Below is a collaborative piece written by the group in ‘almost’ 20 minutes (we ran a little over) at the end of a two week course entitled “educational technology and the adult learner”. I’ll let them tell you what it’s about. I’ve not read it over… just copy and paste from the googledoc they wrote it in. I hope they say nice things 🙂
Group of Openness
Our Ed366 class began on July 12, 2010. We were a group learners of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Some of us had a little Internet experience, some of us had very strong views, none of us knew what to expect. What have we learned and how far have we come in two weeks?
We came to to class on a Monday morning to learn about technology and were thrown into the deep end of chaos. Planned chaos, but chaos nonetheless. We were shown what a social network was and what it could be capable of buy experiencing it first hand, seeing the good, the bad and the ugly about social media.
We used a number of new medias, new technologies and new methods of thinking to create our social network for both a local and an online community. We explored and connected, many of us for the first time through:
- Twitter – We were a bunch of naysayers at first. Now we might have addictions.
- Slideshare – We stepped out of our comfort zones and made slides public. Adding a bit of voice over, no problem!
- Prezi – Maybe a little overkill? Impressive at first. Nice to switch it up from regular old PowerPoint.
- Ustream and Youtube – We created videos to share our work and posted them publicly as well as within class.
- PbWorks – Great for individual or asynchronous work. Conflict resolution is problematic.
- Wikispaces – very user-friendly.
- Camtasia – One of our classmates in a new expert.
- F2F/Local networks – We built our own community, lots of help from our classmates in the classroom and during breaks (informal learning)
- WordPress – Daily blog reflections to showcase what we learned and to reflect on what others learned.
- GOOGLE (doc, forms, accounts, calendars, sites, etc…) – Google rules the world but most of us are convinced at this point that Google really knows what they are doing so that is ok with us. Google docs has amazing conflict resolution capabilities.
Here are some of the learning experiences that we have shared.
- We learned how to network amongst ourselves and to problem solve rather than look to the “expert” (instructor)
- Sharing through blogs and twitter allowed us to not only communicate freely, but learn and associate from other people’s experiences, expertise personalities and the interconnectivity to the community on many different levels.
- Our blogs were put on twitter (through URL) and open to comments and feedback.
- We were linked to a group in Maine that were doing a similar course and encouraged to communicate with them on our experience with our course in exchange for info with their experiences.
- We skyped and google shared internationally which is open communication. This allowed us to talk openly to “experts” in the field of social networking in a give and take situation as opposed to ONE WAY communication! Helped each other with support before and after our presentations with technological aspects. This created a safe learning environment.
- Our instructor was open to trying new things, and gave us credit for at least trying regardless if we were “successful” as in other courses.This stress was alleviated or at least lessened by the fact that we stressed together! We shared our experiences and did not feel alone in the fact that we were “drowning” and completely out of our safety zone.
We experienced “cranky pant syndrome” and encouraged to network with other people in our professional fields. Our families are happy that we are finished this two week “adventure”!Oh by the way, we were lied to….speaking of being OPEN…..This course took way more than 10 minutes a day! Mainly due to the fact that once you get online it is difficult not to let yourself get sidetracked on all the other information out there. Uncertain of evaluation process regardless of questions that have been asked, and a rubric exercise that still did not come up with any solutions or recommendations.
So how did this all relate to our openness in this course and in a wider context?
- Had we not had our work in the open for people to see we would have never received the feedback that we did. Collaboratively, if we build it they will come.
- It increased the network opportunities.
- Great public relations and media coverage.
- Openness, we will see many things coming down the tubes.
- Contacts became personal and approachable.
- Social networks are just that – Social.
- This course prepared us for the journey as we leave the doors at UPEI. Everyone is leaving with not only technology skills but networking connections.
- We saw when using the resources and opportunities which are available to you and you have self direct learning skills things can work for you.
- You can utilize the technology not let the technology utilize you.
- Content relationship building. This course would be valuable to so many professions.
- Use what you have, where you are, in your own context.
We started two weeks ago, not knowing each other and over the last two weeks we learned a lot about our society, community, our co-learners and ourselves. We started on Prince Edward Island, took our learning around the world and brought it back home again. We have been lucky to be a part of this experience. Thanks to Dave for bringing us over to the Dark Side. Thanks for the cookies.