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Re: [xmca] http://www.elluminate.com/support/
Good day, I am sure that the software would be wonderful for XMCA seminars. I completed my doctoral degree in instructional technology as a completely online student and used many different platforms in the courses of my studies.
While platforms are wonderful, what seemed to really work well was any situation where there was a period of instruction so that participants could become familiar with the software/environment. This includes allowing extra time to learn how to raise hands, take turns, mute the microphone, and all of the little things that make for a great synchronous environment. It is also very helpful to have two people ready to facilitate a meeting – one who is running the general progression of the content or discussion matter and another to help those that may be having technical issues. This way, the conversation doesn’t seem to get interrupted. Those who need technical help know where to go for support (this can be done with a banner announcement or pre-meeting emails).
Well, it is probably time for me to introduce myself. I have been lurking on the listserv since April. I recently graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA in the instructional technology doctoral program. I am working as a contractor at Wheeling Jesuit University’s Center for Educational Technologies, NASA-supported classroom of the future project (Wheeling, WV, USA). I joined the listserv on Martin Packer’s recommendation as I wanted to continue research about learning with technology from a Vygotskian perspective. I completed my dissertation, Show and Tell: Learning with Interactive Videoconferencing in Kindergarten.
I examined the meaning making of kindergarten students (ages 5-7 years old) while they participated in interactive videoconferences with national and international peers and content experts. My data included over 500 hours of participant observation, 2 notebooks of field notes, movies of 7 interactive videoconferences from 2 digital camcorders each, transcriptions of the videoconferences, and general student and teacher artifacts common to an early childhood classroom. The students participated in three local (within a few miles of one another) videoconferences with peers about birds, bird homes, and polar worlds (penguins and polar bears). They collaborated with a content expert about sharks and The Gingerbread Boy folktale as performed and read with shadow puppets. Finally, they also participated in an international set of videoconferences with a primary British classroom where they investigated astronomy concepts as facilitated by a 2 university professors (a mathematician and astronomer) from a leading British university.
Prior the study, I did a pilot study to assist me in my research design, choice of theoretical perspective, and general experience with being in an early childhood classroom, capturing the data, and using the ATLAS.ti software for data analysis. I imported all of my data into the ATLAS.ti software, and worked with the videos, transcriptions, and field notes to examine the meaning making of the students using four Vygotskian tenets: 1) the social origins of cognition, 2) sign and tool use in mediated activity, 3) the role and importance of language, and 4) the zone of proximal development.
My results indicated that learning with interactive videoconferencing in kindergarten supports meaning making using these 4 tenets. Hence, I mapped examples of the kindergartners’ meaning making to the Vygotskian tenets. I will give some quick examples. In the astronomy videoconferences, the young students were given 10-15 minutes to just meet and greet one another. They observed differences in the Pennsylvania USA English and the British English language. They laughed about certain terms, pointed out their locations on an atlas, learned that they shared the Atlantic Ocean between their continents, chatted about lunches, common names, toilets, and other things common to young children. This time provided an introduction for the students to build rapport in their virtual environment, and they were very motivated to continue into the videoconference to begin their activities about astronomy concepts. Sign and tool use through mediated activities were abundant as students saw pictures of the solar system, began to distinguish between planets, stars, and galaxies, answered open ended questions, and used inflatable globes to represent the Earth and an apple as the moon. They absolutely loved make a human model of the rotation of the Sun, Earth, and moon. The microphones were muted while each site practiced making their human models – students getting dizzy and rotating counter clockwise around one another. Then we turned the microphones back one and they demonstrated their models to one another. Imagine the laughter J So many more examples. In videoconferences, language is essential and they used their language to negotiate new content, answer questions like “what is your favorite planet and why?” use the mnemonic “My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Noodles” to learn the order of the planets outward from the Sun, and much more. Lastly, I used graphs to represent the ZPD. I included a picture of the one for the astronomy videoconferences.
I am in Namibia this month working with the National Archives to build some history CD-ROMs to accompany the 10 th grade syllabus. One of my passions is finding ways to use technology to promote multicultural learning situations. This is my 2 nd trip to Namibia– my first was 2 years ago as a study abroad student .
I feel very at home on the listserv. While I am quite inexperienced compared to others in my Vygotskian understanding, I feel at home and realize that many are pondering the same questions that I am. I spent several months reading Vygotsky for my dissertation – something I never, never imagined I would do. However, I think it so important to investigate learning with technology in different ways than have traditionally been done over the past 2 decades. I’ve spent the last few months attending conferences in many fields – technology, distance education, early childhood education, ethnography, qualitative research, and soon educational psychology. I enjoy learning from the many comments, thinking about how they apply to my own research, and gaining ideas for writing. My, I think I have gone over my word limit.
Debra C. Burkey Piecka, Ed.D.
Independent Educational Researcher
Contractor, Center for Educational Technologies, www.cet.edu
Volunteer, National Archives of Namibia, Africa
Pittsburgh, PA USA
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Cole" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
Cc: "langandlit" <LLE-L@listserv.uga.edu>, "lego" <LEGO-L@listserv.uga.edu>
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 7:46:56 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [xmca] http://www.elluminate.com/support/
Wow!! This looks irresistable. I will check it out immediately.
I wonder if it would be a medium for XMCA seminars?
On Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 3:43 PM, Monica Hansen <
> I worked with this software in a course last semester. First, it is
> synchronous, so as opposed to other online learning systems that may be
> like old-fashioned correspondence classes, it provides a medium more like a
> live classroom. When participants access the meeting, they can hear each
> other, see visuals, see a common visual like a powerpoint, an application,
> webpage, etc. Also, participants can message each other on a chat board,
> raise their hand or use tools to post to the whiteboard. Once, everyone
> trouble shoots their computers, software compatibility, and headsets, it is
> relatively smooth.
> I think it has real potential to be used with a more collaborative style
> classroom management to enable distance learning and accessibility.
> My advice: practice, practice, practice before holding the first session.
> Make sure you have good tech support for the students so they are not
> -----Original Message-----
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
> Behalf Of Peter Smagorinsky
> Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 12:19 PM
> To: 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'; 'langandlit'; 'lego'
> Subject: [xmca] http://www.elluminate.com/support/
> Is anyone familiar with this software and willing to comment on it?
> Peter <http://www.coe.uga.edu/lle/faculty/smagorinsky/index.html>
> Professor <http://www.yourdictionary.com/full-professor> of
> <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/of> English
> <http://www.coe.uga.edu/lle/english/secondary/index.html> Education
> Department of Language <http://www.coe.uga.edu/lle/> and Literacy
> The University of Georgia <http://www.uga.edu/>
> 125 <http://www.coe.uga.edu/about/directions.html> Aderhold Hall
> Athens <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athens,_Georgia> , GA
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