This is a great site to have a discussion on this weeks readings. For me, I read over “Multiliteracies and Technology Enhanced Education” and I have to say up front this is a very in-depth book and quite frankly a tough read in some areas. However, Chapter 15 is written by our own Dr. Datta and she does an OUTSTANDING job of discussing the role and socialization of teamwork in the virtual environment. She discusses the leadership role that takes hold in teamwork in E-learning as well as some of the potential issues that plague teams when members may not “pull their weight” so to speak. If you have a chance, read it over, it gives good understanding as to whats happening within the teams themselves and what we can expect as instructors…
The purpose of Imel and Stein’s (2003) article, “Creating Self-Awareness of Learning that Occurs in Community” is to “raise awareness” that whether a group forms naturally and there is informal learning or a group is formed by a specific design with formal learning, people learn more together than individually. It is also states that this level of learning is often over looked. Regardless of the reason for the group, the specific benefits emerge from “trust, reciprocity, information and cooperation.”
Imel and Stein’s research suggest that learning is a social process and that individuals learn more by being in a group, because of the sharing of each other’s knowledge and the network of resources.
I read the article:”Finding a Place for Everyone:
Creating, Maintaining, and Evolving Optimal Online Learning Communities for Students in Online Teaching & Learning Courses
By Datta Kaur Khalsa and Scott Hildreth
This article is a must read for students wanting to teach online or for existing online professors that want to broaden their horizons and impact a larger group of people, beyond their online students.
The premise of this article is laying a foundation, with step-by-step guidance, for helping individual online students see a larger picture of learning than just their experience. A focus of building a complete online learning community that evolves and serves each other, learns more, and implements learning with taking action…the author calling this methodology “Circle of Learning”. Always having an upward helix of learning more, changing, adapting, creating, sharing, and growing. A thorough explanation is presented of the creation of an optimal online community, maintaining the community, and evolving the community by putting creative theory into practice.
I read “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital” from Harvard professor Robert Putnam. After I got through the first paragraph which was so verbose and obnoxious that it made me want to poke my eyes out (I literally wrote that in my notes), it became clear that what Putnam was trying to set forth is the idea that “social capital”, which “refers to features of social organization such as networks, norms, and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit”, was declining in American society. The reason I say “was” is because this excerpt is from 1995, and since then, Putnam has written a book entitled Better Together (2003) which describes “promising new examples of social capital-building in communities across America”. (http://bowlingalone.com/?page_id=10
) Since we now know that Putnam has a renewed faith in American social capital, I think the most important ideas to take away from this article are these: “Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations” (Tocqueville, 1830s), and “life is easier in a community blessed with a substantial stock of social capital” (Putnam). Additionally, Putnam expresses concern that some 1990’s technology (specifically television) disrupted “many opportunities for social-capital formation” by “privatizing” or “individualizing” “our use of leisure time”. But, fast forward 17 years, and in our online social networks we have a way for us to form social-capital remotely. I think this may be an interesting jumping off point for a discussion!