The last three weeks have been filled with new experiences for me in online learning. I started by feeling frustrated – having spent the last two years studying e-learning, I think I have gotten to a point where I want to know how these tools are going to help teach the actual skills our students will need in today’s society. Skills like creativity, problem-solving and independent learning are essential for success in an evolving job-market. This focus on the bigger picture made it difficult to focus on one tool in particular, therefore my initial research topic was incredibly broad.
Once I started reading the change models, I realised that I needed to narrow my topic in order to successfully carry out my research. It made sense to focus on Moodle, as I believe it to be a tool which will last for years to come (not just a fad) and it is constantly evolving, which fits in with the topic of change. In addition, in my own context, Moodle was just introduced as a replacement LMS at my school, which allows me to analyse how this change has affected the players in my “arena.” Wayne pointed out that the fact that Moodle is replacing Ultranet gives me a unique perspective on this change. I also decided to focus on independent learning as the main skill for my research. If students feel that they can successfully learn independently, they will be able to grow and learn, utilising new and changing technologies with confidence.
The adoption models got me thinking about how my school could have better prepared for the change and evolution of our technologies. It also inspired me to be proactive and try to be a more active positive influence to my peers/staff and my students. I feel like I still need to review these models and analyse how they connect to my context.
Overall, the organisation of the course has been great – I agree with Kevin that the use of the blog to organise my learning journey is quite different, but good in many ways. In the past, the use of forums made it difficult to look back and reflect on my learning and thought processes throughout the course. I prefer being able to follow the blogs of my classmates and be able to see their thought processes as well. The forums are still a good place for discussion, but not nearly as overwhelming as they have been in other courses.
I am looking forward to the experience of being a part of the SP4Ed and broadening my experience with online learning. One of the amazing things about the internet and all the tools we have at our disposal is the ability to share knowledge and learning with a wide variety of peers. Learning outside of a face-to-face environment has been a challenge for me, but now that I have done it, I feel like the skills I’ve gained will allow me to confidently take advantage of online learning in the future.