by Elizabeth Childs.  

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to week two of Unit 4 – can you believe there are only two weeks to go in our course?!? Well done.

Last week, Activity 1 in Unit 4 invited you to choose a topic to examine re; the impact of DLE’s. Groups were formed here and then you were off and running. Thank you for your thought provoking work examining some challenging and “ill structured” issues through the lens of the impact of digital learning. This activity invites you to explore issues that may be unfamiliar or very familiar from a different lens and with the benefit of other voice(s) in mix with the aim to cultivating a broader/deeper understanding of the complexity of the issue. I have provided links to the summaries below and as always, if I have missed something or am in error, please let me know and I will send out an update.

·       Barb, Shelley and Eric explored cross-cultural communications through the lens of an annotated bibliography and binary scale of positives/negatives. Here are some additional resources that might be useful including an OER resource from our RRU CTET – Transformative Learning for Intercultural Understanding

·       Jean-Pierre and Denys examined Teaching 21st Century Skills in 20th Century School through the lens of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity and offer some wonderful resources to extend into.

·       Ash, David and Cheryl investigated Fake News and Misinformation in relation to Digital Learning. This informative infographic also offers some excellent references and resources as we continue to examine and address the impact fake news and misinformation has on digital learning. You all met our Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning, Dr. George Veletsianos, during the MALAT virtual symposium. He, Dr. Jaigris Hodson and other colleagues are studying misinformation flows pertaining to COVID-19 and design educational interventions to address misinformation. If you are interested, you can find more about this research here.

·       Mike and Vanessa examined the lack of learning opportunities in rural communities. Along with the extremely thoughtful research done on this issue, they also introduce a new tool Genially which might be useful as you in your own work setting or beyond.

Thank you all so much for the time and commitment you put into this activity. You have done a great job and I would love to showcase your work on the RRU Crossroads enewletter that goes out on Fridays. This would involve me providing the assignment description and then a link to your blogs, similar to what is above. If this is something that you would be comfortable with me doing to amplify your good work and its reach, just let me know via email. If you would prefer I did not, that is fine too. I will not submit anything unless I have your permission to do so.

For your interest, I have also provided a link to what some groups explored last year in this activity as there are a wealth of references and resources that you might find useful in your work. Last year folks explored the following:

·       Owen and Kathy examined look at the lack of learning opportunities in rural communities and provided us with some thought-provoking considerations in their blog post (Kathy’s blog; Owen’s blog) and a wealth of references for us to dig into further.

·        Laren, Caroline and Kerry provided a series of bullet points on inclusion in digital learning – thank you for raising such important points. I have included a link to their individual blogs above as you can find it on each one and also have the benefit of enjoying some of their other blogs posts on topics such as active learning etc.

·       Marta and Mark provided us with a lovely infographic summarizing their investigation into misinformation and fake news. Thanks for presenting this in an alternative format you two and I’m sure folks would love to hear how you created the infographic – something you might add to your post perhaps?

·       Eunice, Lisa and Jeff explored access to education for students with disabilities

·       Dan, Sherry and Kymberleigh examined teaching 21st Century skills in 20th century schools and the impact of digital technologies on the shift in teaching practice from why to how.

·       Sanjay and Leigha investigated the impact of digital learning environments on educators

Thanks so much all for all of your contributions to the Unit 4 Activity 1. These will be so valuable as you move forward and the resources you have drawn up on will be very useful when you are considering the impact of the intersection of digital learning environments and social issues in future courses.

As I mentioned in our synchronous session last week, the Unit 4 Activity 1 is meant to get your thoughts flowing re: issue for Assignment Three – the briefing note. Some of you may pick up on the issue you explored in Unit 4 Activity 1 in Assignment Three and others may have a completely different issue all together – either path is fine! Also, just a gentle reminder that Assignment Three is due this Sunday June 9th.

Now this update wouldn’t be complete without an update on the feedback for Assignment Two! I am just finalizing my comments and thoughts to your debate components and will be uploading them to your individual Moodle assignment dropboxes (one for the Debate and the other for self/peer assessment). As always, if you have any questions or want to talk further once you have a chance to go through the feedback just let me know and I would be happy to. Many thanks to all of you for your hard work on the debate and for getting your peer/self assessment submitted in a timely manner. It was very much appreciated as it made it much easier to get the overall feedback to you in advance of Assignment Three.

Last but not least, many thanks to David for your reflection and discussion starter/thought provocation in our debate debrief forum in Moodle. It is always interesting to see the topics of conversation and exploration that it sparked. Well done all.

Okay, I think that is about it from this end for now. Have a wonderful week and we will speak soon. Be well.