Book Review, Higher Education, K-12, Open Education, PLN

10 Principles for the Future of Learning

While working on some late night treadmill mileage, I decided to catch up on documents and books I have been collecting on my Kindle. Last week I read The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age, which was a precursor to The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age book published by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Although this material is a bit dated, I think that some of the pedagogy still applies for educational development.

Image c/o Martin Hawksey (and his musings on this text as well). 

In the first collaborative project, the authors share ten principles to support the future of learning. Davidson and Goldberg (2009) presented these pillars of institutional pedagogy to help institutions rethink learning and meet the challenges that lie ahead for both K-12 and higher education:

  1. Self-Learning – discovering and exploring online possibilities
  2. Horizontal Structures – how learning institutions enable learning; from learning that to learning how; from content to process
  3. From Presumed Authority to Collective Credibility – shifting issues of authority to issues of credibility; understand how to make wise choices
  4. A De-Centered Pedagogy – adopt a more inductive, collective learning that takes advantage of our era and digital resources
  5. Networked Learning – socially networked collaborative learning stressing cooperation, interactivity, mutuality and social engagement
  6. Open Source Education – seeks to share openly and freely in the creation of culture and learning; provides a more collective model of interchange
  7. Learning as Connectivity and Interactivity – digital connection and interaction to produce sustainable, scaffolding ensembles
  8. Lifelong Learning – there is no finality to learning; learning is part of society and culture
  9. Learning Institutions as Mobilizing Networks – networks enable flexibility, interactivity, and outcome; new institutional organizations reliability and innovation
  10. Flexible Scalability and Simulation – new technologies allow for collaboration beyond distance or scale for productive interactions that warrant educational merit

Reference: Davidson, C.N. & Goldberg, D.T. (2009). The future of learning institutions in a digital age. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

#AcWri, #phdchat, Book Review, LPQ, Social Media

Book Review: Social Media for Educators #summerreading

After reading, Social Media for Educators by Tanya Joosten (a.k.a. @tjoosten), I decided to complete an #AcWri book review in the Learning and Performance Quarterly 1(2). Since this journal is online and open access, I thought I would blog a few key ideas and highlights from this #summerreading book. Book Review: Social Media for Educators [PDF]

Abstract: Social Media for Educators is an excellent book that interweaves theory, applications, and current pedagogical experiences for learning environments. For those in the learning and performance industry, this book provides insights and ideas to help guide social media use for both educators and learners. Joosten provides current examples, benefits, and considerations throughout each chapter. Whether educators are beginning to design their learning curriculum or learners are considering social media for organizational development, this book presents helpful insights and experiences that will potentially influence and shape effective engagement and learning with social media.

Keywords: Social Media, Education, Strategies, Practices Although I have previously blogged about strategies for developing social media guidelines — I thought I’d share a few other suggestions for social media engagement from the book. Here are a few ideas, but really I would just recommend reading the book if you’re interested in social media for learning, training or development.

Part One: Background I appreciate how Tanya Joosten lays out the history and evolution of what we now know as social media. Social media is defined by a number of educators and summarized as “A virtual place where people share; everybody and anybody can share anything anywhere anytime” (Joosten, 2012, p. 6). Social media encompasses Web 2.0 tools, social networking sites, and user-generated content where individuals engage and contribute to these digital spaces. This section introduces readers to how social media is being used to build a network, establish support systems, and grow relationships among peers. There are a number of examples where professionals can “get their feet wet” for using social media for professional/personal use. Finally, this section wraps up with implementation considerations and identifying the following pedagogical needs (Joosten, 2012, p. 30):

  1. Increasing communication and contact
  2. Engaging students through rich, current media
  3. Gathering and providing feedback
  4. Creating cooperative and collaborative learning opportunities
  5. Providing experiential learning opportunities

Part Two: Social Media: What to Do With It? I enjoyed how this section of the book presented practical case studies and useful ideas for social media communication and instructional design. The examples and “how to” guides for using social media are very helpful when considering how to enhance the learning environment. Many of these examples are excellent models for various types of learning experiences (in class, online, blended, etc.) and training opportunities (professional associations, affiliations, etc.). As an instructor/student, I agree with Joosten’s thoughts on how social media helps facilitate peer instruction and greater interactions. I also agree that social media features and characteristics often provide a richer learning experience (Joosten, 2012, p. 54), including:

  1. Provides a virtual space for storing, archiving, and retrieving
  2. Facilitates rich and current information
  3. Increases the ability to aggregate resources to share
  4. Offers immediate access to information through mobile apps or through RSS feeds

Part Three: Other Considerations in Implementation The last section of this book deals issues that often accompany social media in education, including policy, administrative and IT support, cost, user-generated media, support for educators, training needs, effective evaluation practices, and challenges for implementation and use. The last few chapters guides educators on how to go forth and create their own social media instructional plan at their home institution. Dr. Joosten provides evaluation instruments, suggestions for establishing learning outcomes, and assessment ideas for using social media in education.

References

Joosten, T. (2012). Social media for educators. San Francisco, CA: Wiley/Jossey-Bass.

Pasquini, L. A. (2012). Book review: Social media for educators. Learning and Performance Quarterly, 1(2); 83-84.

#AcWri, #phdchat, Book Review, PhD, Professional Development

Book Review: How to Write a Lot #SummerReading For #AcWri

In working on my research and dissertation proposal, I have been spending time with literature and #SummerReading. My #SummerReading book stack contains some theoretical works, #acwri support books, #phdchat guides, instructional design tips, and using the social web better for training, learning and development. [There are others, but they are loaded on my Kindle – more to come soon!]

Part of my summer away from course work is also dedicated beyond just reading, and is also focusing on my academic writing (#acwri). This turns my attention to the next book on my stack I’m currently reading = How to Write a Lot by Dr. Paul J. Silvia.

How to Write A Lot #SummerReading {hint, hint to me}

With travel time and holidays, there is plenty of time to both read and write. It’s nice to be away from the daily grind. This time away from the office and regular routine provides space for me to think about ideas and write. Since I finished this book, and I am motivated to write – I thought I might share it with other academic researchers who may need a little puss for their own writing practice.

I would agree with the author who defined this short text as “a practical guide to productive academic writing.” Dr. Silvia shares specious barriers to writing, and a few motivational tools to avoid “writer’s block” – which he thinks is bunk for most academic writers. There are a number of other hints and strategies shared for becoming a regular writer in graduate school and beyond in terms of writing style, manuscript submissions, and managing editorial responses. I also appreciated the helpful suggestions on how to create habitual writing practices for different types of projects, such as grants, books, journal articles, etc. The most helpful section in this sort read that might be useful for graduate students or junior faculty is the section on developing an agraphia group to keep you motivated and on track. Here are the five components suggested by Dr. Paul Silvia for a successful agraphia group for those of you who might need constructive source of social pressure to write:

  1. Set concrete short-term goals and monitor the group’s progress – proximal goal setting
  2. Stick to writing goals, not other professional goals – it’s not about professional development or reading about writing
  3. Big carrots can double as sticks – have informal social rewards for good habits; intervention required for those who are not meeting writing goals; check and balance for writing
  4. Have different groups for faculty and students – each group will have different writing priorities (see Chapter #3) and different writing struggles
  5. [Optional] Drink coffee – or tea, smoothies, etc. Meeting outside the department or office can be a good thing for this writing group.

Reference:

Silvia, P.J. (2007). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive writing. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.