My experience of on-line courses and on-line learning.

I have been a firm believer that it is necessary to know about technology and how it can enhance learning, especially as a freelance teacher. Now, though I am no longer freelance, I still feel the same way as I teach young learners.

I read books and made my own ponderings about how I could utilize the wonderful, yet ellusive materials out there in interspace, but it wasn’t until I took my first o-line course in 2006 that I really began to discover the more concrete possibilties.
From that moment on it was one long, intensive education that took place in a number of different times and places on the internet, no longer bound to the constrictions of a course. Yet one thing prevailed throughout this whole discovery process: I was not alone. There is a huge community of educators using technology, experimenting, commenting on the effect, and helping others.
I have learned so much from these people in many respects.
Now I also use technology, give on-line courses and write about my experiences. But I haven’t quit learning. My head is no longer smoking from processing the implications of some of the uses, nor am I quite so involved in the community at the moment, but it is more of a breather – taking time to implement all the things I have learned.

What makes on-line courses so different from face to face courses?
The most obvious difference is that you can work at any time of day or night, in your pyjamas, in the bath, or even in a cafe.
But there are other differences I have noticed. You are hardly ever alone. You can ask your questions at any time or day or night. You may not get an immediate answer, but you will get one soon. I also found that the roles of particpants in on-line courses quite quickly grew. If I needed help, quite often the first person to give it to me was someone else on the course who had figured it out or who had previous experience. More and more often it was I who was one of these persons helping out my colleagues on the course. I saw myself and others becoming responsible learners. I was also learning how to help out in technical questions – something we as teachers have to be able to do with your students as well.
We were building a network, and many connections I have made in the past are still alive.

Latest doings

I’ve been busy lately, too busy to be on the computer much, but since things are slowly winding down, I’ve found time to engage in a bit of fun.

Kevin from over at dogtrax offered a challenge I just couldn’t resist. Your day boiled down into 6 words. Well, I decided to expand it to 36 words over 6 days.  Just a few more days and a few more words.

Then there’s twittering over at lwc (which I’m also doing for Your Day in 6 Words).

And I had a good time giving a workshop for the regional ETAS about powerpoints. An evening full of sausage dogs 🙂 (see to find out my source of inspiration)

Finally, I’m trying to drum up some support again for the Matopo Primary Blog since the situation over at Zimbabwe is pretty tense at the moment.

Maybe you’ll have a look and leave a comment?

Accountability in teaching with technology

I was just reflecting on Ann’s comment on my last post about using the internet with children and it came ot me that about a year ago there was an incident. A primary school teacher had her kids go to the computer and there were sexually explicit pictures on the screen. The kids went home and told their parents, of course. The result was that this teacher, sho was in no way to blame (it was the school filter, I believe) was accused of wrong-doing, and if I remember correctly, taken to court. I lost the thread, so I don’t know the outcome, but I was pretty taken by the events.

If anyone remembers or can find the link, please leave a comment.

webcasting- reading treasures

Well, this will be my first public webcast. I’m so glad I won’t be alone. I have great people at my side and we will be working as a team.
It is a discussion about reading, and builds on the monthly task from Learning with Computers. Hopefully we will even manage to have a few listeners.

See also this excellent screencast! A reading treasures preview

made by Carla- thank you Carla! You deserve a big hand! Biejos!!!

Stay tuned for the recording once I’ve recorded and edited our webcast ……

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