“Reflecting on your own work experience and ambitions for developing your teaching, what is the most important question about TEL for you?”
I don’t do any formal teaching. I work with people who teach, helping to support & develop their use of technologies in their teaching activities. My big TEL related question is how do we take advantage of the everyday? Why do so many people who use technologies so much in their everyday life – shopping, consuming news, communicating with family and friends, finding information etc etc. not use & take advantage of the same technologies to the same level in their core work activities of teaching (& in HE, research)? How can we close this gap?
I’m a Learning Technologist living & working in London.
I’ve been working in education for 20-years as a TEFL teacher, an IT Trainer & a Learning Technologist. Since 2000 I’ve been working in universities in London and I’m currently an E-Learning Manager at City University London.
My TEL experience as a Student
TEL is my bread-and-butter so here I’d like to comment briefly on my experience of TEL as a student. I have taken a number of courses including master’s modules, shorter CPD courses and more recently a MOOC, which have either been wholly online or have used the internet to support face-to-face teaching.
Our #ocTEL course tutors have asked us to consider “what about the technology made the way you absorb, reflect, discuss, act different”. There is one very significant difference for me when studying online in terms of communication & reflection. The remote, ansynchronous nature of the conversations through email, forums, social media & blogs both:
- gives me time to think before speaking
- stops me speaking without thinking (which I’m too often guilty of in face-to-face situations)
I definitely reflect more which I’m sure benefits me & hopefully fellow students too. I also enjoy the freedom & control that a course of this nature gives me. Some examples:
- I started writing this intro post 7-days ago but just logged in to add the last few lines today
- I was at conference on Weds so missed the webinar but can watch the recording when I choose
- On a recent MOOC I watched the pre-recorded lectures at 2x speed
Finally… for the record… the photo of me above is how I’m known on the Internet. That photo is everywhere that I am: on my blogs, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Diigo and god knows how many other places. It’s 7-years old. Does that matter? Would it matter if it were 27-years old?
After mulling it over today, I’ve decided that I’m going to join two main communities for #ocTEL. As the course guidance notes it’s impossible to be everwhere, read everything so I will be participating via
- this blog
- following other dedicated ocTEL blogs
- participating in the ocTEL G+ Community
Hopefully that will be manageable.
As I was setting up this blog earlier this afternoon I hesitated at using WordPress; considered Tumblr but remembered that tags don’t work well there and considered G+ but remebered I’ve never really got it. So here we are on WordPress.
BUT I’m going to do some chatting over on G+ in the ocTEL G+ Community. G+ feels very much like Facebook to me – too much going on, not sure what everything is, not sure who is seeing what etc etc – which is why I use neither.
But will give G+ a go for #ocTEL
Week 0 is Induction for ocTEL. It runs for a little over a week: from 4th to 14th April. There is a checklist of things to do:
- Post a short summary about yourself #ocTEL
- Explore the ocTEL site and course discussions http://octel.alt.ac.uk
- Make sure you can login and edit your profile if you wish
- Check out the webinar/recording
- Make some contact with other participants
but really this is just the ‘minimum’ and to fully participate there are Week 0 Activities estimated at upto 5-hours work.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be participating in #ocTEL and I plan to keep my contibutions here. This is the second MOOC I’ve dipped into; I participated in Coursera’s HCI course for a while last year & created a similar notes blog. I’ll probably only be dipping in to ocTEL as I’m outside of the primary target cohort:
This is an online course to help you understand better how to use technology to enhance your teaching practice. The course is aimed primarily at people teaching at Higher Education level, whether in Higher Education Institutions or Further Education Colleges
But as a Learning Technologist & ALT Trustee I’m keen to see what’s going on and contribute to the ocTEL community.