Friday, December 16, 2011

How Do I Love Thee? The Final Project


View the paper (.pdf) in Google Docs


Part 3. The TWITTER Message

Just found seven tools to stick in someone’s heart to learn social media with creativity. Visit my project #CEP818 <video link>
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How Do I Love Thee: Playing

Image from:

Game-Based Curriculum through Social Media 

My understanding of the cognitive tool playing. The very first thing that comes into my mind when I think of playing is engaging.  Keeping a learner engaged in a learning activity through playing promotes experiential learning.  Sometimes, some people may misunderstood playing as wasting of time but if it is used to foster creative learning concepts, then it is a cognitive tool.  Playing is a cognitive tool that can be integrated in both disciplinary and cross-disciplinary areas because it can take many forms like dramatic play, interactive video games, board-games, puppet shows, etc.

How this understanding impacts my topic. Social media games have been sprouting because it is so appealing to people with common interests, it is more engaging and effective for learning, and it is simply  fun!  Play-based curriculum can bring about interactive and instructional tools that assist in presenting the benefits of social networking for adult learning.  How? Through role playing, game boards just like Blogpoly, and interactive social games that can let the adult learners reflect on how their participation in these activities can build more learning connections.

How and why I chose these representations.  The top image shows a very familiar board game, Monopoly, but it was transformed to depict the social media’s well-known elements and applications.  This game encourages players to role play different scenarios which generate strategic planning and problem solving in order to win the game.

The middle representation is a video that shows an example of how a social media game can help adult learners produce ideas and strategies in formulating policies and solutions through the use of digital media.  Groups of adults are introduced to a scenario – that is, being in a multi-cultural community with challenges such as large young multicultural population, little intercultural communication, lots of problems with youngsters in the streets, because of tensions in the area lot of negative press coverage, hostile attitude towards the mainstream journalists and camera crews, high unemployment rate, low positive identification with the neighborhood. The complete details about this game are explained further in the Social Reporter site.

The bottom video is a short clip that encourages teachers to use playing in their classrooms.  By incorporating playing in a curriculum, teachers are helping students identify their learning and endlessly build their imagination.  I believe that playing develops and enhances student creativity which completes the learning process. 

Now. let's go play! 
Saturday, November 12, 2011

How Do I Love Thee: Modeling

My understanding of the cognitive tool of modeling. Modeling is a thinking tool that enables people to represent a complicated process, visualize a complex idea, and simplify a difficult concept through the use of models. These models can be made of smaller pieces of various representations, abstractions, or analogies and can be something realistic or theoretical. This tool encourages creativity through dimensional thinking which allows people to perceive the concept, idea, or process in different angles, layers, or scales.

How this understanding impacts my topic. It took me more time to understand this tool as I choose a model to help me represent my topic. As I continued to learn about modeling, I found out that modeling is considered a higher-order cognitive tool because it involves combining other cognitive tools and dimensional thinking. This means that I needed to perceive my topic though different approaches like realizing its core attribute (CONNECTION), finding out what makes a connection (COMMON INTERESTS, GOALS), and understanding what the connection may contribute to (CAREER, RELATIONSHIP, LEARNING). As an instructor, there is no specific or right way to represent my topic through modeling as long as I utilize this cognitive tool in focusing on how it contributes to adult’s professional and personal enrichment. 

How and why I chose the model. The second video demonstrates how to create a solid super cluster. This super cluster sphere is made up of 135 smaller spheres of magnetic balls. One small sphere is made up of 12 pentagons. It also showed how the magnets’ polarities affect the construction of the super cluster. I chose the super cluster to visualize the big social network that adult learners can belong to. The smaller spheres represent the groups that can be created through social media. The tiny pentagons are the initial connections (called groups) that an adult learner creates as he adds connections. The magnets’ polarities represent what links the small balls together. So what makes a person connect to another person or group? It can be attributed in part to the person’s or group’s common interests, ideals, purpose, or goals.

This is a challenging cognitive tool to use so far, but it is also very thought provoking as I tried to concentrate my topic on recognizing the relevance of social networking to adult learning. I am definitely igniting some sparks of creativity!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How Do I Love Thee: Embodied Thinking

Understanding the cognitive tool of embodied thinking. Embodied thinking requires the experience of naturally involving the body when producing thoughts, making decisions, solving problems, or creating solutions.  This reminds me of Ken Robinson’s TED video when he describes some university professors who live in their heads and look upon their body as just a form of transport for their heads.  This is a hilarious thought but true if we don’t realize the embodied thinking as a cognitive tool and disembody ourselves while thinking.  We should also be able to empathize what we experience while thinking.  Empathetic thinking means that we should feel and relate to the situation or the concept as we strive to fully experience or expand our creative potentials.

How this understanding impacts my topic.  Embodied thinking can be applied in education though social networking, simulations, and digital games.  In the paper, Using the Technology of Today, In the Classroom Today, the authors explain that today’s technology has instructional, embodied, and cognitive implications for learning by letting students be more connected, engaged, and have fun activities and interactive games.

Empathetic thinking is crucial for social media.  Todd Wilms said it very well in his article, Social Media Success is Just One Thing: Empathy, that you need to ask what people want before you start talking. Empathy is the key to social media success. Unlike other communication channels, the power is placed in the hands of the audience, not the speaker. Being responsible and sensitive to whom we connect prevents us from being in a one-way connection.  Just imagine a telemarketer who does not listen whether you are interested or not in the product he is selling as long as he finishes the script that he is supposed to read.  We all want to be heard and we all want to belong, but it is essential to understand how to set our limits and respect someone’s boundaries online in order to help us enjoy the powerful benefits of social media.

How and why I chose the embodiment.  I have chosen a video of more than 200 people - young or old, men or women, formally or casually dressed, dancing in unison to the beat of the music. Why a video of people dancing?  Rhythmic bodily movement is instinctive.  It connects people, even if unconsciously, to the rhythms of nature.  Dance springs from a human desire for personal expression and social connection and it feels good.” – Michael Crabb, Why People Dance 

This video perfectly represents social networking as it influences everyone to just naturally “dance” by connecting to the powerful benefits social media.  When the music and the group dance ends, everyone applauds and has the feeling of pleasure and fun.  This portrays the same concept when after a person has been accepted into a group through social media, the human need for belongingness has been satisfied. Two people started the dance and the majority followed today’s trend of getting connected with people of similar interests and goals – it’s contagious!
Sunday, October 16, 2011

How Do I Love Thee: Abstracting

Abstracting as a cognitive tool.  Having the ability to identify and to single out a major attribute from a concept, image, domain, or anything is called abstracting. Once the main feature has been identified, the feature is further represented to emphasize its significance. This cognitive tool also uses analogy to highlight the major elements.      

How this understanding impacts my topic.  Abstracting, is a thinking tool that brings about the simplest but the most compelling reason that I came up with my course topic:  Recognizing the relevance of social networking to adult learning. The very essence that I can extract from social networking is CONNECTION.  An adult learner who has learned this thinking tool has the ability to grasp the concept of thinking abstractly about considering everyone as major pieces of a connection.  Through abstracting, he also can picture himself in the connection and someone who has a vital role to contribute to the relevance of the network.

How and why you choose this abstraction and representations.  A connection can be represented by people who are interconnected through social media.  A connection can also be represented by the relevant interests, talents, and skills each member of network can offer that could bring about more connections. To illustrate abstracting, I decided to use nature to represent the two elements of connection.  DANDELIONS with WATER DROPLETS can be an abstract representation of the core of my course topic.  The dandelion is a visualization of the whole social network of people which are represented by the flower seeds.  The water droplets portray the interests, talents, and skills that join people.  As the interests, talents, and skills get bigger, so does the droplets of water. 

I find this tool a thought-provoking and interesting way of representing ingenuity! Well, another way unleashing our creativity …
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How Do I Love Thee: Patterning

A. Recognizing Patterns

B. Creating New Patterns

A Quick Response (QR) code, a registered trademark of Denso Wave (a subsidiary of Toyota), is a two-dimensional barcode that is becoming popular and widely recognized by the public who want immediate access to more information. Scanning this code with camera-enabled smartphones and other portable devices can direct us to  websites, phone numbers, multimedia content, SMS messages, maps and directions, email addresses, social communities, coupons, music downloads, or images. 

So how can I use a QR code to represent my content topic as I relate it to patterning? This pattern is a perfect representation as I relate this cognitive tool in teaching how to recognize the relevance of social networking to adult learning.  With all the known uses of a QR code, it is very important to use this pattern in directing people to information that is significant for personal and professional growth.  An example is a career searcher who generates a QR code that will direct potential employers to his online resume posted in LinkedIn.  Because of its increasing familiarity and acceptance, it can be used in showcasing skills, expertise, or artistic creations by using a generated QR code to land to one’s e-portfolio or website.  A QR code has a great potential in producing many ways of building connections with other people or communities through social networking. Although, it is still a crucial consideration for me as an instructor to teach adult students that the major role for a QR code in education is for personal branding in a professional setting.

From recognizing patterns to creating new patterns as a cognitive tool.  QR codes usually consist of black tiles arranged in a square pattern on a white background.  These symbols can easily be created by using free QR code generators.  We can maximize the effectiveness of this cognitive tool by learning the skill of recognizing this familiar pattern then turning it into a new and unique pattern.  Why? For competitive edge in the social and mobile world!  QR codes are becoming so common that we need to create these patterns with eye-catching colors and not just plain black and white.  Also, add more artistic flare on the pattern to get more attention from the public but still maintain its readability feature for camera-enabled mobile devices. 

Once I master this thinking tool, I will be able to recognize more patterns which can be turned into distinctive patterns - another approach in unleashing creativity!
Saturday, September 17, 2011

How Do I Love Thee: Perceiving

Yup, this is a very familiar sound! Do you remember the phone modem “dialup” connection? This sound helps me relate to my content topic (Recognizing the relevance of social networking to adult learning) as I experience two emotions when I hear this sound:

First, the feeling of relief. I remember the old lingo: After my modem redialed a few times, I could finally start surfing through the information superhighway! Being connected with the right network of people through social media can be valuable as we search for a job opening, promote our skills or services, and exchange our opinions and ideas. We get the sense of being connected by being a part of the society. Through social media, the need to belong and to be accepted turns to satisfaction and a source of support and motivation.

Second, the feeling of frustration. Dial-up connections are so s-l-o-w! I remember what it was like opening a picture attached to an email. I would see the top of the head, then slowly see the eyes, eventually the nose … uh-oh, it froze, I got disconnected! Today, we have options with how fast our internet connection is going to be. Through social media, we can control how much of ourselves we want to divulge to the society. As we set boundaries in relating to people, we get to decide who we are connected with and what information about ourselves can be seen by which people. We have the ability to speed up our networks personally and professionally or to just leave it at a slow pace. Just remember, putting on the brakes too long might disconnect you from the needed contacts.

Perceiving involves observation through the use of our different senses. Aside from the sound, the above representation also showed an image. But as we look closely, the image is made up of tiles with small pictures. This photo mosaic is a visualization of people who can build me up personally as well as professionally. Learning the significance and discerning what information is relevant in social networking can help construct our profile in the society. Putting these tiles together is like relating all the people in our network. Eventually, we have seamlessly created a great representation of ourselves.

Perceiving as a thinking tool, once mastered, will help me represent ideas and concepts different ways. People whom I connect with, like my students, may observe presented topics using a specific sense at a higher extent. Visual learners could appreciate me teaching the relevance of social networking by representing the lesson with a photo mosaic. More ideas and feelings could be brought out from a student who learns better by listening to the “modem dial-up connection” than by relating his thoughts to social networking.

Perhaps, I should also try various methods to reach out to other groups of learners who are more perceptive to taste. There has to be a way I can present my content topic on social networking by using bacon and ice cream! Well, just keep unleashing our creativity …