John Bender

Drunk Poets Society

You diamond stud.

A knight in tarnished armor, that’s what you are.

You swagger to the beat of your own damn drum.

Noble in the subtle art of a hard life,

Fought and won.

Visionary, salt of the earth…

It is you they all want.

With an imperfect place in your heart, and a monkey on your back

you reign, A cold sovereign.

But hark, a day comes when solitaire means triumph.

You lose your barbed wire heart, but gain the tender love of youth.

Tarry not, young prince of Illinois, king of the Midwest…

There is still another day to this weekend of your life.

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Course Reflection

Creative and Multicultural Communication. I  feel as though I am still cutting my teeth on this type of learning, but this course has helped me make leaps and bounds in a direction I had never been. As a returning student, things have changed in the decade since I last attended a course. Now to be fair, I still did a lot of independent learning as well as classroom learning, but nothing like this learning without walls through social media. I was not only curious about it, but I thought, “hey, if I want to continue on in a technologically advancing atmosphere, then I’d better get on the same page as the front runners, or at the very least try and keep up with the pack.” As I went about discovering themes and ideas about open education, I was shocked by how much ground I had to cover, but one has to start someplace. Sometimes I felt like I was in a time warp where I would learn something new only to find out how old and out-dated the information was and then have to start from that next point. There is constant motion, absolute progress. But in order to understand the “now”, you must have a background on the “then”. So to be fair to myself, I didn’t let discouragement take over. When trying something new like this, it can very easy to get discouraged or lost. I knew eventually I would have to jump in the line and take off, but knowing I could do it at my pace enabled me to build the confidence a little before making my presence known and facing potential failure. But I don’t think I failed at all. I think actually I started to not only “get it” but also contribute to “it”. Now I need to keep myself in the loop. I even found myself looking for a history MOOC the other day. That’s right, me. I went searching for another open education course, just to see what I could find. This course has taught me that there is so much more than in just learning in a traditional sense, it has also taught me some of the available ways to access it, but mostly it has allowed me to connect with other students, at all different learning levels and “potentially” from all around the world and share in a creative learning environment. Some of the toughest problems we face may be solved by such a unifying action. I am definitely a fan of learning, and therefore a fan of the many ways one can. This one in particular will just take some practice, that’s all.

Digital Natives vs Digital Immigrants

And outline of our recent Blackboard Connect Session

The Social Media Trainee

The term “Digital Native” and “Digital Immigrants” were first introduced by Marc Prenksy.

Digital native is defined as native speaker of technology, fluent in digital language of computers, video games, and the Internet. (Marc Prensky) People who are not digital natives are called digital immigrants.

A presentation by Craig C. Battles titled “Capturing the Imagination of the Digital Native” stated several new different skills of the digital natives. The skills are:

1. Parallel Thinking

2. Visual-Spatial Skills

3. Multi-Tasking Skills

4. Response Times

5. Mental Mapping

Further, it is also explained the contrast between the digital natives and the digital immigrants through the table below:

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Native Vs. Immigrant

Wow, this was a concept that I was surprised I hadn’t even thought about it. Maybe because I do not have children yet, and therefore have not had to deal with the questions “How young is too young to get your child a “smart” learning tool?” or “Will my child be learning primarily without textbooks?” These things were never even questioned when I was in high school, and college provided some more exposure to technology, but even those standards, which were high back then, are nothing compared to their soaring heights now. I realize there is still a great gap between income and having the latest gadget, and more importantly, how to regulate and format student learning with the access available now to schools and institutions with regards to educational materials.

It is a challenge to stay on the cutting edge of technology, but is it as challenging for those that were “born” to it? I was able to participate in a presentation with Professor Angelica Santana, whose focus of the group session was to analyze this technological migration within education and examine it for its pros and cons. As much as we want this form of education to move forward, we must also understand the value of personal communication as well. Being plugged in has great benefits, but knowing when to unplug is also significant. Finding a creative, healthy balance with the available media and refining our focus and source selection for accuracy are all key to developing skills needed to learn in an open education environment. Try something different!

Opportunity is knocking, but is the cost too great?

I have volunteered to Host a Twitter chat. Where to even begin?? I feel like each time we have a session, we are getting into a thread that makes you think more and from different viewpoints about the same topic. It’s great! It’s a class without the walls, it’s learning without the structure that sometimes is too rigid for creativity. I love to be creative and as much as that is encouraged in younger learning, sometimes it is discouraged as we get older. We have to find a format, a skeleton for the information to adhere to in order for us to build the muscles of knowledge. But why? Can we not gravitationally collect information from here and there around a central topic and come up with a scope that is just as broad and deep as traditional learning? I think we can. Of course when treading off the beaten curricular path, one must examine all the information presented to avoid falling into the trap of being misled by incomplete data or skewed interpretations and definitions, and the only way to really do that is to keep digging. Some source has got to have the solid foundation we seek when we want to learn. Some traditional learning aspects must carry out the legacy of fact and truth. But as our culture develops into something so much more, so must we adapt to envelop all of the positive opportunities that are present for our collective enhancement of humankind. I think I will suggest a topic of name one thing you love about Open Education and one thing that makes you weary. It can’t all be easy, but if we are going to build this chain and don’t want it to fail, then we must help to make it less daunting for those that are hesitant or prone to resist change. We must make learning about the education and less about the monetary value.

Let me just check with my MOOC…

I initially wanted to take this course because I thought, well, who doesn’t want to try new and creative ways of learning if only for the experience of learning something new itself. Little did I know what I was getting into…in a good way of course. Though apprehensive at the onset, and even still a little so, I found myself swept up in a current of knowledge and opinion and support and conjecture. The likes of which I fear I barely knew existed.
This thing is huge. I had honestly not heard the term MOOC before this class, call me old-school, but essentially that is exactly what I was. Was…

And I do not singularly reference this ESC Course that I am engaged in, but more like the concept that this type of learning is not only available, but also gaining global acceptance as a way to reach out to so many at once and pool our thoughts, ideas, and knowledge into one massive collection.
Did I say huge? I meant gigantic.
Participating, even if it’s just on the edge of this educational Goliath, is mind boggling. I am having fun though, trying to exist outside my educational comfort zone, engage in different learning perspectives, allow myself time to learn at my pace, in my way, and then share with others what I have learned. MOOC’s are about all of that and more!

Image

The big and little “c”.

Image

Creativity. How to be creative. How to be creative about being creative. And so on and so forth, potentially limitless when one applies the idea of a massive open online forum for information sharing. The discussion we had about striving for the little “c” and its importance even among the big “c” was very enlightening. How many of us go through our every day affairs with out giving much thought to how often we use our brains to solve a puzzle? To answer a question? To do something just for the sake of doing it for the pleasure and/or self measure?  All of which, if we wanted to boil it down, somehow involves each one of us being creative. And while striving for the big “c” of creativity, the little “c” carries just as much, if not more weight in our every day lives because of the achievements we are able to accomplish. Goals within our grasp set and reached. Outlets for emotion and education, coming together simultaneously just for an experience. It can be very satisfying stuff, especially when you allow yourself to value it as a little “c”.

When we were through discussing our everyday little “c” activity, it became apparent that it doesn’t have to be difficult to work a little “c” into your life. You don’t have to be the big “c” sort to have the same gratifying experiences of applying your knowledge and stretching it to new lengths.

Whether it is cooking, or coming up with a project, or writing about something, or creating an image, it doesn’t matter as long as you find you are involved in the process because some part of you desires to be, rather than is expected or compelled to be. (I take the liberty of supposing here.) I understand that everyone will derive their creative flow a little differently. But, I feel though as in order to channel mine, I have to allow a certain freedom with my actions or voice. Not much, but some.

The conclusion was little “c”s are good food for the (learning) soul. Keep an eye out for them, it may surprise you where they turn up.

Thanks to Mike or getting the ball rolling, for me at least…this is my first Blog Post.

Grey Corderoy