Communication I

After reading through the content of topic three on Moodle: Communication 1 the section on synchronous versus asynchronous communication is something that I found quite interesting, and a topic that I would like to focus on for this weeks blog. Specifically I would like to take a look at the positive and negative factors to both of these online forms of communication, as well as the type of roll that a teacher would have to have.
21st Century Learner
One of the competencies used to describe a 21st Century Learner, is communication. With this students must be able to competently communicate with others, both verbally and nonverbally. With the internet students are able to have these types of connections without being face to face with one another. Students must also be able to understand the different times to use different forms of communication based on each individual situation. Providing students the knowledge and resources to create both synchronous and asynchronous online connections, will allow them to successfully choose the proper medium for each assignment/topic.
Synchronous vs Asynchronous Communication
The following video outlines the differences between both forms of communication, as well as some of the benefits to both.

Another online source that outlines both forms of communication, as well as benefits to both is the following website

Asynchronous Communication


-Can interact with individuals from all over the globe-Students can take the time to fully develop a well thought out and planned response, showing their in-depth understanding and mastery of a topic

-Chance for personalized learning as well as differentiation

-With the use of a blog students can showcase their work, which can be used as a portfolio


-Responses are not immediate-Can be less engaging to some due to response time

Synchronous Communication


-Real time responses to questions-High level of engagement with online chat rooms, and videoconferencing

-Can interact with individuals from all over the globe

-Chance for personalized learning as well as differentiation


-Students may not all be available at the same time-Students may not have sufficient time to respond with their full understanding of a topic

-Depending on the others within a conversation, students may be outshined and overshadowed, resulting in them not able to show their opinion

-Introverts may feel to self-conscious to participate

-Lack of documentation

What About Teachers?

After looking at both forms of communication I particularly favour asynchronous communication for a number of reasons. One I think that it would allow students to work at rates that best suit them, as well as allow them the time to fully understand a topic before having to voice their knowledge or opinions. Growing up I was a shy student and would not typically answer a question out loud in the presence of others. If I had been given the opportunity to write down my answer in a way that other students would not know my response, there would be no embarrassment or anxiety attached.

I also think that in terms of online blogs or EPortfolios, I as a teacher would be able to easily monitor all online activity in the form of asynchronous communication. Not only would I be there to help curate information, but as a teacher I would also have to have a presence on the internet to insure the proper use, as well as create and maintain a safe learning environment for all parties involved.  To me able to monitor and maintain this activity with synchronous communication, I would have to be involved during all online interactions.

List of Collaboration Tools

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 10.48.52 PM

(image from Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication:Tools for Collaboration)


Significant Comment:



As stated on Moodle, each individual tends to be a different sort of web learner when researching, depending on the scenario. These being “knowledge seekers, feature seekers, and apathetic users”. Majority of the time I tend to fit the role of an apathetic searcher. This tends to reflect the times when I am tired or bored, and am browsing the Internet trying to complete an assignment, or looking up information for my own personal knowledge. However if I am working on a major assignment, or come across certain information that I am particularly passionate about or intrigued by, I strictly become a knowledgeable searcher looking only to find useful information to expand my understanding.

When reading the information for this module I immediately noticed that I am an individual that uses Google perhaps a little too much. One of the reasons that I believe that I have become so dependent on Google, is due to the fact that the Google search bar is already embedded in the URL bar of my internet browser, making it extremely convenient to just type the topic there instead of taking the time to find another search engine. A lot of the ideas about how to search items the proper way to find the most relevant results were features that I already knew about and that I tend to use if I am researching an important topic. However, when I am working on a project that is more professional, I shy away from Google and tend to do all of my research on Academic archives, through the university library website.

I think that recognizing what types of researchers each individual is, as well as understanding what type of researcher you should become in each different situation, is something that I think is extremely important for learners to know and something that I would want to have conversations with my future students about. With this I think it will be important to share the ways to properly conduct web searches in a way that is the most time efficient and will save them from becoming stressed out.

One way that I think would be a fun and applicable way to teach my future students about the use of different search engines and how to properly pursue the information would be through an amazing race style web quest. Students would be divided into different groups, and each group would be assigned a certain search engine that would become their only vehicle. Each time that a group is able to find a specific website, or a specific piece of information, they would be given their next clue/topic. The group to find the proper research results for all the topics first would essentially win. Some groups would have cue cards with the “Boolean” techniques that would help to minimize their search results.

Having this type of activity occur with students in the same classroom would be a way for students to physically see how some search engines work better for finding more relevant and scholarly information than others. After seeing this in action, I believe that it would be something that would motivate students to be more critical with their research habits, and be motivate them to become “knowledge seekers” when browsing the web.

While the idea for a lesson above would perhaps be aimed towards Junior High to High School students, I think that it could even be adapted to help students at the Elementary level. During my PSI practicum my grade three students were working on an animal research project and were using Google, as well as Ask Jeeves to find their information. Something that myself and the students kept noticing was that there were way too many results showing during their searches, and a lot of the information that was coming up was something that was not relevant. Before we could continue with the assignment I had to incorporate a lesson on how to make proper searches on the internet, and what sorts of topics to type into the search bar to get relevant results. After adding this in students were able to finish up their assignment substantially faster, and majority of the students switched over to another search engine.


Significant Comment:

About Me


My name is Paige Walsh and I am 24 years old. I am currently completing my combined degree in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education at the University of Lethbridge. My major is in the dramatic arts, with a minor in CTS with a community and health focus. Other than my prior two practicum experiences, I have had plenty of experience working with children as well as other hours working in a classroom setting.
For seven years I spent my summers working as a camp counsellor at a western horse riding camp for children aged 7-16. Here I helped teach kids how to ride horses, as well as learn to appreciate and enjoy nature. I also spent some time babysitting some of the staff’s children, and one of my favorite activities was writing children’s music with their five year olds. Another opportunity that I have had involving music and children was my three years experience helping to direct and instruct Children’s Musical Theatre, in Chestermere, working with children ages 3-16.
I completed my first professional semester in Calgary, at Acadia Elementary School in a Grade 3 classroom. During my time I got the opportunity to work and juggle with a class that had a large number of exceptionalities, and how to work with IPPs. It was a great learning experience to see how lessons needed to be adapted to fit the learning needs of all the different levels within the classroom. During my time I was able to teach lessons in all of the core subjects, as well as a few drama, gym and art lessons.
My second professional semester was completed this past spring at William Aberhart High School in Calgary, which was another great experience for me. During this time I taught a Drama 10, and Drama 30 class, as well and an English 10-1. This was a great learning experience for me, finding ways to connect with students at the high school level, as well as find ways that motivated them. I also helped with the schools production of “Almost Maine” as the plays musical director. During the lunch hours I also helped supervise and run the schools Improvisation club.
Other than my Practicum experience, my involvement in a classroom has been with volunteering at Coalhurst Elementary School with their Early Literacy program. During this time I would work individually with students to help them have an enjoyment towards reading. I also took time to work with small groups of student’s grades 2-4 that were struggling with reading comprehension.
Another opportunity that I had in the classroom was last spring during a Theatre For Young Audiences course that I took at the University. Over a couple of weeks I spent time teaching Drama lessons to grade 1 and 3 students. These lessons were each 45 minutes long and taught the students basic skills used in acting.
Other then working with children, my hobbies include the outdoors and my other enjoyments require my creative side. I love to spend my free time snowboarding, horseback riding, hiking and camping. Indoors I love to cook and bake, as well as spend time painting, teaching myself guitar, and singing. Every now and then I also like to dabble in a bit of photography.