Digital Tools

Well digital tools are a new form of learning and a new method for storing history. Before, we were able to discover this encyclopedia of knowledge that is the internet, what did we have? Books and storytellers. Now, we turn on our computer and a whole universe of knowledge is at our fingertips. Digital tools have helped us put history back into our lives. And by putting history online, we are saving this history for everyone else. What I put up digitally online will be there forever for others to read and access. In this sense anyone can add to digital history and enhance it even if it’s in a wiki format. Everything is being logged and is creating a larger online universe. Everyone who participates digitally is also creating and enhancing the knowledge that is already there. We are, each one of us, leaving a digital footprint which is adding to the footprint that is already there and all this information will be stored and kept digitally forever really. I find this amazing. It is a collaboration and a collection of knowledge for everyone whether by an academic or by an ordinary person. We are saving history online. We are saving the past (history) to enable it to be accessed even more in the future. This rocks! The internet is basically a massive database that we are all actively adding to ourselves and by so doing, creating a bigger and broader database each time we add something digitally ourselves.

Gilly Salmon’s 5 stage model

RE: Gilly Salmon

I liked Gilly Salmon’s five stage model. Everyone has to start at the beginning even the e-moderator. She shows how learning happens and how knowledge can grow with support from other learners and how everybody can work together and feed off one another’s learning. It’s simple and obvious but beneficial to all. Start at the beginning and slowly make a structure form with everybody contributing to the end model.

A Community of Practice also works this way. Contributions from learners can create a forum where everyone participates as a community and students learn together to create a special learning environment where everyone benefits.

I would like to think that everyone on this master’s is creating and building here at this blackboard forum our own five stage model and that later in the year we will be able to use all our contributions at this forum to help us revise and remember what we are learning now.

Collectively we are building a knowledge database of our own that we will all benefit from even if we aren’t aware of this yet but it will be more obvious and more helpful to all of us later on in the year. Already I can see this process beginning to take shape.

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Teaching for Understanding (TfU)

RE: Teaching For Understanding

Yes, to understand what we learn is so important. Instead we spend years in primary and secondary school learning things off by heart just so we can say it back to the teacher the next day but without having understood a thing about what we were actually learning! So yes I would like to be a good teacher where my students actually understand what I am teaching them.

My area of interest is radio. My area of special interest would be to teach radio feature and radio documentary making. I had a very good teacher myself and I would like to teach as well as he did to me in this field. My students would need to understand what a feature is, how it differs from a documentary and yet, how they are also quite similar.

When I teach I would like my students to enjoy my class, to feel like they are having fun while learning. I think this is important as I know how many Irish people came out of school with a hatred of Irish just because they were force-fed “Peig”.

I believe in nurturing the student’s mind and to feed them with knowledge AND understanding of what I teach. The old methods of learning Latin, Irish, Maths in the classroom are archaic in this digital age. In my classroom, I would like everyone to have an iPad of their own and for them to do a lot of what I teach themselves through their own research and engagement with the subject, in my case, radio broadcasting.

I also think practical teaching is very important. For example, a science class is not much good and the performances of understanding are minimised if the experiments in Chemistry, Physics and Biology are not carried out by the students themselves and not just the teacher performing these experiments at the top of the classroom by himself.

With teaching for understanding, you need to engage the student in what he/she is learning. The student learns more by doing, than by watching and being bored to death, falling asleep in the back of the classroom.

At the end of the day, we learn more by doing. We understand more when we become engaged with the subject. This is how I would like to teach my students. How can I make learning more fun for them and give them enough practical experience to become competent in radio feature and documentary making themselves? I would do this by getting them more involved and to encourage them to be creators themselves and not to simply be bored and disengaged at the back of the classroom.

My Personal Learning Environment

I realise I am quite lucky to have so many digital tools available to me. However, my area of interest is radio broadcasting/sound engineering so I would want to have access to a large amount of this equipment in my PLE.

For my thesis, I hope to collect data on radio listenership internationally, if possible, especially listenerships via the world wide web or through online radio. The first place I will go will be Ireland and I will take a look at JNLR figures and how radio listenership is working in Ireland at the moment. Is commercial radio ruling the waves still? Or, is there enough of an appetite for informative radio in the form of radio documentaries, radio features and radio dramas – and not just chit chat like “talking to Joe” although this can be good quality radio too when the arguments get interesting.

I am aware that there is a big interest in the UK for BBC’s radio documentaries BBC Radio 4 and radio dramas e.g. “The Archers”. In Ireland we have the documentary on one doconone.

I hope to educate Ireland’s radio industry by teaching the general public to listen and enjoy radio more as radio can send the imagination into orbit when it really wants to, even more so than by reading a book. For me, the success of radio drama and radio documentaries are proof of this ability that radio has to create imagery through audio and set an audio landscape in your mind like an artist would when putting paint to canvas.

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margaret mead

I have chosen my own name, Margaret Meade, for my domain name. I did this because I want to become famous – digitally, at least. I want to leave behind a name for myself.

There was once a very famous anthropologist in America in the 20th century called “Margaret Mead”. I was always inspired by her fame as a child. My grandmother was also named “Margaret Meade” and honestly, it is a name to be proud of. I would like my name to be known all over the world for my poetry and my radio documentaries.

I would like to think when I am dead and gone that I will have left behind a whole new digital culture of my own. I want the name “Margaret Meade” to be recognised as an Irish poet/radio broadcaster from Cork, Ireland for as long as we have living digital culture on Earth.

Now, less of the blog and more of the academic research…