Friday, November 28, 2014


I listened to the podcast ESLPodcast 12- Dining at a Restaurant on the ESL Podcast site. The specific podcast I listened to was about 12 mins long and described a typical restaurant scenario in the US. I like that the site not only provides the podcast to listen to, but a section of the recording is transcribed for students to read. In the transcription, different words are highlighted to suggest more complicated terms.

Once the speaker was finished describing a typical restaurant experience. This section of the podcast is transcribed. Then, the speaker goes over some of the difficult phrases and terms used in the restaurant story. Most of the phrases are common ones that we hear everyday, both in and out of a restaurant. Some of the phrases that he went over included:

  • Treat yourself
  • Afford
  • Every once in a while
  • Host vs. Hostess
  • How many in your party?
  • I'll show you to your table
  • Big drinker
  • Spotted
  • Dish
  • A must
I think he chose really appropriate terms to go over, because some of these expressions are dependent on the context of being in a restaurant. For example, the word "dish" by definition is essentially a plate, however in a restaurant "dish" can mean a meal. Additionally, the word "party" means a celebration, however in a restaurant the term is used to describe a group of people eating together. So I think it's great that he explained everything for students to better understand complicated phrases.

One thing I wish the podcast would've done is included the entire recording in the transcription. I feel that to have transcribed the portion in which the speaker goes over these complicated terms would have better helped students understand what the words and phrases. Reading may be easier than listening for some students.
Additionally, in speaking everything in English, the students may have trouble understanding everything. Although he spoke very slowly and clearly, I think that maybe to have had the second half of the recording in their home language to better comprehend. 

Overall, I would definitely use this podcast site. The restaurant scenario is one of the many different aspects of culture and communication that students can learn from. This would fulfill ESL4.1: Language for Social Interaction where students will develop the appropriate communication skills to interact in social situations. As a teacher, I would try to transcribe some of the portions that the podcast does not, as well as provide the transcriptions in other languages if needed.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Strip Generator

Using Strip Generator is a unique and fun way to let students get creative to portray some sort of broader idea or message. For my strip, Reading Gibberish I tried to promote the idea that reading in another language will better help you acquire that language. Unfortunately I am not the most creative person, especially when developing humorous story lines so this activity was a bit challenging for me. However, I think assigning an activity like this to a younger class would be highly effective because their creativity is more expansive compared to an adults. 

This activity would fulfill NYS ESL2: Language for Literary Response and Expression. Using the comic strip would be a means of self-expression where students could show their humor and insight while developing their understanding of the English language. Students would be assessed based on proper English use to convey a deeper meaning or concept that they have been learning.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Animoto Experiment

Using Animoto was a very easy tool that constructs visual presentations for students to use. For my presentation Where I Come From, I used this as an example of an activity for young students to describe where they are from and what they like to do in their home country.

Such an activity would satisfy NYS ESL Standard 5 Language for Cross-Cultural Knowledge and Understanding where students would be able explore where they came from and also learn about where their classmates are from. The presentation would have to be written in English where students  can practice common phrases such as "I am from" and "I like to ____". Then students would be assessed on correct grammar and use of visuals to properly correspond with their phrases.

In addition, students would have an opportunity to share what they liked about their classmates' presentations and something they learned about a new country.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

TedEd Lesson: The Great Debate

TedEd Lesson: The Great Debate with the Oxford Comma

For this TedEd lesson, I focused on two of the NYS ESL standards, including ESL1.1 Language for Information and Understanding which states:

"Students using English as a second language will use English to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information for content area learning and personal use. They will develop and use skills and strategies appropriate for their level of English proficiency to collect data, facts, and ideas; discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts"

As students are learning English grammar, the video about the Oxford Comma can emphasize the English uses of the comma as it divides a series. Providing examples about the absence of an oxford grammar can reframe language structure and place emphasis on the importance of commas in describing an idea or command. In other words, students are presented with multiple uses for
grammar structures such as commas to better understand their purpose.
This can be assessed by providing examples of a sentence that is removed of commas and seeing if students can place commas in the appropriate locations.

In addition, the lesson adheres to the NYS ESL standard ESL 3.1 Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation which states:

"Students learning English as a second language will use English to express their opinions and judgments on experiences, messages, idea, information, and issues from a variety of perspectives. They will develop and use skills and strategies appropriate for their level of English proficiency to reflect on and analyze experiences, messages, ideas, information, and issues presented by others using a variety of established criteria"

Once students have determined the use and purpose of the Oxford Comma, they can gain insight in how English grammar is not always universal or contains a strict set of rules. While it is important to initially establish such rules for the purpose of acquisition, presenting a grammatical debate can allow students to reimagine English language. However, proper English acquisition must first be present in order to allow such higher mental order of thinking. From here, students can establish their own opinions and preferences in using the Oxford comma based on the information and debate presented.

This can be assessed by having students describe the meanings of two sentences. The first sentence would contain the oxford comma and the second sentence would not. Students would have to determine which sentence makes more sense to them and whether the word "and" serves as enough information to divide ideas presented in the list without the use of an oxford comma.


For this lesson I have used a video titled "One Semester of Spanish - Love Song". While my pursuits are in teaching ESL I found a lesson that I think could work for both ESL and a Spanish language class. Some of the NYS Learning Standards this could apply to would be LOTE2.ML1.Modern Languages which states that:

"Effective Communication involves meanings that goes beyond words and requires an understanding of perceptions, gestures, folklore, and family and community dynamics"

After watching the video, students would be asked to write down as many common phrases/expressions they hear in the video and translate. Under the guise of a "Spanish love song", students would have to explain how these phrases do not portray a love song, and how this expresses humor. Assessment would be based on whether students could understand that the video is humorous in that the common phrases being used do not portray romance or love.

For an ESL classroom, this may connect to ESL2.1 Language for Literary Response and Expression which states:

"Students learning English as a second language will use English for self-expression, artistic creation, and participation in popular culture. They will develop and use skills and strategies appropriate to their level of English proficiency to listen to, read, and respond to oral, written, and electronically produced texts and performances, relate texts and performances to their own lives and other works, and develop an understanding of the diverse social, historical, and cultural dimensions the texts and performances represent"

This lesson would work if the class consists of Spanish speakers. After watching the video, students would have to translate the Spanish phrases into English using correct tense and grammar. In addition, they would be expected to describe why the video is humorous as it describes a love song. Assessment would be based on whether students understand common phrases of English as they are expressed in Spanish, and if they see the humor being portrayed. 

While I could have used the video in it's entirety, I chopped the video for the sake of this module. I debated using a humorous video because it may not completely portray a classroom lesson, however I think it can still correspond to NYS standards in LOTE or ESL. I think that the humor being implied is one that requires understanding in both Spanish and English, as well as some cultural awareness. 

Flipping the Classroom

This concept of a "Flipped Classroom" is certainly an idyllic one. Additionally, it appears to be a very necessary one. As discussed in Why It's Time to Rethink and Question Homework, assigning homework assignments from a workbook seems to be an antiquated practice. In the article, Lepi purposes that assigning homework may not be personalized enough for students to gain any true mastery of a certain topic. As personalized learning is being practiced in the classroom, it's important that homework reflects this practice, while still maintaining an effective standard for assessment.

Instead of assigning different students different homework assignments, it would appear that homework should be taken out of this "one size fits all" characteristic that Lesi mentions, and instead rearranging assignments to fit more of a general rule with flexibility. While I agree with this notion, my concern is the issue of assessment which Lesi mentions. Ideally, students would be assigned homework that fits within their ZPD and adheres to his/her needs and interests. However, under the strict guidelines of Common Core, I'm not sure such flexibility is possible.

In addition, 7 Things You Should Know About Flipped Classrooms profiles the growing practice of a Flipped Classroom. The article discusses how this notion of a Flipped Classroom advocates active learning, collaboration, and student engagement with a "hybrid course design" of online lectures and in-class practice. From here, there is a "repurposing of class time" where in school, students can ask questions about the online lectures, and teachers can spend more time correcting possible errors and helping with confusing topics. In effect, students have quality time to reflect on the concepts being taught, rather than quickly taking notes and missing out on any valuable understanding.

One important aspect of a Flipped Classroom which the article mentions, and the ultimately reason why I'm skeptical of it's practice, is that it is widely shown in higher education models. The examples shown in the article pertain to colleges and universities. In higher education, I absolutely believe that Flipped Classrooms can be an effective learning model. I have participated in classes using similar models and I personally enjoyed it because of my interest and motivation. Students at this age (should) have the responsibility and know-how to engage in learning outside of the classroom, especially when lectures and learning materials are posted for you. The article brings up a good counterpoint that it may be a waste of tuition and may discourage students from actually going to class once the lecture is taught (something I am guilty of), however these effects are dependent on the individual student. And in the case of higher education, the student is the one responsible for their performance.

With that said, in primary and secondary education, most of the responsibility (I believe) is placed on the teachers and board of educators. Common Core seems to insist this. There is a strict set of lessons and content areas which the teacher is ultimately responsible for. While I like the idea of a Flipped Classroom placing more responsibility on the students and allowing for more collaborative learning, I am skeptical to believe that will actually succeed in, say, a 6th grade classroom. Time, parent involvement, and technological resources would be mandatory for successful implementation, and as we all know, such components are not universal to every student. Who's to say the student will actually want to engage in an online lecture? Who's to say the parent will discipline/help the child do this? In higher education models, these risks can slide since it's up to the student to succeed. However in a primary or secondary school, I don't think as teachers, we can take such risks.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Against All Odds

For this assignment I chose to play Against All Odds particularly because of my interest in the immigrant and refugee population in Buffalo. Most of my ESL experience within the classroom has been working with students who in majority are refugees. I recalled on many experiences in which students asked to watch the news to check up on their native country and see what devastation was occurring.

The game itself was very intense, as it was divided in three components - escaping your native country, entering a new country, and succeeding in this new environment. The first section was definitely the most difficult, both in completing the tasks and in its emotional effects. In my first run through of the very first game, I had to answer questions as if I were a refugee, but in the questions I disagreed with many of the questions, stating I wouldn't give up my rights, don't believe that the government is righteous, etc. To my surprise my character would get abused for wrong answers, and stimulated blood spatters, which I wasn't prepared for. The second time around I realized I had to lie in my answers and fake allegiance to this hypothetical situation in order to survive. From there, the game took me on a course out of the country where I had to leave friends behind, leave those injured behind, and strictly look after myself and my family in order to survive. Had I been in those situations in real life, I'm not sure I would be so willing to protect myself. This is an example of a game simulation which you cannot relate to unless you have experienced it. Though I know the game wants me to face these questions of ethics and morality, I'm not sure I would have been able to so easily faced these moral dilemmas in real life. From here, the components became a bit less emotionally shocking and was more upfront in the realities many refugee and immigrants must face. The game showed you what it would be like to not know the native language, not understand certain cues, and overall instilled a sense of hopelessness. Additionally, the game prompted very accurate situations of prejudice, where many of the phrases of discrimination unfortunately weren't too far of a stretch to believe.

If I were to use this game in a classroom I wouldn't use the first phase. In my hopes of teaching predominantly refugees, I wouldn't want to put them through a sort of virtual hell of something they have possibly already experienced. Rather, I would utilize the last two components of entering a new school and looking for a job, as it would be more relatable to their present condition. This would most closely relate to the NYS Standards in ESL, particularly Language for Cross Cultural Knowledge and Understanding which states:

"Students will demonstrate cross-cultural knowledge and sensitivity in communicating with others of varied social, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds. They will develop and use culturally appropriate behaviors, and a knowledge of local and US cultures and practices, in their interactions with others in their new cultural environment"

As they are experiencing the same assimilation as presented in the game, they can perhaps gain a more critical consciousness of their situation where they are able to step outside and examine the struggles they have faced and perhaps what they have learned. In my assessment, I would ask students to compare/contrast their experiences with the ones they faced in the game to examine their interpersonal awareness and overall opinion of their experience. While it is important for them to be able to look ahead and examine the benefits of fleeing to the United States, I think it is also important for them to understand the difficulties they have faced and how they personally were able to overcome such immense obstacles. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Phantasy Quest

The game I chose to play was Phantasy Quest which falls under the "Escape the Room" category of gaming, involving a point-and-click technique to navigate around a certain environment (in this case, a deserted island), picking up tools and gaining points the farther into the game you are able to. In my initial attempt, I decided not to use the Phantasy Quest Walkthrough to see how intuitive I could be in using the game. Very quickly I got frustrated, especially when I died shortly into playing. In my second attempt I used the walkthrough at my advantage to get a better understanding of what was expected of me. While the game stimulated a scenario of a broken-down ship and a "missing girl" I was still unclear of the various tools I could be picking up and how to carry out difficult tasks. Personally, my lack of understanding in my initial attempt made me very frustrated and wanted to give up. Had I been given more explicit feedback and directions, I may have been more willing to try new things and develop better strategies. But in this case, I gave up and used the Walkthrough. Even so, the Walkthrough was a bit difficult for me to follow. I understood quickly was W,N,E meant in directional usage. However as the instructions told me to "pick up the lantern" per se, after multiple clicks I was frustrated that it wasn't happening as easily as I wanted to. Additionally, some of the instructions seemed vague or wasn't matching up to what I was viewing.

Despite my failed experience, I noticed a wide variety of various language skills and cues that could be used as a basis for content acquisition when using the Walkthrough. Commands such as "pick up" "fill the bottle" and directional terms such as "Go W, W, N" help put in to place strategies and tactics that help students achieve their goal. Without the Walkthrough, students would have to use their own competency of the program and the English language to guess at what is expected of them while his very useful, I worry that if I myself couldn't get a solid handle on Phantasy Quest without the assisace of the Walkthrough, how would an ELL feel?

Using this particular game in the classroom I would first have to have them practice skills such as going left/right/up/down, identifying and clicking on various clues or hints that may be apparent throughout the navigation. By clicking on the tree, for example, they are presented with the challenge of feeding the tree water. The students would then have to think about the tools necessary to complete this task, and I would assess whether or not they would know to go in the directional of water, or things to that nature. However in tasks that are more implicit, such as finding a bottle which they have not yet encountered, I think cues and a Walkthrough would be most appropriate. What I would be assessing, then, is not whether they know the exact positioning of certain items, but whether they are aware of the tools they will need to carry out the task. When given a walkthrough however, the assessment may be more focused on how clearly they follow directions.

Images would be crucial in games as it would connect language with a visual of what they need. More difficult words that showed up in the game like "lantern" or "plank" may require a visual image for the student to understand how it is used and what its function is. Here, the assessment would be whether or not the student can acquire a foreign objects functional uses. I would have to ask questions such as, "Why was the lantern used to make a fire?" to see whether they understood that the word "lantern" associates with light and fire. Additionally, assessing which direction the student moves throughout the game will show their acquisition of directional terms such as North, West, East, South. I wouldn't use the Walkthrough provided in this case, because using the simple symbols of W,N,E, and S may be too advanced for their level of learning. Rather, I would create a Walkthrough that spelled out more difficult terms and assess their understanding.


Throughout most of the articles I have read, Gamification involves the interactive "application of game elements in non-gaming situations" (7 Things You Should Know About Gamification). This article in particular discusses the multiple dimensions of Gaming or Gamification as it has been utilized in workplaces and classrooms alike. Particularly, the use of games is used to motivate student behavior, foster interest, and create an "engaging dynamic".

Furthermore, and perhaps most relevant to what we have discussed throughout this course, Gamification "facilitates the formation of learning communities," and "has the potential to help build connections among members of the academic community, drawing in shy students, supporting collaboration, and engendering interest in course content that students might not have otherwise explored" (7 Things You Should Know About Gamification). This notion of establishing connections is one we have studied at length in terms of creating a global network through technology in the classroom. Additionally, as the article points out, the use of games involves both collaborative and individual effort which helps foster teamwork and effective strategy skills.

Within the classroom, interactive games can serve as a content-delivery mechanism. As discussed in the article 7 Things You Should Know About Games and Learning, there is a practice of "gameful learning" which increases engagement, enhances learning, and allows for an exploration of new models of education which may not be available within a standard classroom. Additionally, gamification is significant within the classroom as it allows students to "...acquire information and hone abilities while achieving interim goals that provide a clear sense of progress, rather than simply focusing on completing the course". Furthermore, students get hands-on experience work with tactics and strategies, allowing them to understand various processes, procedures, and the "value of alternative paths". In this sense, Gamification places real-life learning strategies within a make-believe, interactive environment where errors are not punished rather fostered for improvement.

The very framework of gaming allows for such benefits within an educational model. As discussed in Tom Chatfield's 7 Ways Games Reward the Brain, the neurological processes of competition, risk/reward, and uncertainty are the driving forces which allows gaming to be captivating and useful. Chatfield notes, "In the world's very,very,very hard for people to learn if they cannot link consequences to actions". By creating an alternative environment where mistakes are made and rewards are implemented, students can experience first-hand the value in effective strategy skills, as well as the importance of collaboration and feedback whenever failing. Furthermore, the reward system found in most gaming activities, especially when rewards are uncertain, will yield the greatest excitement. As Chatfield describes, "If you can model things for people, if you can give things to people that they can manipulate and play with and where feedback comes, then they can learn a lesson, they can see, they can move on, they can understand".

Chatfield ends his talk on a discussion of engagement which is directly linked to educational purposes. Through gaming, Chatfield claims, we can observe "what makes people tick and work and play and engage on a grand scale in games". With this knowledge, we can externalize or "turn these things outwards" and utilize gaming practices in the classroom, influencing not only how students learn and interact, but influencing how instructors can teach in a transformative technological era.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Educational Tweeting

While Twitter is commonly used as an avenue for social media, Education and other current event issues are taking over the Twittersphere. As I experienced during a TwitterChat, experts in their relevant professions are engaging in heated discussions over the latest news in the field.

One thing I learned from reading The Ultimate Twitter Guidebook for Teachers (specifically Can we use Twitter for Educational Activities?) illustrates how Education in Twitter is no longer a discourse between professionals, but an instant connection between students and teachers. One example of the potential educational uses include "Exploring collaborative writing", where Twitter can "promote writing as a fun activity...fosters editing skills, develop literacy skills; it can give our students the change to record their cognitive traits and then use them to reflect on their work". Another educational use is in collaborating with various schools from across the country. The site lists other benefits including

  • Keeps track of a conversation students carry on a particular topic
  • Serves both as a means of analysis and an object of analysis
  • Connects students to the real world
  • Supports reflection
While the article posits some great benefits, I appreciated their awareness to some of the negative effects in using Twitter. While I understand the above claim that Twitter can help students develop reading and writing skills, I wonder if this is really true. I think the fact that Twitter has a 140 character limit may pose a threat to grammar and literacy development, where students are forced to unnecessarily condense or abbreviate a thought for the sake of a tweet. Such condensing may put a well-developed thought at risk and may cap a person's reflective thinking. Other downsides that the article points out include
  • Can be too distracting for some students
  • Twitter is not to enrich and support rich learning for students

The second article I chose to read, Using Twitter for Teachers' Professional Development examined the use of Twitter as a Personal Learning Network (PLN). The relationship between Twitter and PLN is illustrated below:

Additionally, the article refers to 10 Ways Teachers Can Use Twitter for Professional Development. Such uses are:
1. Creating a Strong Profile Page
2. Keep your Profile Professional
3. Proper Use of Etiquette
4. Know Who to Follow
5. Use Hashtags
6. Use Twitter Tools
7. Use Twitter to Research
8. Share What You Read
9. Use Twitter for Teaching and Learning

While both articles create strong arguments for using Twitter in an educational setting, I feel that the only way I'd feel comfortable using Twitter with my students would be as a platform where I can directly communicate due dates/assignments or other quick news, post articles, or as a way for students to post questions. Anything beyond that, I feel would be limiting the educational process and hinder development. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Being involved in the #langchat Twitterchat was my first experience using Twitter for more interactive purposes. For many people, Twitter is that place to share their ideas, take place in hot-topic debates, and interact with people on a global scale about what is going on in the world. I was very intimidated to begin chatting - the chat is still taking place as I write - and I have found a few positives and negatives to using this tool.

One thing I enjoyed about chatting was the immediacy at which people could share their thoughts and ideas. Such an interactive model allows for emotional debate and quick access to new information. One thing I didn't like, however, was the also the immediacy. Perhaps I am not as quick-minded as others, but I felt a bit confused throughout the course of the discussion. Within 5 mins I felt there were multiple issues being raised, various discourses, and it was very easy for me to get lost in translation. Luckily, the article posted about twitterchats helped me see what Q1/A1, Q2/A2 meant, but even at one point, one of the chat "leaders" (@alenord) commented that the chat had no formal structure, therefore no strict Q1/Q2 usage. This made it very difficult to follow what was being argued.

Another thing I enjoyed about the chat was the sharing of links and blog posts that was relevant to the individual's argument. It opened various websites that I may utilize in the future, as well as up to date discussions taking place in the blogsphere. But as I mentioned above, there's no way I would be able to actually read the articles fast enough to come up with a timely response. By then, they may have gone on to Q15.

While I can understand the benefits of chatting via Twitter, I feel it may be too large of an audience to have any sort of valuable discussion. For me, I prefer a more intimate conversation with someone, rather than one big sound box for dozens of opinions. Seeing other teachers and sharing their thoughts is a very cool experience, but even so, many times I felt too "green" or too inexperienced to really say anything valuable. There was actually a point where one of the chat "leaders" disagreed with one of my post (@KrisClimer), discouraging me from really trying to express my opinions.

If anything, the Twitterchat would be nice to oversee an interesting discussion, and maybe even to stir the pot from time to time, but if I'm looking for any thought-out discussion, I'd prefer it be done on a smaller, more private scale.

Monday, September 29, 2014


I really like how in2books operates like a global book club. The fact that the pen pals the students would be working with are adults, students are provided with encouragement from adult figures they may not have in their own lives. Much of our educational research shows that students especially rely on the influences of their parents and teachers when it comes to treating their education. By placing students with an adult intended on promoting education, children have the comfort of knowing there is an adult out there that supports them. Furthermore, students get a glimpse in the global environment they are apart of, where they are given access to individuals from around the world, something they cannot simply do when up to their own devices.

Additionally, the McGraw-Hill World Languages Projects allows students from different parts of the globe to pair up and learn about one another. The program advocates students getting to know various cultures and ways of living, contingent to NYS Common Core Standard 5, which requires students to "demonstrate cross-cultural knowledge and sensitivity in communicating with others of varied social, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds". This can be assessed when the students are to present on their global partner, and the student will be able to share with his/her class about a cultural background different from their own.

ePals is a wonderful way of connecting young students with other young students just like them from different parts of the world. While I'm not sure how such a program will be utilized in classrooms from a lower SES, I can value their pursuit in starting global connectivity at a young age.

Google + Community

The Google+ Community page reminded me of the Pinterest accounts we developed last week. I like that Community looks like an interactive space where teachers can share links and resources effectively. That way, members can obtain valuable resources quickly and easily, and the fact that everything is shared by members ensures that the material posted will be relevant and helpful. The English Language Teaching community will be especially useful for this class, as well as some other communities I found such as Google Apps for Education and Education Revolution. Such a network of teachers with similar specialties and interests creates a database that we can learn new things and incorporate into our own classroom. After using Diigo and Pinterest, I'd have to say this may be the first tool I'd use when struggling to come up with new ideas or when looking for the latest information about my field.

A Learner is Like a Chain

In all of the discussions about networks and connections, I think a chain is the perfect analogy to describe the modern learner. The more links a student acquires, the stronger the chain. In other words, the more connections a learner can make, and the more network he/she can be apart of, the more skill sets they learn allowing them to form a solid foundation of knowledge. Furthermore, links are constantly being developed and added as technology advances and various social mediums arise.

As Siemens discusses in The Changing Nature of Knowledge, "The learners themselves, the connections they form with each other, the connections they form with databases, with other sources of knowledge, is really the primary point of learning. So in essence, the network becomes the learning". According to Siemens, knowledge no longer rests strictly under the cognitive and behavioral realm that education has insisted on for decades. Rather, learning exists within the scope of connections and networking. This is in response to the altering complexities in our environment. Siemens claims, "Because of the complex environment that we’re in, learning isn’t something that’s exclusively limited or occurs exclusively within an individual’s mind". Our propensity to use technology and social media networks is in direct response to a changing standard of behavior. As Siemens discusses in The Conflict of Learning Theories With Human Nature, it is our human nature to want to externalize our thoughts and feelings in a social setting. Therefore, "Our challenge then as educators is finding a way to value and foster that human need that we have to be expressed with other ideas and to focus less on trying to bring knowledge into a person and more on developing skills for our learners so they’re able to go out in fairly complex knowledge environments today and function in a distributive manner"

Such "distributive manner" that Siemen discusses in his videos is also reflected in his article A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Siemen believes that as today's environment changes, learners are required to draw information from outside of their primary knowledge. Knowledge acquisition is no longer an internalized notion, rather must be obtained outwardly and to "synthesize" powerful connections. This follows the scientific methodology of Chaos, which "recognizes the connection of everything to everything". Such meta-awareness of the connections we have made/are being made onto us is the ultimate guide in obtaining new knowledges that are not as easily acquired cognitively. As Siemens discusses, learning is no longer under the limitations of the individual. Siemens states, "Learning (defined as actionable knowledge) can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database), is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing."

I think this relates back to my chain analogy where it's not entirely the strength of the chain that's important, it's the connective capabilities of the chain that makes it an asset to society. Yes, the strength of the metal is valued, but the strength of one link alone cannot get a job done. Rather, it is the link's ability to connect with others in that allows a distribution of strength that only grows as more links are made. This is ultimately what the modern learner must adhere to in today's complex society. It's not enough to simply acquire a set of knowledge. Instead, the modern learner is expected to utilize one's external environment in creating strong bonds of knowledge.