When I reflect back over this course it does feel like a blur. Perhaps, this is due to the fact that I had to take a break in order to complete the course because I knew I had to take care of myself and my life. Choosing the theme of vulnerability feels like a gift in hindsight. I think my readings and engagement with the topic helped me to see my how vulnerable I really had become. It’s not easy to step into the challenge and face it, but it can help us show up a stronger version of ourselves a year later.
This course as a student took me to new places. Each week challenged me and made me push through a place of doubt. At times I wondered, am I learning anything? This feels so open? I don’t think I have been in a graduate class like this where it is self-guided, even in the learning of many of the concepts. I won’t lie I did find this frustrating at times, I felt too stretched. However, I was being stretched so very much in my personal and professional life that my experience may have been influenced. One thing I can say is that I did have many small “wins” in learning in the course. The times where I figured out new technology, learned how to build a portfolio page, get into the grit with new modes of creating and communicating. After returning after a year, there were things I had to review, but I noticed a sense of confidence and trust in my ability to find the answer.
allowed me to engage with texts in new ways and interact with peers as I thought and read through them. This seemed to broaden my perspective and allow me to challenge my own opinions. There seems to be a lot to be gained by annotation and I was a skeptic, to begin with. There was a sense of ownership in what I was learning and creating. It also allowed me to learn by doing. I thought the public nature of this course would make me feel more of a need for perfection, but the learning was in the posting and creating.
This course and I as a teacher and co-designer challenged me to really take on the role of participant in the learning experience. There really isn’t a way to take a back seat. This was a challenge at times because I felt I needed more structure or guidance. I will say that this was probably a good learning lesson because in the world of industry technology is changing so rapidly that we need to prepare learners for taking on their own learning and diving in even when the water feels too deep! I actually missed the interaction with peers when I returned to complete the work.
My understanding of pedagogy has shifted based on this class. I recognize that I really enjoy giving a lecture, but that I really need to be open to bringing in the “pull” into my classroom or training. Engagement is so important for learning and I think the ownership of a theme and push to take on new methods of communicating, learning, and literacy is key to development. It does mean that as an educator I will have to take the time to figure out what my expectations are for students, let them be a little freer, and yet find a way to make sure I am contributing to a sound learning environment. I do believe that even in a traditional classroom there is a place for some online learning. This could be through Hypoth.is, a blog, ds106, or multimodal assignments. It awoke my teaching to catching up with the new resources that are out there and to update my where and how I stand in the classroom teaching.