Sunday, March 28, 2010

MAC Week #4 Important Media History with Henry Jenkins

“We are the grassroots campaign of the modern era, built from mousepads, shoe leather and hope.”

- Howard Dean

MIT World provides free access to videos of public events at MIT. New Media, Old Politics is a 2004 panel discussion on the impact of the Internet on politics. Moderated by Professor David Thorbum, the panel of Henry Jenkins, Garret LoPorto, and Joe Trippi mostly discussed the impact of the Internet on the 2004 elections.

A phrase new to me, psychographics, caught my attention. Whereas demographics are about quantifiable items such as location, age, and salary - psychographics examines beliefs, opinions, and values. Demographics compare to psychographics is a broad stroke analysis of populations because even within the same demographics there are diverse opinions. Psychographics can more accurately define populations. It’s like being able to identify the migrating patterns of different schools of fish in the Caribbean Sea.

Psychographics can be useful in education. We are in an era of school history in which it is easier to design a one size fits all system. A state test determines a student’s success. One or two large states can influence the selection of textbooks for most of the nation and there is a federally pushed movement toward Common or National Standards. What is needed, however, is a system of personalized or individualized education. A truly effective education is relevant to the student and to society.

Steve Jobs in a 2005 commencement speech in Stanford stated that he dropped back into college to take classes that interested him after having dropped out. No longer shackled with required courses, he was able to map out his own learning. He credited a calligraphy class for the options of fonts we now take for granted in our computers.

Psychographics and the flexibility of eLearning can empower educators and learners to create personalized learning networks that will bring back relevance to education.


MIT World (2004, October 14). New media, old politics? Video retrieved from http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/240


Saturday, March 27, 2010

MAC Week #4 Response to Bob Jr’s Musing

Bob wrote the following:

In order to move forward into the future, we should look back at our past. My past has been full of obstacles that stood in the way. I have overcome most of these, but as one obstacle is taken down, more seem to pop up. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just me not getting out of my way, but there are other outside forces that can go against your goals as well. Things that have stood in my way are people who called themselves family, money, a few crazy people with too much power and control, mistakes I have made in my life, and the lack of a Master’s degree.

The good news is, that despite the obstacles I have faced and continue to face, I have always managed to reach my goals. I will always have to deal with some obstacle along he way but have made valiant efforts to move past them. One ideal job I applied for I was told I had the experience and was the type of person they were looking for but I lacked the degree. I am now eliminating that obstacle, I just need to find the opening.

The job I was looking at was at a music college. The position was to be part of the new online programs they were building at the school. Recently, thanks to Full Sail and programs I have implemented at my current job, I have discovered that online teaching is definitely an aspect of my dream job.

I bring a lot to the table at any place I work. I offer creativity, drive, a solid work ethic and a laid back demeanor which allows me to handle difficult situations. I deserve my dream job because of the work I put into obtaining the tools I need to work there. I have taken a lot of chances to achieve my goals and worked hard to get where I am in less than ideal circumstances. It’s about time the non-crazy person wins and moves on to success after being help back for so long.

Please email me directly and I will answer any questions you should have about my work experience and how I overcame obstacles. I have references available and look forward to working with you in the near future.

My Response:

Good post. I appreciate your honesty. In following my path, I have learned that delays, set backs, and detours were lessons to prepare me for the next leg of my journey - especially if they were just reminders that I can call upon a higher power for guidance. The second biggest lesson I have learned is that I can be my own worst obstacle in the way of my dream job.

Recently I watched again Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech. I took away a few points from that speech.

Know who you are

Find lessons from the set backs

Love what you do

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it

Stay hungry. Stay foolish

I’m cool with that.

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA

Thursday, March 25, 2010

MAC Week #4 Reading – Creating Frameworks for Possibility

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous – Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us: it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

- Marianne Williamson

I appreciate Rosamund and Benjamin Zander’s discussion on creating frameworks for possibility in their book, The Art of Possibility. Frameworks for possibility are vision statements that center our perspective on what is important while remaining open to possibilities. The vision statements are not like mission statements with goals penned in a competitive we will be number one directive.

Dress code comes to mind. I’ve tried but was not always successful in avoiding the dress code wars. I’ve heard the argument that dress codes must be specific and tight with no wiggle room for exceptions in order to be enforceable. And they were always worded as negative directives. Boys cannot wear shorts. Certain colors are not allowed. Girls may wear shorts but not shorter than the tip of their fingers when palms pressed to their thighs. Plus more.

Through it all I just kept wondering why couldn’t we express that the goal is for our students to be well groomed and modestly attired in clothes that are clean and in good condition. Instead we seem to envision the worst and seek to limit freedom. Wouldn’t it be more educational to discuss the health value, social value, and cultural value of being clean and well dressed?

I also reflected on how creating frameworks for possibility applied in my own life. My personal vision statement influenced many of my decisions and choices. I am a teacher. I am a teacher with a calling to seek new alternative ways of schooling.

An old pen pal (excuse me – a long time pen pal from my youth), found me through Facebook. It was great to catch up! She was not surprised to hear that I had become a teacher. It was a goal I set for myself long ago. All the decisions, choices, detours, and set backs have always been viewed as a learning process toward my personal vision statement. And I’m still open to the possibilities it will bring to me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

MAC Week #4 Media Project

In a 2008 report for the U.S. Department of Education, 75% of the teachers surveyed indicated that they have never used technology to participate in professional online communities (Bakia, Yang, & Mitchell, 2008). This is problematic for teachers. Aside from not being able to relate to students growing up familiar with online social networks, it is a setback in the 21st century professional development of public school teachers. The problem may be due to a lack of familiarity with online communities and the tools that accompany them (Carr, & Chambers, 2006). Scarcity and relevance of online communities for teachers may also have excluded them from participating in online professional communities. If so, a relevant online professional community with technical tutorial support for teachers and school district support will attract more participation.

-Thesis Statement

Here’s the link to my media project. The media project went hand in glove with my thesis.

Thanks to providence I came across the following experience as I was working on my thesis paper and media project.

On January 18, 2010, a mass email invitation to join edWeb was received by the email accounts of my school district. Free for teachers and schools, edWeb is a social networking website for the education community. It has all the features expected in an online social network.

Of the mass email invitations that passed to the email accounts of my district, there were only four respondents. A March 20, 2010 search of the edWeb membership by district and by schools revealed that of the district a high school special education teacher (that’s me), a high school social studies teacher, a junior high school technology teacher, and a principal opted to join the edWeb online community. Also, the respondents had not made any attempt to connect with each other in that community.

It brings up a whole new discussion on what is a relevant online professional community. I stand by the axiom that an online community that is not relevant to the needs of teachers will not attract participation from them as professionals. Even online communities willing to address the concerns of teachers will not be attractive without the kind of relevancy that will impact their classroom and their school. An online professional community may cast a global net, but it must have a local impact to be relevant.




Bakia, M., Yang, E., & Mitchell, K. (2008). National educational technology trends study local-level data summary. Retrieved February 27, 2010 from http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/netts/netts-local.pdf

Carr, N., & Chambers, D. (2006). Teacher professional learning in an online community: The experiences of the national quality schooling framework pilot project. Technology, Pedagogy & Education 15 (2). 143-157.

edWeb. (2009, November 4). A survey of k-12 educators on social networking and content-sharing tools. Retrieved March 20, 2010 from http://www.edweb.net/fimages/op/K12Survey.pdf

Thursday, March 18, 2010

MAC Week #3 Reading – Lighting A Spark

“Education is not the filling of the pail, but the lighting of the fire.”

- W.B. Yeats

I like the imagery of ancient travelers carrying their own spark in a metal box to easily light fires on stops along their journey. Rosamund and Benjamin Zander, authors of the Art of Possibility, used it as a metaphor for enrolling in the lives of those around us. Enrollment, for them, is about generating and lighting your spark, what you are passionate about in others.

Sometimes, to get others to see and share in what we are passionate about requires being involved in what they are passionate about. This time of sharing requires trust. And trust, as in being in a safe physical and emotional environment, is crucial in creating a learning environment.

According to Rafe Esquith, author of Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire, most classrooms are managed by fear and not trust. Teachers are afraid of looking bad and students are afraid of looking foolish in front of their peers. So teachers seek to maintain control of their classrooms. An approach more conducive to creating a learning environment is to replace the fear with trust. Perhaps we should re-examine the classroom through the eyes of our students. May be then we can find good educational uses for the students’ iPods and cell phones.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

MAC Week #3 Media Project – Welcome letter

The welcome letter below is where newcomers to my media project site are first directed to go.

Welcome - Start here!

We are glad that you chose to join our online professional community. In our community you may create and join in on chats, blogs, groups, and forum discussions. Within storage limits, you may also share photos, videos, and music/podcasts.

It is our hope that this will become your platform to share lesson plans, knowledge, experience, stories, opinions, concerns, and insights. In return, as a community, we will do our best to answer your questions and keep you informed with the latest V.V.T.A. news and updates.

If you are new to the online experience or would like to help colleagues unfamiliar with Web 2.0 technologies, please join the Digital Immigrant group.

In the meanwhile, this is where we start.

Above the grey box that we are in - there are tabs. Let's take a look at these tabs.

Notes Tab

This welcome note is in the Notes tab - the highlighted tab that is second from the right. The Notes tab is a good place to go for resources, information, and updates.

Main Tab

The first tab all the way to the left is the Main tab. Clicking on the Main tab will take you to the Main page. It is the opening page of this website and features many of the applications provided. This welcome note, for example, in addition to being in the Notes tab is also featured on the Main page.

Invite Tab

The Invite tab provides the opportunity to invite others to our community. It is possible that this application is not enabled for members because they are signed in with a district email. Even so, please note that this is a private invitation only community and all invitations are processed through the Web Master before approval. Membership is limited to V.V.T.A. members with a district email account. Personal email accounts will not be processed.

My Page Tab

The My Page tab will take you to your profile page. There's a lot of freedom on this site. My Page allows you to manage your photos, videos, blogs, etc. You may change the theme of your profile page, adjust the layout and add compatible applications. You may also post status updates and send tweets for Twitter from your My Page. Status updates and tweets are short (within 140 characters) messages about whatever is on your mind.

A word about your photo. Please portray the image you want your professional colleagues to have of you.

Members Tab

The Members tab will take you to the directory. You may look up members from there. V.V.T.A. representatives are also featured on the Main page.

Photos Tab

The Photos tab allows members to share photos with the community. Click here to see inventory of photos. Members manage their own photos from the their My Page.

Videos Tab

The Videos tab allows members to share videos (less than 100MB in size) with the community. Click here to see inventory of videos. Members manage their own videos from the My Page tab. A sample video is featured on the Main page.

Forum Tab

It is from the Forum tab that the community may have "town-hall" discussions. You may participate in a discussion or start your own. Click here to get into a discussion or start one. Members may manage their participation in forum discussions from their My Page.

Events Tab

The Events tab is where members may find the community calendar. Create an event and post the date, time and place.

Groups Tab

Members may create groups within this community. You can create or join groups to meet members with your interests or from your school/department. Group creators may moderate membership into that group.

Blogs Tab

Write your own blog! The Blogs tab allows members to share their blogs (web logs) with the community. Click here to see a list of blogs. Want to follow a particular blog? Visit that person's profile page. Members can manage their blogs from their My Page.

Chat Tab

Chat with members of the community while on the site. Click on the Chat tab or access it from the Main page.

MindJolt Games Tab

Play over 500 games! Challenge your friends or play on your own. Enjoy!

Please play at home. Games will not go through district firewall.

For answers to technical questions: Click on the Help link at the bottom of the page. It will take you to the Ning Help page.

Click on the Privacy link to see copy of Privacy policy.

Click on Terms of Service to see copy of contracted use of this website.

Report abuse of this website to the Web Master.

MAC Week #3 – Response to Elyse – Emergent Technologies

Elyse – Emergent Technologies wrote the following:

video

Gaming in education is a topic that has fascinated me since we took our gaming class. This video showed a group that incorporated gaming in education. They spoke about the need for gaming in education. Gaming offers students a fun way to learn to solve problems. Learning is often considered "boring" by the students, but incorporate gaming, and suddenly the students are engaged and excited about learning.

This group is doing research on gaming in education. It is important that more groups start this. Gaming is often still looked upon in a negative way. Yet through games, students are learning, engaged, and solving problems. I believe it is important to learn ways to reach our students, and gaming can be a way to do that.

Response:

Gaming in education is a topic that I also find fascinating. I’ve been curious about their application possibilities in education since the 80’s when I took a college course called Gamed Simulations. Until recent years we were limited to board games and classroom simulations. Now we have technologies that open fantastic possibilities for the use of games in education.

I agree with Coordinator of Technology Education Robert Appelman that we want to be able to give content assignments that have the same attraction and immersion found in games. My current fascination is how big social networks like MySpace and FaceBook use game applications to enhance their websites. I know that my interest in visiting FaceBook and interaction with my friends have gone up since playing the games. Lessons to be learn for eSchooling.

IU. (2007, December, 07) Gaming in education. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rafVQgiXoI

MAC Week #3 Reading – The Way Things Are

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

- Reinhold Niebuhr

Anthony Muhammad Ph.D. (2010) has stated that teachers fall in one of four quandaries – believers, tweeners, survivors, and fundamentalists. The objective of the believers is to find success for each student. The objective of the tweeners is to find a role within the organization. In the meanwhile, survivors are simply seeking to survive and fundamentalists want to be left alone.

In my own career I am clawing to remain among the believers. I do so with a reality-based acceptance of the current state of education. Rosamund and Benjamin Zander, authors of the Art of Possibility, would call this the 7th way – The Way Things Are.

In accepting the way things are, a person is recognizing the reality of a given situation or circumstance. One can accept the fact that it is raining or lament that plans for a picnic is ruined. If one stays lamenting over ruined plans, then there is no movement forward. However, once the reality of it’s raining is accepted as the current situation – plans can be changed.

There are real concerns over the state of education. It is accepted as an axiom that 50% of new teachers leave the profession within 5 years. Our graduation rate is at about 75% of the students entering high school. I can lament over the situation or I can retool my skills and career to make a positive difference. My second master’s degree will be in Education Media Design and Technology.

Muhammad, A. (2010). Transforming school culture: How to overcome staff

division. 2010 Summit: Professional learning communities at work.

Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press

Sunday, March 14, 2010

MAC Week #2 Media History: Rise and Fall of the Music Industry

"I'm very fond of quoting my friend Larry Niven: 'The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program.'"

- Arthur C. Clarke

Steve Knopper, in a January 2009 interview with NPR Fresh Air from WHYY, discussed his views on the rise and fall of the music industry. Knopper is a contributing editor for Rolling Stones and author of Appetite For Self-Destruction. He shares from the book, his description of how the music industry made bad decisions and missed opportunities in the transitions from vinyl records to CDs to file sharing and iTunes.

He states that with the perfect vision of hindsight that it was clear that the music industry was going to crash in the digital age. The music industry business model was based on owning the entire recording, production, and distribution pipelines. They took advantage of the retooling for CDs to reduce compensation for recording artists while raising prices for consumers. This created the backlash that crashed the industry when file sharing made the old business model obsolete. Suing average fans for illegally downloading music only further alienated the fan base that brought in huge profits in the past. The industry was unwilling and/or unable to transition in a timely manner a different business model that accepted the new economy created by free Web 2.0 technologies.

The education system can draw parallel lines to the rise and fall of the music industry. Our current school system was designed to prepare students for the Industrial Age. It has an assembly line mentally that does not personalize for the individual students and departmentalizes knowledge as if there were no connections between the disciplines. With bans and restrictions on cell phones, iPods/Zunes, and Internet access, it is said that students must power down when they come to school. The drop out rate is huge and thereby the graduation rate dismal.

Alienating the fan base, however, is not going to crash compulsory education. The school system is propped by taxpayer money distributed by the government. It is this false economy created by the local, state and federal government that now appears to require governmental assistance in changing how we do schooling. High stakes testing was suppose to bring better accountability and raise achievement, but has really only served to narrow the curriculum. So now $1.35 billion proposed additional dollars for the Race To The Top Fund might soon bypass the states and be offered directly to cash strapped individual school districts to accept conditions allowing for more government control. The conditions? Easier justification to close schools, easier creation of charter schools, common or national content standards, and teacher evaluations tied directly to test scores.

These conditions, popular across the board in American politics, do not address the need to fundamentally change the way we do schooling. An education version of Napster and/or iTunes is what it will take to fundamentally change our education system. A highly cost effective (nearly free) business model of school and eLearning that can draw students from the current system en masse will be the only thing that can make a difference. You’ll see.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mac Week #2 Response to Bianca Woods

Bianca Woods wrote the following:

Through my current Google Reader obsession (I mainline 43 blogs a day now, NOT including the class blogs... I'm sure there's some 12-step program I ought to be joining about this) I bumped into the following quote from Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson:



Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is, among other things, one of the scientists who is responsible for Pluto being demoted and people like me being forced to wear t-shirts that say this:

As a result of his involvement with the whole Pluto debacle he even received hate mail from elementary school children. He also happens to be exceptionally funny and personable, which is what's saving him from getting pro-Pluto-as-a-planet hate mail from me too... well, that and from a strictly technical perspective he makes a good point that Pluto does behave completely oddly for a planet, what with its wonky orbit and tiny size.

He's also got a point about education. Like our reading from last week, he questions the value of having students work towards A's, which is a feedback scheme that becomes almost completely irrelevant when you become an adult (well, unless you apply to work at Google that is, because they ask for your GPA for some reason). Here's the full quote:

The flaw in the educational system, as far as I see it, is that you live your life – the teacher and student – in quest of A’s. Yet later in life, the A is irrelevant. So then what is the point of the school system? It’s missing something. It is not identifying the people who actually succeed in life, because they’re not showing up as the straight A’s. So somewhere in there, the educational system needs to reflect on what it takes to succeed in life, and get some of that back into the classroom.

There is ever so much more to becoming a success than being able to get good grades in the standard school system. The school system as it is just doesn't work for a lot of children, but because this single system doesn't work to teach certain students some people see anyone who can't get A's as failures. And, in the end, this letter grade structure relates very little to what we do outside of school.

Dr. Tyson is right in questioning the system and what kids who go through it actually gain (or don't gain as he suggests) from getting letter grade feedback instead of something more relevant.

Response:

I agree that our school system needs to be reinvented. It’s not that professional educators don’t know what needs to be done. That is not the problem. The problem is simple: there’s an unwillingness to dismantle the old system and replace it with a new one. Look at the grief Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson has gone through for insisting on stating what scientists have already known for a long time - Pluto is not a true planet. Redrawing solar system maps and rewriting nursery rhymes doesn’t justify continuing the myth.

I recently attended a Professional Learning Community Summit and they were very glad to dispel a few popular myths about education. One myth is the lone teacher myth. There is a myth that individual teachers can raise test scores. That is not true. Interdependent teams of professional educators working collaboratively to raise the level of learning can raise test scores.

Don’t get me started on whether or not these high stakes test scores tells us anything worthwhile about the students.

video

Solution Tree (2009, October 09) Solution Tree: Richard DuFour PLC keynote. Video retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlJcFW9qMiI


video

Solution Tree (2009, October 09) Solution Tree: Richard DuFour PLC keynote. Video retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69nk527y_io

MAC Week #2 Reading – Rule Number 6

“My name is Mr. Mendoza. I have a first name, but it’s not appropriate for students to address a teacher by their first name. So I prefer to be addressed as Mr. Mendoza. However, for the students uncomfortable with the formality of that name – I am also willing to respond to Lord Master. The choice is up to you.”

- First Day of School Introduction

Rule Number 6 in the book, The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander, is about not taking yourself so seriously. It doesn’t mean to have a low self-image. No, instead it is meant to free you from unnecessary stress and tension caused by self-imposed artificial crises.

Too often we prove our worth with artificial goals and deadlines. And when they are not achieved, we have a crisis. Is a straight A+ average as important as knowledge gained? Is a job title as important as being in a position that opens growth opportunities and benefits to the company and us? Is our petty wants and demands really worthy obstacles of what could be achieved in a more cooperative environment? Under Rule Number 6 – the answer would be no.

The name Rule Number 6 itself exemplifies this principle since there are no other rules and it could easily be Rule Number 1.

Imagine what could be accomplished if everyone decided to work collaboratively because we are all wonderful, and not one more important than another. Rule Number 6 – don’t take yourself so seriously.

MAC Week #2 – Online Community Intro from my Media Project

"Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal"

- Vince Lombardi

Below is a movie version of the PowerPoint I sent out for my Media Project. It’s an introduction to the online community created for the Victor Valley Teachers Association. The purpose is to prepare the representatives to receive an actual email invitation to the site.

Unfortunately, the invitations never got passed the firewall. I believe that the attempt to try a mass mailing by having the site pull the mailings from my contacts triggered a spam filter. I’m still trying to figure out how to fix that. I may have to start over and then stick to manually emailing the 500+ invitations. Any suggestions?


video

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

MAC Week #1 Content Proposal - Online Professional Community

Content Proposal

(Professional Learning Communities in Education using Technology)

EDM-665 On Line Course Development

EDM-613 Media Asset Creation

Education Media Design & Technology MS Program

Full Sail University

Prepared by:

(Carlos Mendoza III)

(March 8, 2010)

I. THESIS ABSTRACT

In a 2008 report for the U.S. Department of Education (Bakia, Yang, & Mitchell, 2008), 75% of the teachers surveyed indicated that they have never used technology to participate in professional online communities. This may be due to a lack of familiarity with online communities and the tools that accompany them (Carr, & Chambers, 2006). If so, a relevant online professional community with technical tutorial support for teachers will attract more participation. The non-experimental qualitative research for this thesis paper will examine an online professional community of a high school district in California. It is the thesis statement that online professional communities with relevance to teachers and have tutorial support for its use will attract participation from teachers.

II. Introduction

In a 2008 report for the U.S. Department of Education (Bakia, Yang, & Mitchell, 2008), 75% of the teachers surveyed indicated that they have never used technology to participate in professional online communities. This is problematic for teachers. Aside from not being able to relate to students growing up familiar with online social networks, it is a setback in the 21st century professional development of public school teachers. The problem may be due to a lack of familiarity with online communities and the tools that accompany them (Carr, & Chambers, 2006). Such being the case, a relevant online professional community with technical tutorial support for teachers will attract more participation.

The non-experimental qualitative research for this thesis proposal will examine an online professional community of a small high school district in California. The online professional community will be created on the Ning platform. It will have all the elements of an online social network. The online community will have the endorsement and sponsorship of the local teachers association. Tutorial support will be provided on the website under a group page called Digital Immigrants. Providing relevancy and tutorial support will encourage participation with this online professional community.

Only members of the Victor Valley Teachers Association will be invited to participate in this online community. The expressed purpose of the website is to promote interactive communication among its members. Establishing collaboration is key in facilitating deep learning in online staff development (Chapman, Ramondt, & Smiley, 2005). The first wave of district email invitations will go to the association representatives to populate the website. They will establish their profile pages, create blogs, and initiate forum discussions. The second wave of invitations will include the remaining 500 members of the association.

III. Goals and Objectives

The media project is a Ning platform social network created to be an online professional learning community. The goal of this media project is to promote online interactive communication and collaboration among teachers where it did not exist previously. It has been established among researchers that the power derived from professional learning communities is the most promising approach to school improvement (Eaker, 2010). PowerPoint and video presentations will serve as tutorial support under a group page called Digital Immigrants for teachers unfamiliar with Web 2.0 technologies. The online community will have the endorsement and sponsorship of the local teachers association. Providing relevancy and tutorial support will encourage participation with this online professional community.

The instructional strategies used in the media project fall into the cognitive and affective domain. Under the cognitive domain, teachers unfamiliar with Web 2.0 technologies will learn to create a profile page, navigate the website, chat, participate in forum discussions, and create a blog. The development of a community falls under the affective domain.

The lack of an identity and community will prevent an online teacher network from becoming a community of practice (Karagiorgi, & Lymbouridou, 2009). The characteristics of a learning community include a shared mission, vision, values, and goals (DuFour, 2010).

Learning Objectives

Participants in the media project will:

Create a profile page in the online professional learning community.

Be able to navigate around the website.

Participate in chat.

Participate in a forum discussion.

Create a blog

Participants in the media project will also express a shared mission, vision, values, and goals.

IV. Presentation

This media project uses the constructivist theory approach to instruction. Using an online community for the purpose of communication and collaboration explores the constructivist understanding that it leads to deeper learning (Chapman, Ramondt, & Smiley, 2005). Participants will have to create their own understanding of how to use Web 2.0 technologies to interact as a collaborative community. Participants will have to create their own understanding of community.

Professional learning communities defy a hard definition because their participants create them uniquely. Leaders in the education industry advocating the concept have worked collaboratively to promote it as a movement. Richard and Rebecca DuFour, and Robert Eaker are best know for their advocacy of professional learning communities. Their publisher, Solution Tree Press, describes them as the 3Rs of professional learning communities. They are prolific authors and speakers on the development of professional learning communities. In all of their writings they make it clear that every school must find their own way of creating an interdependent collaborative community.

Lesson Structure

The media project is a Ning platform social network created to be an invitation only online professional learning community. The site is endorsed and sponsored by the Victor Valley Teachers Association. The invitation only exclusivity creates a safe online environment for the teachers. The teachers’ association representatives are invited first to populate the site with their profile pages, forum discussions, and blogs. Seeing familiar and respected leaders of the teachers’ association on the network will make the online community more comfortable for the remaining members. Prior to the invitation a PowerPoint introduction will be emailed to the representatives as an overview of the site with instructions on what to do when they receive the invitation.

Once on the site, participants will be directed to the welcome letter. The welcome letter is an overview with instructions on how to navigate around the website. Included for tutorial support is a group page called Digital Immigrants. Links to video tutorials will be provided in this group page.

The teachers’ association representatives will populate the website with their profile pages, forum discussions, and blogs. They will then inform the remaining membership to expect an email invitation to the online community. Prior to the invitation a PowerPoint introduction will be emailed to the membership as an overview of the site with instructions on what to do when they receive the invitation.

V. Evaluation

The media project is a Ning platform social network created to be an online professional learning community. The goal of this media project is to promote online interactive communication and collaboration among teachers where it did not exist previously. The online professional community is an email invitation only network. A respondent to the invitation must wait for final approval from the web administrator before they can enter the website. The web administrator has complete control of the integrity of the website and can count the actual membership of the online community vs. the number of invitations sent.

Other forms of evaluation:

Google analytics will provide the data needed to measure the use of the website.

A monkey survey will be emailed to the respondents to ascertain their reasons for being a member of the online community.

A monkey survey will be emailed to the non-respondents to ascertain their reasons for not yet being a member of the online community.

Interviews with teachers’ association representatives and teachers from the general membership will give personalized description of the process.

The percentage of respondents and the Google analytics will measure the actual usage of the website by the teachers. The surveys and interviews will be the qualitative tools for describing the teachers’ view of the process. Were the teachers drawn to the website because of the endorsement of the association? Were the teachers drawn to the website because they were looking for such a media for communication and collaboration?

The focus of the media project is to promote online interactive communication and collaboration among teachers where it did not exist previously. It will only be able to measure how many teachers responded to the invitation to join the online community. The measurement tools will not be able to analyze if a collaborative community with a shared mission and values was actually established. This will require another examination in the future with a different set of qualitative tools.

The media project as created is not presentation friendly. It would also be a violation of its exclusivity to invite a review committee to navigate the website. The media project will therefore be chronicled and presented in the form of a PowerPoint presentation or Udutu slideshow.

VI. References

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