Ok, so this song is supposed to play when you open this page... I am very angry at my digital self for giving up, but it will be there one day as a gadget like it is supposed to be... so if you don't mind a little music while you read, press on!
It is bittersweet that this class has come to an end, this marks the final class for my first M.A and my 15th year as a college student all as I embark on my third year of teaching. I am a life time learner, and through this class I have become an even better learner, student and contributor to education.
As a learner in this course...
At first I didn't believe the hype. (Osgemeos, 2014, San Diego)
Though it has taken some time to adapt to a 'new style' of learning, where everyone is a learner, teacher and viable part of a community, I feel that I have come full circle. As a active participant I have become an authentic learner, sharing information and engaging in 'convo's' with people all over the globe. It is quite fascinating when you think about it, all that we have accomplished in 8 short weeks, what once felt overwhelming now seems like a drop in a bucket in comparison to what I hope to continue to learn. It is a tremendous feeling being in charge of your own learning, we are told when we go to college that we get to choose what we learn, but this for the first time in my 15 years has actually happened. I have learned it's not just about choice of what you learn, but the act of participation in that choice that leads to true authentic and valuable learning. Unlike any class that I have ever taken, this somewhat self guided and lead course has changed the way that I think about my own teaching practises. How valuable is learning when you dive in, and figure things out for your self. This semester as I conquered each tasks that I thought I would never be able to do, I found my self toting my confidence, as that confidence arose, my participation grew, and in turn my followers, and digital connections also grew. There is so much that I want to share with my students, from daily creates to making connections all over the globe. Where I once thought of being 'connected' narcissistic and egocentrical, I find exhilarating and full of wonder and excitement. There is so much to teach, digital responsibilities, and navigation, but most of all I want to teach through exploration, just as I have learned here in ILT5340. I have gained so much through being a connected learner and teacher thus far, I am sure the possibilities are endless... I mean look, in only a few hours I have become a 'not quite master of storify, check out my final portfolio!
It is all about diving in, something that traditional academia does not require! I have never experienced learning in this way, but 'I like it'. At first it seems so, lackadaisical and anything goes, but then you realize that that is the point, we are all learners, not one better than the next, the instructor holds no authority over the learning making for quite a different but surprisingly amazing learning environment once you get used to the waters. It took me about half way through the course to catch on, accept and come to terms with this. Participation is so key, the more you reach out and participate the more feedback, connections and learning that you will do. I did alright at this in the beginning, completed work, required reading, posting and comments, but I wasn't feeling great. I think it was in week five when I joined a 'flash annotation' that I really saw what participation looked like on an active level. After participating in multiple convo's and learning/building a PLN, it all makes sense, and for the rest of the course I was enjoying my new digital persona. The daily creates help to build a network of colleagues, through this network I learned to create my own GIF's, and continued to build an online persona that is quite comfortable with digital affinities. Through sharing a favorite reading; "McIntosh's White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack(1989) in week 7, again I witnessed a passion for learning from the community of people that I share this affinity with, though we didn't all agree, it was honest and impassioned conversations that I know for me sealed a confidence in public annotating and learning and this whole digital thing. There was one reading that was already discussed to move to the beginning of the course; Social Reading in the Writing Classroom: A Webinar and 5 Ways to Use Hypothesis for Rhet/Comp, there was so much useful information in this post about blogging, connecting, I really feel that for those of us that are coming to the course with little to no tech or digital experience that it would be very relevant and helpful.
My understanding of pedagogy...
An excerpt from Daniel Korn's walking contest says it all... I keep double taking, and thinking what just happened... that was incredible, and now I feel a little silly for the way that I felt about digital affinities, twitter and social media.
I think that this class has completely changed my ideas of pedagogy, I love the idea of open learning, where everyone is an active participant in the learning including the instructor, this class modeled the role to a 'T' and is now something that I will incorporate into my own pedagogy. Of course at first, I thought it was crazy, like a spoiled teenager, I just wanted Remi or Lisa to tell me the answer, or say that I am right, or for that fact, wrong. This never happened, I learned from my peers and made connections to answer questions, connections that now serve as PLN, connections that serve a far greater purpose than just answering a single question. By being connected I have made contacts and have been exposed to so many media outlets, all this would have taken a million boring years to learn in a traditional learning environment, but because I became passionate about the learning, I guided my own path at my own speed. I am sure that we all will leave ILT5340 with different things of importance, but I am sure that we all are much more aware of the necessity of being a participant in this ever changing technological world. As an educator I feel so much more equipped with teaching technology, and can't wait to share my experiences with my fellow educators that are not yet 'connected'.
With this ends ILT5340, but is no where near the end of my participation, I am just getting started... Thank you for equipping this change agent with new weapons to advocate, inform and spread art around the globe!