Class assignments will be emailed weekly to the students with the week’s readings and other needed materials. Students may also access the assignments via Ms. Roethler’s website or using the twitter hashtag #mnwpln.
Weekly Reading Questions can be accessed here.
Weekly Readings and Videos can be accessed here.
Quick Links to the Week's list of assignments:
Week 1 November 26-December 2, 2012
Week 2 December 3-9, 2012
Week 3 December 10-16, 2012
Week 4 December 17-23, 2012
Unit 3Week 5 January 3-6, 2013
Week 6 January 7-13, 2013
Unit 4Week 7
Unit 5Week 9
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.”
- Chinese proverb
Your teachers for this class are Ms. Roethler (email@example.com) and Mrs. Sturgeon (firstname.lastname@example.org). You will be receiving many emails from both of us as this will be our primary means of communication with all students in personal learning. You may also email us at any time with questions. However, please to give us 24 hours to respond. You may also ask us questions in person; Ms. Roethler is at the high school five days a week and Mrs. Sturgeon is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Welcome to personal learning! This week you will have a list of tasks to accomplish. However, to start out lets examine the course description:
“Using web 2.0 tools, students will learn to find, validate, synthesize, and leverage information, and to communicate, collaborate, and problem solve with that information as they work on a project of their own choosing.”This means that as a part of this class you will be asked to work through various web 2.0 tools; read, watch, and blog about topics in digital citizenship (here) and web 2.0 technologies; and complete a project you have designed on your own. This class will also have a midterm and final broken into various parts. Those will be explained later in the trimester.
To make it clear the following items are the major assignments for the trimester:
For more information on to the project, the topics and possibilities are endless. What is expected for the project is a devotion of time and effort on your part to make the project meaningful to you and well developed. While we are introducing web 2.0 tools to you, you do not have to work on a “tech heavy” project. This meaning you do not have to do your final project as a presentation, website, etc. You will turn your project in on a website, but the website does not have to be the final product. Instead we expect the use of web 2.0 tools in the development of your project. This means you will need to show us how you can or did use the tools we introduce to complete the project. This week you only need to continue brainstorming ideas for a possible project (Keep in mind the KWL chart you completed during the first week). Next week you will be working more in depth on the project and will complete a project proposal.
Each unit used in the class will last two weeks, the first week will be filled with lists of tasks, readings, videos, and assignments for you to complete related to a theme. The second week of the unit will be focusing on developing and working towards completition of the project. The second week will have a write up with less tasks to complete. It is our expectation that you will spend a majority of the time in the first week working to stay caught up and the second week working on your project. The theme for the first unit is “Learning in the 21st Century.” Many of the tools, readings, and videos are meant to provide an understanding of this theme. However, what is more important is the development of your own understanding of the theme. To Ms. Roethler and Mrs. Sturgeon, two major component (one as previously mentioned) in learning during the 21st Century are motivation and personal responsibility. Keep these ideas in mind as you work through the following tasks. Checklists will also be available in Ms. Roethler’s room to help you remain on tasks and caught up.
This week you will need to:
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
- A.A. Milne
Welcome to week two of Personal Learning!!
You’ve survived week one, and this week is going to have a slightly different focus. While our theme is still focusing on learning in the 21st century, we will be turning our attention to your project for this class. This week will have very few tasks unlike last week. Instead, we would like you to take what you learned last week and start applying it to your project. For example, did you start a Diigo account? If so, take a screenshot showing how you are using this web 2.0 tool to help organize your research. The remainder of the trimester will have a similar schedule. Every “unit” introduced will follow a two week schedule. The first week you will be asked to work through readings, videos, and various web 2.0 tools as well as complete related assignments. The second week of the unit will have time provided for you to work on your project and use the information provided from week one to apply towards your project.
For the project proposal, this should be done in a well written 1-2 page format following a paragraph structure. This proposal should articulate your goals and plans to complete the project in detail. You should also include your vision of the final project and project portfolio (the portfolio is explained below. When writing the proposal consider the following questions which you responded to on the altered KWL Chart:
Specifically, your project proposal should provide a response to the following questions:
One of the main tasks this week will be to create a timeline of tasks to complete based on your project. While this calendar does not have to be set in stone, it will be beneficial for you to follow it and it may help you to remain on task with your project. To complete this you will need to find a calendar template on the internet for December (2012), January (2013) and February (2013). On the calendar you can write out what tasks you’d like to have completed by certain dates. You may also use this to fill in when items are due for the class. Remember, every other week you will be given time to work on the project. This calendar must be submitted to Ms. Roethler and Mrs. Sturgeon by SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9 at midnight. If you have any questions on this task, be sure to ask before Friday.
To continue with the theme of learning in the 21st Century, last week the idea of personal responsibility was mentioned. This week to continue that idea, we would like you to set a minimum of three goals you could achieve through “hard-work” by the end of the trimester. One goal needs to be related to the personal learning class as a whole, and the remaining two need to be about your project. You can place these goals on your calendar to help remind you of what you set out to do at the beginning of the course.
Lets talk about artifacts for a while, as part of this class you need to demonstrate your understanding and ability to access/use web 2.0 technology. To do this you will be creating a portfolio which shows the development of the project. This means, Ms. Roethler and Mrs. Sturgeon will expect you to use various tools (ones introduce in class and others you are aware of--we really like it when you find tools to use on your own and introduce them!!) to create your project. Our definition of an artifact is anything used to display development of the project, or evidence to support use of a web 2.0 technology in the project. You will use your Google site you created last week to collect the artifacts. You can add the artifacts in multiple ways to your Google site; these methods include editing the site and adding a link to the artifact, inserting a screen capture, or even uploading the artifact as an attachment. To help, us understand how the item you included as an artifact, please create a description of the artifact which explains what it is and how it was used in relation to the project. By the end of the trimester you will need to have a minimum of 12 artifacts. By the end of this week, you need to have found 2 of the 12. If you are not sure an item will count as an artifact ask Ms. Roethler or Mrs. Sturgeon.
This week you will also sit down with Ms. Roethler and Mrs. Sturgeon to complete a rubric that can be used to evaluate your project at the end of the trimester. Ms. Roethler has a basic template that will be used to form the basis of your final project. It will help when you sit down to complete this rubric, if you have an idea as to what you would like to complete for your project. More will be explained on the rubric when you sit down to work on it.
Good luck this week!!
TASKS TO COMPLETE:
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” - Dr. Seuss
Theme: Responsibility in Digital Citizenship
Blog written by Mackenzie
As mentioned above, this week’s theme is responsibility in digital citizenship. Lets talk about that for a little while. What does it mean to be responsible? We covered this in part last unit about being personally responsible, but what does it mean to be responsible in relation to digital citizenship? This week we want you to think about who should and is responsible on the internet and as a digital citizen, you or others?
You may have also heard of the terms “digital native” and “digital immigrants.” Some use it as shorthand to describe those (like Mrs. Sturgeon) who can remember learning about the Internet the first time - she’s a digital immigrant. A digital native is someone (like you) whose life has always had digital tools like computers, the Internet, etc. (Miss Roethler is sort of in the middle). The problem with this paradigm is that it implies that young people naturally understand computers and technology, and are obviously superior in this regard to their elders. Yet you certainly know classmates who are much better and others much worse with technology than you are, and adults who fit that, too. It’s really not about how old you are. It’s about having an innate curiosity. From this we can further extend the question, whose responsibility is it to make sure technology is understood?
That brings us to one of this week’s tasks - searching. There’s lots of great things about that the Web has brought to us, but perhaps the most substantial is that, in the words of Leigh Zeitz, an Ed Tech professor at UNI, it has gotten rid of the “shrug.” Listening to a song on the radio and you can’t place the title? - check online with just a piece of the lyrics. Arguing with your friend about who made the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl? - check on Google for an article on the game. Need a specific date for a question in Government class? - check on Wikipedia. Online searching has indeed gotten rid of the shrug - for those who are curious, anyway (or who like to prove they are right!).
I hope by this time in your school career, you understand the perils of plagiarism. If you wrote a paper and posted it on the Internet in a digital portfolio, how would you feel if a student the town over took your work and used it as their own? What if he then entered that paper into a contest and won a scholarship for your work? You’d rightfully be livid. But even taking a little bit of something that you didn’t create and passing it on as your owns is plagiarism. It’s vital that you give credit where credit is due, by citing your work. This is expected for your work in this class.
But the truth is, this type of ownership - also called copyright - is confusing. Knowing what you can rightfully use is a quagmire of rules and regulations. One answer to that is Creative Commons. We’ve included some resources in the task list about this, and also using Iowa AEA resources, which you have the rights to use as a student.
Too add in, Wikipedia. Were you one of those gnashing your teeth when, to protest a bill they saw as unfair, the most popular site online went offline a few months ago? Both Mrs. Sturgeon and Miss Roethler use Wikipedia all the time. It’s a great resource and all of you should read articles on there that relate to your project topic. But you must be wary of citing it. We’ve included an article - from Wikipedia itself! - that explains why.
When we talk about technology, certain things come to mind: laptops, computer programs, iPods, tablets, GIS systems. Your list undoubtedly looks different than mine. But can you imagine what your grandma’s list would have looked like? Your great-grandfather’s? I know there’s plenty in my life that I take for granted (calculator, dishwasher, washing machine) that were cutting-edge technologies at one time.
Technology at its very basic is a tool. Even the fork and the zipper are great technological tools when you think of it. Of course we mean something different when we speak of technology, and it’s easy to let that electronic type of technology get the better of us. I can waste away my afternoon playing Tetris as good as the next guy, but being a 21st century citizen means using these tools to better our lives--responsibly using those tools too. This week, we’re going to talk about some of those tools.
Certainly, you’ve all heard of Skype. Have you ever used it? This week, you are to create a list of five professionals with whom you could potentially video conference in relation to your project (using Skype or Google Talk). Note the guideline says potential. This means two things: you might actually do one or even all of these, but your list needs to be realistic. Don’t put President Obama or Taylor Swift on your list. This is where your PLN comes in. Ask around for help, especially on Twitter. These individuals may also be great resources for your project!
My favorite web 2.0 tool really is RSS. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. I have read some blogs for more than five years, but until I found out about RSS, I would go to those blogs when I remembered to do so. RSS allows me to follow a lot more blogs (I follow over 100) and those posts wait for me. I don’t miss out of what my favorite bloggers say any more - it might take me awhile to get to it, but I’ll get there eventually. To learn more about RSS, watch this video. The video is five years old - RSS isn’t considered “new” anymore - but it’s still a great tutorial for the tool. You might be interested in Google’s NewsSquares, a more visual blog listing experience, rather than the linear format of Google Reader.
There are other web 2.0 tools to help you with your productivity. I’m sure many of you use your computer’s stickies program. I did, as well: until one day, my Apple Stickies had disappeared! I had important things on there - phone numbers, the amount of money my college daughters owed me (payable upon graduation or dropping out), even a poem I had written. I’d never experienced a crash on my Apple, so this was surprising and disappointing. But remember, no technology is infallible. What I turned to was Evernote, which is sort of like stickies on the cloud. There are other options out there, like Stixy and Wallwisher. My favorite of late, though, is Workflowy, with which you can have lots of notes to yourself in outline format. Try out one or more of these and see what you think. These would make a great addition to your portfolio. You could write notes to yourself for your deadlines, ideas for your project, or a list of tasks you still need to do.
The idea of using 21st century technologies as tools brings to mind the number of people who don’t have access to these technologies at all. Knowing that so many in the world have no Internet access or computers at all makes my Tetris playing even more egregious! Watch this video about the digital divide (or digital abyss, as the speaker calls it) to begin thinking about this issue. Responsibility in digital citizenship is very prevalent in the digital divide--who should be responsible for making technology available to all?
TASKS THIS WEEK:
Bookmark or print -
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
This week we are continuing with the theme of responsibility in digital citizenship. At times it may seem to be overwhelming with the amount of work and our focus on responsibility; however, we just want to emphasize the importance in today’s world on taking control of your own learning--something you are doing in this class. We also admire your ability to get through the amount of work and our expectations. Keep up the good work, your projects are starting to develop into great learning experiences unique to each of you! Please do let us know if things become difficult, we like to provide challenges to our students, but not want anyone to feel overwhelmed. We have high expectations and our goal, as instructors for this class, is for you to become self-driven and highly motivated students in all of your classes not only our own. To do this, you do need to know the ins and outs of how the internet can help (and harm) your productivity! It is very important to understand where and when you are being responsible and productive on the internet! We all can easily come up with examples where responsibility was not taken or even considered in relation to the internet; but some things are easier said than done. With that being said, this week you will only have a few requests from our side of the desks. Instead, we want you to show us how you can take what you’ve learned so far and apply it to your projects! Take this chance to make sure you project can demonstrate a great understanding digital citizenship thus far and truly maximize your chance for learning about something which matters to you!
Last week, we looked at searching and how to properly cite sources. You were asked to find at least one article from the AEA resources as well as an image from Flickr (keeping in mind the creative commons we covered). This week you will be continuing to work on your project. To tie in the importance of strong foundational research in any project. This week, we’d like you to create an annotated bibliography of at least 5 sources based on your project that you intend to use in its development. These sources DO NOT have to be from the AEA resources, but those are great places to start. If you have questions on how to create an annotated bibliography just ask Ms. Roethler or Mrs. Sturgeon. Turn in the annotated bibliography by Sunday, December 23 at Midnight via you Google collection folder!
This week is also a week to conference (Conference #2) with either Ms. Roethler or Mrs. Sturgeon. Take advantage of this time to pick our brains and ask any questions you may have. We like to conference with each student individually, to make sure there are no major misunderstandings! Plus, conferencing is also a great time for you to show us all that you have learned and anything you have found which you think is valid to be in the course curriculum! We love your input and feedback! **Remember this week is shorten, because you are done with school for the week on Thursday!**
As it was two weeks ago, you will also need to find two more artifacts to be placed on your portfolio (i.e. artifacts 3 and 4). Please make sure each artifact is on your portfolio with a small description explaining (or justifying) how it is an artifact! Think of it this way as well, when you leave for break on Thursday, you will have ⅓ of your portfolio completed! If you are having difficulties or just have questions on this, again please ask. We do our best to help, but cannot answer questions if they are not asked. We are working on reading minds, just haven’t mastered it yet. The artifact should be on your website by Sunday, December 23 at midnight.
Lastly, we’d like you to also accomplish two other tasks by Sunday, December 23 at midnight. Please review your project rubric now that you’ve had a chance to start your project and make sure it fits appropriately. Also, at the end of the week, please tweet an update on your project to the class hashtag (#mnwpln)! This way Mrs. Sturgeon and Ms. Roethler can also help out if they find valuable information! The remainder of your time for the week should be devoted to developing and working on your project! Feel free to bring in anything that we have covered in class so far and apply it to your projects; we love creativity especially when it is student driven! Good luck!
“What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing.” - Aristotle
With this being a short week, you will have to work a little more than normal. We will adjust accordingly--please let us know if the Sunday deadlines are too soon. Next week you will take your mid-term. More will follow next week on the midterm. This unit is going to follow the theme of education in digital citizenship. The blog is posted for the unit and was written by Mrs. Horan, MNW’s curriculum director.
Keeping with the theme, there is plenty of educational opportunities available through web 2.0 technologies. Places such as Coursera and other MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courseware) make learning completely possible beyond the walls of schools. Students at MNW are taking part in this new technology through the use of Aventa in many of their courses. Learning no longer has to involve a teacher presenting information in the form of a lecture guided from a heavy textbook. However, it is important to understand the best ways to find success in the new methods available for learning. Your task will be to investigate the different options and find a list of three courses which could potentially help you with your project. (Note this says potentially, you DO NOT have to register or complete these courses). Links to the courses available can be found at the end of this document.
This leads to the idea of digital health and wellness--which can have many different meanings. On one hand, it refers to ergonomics - the study of efficiency in work environments. What this means here is proper positioning of your body as you work on a computer - your posture, the position of your hands as you type, the distance the computer screen is from your face. Properly addressing these concerns can help guard against eyestrain, neck or shoulder pain, and even carpal tunnel syndrome. (The latter is serious, and can result in serious pain requiring surgery.) Here is a great video to watch on this topic. Tweet your understanding of digital health and wellness after you’ve done a bit of research to the class hashtag.
Another thing that digital health and wellness means is about is avoiding psychological harm because of time spent on a computer or other digital devices. Internet addiction is not a recognized psychological disorder in the DSM-IV, where such disorders are described. And yet, innumerable masses have their lives disrupted by time spent online. Ms. Roethler will share an article to read about Facebook with you, as well. Tweet your reaction to this article to the class hashtag.
And while we’re discussing safety with computers, let’s consider the safety of computers. Read this. Your school-owned laptop computer will thank you for it! Tweet out one safety tip you think all students should use when it concerns their school laptop.
Keeping again with education in digital citizenship, a new trend in displaying information has emerged-- infographics. Have you heard of infographics? PC Magazine defines infographics as “an umbrella term for illustrations and charts that instruct people, which otherwise would be difficult or impossible with only text.” I personally love infographics. They really make it easier to understand data. See my Diigo page about infographics for a lot of great resources on the subject, including pages to help you make your own. This week we challenge you to find a great infographic to use as a resource for your project; tweet the link to the infographic to the class hashtag. In the next week, you will be asked to create your own simple infographic.
Here is a little more information on infographics:
Do you doubt the power that infographics can have? Read this excerpt from a Q & A with New York Times graphic designer, Steve Duenes (you’ll read the full transcript this week):
Q.What do you consider the best examples of NYTimes graphics? Can you give us an overview of the process required to develop these? I'm imagining significant input from, for example, statisticians, reporters, graphic designers.
— Jean W. Rosenthal
A. Our criteria for what makes a great graphic varies a little. There are things we attempt, and we hope the result will be spectacular, but we also think there's such a thing as daily graphic excellence.
It doesn't do us much good to produce a few splashy graphics but stumble on the smaller, routine things. If a reader can glance at a map or simple chart and quickly orient themselves or understand a statistic, and then continue reading the story without skipping a beat, it means we've edited and designed those graphics well. Several years ago, The Times's columnist, Nicholas Kristof sent a note about a simple graphic to a former colleague here. We still talk about it. Here's an excerpt:
From: Nicholas Kristof Subject: the power of art
in september i traveled with bill gates to africa to look at his work fighting aids there. while setting the trip up, it emerged that his initial interest in giving pots of money to fight disease had arisen after he and melinda read a two-part series of articles i did on third world disease in January 1997. until then, their plan had been to give money mainly to get countries wired and full of computers.
bill and melinda recently reread those pieces, and said that it was the second piece in the series, about bad water and diarrhea killing millions of kids a year, that really got them thinking of public health. Great! I was really proud of this impact that my worldwide reporting and 3,500-word article had had. But then bill confessed that actually it wasn't the article itself that had grabbed him so much -- it was the graphic. It was just a two column, inside graphic, very simple, listing third world health problems and how many people they kill. but he remembered it after all those years and said that it was the single thing that got him redirected toward public health.
No graphic in human history has saved so many lives in africa and asia.
I'm sending you a copy of the story and graphic by interoffice mail. whoever did the graphic should take a bow.
Students, how can you change the world? Tweet at least two things to the class hashtag!
Also this week, we’d like you to examine a few more web 2.0 technologies. These include mind-mapping tools such as bubbl.us or Mindmeister (inspiration also works if you have that for-cost program). Feel free to reach out on your own as well and find another mind-mapping tool that you’d like to use. As for your task, we’d like you to outline your project--i.e. create a visual representation of all its components. This is due Sunday January 6 at midnight. (hint--this could be a great artifact for your portfolio).
Lastly, this week please also investigate story-telling/movie maker web 2.0 tools. Push yourself to use a program new to yourself. There are many tools available use the internet to find a tool you are comfortable with. You will need to create a video/story that has a minimum of “5 slides” which demonstrates how you have started your project. Keep in mind this would also be a great way to document your project development and each video would work as an artifact in your portfolio. The video/story will be due Sunday January 6 at midnight.
Alright this week you need to:
Carnegie Mellon: http://oli.cmu.edu/teach-with-oli/review-our-free-open-courses/
ITunes U: https://itunes.apple.com/us/genre/itunes-u/id40000000?mt=10
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”
This week your primary tasks will be to complete the midterm and continue working on your project in the remaining time. These will be it unit the start of the next unit. The midterm will have three components. It is very important that you follow the deadlines set forth. The midterm itself is worth 10% of your grade.
Part I--Individual reflection on project
This should be on what you have done thus far with your project. It should be well written and free from error and no shorter than 1 and ½ pages in normal sized font. You can reflect on what web 2.0 tools you have use to help complete, organize, research, etc. on your project. Also, reflect on where you believe your project is headed. This part of the midterm will be due at MIDNIGHT ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 13. You can turn it in via your Google collection folder.
Part II--Individual Presentation on Digital Citizenship topic
This will be done with Google presentations. You can do it on the following topics: Respect in digital citizenship, education in digital citizenship, or learning in the 21st century. These were the themes for the first three units. Only one student may use each theme. Your presentation must reflect the digital citizenship components of each theme. The presentation must contain a minimum of 3 different media sources (by different, this does not imply 3 different images or videos) and have a minimum of 20 “slides” not including the citations slide at the end of the presentation. Be cognizant of copyright - fair use in education goes a long way, but not long enough to contain a 4 minute Top 40 song! (AEA’s Soundzabound has a lot of music you can use.) This part of the midterm is due in class on THURSDAY, JANUARY 10. You will be presenting to Ms. Roethler and Mrs. Sturgeon in class. You will also need to turn in the presentation via your Google collection folder.
Part III--In class digital citizenship/web 2.0 assessment
This part will be done on FRIDAY, JANUARY 11 in class. You will be provided a document from Ms. Roethler which you will need to make a copy of and complete. Please make sure you have your laptop ready to use in class on Friday. To prepare for this section of the midterm, please review the readings we have asked you to cover, the web 2.0 tools introduced up to this point in the class, and the aspects of digital citizenship covered. You will be able to use any notes you choose, but will only get the class period to finish this section.
The points for the midterm break down as follows:
Part I 20 Points
Part II 15 Points
Part III 15 Points
Finally, during this week you will need to make sure you have commented on the blog and complete conference #3 with either Ms. Roethler or Mrs. Sturgeon (Remember, Ms. Roethler will be gone all day from school on Tuesday). Good luck with the midterm and remember to ask if you have any questions. All remaining time this week should be spent on your project collecting artifacts 5 & 6.