Sunday, September 23, 2012

The 5 Cs of the Classroom Web: Connect, Collaborate, Create, Crap-Detect, Commons-Sense

I just re-discovered a video I made in August using Screencast-O-Matic and thought I'd share it. Why? Yesterday, meeting for coffee with some of my #literacies Tweeps (AKA, Literacies Live), a young teacher at another table keep turning to listen to our conversation about web-based tools in the classroom. She shared some of her frustrations with using VoiceThread with her students and I was reminded, one again, how it's not the tool, it's the pedagogy, and even more important, the mindset you have about bringing the Web to school.

Maybe this video will offer someone a helpful perspective, or maybe it will muddy the waters. Please let me know! 

After I discovered Screencast-O-Matic this past summer I needed a little project so I could learn it, so I joined my class in completing the final assignment. It was the kind of assignment that makes students crazy: wide open, but I still argue that this is the most valuable kind of assignment. Here it is, cut & pasted from the course wiki.

Inquiry Project
As the class has progressed through Web-based experiments, theories about digital learning, and more technology bloopers than I have ever experienced, you know enough to see how much there is to learn about this digital world. I believe that you also have discovered a bit more about yourself as an explorer-risk taker, and you have honed questions and larger concerns about the place of technologies in teaching and learning. The purpose of this final activity is for you to inquire into a question, issue, curiosity, or goal that is of interest to you, and, as a result of the inquiry, to contribute to the class Commons a product that has the potential to add to the knowledge, skills, questions, perspectives, etc. of your colleagues.
  • Description of your inquiry or goal and what inspired it.
  • Discussion of the research, theories, examples etc. that have guided your thinking about this inquiry.
  • The product that emerged from your exploration. This must not be physical in nature, i.e., no paper, plastic, or other materials may be used.
  • A description of the path you took-- what kinds of issues, questions, new ideas, etc. did you have to consider as you proceeded? (In other words, what would you want fellow explorers to know before they start-- or, what do you wish you had known?)
  • You'll share all of the above elements as part of the final product, which, again, may not be paper-based.
I encourage you to use many modes, sources, resources, etc. to explore and/or represent your ideas. Your final product does not have to be fancy, flashy, a gazillion pages of alphabetic text, just an honest reflection of your mental work and your collaborative efforts. And if you end your project with more questions than you started, that is fine-- those questions can be part of the product. 'Failure' may also be part of the product.

Not acceptable:Shallow thinking, minimal effort, letting other people do the work, giving up.
Use your imagination. Have fun.
A little background information for the video:
The "Commons" is a term that describes an ethos of the Web as a place where information is freely shared, thereby making it possible for people to create new knowledge, art, literature, etc., in order to better humans & the world.

In our class, we talked about the importance of using Web-based tools in our classrooms within a larger framework (i.e., vision). We talked about Henry Jenkins ideas of Participatory Culture, and used Five Cs as principles around which to design opportunities for learning: Connect, Collaborate, Create, Crap-Detect, Commons-Sense. This list was influenced by Howard Rheingold 's wonderful work, which I remixed a bit for the class.  You'll see some of Jenkins' & Rheingold's ideas in the (teensy) white text in the last slides. I hadn't planned to share the video publicly, so my BIG apologies for not incorporating credits for all pieces of it.

I'd be interested in knowing what you think.

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