It is amazing the accomplishments that I have achieved in the last two weeks, while starting two Educational Technology grad courses.
MY TOP 10 ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
1. Took part in three ETMOOC sessions.
2. Was able to navigate into Blackboard Collaborate. This seemed to work easier on my Mac laptop than on my IMAC due to some downloading issues with Java.
3. Started using Twitter, unlocked my account and began sending tweets.
4. Signed up for SoundCloud and did my first audio recording that didn’t require a tape recorder and cassettes. The bonus about SoundCloud is finding heaps of new music at my fingertips. I linked my recording to my blog, twitter and Facebook.
5. Created a blog on the EDCI 515 website through UVIC. Posted and retrieved comments.
6. Took part in two online lessons with my EDCI 515 professor, Valerie Irvine.
7. Learned about the benefits of Hootsuite and Tweetdeck.
8. Took part in a Google hangout session with my prof and another student. This was frustrating at first because it took me about 30 minutes to sign up and get connected, but in the end it was fun.
9. Learned about and looked into Evernote and Mendeley.
10. Read other blogs on the ETMOOC hub and used Google Reader. Commented on one blog called “Talk about Music”. This took some time as I had to be connected to Edublogs before I could comment.
During these accomplishments, mainly online, I nursed myself back to health after having the worst flu ever in my life and the worst cold sore, encompassing about 20% of my face. The shear size and looks of it had some of my grade 8 students convinced I was turning into a zombie. I also, managed to get 8 hours sleep a night, to get out for one major walk and partake in two romantic dinners (yes, with the same person) at a fancy local seafood restaurant, Captain Hardy’s.
During the ETMOOC’s orientation Alec asked two poignant questions: How are we making our learning visible and how are we contributing to the learning of others? In the past, my connections have been low-tech: I have mentored student teachers, participated in Professional Development, coordinated workshops for modern languages, and conducted outreach to elementary schools. Now, I am starting to use technology to leverage my ability to connect with a wider audience. Through blogging, twitter, and ETMOOC I have begun to learn and share with local colleagues and, even more amazingly, with people from around the world. These connections are leading to my own media and digital literacy. Furthermore, my knowledge in educational issues is increasing through ETMOOC and other social networks. It is a bit of a learning curve and I identify with the ski jumper in this Youtube clip as referenced in ETMOOC’s orientation.
In my case, I’m jumping into the world of digital education.
Another great reference in the orientation was Larry Lessig’s Youtube clip called “Laws that Choke Creativity.”
This a great clip about the youth of today and the way they remix using technology. As witnessed in my 10 top accomplishments, I am beginning to become competent at using online resources and I hope one day to be able create resources and remix as well. I still have many hurdles to overcome, even with simple things on twitter such as favorite tweeting, but with these two courses and online networks, I am looking forward to becoming much more proficient at learning, sharing and teaching with these new tools.
On the positive side, I have made many connections already and have gained so much. Once I posted my audio clip, I was hearing from friends in Japan and teachers from the lower mainland. Each one was sharing with me some information that may be valuable to my studies.
On the negative side, the amount of information coming at me is a bit overwhelming. I do find that many of the comments during the ETMOOC sessions are quite distracting and many times not related to the topics. It reminded me of PowerPoint presentations that contain too much information in too short of time.
The time issue is one of the most important factors for me while considering the use of online and connected learning. With the possibility and accessibility of staying constantly connected to information, overload is bound to happen. People’s time is precious and I don’t ever want to waste people’s time during online chats or posts. I also want to keep some sacred quiet time for family and myself. This includes a couple of nights per week or at least one day on the weekend when I am not connected to phones, emails, tweets, and Facebook. To stay balanced, I need to be spending some time in nature or listening to or creating music. I am not willing to give that up. Arthur Black wrote recently in the Courier- Islander, referring to a Newsweek article, about nomophobics, people who have “no-mobile-phone phobia”. They are connected over 38 hours a week on their devices and their brains are changing as a result. Here’s a link to the article:
As with everything moderation is key…