EC&I 831

Summary of Learning

I’ve created the following VIDEO as my summary of learning. I enjoyed working with Prezi and Screencast for this summary, as I’ve enjoyed the entire three months of taking this course. It gives me so much confidence in terms of working with technology and deepening my understanding of issues related to soccial media and open education.

I would like to thank all, Alec, Katia, all my classmates, and guest speakers, who have shared their experiences and resources, and enriched my learning for this entire period!

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EC&I 831

Protect your privacy

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(Image retrieved from http://danieatslife.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/sexual-privacy-a-cultural-oxymoron/)

This article about Instagram that Jessica shared in the google community reminds me of the importance of online privacy settings. Instagram is becoming a popular app among kids, because it’s fun and easy to edit and share photos, and upload photos to different social networks.

In the class we have discussed that everything we post online is like footprints which would be existing forever. So it is important to remind kids as well as ourselves to pay attention to whatever we post and share with others online. To remind kids of the importance of online security is one part of digital literacy.

The danger of ignoring online security settings could be huge. Infact, there have been reported several cybercrime cases related to the incautious use of WeChat, which is a multimedia communication app for smartphones first released in 2011 in mainland China. Its use has expanded so quickly that in only less than three years’ time, it has reached more than 300 milion users. Anyone who provides a QQ or Facebook account, or a celphone number can sign up for WeChat. Many people did not use the privacy settings, so that strangers could access to their personal information and photos. This leaves large space for criminality. It is not new to hear people suffering from online scams or even followed and attached by strangers who got all the personal information through WeChat.

So it’s never too bother to look at our online privacy settings. Be aware of these privacy issues could help to protect us from the unsafety and make better use of communication technologies.

Please feel free to post any comments you have.

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EC&I 831

Becoming responsible digital citizens

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(Image retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/63680240@N08/8642363582/sizes/m/in/photostream/)
I do not know when the term “digital citizenship” first appeared, but this definitely has a lot to do with the wide use of internet and information technology. Today we are extensively utilizing IT to engage in our personal and social lives, and it is quite natural for us to share our personal information online with whom we know or may not know.

As illustrated in this article, everything we put online leaves a digital footprint, and it is impossible for us to remove this footprint. There are already many cases talking about people, especially young kids being bullied or harassed as a result of improper upload of personal information or pictures. This video shows an example of this case.

The happening of online bully and harassment urges the need for educating kids to become responsible and caring digital citizens. Since teenagers are usually not fully aware of the potential harms that the improper use of IT could bring to them, they need parents’ and teachers’ guidance and support in this respect.

Young kids should learn to carefully examine the consequences of posting their personal information online, because this information might be available for everyone to view, even for those who they might never think of sharing with before. They should learn to respect other person’s privacy online, and that any disrespect or harassment might cause huge damage to the person who receives it. They should also learn the proper use of online resources for academic purposes, in order to avoid any form of plagiarism.

Since the digital world is overlapping with our physical world and has become part of our life, the education of digital citizenship should also become part of our learning to become responsible citizens. It is everyone’s responsibility to educate not only our kids, but also ourselves to become responsible and caring digital citizens. I’d love to hear from you if you have any comments in this respect.

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EC&I 831

MaKey MaKey’s news to me

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(image retrieved from http://chris.pirillo.com/what-would-you-invent/)
This Tuesday (October 22nd) due to internet disconnection in my room, I was not able to attend the online course. Later I checked out the recorded session and felt very lucky to have watched the video because the topic was very interesting to me. In this online session, Sylvia talked about how kids learn by inventing and building things, and how the tools such as MaKey MaKey make a great combination of technology, engineering and design, and allow for both fun and learning take place at the same time.

Prior to this class, I have never heard of MaKey MaKey. I googled it and found so many interesting stuff coming out. To me, MaKey MaKey is like a bridge that links technology with materials and stuffs we use and see in daily life which seem to have no direct relation with technology at all. It makes a big change of our life, just thinking about the example illustrated on the website that bananas become the piano keys.

The fact that kids can play, experiment, and explore with these types of tools makes learning even more appealing to them. Here learning is not only about reading books, listening to lectures, or doing homework. It is about kids making projects, designing things and learning from those hands-on activities. I think it is more of an authentic way of learning because it also allows for them to learn from messing things up or making mistakes, as often happens in our everyday life.

I also found this blog which talks about using MaKey MaKey in classroom to develop children’s multiple intelligences (logical/mathematical, musical/rhythmic, bodily/kinesthetic, and visual/spatial intelligences). It seems that MaKey MaKey is very beneficial to student learning. My questions are: is it widely available for students in schools today? Does it also have potential to strengthen other intelligences such as linguistic and interpersonal intelligences?

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EC&I 831, Major Digital Project

Flipping the classroom -episode 2

As I’ve learned more about flipped classroom in the last two weeks, I’m thinking of creating a presentation which could be used as a component of flipped classroom for my project. So I continue to search information and articles related to this topic. Thanks to my classmate Janice who posted the link to this article on the course community, I was able to read some more examples of flipped classrooms.

I like the point made in this article that flipped classroom helps to nurture independent learners. The fact that students need to spend time getting familiar with course materials before coming to the classroom offers them opporutnities to develop their independent learning skills and habits. When they do not understand the topics, as often happens in the learning process, they come to the class and discuss with peers and possibilly work through the problems together. Teachers could intervene and help students to understand difficult issues when they can not accomplish it on their own. This flipped approach helps to shift from the teacher-centered lecture style learning to learner-centered independent learning, which I think is very valuable.

This article also points out the issue of digital divide, in the sense that students from low-income familities might not have reliable internet or computer access at home. This is definitely an important aspect to consider when applying the flipped classroom approach. Teachers need to make sure that students could have access to internet and computer elsewhere (e.g. in the computer labs or school libraries) if these are not available for them at home.

What’s your view about the flipped classroom approach? Would you like to give it a try in your classroom?

image retrieved from: https://i2.wp.com/blog.wsd.net/skamp/files/2011/10/The-flipped-classroom.jpg
(Image retrieved from http://blog.wsd.net/skamp/files/2011/10/The-flipped-classroom.jpg)

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EC&I 831

Interactive whiteboard tech & language learning

Because of my foreign language learning background, I’m always interested in exploring the use of technology in enhancing language learning. I came across this research articleSchmid2007 which talks about using interactive whiteboard technology in language classrooms to assess students’ prior knowledge, evaluate their understanding during the class, and add interesting competition games to stimulate student interests.

This article reveals that the use of ACTIVote system- a wireless interactive whiteboard technology- allows students to respond to questions and assessment with an individual voting keypad. The results are anonymous and immediately displayed on the whiteboard. This system enables students to get instant feedback on their responses. Students can then compare their own performance with peers, and reflect on their performance. On the other hand, the anonymity maximally preserves students’ privacy, which would motivate them to catch up with others if they fall a little behind in the assessment.

I think this is a good example of incorporating technology into language classrooms, which creates a new way for students to interacting with each other. A brief note that this article is a bit dated (published in 2007). Anyone who has experience using this kind of technology in their classrooms or has seen it being used somewhere else?

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(Image retrieved from http://dialogueiwb.educ.cam.ac.uk/)

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EC&I 831

Why blogging?

Sue Waters definitely inspires some of my ideas around blogging.
There are just so many benefits that blog could offer us: recording our experiences and reflecting on them, inviting comments from others so that we are not restricted by our own views, connecting with people and developing our social network.
It is very interesting that through blogging, we may get to know someone who previously has no presence in our life, and who may later become source of information and support for our learning and living experiences. Since the world is becoming more and more connected today, it makes much more sense for me that people make use of internet to connect with each other and exchange their views and sparkling ideas.
image taken from http://www.gabrielweinberg.com/blog
(image retrieved from http://www.gabrielweinberg.com/blog/2011/08/why-i-blog.html)

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