However, none of these studies question the teaching methods used in the classes themselves or whether teachers are recognizing the power of digital devices for students to create, share, connect and discover information.
Digital Organization and Content Curation
Much like students understand the concept of binders, notebooks and notes in the physical world, they need a similar system in the digital one. Whether working with dividers and subjects in a tool like Notability or sections and pages in OneNote, students need to build vocabulary to support how they house their learning.
Tagging this way not only helps students stay organized, but it could also help them to examine trends across courses or even semesters.
As a doctoral student, I use OneNote. First, I create a new digital notebook each year. Inside that, I add sections for each term as well as my different courses. Finally, my notes get organized into individual pages within the sections. When I can recall the precise location where I put a particular set of notes, I navigate directly to that page. However, on the numerous occasions when an author, vocabulary term or concept seems familiar but I cannot recall the precise moment when I took notes, then the search function becomes critical.
With most tools (Notability, OneNote, Evernote, etc.), students can not only capture typed and handwritten notes but also incorporate photos, audio and even video. These versatile capabilities allow students to customize their note taking process to meet their learning needs. Consider these possibilities:
Students may take notes on paper, add photos of those papers into a digital notebook, synthesize their thinking with audio or written notes, and then tag their digital notes for later retrieval.
Students might use audio syncing — a feature that records audio and then digitally syncs it with whatever the student writes or types — to capture the context of the class discussion or lecture. When reviewing their notes, students could click or tap on their notes and then jump directly to that point in the audio recording.
Teachers might provide students with their presentation slides or other note taking guides as PDF files. Now, students can focus on taking notes — using any modality — for synthesis, elaboration, reflection or analysis rather than in an attempt to capture content verbatim.
In 1949, neuropsychologist Donald Hebb famously wrote, “Neurons that fire together wire together.”
One of the powerful components of digital note taking is that the pages never end, and a full page isn’t an artificial barrier to limit thinking. Students can work on an infinitely expanding canvas to include as much information as they need. For example, concept mapping tools such as Coggle or Padlet allow students to create networks of ideas using text, links, images and even video without ever running out of room. (my note to John Eller – can we renew our 201-2013 discussion about pen vs computer concept mapping?)
Mindfulness has become a core social and emotional learning strategy in the Austin Independent School District (AISD) in Texas. The district has even created a mindfulness specialist position, filled by James Butler, the district’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.
There are various understandings of mindfulness, but most focus on being nonjudgmental and present in the moment.
Many librarians have shied away from ICT literacy, concerned that they may be asked how to format a digital document or show students how to create a formula in a spreadsheet. These technical skills focus more on a specific tool than on the underlying nature of information.
librarians have begun to use an embedded model as a way to deepen their connection with instructors and offer more systematic collection development and instruction. That is, librarians focus more on their partnerships with course instructors than on a separate library entity.
If TPACK is applied to instruction within a course, theoretically several people could be contributing this knowledge to the course. A good exercise is for librarians to map their knowledge onto TPACK.
ICT reflects the learner side of a course. However, ICT literacy can be difficult to integrate because it does not constitute a core element of any academic domain. Whereas many academic disciplines deal with key resources in their field, such as vocabulary, critical thinking, and research methodologies, they tend not to address issues of information seeking or collaboration strategies, let alone technological tools for organizing and managing information.
Instructional design for online education provides an optimal opportunity for librarians to fully collaborate with instructors.
The outcomes can include identifying the level of ICT literacy needed to achieve those learning outcomes, a task that typically requires collaboration between the librarian and the program’s faculty member. Librarians can also help faculty identify appropriate resources that students need to build their knowledge and skills. As education administrators encourage faculty to use open educational resources (OERs) to save students money, librarians can facilitate locating and evaluating relevant resources. These OERs not only include digital textbooks but also learning objects such as simulations, case studies, tutorials, and videos.
Reading online text differs from reading print both physically and cognitively. For example, students scroll down rather than turn online pages. And online text often includes hyperlinks, which can lead to deeper coverage—as well as distraction or loss of continuity of thought. Also, most online text does not allow for marginalia that can help students reflect on the content. Teachers and students often do not realize that these differences can impact learning and retention. To address this issue, librarians can suggest resources to include in the course that provide guidance on reading online.
My note – why specialist like Tom Hergert and the entire IMS is crucial for the SCSU library and librarians and how neglecting the IMS role hurts the SCSU library –
Similarly, other types of media need to be evaluated, comprehended, and interpreted in light of their critical features or “grammar.” For example, camera angles can suggest a person’s status (as in looking up to someone), music can set the metaphorical tone of a movie, and color choices can be associated with specific genres (e.g., pastels for romances or children’s literature, dark hues for thrillers). Librarians can explain these media literacy concepts to students (and even faculty) or at least suggest including resources that describe these features
My note – on years-long repetition of the disconnect between SCSU ATT, SCSU library and IMS –
instructors need to make sure that students have the technical skills to produce these products. Although librarians might understand how media impacts the representation of knowledge, they aren’t necessarily technology specialists. However, instructors and librarians can collaborate with technology specialists to provide that expertise. While librarians can locate online resources—general ones such as Lynda.com or tool-specific guidance—technology specialists can quickly identify digital resources that teach technical skills (my note: in this case IMS). My note: we do not have IDs, another years-long reminder to middle and upper management. Many instructors and librarians have not had formal courses on instructional design, so collaborations can provide an authentic means to gain competency in this process.
My note: Tom and I for years have tried to make aware SCSU about this combo –
Instructors likely have high content knowledge (CK) and satisfactory technological content knowledge (TCK) and technological knowledge (TK) for personal use. But even though newer instructors acquire pedagogical knowledge (PK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), and technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) early in their careers, veteran instructors may not have received this training. The same limitations can apply to librarians, but technology has become more central in their professional lives. Librarians usually have strong one-to-one instruction skills (an aspect of PK), but until recently they were less likely to have instructional design knowledge. ICT literacy constitutes part of their CK, at least for newly minted professionals. Instructional designers are strong in TK, PK, and TPK, and the level of their CK (and TCK and TPK) will depend on their academic background. And technology specialists have the corner on TK and TCK (and hopefully TPK if they are working in educational settings), but they may not have deep knowledge about ICT literacy.
Therefore, an ideal team for ICT literacy integration consists of the instructor, the librarian, the instructional designer, and the technology specialist. Each member can contribute expertise and cross-train the teammates. Eventually, the instructor can carry the load of ICT literacy, with the benefit of specific just-in-time support from the librarian and instructional designer.
predictive algorithms to better target students’ individual learning needs.
Personalized learning is a lofty aim, however you define it. To truly meet each student where they are, we would have to know their most intimate details, or discover it through their interactions with our digital tools. We would need to track their moods and preferences, their fears and beliefs…perhaps even their memories.
There’s something unsettling about capturing users’ most intimate details. Any prediction model based off historical records risks typecasting the very people it is intended to serve. Even if models can overcome the threat of discrimination, there is still an ethical question to confront – just how much are we entitled to know about students?
Badges are a mechanism to award ‘micro-credits’ online. They are awarded by an organization for an individual user, and can be either internal to a website or online community, or use open standards and shared repositories.
In open online learning settings, badges are used to provide incentives for individuals to use our resources and to participate in discussion threads.
The IBM skills gateway is an example of how open badges can be leveraged to document professional development. EDUCAUSE microcredentialing program offers 108 digital badges in five categories (community service, expertise development, presentation and facilitation, leadership development, awards).
Open Badge Initiative and “Digital Badges for Lifelong Learning” became the theme of the fourth Digital Meaning & Learning competition, in which over 30 innovative badge systems and 10 research studies received over $5 million in funding between 2012 and 2013.
Standardization is the key to creating transferability and recognition across contexts
badges awarded for participation are valued less meaningful than skill-based badges. For skill-based badges, evidence of mastery must be associated with the badge along with the evaluation criteria. Having a clear purpose, ensuring transferability, and specifying learning objectives were noted by the interviewees as the top priorities when implementing badge offerings in higher education contexts.
Sheryl Grant is a senior researcher on user experience at OpenWorks Group, a company that focuses on supporting educational web applications and mobile tools, including credentialing services. Prior to her current position, Dr. Grant was Director of Alternative Credentialing and Badge Research at HASTAC. She was part of the team that organized the ‘Badges for Lifelong Learning Competition’.
advice o offer for the design and implementation of digital badges. She stressed that badge systems need to be designed in a participatory manner together with the target audience who is supposed to receive them. This will allow for fair, realistic and transparent criteria. Another crucial aspect is the assessment portion: Who will make verify that the badge credentials are issued correctly? While badges can offer additional motivation, they can also diminish motivation and create a ‘race to the bottom’ if they are obtained too easily. Specifically, Dr. Grant advised to use badges to reward exceptional activities, and acknowledge students who want to go above and beyond. She also gave guidelines on when to avoid issuing badges, i.e., activities that are already graded and activities that are required.
All current UNC badging pilots used the platform cred.ly for issuing badges. An alternative is the Mozilla Open Badge backpack follow-up Badgr. The European platform Badgecraft is another repository with a fairly broad user base. The badge wiki project offers a comprehensive list with implementation details for each platform: Badge Platforms (Badge Wiki). (23 platforms)
Designing Effective Digital Badges (https://www.amazon.com/Designing-Effective-Digital-Badges-Applications/dp/1138306134) is a hands-on guide to the principles, implementation, and assessment of digital badging systems. Informed by the fundamental concepts and research-based characteristics of effective badge design, this book uses real-world examples to convey the advantages and challenges of badging and showcases its application across a variety of contexts.