Today I was sent my certificate of completion for the Power Searching with Google course. I would highly recommend this course to teachers and students alike. The current course has just finished but there are a series of excellent resources to enable your students (and you) to become better searchers at Google Search Education.
Having done the power searching course I am quite keen on using the format of the course to build my own courses for students and there is even a site dedicated to that at the Course Builder Site so that should keep me occupied for some time.
In order to keep up to date with current Google offerings why not grab the RSS feed from the official Google blog. @jutecht also has a whole host of interesting lesson plans and other Google related stuff on his blog which i have found extremely useful.
What made the conference even more special was the fact it was the first time I had been a presenter at a conference. For those that attended my 50 minute session on Technology Development I left behind a moodle course with a few useful links and documents.
On to the next task; to read this post on charting and to see whether I agree or not. Well the reality is that the first question for me has been whether I understand or not! The #edmedia11 conference gave me some first hand contact with a lot of the concepts of connectivism, analytics and open learning and was a great opportunity to immerse myself in this way of thinking.
So having made some sense of sensemaking and found a way to wayfinding the question of whether I agree is becoming more complex. In essence what is there to disagree with? When you hear the seemingly unavoidable logical sense of George Siemen’s arguments it is hard to disagree with the concepts on offer unless of course your business is to keep current educational models in stasis.
So the question of whether I agree comes down to whether I agree with the concept of charting as a type of sensemaking. In the blog post it is described as connecting to the collective, consuming from the collective, creating new artefacts, and contribution back into the collective. This essentially seems to be a generalised approach to the Cynefin framework which adds elements of difficulty into the equation.
The arguments against sensemaking tend to be about the inherent paradox of sensemaking but I think this is getting a little beyond where I need to go despite the temptation.
As an educator I still agree this idea of sensemaking at whatever level needs to be communicated to our students. Research becomes an impossible maze without methods of organisation and validation of collective knowledge. The development of PLNs and good research habits for the student are always great places to start and this has proven time and again to be a great way for students to begin to find their own path to success in the curriculum. How intelligent that curriculum becomes is another matter.
After having been an agile lurker for a couple of weeks on #change11 I thought it time to make a relevant post to the task on producing examples of #collective learning. As a teacher of IB Computer Science and ITGS I have used wikis and social bookmarking groups for some time. They allow students to gather knowledge from the collective and formalise and rationalise it in a form that allows them to condense the knowledge into a more appropriate lump. Here are a couple of examples of wikis and bookmarking groups produced by my students.
The collective learning takes place here as students start by initially making connections with collective knowledge. This is then organised through predetermined tagging systems and placing knowledge in the appropriate areas of the syllabus on the wiki. This in turn feeds knowledge back into the collective.