Drawing on the "Wisdom of our own Crowd"
Time: 5-8 pm Aug 28th
Place: KITL lab OISE 3rd floor (tentative)
Bring with you: NOTHING!! We will order it all. Just come.
RSVP (add your name if you're coming and you don't see it here already - to help us with food planning)
- Hedieh N.
- David G.
- Cam N. (around 6:30)
- Aleisha H. (I'm sorry, but I can't make it. A medical issue has come up. All the best to everyone!
- T. Chewlee
- Cheryl S.
- Naomi S. (maybe later)
- Mehdi R.
- Dorian S.
- Carla M. (maybe later)
- Cheryl M.
Food Constraints? (list any below - we will obviously get about half veggie.
Pre-meeting homework: (to think about if you're coming, or to answer in advance of our meeting, if you're not able to come. Here are some preliminary questions:
1. What are some of the things that really worked well for you in your version of the course? Why? Feel free to cite some examples
- The use of a wiki as a collaboration tool worked very well for me. It was valuable both functionally and as a metaphor for what we were talking about in a broader sense. The initial brainstorming where we put gadgets and websites into categories helped me wrap my head around the types of things we were going to be working with.
- Weekly themes were a effective way to get us to experience the knowledge media in a learning situation .... it spawned multiple offshoots and served as playground for alternative viewpoints and practices.
- Themes and identifying key areas for technology enhanced learning and knowledge construction; cooperative learning aspects of the assignments worked well; and finally, enjoyed the way the content of the course changed to accommodate the new aspects of technology developments.
- The ability to develop the ideas independently, based around our own interests, and then figuring out how to work those ideas into the greater class themes - this was a great motivator in getting the ball rolling early
- The diversity of backgrounds was in a lot of ways central to the course's success - it really challenged you to look at the issues through a variety of lenses, it also was a great way to generate ideas.
2. What are some of the things that didn't seem to work so well - trying to avoid specific critical commentary on any particular week's activities
- Because the course didn't have any pre-reqs (that I know of) there needed to be some sort of leveling tool to get everyone on the same page in terms of what knowledge media is and how learning is associated with that. There seemed to be some division of comfort level in the class when it came to talking about technology more specifically as opposed to some of the broader sociological concepts, which everyone seemed to be able to deal with. Also, some of the "activities" required so much prior knowledge and prep that sometimes they didn't seem to work as well, or leave enough time for discussion to get the deeper messages across and ideas fleshed out.
- A bit of ahead start in the design projects would benefit the planning process .... seemed a little jam packed towards the end of the term.
- We need to be more precise about what do we expect to experience for each theme. What should be the objective of designing for any of the themes. It is explained in the course intro but I think we need to discuss it in the class as well.
- a planning component in the lesson design is helpful
- etc. - fill in! (anonymously if you want to - just don't log in and you should be anonymous)
3. What are we really after, in this course? Are we after the deep intellectual content of the themes? The knowledge community experience? Are we after opportunities to interact?
- For me, I was after a few things, currentness being at the top of them. I wanted to glean from my classmates what our collective understanding of the most pressing issues and technologies were as well as how we saw that shaping the future, so that I joined the workforce with exactly what they were expecting from a young person - new ideas and an understanding of new technology solutions. This couldn't come to fruition unless the topic that week really had an in-depth discussion to go along with it. Many times this worked. Others not.
- response: At the end of the course, the intellectual connection between themes and the opportunities to foster greater understanding of the technology/and or innovative design for knowledge construction.
- etc. - fill in!
4. Some other thoughts on specific aspects of the course
Pre-course homework. What would have helped make the whole thing get rolling more easily?
Some food for thoughts before the first class meeting would be good. In the class we are always talking about knowledge community so a couple of papers to get the students familiar with the concept and what it means to be a knowledge community or design for a knowledge community. In 2006 we read Brown and Campione (1996) and Scardamalia (2002) which were nice. I suggest dedicating one session to discussing the theoretical (educational side) in the class would help.
The themes - the overall structuring around the themes, like handhelds, immersive environments, etc
response: Maybe the way themes are put across are problematic. There could be types of themes, some of which intersect with one another. Smart Spaces, for example, overlaps with hand held devices, as well as digital layers, and "knowledge media for knowledge communities". Maybe the themes could be more general, like "location aware media"?? (jim)
response: Should we really do a different theme every week? What if there was a theme every two weeks or every three weeks. Maybe themes are bigger - or there's a different way to think about themes. Should we have more that two people working together?
response: Group work is hassle enough that adding more people to the mix wouldn't necessarily help unless it was more of a divide and conquer effort: i.e. Big theme over three weeks, each group of 2 takes a component of that theme each week. The themes should be fleshed out over the summer so that a clear syllabus can be put together by day one and you already have a sense of where the course is going and where you would best fit into it.
Weekly model - homework, etc. Did this flow okay - meeting with Jim two weeks and one week before, etc? How could it be changed?
Response: The homework worked best when the readings were a) short and b) summarized by the presenting group as a baseline to form our discussions around. It is inevitable that people won't do the reading, so accepting that and building in a quick summary so that at least we are all thinking and talking at the same level can be really valuable.
The design project. Should this be more deeply integrated into the course.
Response: I liked that we could bounce our ideas off of each other and it wasn't all weird and competitive like in other design courses. Because everything else is so "group" heavy, I would think making the design component and individual one where we come together in those think tank sessions could work out well and save you the stress of getting together with your group every day before the final. Also, making the presentations maybe a bit more formal or integrated could make this more meaningful perhaps.
Ongoing knowledge community How to structure the web site/wiki/community and activities
Response: The general structure works well and allowing it to expand organically is great too (and meets the tenets of the "wiki way"). Having these broader headings and then within each heading having the space divided by School Year, so current students can get to where they need to quickly and others can browse old stuff, seems simplest.
Response: My response surrounds the intellectual and creative outcomes of our collective and individual efforts. It might be worthwhile to understand how alumni have used and continue on with class ideas in their current projects, research, teaching, etc. Also how does the knowledge community continue to grow itself without relying on only new participants in the course? How can we sustain the participation of current members once they graduate, move on, complete the course, etc?
Response: The overall structure of the course should have a way for more persistent exchange and sharing of ideas. It would be valuable to invite alumni for the final class presentations - or some culminating activity to exchange ideas in a formal way.