Ok when I click on Teaching and Learning i see interesting subject matter in very long discussions complete with pictures. How do we enter a similar effort? Is that accomplished simply within the blog format or some other way?
Yeah! So trying to hurry to catch up and I will get there, but for now frustrated with the Blackboard Collaborate thing. It says I have the right stuff in my computer to do it, but the file never loads and opens. It sits there and goes no freaking where. Annoyed beyond all hope today. I have umpteen things to do and interested in this MOOC even though I have been teaching online for quite awhile. So I don’t understand what the hell the problem is and will tackle it again tomorrow. I can say this for certain my students are so nascent that they are just getting their feet wet on a lot of things. Asking them to participate in a Wiki exercise is borderline asking for too much. If they have any level of difficulty they become very easily frustrated. So my collaborate sessions are an uneven thing. Get a few but most avoid participating. Well today, I can see why that might be the case!! If something gets tricky or too complicated – forget it!
Well, we have arrived! That’s what I think to myself every time I see a WEB address, link to something, a twitter # whatever or my cell phone rings with updates on the same. The arrived part is mostly a reminder to myself that, even though I am perhaps an older than average teacher/instructor, I joined an online community platform for teaching which committed my efforts toward reaching students who otherwise would not be in a “traditional”, or face to face classroom. When I did that, little did I realize just how fast our knowledge and potentially our skills in teaching may be evolving. In my mind, just keeping up with that, the advances in how we do things has become critical for me. I have a pretty good repertoire of practices developed out of trial and error, assisted by MOOC experts and local e-learning people, but I am not satisfied.
See…I am passionate about how students learn. I want to motivate students beyond the semester limits of classes that I teach. I want them to make connections with what they learned with their lives long after I have “left the scene”. I have my supporters, and of course, loyal as they are, they reflect back kindness and love. Yet what I need is competent and constructive criticism from educators who are well intentioned but emotionally disconnected from me. That’s the kind of help and support that I think will do the most good.
In any case I think that a proactive approach in professional development also confronts the dilemma we as teachers face very day, and that is learning how to capture the imagination of our students who rely on digitized platforms and formats. Yes, there are tons of articles with titles and headers that suggest this new catch phrase “connectivism” as opening windows in the mind. But I want to not just open a few windows, I want to inspire or truly earn what my husband says I do already. Start “intellectual” prairie fires!