ED677 Reflections on Assessment Kathy Walsh 4/26/2015
I did a lot of reflecting on all I have been learning in more detail in my last S7S, but here are more specific answers to the performance assessment questions.
How well do you feel you met the performance expectations this semester?
I feel that connected learning is a multifaceted framework and for me it has taken time to reach a more profound understanding of its principles through participating in the many aspects of this class. As a person who has been largely left behind by quickly changing technological and social media landscape almost all of the things I have learned about and done in this class have been for the first time and therefore have taken me out of my comfort zone and into new ways of thinking and doing. Some examples of things that have helped me develop as a connected learner and teacher are:
· The readings and watchings such as text chapters blog posts, past google hangouts, articles and videos on connected learning such as Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom and also on specific interests of mine such as science and social justice and civic learning and practices for establishing maker spaces.
· My participation in communities of inquiry and practice in our class google hangouts and google plus community, where I have been contributing my unique perspective to our collective learning efforts through the hangouts and my responses to other students’ work, where I contributed and also learned from my classmates.
· My participation in other networked communities outside the class, such as in STEM, NSTA, maker space education, social justice education such as the YPAR iTAGs group and larger iTAGs community and also the baby steps I took into twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Linked in.
· My makes using digital tools such as: social justice and science curations, urban youth themed memes, a valentines remix, gliffy map of my learning journey, and attempt to make a badge.
· The maker space I started, including the creation of activities for it, the community service project of having the maker students work with younger students, and an open class blog
· My weekly blog posts in my Making it Matter blog, and my tumblr S7S reflections blog.
Where do you think you could have improved?
All of the above. I am usually not satisfied with first attempts and so I always think I can improve by reflecting and trying things again. I had difficulty functioning in twitter, and especially in the twitter chat but I have decided to remain open minded and to keep on trying to get more comfortable with it. I need to work at developing more connections through my blog and contributing more to the networked communities I have joined. I need to work on my self confidence in order to do those things. After a month of my maker space being up and running, it could use a lot of growth and development. The main issue is that the students have not developed a shared sense of purpose in working toward a common goal. I know that is the key to students wanting to engage in intellectually challenging work.
How do your successes and reflections on improvement inform your connected learning moving forward?
My goal and my challenge is how to get students to want to engage in intellectually rigorous work. For students in urban schools who have been traditionally marginalized in science education, this is a big challenge. The traditional models of education in which teachers try to tightly control the outcomes to fit tests and by using drilling of information causes great inequity in education. Equity occurs when students work toward a common goal with a shared sense of purpose and see that they have a voice and can make change on problems and issues that matter to them. However this is not an easy thing to have happen. It must come from student interests and the problems that they have that go beyond the classroom. They must critically examine what they are learning and the structures that create inequity around them. Education must be designed so that students can work collectively to make a change that they find meaningful. Connected learning can help teachers create entry points for students to go down their own paths of discovery and identify formation.
Going forward I will have to be more open and encouraging of a dialogue with students and getting to know students better in order to have this come from them. When I receive curriculum that does not give students these dialogues and entry points, I will have to create them by hacking the curriculum to be more relevant for my students and open up spaces for creativity and connection to meaning. I will examine the content with the students with a critical eye. I will use connected learning to break through the barriers they face and give students an authentic audience in order to solve real problems. For example I was thinking of cultivating the relationships I make with the black and Latino scientists, (once I finally get connected with them) so my students can have interactive mentors for their science projects. Also I was thinking they might come and attend the students’ final presentations of their projects and help me in creating badges for the students.
By including connected learning and critical pedagogy perspectives and practices I hope to bring more equity to education. This will require me to continue to develop myself as a connected educator and a critical pedagogue. This class pushed me to try new things and has resulted in the development of my identity as a connected learner and also to dream about trying these ideas out with my future classes when I am again in the role of a classroom teacher.
Thanks for a great semester, Christina and if you have any ideas for another connected learning class you recommend please let me know.