For week2 I followed the Class Syllabus. This made it easier to feel that I was moving forward even while I was really still way behind. It relieved some of the pressure of having to participate with everything and every conversation that those who are on track were having.
I enjoyed the reading, the video and exploring the tools that validated some of my ideas and experiences but that also brought up new ideas and concepts that I would like to explore.
The main activities that I focused on were
1- Complete Reading Chapter 1 : Ko and Rossen, Teaching Online
It took me sometime to look for the book locally in the UAE and finally purchased it online as an e-Book. It would have been great if it was available as an audiobook too. I enjoy listening to books as it allows me to make good use of commuting time and makes it fun. The e-book allows me to highlight and make notes, features that I find very useful.
The reading itself was interesting. It validated some of my own ideas such the importance of applying the instructional design process and starting with knowing what the objectives are. The book presented some new ideas such as the heightened awareness benefit that had never occurred to me, and, I now think is invaluable for and educator. Some ideas connected directly with my own experiences e.g. meeting peoples’ ideas before meeting them in person which I experienced as a student on an online asynchronous program and as both a learner and a learning facilitator in the form of an avatar in a virtual world like Second Life ( although these situation of VWs has it’s own peculiarities ).
Other points that the reading got me to start thinking about are
– The importance of including enough direct (synchronous) online communication with the students keeping in mind their different needs and styles.
– How much knowledge and skills in using online tools is enough to start teaching online. While a start may not require a very high level, I would prefer to develop a much higher level of skill that allows me to fully engage with the learners, if I want to be part of , enjoy and be an effective player in a water polo game I will have to develop my skills and confidence in water beyond merely floating 🙂
2- Watch Video of : Alec Couros, Teaching and Learning in a Networked World (2010)
Apart from the ideas that were presented in the video, it was very valuable to see the use of annotation. It got me thinking about the focus that provides to the learner if it is done by the tutor and how it freed me to listen and create impressions in spite of worrying about having to listen to it again to capture more of it. I think it can be useful for the learners to create their own annotations and this provides them with an example.
3- Check out some educators’ blogs
This allowed me to see how different educators use their blogs. The words, expressions and style set a certain tone to the blog that will have different impact on different learners. Reading the blogs I tried to imagine who is the educator writing for, themselves as a means of reflecting on what they do, other educators as a way of connecting, sharing and receiving help and feedback, learners or a mixed audience.
4- Learn about RSS Feed and Set up a Reader
I already had a google reader that I had set up as a result of attending the EduMOOC . It helps me get information about different topics that I am interested in without having to spend too much visiting each site separately as well as share it with others. I am still learning about how best to use it not only from a technical point of view but also from a the point of view of making it more practical more structured . I haven’t yet figured out how to create a Bundle for google reader nor what a Bundle is. 🙂
As one of my challenges is writing, I would appreciate the feedback. 🙂