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Design on Culture – by Rongfei

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Written by soaringterence

October 27, 2010 at 2:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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Written by soaringterence

May 1, 2010 at 4:43 am

Posted in IT 780

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IT780 Final Course Reflection

with 7 comments

I learned the word “seminar” in my GRE preparation, and only had an idea that seminar courses are offered in graduate school. Later as I proceed and have taken some courses in graduate school, my understanding toward the word seminar evolved a little bit but was still limited – I thought seminar is a course offered to have students and the professor discuss a specific topic, until I took this course at the final semester of my first Master’s study time span. IT 780 was the first seminar course I have ever taken, surly as it name goes, it was a comprehensive course that covered a lot of things, and it has truly manifested the typical feature of a seminar class – to value discussion and each students’ ideas and insights.

My general impression to this class has been positive. First of all it covered a lot of knowledge that could be helpful for my professional practice. Although my professional goal has changed a little compared with the time when I first was stepping into the field of instructional technology, but these trends, web 2.0 applications and technologies can be of same level of help to anyone who would use the web and who would learn. Learning is a life-long thing, these technologies not only help me to learn better in the future, but also enable me to inform others with various kinds of possibilities to enhance learning. For instance, in the future, I can better use podcast to learn English and Japanese words, and can use social bookmarking to enhance my web research and collect design-related web resources, it will improve the performance of my work by providing more convenience and clearance, and will help me organize more resources than before. I thus became richer in terms of proficiency and information.

I also gained a clearer and deeper understanding of the trend web 2.0. When the word first came into being and started to be discussed by everyone two years ago, I knew it is a definition that means a lot. Of course, it has to do with the web, and it is depicting and defining a new era. I thus did some research and read the renowned article about web 2.0 – Tim O’Reilly’s What is Web 2.0 (2008), published on the O’Reilly official website. Yet at that time, with little experience in the web-based technology and insensitivity about the web’s change, I could hardly understand the concepts mentioned in that article such as syndication, convergence, social software, etc. After the theoretical learning, discussion, and hands-on practice on all the course content, the concepts in that article eventually started to make sense and I do not need to try my best to comprehend those obscure concepts – they just became self-evident!

Although this course contained a lot of work, and it used to make me overloaded along with other works I had to do, I still enjoyed it. I enjoyed it not only because the knowledge I gained from it, but also such a harmonious community we had established that provides mutual support. The first day of the class when everyone was sitting in the classroom with Dr. Yuen, I knew it was going to be a fantastic class because everyone looked so ready to explore and help, and the diversity in this community amaze me. Everyone has his or her strength and unique background, which made this class more fun to interactive each other. As I am wrapping up this class, I am also wrapping up my MS degree in Instructional Technology. I don’t like to manifest my occasionally overwhelming emotion but sometimes I couldn’t help. I am just grateful, to everyone, that had helped me walk through this journey.

Written by soaringterence

May 1, 2010 at 4:32 am

Reflection on Class Presentation: SHOWN’D

with 3 comments

Students are required to select a Web 2.0 tool related to the focus of this course. Each student will make a presentation face-to-face as well as online using the Slideshare’s slidecasting feature. By February 22, each student will pick one of the Web 2.0 tools that are not covered in the course and post on the forum to tell everyone your selected Web 2.0 tool. – Dr. Yuen

Besides six hands-on project assignments in this class, we are also required to do a presentation in our last face-to-face class based on our self-chosen web 2.0 technologies. I guess the purpose of this assignment is to foster a professional exchange between class members and to use the collective intelligence to inform each other. In addition, each class member may have the chance to plan, prepare and practice a professional presentation, which might quite helpful for class members’ professional career.

Months ago when I was searching some information online, I accidentally stumbled into a site called SHOWN’D from the link of one of my friends’ Facebook profile. I found it was a good-looking, clean and easy-to-use site that provides a platform for online creative works portfolio sharing. It was very good for new designers and digital artists. I thus chose SHOWN’D as my web 2.0 presentation.

To present how to use this site could be pretty easy, if we were only asked to do a demonstration in class and were given an unlimited amount of time. Yet the challenging part to me about this assignment was 1) preparing a ppt file, instead of doing a demo directly, to thoroughly introduce the application and the related technological solution and rationale to the audience; 2) finish everything and familiarize the audience with this application and solution within 7 minutes.

I took Dr. Yuen’s slideshares provided in this class as an example. The structure for Dr. Yuen’s slideshare starts with the web 2.0 trend and a gap that needs to be filled, a problem that demands a technological solution, then the main topic, or application will be introduced, it’s features and advantages will be described. Although I tried to follow such a flow in preparing a through presentation of the application, that is, to raise the problem, and provide the solution with an summarization of the tools feature, I still feel my presentation a little disorganized. I think the imperfection could be ascribed to the level of familiarity with the topic presented. If I’d known the topic a little more, I would have a clearer clue when organizing the slides. Also, when presenting, I learned it was better to not try to cover everything if the time was limited. Select some important slides and points would help the presenter to provide some important information. I uploaded the final presentation to Slideshow as required, which could be found here: http://www.slideshare.net/Rongfe85/shownd

Written by soaringterence

May 1, 2010 at 3:22 am

Posted in IT 780

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Book Chapter Review Reflection #5: Web2.0 Tools (Chapter 4)

with 3 comments

The final book chapter review assignment was based on the reading of Chapter 4 in our textbook, Designing Dynamic Learning Environment for Web 2.0 Applications, which focused on the instructional possibilities that Web 2.0 applications brings about, and how we, as instructional designers, can respond to promote dynamic learning by using appropriate instructional design models in our practice. The chapter raised problems and needs on the lack of fitting instructional design models and provided discussion to seek resolutions.

The whole chapter was composed of three main parts in addition to its introduction and conclusion, including the introduction and description of web 2.0 features, review of existing instructional design models and the proposal of a newly developed instructional design model for web 2.0 environment. In its introduction, the author raised the problem – web 2.0 applications are gaining popularity and are becoming powerful and dominant, yet the inconsistency between existing linear, well-structured and -programmed instructional design models and instructional practice in such a complicated, ill-structured learning environment is actually impeding the effective integration of web 2.0 technologies into teaching and learning.

The first part of the chapter discussed the characteristics and features of the current web 2.0 learning, which was primarily represented by shared ownership, simultaneous traversals of multiple knowledge spaces, and social negotiation. Relatively, some challenges and needs are encountered by instructors and learners as they engage in web 2.0 learning, which are defined here as cognitive demands. They include cognitive load, selection of appropriate cognitive strategies, and integration of information across multiple domains. The author then introduced existing and emerging instructional design models and discussed their characteristics and theories from which they are derived. These models include early ones such as ADDIE, linear and non-linear SID models, emergent ones such as WisCom Design model, “T5” Design model and so on. Finally, the author presented the model developed by himself, based on theoretical framework composed of emergence theory, functional contextualism individual differences, meta-cognition and self-regulation. The model was characterized by learner-centered approach, interactive social communication, and dynamic learning in web 2.0 applications. Guidelines are also provided for readers to practice this model.

This chapter is informative because it provided information on various related topics on instructional models and instructional theories to make the argument on web 2.0 learning. Its strength lies in its bravery to provide a theoretical support to analyze all the important mechanism involved in web 2.0 learning. Many know what web 2.0 is and many can give several examples of web 2.0, and there are lots of articles out there talking about why and how web 2.0 technologies could be integrated into teaching and learning activities. Nevertheless, this article examined the familiar topic from a brand-new perspective, a perspective based on theoretical development and problem-solving attitude. It not only sharply pointed out the lack of fitting ID models but also provided a possible solution by examining existing literatures and developing new models. To develop an instructional design model requires solid theoretical support as well as empirical experiences in instructional practice. The author did a good job to pointing our why early models are no longer effective for web 2.0 instruction and making strong argument to provide theories and to propose the new framework. The weakness, in my observation, is the lack of empirical data. If the developed model and framework could be pilot-tested by practitioners and teachers and data could be collected the support and improve the framework, this chapter will become more persuasive.

From reading this chapter, I revisited knowledge learned from previous course works such as instructional design model and instructional design theories. It’s good to look at these concepts again after taking other courses in IT program because the experiences of learning new technologies and discussing their possible application in teaching and learning have endowed me with another perspective to look at these theories that used to take me a long time to comprehend. Also, after finishing the Capstone Project, which is a independently designed instructional system, my perspective to look at these theories became more systemic, organized and practical.

This chapter helped me reviewed old knowledge and also provided new information. Some of the discussed instructional design models and instructional design theories were new to me, and the idea of developing a new framework, or instructional design model, to fit teaching and learning in a web 2.0 environemt is quite intriguing. The angle that the author discussed those theories and models were also different from what I learned from textbooks earlier, because the author was discussing all those with the prerequisite of using everything to enhance web 2.0 learning activities.

Web 2.0 is definitely not a past fad, actually it is in its dominance. Indeed, web 2.0 is making changes largely in education. To find out how web 2.0 technologies and applications could be best utilized to enhance teaching and learning should not only be limited to discuss assumptions and methods of how it could be integrated into class activities such as the detailed procedure of creating a social networking site – it also requires individuals from other level of instructional technology, educational technology, learning technology, and instructional design fields. Just as fat as the philosophy of collective intelligence manifested by web 2.0 tools goes, to find out how web 2.0 applications could be used to its full needs everyone’s effort on theoretical development and practical experiences.

Written by soaringterence

April 30, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Posted in IT 780

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Assignment #6 Reflection: Ning

with 5 comments

Create a social network with Ning. You are free to create your own social network for anything. However, it must be public. Upon completion of your social network, please post the URL to Assignment 5 Forum of IT 780 Social Network. – Dr. Yuen

The last assignment of this class was to create a social networking in Ning. Dr. Yuen gave us the liberty to choose any kind of topic we feel interested, which enabled us to think about how we can utilize this opportunity to integrate this popular web 2.0 technology into our professional practice. I had planned the topic and had to choose from several options. Since my future path seems to emerge from a confusion that used to bother me as I received the admission offer from the College of Fine Arts at University of Florida, I decided to create a social networking that has to do with digital art.

The topic really took me a while to narrow down because even I targeted at digital art, I still need to think about how to include as many as branch fields that has to do with this main theme. For instance, graphic design and interactive design could be quite different, user-centered design research has to do with web design but it is also widely used in industrial design. I thus selected three key words to define the title: art, design, and technology. Having fixed the title, it became relatively easy to set up the theme, uploading files and preparing resources for this social networking site.

In fact, this is not the first time I am using social networking. I have a profile both in Facebook and LinkedIn, and I am an addicted user of Renren, used to be called Xiaonei, the Chinese largest social networking site originally designed for college students, now it has became the most popular social networking site. I use it a lot in order to get connected with my friends and colleagues in China, keep in track with trends in China, and so on. Ning is a little different. We studied Ning a little bit in IT 648, Telecommunication, last summer, and was required to set-up a group social networking site. At beginning I confused two concepts: the personal profile page and the personal social networking site. Because the difference between Ning and Facebook not only lie in the target audience, but also in their structures. Facebook sets a personal page, or profile page for each user, and people interact with activities and applications and come and go to their friends’ personal pages. But Ning not only provide the personal page, but also a network based on a specific topic or professional field, it’s like a group, where people can conduct activities based on the topic or theme – they can upload media, chat, send messages, add links, start threaded discussions, and write blogs. Every one inside this specific network, or group, has a personal page, which has nothing to do with personal “home”. On the personal home, all the networks that this user joined and networks s/he created will be listed.

In sum, this has been a very useful technology for professional practitioners – it integrated many popular technology and web 2.0 features and packed them into one service. The sad thing is Ning’s announcement on the end of free-of-charge service. I guess all business target money – as long as they grow big and influential enough, they start to care about money instead of the customers and users. But anyway, just to talk about the thing itself, Ning is a very good possibility for educators and other professional practitioners who need professional communication and development. The social networking site I created could be found at: http://arttech.ning.com/

Art, Design & Technology SNS


Written by soaringterence

April 30, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Posted in IT 780

Tagged with , , ,

Book Chapter Review Reflection #4: Social Networking (Chapter 2 & 16)

with 3 comments

The fourth threaded discussion questions was to read and review chapter 2 and chapter 16 on the text book, both of which were about social networking. Social Networking is currently a popular topic to be discussed in the educational technology field. Chapter 2, Conceptualizing Codes of Conduct in Social Networking Communities, focused on the legal and ethical issues about integrating social networking into educational institutions and practice and covered different roles involved such as teachers, students, parents, and administrators. It introduced lots of cases, through which the authors’ points were illustrated. Chapter 16 combined theoretical discussion and a case study, which deductively introduced how social networking as a web 2.0 technologies foster a sense of community and how can it make a change in learning and teaching by examining the empirical case of the authors.

The chapter 2 contains several parts but mainly focused on providing a social moral framework to analyze three vulnerabilities of social networking site in education. The chapter fist of all introduced social networking site briefly and stated why they are being so popular and has been paid so much attention. The reasons included, but are not limited to the fact that they allow people to stay connected and they provide possibility of connection on different types of community, such as personal, professional and informative ones. The authors raised the topic to be discussed by introducing one instructors’ experience on accidentally finding out one student’s dark content on his social networking page. This case triggered the discussion on social networking tools capability to connect people but also meanwhile raises questions to ponder. Some good questions included “Where did the instructor’s authority end and the student’s personal life began?” or “Was the online information within or outside the classroom?” The author then further introduced legal concerns and many campus incidents related to using the social networking sites.

The bulk of this chapter was about the provided moral framework, which is supported by the social cognitive domain theory. The framework is provided to analyze, but not to resolve problems mentioned so educational practitioners that use social networking tools may have a clear sense over the ethical issues. The authors used the framework to have analyzed the three ethical vulnerabilities of social networking site and provided some suggestions such as providing safe place to revisit existing codes of conducts.

Chapter 16, Using Social Networking to Enhance Sense of Community in E-learning Courses, was a little different from Chapter 2 in terms of their focuses. The whole chapter aimed to finding out values of social networking tools and how can it make a change in learning and teaching activities. The main point was the sense of community. The chapter was a combination of literature reviews and empirical evaluation studies. At the beginning, the chapter introduced the technological trend in online teaching and learning and identified the social networking tools among literatures of how students learn via social networking and how institutions utilize social networking. The authors then introduced the sense of community by theoretical analyze this concept with the support of relevant literatures. Another rationale for using social networking, according to this chapter, is because its audience is composed of digital natives known also as Generation Y. Their attitudes and behaviors determined that social networking could be an optimal tool to enhance learning activities.

In the case study part, the authors introduced an evaluation study conducted on a course offered by one of the authors. The case study included the design of social networking sites and how learning and course activities were conducted in the site built. The findings indicated a positive student’s response and were categorized into themes such as connectedness, the influence on learning, and age and gender differences. The study concludes the approach used by the authors to design and integrate a social networking site into courses could be worthwhile and the study well supported the sense of community discussion.

These two chapters were very insightful and informative. The strength of chapter 2 is it’s breaking down the seemingly one topic into well-structured points. The ethical and legal issue, as I see it, could be a holistic topic when discussing social networking site. However, the authors are able to organize the topic and related issues and defined them as three vulnerabilities. It needs courage to do so because if I were given a task to write about social networking, I could not pick ethical and legal concern of using social networking in education, which is such a narrow and specific topic, to start. This might also has to do with the writer’s rich experiences. However, the language was a big challenge to me as the wording of chapter 2 was not really reader-friendly. Chapter 16 has a very clear structure and was easy to understand. It uses empirical studies to support the theoretical discussion, and to further explore social networking’s feasibility, which made it a very good argument. Additionally, all the discussions were based on intensive review of literatures.

As I see social networking, it is definitely not a past fad and actually, it is an on-going, popular, and powerful web 2.0 tool that could be utilized to enhance learning and teaching. Its applicability has been widely discussed both in the chapters and other materials, and I agree that to establish the sense of community is very essential to students’ learning. I personally had the feeling of separation and being disconnected when I first got here and participated on several online WebCT based courses. And social networking site based course has been a change. I also agree what was pointed out in the Horizon Report, that social networking is actually a lasting trend in the future as the web develops.

Written by soaringterence

April 28, 2010 at 1:31 am

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