Saturday, May 16, 2015

EDUC 7105 - Philosophy of Learning

What is your philosophy of learning?

I believe that everyone possesses a capacity to learn. Our individual experiences inform what and how one is able to learn.  The constructivist learning theory suggests that the “role of the learner” is that of an “active constructor of knowledge” (Driscoll, 2004, p. 409).   Therefore, the experiences that occur in our everyday lives impact the learning process. Constructivism recognizes the learner as an active participant in the learning process.   I find this to be a significant point, given our day and time, because the onus of learning, through the eyes of the media, seems to be on the teacher rather than the student and his/her personal learning environment.  As an educator, I believe I have a responsibility to create learning environment that will enable my students to reach the goals and objectives of the course I am teaching.  I believe this environment to include a rigorous curriculum that incorporates the use of technology and the internet to further connect my students to our global society at large.

What do you believe is critical and non-negotiable in teaching and learning?

I believe technology to be a critical and non-negotiable factor in teaching and learning today.   Technology has been referred to as “the great equalizer,” within our society-at-large and continues to play a significant role in our everyday lives.  Given our dependence on technology for daily tasks and, more critically, the global economy, why would we not translate the power of technology into classrooms across the globe?  As educators, we have a duty to prepare our students for success as working contributors to our society.  Possessing 21st centruy learning skills are a part of that preparedness needed for success in today’s global economy.   While the definition of “21st century skills” may vary, fundamentally, all can agree that at some level students must “know how to use technology” (Stevens, n.d.).  The term technology within the context of this text includes computer use, internet use, social-media use, and the like.  

Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
Stevens, M. (n.d.) 21st century learner. Retrieved from

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

EDUC 7105 - ARCS Model

            As a Social Studies teacher within a 1:1 laptop school, I decided to go paperless for all written textbook assignments. Going paperless meant that all written textbook assignments would be completed through a word file and submitted via email. My attempt to go paperless created challenges for me that were not anticipated.
            This initiative was new to my student and parent population, and needed much explanation to mitigate confusion. The instructions for submitting their homework via email were straightforward. All assignments would be submitted by 8:00a.m. and completed on a “Word” document. I took efforts to explain the submission requirements thoroughly via my syllabus, and also articulated the homework requirements. The confusion and challenges, however, occurred primarily on my end. My email was not properly setup to take on the task of receiving weekly emails from up to seventy-five students. Furthermore, I also opted to grade my student’s papers digitally, and would reply to every submission with an emailed grade, which most students did not read.
            I think the Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction (ARCS ) Model of Motivational Design could have been helpful to further establish a well-thought system. ARCS ideas around relevance, in particular, if applied early in launch of the paperless homework initiative, would have allowed for more of a dialogue to ensure my requirements met the needs of my students appropriately. Relevance, as highlighted in the ARCS model calls for the use of ideas such as “modeling” and “choice”(“ARCS Model,” n.d.). Each of the listed ideas inherently would have allowed me an opportunity to garner how I might make the experience more useful to my students and myself.

ARCS model of motivational design (Keller). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.learning-

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

EDUC 7108 - Red Queen vs Increasing Returns

In preparing to watch a movie, I typically seek to see what I can view digitally online. DVD and Blue-Ray discs are not convenient to use due to the fact they physically have to be purchased. Therefore, I digitally downloaded the movie Total Recall for review from Netflix. The Netflix service was much more convenient, and offered the video at a high quality. I am not just endorsing Netflix because I am a stockholder.
The current competition between Netflix and other DVD competitors represents an example of being an increasing return. Increasing returns represent a scenario where a competitor makes another competitor become essentially obsolete (Thornburg, 2014a). Consequently, I would not categorize the completion between Netflix and DVDs as being a red queen (Thornburg, 2014b). A red queen is demonstrative of two similar competitors that control a given market, however, I am of the opinion that DVDs are not in the same market as Netflix. The on-demand industry has grown beyond the selling videos, but companies, such as Netflix offer entertainment beyond a, meaning one, movie. A DVD is just a singular movie.
On McLuhan’s tetrad Netflix would be categorized as being at a point of “Enhancement” (Kelly, 2011). The on demand industry no longer has limits tied to a video, they have their own productions that are not offered on DVD. Due to this DVDs are moving to a point of obsolescence. Moreover, modern laptops no long carry a DVD port. We are witnessing the demise of the DVD.

References Kelly, O. (2011, October 17). McLuhan’s tetrads: what thy are and how they work [Blog Post]. Retrieved from
Laureate Education (Producer). (2014a). David Thornburg: Increasing returns [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2014b). David Thornburg: Red queens [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

EDUC 7108 - Disruptive, Second Life Technologies

          A disruptive technology completely changes a tech market by making an existing technology become obsolete. Second life, or virtual reality worlds, have become disruptive technologies within the education field because they are allowing students to become involved in communal scenarios without being “physically present” (Nuthall, 2008).  Given the new ability for students to interact virtually, second life worlds begin to displace the need for learning in a traditional classroom setting. Nuthall (2008) points out that while second life may not be the best venue for a traditional lecture to take place, a “Powerpoint” would be quite conducive to be shown in a second life “theater.” Second life, however has some time before learning institutions, especially those in higher education, embrace second life for complete learning purposes. Second life could possibly become more readily available in classrooms by 2020 whereby many schools will more thank likely have 1:1 computer technology programs enabling all students to access the internet at home and at school. In the long run, second life might be overtaken by 3-D experiences that incorporate more marketing and Disney-like experiences that provide more thrill (McConnon & Reena, 2007).  Overall the social benefits of second life allow for global connections to be built as an enhancement of classroom learning. A drawback to learning within a second life environment has more to do with privacy than anything else. K-12 environments embracing second life will have to make parents feel comfortable about using this public platform for learning.

McConnon, A. & Reena, J. (2007, June 10). Beyond second life. Bloomberg Business. Retrieved from
Nuthall, K. (2008, January 20). US: a disruptive technology arrives. University World News. Retrieved from

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EDUC 7105 - Connectivist Networks

Sunday, April 12, 2015

EDUC 7105 - Technological Collaboration and Constructivism

Howard Rheingold’s assertion that humans possess an instinctive need to “interact and work as a group” holds some value in thinking about trend patterns around the evolution of human communication. The essence of Rheingold’s analysis, however, seems to highlight constructivist themes around collaboration and exploration. Therefore, in thinking about Rheingold’s broader impacts on educational technology, it then becomes important for educators to understand the value of social media or other collaborative tools within the educational process.
Social media usage within classrooms remains controversial, and often conflict with internet usage rules found in many school districts across America that prohibit social media access during the school day. Yet, and still, social media serves as a primary platform for communication and newsgathering. A 2012 Pew Poll found that nearly one-third of teen communication came from social media usage  (Grandoni, 2012). Social media use could be quite powerful in the classroom and could further by discussing online in a Twitter platform or garner resources from people across the globe using Wikipedia (Brannan, 2014). Collaborative tools are readily available through, often free, programming online. The educational value of collaboration, especially in an online forum, remains to be an effective way to learn.

Brannan, F. (2014, July 30). Pros and cons of social media usage for students. EdTech
Review. Retrieved from
Grandoni, D. (2012, July 18). Texting dominates as teens and young adults make fewer
calls. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from
Rheingold, H. (2008, February). Howard Rheingold on collaboration [Video file]. Retrieved from

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Friday, April 10, 2015

EDUC 7108 - Technological Rhymes of History

Technological "rhymes of the history," according to Dr. Thornburg, exists through forms of technology that are currently in use, and "rekindle" thoughts of technological advancements/devices that have existed in the past (Laureate, 2009). Theses types of deja vu experiences are only evidenced by changes that have occurred through technological advancements. Thornburg, in his "rhymes of history" commentary, suggests that the "affects" of current technologies never really depart from old forms of technology, but create better experiences with technology. An example of this would SMARTboard technologies. SMARTboard replaces the use of the traditional chalkboard, but creates a computer-generated, visually interactive learning experience. SMARTboards build upon a similar experience that students had from the traditional chalk and board classroom settings. The SMARTboard even lessen the need for dependance on a class computer. Internet access comes directly through this technology and makes classroom lessons more "creative" (Mossien, 2015). As educational technology continues to enhance learning experiences across the globe the need for visual, more interactive remains to be an essential learning strategy. Kevin Kelly, asserts that technology increases choice, which in turn breeds creativity and innovation (Sirius, 2011). Therefore, as students and teachers make choices around their learning the need for greater technology exists and spurs a constant movement toward change and enhancement.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2009). Emerging and future technology: Rhymes of history. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Mossien, Kayla. (2015). Goodbye black board, hello SMART board. Retrieved from

Sirius, R. U. (2011, January 19). What technology wants. what Kevin says. an interview with Kevin Kelly. Retrieved from

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