Collaborative Communities in eLearning: Module 2 Reflections

'sunrise' photo (c) 2011, Sean MacEntee - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The most important thing I learned during Module 2 was…

I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting social constructivism and Vygotskian theory.  My undergraduate program in the college of education way back in the 80s was designed around Vygotskian theory and one of my most significant epiphanies during module 2 is that in many ways, mine has been an education ahead of its time.  At this point in my career, I have been an educator for nearly thirty years and I have long struggled with the fact that my educational philosophy and my pedagogy has made me an outlier since the day I started.  At some point during the middle of the module, I realized that it is the fact that I look at learning as a constructivist endeavor that causes me to approach teaching and learning from a different perspective than the majority of my colleagues.

This module’s learning will benefit me as an online facilitator by…

Though it didn’t come up in discussion in any of the assigned discussions, I found the concrete suggestions in the readings from chapter 10 in Lehmann to be really great food for thought.  Practicing nettiquette for instructors is harder than it looks! I liked finding my own brand and it was really helpful that I got feedback from a number of different people about the shade of red and the size of the font.  I keep forgetting to change the subject line on reply messages.  Need to do better on that.  Copying and pasting sections of text as a way to “Summarize, Quote,  or Refer” actually made writing the reply post easier for me. I experimented with not personalizing my replies to classmates, but I didn’t like how it felt.  I felt most comfortable reading replies in a thread not addressed directly to me, but to someone else in the thread.  I’d like to know what others thought.  Finally, I think I am over posting.  I need to work on letting other people just have their conversations in a thread.

Other reflective thoughts…

Though my realization about constructivism may not specifically have been an epiphany about “collaborative communities” as a concept in and of itself, I think it has been very powerful for me to realize that it was the collaborative community in which I have been invited to participate that revealed it to me.

I have come to realize that I am not nearly as much of an outlier in the online learning world as I am in the face-to-face K-12 world.

Finally, I Skyped with my project partner who is a teacher in China. How crazy is that?!?!? The world truly has been changed by our communication technologies.  I’m more convinced than ever that learning how to learn online must be integrated into a child’s education or we have truly done them a disservice!

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