Reflections on Class 5012

Over this semester I have participated in the class 5012, which is called Technology in Education – Open Source Content. The course has been run on a Saturday morning via Google Hangout. The course overview is as follows:

In this course, we will explore free and available tools for learning by engaging directly in hands-on technology projects. Our goal is to soak in as many new tools as possible and enrich our understanding and capacity with those tools for classroom use. Learning will follow along both required readings and differentiated ‘quests’ each week. We will devote our time together to sharing the results of projects, challenges, and adventures together and in conversation. Throughout the course, you will develop and maintain your own professional online portfolio, that will serve as your final product for the course. You will be challenged to try new technologies, think about instructional
integration, reflect on student work, and build products that are meaningful to you. (S. Dikkers – Course Schedule accessed 12 Nov. 2014)

There are a range of things I have appreciated about this class such as:

  • The opportunity to play/tinker and consider the range of applications I selected to look at from learning perspective.
  • Seeing the applications that others chose to look at and their perspective on applications regarding learning
  • Working with others to achieve a range of outcomes, such as the group activity and the opportunity to game together – this provided for relationships to develop and appreciation for skills brought to the group.
  • The process of learning through digging in and actively using the applications
  • The Google+ Community as this provided a place for all to connect and share – we were divided into three groups that did not meet other than in limited face to face sessions, the class was held on Google Hangouts.
  • Feeling out of my depth at times and having to work hard to learn – sometimes the quests I gave myself were very time consuming e.g. the StopMotion project. This project reminded me that time is needed to explore and refine.
  • The action of learning through doing – we often miss aspects of applications if we don’t involve ourselves in the process, the difference between just knowing and being aware and that of truly understanding, applying, analysing, creating and evaluating.
  • Refining my ability to determine the use and effectiveness of an application in learning

The first few weeks I felt a significant pressure to get the three quests done each week. This was mainly due to the class being new and relationships at that point not being formed. Overtime this eased due to knowing one another better and as the presenting of work was done openly and shared in an informal manner that informed other peoples learning.

 

As a teacher it is often difficult to find time to investigate and determine the appropriateness of different application for learning. Having the opportunity where time had to be made for this through undertaking a course that had this specific focus was highly beneficial.

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