Is it more than good-bad, clean-dirty, acceptable-taboo?

After the course readings and videos this week, I was left disappointed and upset with our social culture. I began this post writing about why trolls were the whole problem, why white-middle-aged men were causing this, and how we should just ignore people who revel in creating emotional distress by turning of comments or not responding. However, I think this issue is beyond complicated, it is not only about trolls and white-middle-aged men, and how if we ignore these issues, they will go away. These issues of trolling, online harassment, and scammers are complex issues that deal with more than just a problem our society is facing on the internet, it is impacting our social culture and society as whole.


Why is harassment, especially targeted at women, in the online space so common? Why is sexist, racist, and hateful language seen as a norm? Why are we encouraged to not feed the trolls and simply ignore them, allowing this issue to continue? How do we make change?

Trolling, online harassment, and scammers are complex issues that need to be compared to real life crime. In some cases it is more than harassment and online abuse, the terms online harassment and online abuse are too easy to disregard and not see as complex issues, often telling people to ignore it or get off the internet if you don’t like it. Is this how we would treat people with offline issues of the same complexity? No. As John Oliver compares online issues to real life, it would be like saying, if you don’t want to get burgled, then don’t live in a house.

There’s no quick technological fix to end hate speech online, for it’s a deeply rooted societal ill which needs greater tackling offline – not a one-day Twitter boycott or a report abuse button” —Marta Cooper via The Telegraph

What can we do as a society to end hate speech, stop sexism, end racism, work towards social justice, and tackle complex issues online? To begin we should start the conversation and continue to speak out about controversial issues. Technology is not the problem here, it is a bigger societal issue.

 

(Digital) Identities, Cyber-Sleuthing, and Digital Empathy

After reading Dallas, Luke, and Logan’s blogs and our required readings this week, I was inspired to do a self-check-up on my digital identity. I have googled myself in the past, but haven’t had the urge to do it recently. Last term in EC&I 832, the whole theme was digital citizenship and media literacies and so the reading this week were something I grew quite passionate about last term. How does our digital footprint (or even our digital tattoo) impact our future?

The video below delves into this question of our (digital) identities and how they might impact our future.

morninglive.PNG
Regina Morning Live- Social Media Sanfus

To do a self-check-up, I thought I would go through the digital identity and digital citizenship exercises as shared by Alec Couros in September 2015.

The following questions were asked:

  • If you Googled yourself, what would you find?
  • Did anything surprise you?
  • Are you happy with what you found?

I thought I had a pretty decent idea of what I would find when I googled myself as I learned to manage and create a strong digital identity back in 2009 when I took ECMP 455. However, when I googled myself under my new last name, I didn’t find as much as anticipated. I knew I would find my blog, anything school related, Twitter account, and a few other random online sites, but I honestly thought I would find more. Nothing really surprised me, except for the fact that there was so little and I was quite happy with what I found. Although I am not a master cyber-sleuther like Katia Hildebrandt, who was able to dig up copious amounts of information on someone in 30 minutes, I am pleased with what I found.

As I think about my digital dossier, I quite pleased with my lifelong accumulation of digital footprints that shape my identity. I have worked hard to manage my digital identity and have tried to create an online identity that not only depicts who I am, but also showcases the positive aspects about me. This may be creating a bit of split image, but it is the identity I am proud to share on the internet.

Another question presented in the document is:

How do we deal with information about our identity that is false, that we’re not proud of, or things that we’d rather forget?

We are creating a (digital) identity in a world that no longer forgets and it is important be critical about what you see and find online before passing judgement. Some key points when finding problematic posts or other content that may not represent the best image of an individual are:

  1. Context and Audience Matters
  2. Intent Matters
  3. History Matters
  4. Authorship Matters
  5. Empathy Matters

I encourage you to head over to Alec or Katia’s blog post on (digital) identity to further your understanding on how to critically examine online artefacts and to increase your awareness of digital empathy and understanding.

 

 

Welcome Transliterate Librarians!

Welcome Transliterate Librarians! 

I am finally feeling the excitement shared by other members in EC&I 832  in the past few weeks with the completion of my final project! This has been a long process and I may have set out to accomplish a bigger task than anticipated, but I am extremely happy with the product!

I believe my website for transliterate librarians is a great resource that is user-friendly and allows teachers to integrate digital citizenship lessons through cross-curricular lessons. These lessons are not meant to add more work load to teachers, nor are they to be disconnected from the curriculum. They are created the enhance and transform lessons to help create and inspire digital leaders within in the classroom and to promote digital citizenship and media literacy.

The final product contains an opening page describing the websites purpose, four landing pages (inquiry and research, evaluating resources, creating and sharing, and digital citizenship), and 12 lessons to support transliteracy.

Although this project is completed at this stage in the game, it is far from over. It is my hope that with collaboration from fellow teacher librarians we will be able to add lessons to the database. If you would like to collaborate with me on it, please fill out the contact page on the weebly site and I will get in touch!

A special thanks for Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell and Genna Rodriguez for allowing me to use the Digital Citizenship Lesson plan page as found on my lessons. And a huge thank you to Joyce Valenza and Gwyneth Jones  for inspiring this project! Lastly, thank you to Alec Couros and Katia Hildebrandt for giving me guidance and introducing me to new and emerging ideas surrounding digital citizenship and media literacy, but also the freedom to make this project meaningful and authentic to me.

 

 

A summary of my learning, but the beginning of my journey

I came into this course feeling confident in my ability to teach and model digital citizenship; however, as the weeks went on, I realized there was a lot for me to learn! During the past few months in this course we have explored a large number of topics related to digital citizenship and the complex nature of how our digital world impacts identity. We explored the interconnectedness of media literacy, online identity, and how to be responsible citizens in our global networks and society.

During Module 1, we were introduced to media literacy, looking at the foundational theories in media education and the implications of our views of media literacy and digital citizenship in education. In the past there was this idea that we had two separate identities, one in the online world and one in the offline world. However, as our participation in digital culture and media has evolved, we are moving away from the term digital dualism to the term augmented reality as a way to describe how our digital world shapes everything from our relationships to the way we view the world.  The idea that we never fully log off impacts our responsibility as educators to teach and model digital citizenship in schools and how we can challenge students to become digital citizens and leaders.

Module 2 explored identity and citizenship in a mediated culture. We looked at what it means to be a (digital) citizen. The reason I have digital in brackets is because as we live in an augmented reality and our online identity directly impacts our offline identity and vice-versa. Even though we may portray an edited version of our self online, it is still impacting us socially, emotionally, and  psychologically. We looked at stories such as, One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life, Split Image, and The Sextortion of Amanda Todd which identified the challenges of identity in a mediated world.  We need to be aware of our identity in both online and offline spaces. We are living in a world where everything we do is immortalized on the web, and what may be a silly mistake is no longer forgotten. danah boyd notes that our participation in mediated publics affects us in unique ways such four properties:

  1. Persistence : what you say sticks around.
  2. Searchability: what we do and where we go can be searched.
  3. Replicability: content is copyable, so it is difficult to determine if it has been doctored.
  4. Scalability: Our potential audience is grand.

Our mediated publics are also impacted by three dynamics:

  1. Invisible audiences: not all audiences are visible when a person is contributing online, nor are they necessarily co-present
  2. Collapsed contexts: The lack of spatial, social, and temporal boundaries makes it difficult to maintain distinct social contexts.
  3. The blurring of public and private: without control over context, the idea of public and private become lost too.

As the context of our online identity is open to interpretation by others and is everlasting, it is extremely important to portray yourself the way you want to be remembered. With that being said, it is also important to model empathy and encourage our students, parents, administrators, and society to be empathetic to mistakes made online. Key ways to model and teach citizenship were explored though Ribble’s Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship and Saskatchewan’s Digital Citizenship Continuum.

Module 3 pulled the prior knowledge we gained from module 1 and 2 together looking at media and our students. We looked at the new and emerging literacies and their impact on future work skills and how we should be teaching to the 21st century learner. Additionally, we looked at the social learning theory and participatory culture in literacy. This course has pushed me to publish my thoughts and ideas and to contribute to a learning community, which was sometimes uncomfortable. However, this push has challenged me to be a more critical thinker, produce better products in my reflections, and both learn and contribute to my PLN (something I had been slacking at prior to this course). I have gained more from this course and being connected with others than I have in prior courses in my graduate classes and I think this due to me creating and sharing with others and learning from others in the course. One of the best learning tools in this course, was my reflections on my blog. It was nice to have guidance on key topics, but also the freedom to dig deeper into topics of interest.

In addition to the modules, reflections, and connections made in my PLN, I was able to create a website for Teacher Librarians for my major project.  The role of the Teacher Librarian is changing. TLs are no longer the keepers of information, but rather media specialists and educational leaders. TLs collaborate with other teachers to implement engaging and innovative technologies, engage students in inquiry based learning, and to teach students how to use technology as responsible digital citizens. The purpose of the website is to provide a comprehensive resource for TLs and teachers that includes lessons and resources on the four domains of what TLs teach according to Joyce Valenza and Gwyenth Jones.  The website includes teacher resources on inquiry and research, evaluating resources, creating and sharing, and digital citizenship. My major project follows the lesson plan format from our Educational Technology team in RCSD. It is my hope that this project will continue to grow and develop with input from other TLs within our school division.

As I said earlier, I came into the course feeling confident in my ability to teach and model digital citizenship. However I leave this course feeling renewed and refreshed in my commitment to being a digital leader in my school and society. Teachers need to shift their view from the “I should…” to the “How can I?” thinking critically about how we can incorporate digital citizenship and leadership into our daily teachings. I am excited to continue to grow as a digital leader in my school, my PLN, and family. My impact may be small to start, but hopefully by modeling my own leadership, I can motivate someone teacher, student, family member to make a change and become a digital leader as well.

Thank you Alec and Katia and fellow EC&I 832 students for making this term a valuable one! I look forward to continued learning and growth with you in my PLN!

 

Introducing… Transliterate Librarians

Sands of Time
Photo Credit: ipsbmtc via Compfight cc

I am feeling very good about my final project. I feel like it is coming together nicely and I have enough time to complete it to the standard I would like. Although my website is not finished yet and is missing some of the lesson plans, I feel comfortable to share the link with you to explore the website and give me some feedback!

TL

www.transliteratelibrarians.weebly.com

Last week I finished the landing pages for my website and this week I continued developing and finalizing the lesson plans. I have completed and uploaded 4 lesson plans and have 8 more to go.

I have really enjoyed making the lesson plans as it has helped me gain a deeper understanding of how I can teach digital citizenship in school and how embedded the skills are in the renewed Saskatchewan curriculum.

This past week I created a lesson on Creative Commons with help from Common Sense Education and my own understanding of fair use has grown a great deal! I hope other teachers are able to use the site I am creating to integrate lessons into their teaching to not only create digital citizens, but also digital leaders!

The move from digital citizens to digital leaders

During the past few months in this course we have explored a large number of topics related to digital citizenship the complex nature of how our digital world impacts identity. In the past there was this idea that we had two separate identities, one in the online world and one in the offline worlds. However, as our participation in digital culture and media has evolved, the idea of digital dualism or an augmented reality is a better way to describe how our digital world shapes everything from our relationships the way we view the world.  This idea that we never fully log off impacts our responsibility as educators to teach and model digital citizenship in schools. Is the term “digital citizenship” becoming dated as well? Should our responsibility be to teach and model citizenship in general? Should we stop there or should we push and challenge students to move from digital citizens to digital leaders?

What is the difference between a digital citizen and a digital leader? A good digital leader can be a digital citizen, but a digital citizen isn’t necessarily a digital leader.

Couros defines digital leadership as:

“Using the vast reach of technology (especially the use of social media) to improve the lives, well-being, and circumstances of others.” (From, Digital Leadership Defined)

Jennifer Casa-Todd interprets digital leadership as encouraging student to use technology and social media to make a difference in our world by empowering others who have no voice, addressing societal inequality, promoting important causes, learning and sharing, and being a more positive influence in the lives of others. By being a digital leader students from apathy to action becoming enlightened, empowered, empathetic, ethical, and engaged citizens.

Conceptual Foundations
Understanding the Conceptual Framework from Renewed Saskatchewan Curricula

Digital citizenship and leadership is embedded across all renewed Saskatchewan curricula through cross-curricular competencies and broad areas of learning. Just as citizenship and leadership is taught and modeled through the curriculum and broad areas of learning, Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship are intertwined and intermingled. Citizenship and leadership cannot be a one and done type of lesson. It must be embedded into your daily conversations, tasks, inquiries, and teachings.  This transformation from digital citizenship to digital leaders allows for critical thinking, collaboration, initiative, adaptability, communication, synthesis, curiosity, and imagination, which are essential skills in the Saskatchewan curriculum. Additionally, it achieves the goal of multiple literacies allowing students to construct knowledge, explore and interpret the world, express understandings, and communicate new meanings.

I must admit, I was feeling a lot like Claire, coming into the class feeling confident in my ability to teach and model digital citizenship, but as the weeks went on, I realized I had much to learn and many ares needing growth. I am now feeling renewed and refreshed my commitment to being a digital leader in my school. Teachers need to shift their view from the “I should…” to the “How can I?” thinking critically about how we can incorporate digital citizenship and leadership into our daily teachings. This past year I took on a new role as Teacher Librarian and part of the reason I did was so that I could take on more of a leadership role within the school. I am excited that the role of the Teacher Librarian is changing. TLs are no longer the keepers of information, but rather media specialists and educational leaders. TLs collaborate with other teachers to implement engaging and innovative technologies to improve student learning, engage students in inquiry based learning to help develop multiple literacies, and teach students how to use technology to find information and with the information the ability extract and synthesize it to formulate new meaning. Through my role as a TL I am able to be a leader in helping teachers model and teach the Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum from K-12, Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship, and RCSD’s Essential Skills of 21st Century Learning.

As an educator and future parent, I need to model digital citizenship and leadership in my own online identity. We are living in a world where everything we do is immortalized on the web, therefore what may be a silly mistake is no longer forgotten. Although I try to model engaged citizenship in unmediated publics as well, our presence in networked publics affects us in unique ways: Four properties—persistence, searchability, replicability, and scalability—and three dynamics—invisible audiences, collapsed contexts, and the blurring of public and private. As the context of our online identity is open to interpretation by others and is everlasting, it is extremely important to portray yourself the way you want to be remembered. With that being said, it is also important to model empathy and encourage our students, parents, administrators, and society to be empathetic to mistakes made online.

Parents of our students need guidance and reminders that although their children have grown up around technology, they are not automatically positive digital citizens. They still need to be taught how to be positive members of society both online and offline, they need constant reminders and conversations, and they need to be empathetic.

I will continue to be a digital leader in my school, my PLN, and family. My impact may be small to start, but hopefully by modeling my own leadership, I can make a difference and motivate a teacher, student, or family member to make a change and become a digital leader as well.

A world that directly impacts your offline identity as much as your online identity.

After viewing the documentary “The Sextortion of Amanda Todd” I was flabbergasted. I had heard of the story of Amanda Todd after her suicide and her YouTube video holding up handwritten notes regarding how one mistake she made online led to severe bullying both at school and online. However, I did not realize the extent of the story and the blackmail and extortion (sextortion) she experienced by online predators, also known as cappers.

Amanda was a young girl who often shy and withdrawn in the offline world and when in groups, but when she was behind a camera, she was extremely confident and outgoing. She enjoyed being behind the camera and gave her a place to shine. Soon after, she began to post videos of herself singing and performing for others to view. This was giving a vulnerable adolescent some attention she wasn’t getting before, which she really enjoyed and continued putting more and more of herself out there, getting more and more attention. So the next step was getting a webcam so she would have better access to her online world. Her dad was open to the idea, gave her a webcam and her life in the online world became very real and important to her spending more and more time online. Further to that, Amanda was becoming transfixed with herself on the webcam.

Her webcam was a window into a whole new world. She began participating in chat groups on sites such as BlogTV. BlogTV gave an audience for girls who wanted to perform. Especially, adolescents who are exploring their sexuality. This seems to be a safe place for that exploration as you are in your own home and you might believe “that no one can find you behind the screen.” You are able to edit yourself and get a different version of yourself. Amanda was becoming very popular this site and was gaining fans, likes, and views.

This popularity was encouraging Amanda to try new things and gave her confidence to do things she might not have done otherwise. With 150 people watching, Amanda made a mistake that would be immortalized on web for everyone to see and impact her whole life. She flashed, someone screen captured her online and sent the picture to all her Facebook friends (including her mother) and posted her image on a porn site.

When Amanda returned to school she was slut shamed both offline and online. She knew she did something wrong, but there is nothing she could do now to change it. We are in the era of not forgetting. She tried changing schools, but she was blackmailed by a capper who wanted her to continue performing. She was trying to make a change, but the blackmailer continued following her and threatening her.

Amanda and her family brought her story to the RCMP, but unfortunately the online world is much harder navigate than the offline world with very sophisticated scammers and the police were unable to help. Cappers and scammers are a new breed of predator, a criminal with a computer.

Two years after the incident, Amanda was still feeling the torment of her mistake. She decided to make a video to show what she was feeling and people began giving her support. Unfortunately it was too late and soon after Amanda committed suicide. Her case finally became a priority to police, but case is still ongoing.

girl
Photo Credit: Amsterdamned! via Compfight cc

This story really had me questioning and reflecting on the moral, ethical, and legal issues in the online world. A world that directly impacts your offline identity as much as your online identity.

  • I knew platforms like BlogTV existed, but I thought they were a thing of the past. Scroll through and you will still see images of adolescents on this site who don’t appear to be giving off the image you would expect of an adolescent. What worries me is if I (someone who is seen as tech leader and schools and appears to be quite “techy”) had limited information on these sites, I wonder what the kids of parents who are naive to digital culture and don’t have conversations with their kids around digital citizenship are doing to educate their children on their digital identity.
  • Should the police have done more to help Amanda Todd? With the digital world changing our way of life so drastically, should there be more of a police presence online? Where is the line between monitoring for safety and the government viewing our personal information?
  • How do sites like Facebook allow scammers to have multiple accounts to perform their scams? Should there be more information required on these sites to help protect peoples identity?
  • Did Amanda and her family take the steps to protect herself online? I believe there were a lot of missing conversations in this case and even though I believe she was a vulnerable person who was preyed upon and her act should have and should be forgiven, her parents needed to play a more active role in guided her through the confusing time of being an adolescent.
  • Nearly all computers, tablets, handheld devices, etc. come with webcams now. How do we protect our children, yet at the same time allow them to use the internet to connect with others?
  • We are in a decade of technology that doesn’t go away. How do we build a culture of empathy for adolescents who make mistakes which become immortalized?

 

Final Project Feedback

This week I was able to create (and hopefully finalize) the landing pages for my final project on Transliterate Librarians. I would love some feedback on what I have written… Have I provided enough information on each topic? Have I provided a good explanation on each topic? Do you feel the videos match what I am trying to explain in my writing or do they take away from it?

Thanks!

Opening Page

The role of the Teacher Librarian is changing. TLs are no longer the keepers of information, but rather media specialists and educational leaders. TLs collaborate with other teachers to implement engaging and innovative technologies to improve student learning, engage students in inquiry based learning to help develop multiple literacies, and teach students how to use technology to find information and with the information the ability extract and synthesize it to formulate new meaning.

The purpose of this website is to provide a comprehensive resource for TLs and teachers that includes lessons and resources on the four domains of what TLs teach according to Joyce Valenza and Gwyenth Jones.  The four domains as listed in the poster below are inquiry and research, evaluating resources, creating and sharing, and digital citizenship.

This website takes into account Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship, the Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum from K-12, Teaching in Education Framework, and RCSD’s Essential Skills of 21st Century Learning.

Please use the menu above to locate and access the lessons and more information on each domain.

Inquiry and Research

Inquiry is embedded across all renewed Saskatchewan curricula.  It can occur in many ways, in the moment, integrated in a lesson, planned as unit, within a subject area. Inquiry allows students to explore and engage in learning opportunities that fosters deep understanding. Inquiry encourages students to ask questions, perform investigations, and build new understandings. Research is a key piece to an effective inquiry as students are searching, synthesizing, and formulating new knowledge, meanings, and understandings. In addition, inquiry and research promotes reading and writing as students explore and formulate new knowledge.

Evaluating Resources

Students need the skills to locate, use, and evaluate information. While doing research, students should be able to choose an appropriate media outlet for their purpose, check the currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose of the information. It is essential for students to develop this skill at a young age as they are turning to the technology to access information and learn new concepts. However, they need the digital literacies of how to use technology effectively, such as navigating the web appropriately, keeping track of sources for reference, using search engines and keywords successfully, and ensuring information is accurate and reliable.

 

Creating and Sharing

Creating and sharing are important components of transliteracy as they give learning a purpose, an audience, and allow for connections. Through creating and sharing students should appreciate literature in all media forms. It is important not to get distracted by the “bells and whistles” of things and to remember your purpose. Through creating and sharing students are taught how to communicate their message. They are also encouraged to be critical thinkers about media messages that are presented to them. Creating and sharing can be done through a PLE or PLN and allows student to express themselves authentically and purposefully.

Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship is an essential skill in transliteracy. Often it is assumed that because students are young, they are digital natives; however, they need to explicitly be taught digital citizenship. They need to understand that other people have created and own content that is posted online and it is important to attribute their work appropriately. This can be started at a very young age by just writing the author and title of a book and it will grow from there. As well, students should know the difference between copying, remixing, creating, and sharing whilst developing the skills of content curation and how to use creative commons. Additionally students need to manage their digital footprint and realize what they post online is available widely, therefore they need to protect their online identity. Lastly, students need to be respectful online, respectful of themselves and respectful of others.

Cooperative Learning & The 21st Century

The readings last week really got me thinking if the instructional methods I choose were the most effective way to meet the needs of 21st century learners. Illich’s idea of education reform, written in 1971, suggests we “dismantle the system altogether and build learning webs, peer-matching systems, skill exchanges, and other resources for liberated learning and free inquiry.” However, over 40 years later and we are still not there yet. Thankfully the idea of 21st century education is being talked about allowing learners to develop skills such as creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, media literacy, and problem solving.

The course readings also explored the idea of connectivism. The idea that learning is a process and by thinking critically about what are learning, we will alter, change, or add on to what we know. In addition, interdependence on others to foster learning. Connectivism relates to the idea of rhizomatic learning where learning is continuous network and is acquired in collaboration. My question is can connectvisim fit in with other learning theories? I believe it can, and one way to integrate those theories is through cooperative learning groups.

Although technology and media is not the focus of cooperative learning groups. I believe that starting young and implementing something such as cooperative learning groups allows students to engage with the material, collaborate with others, and enhances the probability they will remember it.

In my past teaching experiences I had the assumption that students come to school knowing how to work and how to work together (just as I would assume they know how to use technology). I would think to myself they are in grade three, they should know how to do this by now, but they didn’t.

It is important to remember that cooperative learning is group work, but not all group work is cooperative learning. Group work allows students to divide to work, go their separate ways, work on their own, and meet for the final product. Cooperative learning engages students in a task that is difficult enough that members need to talk with each other to figure things out.

Cooperative learning is more than just placing students in a group and having them work together, it is the process of building learning communities. Students are responsible not only for their learning, but for the learning of others. Throughout the process of cooperative learning, students work in small groups to achieve a common goal. Cooperative learning helps to create engaged citizens and allows students to work collaboratively, essentially creating a productive society rather than a group of individuals.

cooperative

Cooperative learning uses a variety of strategies to educate students to work together. where the teacher is a facilitator. As the students are working together, it is the teacher’s job to study the students, see how they cooperate, and design learning experiences to teach them to work more effectively together.

One of the main jobs of the teacher is to create and maintain a learning environment that is conducive to cooperative learning. It is essential that the teacher deliberately teaches the five basic elements of cooperative group skills, as well as, conferences about individual and group accountability while students are working in groups.

Johnson describes the five basic elements of cooperative group skills as:

  • Positive Interdependence
  • Individual Accountability
  • Group Processing
  • Social Skills
  • Face-to-Face Interaction

The elements of cooperative group skills can be achieved through a variety of mini-lessons, modelling, and direct teaching. If the teacher establishes clear expectations and holds students accountable, there will be success using this instructional strategy.

When cooperative learning is combined with models from other families (information processing, personal, and behavioural), the results are profound. Some of the many benefits to using cooperative learning as an instructional method as per Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun (2015) are:

  1. It increases motivation.
  2. It produces positive energy with in the classroom and school.
  3. Students are able to develop a feeling of connectedness with their peers.
  4. Student learn from each other better through cooperation than a structure that generates isolation.
  5. Interacting with one another produces more cognitive and social complexity.
  6. Cooperation increases positive feelings.
  7. Cooperation increases self-esteem.
  8. The more students have the opportunity to work together, the better they get at it.
  9. Students can achieve greater mastery of material.
  10. Off-task and disruptive behaviour diminish substantially.

(Joyce, Weil, and Calhoun, 2015, p. 233-234)

Cooperative learning benefits both students with poor academic histories and academically able students as individual effort is still required. Cooperative learning fosters a safe environment of respect, teamwork, self-reflection, and engagement.

Start with small simple tasks within the students’ zone of proximal distal, to ensure success will allow students to acquire and develop additional skill to be used within their cooperative learning groups. During the process of implementing cooperative learning groups and while students are working within their groups, students should have ample opportunities to reflect on their roles within the group and how their group worked.


References

Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (1989).  Cooperation and competition:  Theory and research. Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.

Joyce, B., Weil, M., & Calhoun, E. (2015). Models of Teaching, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

Process > Product

The process is equally, if not more important than the product. I know, I know… but I still have trouble sharing my process as it tends to be messy as I work through things to get to the shiny finished product at the end. And in this mess, although it might not make sense to you (as it is the way I organize my process), I tend to learn a lot!

Eureka California
Photo Credit: BCOL CCCP via Compfight cc

This week I decided to do a screen capture to update on my major project. I am chugging along and it may be a bit slower than I anticipated, but I am pleased with my progress so far and excited to share my resources with others once complete!