explorations of a wanna-be difference-maker in nursing education and life in general

Archive for the tag “connectivism”

MOOC success step five: focus on a project to apply at work

Is anyone else  overwhelmed with all that you’re learning and have yet to learn to finish this course?  How are you doing with your projects?

I returned to Dave Cormier’s Success in a MOOC this morning for some re-orienting.  Now, I’m reflecting on how well I’ve done the 5 tasks:

  1. orient (I think I’ve done this fairly well)
  2. declare (not tagging consistently!)
  3. network (I’m getting networked in the course and now will add more nurse educators in undergraduate programs for resource sharing)
  4. cluster (I count Laura, Shauna, and Reenie in my cluster, and I see that Tannis and I share a passion for social justice, but I am learning from every single person in the course) and finally
  5. FOCUS on the project that I will apply to my job.

As I attempt to write a text and visual script for this presentation, I’m reflecting on the purpose I’d stated last week.

Purpose of Project: to share within and without one nursing program’s community of practice, via a digital presentation, innovations undertaken to integrate ICT in our learning spaces with the expectation that faculty’s self-efficacy (expectations of mastery and success) beliefs will increase as a result of vicarious experience via successful peer modelling and persuasion from credible, trustworthy sources (Bandura, 1996).

I’m wondering if it is ambitious or comprehensive enough.  I’m wondering if I should be attempting to share a snippit of Sieman’s theory of connectivism as a new framework for learning that takes into account technology, the decreasing half-life of knowledge and the organizational implications for “deploying instruction”.  Hmm, maybe it’s impossible to take a snippit from his theory!   Maybe I need to reference a technology acceptance model too?

I’m wondering if I should share any of my new learning from this course in this presentation, or if that’s to be explored in a blog that I’d share with my colleagues after EC&I 831 is over in which I might embed my Learning Summary which might prompt some to take up twitter or blogging.  Hmmm, yes.  I think the latter.  What do you think?  This will be presented in a faculty meeting and later posted to youtube on a private channel.

I’m thinking that I’d like to share a clip from Deans SHARE-ski’s Sharing, the Moral Imperative as an intro in my Project.  I’d like to stir some passion and create a vision for sharing within and without our organization.

I already have 90 minutes of videotaped interviews and I’m doing at least 2 more, so I have some significant editing to do.  I want the finished product to be 10 – 15 minutes or shorter, but deliver lots of punch.  I’ve never done anything like this before.  Any words of wisdom for me born of experience?

I realize that this project is quite different that what many of you are doing in that your projects focus directly on students, but if you have any ideas to help me move forward, I’d sure welcome them.  And I’d love to hear how your project is going…. and now I need to get going on mine!

Wonder-less or wanderlust? Worker or nomad?

On the move by munir, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  munir 

Workers, soldiers and nomads… 3 exemplars proposed as outcomes from our current education system. Which should we value most?

I’d like to suggest that our learning spaces should absolutely encourage nomadism as Dave Cormier describes it, but allow for and encourage those who are, by nature, workers, to metamorphose. There are positive attributes in the worker, as well.

I’m applying Cormier’s ideas to my learning spaces which connect young adults and nursing art and science knowledge, but I think these ideas would apply also to younger learners in the K-12 system. A nursing student must show up on time for skills labs to practice in simulation under expert supervision to responsibly prepare to care for real live people. You as the general public will agree, I’m sure, that you’d rather not you or your family member be “the first time”. She must be able to deal with the structure of a clinical practicum, both in terms of time frame and scope of practice, and she must be willing to accept delegated tasks and complete them. She is only able to work in that setting under the terms of agreement between the facility and the learning institution; and she is able to do so because a licensed professional is taking responsibility. So, I would suggest that some “worker” characteristics are laudable. Indeed, it could be said that we all have to submit to somebody. Is submission is getting a bad rap here? Submission suggests humility, a positive moral attribute, in my books. Students in any program, under transformational leadership, might be willing, even inspired to accept tasks and complete them. This might be even more true if the facilitator makes it clear that foundations are being laid for later exploration and discovery.

If I am understanding Cormier’s proposition, then the nomad nursing student would ask plenty of questions in preparing for her clinical day and while in the setting. She’d likely use a concept map, as opposed to a linear care plan, to make connections between pathophysiology and symptoms and treatments. She’d be observing with a critical lens the power relationships in healthcare and bold enough to ask me, “why do we need to learn this?” or “if it makes more sense to me to do it this way, can I do it this way?”, or “why did that nurse just let that doctor talk to her/that patient like that?” She’d be searching out theoretical frameworks to help her understand lack of compliance with treatment plan. She’d be using social media tools to connect with others to expand connection-making and discuss ideas.

About Cormier’s description of soldier, I perceive this “handle” would apply to nursing educators who cannot let go of content and move toward a learning-centered approach, who are reluctant to use the tech tools and platforms that access the most current state of knowledge. They hold to an outdated view of knowledge that isn’t in touch with 2011 realty, where knowledge is almost constantly changing and rearranging.

As for nomadic learning, my teaching mentor made this a requirement in a prior course, in which 30% of our mark came from co-creating our curriculum on ning.com. This allowed for nomadic wandering after individual interests and passions. There were required readings each week to form a foundation of understanding on the topic, but after that we sought out readings from nursing and non-nursing sources, and media presentations from TED and youtube, and posted them online for discussion and critique. I believe this was a great approach, to introduce students who had been trained, for the most part, in a top-down, “produce a worker” model of education, and who may have faltered initially with no marked path whatsoever. (What I just said seems to suggest that I believe learners can be socialized into an approach to learning!) As I’ve mentioned previously in this blog, the exposure to the experience of connectivism, and community as curriculum, actually birthed in them a “wanderlust”, whether or not they’d articulate it as such. In undergraduate nursing education, I believe there is room to allow for pursuit of knowledge discovery along lines of personal interests and a diversity of choice in evaluative tools, as well. And indeed, we can shift or flip our learning spaces to be about inquiry and discovery as opposed to absorbing supplied knowledge.

The world will be better off with the different-thinkers, the questioners, those who march to the beat of a different drum, but discipline to stay a course and complete a task when the interest wanes is a quality you don’t want to be without either. I say let’s promote the positive aspects of each of these exemplars in learners and ourselves and move toward nomadism. God knows the wicked problems in health care will only be sorted by nomads!

Bamboo by funadium, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  funadium 

Did you know that most varieties of bamboo are rhizomatic!  I didn’t until just now.  Bamboo has many wonderful features.  It is lightweight and flexible,  highly efficient in converting CO2 to O2, and comes in a dazzling array of colors.  It is able to double or triple its mass in a single growing season.  Some varieties are denser than oak.  New shoots are edible in the spring. the pulp is useful for paper production and the culms for timber.  It is considered by some as the most important renewable resource of this century!  

 What do you think?  Does the natural speak of life and learning?  Are there more metaphors to be taken from the life of rhizomes and applied to the rhizomatic model of learning?

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