Wednesday, February 5, 2014

#eduPLEmooc, learning about Information overload and new Literacy

The best aspect of participating in an open course like #eduPLEmooc is being able to interact and share information and knowledge with other educators who are working in similar programs. Unit 3 of the course focused on the concept of information overload (also known as infoxication). We are constantly bombarded with information. We may become increasingly frustrated when we cannot retrieve the relevant information we want amongst the sea of whirling data.

The concept of information overload is not new (it was first used by Alvin Toffler in 1970) but the problem became more widespread with the launch of web 2.0. The attached link provides an accurate picture of the problem as well as tips to cope with it: Understanding information overload.

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I have been trying to deal with the information overload in different ways but to no avail. In unit 3 we were introduced to new tools that help us filter and organize incoming information. Naturally, these tools may be helpful but the most practical strategies may be to exercise our common sense and be consistent when we use the web. These are some of the recommended resources that I will be using: 
  • Pinterest to store together videos, short films, songs that I have been introducing in the blog
  • The social bookmarking Diigo to keep track of blogs, websites etc. which are useful and inspiring for work.
  • Take advantage of filing host services like Dropbox and Google drive. I am getting rid of the USBs (I have around 10)
  • #hagstags and lists in Twitter to follow groups which are meaningful to our work.
  • The last tool I would like to start using is the dashboard personalized platform Netvives. It has been recomended in the course and it seems like a powerful tool to organize content and resources. 
As I said before, one of the key benefits  in participating in a Mooc course is the chance to interact with other educators. I have been thinking extensely about the concepts of PLE (personal learning environment), web literacy and ethics on the web and how to introduce these concepts in the classroom. Aitor Alazpita a teacher at IES in Salobreña, Spain, shared with the members of the course a very inspiring post in which he makes an analysis of the importance of filtering and organizing information from the web and how we need to give these tools to students to organize their own information. The concept of literacy has changed and he introduces the concept of modern literacy developed by David Warlick, which is based on 4 main ideas:
  • Exposing Knowledge
  • Employing information 
  • Expressing ideas compellinglly 
  • Ethical use
Warlick, D.F. (2004). Redefining literacy for the 21st century. Worthington, OH: Linworth.

To read more on the the topic of new literacy visit this link and/or this presentation.



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How can we integrate all this in our daily work?  In Aitor Alazpita's school a new subject area, Comunicacion y Redes, was designed in which students  learn the concept of new literacy. They are taught the skills to filter, organize and put together all the information they reach using the web.2, something that will help them to design their PLE. At first I thought that it would be wise to introduce all this content in the SLA class, as part of the daily work. However, to develop a CTS course in Spanish for the students in the bilingual program could help them to improve their literacy skills and  create their own PLE.  At the same time they improve their Spanish and realize that Spanish can be a tool to acquire skills that can be used for all their learning processes. The course developed at IES Nazarí can be a great source of inspiration to do our own version.