If you were educated on Earth, you have background in course-like learning and you might feel the temptation to reflect on your making and learning as would suit a course. In the same way, just as you are susceptible to Earth’s gravity, you are susceptible to associate learning with courses. Instead, consider your learning in a way you might consider your learning after a camping trip, after a visit to the museum, or after a dance that leaves you sweaty, laughing, and looking for a drink of water.— Joe Dillon, CLMOOC 2014
As we enter our final two weeks of class, I encourage you think about your learning in the way that Joe so beautifully describes … did your hands get any less cold and sweaty as you got used to hitting the “submit” button on your blog? Were you able to find a way to balance your weekly findings with your need to get the laundry in and rest after a week of teaching? Have you made any new connections with students or colleagues that have propelled your thinking forward?
These are essential learnings and it will look different for each and everyone of us. There is no one way.
A key thing to remember are our objectives here at ED677: we have been connected learners in order to ground ourselves in what it means to teach in connected ways. We have also been working to critically examine what we are doing and why in order to support connected learning in social, participatory and equitable ways for all learners. And we’ve been learning new things through playing, creating and reflecting as a community of learners both within and outside of ED677.
Embrace what you have learned and wondered about throughout this journey … and use all of that to inform your final work ahead.
The next week/s ahead …
I believe connected learning principles can provide a vocabulary for teachers to reclaim agency over what and how we best meet the individual needs of students in our classrooms. With learners as the focus, teachers can rely on connected learning as a way to pull back the curtain on how learning happens in schools and agitate the possibilities of classrooms today. — Antero Garcia, Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom
Reading/Watching: Take time this week to finish Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom by reading the concluding sections of the book and then return to the introduction. With the learners as your focus, ask yourself how you can make moves, small or big, that provide access to connected learning opportunities in equitable ways beyond ED677.
Blogging/Making: Go back to your inquiry questions and blog about the ways your inquiry question/s are connected to what you are thinking about in terms of your final make. What the implications for supporting connected learning and equity beyond ED677? How does it help to pull the curtain back and make learning more visible and viable in your context?
Finally, focus on your Final Make and your Self-Assessment. These are due anytime during the Finals week at Arcadia, which is May 3-9.
Final “makes” should be something that you design that emerges from your inquiry and supports you in building towards equity and connected learning beyond ED677. This make can relate to your work with youth and/or in your personal/professional practice.
When you share your final make, I’d also like you to also reflect on and describe what connected learning principles inform your work as well as how it might address or impact equity in learning. Please include at least 3 of the principles specifically in your reflection.
Note that do you do not have to start from scratch— you can continue, remix, remediate something you or your classmates have already started in this class (or in any other). That said, I’d like you to take whatever you do to its next level and consider it as something you are creating that can help make connected learning and equity a reality in the world (in a big or small way).
Please also submit to me a final self-assessment of your learning and connecting over the course of this semester. These are the same assessment questions we stopped to work on mid-semester so please refer back to your notes then and also review your blog and all of the work you’ve done this semester to support this process.
Start by reviewing the performance expectations on our syllabus …
Exploring the key principles of Connected Learning, with specific attention to issues of equity, as demonstrated through weekly making, reflecting and sharing.
Contributing regularly to our class discussions.
Engaging with others (another community, students, colleagues, etc.) outside this course each week and sharing that work with us.
Documenting and reflecting on your journey in support of your own assessment and reflection.
Create and share something to support your own work as well as others in thinking about connecting learning in equitable ways beyond the life of this course.
… then reflect on your process and learning using these prompts:
How well do you feel you met these expectations this semester?
Where do you think you could have improved?
How do your successes and reflections on improvement inform your connected learning moving forward?
What else do you want me to consider when assessing your performance and participation over the past semester?
You can share this on your blog if you want to share publicly or else in an email or Google Doc that you share with me privately.
Image: Pinwheel installation, Community Block Party on Pearl Street, Asian Arts Initiative, October 2015.