Over the next few weeks I am juggling several balls and trying to keep them all in the air at once. This includes the ocTEL course. I plan to engage in some way every week and I’m not sure what this will look like every week but I’m hoping it will involve one reflective blog each week.

I’m not sure what these reflections will be like for others to read but they will function as a record for me of my learning on the course. This week’s is probably quite brief in order to engage with each of the suggested elements for this first week. I may return to these reflections as the course progresses… we shall see!

The Webinar

I am concerned about the size of this course. Mostly because I’ll probably feel the pressure to be involved in a big way- especially ensuring I reflect after anything I engage with as otherwise there’ll be an overload of information for me and none of it will stick or alter my practice in any way.

I recognise that a MOOC provides opportunities for experimentation and it’s a personal experience. I am excited about being surrounded by others who are excited to explore, learn and share! What this course will do (past Twitter and Google+, which I already use) is provide a slightly more formal and structured way in which to do this.

I appreciated past participants of the course sharing their thoughts and reflections. Somehow it is comforting to know that I can’t fail and in the midst of all my other commitments over the coming weeks, it MAY be reassuring that however I can contribute will be fine.

In terms of badges- I love them! It’s like stickers- everyone loves a sticker! 🙂

Big and Little Questions

Technology Enhanced Learning in my own formal learning experiences has rarely existed. I wonder perhaps if this is why I’m so interested in technology now. I use it with my students as often as I can and Google is where my current explorations with technology are. What I enjoy about technology is the way in which it can break-down barriers, engage students in a different way and allow collaboration opportunities outside of class that couldn’t have existed before.

Technology has affected the way in which I can express my thoughts- I love the fact that my blog and Twitter gives me a space where I can communicate my thoughts to others as in a face-to-face situation I find this very difficult. It allows more discussion that doesn’t exist face-to-face. Recently, as part of CPD at work, we have introduced weekly ‘Big Questions’ about education and these offered a face-to-face opportunity to discuss as well as an online space too. The online space was used far more and it meant that the discussion could be had- because this week no-one turned up to have it face-to-face. It was really exciting to log on at the end of the day and see that people had engaged with the Big Question.

Trying a different form of interacting

I interacted with one of the groups on ocTEL. It’s the ‘Enthusing staff to engage with TEL’ group and I also replied to a couple of participants. #proud

This space was not overly dissimilar to something on Twitter but in similarity to Twitter- you get more from it if there is a heightened interaction with others. What I like about groups is that there is a particular theme to be explored, which should work for me as I grow my avenues of exploration over the coming weeks so I will continue to use this. I don’t want to narrow my engagement with the space but my time is limited and because groups seem to work, I will continue with them. They obviously create some connections and communications and I look forward to that. I think learning is enhanced by sharing of ideas and reflections and the groups space provides this in a focused way.

There was a wealth of learning shared when I first engaged with this group.

This link was shared: http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/digital-literacies/practice/supporting-staff/

And I found the case studies valuable here: http://jiscdesignstudio.pbworks.com/w/page/48863791/DL%20case%20studies

Engaging hearts and minds is a document that I’d like to read over the coming weeks and explore in more detail: http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/~/media/Files/publications/case_studies/SSGASG_Engaging

Extra reading and explorations

I watched the YouTube video on ‘What is a MOOC?

I am excited about participating in this online course that’s also free. It falls at a difficult time for me when my workload is huge and I know that I’ll be putting pressure on myself to particpate in a big way. I want to explore how it all works and I hope that I’ll get my head around all of the different access points soon! I have chosen ocTEL because:

a) I’d like to see how a MOOC can function in the learning process.

b) I’d like a more formal opportunity to reflect on technology as part of learning.

c) I love learning!

I watched/listened to this video on ‘Inventing the Future of Learning.’

I suppose at first I was surprised at the age of the speakers at the start of the film: technology developments have been ongoing for far longer than I suppose I’d considered. We think we’re at the forefront of technology developments and we’re not! I suppose I feel rather ignorant now!

‘Pockets’ of good practice is a statement that resonates with my current experience- I think this is the case with technology as well as teaching and learning in my current organisation.

‘The iPad is almost a teacher’ was an exciting comment for me. It is a tool used by the teacher but the power it has for learning is huge.

‘Retire or learn’ was such a fantastic statement so pertinent for teachers. Whenever I am met with a teacher who isn’t interested in learning I am baffled- how can this possibly be the career for them? I am saddened that their love for learning has been lost or perhaps may never have existed.

A couple of other documents that I will find time for at some point are:

http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/effectivepracticedigitalage.pdf

http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/learningandtech/Transforming.pdf

Identify examples of TEL that you find interesting and why.

Use of my iPad is reflected on here.

I use lots of free tools in lessons and this is how technology sticks generally for my practice. Its’ quick and easy for me and my students.

I now love the use of video feedback for students as they can digest 1-1 feedback in a way that isn’t possible in the classroom: it takes too long. They also have an ongoing record of feedback for a long time.

I am a user of Google and will be rewriting my post on how I use it soon!

I would love to explore the use of MOOCs more in the future.

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