Showing posts with label media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label media. Show all posts

October 15, 2018

From Behaviorism to Constructivism: People are more than Numbers

Enjoy my module 2 synthesis post:

Articles assigned:

  • A. Watters, Educational Technology & Skinner's Box
  • I. Illich, Deschooling Society, Ch. 6
  • S. Papert, The Children's Machine, Ch. 7
  • L. Cuban, [OTA] Public School Teachers Using Machines…

Instructor suggested questions [bolded]:
Where else do we see behaviorism picked up throughout the history of ed. Tech?

What is behaviorism is my first question:
“Behaviorism refers to a psychological approach which emphasizes scientific and objective methods
of investigation. The approach is only concerned with observable stimulus-response behaviors, and 
states all behaviors are learned through interaction with the environment.” Further it states:
  • “All behavior is learned from the environment”
  • “Psychology should be seen as a science”
  • “Behaviorism is primarily concerned with observable behavior, as opposed to internal events like
     thinking and emotion”
  • “There is little difference between the learning that takes place in humans and that in other animals”
  • “Behavior is the result of stimulus-response”

Who was Seymour Papert?
“Papert has been considered the world's foremost expert on how technology can provide new ways to 
learn and teach mathematics, thinking in general, and other subjects.”
Wikipedia: Seymour Aubrey Papert was a South African-born American mathematician, computer 
scientist, and educator, who spent most of his career teaching and researching at MIT. He was one of
the pioneers of artificial intelligence, and of the constructionist movement in education.”

Why was Larry Cuban writing for the OTA, whatever that was?
Photo illustration by Derek Brahney. Source image of painting: Bridgeman Images.
Image is from the blog post “Personalized Learning”: The Difference between a Policy and a Strategy”:

The “OTA” is the Office of Technology Assessment for the United States government that was in action
from 1972 to 1995 when it was defunded (OTA Archive at When searching further
into this website archive, I was amazed at the number of publications produced by this team on a
broad range of technology applications.

Larry Cuban is professor emeritus in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford. He studies the
area of technology integration and assessment; and school reform through technology integration. He
keeps a blog which appears very active. He was writing for the OTA because the OTA if a facilitating
body of the US Government and they needed his expertise in the area of educational technology
integration and assessment.

How can we link these readings back to those in Module 1?

In module 1, our readings centered on how “things,” such as technology and educational innovations,
have implications both intended and unintended from how the designers create the product. Innovations
have politics and many early innovations were directly related to increasing efficiency of the system.
People and things were pieces to these systems that could be controlled, adjusted, and modified.
Sometimes human differences and emotions were not considered, and most certainly minority or
special populations needing accommodations and differences were not accounted for. As we move
into Module 2, we can see that the “politics” of artifacts is expanded and researchers begin to account
for people as more than just numbers and for production. People began to become the focus in many
systems. While efficiency is important, researchers realized that there are many factors that can
impact a system and some things cannot be measured by numbers and in a “neat little box”. The
underlying principles of behaviorism is still ever present as a backbone to our field, but we can begin
to see constructivist principles emerging, and we can most definitely see its emergence in the follow
up posts on Cuban and Papert’s personal websites.

As we move away from behaviorism and integrate more constructivist thoughts on learning and
technology integration, we see the following changes in the researchers approaches:

“All behavior is learned from the environment”
Behavior is a combination of environmental factors
and personal human factors
“Psychology should be seen as a science”
Psychology is a science and an art; there is room
for multiple “truths” to a situation
“Behaviorism is primarily concerned with observable
behavior, as opposed to internal events like thinking
and emotion”
We are concerned with observable behavior and
internal events like emotion, more equally
“There is little difference between the learning that
takes place in humans and that in other animals”
Humans learn in ways more complex than animals
do and there are many differences in our learning
“Behavior is the result of stimulus-response”
Behaviour is the result of choice, stimulus, emotions,
and many other internal and external factors
combined for that precise situation (and could
change for a number of factors, at a different moment
in time, or in a different environment)

How have the authors of these pieces reflected on what they wrote, now decades later (I assure you, they have).
They each have websites and have written reflective pieces comparing the past to the present methods
of teaching; they are continually updating their theory and applying it to current issues in education.

May 31, 2017

Google+ Lesson Plan

Collaborative content curation on Google+ for a freshman/sophomore poetry class

Sample Lesson Plan (prior to integrating technology)
Main page - (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Lesson page - (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Teaching Materials for First Year Composition at East TN State University:
In-class exercise: Style and Fluency
Translate your prose into lines of verse
Engl 4057/5057 ETSU, O'Donnell, Weds Feb 1, 2012
(O'Donnell, ETSU, First-year composition course materials (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.)
1.  In the essay you plan to turn in today, identify a paragraph, or portion of a paragraph, that you think is particularly fluent/ musical.
2.  Transcribe that passage into your notebook, as lines of verse and stanzas.  Feel free to modify the passage, as you transcribe it, if you feel some changes will make it flow better.
3.  Be prepared to present your verse to the class, using the "doc cam."

“Life Before TIM”
Since the learners are directed to use the doc cam for their in class presentation, this is a simple and effective in-class tool for sharing a paper document and this qualifies the current lesson as a level 2 on the TIM, called “adoption.” “Adoption” is described as when “the teacher directs the students in the conventional and the procedural use of technology.” The doc cam is the only required technology indicated in her lesson, since she indicates the use of a notebook for writing instead of a word processor or online presentation tool. This part of the current lesson would barely be considered level 1 or “entry” level, if you consider a notebook and pen/pencil technology. There are several opportunities to enhance the lesson with technology to better motivate students, encourage the development of 21st century skills, increase efficiency and leave more in time class for discussion, and widen the audience to the student work. From my personal experience, this lesson plan example is often how a first or second year composition class is taught: typically very lecture based, heavy reading outside of class, and sometimes essays are the only “creating” around the material that the students are allowed. What if we used technology to make the lesson more successful and more fun?
The instructional goals are not stated in this lesson plan, but are assumed to be similar to:
  1. The learner will be able to identify basic components of poetry (“verse” “stanza” “meter” “rhyme” “rhythm” and other key terms related to poetry).
  2. The learner will be able to create an original work of poetry.
  3. The learner will be able to present their original work.

“Life After TIM” - Lesson Plan after Technology Integration
Students will utilize the popular social media tool “Google+” to create a collaborative online community showcasing student work while curating a collection of poetry related digital reference material. To complete the updated lesson on poetry, students will use several additional technologies:
  • Optional: A digital word processing tool to create their original works - this can be Word, Google Doc, a blog, etc.
  • A internet search tool - Google search, Google scholar, and YouTube will probably be the best resources
  • A Google+ account, accessed by app on a mobile device or through a computer browser

 While students are still welcome to create their poetry outside of a digital tool, the text must be inputted into a digital format and can be done so directly into Google+. Students can also input their poetry into a word processor if they so choose and that is why it is listed as optional. Many times I will create my text outside of a social media tool because 1. It is easier to edit for grammar and punctuation in a word processing tool; and 2. I can save a copy independent of the tool for later reference. Learners will also utilize a search tool to find interesting resources related to poetry or an article, video, or image that directly teaches or expresses their specific topic with the class.
By using the technologies suggested, the lesson will increase to at least a level 3 “adaptation,” which is described by the TIM matrix as “the teacher facilitates students in exploring and independently using technology.” Time in class for discussion will increase because the walls of the classroom will disappear. What is meant by that is once you introduce a social media tool such as Google+, Twitter, or other always-on and available on any device tool, you open your learning beyond your course times as learners engage with the technology. Social media as used in this lesson plan employs the Connected Learning principles of:
  • Interest powered: since learners are developing their poetry from their own essay content, the topic can be anything of interest to the student that they wish to develop. So the lesson is already very interest powered. What takes this up a notch is the introduction of the internet search and the curation of a digital collection - students can become even more interested searching for informative material about their topic or about the development of poetry. Learners will hopefully become interested when reading their classmates’ resources as the post together on Google+.
  • Production centered: although learners were ‘producing’ a poem in the original lesson, now the entire world can be the audience for the products [poems] created by the learners. Learners should be encouraged to share their original works with the world. Experimenting in writing poetry can be a rewarding experience and it also prepares learners to ‘produce’ something for the world one day in a profession.
  • Openly networked: by introducing a always-on digital tool like Google+, learning has little boundaries and learners can review their classmates’ work on the go. The learners can interact, comment, and “+1” posts or comments that they like to interact with each other. Google+ is a free tool and is utilized by many professionals and businesses.
  • Academically orientated:
  • Peer supported: Google+ is a rich social environment where learners can connect, support, and comment on each other’s work and resources. All learners within the community and worldwide visitors will benefit from the learner’s creations.
  • Shared purpose: creating an original work of poetry is a beautiful gift to the world and using social media is a great way to share it with others.

Helpful Guides for Learning Google+

Google Plus: An Easy Guide to the 3rd Social Network
How to Earn a Black Belt in Google+

In conclusion, try the lesson with your learners and have fun creating your poetry!

Example Google+ feed:

January 3, 2017

Back to the grind... Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences

Welcome back everyone and welcome to 2017! I am excited to be back at work and with classes starting next week, I still have a little breathing room in my schedule. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break and are ready for a refreshed, reinvigorated, and reinvented 2017!

I wanted to share another piece of coursework I created over the past year that I thought might be helpful to others. This was a really fun cartoon project created in the Gardner's Multiple Intelligences unit. Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences states that learners can have one or many of these 8 intelligences displayed as a primary learning mode. You can read more about Gardner's theories here.

This cartoon strip is an imaginary take on the interaction of these 8 intelligences:

Fun and informative!

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