Week 3 Blog: Time Constraints! Are educators given the time needed to develop and adapt lessons for face-to-face and online teaching?

From this week’s readings, websites and voice threads, I have realized how much time is involved in modifying lesson plans for online learning platforms.  Lessons that were originally designed for traditional face-to-face classrooms need to be modified to put online.  For example, in the voice-threaded discussion this week, Chris Mertens, a teacher at Sundre High School in Sundre, Alberta, found that he needed to digitalize his entire Math 31 course to upload to Moodle.  This included lectures, assignments, quizzes and tests, etc.  He also found that he had to adjust his delivery to meet the needs of a video conferencing audience.  When adding recorded comments to the voice thread discussion, I realized I initially felt uncomfortable with my voice and my performance, but I soon gained confidence having my voice recorded and began to enjoy the experience with time.  As many researchers have acknowledged, much teaching and study time is required for educators to be successful in online delivery (Richards and Ridley, 1997; Warschauer, 1998; Well, 2000; Davidson-Shivers, Tanner and Muilenburg, 2000).

Even though some lesson components need to be modified for online delivery, other parts remain the same.  Whether an instructor is teaching in f-to-f environments or online, activities should be varied to meet the needs of diverse learners.  Educators need time to develop these diverse learning activities.  Furthermore, teachers must monitor students’ progresses whether the class is conducted f-to-f or online.  One advantage of using cyber asynchronous teaching platforms is the enhanced ability to track and keep records of students’ learning outcomes (Tanimoto et al., 2002; Shi et al., 2006; Hew et al., 2010).  Such records allow students to review their learning activities, and increase reviewing time and reflective abilities leading to higher order learning including analysis and evaluation (Newman et al., 1997).  Technology minimizes the time teachers require to monitor students’ learning progresses.

Regardless of the teaching environment, educators require time to create and adapt lessons in both f-to-f and online platforms.  Teachers need time to also develop scaffolding exercises to promote and support long-term retention and self-directed learning (Rourke, 2010).  Time is the secret ingredient that educators need to practice good teaching principles including the development of diverse, engaging lessons that are supported by appropriate scaffolding exercises and are transferable between face-to-face and online learning environments.

I continue to improve my comfort level with technology, and I am learning to implement it appropriately into curriculum rather than using it to lead teaching.  I have spent much time adapting to teaching with technology, and I predict more time will be required for me to develop my skills.  For pedagogy to lead technology, educators need time to develop skills in lesson design and transferability.  Are educators being given the time they need?

References:

Davidson-Shivers, G., Tanner, E., and Muilenburg, L. (2000).  Online discussion:  How do students participate?  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, New Orleans, L.A.

Hew, K. F., Cheung, W. S., & Ng, C. S. L.  (2010).  Student contribution in asynchronous online discussion:  A review of the research and empirical exploration.  Instructional Science, 38(6), 571-606.

Newman, D. R., Johnson, C., Webb, B. & Cochrane, C.  (1997).  Evaluating the quality of learning in computer supported cooperative learning.  Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 48(6), 484-495.

Richards, C. N., and Ridley, D. R., (1997).  Factors affecting college students’ persistence in on-line computer-managed instruction.  College Student Journal, 490-495.

Rourke, A., & Coleman, K.  (2010).  E-learning in crisis:  should not the pedagogy lead the technology?  Journal Of Education Research, 4(3), 265-282.

Shi, S., Mishra, P., Bonk, C. J., Tan, S. & Zhao, Y.  (2006).  Thread theory:  A framework applied to content analysis of synchronous computer mediated communication data.  Retrieved March 22, 2011, from http://punya.educ.msu.edu/publications/submitted/thread_theory.pdf.

Tanimoto, S., Carlson, A., Husted, J., Hunt, E., Larsson, J., Madigan, D., & Minstrell, J.  (2002).  Text forum features for small group discussions with facet-based pedagogy.  In G. Stahl (Ed.), CSCL’02 Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning:  Foundations for a CSCL Community (pp.554-555).  Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associate.

Warschauer, M.  (1998).  Online learning in sociocultural context.  Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 29(1), 68-88.

Well, J. G.  (2000).  Effects of on-line computer-mediated communication course, prior computer experience and Internet knowledge, and learning styles on students’ Internet attitudes:  Computer-mediated technologies and new educational challenges.  Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 37(3), 22-53.

Is the Canadian Copyright Act silencing marginalized groups?

Many aspects of history have been told from the perspective of dominant groups.  Marginalized groups, such as women and minorities, have not always had a voice in our textbooks or in literature.  For these groups, re-writing of “…significant texts is a powerful tool of criticism and empowerment” (Derecho, 2006, p. 61).  Such re-writes “…expose, challenge, and correct stereotypes found in the original work” (Reynolds, 2010, p. 37).  Society needs to develop a stronger understanding of historical facts, from all perspectives; thus, re-writing of text is essential.  However, the Canadian Copyright Act may be prohibiting such re-writes and inadvertently silencing marginalized groups (Reynolds, 2010).

A relevant question is: do re-writes silence marginalized groups?  Another question is whether these re-writes are protected under the fair dealing provision of the Copyright Act?  These questions are up for debate, and amendments to the Canadian Copyright Act, Bill C-32, has been proposed as a way of “…achieving a more equitable balance” between the rights of original authors and users-especially marginalized users (Reynolds, 2010, p. 38).

From the readings this week, I have come to realize that the Canadian Copyright Act’s main purpose it not to stunt the flow of ideas but rather to encourage innovation, especially in the arts and sciences, by protecting the original author’s intellectual property (Nenych, 2011).  Prior to this class, I viewed copyright laws from a monetary point of view, as well as from a prohibitive point of view. The Act is meant to protect the original author’s work, reputation, and moral rights.  Furthermore, the Act protects the original author’s right to not have his/her work “distorted, mutilated or otherwise modified” (Reynolds, 2010, p. 49).  The Act doesn’t prohibit the re-writing of texts that are no longer copyrighted, nor does it prohibit re-writes when the courts have deemed that the texts are used for certain “fair” purposes as long as re-writes give credit to the original author(s) by sourcing the work.  Since marginalized groups are able to re-write texts under the fair dealing provision of the Copyright Act, I now don’t feel that marginalized groups face possible silencing from the Canadian Copyright Act (CMEC, 2012)

After obtaining a deeper understanding of copyright legislation, I now feel more comfortable using copyrighted material in my classroom.  I also feel that I am in a better position to help my students understand how to use and source copyrighted images, music and text, etc.  In future classes, I will take time to teach ‘mini’ lessons on copyright rules, teach my students how to search for Creative Commons material, as well as how to reference original author’s work.

References:

CMEC (2012).  Copyright matters.  Retrieved from http://www.cmec.ca/139/Programs-and-Initiatives/Copyright/Overview/index.html.

Derecho, A.  (2006).  “Archontic Literature:  A Definition, a History, and Several Theories of Fan Fiction,” in Karen Hellekson & Kristina Busse, eds., Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet (Jefferson, N.C.:  McFarland, 2006) 61 at 61.

Nenych, L. A.  (2011).  Managing the legal risk of high-tech classrooms.  Contemporary Issues In Education Research, 4(3), 1-7.

Reynolds, G.  (2010).  The impact of the Canadian copyright act on the voices of marginalized groups.  Alberta Law Review, 48(1), 35-53.

EDER Digital Citizenship: Blog 1-What is digital citizenship?

While in Maui, I have observed many examples of people practicing “Aloha”.  What does this mean?  Here in Hawaii, “Aloha” can mean many things.  At first, I thought that it only meant “hello or goodbye”; however, the saying “practice Aloha” appears on license plates and on signage everywhere.

In the Hawaiian language, “Aloha” means affection, peace, compassion and mercy.  Then in the 19th Century, English settlers started using it to refer to “hello or goodbye”.  The Hawaiian people now use this word to mean many things.

What I have observed is that the Hawaiians have a deep respect for each other, and they take an active role in helping to raise their children and in building relationships within their communities.  Although I haven’t visited a school here to witness how they manage digital media or whether they teach digital citizenship, I have been told that the Hawaiians practice “Aloha” in almost everything that they do.  They take this responsibility earnestly, so I feel that digital citizenship occurs even if they do not define it as such.  Hollandsworth et al. (2011) claims that “…it takes a village” to help students become better citizens, and the Hawaiians are taking vital steps to ensure their children learn their traditional culture of practicing “Aloha”.

Ohler (2011) refers to digital citizenship teaching as being part of any other character education programs.  Thus, according to this definition, the practice of “Aloha” is one aspect of digital citizenship.  Such good teaching practices at home, in communities and in schools build healthy, participatory societies that can function in the 21st Century.

Through my observations of how the Hawaiian people practice “Aloha” and through the readings for this week, I have expanded my understanding of digital citizenship to include more than being respectful of others.  I have learned that digital citizenship includes digital law, rights and responsibilities, access for everyone, communication, etiquette and much more.  I look forward to developing my understanding of digital citizenship so that I can improve my teaching practice.

Resources:

Hollandsworth, R., Dowdy, L., & Donovan, J.  (2011).  Digital Citizenship in K-12:  It Takes a Village.  Techtrends:  Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 55(4), 37-47.

Ohler, J.  (2011).  Digital Citizenship Means Character Education for the Digital Age.  Kappa Delta Pi Record, 48(1),  25-27.