Was time for a bit of a think about the first part of the course now that Assignment 1 is well and truly done. And it will be good for comparison at the end of the course (and possibly after a few years of teaching).
So, using the objectives for Module 1:
1. Develop a PKM process and a PLN that you would use throughout the rest of the course (and hopefully beyond).
My PKM process was fairly sound before the course and I don’t think it will change much. I have tried diigo off and on, but struggle to fit it with the way I like to SEEK and SORT so at this stage at least I don’t think it’s for me. Feedly however, has been my preferred tool ever since Google stopped supporting their feed reader (many eons ago), and I constantly add, filter and remove or keep feeds that I enjoy reading. Individual posts I want to keep get exported straight to Evernote for easy retrieval later on. Twitter is another favourite especially as posts are limited in size so it does’t take too long to skim over the days tweets to see if anything stands out.
What I have been motivated to do more of though is SHARE which to be honest I am pretty poor at. On reflection that is probably due to a few key factors, including not having an audience or useful application to share to other teachers. So goal to keep focussed on building a PLN where I can SHARE back to and add value, not just draw from.
2. Start learning how to be a creative and effective user of ICTs in your own learning by significantly increasing the ICTs being used in your own learning.
Don’t think I could increase my use of ICTs much and think I was already fairly creative and effective, using ICTs heavily every day for work, play and personal use. What I do like from the course so far, is seeing how others are using different tools, and coming up with concepts or solutions to learning goals that I can draw from in my teaching.
3. Start questioning some of your own schemas around teaching, learning and what role ICTs might play.
Probably the biggest here is pausing long enough to allow my students (and myself), to come up with new and novel solutions through ICTs in learning, and not getting fixed on the way I have done it before, or seen others do it, or be restricted by a limited range of ICT tools because I have become familiar with them. Others in the course have used some great ICTs (Sara using Powtoon for example) that I intent to test out, and try something different.
4. Develop some awareness of the broader societal changes that are seen to make the use of ICTs in education and learning as important.
I believe it is pretty hard to not see the need to be open to learning in, through, and about ICTs. The world is rapidly becoming a place where instant access to data and communication is critical. The ‘knowledge economy’ is driving people to know more than ever before, and be able to connect and collaborate with multiple networks simultaneously. Learning is becoming more about using knowledge rather than just storing it, to create meaningful products or solutions. One of the potential pitfalls I do see is pushing the use of ICTs just to use them. Rather, focus must stay on creating and using tools that enhance life for individuals and for society as a whole.
5. Develop an understanding of what ICTs are, what can be done with ICTs and Pedagogy, and why you might use ICTs in your own pedagogy.
Here I remain somewhat conflicted as a person who loves integrating ICTs, and also as a person who loves to disconnect and just enjoy the natural beauty and wonder in the world without distraction or interruption. The advances in technology mean we are rely not limited to what we can use ICTs for in our teaching. As for pedagogy however, we need to model and teach students how be discerning and critical users of ICTs. To be selective and use them responsibly, to understand the tools, the medium, the audience, and how we choose to be seen and heard by others. The better question is why should you use ICTs in your pedagogy, and there a numerous reasons. Fundamentally, ICTs can and should encourage, support, and facilitate, plentiful opportunities for students to be creative, active, and self motivated learners.