Reflection and Summary
Tone and Voice
From the tone and voice activity we took part in this week there are a couple of voices and tones that can be picked out from the forum. Students took all roles from those of a high school students to old cranky school board members. I took the role of a pro parent in favor of using social networks in school. I tried to use a reflective guide voice with a neutral tone that was analytical as well. I tried to bring to light how social networking is a part of daily life and is crucial for students to be familiar with this tool. There were also those who took the voice of a personal muse, meaning there was an inward reflection. It was presented mainly in a neutral tone. As of right now, I have no discussion boards with students.
One main thing that I will pay attention to more in future discussion will be tone. I think as a teacher a tone can be crucial to nurture discussion. I think this is important so that students will feel more comfortable expressing their own voice in tone without fear of being embarrassed or wrong.
As a class we were also required to read chapters 7 and 9 in the Palloff and Pratt book. The discussion this week was based on transformative learning and how it is the key to take a student from participant to reflective learner. It made me realize how important reflection is for growth in learning. This makes room for self realizations and helps create a classroom where the teacher is placed in the role of facilitator.
After doing the readings, I had a really hard time at first trying to come up with ways to create a transformative learning experience in a traditional classroom. But then I remembered Edmodo, and how I utilized it in discussion forums in my class. I would also have my student do journal entries and share any insights they had with the class at a later date. I was not aware that transformative learning is what it was called. I love it when I learn that things I do in class are legitimate.
Social and Instructional Discussion Boards
This week I also learned the difference between social and Instructional discussion boards. And while the difference is plain to see, it is something I had never thought about compartmentalizing, at least not in the forefront. I have little experience with conducting discussion boards, I have done it once or twice for my class, but not on a regular basis as in an online class environment. It is plain to see why both are important. Social discussion boards are important for building classroom community. This is where students get to know each other on a personal level. Instructional is just that. It follows the content of the class allowing students to hold academic discussions.
In this module, we also had to collaborate on a wiki. The one that I chose was K12 online community building and collaboration. Our group started early and I am glad we did. We had not problem meeting and planning what was to go on our Wiki. Sometimes it was an issue of information overload. There is so much out there in the way of tools that can be used for building online communities.
Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: effective strategies for the virtual classroom (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.