E-Portfolio

This portfolio acts as evidence of my learning throughout this course. Much of my learning has led me to discover new areas of interest, which will be demonstrated by the expanded blogpost below. The content in this course also connects to how I intend to structure my teaching practice going forward.

Here are the links to my blogposts:

Topic #1: https://juliafalzon.home.blog/2020/07/07/topic-1-human-centered-learning-the-importance-of-building-relationships-clear-communication-and-designing-for-interactions-and-engagement-in-k-12-distributed-and-open-learning-contexts/

Topic #2: https://juliafalzon.home.blog/2020/07/14/historical-and-theoretical-trends-in-k-12-open-and-distributed-learning/

Topic #3: https://juliafalzon.home.blog/2020/07/20/topic-3-equity-and-access-in-k-12-distributed-and-open-learning-environments/ (this is the post that I chose to remix, which you will find below, under a different, “remixed” name)

Check out the following video reflection about my blog posts throughout this class:

Throughout this course, I participated in four optional activities. All of these contributed to my new understanding of open learning, distributed learning, building relationships, classroom communities, and professional development:

Optional Course Activities:

Engaging in conversations on slack: Connects to EDCI 339 Learning outcome #2 & 3: “Explore and engage with current literature on the distributed and open education movementANDCritically reflect on and articulate concepts around modality, pedagogy, and access, including distributed and open learning theory, online and open learning history, privacy laws, online learning communities, open research, and open data.”

Slack is a platform that acts as an informal communication space organized into different channels for different topics. Throughout this course, I posted about different topics that I found interesting after engaging with course materials. Writing my posts, and reading posts from my peers, helped me critically reflect on the current literature surrounding the distributed and open education movement.

Q&A on Padlet: Connects to EDCI 339 learning outcome #1: “Develop an awareness of the potential of human-centered learning in online and open learning contexts”

Padlet is an open learning resource that acts as a virtual bulletin board on which users can ask and answer questions. The way we used Padlet helped me become aware of the importance of belonging and relationship development in an educational setting. Padlet broadened the scope of learning by inviting people outside the course to contribute and support our learning. This invaluable extension of the learning community is aligned with the human-centred learning principles.

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Shelley Moore’s content (videos & book club) – Connects to EDCI 339 learning outcome #4: “Examine and reflect upon the potential for equitable access for all learners in online and open learning contexts.”

As a part of the conversation on UDL and open learning during this course, I was introduced to Shelley Moore’s content. Shelley is a special educator with a passion for inclusive education. Her ted talks, youtube videos, instagram posts, and blog posts have helped me examine and reflect upon the potential for equity, access, and inclusion for all learners in all learning environments (brick and mortar, open/blended, distributed, etc.).

Twitter Chat: Connects to EDCI 339 Learning outcome #6: “Practice digital, networked and open literacies in support of learning about distributed and open learning.”

The EDCI 339 twitter chat allowed me to practice digital literacy in support of my professional development surrounding open and distributed learning. Seeing diverse perspectives on OER, digital literacy, and online learning broadened my own perspective on these topics.

Here is a link to my full reflection about the Twitter chat.

Here is a video with a more detailed reflection on the previous four activities:

Blog Post Remix: How can we, as educators, ensure equitable access to authentic, meaningful and relevant learning environments for all learners in K-12 open and distributed learning contexts?

This question can be looked at from a social justice perspective (e.g. ensuring access to technology and facilitating digital literacy for students of lower socio-economic status), a trauma-informed perspective (e.g. adopting virtual SEL strategies ), a cultural perspective (e.g. adopting a culturally responsive digital practice), and countless other important perspectives. In this post, I will be answering this question from an inclusive education perspective. Specifically, I will examine how the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework , and Lenses of Accessibility, can ensure equitable access for all learners in open and distributed learning contexts. I will also discuss the importance of social presence and inclusion for learners with exceptionalities.

The purpose of the UDL framework is to “proactively address the academic, social, and cultural distinctions that exist in today’s schools” (Basham, Blackorby, Stahl, & Zhang, L., 2018). UDL has three concrete suggestions to ensure equity and access for all learners:

retrieved from: http://udlguidelines.cast.org/

These guidelines apply to learning in a brick and mortar classroom, an open learning environment, a distributed environment, and every variation in between. According to the UDL framework, learner variability is normal and expected. Therefore, flexibility and alternatives can be planned from the beginning. This is especially critical for educators to consider when teaching in a distributed context. Often, in this context, information is presented in one way (typically in written text), with the expectation that students have the capacity to read and absorb the information. Students are also often expected to respond to the content in written text. These methods are not accessible for all students. Instead, teachers should use the UDL principles to provide students with alternatives that may be more conducive to their learning.

I have compiled a list of practical suggestions for teachers looking to practice inclusive education in an open and distributed context. If learner variability is planned for, teachers can construct activities that can be made accessible to all learners. As Shelley Moore’s tag line says about inclusive education, “It’s not more work, it’s different work.” Some of the following suggestions are based on the UDL framework and others on Steven Lambert’s Lenses of Accessibility.

Practical Suggestions:

  • UDL: Provide Multiple Means of Engagement: making learning relevant, giving autonomy and choice (e.g. provide a choice board like we had in EDCI 339, co-creating learning activities)
  • UDL: Provide Multiple Means of Representation: present the information/content in ways that can be adjusted to work for all learners (e.g. ask yourself, can learners adjust font sizes? Is text-to-speech software compatible with what I am using? Can I provide a form of audio instead of a written document?)
  • UDL: Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression: flexibility with pace, use of different types of media for composition (e.g. pace of moving through the material, pace of videos, access to assistive technology – alternate keyboard actions to replace a mouse, speech-to-text, text-to-speech, using graphics or a video instead of written word)
  • Reference Steven Lambert’s Lenses of Accessibility for specific considerations of the technologies that you are using and how they may affect different learners:
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retrieved from: smashingmagazine.com/2018/04/designing-accessibility-inclusion/(opens in a new tab)

One last important consideration for inclusion and equity is social inclusion. In EDCI 339, we discussed the need for instructors to create opportunities for students to cultivate relationships and become emotionally literate online. In their 2014 article, Aimee Whiteside and Amy Garrett Dikkers suggest seven strategies to support belonging and community in an online context.

retrieved from: https://er.educause.edu/articles/2014/5/the-power-of-social-presence-for-learning

Having a sense of community in an online setting is especially critical for students with exceptionalities who may already feel a sense of isolation from their classmates. Emphasizing classroom community for all students in open and distributed learning contexts is critical because, from what social constructivism dictates, learning is a collaborative process.

Here is a video that I recorded that outlines my editing process, and how this blog post connects to my personal learning context.

References:

Basham, J.D., Blackorby, J., Stahl, S. & Zhang, L. (2018) Universal Design for Learning Because Students are (the) Variable. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 477-507). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Carello, J. (2020). Trauma-Informed Teaching & Teaching In Times of Crisis. Trauma Informed Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from: https://traumainformedteaching.blog/

CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from http://udlguidelines.cast.org

Dikkers, A., Whiteside, A., & Lewis, S. (2014) The Power of Social Presence for Learning. EDUCAUSE Review. Retrieved from: https://er.educause.edu/articles/2014/5/the-power-of-social-presence-for-learning

Five Moore Minutes. (n.d.) Home. [YouTube Channel]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU-GCW3-EwNxcbJEFKKaABw

Lambert, S. (2018). Designing For Accessibility and Inclusion. Smashing Magazine. Retrieved from: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/04/designing-accessibility-inclusion/

McLeod, S. (2019) Constructivism As A Theory For Teaching and Learning. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from: https://www.simplypsychology.org/constructivism.html#:~:text=According%20to%20social%20constructivism%20learning,Lev%20Vygotsky%20(1978%2C%20p.

Moore, S. Blogsomemoore. [Wordpress]. Retrieved from: https://blogsomemoore.com/

Moore, S. [@fivemooreminutes]. Posts. [Instagram Profile]. Retrieved from: https://www.instagram.com/fivemooreminutes/

Moore, S. (2016). Under the Table: The Importance of Presuming Competence. [YouTube]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGptAXTV7m0

Posey, A. (n.d.) Universal Design for Learning (UDL): A Teacher’s Guide. Understood. Retrieved from: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/for-educators/universal-design-for-learning/understanding-universal-design-for-learning

Stommel, J. (2020) Not Taking Bad Advice: a Pedagogical Model. Jesse Stommel. Retrieved from: https://www.jessestommel.com/not-taking-bad-advice-a-pedagogical-model/

Topic 3 Feedback for Emily

This was a great post Emily! I really enjoyed the way you clearly stated the benefits of UDL. You also stressed the importance of flexibility and variability in the classroom. This is a good practice all the time, but especially during exceptional times of stress. I love Kral & Schwab’s design principles, and you outlined them nicely in your post. Given that these principles are purposely broad, I wonder what concrete steps we could take to implement them into our future classrooms. I would love to hear your input!

Feedback for Sam – Topic 3

I really enjoyed reading this post, Sam. I love your point about how technological advancement has made learning more accessible for students who has exceptionalities. I completely agree! If you were to expand on this notion, it would be interesting to look into some specific technologies that help specific learners (e.g. speech-to-text software, digital math manipulatives, etc.). Access to these assistive technologies is definitely an issue. Do you have any ideas on possible solutions to this? Equity and access should be on all of our minds, especially in light of the pandemic (given that students may not necessarily be at school). Thank you for bringing up these points – there is certainly lots to think about with this topic. I appreciate your conclusion: that patience, kindness, and understanding should be our main goal as educators during this difficult time.

References:

https://sharingsam599822185.wordpress.com/2020/07/20/topic-3-equity-and-access-in-k-12-distributed-online-open-learning-environments/

Topic 3: Equity and Access in K-12 Distributed and Open Learning Environments

How can we, as educators, ensure equitable access to authentic, meaningful and relevant learning environments for all learners in K-12 open and distributed learning contexts?

One way to achieve this is through the use of The Universal Design for Learning Framework (UDL). The purpose of the UDL framework is to “proactively address the academic, social, and cultural distinctions that exist in today’s schools” (Basham, Blackorby, Stahl, & Zhang, L., 2018). UDL has three concrete suggestions to ensure equity and access for all learners:

retrieved from: http://udlguidelines.cast.org/

These guidelines apply to learning in a brick and mortar classroom, a blended environment, and open learning environment, a distributed learning environment, and everything in between. According to the UDL framework, learner variability is normal and expected. Therefore, flexibility and alternatives can be planned from the beginning. This is especially critical for educators to consider when teaching in a distributed context. Often, in this context, information is presented in text, with the expectation that students have the capacity to read and absorb the information. However, this is not accessible for all students. In the “Multiple Means of Representation” section of UDL, the guidelines state that educators should “provide options for perception”. For example, a student who has dyslexia would have difficulties reading all of the information necessary to succeed in a distributed learning course. The same information, when presented in a different modality, may be much more accessible to this student.

In Design Principles for Indigenous Spaces, Kral and Schwab outline nine design principles for an effective learning environment:

Although every learning environment will look slightly different, these nine principles can act as a guide for educators looking to create an effective space for learning. The fourth design principle, “a space to grow into new roles and responsibilities” (Kral & Schwab, 2012) struck me. As educators, our job is to provide the tools and the space for our students to grow. However, having that be a design principle is not necessarily intuitive to me. Having this idea of making my class a space for students to grow and take on new responsibilities is critical when I am designing my future classrooms as it helps students build confidence and self-esteem. Given that these design principles are purposely broad, I look forward to thinking about concrete steps that I can take in order to adhere to these ideas in my own future classroom.

References:

Basham, J.D., Blackorby, J., Stahl, S. & Zhang, L. (2018) Universal Design for Learning Because Students are (the) Variable. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 477-507). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from http://udlguidelines.cast.org

Kral, I. & Schwab, R.G. (2012). Chapter 4: Design Principles for Indigenous Learning Spaces. Safe Learning Spaces. Youth, Literacy and New Media in Remote Indigenous Australia. ANU Press. http://doi.org/10.22459/LS.08.2012 Retrieved from: http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p197731/pdf/ch041.pdf

EDCI 339 Assignment 2 – Equity & Access

By Julia Falzon, Emliy Belchos, & Samantha Ellis

Question: Answers 
Describe your persona


– Benjamin is 6 years old (grade 1) 
– Has a little brother (4 years old) 
– Parents are together
– Parents are supportive, but busy
– Lives in VictoriaLoves building/creating 
– Diagnosed with ASD at 5 years old Has a speech impediment (goes to speech therapy once a week) 
– Has emotional regulation issues (no formal diagnosis)
– Shows signs of ADHD (no diagnosis) 
– Strengths: curiosity, positive attitude, high energy
– Barriers: issues with emotional regulation, hard time following rules, hard time transitioning , difficulty with literacy (reading and writing) 
Will this student be learning all online, blended, with support … Describe the “mediums” in which this persona might be learning.  Where would the learning be asynchronous or synchronous? Why? – Blended (synchronous)
– Most learning takes place in the classroom, with the exception of 2 half hour blocks (one after morning recess and one after lunch) when he goes to the sensory room with support from an EA.
–  In the sensory room, he will work on emotional regulation strategies. 
– A synchronous learning strategy will work better for Benjamin as transitions can be a barrier for
– Benjamin and he is more successful with a consistent schedule. 
– His class practices a “station rotation” model of blended learning. This allows for differentiation for all students, as well as use of digital media, and opportunity of meaningful collaboration between students. 
– Instruction will be individual to Benjamin’s needs (e.g. working on the areas that he needs improvement, in ways that are effective and he enjoys, and ensuring that he has autonomy/choice)
– He will be provided with tasks within the zone of proximal development (ZPD), so as to challenge him while ensuring that he can experience some success. 
– The pace of learning is determined by Ben and supported by the teacher and EA. 
– Assistive technologies will aid Ben during literacy activities 
– He will use several different mediums for learning: digital (e.g. minecraft edu, Epic!, Book creator), concrete manipulatives (e.g. base ten blocks, 3D models, etc.), 
List/ describe any digital tools that might be considered to support online learning.– Minecraft edu. 
– Book creator 
– EPIC 
– Digital version of base ten blocks
– Digital model of 3D modelsText to speech software 
– Stories2Learn
How would you describe this student’s ideal learning context?Ideal learning environment: 
– hands-on activities (building, creating, etc.) 
– Support available (from teacher, EA, close peers) possibly working with close peers (when he is emotionally regulated) with scheduled breaks every 15-20 mins 
– Relaxing environment (minimal noise/auditory stimulation, muted colours, etc.)
– Availability of assistive technologies (to help with literacy, transitions, and emotional regulation) 
-Timer provided to inform him of transitions (timer is visual and he can help set the timer)
– Autonomy and choice in what he is learning (some activities and assignments are co-created by Ben and his teacher)
– Support and encouragement from teacher to take risks and make mistakes 
– “Station Rotation” model 
– Growth Mindset emphasis in the classroom 
What are the real and perceived barriers to learning that are preventing safe, flexible and supportive learning experiences and environments for this student?– Emotional regulation difficulties 
– Difficulty concentrating (possible ADHD, but no diagnosis yet) 
– Difficulty working with others in some situations, especially when he is tired or frustrated (following rules, collaborating, etc.)
– Difficulty transitioning between activities (even with reminders)
– Difficulty with verbal communication (speech impediment)
– Difficulty with literacy (reading and writing)
Are there real or perceived  equity, social justice or cultural considerations that may be preventing safe, flexible and supportive learning experiences and environments for this persona?– Ben and his family are of lower socio-economic status. 
– He uses the school lunch program. 
– His parents both work long hours, which means that he is in care (at before and after school care) from 7:00am-5:30pm every day. 
– He has access to wifi, but it is not reliable.
– They have one family computer, but the software is not up to date and the internet is slow. 
How would you design for this persona in a distributed learning medium versus an open learning medium?  What are some of the differences that you would consider? Persona Characteristic:
– Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Barrier/Challenge:
– Difficulties transitioning, working with others (especially when tired and frustrated), and emotionally regulating. 
Distributed Environment: 
– A digital timer is provided in order to anticipate transitions
– Ben is given the opportunity to set the timer himself (more “buy-in” this way) 
Open Environment: 
– A physical timer is supplied every time a transition is coming
– Ben is given the opportunity to set the timer himself (more “buy-in” this way) 
– An EA supports successful transitions by filling in a sticker chart with Ben whenever he has a successful transition. It is important to co-evaluate his transitions so that Ben becomes more self aware and is accountable to his actions/transitions 
– When the chart is complete, Ben gets to choose a reward activity (e.g. Minecraft edu, building/crafts, etc.) 
– Given the opportunity twice a day to practice emotional regulation strategies with an EA in the sensory room 
– Opportunity to work with peers collaboratively (on developmentally appropriate tasks to ensure the group can succeed)  when he is emotionally regulated 
– “Station Rotation” model is used in the classroom in order to allow him to practice regular, planned transitions (also to expose him to more personalized digital media and open learning) 
Persona Characteristic:
Reluctant reader/writer
Barrier/Challenge:
Difficulties with literacy
Distributed Environment: 
– Use text-to-speech (“read to me”) software to model flow, pronunciation, pace, volume, etc. when speaking.
– Play literacy games on an iPad Upload assignments onto a LMS or just email to the teacher 
Open Environment: 
– Play literacy games on an iPad with support Use text-to-speech (“read to me”) software to model flow, pronunciation, pace, volume, etc. when speaking. 
– Collaborate (under the right circumstances) with classmates by reading to them, and being read to by them
Persona Characteristic: 
Speech Impediment 
Barrier/Challenge:
Difficulty expressing himself verbally 
Distributed Environment: 
– Can use text-to-speech software (either individually or with support)
– Can communicate through text (given the option of writing instead of recording himself speaking)
– In both environments, Ben will see a speech/language pathologist to work on his verbal language skills 
Open Environment: 
Can use text-to-speech software (either individually or with support)
– In both environments, Ben will see a speech/language pathologist to work on his verbal language skills 
– Emphasis is put on using different modes of communication than just verbal (drawing, written text, building/creating, basic ASL), while still working on improving verbal skills 
Persona Characteristic:
Lower socio-economic status
Barrier/Challenge:
– Limited access to food and technology
Distributed Environment:
– Food from school lunch program is available for pick up at the school
– An iPad or chromebook is given to him to ensure that he has access to digital learning opportunities 
– A government subsidy is given to his family to ensure that Ben has a stable internet connection to work with. 
– Support is given to his parents to show them how to use the LMS and different computer programs that Ben will use.
Open Environment:
Ben has access to the lunch program as he is at school for the whole day
– Ben has access to the technology and digital media necessary to enhance his learning experience
– The teacher acknowledges that Ben may not be as familiar with the computer/iPad programs as some other children.
– The teacher scaffolds appropriately and ensures that he feels confident and supported. 
How could your learning design support multiple means of engagement? 




Optimize individual choice and autonomy: 
– Ben chooses a topic or genre that he is interested in. – Then, the teacher chooses some books that are appropriate for his reading level in that category. Then, Ben gets to pick what to read from the teacher’s picks. 
Minimize threats and distractions: 
– Ben can choose to complete his work (ex. Reading activities) in a quieter space such as a sensory room to minimize distractions. 
– Ben can choose to use headphones plugged into a computer or iPad in order to minimize distractions and focus on the task.
Foster collaboration and community:
– Schedule Ben’s group work time with other students immediately after his thirty minute block in the sensory room after he is more emotionally regulated. 
– Provide opportunities to play collaborative/cooperative games (such as Orchard
Increase mastery-oriented feedback: 
– Provide Ben with a sticker chart for successful transitions. Ben and his EA can “evaluate” his transitions from the morning and from the afternoon during sensory room time. 
– When Ben plays these collaborative games, he will use the reminders and rules picture chart for collaborative learning posted in his book to assist with positive interactions with his peers.
– He will be given extra praise when he is successful in demonstrating the reminders and rules to follow on his sheet. 
Facilitate personal coping skills and strategies: 
– Ben will have a self regulation chart taped to his desk. This chart will have three zones of regulation on it: green, yellow and red. Beside each colour there will be a few strategies that Ben and the teacher have collaborated on. This will help Ben be more aware of his emotions. When he can identify where on the chart he is he can choose a strategy to help him overcome that.
– Ben also has a fairly severe speech impediment, especially when he is more escalated. So instead of verbalizing which level he is at, he can simply point to communicate his feelings and his choice on how to deal with that.   
How could your learning design support multiple means of representation?
Offer alternatives for auditory information:  
– “Read to me” function on Epic! can be chosen to model good reading habits (pace, volume, flow, etc.).  – The follow-along word highlighting feature can help him focus on each spoken word to make connections between written words and their corresponding pronunciation.
Illustrate through multiple media: 
– Ben will have the option to use Minecraft edu during center time or as an alternative to physically building. 
– The teacher/EA can give him prompts to create a task/ project to work on if he is needing some inspiration.This can foster a sense of autonomy as he can decide how and where he wants to work
Highlight patterns, critical features, big ideas, and relationships: 
– For Ben’s writing activities, the teacher can write out letters or words with a highlighter for Ben to trace over with his pencil.
– After practicing over the highlighted version he could write it again underneath with no guidance.  
Maximize transfer and generalization:
 – The teacher will ensure to set the timer clock at the front of the class 5 minutes before the end of the block to help Ben prepare for transition.
– The teacher will remind Ben to look at the timer a few times during this period. Provide Ben with opportunities to create “mind maps”, can be drawing or words, to link new information to old information. – These can be done on paper or using an iPad (he is given a choice). 
– Can also be used as an activity to activate prior knowledge. For example, to start a unit on salmon, ask Ben to draw/write anything that reminds him of experiences with salmon or anything he already knows about salmon. 
How could your learning design support multiple means of action and expression?
Use Multiple media for communication: 
– Compose stories using manipulatives and narration (recorded by the teacher using an iPad and uploaded to an e-portfolio) 
– Use Book Creator app (with support) to create stories and practice literacy skills Provide manipulatives (base 10 blocks, 3D models of shapes) to practice foundational math skills 
– Provide a digital version of math manipulatives (above) as an alternative (provide a choice for him) 
Use multiple means of construction and composition: 
Have him practice writing using sentence starters/sentence strips 
Support Planning and Strategy development: 
– Write and review a social story with him that reminds him to “stop and think” before acting This story can be made and read on the app Stories2Learn. 
– Model “think-alouds” of the process that he is going through (can be with the whole class as a role-playing game) 
– Scaffold appropriately: implement gradual release of responsibility into instruction (first I do it, then we do it together, then you do it collaboratively, then you do it alone). 
Optimize access to tools and assistive technologies:
– Ben may choose to use reading applications during silent reading and literacy times throughout the week, especially if he is needing assistance with a certain level of book. (EPIC!, Book Creator, etc.)
– Ben may choose to use text-to-speech software to practice pronunciation of different words (e.g. he can use the software to read a book or his own composition aloud to him) 

Here is a video of our Pitch:

References

Basham, J.D., Blackorby, J., Stahl, S. & Zhang, L. (2018) Universal Design for Learning Because Students are (the) Variable. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 477-507). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Blended Learning. (2016, July 14). Retrieved July 17, 2020, from https://www.christenseninstitute.org/blended-learning/

CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from http://udlguidelines.cast.org 

Kral, I. & Schwab, R.G. (2012). Chapter 4: Design Principles for Indigenous Learning Spaces. Safe Learning Spaces. Youth, Literacy and New Media in Remote Indigenous Australia. ANU Press. http://doi.org/10.22459/LS.08.2012 Retrieved from:   http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p197731/pdf/ch041.pdf

Models. (2020, June 03). Retrieved July 17, 2020, from http://www.blendedlearning.org/models/

 Roberts, V. , Blomgren, C. Ishmael, K. & Graham, L. (2018) Open Educational Practices in K-12 Online and Blended Learning Environments. In R. Ferdig & K.Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 527–544). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Zelenka, V. (2017). Universal interventions for students with ADHD-and all students. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 53(1), 37-40. doi:10.1080/00228958.2017.1264820

Feedback for Emily – Topic 2

I really enjoyed reading this post, Emily! It was helpful that you outlined the important distinction between open and distributive learning at the beginning of your post. I also liked how you very clearly stated the 8 principles of open learning because you can always go back and reference these when needed. You did a nice job of describing the historical trends of open and distance learning in BC. I share your interest in learning more specific policies, procedures, and privacy concerns of different open learning resources. Thank you for writing a great post!

Historical and Theoretical Trends in K-12 Open and Distributed Learning

Before beginning this blog post, here are the definitions of two critical terms:

Open learning: (as defined in the Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended learning) is a set of practices, resources, and scholarship that are openly accessible, free to use and access, and to
re-purpose. Dr. Verena Roberts describes open learning as “an intentional design that expands learning opportunities for all learners beyond classroom walls and across cultures through interactions with alternative nodes of learning, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and networked participation”.

Distributed learning (as defined in the Standards for Distributed Learning in BC) is learning that “takes place when a student is primarily at a distance
from the teacher, whether he/she is at home; or connected to teachers from another learning”.

Here is a model to help us examine the historical and theoretical trends in k-12 open and distributed learning:

Found on page 81 of the Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning

The idea behind open and distributed learning is rooted in learning theories. Educational theorists such as Dewey, Vygotsky, and Friere all advocated for open access to education, collaboration, and social learning. Throughout my degree, I have been exposed to all of these theorists. These three theorists all challenged conventional education practices by advocating for alternative methods. Until I read the readings for this topic, I did not realize how these ideas and unconventional practices (at the time) impacted open and distributed learning. I also learned that open learning began gaining popularity in Canada in the 1970s, and eventually became more digital in the 1980s. In the 1980s, as technology advanced, open learning became more and more intertwined with distance education (DE). It is important to distinguish between open learning and distance education, as the two are not interchangeable. In the Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning, eight aspects of open learning are cited (p. 529):

  1. learner-centeredness
  2. lifelong learning
  3. flexibility in learning
  4. removal of barriers to access
  5. recognition of prior learning and current competencies
  6. learner support
  7. expectations of success
  8. cost-effectiveness

These eight principles can (and should, in my opinion) be applied to distance education, however they do not define distance education. Here is another helpful visual that describes open pedagogy in a K-12 context:

Found on page 531 of the Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning

In order to create an open education resource, keep the 5 Rs in mind (p.532):

  1. Reuse: the right for others to use the content in a variety of ways
  2. Revise: the right to alter the content
  3. Remix: the right to combine this content with other open content to create a mashup
  4. Redistribute: the right to share copies of the content with others
  5. Retain: the right to own and make copies of the content

Throughout this course, I hope to learn more about resources in the public domain and creative commons licenses. I feel that it is important to learn about these two things because they impact the access that people have to so may different learning materials. I also hope to learn more about how to shift from use of copyrighted textbooks to open resources in a K-8 context.

References:

BC Ministry of Education (2010). Standards for K-12 Distributed Learning In British Columbia. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/administration/kindergarten-to-grade-12/distributed-learning/dl_standards.pdf

Roberts, V. (2020). Topic 2: History and Context of Distributed and Open Learning. [Google Slides]. Retrieved from: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1p8zUN01hPa9zJwfBwCtXs3du8-JYB2hDIEdO1UWa6D8/edit#slide=id.g35f391192_00

Roberts, V. , Blomgren, C. Ishmael, K. & Graham, L. (2018) Open Educational Practices in K-12 Online and Blended Learning Environments. In R. Ferdig & K.Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 527–544). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Feedback for Sam’s Topic 1 Blog Post

Thank you for your insightful post, Sam! Your point about the profound importance of building relationships both online and in person is vital for teachers to consider as they enter each new school year. There must be a sense of belonging and community in the classroom in order for students to feel safe enough to learn. I appreciate your information on Dr. Brown’s seminar, as I was unable to attend. It sounds like she provided lots of ideas about how to facilitate engaging and interactive online content. I am excited to try out tools like Flipgrid, Jamboard, and Remind Messaging. I am looking forward to working with you throughout this class!

References:

https://sharingsam599822185.wordpress.com/category/edci339/

Feedback for Emily’s Topic 1 Blog Post:

I really enjoyed reading your first blog post and I am looking forward to working together this semester! You summarized the main points of the topic well and the readings well. Your point about parents being uncomfortable with their child having to complete their schooling online is very relevant, especially right now given the situation with COVID-19. With many parents, I think that protection and privacy of their child (and their child’s information) is one of their main concerns. That is why it is so vital for us as teachers to understand the rules of FIPPA and act accordingly.

Your other point about access and equity is also important to think about. I know that some districts, in the last few months, have been lending technology (iPads, chromebooks, etc.) to families who need them. I am not sure if this is a sustainable solution. This is definitely an issue worth exploring further.

References:

https://emilybelchos.wordpress.com/

Topic 1: Human-Centered Learning – The Importance of Building Relationships, Clear Communication and Designing for Interactions and Engagement in K-12 Distributed and Open Learning Contexts

In order to enhance the student learning experience in an online and open learning space, teachers must encourage safe communication and interactions between students. One of the best ways to foster a culture of safe and open communication online is for the teacher to model it. One way that teachers can do this is by amplifying their own social presence in the open online learning space. By doing this, teachers also make deeper connections with students which allows them to meet their needs more effectively.

As a teacher, modelling desired behaviour for students is paramount. This is true in the classroom, as well as online and open learning spaces. Albert Bandura, father of the Observational Learning Theory, asserts that children are surrounded by influential models (teachers included) and are inclined to imitate the behaviour of those models. Therefore, teachers should focus on modeling the behaviour that they would like their students to adopt. This is a highly simplified explanation of Bandura’s research, so if you are interested in learning more, you can check out this video.

After engaging with the course readings for this topic, I now understand the five aspects of a k-12 Social Presence Model (Garrett Dikker, Whiteside, & Lewis, 2012). These are: affective association, community cohesion, instructor involvement, interaction intensity, and knowledge/experience. For any teacher creating an online learning community, this framework to increase social connectedness is supremely helpful.

As I navigate an online learning space as a student, I am thinking about what I would do differently if I was in this space as a teacher. I hope to learn how to cultivate a professional and approachable online social presence. I also hope to build a network of educators to grow alongside and learn from.

References:

Dikker, A. G., Lewis, S., & Whiteside, A. (2012). Get Present; Build Community and Connectedness Online. Learning and Leading with Technology. 2 (22-25). Retrieved from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ991230.pdf

Simply Psych. (2014, February 18). Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory: Punching Bobo. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsTlJyox0Kg