MOOCs – didattica per competenze

cic coursera

 

In breve: ho appena terminato un MOOC su Coursera e ti vorrei raccontare l’esperienza sulla didattica per competenze.

Innanzi tutto esplicito le motivazioni che mi hanno spinto a frequentare ancora uno di questi corsi massivi organizzati dalle università di tutto il mondo, ma per la maggior parte americane.

La prima riguarda l’interesse per l’argomento che era sulla creatività, il corso infatti, come vedi nell’immagine sopra, si intitolava “Creative, Innovation and Change“. In Italia, agenzie formative che trattino di creatività potrà essere qualche corso universitario, ma si sa, per accedervi bisogna essere iscritti ad un corso di laurea o un master, con le conseguenze che conosci: impegno, soldi, spostamenti ecc. Meglio cercare qualcosa di più snello; in fondo non ho bisogno di altri titoli accademici, mi bastano quelli che ho.

La seconda è stata, invece, la curiosità metodologica perché, da quando ho frequentato i precedenti, Fundamental of e-learning, OER e CCK, volevo constatare come fossero progredite in questi anni l’organizzazione, l’erogazione e l’interazione. E’ proprio di questo, e non dei contenuti del corso, che vorrei parlare.

Iscrizione: facilissima. Basta essere iscritti al portale e scegliere il corso. Personalmente, dopo la prima settimana ho deciso di pagare la quota di 38 $ per avere la Signature Track che mi permette di avere la certificazione finale. Il sistema mi scattava una foto con la webcam, confrontata con quella iniziale, ogni volta che mandavo un esercizio come Adventurer, l’opzione completa del corso, dichiararando di essere stata io a produrre i contenuti.

I contenuti: distribuiti in otto settimane suddivisi in Lectures (generalmente video degli insegnanti con testo a disposizione); Additional Lectures (post di blog o video); Test per la comprensione delle lezioni; Exercise distribuiti fra i tre grandi temi dei tre docenti (era sufficiente farne uno ogni settimana); Project che consisteva nella progettazione creativa seguendo quattro tappe. Interazione: ogni contenuto prodotto dagli studenti doveva essere condiviso, sia sul forum della piattaforma con relative discussioni e “like”, sia sui social media come Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blog, Youtube, slideshare, prezi, ecc.

Corsisti: di preciso non so quanti iscritti ci fossero. La pecca della piattaforma è quella che non ti permette di vedere la lista degli iscritti e quindi di ritrovare le persone con le quali interagisci. E’ tutto molto occasionale. Qualcuno ha creato un gruppo italiano che, però, non è andato oltre i saluti e le buone intenzioni. Troppo diverse le motivazioni e gli interessi. Avrei preferito discutere con qualche collega, che sicuramente c’è stato, ma non l’ho trovato! Di fatto ho interagito con chi capitava. Comunque il numero che conosco è di 270.000 corsisti. Non credo che tutti abbiano seguito con costanza, penso che sia arrivata alla fine sono qualche decina di migliaia, ad essere abbondanti. Questa è una stima che ipotizzo vedendo i post sul forum e sui sn. Pochissimi (relativamente) hanno fatto gli esercizi.

Metodologia: si è basata su una necessità iniziale di fornire conoscenze condivise. Le lezioni dei tre docenti erano mediamente di 5′, ma su quelle poche nozioni, si dovevano sviluppare gli esercizi che erano, a volte totalmente creativi, altre riflessivi. Due dei tre docenti hanno proposto l’acquisto del loro testo, cosa che ho fatto ma che non ancora ho letto integralmente e che venivano proposti in alcune parti o capitoli necessari alla comprensione di concetti fondanti. Personalmente ho optato per la pubblicazione dei miei esercizi sul mio blog, condivisi come esplicitato sopra. Questo mi ha permesso di richiamare con i link le fasi del project e di averli tutti sullo stesso strumento. Se vuoi dare un’occhiata sono 12 post e sono qui:

http://www.emanuelazibordi.it/wp/tag/cicmooc/

Considerazioni: il corso è stato impegnativo. Se posso fare un paragone, come un esame universitario intorno ai 6 CFU. La prima difficoltà è stata quella di cercare di capire come fosse strutturato perché, nonostante venissero esplicitati gli obiettivi, bisognava capire come i tre temi (Creative Diversity, CENTER e Intelligent Fast Failure), potessero integrarsi. La fase di apprendimento dei contenuti delle lezioni è stata veloce: come ho detto, video brevi, pochi testi, qualche riferimento esterno. I docenti sono stati molto attenti ad usare un linguaggio comprensibile al pianeta. La fase successiva, quella di produzione, invece, ha richiesto molto tempo, sia per l’impegno creativo, sia per la scrittura alla quale non sono per niente abituata. Ho usato la lingua inglese come codice comunicativo e credo di esserci riuscita, perché  hanno sempre capito quello che ho postato. Ho avuto scambi interattivi con la docente, Mrs. Jablokow, che mi hanno fatto molto piacere, anche perché nel questionario iniziale veniva chiesto se eravamo a conoscenza che i docenti non sarebbero intervenuti. Le ore settimanali sono state tra le 10 e le 14, quindi l’impegno di 6 CFU per 25 ore, più o meno corrisponde. Naturalmente sono stata molto soddisfatta di ciò che ho imparato, sia nei contenuti, sia nella metodologia, anche se all’inizio di ogni settimana avevo un attimo di disagio per capire come sviluppare le richieste. Ogni esercizio, comunque, era corredato da una traccia. Il problema è stato soprattutto ampliare e analizzare l’idea con simulazioni coerenti e implementarla nella realtà, che avesse senso e fosse realizzabile. Nell’interazione con i corsisti ho visto di tutto: da quelli che creavano oggetti con materiale di scarto a quelli che organizzavano aiuti per i bambini siriani, gente che lavora in ambiti diversissimi e che ha idee innovative, a volte geniali.

Dopo questa esperienza posso dire che i MOOC sono cresciuti. Ricordo infatti il primo che ho frequentato, dove si doveva leggere un libro di 150 pagine la settimana. Ecco, in quest’ultimo si è trovato il giusto equilibrio tra lo studio e lo sviluppo delle competenze che corrisponde alla realizzazione di prodotti intellettuali e digitali e, forse in futuro, con la vera e propria azione concreta.

Attualmente sono iscritta ad altri corsi: Video Games and Learning, già iniziato del quale prendo solo i contenuti e li passo su kindle; Surviving Your Rookie Year of Teaching: 3 Key Ideas & High Leverage Techniques appena iniziato, di cui mi interessa solo una parte e Gamification che inizierà a Gennaio, ma di cui ho già letto il testo del docente.

In breve: gran bel modo di apprendere, per la possibilità di scelta, per la metodologia. Non so fino a che punto si possano sostituire a corsi universitari, in particolare alla laurea di I livello, ma sicuramente potrebbero essere valutati e riconosciuti come corsi successivi o post laurea, funzionali alla specializzazione e all’aggiornamento come Long Life Learning.

CIC #12 – Project Reflection Statement

philadelphia reflections

Reflections of Philadelphia 

These are the reflections about my creative project of the CIC Coursera course.

You can find the project steps here:

Project – Exploration

Project – Design

Project – Experimentation

1-List what worked and did not work during your experimentation phase.

My experimentation phase was a simulation because my project is quite complex and requires long implementation times. I imagined about some difficulties that may occur which I point out in the slides (12-13) that you can find here:

http://www.emanuelazibordi.it/wp/cic-8-project-experimentation/

The overall project will certainly manifest other difficulties because all items will be involved in the STEEP strategic plan on a large-scale. At this point, it must search specific roles between people who will help me with specific skills.

2-Reflect on the changes that you have made from your original idea.

When I sent the questionnaire to colleagues -you can see it here:

http://www.emanuelazibordi.it/wp/cic-5-project-design/ -,

I realized that some teachers couldn’t give sleep for the night, but they had an interest in learning methods for teaching with ICT. So I think that it is possible to exchange with invitations to dinner, look after the kids for an afternoon, DIY odd jobs, something else, in exchange for learning. This applies to teachers who are in the same city or living nearby. This could also be the starting point of the project more extensive in the future.

3-Plan the steps you will take to meet your long-term goals after the course has concluded.

Having regard to paragraphs 1 and 2, I think I’d do so:

  • Open a website where collecting the exchange requests. It could be a Google form (Drive), having particular attention to privacy, security and reliability of the data.
  • Organize a Google map where hosts and tutors have different pin’s colors in order to allow visualization of the possible exchanges between teachers.
  • Organize the teachers’ contacts, so that the parties agree on the give and take.
  • Collect feedback from every experience and recalibrate the system.

All this could be possible

CIC #11 – Your Own Synthesis of CIC

traguardo

This is my synthesis.

All the teachers theories about Creativity, Innovation and Change were interesting. At first I’d want to speak about Creative Diversity because it was for me totally new. I liked the rational approach that makes clear the expression of creativity, more adaptive or more innovative. I appreciated the scientific references too. Now, for me, it is easer recognize different way of creativity, inside me but also in my students. Most of them, in fact, are creative people who need more autonomy, others need to be guided to adaptive forms of creativity. I think I’ll be more careful and tolerant towards different needs.

I really hope that Mrs. Jablokow will soon publish the book of the course notes. I would read them in sequence and have it on my kindle. 🙂

About CENTER I’d say that I found very interesting the meta reflections about myself in order to Character, Entrepreneurship, owNership, Tenacity, Excellence and Relationship. I’ve done some of the exercises (I plan to do to others and to complete reading the book later), that I found very useful to focus attention on specific objectives and go straight to the target. Thanks to Mr. Velegol.

Intelligent Fast Failure has been for me a pleasant confirms. I always give importance to the failures and errors. Learning is a creativity process too, and when I teach I can see in my students the continuous refinement of their actions. But that is a process that I can perceive in myself when I’m learning something new. I think all we need to consider the error as an important resource from which have feedback for improvements. I’m totally agree with Mr. Matson, his tips and fan exercises.

 In the beginning the course was hard. I spent a lot of time to try to understand the overall structure and to read, listen and write. After the second week I was more relaxed. I said to myself: “take it easy, you will have time to review the contents later!”

My level of interaction has been quite active. I have read the posts of classmates and I gave many “like”. Sometimes I answered or explained my actions, but writing in English for me is quite tiring, and this course helped me to train to write too, because I don’t have many other occasions in my work and life. I am very glad that Mrs. Jablokow interacted with me, it was an honor. For a learner it is important to know what the teachers think about the work and give  some track. Thanks. 😉

Now the course is finishing but I think to reflect again later on the contents, the exercises and on my creativity project. Like any new thing that I learn, I’m sure that this course will help me to better deal with my job, my hobbies and my family life.

I thank all the teachers, the The Pennsylvania State University and Coursera that gives us a very effective way of learning. I really like it!

emanuela

CIC #10 Big Rocks – Exercise

big rock

Make a choice on the ONE biggest accomplishment you can make in the coming week at home, and the ONE biggest accomplishment you can make at work or school.  Just one each.  These are your Big Rocks.

– Name the Big Rock for home with a 1 sentence description, and do the same for the one for work.  Not two rocks each, just one.

  1. Home: I have to prepare a short speech at the first International Self Publishing Festival
  2. School: I’ll work in a confined space with my students. I have to invent activities that keep them engaged.

Describe the internal feeling that you have. Do you feel anxious, something like, “I’m not sure I can do this – I have so many things to do!”  Do you feel relieved?  Do you feel peace?  Do you feel free?  Or trapped?  Write down your feelings.

  1. Home: I’m pretty quiet. It is not the first time that I speak of my self publishing experience to people. Nonetheless, there are some points that I have to consider:
    • time – I will have a few minutes, I’ll be brief;
    • target – the public will be very varied, not many teachers, but people interested in digital publishing;
    • environmental conditions: I’ll speak outdoors, the weather…
  2. SchoolI have no problems to plan the lesson, but I am a bit disappointed because I wish to work with adequate spaces. My work area will be of 30 x 5 meter with a class of 22 – 26 students. 

– List the times during the week that you plan to work on each project, before the week starts.

  1. Home: I began with the reading of all I wrote about my SP experience and what other people wrote about my ebook. I thought to speak as a parents, not a teachers, and focus on the economic advantages for families about SP in school, and the involvement of the students in the ebooktext writing.
  2. School: I thought to organize e double group of work every class. In the meantime a group performs an endurance test (30+30 meters x 10 times), the other plays in couple some volleyball dribbles and abs exercises in the center line of the area. Then the groups switch. At the end every student gets a score.

At the end of the week, write notes about how successful you were in being disciplined in keeping your Big Rock time, or any failures.  Failures might happen, especially as you are trying this for the first time.  This is another IFF process – start with the failure, identify what you learned, and move ahead.

  1. Home: The speech was brief and effective (so friends said). On the contrary I forgot to say people that they can buy my ebook on the principal stores, and find others insights on my web site, (I am not much interested in the trade. Other authors more astute, did it). I can publish a short post to recall the links. I can use the hashtag #ISPF2013 on the social networks.
  2. School: The lesson I planned finished in about 40 minutes so, in the remaining time, I organized, improvising, other games like team relay races, always in those damn 30 x 5 meters. I learned long ago, but again, that the ability to improvise is always a good friend.

CIC #9 – Measuring Your Ideas – Exercise


metro da sarta

As Jack mentioned in the video on Metrics, learning how to measure our ideas is an important skill that can help us track our creative progress. In this exercise, we want you to practice measuring your ideas using several simple metrics and then reflect on your observations.

Instructions:

Step 1: First, you need to record some ideas

Step 2: Now, we’d like you to measure your ideas using the 4+ metrics listed below. 

  • Quantity: How many ideas did you generate each time? I genereted 4 ideas.
  • Variety: How different are the ideas from each other?  Moderately different for the tools, very different for the processes.
  • Novelty: What kind of novelty do your ideas represent? Are they more adaptively creative or more innovatively creative. Three of them were adaptively, one, IMHO the best, more innovatively.
  • Efficiency: How efficient are your ideas in terms of implementation? I used things that already exist but I create a new system to use them.
  • Your Choice! What other ways can you measure your ideas? I explain the one I realized. It was an ebook that explains how to make etextbooks in selpublishing with the students’ collaboration.
  • Metric 1 lag – my idea was ahead of its time so I think its lifecycle is about 5 years
    Metric 2 lag – I put it in a book and I thought the first year at least 50 people bought it, instead they were about 300
    Metric 3 lead – I hope to see made at least 10 products within 2014
    Metric 4 lead – I hope to translate the ebook in English and publish it in the first 2014

Step 3: Finally, it’s time to reflect on your observations.

What have you discovered about your ideas? I found that my skill with ICT could become something useful for me and my colleagues. What initially seemed like a trivial thing, instead turned out to be interesting for many people.

When do you generate more or less of them, for example? I left out a few ideas that did not seem quite original and innovative, such as a handbook too general and not specific to the school or publish my idea only on my blog. At the end I made an ebook, published by an emerging publishing house.

Do you tend to generate ideas that dig down into a particular line of thinking, or do your ideas tend to spread out like a fan? All my ideas tend to hit a particular goal, where I identify a problem, they go specifically to allow you to change established habits.

What kind of novelty do you tend to create, and how easy or hard will it be to implement your ideas in the short/long term? The novelty is that I found an easy way to write collaborative textbooks. I thought that it would be difficult to understand by colleagues, however, many of them are now following this practice, me too.

What patterns do you see in your ideas, and how are those patterns both enabling and limiting to you over time? The models come from my own knowledge, experience and my work. It’s hard to list them. They helped me very much and I used them flipping the normal processes.

If you could change the way you generate ideas, what would you like to do differently? I wish I could argue with someone who had my own visions, but I did not find.

CIC #8 – Project – Experimentation

This presentation is about my project experimentation. The previous phases are:

Phase 1 – Exploration

Phase 2 – Project Design

CIC #7 – The ABCD’s of Managing Resistance – Exercise

ABCD

  • Think of something that you WANT to do, but have even some doubts about:

I would like to achieve the PhD

  • Have your partner come up with a list of 10 reasons why it will never work – the “adversities”.
  1. you are old
  2. you might get tired
  3. you do not have the basic of knowledge
  4. I don’t understand why. You have a nice job.
  5. I don’t understand what.
  6. you should quit your job
  7. you should go to study abroad, are you sure?
  8. you would have less free time
  9. you would have less time for your family
  10. often you should go to the city and you know you don’t like it
  • Have your friend come up with some “beliefs” and “consequences” to critique you with. You’re really asking for it here!

You like studying. Every time you embarked on a project, you’ve always completed it. Your studies have always come up with something creative. You like changing, you cannot stand the routine. Recalls, if you start you’ll also end up!

  • Now here is where YOU come in. Your job is to develop a “disputation”.

It’s true, I’m not a young student and I like to have some relax moment every day. For some time I’m studying those subjects in which I’m not very prepared. Yes, I like my job, but I think I could do something else, I’m very curious about what I’m studying. I’d stay with inspiring people and I’am sure to give them something, I know to have good competences and, generally I find original solutions to problems. I like to listen what other people say about different tasks. I’d want to spend these last years of jobs to research with other people who are interested in the same topic. I normally spend my free time to study and read, for me it wouldn’t be difficult to continue. I could study abroad for some time, my daughters are grown and work, my family is independent. Yes, I don’t like living in a big city, but I can choose a little town university.

Then repeat the exercise, with you providing the ABC’s, and your friend providing the D’s.

  • Have your partner (my daughter) come up with a list of 10 reasons why it will never work – the “adversities”.

Requalification of old and bad quality furniture elements using colored varnishes and brand new or recycled decorative stuff. The participation is allowed to everyone just by paying an annual quote to the association. The headquarter is a laboratory in a city center, easily reached by the association members, and the activities are followed by the technical equipe which suggest the best way to manipulate materials and choose the appropriate treating compounds. The restored pieces are then re-selled through both an online store and a boutique to finance further requalification activities.

  1. what city did you choose?
  2. do you know how much is the rent of a warehouse in the center?
  3. to those who do you ask money for the initial investment?
  4. who will always be there in that place?
  5. who will clean the place?
  6. how will people will bring there the furniture to be restored?
  7. the security costs could be very high
  8. you must buy many tools
  9. who manages the online sales?
  10. It is a nice idea but I think it will not work
  • Have your friend come up with some “beliefs” and “consequences” to critique you with. You’re really asking for it here!

I know that my daughter likes very much restoring old things. She made beautiful pieces changing old furniture in new modern one. She has good practical skills and deep knowledge about restoring; overall that’s her field of studies, but the project she is showing is too much complex, because it depends from many variables that are difficult to manage and a quite big investment of money (I think it’s difficult to find people who invest blindly). I think she can start with a smaller activity by herself and try to sell her pieces by the Internet. After she could organize a bigger and shared work.

  • Now here is where YOU come in. Your job is to develop a “disputation”.

Yes, I like a lot to repaint and repair old stuff. I guess it would be time-consuming, but at the same time I would have fun and the people coming there would enjoy as well. This kind of activity actually requires a (relatively) small capital, and several facilities are available for cultural associations (e.g. grants for the use of commercial spaces given by the municipality, shorter bureaucratic paths etc.). Anyway, the project may start with a small activity and then develop accordingly to its success!

 

CIC #6 – Best and Worst Collaborations

bene e male

  1. Write a short story about your own “best” and “worst” collaborations.

A) My best collaborative situation was about five years ago. It was when me and other five Italian teachers, attended the Open Educational Resources MOOC. We leaned together for three months, using online tools. At the end we produced a document in collaborative writing, distributing tasks and roles and we also met together a day in Firenze to talk about our experience.

B) Instead my worst collaborative situation was last years. The school where I teach has been destroyed by a big earthquake and all we PE teachers had to work together in one place. Throughout the school year was marked by a great confusion, we could not find organization, someone said he needed some space to carry out the program, others were unhappy, unable to work peacefully.

  1. Next, analyze these experiences based on the principles of CENTER, Creative Diversity, and Intelligent Fast Failure.

BEST

  • Were your motivations for the project different (Character)? We were all strongly motivated to understand how a MOOC works, we also passed difficult tests, especially for language difficulties on big books to read.

  • Did you have a different sense of what “high quality” means (Excellence)? I think we had the same sense of high quality.

  • Were some members more reliable and structured than others (owNership)? One member, in particular, was structured but also capable of challenging the structures.

  • Were some members more willing to try new experiments and take risks (Entrepreneurship)? Yes, one had the idea to do the task together and non individually.

  • Did some members have different listening skills (Relationship)? It was on the same level for all.

  • What similarities and differences did you see in how group members exhibited these qualities? We worked ever online, so the differences were about what each wrote.

  • Were people of different or similar creative levels? It was quite the same level for all.

  • Were their creative styles similar or different? Certainly it was not identical, but very similar.

  • If they were different – how different? Someone was more critical on existing structures and also on the course, others were more cautious about the innovative effect.

  • Did people manage the cognitive gaps well? Yes, finding summaries of the books we had to read.

  • Why? Because the readings were disproportionate the time available.

  • How did the Paradox of Structure influence what happened? The new structure of an online course was based on a strong interaction on social networks and the use of new media such as online conferences.

  • When/how were the creative differences within the team enabling and when/how were they limiting? There were no particular differences of style. We gradually adapted to the demands.

WORST

  • Were your motivations for the project different (Character)? Yes, someone thought to continue what he was doing before, others to leave a lot of freedom to students.

  • Did you have a different sense of what “high quality” means (Excellence)? Yes, someone had to adapt to the needs of all, for others to carry out its own program.

  • Were some members more reliable and structured than others (owNership)? Yes, someone has shown a too rigid structure, others have abandoned it.

  • Were some members more willing to try new experiments and take risks (Entrepreneurship)? Yes, to rearrange the organization of the spaces, but it was useless, all continued to do what they wanted.

  • Did some members have different listening skills (Relationship)? Yes. Do you know to speak to the deaf?

  • What similarities and differences did you see in how group members exhibited these qualities? We were all very nervous and this was not good for students.

  • Were people of different or similar creative levels? Very different. This was the real problem.

  • Were their creative styles similar or different? Different. (Just among the people who understood each other.)

  • If they were different – how different? Who fitted their previous experience and who created new situations.

  • Did people manage the cognitive gaps well? It was not possible.

  • Why? Because there are selfish people and they don’t see beyond their own needs.

  • How did the Paradox of Structure influence what happened? Someone has changed the structure of their work, others do not.

  • When/how were the creative differences within the team enabling and when/how were they limiting? The problem was not the difference of style, but of level.

  • How did failure impact each experience? In the A experience there were any failure. In B was an all bad experience.

  • Did every group member have the same view of failure, or did they approach it differently? The approach was very different.

  • Did the people involved experiment and learn from their failures or not? In the B we learned that is better to organize our work with a structural planning.

  • What kinds of experiments did people try? In B we’re trying to structure otherwise our work.

    3. Finally, list 3 things you might have done differently in each case if you had known then what you know now about creativity, innovation, and change. How will you approach collaboration differently in the future based on what you have learned in this course?

In A I should propose a better distribution of tasks in order to help with synthesis the other members of the group. In B planning better the organization of the spaces of work, with listening moments and shared agreements, moreover proposals for different ways of working. The daily adaptations required to each situations, both were stressful, in the first case productive, not in the second. I think that to collaborate in a team there must be something shared: level, style, motivation, interest or goals; otherwise it is very difficult to find the agreement.

CIC #5 – Project – Design

Last week I wrote the first phase (Exploration) of my Creative Project. You can find it here. I have identified, as the starting point, an online questionnaire to be submitted to my colleagues. You can see in the presentation  below the responses of 90 of them, divided into teachers who would like to use the technologies, and expert tutors in ICT and media for learning.

Interpretation of the data:

  1. The tutors interviewed were enthusiastic about the project. (86% would be willing to move to help colleagues).
  2. In the other hand half of the teachers surveyed is available to host the tutors in exchange for personal training. Others, who have not given the availability (29), would still be interested in training (23). See the Q5. Thus, the project could also provide exchanges between teachers and tutors in the surroundings of their home, exchanging other kind of favors, e.g: an invitation to dinner.
  3. The limit of this survey is that I didn’t reach teachers who are not on the social networks (the most) so, to to have a more realistic view, you should do a survey with a representative sample in statistical terms.

Steps:

  • Conduct research – What else has been done in the area(s) I’m exploring?
    This project follows the example of other initiatives such as Informatici Senza Frontiere (ISF) to which I will ask detailed informations at the appropriate time.

  • Define metrics – How will I measure success?
    Initially I can measure the success of the initiative on the basis of the interest of stakeholders. (See the survey above). After, with quantitative and qualitative feedback on the individual experiences, also discussions and adjustments about project among the members of the (future) staff.

  • What is the timeline of your experiments you will undertake -this can/will go beyond the 8 week course.
    The implementation of the project takes time because it needs further collaborations and technology infrastructure. I think it will take about one year for experimental timeline and development of the project. For the strategic planning I have identified the STEEP elements:

    Social-cultural
    Technological
    Economic
    Ecological
    Political-legal

  • How will you maximize the learning from your failures.
    I think to start with some evidence from the tutors available to test the exchanges and to analyze the challenges as they arise. One of the most important element, to be considered in the beginning, is the communication between the stakeholders. Then you have to implement an online platform that face meet individual needs. These two must be professional and could be financed with crowd funding.

CIC #4 – The Paradox Structure Exercise

struttura

 

The Paradox Structure exercise

Step 1: Choose a structure to analyze that is familiar to you.

This week I have found very interesting the “Paradox Structure” lecture. This is why I read, some months ago, “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” written by T.S. Khun, so the chapter by Mrs.K.W.Jablokov, makes it clear what happens when a new idea/thought is born and how allocate it inside or outside of existing paradigms. For the exercise I have chosen the school where I teach, because is for me a well known structure.

Step 2: Consider how the Paradox of Structure applies to the structure you have chosen. Write down both the enabling and limiting features of that structure as you see them. Some features may appear in both categories (enabling and limiting).

The organizational structure of the Italian hight school is old, it comes from the middle of the XX century and the new reforms made in the past years, after attempts of innovations, have been reported recently to the initial structure. (But the world goes on).

Despite this structural rigidity, some teachers, not many, are aware that there is a need to review the meanings about learning/teaching pedagogical concepts and redesign the paradigm around their work.

Enabling: something is moving

  • The Ministry of Education is trying to innovate the school with the introduction of some projects about new technology with training courses on Interactive White Boards.

  • My school have activated some specific projects to introduce these devices, and others like tablets, laptops, ect., to open the classrooms to the outside with the Internet connections.

Limiting: more isn’t moving

  • Architectural: our classrooms are structured for a classical teaching. The teacher uses his voice, the textbook, individual exercise, narrow classrooms and so on. It is difficult to create a physical environment where the students can connect.

  • Teachers’ skills: the most of teachers aren’t attending the Web environment. Precisely: they know what the Internet is, but they give it a technological value, not a cultural one. Moreover, they cannot actively manage the Web tools.

  • Mentality: teachers think that it is possible to move the new technological skills into the old classical paradigm about teaching/learning. (I think this is the hardest obstacle to overcome).

My analysis shows the main points; I could write many pages on the topic, but I think this synthesis is enough to understand the conflict between tradition against innovation. The online speeches with my colleagues or experts on media education are agree to say that we are in a transition period, where the old concepts and paradigms are very strong supported by the old structure (physical and mental) so, the inescapable change suddenly will appear in the coming years. At this point it will need to clarify the structure of the new paradigm and their boundaries.

For this reason I thought my creative project – you can see it here – that would want to help teachers, who’d like to learn, more about the revolutionary changing of the new media impact in their work methods.

Step 3: If possible, find a partner (inside or outside this course) who is willing to analyze the same structure you’ve chosen – or maybe you can trade structures with a classmate and analyze two! Have each person record the enabling and limiting features of each structure – and then compare your views. How are your views of the enabling and limiting features of the structure similar? How are they different?

Well, I’m waiting for your kind opinion. What do you think about my analysis? Have you the same perceptions? What happen in your school? What do you think the future will be, are you optimist o pessimist? What are you doing to innovate your teaching? Feel free to express what you think; your ideas are very important to me. Thank you.

Step 4 (for extra depth): If you have done the Creative Style Estimation Exercise, you might also think about your creative style and creative level and the impact they have on how you view the structure(s) you’ve been analyzing. And if you are working with a partner, you might also consider how your respective creative styles and levels impact your different views. See what you can learn about your preferences for structure by discussing your individual perspectives!

My creative style is moderately innovative (71/ points) I think my project is in line with my style because, although innovative, is based on experiences that are already practiced in other areas of social life and volunteer work. What is innovative are the contents: knowledge, skills, new teaching/learning concepts that are structuring a new paradigm. Instead, what is known, is the exchange between people who have something to give to each other.

In practice, in this phase of my project design, I’m listening to my colleagues what they are thinking about it. Follow my steps on my site.

Step 5: Come to the Discussion Forum for this exercise and share your findings and insights.

What did you discover about structure in general?

I’m very interested about the topic. Our brain, but all our body, are complex structures, I think that our thoughts and ideas are strongly influenced by structures (physical – not physical). When we are learning something new, we have to allocate the experiences, concepts, paradigms into existing structures and if we have an open body/mind, we can help to restructure more easily the knowledge and, consequently, the same structures.

What did you learn about the particular structure(s) you analyzed?

The analysis helped me to consider aspects of the global framework, or rather, to understand how the opposing forces play and quantify the benefits of a sustainable improvement.

What did you find out about different views of structure?

I can see everyday on the Web what different countries are doing to innovate the education methods, they are both about physical and mental structures.

How can you apply the Paradox of Structure in other parts of your life?

In particular I can see see in the political and government measures that are no longer adequate to the needs of the XXI century life.