It's #dcmooc time! - Intro session

Introduction to #dcmooc. The digital citizenship massive open online course started this week. I missed the initial session but, thankfully, the moderators/facilitators/creators Alec Couros @courosa & Katia Hildebrandt @kbhildebrandt offer a second session.


The intro was informative, sharing about the overall goals of the massive open online class and the different learning environments available for the almost 800 digitial citizenship (dcMOOCers) such as google+ community, twitter #DCMOOC hashtag, the DCMOOC blog list, and the Blackboard Collaborate "formal" webinar sessions. The one thing I love about MOOCs is that it is a platform for personalized learning. I can do as much or as little participation in the formal calendar events. But, based on my participation in last year's educational technology MOOC (#etmooc) only by connecting and participating, one learns the most.

This course is interesting to me because as more and more of the population have access to online social media, communities and on-line learning, the social norms or "rights and responsibilities" of being an appropriate digital citizen continues to develop. I'm interested in hearing the perspectives of other educators from other countries what digital citizenship looks like to them, what makes sense to one culture may not necessarily make sense to another. And it's important for everyone to understand and empathize with different perspectives because once we're online - there are no global borders.

Understanding and reflecting on what makes a good digital citizen for adult learners will definitely resonate and trickle down to how we facilitate learning and digital citizenship for our students. I realized that connection between my own learning and how it connects to my students when reading the definition of the purpose of the dcmooc again. 
"A key component of Saskatchewan’s Action Plan to Address Bullying and Cyberbullying is the support and promotion of digital citizenship instruction for K-12 students in Saskatchewan schools."

With understanding of how we all can contribute positively  to an online community can only help our flexibility of thinking and become knowledgeable to provide reflective opportunities for our students to support each other and choose positive means to communicate with each other online. Also important is establishing an initial digital footprint, and have students understand that their digital dna / heritage will follow them throughout their lives. They need to be informed in order to make informed choices. 

I also love the fact that the idea of this mooc is connectivist - our group constructs collective knowledge and strengths of the community.Questions are encouraged!

Here are a couple of websites to share with you about our topic (more student-centred)

One recently good article posted by: @kathycassidy on twitter

A reflective piece posted by: @kwhobbes

And then a bookmark site: Diigo search posted by: +Phil Taylor  (@ptaylorsjr) on twitter - also a #dcmooc -erhttp://bit.ly/1gF99US


Gamification course done...#DCMOOC & Math AQ starting

It's been a month since I've blogged. Still loving learning and also working on some great projects as part of the AT team. Just a quick post to let you know I've successfully finished my #Gamification14 course - so much useful info that I can apply to education. (I'll post some of my game design work for a collaborative economy company next.) 

May 11th there's a new Massive Open Online Course headed by University of Saskatchewan educator Alec Couros @courosa . For more info check out: http://dcmooc.ca

For those who know me, know how much I absorb, read, learn and thrieve in a STEM environment. My background educational is Biochemistry & Genetic Engineering and I speak the language of Math. Still, there is always something new to learn. So, I'm taking yet another AQ course- so much to learn (hard to believe I know - but it will the official Math Part 1 course).

 In fact, one of my passions is to support Mathematics Education using #gamified systems and 21st century learning using Universal Design for Learning principles. No wonder I'm part of many of my departments Math initiatives including the Desire2Learn Math Mission - promoting math communication andcollaboration for special ed teachers and students at a Junior level. Maybe the future I'll have a Master's program of study..or even I've been looking at OCAD University's inclusive design Masters one day...

Have you heard about it? http://www.ocadu.ca/graduate-studies/programs/inclusive-desig

My lovely cousin Vanessa Pfaff is currently a student. There are educators, engineers, game designers and public relations people and more...
Sigh..one day. :)


Collaborative economy and massive open online course

One nice side result of taking a coursera MOOC course over the past few weeks on Gamification is that I've learned about the newest global economy - the collaborative economy. Also known as sharing economy, users engage in sharing of goods, services, money, space or transportation via cyberspace. When one user has a car that he/she might not need all of the time, there are sites that he/she can go to rent out or share the use of the vehicle to another person. It could also be more formalized like in the case of a company named Uber, where licensed drivers - limo or cabs - are connected to fares via an app.

There's also a rise to the everyperson vacation rental space through sites like Airbnb. A person is still apparently vetted via the third-party hosting service to ensure the renter is safe and reliable. But if you do want to rent your space, you don't have hospitality or whatever hotel tax and regulations put on you. Pretty cool huh?

According to a cloud-based research organization Vision Critial, if you are between 18-34 years old, you're probably already sharing. Not that other age groups haven't tried it, but you are most likely to have this method as part of your normal repertoire - without suspicion. The Sharing is the New Buying  report written by Vision Critical gives an in-depth look at what is available and paints a great picture of what has been motivating "neo-sharers" to act.

from the Sharing is the New Buying, How to win in the collaborative economy report, 2013.

In our last #gamification14 assignment students need to proposed a gamification of a collaborative economy start-up site named ShareAll. I'm having way too much fun designing a sharing passport, with scroll and badges for sharers and sharees alike to show their global and local impact.


How we are communicating and are we really? Quick thought about the impact of the internet.

Too busy to post on social media, yeah right!

Wow, it's been two months since I last posted. I've had many thoughts, experiences and learnings, but time seems to tick away. Time? It's a challenged for me as I always try to strieve a balance between my vocational duties and personal interests and priorities.

I find that as I continue to strive and seek connections in edtech and online communities, I am able to prioritize and manage my time. But, the time on-line seems to have gone up in my priority list! Why is this?

There are so many social media networks which have slightly differing purposes and value, that as I discover and join one, I hesitate and ultimately incorporate the new one into my daily routine (instead of dropping  or replacing it). So much time online. So much time surfing. Sure I'm surfing the internet with a purpose, but still surfing the internet.

One way of looking at the multifaceted ways social media can be used.
Can you see where and how more recent examples of Social Media fit it?

I could list all of the networks, connections and accounts that I have, but by doing a google search my name, all of them come up - here's a quick look of my footprint 11,000 results in 0.23 seconds.

Try a google search on your name or handle yourself!! Astounding isn't it?

(Remember, there is always someway one's profiles are that transparent and public - but I digress and will perhaps make that a topic of a separate blog post.)

Back to cybersurfing, despite being purposeful - connecting and communicating via online professional learning networks.

An illustration of how one person (Damien Basille) became intertwined in the Social Media web.

How the internet is changing our children?

I often think about how technology and social media affects me, my development and relationships with the world. That's why I'm excited to head to the Bloor Hot Docs theatre this afternoon. I'm going to do one of my volunteer shifts and see the documentary is called InRealLife. The doc explores how the internet is affecting youth in Britain.

As the start of the trailer mentions, "The people who invented the internet has no idea that this would become the basis of society."

Scary isn't it? Is it scary?

 I believe my generation sees tech and access to tech as tools to support learning and communicating.
We put the tools into nice charts and graphics - to explain, categorize and make sense of how we are incorporating the 21st century tech into our worlds. In my role as an assistive technology teacher, I also provide support and problem solve ways that Special Education teachers and students can have learning opportunities to access the curriculum by using technology in the model of differentiation.
But what about our students, who for them, all these "tools"are interwoven and just part of their daily lives. How is the exponential growth and daily use of social media apps and ongoing development of other software and hardware (see 3D printing, 4D printing, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality etc.) changing our kids? Or is it?

It will be interesting to see how many questions this doc may answer for me. But again, like most of our experiences, with answers there are always more questions.