Topic 5: Lessons learned ?

I have decided that I will be short and to the point about what I learned from this course but as usual I deviate from the original plan. I know that it is mandatory to share my reflection with others to be able to obtain my certificate. But for me this blog has become my personal dairy where experiences and emotions (now we know that the emotional aspect is crucial to include in the process of learning and sharing and teaching and facilitating. I think there is poeple who think emotions does not have a place in courses but I disagree. Emotions don’t always mean you are sad or in love, but that you are anxious, happy, enjoying the experience and many other things that help you or stop you from growing. We discussed sharing and openness and for that you must have certain qualifications: generous, involved, trusting others.  Trust is very important in all relationships as well between teachers and students. Students must be able to FEEL (again an emotion) to start their journey with us, they trust us to look after their own good and belief that we are doing our best for their sake and not ours.

The first meeting we had at KI , I felt excited but gradually I felt anxious and very ignorant because suddenly I could not even connect to the internet nothing was happening. I was sitting next to a very nice person who did not know anything about me started to help me. It was at that moment that I felt this is going to be ok becasue people are helpful and then came a couple of facilitator who renforced my feeling calmness.

Then it was the first weeks where I felt it was so intense and because I did not have enough time to go through all the instructions at one point I thought I had to read everybody´s blog and all the mail and I felt I am drowning.  Then came all the different websites (all are useful) and all the tools (all are interesting) and of course I am attending this course I should learn about everything until I had to confess this is not working.

So instead of giving up on the whole thing which became very overwhelming I made a document where I started to gather all the interesting tools, websites and even others presentations which I thought very interesting and I might be able to use some parts of it. Whenever  I had some time I started to test the different tools and explore the other websites and catch up with the readings. It is the process of selection and elimination of what I could use in my ONL in the future. I think one should be realistic and try to adapt the learning experience to the target group (students) and in my case it was one of the webinar speakers said “baby steps” start with one thing and try to master it before moving to the next and for me this was exactly what i need to hear that it is ok to take your time to be able to reach the mountain top in one piece.

Now about my PBL group and please allow me saying MY because I felt I belonged, at ease and home. In the beginning I said to myself (I talk a lot with myself not out loud but in my mind and I think a lot of people do that) that just try to make it through this course but I did not have to. I started  to look forward to our meetings and I did not shy from signing up to lead one of the topics and do the presentation testing a tool for the first time. I knew I could count on the others and the facilitators. It was a warm feeling to be able to rely on others in case you need them but first try to do your best. This is the feeling that I want the students to have from the very begining to feel included and part of the learning process.

I have a  course that is running now and I already decided to test one thing giving the students a couple of options to test and it is voluntary.  if you are wondering about the picture it is my son taking this amazing leap to allow his team player to score, that is collaboration and feeling confident that he will land on his feet (in this case skates)  which he did. We have to dare and even if we fall there is a friend or colleague that will help us up so we try again (this picture is private).

I have met a very nice person during the first meeting who is in another PBL group but we have already met once for lunch and we keep in touch, meet again and discuss our experience from this learning experience.

As to this blog I think I am going to keep it and keep on writing about what is my next step which is to present this course at my department as everyone is very curious whenever I talk about it.

So if  anyone of you who think it is interesting to read my thoughts and reflections you are most welcome to join me in this journey whenever you have time. It is always nice to have a companion.

 

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Topic 4: Designing for online and blended learning

Those of you who read my first blog may not remember how sceptical I was for writing but then it became one of  my best moment of the course. It was here I could pour my feelings about this intense experience of learning and it is not only about learning how to design online learning. I learned a lot about myself as well it gave me insight to my capabilities and shortcomings in relation to learning.  This made me look critically  into my teaching and myself as a teacher. I am not saying that I didn’t find many positive things that I am proud of but I found as well areas where could use improvement.

Another reason why writing for this topic was a bit difficult, I think that it was not the topic itself because it is the fund part where you put things into practice. One of the things that  involved me most in how to design online and blended learning is above all how to engage your students, keeping them motivated although (which is not the easiest) but I believe above all is to have fun learning and have their moments of laughter as we did in our PBL group it is these moments that give you pleasure and motivation in going on.

The main reason why I took my time to write this time is the feeling of the  beginning of the end which at the same time leading for new beginnings for us who are students in this course, I was trying to figure out how to keep at least our group, I think I am going to need the support and encouragement once I will start implementing the new ideas that I learned from this course (actually I am going to test one at a time).  Which is exactly what we are discussing our students need so this is where the circles closes.

That is all from me this time. I wonder what are all going to do with your blog, are you going to stop after the end of the course or what? I am curious to know because I would like to keep mine and get feedback from you.

Wishing all a very happy and safe Easter.

 

 

Topic 3: Learning in communities

I just want to thank you all who commented on last blog, it warmed my heart and left me feeling that I am already learning in a community of learners and teachers who are engaged, who are supportive and generous. Not only with their comments but by sharing their knowledge, resources and experiences.

On this topic 3 for some reason I thought it would be easier than the frist and even the second but I was wrong. It took around 10 days despite listening and chatting at the webinar, reading the recommended material, reading others in the ONL171 community and in out PBL groups discussion. I felt I am not going anywhere then I had a question in my mind about what makes a community a “community” and then I started at this end and all of a sudden things started to fall into place and I was very happy. Our facilitator observed that the group have been silent all week  and I realized that I was not alone finding this topic more difficult than the others.
Another aspect is when we become part of a community we are committing and in learning communities we are committing to share, support, engage, promote and strive towards a common goal, but at the same time we are gaining a lot both as a community as well as individuals. We receive support, others share their expertise with us, others are engaged in what we do. What I want to say don’t look at this as we are only giving, look at the other side of the coin and you will see it is all about Sharing and giving a piece of yourself which you have to if you are committed.

These are my reflections and thoughts about topic 3 and I might still have more things to say about that.

 

 

Topic 2: Open learning: Sharing and openness STILL

 

Hi

I did write something about this topic last week but nobody said I cannot write twice even if  I don’t get extra credit for that but I feel I need to share some thoughts with you at the end of this session.

When we started reading all the recommended literature and listen to the short films about open learning and sharing at first I thought of course we should share and be open, but then it hit me that the moment we decided to teach others, students and colleagues and supervision of masters and doctoral students is a learning process, WE ARE ALREADY SHARING. We are sharing but we have more boundaries and restrictions and that is what we have to learn to open up our boundaries and remove some of the restrictions if not all.  I believe there are different degrees of  openness and sharing.

What i learned during these weeks that I need to learn a lot before I make any decision.  I have to be sure about what kind of material I can borrow and how I want others to use mine. That meant that I can to a certain limit protect  and share my material on my terms. The same is with all educational resources. There is always compromises whatever we choose. The bottom line is that we have a duty to share and to know how to do it  in a correct way because we are to teach our students to use it. I for once just decided that I am going to open up my material and teaching but small steps because I cannot do it alone and if I want the support of those around me then I need to introduce things gradually and I hope they will feel the impact of that as I do on the development of our pedagogic competence.

have a good week and share you reflection on my thoughts

(if you are wondering how come I don’t have any wrong spelling it is because I just discovered the proofread writing.  NEVER TOO LATE)

 

 

 

 

Topic 2: Open learning: Sharingand openness

Hi

Time goes by so quickely and it seems I cannot keep up with all the information and the interesting writings of many of members of the ONL171community. There are  enormous resources in  this group and since the topic od this and next weeks is open learning I think how the gorup is sharing and how generous everybody is with sharing very useful websites, articles and their knwoledge and experiences proves how important it is with open learning.

The webinar with Theresa and Alistair was both enlighening  and reassuring for me. I gor a lot of information and most important that to take baby steps before running.

So I am not worried that I will not “Get  it” or learn to be “open learner” and then move to “open teacher” . I am kind of collecting all websites that everybody is putting out and I am trying out one at a time and it is working.  So todays blogg is more personal that professional about my expereince  regarding this topic. Next blogg will be more professional with more reflection about the topic rather than my experiences in general.

 

 

 

 

Online participation and digital literacies

It was  an intresting 2 week with this subject not just because of what i learned and read and even the videos I swa but for me most intresting how the group is developing and as I read one of the ONL171 blog on difference of collaboration and cooperation I realized he was describing the process that went on during the second group meeting ( I couldnot attend the first but I saw the recording  so I am aware what happened). How eay the tas all of a sudden became when I was feeling a bit of anxoius about the whole thing. But the feeling and the structure in the meeting and the work of the group just evolved made me realize how important these groups are and how much support they give and I started to think about how I and my collegues as educators would be able to transfer this feeling to our students.

Another thing I learned is when I got some tips how to live up our presentations and I did not hesitate a moment and tried one of the websites I got from the group and I was amazed by the results and shared it with my collegues.

 

Second week

I still feel overwhelmed by the many talents and creativity now that I have seen the presentations of some of the PBL groups . In one way it feels how am I going to top that and on the other hand I am ready to learn and ask for help from my group members and even others.

I was very impressed by the presentation that I have seen and by the poeple that I learned about through the presentations of the PBL groups it is a very nice and simple idea to learn to know people since it is a very big group otherwise.

So next week is coming and I donot know what to expect but I went into this course to experience a great adventure and I still believe I will do. I feel there is a lot of support in this group both the big one and our own PBL 4.