William H. Kilpatrick Timeline

Click on the link below to access a timeline on the life, philosophical and theoretical foundations and major contributions of William H. Kilpatrick.


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William H. Kilpatrick Glogster References

Click here to access the references I used in creating my Glogster poster about the life and works of William H. Kilpatrick for EDTL 6110 Curriculum Inquiry.


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Weeks 10 – 16: Creating an Interactive Learning Module

For the last six weeks I have been developing an interactive learning module on the topic of exposure in digital photography called Understanding Exposure. I chose exposure as my topic because, as a photographer, it is something that I know a lot about and feel comfortable focusing on.

To begin this project I did a needs analysis which contained an overview of the problem background, purpose of the learning module, learning objectives, audience, and evaluations. I chose to focus on this particular topic because I have taken three different introductory photography courses in high school, VCT, and in the College of Fine Arts. In all three cases I noticed that students tended to struggle with understanding how to properly expose their images and they often fell back to relying on the automatic mode. Because of this trend, I decided to gear this learning module towards helping students understand how to properly expose their images. The intended audience includes anyone taking an introductory photography class either in high school or college, as well as anyone just looking to improve their skills.  From this learning module students should be able to gain an understanding of:

  • how a camera uses light to crate photographs
  • how to evaluate if a photograph has been properly exposed
  • light, aperture settings, shutter speeds, and ISO settings and their relationship to one another in creating good exposures
  • how to create properly exposed images manually

If this module ends up being used in a class students can be evaluated in a couple different ways. They could be tested on the concepts after reviewing the module. They can also be given a more hands on assignment and evaluated on their submitted images.

After completing the needs analysis, I wrote an overview of the project plan which includes my research, an audience analysis, the scope of the learning module, the proposed learning objectives and outcomes, and completion benchmarks. Some of the sources I used in creating this learning module were Photography (10th ed.) by London, Stone, and Upton, Photography: A Practical Guide by McWhinnie and Andrews, Understanding Exposure by Peterson, and the websites http://www.digital-photography-school.com and http://www.freephotocourse.com. I also found a 10 minute tutorial on exposure basics that I included as an additional resource from http://www.freephotocourse.com and a camera simulation website at camerasim.com. The images on the site either came from Stock.XCHNG or were taken by me. In the future I plan to replace all of the images from Stock.XCHNG with images I shot myself.

As for the scope of the learning module, I decided that the learning module should provided students with a basic understanding of the importance of light in digital photography and how to set proper exposures manually. An emphasis is placed on the exposure triangle (ISO, aperture and shutter speed settings) and how the camera settings can vary depending on the lighting in a given situation. Information will be provided in a variety of formats (videos, text, diagrams, pictures and hands-on assignments) to benefit all learning styles. Learners will be presented with optional assignments that are situated in real-world contexts. This will provide learners with an opportunity to practice using the ISO, aperture and shutter speed settings in different situations to see firsthand what the results are.

The following week I looked at instructional and technical strategies that I could use in completing this project. This included the instructional design model or theory I would be following, the interactive segments, and the script/storyboard development. To complete the module I decided to follow the ADDIE model which includes 5 different phases of development: analyze, design, development, implementation, and evaluation. I also chose to provide content in a variety of formats to support the principles of Universal Design for Learning by including text, visuals, audio, video, and a simulation. The website is interactive in that users can navigate to whichever page they choose to go to. There is no set order they have to follow. They can also interact with the animations, slideshows, video and camera simulation. For the script/storyboard requirement I listed a site outline:

  • Home
  • Exposure
  • Light
  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed
  • ISO
  • Equivalent Exposures
  • Additional Resources
  • Contact

Next, I created a rough version of the learning module which was reviewed by my classmates in an alpha review. Using the feedback from the alpha review, I revised my learning module and resubmitted to my peers for a beta review. I am still waiting on feedback from my classmates for the beta review. However, once I have an idea of what to fix, I will revise my learning module one last time before I submit it for grading.

Overall, I thought that this project was a lot of hard work but also a lot of fun. In the past I have not enjoyed creating websites, but Weebly is very intuitive and easy to use because it has a drag-and-drop interface. I think that my learning module will make a great portfolio piece to show future employers, and I hope to find time to make additional learning modules on various introductory topics in photography next semester. The goal is to have a small series of learning modules such as Understanding Exposure, Understanding Light, Understanding Depth of Field, and so on. I am actually going to be a teaching assistant in VCT 2820 Introduction to Photography, so I will be able to take my observations and apply them to this learning module and additional learning modules. After doing this project I could see myself teaching face-to-face classes or online classes using learning modules I have created.

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Week 15: Connectivism

This week I read George Siemen’s article Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Even though it was written in 2004, the ideas and principles outlined in the article still hold true today.

Siemens begins by providing an introduction to the three main learning theories: behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. He then discusses the limitations of these three learning theories in the modern world, and he provides an alternative theory: connectivism. Connectivism acknowledges that in today’s interconnected world, learning takes place within networks. Networks are made up of people, groups, systems, and entities which are called nodes. These nodes are linked together which creates connections between people and sources of knowledge. The theory of connectivism holds that the connections are more important that the knowledge itself. As the rapid evolution of technology and information continues to alter the world, connectivism becomes increasingly important as we increasingly rely on each other to sort through knowledge.

In his article, Siemens also discusses how connectivism helps learners know how to gain and maintain knowledge. A connectivist approach is beneficial because it can apply to all areas of one’s life and not just their formal education. People today have to constantly acquire new knowledge in order to stay current. Siemens explains that as the knowledge supply continues to grow and evolve, the ability to “plug into sources” of knowledge becomes increasingly important. Access to knowledge (the pipeline) becomes more important than the knowledge itself (contents of the pipeline). Therefore, a connectivist approach has value outside of education. It is useful in our jobs and personal lives as well.

Siemens gives an example of one way in which a connectivist approach was taken in Maricopa County. The Maricopa County Community College system undertook a project that connected senior citizens with elementary school students in a mentorship program. The results indicated that the students listened to their mentors better than they listen to their own parents. The conclusion was drawn that the efforts of the senior citizens complimented the efforts of the teachers, and I would argue the efforts of the parents.

I believe that mentorship is a great way to use a connectivist approach in education. I think that any type of mentorship program is worthwhile as long as the mentors are able to connect with the students and make a positive impact on their lives. In this case, the senior citizens have many insights on life that the elementary students do not have. Because of this they are probably effective in helping to develop students’ personal values, morals, and sense of self. They can offer students’ advice and guidance in a more neutral way than parents are able to.

In addition to providing the students with mentors, there are a lot of other ways that we could use a connectivist approach in the classroom. Educators should take a more cross-disciplinary approach because according to Siemens, the ability to see connections across disciplines is a core skill of connectivism. To get students more comfortable connecting with others educators could have students do more group work where they need to communicate with each other in order to complete various tasks. Educators should also bring technology into the classroom and encourage that students use a variety of sources on the Internet to find knowledge. These can include interactive media and multimedia available on the Internet, resource databases, social media, and the knowledge of others found on blogs, personal websites, and directly through email and other communication methods (live chat, web conferencing, etc).

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Week 13: Distributed Cognitions

This week I read Distributed Cognitions by Roy Pea and John Seely Brown. They argue that intelligence is distributed across minds, persons, and the symbolic and physical environments. It is socially constructed through collaborative efforts and also found in artifacts such as physical tools, representations (diagrams), and computer-user interfaces. This goes against the traditional viewpoint that intelligence resides in the mind of the individual. As a result, the assumption that an individual’s intelligence can be measured through testing is false and needs to be revised. Instead, we should consider the role of tools and resources as they help the learner, and we should facilitate learners’ interaction with such tools and resources as well as with other individuals. In addition, we need to encourage learners to be creative in their use of tools and resources.

After reading this article, I noticed a lot of similarities between distributed intelligence and connectivism. In both cases intelligence is not viewed as being in the mind of any one person, and instead it is off-loaded onto a network of people, tools, and resources. Since Distributed Cognitions was published in 1993 well before the idea of connectivism came about, I would argue that the idea of connectivism is based on the idea of distributed intelligence. I am not familiar enough with the theory of distributed intelligence to comment on any differences between that and connectivism.

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Week 12: Personal Learning Environments (PLEs)

Last week in Digital Learning Theories my classmates and I all posted screencasts reviewing our personal learning environments (PLEs). Creating a PLE was important for me because I was getting overwhelmed with all of the different places I needed to go on the Internet to find information. When I discovered Symbaloo and the ability to create webmixes, I was really excited because it has allowed me to centralize links to all of the different websites that I use on a regular basis. I made Symbaloo my home page and now all I have to do in log in and select the tile that corresponds to whatever website I want to go to. It’s also really easy to add new tiles to Symbaloo and I love that I can create custom tiles for websites that aren’t already in the Symbaloo database.

Another great aspect of Symbaloo is that I can look up other people’s webmixes to get ideas of what websites are out there and relevant to my own interests. This makes it easy to collaborate with other’s and share information. Because of the collaborative nature of Symbaloo, I actually created my PLE with two other classmates, Katie and Anthony. We each created our own home webmixes as well as different webmixes that we thought would be helpful as we continue on in the learning design program at BGSU, and then we shared our webmixes with each other. For my portion of the assignment I created a webmix that contains links to a variety of different learning theorist websites and a webmix that contains a variety of different learning design resources. Katie created a BGSU resources webmix and a webmix containing all of the blogs of our classmates. Anthony also created a very important webmix that contains links to a huge variety of web 2.0 tools and applications.

After reviewing everyone else’s PLE presentations I realized that there were aspects of my own PLE that I had forgotten to include in my presentation. I also use Zotero to create and manage my citations. I also use my iPhone and the various apps installed on it regularly within my PLE. Finally, my family, friends, coworkers, classmates and people I follow on Twitter are all a part of my larger personal learning network (PLN). I know I can count on these people to give me ideas, help me solve problems, and direct me to information that I would not have thought of or found on my own.
I also realized that there are a lot of other great tools out there that I did not consider using for my own PLE that would be helpful to use in the future. I plan to investigate the following applications further to possibly implement into my own PLE:

  • Instapaper
  • Zootool
  • Evernote
  • Wonderlist
  • PowerNote
  • NoodleTool
  • Pinterest
  • Open Study
  • Stumble Upon
  • Box
  • Delicious
  • Hootsuite
  • Workspaces (Mac)
I may not end up using all of these applications as some perform the same or similar functions, but they are all worth looking into.

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Week 11: Snowflakes & Gifted Learning

So what do snowflakes have in common with gifted learning? After reading Snowflakes, Living Systems, and the Mystery of Giftedness by David Yun Dai and Joseph S. Renzuli I realized that there are similarities between snowflakes and gifted learning. According to the authors, both self-assemble and both self-organize. Just as there are many influences that determine what shape a snowflake will take, there are also many influences that promote gifted behaviors in humans.

Dai and Renzuli start by identifying three basic dimensions of humans as dynamic and open creatures: functional dimension, temporal dimension, and developmental dimension. The functional dimension concerns the environmental context and recognizes that humans are constantly exchanging energy and information with their environment. The temporal dimension recognizes that interactions between humans and the environment take place over time. The developmental dimension is concerned with the incremental and qualitative changes that take place within humans. So basically, the authors are saying that all humans interact with their environment through time and change incrementally or qualitatively as a result. Furthermore, each person has their own development trajectory that is unique to them just as each snowflake develops a unique pattern.

The authors go on to explain that there are three facets of being gifted: selective affinity, maximal grip, and being at the edge of chaos. Selective affinity is defined as “an individual’s predisposition or propensity for a specific class of activities, objects, phenomena, ideas, or people.” Whether or not these predispositions are developed depends on exogenous factors such as opportunity structure, culture, and social mediation and endogenous factors such as passion, interest, and developmental timing. Maximal grip refers to the self-directed effort toward a future state of mastery. Some concepts that characterize maximal grip include effectance motivation, task commitment, rage to master, deliberate practice, and a will to implement an intention and resist distractions. The third facet, being on the edge of chaos, deals with the psychological tension between the known and unknown. The authors argue that people that live on the edge of chaos have more creative potential than those who settle with a version of reality they have created.

Based on the view of gifted learning presented by Dai and Renzuli, even though an individual may be biologically predisposed to a specific class of activities, objects, phenomena, ideas, or people, it is up to the individual and the environment they live in as to whether or not these predispositions develop into giftedness. I agree with the authors that humans are not necessarily born as gifted or not gifted. I agree that one’s environment and the timing of development play a huge role in whether or not someone could be classified as gifted.

From this perspective then, gifted education should not be limited to only students with higher than average scores on “intelligence” tests. Dai and Renzuli even state that a single benchmark like IQ cannot fully capture the complexity and diversity of giftedness. Furthermore, they view gifted manifestations not as traits but as fluid states with the ability to grow and develop or become stagnant and “burnt out”. Rather than focus on a child’s IQ, which is the conventional means of determining who is gifted and who is not, educators should instead be focusing on each child’s unique developmental trajectory. By assessing each student’s development trajectory, the needs of all students will be better met rather than just the needs of a few students that display a higher than average IQ.

Another problem I have personally noticed with placing students in gifted classes is that it labels those students unnecessarily. Children are very critical of each other to begin with and labeling some students as gifted and others as average has the potential to harm them socially. Even though I went to a private elementary school that did not have a gifted program I was in all of the advanced placement classes in middle school and high school. As a result I was labeled as being one of those “smart” kids. Because of this many students that only earned average grades never felt comfortable being around me because they felt I was on a different level than them. I felt like I was missing out socially because many people judged me as being too smart for them and never took the time to actually get to know me. I would argue that this is the case for many children that are placed in gifted programs or advanced programs because of the tendency of children to label each other. Instead of creating an atmosphere where students are labeled, educators should emphasize that all children have unique predispositions. They should focus on finding out what it is that each student is naturally good at and passionate about, and help them develop along their own developmental trajectory rather than one defined by administrators and bureaucrats who are out of touch with individual students. We shouldn’t be placing students into boxes with predefined parameters. Instead we should be celebrating their individuality.

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