Wednesday, 14 November 2012

#edcmooc Some first thoughts

What will we learn today? (photo credit: Ryan Kilpatrick)
I have signed up for a free online course on eLearning & Digital Cultures.
I'll use my blog to keep a learning journal, and here are some first thoughts before the course begins. 

What do I hope to achieve?
1. See an online community from a different point of view. In my job here and here I help school teachers in Scotland and the UK find partner schools around the world, and help them develop their partnership. A lot of this is done online via blogs, VLE's etc so I am keen to be having a go at something myself, and be a student in a class which is worldwide. One of the most exciting things will be to study with and hear people's perspectives from countries all over the world. I hope this will help me see things from a different point of view, and perhaps also help me in my job.

2. Have more structure. I blog, use Flickr, and Tweet in my spare time here and there so it will be nice to spend 5 weeks doing this in a more structured way. I look forward to seeing the tasks we will be given as part of the course, and getting stuck in.

3. Learn from other people. The opportunity to study in a group of global learners is very exciting. Hopefully there will be plenty of connections to make, and tips & tricks to learn about along the way. If I can grasp what “multimodal literacies” means that will be good!

What am I concerned about?
1. Too many people? I don’t think this will be a problem, but I wonder how learning online in a big group will actually work? Say, compared to a small class of a dozen people where you know everyone in the class. Might we all end up doing our own stuff, and not really learning from each other?

2. Repeat what I’m comfortable with. I already blog, tweet etc so I hope I don’t fall back on what I already know, or just take the easy option.

3. Time. Actually putting in some proper time to learn & reflect. As above, I hope I don’t slip into easy habits because I don’t have time.  

What I am going to do
1. Time manage. Set aside time each week to sit down and complete the tasks. One of the pieces of advice we give to teachers is that a link with a school in another country is not going to be extra work, and it can fit seamlessly into the classroom work they are already doing. I'm going to try apply the same principle to this course, and put this advice into practice. Maybe set aside one hour in an evening and just do as much as I can in that hour. Don’t go over it, don’t fall short of it. See what happens.

2. Join in. The opportunity to have an audience for any work or study is hugely motivating. So, I will make sure I take time to read and comment on other people’s stuff. I think this will be a key element to a successful online course, rather than everyone just off doing their own thing. Getting involved, helping & sharing in this way is really important in digital communities.

3. Keep with it. Try and apply the learning to every day things as much as I can. Continue with the learning after the course. It’s an online community so why not?