Week 1 & 2:
When I began this project four weeks ago I was not certain that I could produce the expected final product. Learning a brand new skill only using digital/media learning platforms such as Reddit, Mashable, Twitter, YouTube and online help forums was overwhelming. My preconception coming into this project was one of doubt, in myself. Therefore, I created an achievable learning goal, which was knitting a basic beanie. This learning strategy supported me by shifting my focus onto my specific needs as a learner to help me take control of my own learning. Bransford et. al. reminded me that our intelligence is malleable and in order to achieve a “ firm foundation of factual knowledge” I would need the subject matter presented in multiple forms (2000). These were actionable steps that I could accomplish. I did this by creating a Network Learning Tracker.
When learning a new concept or idea, I immediately turn to what I already know to activate my background knowledge to support me. For this project it was Youtube. At the time, I also noted my resistance to the other ed. tech. platforms, which appeared to be daunting. I had not expected this mental challenge or fixed mindset to surface so early in the process. This gave me pause in considering my students and their learning process when they are introduced to a new concept. What helped me to overcome this first ‘mental’ hurdle was drawing upon our readings in Week 2 through the lens of effective learning. Bransford et al. highlights effective learning as being in a “deliberate practice” of the task, monitoring our “learning experiences”, and receiving feedback that focuses on our understanding of new learning (MAET, 2022). Again, these were actionable steps that I took to support my learning and progress.
Through the lens of TPACK, I also explored how learning was presented and what digital mediums supported that learning.Through digital exploration, I began to grow my Technological Content Knowledge (TCK) alongside my Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK) to develop a discernment for which digital platforms could be utilized for specific types of learning. Thus, supporting Bransford et. al’s. idea of personalizing learning environments (2000). Mishra and Koehler’s approach to learning/teaching through technology integration using the TPACK framework challenged me to think about “the complex ways” in which technology can be taught and learned in school (2006).
Week Four: Reflection
One thing that surprised me through this learning process was that by week 4 my 21st Century Learning Skills were being developed in new ways. For example, some of the challenges that had felt overwhelming in the beginning weeks were now more easily navigated. When I had a question or was unsure of the next step, I could consult my NLP Tracker, PLN or my blog to generate problem-solving ideas. I noticed that I was open to learning more about media platforms that in the beginning made me uncomfortable and I avoided. Additionally, Dweck’s idea resonated with me that learners are more likely to persevere when they are motivated and focused on learning versus on the performance or in this case the end product (MAET, 2022). As well, I felt successful because I no longer had a fixed mindset. For example, I dropped stitches several times and instead of getting stuck in the problem, I was motivated to consider different ways to approach this problem. I did this by stepping out of my comfort zone to explore other social media platforms like Mashable. This was a significant shift for me. With persistence and time on task, I grew my 21st century skills like, growth mindset, critical thinking, self determination and problem-solving.
The finished product is a positive by-product and bonus of this experience. In the future, I will apply this knowledge of network learning to my students by intentionally embedding educational technology to personalize their learning. I would also like to support my technology director by providing teachers with professional development (PD) opportunities in understanding technology integration inside the classroom and making student-centered digital learning a priority.
Bransford, J., Brown, A.L. & Cocking, R. R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school. National Academy Press.
Devlin, C. (2022, June, 19). 21st century learning skills. [Comment].
Devlin, C. (2022, June, 19). Blog. [Comment]. Specialeducationld.org.
Devlin, C. (2022, June, 3). Network learning tracker. [Google Spreadsheet]. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13YEqI6TjqqTE6YFp4tJsCKI6-bJh333gsCOFVfWuY-g/edit#gid=0
Devlin, C. (2022, June, 25). NLP final video. [Video].
Devlin, C. (2022, June 25). NLP Flash Cards. [Google Slides].
Devlin, C. (2022, June). PLN. [Comment]. Infograph.vengage.com.
Devlin, C. (2022, May, 29). TPACK. [Comment]. Specialeducationld.org.
Masters of Art in Educational Technology. (2022, Summer). Course Content from Unit 1: 1.2: Explore learning and understanding. Michigan State University, CEP 810: Teaching Understanding with Technology.
Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Michigan State University, CEP 810: Teaching Understanding with Technology. https://d2l.msu.edu/content/enforced/1598284-US22-CEP-810-731-222510681-EL-14-204/Unit%202%20-%20TPACK/Mishra_Koehler_2006_TPACK.pdf?_&d2lSessionVal=s3OPavAvmwmT67nFEm8DMCS4I&ou=1598284
Now that the project is underway with several helpful resources (NLP Bog #1), Project Baby Beanie is full steam ahead. One of the digital learning platforms I have settled into using is YouTube. It suits my learning style. My engagement increases and I experience greater success through visual learning, being in the Gradual Release of Responsibility process ( I do, We do, You, do), and given multiple opportunities for repeated directions. This is a good example of what Thomas and Brown explain when they say that the traditional classroom is being replaced “ in which digital media provides access to a rich source of information and play.” (MAET, 2022). All too often the first element that seems to be dismissed in learning environments is this structure of play. At what cost does this impact student learning?
Years earlier, I had received an interchangeable knitting needle kit. This project was the perfect opportunity to dust off the kit. I had made my sample to indicate how many stitches per inch to cast on for a baby beanie. The frustration set in when I noticed the needles would loosen, detach from the “circular” part thereby dropping stitches. I thought I was doing something wrong, so I started again, except I did a little more research. My search turned to twitter (@KnittingHelp) , typically not my go-to social media support. There, I found more beginner videos and helpful tips. I sent one of my first tweets asking if this was ‘normal.’ The answer was a hard no. The knitting needle kit had to go. I asked around my school for circular needles and started again. Now, my baby beanie is almost ready to begin decreasing, which means there will be fewer stitches narrowing the beanie to fit the top of the baby’s head (K2Tog Easy Decrease • Knit Two Together).
Amazon. (2022) Circular Needles. [Image]. Amazon.com.
Devlin, C., (2022, June). Before. [Photograph].
Devlin, C. (2022, June). Boomerang of carrie knitting.[Boomerang] Instagram.
Devlin, C. (2022, June). During. [Photograph].
Devlin, C. (2022, June). NLP Blog #1. Specialeducationld.com.
Knitting Help.com. (2022).Twitter. https://twitter.com/KnittingHelp
Masters of Art in Educational Technology. (2022, Summer). Course Content from Unit 5: 5.2: Explore instructional methods for 21st century learning. Michigan State University, CEP 810: Teaching Understanding with Technology.
Shanahan, T. (2018, October 31) Gradual release of responsibility and complex text. Reading Rockets.https://www.readingrockets.org/blogs/shanahan-literacy/gradual-release-responsibility-and-complex-text
Studio Knit. (2021). K2 tog easy decrease- knit 2 together. Youtube.
A myth I heard from a colleague recently was that students with low incidence disabilities do not use digital tools to support 21st century learning. This is simply false. Infact, my students are highly motivated by digital tech. How can we leverage this motivation while fostering 21st Century Skills to develop 21st Century Learning? It’s a tall order.
Twenty-first century learning is about a cultural change in education. The learning environment has morphed from the traditional setting to a dynamic environment of how to access and find digital information, generating digital and media learning to exhibit knowledge, and developing contextual understanding of content in a structure of play (MAET, 2022). Therefore this changes instructional practices. According to Renee Hobbs in Digital and Media Literacy: A Plan of Action, digital and media literacy competencies have enormous practical value in our social and cultural communities (2010). In the classroom, digital and media literacy is a bridge to making connections across disciplines, civic engagement, and global perspectives. She impresses that the time to understand “how knowledge is constructed and how it represents reality” is now (2010).
Where to begin?
I began with Hobb’s Digital and Media Literacy: A Process of Learning to create an effective lesson. Hobbs addresses 5 communication competencies that are essential to students' learning needs in the digital and media world of learning: access, analyze, create, reflect and act which guided my lesson plan (2022). As well, this framework provided me with a clear structure as to how my students will access digital and media learning in this lesson in a meaningful way.
Additionally, my lesson plan aligns with Colorado Extended Evidence Outcomes, which are standards for students who have been identified with an intellectual disability (ID). Then I determined that expressing themselves through communication with an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device and speaking is the priority. This lesson, Understanding Core Vocabulary, introduces most frequently occurring prepositions, “on” and “off” in a play-based structure. First, activating their background knowledge of “on” and “off” is a way I can access their learning and engagement. Next, in the analyze phase, I integrate technology to build on their schema and understanding of symbols to build meaning. One strategy I utilize is the Gradual Release of Responsibility or “I do, We do, You do” approach when speaking and locating vocabulary on their talker. Additionally, I use a digital based book, Prepositions Digital Adapted Book Caterpillar, based off the familiar story by Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Evidence tells us when students have an opportunity to read the same books multiple times, it benefits their literacy skills, Why Reading the Same Book Repeatedly Is Good for Kids (Even If It Drives You Nuts). As well, my students will access some digital activities, Dress Up | Daniel Tiger | PBS KIDS or Counting Pizza Party Game which reinforces their understanding of targeted vocabulary. Finally, we will create two simple sentences on our AAC device using “ on” and “off” using the Gradual Release of Responsibility approach, again. In regards to assessment, based on research, Benfits of Formative Assessment , students will be assessed through multiple formative assessments over a period of time to create a portfolio of their knowledge. First, through exhibiting independence and displaying understanding of targeted vocabulary using previous digital activities, accurately. Secondly, students will be required to perform tasks exhibiting understanding of meaning of targeted vocabulary, accurately speaking and identifying targeted vocabulary on their talkers.
One of the challenges I experienced with this process of creating a lesson plan was how to apply Hobb’s Learning Process Model to students with significant learning needs. One major priority for my students at this age is developing a mindset of “learning how to learn” (Hobbs, 2022). This is a challenge I face frequently with my students. Therefore, I approached this challenge by first prioritizing what would be taught. Then I identified what previous vocabulary my students knew from previous lessons and started there.
The one pushback or question that kept surfacing was how can stakeholders (administrators, parent community, teachers and students) develop partnerships to support digital and media education and make digital and media literacy more visible? The time is now.
Resources and Image Credits:
Buddy Son Storytime. (2021, August, 21). The very hungry caterpillar-read aloud children’s book with sound effects and music!. Youtube. https://youtu.be/021xLvsAIm4
Colorado Academic Standards: RWC Extended Evidence Outcomes. (2021, August). Colorado Department of Education.
Corneal, Devon A., (2022). Why reading the same book repeatedly is good for kids (even if it drives you nuts). Brightly. https://www.readbrightly.com/why-reading-the-same-book-repeatedly-is-good-for-kids/
Fivestar. (2012). The benefits of formative assessment for special education. Fivestar. https://fivestartech.com/the-benefits-of-formative-assessment-for-special-education/
Devlin, C (2022). Understanding Core Language. [Google Document]. Google Docs.
Devlin, C. (2022). Prepositions digital adapted book hungry caterpillar. Google Slides. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1P4mj--ind37uWcpvEHo9du2Z-dPbhDs86QVPHl722Cw/edit?usp=sharing
Hobbs, R. (2010). Digital media and literacy: a plan of action. a white paper on the digital and media literacy recommendations of the knight commission on the information needs of communities in a democracy. The Aspen Institute. https://www.aspeninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Digital_and_Media_Literacy.pdf
Hobbs, R. (2022). Digital and Media Literacy: A Process of Learning. [Image]. Media Education Lab. https://mediaeducationlab.com/sites/default/files/AACRA%202022%20.pdf
Master of Arts in Educational Technology (2022, Summer). Course content from Unit 5: Unit 5.2: Explore instructional methods for 21st century learning. Michigan State University, CEP
810: Teaching Understanding with Technology.
Shanahan, T. (2018, October 31) Gradual release of responsibility and complex text. Reading
The experts define 21st Century Learning Skills in a variety of definitions. Some say that 21st Century Learning is an approach that “marries content with skill (Rich, 2010) , while another says it is dynamic, self-directed modern learning using modern technology-based tools and yet another expert describes 21st Century Learning as leverging technology to meet the needs of the learner in a personalized environment (Rich, 2010). Perhaps we can all agree that 21 Century learning is learning a set of skills to apply to content knowledge and how to access
technology in a way that engages and enhances student learning. technology in a way that engages and enhances student learning.
The real challenge as a special education teacher is shifting the mindsets of educators to support their technology needs. Educators have an opportunity to move away from the Medical Model of Disability and adopt the Social Model of Disability. We can do this through implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) inside the classroom to support technological integration for all students. We must adjust our mindset from seeing the disability as the problem to adapting the world to the disability because we value all children. UDL removes barriers to learning to support the success of all students in the digital classroom.
What is 21st Century Learning for students with disabilities? From the lens of special education, I always identify the similarities as a jumping off point. Student's require skills to access the digital classroom. From here, the gap widens very quickly.
All educators have an opportunity to consider accessibility, inclusive technology and innovation, which will increase equitable practices and develop skills for the 21st century learner.
To learn more about 21st century learning for students with disabilities please watch my video. I hope you enjoy.
References and Image Credit:
CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from http: //udlguidelines.cast.org
Devlin, C. (2022, June 12). 21st century learning with a twist. [Video]. YouTube. youtu.be/gISTFHVlgI4
Human, Erin. (2019). Disability 101: medical model vs social model. [Image]. EISFORERIN. https://eisforerin.com/posts/
Petrograd99. (2022). Cute toddlers playing in twister game at kindergarten. [Photograph]. Deposit Photos.
Rich, E. (2010, October, 11). How do you define 21st century learning. EducationWeek. https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/how-do-you-define-21st-century-learning/2010/10
I am stepping out of the 90’s big hair era where we professionally connected to others by ”networking”. The only piece of technology we utilized was a telephone. ‘Contacts’ were in your physical address book, then transferred to a legal pad, and called using a telephone using the innovative cordless phone. Fast forward to the 21st Century and integrating technology to construct our Personal Learning Network (PLN). PLN also means a network of resources to support any learning endeavor.
I utilized this website to help me construct my PLN Mind Map. 15+ Mind Map Examples for Team Collaboration - Venngage. Venngage is user friendly and the first handful of visual representations that are free. I chose from a myriad of designs and landed on this: My PLN I created a Family with a Master + category. Additionally, I created categories for school connections, former work experiences, social media networks, and my current work network.
One of the strengths that my PLN highlighted was how my experiences or networks are connected rather than isolated. This was an ‘aha’ moment for me, in particular as a special education teacher. In fact, I was surprised by just how many connections there are in my PLN. As so often our strengths do, it quickly highlighted an area of weakness or opportunity, urging me to step out of my comfort zone yet again.
How might I become more connected through such technological platforms to support my student sect and their families? As well, how might I share learning strategies to implement in the home setting, provide tips, answers to frequently asked questions around IEP’s and evaluations and build advocacy to support families?
Resources and Media Credit:
Devlin, C. (2022, June 5). Screenshot of Carrie Devlin's pln. [Image]. Venngage.
Finestselleronline. (2022). AT&T 5200 Cordless Landline Desk/Wall Vintage 1990'sTelephone NEW Collectible. [Photograph]. Ebay.
Gaskin, Jennifer. (2021, May 13). 15+ ideas mind map examples to organize your team and inspire new ideas. Venngage. https://venngage.com/blog/mind-map-examples/#simple
This week's homework has struck me at times as decadent. The daily routine does not leave much room for such guilty pleasures like learning something new for my Network Learning Project (NLP). I realized early last week that tying flies wasn't doable, so I settled on learning how to knit a beanie. Beanies are a main staple to any Coloradian wardrobe and considered an essential accessory.
As I began research for my NLP, it quickly became apparent the wealth of information available. I began with Youtube. This was the most helpful to my learning. I liked how I could choose a brief video and replay it when I needed the directions repeated. I also explored a helpful self-help forum (love.life.yarn). Although forums tend to be lengthier, it was beneficial because they connect to additional information. Twitter and Reddit were the least helpful. These platforms are designed to showcase work with a short comment rather than instruct.
Additionally, I recorded my researched sources on the Resource NLP Tracker. Carrie Devlin NLP Resource Tracker.
My thinking turned to TPACK. It resonated with me when Mishra and Koehler state,
This (TPACK) is a contingent, flexible kind of knowledge that lies at the
intersection of all three of these knowledge bases, allowing the creative
repurposing of the traditional approaches (2009).
This certainly is not the traditional way to learn how to knit. I often watched my grandmother and mother stop at the local yarn shop where the shop keeper would help them. Where as I explore what technological platforms can support new learning? I look forward to experiencing this flexible intersecting of creativity as my NLP progresses. It is exciting to experience this technological creativity in regards to learning and teaching (Mishra and Koehler, 2009).
References and Media Credits:
B., Michael. (2020, April 23). Down the rabbit hole. Quora. https://www.quora.com/What-does-it-mean-to-go-down-the-rabbit-hole/answer/Michael-B-720
Devlin, C. (2022, June 5) NLP the journey begins . [Video]. Loom.
Devlin, C. (2022, June 3). NLP resource tracker. Google Spreadsheet.
Mishra, P. and Koehler, M. (2009, May). Too cool for school? no way! using the TPACK framework: you can have your hot tools and teach with them, too. Gale Academic Onefile. https://go-gale-com.proxy1.cl.msu.edu/ps/i.do?p=AONE&u=msu_main&id=GALE%7CA199794723&v=2.1&it=r&sid=summon
Have you ever found yourself having started a project only to realize that you don’t have the right tool, leaving you with a deflated kind of uncertainty knowing there is a better way?
The Cooking with TPACK Experience was just that: a Quickfire simulation of how it must feel, as a student, to not have access to the appropriate technological tools to successfully complete a task (Masters of Arts in Educational Technology, 2021). First, I was given a dinner plate, a salad bowl, and a whisk. Then I was tasked with making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich using only those kitchen tools. Let's see what happens when given the wrong tools for a job.
Although I was successful, I felt silly, anxious, slightly confused and somewhat frustrated. It got me thinking about marginality. For our students who already struggle with learning due to a disability or trauma, or inattention, having an inappropriate technological tool adds an additional layer of constraint to their challenges.
In Do Artifacts Have Politics?, Winner claims that technology has significant implications. In many of our technological advancements instead of providing humankind with more freedom, these technological systems are often more constraining (Winner, 1980). Winner charges his readers with the importance of attending closely to the technological systems (tools) we are choosing because of its social and political implications.
The TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) framework helps us to think critically about those constraints implied by technology, question our practices, and the technological tools we choose to support learning (Green, 2014). As well, this model deepens our understanding of teaching and learning through successful integration of technology by connecting pedagogical (teaching), content (knowledge of discipline) and technological knowledge (Kereluik, 2011). Hence, this framework is a “repurposing” of technology as a thoughtful classroom support tailored to our student’s learning goals or needs.
References and Media Credits:
Devlin,C. (2022, May 28). Cooking with TPACK - CEP 810. [Video].
Master of Arts in Educational Technology (2021, Spring). Course content from Unit 2: Unit 2: Cooking with TPACK Experience and Video. Michigan State University, CEP 810: Teaching Understanding with Technology. https://d2l.msu.edu
Green, Tim. (2014 March 12). Talking TPACK with Dr. Punya Mishra. [Video].
Kereluik, K., Mishra, P. & Koehler, M. J. (2011). On learning to subvert signs: Literacy, technology and the TPACK framework. The California Reader, 44(2), 12-18.
Mishra, P. (2018) Revised version of TPACK image. [Image]
Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge.Teachers College Record,108(6), 1017-1054.
Rubberfinger. (2016).Wrong tool for the job [Photograph]. imgflip.
Winner, L. (1980). Do artifacts have politics? Daedalus, 109(1), 121-136.