First off is my thoughts on how I am going to use my blog. I think it will be more like a journal of my journey for this course and spend most of my time reflecting on what I am doing, why I am doing it and the new things I want to try.
I have even found the link to his video presentation and slideshow: http://educationaltechnology.ca/couros/1890
I found the Alec Couros video thought-provoking in a number of areas, but particularly the following:
- The idea of digital visitor v digital resident –> digital citizenship
I know that I am a digit immigrant rather than a digital native and I think that I am doing ok on the immigration front with being open to trying new things. However, I’m not so sure about becoming a digital resident. I suppose I’ve read too much about online stalking and identity theft to be totally comfortable with the idea of putting too much information about me out there. I’m also a private person by nature, an introvert who doesn’t socialise that much. Maybe that is why some of my posts have an Asgard as its picture (I’m a big sci-fy fan and love Stargate). It appears I may want to rethink my online persona as I think becoming a digital resident is going to be important in the future.
- Informal learning
I love learning, I always have and I have spent most of my life in some form of learning environment. Starting my tertiary education in the early 80s meant using books – library books and textbooks. I learned a lot from that, always getting side tracked with interesting titbits I would find – often totally unrelated to what I was looking for, but often these titbits would come in useful somewhere. I’m not that efficient at using the Internet for research, mainly because I don’t know what keywords to use so I tend to fluff around a lot finding things and generally trying to follow my nose. Maybe that is why I tend to use Wikipedia as my first source of finding out about a topic – so that I have a general understanding of the key concepts which then gives me something to research on.I feel sorry for the students of today who only use the Internet for research – they don’t seem to understand the importance of reading around a topic, finding other key words for the topic they haven’t thought about. An example of this came to me the other day after one of my classes. A student was working on an assignment for a different class and he was saying he couldn’t find anything about it. I told him how I used Wikipedia and he said it hadn’t helped him. He showed me what Wikipedia had on his topic – it could actually help him as a key document was mentioned, it just wasn’t hyperlinked. So I said I would just Google the name of the key document, which he did, and within the results there was one which was just what he was looking for. I suspect a lot of students are missing out on how to learn by their basic use of Google and seeing Google as the only way to find answers – rather than using Google as a starting point and actually reading and thinking about what they read.
- What is literacy?
This was an interesting comment as so much of NZ education is about making sure our students have literacy and numeracy skills for the future, however, there doesn’t seem to be that much about information literacy which is what I took Alec to be talking about. I thing the above example shows that there is a missing skill in the processing of all of the information now available to us.
- Reverse Instruction
I must admit this idea sounded so obvious to me once it was mentioned. I often don’t get my slide show up more than a day before my class (if it isn’t on the same day). I often upload a student version of the slide show so that any questions which I might want them to think about don’t have the answers also given. I like the idea of recording the lecture (even though I totally dislike hearing and seeing myself on video). This means that no-one has to miss class if they are ill and in fact I could turn up to class with no voice (having just experienced the loss of my voice for a week and the impact that had on my teaching). It also means that the more formal context of the lesson is not lost – it can be relistened to as many times as needed. By spending times on activities in class (including the questions included in the lecture) students would have more time to research the answers, the English as second language students have more time to understand the content, and more time would be allowed for discussion of the content rather than the delivery of the content. With the use of GoogleDocs those who can’t physically attend could still be ‘present’ and contributing from elsewhere if they had to.