Social Media and Education: Reconceptualizing the Boundaries of Formal and Informal Learning
Utilizing connectivism and constructivism theories, Greenhow and Lewin (2016) explore formal, non-formal and informal learning in the context of social media, or social software. Focusing on inclusion of both informal and formal attributes in learning environments, this article analyzes case studies using the approach of intentional placement of purpose, process, location, and content framework. A model is proposed for theorizing social media as an environment for both formal and informal learning.
Culturally Responsive Computing as Brokerage: Toward Asset Building with Education-Based Social Movements
Lachney (2017) advocates for teachers to employ cultural broker strategies in teaching computational literacy and educational partnerships to be extended to the community to increase cultural capital for underrepresented students. Culturally Responsive Computing (CRC) involves technology educators to “identify connections to the classroom content” from the students’ communities. By simply creating and utilizing examples from students’ communities, educators repurpose the cultural capital in the learning environment for diverse students to be successful. In this article, Lachney explores studies of Culturally Situated Design Tools (CSDTs) and CRC: learning programming skills and transformational geometry to design effective representations of cornrow braiding.
A Critique of the Aesthetic Experience of Online Discussions
Critiquing the utilization of technology in education, Wong utilizes art education’s aesthetic experience principles (Dewey, 1938) and applies it to online discussions. The emphasis of aesthetic experience is that the interaction is, for example, moving the discussion forward and generating new ideas. Aesthetically, timing and experience of rhythm of interaction is important to a student’s engagement and meaning-making of the content, and it is the antithesis of asynchronous online discussions. As Wong (2012) is bringing light to the “challenges of sustaining the aesthetic flow of the experience of learning with computers”, he calls for awareness and strategies be brought forward by current researchers and practitioners.
Race and Gender Bias in Online Courses
This online article reviewed a study published on the bias in online classes, specifically in instructor’s replies to students in online discussion environments. Jaschik notes that instructors are most likely to respond to names that connote white males, and that white females are more likely to respond to other white females. The article calls for awareness of bias of instructors, also in online environments.
What Online Teachers have Learned from Teaching Online
The online article shares qualitative responses from veteran faculty and how their online teaching approaches have changed. Among the transition of strategies, setting deadlines for assignments from the analysis of student task management, learning instructional design and improving online environments with professional development, and using open educational resources due to financial restrictions of students have all been noted by the faculty when interviewed. This article captures snapshots of various faculty and the improvements they have implemented from their experiences teaching online.
Collaborative and Active Learning in Higher Education Classrooms
This online post connects collaborative and active learning in the classroom to educational technology and extending learning outside of the classroom. The advice extended effective collaborative and active learning strategies to Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Open Educational Resources (OER), like Piazza.com. Romaniuk stresses establishing a culture of learning as a foundation and expectation of active/collaborative learning within the syllabus. When instructors employ 21st century skills, students will emulate the skills learned through these processes in other learning environments outside of the classroom, such as critical thinking, analysis skills, and agency of knowledge acquisition.