Final post

It was my first semester here to be in a master course. Also it was my first time to read bunch of English articles within 4 months period. To my surprise, I learned a lot from professional blogs rather than research papers. A blog is a space for reflecting personal information in informal way, but the ideas written in blogs gave me ideas and let me find new interests. As clicking on links, I could link to variety of sources and thoughts.

For teachers, utilizing YouTube is one of ways of making their instruction beneficial. I even did not know there were educational sources in YouTube site. Video explains complex theory pretty clear and many video argue or give questions to viewers. Also there are free collaborative tools (what I was most interested in). How teachers incorporate Web 2.0 technology such as YouTube materials and collaborative tools in classroom comes a critical question. Definitely, instruction design is necessary for a better learning and maximizing students learning.

As Open course software spread out the world, anyone who has Internet access can benefit from them and learn what he wants to learn. On the first day of lecture, Dr. Bonk said education should be free. I now understand the importance of the phrase.
Unlike conservative society like Japanese society, everyone has right to share and right to benefit without a hesitation. Japanese SNS, mixi, has lost participants year by year because people are too skeptical to knowledge share or they may think SNS is old fashion; however, those who feel like that have not experienced real Web 2.0 phenomena. I was one of them, but now I believe using Web 2.0 can enrich my daily academic life and private and it already became essential skill to live 21 century lively.

Evaluation for a better instruction

When schools launch a new system or implement changes in learning, such as blended learning, administrators and teachers want to know the impact of the reform. Evaluation is a process by which educators or instructional designers make judgments about the worth of an educational development.
For my project, I decided to evaluate blended program launched in 4 year Japanese university. I associated with the institution before, and I actually help them with creating some online contents for blended learning program.

I thought many online or blended program conducts summative evaluation in the end of semester, but most courses gain high students satisfaction because online course has time flexibility for students. Students are busy, and they are not motivated to study in their first year, they might be interested in making friends, money, etc...
Of course, flexibility or ubiquitous is one good feature of online learning. But, if they are satisfied with the program just because of fancy web-based materials, this means they must not be really satisfied. Students are not customers. They should overcome some tasks and feel satisfaction after completing tasks, and the feeling motivates them to take a next step. This helps building self-regulation.

In my project, students seem to be like students in negative example above. To change the learning, like meet the objectives of course and meet students need and fulfill satisfaction, designing a meaningful learning is vital.
Collaborative learning is a key to solve problems. Online collaboration is difficult because participants are limited in one group, time consuming, and interaction is also limited. In addition, if there are many groups online, each should have someone to monitor their activity otherwise; the instructor can hardly know their learning process.
Still, if it is worth implementing, students and teachers can benefit from such learning.

One of the issues in higher edu language learning is that they develop their own learning materials without asking outside of expert. They spend too much money on interface design, and usability but not on materials itself.

In my evaluation report, I propose collaborative online activity utilizing Web 2.0 collaborative tools: Google doc and WiZiQ. The instructor approved the use of Google doc for knowledge sharing. Next step is to implement collaborative learning in online course with sample group, and see their tentative reactions. To measure learning outcomes, it takes long-term evaluation process, but I suppose trying new stuff brings other problems. From that problem we found, we can create better instruction incorporation technology with students' learning.


Second life×education

In this course, we have special opportunities to listen to guest speakers in addition to Dr. Bonk 's lectures . They are famous people and always it is good to have scopes both educational field and business field when we consider emergence of technology and its implication.

Especially, talks given by Intellagirl captured my attention.
She mentions those who experience second life follow three steps: Avatar; Building; Scripting.
People start to enjoy creating own avatars that reflects their character (identity?). There, people are socialized. For building, people expand to create own own communication space as creates facilities. Further, people do programming as changes scripts (I did not know we can program on second life). In these two phases, people become prosumer.

Second, she talks about a motivation factor. There are also three phases: Promise; Tool; Bargain.
People are motivated because of the materials. People explore what materials are fun at the first phase. Second, they start to utilize some tools on second life to fulfill their needs. However, in the last step, they may realize bad aspects of second life, for instance, server issues, it takes time to know tools, or for teacher, it takes for them to create lesson plans and materials. Accordingly, they are discouraged.

In her class, she used second life in her composition class. The theme was community of research.
Students 1) pick community and 2) select research paper related to their life (cultural literacy, tuition constraints, etc..), then 3)go to virtual library to grasp secondly source for their writing.
As a result, students could write longer paper than usual. This occurs because students pay attention to their activities and they try to accomplish the goal.
In this activity, they are given the same task to complete, and there is social space and it brings social interaction. For example, students chat with someone to gather primary source through interviewing. Chat is not liner communication, and we can see that own avatar talks other avatars. It is more realistic than text-based short messages.

Of course, using second life is time consuming for both teachers and students. Besides, it still remains technical constrains (slow etc.). Intellagirl gives comment that millenniums requires steps to take otherwise; they do not explore the world.
More research and instructional modules are necessary to see interesting future education.
Personally, through the screen, students can observe themselves not subjectively but objectively. In real world, we can hardly see objectively when we actually communicate with people. But in virtual world, we may make more accurate or appropriate decision as carefully considers next step.

What skills do students need to obtain?

I think the one of the most important skills for students is to recognize what digital tools are available out there and to utilize them . No matter what the learning need of a student or professional, chances are there are many Web 2.0 softwares available to assist.
For teacher's aspect, instructional designer should train teachers to use abreast of new digital technology so they can include the technology in their instruction. Of course, the effectiveness itself is controversial topic, but at least, if students are in environment where they use their daily device and collaboration tool or social networking site (including facebook etc.), It may match today's students characteristic (target audience).

I think critical thinking is another skill that is important in the digital age. Because anyone can publish anything on the web, it is important for students to be able to exercise critical thinking skills to distinguish between accurate and inaccurate information. Further, PLE enriches students learning as shifting to student centered environment, but in that learning environment, students have to be critical to any information very quickly. The speed of interaction is really fast. Students are needed to reply very fast to maintain communication sometimes.

mLearning 20 points

Reviewing the several articles, I jot down 20 points of mlearning. Further, one of the articles show mlearning and ARCS model (Motivation model) to deliver sets of class effectively and to encourage students to learn actively. I am also interested in the research about developing studies. Ubiquitous and flexibility of mlearning enable students in developing countries to learn more opportunities which laptop cannot . Laptop infrastructure is troublesome in terms of cost performance.

Following shows my 20 points:

5 uses of mobile?
· Extend the distribution of learning materials and communication to lighter devise like PDAs and mobile phone
· Engage younger learners
· Connect to geographically-dispersed groups.
· It helps learners to identify where they need assistance and support
· It helps to raise self-esteem and self-confidence

What are 5 major issues or challenges mentioned in these articles?
· The definition of a 'good' or acceptable evaluation( the research is needed)
· The majority of mobile learning activity continues to take place on devices that were not designed with educational applications.

· Usability issues where PDAs have been used -- need to connect extra wires for instance.
· Sense of isolation.
· Lack of personal contact and immediate instructor feedback (some learners prefer).

What are 5 next steps?
1---To develop mobile learning course content and services that will enter into the mainstream and take mobile learning from a project-based structure and into mainstream education and training.

2---To find acceptable solutions regarding the small screen.
3---Requirement of pre-course orientation may help manage courses
4---potential security issues and digital divide
5---integrate even more features into smart phones

What are 5 other interesting things?
1 Unique scaffolding is possible and it would be customized to the individual’s path.
2 Mobile + SNS. --Making students more independent of time and space especially for distance learners. Connected with SNS that allows students to engage in cooperative learning activities. This could be a one solution to go.

3 Some mentors are very enthusiastic about the mediaBoards potential and groups of learners enjoy using it (The mediaBoard is an activity tool developed to facilitate collaborative approaches to mobile learning).

4 Mobile + LMS. --The mLMS which supports both the mobile client as well as traditional clients, and automatically provide different types of content on different devices.

5 SMS is used for effective language learning instruction.


YouTube * education

Video can be a powerful educational and motivational tool. However, the value of the medium lies not in itself but in how it is used.
I am so surprised that in academic situation like master courses, teachers and students show their YouTube video to raise a discussion or to give examples with images.
I did not except this because I thought YouTube was old fashion and the video was often introduced as problematic on the news in my country.

In this course, I learned the effectiveness of using YouTube in the educational settings.
One example is that unlike teachers simply deliver the YouTube video, learners can search certain topics, perhaps controversial one, related to the class, and they can do debate, showing their selected videos. Mass of information from frank one to academic one can be found on the web and key person in any field may publish their own YouTube videos besides their paper work.
Students can find the videos as supplemental resources for the class argument.

The content is richer than I expected when I explored in English. Especially, I like to see YouTube which introduces learning theories.
They are pretty understandable and memorable for me.



"Students are engaged when they are asked to be creative and use new technologies". This idea has come from 10 pts which are gathered from group discussion in the class.I learned Web 2.0 has a feature such as user-oriented, user-centered, or etc. Users can create or re-create(remix) or CO-create the contents for knowledge share.
I thought it could be occurred especially when users are blogging, publishing, or posting a video like Youtube.

What I want to make here is that I did not have any idea about users create own podcast for sharing in education settings till I read the article for this week.

I listen to Podcast often to practice English listening. Podcast is simple content deliver and it allows me to listen any time. Some podcasting include video so I even learn in fun way.In education, usually students download the contents from the web and listen to them individually. It is quiet simple and passive learning. However, one of the article of this week shows the different way of using podcasting.

The article addresses that Podcasting can provide a great way both to represent and to modify new ideas. Moreover, through individual or group, ideas can be represented "realistically" through the use of various media and published in a public space. There, attention is given to content, and students have relevancy, and connection with learning outcomes. Additionally, the instructor can provide more authentic assessment through the activities.

The article shows one example of user-created podcasting. Students create own podcasts in fieldwork. I suppose it is interesting way of using. Students may want to compare one to another and students voice can be more powerful than instructor's voice.

Ruth Reynard (2008, June). Podcasting in Instruction: Moving beyond the Obvious. T.H.E. Journal. http://campustechnology.com/articles/64433/