Our moderator, Greg Walker, sent me this link: http://www.connectivism.ca/?p=336

I think I am getting a better grasp of what an “artifact” is and what this “sensemaking” process involves.

Seems to me it can be as simple and isolated as this blog post, or it can be a post that incorporates multiple forms of social media in it–pulling from the various resources to create one, “big” resource that now “defines” the topic and shows “relevance” and understanding to the discussion.

It also seems to be about organization. Sifting through the mass of “stuff” out there and re-organizing it to show your understanding about a key concept.

Traditional Classroom:
It kind of seems like this what we, instructors, already do to create and effectively implement a unit or lesson in our class. If I want to teach an assignment on Op-Ed pieces, I have to scour the internet for tips on how to best teach this type of writing and then search for good examples in reputable newspapers on topics I think the students will enjoy. Then I search our local newspaper for topics closer to home. Then I could see if I can find a “fun” cartoon to start off the conversation or a youtube clip to pinpoint a certain idea and make it memorable and, once I have amassed a huge pile or resources, I weed through them, organize them, and create my actual lesson. Thus, what I give to my students is the result of that process.

However, online, if this is expected every week from the students for every post in order to show “competency” or ability to “prove” understanding, then I imagine it is a huge TIME consumption. Now, maybe for these students it is not. Maybe they are so plugged into media and are already checking 5 different social media sites while routinely viewing clips on youtube and posts on those sites where you just keep reposting picture and tagging them (the fact that I can’t even name one of those sites, wait, Tumbler?, shows you how “tuned in” I am) that, for these students, this process is natural, easy, and preferred. But I am having trouble wrapping my head around it. I don’t see how I can invest the time to browse so many different resources, on a weekly basis, to create one artifact. I am not “plugged” in and spent almost no “recreational” time on the internet or computer–don’t own a tablet–only got a smartphone last month, and this world of data bombardment and being “wired” is kind of overwhelming me…..

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