal devices.
However, in my current employment at Kutztown University, I work within a group targeted specifically in emerging technologies. My coworker and my manager are addressing the need for the VM application within their jobs. After interviewing my coworker (who as the lab manager is in charge of ensuring the software works on the Kutztown University lab computers) and manager I have heard that certain higher level math classes in Kutztown University have been installing VMs on their student devices to run specific lab software. (I have included the link for the Syracuse project that are coordinating this initiative). Now, when you visit this website, I agree that the fact that Syracuse has some great support options including detailed pictures and information to address questions that students might have. Now, Oracle VMs are impressive and reliable, but I do not necessarily consider them being something that non upper classmen computer science majors install on personal devices ( 😉 ). Also-these VMs come with preloaded images (software). My ideal VM app example include the opportunity to install your own specific software to fit your needs. Interviewing my coworkers and a mentor have helped me further flesh out my own app ideas, and the ability to see what work still needs to be done for me to bring my own app ideas into fruition.
I have included this website on one of my rabbit hole digs on the faculty that were listed in this week’s section.
Funny, as I read through the content this week, I found a tool that Christina posted regarding a particular math tool. As an alumni from the Big Ten, I noticed the Hoosier connection… Just to see what I would find-I googled Indiana University and Connected Learning and found this result.
One of my biggest driving passions for fixing and supporting technology within post-secondary education is the belief that my work and positive outlook will continue to improve digital literacy for contemporary students and help improve educational outcomes for at-risk students. That is why, when I was reviewing the assigned readings this week, I became quite interested in the Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age Initiative. I did see mentioned within the website a particular partnership with the NWP ( 😉 ) However, I love the mission statement of the project.
As I sit I and type these six items this afternoon, I realize today that I am writing on an auspicious day about youth and civic participation. I think this link really does speak for itself.
A peer from my class posted this article (thanks Kristin!!). This first sentence sums up much of the conversations that I have with administrators at colleges (Just providing the technology for classrooms is not enough…) This article epitomizes much of my work that thoughtful use and promotion of technology creates outcomes. One outcome that I can already determine from this class, is that I want to have to create my own connected learning network to be both flexible and responsive enough that I can promote successful digital outcomes for the classroom.
I googled Connected Learning and Canvas and I found this website. I think this website is another example of the concepts that we are talking about… including examples of how Twitter can be used to improve Connected Learning.
1.) For this week’s Find 6, I went down the rabbit hole on the Mendon-Upton Regional School District that Christina mentioned. I have found their district technology page. Specifically, I do not believe that one needs technology in order to have a connected learning classroom. Indeed, much of the skills and concepts that we have learned in this class thus far that there are many low tech solutions to maintain a Connected Classroom. However, I have included this technology planning document. This document helps facilitate and enhance the connected learning capacities for a classroom.
2.) The second item that I found includes a document on information literacy within higher education from EDUCause. This document is important since communication implies that both parties can understand the information being conveyed. As I mentioned earlier, technology is not always needed to help with the communication process in Connected Learning. Again though, when technology issued to help create and maintain those connected networks-making sure that all participants have the assumed language is important.
3.) In honor of this week’s focus on mid-semester assessments, I have included a textbook describing how learning can occur through self-assessment. Seems somewhat self-explanatory, but I think is a great application of the assignment from this week with the material.
4.) One topic that I have written frequently includes minority representation within Connected Learning. As I have often said, (and even in class during our online meeting this week), the implied shared norms that can occur within communication should not be assumed. From my experience, when we make assumptions about standards and expectations, we can have outcomes such as lower underrepresentation within STEM fields. I have included this link for scholarships underrepresented Minorities within STEM fields. From my perspective, NACME is aimed at uncovering and removing the implied expectations that prevent students from finishing their degree.
5.) In honor of Christina citing Marvel’s Black Panther as a tool to discuss this week’s lesson, I have included a link from PBS describing how a teacher uses Marvel Comics in the classroom.
6.)I have included a link to a website in honor of my classmate Lindsay (Keep the faith my friend, you will make it through…!) During our last meeting on Thursday, my classmate mentioned that getting back into the swing of graduate school has been difficult. I included a link to this website just to hopefully provide her and others motivation to persevere!
So… I am starting a new job tomorrow at a major university. And this University (without explicitly naming it) has a dubious distinction for having a relaxed gun control policy. Now, this is not to say, that the University community are carrying concealed firearms on campus. However, in today’s post Parkland world, I think this is a conversation that many people are interested in having. Personally, from my perspective, I think that more people having firearms in educational settings, is not a good thing. However, there are many important people in my life that old opposite viewpoints and believe that what stops bad people with guns are good people with guns. For me, I have decided to address this letter to this constituency of my loved ones describing why it is I do not want to be certified to have a firearm on campus.
“As I have often said to you before, simply adding more lethal answers to this already difficult debate does not seem to have any really substantive solutions. Having more people brandishing firearms and thereby expelling more ammunition only increases the chances that me or other loved ones could get injured in the crossfire. It often surprises me that you believe that when police and other law enforcement professionals could discern in those first initial moments who these “good people” are from these “bad people”? To me it only seems frightening to contemplate that in these predictable moments of confusion, that innocent lives could instantly be destroyed by an instant of anxiety and human imperfection. In this horrible situation, I say to you, if a good person with a gun accidentally injures me to try and stop a bad person with another gun who wants to hurt me…? What is the difference if I end up injured either way?”
I think for me what I find most revealing about the connected learning process is reflective of the debate occurring within social media. When we create our networks, by human bias, we tend to create associations of people with similarities to ourselves. However, when we are trying to write letters to people outside of our networks or associations, it is tough. Here is one thing that I have about this… I need to keep my connected learning associations as varied as possible. It helps ensure I have stronger solutions when I encounter problems.