Thursday, April 28

[ANALYST] TASK 7.3 CONNECTIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS

Hi everyone again!!This is Pepi again as Analyst, here it is my reflection for the week 8!!Amazing isn´t it? Time flies…

The first week that I was the Analyst was also the first task that we had to performance. Now, eight weeks later I am here again…If the first week was a race to the unknown, for me this week has been a little bit like a chaos.

The task was the same that we started 2 weeks ago: Connections & Relationships. During this week we had to work the whole class together again and make a video with the stories we created for the Task 6 based on the theory of Chapter 4. The stars of the week 6 were our bosses, the facilitators and who had to organise the work. The class was divided in smalls groups, one per story, and the facilitators were also divided among these groups in order there was at least one per each group. In my story, I played the role of actress and I had to interpret the Headmaster of a school.

Working with some many people is difficult, so working with the whole class it is a chaos, even more when there is not a proper organization, a leader or a person who guide the rest of the group. This has been my feeling during this week and for me, the worst moment has been realised that: there was no organization and communication among them up to the last minute. Hopefully, at least in my small group we can overcome the troubles we found it in the best possible way and finish the recording. For me, this was the best moment: finishing the recording and see that we all were worried and commit to do it well. I presume that the video will be ok once it is finished.

In terms of keeping strengths and improving weaknesses, I would keep the perseverance and interest of trying to get the best result with the scarce resources we had; by contrast, I will improve the way that we have organised ourselves this week. Taking into account the way we organised  last week, and the good results we had, we should have organised in the same way, we had the experience, knowledge and chance to do it even better, but it has not been the case at least up to now and in terms of organization. Maybe I am wrong, so please do not be offended, (it is my modest point of view), and the results are even better than the last week. We will see next week.

In relation to the contents, I could say that we are involved of them on a daily basis. “Connectivist learning theory asserts that knowledge is created through connections and learning occurs through the networks to which learners belong” (Starkey, 2012). This means that through every single connection we have, new knowledge emerges, and it is not only scholar knowledge, there are also cultural values, respect, social knowledge and many more things.

In the connection between teacher-student, both are important. If students do not want to learn, they are not going to learn; although teachers have a lot of knowledge, if they do not have other skills and know how to transmit it, they are not going to be successful. Fried (1995, page. 47) says that there is a connection between the teaching process and the quality of the learning process of the students:

·   Cuando los alumnos pueden apreciar al profesor como una persona que está comprometida  con un campo de estudio y con una formación continua, les resulta mucho más fácil tomar en serio su trabajo. En este caso, conseguir que aprendan se convierte en una cuestión de inspiración mediante el ejemplo, en vez de imposición y obediencia.
·  Sin una relación de confianza y respeto entre alumnos y docentes, se minimiza la capacidad que tienen todos de trabajar en colaboración y de afrontar el tipo de riesgos que exige el aprendizaje.
·  A menos que los estudiantes sean capaces de ver la conexión entre lo que aprenden y las posibles formas de aplicar lo aprendido a la vida real, su motivación para alcanzar la excelencia será, en el mejor de los casos, irregular.

As Fried says, it is necessary a connection between teachers-students and students-teachers not only in terms of scholar knowledge, also in social, emotional and respectful knowledge among the others. This also influences the connections and relationships within the learning context, which is a step up. “The connections and relationships within a classroom influence how teaching and learning occurs” (Starkey, 2012). Teachers must create a positive learning environment within the class, not only individually, also with the whole class, in which they can help their students to acquire knowledge, values, skills working all together and making this process fun. It is remarkable in this, that teachers are models for their pupils, so through these daily connections and relationships children are always learning.

In the connections with peers is even more complex. “Peers influence learning through tutoring, providing friendship, giving feedback and making the class or school a place that students want to come to each day” (Starkey, 2012). I agree peers are a big influence, but in what way? According to a research carried out by Adler, Kless, & Adler, (1992) peers influence differently depending on the gender and because of popularity. They found out that boys are influenced by their peers not to study and not to perform well at school; otherwise they will lose popularity among them. By contrast, in the case of girls it is not the same, they see the academic performance as a competition, because of that girls gain popularity with high grades and performing better in difficult tasks. Here a question arises, is peer connection positive or negative for the school performance? Well, I think it depends on the grade they are, and also the connection within the learning environment so as to avoid dropouts, bullying or other behaviours and situations that we would not like to experience. To sum up, I believe all these connections are interconnected and a balance must exist in order to avoid and prevent problems within the class.

Finally, there are two more connections: beyond the classroom and within learning. From my point of view, both could be related to Web 2.00 and Ple (Personal Learning Environment). According to StarKey (2012): “Students can have learning connections beyond the physical classroom environment. These types of connections can be through the World Wide Web”. This happens when students use Web 2.00 tools such as Facebook to speak with other friends or practicing other language or trying to solve problems related how a software or a game works asking on blogs to other people such as friends or maybe if available, professionals. This is also related to part of the Ple of the students. “Ple es el entorno en el que aprendemos usando eficientemente las tecnologías” (Castañeda & Adell, 2013). This basically means that we all create our own leaning environment creating our own materials, reading other´s materials, reflecting, sharing knowledge and so on. Nowadays this is done using efficiently web tools, Web 2.00. The last connections, within the learning, are made between ideas, knowledge, concepts and skills (Starkey, 2012). This is easily to indentify when we use Web 2.00 tools within our Ple. We are able to create, share, watch, read, and reflect our own material and other´s using Web 2.00 (Youtube, Flickr, Tumblr, Twiter, Wikipedia and so on) with is part or, within our Ple.

Thinking and reflecting about these connections, I can see how it starts from the simplicity up to the complexity, adapting to the up and coming world and digital age. Now, with all of these new concepts, ideas, knowledge and so on.., it starts to be not only route learning, also the most complex cognitive processes such as create, evaluate and analyze (Anderson, Krathwohl & Bloom, 2001).

And this was all this week, I hope you have enjoyed and learnt as we have.
See you soon
As always, all my love!

Pepi

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