Digital Competences for Educators – Spring 2021
Task 1. INTRODUCTION
My name is Petra. I live in Kirkkonummi, Finland. My path as a teacher or better said as a course lead started about 5 years ago as I was asked to create courses and guided walking tours for the local Adult Education Center. Since those days I have gathered and gained knowledge and am nowadays running a business which offers guided walking tours and museum guidance for all ages. Additionally I run a history course for teenage kids. In the heart of the knowledge base is local cultural heritage.
Since I also run a business, which offers services for educational meetings and events I have recently learned a lot about digital platforms and different tools to be able to offer fully digital, online facilitated meetings.
I believe online tool content creation and online facilitation skills are very much in the center when we are talking about the educators or meeting facilitators skills. What online tools offer for content creation has a big impact, too. There are tools nowadays existing that enable learning in own pace, in a gaming mode, using different senses – hearing, watching. Active community discussions either speaking or writing enables people to participate the way that is comfortable and gives the feeling of a safe learning environment. Different self-assessment tools can also guide learner with explanations after answering and may also give more content, to enable further learning.
My Project goal is to gain understanding of existing ways to teach, enable learning both face-to-face and online. My background is in Social and Cultural Anthropology, museology and Intercultural Communication Studies and believe with this background I have skills that help me to think how to activate, motivate and engage human beings – create a safe learning environment.
Task 2: The Reflective Teacher (3-4h)
Reflect on your teaching practice based on the article’s framework and feedback from others. After this task, you have dealt reflexively with your teaching methods and have entered into an exchange with other participants.
- How did you make sure to involve reflective practice in your teaching? Reflecting teaching practices is one of the key elements to understand how the learning process has functioned. Surveys, feedback and standing next to me as a teacher – and listening carefully are incorporated into my daily life, but especially in occasions where there should be teaching and learning involved.
- If you do not have any teaching experience so far, envision how you probably would have done it. Guess I would have created a survey, and a safe environment to give feedback.
- Post your considerations in the forum for task 2, opening a new discussion topic.
Task 3: Reflect your own digital competences.
If your score is between 66 and 80, you are a Leader (C1)
In DigCompEdu I scored the following: ”You have a consistent and comprehensive approach to using digital technologies to enhance pedagogic and professional practices. You rely on a broad repertoire of digital strategies from which you know how to choose the most appropriate for any given situation. You continuously reflect on and further develop your practices. Exchanging with peers, you keep updated on new developments and ideas and help other lecturers seize the potential of digital technologies for enhancing teaching and learning. If you are ready to experiment a bit more, you’ll be able to reach the last stage of competence, as a Pioneer.”
Need to read through the PDF to look even more in detail into the evaluation. Very interesting!
Topic 2: Learning in Community
Task 4: Social Learning (10-15h)
Task 4: Social Learning (10-15h)
Compare two concepts of learning communities and discuss their applicability in your professional context in small groups. After this task, you will be able to choose the best learning format for your target group.
After you got familiar with the material, find a small group of 4-6 persons and organize a meeting via the tool of your group’s choice. Feel free to use Task 4 forum for finding a small group.
1. Discuss the following issues within your group:
- What are the basic ideas of each concept?
- Work out the similarities and differences and arrange your results in one page (2500 characters or 1 page/graphic/chart maximum).
- Both theories have a different approach, can you still think of a way to apply them both?
- Could one or both concepts suit your professional context?
- Maybe you already have some experience with one or both concepts?
- What other concepts on learning communities (in a digital context) can you think of? Describe some alternate approaches.
Work out your deliberations in a contribution (2500 characters or 1 page/graphic/chart maximum).
2. Post your contribution to ’Task 4 forum’ and use the title ”Discussion Results” (one person from each group).
Please finish this task by 18/04/2021 CEST.
3. Afterwards compare the other group’s results and comment on your findings.
After posting your own task to the forum, get familiar with other groups’ work and comments about…
- What are your considerations on the discussion, presentation, and comments from other groups? I think the groups worked in very similar ways, discussion and commenting was positive and encouraging
- Do they differ from your group’s considerations/results? I think we received some comments where commentators expressed they were happy to read about the usage of teaching/learning in also other environments than class rooms.
- Did they trigger any new goals? Not sure about that.
Please finish this task by 20/04/2021 CEST.
Task 5: Collaborating and Connecting (10-15h)
Task 5: Collaborating and Connecting (10-15h)
Discuss the two collaborating concepts of 4C’s and Connectivism within your small group and compare your findings with other groups’ results. After this task, you will be able to determine how your target group can benefit from these concepts.
1. After you got familiar with the material, find a small group of 4-6 persons and organize a meeting via the tool of your group’s choice. Please choose different group members than in the previous task(s) and feel free to use the Virtual Café for finding a small group.
Discuss the following issues:
- What are the basic ideas of each theory? What are the similarities and differences?
- How could both of the theories foster communication and collaboration in both your learning community (within this course) and your work area?
2. Work out your deliberations in a contribution (2500 characters or 1 page/graphic/chart maximum) and post your results in Task 5 Forum using the title ”Discussion results” (one person from each group).
Please finish this task by 25/04/2021 CEST.
3. After posting your thoughts to the forum, comment on other groups’ work.
4. Contribute to your e-Portfolio: What are your considerations on the discussion, presentation, and comments from the other group? Did they trigger any new ideas?
I think our groups question to all others created a nice collaborative discussion round. very similar results as in task 4.
Please finish this task by 27/04/2021 CEST.
Task 6: Enhancing Collaboration via Applications (3-xh)
1. Choose one application from the list below that you are interested in. Test it and share your experience.
Share your experience about one application you are using within your professional context.
- Briefly describe the application/tool you are already using, its purpose, pros, and cons (due to the template)
Choose one new application, test it, and share your experience with it.
–> Started off with an introduction of Howspace, a tool that I use professionally. Will continue getting familiar with other tools on the list.
Task 7: Universal Design for Learning (10-15h)
1. Have a closer look at the material and get familiar with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) until you get a clear idea about the UDL.
How is the UDL designed? There are 3 main guidelines/principles answering questions: Why? What? How? Why stands for engagement, which aims to foster collaboration. What stands for representation, which aims to make media usage accessible and How is all about giving different choices to act and express.
What theory/science does it rely on? The Cast website states that: ”UDL is based upon the most widely replicated finding in educational research” and that ”The research basis for the general principles of UDL is also grounded in modern neuroscience”
What is the UDL generally aiming for? Learning success for all different types of learners.
- Build a smaller group (4-6 persons) and organize a meeting via the tool of your group’s choice. Feel free to use the Virtual Café for finding a group/appointment discussion.
Discuss UDL usability (within your professional context) and examples of application within your group. Please choose different group members than in the previous task(s).
- Using the UDL guidelines/matrix, find an example for each area/box, e.g. access to Engagement, access to Representation, access to Action and Expression, etc. Your final result will contain nine examples, one for each area. Keep the example as practical as possible, don’t use generalization. Google jamboard and Power Point
- Choose the form of your presentation (PowerPoint, poster in the style of the matrix, pdf or any kind of access friendly document). Post your final presentation in the Forum under task 7 discussion using the title ”UDL example matrix”.
Task 9: Diversity & Differentiation (4-6h)
For this week’s tasks (Task 9) first, you will reflect on social differences within your professional context contributing to your e-portfolio and next comparing your considerations to the Four Layers of Diversity. Task 10 is about collecting and discussing aspects that influence online learning. Did you hear about lurkers or the concept of Social Presence?
Raise your consciousness about social differences in your professional context and improve your methods of meeting different needs by researching suitable guidelines/approaches with special aspects to online learning. After this task, you will be able to (re)consider diversity within your professional organization.
1. Consider the following questions, involving your e-Portfolio:
- How do I perceive social differences?
- What kind of social differences do I see?
- What have I done so far to deliberately minimize these?
- What else could I do?
- Do my considerations apply to online environments as well?
- What is transferable to the online setting?
- How can these be dissolved in online settings?
2. After you considered/answered the questions, do some research on frameworks/guidelines which may help you to deepen this topic.
3. Have a look at the approach by Gardenswart & Rowe and reflect on the following questions:
- How far did you consider the aspects of diversity mentioned here?
- Did you also consider aspects not mentioned in this model?
In the next step, choose a framework/guidelines/approach, which you consider helpful for improving your (e-learning) diversity competence within your professional context. You can stick to the above concept or find another one that might work better for your professional context.
4. Post a summarization of your deliberations into Task 9+10 forum:
1) A title plus an illustration of the main pillars of your chosen framework/guidelines/approach (with a link to the article/website).
2) A statement, which explains why you find this one in particular suitable for your work area. Each of your posts should not exceed a maximum of 500 words. Use the title ’Tasks 9 Diversity’ for your post as the forum won’t change for both tasks.