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/


Educational blogging

The article discusses how blogs can be used for educational purposes outlining the activities of fifth and sixth grade students at Institut St. Joseph in Quebec City.

Stephen Downes notes that blogs can be used 1) to post announcements and to provide students with a space to post the results of their work or to reflect on concepts or ideas discussed in class. He also states that blogs can be used as a private space that students can to communicate with the teacher. This is an interesting way to use a blog as it allows the teacher to connect with a student. The teacher can get to know the student better without talking to the student in class, which can be useful especially in large classes where the teacher may not have the opportunity to observe every student. It also allows the teacher to see what the students think about a particular topic which the teacher could use to improve the lesson for the entire class.

The article also notes that blogging can be used 2) to develop critical thinking and information literacy skills. I think this is a great way to help students strengthen these skills because it allows them to reflect on what they are writing and thinking while they are while which is something most students probably don’t do. One way to encourage students to be write more thoughtful comments in their blog was suggested by Ken Smith saying students should be assigned to read and then link to what interests them and why and then, and they engage with the content and with authors through criticising, questioning, and reacting.

3)One thing that makes the use of blogs so attractive is their ease-of-use. The article describes the technology and software that contribute to this feature. 4)Negative features of blogs and blogging, such as the potential conflict between the blogger and the administration (liberous content is problematic), the possibility that not all students will be motivated all the time ( often neglect to see bogs when contents are already written).

Educational BloggingSeptember 14, 2007Downes, Stephen (2004, September/October). Educational blogging, EDUCAUSE Review, 39(5), 14–26. http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm04/erm0450.asp?bhcp=1


ESL and technology

This article is introduced by TESL journal. I think it is first time to read the article from language learning journal, and glad to have one because I am interested to see how technologies are introduced to ESL classrooms.

The author addresses many ideas relates to recent phenomena in information age, and they seem to be a native subject to ESL teachers. The ideas include communities of practice, informal learning, and multiliteracies. He also raised an awareness on the importance of multiliteracies and how students need to be skilled. The author implies these skills help them when they work in an authentic environment.

Through new media and technologies, as stated, students will be able to develop critical thinking skills as well as learning within communities which enables students efficiently harvest what is most relevant to them, which are vital in the world today. It is especially important for ESL students to be able to use English via technologies that they can connect to native speakers through the communities on the web where English is the predominant language for communication. Learning in communities sounds fun to me. I suppose language learning should be fun too.

Cited work:
Stevens, V. (2006, October). Applying multiliteracies in collaborative learning environments: Impact on teacher professional development. TESL-EJ, 10(2), Retrieved November 3, 2008, from http://www-writing.berkeley.edu/TESL-EJ/ej38/int.html


Cloud computer

Review Nicholas G. Carr discusses the changes in the future of computing. One of the more dramatic changes is a shift to cloud computing -- "where applications and files are stored on a large, centralized supercomputer or network"

Japanese companies utilize cloud computing system for their management.The interesting point is that not only they system is used by huge companies but in small and medium business. What they see this as an advantageous is that since people who work in cloud computer can manage and create statistic graphs using the data which companies sent, business person in Japan could see sophisticated data. On the top of that, all worker can access to the exactly same data; therefore, they can share same files in any time and any place.

I am sure this system impacts upon all over the world, but here again, security is huge issue. I cannot believe that an important data is gathered in same place, San Francisco, from all over the world. What if the system got stuck or data is stolen, small and medium business surely goes down.

I am interested in seeing how Google or Apple intervene this business, but I have a skeptical view toward this.

See below for detail:


LMS and its implication in the information age

Watson (2007) addressed that LMS goes beyond a simple content delivery. Since the society might not require people to do mass production in educational situation, nor see all students have same idea from delivered instructions, LMS would propose active functions besides a management function. The chances are that LMS will impact upon the 4 key features of blended learning mentioned above: ubiquitous, collaboration, access, sharing. Reigeluth etc. (2008) pointed out four main function of new age of LMS. That is, recording, planning, giving instruction, and assessment functions. Amongst them, I would see giving instruction as an essential part of LMS function.

As web 2.0 allows learners to create, modify, remix, and share the contents through open source and free software such as podcasts, weblogs, and videos, same diversity would be occur in this function. The instructional development tool could create customized instruction. Reigeluth further mentions that to obtain an efficient application of learning object standards will be beneficial and vital for education in order to better share and evaluate their suitability (p.36). I suppose nowadays the chunks of contents are widely shared through open course software and other free website and they are powerful learning tool. If instructors and parents side will be able to manage the instruction as sharing and modifying, possibly those learning contents would be more effective learning sources; additionally, the learner could stop and think and leading to obtain meta-cognition thorough LMS which has management function that provides self-pacing learning.

Cited work:
  • Reigeluth, C. M., & Watson, W. R. & Dutta, P. & Chen, Z. & Powell, N. D. P. (2008). Roles for Technology in the Information-Age Paradigm of Education: Learning Management Systems. Pre-publication draft.

  • Watson, W. R., & Lee, S., & Reigeluth, C. M (2007). Learning Management Systems: An Overview and Roadmap of the Systemic Application of Computers to Education. Hershey: Information Science Publishing.


Digital literacy skill

For previous week, we discussed about digital literacy skill. Amongst several articles I read, I would like to elaborate on teen's creation.

Since 2004, we have seen recent web phenomena as web 2.0. There, these terms: openness, ease of entry, and adding own value to existing ideas, would express what web 2.0 is. As society faces this dynamics, it might be said that digital literacy skilled person might have not only competencies for typing or programming or accessing to the Internet, but ICT skills.ICT skilled person could be referred to a person who can define, access to what he wants, manage, integrate, evaluate, create, and communicate with people.

Teens can access the information what and when they need; therefore, It is quiet essential that they obtain critical thinking skill which can judge and evaluate the information. Here, I have a question regarding to communication.As the article showed, teens usually would check and give commnents to their relatives on the weblongs; besides, the reason of that was to maintain their relationships.I suppose it could be safe if they only communicate with their friends, but can I call it really communication?

In my country, teens use Social networking site to communicate with frineds, but they seem to be forced to see the blogs and give comments, just as doing their assignments.This resulted that many teens were reluctant to use the web for communication. This sounds bit sad since the web would provide people with World-Wide human relationships.

Cited work:
Lenhart, Amanda, & Madden, Mary (2005). Teens content creators and consumers. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Report. Retrieved on November 19, 2006, from: http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Teens_Content_Creation.pdf


Connectivism and

At the beginning of my post, I would like to briefly start reviewing the article for this week, I mean last week.

Jenkins (2006) in an article "Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for 21st Century", indicates three points which education faces some challenging with regard to new media. Participation gap, transparency problem, and ethics challenge are three points of them. Amongst them, I particularly focused on second point, transparency gap.

Jenkins points out the issue that there is difference between master of game rules and recognize the ways those rules structure our perception of reality(p.4). Taking this point into account, one question could be risen up, that is, can students really assess the quality of information?

It is hard to define the quality itself though, some might argue that Googling to obtain data and discover new findings are only superficial, and nothing do with learning.
However, I myself, think Google or many web contents saved my academic life so far (quiet), and also suppose that as long as we can distinguish between rich contents and not qualifies information, Internet based learning should be encouraged for next generation because this definitely facilitate our learning in terms of time and space for sharing.


WK2: Course Management 1.0 in a Web 2.0

As the wave of opened learning environment thought to be influential, this idea of opened environment impacts upon course management. Once LMS manages students' schedule and also reflects how much they learned, now CMS provides not only management, but also contents itself. At this time, CMS is used as asynchronous communication tool.
This week's readings seems to have positive attitude toward web 2.0 environment. Each reading argues the importance of collaboration and sharing as Prof. Brown addresses web 2.0 reflects learning paradigm while web 1.0 does teaching paradigm.

However, as I read through articles, I questioned to some ideas.
The article, "Mind over Matter", applied learning theory to opened learning environment. That is "Deeper learning", which states students can learn best when they are socialized, active, in contextual, engaging and owned. For instance, e-mail and discussion board helps shy students to participate and also effects positively on diverse so they are socialized. Additionally, graphical representation integrates new ideas to preexisting knowledge and hyperlink shows relevance.

There, I could not see clear vision that e-mail facilitates socializing or hyperlink can connect with another ideas(relevance) so students learn in context.
I agree with these ideas for some extent; however, this appears to be just applying theory.
From this article, I could not see the connection between web 2.0's activities and learning theory.
I believe the key is to know how actually learned through activities as Brown states.
Therefore, I would like to know whether or not e-mail actually help socializing, for instance.

Cite work:
Carmean, C., & Haefner, J. (2002, November/December). Mind over matter: Transforming course management systems into effective learning environments. Educause Review, 37(6), 27-34. Retrieved September 7, 2008, from http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0261.pdf


R 685

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This blog will show my reflection of IST's class, "web 2.0".
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