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Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 10 Learning: Interactively and Collaboratively

Monday, November 01, 2010

This week we started off with Abdullah presenting his MARC (midterm project). He wrote a paper however he went further by presenting a visual representation of all that he has learned in the class. Honestly, I was more than impressed for 3 reasons:
1. The detail of the visual representation makes me want to learn more
2. The in person audio that Abdullah provided helped to emphasize points of his visual presentation which could stand alone if needed.
3. I feel as though the summary of the first 9 weeks of this R685 Web 2.0 Class has helped me to see its overall big picture. Kudos!

Interactive Learning is getting information through a hands-on, interactive means. Collaborative Learning is  grouping learning together to get one learning goal. Four types of Collaborative Learning are Think-Pair-Share, Three-step Interview, Simple Jigsaw, and Numbered Heads Together.

Next, Rita H. Oates, Ph.D. from ePals presented on ePal and K-12 collaboration. What is ePals? ePals is "the leading provider of safe collaborative technology for schools to connect and learn in a protected, project-based learning network (ePals 2010)". She described that Web 0.0 is simply a book, Web 1.0 is searching online, and Web 2.0 is interactively learning at a distance (i.e. online). She stated that ePals is a global community where we can all internationally learn and interact from and with each other. In short, ePal is the "World's Largest K-12 Learning Network!" (ePals 2010). After Dr. Oates brief introduction of herself and ePals, she spent the majority of the class exploring ePals sites for us to see. This sees like something I should take further interest in if I decided to continue down the K-12 path. 

We next followed by presenting quotes that we found in the various readings that was applicable to our personal studies. My two were:
1. "Distance learners are generally as engaged and often more engaged than their campus-based counterparts, with the exception of engagement in active and collaborative learning activities". (Chen et. al 2008). I chose this quote as I agree with it. Yes, since distance learners are not on campus, they have to spend that extra time on projects and presentations as they cannot hop up and go to face-to-face office hours or help for further clarification however with this, distance learners do tend to miss out on learning in a collaborative sense in that they tend to learn and work solo.
2. "Older students report greater gains and are more likely to engage in higher order mental activities such as analysis and synthesis as part of their studies" (Chen et al. 2008) In classes where I have older, non-traditional students specifically at the undergraduate level, I do tend to see that they are more analytic than the typical, traditional student. Their views helps them to learn has they have had more outside of the classroom experience than the traditional students.

Finally, Dr. Bonk ended the class with a presentation on online collaboration. This was an interesting presentation for me to listen to as it made me think differently of my first quote above. Dr. Bonk reminded us of the SARS epidemic in China, the Katrina Hurricane in New Orleans, and the earthquake in Haiti. Through the use of distance learning such as Ustream, Skype, and Google Docs, those hit by natural disasters and epidemics can still be on the same track as those who have the live, face-to-face setting. Yes this is a Web 2.0n class but when you read certain articles that are very convincing, sometimes I will forget that there are more out there with great information just like this week. In general Interactive and Collaborative Learning go hand-in-hand. They work with each other.

1. Chen, P., R. Gonyea, and G. Kuh (2008). Learning at a distance: Engaged or not?. Innovate 4 (3). Retrieved on June 25, 2010, fromhttp://www.innovateonline.info/pdf/vol4_issue3/Learning_at_a_Distance-__Engaged_or_Not_.pdf

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elke,

    Thank you for the nice words about my project.
    I will not say it was a breeze, the tool I used is a little visually confusing, and that goes for all new technologies. So think of ePals, the idea seems very simple and easy to use, but for a teacher to use it in an effective and interactive approach, there a lot of steps that have to be taken before, during, and after the use of the tool. In the same sense, the Prezi tool gets more demanding the more you use it and that can happen in interactive and collaborative tools when they are fully integrated into the educational process. I don't intend to sound negative, but we are always presented with bright side of any technology while the dark side is left for us to discover as we become more dependent on it.

    I believe that before we reach the level of interaction and collaboration in any given tool, we need to master that tool and find out own way of using it, this way we would have a solid ground to relay on when we get intense with the tool.