Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Tomorrow evening will be our last ecmp355 class. I must say, I'm excited and relieved but on the other hand, kind of bummed as it was one of my most interactive and intriguing classes I had over the semester. I learned so much about the power of the web, all the different types of free media, and the importance in contribution we each have. Technology is changing and with that, so should education, so this course is beneficial for us future teachers.
As the internet is based on networking and socializing with one another, did my knowledge on social learning expand. I remember hearing from my father (on numerous occasions) how I'm wasting my time using sites as Facebook or Myspace, "You could be doing something more productive." But little did he know, I was contributing to the online society. But beyond the idea of Facebook, I kept a blog, an online journal with class assignments (tech tasks), and personal entries. It allowed others to see my progress and my struggles, as it did the same for my classmates. Students would normally not want to share assignments they've done, but this class was different as it allowed each one of us the opportunity to help, and learn for one another. We came up with different solutions, solutions that suited our learning, and intrigued us on an individual level. We could present things in other ways other than just using the written word. Photos were used, audio was incorporated, music and moving picture as well. Sometimes we could do it alone, other times we needed a helping hand, and even though we didn't physically come to class every Wednesday evening, learning still took place in the comfort of our home.
Of course to add to the mixing pot, we were given different classrooms from around the country/North America/world. We would interact and share what we learned with others and in exchange, would gain experience. For some it worked, but for others, it didn't. This project would require much co-ordination and consistency. Thankfully, my stirring pot had both. Stephanie Olson and I started with a bang, as I began my half of the work the next day. My job would be to keep up 13 of her students blogs, and comment them. I helped correct small errors, give them advice on how to make their entries more intriguing but also I would create just small talk so that her students would know they weren't just appealing to another "teacher", but an audience outside of that. It was amazing to see how fast these kids learned, and with that I too would learn and realize how children are ever learning. They soak things up so quickly and are ready for the next thing.
In contrast to my mentorship with Stephanie's class, I found it hard to come up with things to do with Seth Dickens Italian students. Because of the small age gap (his students ranging from 17-19 years), I felt I lacked any authority or "spine" to say anything as I too was in a similar path as them. We began with creating an introductory video, which some students could relate, but my following video would eventually fall through. Time was shortened and I was unable to create my informative video on what Personal Learning Networks(PLN's) were. The idea of visiting the students via skype would too fall through as the vast time difference would interfere with both our schedules.
Eventually I lost contact with both teacher within the past two weeks as school is drawing to an end. Projects, essays and assignments for other classes would fill my time, but I would like to maintain these relationships with these teachers for possible future projects. Who knows.
As much as I learned about other people and technology, did I notice in myself a change. I sensed growth in knowledge. I would learn and soon apply this apprehension in my future. I'm proud to understand the importance and the influence I can have within this internet world, and can than incorporate into the classroom.
Photo found using flickr