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Ann Gaudino - Utlizing Social Media in an Online Course

Ann Gaudino - Utlizing Social Media in an Online Course

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Published by Classroom 2.0 Book
Chapter submission for the Classroom 2.0 Book Project
Chapter submission for the Classroom 2.0 Book Project

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Published by: Classroom 2.0 Book on Aug 23, 2012
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12/26/2012

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5th
 AnniversaryBookProject
Utilizing Social Media in an OnlineCourse in Education
By:
Ann Gaudino
Creative Commons License:
CC BY-NC-ND
Author contact:
ann.gaudino@yahoo.com
Author Biography:
Ann Gaudino, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor of Education at West LibertyUniversity. She currently teaches graduate coursesin education and education leadership and hasalso taught undergraduate courses in professional education, served as departmentchair, coordinator of clinical practice, and director of professional development schools.Dr. Gaudino is the founder and editor for the Excellence in Education Journal.
Activity Summary
This 100% asynchronous online graduate course utilized the 2011 Global Education Conference(www.globaleducation.ning.com) sessions as the course text and rSmart Sakai CLE Version 2.6(www.rsmart.com) as an electronic, collaborative learning environment. The goal of the coursewas to identify and study current trends and issues in education. Students accessed lessons onSakai, listened to and watched recorded presentations on the website of the 2011 Global EducationConference, then utilized Sakai again for discussion forums and written assignments. Conferencesession lessons included: Global Ethics by Howard Gardner, Global Competence by Ed Graggert,Thee Cups of Fictions: Why Schools Won’t Save the World and What We Can Do About It by CarolBlack, Educating Girls by Tara Abrahams, Education in Finland by Jarmo Viteli, and Perspectives onEducation System in Finland: Leading the Change by Ann Gaudino.
Class or subject area: University graduate course in EducationGrade level(s):
University
Specifc learning objectives:
•
Utilize a 100% asynchronous online format course to identify, discuss, and analyze trends andissues in education at local, national, and international levels.
•
Utilize recorded sessions from the 2011 Global Education Conference (
www.globaleducation.ning.com
) as a text for the course.
•
Utilize rSmart Sakai CLE Version 2.6. for electronic collaboration and as a social learningenvironment.
•
Identify key issues in education trends at the local, national, and international levels and provide a
summaryofthekeypointsandsynthesis,analysisandreectionontheimplicationsofthetrendin
education.
•
Recognize and analyze social, political, and economic precedents and antecedents of the trendsand issues.
 
This paper discusses how social media were used in EDUC 520 Trends and Issues in Education, agraduate course in College of Education at West Liberty University, West Virginia, U.S.A. The courseutilized: a 100% asynchronous online format; rSmart Sakai CLE Version 2.6. (
www.rsmart.com
) for electronic collaboration and as a social learning environment; and recorded sessions from the 2011Global Education Conference (
www.globaleducation.ning.com
) as a course text.West Liberty, West Virginia is a rural area in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. Students in
thecourserangedinagefrommid-twentiestomid-fties.SomewereemployedfulltimeasK-12
teachers, while others were university instructors, social workers, journalists, and an internationalstudent from Nigeria with a background in biochemistry. Most had little prior exposure to global ideasin education. All students were enrolled part-time in the Master of Education degree program andtheir interests and career goals were each quite unique.Because of these features, this paper is of interest to a variety of readers. This course illustrates theuse of social media in teaching, electronic collaborative software, and recorded, online sessions of the Global Education Conference as a text. Furthermore, it illustrates how these aspects of socialmedia can be utilized to improve opportunities for learning in a rural area and to increase globalperspective. While this particular course was a graduate level course, the use of these social mediain teaching this course is applicable at high school, undergraduate, and graduate level courses.
Defning the Social Media Used in this Course
This course was a 100% asynchronous online course. It required no face to face meetings or online
meetingsataspecictimeorlocationandstudentswereabletoaccessinformationaboutthecourse
and assignments through the Sakai system.rSmart Sakai CLE Version 2.6 (
www.rsmart.com
) is an electronic collaboration and learningenvironment featuring sites for individual courses that can be accessed by the instructor andstudents in the course. For this course, students interacted on Sakai by reading announcements,accessing the syllabus and lessons, blogging to introduce themselves, responding to forum prompts,submitting and receiving papers and grades, and sending emails to one another and the instructor.The instructor utilized Sakai to post announcements, the course syllabus, lessons, blog, forums,assignments, grades and to email students. More information about rSmart Sakai can be located onthe website
www.sakai.com
.Recorded sessions from the 2011 Global Education Conference (
www.globaleducation.ning.com
)were used as a course text. The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, world-widecommunity initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It is designed to
signicantlyincreaseopportunitiesforbuildingeducation-relatedconnectionsaroundtheglobewhile
supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity (Global Education Conference, 2011).Sessions typically included the presenter speaking live with a slide show presentation and attendeesposting questions and comments during the session in a blog format. Some sessions included livestreaming video of the presenter as well as video clips, voting polls, and an opportunity for attendeesto identify their location.To access the sessions for the 2011 Global Education Conference, go to
www.globaleducation.ning.com
.Fromthishomepage,clickonQUICKLINKSANDRECORDINGSinthelefthandcolumn.
 
DeterminewhichsessiontowatchandthenclickontheRECORDINGLINKontherightofthe
session title. It is not necessary to join the website to view the sessions. Also, the website hasadditional helpful information available on various links from the homepage that may be of interestand helpful to viewers.
Course Background and Text Selection
I taught EDUC 520 Trends and Issues in Education during the Spring Semester 2012 at West LibertyUniversity where I serve as an Assistant Professor. Almost all of the graduate courses in Education
areahybridformatwith50%facetofacemeetingsand50%online.EDUC520wastherstfullyonlineasynchronouscourse(100%)inthegraduateprogramineducationandtherstfullyonline
course I taught. All courses, including fully online courses, are supported at the university throughthe electronic collaboration and learning environment called rSmart Sakai CLE Version 2.6.
Thereweremanybenetstousingthe2011GlobalEducationConferencesessionsasthetext
for this course. Thanks to this conference, my students had the opportunity to listen and watchinternational experts on a variety of topics which they otherwise would not have encountered. Thesessions my students watched for their lessons included: Global Ethics by Howard Gardner, GlobalCompetence by Ed Graggert, Thee Cups of Fictions: Why Schools Won’t Save the World andWhat We Can Do About It by Carol Black, Educating Girls by Tara Abrahams, Education in Finlandby Jarmo Viteli, and Perspectives on Education System in Finland: Leading the Change by AnnGaudino.The global nature of this conference and the recorded venue of the presentations introduced mystudents to issues in education on a global level in a more meaningful way than simply readingbooks and articles. I was well aware that various authors have discussed the value and importanceof educators being globally aware because it helps them to raise global awareness in their students(West, 2009), to serve students in their classroom who are from different countries (Parker 2008),promote understanding and empathy, and enhance national security due to increased knowledgeof world issues (Zeichner, 2010). These beliefs were at the forefront of my decision to utilize theconference sessions for the course text.
Thesessionswerealsoanaturalandtimelytforthiscoursewhichexploredcurrenttrendsandissuesineducation.Theonlineavailabilityofthesessionswasalsoanaturaltforthisasynchronous
100% online course since the recorded conference sessions as well as course information andassignments can be accessed at any time and any place worldwide. Students anywhere in the worldcould be involved with the course without concern of where and how to obtain a hard copy of a textbook as is done in traditional, face to face classes. Finally, I believed that the sessions would be
morebenecial,interestingandrewardingforstudentsthanreadingwrittenmaterialasatextinatraditionalcourse.Mybeliefswereconrmedwhenonestudentwrotetometomeafterthecourse:
I enjoyed the content and dialogue of the conference sessions. The sessions provided current information that I could not receive from a text book. The information was real world, real timeinformation about our world. Accessing the sessions was easy and it was wonderful to be able tohear, read and see the presentations.
(A. Doty, personal communication, March 15, 2012)

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