Don't Study in Ways That Help You!

Wow. I read this link, and it has me quite furious! Here is another link to a CBC article on the same issue.

Basically, Ryerson University is saying that studying with someone else is cheating. Their intent, I believe, is to make sure that students don't abuse the internet and networking, and they are truly concerned over making sure that their students learn the content.

However, how many times have you gone into a study hall in a high school or at a university in any number of areas, and seen a group of students studying together? Isn't that the same? It's just a different forum. It's online as opposed to face-to-face.

Now, I think that this is a GREAT way to use social networking in education. As a CFF Coach, I use my network ALL THE TIME. I don't get accused of cheating. I get thanked for being able to access the knowledge to learn and share with others. Let's face it. Learning IS social. That's why we go to schools instead of learning just by reading on our own. In the 21st Century it's not about knowing facts anymore. It's about being able to find the facts, analyze them, and apply them, and being able to work with others.

Now, there is also the fact that some homework answers were posted online. Now we're in the part where we get to trouble. There is a difference between studying together and just posting and taking answers from someone else. I imagine that is the issue, and that is wrong. But, since there is one small part that is bad, the university is attempting to take away to good with the bad.

The way I see it, this university has two options: The first is to expel the young man that was the moderator of the group, even though he did not post any answers. This will lead to a large resistance by the student body, as they will see this as going against everything they have been learning and how they have been learning. The second option is to work on assessing the problem. All sides need to look at what the pros and cons are of new technologies. Both sides need to work together to reach a compromise. Accountability needs to lay on both the students and the university staff. The students need to make sure that if someone is misusing the technology, they point it out. The staff needs to make sure to lay out the guidelines as to how they expect to see this used. And don't restrict it, promote it. Model it. The more the staff takes the lead in these situations, the better these situations will end.


From Google Docs and Spreadsheets?

First, they give us forms for spreadsheets. Now this?

Why didn't I know about this a month ago? So I can post a blog directly, through my cell phone (Jott), and Google Docs and Spreadsheets.

This will allow for collection and sharing of data to be even nicer. If I do an experiment where my students gather data and enter it in a form for my Google Spreadsheet, I could just have that data posted to my blog so they can view it? I don't have to have them sign in to anything? Hmm...

Still catching up after PETE&C

What's that you say? It's March 4 and PETE&C ended on February 12? Where has the time gone? I would have loved to have been able to live blog from PETE&C, but I didn't want to have to fight the network, which had to happen quite a bit. On top of that, I had to pick up my materials the first day, and then driving back and forth on top of that made for some long days. I think I might stay at the Lodge next year, which will lead to an even more rich experience for the entire conference.

With that being said, I am going to be getting through as many postings from what I saw as I can, while multitasking at a collaboration day for Science teachers at Warwick High School. Right now, we are viewing an iMovie created by students dealing with the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. I have noticed that they have the Ken Burns effects turned on, but they didn't edit any of the animations. Their content is great, but seeing the same animation over and over makes me a little seasick. That's definitely one thing to keep in mind as you demonstrate iMovie to students: introduce some elements of design into the design of the project. The content is still the number one thing for them to focus on, but the use of the tools will help them out down the road as well.

When working on a project like this iMovie, it is important to reflect on what worked well and what might need tweaked for future assignments. Before working with creation of the project, make sure that research is done, as well as a script. If students get their planning done ahead of time, it will lead to a much smoother creation of the final project. You may want to model this to your students to show them how planning can make a huge difference.

Anyway, I am going to be adding posts about PETE&C as I go until I get them done. Then it'll be back to regular blogginG: talking about other facets of edtech, comics, and hockey.