It has been an awesome experience, my first real online course. I read every suggested reading and chapter, watched all videos and played with all recommended tools. My posts reflect my sustained dialog with the material, they were thoughtful reflections with links and some images. Almost all of them are more than 700 words divided over several paragraphs.
I could have created more videos/screen casts and also commented on more blogs. During this course I have realized the enormous potential in peer learning. Reading others contributions would have provided not-thought of perspectives and extended my learning, Vygotsky would have been proud.
I am planning to participate again from 1st September, but with focus on blogs and will try to comment. I hope that this time there will be a formal place for a sustained discussion (Forum), which could have been helpful.
I just don’t want to say goodbye yet, want to linger on a bit …
T. S. Eliot (Thank you Ross) “And the end of all our exploring. Will be to arrive where we started. And know the place for the first time” I have arrived and ready to set out again!
Below a brief description of each week with link to the post:
Week 24: Summarize, assess and contribute
POT has been a huge and inspiring part of my digital life for the last many months. I tried to learn, reflect upon and describe every suggested resource. This should mean quality of my posts have been consistent throughout.
Week 23: Presentations. A case for establishing an Online environment for CPD
It all came together, final POT week and a milestone presentation at work in the same week, more steps in the right direction. In the past it was frustrating to see educators’ acceptance/approach to technology, with “Pedagogy First” I have realized the complex ecology and that certain concepts cannot be rushed.
We needs to provide massive training to our teachers on continuous basis and is coming around to use online spaces. This week I commented on all final presentations, as it was made part of the assignment.
Week 22: Personal Learning Networks. Sharing is caring, and caring is loving!
“Good learning is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated” this one sentence is changing my approach. We need to be connected vertically and horizontal using diverse tools and environments, sharing are important and we need Cyber-infrastructure to do it. Pedagogy, curriculum and Professional development are integral parts and should be interwoven for holistic learner experience.
Week 21: Introduction to online education theory. Hat on …
After 30 years of technology we still tend to debate merits of it, we should rather debate how we can improve the usage. Of all the education theories, I have started to pay more attention to Connectivism, this embraces collaborative and sharing whereas constructivism is more about the individual, not that this is not important.
Week 20: Intro to educational technology & instructional design
Blended learning comprises of some F2F and most of it online, the assessment part should be online. When designing a course we can follow several models, among many we read about ADDIE. We also debated what impact digital classroom has on the mind.
Week 19: Web-enhanced, hybrid and open classes
Open classes are becoming very popular, developing into MOOC with participation from around the world. In K-12 we have more Web-enhanced type situations, I hope this will change and morph into flipped classrooms.
Week 18: The Course Management System (Moodle)
Are LMSs walled gardens? They are turning into learning portals and are integrating the “Open web”. Due to my experience with “Open Web” through this course I still believe it is important to have a base. The base I am comfortable with is Moodle, which provides opportunities to ingrate web elements e.g. data repositories.
Week 17: Classroom management
In many cases the EdTech is driven by non-educators to the horror of educators. This may be true, but only due to the rapid pace of innovation. The Academia beat is different, but in the end it is all about the students and good learning.
Week 16: Welcoming students in Net-land
Very important chapter and described which elements should be present in an online course from a student perspective. We also debated how young people today are using digital environments, the stark difference between school and what they would like to do. We discussed how important it is to develop FAQs and create a knowledge base.
Week 15: Screencasting and multimedia
We got to work with Mind-maps and other online tools to use with students e.g. Survey Monkey. One of the best learning opportunities during POT has been working with screen-casting software e.g. Jing or Camatsia, have now a better understanding of the creative process, it take time to create this kind of learning artifacts.
Week 14: Images, streaming sites, Audioboo and Eyejot
This was about streaming, we go to learn about several video streaming services e.g. Eyejot, Vimeo, bliptv and YouTube. YouTube came out to be the preferred choice due to it has the best environment and tools.
Week 13: Creating Class Elements Part 1: Images and screenshots
Strong start on the second half, here we discussed images and how to annotate these, we used Flickers Note feature which is not used much, but a great tool. Flicker is for images what YouTube is for videos.
Week 12: Resources Online / Mid-year Self-Assessment Check
The Internet archive, feels like history being recorded and we are part of it. Libraries have to reform, more and more libraries are integrating digital content and tools, these will over time become Learning centers.
Project Gutenburg and open textbook are treasures, so many great resources and an inspiration for others to provide content. Sharing has always been part of humans, but with the Internet it has reached level beyond imagination.
Week 11: Class Resources and Intellectual Property
When using others content we have to be careful, the fair use policy is in place to guide us but the copyright laws are outdated, especially when related to how the young generation is remixing and reusing content.
The video from Lawrence Lessig was not only fun but filled with useful information. Creative common seems to be the way forward. In the past individual could not compete with businesses, but now it is free for all. For example #News provides news from individual and businesses alike, as users we get to choose.
Week 10: Open Platforms for Teaching and Learning
Before this I had never blogged and had a narrow definition of Blogs, now it has changed. The chart from Lisa was insightful and can be used when planning how to use blogs. The comments about reflective journal are inspiring.
The Engrade is a nice tool for a class or small school. Google sites can be used for group work or just to share information, fast and simple.
Week 09: Student Activities, Second Life and Merlot
When creating an online environment it is important to have multiple activities to draw upon. Moodle is packed with activities, often overlooked when comparing to open resources. These activities have single sign-on and homogenous UI.
I am now a regular user of Diigo.com and daily I read and follow some of the links in MCCPOT email.
Second Life (SL) was a nice experience especially the recording from Chris’s session which showed how well it can be used. Merlot is great as resource and there is a need for a site where teachers can locate resources.
Week 8: Creating Community
Is blog or forums better for community building? There are pros and cons for both tools, but for discussion oriented sessions my recommendation is forums. The Voicethread is a great tool and the UI is intuitive and welcoming, great for language development, lot of reinforcement options.
OLN (Open Learning Networks) seems to be the future, but is the semantic web ready to support this. From perspective of the individual teacher, the driving force for his own online course than yes, but if we are dealing with an organizational approach and multiple challenges then a LMS platform is perhaps more effective.
Week 7: The Online Classroom
It was an enriching video from Pilar on what to expect from a community and how to build one. I joined the group on Facebook and also on Twitter. It seems bit extra is needed to create and maintain an online community compared to a F2F environment. No doubt community vibrancy is very important for an online course. Is the POT community vibrant or is it individuals that are shining?
Week 06: Creating Presentations
Presenting the course material in different ways is essential and this week it was Jing time. Creating screencast was new, but seems to be very effective. Videos should be presented in context and not be too long, perhaps approx. 5 minutes.
Week 5: The online Syllabus
The living document, a great description of the online Syllabus and it was highlighted how important it is to make it clear and concise. We also discussed F2F syllabus cannot be directly pasted online. Lisa’s Moodle page was insightful and provided ideas.
Week 04: Materials for Online
Introduction to HTML and Prezi was really good, Prezi is a remarkable tool. I described which course elements we will be using and we ventured into Moodle possibilities. Weekly division of a course seems to be the consensus.
Week 03: Pedagogy and Course Design (revised)
This was bit challenging, objectives for a course needed to be put on paper. Reading the chapter plus doing the chart and reading about the 7 principals facilitated. I ended up writing the objectives and have now a better understanding of how the course should be.
Week 02: Teaching and Learning Online
Week 1 was the entry and week 2 was taking it all in, getting to know the environment. This post was bit longish but when venturing into areas like Internet, learning, students and Pakistan it is difficult to keep it short. It was a nice post with lot of reflection and after reading it for this assignment I agree with my past self. Alec Couros’s video was very inspirational.
Week 01: Introduction
Before joining this course, I was all over the place with learning about Online teaching, this is an opportunity for a focused approach and which I have taken to mind and heart. This was also coming out to the blog-sphere, my first blog. You never forget the first time