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Sean Thompson - Project Based Learning

Sean Thompson - Project Based Learning



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Published by: Classroom 2.0 Book on Aug 13, 2012
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Social Learning Theory, DigitalCitizenship & ICT Integration MarriedThrough Project Based Learning
Sean Thompson
Creative Commons License:
Author contact:
Author Biography:
I am presently involved in a
course of study for a post-graduate certicate of 
educational technology and information literacy.Having worked with students from K – 12 for years I have a real respect for thenecessity of an articulated integration curriculum from a whole school standpoint. Mynow current position at Doshisha University’s International School, Kyoto in which I’mthe Network Administrator / ICT Specialist. More info on me at my Hub.
Activity Summary
By considering the responsibilities we share online and in the creation, remixing and sharing of our work and in all aspects of our use of online media we can lay the foundations and understandingsfor our students and communities for greater safety and more advanced learning outcomes. I willoffer a discussion of these concepts, with real world examples and references to the work of othersbefore sharing an example of how social learning and integration has been managed in one of my
classrooms through the execution of project based learning before nally offering a free, online
 Acceptable Usage Agreement Teacher Assistant for you to use or adapt for your own use. Thiswill highlight the issues relevant to embarking on a platform for any school interested in embarkingon an integration program geared towards engendering 21st century skills and responsible digitalcitizenship.
Class or subject area: ICT Integration, Social Learning, Digital Citizenship, Project BasedLearningGrade level(s):
Specifc learning objectives:
International Society for Technology in Education’s National EducationTechnology Standards:
Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legaland ethical behavior.
 Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology
Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, andproductivity
Demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning
Exhibit leadership for digital citizenship
Social learning theory informs much of the thinking behind ICT integration across the curriculum. Byconsidering the responsibilities we share online and in the creation, remixing and sharing of our workand in all aspects of our use of online, digital media we can, from the outset, lay the foundations andunderstandings for our students and communities for greater safety and more advanced learningoutcomes. I will offer a discussion of these concepts, with real world examples and references to thework of others before sharing an example of how social learning and integration has been managed
in one of my classrooms through the execution of project based learning before nally offering a
free, online Acceptable Usage Agreement Teacher Assistant created with a colleague for you to useor adapt for your own use. This will highlight many of the issues relevant to embarking on a soundplatform for any school interested in earnestly embarking on an integration program geared towardsengendering 21st century skills and responsible digital citizenship within their schools. New mediapervades more of our lives everyday. As we live in an ever-more technological world, it falls to us allto help map the terrain for our students, regardless of subject area.
Social Learning Theory
Social learning theory emphasizes the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes,and emotional reactions of others. Like becomes like. Values become shared. At the risk of soundingoverly pedantic, human culture is founded on these principles.
Reciprocal causation
states that behavior can inuence both the environment and the person. By
demonstrating how the actions we take online have the potential to impact on ourselves and others,and how we have a responsibility to use the creations of others in a respectful manner by referencingand respecting their work, our use of new media enters an obviously social context.
is when the individual has his or her own ideas about what is appropriate behavior and chooses actions accordingly. There are several aspects of self-regulation, all of which are boundby social and ethical considerations. Remixing, or using the work of others respectfully, citing whereappropriate, is a long-standing human tradition. You likely have heard Isaac Newton’s famous quote:
If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of giants.
Newton didn’t write this! Not originally anyway. The 12th century theologian and author John of Salisbury initially coined a version of the phrase. I would encourage educators the world over to view
Kirby Ferguson’s lm series, Everything is a Remix (
). It givesdetailed insight into how human creativity works. Never has it been easier for humans to share,appropriate, recombine, remix, reimagine and produce derivative and even brand new work basedlargely on the work of others and share it with a potentially global audience, all from their homes.Digital media has changed the world in countless other ways as well. It impacts on:
privacy (leading to safety in some respects)the evolution of bullying (cyber-bullying)
the greater need for understanding the changing world of copyright and digital “ownership” All of these demand an understanding of individual responsibility online.
Digital Responsibility:
Where does it lie?
What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job?
~ Tao Te ChingThe relevance of this Taoist profundity for me in relation to questions about who should teach whatwhen about responsible citizenship online is the underlying principle that the one in the position to dowhat is right has the obligation to take the opportunity when it is there. More simply put, all caregiversshare the responsibility for imparting good online habits including protecting oneself and respectingothers; whenever and wherever the opportunity arises. As professionals trained in education and,hopefully, with a well-developed sense and understanding of “netiquette,” copyright, fair usage andthe following of acceptable social norms and how to engender their understanding, clearly a largeportion of this responsibility falls to us. I will make commentary on some online blog posts here whileadding my own viewpoints in order to share my thoughts and tie the piece together as a whole.
“Bullying” Has Little Resonance with Teenagers
This piece starts off stating that bullying hasn’t really changed. Adding the prex “cyber” to it is, tome, only a reference to the new tools available. Not unlike learning to scribble an unattering image
of a friend in preschool, the technology is an indication of technical sophistication, not a prompt for anti-social behaviour in itself. As my mother so regularly says, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Perhaps more succinctly put by this author however:
If we want to combat bullying, we need to start by understanding the underlying dynamics.
Youth today do not have wildly different values or social norms to previous generations. They do,however, have some evolved linguistic nuances and, as all new generations, some different sharedunderstandings. I found it quite instructive to read that young interviewees were quoted as saying that“...bullying was when someone picked on someone or physically hurt someone who didn’t deserveit [my emphasis].” So there do appear to be rules here already. Our role then, is to understand themand discuss with our students, in language that is meaningful to the students themselves, not justtheir parents, teachers and educational administrators. Again I defer to the author:
 A lecture on bullying is going to be completely ignored… either as irrelevant or meaningless to them personally. They don’t see what they’re doing as bullying.
We had best keep in mind also that, “...in all cases, the point is to show who has social power. It’s allabout creating and reinforcing hierarchies.” As stated earlier, the concept remains the same. Teensare merely doing what humans do best; learning in a social context. They are learning from what
they see mentors (adults) do around them. The attention seeking aspect of some bullying further 
reinforces the fact that “cyber-bullying” is just a new outlet for an old rite of passage made more publicand further accentuated by mainstream media. I doubt many would argue for a prohibition on literacyif a teacher found a nasty note being passed in class.
Our Space:
Being a Responsible Digital Citizenhttp://www.goodworkproject.org/practice/our-space/ 
This resource offered an invaluable source of easily-digestible denitions that would add to any
educator’s repertoire of referral documents. It outlines fair use as a legal principle that allows limited

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