Monday, May 17, 2010

week 2 observations

What I'm learning is that technology still remains a challenge for me as a learner, and will likely do so for others with my learning style. When Moodle hangs up, so do I. When too many tools are available to do something, I become distracted from the learning. For me, learning exclusively via text is proving to be both boring and “thin” i.e. not the full meaning that synchronous face-to-face environments provide. What that means is that I will need to be creative for those learners who have a similar learning style to me. It will be less problematic for my future students who don’t mind this style.
I'm also learning that good teaching is good teaching, regardless of the medium. Instructors need to demonstrate interest, commitment to learners, subject matter knowledge - all this needs to be framed around a design that makes sense. I'm reminded too that clarity of instructions and expectations (immediate and course wide) are critical. And, having a linear conversation (one that is more than a series of related or non-related points) is challenging in an asynchronous environment. That means I need to find ways to encourage and reinforce those types of conversations.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

my first blog!

At the urging of BJ, here’s my first blog entry,

This site is supposed to be about my reflections about the ISWO course I'm currently enrolled in. I've set myself up for a significant personal challenge – I'm a very experienced (20 years plus) classroom teacher. And, (I don’t know how to say this without sounding arrogant) I can also say that I've been a very successful one, if we are to believe the comments in student evaluations.
But time marches on and new approaches to teaching and learning need to be explored – that’s why I'm doing this course. And, oh yes, I have to teach an online course in a couple of months so I felt I should learn what I could to be as successful as possible.
All this is said in the context of skepticism that I must work to rein in. The skepticism flows (partly) from the kind of learner I believe I am…very immature (to to put too fine a value judgment on it ). What I mean by this is that I prefer to learn what I want to learn, when I want to learn it, with little of anything (read “technology”) getting in the way. So when I have a question that doesn’t get answered right away, I get frustrated…my problem! And when, to answer a question, I need to navigate through multiple pages, multiple discussion forums, multiple posts…well you get the idea.
So, this could just be me. Maybe most of the learners I’ll be dealing with will be more patient than I am. Or maybe I just need to learn to chill…life’s a journey, ain’t it?