Week 12

Today, like in Week 9, I assess my own blog. But this time, it’s for real! 

Over this span of this course, I would read the web blog questions in advance, post in the course discussions, and then head over to post in my blog. The reason being that I wanted to truly reflect on the week’s issues. I thought the posts were consistent – generally waiting for the end of the week, but never missing a post. I tried to make sure some of my experiences showed through the posts, but also making sure the reflections were accurate to the course content. I think, especially in the middle of the course, I could have done a little better (it was a busy period for me). That being said, none of my work would be considered poor or even average. I thought they were all still very good. In conclusion, as I said in Week 9, 12/10 (120%) would be a fair grade for my blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just kidding; I think an A- would be fair considering the content and quality – but as I said in Week 9, there is always room for improvement!

It’s been swell, goodbye blogging world!

In my opinion, e-learning will expand greatly in the future. It is quite obvious that it is already on that path, however, I do not make that statement based on the significant trending towards technology. Rather, I make the statement that e-learning will expand rapidly and grow to have more common use because of the amount of research that appears to be going on about the subject. This research attempts to breed improvement in the field – and improving upon the inherent and great weaknesses of e-learning (lack of support, technological issues, inability to vary assessment techniques, etc.) would make the already useful e-learning even more useful, accessible, and efficacious. 

The Khan Academy education video made me think of one of the many ways that e-learning can change the way we view learning. As an education, or as a supplement to a traditional education, this type of learning technology can help students grow and learning in their own curiosity, enhance their understanding, or simply explain something they do not understand in a different manner. However, I do not believe the Khan Academy’s teaching style will ever take over traditional methods, simply because it does not seem feasible on a large scale (such as university). Very interesting, but not entirely applicable – unless there is a massive shift in pedagogies across the entire educational system.

I believe I would take a MOOC, as I am quite curious to learn things that I did not have the opportunity to learn over my university career. I imagine I would not always complete my work in the course (I am a notoriously bad slacker… haha), but I would gain the information for my own knowledge.

However, if I were asked to teach a MOOC, I would not. I simply believe it would consume too much of my time. I believe I would contribute a lot of my time to help every student that has a question or concern, and that would likely consume all of my time. I’m not the best time manager or delegator in the world!

Obviously, e-learning is changing education as we know it. It allows those who could not access education do so, it allows those who prefer different deliveries access those deliveries, and it allows students to do things at their own pace. This is making universities more accessible to everyone. Now that is not necessarily a very good thing, but it is good for those who may not have had that chance 10+ years ago. As universities shift towards more the use of more technologies in traditional classes, as well as the delivery of more online courses, we will likely see better e-learning technologies and delivery. It will improve the students’ use of these technologies – and also trickle down to the lower levels of education as well – where technological resources will be of greater importance. In sum, I believe e-learning and online technologies are changing universities for the better; making information, resources, and content more accessible to more people, making everyone more likely to learn, grow, and succeed.  

Week 9

Hello World!

Today, I assess my own blog. I think it’s the best ever, as the profile says, I’m awesome! Hahaha – but all kidding aside, even someone as awesome as myself can always reflect and improve, so here goes.

The posts were consistent, I used them as a reflective tool – upon further review, I actually did reflect well upon the week’s lessons and ideas. I felt that I worked on extending the ideas from my own point of view. However, I could have vastly improved on elaborating on others’ ideas. This is an area that I have seemingly always struggled in; generally because most courses I have taken have a right or wrong answer, with little room for interpretations of others ideas. Some of the posts took into account how my understanding was improving via discussions; although in hind sight, I could have elaborated more on my own learning and highlighted it better using examples from the discussion board. 

I like to end with a positive, and the biggest positive would be the consistency in address and assessing the major ideas presented in the readings. In conclusion, I would recommend giving myself 12/10 (120% of course). Just kidding; a mark between the B+ to A- range would probably be more appropriate – always room for improvement!  

Week 7

 

In my opinion, the ideal graduate school community would have a classroom setting and an online component – both of which requiring thought and intellect. The goal being intellectual stimulation of the students by way of discussion, debates, and sharing of ideas. 

It would have to be accomplished by a having a combination of educated and knowledgable professors, invested and inquisitive students, and an abundance of resources at the fingertips of the classroom. This way, the students have resources to foster their research and development, as well as the guidance of their professors.

I believe it is important to be able to have a wide variety of interactions online. Most importantly would be online text-based discussion; which allows students to express complicated ideas without confusing the words they mean to use (which happens at times in face to face interactions). In addition, the synchronous discussion aspect of online courses allow students to actively present ideas; this way they can really absorb the information through discussion. Finally, as this course has shown, the use of blogs to address questions allows us to see others perspectives to the same questions, which is very useful in open ended learning. 

If I were to host my own online learning course, I would design it such that the students have a great deal of interaction. First, I would designate an amount of days to address the issues at hand individually, followed by a time to discuss and evaluate the issue in small groups, and then allowing the entire class to discuss the topic in a text-based discussion. The final step for the unit would be to have an online synchronous discussion, so that the students have an opportunity to elaborate on their text discussion posts. In total, the students would ideally be able to express their own thoughts, hear the thoughts of others, elaborate and investigate the issues at hand, and come to some level of consensus or conclusion about the topic. 

Combining the use of a conventional classroom and e-learning formats requires advanced technologies; so that they are not just an extension of the classroom, but also an addition to the classroom. The use of technology would enhance the students’ ability to learn because of the variety of deliveries and resources technology can provide.

Week 6

Having been enrolled in an online class previously, I find the use of technology to be very helpful in my learning. It allows me to tangibly visualize what I need to do, learn, and understand.

More specifically, in the case of this blog, it allows me to reflect upon my week’s learning. This period of reflection helps me to tie the concepts learned during the week to the e-learning theme of the course. Although, this is not always the case as I do struggle once in a while. In this case, I seem to be able to turn to Canvas’ asynchronous discussion posts to be able to gain a better understanding through others. Unlike the blog, which is solely written by myself for others, the discussion board on Canvas allows me to “speak” with others; to create and learn with others, so that my ideas are not left for myself, but shared among my peers. This feedback helps strength or modify ideas and learning, which is a great help.

I believe these mediums do support distributed cognition and intelligence, because they allow us to share similar and contrasting ideas over great distances. The internet allows us to learn at our own pace and in our own ways; which in this course include sharing ideas with others for feedback. The experience I am gaining using these technologies is very valuable (as both student and as teacher while leading class discussion) because I do wish to implement these technologies in my future career as an educator.

Week 5

Theories are but ideas. Ideas that explain or identify why things happen, the way the happen. Obviously then, if an idea is shown to be wrong, then it is amenable to change. The process of change does not always occur as a simple right and wrong dichotomy; rather, theories evolve. Much like the meaning of words, there can be many ideas within a single theory – due to the theory’s evolution over time. Researchers are always attempting to uncover the ultimate truth and thus theories are ever changing because we can never be truly certain that a theory is correct. For example, the world is not flat – but at one point in time, the theory stated that it was. 

As graduate students, we have the ability to student and review educational theories on an almost daily basis. This is a good way to not only gain a greater understand of these theories, but also to perhaps shed light on ways to improve them (though unlikely), and to learn how to better apply them in practice. We do this by using the ideas drawn from these theories of education in our daily practices as teachers and students – using them as guidelines for exercises and studies we can assign or do ourselves as students. For example, reflecting upon our weeks work via class discussion and even these blog entries is a way of practicing Dewey’s theories. Reflecting upon our learned experiences allows us to grow and make sense of the content we have learned.

As a full-time student, I see myself applying and practicing the educational theories we discuss almost daily, simply due to the nature of my study habits. However, if I were a teacher at this time, I could see myself applying very similar instructional techniques to have my students reflect upon their learned experiences every day as well. This way, they are growing in their understand of new and foreign concepts. This is a great advantage of e-learning, the ability to communicate and deliver this type of information at any time. Finally, if this were the case, I’d be applying the very theories I am learning about in school into real life practice. And that is the goal of this program – as far as I am concerned :).

It’s been swell, till next week America!

Week 4

Hello World! Today I tackle the question of how I approach e-learning. My preferred style of reading and writing is to read the entirety of the assigned readings first, and then to post discussion answers/questions afterwards. I don’t like to read others’ posts before I come up with mine, simply because I want to see if I was thinking along the same wavelength. This has usually worked out well for me, but as I am finding in another online course this term, it is not always the best approach. Others can get well ahead of me, considering I do take a long time to read (slow reader here!). This ultimately leads to me posting an answer that is no longer relevant during a discussion about a newer topic. 

I had previously tried to read the discussions first, then get into the readings, but I often found that I was getting lazy in the readings and skimming over it – as I thought I caught the gist of it through everyone’s posts. 

 

I find my technique to work well, so long as the rest of my peers are not fast readers (which they happen to be in my other course…). Oh well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Til next week, goodbye world!

Week 3 – “What are your learning goals for this course?”

My ultimate goal for this course is to better comprehend how online and mixed learning environments can be utilized. As a future educator, I’d like to be able to reach my students in a variety of ways. With the influx of technology in our society, it should be no wonder that kids are becoming more and more dependent on technology. So I feel it will be very important to be able to communicate and adequately use these technologies to help educate students. 

Honestly, I had enrolled in this course not knowing exactly what to expect. I hope to learn about a wide variety of topics dealing with e-learning (so far so good), but most importantly, I’d like to ensure I am building a better base of e-learning knowledge.