Revised Topic 3 Blog Post

Hello, and welcome to my revamped and final blog post for EDCI 339! Below is a GoogleDoc highlighting the changes I made on my Topic 3 Blog post, a mindmap I created to help organize my learning experience, and an audio-recording about how and why I decided to update my Topic 3 Post.

Here are links to my Topic 1 & 2 Blog Posts:

Topic 1 Blog: The Importance of Building Relationships

THE HISTORICAL AND THEORETICAL TRENDS IN K-12 ONLINE AND DISTRIBUTED LEARNING

Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1D3dqjjhN73fJGx_0QeOPYElx-3RLPPyiEBjsd4UPXg4/edit?usp=sharing 

MindMap: https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_ko9Dsrk=/

Audio-Clip:

I believe that every student has the right to be and feel valued, respected, and essential, no matter who they are. Every student has a unique set of values and knowledge, and this knowledge can add to both my own and their fellow students’ learning. Over the last few years, I have gained experience adapting lesson plans and projects with diverse learners and utilizing the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) within my lesson plans. EDCI339 has made me incredibly passionate about equity in open and online learning environments, more specifically, for the BIPOC community. Basham, Blackorby, Stahl, & Zhang, L. (2018), so beautifully depict one of the main reasons why UDL is essential in all learning contexts: “Originally formulated as an approach for ensuring the effective inclusion of students with disabilities and diverse learning needs in general education classrooms, UDL has steadily gained traction as a framework for addressing the variability inherent in all learners.” (Bashem et al. 2018). I gained more insight into learner variety by reading “Learner Variability is the Rule, Not the Exception” by Barbara Pape (2018). She depicts the idea that every learner that enters your classroom comes with differing backgrounds, experiences, learning preferences, and motivational drivers. Today’s learners are diverse and variable, and many of the forms of assessment and methods of teaching aren’t practical for everyone.  Although online learning provides a multitude of benefits, online learning can be far more difficult for students living in poverty, have disabilities, and ELL’s.   For educators to close the gap apparent in online learning contexts, it is essential to look at how technology can be a gateway towards the employment of UDL principles of multiple means of engagement, action and expression, and representation. Online and open learning allows students to develop their sense of mastery, independence, belonging, and inquiry. When paired with UDL principles, online and open learning contexts can be adaptable, accessible, and personalized for various learners.

The more knowledge I gained in online and open learning contexts, the more I have become interested in how disproportionately underrepresented BIPOC are in e-learning programs. Due to lack of funding, training, resources, and research, there are only three e-learning programs in Canada dedicated to First Nations, Métis and Inuit (Barbour, M & Labonte, R., 2018, pg. 606). , Kral, I. & Schwab, R.G. (2012), depicted eight design principles that assist inequity and development of learning spaces:

  • Design Principle 1: A space young people control 
  • Design Principle 2: A space for hanging out and ‘mucking around.’
  • Design Principle 3: A space where learners learn 
  • Design Principle 4: A space to grow into new roles and responsibilities
  • Design Principle 5: A space to practice oral and written language 
  • Design Principle 6: A space to express self and cultural identity through multimodal forms 
  • Design Principle 7: A space to develop and engage in enterprise
  • Design Principle 8: A space to engage with the world

Just as UDL principles assist a variety of learners, the design principles don’t only apply to indigenous groups. When you make an environment more accessible, it allows everyone to feel included and motivated to learn. Below is an infographic that I created to assist my peers, fellow teachers, and my future self in implementing the Design Principles in open and online learning contexts and tools and resources that I learned about throughout the course. There was a multitude of themes that carried throughout the chapter: the deficit mindset assumed by educators and institutions; The Circle of Courage guiding motivation and learning experience; mutual respect; and relevance of existing knowledge and meaningful activity. A deficit mindset is something I become familiar with when taking a webinar in June, “Student Voices Challenging Adult Racism to Create Anti-Racist Schools,” held by The National Association of Black Male Educators. In that webinar, students and teachers discussed how approaching BIPOC students with a deficit perspective lead to a lack of motivation because students begin to believe what teachers assume, that they can achieve what other students can. Design Principle 1 outlines that a space that young people control assists in counteracting such perspectives and motivates students through a sense of autonomy, agency, and independence. Technology has assisted Indigenous communities immensely, as personal hand-held devices allow students the ability to utilize technology that is not locked in a classroom. In EDCI 336, I did a group inquiry project about Technology Assisted Technology, and we created a resource that shares an array of online tools that assist in UDL Checkpoints. Many of the resources provided are free and compatible with handheld devices. https://jessoneducation.opened.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/945/2019/11/Cream-and-Pink-IT-Manager-Technology-Resume-1.pdf. Open-learning could be an active pathway for BIPOC as it will enable them to have a choice in their learning experience. Technology can also assist students in control over the smallest decisions, which increases confidence and decision-making skills. Marginalized and rural communities must have spaces where they can have access to information and produce knowledge. 

In order to connect the 8 Design Principles into actions you can take in your classroom, I created an infographic.

8 Design Principles: Hyperlinked Version

Throughout EDCI 339, I have found unbelievable value in open resources, online learning communities, and open data. When resources such as podcasts, personal learning networks, WordPress, etc., are integrated into both educators’ and students’ learning experiences, they have opportunities to build connections, make meaning, and personalized learning environments. Below is a small list of resources I have compiled that dive into open and online learning environments, where equity, inquiry, accessibility, and adaptability are the core focus. 

ONLINE LEARNING COMMUNITIES: Hyperlinked Version

 

Finally, I created an audio-file describing how I hope to employ the knowledge I have gained throughout the course into my work as an educator. I plan to come back to this post in the future to make updates on resources and tools that I have discovered throughout my learning journey.

 

 

 

References: 

Barbour, M & Labonte, R. (2018). An Overview of eLearning Organizations and Practices in Canada. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 600-616). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Pape, B. (2018). Learner Variability is the Rule, Not the Exception. https://digitalpromise.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Learner-Variability-Is-The-Rule.pdf.

Basham, J.D., Blackorby, J., Stahl, S. & Zhang, L. (2018) Universal Design for Learning Because Students are (the) Variable. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 477-507). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

 

Brown, B (2010). The power of vulnerability. Retrieved from

 https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_the_power_of_vulnerability

KQED (Producer). (2017, October, 10) How listening to podcasts help students read and learn (Audio podcast) Retrieved from https://open.spotify.com/episode/4idP8nwLX0FlXSNgHNHN0G?si=9-s9Kg85SjqpClYZCII4xg

Kral, I. & Schwab, R.G. (2012). Chapter 4: Design Principles for Indigenous Learning Spaces. Safe Learning Spaces. Youth, Literacy and New Media in Remote Indigenous Australia. ANU Press. http://doi.org/10.22459/LS.08.2012 Retrieved from:   http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p197731/pdf/ch041.pdf

Pierson, R (2013). Every kid needs a champion. Retrieved from

https://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion

Reclaiming Youth Network. “The Circle of Courage Philosophy.” 2007.

UDL: The UDL Guidelines. (2017, November 28). Cast.Org. http://udlguidelines.cast.org/

 

 

Joining Shelly Moore’s Book Club – Choice Activity 4

I had not had the opportunity of learning about Shelly Moore, nor did I know that there were book clubs for education! I was incredibly excited to interact and engage with Shelly Moore’s twitter, website, and book club as her passion and expertise in inclusive education is inspiring. The books shared through the club are intersectional, and I am excited to buy some of the books and hopefully be an active part of the interactions. I admire the use of Instagram and Twitter to ask questions, make connections, and converse about the concepts shared.

Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Explore and engage with current literature on the distributed and open education movement
  • Develop an awareness of the potential of human-centred learning in online and open learning contexts
  • Conduct research into and critically reflect upon emerging and future educational technologies

Response to Hailey’s Topic 3 Blog

Hey, Hailey! I love your insights into topic 3 in your blog post. I agree the increase in research about how to increase equity in learning environments is a move in the right direction, and it’s incredibly exciting to see. Childhood psychology is such a fun, exciting, and vital tool to help us understand our students on a deeper level; I would look into some of our ED-D  301 resources from last semester, where we discussed some developmental theories, as well as some of your research in space between courses. I also think it would be incredibly exciting to look into how e-learning and child psychology overlap and affect one another. I am excited to see how you expand on your research and understanding of burn out, particularly in an online learning context.

Building a PLN on Twitter – Choice Activity 3

This week I decided to begin building a Personal Learning Network on Twitter. I had created a twitter account last year in EDCI 336, but had not actively engaged with other educators. I started building my PLN by following and interacting with educators that are known to be experts in open and online learning contexts.

I began interacting with my peers, and I was able to gain an understanding of how twitter can be an exceptional resource to build online communities.

 

I also participated in the live twitter conversation on July 23, and was happily surprised by how interactive, personable, and efficient the conversation turned out to be. I was able to connect with fellow educators I had not yet met, as well as access to an abundance of resources and tools that I can use in the future.

Here is an infographic that I enjoyed:

And a resrouce shared that I am excited to utilize in my future:

The final step I took to build my PLN and get the full experience of twitter was to reach out to my fellow educators.

Following the post I made, I recieved a direct message from an educator who proceeded to share Sherri Spelic’s twitter. Her twitter is full of resources, tools, and articles that dive deeper into an array of topics that I am passionate about.

I am excited to continue my presence on twitter and to explore the multidude for educators and resources that are available.

Course Learning Outcomes:

  • Practice digital, networked, and open literacies in support of learning about distributed and open learning
  • Explore and engage with current literature on the distributed and open education movement
  • Conduct research into and critically reflect upon emerging and future educational technologies

 

Response to Kylie’s Topic 3 Blog Post

Kylie, I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to read your blog posts each week. This week I was particularly intrigued by your interest in how online learning can be more difficult for minority communities, as it is something I am also passionate about and hope to explore through my portfolio assignment. I hope we can share resources with one another in the near future. I also related to your ability to connect with online learners in K-12 at the moment. Online learning is a whole new experience for me and attempting to balance scheduling, understanding of content, and adjustment time, I can see much benefit in our profs being understanding and compassionate to the learning curves and daily stressors. It was so interesting to read about your experience with the design principles throughout your life. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

Response to Teya’s Topic 3 Blog

Teya! I am feeling bittersweet feels after reading your final blog post as I have loved interacting with you throughout this course. I was as excited as you were to realize that open and online learning environments have an abundance of pathways to integrate UDL into your lessons. The idea that we have access to so many resources at a click of a button, and are creating projects that we can look back on and use in our future as educators are something I didn’t know was possible before this course. The MindShift Podcast you shared on twitter has an amazing podcast on how podcasts have been utilized in educators’ classrooms in order to use multimodal/multimedia to help bridge gaps in understanding! It was a pleasure learning with you over the last few weeks.

Equity and Access in K-12 Distributed (Online) & Open Learning Environments

How can you ensure equitable access to authentic, meaningful & relevant learning environments for all learners in K-12 open and distributed learning contexts? What did you already know, what do you know now based on the course readings and activities, what do you hope to learn?

 

This week’s topic is one that I was incredibly excited to explore, as equity is a passion of mine, and ensuring that my students have authentic, meaningful, and relevant learning environments is extremely important to me. I have had a decent amount of experience adapting programs, activities, lessons, and projects with diverse learners, and learned about the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) last semester and have utilized UDL within lesson plans; but, ensuring that there is equity in open and distributed learning contexts is something I have little experience with. This week’s topic is full of resources, readings, tools, and content that I know I will look back on in the near and far future to ensure that I am always creating the best space and learning experience I can for my students. In reading #1, Basham, Blackorby, Stahl, & Zhang, L. (2018), so beautifully explain one of the main reasons I love UDL: “Originally formulated as an approach for ensuring the effective inclusion of students with disabilities and diverse learning needs in general education classrooms, UDL has steadily gained traction as a framework for addressing the variability inherent in all learners.” (Bashem et al. 2018). Although online learning provides a multitude of benefits, online learning can be far more difficult for students who are living in poverty, have disabilities, and ELL’s. Today’s learners are diverse and variable, and many of the forms of assessment and methods of teaching aren’t practical for everyone. Although these gaps in equity throughout online learning can be down putting, its essential to look at how technology can be a gateway towards employing UDL principles of multiple means of engagement, action and expression, and representation. Technology assists in creating personalized learning experiences for students. When online learning designs are competency-based, they are more likely to align with UDL Principles (Basham, Hall, Carter & Stahl, 2016; Basham & Stahl, 2015; Bray & McClaskey, 2013; Din, 2015). Online and open learning allows students to develop their sense of mastery, independence, belonging, and inquiry, and when paired with UDL principles, it can be adaptable, accessible, and personalized for a variety of learners.

In last week’s reading, I become concerned and interested in the inequality that Indigenous learning spaces endure, and I was excited that this week supplied so many resources and tools to help break down these gaps and barriers. Kral, I. & Schwab, R.G. (2012) depicted 8 design principles that assist inequity and development of learning spaces:

  • Design Principle 1: A space young people control 
  • Design Principle 2: A space for hanging out and ‘mucking around’
  • Design Principle 3: A space where learners learn 
  • Design Principle 4: A space to grow into new roles and responsibilities
  • Design Principle 5: A space to practice oral and written language 
  • Design Principle 6: A space to express self and cultural identity through multimodal forms 
  • Design Principle 7: A space to develop and engage in enterprise
  • Design Principle 8: A space to engage with the world

Just as UDL principles assist a variety of learners, the design principles don’t only apply to indigenous groups. When you make an environment more accessible, it typically allows everyone to feel included and motivated to learn. I will be focusing on Design Principle 1, 2, 6 and 8. There was a multitude of themes that carried throughout the chapter: the deficit mindset assumed by educators and institutions; The Circle of Courage guiding motivation and learning experience; mutual respect; and relevance of existing knowledge and meaningful activity. A deficit mindset is something I become familiar with when taking a webinar in June, “Student Voices Challenging Adult Racism to Create Anti-Racist Schools,” held by The National Association of Black Male Educators. In that webinar, students and teachers discussed how approaching BIPOC students with a deficit perspective lead to a lack of motivation because students begin to believe what teachers assume, that they can achieve what other students can. Design Principle 1 outlines that a space that young people control assists in counteracting such perspectives, as well as motivates students through a sense of autonomy, agency, and independence. Technology has assisted Indigenous communities immensely, as personal hand-held devices allow students the ability to utilize technology that is not locked in a classroom. Open-learning could be an active pathway for BIPOC as it will enable them to have a choice in their learning experience. Technology can also assist students in control over the smallest decisions, which increases confidence and decision-making skills. Marginalized and rural communities must have spaces where they can have access to information and produce knowledge.

Design Principle 2 depicts the importance of individuals having time and space to “muck around” with technology without fear of failure. “Mucking around” reminded me of the gamification of education, where students can choose the journey that suits their needs, where trial and error are utilized, and there is little fear of failure. Students build a sense of belonging in these environments, and bond over learning and experimentation.

Design Principle 6 and 8 connect well to one another as they highlight the use of technology as a form of expression and understanding of oneself and the world around you. Inquiry-based projects allow students opportunities to work in groups to provide insight into their shared experiences. Multimodal/multimedia work “illuminates the cultural practices and symbol structures in image and language that young people are using for identity formation” (Kral, I. & Schwab, R.G. 2012, p. 86). Open Learning Practices come along with risk as students are opening themselves and their knowledge up to “the world”, but this risk gives students a space to tell their stories, and have control over their own self-representation.

I hope to engage further with the resources provided this week, as well as explore further resources to ensure that I am forever in praxis, and ensuring that I am creating a learning environment where equity, belonging, independence, and adaptation is at the forefront.

References

Basham, J.D., Blackorby, J., Stahl, S. & Zhang, L. (2018) Universal Design for Learning Because Students are (the) Variable. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 477-507). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Kral, I. & Schwab, R.G. (2012). Chapter 4: Design Principles for Indigenous Learning Spaces. Safe Learning Spaces. Youth, Literacy and New Media in Remote Indigenous Australia. ANU Press. http://doi.org/10.22459/LS.08.2012 Retrieved from:   http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p197731/pdf/ch041.pdf

UDL: The UDL Guidelines. (2017, November 28). Cast.Org. http://udlguidelines.cast.org/

Response to Teya’s Topic 2 Blog

Hey, Teya! I loved the insights that you shared throughout your blog post. Adaptability is such an incredibly important aspect of teaching, and I believe that we all need to ensure that we are forever on our toes and ready to change things up with a plan a doesn’t go as planned. I’m thankful that we are taking a course that allows us to understand, explore, and utilize tools that can assist in our preparedness in becoming educators. Your passion for inclusivity, open-mindedness, and inquiry are topics that I am also incredibly interested in, and I would love to talk to you further about approaches and tools that we can utilize to make that happen. This educational revolution is intimidating, but it’s also so exciting to be a part of something new and so important.

Response to Kylie’s Topic 2 Blog

Hello again, Kylie! Your blog post was incredibly informative and showed how much knowledge you gained through the readings this week! I loved your insight into how asynchronous learning can assist families who have busy schedules and need to support their children. The difficulty of accessing technology made me think about families that may have more than one child in their home, and may not have access to more than one computer. I worried about access when COVID occurred, and I was wondering how families could make that work so that all of their children could have access to an equal education. Your connection to PSII was intriguing as I also had the same concerns about inquiry and how we could keep equity at the forefront of education if students were all exploring different subjects, topics, and ideas. Our field trip last year also settled my worries and inspired me to dive deeper into an inquiry-based pedagogy.

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