I have joined the Composing free and open online educational resources course, with the aim of developing my knowledge about the subject but also to engage in a type of constructive and distributed learning experience that I hope leads to a deeper Wikiversity and "wikilearning" experience.
I have been teaching Spanish as a second language for nearly 6 years, although I'm not very much into it any more (apart from helping some friends with grammar or spelling doubts :) that was an experience that made me think and gain practice around different methodologies, materials and techniques. The second language teaching field is a very dynamic and innovative one, that needs to implement ways of teaching/learning quite intense and focused on immediate results (ideally you teach little bits that are implemented quickly in order to develop ways of communicating step by step with students, who need to feel a regular and continued improvement in order to keep on being interested and motivated to participate).
Introduction to Wikiversity
This is where I'm at the moment, moving around this wiki and trying to develop here a learning experience while I participate in subjects concerning OER: for example at Making Wikiversity a personal learning space, where I'm about to write something :)
I have just (re)started around here, now with the intention of developing my knowledge about sociology. I have previous random notions/readings/courses that may fit in this field, that lead me to readings I should detail here (in more or less chronological order):
- Zygmunt Bauman > Globalization: The Human Consequences
- Manuel Castells > The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Vols. I and II
- Peter R. Monge and Noshir S. Contractor > Theories of Communication Networks
- Yochai Benkler > The Wealth of Networks
- Barry Wellman et al > Social Structures: A Network Approach
- Kyriakos M. Kontopoulos > The Logics of Social Structure
Introduction to sociology
My "point of departure" for Sociology in Wikiversity is at the moment Topic:Social theory, but I also found there a featured (that's good :) WikiBook: Introduction to sociology (Mmm, from the list of 9 famous sociologist I only have notions about Marx, that's maybe not that good)
Quick copy&paste notes
- the founders of sociology were some of the earliest individuals to employ what C. Wright Mills labeled the sociological imagination: the ability to situate personal troubles within an informed framework of social issues (e.g., Marx, Weber, and Durkheim) || in order to test their theories, sociologists get up from their armchairs and enter the social world || sociologists test their theories about how the world works using the scientific method || sociology, then, is an attempt to understand the social world by situating social events in their corresponding environment (i.e., social structure, culture, history) and trying to understand social phenomena by collecting and analyzing empirical data || most of the early sociological thinkers were trained in other academic disciplines, including history, philosophy, and economics || the first European department of sociology was founded in 1895 at the University of Bordeaux by Emile Durkheim (jump to Wikipedia: social facts and funcionalism, division of labour and organic solidarity) || early sociological studies considered the field to be similar to the natural sciences like physics or biology || scientists like Wilhelm Dilthey and Heinrich Rickert argued that the natural world differs from the social world, as human society has culture, unlike the societies of other animals
- as in all sciences, the first step in the scientific method is observation || then systematic collection of information which can include data gathered by others, histories or chronologies, newspaper clippings, etc || review the literature, discuss the observations with colleges and generally explore the ideas || then, once the hypothesis stage is reached, implement what Weber (1947) and Dilthey (1977) called Verstehen, that is, try to comprehend and empathize with the history and social life of the subject of study || (a) the Quantitative type will use the qualitative support to set up a more formal test using data which is of either the primary type (harder to obtain) or the secondary type (easier but not so specific), with “operationalization” of abstract concepts into measurable variables || (b) the Quantitative type wiil do it positing an explanation by making a systematic argument using the literature, news clippings, interviews and case studies as support || for a or b, the important thing is to be able to make one’s argument in terms which are understandable, and convincing, to the audience