This was my first time taking an online class. I was skeptical at first, but my experience has been a positive one. It was a course that challenged me to step out of my comfort zone so I was able to learn. By taking part in online sessions and connecting by reading blogs I was able to learn from others. Before I begin talking about specific things I have learned I just want to say that I have learned that this class is full of inspired teachers who want to make a difference.
To contribute to this class I took part in the live sessions and asked questions during them. I attended All Things Google, Why School, Becoming a Better Blogger, Creating Your Online Identity, and Storytelling live and I watched the other three shortly after they were posted. I found that it was more beneficial to watch the sessions live as participating and listening to the conversation that was going on helped me to understand the topics. After I watched the sessions I would complete my tech tasks and or create a blog post about what I had learned or things that had challenged me. I believe that this was a contribution to the class as I was able to reflect and my colleagues were able to comment. These two things are a crucial part to learning, especially in a distance course. I read numerous posts and commented on posts that interested, challenged, and inspired me. If I didn’t attend a session live, I would go onto our course site and read others blogs about the session. This made me eager to watch the sessions and learn about the course, Mobile Learning, and What this looks like in the classroom.
Communicating with others was a huge part of this course. Together we’ve created a positive environment where we can learn from one another. I’m going to draw on some specific “things” I’ve learned from a few people during this course.
On the first day of the course we were asked to create a blog then have it posted on our classroom site. I had created my blog, but was unsure of how to get it uploaded to our site. I was about to give up when I looked on the comments portion of our page and realized that more than a few people were confused about this as well. Soon after we realized that all we needed to post was our URL and Dean would connect our blogs!
One of the first sessions we had was about Google. Our tech task was to explore something Google. I was reading others posts about what they had found when I came across Adrienne’s post about Google Calendar. I read that she was able to sync it to her phone. I had been looking for something like as I definitely don’t carry my agenda around all day. Now I can put events and to do’s into Google Calendar and it syncs to my phone.
Near the beginning of the “semester” I was reading one of Shandra’s posts on inquiry based learning. I, too was just taught this approach and was pondering about how I was going to use it in the classroom. After reading Shandra’s post about inquiry I could clearly see that this process benefited our students as they are discovering and engaging in topics and questions that interest them. Thanks Shandra!
I also learnt something from Swati commenting on one of my posts. I created a post about my colleagues using the internet at work and how they struggled to do tasks that we would probably find quite simple. She replied to my post by asking about the older generation and how they would/do adapt to technology. I had never thought of it that way. Swati asked a question that made me think about the older generation. This is one thing I loved about this course. People have different views and opinions which let us see different sides to things. Reflecting using blogs is a great way to generate discussion about difficult topics.
There were many inspirational videos posted throughout the duration of this course. One that stands out in my mind was a lyric video of the song “Who You Are” by Jesse J. This video, along with Maria’s post reminded me that we should teach our students that they should be proud of who they are and stand up for what they believe in. Sometimes we need to be reminded of these things and the arts are a great way for our students to connect to who they are.
I have also learned about numerous tools from this classroom and others; google drive, google earth, google docs, forms, remind 101, Flickr, etc. I could go on forever. By posting I was able to see how others used these tools. I had created my google form and went back to see that others had titles and color in theirs while mine was just plain. Even from just looking at theirs I learned that there were more things I could do when creating a Google Form!
One main thing I have learned from this class is its all about exploring! Exploring new tools and blogs to enhance learning! Communicating through blogs, sessions, and Twitter was a great way to learn from others!