Week 5: Being Less Helpful

Welcome to Week 5!

By now you should have:

  • read and completed all readings up to “Week 5” in the “My Courses” tab
  • gotten started on your final project, and as you do, add your project into this Google Drive folder
  • written 4 blog posts (you should have 5 by the end of this week)
  • continue recording the URLs of each of the posts you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet
  • continue recording the URL of each of the comments you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet
  • continue checking your feedback (for prior posts and comments) on your grading spreadsheet
  • completed the application process for SUNY (only if you’re taking COETAIL for SUNY credit)

Getting Together: Learning 2.013 in Singapore

I know we’re all over the world in this online cohort, but if you’re attending Learning 2.013 in Singapore this week, we’ll be having a COETAIL meet-up, most likely during one of the unconference times (but we haven’t decided yet), and we’d love to see you there! As part of the Conference Committee, I’ll be heading down to Singapore on Monday, and will look forward to meeting up with some of you when you arrive later in the week! If you’re attending, please leave a comment here, so we’ll all know who to look for in Singapore 🙂

Being Less Helpful

One of the things you might have noticed so far in the program is the importance of connecting with other participants through reading and commenting. The connections you make with others, and the feedback your receive from them, is by far the most powerful aspect of this program. We hope that your experience in COETAIL will either help you start, or continue to expand your personal learning network. Your learning doesn’t start or end with this program, this is just a vehicle to help you create an environment and community that works for you.

The idea of being less helpful is from Dan Meyer, whose TEDx talk is part of the Week 5 readings. To create this kind of authentic learning, we’re providing some big ideas, some key themes to refer to, some suggestions for moving forward, and a platform for your reflection. It’s now up to you to take this information and run with it. What can you create with this foundation?

One of the things I always talk about with my students is learning how to learn. Since technology is always changing, they need to feel confident and comfortable to try things out, to explore, and to make connections to prior knowledge so that can support them in learning new things independently. In fact, just before Field Studies, my tutor group and I had a great conversation about why I encourage them to explore on their own and test things out. When I asked them why they think I do that, here are a few of the things they said (grade 6):

  • because sometimes you might be by yourself and need to do something urgently.
  • because as you get older, not everyone knows or needs to know the same things as you, so you have to figure it out.
  • because you learn best by doing it.
  • because experimenting is more fun than being told how to do something.
  • because technology always changes.
  • because we can figure things out faster by trying than by asking.

These were some pretty great answers from grade 6, and it helped get them thinking about the different ways that they have learned how to do new things in the past – and what skills they can carry forward in the future.

In thinking about being less helpful and the learning that happens in your classroom, how does this connect or relate for you?

Going Global: Getting Started With Collaborative Projects

One of the key themes for this week is collaboration. A resource that might be helpful for you is a presentation I’ve given called: Connecting Classrooms Across Continents. The presentation wiki has tons of resources (including the actual presentation, along with a few recorded versions of me giving the presentation), and if this is something you’re interested in, it may be worth exploring in more depth.

One of my blog posts on this topic, A Step-by-Step Guide to Global Collaboration is a featured reading for this week, and coincidentally I was recently asked to provide a video lecture on just this topic for a colleague, Bob Greenberg, at the University of Oregon. He’s teaching a course entitled Technology in Global Learning, under the guidance of Dr. Young Zhao and featuring a number of global educators through video lectures.

If you’re interested, here’s mine (it basically walks you through the Step-by-Step guide, using many of the slides from the presentation) – it was a quick one-take, so set your expectations low:

Have you started exploring with global collaborations in your classroom? What have you learned? If you haven’t started yet, what interests you? Where do you think you might be able to take this idea?

One thought on “Week 5: Being Less Helpful

  1. Hi Kim and Coetailers,
    I will be in Singapore for the conference from Thursday onwards.
    Really look forward to meeting some of Online Cohort 1.


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