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Rizwan Ansary

Assignment 14

1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

The community of learners model (henceforth referred to as CoL) is same as the collaboration model that we practice in class so I guess we all can relate to the CoL model and appreciate the fact that treating each others as collaborators rather than adversaries has helped us more, as the paper suggests. I also find it interesting that CoL has motivation for students inherently built into it.

1.2. not interesting about the article?

A few points got repeated and that did not bother at all. I cannot think of anything which was boring per se.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

The article compares the CoL model with the adult-run and the children-run model and presents the beneifits of involving all the participants in the CoL model. The CoL model significantly improves the learning experience, expecially for students (like me) who come from adult-run or children-run model.

3. analyze your own educational experience and

3.1. provide a rough estimate in percentage points for each category and

My pre-college experience was totally adult-driven. Most of my undergraduate and graduate experience was also adult-driven and thankfully so. However, there were elements of collaboration in various courses in the form of presentations, projects, group assignments and surveys.

3.2. one example for each category (in case you have encountered all three approaches)

In the colloboration category, we did a survey for a network systems course that required us to visit an ISP and make a report of their infrastructure and network layout. The class made the visit together and various groups had to do separate reports. I have also taken UI Design at CU and that involved a lot of collaboration. The most gratifying experience was last semester in the Programming Languages course. It was based on the idea of CoL and we had to answer questions from each other based on the readings that were assigned to us.

In the adult-run category, I would quote any class that was lecture based and I took a lot of them. I have no experience of the child-run model in a formal education setting.

4. which technologies are used / can be used /should be used to support

4.1. adult-run education

are used: This depends from region to region. In poor countries, the only resource is blackboards/whiteboards. However, in many places slideshows, projectors, films and CAETE style instruction is being used. There can be visits to particular places for certain topics, e.g. museums, botanical gardens, hospitals in case of students of medicine. Basically, this is a leader-follower paradigm and any technology that makes the leader more informed and better equipped is good. The barrier for technology can be expressed in terms of "the-sky-is-limit". However, the cognitive efficacy of these tools is limited because of the inherent limitations of the model.

can/should be used: Basically the new tools should help present the material better. They should also help the teacher in researching and findng better resources to recommend to students e.g. Google and digital libraries. There can also be learning toys e.g. models for volcanic eruptions used in high school. Computer simulation software can used to explain concepts that require imagination or visualization. CAETE style instruction, films, slideshows and projectors can be used where they are currently not used.

4.2. child-run education

are used: I have never been in this system. I can only think of kindergarten classroom environments.

can/should be used: The subjects of technology in this case are there to learn in the first place. The technology should keep their expertise limitations in mind. Matching of students with different skills and knowledge in pairs can increase their learning. There should be presentations from each student on a different topic in a similar spirit as our independent research. The students should also do group projects. Although group projects are more in line with collabiration, the idea is to have the bigger group divided into smaller groups in order help the students' minds properly manage the cognitive activities and the knowledge. In any case, there should be more toys..!!

4.3. community of learners education

swiki, PiTA board like tools, virtual environments like CAVE.

5. analyze our course from the three dimensions:

5.1. adult-run education

I would say that 60% of the course is based on the instructors knowledge, experience and plans. The topics we discuss in class , the homework readings assigned and the direction of the discussions are all overseen by the instructor.

5.2. child-run education

I can only think of our independent research and group projects that fall in this category. I would give 20%.

5.3. community of learners education

The remaining 30% go to CoL. The swiki, Q/A in class and comments all go to that end.

6. which possibilities do you see to effectively integrate adult- and child-run education?

I feel that the CoL model and our own class as an example are representative of the possibilities of integrating the two approaches. My Programming Langauge class was great because the course proceeded largely on the basis of class discussions among studnets. The learning through this mehtod was relevant and good because only my fellow students can see things from a perspective that I am familiar with. Our personal attempts to answer questions by our colleagues helped us to argue better and find more solid reasons for why things are, the way they are.

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