My reflection of open education–a combination between online and school teaching

learn from MOOCPhoto Credit: ryan2point0 via Compfight cc

Through this semester study, I have learned a lot knowledge about open-access education. Students can learn what they are interested in through massive open online courses (MOOCs), such as Coursera, Stanford Online, FutureLearn and so on. They offer courses in various subjects, such as: languages, humanities, science, business… In addition, there is no  restrictions for students’ age, occupation, region, and academic level to join these classes, except for the internet. Rather than the traditional teacher-centred pattern, Open education regards students as the educational center. Students have the right of course selection.

The teaching pattern that open-access education uses inspire me a lot. I am wondering why can’t we breakthrough the traditional teaching mode? Instead of teaching and acquiring knowledge in the classroom and practicing at home, teachers can complete the knowledge teaching online through recording videos or online meetings (for example, with the assistance of Zoom). Thus, the classroom becomes the place for interaction among teachers and students. They can answer questions, practice the application of knowledge and so on. A friend of mine shared her experience of math learning with me. Her favorite math teacher never gives them math homework after school, because he thinks that when students practice the new knowledge at home, they may meet various problems, but at the same time, he is not there to help them. Then the following questions is who can do that for him? Therefore, he always let his students do practice in the class, so he can find what are the common and individual issues.

doing homeworkPhoto Credit: MiniFamilyReunion2 via Compfight cc

Furthermore, these teaching videos should be short, just like the videos that Alec recommended for us, from 5 minutes to 10 minutes, in order to make sure students can concentrate on, during online learning. Also, teachers only educate students the the key point of targeted knowledge can also give students more space for self-study.

However, I still have a problem that I cannot figure out about the content of teaching videos. I  want to ask for help here. Theoretically, videos should be attractive, it can be designed with pictures, cartoons and so on, so that students’ attention can be drawn. When they have interest in these classes, it will be easier for students’ study. On the other hand, the presence of these pictures, cartoons, and other items may distract the students’ attention from the knowledge as well, especially in the case of students’ autonomous learning. Facing the dilemma, what should we do?

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The Growth Record of My EC&I831

Just like a baby learning walking, I knew little about technology and social media at the beginning of this class. And I was afraid of falling down, so it was difficult for me to walk my first step. With the help with of Alec, Katia, and fellows of EC&I 831, I did it successfully and I am improving everyday. Times flies, when I feel I just get into my groove, this semester will finish. However, I will continue my journal of social media and open education, as it will be a wonderful part of my life.

Click here for my summary of EC&I 831

What else can social media change?

In recent years, we can see that many events are shared on social media by online activists. Especially, they capture the live moments of protests on the ground, but which is launched online first, to show it to people who also care about these activities, in order to obtain more support. A number of examples are mentioned in the blog How We Can Use Livestreaming Apps to Promote Justice, such as Ferguson and Baltimore to the deaths of young African American men at the hands of police, the global Occupy movement in 2011, activists in Libya and Syria on Bambuser in 2011-12, Ukrainians using Ustream from EuroMaidan in 2014, and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement on YouTube. In these series of events, we must say that social media plays an import role for the development of civil revolution.

protest on the ground

Photo Credit: louisa_catlover via Compfight cc

In fact, not only common people use networks to achieve certain political aspirations, so do politicians. For instance, Barack Obama is a successful example who use network to help him to win the election in 2008. 20 percent of Obama supporters shared political content online, compared with 16 percent of McCain backers, and 18 percent of Obama partisans signed up to receive automatic updates about the election compared with nine percent of McCain supporters, the study found. Internet, especially social media is an essential element in that election.Although other candidates such as Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin also used Twitter, Youtube and other social media to attract more votes, in the end, Obama Team won, as their usage of social networks was most comprehensive at that time. Now more and more voters search election news and information online, and  communicate with others about it as well.

Barack ObamaPhoto Credit: Rutgers Newark via Compfight cc

Another example is the green avatars on Twitter for Iranian democracy, which is referred in the article I get it : you don’t like Slacktivism. Now shut up. Only don’t. The result of the 10th Iran president election sparked a considerable controversy, opponents held protests on the streets. Simultaneously, various social media became an important tool for protesters to pass information, and express opinion in public. In such, people of Iran use Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Blog and other social network tools to communicate, as well as update the reality of protest to the world.

Iran green revolutionPhoto Credit: MRL_street_VISIONS via Compfight cc

A major character of social media is the instantaneity. The information that users sent can be received by their friends in real-time. At the same time, the dissemination speed of information can be doubled by forwarding. This makes a large number of social media users achieve relative information fast, and in time by forwarding, when the event happens. Meanwhile information receivers can give their support immediately, although they cannot be there .

Equality and democracy of social media creates a platform for ordinary people to express, participate, and interact in public.They can get the discourse to fight for reasonable rights on these platforms. On social media, anyone can improve his/her influence through high-quality posters. This allows ordinary people’s voice to be heard, also inspires their participation motivation. Social media users can follow anything they are interested in, and give comments freely.

social media influencePhoto Credit: proideaegypt via Compfight cc

In any case, I believe our future will be an era of social network. In this way, we should update our own perspective, promote social justice between people, and reasonably challenge the traditional authority. Just like the title says: I get it : you don’t like Slacktivism. Now shut up. Only don’t. People should move forward and change their stereotyped thought about online activists. To some degree, they are not “slacktivists” at all.

In my opinion, what rewrite the history, and change the society is not the tool, but the man who uses the tool. So, what else can  social media change?  what are we expecting for?

Gender Discrimination Never stops

When I saw the article Girls Run the World, I was attracted by its name. Through reading the introduction, I found, compared to the earlier manifestations of feminism, many females in North America prefer believing that they have entered the postfeminist period. Postfeminists perceive gender equality has seeped into western popular culture and social life, therefore the existence of “sexism” is not necessary. In this way, it seems that I am already old-fashioned. However, after reading the following investigations and analyses, the authors concluded sexism as a collective and social problem rather than an individual and isolated moment that still exists in multiple contexts in girls’ everyday lives. Postfeminism is just a strategy which girls use to escape from being a powerless victim. I believe that gender bias never stops.

discriminationhttp://image.baidu.com/search

Online gender discrimination is as worse as it exists in real life. For example, Facebook and Twitter which are representative of the social network, are the platforms for friends and families to communicate, keep in touch and share happiness. However, these platforms also come with their dark side influences, which include online threats, harassment, bullying, and so on. http://image.baidu.com/search

Suveryhttp://image.baidu.com/search

As mentioned in the article Online Harassment of Women at Risk of Becoming ‘Established Norm’, Study Finds, female network users are still troubled by online harassment and threaten: among women under 30 year-old, 76% of them has experienced online harassment or abuse. Compared to men’s experience of online harassment, the incidences per cent of women is disproportionately. It has almost become a common phenomenon that young women are more likely to become the target of online trolling and bullying. However, victim’s consciousness of self-protection is weak. Only 10% victims of online harassment chose to reported it to police, and 38% directly ignore it.

Cyberbullyinghttp://image.baidu.com/search

Retreat will only encourage this terrible trent. Rather than keeping silence,  women should fight against the patriarchy system, and fight for the equality.

Because of the controversy caused by the scandal of “Gamergate,” the attitude towards women from network game industry has received great attention from public. Through reading the assigned article With Gamergate, It’s Not Enough to Ignore the Trolls, many female gamers are facing the cyber threats and harassment. Some of them claimed that they had to get away from their houses, after they received online rape even death threats. As a result of gender discrimination, a lot of gamers say that network games are more suitable for men rather than women, only less gamers believe that online games are welcome to women. Therefore, gender discrimination is more serious in network game industry. Women gamers should protect their own rights with the assistance of the law.

Fight against cyberbullyinghttp://image.baidu.com/search

Discrimination is also a big problem in education. As a teacher, in order to disrupt this problem, constructing a critical reflection of our my own position is necessary. I need not only to acknowledge myself about the truth of various oppression, but the diversity of the minority students. What I should do is to treat them equally, but not too equally, because treating everyone the same means I do not see their differences. I should be aware of these students’ special qualities, respect their specific identity, learn their diversity, and embrace their diversity to treat these students as gendered, raced, sexualized individuals. I also need to foster critical thinking to reflect my behavior if I keep the promise of embracing students with various identities.

gender discrimination in educationhttp://image.baidu.com/search

As a feminist, I consider females as independent individuals who do not need to rely on anyone else, as we have the ability to live a better life. Instead of being housewives, we can have our own career; even in some areas, females are better than males. As a feminist teacher, I will try my best to challenge gender oppression and disrupt patriarchal and sexist ideologies in education, which I believe is the most essential way to solve the issue of discrimination. I will devote myself to creating more opportunities for gender equality, though it is a long way to go, concerning the matter of anti-sexism.

Parents post photos of their children on social media, right or wrong?

Baby learns to walk
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Through reading the assigned article Don’t Post About Me on Social Media, I start to realize that parents’ poster can bring their children so much embarrassment. Just like me, many parents do not recognize their actions of sharing children’s digital information may cause potential problems. Their initial purpose is just to record their children‘s growth, communicate experience, ask for help, and so on. In general, when parents post children’s digital identities, they consider positive results rather than negative ones.

 

Many parents post their children's photos online
http://www.qikan.com.cn/Article/jblz/jblz201309/jblz20130915.html

However, on the other hand, parents’ posters also can lead to some potential issues. For example, posters may leave bad memories or embarrassing experience on children’s future growth, which is mentioned by KJ DELL’ANTONIA. These experiences can worse the relationship between parents and children.

 

 

cyberbully
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Simultaneously, these pictures or video that parents post, may also be stolen from online gallery by criminals, in order to use for online bullying. Network bullying such as internet mass hunting, track, and sexual harassment, can cause teens suicide. There are a lot of young people are suffering serious problems in their work and life cause by cyberbullying as well.

child-kidnapping
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What is worse, because of the digital information disclosure, children may be targeted by criminals. In this way, these pictures and personal information will make children be in danger. As criminals may be planning kidnapping, child-trafficking, according to the digital information that parents posted on various social media. This kind of crimes did happen in China.

 

 

parents should respect children's opinion
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Therefore, when parents post their children’s pictures and videos on social media, they should pay more attention to personal information protection. In this way, parents should respect their children’s opinion. If children express their discontent about what parents do, parents should be patient, and listen to children’s voice. Communication can help parents understand their children’s thought in time, which can avoid mutual misunderstanding. Meanwhile if it needs, parents should apologize for their wrong decisions, and delete the posters that their children do not like. Moreover, parents have the responsibility to protect their children’s safety and privacy. Parents should not only learn more network security knowledge and use appropriate tools to protect children’s online privacy, but also should explain to their children that uploaded information on social media will be widespread and keep for a long time. It is necessary for parents to teach their children to protect their privacy rights, and also to fulfill their corresponding responsibilities.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/08/dont-post-about-me-on-social-media-children-say/?smid=tw-share&_r=1

Social media: how to find a dream job online

  Social media: how to find a dream job online

search a job onlinePhoto Credit: RollisFontenot via Compfight cc

What is your opinion about finding a job through Internet? For me, it is not strange, cause we live in digital age. Due to population and advances of technology, all kinds of information can be searched on the internet, including recruitment information. While after reading the article  “Forget the resumé: Online profiles the tool of young job seekers,” by Kristin Rushowy, I start to realize that it is a good point that students can “brand” themselves with professional-looking Twitter, YouTube and blog accounts instead of resumes, which I have no idea about before. I should pay more attention to this issue.

resume--linkedin  Photo Credit: levo_league_nyc via Compfight cc

When I was graduated from university 4 years age , I was still taught how to desire the resume to apply for a better job, which is thought to be on the way out by experts now. Through the assignment readings, I know that many educators believe students should be encouraged to use social media. For example, “We are used to the 50-year-old tools of business cards and resumes. For the next evolution of jobs, who looks at a boring, two-page resume? You have to present a profile of something written or something cool you’ve done” said Professor Beatrix Dart of the University of Toronto. Now, students are taught to engage in the society through online platform, such as Twitter, Blog and so on. Students can just begin with following companies and leaders on Twitter, so they are up-to-date on what’s going on. Simultaneously, they can build connections through comments on blogs, or responses via Twitter. Moreover, students can do it better by constructing their own profiles on social media platform, to show more people who want to know about  them.

google adwordsPhoto Credit: Marcello Treglia via Compfight cc

In another assigned reading “How to Land Your Dream Job Using Google AdWords?” by Lauren Indvikmay, an good instance is given from Alec Brownstein, senior copywriter at creative advertising shop Young & Rubicam (Y&R) New York. Since Brownstein was the person who bought the names of the five creative directors on Google AdWords, he could make it happen: whenever someone ran a search for one of the creative directors’ names, a message which is “Hey, [creative director’s name]: Goooogling [sic] yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun, too” with a link to Brownstein’s website alecbrownstein.com which will appear at the top of the page. In this way, he finally received the job offer from Y&R New York.

http://mashable.com/2010/05/13/job-google-ad-words/#4aYam_yYcGq8

Does anybody have different opinions on this issue?

 

Open-access resource is the tendency in education

As we know, open-access resource has become more and more popular in education during these years. Open-access resources are those that can be accessed by anyone at any time without restraint. Therefore, people, especially young population prefer to search resources online rather than find journals in library.

open access

It is not only convenient for learns, but also useful for scholars and schools. Scholars should try to cite articles from open-access journals. As mentioned by the author, one of the best way for a journal to  build its reputation is that its articles are cited broadly. Simultaneously, as the number of open-access journal readers increases significantly, there won’t be less citers. The only thing scholars need to decided is to choose between citing a living author and a dead one,  Read open-access journals and cite them, then you support the living one. Also starting reviewing for open-access journals can make a  contribution to their reputation and quality as well through involvement. These changes can push closed journals struggling to get quality reviewers.

Libraries begin subscribing to open-access journals and adding them to their catalogue. Open-access journals are free, therefore, adding them to databases is a wise choice. Meanwhile it can save physical spaces, compared to the expensive paper journals in the long run.

Universities can support their faculties in creating open-access journals on their domains. The cost of bandwidth would be much less than accessing YouTube and other charged website. It will be accepted widely by students. According to the article, what universities should do is to support faculties in creating university-branded journals and work with them to run conferences and do other activities to help build the reputation of such nascent publications. If it goes well, universities brand will gain status too.

Aaron Swartz

Technology changes the status quo. It improves the transparency of academy and makes certain that those who want to engage with scholarship can. Although  it is not necessary to write professional journals for public audiences, but it is necessary to let these scholar articles publicly accessible.