Making Progress on Your Learning

In order to make documentation of your learning continuous weekly and not letting it build up over the course, be sure to post weekly for your open inquiry project, post weekly for your tech inquiry project, and to curate your learning for the competencies that should be covered. Remember that these posts are not formal and do not have APA formatting requirements. The tone should be informal but professional (write as if your hiring principal would be reading them). For example, if a learner has learning the guitar as their open inquiry and cell phone use in schools as their tech inquiry, then each week, they would:

1) create a post updating their progress learning guitar. This might be providing information about what youtube channels they found or describing a guitar sessions with a friend or posting a recording of themselves (audio or video) trying to do chords or a song. Reflections can identify obstacles and successes. You can spend on average 15 minutes on this post plus time find good resources or curating your progress. You can find an example of a weekly post on a former learner doing life drawing as her open inquiry project here.

2) create a post updating their progress on learning about cell phones in schools. This might be a post linking to the Alberta Bring Your Own Device policy and writing a quick summary of the document and your reflections on it. Another week, you might review cell phone policies found on school websites. Another week, you might reflection on classroom observations regarding how they handled cell phones in schools. You can spend on average of 15 minutes on this post, plus time finding/reading the article or another activity you may be doing to support your inquiry.

3) Because we will pretty much take you through most of the competencies in each of our classes, take 15 minutes on average to write up a summary of the take aways from that class and your reflections on it. (For some classes, we’ll have time at the end of class to do this.) For example, create a post on the edcamp class and categorize it “edcamp.” In the post, consider linking to various edcamp resources you find online (Google edcamp and link to edcamp.org and you could embed a youtube video of what is an edcamp or link to edcampuvic.ca among other resources we may have shared on #edci336 or #edci336news. Explore the #edcamp hashtag as well, perhaps. Then post your reflections on the experience and how you might see it being used in the classroom or your thoughts on it for professional development. If you discuss edcamp’s role in professional learning, then categorize it also as “professional learning,” which is another competency. You can see an example of how one learner curated her edcamp learning in the spring here. You can view how another learner did some tech competencies here. Be sure to use your own voice as you would like to present it in view of a hiring principal. I have found those teachers with a strong online portfolio get hired quickly. Remember that they google you.

Overall, you’ll spend approximately 45 minutes in total on writing blog posts per week (some of which may be within class time or time released from class for this) plus time on your two inquiries. Finding and reading a BYOD policy might take 20 minutes and practicing guitar might be however much time you put into it. If you play 10 minutes a day three times a week and put another 15 into curating it via audio, that might be 45 minutes in total, for a grand total of approximately 1.5 hours of homework per week for a 3-hour course. A general rule of thumb is to allot 3 hours of homework for every hour in class, so we should be well within this.

NOTE: You CAN double, triple, or even quadruple dip at times and add multiple competency categories to one post:

Example 1: Mixing Tech Competencies From Outside of EDCI 336
If you have accomplished video editing competencies in another course (so long as we’re not both evaluating the tech skills such as titles/transitions/etc.) or in your work in the community, you could make that learning visible on your blog and categorize it “video editing” as per the naming convention and categorize it also “edtech” which is a catch-all category to use when it doesn’t fit into either open inquiry or tech inquiry assignments. We will have one week where we have a video editing class, but you can skip the competency blog for that week as you’ve already done it.  If you haven’t made a video for anything else, then curate the video you made from our video editing class as its own post.

Example 2: Mixing Inquiry Posts and Tech Competencies in One Post
The same goes for the video conferencing competency if you connect with a specialist or mentor regarding your open inquiry topic via Skype, then you can make a post for your open inquiry progress and categorize it “open inquiry” and “video conferencing.” We will be covering image editing and creative commons/intellectual property in two upcoming classes. You could download a creative commons licensed image whose license allows editing (which we’ll learn in class), then you could edit it provided the license supported that and use it on a tech inquiry update post. You would categorize that post “tech inquiry,” “intellectual property,” and “image editing.”

Example 3: Mixing Tech Tools and Other Tech Competencies
If you chose a tech tool review that overlaps another competency, then you can make that one blog post and categorize it with two competencies. For example, if you reviewed an augmented reality mobile app, you could categorize your post “tech tools” and “augmented reality.” Be sure that you do not tag competencies lightly… they should be aligned and have an emphasis on the categories you tag.

Example 4: Mixing Course Reflections with Additional Competencies
If you curate information from a class and add your reflections, such as the Most Likely To Succeed film, you could categorize the post “learning design” as it relates to project-based learning. If you recorded your reflections in audio form instead of just text, your post would be categorized “learning design” and “audio editing.”

Example 5: If you joined a #bcedchat Twitter chat, as I know some of you will do, you could post a reflection on the experience and categorize it “Twitter,” “PLN,” “Professional Learning,” “Social Media,” “Network Literacy.” Ideally, discuss the similarities and differences between these terms and how they relate to each other. As you develop your learning about social media, which includes Twitter, Blogging, etc., and blog about the process of blogging or how to use it in the classroom, then include the relevant categories.

REMEMBER: The course website at http://edci336.ca is your home base with most of our resources and information from instructors. From there, we have additional resources, which may help your learning, such as the EDCI 336 blog hub, where you can see each other’s posts and determine what might inspire you as an example of a good post. You can also click on both the #edci336 and #edci336news links, where we will share important links from the outside world which might inspire you (such as invitations to join a Twitter chat, to a news article you might want to reflect on, to a workshop or online video session/webinar that an organization is offering that you might be keen on, etc.). Many of these may be opportunities for you to complete competencies in a more creative way than simply reflecting on a class, although you can complete most of the competencies this way.

Book Your 1-1 Assessment Interview

The online form for requesting a 1-1 assessment meeting with me is accessible here. We can have a conversation about your projects and review that you have a good understanding of how to proceed and to work out any kinks. We only have 10 minutes, so please come prepared. Things to do to prepare:

  • Have clicked on each menu/page on our http://edci336.ca
  • Have read all blog posts on the front page of http://edci336.ca and all blog posts from your instructor. For me, it’s under “About/Instructors/Valerie Irvine” or click here. You need to have taken action on all tasks mentioned on those posts.
  • Prepare a list of questions about your privacy or alternatives that may be required
  • Prepare a list of questions about the open inquiry and tech inquiry projects
  • Prepare a list of specific questions about your WordPress blog (bring your laptop ready to log into its dashboard or be prepared to log into it on my laptop). We will double check your categories and menu set-up if you have any difficulties.
  • Review your progress on the competencies to date and come with any questions on the progress or process
  • Make sure you have either submitted or emailed the answers for any questions from the Google Form. This should be done immediately, but we will follow up at our meeting if not. If you have any questions you skipped on your first submission, you can use the form or email to send in your missing responses.
  • If you have submitted your blog URL either via the form or via email to your instructor, and have a public blog, confirm that your posts are showing up appropriately, both in terms of menus (EDCI 336 top menu with 3 submenus: Open Inquiry, Tech Inquiry, and EdTech) and in terms of appearing on the EDCI 336 Blog Hub if you have made posts already. If your posts don’t show up, report it to your instructor via email, but we can work on this when we meet, work it out via email, or via in-class support.
  • Prepare any specific questions about your use of Trello
  • Review your digital footprint to ensure you are navigating social media appropriately and bring any questions about improving it.
  • Prioritize your questions in case we run out of time, in which case we can finish off by email, direct you to the appropriate tutorials or supports, or you can set up a second meeting.

Setting the Foundation for Next Steps (aka Homework!)

In the first couple of weeks, we are setting the foundation for the course. This involves two things:

1) THE WHY

Getting the “mindset” for doing a course like this, which is why we’re sharing some resources that are more related to innovation in education. These relate to some of the educational competencies in this course. Before your third class, please make sure you review the following:

Jeff Hopkin’s TED talk: “Education as if People Mattered

Valerie Irvine’s TLT keynote: “Four Movements in Education

ISTE’s National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers

Most Likely to Succeed film (restricted to UVic campus ; VPN to UVic required for viewing off-campus, but we’ll watch this together as a class, so don’t go ahead without us, unless you’ve missed the class)

You may wish to blog about some of these resources and categorize the post accordingly for the competencies they relate to (e.g., “learning design” for a post reflecting on Jeff’s talk or the Most Likely to Succeed film). Be sure to use the course naming convention when categorizing a post for a competency.

2) THE WHAT

The Competencies….Now in order to start learning differently, and incorporating more learner agency and resources beyond the classroom, we need different tools and processes. As part of this, we will be working on developing network literacy. For each competency we explore, there will be a page outlining the competencies and a page outlining the resources associated with those competencies. You can find all of these under either Educational Competencies or Technology Competencies on this website. Each week, please make sure that you are making progress on developing the competencies as well as making them VISIBLE on your blog. Please pursue the following steps to get set up:

Review the resources for: 1) Privacy, 2) Twitter, 3) WordPress, 4) Feedly

(and make sure you are staying up to date on the course hashtags at #edci336 and #edci336news so you can stay on top any additional resources shared out by your peers, the instructors, or the public/open participants).

For each of these topics, develop the competencies which are linked here for Privacy, Twitter, WordPress, Feedly (and do so according to your privacy preferences).

The Inquiry Projects… Remember, you can incorporate many of the previously mentioned competencies into one of our three assignments or any assignment from any other course, provided the two courses aren’t assessing the same thing. Be sure you blog weekly for each assignment (one for open inquiry and one for tech inquiry), although you aren’t limited to that. As we will be completing competencies each week in class, you can blog in class/at the end of class to make your learning visible for that competency. If you are posting for interest/reflection or for competencies achieved outside of the three assignments, post away!

We need to set up our Trello boards for you to access, so I need to know what email to use to invite you to that board and to get your consent for using it to invite you to Trello, which is a US-cloud-hosted software. We also need to gather your topics and any social media profiles you may be using. You can send this information directly to me via email or you can use a US-cloud-hosted Google form. The results sent to the Google form, except for your email address, will be reposted to a public Google Spreadsheet that the public can view. If you would rather email me your responses, go through the form to review the questions, but instead email me your responses. If you are also not going to use Trello, please get in touch as we need to determine an alternative that works for you.

3) THE HOW

You will need to make your learning visible for the competencies using your blog, unless you have an alternative option planned. Your blog post could include your reflections on activities we do in class, explorations you make on your own, resources you have reviewed, or various ways you capture what you are doing, like linking to a twitter list you made or describing it if you made a private one. You can do things like take photos, audio, video, or screen captured images/video. As the term progresses, you’ll get more adept at the various ways you can make your learning visible. Remember that your privacy preferences are a priority, so make judgements accordingly or ask questions for help on how to document your learning.

In the first two weeks of classes, you have started to learn about social media, privacy, and inquiry. Now, you should start your competency documentation for: privacy, twitter, wordpress, and feedly. The remaining competencies for the term will be posted in the next few days. Now, some competencies should be easy to start and finish documenting right away, but others you will likely have multiple blog posts reference a competency (e.g., inquiry, privacy, wordpress – using the naming convention for category names), perhaps because you keep coming back to mentioning it or perhaps because you are building up your competencies over the term. You can add multiple categories to one blog post, so long as you have a significant amount of text or media representing that category. When you have your WordPress blog set up, be sure to make a post about your personal goals for the two assignments. Categorize this post with both “open inquiry” and “tech inquiry” unless you choose to make a separate post for each one. There is no deadline that you must complete all WordPress competencies by a certain date (e.g., WordPress competencies are not due in the first couple of weeks), but all basic competencies should be completed by the end of term.

In order to save yourself a build-up of work at the end of the term, be sure to stay on top of your progress, so you are completing various competencies weekly and roughly according to the calendar of dates in which we cover them. For example, if a learner has learning the guitar as their open inquiry, cell phone use in schools as their tech inquiry, then each week, they would:

1) create a post updating their progress learning guitar. This might be providing information about what youtube channels they found or describing a guitar sessions with a friend or posting a recording of themselves (audio or video) trying to do chords or a song. Reflections can identify obstacles and successes. 

2) create a post updating their progress on learning about cell phones in schools. In a group project, you can take turns on who creates a blog post that week. If it’s not your week, you can simply post a link to your partner’s blog post for that week. This might be a post linking to the Alberta Bring Your Own Device policy and writing a quick summary of the document and your reflections on it. Another week, you might review cell phone policies found on school websites. Another week, you might reflection on classroom observations regarding how they handled cell phones in schools.

3) Because we will pretty much take you through most of the competencies in each of our classes, take 15 minutes or so to write up a summary of the take aways from that class and your reflections on it. For example, create a post on the edcamp class and categorize it “edcamp.” Consider linking to various edcamp resources you find online (reposting the resources we shared on our website or #edci336 or #edci336news hashtags, Google edcamp and link to edcamp.org and you could embed a youtube video of what is an edcamp or link to edcampuvic.ca among other resources ). Explore the #edcamp hashtag as well, perhaps. Then post your reflections on the experience and how you might see it being used in the classroom or your thoughts on it for professional development. 

If you are looking for some further blogging inspiration, you can also check out these blogging prompts for teacher education learners put together by my colleague, Dr. Alec Couros.

Please also complete the Google form (or email me your responses) for sharing your social media information and topics of interest for your assignments.

Welcome!

Welcome back to school! I am thrilled to be teaching section A02 of EDCI 336 alongside Michael Paskevicius, who will be teaching section A01.

This individual instructor blog will be used for me to post personalized news for our sections. For any news or information relevant across all sections of EDCI336, we will be using the front news page of the EDCI 336 Course Site at http://edci336.ca.

My full contact information is on the syllabus, but these can get you started:

Twitter: @_valeriei

Email: edci336 at uvic dot ca

Office tel: 250-721-7778 (cell will be provided directly)

I look forward to learning with you!

Valerie