Postings by Potter

The Playground Bully
 Posted 3/1/2015 

According to a study done by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 81% of teens use social media. With these staggering numbers, lunch room squabbles and bullying is no longer limited to just the cafeteria. Social media is providing teens with an unmonitored forum where anything can be said without direct intervention from parents or teachers. 95% of teen social media users have witnessed inappropriate and severely patronizing comments in social forums as stated on internetsafety101. Online bullying is becoming an epidemic in schools across the nation with very little support being provided by counselors and other school employees. Awareness needs to be raised both for students as well as parents.

It is important for teens and all social media users to remember that in the digital world words may speak louder than actions.

Connectivism: Taking Education by a storm of Googling

 Posted 2/24/2015

The learning theory of Connectivism revolves around the idea of knowing where to find information and connecting to sources outside of a learner’s brain.   This is in strong contrast of Constructivism which deals with the building of connections in an individual’s mind between past and current content. 

The largest drawback of connectivism is it does not revolve around the acquisition of knowledge.  Connectivism focuses on the establishing of a network and knowing where to find information, not necessarily having it accessible 24/7 in one’s mind.  I see this on a regular basis with my students.  Their first inclination is to reach for their phone and google something as opposed to reflecting on past lessons and making connections within prior schemas as is seen in the constructivism learning theory.  Students prefer to make connections via the internet rather than mental connections.  This lack of reflection and dependence on the internet is spurring a lack of retention and the reliance on the internet.

I personally find the reliance on the int

ernet for knowledge concerning.  It has been shown that knowledge that is taxing to comprehend and learn resonates more firmly with the learner.  Information that is quickly and easily obtained is quickly forgotten.  Much of what learners find on the internet falls into the latter category.  Finding information through online networking is a very valuable resource, but the learning must develop beyond and focus on retention, application and mastery.

I believe that knowledge must be acquired to be mastered, and therefore mastery would be very difficult to obtain within a connectivism theory.  


Quora Fails to Answer the Big Question of "Why Bother?"

Posted 2/23/2015

Quora is a question and answer based site that depends on non verified public contributions to expand topics and content.

Bluntly, I am not impressed.  Quora is merely a forum that has myriad topics with no real focus or guarantee of exp
ertise. It appears to be an attempt

 between twitter and a typical discussion forum.  Unfortunately, it lacks the big names Twitter has attracted and does not have the technical expertise a focused discussion forum contains.  When searching for answers or researching, I prefer information that comes from verified experts in that particular field.  Quora is lacking this reliability and is attempting more of a social approach where anyone can contribute to any posted question.  

Professionally, I see very little value for this network.  It doesn't appear that there are any true networking capabilities, besides following friends.  Profiles of “experts” who answered questions is limited and often does not address how they are qualified to answer the question anyways.  The bottom line is that the information runs the risk of being spurious and therefore makes it near obsolete.    

On a personal level, I could see Quora being entertaining after a few drinks, much the way youtube can grab your attention.  Other than that, I don’t see much merit in it.  My recommendation is that if you are looking for answers to a question, go to a site that is specific to that field and don’t waste your time with Quora.