Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dance Card - Rob, Leah, Irwin

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Rob Bruno discussed using Wikis to encourage peer interaction.  By using wikis for collaboration, students within his HUC 106 (Public Speaking) course would be able to provide feedback on outlines, topic selection, and other potential peer review activities. 

Leah Richards spoke about how she currently (or plans) to utilize Twitter and file sharing options in a variety of ways, including quick quizzing, reinforcement, writing collaboration (based on idea sharing, not necessarily technicals) within her 3 English courses.

Irwin Leopando currently uses Blackboard but is considering other options within the Web 2.0 realm.  He mentioned having students read others writing and be able to write and evaluate first drafts, in terms of clarity, logic, asking for more information, etc.  He is currently looking for options of another course to connect, as he teaches one section of composition.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dance Card

Milena - Mathematics
Milena uses Blackboard tools and a platform called Open Learning Initiative (OPI) with her classes.  However, she would like to use Blogger to connect her classes and as a means to motivate her students in the lower level courses.   She would like to connect Basic Math 096 and Statistics 120 so students can learn various mathematical concepts. 

Steve - Human Services
Steve  is using Instagram, Eportfolio and Blogger for assignments  and facebook to collaborate. What I find particularly interesting is having students upload recording of their final project on Eportfolio and his plan to have the students do a collage using Instagram.  He would like to connect with the Oral Communication Class where they can observe each other and learn from various styles.   

Nicole - Business
Nicole is using Eportfolio because there is on campus support and she is comfortable with this platform. She is planning to do a project on Robert Moses where students need to research on who he is and what implications his projects had on stack-holders

Still Dancing

My interviews were very helpful, as they stirred some ideas that were already percolating, and alleviated some of my own anxieties.  I have no experience with blogs, and could not get Blogger to work today, so it was comforting to know that I am not the only one who has never used a blog.  I think the point of the blogs is to create a lively exchange and dialogue among students.  However, one point that came up in our discussion concerns  the degree of artificiality in this process.  So one question is, how do you get real “buy-in” on the part of students?  How do you facilitate a real exchange and dialogue?  How do we make this less flat?
The idea of using video as a tool came up.  I was intrigued by how Thomas has already used video with his students and am eager to learn more about this.  I believe students would take real ownership of this process and it can become a historical record that one can come back to for later discussion.
In terms of a learning community activity, a lot came up in terms of how students can be paired.   There were different thoughts about pairing more advanced students with beginning students, and whether this would be helpful or create feelings of discomfort.  Is it better to pair similarly situated students, or have different levels of abilities supporting one another?  Could this be empowering or diminishing?
Collaborating with students for the purpose of peer review of assignments was also addressed.

2.0 Dance Card Interviews

Daryl (CUNY Fatherhood Academy)
Daryl is thinking of using Blogger and Wiki. Wiki would be used a s source of information for students, a place of reference. Blogger will be used as the free space for students to express their opinions and responses to information available on the Wiki. He didn’t name a specific lesson plan or activity, however his focus is on creating and implementing activities which not only engage students but keeps them engaged and continuing to draw out conclusions from what they have read/learned. In terms of making connections, he would like to work with an ESL course.

Lisa (Humanities/ Communication Studies)
Facebook would be the tool of choice for Lisa. It is familiar to not only the students bit to her as well. She would like to use Blogger as well as she becomes more comfortable with it.  Critical analysis for Public Speaking calls for drawing out conclusions on a speaker’s message, main points, as well as to provide examples. She feels Facebook will provide a less pressure-filled environment for students to respond to questions. Also more importantly it gives students a voice that would unlikely be heard in the classroom.

Sree (MEC)
Sree is interested in using Google Groups. She has little experience with the program but feels it will be the most comfortable to use with her students.  Her lesson plans involve problem solving topics. Working online will encourage peer to peer thinking of these specific concepts and then applying it to a solution. She would like to connect her two groups of classes-her hybrid and her regular course

Dance Card Activity

 Wynne would like to use Ning or Wiki because she want something to post and show student work. The learning activities that are posted could be used in drafting process. Her class does a community project towards the end of the semester so the students can always look at different charts, graphs, data and post their comments. There are approx. 20 GED courses offered at LaGuardia. Wynne wants to connect to all 20 GED sections because she thinks that some of these sections are isolated. I think it’s a great idea.

Thomas wants to use Blogger. He thinks it’s a good platform for writing and to post comments. Would also like to use Video in someway, maybe reflect on videos. He is currently teaching ENA101, a hybrid course. He would like to connect his class with another ENA101 class taught by a different faculty. His goal is to help students prepare for CATW.

Prosha would like to use Blogger. She also wants to incorporate Facebook in order to build communities and access them. She is teaching CSC00 and is currently connected to CSZ, a workshop taught by a different instructor. She wants students to post their summaries and evaluate their writing.

Collaborative 2.0 efforts

Nicole would like to use ePortfolio, in part, because it is a familiar platform and that there is also a lot of support (such as STMs, consultants, etc.).  If not ePortfolio, then she would like to use Blackboard.  These tools would be used in conjunction with her urban studies course and specifically the "Robert Moses project" (which is part of the strategic plan). She would like to connect with a business law course taught by Victor Hernandez to explore the economic and law perspectives.  They would also create an informational app (time permitting).

Sreedevi would like to use Google groups with her hybrid and regular MAT 120 (statistics) classes.  Since this is the first time she is using web 2.0 tools, she would like to use Google groups to simply enhance discussion between these two sections of the same course.  It is her hope that this tool with allow each class to learn from one another (perhaps as they develop or work on different stages of a project).

Vanessa is teaching a urban black psychology course as part of a learning community and as a stand alone course. She would like to use video as part of one of their projects  in which they explore the different social aspects of neighborhoods around New York City.  She would also like to use Blogger for students to share their thoughts and experiences between the two sections.  Blogger also seems to be more fluid, for instance, than Blackboard's Discussion Board.

The Beauty of Online Discussion

Interview #1--Leah Richards, English
Leah plans to use both Facebook and Twitter for the time being, though she would like to incorporate Blogger once she is more comfortable with it.  Facebook and Twitter are both platforms with which students are familiar, so incorporating them into class discussions and activities requires little explanation or instruction.  Leah finds that in-class discussions often uncover additional questions or ideas that cannot be truly explored in the limited time allotted to the class session itself, so continuing the discussions on Facebook or Twitter allow for interesting and enlightening conversations that would otherwise be stifled because of the need to stay on schedule in the classroom itself.  Lea envisions using the online platforms specifically for her assignment that explores how visual images revisit iconic texts because the intersection between written and visual messages lends itself to a diversity of interpretations, analyses, and approaches.  The course for which this activity is most appropriate is English 245 and she would like to link her course with Lisa Barry who explores contemporary media images and representations of women.  The courses for which the connection is most logical are either HUC101--Fundamentals of Speech Communication or HUC130--Media and Society.

Interview #2--Porsha Esterene, Communication Skills
Porsha uses both Blogger and Facebook because both allow interaction and the ability for students to see and evaluate others' contributions.  Because CSE99 is a basic skills course, Porsha's students complete a great deal of summary writing, which is easily posted online and for which students can interact, critique, and/or see alternative summaries than their own, which enables students to see that there isn't always "one right answer."  Porsha already collaborates with Melissa Greenaway's CSZ99 course, a course for students who did not entirely complete the required basic reading or writing skills courses (including Porsha's own CSE99) to move into ENG101.

Interview #3--Wynne Ferdinand, PCAP
Wynne uses Wikis and Neeng (sp?) because they enable a type of interactivity that is less linear than traditional blogs and that allow students to create sub-pages on the actual wiki page rather than creating their own blog pages.  Her courses are interdisciplinary (adult and continuing education and GED bridge courses), so wikis allow for the posting of texts or resources students can then use and respond to, a sort of "guided research and discussion" for students who aren't academically prepared to conduct their own research.  Wynne hopes to connect her GED Bridge to Health course with the standard Community Health course.

The three interviews all revealed the desire by many of us to enable students who otherwise might feel silenced in a classroom to discover and utilize their voice in a forum that is more comfortable for them.


Which web 2.0 technologies are thinking of using, and why?

Porscha has experimented with a few web 2.0 platforms already. She found that Blogger was, for the students, very difficult to navigate and access. As a result, she turned to Facebook. Facebook is a platform that most students already know and connect with, so it's not hard to get them to engage as a class. By using Facebook, there are already a set of rubrics by which the students must adhere. They are forced to edit themselves before publishing because of the public arena that they are in.

Milena teaches Statistics as well as Math 96, which is a remedial class. It is harder to conceive of how to engage the basic math class online. She already intends or has already committed her to using wikis and the discussion board on Blackboard. In early in the course, the students are asked to discuss how statistics are used in the public sphere. Towards the end, they are asked to design their own research project. This is a good way for them to explore the basic concepts and to then use them.

Which of your lesson plans or learning activities do you think would lend itself to being a learning community activity, and why?

Just to reiterate, Milena wants to motivate her students by getting them to comment on the use of statistics in public discourse early in her course.

Porscha mentioned that her students are required to do a lot of summary writing in her readingn strategies class. I did not get to ask her at what point these students are doing the most summary writing or if they are doing throughout the class.

Milena's danced interview

Melissa is in Communication Skills has very clear ideas on how to use Web 2.0 in her teaching. First she is thinking to use Blogger and Facebook to connect her Basic reading Class to a different level class in her department (either ENG101 or and ESL course). She plans to use it in the context of critical thinking where students will need to read and respond online. 

My second partner was Robert from Communication is planning to use Wikis and Blogs in the context of his Public Speaking class. His plan is to connect two sections at the same level (same course HUC 112) to incentive peer review. The main Web 2.0 technologies he plans to do are Wikis and Blogs where peer review is encourage in small groups on written posts, and videos or audio file of student speeches.

Lastly, I talked to Daryl who works for the CUNY Fatherhood Academy (GED) teaching a variety of topics in English and Math. His main motivation to use Web 2.0 technologies is to generate in the students motivation, organizational skill, discover drive to learn, and find that success is recognize in the small details of each daily routine. For this he wants to use Wikis and Facebook. I really like his idea of posting encouraging posts in Facebook when students complete small tasks for the class, or to point them out to interesting reading. 

This was a difficult activity... but I heard very nice ideas, and had motivated me to start brainstorm further.