Well, I have just finished a six-week online course with EVO on Ning and my life is going to feel a bit empty! I have met an incredible group of teachers, educators, motivators and contributors from all over the world. Thank you so much everyone for making it so worthwhile.
Below is an amazing video created by Jane Challinor and Maria Joao, two of my fellow participants.
The online workshop involved a lot of tasks such as
- participating in live debates on subjects such as online safety digital story telling
- creating a blog for personal reflections
- collaborating on tasks
- group projects
- presenting videos
- joining discussion groups
- sharing photos
- sharing articles of interest
- sharing ideas and stories
- developing an online presence
These activities were all meaningful and geared towards enriching our learning experience.
Towards a digital ID
The question of presenting an online identity brought up many interesting issues. The "private self" versus the "public self". How do they interact with one another? How can we present ourselves in a safe and constructive way? Should there be defined areas of privacy? An online journey has many variables - we only find out what these variables are when we have the courage to embark on this journey into the unknown.
The idea of sharing my learning journey with like-minded people in whatever way possible has been very enlightening. The idea of a global educational village in cyberspace has been mind blowing.
Ciao, Hola, Guten Tag!
During the course, I have had the opportunity to practise some languages that have been gathering dust!. Using 3 languages on the same platform was absolutely amazing and it was very challenging. I enjoyed brushing up my use of German, Spanish and Italian. Apologies in advance to all of you who are purists and linguists- please forgive any mistakes! The aim was to have fun exploiting the language and discussing different topics of interest.
Below is something I wrote in German in the "Hier Werden Sie geholfen" group:
"Diese Nacht ist Skype mein Lieblings-Tool! Ich habe jetzt via Medium Skype Englisch unterrichtet und es macht mir viel Spass! Ich glaube fur 30 Minuten ist es sehr gut fur eine"virtuelle" Klasse. Vielleicht nicht so gut fur mehr Zeit? Meine Praxis hat verandert ein Bischen. Ich kann nicht am "Whiteboard" schreiben und normalerweise, habe ich gern diese zu tun. Trotzdem, kann ich sofort ein e-mail senden nach die Klasse mit Noten fur die Studente und dass ist gut.
Jemand hat gute Hinweise fur via Skype zu unterrichten? Ich mochte gern lernen!"
Here is something I wrote in Spanish in the "Se habla Espanol" group:
Hola todos del grupo
Que tal? Espero que vayan bien?
He leido Isabel allende, Cuentos de Eva Luna, y me gusto mucho. No he leido en espanol desde hace muchos anos. Me encanta esta lengua y me gusta esta ocasion en el grupo para praticar mi espanol.
Alguien ha leido algo de Salvador de Madariaga? Quando yo era mas joven, y el estava en esilio en Inglaterra, yo lo encontre en Oxford y hable con el. (Mi padre fue su jardinero privado). Escribio "El Corazon de Piedra Verde" y muchas otras cosas politicas y novelas historicas. Fue un gran placer encontrarlo.
Here is something I posted in the "Buon Giorno Italia" group I set up:
"Potrebbe mai imaginare il mondo senza tecnologia? Sarebbe veramente vuoto o forse una cosa per il bene?
Credo che Io non posso tornare indietro perche adesso la mia vita dipende sulla tecnologia che mi circonda da per tutto.
Mi mancarebbe tanto l'uso del internet. Ogni giorno trovo qualcosa nuova che mi serve. Non potere communicare con famiglia o amici tramite email sarebbe molto difficile.
Che ne pensate su questa tema? Che cosa non potete vivere senza? "
My amazing tutors
The tutors on this course have been absolutely fantastic and in particular,Cristina Costa and Nellie Deutsch have been so helpful and I have learned so much from them. They have shared their experiences and motivated me to do my best. They have shown me all about what a good educator and mentor should be like. Patient, kind, helpful, interested, enthusiastic, motivated and motivating, dynamic,caring, the list is endless.
The Journey is only beginning
I am in the wilds of Abruzzo and yet I have connected with people from all over the world and shared a journey with them on a daily basis. Apart from 2 weeks when I was "off-line" , my daily routine has consisted of keeping up with all the messages, emails, questions, sharing of ideas, discussing, giving opinions, and so on. It has indeed been something unique and exciting. I have been a student again and the process of learning new things has forced me to re-assess how I am as a teacher.
So, how am I as a teacher?
I have always been "strict", maybe even "rigid", always in control, always well prepared, always with a firm aim and objective. Maybe all these are good, but maybe is it time for a change? Teaching is geared to be more fluid, reflective, subjective, interactive and here is the biggie - more technological.
21st century teaching? It involves learning from the past. It involves re-assessing the present. It involves embracing the future with all our heart and soul.
View my page on Digifolios and Personal Learning Spaces