“An eye opener for digital skills”: Illustration of the same eye pre and post ONL162
One, two, three, four
This is it, here I stand
I’m the light of the world
I’ll feel grand
Got this love, I can feel
And I know, yes for sure
It is real
This is it by (Michael Jackson)
And here we are, at the final destination of the great ONL162 tour, enlightened by all we have learned during these weeks. It has been a great journey where to me, every interactive occasion consisted of a true learning opportunity (Webinars, skype meetings, PBL group, twitter, and far more) and a step forward in my fascinating discovery of the endless world of digital literacy.
So much learned in a short time. Through my little adventure, I felt transported around the digital word with a fast spaceship lead by a great team of facilitators and co-facilitators. There have been moments of turbulence where things felt out of control. Why out of control? You bet…, I’ve been clearly stepping outside of my comfort zone!! May be not that strange, since from day one, I was forced to give up on email to communicate with my peers and my favorite “track changes” as tool for collaboration. Now all communication should happen within a community and collaboration around google docs, Padlet and more.
Below I have summarized the 5 most valuable things I have gained through this ONL course and discuss how I plan to make use of gained knowledge in my future practice.
1-To dare to step outside my current comfort zone in terms of digital literacy. I could experiment with new tools and new combinations of solutions and constantly evaluate their potential utility to improve my teaching practice. In other words, I have learned how it is possible to integrate a range of smart e-learning tools as part of the blended learning approach (Vaughan, 2013). To my view, though time consuming, transiting to this approach is central to continue ensure meaningful learning (Biggs, 2011) for my students in the 21st century (Kek, 2015). “We need to prepare students for the unknown and for an age of supercomplexity” (Ron Barnett).
2-To be more interactive and identify communities with common interest. Joining the PBL group was a great experience, though the memorable moments we had was though our skype discussion in the evenings. Thanks to this introduction to google+, I have identified and joined a couple of communities with a crowd of people sharing my research area of interest. It is impressive to see how quickly members in a community (despite no prior physical /virtual meetings) can build boundaries by exchanging experiences and quickly start to openly share success and failures. So I may say that I’m in a transition from being a visitor towards a being a resident?
3- I can safely say that I’ starting to grasp the complex “code of conduct” when it comes to sharing and referencing and most importantly or (new to me) the PROPER use of creative commons to give appropriate credit to authors. Today, I know where to search and include material (photos, videos, sounds) via CC search and that is sooo helpful when building my teaching material and making it ready for sharing and no being uncertain about whether I’ve done if correctly or not and what will happen, IF…?
4-To open my eyes (illustrated in the picture above) and RE-discover all what is already available out there in terms of open educational resources (OER) including MOOCS. I’m a believer that such open resources are key to raise higher education in the world to new levels of effectiveness and quality (Bates 2016) . I found out that as a teacher, I can register to a database to contribute to specific topics. This is the next challenge I aim take after this ONL course!
5- Quite surprisingly to me, the spark I keep from this ONL has been the initiation to Twitter: 140 Characters to the keep track of what’s happening in the world, to connect with interesting people or organizations and a unlimited space of opportunities to explore deep in our creativity. This is why I captured my growing curiosity about twitter. I would like to CREATE more (not to say find) Time for me use twitter in the future to communicate around science and technology.
In summary, ONL 162 has importantly provided me with new “digital skills” allowing me to revisit and further explore (when needed) digital tools with relevance to e-learning. I hope to continue make use of this precious card in my teaching practice to create collaborative learning environments for meaningful learning.
Bates, T (2016). The 10 Fundamentals of Teaching Online for Faculty and Instructors.
Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Edmonton: AU Press. Chapter 1 “Conceptual framework”.
Kek, M. & Huijser, H. (2015). 21st century skills: problem based learning and the University of the Future. Paper Third 21st Century Academic Forum Conference, Harvard, Boston, USA.
Biggs, J.B. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).