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Showing posts from November, 2016

Digital Third Places; Our Favorite Online Hangouts

Typically described as physical spaces, but recently include web locations, Third Places are spaces between the privacy of home and the structure of work or school where informal interaction occurs. With geographic third places shifting, and in many cases, disappearing, it's an opportunity to take a look at where people interact while online. The Pew Research Center has reported on the ways Americans use social media to find information and engage with others. An increasing number of online Americans get their news via social media, take their work and school breaks with social media, and seek employment via social media. Most analysts agree this year's presidential election result was impacted by communication through social media.



Pew's recent publication reveals other interesting trends. The number of American adults using social media has increased steadily since 2005 with the percentage of older users driving recent gains. Facebook users double the number of other popu…

Third Places and School Community

“Life without community has produced, for many, a life style consisting mainly of a home-to-work-and-back-again shuttle. Social well-being and psychological health depend upon community. Third places are informal gathering places. They are the heart of a community’s social vitality, the grassroots of democracy, but sadly, they constitute a diminishing aspect of the social landscape." - Ray Oldenburg


Who remembers "Cheers"? The television third place of libated conversation and humor, where everyone knows your name.


Are we creating school-based places where climate and community become positively established?
Left to their own devices, students and staff will build segregated hangout bubbles in hallways, offices, and nooks beneath stairwells. Third places are comfortable confines between the private life of home and the prearranged areas of school and work. Informal and inviting, Oldenburg says third places offer tremendous opportunities for learning, "Managers have le…

Learner Autonomy and the LMS

Recently, I shared my internal conflict, "domain of one's own" versus "LMS as a personal learning environment." Creating and cultivating one's digital garden is the self-actualization of digital fluency. The LMS can positively support skill development and digital ascension. These two concepts do not have to be mutually exclusive. Credit Aaron Davis for extending this conversation with this question shared in the blog comments.


"To what degree can an LMS, such as Schoology, support student autonomy and personal learning?"
Stephen Downes is considered one of the prominent thought-change leaders in the area of personal, socially networked learning. He identifies the following essential activities for developing and sustaining an effective personal learning environment (PLE): CuratingContent creatingConnecting and interactingSharing and reflectingCoincidentally, "Schoology as Personal Learning Environment" was my presentation topic at Schoolog…

Flowing Streams and Flower Gardens

How old do you have to be to have a "Domain of One's Own"?
This was the intriguing question that awaited me on Twitter when I woke up early Saturday morning. Appreciation to Aaron Davis for including me in the conversation. He knows me well enough to know that I would jump on the "open for all" cookie. Truthfully, this question presents a significant dilemma for me. On the one hand, I have personally experienced the tremendous learning advantages to building a functional presence within one's own web domain. On the contrary, much to the chagrin of some of my PLN mates, I've seen the benefits a learning management system can provide in helping learners gain confidence and competence with their online experiences.

Domain of One's Own - an open, user-created space on the web for documenting, interacting, sharing, and learning. 

Originating at the University of Mary Washington, the initiative helps students and faculty register a domain name and associate …