Posts Tagged With: Pedagogy

Pedagogical Pedagogy II

Blogging to Learn, Learning to Blog

Blogs being used in the learning environment? That sounds familiar. I think instead of all of us using one type of blog, I almost think it would be even more interesting to assign each person to go out and find their own type of blog site as well as their own blogging genre to do. If you want us to have a virtual identity, then I think that would be the perfect way to do it (if you don’t then forgot I said anything).

At the same time, I can see why we started with WordPress: it’s easy to use, easy to learn on, easy to connect with one another, and easy to adapt. For us, as students, to improve our creative and network literacy we need to begin with the basics. Certain expectations certainly took me by surprise and this is coming from someone who has dabbled around with blogging quite a bit. I wasn’t expecting this class to be a cake-walk but I felt I could handle whatever was thrown at me.

Something I also like about us starting with WordPress is the fact that, although we’re learning the basics, there are things here that I’m sure plenty of people (like me) just do not understand. Like embedding videos? Yeah, for some reason it took me a couple of days to figure out. However, I’m glad I’m not like a couple of students mentioned in the book.

There was often an implicit assumption by students that the technologies they use for formal learning should be stable, easy to use, and transparent, and not open, configurable, or complex. (107)

For some reason, after reading that portion of the text all I could think about was the Jumpstart series. If you want to watch a video, be prepared for nine minutes of nostalgia and vulgarity.

Your cursor is the size of a house! Don’t get me wrong, I love and will always love Jumpstart but after reading this chapter I can see why so many people might expect something like that. We grow up with things spelled out for us. Sure, we aren’t all born coders but there is nothing wrong with incorporating those aspects into our everyday school system.

On top of that I found the sentence that describes this course to a “T”.

In the context of educational– more specifically, “research”– blogging existing speech genres (conversation, debate, personal storytelling) need to be articulated with ossified academic writing genres (the essay, the research report, the literature review, the critique). (108)

That is what I have saying all along! My creative side and my intellectual side have to go to marriage counseling or something to work out these problems creating such rifts between them. Regardless, I still have a lot of work to do.

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Pedagogical Pedagogy I

Blogging to Basics: How Blogs Are Bringing Online Education Back From The Brink

So, first thing’s first: online education is not doing so hot. Why? Well, because the way it is performed lacks efficiency. I can see why. In the online learning world there s no communication. There is no face-to-face discussion of the topics at hand. If you’ve never taken an online class before compare it to the “talking head” professor who sits at the front of the classroom or lecture and, well, lectures. Don’t get me wrong, I take the best notes when there is a lecture; however when that professor is using the same pencil-on-paper notes she’s been using since the 1980s, there’s something wrong there.

Authentic thinking, thinking that is concerned about reality, does not take place in ivory tower isolation, but only in communication. (Freire 1970)

How do you get a bunch of adults into the same virtual space and communicating? The discussion board formed the type of educational interaction online classes needed.

Yes, there are pitfalls to this gilded plan. First of all, when you ask a question you’d prefer an immediate answer, right? With discussion boards, sometimes there is no one even there to answer you so you’re forced to wait…and wait… and wait… until finally someone else in your class or your professor checks the page to see if anyone was trying to cry for help. If anyone cares enough to, so to speak. I mean if you post a question of a response and it doesn’t get at least one hit within a day or two even you start to lose interest. If after two days or so someone finally interact with your comment, you may take a few days to respond to that and thus your “conversation” is dictated over an entire week (meaning a perfectly efficient waste of your time).

Secondly,  there is a distinct lack of social presence as well thus the digital signature came to be. For instance, in my middle school days (seventh to ninth grade) I thought it was perfectly acceptable to end every Facebook status update with “:DD”. Oh, how wrong I was but hey, it was something, like a crude trademark of sorts.

Gilly Salmon would agree with me.

The saddest part about all of this is that discussion boards are the best the online learning community can throw out there: e-mail is bad for reference and wikis have little to no communication involved. Discussion boards give the best of both worlds although they tend to make the focus more on the space in which the group of individuals are learning rather than the individuals themselves.

BOOM. THEN COMES BLOG INTERVENTION.

Blogs redirect the educational focus back to the individual. Courses like this Weblogs and Wikis class create an atmosphere where the creative and the logical balance one another out. Normally I’d ignore any reference to MySpace.com however the book has a point. Myspace provided that creative outlet of ideas as well as that sense of virtual identity. With customizable backgrounds as well as unlimited sparkly images of Disney princesses, any person could take their hobbies and smear them all over their very own internet page! It was fantastic until people got st00pid and changed MySpace into a teenager abduction site.

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