As my Educational Technology class comes to a close, I have been asked to reflect on my experience in the course. Below is my reflection.
- What attitudes, skills, and concepts have you gained from participating in the course so far?
- What have you learned in the course that you will not forget tomorrow?
- How will you apply what you have learned to your teaching and future learning?
This reflection may be a bit different from others’ reflections of the course. They may reflect on Twitter or Diigo, VoiceThread or Google forms. However, it is not the tools in the course that has made such an impression on me, but on watching my colleagues and myself learn about and use these tools.
In some ways, I have learned more about Educational Technology from the Community Questions Discussion Forum on our wiki than through using any of the tools. In this forum, I was able to see what types of questions people had about technology and using it. I was also able to work with many of them in person to hear both their frustrations and jubilees as they attempted to master the tools and skills. This course lead me to see how people learn to use new technology tools: some become frustrated and overwhelmed immediately, some need very specific directions, some just want to play, and some take the tool and run with it! It helps me to learn how to differentiate in my job as Technology Coordinator.
The online format of the course itself was also very eye-opening, as we are beginning to explore the use of online and blended formats for teaching professional development courses. My own reaction to this type of learning environment was surprising to me. I normally am a very independent learner. I like to go at my own pace and in my own time. I hate being put in teacher assigned groups. I thought that an online course would be ideal for me. After taking the class, I have found that the format makes it much more difficult for me to remember deadlines and directions. Of course, these are only a click away, but for being a person who normally prides herself on her memory (especially in academia), this was a bit disconcerting for me. I also found where that there were times when I would just rather talk in person rather than type, although normally texting and email are my favorite forms of communication. This was particularly true when working in groups. The group dynamic is hard to mimic in text alone. It is more difficult to see if someone really likes your ideas or if they are just trying to be nice. It is also more difficult to try keep brainstorming going, because you might be on a role, but you aren’t getting feedback because of the asynchronous of the format, and then the brainstorm may go in a completely different direction when you are not able to give feedback to others. This will be important for me to remember when helping to develop our own online and blended courses.
I hope to continue to use this blog to reflect on Educational Technology and my role with it. Writing at once every two weeks will be a challenge for me to begin with, but I think it will be worth it for me in the end. I’m glad that this class started me out on this project.