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Title of the session


Multiliteracies for social networking and collaborative learning environments




A multiliterate teacher understands the many ways that technology interacts and intertwines with academic and interpersonal life, and actively learns how to gain control over those aspects impacting teaching, social, and professional development. Multiliterate individuals are aware of the pitfalls inherent in technology while striving for empowerment through effective strategies for first discerning and then taking advantage of those aspects of changing technologies most appropriate to their situations. These strategies include identifying, accessing, aggregating, processing, and analyzing a constant influx of information, filtering what is useful, and then enhancing the learning environment with the most appropriate applications.


Target audience and group sponsor


Teachers and other educators seeking to maximize potential benefits of working within distributed learning networks to increase their opportunities for learning from peers of whatever knowledge they wish to acquire. For the purposes of this course, that knowledge focused on what would be the tools and mechanisms for promoting the dissemination of knowledge through such socially driven learning networks. The strategies and heuristics modeled in using the tools would be applicable to whatever content the teachers needed to work with, be it applicable to language learning, some other content area, or project management at the administrative level.


Group sponsor: CALL-IS.


Course objectives


This course seeks to encourage language educators to make paradigm shifts in rethinking their learning environments and enhance their skills in improving and even transforming how they engage and connect with learners. This course draws inspiration from, among other sources, David Warlick and Stephen Downes. Warlick characterizes teachers as students with especially well developed learning skills, leading to the notion of teacher as master learner.  Stephen Downes has said that to learn is to practice and reflect, and that to teach is to model and demonstrate.  In this course, the moderators, experienced master-learners, will model and demonstrate to peer-participants means that they have developed using emergent technologies to enhance their own learning and professional development environments.  Moderators and participants alike can reflect on each other's practice while learning from one another.  Cristina Costa was once asked (by Etienne Wenger) how she knew she had become a member of a community of practice.  She replied, when she saw that her practice had changed.  The objective of this course is for participants and moderators to help themselves to make the shifts in thinking needed to apply the latest technology skills learned from one another to each participant's practice of engaging others in learning languages.


Week-by-week syllabus outline (tasks and goals for each week)


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The weekly topics are taken from the chapters in Mark Pegrum's book From Blogs to Bombs,  The book will be available in ebook format at nominal cost ($10 est.) and will be optional reading for participants. It will be reviewed by Vance Stevens for those who don't have copies.  The author will be joining us at critical junctures during this session to discuss its content with participants with respect to implications for language teaching.


For each week of the course a synchronous discussion will be scheduled.  After acceptance of the session speakers will be engaged to interact with the group (a similar program to that last year, click here to see).  Mark Pegrum has agreed to be one of these speakers in 2010.


For more detailed information, click on the links for each week:


Week 1:  January 11-17, 20010 - Week 1: What is/are multiliteracies? 


During this introductory week, participants will register at and familiarize themselves with the course websites (wiki, ning, and Yahoo!Group) and will begin to get to know one another through self-introductions and sharing of prior knowledge.  They will read, watch, and comment on some seminal materials and consider Pegrum’s framework of a variety of lenses through which to view the phenomenon of multiliteracies.  Participants will be encouraged and assisted this first week in tracking their learning during the course on a wiki or blog (either an ongoing one or one they create on the Ning). 


Week 2: January 18-24, 2010- Week 2: Many clouds: A technological lens


Participants will use tagging, RSS, folksonomies, and aggregation to gather, organize, and share relevant information among themselves, as well as with other EVO sessions.   They will read and comment on Pegrum’s chapter,  “Many Clouds: A Technological Lens”.  There will be practical exercises to help participants better understand how tagging works through experimentation.


Week 3: January 25-31, 2010 - Week 3: Many literacies: A pedagogical lens

Participants will consider possible applications of microblogging, podcasting, and ePortfolios in language teaching and will work together to compile an annotated blogroll of interesting educational blogs.  They will create a framework for an ePortfolio.


Week 4: February 1-7, 2010 - Week 4: Many selves: A social lens


Participants will continue to develop their ePortfolios through the addition of digital storytelling and  a smorgasbord of other tools, including podcasts and other tools for sharing audio and text.  


Week 5: February 8-14, 2010 - Week 5: Many stories: A sociopolitical lens


Participants will consider if and when one might want to bypass institutional authority to  give one’s students what they need (introduction to Edupunk).  They will continue to build their ePortfolio while identifying the most useful tools for their own situation. 


Week 6:  February 15-21, 2010 - Week 6: Many baas & ^^^^: An ecological lens


Participants will reflect on the course and address issues that have come up in the context of Pegrum’s different lenses.  They will be encouraged to share their developing ePortfolios in synchronous or asynchronous meetings, and together we will consider  some predictions for the future of the Internet.



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