Hello, everyone in cyberspace! In my “brief” introductory blog I shared a little bit about my background in with the Adult Learning program. My transition from 20 years as a public school educator to that of an adult educator began well before starting the MEd program at VCU. Through a myriad of volunteer experiences, Cub Scouts, Virginia Master Gardener program, Literacy Volunteers, UVA Art Museum Docent, UVA Hospital Volunteer and Auxiliary President, I have coached and instructed adults informally.
My elearning experiences are rather broad from that of “über” professional quality presentations to those that are cheesy and of poor quality. I’ve engaged in classes as both a peripheral learner as well as an engaged participant. I’ve completed four (4) MOOOCs: #edcmooc-University of Edinburgh, #etmooc-University of Regina, one through the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA) and one through the University of Virginia, The Kennedy Half-Century. The two (2) elearning content courses were exhilarating. It was so much fun to see how excited educators and learners from as close as VCU to those around the globe engaged in elearning and digital experiences. Learning how to navigate time zones outside of the USA to participate in “Quad-Blogging” Google Hangouts was a little bit of a learning curve, but certainly well worth it. The #etmooc exemplified how weak links are really willing to be helpful to virtual strangers.
I have taken one (1) course that was entirely online and have a son who participated in a Virtual Virginia AP course. Both were a disaster and left a true distaste for distance learning. My participation in this course occurs after three (3) years of healing. My son has sworn to never take another online course. I am willing to put the past behind me and give this method of instruction another try.
My goals for the course, in addition to becoming a convert to distance learning, is to be exposed to the seminal work of the distance theorists (if there can be any in such a short period of time) and to engage the goals for the course with my learning through Adult Literacy & Diversity, Design & Delivery of Adult Learning Programs as well as those in Lifespan Issues of Adults with Learning & Behavior Issues. Phew…
When I have free time I love to go to museums (DC), knit, garden, bake and read. Much of my time during the last fifteen (15) years has been spent being a soccer parent and all that it entails. I’ve volunteered in many aspects of the area where I live. I enjoy giving my time and talents to others. Most recently, I began volunteering at the Adult Learning Center in my hometown.
My impressions of the reading selection sans blogger overload
Historical and Conceptual Foundations:
- I assume that this course will have a high degree of transactional distance. Will other tools in addition to Blogs and Twitter be employed to permit multiple perspectives to be seen at one time and in one location?
- I “think” that the Community of Inquiry Framework is new for me. I love frameworks and the use of a lens as a tool for how to consider events, theories, learners, and experience.
- Connectivism is very powerful and one that I experienced first hand through two (2) MOOCs. It was not a learning theory presented in my Adult 601 course in 2011. I hope that it is now included.
Current Trends in Distance Education:
- When referring to a current trend, will technological pedagogical content knowledge place the knowledge in the center with the learner on the outside?
- When a Distance Learning instructor employs the lens of self-regulated learning theory, does the instructor do so with universal standards? Does the learner know what it means to engage self-regulation?
- TPACK- this phrase is one that I will use and probably talk about in my sleep. My expectation is that the instructors of this course are well versed in TPACK and will model their specialized knowledge so that I will have scaffolding in place for me to be successful. Scaffolding is my “thing.
- As a gardener I was taught, “Right plant, right location and the plant will thrive.” As a distance educator, I expect to follow this maxim when considering the best tool for the learning event that I am creating. No “grab and go” here. I want my students to thrive.
- Helping learners to develop a sense of agency along with the necessary executive functioning skills to complete a task independently is a head-scratcher. There is no one concise answer, but one that I know will be of importance to the learning event that I’ll create for this course.
- Group development through distance education sounds challenging. I am wondering if Schwarz included this concept in his Field Guide for Facilitating groups?
- SRL-SELF-REGULATED LEARNING (yes, I’m shouting) How will the learning event provide for those with varying intellectual abilities?
- Educator as the Reflective practitioner, where have seen this phrase before-Oh, all over Oliver Hall. Welcome back an old friend from Org Learning, Chris Argyris and Double Loop Learning-how can I engage distance learners to consider their own beliefs and assumptions about the learning event?
- Distance Learning appears to have hit the floor running and is just now stopping to take a breath. In the future, will time and attention be given to how the key components of Teaching and Learning with Technology can reflect the needs of the learner with those of both the institution and the workplace?
This week’s activities:
- Blogging is expected by those into the Adult Learning Program. It has the ability to transform learning, discussion, and thinking. It is valuable when individuals are willing to participate, including the professor. A blog isn’t a place for professorial writing. It’s an opportunity to engage your thoughts with others. I find video footage and links useful ways to filter in a greater amount of content that I may not have considered. Sometimes the presentation of questions or a topic by the instructor is a useful mechanism for those who either find it difficult to write or for those who suffer from digression.
- Twitter can be very useful when I remember to open it up. I’ve found that individuals follow me when I use the tools and tags correctly. The social scientist Brene Brown suggest that one “Have a strong back, a soft front and to be civil” when encountering those who have differing opinions and values. I value civility and feel that it’s essential to the practice of inclusion and diversity. I don’t have time to follow individuals, regardless of their academic or cultural worth, who use the tool irresponsibly.
SOMETHING TO CHEW ON-
I think that a screencast of how to establish a blog or Twitter account would be useful for those unfamiliar with those platforms. It’s a marvelous tool for this learning experience. I’m a visual person and scaffold, as you already know, is my favorite learning word! How do you learn best?