Just because I’m a sucker for punishment, I joined another 10 week cMOOC called Octel: The Open Course in Technology.
(Actually, methinks I was on such a high with the Educational Technology MOOC #ETMOOC which recently finished that I just wanted to recreate that ‘buzz’ again).
As part of the course learning and sharing, we are given various weekly assignments to complete and in this introductory week, we were required to introduce ourselves to other course participants and answer some questions.
Given that this is my second cMOOC to date (I find the cMOOCs much more interesting than the xMOOCs), I’ve come to expect that something will always will always go wrong but not to get my ‘knickers in a twist’ about it. This happened when I logged into my email and saw an explosion in my inbox of introductory emails from course participants.
If I didn’t have previous experience with MOOCs, I may have stressed out with this but it wasn’t the case. If anything, I’ve come to expect that people are still trialling MOOCs and it’s a matter of being patient. I can understand to total newbies that they would start to panic and question what they got themselves into.
I wrote about how people can get angry when their expectations are not met with MOOCs here.
Luckily the problem was sorted out immediately and just by changing preferences, my inbox got back to a manageable state.
So here it goes.
Activity 0.1 “Reflecting on your own work experience and ambitions for developing your teaching, what is the most important question about TEL for you?”
First things first, ‘teaching’ – not a word I use in the corporate environment (I’ve had arguments with colleagues in Learning and Development over this).
I’m going to change that question to, “reflecting on your work experience and ambitions for professional development, what is the most important question about TEL for you?
Every course I do must have a practical application back to my corporate workplace. I will lose interest if the content is too theoretical, academic or if it cannot be extended or applied directly in a workplace (or used to solve a business critical issue). So for me, my Big Question is…
“How do we get employees in our company comfortable with the use of technology so that they can better connect, network and share their expertise to others?”
I’m one of the lucky ones who works for an organisation who is open to new ideas and innovations and where sites are open. I have access to social media sites, we have an active Yammer community, a Learning Management System and also Sharepoint.
Our people have the tools at their disposal – but what is missing is the actual application – the ‘doing’.
Some people are more comfortable with this technology and who take to it easily, while others struggle. Sometimes our technology does not help us at all. For example, our LMS is extremely limiting, clunky and really is just a ‘player’ for mandatory compliance content as it doesn’t do much else at all.
My challenge is to be in a position to be able to coach, guide, steer and teach others to be more creative in their use of technology when it comes to their professional development and to use the tools that are there, in front of them already.
If it means getting rid of our LMS, then so be it.
Activity 0.2 Initial Comments and Discussion
Course organisers get us to respond to participants forum posts and comments. Easy enough. I won’t bore you with the detail but if I come across some gems that can be applied in the workplace, I’ll share them here.
Activity 0.3: Experiment with and/or reflect on different ways of communicating with fellow ocTEL participants.
This is not a new thing for me. The Educational Technology MOOC #ETMOOC taught me that there are many ways to do this via various social media streams. The big one for me is to focus less on the written word and experiment more with different technologies or tools that can get the key message out. However, I’ve been blogging for many years (through a personal blog too) and my preference is for writing simply because I can reflect, consider and reconsider my response.
I do enjoy watching short vlogs but I find for me, I can’t get my thoughts in order first and there’s additional pressure when the camera is on.
I’d like to explore the use of more graphical tools so that I can draw my thoughts, ideas, concepts too and incorporate these into my blog.
Activity 0.4: Explore the resources on Technology Enhanced Learning
Once again, ETMOOC put me in the right direction with this because I was introduced to a variety of tools and how people had used these tools in their learning. Of particular note, I was impressed with the work of Amy Burvall who experimented with various tools and shared her learning with others.
I also follow Ana Cristina Pratas curated site ‘Digital Delights for Learners’ and she finds some real gems that I rescoop and then play around with on weekends. Some tools I use and apply at work to create various job aids and learning material which always get a positive reaction from our course participants and even my Learning and Development colleagues.
Two particular examples recently where my colleagues saw some job aids I created with the use of Piktochart resulted in all of them ‘piktocharting’ every job aid they could get their hands on (until the free subscription ran out and then they asked me if I knew of any similar – but FREE – sites) and Pulp-O-Mizer introduced to me by Joyce Seitzinger which then started people creating their own posters for a bit of fun.
It really goes to show how attractive colour, fun, visuals are for learning.
It was more reaction to a job aid than I had seen in a long time… it actually made people SMILE, TALK, READ and DO IT.
Activity 0.5 Small Group Reflection
Well I think I’ll be doing this on the Google+ Community and we’ll take it from there. Once again, if any pearls of wisdom come out, I will share them here.
So that’s it for my first week reflections. I have to read some readings on MOOCs which I believe I have read before but I’ll use these to recap.
Next week: TEL Concepts and Approaches…