3/29/14

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.

12/8/13

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.


10/7/13

A few thoughts: RSCON and Learner Management Systems


Some professional learning

It's been a few weeks. (Not that I haven't thought of topics to blog about.) In fact, I've had some exciting professional growth opportunities of late. I've just started my Guidance Part 1 - my first face-to-face Additional Qualifications course in a few years. Yup, guidance. Great for rounding out my understanding, particularly with the Ministry of Education (Ontario's) imminent release of an updated K-12 document.

RSCON4



At the end of the week there's RSCON (Oct. 11-13, 2013). It's the fourth annual Reform Symposium Conference. Here's information from the Future of Education web site.

"The 4th annual Reform Symposium Conference (RSCON), a free online three day event bringing together educators, students and innovators from around the world, will be held October 11th to 13th in conjunction with Connected Educator Month. The entire conference will be held online using the Blackboard Collaborate platform."

It's a wonderful forum, where you can check-in and hear and learn about what other educators in other countries are doing in their classrooms to integrate ICT.

I've been part of the volunteer group in the past - introducing and recording the Blackboard Collaborate session for a few presenters. This year, I'll be in Quebec City - so I am opting just to listen in (using the free wifi at my hotel). :)


Learner Management Systems

Related but yet unrelated to Blackboard Collaborate, I've been busy exploring and beginning to design a false "course shell" using the latest Ministry of Ontario Learner Management System Desire 2 Learn. It is organized not unlike blogger or a website - with file folders, discussion tabs and a number of widgets that one can embed to make a school course more interactive and interesting. It makes me want to strive to become an e-learning teacher and at least a more hands-on experimenter on the possibilities the software offers to construct a blended learning classroom. Maybe I will apply (and get hired) to run a summer course in the near-future. (Not only will I help support student learning but using this D2L system, I will be able to learn and reflect on the best way to design a course. (It's a bit more difficult to imagine users - not so organic and little morphing, adaot and improvement opportunities unless it's actually used.



Each school board has an e-learning contact, who implements and supports teacher implementation of the software (Learner Management System). Wouldn't that be an amazing opportunity!! When you have been connected, you can even begin to use Ministry-designed course shells - full of activities and ideas.


Some info about Desire 2 Learn here at an Ontario Business Report article.

The D2L is easy to use, organized in a systematic manner and has a wide variety of widgets, which allow for educator (and student) creativity when used.


Finally, on the Moodle...

I'm thoroughly enjoying the start of my Guidance part 1 course! It's mostly face-to-face, with partial online content delivery via Moodle. As someone interested in 21st century teaching and learning, I can't also help wonder what future our students face and how well we are preparing them for the real world. That's one of many reasons I'm taking this course - to learn more about the guidance curriculum - did you know the curriculum covers  K-12? The "old" document is known as Choices Into Action. And expected to be released in September 2013, but still waiting is the new: 

I have a very knowledgeable and experienced instructor. In addition, the Ontario School Counsellors' 
Association, is a storehouse of fantastic guidance and career development knowledge. OSCA web site here: http://www.osca.ca/


If you have kids going through our educational system or are just curious, you can find a lot of information around the three "pillars" of guidance education: student development, interpersonal development and career development. As someone with a particular interest in supporting exceptional students as well, I am glad to learn how the new Individual Pathways Plan (IPP) will be implemented soon. I wonder how we plan to continue to support all kinds of paths for learners - how much differentiation and learning styles will be supported in secondary school (with the use of technology where appropriate) and how we will continue to value all paths post secondary school -  whether it's the workplace, apprenticeship, college, or university to name a few. 


Here's a final site to share to learn about choices after high school: http://youthconnect.ca/htdocs/english/learn/index.asp

9/11/13

Some favourite web sites to share: introverts and education


Embracing the introvert in education
 I just finished my fiction novel "The Golden City" - part of a series about technology, societal control and being off the grid. It was interesting reading by author John Twelve Hawks, who apparently lives an unplugged and non-traceable lifestyle as well. Many libertarian ideas shared in this book. (However, I know little about libertarianism other than what I hear a few friends discuss when they debate about Austrian economics, goverments and political policies. Ah, down time on lazy Sundays.) :)  But getting back to the last of the "Dark Realm trilology" Golden city was entertaining, an easy read, which contained familiar archetypes, interesting characters and somewhat interesting settings. I love a great book. This is supposed to be one trait of introverts. I'm supposed to be one.  

Yes, I continue to reflect, reconnect and embrace with my learning preferences and style.

So, an introvert and an extrovert meet on a subway.....



Funny but true and the above short little video relates to the next book on my reading list. (I admit I have a few on that list.)  That would be Quiet by Susan Cain. We own a copy. I've glanced at a few paragraphs.  I hear reading the book from cover to cover will help me understand and embrace my introverted self (now that I've come to terms with the fact that I'm a true introvert). I've often made excuses for myself saying that I'm shy etc. But truth be told, even in my first career as a journalist. If I need to I can start a conversation with anyone. I usually can find common ground too. I'm not too timid to speak in front of large crowds, bring attention to myself etc. However, I don't feel any need to take a spotlight, control a conversation or make me the centre of it all. I also rejuvinate on my own and really enjoy my alone and thinking time. That is what I believe comes down to being a true introvert. I wonder how we as educators are meeting the needs of our introverted students. Not necessarily making sure that there is individual work time provided or own time slotted during a school day, but also providing those nuanced opportunities for introverts to thrieve in today's educational setting. I will continue to collect some resources but for now here are a few resources I've found about introversion and education.

This week Maclean's magazine published an article: Shout if you're an introvert. Have you read it? You should.

 Susan Cain herself during a Ted Talk:

You can take the quiz on Susan Cain's web page in case you're wondering how you would rate.

An article: Introversion: The Often Forgotten Factor Impacting the Gifted 
read the article here.
(The article contains a quick list of traits of introverts and extraverts. This is one group's list of characteristics.) Another for the students with gifted exceptionality is: How to make your class cozy for gifted introverts.  I love the fact the author notes that according to Myers-Briggs most teachers are: ESFJ. ESFJ really? You may recall I'm an INFP - an entirely different part of the 16 personality spectrum. Huh, #interesting.



Article: Why introverts shouldn't be forced to talk in class. Here The article refers to another book I'd like to read " Rethinking Classroom Participation: Listening to Silent Voices" one I think would be insightful.

For those visual learners here are a few infographics to share with you: 


from: http://introvertretreat.com


from: introverspring.com
I'm going to continue to look at more student-related research and resources about teaching, learning, environments with introverts and extroverts. However, if you have any please share them with me via this blog.