Fair Game

Hey, this blog entry is in response to the reading “Cheating is Learning”.

I found it easy to relate to this article, it made a lot of sense to me. I find it difficult to store information in my memory for any period of time (unless I get to apply it). My mind is not wired that way and I think that a lot of people can relate to the way I feel.

I work with an instructor in Georgetown that recently  graduated from the B.Ed (HRD) program. He has been a huge help to me both as a teacher and a student. I mention him because he is a prime example of someone who uses the internet as an information tool. He is forever looking up something, whether it be trying to find part numbers, learning how to fix something, or figuring out how to use a feature in his outlook e-mail. He has figured out how to incorporate the internet into solving the challenges that he faces each day. He has also taught me a bit about organizing information on my computer and shares helpful trade related teaching material with me. I consider him to be a valuable member of my network and have benefited greatly from his professionalism.

Through this article and in class discussion, I have identified the value of having a professional digital network and I now understand that there are many more helpful tools out there to solve more complex problems. It was pretty cool to see the fast (almost instant) response of Dave’s SocioViz question today that he tweeted to members of his professional network. I can see how this could work for me in my teaching profession.

I do use the internet as an information tool, but I have never taken the time to become part of a digital network. For example, in the past I have searched for information in old posts that I found in discussion forms. I have never taken the time to join the group to ask questions or provide feedback to others.

The first couple of classes have opened my eyes to the value of professional networking online. The next time I catch myself wasting time searching for answers in an old discussion form, I am going to take the time to join the group and post my question. With a little practice, I think it will be more efficient use of the resource.

Dustin

Daily Blog 2 by Rose

Day 2 of classes cleared up some things for me. I left yesterday unsure of what to expect from an assignment perspective. I am still not 100% sure what is due when, (other than the final write ups by the Sunday after classes). To be honest, I am not even sure if I am required to post a daily blog today or if the article post was sufficient. Anyway, I am hoping tomorrow clears some of that up.

I am looking forward to this Tool Parade. I am eager to get to what I feel might be the meat of the course for me. Tools I can put into my class easily and effectively. To draw on Dustin’s post, I don’t want to put something into class that I don’t fully understand and feel comfortable with.  I agree with what Dave was saying, in that in order to use the many tools available we first have to see whether it is applicable to our course. This stuck with me.  This past year has been a bombardment of information and tools, both digital and not, and I am super excited when I hear about them and just want to employ them all in my course.  But I need to take a step back and see which tools will most benefit my students and me and which ones might be better saved for another focus.

I am not the most patient of people so I have a hard time with the learning curve sometimes. Wanting to know too much too quickly and ending up with a half ass knowledge of a couple things.  I am noticing that blogs or things like that seem to come more naturally to me than twitter. Maybe it’s a time thing. I can sit, think and write about something meaningful about class and what it means to me but seem to have a more difficult time with meaningful Tweets…again its only been a day with twitter and I have much more experience with reflections.

On a side note, I have kitchen counters now! …lost the sink…but hey kitchen counters are nice. Anyone know a good plumber for some minor drain adjusting? Or a moderate plumber? As long as it doesn’t leak basically I’m happy. J

Eryn’s response to Dave’s article

I liked Dave’s post and agree with it. I’m interested to hear what others thought of it.

Because information is so easily available, is it necessary to continue to focus on ensuring learners “jam all the information in their brains”? I don’t think it is. If we are looking at education and learning in a general sense, I think the more important skills that need to be taught are 1. How to gain critical thinking skills and 2. Being able to communicate our thoughts with each other. And when I say communicate, I mean both being able to articulate what we are thinking and also listening and actually hearing other perspectives on a given topic. We don’t have to agree, but to be able to actually “hear” one’s perspective and give it consideration, will bring us much more valuable learning than summative assessments (tests, exams, etc.) would. I liked how we discussed the difference between simple, complicated and complex scenarios in our first day of this course. We discussed how most (if not all) scenarios that involve humans are complex. As humans we may find ourselves in similar situations, but we all experience those situations differently and as a result may have different outcomes. Now take that thought to the classroom; Classrooms are made up of humans- so the action of learning is very complex and as such should not always have to be tested in summative ways.

Having said that, if we look at teachin,g specifically at Holland College, we do have to consider that many programs at HC teach to a very specific trade or industry. Because of this, I think there may be a reasonable amount of knowledge that one does have to gain to be able to do that specific job. In those situations, I think developing curriculum and ensuring outcomes and competencies are met are extremely important.
But in the realm of technology, especially considering that it’s always changing, I think collaborative learning totally fits this course.

Here’s a reference to Dave’s post:

Why we work together – cheating as learning

See you all on twitter tonight.

Eryn

Cheating as Learning? Leona Perry

 

The last paragraph of this article says it all for me: cheat but be honest about it. If the student has been given permission to cheat, in my mind it really isn’t cheating at all.  I would see that as more of an open book/internet resource type of assessment or as a collaborative effort if the “cheating” involves getting the answers from someone else.  I have no problem with these types of assessments.  Learning is a continual on-going process and I don’t see why the learning can’t be still happening during an assessment, at least for the most part.

Having said that, I’m a big believer in honesty.  If a student cheats in a test and it is actual cheating in the sense that they are supposed to have this knowledge stored in their brain for whatever reason by this time, then they are being dishonest.   Place that student in the work force at some point in the future.  What type of an employee will they be?  Not one I would want to hire and not one I would want to have to rely on as a co-worker.

I always tell my students to look things up if they aren’t sure about something.  After many years working as an RN, I am well aware of the dangers of going ahead with a task without really being sure what you are doing.  It is so much better to look a little dumb having to search something up than look like a real idiot if you end up making a mistake…and oh, yeah, there is also that little concern about endangering someone’s life!

Still, there also has to be a limit to having to search for information while on the job.  In health care, as in many other types of professions, there just isn’t always the time for that.  I have sat in my doctor’s office while he searched up something obscure and still had total confidence in his abilities.  The same would not be true if I was on a stretcher in front of him in say, anaphylactic shock and he had to rely on google for guidance.  Even if it isn’t really a life or death thing, what kind of world would it be if no one ever bothered to become truly proficient in their line of work?

The brain is an amazing organ.  One of its main functions is to store knowledge.  So why not use it?

Steph’s Day 2 Blog- Article Response

While reading Dave’s article titled “WHY WE WORK TOGETHER – CHEATING AS LEARNING” I found myself thinking about Bloom’s Taxonomy. Specifically as it pertains to recalling information as opposed to understanding it and being able to apply and analyze it.

If you’re not familiar with Blooms old or the new revised version I’ve included a pic which helps to make sense of it.  Basically the lower on the pyramid the smaller the likelihood of students using it in the future in a meaningful way. PS The pyramid on the right is the newer version used today.

pyramid

The further I read down the article, the more I began to challenge my preconceived notions of what learning “should” look like. In my brain, there’s like a stock photo of a student at a desk with a textbook and a teacher at the front of a room at the chalkboard. (How dated is that?!) When in real life, the “Aha moments” that have stuck with me throughout my education are of times when I was having fun, challenging myself, working either hands on or in collaboration with other people.

This thought lead me into “Learning Styles”. I know I’m very auditory, when I’m engaged and hear what is being said, I’ll recall that for a very long time. Whereas on the flip side, I can remember virtually nothing I read out of a textbook. I’ve included a link to a quick survey that determines ones learning style. It only takes a minute so feel free to check it out and see if it applies to you.

http://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire/

In the article Dave also mentioned the term “student centered” which is a term I hear a lot within the school system. I think this concept must be increasing challenging for teachers to meet all the various needs and skill levels of learners, all while recognizing everyone learns differently.

Rose’s Article Response

I like this article. I like things that are straightforward and invite discussion.  I have to say that I am still on the side of no “cheating”. I think the problem might be in the way we test or mark success not in the way students get their info on test day. If students need to gather their information from other sources during an evaluation of student understanding, then all we have established is that they have smart friends or good resources. Both are which are advantageous in any field but the evaluation does not tell us what the student understands and comprehends and is able to apply on his own. At the end of the day, you’re testing their knowledge not that of the group. As I said, maybe our testing needs to change but I still want to know if the student has learned and understood rather than if he can ask a friend or google. I think it has absolute practicality in the setting of a classroom to use groups and technology as learning tools but when I put that into the context of paramedicine, those resources may not be available on the side of the road or in someone’s home. I can’t help but think that there are a lot of topics and skills that they need to have a full understanding of and be able to apply or teach or talk about it without the use of aids. I for one would be horrified to have a medic show up and say “just a sec, I need to phone a friend/google this/you tube that skill” I believe in having resources available to reference, especially with those high acuity- low volume calls. I believe that is also where continuing education comes in. Today’s students (generalization here) need to know that yes the learning process involves collaboration and research and using available resources. Also that the learning should continue after the classroom. But they also need to understand that at some point they need to stand on their own feet and draw on their own knowledge and understanding. If we create a generation of people who just use other people’s information, then we end up slowing knowledge progression down the road. Especially if students don’t build on what they are gathering which seems to be a trend I have noticed in the past couple of years. Students grab for the lowest bar and are comfortable with that. Collaboration and research and self directed learning force students to go a little deeper into the information if only because their classmates are doing so and they feel obligated to keep up.

I see value in it for some courses like communications or wellness or even patient assessment. Where discussion and dialogue and research play important roles and are part of the learning objectives. Active participation is knowledge gathering and understanding sharing might be the “testing” in this instance.

To end, I like this quote from the article;

“Learning how to deal with uncertainty… with that feeling of not being sure what the right answer is and deciding anyway – that is the critical step towards knowing.”

 

DQ

I enjoyed today’s class far more than I expected I would, given my limited technological abilities.  I was happy to find “my people” so soon into discussions.  I look forward to learning with/from everyone, especially since the environment feels safe, respectful and fun.

After having attended the Digital Dialogue workshop at HC in June 2016, I’d anticipated that as part of my self-directed study in this course, ED 366, I would pick up where I left off with my goal of creating an online identity.  This was something I’d identified as a preliminary (complicated) task associated with my bigger (more complex) goal of becoming “connected” enough to converse with other professionals in the field of disability from around the world.  In June, I “looked into” and made a few feeble attempts at building a personal/professional WordPress blog site as a launching point for my online self.

Before long (basically after choosing a theme in WordPress) it became apparent to me that I lacked understanding of some (most) of the digital jargon that seems necessary to understand in order to “fill in the blanks” of the blog site template.  For instance, along the sidebar of most templates/themes it asks questions about “daughter, parent etc.”  I found myself wondering aloud: Are they really asking me about my family or is this some formatting lingo that I’ll have to familiarize myself with?   This led me to ask myself whether I’d bitten off more than I could reasonably chew, let alone digest.  In other words, I wondered…is this really a smart place for me to start?

In preparation for ED 366 (in keeping with the theme of trying to create an online identity) I decided instead to try something more user-friendly and manageable (simple) like setting up a Twitter account and then trying to find like-minded people/organizations in the field of disability that I could follow.  Even at that I’ve run into some difficulties, like some of the people I’ve asked to follow sending me messages asking me to “validate” using TrueTwit.  Because I chose to follow the link that they provided, I’ve discovered that TrueTwit is a validation service that allows Twitter users to “stop wasting time with spammers.”  It basically wants to know whether or not I am a bot, which can supposedly be determined if I can properly re-type the message in the “captcha.”  Holy frig—Am I a bot?  Will I become one?  I’ve had to ask myself…(already this has gone from simple to complex).

All of this to say, that I’m not sure I’ll get back to my WordPress blog just yet.  As is, it’s looking pretty weak (my page).  I might even step away from efforts to represent myself online temporarily.  The reason is that with each digital footprint I create, I feel a growing uncertainty about the terrain that lies ahead.  Since I am not someone who wants to become paralyzed by fear, I am asking myself some personal questions about “internal barriers” that stand in the way of my wanting to forge ahead.  I think that gaining some more knowledge about digital safety and security would help.  According to this wheel, which was shared with our PD group in June by @bonstewart, I’m looking at increasing my ‘DQ’ in the areas of digital safety and digital security.

digital skills

My thought is that I might try to explore what “terms of service” really means for things like Twitter or Slack, which I see as tools that I would consider using in the classroom, but not without due diligence (further investigation/finding out what I don’t know about the risk(s)).

Rose’s blog post…at last

Good day everyone! Great to see some familiar faces and meet a couple new ones! Welcome to blog post number 1!

When I first signed up for this course, it was solely in the mindset of getting one step closer to completing my CAE.  I was not overly excited by the mornings only, over 2 weeks of my summer. That being said, when I asked around to other who had taken the course, I was a bit more optimistic.  When I think about where I am at with technology, let alone using it as an educational tool, and then where my students are at with techy things, I shudder!  because I am a good distance behind the 8 ball on a lot of techy things.  For this course, I am hoping to challenge myself to be more open to, and efficient with, digital media and using different technologies in the classroom. If that filters out into my personal life that would be great as well. I have taken all my CAE courses with a very practical outlook. I am looking for the everyday helpful applications that I can incorporate into my courses easily and effectively.  I am currently less interested in the philosophies behind it all. I trust that will come later as I become more comfortable in the classroom.

I began teaching at the college last July, and was immediately put in charge of 3 courses in our distance program. Needless to say, I was a bit out of my element. However, I managed to muddle through using rudimentary technological applications and programs. It didn’t go overly well and all I could think was, “ugh, I hope CAE teaches us how to teach a distance course” (aside from my inner voice saying RUN! RUN AWAY! ) J  I am hoping this is where this course comes in.  I teach a Trauma course this coming semester for our distance students. I am looking to revamp it and create a more interactive course that students will actually enjoy or at least take an active participation in. I have started to look (read “Googled it”) into ways to make interactive handouts and assignments. I am hoping these will allow for live documents and students who may not live near one another to still work in teams or groups. I value group work and see a true value in it when I use it with my onsite students. I am hoping to re-create this environment in the online world.  Dave mentioned Prezi today, which I am not familiar with. One of our faculty members has used it once or twice with success and I am eager to translate my never ending PowerPoints into interactive presentations, like Prezi, that get students involved in the material and maybe incorporate some of those interactive handouts in as well to help support the learning and give students a chance to practice or work through different Trauma assessments, skills, and procedures. I suppose overall, I am looking to support my own learning with some new technologies that I can be comfortable with and hopefully translate that into higher learning for the students. Let the learning begin!  J

 

Always a Good Idea to Have a Plan B! Leona Perry

Despite the glitches I experienced in the classroom this morning, I left feeling like I accomplished what I needed to accomplish.  So all’s well that ends well as the saying goes.  But what if it hadn’t ended so well?  I’d be sitting here pretty frustrated tonight, trying to get caught up. Perhaps I’d even be crying as we’ve been told some past students have done.  Though I doubt that.  I’m really more of a kicker and a screamer than a crier!

So, again, what if the glitches just don’t get ironed out and the class time is ticking away and you’ve got “x” amount of content to cover that day and your days are already jammed packed and you’ve got a roomful of students sitting there looking at you and you’re breaking a sweat and you’re feeling like a totally inept idiot and…and…and…what then?  If your lesson plan is totally technology based and things just aren’t working that day, will all be lost?

I am not a big lover of technology (could you tell ??) though over the past couple of years, as I worked on my CAE courses, I have certainly come a long way, not only in what I have learned but also in the way I look at technology in education.  More and more, I am seeing how both teaching and learning can be enhanced by technology in the classroom.  Most days I even enjoy it!

Still, no matter how terrific technology can be, we all know that it is only wonderful when it works and we all know that it doesn’t always work!  Hence the theme of this blog which is always having a plan B to pull out of your pocket in case the original plan is shot down.  When you are heading in to teach a class, you need to be prepared to teach a different way if it is going to be one of those bad tech days!  I’m not sure if Dave had an actual plan B for our first class but he certainly expected glitches and was prepared to deal with them.  So though things weren’t exactly smooth, at least we got through it!

Alan’s first blog post

  1. Hi All,

I came into the course today not knowing what to expect. I was excited and very nervous at the same time. This is my second course towards my CAE. I am normally a procrastinator when it comes to writing about myself. I’m hoping this will give me an opportunity to be more relaxed about all the available ways to communicate.

I enjoy new challenges and am looking forward to expanding my brain over the next seven days. I had started a Twitter account before, however I never sent a single tweet.

I’m not entirely technically illiterate though. I do have a YouTube channel with a lot of course related videos that I use to illustrate some of the points I’ve made in class. It has been a great resource that the students seem to relate to. I’m hoping I can expand on that. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this little fact, I also have hundreds of hours logged playing my PlayStation.

At the end of class today I was relieved. Not because it was over, but because I was still excited and a lot more relaxed. It’s been along time since I left a class as a student and had a smile on my face. The way we did the introductions I thought was great. It is much easier to describe someone else than onesself.(spellcheck)

I am already seeing the ways I can use some of what I learned today in my classroom. I normally don’t care much for PowerPoint however I enjoyed Daves PowerPoint on the simple, complicated, and complex challenges we can be faced with.It reminded me of some of the challenges we have in teaching adults as opposed to children. Adults bring a lot more life experience into the learning process. Some more complex than others.

It was a pleasure learning about my fellow classmates and our Professor Dave. I’m looking forward to the networking opportunities and am thrilled at the chance to bring back what I will learn to my classroom.  My main goals for this course are to stay current with the advances in communication and to ultimately become a better instructor. In closing I would like to point out that my laptop was not cooperating with me in writing this blog. I hope it will come out formatted and not one big jumble of words as I’m writing this on my iPhone.

Cheers!