Teague's Tech Treks - 10 Rep Learning

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague

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Innovations to Borrow and Blog: Twitter Slow Chats

Is there an aisle in the Anytime/Anyplace online learning supermarket that is reserved for the gourmet delicacy of sustained, deep thinking?

Yes there is!

Digital Innovations: This week’s Borrow & Blog’s innovation is Sylvia Ellison’s Twitter Slow Chats!


The Concept:

Sylvia Ellison @SylviaEllison perfects anytime/anyplace engagement through an affinity space called “Slow Chats.”

A Twitter “slow chat” invites an extension of informal learning and Sylvia Ellison at  #HackLearning is a particularly effective connecting spark for learning because it conforms to learner’s engagement preferences (Tsai & Men, 2013).  Ellison’s Monday/Thursday question response time segments promote reflection. Slow chats veer away from “vexatious issues over which people are in and which are out of the group” (Gee, 2004, p.215).   Extroverts are plentiful online (Cho & Auger, 2017), yet in the social engagement supermarket not all affinity spaces are pressed from the same cookie cutter.

Slow chats encourage extended contemplation. They promote active engagement over frenetic response or the passive lurking of learners overwhelmed by rapid-fire tweets.

That a contemplative practice can occur on Twitter is a promising (and welcome) irony. Check out slow chats here!

How-focused implementation:

  1. Every Monday and Thursday, Sylvia creates and posts a new question.

Slow Chat

2. Sylvia begins with an introduction followed by the question.

Slow Chat 2

3. During the intervening days, Sylvia responds to participants.

 

Why It Works:

Twitter in educational contexts has research-based support. Research indicates that affinity spaces are necessary for student-led inquiry and learning engagement (Gee, 2004, 2017, Lammers, et al., 2017).  Why? Because affinity spaces connect shared interest and engagement with activity (Gee, 2004, 2017).

Engagement on social media follows a continuum (Tsai & Men, 2013).

infographic created by Teague

 

 


 

References

Cho, M., & Auger, G. A. (2017). Extrovert and engaged? Exploring the connection between personality and involvement of stakeholders and the perceived relationship investment of nonprofit organizations. Public Relations Review43(4), 729-737.

Gee, J. P. (2004). Affinity spaces. Situated language and learning: A critique of traditional schooling. London: Routledge

Gee, J. P. (2017). Affinity spaces and 21st century learning. Educational Technology, 27-31.

Tsai, W. H. S., & Men, L. R. (2013). Motivations and antecedents of consumer engagement with brand pages on social networking sites. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 13(2), 76-87.

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Social Justice and Informal Service Learning

Giving the Gift of their Time, the members of Sigma Phi Omega, sponsored by The
Pruett Gerontology Center threw a “Nail Day” party for happy residents at a
local assisted living center.

Click the picture below or visit this link to see the video:
https://animoto.com/play/kUMDO7cUWZDfayYxz0BBlA

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Informal Learning: A Work-place Application

Informal Learning: A Work-place Application
An Assignment for EDLT 727, Dr. Sarah Haavind, Professor

Key Idea: Reading is a universal issue for all of  us. It is important to provide reading opportunities for those who have worked hard to parent, provide, and protect us.
Key Words: Informal Learning, National Read-a-Thon


 

“Believing that one can initiate and sustain change is a key piece of making change possible.”
Wenger-Trayner, Learning in Landscapes of Practice, p. 143

 

The Pruett Gerontology Center (PGC) is a non-profit research-oriented institution located onsite at a private West Texas university. It is appropriately situated to serve as a catalyst for Wenger-Trayner’s “convening role across complex landscapes of practice” (Location 3769). The PGC also fits Benkler’s label of a “commons-based, open organization” because its resources are available to anyone without membership requirement or fee (2006, Location 832).

Gerontology is a biological, psychological, and social stage in personality development. The PGC adopts Erikson’s “stage” approach (1959). Erikson’s (1959) theory of psychosocial development has eight distinct stages, which develop after a period of psychological struggle (Figure 1). Erikson’s stages follow a progression from trust to autonomy, initiative, industry, identity, intimacy, generativity, and integrity. Older adults are represented in the “Integrity” stage of life.

Eriksons Stages

Picture Source: http://www.erikson.edu/about/history/erik-erikson/

 

According to Erikson (1959), our path through life develops as a series of successfully resolved social adjustments. Each adjustment phase is the potential marker of later health and pathology. Erikson’s stages involve establishing a sense of trust in others, developing a sense of identity in society, and helping the next generation prepare for the future.

Members of the National Gerontological Society called Sigma Phi Omega wanted to impact their surrounding community in an authentic and sustainable manner. Sigma Phi Omega, with its self- decentralized structure and self-selected projects may also fit Benkler peer-production idea originally describing corporations rather than hierarchically assigned (2006, Location 1386). Within walking distance of the university campus a local assistive living center had expressed a desire to have volunteers engage with the residents on a frequent basis. For the previous semester, students had discussed a variety of ways to add a service learning component to their honor society experience.

During the month of January, the National Book Foundation  promoted the National Read-a-Thon. Following Kotter’s Model for change, I guided the students to distill their ideas and commit to one event. I used blog posts to promote “Save the Date” and university media and graphic tools to create several posters of varying sizes to display onsite and around the university campus to generate interest and awareness. The PGC underwrote the cost of the posters.

Graphic by Helen Teague

(click on each tiny square above to see the picture it represents)

PGC advocates for Aging in Place, Lifestyle Redesign, and Role Navigation. Aging in Place refers to older adults remaining in their chosen environment safely for as long as possible. Lifestyle redesign involves creatively reconfiguring, adapt, and simply their environment. Either change the environment or change how you move in the environment. To honor and reinforce this goal, reading selections for the Reading Parties were customized for the resident population. Novels of true crime, suspense, erotica, and war stories were not recommended for inclusion into the onsite library. Large-print books were favored as were books by local authors. Some residents preferred to have university students read to them. Some preferred to read silently and discuss portions of the book afterward.

To reinforce the community strength in our landscapes of practice (Wenger-Trayner et al, 2015), I encouraged a discussion of to bring age-appropriate snacks for their event. The University has an auxiliary support group of women who are known for their home-made sweets and casseroles. This group agreed to provide the snacks for the event. The PGC underwrote the cost of the snacks. A local store donated the paper plates and napkins from the overstock. In picking up the paper plates, cups, napkins, and tablecloth from the store, one of the students said, “I did not even know about this store. It feels great the someplace in town wants to help.”  Some of the pictures from the event show the growing collegiality and mutuality of the informal learning process: http://blogs.acu.edu/pruettgerontology/2015/01/27/turning-the-page-on-read-a-thon/ and at this link: http://4oops.edublogs.org/2015/01/28/informal-learning-with-read-a-thon/

To “consolidate gains and produce more change” (Kotter, 1996) I created a post-event survey to gauge student reactions. Here is a link to the survey: http://4oops.edublogs.org/2015/01/26/informal-learning-reading-party-post-event-survey/

 

Returning to Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages, the integrity stage is marked by a healthy process of life review. An example of a component of a healthy process of Life Review occurs when older adults begin to tell stories to others. Sometimes during this time of story organization, life events are reinterpreted and rearranged. According to Erikson, a successful transition through the process of Life Review will make them better prepared for death. The Healthy Process of life review when older adults begin to tell stories and reinterpret life events. Erickson calls this “integrity”. How do you hear and reflect back when people want to tell their stories. The patience to let them tell their story. Eric Erickson, psychosocial stages says that this process of life review will make them better prepared for death. Talking about death is natural for them. Not to initiate but receive it. When they reach a point of integrity where they are not afraid of death but are accepting of it as a part of the life cycle.

Students’ survey responses indicated that they experiences this Life Review event during the Reading Party day. They had become acquainted with the Life Review by completing a prior interview assignment from their gerontology class. They experienced the Life Review exchange again during their “Reading Parties” visits. Their landscape of practice included both classroom learning and conversational exchanges.

In post-event and post-survey peer-to-peer sharing within Sigma Phi Omega meetings and orientation with personnel at the assisted living center how to hear and reflect back to older adults when they wanted to tell the stories of their life was a primary lesson to learn.

What is the best way to hear and reflect back when people want to tell their stories? Erikson’s Integrity Stage requires listeners to practice patience to let them tell their story. Not to initiate a follow-up story but to receive the story from the speaker and acknowledge and validate it.

 

humanbeinghumandoingStudents in the Life Review conversation are wise to remember the distinction between human “beings” and human “doings” (Dyer, 2010 p. 39). Students must be still and listen. They must listen actively and intently. They cannot just rehearse their response while an older adult is speaking. They must actively analyze what is most meaningful to an older person and try to get back to that, either in reality practice or in recreating and validating the experience through storytelling interaction.

 

Often in conversation, there is a tendency to add to what another is saying. For example, Speaker A may begin talking about their grandchildren. Listener A may decide that they will extend the conversation by talking about their own younger brothers and sisters, cousins, children they babysit, etc… This changes the roles from Speaker to Listener is counterproductive to the healthy life review process.

 

Discussions with personnel at the assisted living facility, residents at the assisted living facility, and students individually and in the group revealed that the initial “Read-a-Thon” Reading Party was successful and all participants wanted to build on their “short-term wins” and continue events (Kotter, 1996, p. 117). We began to increase our “Guiding Coalition” (Kotter, 1996, p. 51). We added community members from our local library, our workforce commission, and faculty from our Sociology and Social Work departments.

Invitation To Peer Review

Invitation To Peer Review

 

 

We also began to look for sustainable funding. One avenue we pursued with the “Careers in Aging Week” grant. Working together we co-created a proposal to fund the key components previously funded by the PGC. I researched best practices and created a Google Doc to hold the text I wrote for the initial grant proposal. An editable link was sent to our new guiding coalition who made edits and comments.

 

 

 

Grant Proposal Peer Review

Grant Proposal Peer Review

 

The entire grant document was submitted by midnight on February 2 by the PGC Director and the Sigma Omega President. Because of a family event, they compiled they worked in my absence. That, to me is the beauty of participatory design after an informal learning event: the interchangeability of roles of “sage on the stage” and “guide on the side” (Feeler, 2012, p. 163). We hope to hear the status of our application (whether we won) by the end of March.

The informal learning first experienced in the “Reading Parties” has grown now to a  “Painting Nails Day Party” has grown to a mutually beneficial intergenerational and informal learning experience.

Student Peer-to-Peer Communication

Student Peer-to-Peer Communication

 

The informal learning also achieved a renewed focus on Filial piety. Rooted in Confucianism and the Bible (Deuteronomy 5:16, Matt 15:5-6, Luke 15:21, John 4:20), Filial piety refers to honoring parents as a prime responsibility. Confined originally to families with an older relative, with over 23,400,000 people in the country who are over 65 years of age the responsibility of care grows to include members of the community. As Director, Dr. Charles Pruett states, “Today is the first time in history that the younger members of the tribe have to tell the older people in the tribe where they fit in the society.”

 

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Course Alignment: Include a sentence that specifically states how the project is connected with the content of this class.
1.) Understand how to harness the way social networks and communities share knowledge. This project will utilize social media tools  to query, organize, plan, and analyze a service learning outreach in our local community by local authors, local library and city leaders, and our local university students serving in a service learning group.

2.) Identify social networks and informal communities in the workplace. This project will use participatory planning to connect university students, with the non-profit Pruett Gerontology Center in a service learning project for older adults in an assisted living center close to the University campus.

3.) Identify technologies and strategies that facilitate collaboration, knowledge capture, and sharing. This project will utilize the following social media tools: google docs, email, text, Skype, blog posts, Camtasia, and Cincopa.

4. & 5.) Acquire strategies for building and supporting formal online (networked) learning.

This project began with a partnership between local university students and the on-campus non-profit PGC. After a successful first event launch and an invitation to continue Reading Party concept, the student group and PGC staff decided to apply for grant funding to ensure sustainability and to recruit community group members to strengthen partnerships for successful continued implementation.

 

References

Benkler, Y. (2006). The wealth of networks: How social production transforms markets and      freedom. Yale University Press.

Dyer, W. (2010). The shift: Taking your life from ambition to meaning. Hay House, Inc.

Erikson, E. H., Paul, I. H., Heider, F., & Gardner, R. W. (1959). Psychological issues (Vol. 1).   International Universities Press.

Feeler, W. (2012). Being there: A grounded-theory study of student perceptions of instructor  presence in online classes (Order No. 3546663). Available from ProQuest Dissertations &       Theses Global; ProQuest Dissertations and Theses A&I: The Humanities and Social Sciences  Collection. (1266830430). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1266830430?accountid=13159

Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change. Harvard Business Press.

Matthews, W. (2012). World religions. Cengage Learning.

National Book Foundation, http://nationalbook.org/2015_readathon.html#.VPEHOGc5CxA

Wenger-Trayner, E., & Wenger-Trayner, B. (2014). Learning in Landscapes of Practice. Learning in Landscapes of Practice: Boundaries, Identity, and Knowledgeability in Practice-based Learning, 13.

 

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Informal Learning with Read-A-Thon

 

 

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Informal Learning Reading Party Post Event Survey

Thank you for participating in the National Read-A-Thon Reading Party at Chisholm Place on Saturday, January 24th. As you know, Pruett Gerontology Center is also a research studio and your experience Saturday helps in our ongoing research.
Please take just a couple of minutes to think about the day and your experience. Then, based on your reflections, please answer the questions below. Your answers are very important to us. Thank you!

If you have trouble viewing or submitting this form, you can fill it out online.

Read-A-Thon Post Survey

Thank you for participating in the National Read-A-Thon Reading Party on Saturday, January 24th.
As you know, Pruett Gerontology Center is also a research studio and your experience Saturday helps in our ongoing research. Please take just a couple of minutes to think about the day and your experience. Then, based on your reflections, please answer the questions below. Your answers are very important to us.
Thank you!
* Required
1. How did you learn about the National Read-A-Thon?Question *

2. Did you attend the National Read-A-Thon Reading Party? *
Please write a little bit about what you learned from participating in the National Read-A-Thon?

4. Think about the entire timeline of the Read-A-Thon. What part of the project gave you the most personal satisfaction?

5. How much has your knowledge of the National Read-A-Thon increased as the result of participating in the event?
6. How much has your knowledge of older adults increased as a result of the National Read-A-Thon event?
7. Was the Read-A-Thon event better than what you expected, about when you expected, or worse than what you expected?
8. Did you also decide to participate in the adopt-a-grandparent project sponsored by Sigma Phi Omega?
9. What should this survey have asked you that it did not ask?

10. Please include any other comments, questions, or concerns in the text box below.

 

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Weekend Ed. Quote~January 24

All education must be aimed at eventually leading children to think for themselves and become autonomous individuals capable of genuine moral action. ~Immanuel Kant and Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Think for yourself

And…Happy National Read-A-Thon Day! Our students in Sigma Phi Omega will be hosting a Reading Party at Chisholm Place today. They will also deliver books for the onsite library.  Remember to take #timetoread !

 

Image Source

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More Ed Quotes

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Save The Date~National Readathon Day

 On Saturday, January 24, join readers nationwide who will be reading in solidarity for literacy from noon to 4 p.m. during the first National Readathon Day.

Find out how you can help raise funds and find a readathon event near you at this link

Learn the simple steps to organize your own even at this link

and at this hashtag: #timetoread

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