these are my students and what they learned . . . summer 2009
I learned to not be afraid of trying things on the computer, that the computer is not going to break or all things lost. I remember how awesome it was to realize that i could text code online docs through diigo. I remember how long it took me to figure out what a tag was and how to do it. Although, I still can’t say I know how to use them. And you know what? I don’t care! Setting up accounts on Voicethreads and edublogs was crazy to me. I didn’t know that i could do that. I felt scared and now I feel empowered. I think I can give myself some credit but, alex has been an amazing facilitator. Her feedback has been gentle yet, demanding that i meet high expectations.
It occurred to me that real learning requires the removal of classroom walls in the sense that students need to be made to feel empowered in their ability to learn independently, as well as in the amount of information they learn. This realization was triggered after reading Alex’s blog about her recent NUTN conference. In her entries she talks about the use of Twitter and other Web 2.0 technologies in the online classroom. My initial thoughts were that teaching online was, of itself, enough of a technological integration for students to expand their thinking. But I now believe that the online environment, while substantially more engaging to me than a f2f classroom, can still leave one – at the end of the course – with novel ideas and knowledge gained through exchange with only a handful of students, an instructor, and a few texts. Now I understand why Alex is so interested in the integration of other web 2.0 technologies into the online environment. Suddenly, the student is propelled to think clearly and critically, as now their core ideas have the potential to be shared with anyone, anywhere.
From Alex (A series of Unfortunate Online Events and How to Avoid Them) , I learned an incredible amount of invaluable information that gave me a broadened perspective from the viewpoint of a student as well as a teacher. …When all is said and done, this was a fantastic learning experience. Thank you, Alex!
One thing I’ve learned through the example of Alex, is the importance of reaching out and engaging students on a personal level.
Thank you for everything, Alex! I have learned so much from you that goes beyond the technical aspect of teaching online – I learned how think about my teaching (f2f as well as online) in a more holistic way. I think, for the first time, I learned how to teach. I am not even sure how you accomplished that, because it was not done in an overt manner. But anyway, thank you. I am so glad that I came back this summer and finally got to finish your course!
I think Alex is an amazing teacher who is supportive and nurturing. She is a Master teacher in Social and teaching presence. Her encouragement when I was ready to throw in the towel was a blessing. I learned so much from Alex that it is hard to be specific. I learned from Alex just how important as an instructor to have established an on-line community and how to be there for a student(s). I will take this away with me from this course and pass it forward to someone else who struggles and loses their confidence.
This module has given me support for my current online teaching and reinforced my thinking about the value and necessity of online education. I have also come to realize how fortunate we are as a class community to have Alex guiding us through this process. I am constantly amazed at the professional contributions she has made to the field. Specifically in the development of quality online instructors and the creation of standards and models for online classes.
I really like how Alex has created a welcoming environment in our course and I hope I have done the same in mind. I feel very comfortable in our classroom and am not afraid to ask a question. Classroom community is very, very important in an online course as all of the interaction takes place behind a computer screen unlike a traditional classroom where it takes place in a face to face setting.
I have enjoyed communicating with Alex on Seesmic. It has been fun and Alex has been really helpful in brainstorming and conducting research on how I can incorporate this software into my course. After chatting with her a few times, I have decided to add Seesmic to my course as one of my learning activities. I am going to add this into the module on Preparing for the Interview. I am going to have students generate questions and practice role playing with each other. It will allow students to be able to respond at their (but keeping it within the timeframe), communicate with students in another form of communication, and allow them to gain experience as being an interviewer/interviewee.
I hope to create a learning environment that is warm and inviting. Once again, I have been in a classroom setting where I felt like I was out there all by myself. I did not like the way this felt and I don’t want my students to feel this way either. Seeing that I have been in their shoes, I know what they are going through. A positive, caring personality sets the tone for the course (I have to say Alex has done this in this course).
Alex’s presentation started off with a YouTube video demonstrating passion and joy….the things she feels for learning. She is an inspiration to educators hoping to find the best of both the world of emerging technological advances on the web and the world of student learning outcomes. She also showed me (for the first time) how many tools are available for us to use:
Alex, my instructor, has referred to our courses as living, breathing things that are always growing and changing. I realize now that courses not only change each time they run, but that it’s okay for them to change while the course is running.
Alex’s feedback to us on our course profiles, discussions and blogs have been great because they are very specific; offering encouragement and support while at the same time demanding more and telling us exactly what to correct and why. That kind of feedback is appreciated because I know where I stand in the course, and I know where I need to improve and how I can improve. It’s not enough to tell students they are wrong, the real learning takes place when students know why they are wrong and how they can fix it!
just watched alex’s clip on us; wow, we built community through a computer! i love you guys and will miss all this rigour and interaction. time to move on. school year is approaching-may we all change the world!
This learning experience has been intense! I know that I have learned, for god’s sake I created an online course! I think about the insecure me 3 months ago, so afraid to be pushed out of my learning comfort zone. Alex and my peers, pushed me and I waded out there, well, it was actually like tredding for dear life.