Brief description of the technology I use in terms of the metaphor is composed of 4 categories.
The functionality of tools I use varies according to my roles online (White & Cornus, 2011). When using the Internet as a conduit for communication and information searching, I act as a digital visitor. The frequently used tools include social media like who Twitter, Facebook, where I go to check others’ profiles and activities. Also, informative platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Wikipedia act as troves of free information, while Google scholar and Google doc provide access to various academic documents. For example, I watch video recordings on YouTube to learn how to operate a new computer. Meanwhile, all these platforms are places where I create my own content when my digital role turns to residents. Back to YouTube, when being a resident, I can upload my own recordings and communicate with viewers in comments area.
Also, different motivations also decide which tools I use (White & Cornus, 2011) – While learning literacy, I use university libraries or other media homepage for searching documents, and some platforms for group communication such as Padlet provide a platform for me to ask others for answers. On the other hand, when it comes to social functionality, it is online banking, shopping sites, coupled with communication tools like email and skype that I stick with to deal with daily affairs and communication.
White, D. S., & Cornus, A. L. (2011, August 9). Retrieved from Peer-reviewed Journal on the Internet: https://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049
The MALAT Virtual Symposiums for the past week have invited a host of professionals and experienced practitioners to expound on some hot topics in relation to distant learning, with sessions covering from the expectation of future trend of online education and pragmatic problems like how to design specific courses. Of the discussion topics, the ideas that surprise me more includes how to identify the values of openness in virtual world (Cormier, 2017), which renders the common concept fresh in the new context; and the strategies of how to be a critical thinker (Childs & Davis, 2020), which explains the very reason why many students fail to meet the requirement of academic writing in IELTS essay, in compared to English education in China venerates how to write over what to write.
As for intriguing ideas, I tend to say that the point that attracts me most is the idea focused on how establish social and emotional connection between teachers and students in distant education (LaBonte, 2020), which is also the problem that exhausts and frustrates me at the moment in my dealing with distant learners (not only limited to K-12 students). From my experience, while in classroom, they are usually more likely to join discussions just because their peers all do so and they don’t want to make themselves isolated. However, when sitting in front of a computer by oneself, the same group become less responsive and opt to wait for answers from others.
As for the solutions, Dr. Randy LaBonte provides his advices by introducing some pragmatic tips to design the content more project oriented, rather than solely based on content, a model that discourages remote learners, making them to be passive accepters of information rather than positive participants. Not to be left behind is his pragmatic tips of how to design assignment after class, by design a not gooleable homework, thus maintaining students’ participation in the process of study after class. This is also the reason why I particularly agree with the advices from Dr. Randy LaBonte is that, instead of outlining abstract picture, he substantiates his strategy with pragmatic solutions, and such measures can be also used as an alternative method to strengthen the social/ emotional intermingling between tutors and distant leaners.
Apart from that, I do especially agree with the point of critical think analyzed in course material by Dr. Elizabeth Childs & Dr Loni Davis, which aimed at the goal that students should never jump to a conclusion recklessly without scrutinizing all possible contributing factors, whether these be the causality between premises and conclusions, the pros and cons of a measure, or the consistency of an opinion (Childs & Davis, 2020). The reason why these points win me over is that they match well with my work in teaching IELTS reading and writing for children in China, whose biggest problem is the lack of critical thinking, a result thanks to the traditional education in the country which discourages children to question the authority. I can definitely borrow some points and the way of explanation in my work.
Bates, T. (2020, April 7). www.tonybates.ca. Retrieved from https://www.tonybates.ca/2020/04/07/what-should-we-be-doing-about-online-learning-when-social-distancing-ends/
Childs, E., & Davis, L. (2020, April 17). Critical Academic Reading and Writing. Retrieved from Royal Roads University: https://moodle.royalroads.ca/moodle/mod/collaborate/view.php?id=410114
Cormier, D. (2017, April 18). Values of Open. Retrieved from http://ow.ly/g4aZ30aZpAe
LaBonte, R. (2020, April 15). Remote Teaching or Online Learning? K-12 Schooling in a Pandemic World. Retrieved from Royal Roads University: https://moodle.royalroads.ca/moodle/mod/collaborate/view.php?id=410114
Now the COVID 19 has push all theoretical discussions of online study on paper to imminent afflictions, with the a frustrating problem being how to evoke interests and communication between teachers and invisible learners. While in classroom, students might be more likely to make themselves involved in the discussion because all peers do so and they don’t want themselves to look weird. However, such a conformity in classrooms does not translates as easily to virtual classes, where individual learne
While the distant learning might be an impending direction of education in 2021, with the current change as just a beginning (LaBonte. L, personal communication, April 14, 2020), all practitioners have to reconsider how to create an attractive atmosphere in virtual classrooms in a pragmatic way.
I wonder if anyone can share some experience on how to stimulate enthusiasm of remote students.