Sunday, April 26, 2009

using hypermedia as a mindtool

I took a class at George Mason when I taught in Virginia. The class was Teaching with Technology. We did hyperstacks as projects and I remember loving the project and enjoying making it so much. We also created webquests, but mine was lame. My hyperstack was a real artifact. It was about Simon Bolivar!

Anyway, my Mindtools chapter on hypermedia was a great read. Here are my chapter 11 notes.

The first thing that struck me is that my use of wikis is essentially hypermedia. So, that is great, because wikis are free. There is a share it/embed culture that makes hypermedia possible.

Hypermedia is multimodal. Hyper is non-linear. Yet, hypermedia has structure, sequence. The idea of nodes that are connected reminds me very much of connectivism, and the power of connected nodes.

Access is tied to relevance. Think Wikipedia and a dynamic, growing knowledge base.

User autonomy because the user chooses the sequence of access. There is choice, affordance, and synthesis.

Here is the exciting part about hypermedia learning. The model is based on knowledge as design. Constructing understanding is better than interpreting a teacher's understanding. I love this!

Ownership is the key to constructivism.

Reflective learners name what they know, and that is powerful...reflect!

p. 221 has great assessment/refleciton questions. How will you organize, why? How will you decide on what to include and what to leave out? Can you draw a map of the flow of your program and is it logical? Which stories do you want to include, and what do they represent? Which are the most important themes in describing your content? How did you determine that they were most important?

When evaluating the product, keep in mind: project management skills, research skills, organization and representation skills, presentation skills, and reflection skills.

The chapter breaks down the hierarchy of thinking skills for creating hypermedia, and not surprisngly, organizing and designing the presenation requires the most complex thinking skills. Yay, Bloom's!

The rubric on page 227 is great and I plan on using it, or an adaptation, to assess final portfolios this year. The points include:

Accuracy of information in nodes
Represenation of information in nodes
Quality of media representations
Links are meaningful and descriptive
Screen design
Nodes organized in meaningful, informative structures
Purpose of knowledge base clear to user

OK, the cosntraints of knowledge building with hypermedia? IT TAKES TIME. Boy do I feel that this year as projects are drawn out and students, some, lose focus. It does take time and having standards for final portfolios will hopefully make all this time worth it.

Source citation for this reflection:


Jonassen, D.H. (1996). Computers as mindtools for schools (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Defines Mindtools concept and critical thinking. Includes information on semantic organization tools, dynamic modeling tools, interpretation tools and knowledge building tools.

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