Saturday, March 19, 2011

Week 9: YouTube, TeacherTube, and the Future of Shared Online Video

One of this articles this week, ‘Video Use in Higher Education: Options for the Futuer’ gave me a general idea of using videos in lectures sucha as why instructors use video resources, what kinds of videos are used, how the instructors get the resources, what are challenges using videos in classes, etc.

While I was reading this article, I was thinking about my personal experiences. I have remembered that often instructors was using video (especially movie) in the class to help students understand a course-realted concept or an idea. Based on my personal experiences, I found that a related movie helped me a lot comprehend an ambiguous concept, see how a movie dealt with an issue that I learned through a class or draw some issues that students can discuss about in the class. In addition, vidoe could be very useful to introduce content of a course at the first day of the course instead of explaining it verbally.

For example, one of the courses that I am taking this semester is about research methods. One of the topics for one day was objectivity and subjectivity of a resercher. One week before the class, the instructor asked students to watch a Japanese movie called “Rashomon”. The movie indicated that a truth can be vary from person to person and every fact can be affected by different perspectievs and each person’s subjectivity. This movie was very related to the course content, which was the role of objectivity and subjectivity in research. The movie gave me an oppurtunity to think about the topic before the class and the theme of the movie helped students have a great discussion in the class. I think this was a very good example of using video as a educational tool. However, movie can be useful only when they are closely connected to the course contnet. Otherwise, it would be just a waste of time.

Week 8: Wikis, Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and Collaborative Writing

In their study, ‘How today’s college students use Wikipedia for course-related research, Alison J. Head and Michael B. Eisenberg revealed that 30 % of the participants said that they always use Wikipedia and 22 % of them said that they frequently use Wikipedia during the course-related research process. I found that this finding was very interesting but expected results. For me, if I have a topic to write about, I usually start with searching for it in Wikipedia to have a general understanding of the topic and get an idea about a direction. As Alison and Michael stated, Wikipedia can be a very useful tool to preview a topic in the beginning stage of a research process. While I was reading articles and tidbits this week, I was wondering if Wikipedia could be an academic or a primary resource for a course-related research or paper. I think Wikipedia could be a good starting point but students should not solely rely on information from Wikipeida. Because Wikipedia is a free-open-online encyclopedia that anyone can edit, there can be a misleading or subjective information especially in a controversial issue such as history. Thus, it is very important for students to verify information from Wikipedia by reading other articles, books, or journals. This is the teachers’job to educate students how to effectively use Wikipedia as a supplement tool to their classroom activities and course-related research projects.

In addition, I have been fascinated by the fundamental concept of Wikipedia that anyone can contribute and anyone can share their knowledge so they eventually help others. I think this could be connected with the stream of OER or OCW in education. Increasing number of people are participating in the movement of knowledge sharing and at the same time increasing number of people are benefiting from it beyond the the borders.  

Week 7: Connectivism, Social Knowledge, and Participatory Learning

‘Future Learning Landscapes: Transforming Pedagogy through Social Software’ was one of the articles that I have read this week. This article pointed out that current society and education has been affected by the attributes of Web 2.0 such as its connectivity, the function of knowledge sharing, or interactivity: As McLoughlin, C. and Lee, M. stated, many colleges and universities are developing new teaching and learning models to keep pace with this trend. Many higher education institutions are providing students more opportunities than before to employ their autonomy or be engaged in social networks in learning processes within the context of Web 2.0.

I cannot agree more with the argument in this article that teachers should embrace Web 2.0 into their classrooms to meet students’ needs in these days. Teachers should study how they can integrate Web 2.0 into their teaching process in a way that they can satisfy students’ desire to create content themselves, share the content, utilize their creativity, learn from others’ views, socialize with their peers, interact with them, work collaboratively, learn from an authentic task, etc. Students’ needs’ have become changed. They no longer want to be just consumers of knowledge but they want to be producer of new content as well. Also, they want to be connected with others to share their unique views and learn from others’ different perspectives. Teachers should be aware of new needs of students and try to meet them by integrating Web 2.0 in their teaching.