Wednesday, April 2, 2014

No Walled Gardens badge

Well,  we are in Week 9 (or 13) in the course I am teaching this semester, and the badges experiment is continuing!  This weekend, as I was reading assignment submissions, I saw that some students, in their design documents, have started incorporating Web 2.0 tools (should we just call them "web tools" now?) that encourage the use, formation, or exploration of personal learning environments (PLE).  Thus, this week the penultimate secret badge has been revealed, and it is the No Walled Gardens badge.

The earner of this badge has incorporated at least two Web 2.0 tools and/or services into the design of their LMS-based online course. This design is incorporated in such a way that it should prompt students in that course to start developing their own PLEs.

Now, I understand that not everyone will be able to incorporate this aspect into their courses, especially the students who are working in corporate training or health-care training and have more stringent privacy and security guidelines.  That said, I thought it was still important to give a tip of the hat to those who are using PLEs, or at least encouraging students, by way of tools to start building their own PLEs.  Learning is happening all around us.  The time we spend in classes (or workshops) compared to all the other times we are learning is small by comparison.  By helping learners seek out new knowledge and learning on their own, and network with their peers for this learning, you are (in my opinion) providing more than simple training, but skills for life.  I guess I am channeling a bit of rhizo week 6 here ;-)

What do you think of this badge?  At this point there is only one secret badge left!  I am starting to think that it won't be revealed (i.e. no one will earn it) this semester since it seems like no one likes doing optional readings ;-)

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