20. Connect with me
Social software can positively impact pedagogy by
inculcating a desire to reconnect to the world as a whole,
not just the social parts that exist online- Ulises Mejias
Notas do Editor
Welcome every one. I am here to share with you my learning on Hyperconnectivity. This journey began with my learning for efellows 2011.
Efelllows are a group of educators who have been selected nationally by CORE Education. The CORE Education eFellowship Awards recognise innovative e-learning practice by New Zealand teachers. In 2013 I have won a TEACHNZ sabbatical to continue my investigation. I am using this opportunity to meet global educators face to face.
So hyperconnectivity. Mark Pesce says that it is access to inconceivable amounts of information. Hyperconnectivity provides a platform for a breadth of ‘situational awareness’ beyond even the wildest imaginings of MI6. I have added- it is about being tethered.
Our children are born with a digital footprint. Even before birth there is online evidence as their proud parents upload their foetal images to social networking sites such as ‘Facebook’. Currently New Zealand has more mobile devices than population.
The social web allows access to inconceivable amounts of information. Early users generally ‘put it all’ out there. From pictures, to videos to personal information. Currently the greatest uptake of use of social media is the over 35 year olds.
All this technology is like a tidal wave. It isn ’t coming. It is here now. To counter this wave, we must take the same technology as our children, use the same tools as our children. Some of our learning lies in the network not in opposition to it.
Last year we used Superclubsplus, an online social networking tool for children to bring together a group of schools. We hyperconnected on line and we connected face to face in real time. This year we connected globally via the BBC World Assembly.
When we come together and share, whanaungatanga happens. Connecting globally can extend our sharing in a positive way. As a school we are more conscious about not limiting what we are doing to within our 4 walls.
Last year as a staff we trialed Myportfolio. I was able to see how Myportfolio incorporated hyperconnectivity. The greatest benefit with Myportfolio is sharing our teaching and learning practice. Myportfolio allows us to make hyper-connections and to work hyper-collaboratively. This year we have added the Virtual Learning Network to our list of teacher tools.
The efellows award allowed me time to step back and look at what I was doing with e-learning. The award provided access to experts in the form of presenting my message and in the form of social media. I was able to take time to visit other educators and to hear what they said about ‘hyperconnectivity.’
The award also gave me the opportunity to ask and explore some challenging questions. One was ‘If I could see myself in the mirror- would I like what I see?’ Another question was with all the hyperconnectivity that is taking place in our children’s lives, what are they giving up?
Being hyperconnected is an important part of life for many of our children. Many are permanently tethered with their own device. Tethering also gives the concept of helicopter parenting. For example with the use of hyperconnectivity children can be tracked using GPS systems. We can track not just where they go physically but where they go online.
Tracking also can be cyberstalking. How many of us as do this right now using instagram or twitter? Hyperconnectivity gives us global connections and opportunities for global collaboration and sharing. But it also give us opportunities to trace and track. This is not just limited to us but anyone with a connection.
What about the space between the hyper nodes. Ulises Mejias makes reference to the the space between the nodes and if this is ignored it is like a fish ignoring the water that it swims in. The space is what supports the nodes. As an envro school we can make analogies to ignoring the space because we know that the environment is what supports us living.
As educators we must be aware of the tools that are being used. Find out and understand the legalities around working with children online. At the same time allow and create learning opportunities that do not need wifi connections, tracking or testing. As part of our curriculum and policies to include activities that might not be benchmarked but yet create other connections and collaborations.
Include staff activities that are fun. Yes include ‘hyperconnectivite’ tools but as much as possible will be the balance that learning is fun. Connecting and collaborating also includes face to face experiences. –eg: I make reference here to Ignite sessions.
We as much ,as our children, also need the space where we can be totally ourselves and not be connected. The value of silence is obvious to us. Just as being hyperconnected is to our children.
These are the people who have greatly influenced my thinking about Hyperconnectivity. Mark Pesce who introduced me to the term ‘Hyperconnectivity, Steve Wheeler who I have been following on twitter for over a year. Ulises Mejias –the space between the nodes.
Larry Cuban who asks the hard questions regarding technology and education and questions the expense in dollars and in time. Sherry Turkle and Pam Hook who just keep asking the hard questions.