Friday, July 01, 2011

Sophia

Sophia crossed my path twice in the last week--
once at The Innovative Educator where she asked Is this the future of learning?
and again in Stephen Downe's OLDaily.

As Downes quoted from the Sophia about page:
"Sophia is a social teaching and learning platform that taps the teacher in all of us and enhances the learning process by providing access to a wealth of knowledge, help, instruction, standards-aligned content, and expertise available to learners everywhere."


Sophia Overview from Sophia on Vimeo.



In response to the question, Is Sophia the future of learning?

I hope not. Perhaps a part of, a resource for some content.

I guess I'm questioning their use of the word community in describing Sophia. Community to me suggests collaborating to create meaning and deeper understanding together and the co creation of artifacts that illustrate that understanding. I'm not seeing that with Sophia--

I'm thinking/hoping the future of learning will be far more than one web portal in a sea of many, and will leverage the extraordinary power of the human network in collaborations, investigations and explorations; will encourage the development of deep, meaningful collegial relationships which will in turn become the foundation for change in education; and will compel learners to take collective action to make this world a better place.

What about you?

1 comment:

bullharrier said...

I guess I'll speak about my experience with Sophia. I understand your criticism of it but have you actually used it? Sophia is a very good tool but it's also easy to criticize if your only experience with it was through a presentation.

Myself and others who teach at colleges in my area, the Twin Cities in Minnesota, have been using Sophia as a resource and for flipping the classroom. My students have loved Sophia as a study aid outside of the classroom because of the amount of information you can put here and how well you can organize it. Also, I used it twice via flipping the classroom and it worked out very well. The students had their learning objectives already, I told them where they had to go on there and we had a good discussion the next class and they also did well on their exams.

Also, this summer I'm going to experiment with the group function on Sophia. This will be a great aid to my residential classes as an announcement page and a place to put my assignments that are specific private to the class itself.

All in all Sophia has been useful to me so far and I will continue to use it and experiment with it this summer. One more use I got out of it was for students who missed a lecture or class. With the information I was able to provide here and also on youtube they were never behind.

One more useful function came to mind, my apologies for the randomness. Not every teacher is good at what they do. I get e-mails on a daily basis on my youtube account thanking me for the work I do and not even a week after I started on Sophia I started getting thank you e-mails from students who have had or are having a poor classroom experience.

To sum up I have found this a widely useful resource for my classroom and I look forward to building more material on here for my students and others. Also, the Sophia team cam to our school and gave a great PD session on how to use technology and social media as educational resources as well. All in all I and my colleagues have been satisfied with our experience with Sophia and I hope you see it for the useful too that it really is.