Getting to know each other
My first PBL (Problem Based Learning) experience reminded me of the first time I drove a car: there were a clutch, a gas and brake pedals, the speedometer, the steering wheel and my husband shouting at me. All happening at once and making me so confused that I thought I was going to lose my head.
Eventually, everything went very well and I kept my head and even got the driver’s license
Now I am part of a PBL group again and having a “déjà vu”. The new thing here is that we are dealing with a new Fish model communicate via adobe connect or blackboard and use google docs to work online. In the Online Networked Learning course that I am taking we’re people from different countries and educational backgrounds, different ages, gender and personalities. We’ve just started to know each other, discovering the topics of the course and trying the digital tools that we’ll use. For all of this we are divided in PBL groups. There are many of these groups in the course and mine is PBL9. What we should discuss right now is our digital identity and what does it mean to be digital literate… but actually what we are dealing with right now is group dynamics.
I believe our group is affected by different issues: 1- Difficulties with the platforms for teleconferencing: neither Adobe connect nor Skype were working for everybody so we moved on to Blackboard Collaborate. This generated certain frustration because we were dealing with technical problems instead of focusing of introducing ourselves and starting the group work immediately. 2- Lack of attendance: people missing the meetings because of connection problems, lack of time or information. The official list of the group didn’t match the actual number of participants showing up. Uncertainties about who does what and how and when? 3- Identity search: we are also looking for our identity. We are testing different roles such as coordinator, leader, critic, time recorder, secretary, etc. Some of these roles seems to come in a natural way for some participants while others not. This generates frustration as well. 4- New pedagogical model: the fish model and even the PBL may be new to some of us so we are struggling to understand how to work with this together. 5- Online collaboration: yet another dimension is that we are working together online, meeting online and have to solve all the issues in an online hour. 6- New digital tools: At the end of each topic we need to summarize what we’ve learned in a presentation. For this we are using several digital tools that are new for some of us. So in addition to learning about us, the new topic and how to work together applying a new fish model we have to learn the best way to present and a new tool! Yay! This is like an onion but still… 7- Different previous knowledge: we all bring different knowledge, experience to the group and need different amount of time to grasp and process the new information. After this you may think that we are not working well but this picture shows that we are!
Digital identity is who you are in the internet but also how do you use it. In this video I learned about David White’s model of visitors vs. residents. I liked it more than the previous model from Marc Prensky. Both, White and Prensky explained digital identity using different models.
If we focus on White’s model, visitors are those who use the internet as a toolbox: take a tool, use it and put it back. For me this is using the net mainly for social purposes without leaving permanent traces of their presence. Residents, on the other hand, live online. I think that they use the net in a more creative way. Both visitors and residents can approach the digital world as individuals or behind an institution. Here I show you who I think I am in terms of digital identity.
I started to become aware of my digital identity some years ago. By then I was mainly a visitor who used the internet for learning purposes, reading articles, checking email, booking vacation or checking my friends status on facebook. I left few intentional traces of my digital activity. Over time I felt the need to use the web in a more creative way and also coupled to my professional interests. So I started this blog. At the institutional level I identify myself as a researcher and educator and on private basis I can add family and photography as interests. I feel comfortable using the available digital tools and trying new ones that challenges me to develop new skills. I enjoy sharing and collaborating online and I want to contribute to tilt the information balance toward the positive and useful side.
What does it mean being digital literate? I thought that I was already literate. I can read and write and even use a computer…however, there is much more to this concept that I didn’t realized: In the JISC guide we could read a lot about digital literacies. This picture was taken from there and summarizes 7 digital literacies.
1-Media literacy, is the ability to critically read and then create something in a range of media (blogs, Wikipedia, 1x.com, smug smug etc), 2-communication and Collaboration meant to spread whatever we created, researched and learned, to other people in our network or openly (youtube, snapchat, instagram, moovly etc). Moreover, 3- career and identity management, we use the media to our advantage in order to manage our professional identity and for career advance (linkedin, visual CV, Research gate etc). Moreover, 4- Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to master different tools, services and digital devises for our purposes of researching, communicating, sharing and collaborating, 5- learning skills, we have to re-learn how to read in a non- linear way, jumping from link to link and between pages. 6)- digital Scholarship: we may feel the need to move faster or to tailor our academic plan by incorporating lectures not given at our institution and only available online (Coursera, EdX, Udacity, etc), 7)-information literacy, we can also learn to use tools available online to extract information, interpret data and share (Polls, Big data analysis, google trend, etc).
At our institution we are sometimes afraid of recommending Wikipedia as a trustable site to search for information. Is this information peer reviewed? How to do that and who is posting in Wikipedia? In this wonderful Webinar I knew about Sara Mörtsel, who is an education manager for Wikimedia in Sweden. She is working to make the open information more free and talked about the so called learning black market. Students will use wikipedia anyway without telling us as well as facebook and other “less academic” sites. Sara, also talked about filter bubbles referring to the Ted talk given by Eli Pariser. He explained that what I find by introducing the term Cuba in my google page may not be the same as what you find because the information that we get is already algorithmically sorted in a way that we cannot control. So he said that we are put in an “unbalanced information diet” against our will. Another interesting thing that I learned with Sara was about open content and the different licenses under creative commons (CC). Wikipedia, for example uses a license that is a little bit more restrictive than the CC BY allowing us to Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute and Retain the information that we find as long as we credit the original source and the new creation. Here I share Sara’s slideShare that is covered by such a license :-).
Our awesome presentation
Finally I want to show you our presentation using a new tool: Sway. I must thanks the PBL9 group members for a wonderful start 🙂