Learning will only take place if the learner has the tools to learn. If the student lacks the 21st century skills they will not be able to create their own models and learn. This is what I got out of Chapter 8. I didn’t really see where chapter 8 addressed communication but more how can we use different communication tools to discuss the ideas presented in chapter 8. Many educators today need to read this chapter and and apply its concepts in the classroom. In many classrooms, the teacher has removed all the tools that help the student learn, and wonder why they aren’t learning anything....

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I was familiar with the types of communication, but there were a few programs that I had never heard of before. I think some more traditional types of communication are becoming inefficient. For example, email; with the number of emails I receive daily, I cannot focus on each one enough. Or the abuse of CC and BCC leads to too many distraction. I talked about this on my blog last semester.


The tool Jordan and I chose was Google+ (Formerly Google Chat). It’s an Instant Messaging program. The format is less formal and more like talking with someone face-to-face without your personal insecurities getting in the way. (You worry about how you look, sound, etc.) The technical skill level is very low if you already have an account. To use it on my phone, I had to download the app and authorize my phone by enter a 4 digit code that Google sent me. This type of communication is best when the participants worry less about grammar and more about communicating. Yes, yes you want your grammar to be at a level where it doesn’t distract from the communication, but don’t worry about it so much that you can’t relax.


Honestly, this activity allowed me to connect with another member of my cohort more than any other activity. The conversation was natural and meaningful. Unlike discussion boards that tend to be formal and too planned out, this tool allowed my partner and I to move beyond the assignment and get to know each other. Not with 20 questions but just by how each person responded casually. Jordan and I then used a Google Document to collaborate as we created our rubric. He is a better writer than me and I learned a lot by reading and watching him work. One thing he said during our conversation on Google talk really summed up the power of collaboration and open communication: “I had the benefit of improving on your original thought”. When you use a communication tool that gives the participants an environment to speak openly and freely, each person can build upon the thoughts of others.