For one of our ECMP355 assignments we were supposed to take part in one of two synchronous online sessions. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend either. I have great excuses. Luckily the the EC&I831 classes are recorded and I got to watch the Nov.1 session on sharing this morning.
Initially, the Blackboard Collaborate tool wouldn’t load for me in Chrome so I had to use Explorer. I don’t think I did anything wrong…but anyways, once running, the tool was great. This was my first experience participating (sort of) in an online class, and it was a good one. A little overwhelming at first with talking, typing, and slides to follow, but after getting comfortable with the set up, I found myself just listening to the Dean and checking the slides routinely. Being able to sit and play the guitar made it extra enjoyable as well.
I do see how this type of learning would not be the best for some people. A traditional classroom environment is really helpful for some people to focus and learn from face to face interaction. But maybe those people were just trained that way? The idea of being your own filter with the internet really applies to this type of learning. You decide which aspects (slides, speech, chat) you will follow closest, and when and how often you will go off by yourself on a rabbit trail in a new window about something that was brought up. This maybe isn’t the best thing to do, as you can “do it on your own time” after the class, but it’s available, and you make the choice.
At one point, Dean asked, “what is your best piece of work/thinking/etc. and is it online to be shared?” This resulted in many of the participants linking to their blogs in the chat. I loved poking through some of the blogs while listening and found some that I’d like to follow. What a good question though. Your best work, what you’re most proud of, what you feel can benefit others the most – if that whatever it is isn’t available to others, why in the world not? One slide had a quote calling it, in some wording, selfish. It is, but I doubt that’s ever the motivating factor, but more likely it’s the fear of criticism from others, giving up of control over their work, or a lack of realization that their work can benefit others.
Later in the class, Dean mentioned how the world is moving from a filter then publish to publish then filter system. Your work doesn’t need to be perfect before it’s shared online. In fact, we have to realize that more often than not it’s not going to be anywhere close to perfect, unless we share it online, where others can tweak and tinker or completely machete it in order to improve it. This is especially true in terms of education. Too many teachers, and institutions function like education “silos” with all the work done in-house and kept in-house, with little opportunity for collaboration that can benefit the whole system.
While I wasn’t involved in the live presentation, I hope to try again to take part in a EC&I831 class as well as others. As I wrap up I just thought I’d share some of the quotes (not word for word, not really quotes at all) that grabbed my attention during the session.
“Connections are more important that Talent in regards to Usefulness” – Dean Shareski