Academic Proposals, teaching

Does this diagram make any sense conceptually?

I’m in the midst of working on my poster presentation for a conference next Friday at the University of Texas at Arlington about active learning. As I wrote about earlier when I posted the abstract proposal that I also submitted to the event organizers, I’m giving a presentation about conceptualizing and implementing a social media-based class. However, I’ve made one small addendum to the presentation by creating a new title, “Making the Classroom Transparent,” and turning my old title into the subtitle. Hopefully this new title will be slightly catchier (and certainly less verbose.)

I’m structuring my poster presentation around four major points:

  1. Challenges and Opacity of the Traditional Classroom
  2. Transparency Created by the Social Media Classroom
  3. Social Media Tools and Resources
  4. Applications of Social Media Resources in the Classroom

The diagram below, which I’m planning to incorporate in the first column about the challenges of the traditional classroom, illustrates (I hope) the isolation and closed nature of typical assignments. I built the diagram with Bubbl.us, which is incredibly intuitive and use-friendly. However, I wish it had slightly cutesier shapes available like an image of a stick figure teacher and an image of a stick figure student doing work. But then again, if the site offered such shapes, I guess it would be distinctly un-bubbly, and therefore antithetical to the site’s name.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “untitled“, posted with vodpod

So, I return to the title of this post. Does this diagram make sense conceptually? Does it illustrate the idea of how traditional classroom assignments close off opportunity for students to learn from their peers in the process of completing the work? How could I change it to make it clearer? Are there other websites (or programs) that would be more apropos for creating this type of diagram and/or offer more flexibility?

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